331: Mandatory Turkey Holiday


00:00:00   [MUSIC]

00:00:14   From Relay FM, this is upgrade 331, the upgrade holiday special.

00:00:20   Woo hoo!

00:00:21   My name is Myke Hurley and I am joined by Jason Snell.

00:00:24   And this wonderful holiday special is brought to you by Squarespace.

00:00:29   Smile, Pingdom, and SaneBox.

00:00:32   Ho ho ho, Jason Snell.

00:00:33   Ho ho ho, Santa Myke Hurley.

00:00:36   Believe it or not, the holidays are here. They are here.

00:00:39   I guess.

00:00:40   And we are going to try our best to enjoy them.

00:00:43   And we will partake in the tradition that is the upgrade holiday special.

00:00:47   And like all good traditions, there are traditions inside of it.

00:00:50   Every episode of Upgrade has begun with a Snell Talk question.

00:00:53   And I have a question from Ryan today who asks,

00:00:56   "Jason, what finger do you use for Touch ID on your laptop?"

00:00:59   Good question, Ryan. Good question.

00:01:01   The answer is my right index finger.

00:01:03   It's the only one, right?

00:01:05   Yep.

00:01:06   I can't imagine there being another one.

00:01:08   Is there some perverse person out there who's like,

00:01:12   "I'm going to make it my pinky finger."

00:01:14   Why would you do that to yourself?

00:01:17   But maybe.

00:01:18   Oh God, we're going to hear from that.

00:01:19   We're going to hear from pinky people now.

00:01:21   Pinky unlockers.

00:01:22   I don't want to hear from the pinky unlockers, Myke.

00:01:25   No, actually, if you can get the feedback in by next week, before the end of the year,

00:01:30   I will accept feedback from pinky unlockers.

00:01:32   There's not going to be any follow-up on next week's episode.

00:01:35   You're right.

00:01:36   Okay, then I don't want to hear about it.

00:01:37   Pinky unlockers, hold your email.

00:01:39   Well, yeah, don't worry about it because we're never going to address it, right?

00:01:44   We could get a million emails from pinky unlockers and like,

00:01:48   "I'm not going to leave that feedback for two weeks."

00:01:51   Right?

00:01:52   Like, "Oh, we'll talk about it in January."

00:01:53   No one will remember this conversation in two weeks.

00:01:56   Is that like a really proper, like an English person, like when you're drinking tea,

00:01:58   do you extend your pinky finger and then you use it to unlock your mac?

00:02:02   Because you've always got the finger like free, I suppose.

00:02:04   Extended, if you're posh.

00:02:06   I wouldn't mind if somebody also used their pinky finger, right?

00:02:12   Like it's also registered, but it just feels like, like, if you're pressing a button, right?

00:02:18   You use the index finger.

00:02:21   It's the pointer.

00:02:22   That's what it's like the other name for it.

00:02:24   It is the pointing finger.

00:02:25   Like, would people, so I want to know, the only thing I want to know from pinky

00:02:30   unlockers if you're going to contact me is what button do you use to call an elevator?

00:02:35   Like what finger do you use to call an elevator?

00:02:37   Use your pinky for that too?

00:02:38   I think they're pink.

00:02:41   Yeah.

00:02:41   Well, let's find out, but I would say yes.

00:02:44   I've invented what I think a pinky unlocker looks like.

00:02:47   And there's somebody who is always extending their pinky finger to do things.

00:02:51   Right.

00:02:51   If you would like to send in a question to help us answer, to open an episode of Upgrade,

00:02:58   just send in a tweet with the hashtag #snowtalk or you can use question marks

00:03:01   from our Snowtalk in the Real FM members discord.

00:03:05   Next week, we are going to be participating in the seventh annual Upgradies.

00:03:12   Voting will close on December 23rd.

00:03:17   So if you have not got your votes in yet, you have just probably a day or two by the

00:03:23   time you're hearing this.

00:03:25   So go to upgradees.vote or click the link in the show notes to make sure that you get

00:03:31   your nominations in and you can join the many, many Upgradians who have nominated maybe some

00:03:37   of their favorite apps, some of their favorite content, some of their favorite stories.

00:03:42   I'm going to be going through all of these towards the end of next week.

00:03:46   And tabulating the results, they will be brought along with mine and Jason's own nominations

00:03:52   for those categories.

00:03:54   And on our next episode, we will be going through every category, talking about the

00:03:59   three most nominated from the Upgradies for every category, bringing our own nominations

00:04:05   as well.

00:04:06   And you will hear as each award is decided in the seventh annual Upgradies.

00:04:11   If you want to prepare yourself in advance, you can also look through our previous award

00:04:17   winners at the upgradees.com.

00:04:20   And I'll put a link in the show notes to that too.

00:04:22   That is our beautiful, wonderful hall of fame helped to be brought into life by friend of

00:04:27   the show, Zach Knox.

00:04:28   I am so excited.

00:04:32   - I can't wait to find out who won the Upgradies.

00:04:34   - Nobody knows right now.

00:04:36   - That's the beauty of it.

00:04:38   I can't wait to find out what got nominated by the listeners.

00:04:40   I also can't wait to actually consider what I would choose.

00:04:44   - Oh, I've been keeping my notes.

00:04:46   I have some nominations already.

00:04:48   - Great.

00:04:49   - Upgradies.vote is where you can go to put your nominations in.

00:04:54   And I recommend that you do that.

00:04:55   - Immediately.

00:04:57   - Please follow up.

00:04:58   Full screen iOS apps on M1 Max.

00:05:01   What is going on here, Jason Snow?

00:05:03   - They updated Big Sur to 11.1 and it includes a change to the way iOS apps run on the Mac.

00:05:14   And so like HBO Max, which previously you could only watch in like a little window.

00:05:20   You can full screen it now, which you'd think would be good for like video playback.

00:05:25   It's not.

00:05:29   It's bad.

00:05:33   This is like, this is literally the worst thing about the M1 Max

00:05:36   is that the running iOS apps on it is not very good.

00:05:39   And there aren't a lot of good apps that you would maybe want to run aren't there.

00:05:43   And the ones that are there aren't implemented very well.

00:05:46   And this is an example of that where there were all these stories that came out.

00:05:50   Not to malign the people who wrote these breathless stories about,

00:05:53   oh, maybe a little.

00:05:54   Big Sur 11.1 coming out and it's like, aha, now they've solved this problem of HBO Max.

00:06:00   You can run it in full screen.

00:06:01   And I have to ask myself, did any of them try that?

00:06:04   Because I tried that.

00:06:06   And what happened is it went into full screen with the app window in four by three,

00:06:11   which is the shape of an iPad screen because it thinks it's on an iPad and you play video.

00:06:16   And what you get is a letterboxed video with black bars at top and bottom inside a pillar box,

00:06:23   which is black bars on the left and the right, because it doesn't stretch.

00:06:29   You watch a wide screen video on a wide screen monitor, it doesn't stretch to

00:06:32   build the screen.

00:06:33   It stays in the box in the center that's the shape of an iPad.

00:06:38   That's dumb.

00:06:38   You know, they're working on it.

00:06:42   This is obviously the most underbaked part of M1 Max and Big Sur.

00:06:48   But the experience was already bad.

00:06:52   And I don't know, there's something about them making this improvement that actually

00:06:55   doesn't improve anything very much.

00:06:58   I, you just got to laugh.

00:07:00   It's just, it's just not good.

00:07:01   It's just a bad experience all around.

00:07:03   All right, let's also do some upstream headlines before we get into our topics for the day.

00:07:07   iOS and tvOS 14.3 have added a tab in the TV app to get you to Apple's TV+ originals easily.

00:07:17   This is a very welcome thing.

00:07:20   Now, look, I applaud Apple for not trying to like shove its content down our throats too much.

00:07:27   But the problem of having an application which does two things, which is have all your original

00:07:34   content and also try attempt to be an omnivorous content provider.

00:07:38   If you're not going to heavily weight your content too much, which I feel like you do

00:07:42   a good job, it means it actually makes it hard to find it.

00:07:45   Like when I go to Netflix, I don't have to like struggle to find what Netflix makes.

00:07:49   It's all there, right?

00:07:51   It's all there.

00:07:51   So I'm pleased that they've added this.

00:07:54   Apple has struggled with this because they want to be this curator of all the stuff and

00:07:58   they've got all the API so they can say, oh, you should watch this next episode of something

00:08:02   on Hulu or whatever, or, you know, all these different services that tie into their API.

00:08:06   By the way, this is also on Big Sur 11.1.

00:08:08   This is another thing that is added there as well.

00:08:11   So they want to be this front end interface, but then they also have their own service

00:08:15   and you end up in the situation where either they tilt too much to promoting Apple TV+ stuff,

00:08:21   or you can't find Apple TV+ stuff.

00:08:24   And while I was watching Ted Lasso, while that was rolling out weekly, I would regularly

00:08:29   go to the TV app and not be able to find where to click to play Ted Lasso.

00:08:34   It's like, this is bananas.

00:08:36   Why is this happening?

00:08:37   So yes, now there's an Apple TV tab that's just devoted to Apple TV+.

00:08:41   And in there you'll find all the stuff that's actually on the service, which should have

00:08:49   been there from the start, but I get why they didn't do it, I guess.

00:08:54   But this is better.

00:08:55   This is, it actually, I think in the long run will hopefully allow the Watch Now tab

00:09:00   to be less Apple TV+ focused than it had to be because it had to do all the heavy lifting

00:09:07   for the service.

00:09:07   - Yeah.

00:09:08   Now they don't really need to put it there at all, 'cause it's got its own tab in the

00:09:12   application.

00:09:14   The Apple TV app itself will also be coming to Google's Chromecast devices

00:09:19   in early 2021.

00:09:21   I had forgotten about this.

00:09:24   Like in my mind, it was like, oh, Apple's everywhere.

00:09:27   I hadn't really considered Chromecast 'cause I don't really think of Chromecast like a

00:09:32   streaming box, but I know it's become more like that over time.

00:09:35   Like my mental model of Chromecast has kind of remained as like AirPlay, but I know it

00:09:43   does more now than that.

00:09:44   - Right.

00:09:45   - I kind of forget that that's the case.

00:09:47   So this is cool though.

00:09:48   Like this is, again, like this is exactly what we wanted Apple to do, which was to make

00:09:54   sure that they were everywhere.

00:09:56   This is what they have to do.

00:09:57   And I'm pleased to see them continuing to move in this direction.

00:10:01   - Yeah, for sure.

00:10:03   My Roku TV got the Apple TV and AirPlay update the other week.

00:10:08   - Nice.

00:10:09   - And I actually AirPlayed to it for the first time over the weekend and it was super easy.

00:10:14   It's really nice to have it there.

00:10:16   It does make me wonder from time to time why I even have the Apple TV hooked up to it.

00:10:20   - Yeah, I've felt that way with the LG TV that we have.

00:10:25   I mean, really at this point, the only reason I still use the Apple TV is so I can use the

00:10:29   HomePods as my stereo pair.

00:10:31   - Yeah, that's a good one.

00:10:33   - Because it's so much easier to AirPlay directly to my television.

00:10:37   It's really easy to do it and it works seamlessly.

00:10:42   So I'm very happy with that.

00:10:44   - Apple is in talks to acquire the rights to two animated features from Skydance Animation.

00:10:52   Both of these movies are produced by John Lasseter.

00:10:55   So he was previously at Pixar and Disney.

00:10:58   Previously because he had a history of sexual misconduct which came out a few years ago

00:11:04   and he took a leave of absence from Disney when these allegations came out and were proved

00:11:10   to be true and he acknowledged them and took a leave of absence and it never came back.

00:11:14   And then went on to, I believe, run Skydance, their animation division.

00:11:20   This doesn't feel like a good idea for Apple.

00:11:24   - Yeah, I definitely saw a bunch of talk about this in the last week that there are these

00:11:31   issues with his missteps is what he said.

00:11:37   And Skydance brought him in and everybody was sort of like, okay, do you want to work

00:11:43   with this guy?

00:11:44   He's very creatively, he's got a great creative resume, but at the same time, he has had this

00:11:50   history of questionable behavior.

00:11:52   There are definitely people who left projects after he arrived, including, I remember Emma

00:12:01   Thompson quit when he was hired.

00:12:04   And so, there are a lot of people out there who look at this and say, this isn't a great

00:12:08   look for Apple, the Skydance stuff is tainted because Lasseter himself is tainted.

00:12:13   And I mean, it's their decision about how they want to spend their money.

00:12:17   And on one level, I want to say you're an entertainment company, you're acquiring movies

00:12:26   and if the quality of the movies is good, then you should evaluate them that way.

00:12:33   On another level, I think you have to look at who is responsible and say, do I want to

00:12:38   be in business with this person?

00:12:39   And the fact is, if you are buying movies from Skydance, what you're saying is Skydance

00:12:46   was right to hire a guy who was kind of disgraced and just stick them in opportunistically in

00:12:54   order to improve your outcome of your movies and then that's what they're going to get.

00:12:59   And does Apple want to be a part of that or not?

00:13:01   And I don't, I mean, from this report, it sounds like Apple has just decided that it's

00:13:05   the, you know, whatever the stink is, it's like too many layers away for it to matter

00:13:10   to them.

00:13:10   And I'm not sure, I mean, everybody's going to have a different opinion about that.

00:13:13   I looked at this and went, I don't know, I don't think I would give my money to John

00:13:18   Lasseter at this point, but it's not my money.

00:13:20   - It's really complicated, right?

00:13:22   Like there are so many layers to this onion.

00:13:26   Where it's like, you know, obviously it's not like John Lasseter is not responsible

00:13:29   for every part of these movies being made.

00:13:31   And by commissioning these movies, like there's people in the industry that get work, right?

00:13:36   Which is important.

00:13:37   And it's, you know, it's like, it's really, it's a very tricky, it's like a minefield,

00:13:42   right?

00:13:43   It's, there's like a billion decisions that have to be made to go into a situation like

00:13:47   this.

00:13:47   And my argument would kind of be like, do you need to do this?

00:13:50   Like Apple, are these the only movies?

00:13:53   Like, do you want, is this, is this the minefield you want to walk into?

00:13:57   Like these, you know, I know like-

00:14:02   - I'm aware that he's actually very, you know, incredibly talented, brilliant person.

00:14:09   But at the same time, there's this feeling like societally that it's like, well, he did

00:14:16   some bad stuff to a lot of people.

00:14:18   And his punishment was that he had to leave the job that he was in, which is a sort of

00:14:25   punishment, although he still gets to be rich and successful and creative, have, you know,

00:14:30   Oscars and stuff like that.

00:14:31   - And get more jobs.

00:14:32   - And then also apparently get more jobs that allow him to do this.

00:14:37   And there's a question of like, did he really, you know, did he get punished for what he

00:14:41   did?

00:14:41   Whose job is it to punish him?

00:14:43   Nobody's?

00:14:44   And the answer is, well, you know, one way you punish somebody like that is by making

00:14:49   them a bit of an outcast and saying, you know, what you're doing for a while, if not ever,

00:14:54   is going to be thought of poorly and you're going to have to kind of walk in the wilderness.

00:15:01   And Skydance was like, nope, we're going to give him money and give him a job.

00:15:04   And, you know, it's one of those things where I see the sort of the letter of it, the detail

00:15:10   of it, and I go, okay, you know, it's your money.

00:15:12   And then on another level, I'm like, but personally, I don't think I would champion that person

00:15:19   or work for that person at this point.

00:15:21   - It's so difficult, right?

00:15:21   - Yeah. - You know, I mean, this is like a real

00:15:25   question for our time.

00:15:26   And it's like, are we saying nobody can change?

00:15:31   Right?

00:15:33   Like, that's a question, right?

00:15:36   And I don't think I agree with that.

00:15:38   - And if he's never really punished formally, there can never be a sentence.

00:15:44   There's never an amount of time.

00:15:46   And this, again, this is getting into big picture stuff is like, is there a period of

00:15:51   time?

00:15:52   Do they have to admit and be forgiven?

00:15:55   Do they serve their time?

00:15:56   This is the argument about anybody who's been convicted of a crime, serves their time, and

00:16:01   then comes out.

00:16:01   Some people are like, well, you should never work with them because they were a criminal.

00:16:05   They did this terrible thing.

00:16:06   And then the counter argument is, but they did their time.

00:16:09   They should be able to reenter society.

00:16:12   Not everything should be a life sentence.

00:16:14   And the challenge with somebody like Lasseter is a little broader because the issues are

00:16:17   complex and there was never really any punishment.

00:16:20   His punishment was possibly paying out people in lawsuits.

00:16:24   I don't actually know if there was anything and it may all have been settled and hushed

00:16:28   up.

00:16:29   And he lost his position at Disney, but he doesn't, I would say it might be easier to

00:16:36   gauge something like this if he had to go to jail for a few years and then came out.

00:16:43   And people said, well, he served his time, but there's this like, and I don't know, because

00:16:47   while it's one of these things to say he's rich and famous and kind of got away more

00:16:52   or less free from this other than losing his job.

00:16:56   And that's not much punishment at all.

00:16:59   And he didn't seem to make a particularly contrite admission.

00:17:04   I'm also really hesitant to say that whatever he did, the punishment is he should never

00:17:11   be heard from again.

00:17:13   Because that seems awfully extreme too.

00:17:15   The problem is I think there's, you know, what is the, what is the in between?

00:17:19   This is very heavy stuff for the Christmas episode, Myke, but there is.

00:17:21   Yeah, I'm sorry.

00:17:22   I'm sorry.

00:17:23   I really wanted to bring it up though.

00:17:25   Like it felt like it wasn't something I wanted to just let go by.

00:17:29   It's very complicated.

00:17:32   It's, and this is going to be something that, uh, it's too soon for society to,

00:17:41   to settle on what the ramifications are for people in these situations, because this is

00:17:49   a relatively new phenomenon, you know, of these types of things happening in the public

00:17:55   eye and there being public outcry for them.

00:17:58   Yeah.

00:17:58   It's not a new phenomenon, but it's a new phenomenon that, that, that there is an attempt

00:18:03   to deal with them, but there is this question of like, what is the acceptable amount of

00:18:07   rehab for somebody's image and somebody's and what goes into that.

00:18:11   And there are lots of different opinions about that.

00:18:13   And that's the minefield that somebody like Apple has to walk.

00:18:16   It's like Skydance, I think is like, they just snapped him up.

00:18:19   They're like, ah, we know you had a history of problems, but you know, we'll hire you.

00:18:23   And that you're like, really?

00:18:25   Okay.

00:18:25   And then Apple's like, we will, we will talk to you again.

00:18:28   Apple hasn't signed anything, but like, we will talk to you about doing business with

00:18:32   you here.

00:18:32   And that's like I said, it's a layer of, you know, it's a layer of, you know, it's a layer

00:18:37   of, of, of stink removal there, but is that enough?

00:18:41   One layer, is that extra layer enough or, or not?

00:18:44   It's very difficult situation.

00:18:46   What, you know, what is, what is tainted by his presence or should he be allowed to get

00:18:50   on with his life?

00:18:52   And that, you know, he already paid the price by losing his plum job at Disney and Pixar.

00:18:59   Everybody's going to draw the line.

00:19:02   I would argue some were different, but, um, and I'm not going to say what Apple should

00:19:06   do here so much as to say, I, I have to think that Apple is aware of the issues here and

00:19:13   is weighing the value of the films with the value of being in business with John Lasseter.

00:19:20   Yep.

00:19:21   The one thing I just wanted to clarify when I said it being new, the new thing, what I'm

00:19:26   talking about is like, I don't like the phrase, but like canceling, right?

00:19:30   Like there is a public outcry.

00:19:33   I was going to say the me too movement too.

00:19:34   It's like, this is, this is stuff that used to get completely swept under the rug or the

00:19:38   people would just leave.

00:19:39   And it's like, what are you going to do?

00:19:40   It's a powerful man.

00:19:41   And that didn't happen this time, right there.

00:19:43   This is, this is this effect of, this is unacceptable behavior and you, you know, you can't be here

00:19:49   and that's great, but now what?

00:19:52   Yeah.

00:19:53   Wonder Woman 1984 will get a PVOD premium video on demand release in the UK.

00:20:00   Love a good PVOD.

00:20:02   We'd wondered what would happen.

00:20:03   It's one month after the cinematic release.

00:20:06   So from the 13th of January, you will be able to rent this movie from places.

00:20:12   No one's actually said where, but the fact that it is PVOD seems to suggest to me anywhere.

00:20:18   So it's not going to be sky as we thought.

00:20:20   It's going to be like iTunes, wherever you get your rental.

00:20:22   This is the iTunes window.

00:20:24   This is where Wonder Woman 1984 will go.

00:20:26   Wonder Woman 84 will go here in the US 31 days after Christmas when it comes out.

00:20:33   The same thing.

00:20:34   And it'll be probably available to buy on iTunes.

00:20:37   And then like two weeks later available to rent or that thing.

00:20:40   It'll it'll as if it ran in cinemas for a month.

00:20:42   Which in the UK, well, I guess maybe some parts anyway, let's pretend that it ran in

00:20:48   cinemas for a month.

00:20:49   And then it goes on that second window, which is the premium video on demand, which is not

00:20:55   on a streaming service, but rather you can buy it or rent it.

00:20:58   And that'll weirdly inverted in the US.

00:21:02   That is what will happen.

00:21:03   It will go off HBO max and enter that window.

00:21:06   But the nice thing about that is if you don't have HBO max or in the case of many countries,

00:21:09   you literally don't have HBO max in your country.

00:21:11   You will just kind of bypass that first thing.

00:21:14   And then you will also go to the second premium video on demand release.

00:21:18   PVOD.

00:21:19   Good pot.

00:21:20   Good PVOD.

00:21:21   PVOD.

00:21:21   PVOD.

00:21:22   PVOD.

00:21:22   Like two P's and a...

00:21:23   PVOD.

00:21:25   PVOD.

00:21:25   The office debuts exclusively on Peacock in the US from January 1st.

00:21:32   Upgrade upstream listeners know that this was the thing that was happening, but there's

00:21:36   some details around this, which I thought were really interesting.

00:21:40   So NBC have announced that the first two seasons of The Office will be available for free with

00:21:46   ads, but all of the other episodes will be on Peacock premium only, which is interesting

00:21:52   on many layers, right?

00:21:53   Like this is maybe what NBC's model is going to be because they have their free with ads

00:21:58   and they also have their paid plan.

00:22:00   And this is part of the complexity of, of Peacock is there's a free, free tier with

00:22:07   ads.

00:22:07   There's Peacock premium, which is pay unless you're a Comcast subscriber, you know, pay

00:22:13   with an asterisk.

00:22:14   Some people don't have to pay with ads.

00:22:16   And then there's Peacock premium plus where you don't get the ads.

00:22:22   So there's the three tiers, but what this means, and this is going to happen on other

00:22:26   services too, HBO max is probably doing this as well at some point is there is the argument

00:22:33   that what you do is you get people in the door with a free tier that's absolutely free

00:22:36   and not all of your stuff is on it, but some stuff is on it.

00:22:40   It's like a little teaser.

00:22:42   You can watch the stuff for free with ads.

00:22:43   And then if you want the rest of The Office after the first two seasons, you have to pay

00:22:49   something or be a Comcast subscriber.

00:22:51   - Yeah, so the seasons three to nine, they're on both of the pay tiers, the pay with ads

00:22:59   and plus premium or premium plus.

00:23:01   They're also introducing what they're calling super fan episodes that feature never before

00:23:07   seen footage and deleted scenes, which is very smart, right?

00:23:12   - Yeah.

00:23:12   Some of these, some, some extended episodes appear on iTunes, but I think it happened

00:23:18   later in the run.

00:23:19   It sounds like this is maybe I want to find out what the workflow is for this, because

00:23:23   I really do wonder, is this something that was always there that they always built these

00:23:28   extended cuts and then they just didn't put them anywhere or did they actually contract

00:23:35   with the producers of The Office to go back and essentially restore the cut before they

00:23:43   cut for time.

00:23:44   And when did that practice start?

00:23:46   Because I know that that became a practice with Greg Daniels and with Myke Schur, the

00:23:50   producers of The Office and all of their further shows, all Myke Schur's further shows, that

00:23:55   they actually were so savvy about digital.

00:23:57   They realized at some point when the show was on iTunes for sale, that they could take

00:24:02   their longer episode that was what they wanted it to be, but not fitting in NBC's time window

00:24:10   and save that out.

00:24:11   They would save that and say, that is our creative episode final.

00:24:16   And then they'd cut it.

00:24:17   I just wonder when that started in the run of The Office and did they have to go back

00:24:22   and kind of re-envision this and what were the, I'm also fascinated from a technical

00:24:25   standpoint, like, do they back up all of their, all of their projects, their editing projects,

00:24:33   or do they only have like footage and logs or like, because I don't know, I don't know

00:24:40   how you reconstruct this and how much work this would be or whether there was something

00:24:43   already in the can.

00:24:44   I'm fascinated by that, but I love this idea because every TV show that's ever broadcasting

00:24:50   to a place with a time constraint, I think this happens now, but every one of them, they

00:24:55   should make a locked version that's the right version and then cut it to fit so that you

00:25:00   can have the, your good place episode that's two minutes longer and keep some jokes in

00:25:05   that only got cut for time.

00:25:06   - NBC also creating The Office Zen, a 24/7 channel of ambient noise devoted to the sights

00:25:14   and sounds of the office for anyone working at home.

00:25:17   Genius!

00:25:18   There's some smart people working at NBC.

00:25:21   - This is, when I was talking about the channel idea in Peacock where they've got these channels

00:25:26   that just stream things, which is very similar to an idea that back when the FX app existed

00:25:32   before it all kind of got assumed into Hulu and Disney Plus, the FX app had this, had

00:25:38   channels for like The Simpsons.

00:25:39   And I think maybe other things where you could basically put it on, it's basically a streaming,

00:25:44   24/7 streaming channel trying to replicate the serendipity of flipping around on a TV.

00:25:50   And so Peacock has this for a bunch of stuff.

00:25:53   This is an interesting take on that where they've built, it's like those, you know,

00:25:58   those fire log videos, you'll log videos.

00:26:02   It's that same concept too, which is it's a very long, or, you know, there are lots of

00:26:05   these on YouTube, right?

00:26:06   The ambient things, a long drive, like even Gray, our friend Gray has posted like his

00:26:11   drive in the Tesla to Utah for like hours and hours and hours.

00:26:17   And people like to put it on, it's soothing, it's background noise, it's interesting,

00:26:22   but not very interesting.

00:26:23   So you can kind of keep it going.

00:26:25   So I can only imagine that they've taken some images and their background loops and their

00:26:31   sound effects and had somebody build several hours of Office, of like the Office.

00:26:39   - Yep, very cool.

00:26:41   - It's hilarious.

00:26:42   - Very cool.

00:26:42   - I love it.

00:26:43   - All right, this episode is brought to you by our friends over at Pingdom.

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00:28:03   So this is a weird holiday special because usually the holiday special we created it

00:28:10   because it's kind of like the summer of fun.

00:28:13   Nothing's happening at this time of year.

00:28:15   So we would create like weird things to do for this episode.

00:28:19   But this year has seen so many weird delays and product cycles.

00:28:25   We have new things to talk about now.

00:28:28   So later on in today's episode, we're going to be doing what we spoke about.

00:28:32   We would do so we're going to have our holiday ask upgrade and we're also going to be doing

00:28:36   a Myke at the movie segment on a Charlie Brown Christmas special.

00:28:38   But we have new things to talk about AirPods Max and Fitness Plus.

00:28:44   These are two things that came out and I think if I'm right, we have a 50/50 split on this.

00:28:51   You don't have AirPods Max, correct?

00:28:54   Correct.

00:28:55   I do.

00:28:55   I have not yet tried out Fitness Plus, but you have, right?

00:29:00   Yes, unlike the hosts of Connected, all of whom bought giant expensive headphones.

00:29:06   You didn't.

00:29:06   I, again, listeners to Upgrade know this already.

00:29:10   I'm fascinated.

00:29:13   I've listened to several hours of podcasts with other people talking about the AirPods Max.

00:29:17   And I am interested in knowing what people think of them while at the same time just

00:29:25   not being interested them at all.

00:29:27   Again, to reiterate.

00:29:29   It's great.

00:29:30   You just don't, there is no headphone product like this that you would want because you

00:29:36   don't like over-ears, right?

00:29:37   I don't like over-ear headphones of any kind.

00:29:39   That's exactly right.

00:29:40   Not interested.

00:29:41   Not a knock against AirPods Max.

00:29:43   It's not like, oh, this is too expensive.

00:29:45   It's a whole category.

00:29:46   It is a category I don't care about, which is why I've loved the fact that Apple's

00:29:49   headphones up to now have all been kind of little things you stick in your ears.

00:29:51   AirPods Max, isn't that, that's fine.

00:29:56   There was a time when I did buy a pair of Sony noise canceling headphones because I was going

00:30:01   on a trip to Hawaii and my, for various medical reasons, I had been suggested by my doctor

00:30:08   that I not have my like big in-ear headphones in my ears on planes because it was, it was

00:30:14   giving me like headaches and stuff.

00:30:16   And, and so I was like, okay, I'm going to get over your headphones and they were fine.

00:30:20   I don't like them, but they, they did the job.

00:30:22   And then the AirPods Pro came out that were able to pass air through and do noise canceling.

00:30:29   And I, I, that was that, that AirPods Pro was enough for me.

00:30:32   So you had like pressure, it was like pressure problems.

00:30:35   Yeah.

00:30:35   Yeah, that's right.

00:30:36   It's inner ear issues.

00:30:37   If you completely block the inner ear and then you've got pressure problems, it blocked

00:30:41   the ear.

00:30:42   It was like, that's probably, probably contributing to this.

00:30:46   So I stopped doing that, but then the AirPods Pro actually let the air pass through and

00:30:52   I didn't have any issues with them.

00:30:54   So I don't use this anymore.

00:30:55   And that's why I'm interested in what you have to say about AirPods Max, which is great

00:30:59   because there are some listeners to upgrade who say, I want more Jason.

00:31:03   And there's some listeners to upgrade who say, I want more Myke.

00:31:06   Most listeners to upgrade, I think are like, it's perfect the way it is.

00:31:09   Right.

00:31:10   Right.

00:31:10   But anyway, this is a, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna talk about Fitness Plus and you're gonna talk

00:31:16   about AirPods Max and we're gonna like divide and conquer.

00:31:18   I love it.

00:31:19   Cause it's less work for me.

00:31:20   Let's do it.

00:31:21   So AirPods Max sound fantastic.

00:31:23   Music, podcasts.

00:31:25   They're the best headphones I've ever owned.

00:31:27   And I'm happy with that because it's what I expected.

00:31:30   Like from an audio perspective, I was expecting these to sound the best and they do sound

00:31:35   the best.

00:31:35   I do not have a pair of wireless over ear headphones made by any other company.

00:31:42   You may remember, I remember Jason sitting in the Beverly Hills Hotel in LA in January

00:31:51   talking to you about this product.

00:31:53   Cause that was when there were more rumors going around.

00:31:57   And even then I was saying, I want some noise canceling over ears cause I love my AirPods,

00:32:03   but I'm gonna wait for these.

00:32:06   So I've, I haven't bought these products, any of these products.

00:32:10   I don't have any of the Sonys or anything like that.

00:32:12   This is not the podcast for audio comparisons.

00:32:16   I'll tell you that right now.

00:32:17   Cause I am not your man.

00:32:18   Right.

00:32:20   There are many hours on connected and many hours on ATP of people that have vastly varying

00:32:27   views on audio.

00:32:30   And you can go and listen to Federico.

00:32:32   You can listen to Marco talk about that at length.

00:32:34   I I've said on connected and I'll say it here for the record as well.

00:32:39   I kind of don't really subscribe to a lot of this thinking because I don't hear it.

00:32:44   And I think everybody hears differently.

00:32:46   And I don't think that it's really accurate to tell people how they're going to hear something

00:32:52   because I hear people having the same product and describing that product differently.

00:32:56   So ears are weird, right?

00:32:59   And it is.

00:33:00   And, and there are, in fact, I was listening to ATP and laughing at, um, something Marco

00:33:04   said that's totally true, which is, um, headphones don't break in in a break in period.

00:33:13   Your brain processes what the headphones sound like to sound better.

00:33:18   And this is true with so many of our senses with our ears and with our eyes, that our

00:33:24   brain, we're not seeing the raw or hearing the raw input, right?

00:33:28   Our brain is a signal processor and does a lot of things to interpret the raw info coming

00:33:36   from outside of our bodies.

00:33:38   And it's a little weird to think that the world as we see and hear it isn't really the

00:33:44   world it's our brains best approximation of the world that makes sense.

00:33:49   But there's truth in that.

00:33:50   And that means that not only are people's ears different and their, their hearing is

00:33:54   different, their frequency ranges that they can detect is different.

00:33:57   Then there's personal preference.

00:33:58   Then there's their brains applying essentially for computer people, the preferences to the

00:34:05   input, uh, it's, it's bananas.

00:34:09   So it's hard.

00:34:11   It is a very hard thing to do.

00:34:12   I learned this lesson.

00:34:14   Um, a friend of mine who has since passed away was an expert in, in color.

00:34:19   It's like a Photoshop expert and introduced me to the concept of memory color, which is

00:34:24   literally, if you see an object that should be one color and it's not that color, your

00:34:29   brain just makes it that color that it should be.

00:34:32   And so you can't, if you're trying to test, is this color right or not on a printer or

00:34:37   a monitor, you can't use the technique of like, well, that's an apple.

00:34:43   I know what color that apple is.

00:34:44   That what, what shade of red that apple should be.

00:34:47   Cause your brain is like, nah, I'm going to use my color instead of what the eyes are

00:34:52   telling me I'm seeing there.

00:34:53   And it works that way for sound too.

00:34:54   It's it's it's bananas.

00:34:55   So it's like the way that MP3 compression works is they just take parts of the music

00:35:01   out and just let your brain fill them in.

00:35:02   That's how it works.

00:35:03   Like if you ever listen to uncompressed audio and you're like, Oh, I heard something I

00:35:08   didn't hear before.

00:35:09   I said, yeah, cause it doesn't exist in the MP3.

00:35:11   That's why.

00:35:12   Right.

00:35:12   Like that's how it works.

00:35:13   You know, there aren't the differences of like compressed and uncompressed audio.

00:35:17   They are there because there is literally different data available to you.

00:35:22   Right.

00:35:22   So I understand why people like lossless and that kind of stuff.

00:35:25   But I just, you know, basically the most you're going to get out of me is these have

00:35:30   phones sound great.

00:35:31   The rest of the stuff that I have to talk about is not about sound.

00:35:34   It's like the product itself, because I don't I don't even know how to explain it to

00:35:40   you right as an individual.

00:35:42   It's just like they sound really great.

00:35:44   I hear things in the audio that I don't usually hear.

00:35:47   That's like the mark of a good product for me because, you know, like the separation,

00:35:51   the stereo is really good.

00:35:52   So like you can hear things more differently.

00:35:54   Like I kind of described these like if you've used a home pod, these are like home pods

00:35:58   on your head, right, where like the home pod experience for me was like, oh, like I can

00:36:04   hear stuff differently.

00:36:05   This is really cool, right?

00:36:06   Like surround sound or whatever, like you hear things differently.

00:36:09   And the AirPods Max do that for me, too.

00:36:13   And I'm happy with that.

00:36:14   By and large, I do find them comfortable to wear.

00:36:19   I'm not sure that the weight bothers me yet.

00:36:22   I think this is going to take longer testing for me to know.

00:36:27   I've used them for many hours at a time, and I haven't found myself feeling like, oh,

00:36:34   these are so heavy.

00:36:35   Like I haven't had that.

00:36:36   But I do use big, heavy headphones for recording podcasts.

00:36:42   When I do my Twitch streams and stuff, the headset that I use is very similar in weight

00:36:48   to the AirPods Max.

00:36:49   So I am potentially an over indexed person in this field because I tend to use quite

00:36:55   heavy headphones in general, which is just a thing I didn't know I was doing, but it's

00:37:01   just a thing that I do.

00:37:02   So I might not be your best point on that, but like these are heavy.

00:37:07   They are heavier than most headphones that you would experience.

00:37:10   So your mileage may vary on that one.

00:37:14   And unfortunately, there isn't really a way that you can test them yourself.

00:37:18   Like I don't really, I can't imagine.

00:37:20   I mean, most listeners, I think, can't even go to an Apple store at the moment.

00:37:24   So the noise cancellation is superb.

00:37:29   I love it.

00:37:30   I have spoke before about just using AirPods Pro for silence.

00:37:35   And when I'm working at home, the AirPods Max are even better than that.

00:37:39   They cut out pretty much every noise that would be in my house.

00:37:43   And it really like, you know, when you activate the noise cancellation and Apple has that

00:37:49   beautiful sound and they fade it in and it kind of feels like the world just envelops

00:37:53   around you, you know?

00:37:54   It is so much more effective with the AirPods Max because like, I honestly, like I imagine

00:38:02   what in my mind, there's like a, like an animation that plays in my head of everything

00:38:07   kind of just like, like a spotlight is on me or something and everything else is dark

00:38:11   around me.

00:38:12   It's very impressive.

00:38:13   On the AirPods Pro, I think of that sound effect, the little boop.

00:38:16   And I think of it as like a door closing.

00:38:18   That's how I envision it is that that's the door closing and now there's no sound.

00:38:22   Okay, well on the AirPods Max, the door's closed and all the curtains closed.

00:38:25   Lock up the safe and all those things.

00:38:29   It's all shut.

00:38:30   It's very, very, very good.

00:38:32   Very good.

00:38:32   And transparency mode is unbelievable.

00:38:35   It is unbelievable.

00:38:37   It's so much clearer.

00:38:39   You can hear things that you otherwise wouldn't hear.

00:38:43   They've both of these are kind of what I hoped and expected, right?

00:38:48   Like transparency and noise cancellation are really good on AirPods Pro.

00:38:52   They should be even better when you have more hardware.

00:38:55   Turns out it's true.

00:38:56   So much better in both in both instances.

00:38:59   The case sucks, but like whatever for me, like I can kind of like whatever about it.

00:39:04   Like I use it because like I have it.

00:39:06   So like when I'm done with my AirPods for the day, I just put them in the case because

00:39:11   I have the case.

00:39:12   So like why not?

00:39:15   It's good that Apple have clarified now if you've missed this, like because there was

00:39:20   a lot of confusion about low power mode and if and when and how that was activated.

00:39:26   And it basically turns out that it's all of these things.

00:39:30   So there are two low power states for the headphones.

00:39:33   There's one when you just take them off and then there's one which happens after a

00:39:39   period of time.

00:39:40   And basically in the case, it hits this period of time where it goes into the ultra low power

00:39:46   mode faster.

00:39:48   So really kind of doesn't matter.

00:39:51   Like it will go into that low power mode, the ultra low power mode.

00:39:56   But the main low power mode is the one that's most important.

00:40:00   And instead of it happening immediately when you put it in the case, it's after five minutes

00:40:04   when you take them off your head.

00:40:05   I really my favorite summation of this is something that Federico tweeted.

00:40:09   And he said, if you're the kind of person who buys AirPods Max, you're not going to

00:40:12   ignore them for three days.

00:40:13   So the more important low power mode is the one you get after five minutes outside of

00:40:17   the case.

00:40:18   So like I completely agree with that.

00:40:20   Like I think the typical person who is used spending the money on these headphones and

00:40:24   using them is using them frequently.

00:40:26   So the fact of this like ultra low power mode happening after three days or a day is not

00:40:32   really that much more important.

00:40:35   And that's the storage.

00:40:36   I mean, essentially that's you only use these when you're on planes and you're not going

00:40:39   to be on a plane for another two months.

00:40:41   And so you store them away.

00:40:43   Yeah, sure.

00:40:44   And so, you know, I just think that it's kind of a non-issue.

00:40:48   There was also this interview that went around from a Japanese publication, which is called

00:40:55   Casa Brutus.

00:40:58   And I've seen some translations of it going around.

00:41:02   You can find them quite easily for yourself.

00:41:04   Every Apple website is reported on them.

00:41:06   But basically in a nutshell, the designer, one of the designers behind this product,

00:41:10   Eugene Wang, said that Apple basically are happy with the case.

00:41:14   They think it's minimal and efficient for traveling with.

00:41:16   You can kind of make up your own mind on the case.

00:41:19   Like I kind of feel like the case really isn't fit for case purpose, but I also never put

00:41:25   my headphones in a case.

00:41:26   I just put them in my bag.

00:41:27   I've never destroyed a pair of headphones.

00:41:28   Again, like I think you are you already know what kind of person you are.

00:41:34   And if you feel like you need a hard case for your headphones because you're always breaking

00:41:38   headphones, then either don't get these or wait until it is a good third party option.

00:41:43   If you are like me, we're like, I just have the top of my bag, which I put my headphones

00:41:46   in.

00:41:47   Nothing else goes in there except other soft things.

00:41:50   I've never broken a pair of headphones.

00:41:52   I'm kind of cool with it.

00:41:53   Like whatever.

00:41:54   The case isn't great as a case.

00:41:56   I think of it as more like a sleeve for the headphones.

00:41:59   And even at that, it's not great, but it works and I'm fine with it.

00:42:03   And that's that.

00:42:05   I had a thought about the price.

00:42:06   A lot of questions about the price, right?

00:42:10   Everyone brings up, ah, they're so expensive.

00:42:12   Why would you pay $500 for a pair of headphones?

00:42:15   So I kind of had the thought, is an iPhone worth $1,000?

00:42:18   Is it?

00:42:21   Like you can get phones for $200 that ostensibly have all the same features.

00:42:26   Why do you choose to spend $1,000 on your phone and not $200 on your phone?

00:42:33   And so I don't really have a point to that other than what I've exactly just said.

00:42:37   It's kind of all relative these days.

00:42:39   What are you buying this product for?

00:42:40   Right?

00:42:41   Are you buying it because you like its integration with other services?

00:42:45   Like I want Apple's headphones because I want headphones that work like AirPods because

00:42:51   I'm a big fan of the switching from device to device.

00:42:54   It's not perfect, but it's frigging magic, right?

00:42:57   Because I have this a lot.

00:42:58   I'm like watching something on my iPad.

00:43:00   Maybe I'm watching a Twitch stream and then I'm on my iPhone because it's kind of in the

00:43:04   background.

00:43:04   You know, we talked about that background audio earlier.

00:43:06   Twitch streams are kind of like that too for me.

00:43:08   Kind of have them in the background.

00:43:09   I see something on my phone.

00:43:11   Maybe I'm looking at Instagram.

00:43:12   I want to see a video.

00:43:13   I just press play.

00:43:14   It starts playing on my iPhone and then I go back and press play on my iPad again.

00:43:18   Switch back.

00:43:18   Magical, right?

00:43:19   I want that kind of experience in all of my headphones.

00:43:23   And if the only headphones that are available for that cost that price, well, that's the

00:43:28   decision that I make, right?

00:43:29   I don't have to buy an iPhone.

00:43:31   I don't have to buy a Mac.

00:43:33   I can get products in these classes that are much cheaper, but there's choices that I make

00:43:38   to be in the ecosystem and I want all those products to be in the ecosystem.

00:43:42   So this is the decision I make.

00:43:44   Price is relative these days.

00:43:46   Right.

00:43:47   And it's one of those things like what kind of, and this is not, I was gonna say what

00:43:53   kind of person are you?

00:43:54   That's not really accurate.

00:43:55   What is your priority in a particular area?

00:43:57   Do you want the nice thing because Apple is very good at making a nice product that fits

00:44:03   really well into its ecosystem, that has some things that nobody else has and you pay a

00:44:09   premium for them.

00:44:10   And we talked about my rules of pricing last week, but, um, in many of those cases, it's

00:44:17   also possible to just buy a cheaper product that won't be as nice.

00:44:20   And that's down to everybody, right?

00:44:23   Like you tell you, you lay down some Sony or Bose headphones and the AirPods max, uh,

00:44:29   in front of somebody and you say, this isn't as nice for these reasons, you know, integration

00:44:35   with the ecosystem and the H1 chip and, you know, blah, blah, blah, all those things.

00:44:40   And the difference in price is $200 or $300 or whatever the price difference is between

00:44:46   those two models.

00:44:47   And some people are going to say, yeah, it's never going to be worth it for me to have

00:44:53   nice headphones like that.

00:44:54   I don't use them enough or I don't care about that enough.

00:44:57   I'm never going to buy that.

00:44:58   And other people are like, oh, well, if they're, yeah, this is the Apple product and I want

00:45:02   nice headphones because I love my headphones and I'm going to get the Apple product.

00:45:05   And that's a, you know, that that's why all the arguments about, are they overpriced or

00:45:08   not are stupid.

00:45:09   And all those people who announced that it was overpriced, having not heard them were

00:45:14   misguided is because it is relative.

00:45:19   Like it, they would be overpriced if after all the reviews came out, people said, I don't

00:45:24   see why you would buy these.

00:45:26   The answer is there are reasons why you'd buy these, but you know, that's your priority

00:45:30   talking there.

00:45:31   And if I was in my position that I was in a few years ago where I realized I needed over

00:45:38   your noise canceling headphones for a trip and I had to buy some.

00:45:43   Would I spend a few extra hundred to buy the Apple pair?

00:45:47   Got to say, no, wouldn't do it, but that's because I would be buying them for a specific

00:45:53   reason and wanting a base level of feature, but really wanting to pay as little as possible

00:45:58   because it's not my priority.

00:46:01   And that's fine.

00:46:03   That that's fine too.

00:46:04   Apple priced it the way they did.

00:46:06   I think knowing that they were trying to capture this very particular part of the market that

00:46:11   was going to pay that price and that they could make a lot of money from that.

00:46:15   And so they did.

00:46:16   And those who really hate the price and think that it's bad, I would say if it sells poorly,

00:46:23   Apple will have to do something to change their price.

00:46:27   If it sells well, then they won't.

00:46:29   And it's like, you know, for me, I wear, I will wear these headphones multiple hours

00:46:34   a day now.

00:46:35   And I want them to tick all the boxes that I want to tick.

00:46:40   And these ones do.

00:46:41   And Apple is not, Apple is not going to forego a lot of profit margin in order to pump up

00:46:46   this product because this is an accessory product, right?

00:46:49   Like you could argue that, that if Apple wants the masses to buy an Apple watch, which is

00:46:55   also still an iPhone accessory product, but like, if, if they want to pump up sales for

00:47:00   the masses, they will be more aggressive on price.

00:47:03   But this, these headphones are kind of like their cases and some of the other stuff they

00:47:10   make the leather slip case for the iPad and for the MacBook, like the one they just made

00:47:15   for the iPhone with the window.

00:47:16   Yeah, they are, they are products where there are always alternatives.

00:47:22   They are always cheaper.

00:47:24   Apples are expensive.

00:47:25   They're nice, but they're expensive, but they're from Apple.

00:47:29   They might have the Apple logo embossed on them.

00:47:31   They're available in Apple stores and on the Apple online store and some people will buy

00:47:35   them and that's Apple's accessory strategy.

00:47:37   And I would argue that's kind of the AirPods max strategy, which is, this is not a, an

00:47:42   ecosystem growth product.

00:47:44   This is a make more money out of the ecosystem product.

00:47:48   And that's why it's priced the way it is.

00:47:49   But I think your experience shows like there is a market for it and they are a nice product.

00:47:55   And then it's up to everybody else to decide if they want them or not.

00:47:59   As far as I can tell, they, they people are having a hard time getting them.

00:48:03   It's not PlayStation five level, but people are having a hard time getting them.

00:48:05   So there's clearly a market for what, remember when we debated, like, should Apple even make

00:48:11   a set of headphones or should they just make beats and stuff?

00:48:13   Like, of course, there's a market for an Apple branded set of over-ear headphones.

00:48:18   Of course there is.

00:48:19   And, you know, we'll see where it goes in the long run and how, how big it gets and whether

00:48:23   it's just a niche product or if it has more followers.

00:48:26   But, um, it sounds like they didn't, they didn't blow it right.

00:48:29   It, the cases, as you said, uh, sucks, but whatever, but beyond that, um, the product

00:48:36   seems like it's actually a decent product and you could see why some people would pay

00:48:40   that price for it.

00:48:41   The case is only getting so much focus from the reviewers because everything else about

00:48:45   it is so good.

00:48:46   Right.

00:48:48   People aren't complaining about like another thing about the product.

00:48:51   It's cause like the case I think is the only bad spot of the product itself.

00:48:55   Right.

00:48:56   So it's just getting a lot of air time because it's the bad.

00:48:59   And actually winter charm in our chat just made a point that I want to mention because

00:49:04   I think it's really good.

00:49:05   And it's another part of buying psychology from Apple, which is some people buy Apple

00:49:09   products.

00:49:10   That's what they buy.

00:49:12   The Apple stamp is like, this is an Apple product and there's a portion of Apple's customer

00:49:17   base that's like, well, if it's from Apple, I'm interested in it.

00:49:20   Even if it's in a category I've never really explored before.

00:49:23   So you can also imagine that some of the people who would have never bought

00:49:29   like even mid range over ear noise canceling headphones, they're just using like little

00:49:36   foam on ear, uh, you know, things from the eighties and they're like, well, I don't know.

00:49:42   It's from my walkman.

00:49:44   Right.

00:49:44   They look at this and they're like, Oh, Apple makes one of those.

00:49:47   Well, maybe I'll try that.

00:49:49   And so you will also get the case where people as winter John pointed out, have never bought

00:49:53   this kind of product category before, but we'll buy it because it's from Apple.

00:49:57   And it introduces them to this concept and Apple didn't invent it, but Apple put its

00:50:03   stamp on it.

00:50:04   And it makes people sit up and say, Oh, maybe there's something here that I should pay attention

00:50:07   to because Apple thinks it's good enough to make a product in this category.

00:50:10   And that's not, that's a little section of the market, but I do think that's an interesting

00:50:14   little section.

00:50:15   All right.

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00:51:55   So tell me about your experiences of fitness plus.

00:52:00   Fitness plus I used it.

00:52:02   I really did.

00:52:03   I've done three classes because I do.

00:52:07   I live in a place where I can run outside and so I do run still, but I did a 30 minute

00:52:12   bike workout.

00:52:13   I have a recumbent, a very old recumbent stationary bike that doesn't get a lot of use now because

00:52:19   Snell it on.

00:52:20   Okay, we'll call it that.

00:52:24   It's almost Skeletor too.

00:52:25   I like that.

00:52:26   Skeleton is when Skeletor leads your bicycle workout group.

00:52:30   Have you ever thought about Snellator before?

00:52:32   Have you ever thought about that?

00:52:34   No, never.

00:52:35   And I never will again.

00:52:36   So because I run, I don't need it now, but I used to work in an office and try to find

00:52:42   time to exercise outside of the office hours and when it's dark and cold, I don't really

00:52:47   want to go outside and run or anything.

00:52:48   So I have it.

00:52:49   So I did a class with that and then I did two beginner classes of high intensity interval

00:52:55   training and core, just their introductory classes.

00:52:59   And I have never done, how shall I put this?

00:53:06   I've never used any of the competing products.

00:53:09   So I cannot give you a comparison to the Peloton, either the live classes or the Peloton recorded

00:53:15   classes that they offer or other third-party video based classes.

00:53:21   In fact, I've never really done a fitness class since I was a sophomore in high school

00:53:31   and had PE.

00:53:32   So guided physical activity, it's not a thing I know anything about.

00:53:39   Which is kind of great really, right?

00:53:41   Like I had the headphones, I'm not a headphones guy.

00:53:44   You did the fitness thing, you're not a fitness class person.

00:53:47   But to be honest, isn't that better?

00:53:51   So this is back to what we were just saying, right?

00:53:54   Which is sometimes Apple stamp, Apple's entry into something, especially if you are, as

00:54:00   we both are, I think the Apple one premium level, the high level of the Apple bundle.

00:54:06   And so just a new fitness thing just rolls into your bundle and you're like, well, I've

00:54:10   got it.

00:54:11   Maybe I should try it out.

00:54:14   It's from Apple and it came to me and it's essentially free because I'm already paying

00:54:19   for the bundle.

00:54:20   Maybe I'll give it a try.

00:54:21   And so I did.

00:54:22   And what I learned is that it's pretty good.

00:54:27   That it seems to fit Apple's brand in a way that, in the early days of Steve Jobs's return,

00:54:37   they tried a bunch of content initiatives of like reviewing websites and stuff and it

00:54:40   was bad and it was just completely out of Apple's range.

00:54:43   Remember those were the days where Apple trying to do things like cloud services and websites

00:54:49   and stuff was just clearly outside their competency.

00:54:52   And over the years, over the last 20 years, they've gotten better at a lot of that stuff.

00:54:57   And Fitness Plus is one of those areas where like the videos themselves, the way the people,

00:55:03   the presenters have been trained.

00:55:05   It's very high quality.

00:55:08   It's clearly fitting with Apple's brand promise.

00:55:13   You don't watch it and say, "Oh brother, I can't believe Apple made this."

00:55:16   Like, "Oh no, of course this is Apple."

00:55:20   Like the way it's shot, the way the smiley people and like it is so in keeping with what

00:55:27   Apple kind of represents.

00:55:29   So a good job on that because that's a place where you could make a misstep and be embarrassed

00:55:34   and embarrass your whole company if you don't execute it properly.

00:55:37   And I think they did a good job.

00:55:38   I think the content is good.

00:55:39   It's integrated with the Apple Watch.

00:55:43   Mandatorily so.

00:55:44   And I have two thoughts about that.

00:55:46   One is I really like it.

00:55:48   It's a gimmick, but it's a good gimmick.

00:55:51   Like when I'm doing the stuff that's out in my living room floor in front of the TV on

00:55:57   the Apple TV, so the high intensity interval training and the core stuff.

00:56:01   You know, my watch buzzes to say the workout has begun and it automatically ends the workout

00:56:07   at the end and that's kind of fun.

00:56:08   And I can see my heart rate and my rings on the screen while I'm doing it.

00:56:13   And that's nice.

00:56:15   And I will grant you these are introductory exercises, but it's like, it's nice.

00:56:22   It's not super necessary, but it's nice.

00:56:24   My first thought, so my daughter's home from school for a few weeks and she was interested

00:56:33   in it and she can't do it because she doesn't have an Apple Watch.

00:56:37   And that was one of my immediate thoughts was that's dumb.

00:56:40   Like I know they want, they, they perched this on the Apple Watch and they want it to be a

00:56:46   part of the Apple Watch.

00:56:47   But my first take on it is it doesn't use the Apple Watch interactively, right?

00:56:53   It's not like the, the videos change based on your Apple Watch data.

00:56:59   My understanding is they just play the videos and your data is there.

00:57:02   That should be version two, by the way.

00:57:05   Right.

00:57:05   And I imagine, I imagine they will go there, right?

00:57:08   The idea that it will adapt to you and you'll get the, you'll get more, whether it's the

00:57:12   video or whether stuff comes up on the screen or audio plays, that it is more interactive

00:57:17   directly to your data eventually, other than just like the little burn bar and stuff.

00:57:22   Like I imagine they'll get there, but for this round, it doesn't really matter.

00:57:27   You could, you could literally sit on the couch and watch the video.

00:57:30   And I think it would just, I suspect I don't, I didn't try this.

00:57:32   I should try this.

00:57:34   I suspect it'll just play the video, right?

00:57:35   And there'll be like, you know, low heart rate, no rings, nothing.

00:57:40   And it'll just, you'll be at the back of the class and the burn bar.

00:57:43   It won't matter.

00:57:43   And if that's the case, what I would say is you should have a guest mode for somebody

00:57:48   who doesn't have an Apple Watch that just lets them watch the videos since they have

00:57:51   access to the, to the Fitness Plus videos, because like that is a great example of my

00:57:56   daughter might be interested or, I mean, she could do it.

00:57:59   Like we could turn it on and have it be my wife's watch or my watch, and then she could

00:58:03   do it.

00:58:03   But, um, it just seems dumb to me that they should be selling watches based on people

00:58:10   having this as it, right.

00:58:11   And you're not, I don't think a lot of people will buy the Apple Watch for Fitness Plus

00:58:16   if they've never used Fitness Plus.

00:58:18   I think it's, it's more of the other way around of like, oh, I want to try this out on.

00:58:24   It'd be so much better if I had an Apple Watch.

00:58:26   Yes, exactly.

00:58:27   I think it could work both ways.

00:58:28   And I admit in the long run, Fitness Plus should take that data and do smart stuff with

00:58:33   it.

00:58:34   And they should build branching workout videos that will actually adjust and they'll toss

00:58:39   up a little, uh, you know, closeup of the instructor saying, you know, Hey, you're slow.

00:58:44   Pick it up, pick it up a little bit, right?

00:58:47   Whatever they need to do.

00:58:48   You could, you could do that, but it's not really doing that now.

00:58:52   Now I will say the bike class I did, I was super impressed.

00:58:57   Haven't been on the bike in a while.

00:58:58   Um, but I do run.

00:59:00   And so my cardiovascular fitness is probably the best it's been since I was a teenager

00:59:04   because I, you know, after I went to college, I, I didn't have to take a PE class anymore.

00:59:10   I sort of see stopped anything, but I have like play tennis or, you know, go for hikes

00:59:15   and stuff, but not serious.

00:59:18   Like I am going to go run two miles stuff that I do now two or three times a week.

00:59:23   Um, so I I'm not a physical specimen in any way, but at least I, if I tried this a year

00:59:29   ago, it would have been very bad is what I'm saying.

00:59:31   Right.

00:59:31   So it's a little bit better, but the beauty of having run is that I kind of know what

00:59:35   my heart rate ranges and I know what it is when I sort of peak out at the, I can't really

00:59:39   push it any further and the way, and I imagine this is standard technique for a lot of these

00:59:45   classes because you've got different people at different levels.

00:59:47   So the way they structure the, the, the bike class is they, they have, um, in that class,

00:59:55   she's got, uh, the trainer has people around her in this case, I had a woman trainer.

01:00:00   Um, and, and so there are other trainers around riding with her and it's kind of like, you

01:00:06   feel like, you know, she, like you're in a class, I think is what they're trying to go

01:00:09   for.

01:00:09   It's very clever.

01:00:10   Um, and then what, and unlike the, uh, the floor classes where there are three trainers

01:00:16   and essentially there's the main one, and then the main one is sort of a medium intensity.

01:00:21   And it's like the person to the right is going to do this a little bit easier.

01:00:24   And the person to the left is going to do this a little harder and it's how they sort

01:00:27   of structure it so that based on your level, you can choose what one you want to do.

01:00:33   That's cool.

01:00:33   Although I think to myself in the long run, you should choose and, or it should know,

01:00:38   and it should just show you the video that's of that.

01:00:40   But I realized it's more videos, it's more complex.

01:00:42   I get it.

01:00:44   On the bike instead, uh, since there's no feedback from the bike, right?

01:00:48   The bike isn't connected to Apple fitness plus it's just your watch.

01:00:53   The way the instructor has to give the feedback is all based on you making decisions and it's

01:01:01   not only hitting the limitation of what they can do, but it's also very clever.

01:01:04   And I imagine this is a technique that all trainers do, which is she would say, we're

01:01:09   going to pick this up now, increase the, the resistance on your bike.

01:01:13   Now we're going to take this down a little, decrease the resistance on your bike.

01:01:16   And then we're going to do this pace and you can watch the video and the pace of the

01:01:19   music because there are playlists that play behind this, which is very clever.

01:01:23   You can go get those songs on Apple music afterward.

01:01:26   Yep.

01:01:26   Synergy.

01:01:27   Um, the, so you're doing the pace, uh, and you're doing the resistance, but it's

01:01:32   not like you should be at resistance level, whatever.

01:01:34   It's like you should increase the resistance a little.

01:01:37   You should decrease the resistance a little and you get to make the decision as I did

01:01:41   while I was going, you know, is this too much and is this not?

01:01:44   And the best part, and this is the, the best use of the Apple watch that I found

01:01:49   in the whole thing is that the bike trainer said, when we were in a medium kind of bit,

01:01:55   she said in this part, this is not the hard part.

01:01:59   So if you are working really hard and your heart rate's way up, you're working too

01:02:06   hard for this part.

01:02:06   And that was great for me because I was able to look at my heart rate on the screen of

01:02:11   the iPad, not looking at my Apple watch, even though that's where the data was coming

01:02:14   from and realize I, I should target my heart rate for based on the feedback of how hard

01:02:22   this part of the workout is.

01:02:24   And I thought, well, this is really brilliant because I'm doing a self-guided workout

01:02:29   with a trainer, right?

01:02:32   Cause the trainer doesn't know what I'm doing, but I have enough information between

01:02:36   the, the, the trainer's explanation of how this is going to go and my heart rate on the

01:02:42   screen that I can figure out whether I need to be a more resistance, less resistance or

01:02:48   whatever.

01:02:49   Cause if my heart rate's 160 and it's the middle part, I have nowhere to go up from

01:02:53   there.

01:02:54   And that's a mistake.

01:02:55   I should be down at 120.

01:02:56   So I've got room to grow and get, you know, and get exhausted later in the workout.

01:03:02   I don't know.

01:03:02   It was again, for people who are old hands at this, they're going to be like, well, yeah,

01:03:06   you've just described literally every class.

01:03:09   And that's probably true other than the live Apple watch data, which is a nice gimmick.

01:03:14   And even there, I'm sure there are fitness things where you can pair a sensor and you

01:03:18   can pair your bike data and all of those things are probably true.

01:03:22   But coming at this from the other side, I'm like, the content was good.

01:03:25   The Apple watch while unnecessary at this point was fun to have it there.

01:03:32   And I do track all of my workouts on the Apple watch.

01:03:35   So having it do it automatically for me and give me credit was a nice little bit of integration.

01:03:41   But, but it feels like there's a lot more if they're going to require the Apple watch, there's

01:03:44   a lot more they could do with it.

01:03:46   And if they're going to not require the Apple watch, I think that would be smart because

01:03:52   I think a lot of their stuff doesn't need it and it would sell people Apple watches.

01:03:57   And then my only other complaint would be, I think they need some more organization in

01:04:02   the classes.

01:04:03   I think I actually it's one thing to kind of like pick through the classes, but I kind

01:04:07   of like be able to fit almost a fitness profile of myself that says I'm at this level on this

01:04:12   kind of exercise and this level on this kind of exercise and get some sort of like easy

01:04:17   filtering of what is there for me.

01:04:20   Also, I get the sense that they're going to be producing new episodes regularly.

01:04:25   And so I'm unclear if you can like, say, I love this trainer.

01:04:29   I love this, I love this level and have those pop up too.

01:04:34   And I just, I feel like it's a, we were just talking about the Apple TV plus section of

01:04:39   the TV app and how Apple has struggled with organizing categories of videos and stuff

01:04:44   like that.

01:04:45   And I think they're struggling on fitness plus and it's not exposed right now as much

01:04:49   because there aren't that many videos, but it's only going to get worse.

01:04:52   I saw, cause I was poking around in the app today and they had a new badge next to a bunch

01:04:58   of videos.

01:04:59   So, you know, they're going to keep adding new ones, which is good because you want,

01:05:03   you don't want to keep doing the same workout all the time.

01:05:05   It helps variation.

01:05:07   I was planning to try this out on the weekend, but our weekend went a little bit wild here

01:05:14   in the UK and I had a lot of stuff I needed to take care of.

01:05:16   And so all I've done is like poke around in the app.

01:05:21   And the thing, the main thing that I didn't like is that the classes don't really seem

01:05:26   to be organized or grouped in a way to help you understand who they're aimed at.

01:05:32   So like, well, I was like, I wanted to do yoga.

01:05:34   That's the thing that I'm most interested in.

01:05:36   And I've tried other yoga apps and I've had good success with them in the past.

01:05:39   And I wanted to try yoga with, with fitness plus there's many different types of yoga.

01:05:44   And it's kind of difficult to understand what exactly you're going to be doing from the

01:05:52   what the preview information that you see.

01:05:54   Like, what is the difficulty level of this type of stuff?

01:05:57   You know, like there's still going to be a, even though, as you say, like, I think it's

01:06:01   super cool.

01:06:01   I didn't know that about like the multiple trainers and you kind of pick, there's still

01:06:04   different types of these activities and you might be looking for one or the other.

01:06:09   And my expectation is that you find this stuff out by trying it.

01:06:14   And that's cool.

01:06:15   Like, you know, like if it says that way.

01:06:18   And it's version one and the catalog right now is very small so they can afford, I can

01:06:23   see why the argument is we need to launch this and the content is our priority and getting

01:06:29   this basic functionality is our priority.

01:06:31   And then we'll go from there and build it out.

01:06:33   I get that.

01:06:34   I get why they might do it that way, but I agree with you.

01:06:36   I just, just sitting here talking to you, having used it three times, I could come up

01:06:41   with a list.

01:06:42   Like, you know, I want to subscribe where I want to set a filter to trainers, to levels.

01:06:47   And maybe if there's stuff like this in there, my apologies.

01:06:51   I guess that means it was less obvious than I would like.

01:06:53   And I have to figure that out.

01:06:54   But I was also thinking like exercise classes and making an appointment.

01:06:58   Like some of us, you know this about me, Myke, some of us are motivated by appointments,

01:07:03   right?

01:07:03   Like I make an appointment to write an article in my calendar.

01:07:07   Sometimes I think, wouldn't it be nice if you could say, I want to do this class on

01:07:12   this time and I get a push notification or I open the app and it says, you're, you know,

01:07:17   you should do this class.

01:07:18   You haven't done this class this week.

01:07:20   And like, there's some more motivation they can do as a part of the organization to get

01:07:24   you to go to your classes and, you know, go to virtually and do this stuff.

01:07:29   But, you know, it's a 1.0.

01:07:32   And overall, what I would say is I think the content is very good.

01:07:36   And, you know, it may not be to your taste.

01:07:37   You know, people who do Peloton, some people love it and some people hate them, hate the

01:07:43   trainers and hate the classes.

01:07:44   And it's like, everybody's looking for something different out of fitness and exercise motivation.

01:07:49   And in the end, I may very much have opinions about that, which I don't right now because

01:07:53   I haven't done very much of it about like this trainer bothers me and this trainer doesn't.

01:07:57   And are they too smiley or are they not saucy enough?

01:08:02   Do they, is it a problem that they don't swear?

01:08:04   Is it good that they don't swear like on Peloton where they apparently swear a lot?

01:08:09   Like, I don't know all of that, but at first blush, it seems professionally done.

01:08:15   The content seems good.

01:08:17   The people seem friendly and likable right at the beginning, which I think is important

01:08:21   if you're like, well, who the heck is this guy?

01:08:24   Right.

01:08:24   And like Apple has cast this because it's basically a TV show has cast it pretty well

01:08:30   in terms of the people.

01:08:33   And it also looks, the studio is beautiful.

01:08:35   It's in Santa Monica, their fitness plus studio.

01:08:39   It's gorgeous.

01:08:40   And I would say also, I kind of like the idea that these people, you know, they are, these

01:08:44   trainers are kind of the stars and they're working for Apple and they're, they're getting

01:08:50   compensated well for being the stars.

01:08:52   And I say that because I actually read an article about how one of the trainers finally

01:08:55   got to buy a house for the first time.

01:08:57   And I get the strong impression it's because she works for Apple now when she gets to do

01:09:02   that.

01:09:02   And it's like, that's cool kind of in the background too.

01:09:05   So I don't know it at first blush, it seems pretty good, but there's a lot of room for

01:09:09   improvement, especially on ironically on the tech side where they don't and somebody who's

01:09:16   more into fitness stuff, may be able to come up with some specific critiques about like

01:09:21   where their holes are in terms of what they offer.

01:09:23   But and I would be interested in that because presumably they need to do more content development

01:09:31   as well, but on the tech side and the interface side, I can see where they're lacking.

01:09:37   I'll also say as much as I like listening to podcasts when I run and I'm going to say

01:09:45   that like there's, there are apps out there like zombies run as one where there's like

01:09:49   motivation audio along with your music playlist that happened that let you kind of like entertain

01:09:55   you and motivate you while you run.

01:09:57   And that seems like an obvious thing for them too is I'm out there running with an Apple

01:10:02   watch and a pair of AirPods.

01:10:05   It seems like it's only a matter of time before they offer audio trainer stuff too, right?

01:10:13   Like right now it's all about video, but it seems to me like what's missing is they don't

01:10:19   have a companion.

01:10:20   Apple doesn't have a companion for when you run.

01:10:23   I know like there's Nike stuff and there's other stuff out there, but that would seem

01:10:26   like another product area for them that I would be kind of intrigued by is the idea that the

01:10:31   trainers are now coming with me when I go outside to run.

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01:12:50   All right, let's actually get into the holiday themed portion of the holiday special episode.

01:12:57   Oh, hooray.

01:12:59   Can we get some, we're going to do some holiday ask upgrade.

01:13:02   Can we get some special holiday themed lasers, Jason?

01:13:05   Perfect.

01:13:08   Look at that.

01:13:11   You're welcome.

01:13:14   That was beautiful.

01:13:15   Yes, I do have sounds of jingle bells on my hard drive.

01:13:17   I do.

01:13:18   I do.

01:13:18   Who doesn't?

01:13:19   Everyone.

01:13:20   Rick asks, what is the preferred Snail Zone holiday meal?

01:13:25   Um, turkey.

01:13:26   What do you do?

01:13:28   What is your thing?

01:13:29   I know that ham is your thing.

01:13:31   It's not ham because my wife doesn't eat pork.

01:13:32   So it's not ham.

01:13:35   I eat ham.

01:13:37   When I was a teenager, I remember telling my parents that I was tired of turkey.

01:13:42   And could we have a Thanksgiving ham?

01:13:43   Which we did.

01:13:44   Which is funny now thinking about that.

01:13:46   We have two preferred holiday main courses.

01:13:52   One of them is a turkey.

01:13:53   I do a brined roasted turkey.

01:13:56   That's very nice.

01:13:57   And, uh, the other is a flank steak marinated flank steak on the grill.

01:14:03   Very nice too.

01:14:04   Those are our preferred.

01:14:06   I would say holiday meals.

01:14:07   We had the flank steak for Thanksgiving and for we're going to the flank steak for Christmas

01:14:11   Eve and the, and a, uh, roasted turkey breast for Christmas day, along with a bunch of sides.

01:14:18   We did a, not quite a draft, but we did a family collab collaboration, or as they would say

01:14:22   now a collab about what all the sides were.

01:14:25   So our idea here is that since we're not having guests, everybody, as we did with Thanksgiving,

01:14:31   everybody's just sort of picking stuff that they want and we're making it for ourselves.

01:14:34   And we're going to make sure everybody is delighted by all the sides.

01:14:39   That's right.

01:14:39   So Brussels sprouts are in there and there's, you know, there's bread that we're going to

01:14:44   make and there's going to be pie and there's cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

01:14:49   And I've got this sort of like stir fried potatoes thing that I did for Thanksgiving

01:14:53   that I'm going to redo and, you know, we'll have a good time.

01:14:56   Myke, do you have a, do you have any traditional, is it the traditional English, uh, turkey?

01:15:01   Yeah, see, turkey is the, is the meat because we don't have Thanksgiving, right?

01:15:06   Yeah.

01:15:06   So we already have a mandatory turkey holiday.

01:15:09   Our turkey holiday is Christmas.

01:15:12   It's Christmas, yeah.

01:15:13   Due to many family changes that we were going to be making our first Christmas dinner this

01:15:21   year anyway, like it isn't just COVID that is forcing us to me and Adina to make our

01:15:27   own Christmas dinner.

01:15:28   We were going to be cooking the family Christmas dinner anyway.

01:15:31   And, um, so I am excited about that.

01:15:34   We're doing the whole nine yards.

01:15:36   Um, even though we're having a much smaller Christmas than we had imagined, even up until

01:15:42   three days ago, our family Christmas just keeps shrinking and shrinking.

01:15:48   I think at some point I might just be cooking for myself.

01:15:51   I don't even know anymore.

01:15:52   But that's kind of the way it's going.

01:15:55   I understand why, but it's still a shame.

01:15:57   But we're going to be cooking everything, the whole nine yards.

01:16:02   We're doing every, like we're doing turkey and pigs in blankets, you know, sausage wrapped

01:16:07   in bacon.

01:16:08   We're doing Brussels sprouts with bacon on them.

01:16:11   We do it.

01:16:12   What else have we got?

01:16:13   Excellent roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding.

01:16:17   We're doing the whole nine yards.

01:16:19   I'm very, very excited for our Christmas meal this year, to be honest.

01:16:22   We already cooked a trial run of this a couple of weeks ago, because we'd never done a meal

01:16:28   of this kind of scale before as the two of us.

01:16:31   We don't really cook meals that require timing to be so important.

01:16:36   Right.

01:16:37   You know, like we've never done a meal that way before.

01:16:39   That's a trick when you've got multiple sides and the main course and you have to time them

01:16:42   all out.

01:16:42   Yeah, that's hard.

01:16:43   You know, like when we cook, we're cooking maybe we have like two things on the hob and

01:16:48   one thing in the one thing in the oven at most, you know, like it's not how we normally cook.

01:16:52   So I'm very, very excited.

01:16:54   Very, very.

01:16:54   It's actually good that you're doing it such a small scale because that's a good, that's

01:16:59   a good practice run.

01:17:00   That's a good test.

01:17:01   As somebody who has made that meal for 12 people in my house in the past, it's like that amps

01:17:07   up the stress a lot.

01:17:09   And there's too many cooks at that point.

01:17:10   There's like, you know, my mother-in-law is coming into the kitchen to do a thing and I'm

01:17:14   like, no, don't throw away.

01:17:15   I need it.

01:17:16   I need that.

01:17:18   It gets stressful.

01:17:18   So that's good.

01:17:21   It's good.

01:17:21   It's fun.

01:17:22   I mean, we cook a lot for ourselves at home.

01:17:26   We mostly just eat, you know, we're not a big takeout order out person, family.

01:17:32   We're not.

01:17:33   But this is amped up, right?

01:17:35   These are the ones where you put a lot of effort into it and you're making special things and

01:17:38   it makes it feel special.

01:17:40   And when in this case we're isolated and it's just us and there's no guess.

01:17:45   It's something to make it feel special and different and like a holiday.

01:17:51   I think that's good.

01:17:52   Next question comes from Andrew.

01:17:55   If you could entice Apple to create a messages send with effect screen like confetti lasers

01:18:03   that was Christmas themed, what would it do?

01:18:05   Well, the obvious one is like a snowstorm.

01:18:10   That's what I was going to go for too, snow.

01:18:12   That would be yeah.

01:18:14   Send with snowflakes and with snow and there would be like little drifting.

01:18:17   The snowflakes would drift and you know, if you want a little sleigh or something to fly

01:18:22   across the top of the screen, that'd be okay.

01:18:23   But I think a more generic just winter snow kind of thing would be super Christmassy,

01:18:30   but also applicable whenever you have snow, you could send that along.

01:18:34   So that's what I would imagine.

01:18:36   Maybe some fairy lights dropping down from the top of the screen or something could be

01:18:40   a cute little thing to do.

01:18:41   But snow is the way to go there I think.

01:18:45   I always forget to send messages with effects.

01:18:47   I always forget that.

01:18:49   I do it quite a lot.

01:18:50   And I am actually a fan of the fact that Apple just does some for you.

01:18:54   Right?

01:18:55   Like if you say congratulations to send to confetti, like why not?

01:18:59   Prem asks, fake Christmas tree or real Christmas tree?

01:19:03   Real Christmas tree.

01:19:05   I'm a fake Christmas tree guy.

01:19:07   We don't have a lot of space.

01:19:08   Yeah.

01:19:09   We're in an apartment, right?

01:19:11   Like we have our Christmas tree is called a slim Christmas tree.

01:19:16   It is a very weird tree.

01:19:18   It's it's doesn't really go out very much.

01:19:21   And it's just under six feet tall.

01:19:24   So it's not a big tree.

01:19:26   I would love a real big tree.

01:19:28   It will be something we'll do in our future, but not right now.

01:19:31   I just got a message sent with lasers from Jason.

01:19:35   You did.

01:19:36   Says, although I'm on Catalina.

01:19:38   So it just says effects and then in brackets, lasers.

01:19:42   No, no.

01:19:42   Well, that's that you ruined it all set with snow.

01:19:46   Just imagine that it was sent with snow.

01:19:48   Yeah.

01:19:48   I've always had a real Christmas tree and, uh, we, we go and get one and bring it in and

01:19:52   that's, uh, that's it.

01:19:54   It's uh, it's uh, it's nice.

01:19:56   It's a nice tradition.

01:19:57   It makes the whole house smell nice.

01:19:58   It's great.

01:19:59   And the cats, oh, the cats are fascinated by it.

01:20:02   So that's extra fun.

01:20:03   And then on that building on that, uh, Steve asked,

01:20:07   what is your favorite Christmas ornament on the tree?

01:20:10   What is yours?

01:20:12   Um, mine is a, uh, or we got early on.

01:20:19   I don't remember exactly when, but it was a long time ago, very early on in our marriage.

01:20:23   And it is this white, I think Lauren got it for me.

01:20:27   It is a white.

01:20:28   I want it.

01:20:30   I think it's a Gibbon.

01:20:31   It's definitely an ape or monkey of some sort.

01:20:34   And it's in two pieces.

01:20:35   It's got the sort of the flat part, which is the body and the face of the, of the Gibbon.

01:20:40   And then there's a little curved part in front of it.

01:20:42   That's the two arms.

01:20:44   And that means that as it sort of dangles, the arms kind of go side to side, like monkey,

01:20:48   like it's great.

01:20:49   I love it.

01:20:51   It's my favorite.

01:20:52   It's not that big.

01:20:52   It's just, it's very subtle.

01:20:53   Um, but it is my favorite at all.

01:20:56   And if you do come to my house, don't come to my house, but if someone were to see my

01:21:00   Christmas tree, they would notice that there are lots of monkeys on it.

01:21:02   There are very many monkeys on that Christmas tree.

01:21:06   We have a quite, a quite eclectic selection of decorations too.

01:21:10   Um, and our favorite one was actually immortalized recently in, uh, one of Adina's comics.

01:21:17   So my wife Adina is an illustrator and comic artist.

01:21:20   She has an account on Instagram called sticking out comics.

01:21:22   I'll put a link in the show notes so you can see it, but there's a couple of things going

01:21:26   on here with our tree.

01:21:27   So our favorite one sits on the top and it is a Stegosaurus.

01:21:32   A Stegosaurus of a stocking in its mouth.

01:21:34   Oh man.

01:21:35   That is our topper, but a new favorite is the one that Adina's character is holding

01:21:40   in the, in the comic, which is a Stegosaurus.

01:21:44   So this is the one with like the pointy parts on the back wearing three Santa hats.

01:21:49   So we have lots of dinosaur themed ones and we have some weird Christmas decorations,

01:21:54   but we like the dinosaur Christmas decorations.

01:21:57   They're very, very good.

01:21:59   Um, Eric asked money, no object.

01:22:04   What is the best technology gift for you?

01:22:06   Um, why don't you answer this one first?

01:22:12   Pro display XDR because it feels like the most frivolous technology purchase I could

01:22:20   imagine for me because like, I don't really have a use for it at all.

01:22:27   And I don't care enough to own one.

01:22:30   You know, like I have a, like an LG display that I use and I really love the LG display.

01:22:36   It's one of their ergonomic ones and it looks great to me, but it's, I know it's not a 6k

01:22:44   pro display.

01:22:45   And so for me, a pro display XDR kind of, it's something I would never buy for myself.

01:22:50   Like I just would never buy that.

01:22:51   Um, but I would love it if someone bought me one, the one with the matte screen as well,

01:22:56   because like, let's do it and a stand of course.

01:22:58   So that, I think that would be mine.

01:23:00   All right.

01:23:02   Uh, a Tesla.

01:23:04   That's a good one.

01:23:06   I'd like, I'd like a Tesla, please.

01:23:08   I'll, I'll pick a model if you want me to, but you could also surprise me.

01:23:13   It's fine.

01:23:13   I'll take whatever.

01:23:15   I'll take your model three.

01:23:17   I'll take your model S I'll take your model X.

01:23:19   I'll take your model Y.

01:23:20   I don't care that, that I'll just take a Tesla.

01:23:23   What would be the one you would potentially think about for yourself though?

01:23:26   I don't know.

01:23:27   I, I, I dream of one day having to have this conversation.

01:23:31   And I it's, I think realistically it's more likely going to be a model three because it's

01:23:37   the cheapest one.

01:23:38   But I, I actually think that it's a possibility that it would be the model Y, which is the

01:23:42   crossover, mostly because we do have like a dog and we have a minivan right now.

01:23:47   And so having a, having a vehicle with a little more space and a little more flexibility,

01:23:53   uh, rather than just a standard sedan is probably what, so I guess I would probably ask for

01:23:58   a maxed out model Y cause it's very expensive.

01:24:01   No cyber truck, please.

01:24:02   Not interested.

01:24:03   Yeah.

01:24:03   I mean, if you wanted to go for like expensive, that would be the one where, or a roadster,

01:24:07   but none of those things.

01:24:08   No, thank you.

01:24:09   Sam asked, what was one of your favorite holiday gifts as a child?

01:24:15   Um, I gotta say, I, I thought about this cause they're,

01:24:23   they're a bunch of, like, I got a bike, I got a little, um, battery operated scooter

01:24:27   when I was little, that was, was like, you could sit on it and drive around the driveway

01:24:31   at two miles an hour, which was pretty awesome.

01:24:33   I think I got a go cart at one point, which was pretty great, but I think my answer has

01:24:40   to be the Atari 2,600 because that was, I don't, I actually don't, I was thinking about

01:24:46   this.

01:24:46   I don't know.

01:24:47   I'm going to, I should look at my mom's pictures when I got the Atari 2,600.

01:24:52   1980, maybe 79, but it was absolutely the thing I wanted the most.

01:24:59   And, um, my parents had put up a front about no video games in the house, mostly because

01:25:06   my dad used the excuse.

01:25:08   Maybe he thought this, I don't know that it would break the TV.

01:25:11   He didn't want to break the TV by attaching one of them newfangled video game things onto

01:25:17   it.

01:25:17   Was that a thing that people thought would happen?

01:25:20   No.

01:25:21   No, I don't know what I, I don't know whether he was worried or whether he just made that

01:25:27   up as an excuse to not buy one, but I did get one for Christmas one year and it was

01:25:32   the most amazing thing ever.

01:25:34   So I'm going to go with Atari 2,600.

01:25:37   In fact, Jonathan Colton has a song called 2,600 that I would say fantastic Christmas

01:25:42   album.

01:25:43   Great Christmas album with John Roderick.

01:25:45   Yes.

01:25:45   And that song perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being a kid.

01:25:51   Wanting an Atari 2,600 under the tree.

01:25:54   Absolutely.

01:25:54   I have, I usually give that, that album a good listen every year.

01:25:58   And I had, I have forgotten this year.

01:26:01   I have several of those songs on my sort of master playlist of Christmas songs.

01:26:05   And so they come up and I laugh because my daughter was pointing out yesterday that there

01:26:10   are probably some Christmas songs that my kids think are popular, well-known Christmas

01:26:15   songs that actually nobody else knows except us because we like them because we put them

01:26:22   on that playlist.

01:26:23   But yeah, there's several Colton Roderick songs in there.

01:26:25   I will ask you at this point, we'll come back to my answer in a minute, but just while

01:26:30   I'm here, do you have favorite Christmas song?

01:26:32   Uh, Christmas song?

01:26:36   Like a favorite song?

01:26:38   Yeah.

01:26:38   Well, if I have to pick one song, I'm not going to pick one song.

01:26:43   I'll pick the modern version is last Christmas by Wham!

01:26:47   And the classic version is going to be the Christmas song by Nat King Cole.

01:26:53   And then I'll put it, I'll throw in some favorite Christmas albums.

01:26:59   The Vince Guaraldi Trio's Charlie Brown Christmas album is probably my favorite Christmas

01:27:06   album, but I will admit to loving the Nat King Cole Christmas song album.

01:27:11   And also the, I forget, is it Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra?

01:27:15   One of the Sinatra Christmas albums where, you know, he's tossing it off.

01:27:18   He doesn't care.

01:27:18   There are lots of background singers filling in for all of Frank's weaknesses, but I kind

01:27:23   of love it.

01:27:24   I kind of love how ridiculous and, and, and I don't know Sinatra it is.

01:27:29   So I listen to that one every year too.

01:27:31   But if I had to pick one album, it would be the Vince Guaraldi, uh, Charlie Brown album.

01:27:35   My favorite Christmas song is Step Into Christmas by Elton John.

01:27:41   Really underrated Christmas song.

01:27:43   Nice.

01:27:43   It's super fun.

01:27:44   It's not like other Christmas songs.

01:27:45   I love it.

01:27:46   My, uh, going back to the original question that was from Sam.

01:27:51   My favorite holiday gift as a child was the year when I got a Game Boy Pocket with Pokemon

01:27:57   Blue.

01:27:57   Best Christmas.

01:28:00   I was so excited.

01:28:02   I didn't sleep the night before.

01:28:04   I just did not sleep the night before Christmas because I was so freaking excited to play

01:28:08   Pokemon because by that point I'd started watching the anime and like I'd gotten books

01:28:14   and stuff at the game.

01:28:15   I didn't have the game, right?

01:28:16   Cause the game was going to be my Christmas gift.

01:28:19   Uh, I was so amped for that game and I freaking loved it.

01:28:23   And I have so many vivid memories of that Christmas.

01:28:26   It's one of my only childhood Christmases that I really remember.

01:28:29   Um, I would have been like 10 maybe around that kind of age.

01:28:37   So what, what you're saying is both of us answered the same thing, which is a video

01:28:42   game when we were 10.

01:28:43   Yep.

01:28:44   The video.

01:28:44   I mean, that's clearly, there's clearly something very formative about that experience.

01:28:48   I think so.

01:28:50   Ryan asked, what are you looking forward to in 2021?

01:28:53   Oh, being out of 2020, seeing people, uh, COVID vaccine.

01:29:07   Um, I mean, I'm hoping the world is a better place in 2021.

01:29:12   And you know, you say that every year around, around new years, but I have never met it

01:29:17   more.

01:29:18   Yeah.

01:29:19   This one is just hope the world's a better place.

01:29:20   Particularly rough.

01:29:22   Like just to double down on it.

01:29:23   Like, you know, like so many people, you know, I have spent the longest time away from my

01:29:30   friends than I have ever.

01:29:33   And, you know, I would imagine some people have been able to have like some outdoor experiences

01:29:39   with some friends and I've had that right.

01:29:40   Like I've gone for walks in the park with some friends and stuff, but most of my friends,

01:29:46   people like you, I have not gone this long without seeing you in five years.

01:29:52   And so that is going to be a big thing for me is being able to see people I care about.

01:29:59   Yeah.

01:30:01   Uh, Tom has asked, I've never had eggnog and I don't drink dairy.

01:30:05   Do you like eggnog?

01:30:06   I don't know if Tom's trying to get us to convince them to, to go hard on the dairy,

01:30:13   but I love eggnog.

01:30:15   It was a thing that we started drinking maybe two years ago.

01:30:18   I'd never had it before.

01:30:19   Um, and we followed a recipe from Benjamin Babish, which is one of my very favorite YouTube

01:30:26   channels.

01:30:27   And now we have made, uh, the Benjamin Babish eggnog part of our Christmas tradition in

01:30:33   the healthy household.

01:30:34   I don't like eggnog.

01:30:38   I'm not interested.

01:30:38   I, you know what, Jason, I kind of figured that you were going to say that.

01:30:42   I don't know why, but I just kind of felt like that.

01:30:44   Eggnog doesn't really feel like a Jason Snell thing to me.

01:30:48   It's not.

01:30:49   It's not.

01:30:50   I was pleased that I got that right, but I recommend it.

01:30:53   I love it.

01:30:53   It's a, it's a lovely holiday drink.

01:30:56   And Steve asked, how do you prefer your Christmas tree to be lit?

01:30:59   White lights, colored lights, or real candles?

01:31:02   Does anybody light their Christmas tree with candles?

01:31:06   Is that a thing?

01:31:08   Sure.

01:31:08   People in the people in the 18th century.

01:31:11   Yeah.

01:31:11   Do you know what, Jason?

01:31:12   I bet there's a correlation between people that unlock their, uh, computers with their

01:31:16   pinky fingers and real candle tree people.

01:31:19   So people, so pinky unlockers are, are, are candles.

01:31:25   From real candle people.

01:31:26   Yeah.

01:31:26   It feels like there'll be a correlation there to me.

01:31:29   It's like an unnecessary fanciness.

01:31:31   The answer is colored lights.

01:31:34   That's the answer.

01:31:35   Okay.

01:31:36   Colored lights, not blinking.

01:31:37   No, not blinking.

01:31:39   I have white lights, but it's not because like, I really care.

01:31:44   Like they were just the lights we bought.

01:31:47   You just bought, so I happened to buy some, see, cause they could have been colored lights.

01:31:50   It would have been, perhaps they will be someday.

01:31:53   Maybe, maybe I don't remember, but like maybe Adina wanted white lights.

01:31:58   I don't remember.

01:31:59   Cause like, I don't feel like I have a preference.

01:32:02   So the fact that we have only one maybe seems to suggest that there was like, you know,

01:32:08   she cared more because I grew up archery when we grew up have both.

01:32:13   So I was pretty used to both.

01:32:16   You know, we had the kind of, I mean, I don't know if this is a thing anymore.

01:32:20   It probably isn't actually like the kind of lights that sometimes they go off and you'd

01:32:25   have to screw every single one of them.

01:32:27   Right.

01:32:27   You have to go around and check that they're all screwed in.

01:32:29   I bet that isn't a thing anymore.

01:32:31   Light technology has improved vastly with LEDs.

01:32:34   Things are, it's way better than it used to be.

01:32:39   So much better than it used to be.

01:32:40   That was our holiday themed #AskUpgrade.

01:32:46   Thank you so much to everybody who sent one of those questions in.

01:32:48   I'm really pleased that we got to do that.

01:32:49   If you want to send in a question for a usual episode, it can typically be about anything.

01:32:54   You can send out a tweet with the #AskUpgrade or use question mark ask upgrade in the Relay

01:32:59   FM members discord.

01:33:00   We have lots of technology focused ask upgrades that have been building up.

01:33:03   So we'll make sure that we get to those in a new year.

01:33:05   We won't be doing any next time because it's going to be the upgrade-ies.

01:33:08   We have one more special segment for this week's episode where we're going to be reviewing

01:33:14   a Charlie Brown Christmas special.

01:33:16   But before we do, let me thank our final sponsor of this week's episode.

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01:34:10   like, I don't know what pages I need for my business.

01:34:13   Well, you can enable them and it was done.

01:34:15   When we set up our wedding website on Squarespace, it had all that stuff.

01:34:19   It had a template page structure.

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01:35:07   Our thanks to Squarespace for their support of this show and all of Real AFM.

01:35:10   Squarespace, make your next move, make your next website.

01:35:14   Okay, let's talk about a Charlie Brown Christmas.

01:35:20   Now I mentioned in a previous episode, much to the dismay, horror of many upgradeans,

01:35:26   I had never seen this before.

01:35:28   And my typical response to people that got in touch about this was typically to just

01:35:34   send them a UK flag because this is a very American thing.

01:35:40   And one of those things that Americans, I love you, but you get that mindset, right?

01:35:46   Where you're like, well, we do it.

01:35:48   Everyone must do it.

01:35:49   Now, like Charlie Brown is a very American thing.

01:35:53   And so it's never been so, I've never even seen it on television in my life.

01:35:57   Amazing.

01:35:57   Amazing.

01:35:59   Yeah, absolutely.

01:35:59   A Christmas tradition and on aired every year and everybody would sit down and watch it.

01:36:05   And it's a real, it's a real thing.

01:36:08   It's, it's, uh, yeah, I love this.

01:36:11   I love that you it's 2020 and you just saw a Charlie Brown Christmas.

01:36:15   Guess we can thank Apple, right?

01:36:17   We do the anti-petition on the show.

01:36:19   That was the, that was the impetus, I would say for, for us choosing this.

01:36:24   So it came out in 1965.

01:36:27   It is, it is interesting, I think to me that it's based on peanuts.

01:36:30   Peanuts is the name of the comic strip, legendary comic strip.

01:36:33   I'm allergic to peanuts.

01:36:34   That's another reason I haven't seen it.

01:36:36   There you go right there.

01:36:37   But they don't call it the peanuts Christmas special or something.

01:36:40   It's a Charlie Brown Christmas, which has a meaning.

01:36:42   Do you know why?

01:36:43   Like why?

01:36:44   Cause I think the show was called peanuts, right?

01:36:47   Or was it called Charlie Brown?

01:36:49   Like the actual animated show?

01:36:50   There's no show.

01:36:51   Oh, I thought that there was a show.

01:36:53   Okay.

01:36:53   No show, just a comic strip.

01:36:55   Just a comic strip.

01:36:56   Interesting.

01:36:57   And then a bunch of specials.

01:36:58   Peanuts is a weird name.

01:37:01   I think Charles Schultz didn't like it.

01:37:03   It just was a name that I think maybe even was selected for him by the syndicate.

01:37:07   So everything is branded as Charlie Brown and people know Charlie Brown and Snoopy and stuff.

01:37:12   They don't really know peanuts.

01:37:13   So peanuts doesn't get a lot of play, which is fine, but it is a comic strip.

01:37:16   It was legendary and popular.

01:37:18   It lasted what, 50 years, basically.

01:37:26   In daily newspapers, when that was a thing in the, in the last half of the 20th century,

01:37:30   which it was, it was huge and Snoopy was huge.

01:37:33   And I had a stuff Snoopy as a kid, like just, it was everywhere on t-shirts and mugs and TV specials.

01:37:40   And like, it was a, it was an enormous phenomenon.

01:37:43   So just put that in context.

01:37:44   It's interesting because very, I'm very familiar with Snoopy as a kid.

01:37:49   There you go.

01:37:50   Snoopy.

01:37:51   Snoopy.

01:37:53   One of those characters that just, I think in a lot of places just transcended where it came from,

01:37:59   you know, like a, like a Mario or a Hello Kitty or a Bart Simpson even where it's like,

01:38:05   now it's just a thing and there's merchandising that you can just purchase,

01:38:10   not knowing anything about this character.

01:38:12   I think the big example is Mickey Mouse, right?

01:38:14   Who is far better known as a symbol and a character than from his animated stuff.

01:38:22   Um, and so, yeah, so Snoopy especially has transcended that.

01:38:27   The other thing I want to mention before I, I, we, we tap into your brain and see what you think

01:38:31   about this and what I was thinking of every time I watch it now as an adult, I think of this,

01:38:35   which is, this is 15 years into the, into the run of the Peanuts comic strip.

01:38:41   It is based on the Peanuts comic strip, some things you need to know about the Peanuts comic strip.

01:38:47   It is for, for a theoretically a comic strip about a bunch of kids, it is kind of dark.

01:38:54   It's depressing.

01:38:56   Especially, especially, especially for mid-century, it's, it's kind of dark.

01:39:01   It is psychological.

01:39:03   Charlie Brown is a put upon sad sack kind of character.

01:39:07   That's part of the, part of the fun.

01:39:09   The first in 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip ever is two kids sitting on a stoop and they go,

01:39:17   "Hey, here comes good old Charlie Brown, good old Charlie Brown."

01:39:21   Charlie Brown walks by and then they're watching him go and, and the one kid says, "How I hate him."

01:39:26   - Oh my God.

01:39:27   - And that's how, that's how the strip started.

01:39:30   So it's got some interesting baggage that comes along with it.

01:39:32   And the other thing I wanted to say about, about Peanuts is, it's comic strip, which

01:39:37   means it has a style like you'll do a week of strips.

01:39:42   And for those who don't know about reading like newspaper comic strips or web comics are kind of like this too, but especially the structure in newspaper comic strips, six days of strips, Monday through Saturday, three panels a day.

01:39:57   So what you get is this week, it's going to be jokes about Snoopy decorating his doghouse.

01:40:03   And there's going to be set up punchline, set up punchline, set up punchline throughout the week.

01:40:09   And then the next week, it'll probably be something different.

01:40:11   And knowing that you watch a Charlie Brown Christmas and you go, "Oh, that explains a lot about why there are just scenes where somebody walks in, there are a bunch of jokes and then they walk out again."

01:40:22   Because it's literally just the set up punchline structure from the comic strip brought to life in animation.

01:40:31   And, and, and as a result, I think the Charlie Brown Christmas special is, uh, parts of it are, feel more like, uh, more like a comedy sketch.

01:40:42   And I, that one of my notes that I wrote down was this just feels like a selection of sketches.

01:40:47   Like I got that feeling from it where it's like, there is an overriding theme to this special, but all of these situations that are occurring within it, they're kind of mostly unconnected.

01:41:01   And they feel like sketches running through it as opposed to it being like one story.

01:41:07   So I definitely got that feeling.

01:41:09   Yeah, it's, it's episodic.

01:41:11   There is a story, but so much of it is just outside of that because they want to show you all these characters and they want to seem like they're the ones that are in the comic strips.

01:41:18   Or I think even less about the marketing and more about the structure, like this is our chance to make the comic strip come to life.

01:41:26   And it's 1965 and they're not like, we're going to reimagine peanuts.

01:41:31   It's like, no, we're going to play some of the hits from, uh, these characters that, you know, and so that's what it is.

01:41:38   So there's the, there's the, uh, Lucy at the, uh, her advice, psycho psychological advice.

01:41:46   Thing, and that's a bit and Snoopy at his doghouse and that's a bit and, uh, Charlie Brown's sister, Sally making her Christmas list.

01:41:56   And that's a bit.

01:41:57   And then like, there's a bunch of that.

01:41:58   And then there's, if there's a plot, it's the Christmas he's directing the Christmas play, uh, and then has to get a tree.

01:42:06   I mean, that's the plot.

01:42:07   And then the tree is bad and everybody laughs at it.

01:42:09   And then the tree is, turns out to be nice and they all dance.

01:42:11   And that's the end.

01:42:12   Cause there's not a lot here.

01:42:13   It's also 20 minutes long, 25 minutes long.

01:42:18   So I was, I was wondering if I was going to be like, all right, so let the backstory of this.

01:42:25   I think we should tell the backstory of this.

01:42:26   Okay.

01:42:27   So we were trying to pick a thing for Myke at the movies, wanted to do the Christmas thing and Jason recommended Charlie Brown Christmas.

01:42:34   And I was nervous about this because I didn't, I'd never seen it.

01:42:39   No affiliation to it.

01:42:40   No particular love for Charlie Brown.

01:42:42   And I know just how dear many of our listeners hold this to themselves.

01:42:48   I didn't want to watch this, not like it.

01:42:51   And then come to the episode and be like, this was boring and sad.

01:42:55   Right?

01:42:55   So here, here's the plot twist is I told Myke, why don't you watch it?

01:43:00   It's only 25 minutes long.

01:43:02   And if you don't like it, we'll pick something else and we won't talk about it.

01:43:06   And this was two weeks ago.

01:43:08   So I liked it enough that we, that we're here.

01:43:13   But now we're here.

01:43:15   I did find this kind of funny that when I went to the screen in, in Apple TV, it had these two words next to each other.

01:43:22   1965 4k Dolby vision.

01:43:25   Now I don't think those two things match.

01:43:27   I'm just going to say, uh, on film and they scanned in the film and restored it.

01:43:33   I know, but still animation from 1965.

01:43:36   I mean, you know, it looks like animation from 1965.

01:43:41   It doesn't really look like it was presented in 4k Dolby vision.

01:43:45   This is not a criticism, but cause like, what are you going to do?

01:43:47   But it was just funny to me anyway.

01:43:50   Right?

01:43:50   Like these two things next to each other, every bit of film grain.

01:43:54   You really do.

01:43:55   You can, you can see it.

01:43:56   I immediately recognize the score.

01:43:58   You know, like I've heard these songs, I've heard the album, right?

01:44:02   Like I've heard all this stuff.

01:44:03   It's a favorite.

01:44:04   It's fantastic.

01:44:05   Um, it really is super sad.

01:44:09   Like dark.

01:44:12   It is.

01:44:12   It is.

01:44:13   What is it about?

01:44:14   There's certainly a vein of, of Christmas movies in general.

01:44:17   It's a Wonderful Life is like this.

01:44:19   A Christmas Carol is really like this, that there's, it's all about kind of like getting

01:44:22   pretty dark and then having kind of a redemption at the end.

01:44:25   And that, that is not every, you know, Christmas story is just happy all the time.

01:44:29   A lot of them are, it gets, it gets real dark.

01:44:31   And then at the end, there's like that moment of like, oh, oh, it's the meaning of Christmas

01:44:35   after all, Charlie Brown.

01:44:37   And this one is, is definitely, if you go in thinking, it's just going to be a brightly

01:44:40   colored, happy, shiny.

01:44:42   Uh, it's not, it's definitely not.

01:44:45   Charlie Brown is depressed.

01:44:46   That's how it starts, right?

01:44:47   It's Charlie Brown is depressed.

01:44:49   He's a troubled kid.

01:44:51   Like he is a troubled kid.

01:44:52   It's kind of upsetting really.

01:44:54   Cause are they voiced by children?

01:44:56   Do you know that?

01:44:58   Yes.

01:44:58   That's, that's one of the interesting tasks that they took and you can tell in a few parts

01:45:03   and it's probably not what, uh, most animated things now would do, but they specifically

01:45:09   cast children in all the parts.

01:45:11   Okay.

01:45:12   And so was this for many people, the first time that these characters had had voices?

01:45:17   I think it was the first time.

01:45:19   Yes.

01:45:20   Right.

01:45:20   Okay.

01:45:21   The kids, so like, I'm familiar with some of the tropes of Charlie Brown though.

01:45:26   Right.

01:45:26   So like, I know that, um, there's a, like a psychiatry element to it.

01:45:31   What's the character's name?

01:45:32   Violet?

01:45:33   That's uh, that's Lucy.

01:45:36   Lucy.

01:45:36   And, uh, she's mean.

01:45:39   She's also the one who pulls the football away from Charlie Brown when he tries to kick

01:45:43   the football.

01:45:43   Yeah.

01:45:44   But everyone's mean to Charlie Brown though.

01:45:46   Yes.

01:45:47   Like even his friend Linus is just like, you're the Charlie Browniest, which I thought was

01:45:51   funny, but it's like, oh man, can't someone give this kid a break?

01:45:55   Like even, even his dog betrays him.

01:45:57   Everyone.

01:45:58   It's, it's, it's rough.

01:46:00   I liked the dancing scenes a lot.

01:46:01   It's not a play, which I also think is kind of funny.

01:46:05   You're talking about, they're going to do this play.

01:46:07   There's never a play.

01:46:08   It's just dancing.

01:46:10   I just thought it was kind of cute, but I like the animation.

01:46:12   Dancing around the nativity basically.

01:46:14   Yeah.

01:46:14   Yeah.

01:46:15   I like that.

01:46:15   And there's a lot of like, there's a lot of jokes in this.

01:46:19   Um, which, you know, like it's that idea of like, this is for kids, but the jokes are

01:46:25   for adults.

01:46:25   Like it's even in here.

01:46:27   Like what, like, I can't remember the character was like, what would you want for, for Christmas?

01:46:31   It's like real estate.

01:46:32   Oh yeah.

01:46:33   It's just like, just like a great punchline.

01:46:35   Yeah.

01:46:37   Yeah. That's the, that's the Sally listing all the things that she wants.

01:46:40   And please, please note the sizes and colors as described here and all of that, that she's

01:46:46   so little a kid that she can't write the letter herself, but she's got very, and this is the

01:46:52   kind of the message, right?

01:46:53   Is it's the, uh, anti-commercialism like, yeah, what is going on?

01:46:58   These kids are so against the commercialism of Christmas.

01:47:01   Yeah.

01:47:01   It's weird.

01:47:02   It's weird.

01:47:02   I think this was a thing in the sixties where there was this trend of like, oh, Christmas

01:47:06   is too commercialized and it's too many, like maybe, maybe the American economy suddenly

01:47:11   realized how important Christmas was and it all got kind of bombarded.

01:47:14   And this is kind of a crusty rejoinder to that saying, let's not forget that the holiday

01:47:19   itself.

01:47:20   And, and, um, I think even if you're not religious, the resolution where, um, Linus does the Bible

01:47:28   reading essentially is it's that moment of like, have we lost focus on Christmas as a

01:47:34   holiday and focused it on presents and money.

01:47:36   Um, because that's what Sally does say is, is, uh, if you, if you have a problem with

01:47:41   this, just give me money.

01:47:42   Fives and tens are preferable, right?

01:47:44   Like it's just, uh, and, and that, I think that's the idea is that Charlie Brown's general

01:47:48   ennui is all about the fact that he's lost the plot or everybody else has lost the plot

01:47:54   of Christmas and that it's, it's supposed to be about, uh, about that particular holiday

01:48:00   and also about peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

01:48:02   The whole, like the whole thing, instead of present here, present there, uh, commercialism

01:48:08   like that.

01:48:08   But it is, uh, I think about that a lot, actually, every time I watch it, because it is an interesting

01:48:13   theme to have.

01:48:15   And every passing year, I feel like I, I take the temperature of Christmas commercialism

01:48:20   again, because on one level, it's been commercialized for so long that it's sort of baked in.

01:48:27   And on another level, we've been criticizing the commercialism of it for so long.

01:48:32   So I don't know.

01:48:33   It's, it's, uh, but it is like a show that's basically saying, um, if you're just focused

01:48:41   on the presents giving and getting you're doing it wrong, which is an interesting tack

01:48:46   for a animated family holiday special to take.

01:48:48   And yet it became a classic.

01:48:50   I have another question that I think might be a unique thing of the time.

01:48:55   Aluminium Christmas trees.

01:48:57   What's that all about?

01:49:00   Those were the predecessor to our fake trees of today.

01:49:04   Oh, okay.

01:49:05   Huh.

01:49:07   So it's like a little metal tree with little metal, uh, little metal branches and stuff.

01:49:10   And it's like a, yeah, like a little fake tree.

01:49:13   That's what that is.

01:49:14   Cause that's like a very prevalent thing in the tree part of the, the special is like

01:49:21   that they, that they should get an aluminium one.

01:49:24   And I didn't really understand what that meant.

01:49:26   Yeah, it's a fake, get a fake tree.

01:49:28   Yeah.

01:49:28   I mean, I found it charming.

01:49:34   I actually had more laugh out loud moments than I was expecting because what was funny

01:49:41   to me at most is the way that these kids treat each other.

01:49:46   Right.

01:49:47   While sometimes it was shocking to me in a way that I didn't like there on parts of it

01:49:52   where, because they talk like adults, but it's children's voices.

01:49:56   Yeah.

01:49:56   There are moments where the punchlines are very effective.

01:50:00   Yeah.

01:50:00   The real estate joke is I think pretty effective.

01:50:02   That was my favorite.

01:50:03   That was the biggest laugh from me.

01:50:06   Real estate.

01:50:07   I also like, um, there's a scene where Linus and Lucy are talking and Linus is like, oh

01:50:13   no, it's not.

01:50:14   It's, it's Schroeder, right?

01:50:15   It's the piano player.

01:50:17   And he's like, I'm going to do Christmas music.

01:50:20   I'm going to do Bach or I'm going to do Beethoven.

01:50:22   No, he's obsessed with Beethoven.

01:50:23   I'm gonna do Beethoven.

01:50:24   She's like, nah, how about, how about jingle bells?

01:50:29   Yeah.

01:50:29   It's like, okay, I'm going to play jingle bells anymore classical style.

01:50:32   And she's like, no, I mean, jingle bells, you know?

01:50:36   And he's like, oh, okay.

01:50:37   And it's like, it is the portrait of an artist.

01:50:39   And he plays it in just the worst possible way.

01:50:43   Right.

01:50:43   It's very good.

01:50:44   Yeah.

01:50:44   And she's like, yeah, that's it.

01:50:46   You got it now.

01:50:46   And it's like, it's the portrait of an artist trying not to compromise and ending up in

01:50:52   a horrendously compromised place, which I feel like is again, part of the commentary

01:50:57   about the, of the show and about Christmas.

01:50:59   But it's also a really funny interaction between those kids where the one kid is super

01:51:03   earnest and is like Beethoven.

01:51:04   I love Beethoven.

01:51:05   I'm obsessed with Beethoven.

01:51:06   And the other one's like, don't give me any Beethoven.

01:51:09   Give me the Tinkly Tinkly.

01:51:11   He's like, all right.

01:51:12   It's great.

01:51:14   It's great.

01:51:14   It's super cute and it's short and fun and easy.

01:51:19   Like charming is a good root word too.

01:51:21   It's got some funny jokes in it and it is just kind of charming.

01:51:24   I feel like in the music is beautiful and the kids and like Charlie Brown, you're rooting

01:51:30   for him, that poor guy.

01:51:31   And in the end he gets a win.

01:51:32   Yeah.

01:51:34   It's nice.

01:51:35   I can see why people watch it every year because it reminds me of like kind of like a Christmas

01:51:42   album in that sense.

01:51:44   Right.

01:51:44   Like I don't know if you just listen to the music, but it's short and it's easy.

01:51:49   You know, I could imagine people put it on when they're doing something, you know, like

01:51:53   decorating the tree or whatever you put on Charlie Brown Christmas.

01:51:56   Like I can see how it's become the thing that it is, but it is also just interesting because

01:52:03   like there are a million of these types of things, you know, like the special of this

01:52:10   animated series or whatever.

01:52:12   And it's just, it's just interesting to me that there seems to have been this real kind

01:52:17   of like cultural like collective around this one.

01:52:22   It's just, it's just intriguing to see how one thing can pull ahead like that.

01:52:26   Yeah.

01:52:27   It's and it comes from a period in the sixties where there were three TV networks in the

01:52:34   U S so there were only three things on TV and this was a popular, right?

01:52:40   It's an animated special for the holidays.

01:52:42   It's a popular cartoon part, popular comic strip.

01:52:47   And so I think it got a big audience that time and also hit the spot in a way that it

01:52:55   had some sort of resonance.

01:52:57   And then what CBS did is they just aired it every year.

01:53:01   And so then it became a tradition.

01:53:03   They made it a tradition.

01:53:04   It was well received, which I mean, the story goes that they thought it was going to be

01:53:08   a disaster and nobody was going to like it because it was unlike any other animated thing

01:53:11   that was being made at the time.

01:53:13   Yeah.

01:53:13   And was darker and had the weird, we appreciate it now having a jazz score was not what anyone

01:53:22   wanted, right?

01:53:23   That was a, such a weird creative choice that turned out to be brilliant, but so weird in

01:53:29   the moment.

01:53:29   And so the, the story is that the producers and the network and everybody thought this

01:53:34   is not, this is going to be a disaster and it ended up that people liked it.

01:53:38   And it became a tradition when they ran it every year and it has become this tradition

01:53:45   in America.

01:53:47   So I think some of it is good luck.

01:53:49   And the ball started to roll and it, and it, and it once in that era, it was so easy to

01:53:54   capture attention compared to now.

01:53:56   And then once you've got it, like then, then it's a, then everybody has got that attention

01:54:03   and then it repeats every year at the holidays.

01:54:06   And they just, it's like snowballs.

01:54:08   It just gets more and more and more and becomes this thing that, you know, as a kid, it was

01:54:13   just Charlie Brown was on and you would, the Charlie Brown special, and there were a million

01:54:17   others that tried to get into that territory.

01:54:19   But this is the one I think that really stood out as the definitive holiday special that

01:54:25   everybody watched every year as a tradition.

01:54:27   Yeah.

01:54:27   We have, you know, like every, every family, we have our things that we watch.

01:54:33   And, uh, I can imagine this one becoming one of them because it's, it's, it was fun and

01:54:37   easy and it's now very available.

01:54:41   And you can laugh at Charlie Brown's sad sadness and, and, uh, like, Oh, Charlie Brown,

01:54:47   come on.

01:54:47   And then, you know, he gets, he gets to succeed in the end with his Christmas tree and everybody

01:54:51   dances and they do the Snoopy dance, which, uh, people haven't seen the special might

01:54:58   not understand, but now you've seen it.

01:55:02   So that was the Charlie Brown Christmas, and this was the upgrade holiday special.

01:55:06   We would like to wish you all a very happy holidays.

01:55:09   However, you're celebrating, um, you know, it's a, it's a definitely a standout year.

01:55:15   This one, uh, it's going to be one that's memorable and I hope that you're all able

01:55:19   to celebrate it in the way that feels best for you.

01:55:22   Um, I would like to thank our sponsors for this episode, Squarespace, SaneBox, Smile,

01:55:28   and Pingdom.

01:55:29   Thank you so much.

01:55:30   I'd also like to thank our members, the, the upgradeans who support us directly in our

01:55:37   upgrade plus bonus content for today's episode.

01:55:40   We're going to be talking about the Mandalorian because I have now watched it all.

01:55:44   And I really want to talk to Jason about it.

01:55:46   If you would like to hear that discussion and you are not currently supporting the show,

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01:55:59   And we thank everybody that does that.

01:56:01   Uh, we'll be back next time where we're going to be participating in the seventh annual

01:56:07   upgrade ease awards.

01:56:09   Make sure that you get your nominations in by going to upgrade ease dot vote.

01:56:13   Voting closes on December 23rd.

01:56:17   If you want to find Jason online, he is at J Snell, J S N E double L and at six colors

01:56:23   dot com.

01:56:23   I am I Myke I M Y K E and we'll be back next time.

01:56:27   We're back next time.

01:56:29   Until then, say goodbye.

01:56:30   Jason.

01:56:30   Now that's what Christmas is all about.

01:56:32   Myke Hurley.

01:56:33   Oh.

01:56:44   (music ends)

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