525: The Glory Speakers


00:00:00   Just a few minutes ago, Declan has shown probably more because he was procrastinating getting in bed

00:00:05   than because of genuine enthusiasm, but he was showing an unusual amount of enthusiasm about, you know,

00:00:10   the mechanism and machinations of recording. And so, you know, I was explaining, "Oh, that's the chat room."

00:00:16   And he was, you know, talking into the microphone. "Wait, nobody can hear me right now, right? No, no, no, no, no."

00:00:21   You know, actually what Marco does is he plays music. And I, you know, logged into ATP.fm/live

00:00:26   and put on my speakers and let it play for a few moments.

00:00:30   And I have to concede that actually whatever you were playing didn't sound bad.

00:00:32   This was about five, 10 minutes ago.

00:00:34   And he listens for a beat.

00:00:36   This sounds like Dave Matthews.

00:00:38   Yes!

00:00:40   Yeah, now in the defense of Marco, when I do play, and especially lately I've been on a bit of a kick,

00:00:46   and "Oh yeah, when were you not on a kick? Haha!"

00:00:48   No, genuinely, I don't listen to that much Dave Matthews, except lately I kind of have been.

00:00:53   So in the defense of Marco, when all he hears is Dave Matthews,

00:00:56   I'm sure everything sounds like Dave Matthews, but he said that completely on his own of his own volition

00:01:01   And I'm not sure I've ever loved my son more than I did that one moment. I

00:01:04   Just wanted to share that with the group. Well, I'll tell you what, so so, you know

00:01:08   I'm not even gonna touch that because it's adorable

00:01:11   But so, you know, there's there's new fish out from from a recent Mexico series of shows. Mm-hmm

00:01:18   I have had one of the most productive weeks I've had in months

00:01:23   Like I've just been going through these shows on repeat.

00:01:27   - A fish-powered month.

00:01:29   - I even sent in a bug report to Fish about,

00:01:31   'cause they had like what I think is a mix error,

00:01:33   where like in the middle of a song,

00:01:36   they panned Trey's guitar a little bit to the left of center

00:01:40   and then it stayed that way the whole rest of the tour.

00:01:43   So I emailed them like, "Hey, I think this was a mistake.

00:01:47   "If you happen to ever adjust that mix, let me know."

00:01:50   - And did that go into Dev null,

00:01:52   just like Feedback Assistant does?

00:01:53   - No, it's been escalated to the audio team

00:01:55   and we'll see if we hear back.

00:01:57   But this is-- - Whoa, whoa, stop.

00:01:58   - This is, hold on. - Hold on.

00:01:59   - This is the second mix bug report I've filed with them

00:02:03   and they fixed the first one about six months ago.

00:02:06   - I'm blue screening over here.

00:02:08   You're saying that you filed a report,

00:02:11   a bug report of some sort.

00:02:13   - To a band. - And a human,

00:02:14   and a human looked at it and acknowledged it?

00:02:18   I'm not even talking about fixing it.

00:02:19   You're saying there exists a bug reporting system

00:02:23   wherein you get a response,

00:02:26   even if the response is screw you, no way.

00:02:28   You got a response?

00:02:30   Impossible, I can't believe it.

00:02:32   - Meanwhile, I have this huge bug

00:02:34   that's killing me on iOS 16.4 betas.

00:02:38   iOS audio app developers are probably familiar

00:02:40   with the audio services were reset notification.

00:02:44   There's a notification you can subscribe to in the SDK

00:02:48   to tell your app when quote,

00:02:50   the audio services have been reset.

00:02:52   And you're supposed to like,

00:02:53   if you created any audio objects in your app,

00:02:55   you gotta like recreate them at that point.

00:02:58   Reset it all up.

00:02:59   If you use audio graphs, reset that up.

00:03:00   If you use audio engine, reset that up.

00:03:02   Now what this really I think means is a process crashed.

00:03:06   Like some system process for dealing with audio,

00:03:08   core audio D, whatever, some process has crashed.

00:03:11   What this has resulted in is the 16.4 betas

00:03:15   Overcast, almost every time it crosses a podcast boundary,

00:03:19   like if you're between episodes,

00:03:20   and so it recreates the audio engine,

00:03:22   it crashes that background process.

00:03:25   I get usually two or three of those services

00:03:28   where we set notifications in a row,

00:03:30   and playback stops until you go over and hit play again.

00:03:33   And I filed a bug report, like at least one beta ago,

00:03:37   and nothing, no response, no marked as duplicate,

00:03:42   no just sitting there wide open.

00:03:44   - Same as it ever was.

00:03:45   - And my bug report, I had a cyst diagnosed,

00:03:47   I had the logs from Overcache showing the exact moment

00:03:50   that they should be looking in the cyst diagnosed

00:03:51   for what exactly happened.

00:03:52   - Oh, see, you've done everything they've asked for

00:03:55   except perhaps a sample app,

00:03:56   and I'm sure they must have told you

00:04:00   how appreciative they are of all the details

00:04:02   that you've provided in this bug report.

00:04:04   (laughing)

00:04:06   - Oh, God, you know, I hope at some point in the future,

00:04:10   you know, if you look at like, you know,

00:04:11   the boring, boring stuff that like, you know,

00:04:13   Whenever you ask people, what do you want of Apple

00:04:16   in the future, everyone's like, oh, I want a VR headset,

00:04:17   I want a car, you know.

00:04:19   What I want is much more boring stuff like,

00:04:22   make Siri better, that's like number one.

00:04:25   And number two, hey, maybe fix the developer story

00:04:28   in ways that you actually can and might.

00:04:30   Like, you know, obviously, they're never gonna get rid

00:04:32   of the 30% cut, you know, there's gonna be some kind

00:04:35   of app store cut that's big for a long time

00:04:36   and they're gonna require IAP as long as they possibly can,

00:04:39   which is probably forever in practice in most places.

00:04:42   But, you know, documentation, that'd be great.

00:04:47   And man, it would do wonders for developer relations

00:04:49   if radar/feedback was better.

00:04:52   Like if it was actually a functioning system

00:04:55   where like we could file bug reports

00:04:58   and they would get seen in a timely manner

00:05:00   and responded to in a useful way

00:05:02   that wasn't just seemingly some bulk process

00:05:05   trying to close as many bugs as possible.

00:05:07   - Yeah, that is a fantasy world that I will surely never see.

00:05:12   I can't fathom it.

00:05:13   - What do you think comes first, self-driving cars?

00:05:15   Or that?

00:05:17   - Oh, self-driving cars, full stop.

00:05:19   I bet Tesla will ship their full self-driving

00:05:22   before Apple gets any better developer story

00:05:24   around Feedback Assistant.

00:05:26   Oh God, I can't even.

00:05:28   - That's grim.

00:05:28   - As the last host of this podcast to catch COVID,

00:05:33   I've sort of been playing catch up with you two

00:05:35   when it comes to infectious diseases.

00:05:38   - Oh no, this is not good.

00:05:39   Tonight I'd like to close the gap a little further by recording my second podcast episode

00:05:45   while COVID positive, presumably tying the record held by Marco.

00:05:48   What?

00:05:49   I got the rebound, baby!

00:05:50   You took the Pax Loved and got the rebound.

00:05:52   I got the rebound, although there is some debate whether Pax Loved gives you more rebound

00:05:55   than nothing because you can get rebounded without taking Pax Loved.

00:05:59   But regardless, whatever the cause is, I got it, baby.

00:06:01   I've been trapped in my room and I'm going stir crazy.

00:06:03   Oh my god.

00:06:04   I'm sorry, buddy.

00:06:05   I got two days of peace.

00:06:06   I got last Wednesday when we recorded I was negative.

00:06:08   And then the Thursday after that, I was negative,

00:06:10   and I was out of my house, and I did a bunch of stuff

00:06:12   that we'll talk about later in the podcast if we get to it.

00:06:14   And then Friday, I went back into my room,

00:06:16   and I've been there since, and it sucks.

00:06:17   - I mean, you're probably, I mean, I'm not an expert,

00:06:20   but I would assume you're probably not contagious

00:06:22   at this point, but I don't know.

00:06:24   - No, you're contagious during rebound.

00:06:26   - Oh, man.

00:06:27   - You just do the same thing again, same,

00:06:29   the rules for it are the same as the first infection,

00:06:31   you isolate, blah, blah, blah.

00:06:32   I mean, the good thing is my symptoms haven't been as bad.

00:06:34   Like, I didn't really have a fever at all,

00:06:36   except for maybe the first day a tiny one,

00:06:37   and it's just mostly men who still have a nose,

00:06:39   I'm just sick of being trapped in my room.

00:06:41   - Yeah, of course.

00:06:42   - So what prompted you to test again?

00:06:44   You were feeling crummy?

00:06:45   - Oh yeah, I thought on Friday I felt bad.

00:06:47   I'm like, you know what, I was feeling better

00:06:48   and I had two days of negative, but on Friday I felt worse.

00:06:51   I felt not as bad as I did at the beginning,

00:06:53   but I felt like, oh, headachy and kind of weird.

00:06:55   I knew the feeling, I was like, this doesn't feel good.

00:06:57   So I tested again and positive,

00:06:59   and then I've been testing after that to see,

00:07:01   oh, well, maybe the rebound will go away quickly.

00:07:02   Nope, I was like super duper positive,

00:07:04   like more positive than I was in the beginning.

00:07:07   You know, so anyway, but I've just mostly been stuck

00:07:09   with Snuffinos and in fact, today is the first day

00:07:11   that my symptoms, I feel like, have gotten better.

00:07:13   I have, as judged by the number of tissues

00:07:15   in my garbage can, I think I'm definitely on the mend,

00:07:19   so tomorrow I'm gonna, you know, hopefully,

00:07:22   hopefully I'll see the line fading on my test,

00:07:24   but if you wanna see what rebound looks like,

00:07:26   I'll put it in the slack so you can see.

00:07:28   These are not consecutive days,

00:07:30   but there are multi-day gaps between here,

00:07:32   but that's what rebound looks like, it's great.

00:07:34   - Oh my god. - Oh my!

00:07:36   So I'm looking at one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,

00:07:38   eight, nine tests.

00:07:39   - I love that you lined these all up,

00:07:41   that you kept them all.

00:07:42   And you lined them all up.

00:07:44   - Was it in my room?

00:07:45   What else do I have to do?

00:07:46   (laughing)

00:07:46   - So I'm looking at these nine tests

00:07:49   going from left to right.

00:07:50   It's very red.

00:07:51   And then actually, even just the second one

00:07:53   is kind of pinkish.

00:07:55   - Yeah, there's a big gap between them.

00:07:56   So the first one was my first infection,

00:07:58   and then obviously I didn't bother testing for a while,

00:07:59   'cause you know you've got it, what's the point?

00:08:01   So there's a big gap between those first two.

00:08:04   - Okay, so then it gets weaker and weaker over time.

00:08:07   I would say one, two, three, four.

00:08:08   The fifth one, if there's something there,

00:08:11   I can barely see it.

00:08:12   - That's my first negative.

00:08:13   - Okay, so then six, also negative.

00:08:15   Seven, looking pretty positive. - That's Friday.

00:08:18   - And eight is like, "Oh baby, I'm back

00:08:21   "and better than ever!"

00:08:22   - That was Friday, and then that's Saturday,

00:08:24   and I think that's Monday or Tuesday.

00:08:27   It just, yeah.

00:08:28   - Oh my God. - Oh yeah, I'm sorry, John.

00:08:30   That stinks.

00:08:30   - Man, I had two years between my infections.

00:08:32   (laughing)

00:08:33   This is still the same infection. I feel like probably the two negatives were just like,

00:08:38   Pax Lova just wiped it out or whatever, but it was like there was one left in the corner somewhere,

00:08:42   and it's like, you know what? I'm coming back.

00:08:43   If it makes you feel better, some very good friends of ours. The husband and wife team of

00:08:49   the family, they got COVID. This was maybe a month or so ago, and they did take Pax Lova. And I don't

00:08:55   recall if the wife rebounded, but I know that the husband absolutely did. And so he was feeling like

00:09:02   like garbage, took Paxilovid, complained incessantly about how bad it tasted, which from what I

00:09:06   gather from what you've said is completely justified. And then as he's starting to feel

00:09:11   better he starts to come out of his hidey hole and then, oh, never mind, I'm back. Same

00:09:15   story.

00:09:16   I would still take it again though, because my symptoms weren't getting better. And it

00:09:19   was like, I cannot, my brain cannot be boiling in my skull any longer. So I'm very thankful

00:09:23   that it took away. And also there's some, it is possible that taking Paxilovid can help

00:09:29   have reduced the risk of long COVID as well.

00:09:31   I don't think there's anything conclusive on that,

00:09:32   but there's some promising studies pointing

00:09:34   in that direction.

00:09:35   But just for the symptom relief alone,

00:09:37   I was glad to take it and glad to have it.

00:09:39   But yeah, rebound sucks.

00:09:40   But hopefully, I mean, by my past schedule,

00:09:43   it took me basically a week to go from positive to negative.

00:09:45   So I figured rebound is probably gonna be similar.

00:09:47   So I'll probably be negative by Friday

00:09:49   and then I'll be out of this ridiculous situation.

00:09:52   - Ugh, I'm sorry.

00:09:54   That is stinky.

00:09:55   - And am I right that ties the record?

00:09:56   'Cause Marco definitely recorded at least one episode

00:09:59   with COVID and so did you Casey,

00:10:01   but I don't know if Marco got two of them, maybe he did.

00:10:03   - No, I thought you did Marco, didn't you?

00:10:04   - Oh yeah, I definitely did.

00:10:05   - Did you have three?

00:10:06   - Well, it depends on how you define an episode with it.

00:10:10   You know, like my first, I mean the first time I had it,

00:10:12   it lasted like nine days.

00:10:14   So I would have done two episodes, but yeah,

00:10:17   it was, it's not fun.

00:10:19   - You know what'll cheer you up, Jon?

00:10:20   What'll cheer you up is some follow-up

00:10:21   and we have all kinds of follow-up

00:10:24   with regard to the screen time and shoulder surfing stuff.

00:10:28   So we were told that the Screen Time passcode

00:10:33   doesn't actually protect against iPhone takeovers

00:10:36   like we thought it did last week.

00:10:38   So we gave you some crummy advice and I'm sorry about that.

00:10:41   Multi Greg writes,

00:10:42   "I set a screen time restriction with a passcode

00:10:45   without the option to remove it using the Apple ID."

00:10:47   You know, I tapped cancel and hit skip.

00:10:50   "When I try the forgot passcode link,

00:10:52   it still guides me through the options

00:10:53   to enter my Apple ID or device password

00:10:55   or find a forgotten Apple ID."

00:10:56   Whoopsie doopsie.

00:10:57   And also, just FYI, this is us talking,

00:11:00   disallowing account changes in screen time

00:11:02   also grays out the entire Apple ID item in settings,

00:11:05   which is undesirable as well.

00:11:07   - Well, it's not necessarily undesirable,

00:11:09   but it's confusing.

00:11:09   I notice that, and I'm like, what the hell?

00:11:11   Why can't I go into my Apple ID?

00:11:12   Why is this grayed out?

00:11:13   I mean, you tap it, nothing happens.

00:11:14   So you're like, is my phone broken?

00:11:16   Do I need to force quit settings or whatever?

00:11:18   Then you remember, oh, I disabled that in screen time.

00:11:20   But yeah, I would blame Apple for this,

00:11:22   because the UI explicitly says,

00:11:24   hey, do you want to allow your screen time passcode

00:11:26   to be reset with your Apple ID.

00:11:28   And when you hit cancel, it says,

00:11:29   are you sure you wanna skip this?

00:11:30   You won't be able to reset your screen time password

00:11:32   with your Apple ID.

00:11:34   And you say, yeah, totally skip.

00:11:35   And then it's like, no, you can still reset it

00:11:36   with your Apple ID.

00:11:37   Like what's the point of that UI?

00:11:39   And I tried it multiple times and confirmed.

00:11:42   Even though you say cancel and you confirm

00:11:45   that yes, you wanna skip it, you don't wanna reset it,

00:11:47   you can still reset it with your Apple ID.

00:11:48   So the mitigation that we said last time,

00:11:50   that specific one about the screen time password,

00:11:53   if you did that on your phone, just remove it

00:11:55   'cause it's not actually helping.

00:11:56   I mean, well, I don't know if you wanna remove it

00:11:57   because it will slow them down.

00:11:59   It will slow down the thief a little bit

00:12:00   'cause now they have to go through the forgot password flow

00:12:02   which is kind of annoying and you know.

00:12:04   So it's a speed bump, a tiny speed bump,

00:12:07   but that's about it.

00:12:08   And I'm kind of annoyed that it doesn't work.

00:12:10   - Well, and it might be like, you know,

00:12:11   a little bit of security, of obscurity

00:12:13   in the sense that like they might not realize

00:12:15   why the giant bar of your account on top is grayed out

00:12:18   'cause again, it doesn't tell you.

00:12:19   - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Well, that's an interesting

00:12:20   point, mm-hmm. - You know, but yeah,

00:12:21   it's still not as good as just having

00:12:23   a really good passphrase that you never actually enter

00:12:26   with people watching.

00:12:27   - Yeah, but I just wanted to tell people right up front,

00:12:29   like if you took our advice last week,

00:12:31   be aware that does not actually actually protect you.

00:12:34   It is either a speed bump or security

00:12:36   through obscurity at best.

00:12:37   - Yeah, it will not slow down a sophisticated attack, right?

00:12:41   - Sigh.

00:12:42   All right, Eric Smets writes,

00:12:43   I made an extra, oh, I'm sorry,

00:12:45   this is with regard to protecting your iCloud photos

00:12:48   from an Apple ID takeover.

00:12:49   Eric writes, I made an extra fake family member

00:12:52   with a separate Apple ID,

00:12:53   and I added them to the iCloud shared library.

00:12:55   This way I can always use this Apple ID

00:12:57   to retrieve all the important shared pictures.

00:12:59   The only requirement is that you have room

00:13:00   for an extra person in your shared library.

00:13:03   And I strongly recommend not saving the password

00:13:05   for this new Apple ID in iCloud Keychain.

00:13:07   I don't think that this is necessarily something

00:13:09   that I am going to do, but it's a very clever approach,

00:13:12   and I see no particular problems with it,

00:13:14   and it was worth sharing.

00:13:16   - The most relevant piece of information here is that,

00:13:18   you know, if you have an actual family member,

00:13:20   iCloud shared library gives more than one person access to presumably your shared pool

00:13:25   of photos that you care about.

00:13:26   So if someone steals your iPhone, takes over your Apple ID and changes the password and

00:13:30   totally locks you out, you never get that Apple ID back, someone else has a copy of

00:13:36   those photos in a live Apple ID that still works.

00:13:39   I don't know how this works but in terms of like, well, who was the one who initially

00:13:42   shared the photo library?

00:13:44   Like my wife is the iCloud photo library owner and she created the shared library and shared

00:13:48   it with me or whatever.

00:13:49   So does it make a difference if her Apple ID is taken over or if mine is?

00:13:53   Either way, this is just another form of, probably a weaker form of backup.

00:13:58   It's something that I think people are doing.

00:13:59   If you have shared an iCloud shared library and you put most of your photos in it, you're

00:14:03   kind of getting a secondary backup just by doing that because someone's got the photos

00:14:07   on their phone and their device and stuff like that.

00:14:09   It's not as good as a real backup because a real backup you would take care, take all

00:14:14   the photos and make sure you downloaded them all and save them somewhere that is disconnected

00:14:17   from your Apple ID and all that good stuff.

00:14:19   So backups are still the solution,

00:14:20   but having someone else in the iCloud shared library

00:14:25   is a good way to have separate copies

00:14:27   of those photos accessible by an Apple ID

00:14:29   that may still be live if only one of your Apple IDs

00:14:31   gets taken over.

00:14:32   - Pete Fernandez writes, "If my memory is not betraying me,

00:14:35   "I think in the very first version of iPhone OS,

00:14:37   "you could set up a password for settings,

00:14:39   "kind of like a root password.

00:14:41   "I think Apple should give us that option.

00:14:42   "I have zero recollection of this,

00:14:44   "but that does not mean it is not true."

00:14:46   - Yeah, I tried to look that up.

00:14:47   I had a vague memory of it,

00:14:48   but I couldn't really confirm.

00:14:50   Do you remember this, Marco?

00:14:51   Could you set a passcode on the settings app?

00:14:52   - You might have been able to,

00:14:53   but I don't remember this at all.

00:14:55   - Yeah, absolutely, I don't either.

00:14:56   - Yeah, it's difficult to say.

00:14:58   Someone should find one of those,

00:14:59   like you have all these websites,

00:15:01   like system7.app or whatever the hell the thing is,

00:15:03   where you can just run old Mac OS

00:15:04   and JavaScript in a browser.

00:15:05   An original iPhone version of that

00:15:08   that runs the original version of iPhone OS

00:15:10   with a web assembly or something,

00:15:11   it would be a cool thing to have,

00:15:12   and I'm sure it will turn up in a few years.

00:15:15   Then we'll find out.

00:15:16   - Right.

00:15:17   KF Waller writes, "There's a third option besides a short convenient numeric passcode

00:15:21   and a long alphanumeric passcode.

00:15:24   That option is a long numeric passcode.

00:15:26   This has the advantage of easy numeric keypad but has an indeterminate number of digits.

00:15:31   A 10-digit or 20-digit number is a good compromise for some.

00:15:34   For older people, you can tell them to use a childhood phone number or even two phone

00:15:37   numbers combined."

00:15:38   I didn't even know this was possible.

00:15:40   It is somewhat undocumented that if you choose an unlock code but set it to only numbers,

00:15:45   than eight or so digits, you get a numeric keypad for entry

00:15:48   instead of the normal keyboard.

00:15:50   Again, I had no idea.

00:15:51   - Yeah, I've never seen this.

00:15:52   - Someone claimed that they heard about this

00:15:54   by listening to ADP, so that is possible,

00:15:56   and all three of us just forgot about it, but anyway.

00:15:58   - I don't think so.

00:15:59   I think people might have heard from us

00:16:01   that you can set a password-style passcode,

00:16:04   not just numbers, 'cause we've talked about that before,

00:16:07   but I did not know that if you go through that process,

00:16:10   set a custom password and only use numbers,

00:16:15   then it shows you the number pad for input

00:16:18   and just kind of like a text box above it.

00:16:20   So instead of having like the four or six dots

00:16:23   so that to see how many characters you need to fill in,

00:16:25   it just has a text field.

00:16:27   So if somebody gets your phone

00:16:29   and has not seen you enter the password,

00:16:31   they don't know even how long it is,

00:16:33   which is one of the benefits of the password to begin with.

00:16:37   But if it's just numbers,

00:16:39   you get the advantage of easy, large number pad entrance.

00:16:43   - Which also makes it easier to shoulder surf, obviously.

00:16:45   - It does.

00:16:46   - I know making it longer is better,

00:16:47   but telling which of the numbers you hit on the numpad

00:16:51   is way easier than telling which of the tiny keyboard things

00:16:54   you hit on the keyboard.

00:16:55   But even though they have the pop-up thing

00:16:56   that goes above it, it's, you know.

00:16:58   Anyway, it's all trade-offs,

00:17:00   so just to put this on the table,

00:17:01   this is one more option for you to try.

00:17:03   If you know you'll never be able to force yourself

00:17:06   to use that tiny little QWERTY keyboard to type things in,

00:17:09   but you can use a numeric one, try a phone number

00:17:13   or something like that, something longer

00:17:14   that you'll remember.

00:17:16   - Indeed.

00:17:17   John, tell me about what the latest scam is

00:17:20   in the App Store, please.

00:17:21   - Yeah, this is related to actually a Twitter thing

00:17:23   when Twitter was getting rid of SMS,

00:17:25   or I don't know if they ever actually did this.

00:17:26   They say all sorts of things,

00:17:27   and I can't keep track of which things they actually did

00:17:29   that they said they were not.

00:17:30   At one point, they were saying,

00:17:31   "Oh, if you wanted to use SMS for two-factor authentication,

00:17:35   you have to pay us money because it's insecure and only the people who pay can use the insecure

00:17:39   or whatever.

00:17:40   They're a very confused company.

00:17:41   Anyway, once they said that, there was a kind of a run on the app store of like everyone

00:17:45   trying to download authenticator apps like Google Authenticator.

00:17:48   Similarly with this story about Apple ID takeover, it's like, "Oh, if I keep everything in my

00:17:53   Apple ID and keep it all on iCloud keychain, then it's like once they get my phone passcode,

00:17:57   they can get everything.

00:17:58   I should use, you know, insert application here, whether it's 1Password or Google Authenticator

00:18:02   for my two-factor things, or like just some other app,

00:18:05   some other third-party app with its own password,

00:18:08   passkey, you know, one password has its obvious one password,

00:18:12   and authenticator apps can have their own passwords

00:18:13   and passcodes to get into them and stuff.

00:18:15   So that if someone does shoulder surf your phone unlock,

00:18:18   then they get to your phone, they still won't be able

00:18:21   to get to your passwords or your two-factor,

00:18:22   unless they know how to get into those third-party apps.

00:18:25   So that was sending people to the App Store as well to say,

00:18:27   "Hey, I want an authenticator app.

00:18:29   I need to, you know, I'm gonna go see what's available

00:18:32   on the App Store, because I know I want something that, you know, either stores

00:18:36   passwords or stores two-factor codes or whatever, and misc wrote in to say, "Many

00:18:41   iPhone users are asking us to recommend safe authenticator apps." Well, the App

00:18:45   Store is making it useless to recommend any app. No matter what app you search

00:18:48   for, the top hit is almost always an ad for some scam app. So you can't even say,

00:18:52   "Hey, go to the App Store and check out Authy," because people will type in

00:18:56   "Authy" and the first hit will be an ad that's very enticing and it looks like

00:18:59   it's vaguely authy related to people hit it it's actually a scam and you know you

00:19:03   would think Apple would be there knocking down all the scam apps but the

00:19:06   scammers are there ready for their moment like oh there's a flood of people

00:19:10   trying to find authenticator apps now is the time I don't know even know what the

00:19:13   scam is do they steal all your passwords do they do they get you to mine Bitcoin

00:19:17   I don't even know what the scam is but the scam it's just it's another

00:19:20   disappointing example of like when people are in need they're like go to

00:19:24   the App Store the one safe trusted place for you to find all your apps and you

00:19:27   have a goal in mind, even if you know the name of the app,

00:19:30   someone recommended an app to you.

00:19:32   This person's saying, we've just given up recommending apps

00:19:34   'cause we know they'll go to the app store,

00:19:36   type in that word, hit search,

00:19:38   and then see an ad search result

00:19:39   that they don't realize an ad and think,

00:19:40   oh, the top hit, that's gotta be it,

00:19:42   and go get it, and it's not.

00:19:43   - What a shame.

00:19:44   - App store, bad show.

00:19:45   - Yeah, it's like, does anybody besides Apple believe,

00:19:50   like, oh, this is a great, safe place, like,

00:19:52   so, I, you know, look, I like Apple in general,

00:19:56   I think that's been proven over the years.

00:19:59   But man, that App Store is such a sad state of affairs

00:20:02   and it could be so much better.

00:20:03   And it's a good thing Netflix can't tell people

00:20:06   to go sign up on their website,

00:20:08   because that's protecting them against all these scams.

00:20:11   I mean, knowing what I know about the security

00:20:14   of the iPhone and everything else,

00:20:16   I don't even trust the App Store.

00:20:17   The good side of the trust there is that I know that,

00:20:22   worst case scenario, I can always delete the app.

00:20:25   And unlike, you know, on the Mac, this is not the case,

00:20:28   on the iPhone, I know that if I download an app

00:20:30   from the App Store and then I later delete it,

00:20:32   I know that it's gone.

00:20:34   You know, that there's no trace of it left.

00:20:36   So I am, you know, more willing to try things

00:20:39   and it is more secure than, say, a Mac in that way.

00:20:43   But as far as like what happens in the app,

00:20:46   I don't trust that at all.

00:20:48   Because the history of the App Store has been just a slew

00:20:52   of horrendously spying, tracking, misleading,

00:20:57   crappy subscription scam apps

00:20:59   and they don't do what they say they will,

00:21:00   they don't work, they crash, they show a bunch of ads,

00:21:03   they interrupt you constantly,

00:21:05   they railroad you into a payment sheet

00:21:07   that they hope you'll double click on or whatever.

00:21:09   There's so many crappy apps that I get from the app store.

00:21:14   Anytime I try to do anything that requires me

00:21:16   to download a new app,

00:21:17   I know I'm gonna run into a whole bunch of crap

00:21:19   And it's just a shame.

00:21:22   - Here's an analogy for the old people,

00:21:24   speaking of phone numbers, the analogy is like,

00:21:27   you know, you just have the app store,

00:21:28   like I download an app, I can easily delete it,

00:21:30   I'm sure that it's not destroying my phone

00:21:31   or it can't like steal my contacts out from under me

00:21:33   'cause it has to ask permission,

00:21:34   it's like that's the type of assurances you have.

00:21:36   It's like saying with the phone system,

00:21:38   I can be assured that the phone lines are secure,

00:21:41   people aren't tapping into them

00:21:42   because you have to get a warrant

00:21:43   and if someone does tap into it, it's a federal crime

00:21:46   and it was all, or you know, or the US mail

00:21:48   or any of these type of sort of older transport mechanisms

00:21:51   where we have laws and strictures around them

00:21:53   that make them fairly secure and safe

00:21:55   with very onerous penalties for people

00:21:57   who go against that, right?

00:21:59   Not the newer ones, but the older ones,

00:22:01   when we could still pass laws like that.

00:22:03   As like, so that means there'll never be any fraud

00:22:06   over the telephone line or the mail system, will there?

00:22:09   Well, the telephone line is secure,

00:22:11   but telemarketers still call up old people

00:22:14   and get them to reverse mortgage their house and stuff.

00:22:16   So the app store, yes, the installation process is secure

00:22:20   and it's not gonna screw up, like the line is secure, right?

00:22:23   That is as safeguarded as it can be.

00:22:26   One company controls it, it's like back in the old AT&T days,

00:22:28   one company controls it, you have to buy a phone from them,

00:22:30   ha, you actually do have to buy a phone from Apple,

00:22:32   isn't it, see that? (laughing)

00:22:34   And everything's secure in that line.

00:22:36   But then someone calls you up and talks you into,

00:22:38   you know, doing a reverse mortgage on your house

00:22:39   or gets you, gives you your credit card number or whatever,

00:22:41   and that's exactly what's happening.

00:22:42   Once the app gets on your system and it says,

00:22:44   hey, you should sign up for our thing

00:22:46   and type your credit card number here,

00:22:47   and do it like, how did that get through App Review?

00:22:49   I don't know, how the hell does anything

00:22:51   get through App Review?

00:22:52   Like, the securing of the line and the mechanism

00:22:56   to display the apps is nothing without the securing

00:22:58   of the actual apps that arrive,

00:23:00   and Apple is just not up to that task.

00:23:02   And even if it's a benign scam where it's like,

00:23:04   wasting your time and trying to get you to, you know,

00:23:08   sign up for a $1 a month subscription or something

00:23:11   that you don't know you need,

00:23:12   like, there's all sorts of ways that these applications

00:23:15   and be user hostile while still being within the letter of the law.

00:23:17   And somehow they get through app review,

00:23:20   but Untitled Goose Game gets rejected twice by the Mac App Store,

00:23:22   and then they give up.

00:23:24   - It's so bad. It's so bad.

00:23:25   And, I mean, they're so petulantly refusing to listen to reason

00:23:31   that it sounds like they're going to be forced to.

00:23:33   And, honestly, they deserve it.

00:23:35   We've talked about this many times.

00:23:36   You don't need to believe it again.

00:23:38   Not yet, anyway.

00:23:40   Bob, then, Sho, Skeo?

00:23:42   I'm not sure there. Bob.

00:23:44   Before you go there, do you know the title,

00:23:45   the heading there, this gives you ample opportunity

00:23:47   to get a reference, Casey or Marco.

00:23:48   - This is War Games.

00:23:50   - Thank you, very good.

00:23:51   So this is making up for your missing the net last episode.

00:23:54   - Yeah, oh God, I'm so mad at myself for that,

00:23:56   I genuinely am.

00:23:56   Now in my defense, I haven't seen that movie

00:23:58   in like 20, 30 years, but--

00:24:00   - I got it, I heard Marco get it, and I knew he got it.

00:24:03   We've talked about it before on the show.

00:24:04   - Maybe, I don't know, I issue myself several demerits,

00:24:06   I'm so sorry, I have shamed all of us.

00:24:09   But anyway, the heading in the show notes,

00:24:10   it's a strange game, the only winning move is not to play,

00:24:12   which is War Games.

00:24:13   So anyway, Bob Von S. writes, "This is going to sound bananas, but here it goes.

00:24:18   I have no password, Touch ID, Face ID in my phone.

00:24:22   When Touch ID came out, I could not get it to work consistently, so I turned it off and

00:24:25   never bothered with Face ID.

00:24:26   I live on a farm homestead thing, and so there are many instances where I'm wearing gloves,

00:24:31   some kind of hat, face covering, my hands are wet, dirty, scratched up, etc.

00:24:35   Touch ID never worked beyond two or three days.

00:24:36   I also don't have a passcode because that's just cumbersome with these hand conditions.

00:24:41   That said, there really isn't a lot on my phone that would cause me material harm if

00:24:44   someone got my phone.

00:24:45   I use a small regional bank whose app is basically a web view to their site, so you have to log

00:24:49   in with a username and password.

00:24:51   Otherwise, you can see pictures of my dog, what I listen to in Overcast, and about 10,000

00:24:54   spam emails.

00:24:55   Good for you.

00:24:56   But the point is, when I go into iCloud in Settings and tap Password and Security, I'm

00:25:00   only prompted for my iCloud password.

00:25:03   So if all you've done is stolen my phone, you can't lock me out of my Apple ID without

00:25:06   my iCloud password.

00:25:08   And since there isn't anything particularly interesting

00:25:09   or useful on the phone itself,

00:25:11   you only have a short amount of time to capitalize

00:25:12   on the device by selling it or whatever

00:25:14   because I'm pretty sure I can wipe the phone from my Mac.

00:25:17   So unless I've missed something obvious,

00:25:19   my lack of security has come full circle

00:25:21   where I have ultimate convenience

00:25:22   and minimal exposure to badness.

00:25:24   This horrifies me, but I mean, the logic does add up,

00:25:29   at least on the surface.

00:25:30   - There are some vulnerabilities here,

00:25:31   but the perverse thing is by not having a passcode,

00:25:34   you can't use your passcode to unlock your Apple ID.

00:25:38   (laughing)

00:25:39   Right?

00:25:40   You just can't 'cause there isn't one.

00:25:41   So there's no mechanism for it to say,

00:25:43   hey, I forgot my password to my Apple ID, right?

00:25:46   The bad side is, I think, even if you don't have a passcode,

00:25:49   the I forgot the password to my Apple ID

00:25:52   may find its way through your trusted device of the iPhone

00:25:55   because there are other ways that Apple can prompt you

00:25:57   on your supposedly trusted device of an iPhone to say,

00:26:00   hey, I see you're trying to reset your password.

00:26:02   Is this you?

00:26:03   I know Apple doesn't do the text message thing,

00:26:05   but they have those pop-ups or whatever,

00:26:06   so I'm not 100% willing to endorse this.

00:26:08   - Well, they do have text message fallbacks.

00:26:10   - Yeah, I suppose, because yeah,

00:26:13   if you have a telephone number or whatever.

00:26:15   I don't think this is as maybe as secure as he thinks,

00:26:17   but the other thing that he's doing

00:26:19   is if you don't have anything of value on your phone

00:26:22   when someone gets your phone,

00:26:23   then they don't have anything of value.

00:26:24   That works.

00:26:25   The only winning move is not to play,

00:26:27   hey, don't have anything valuable on your phone,

00:26:29   someone steals your phone, you don't care.

00:26:31   Probably not the best solution,

00:26:32   but I did think it was funny that by literally

00:26:34   not having a passcode at all,

00:26:36   and no biometrics, which I think is silly,

00:26:38   but not having a passcode at all,

00:26:40   as if you're living in like, you know,

00:26:41   2008 with your iPod touch like me,

00:26:44   where you just slide to unlock.

00:26:45   Yeah, that's one interesting way of looking at it.

00:26:50   I just hope there aren't any,

00:26:51   a lot of iPhone thieves stalking you out there on the farm.

00:26:53   I think you're probably safe.

00:26:55   - I would just like to quickly note

00:26:57   that the only winning move is not to play also war games.

00:26:59   I just want to make sure now

00:27:01   that I get the appropriate credit.

00:27:03   All right, moving on.

00:27:04   The headline for this is "Those Darned Kids,"

00:27:06   which I'm assuming is a Scooby-Doo reference.

00:27:08   Gossel Gold writes, "My son got the screen time pin

00:27:11   "when he handed me his phone over

00:27:13   "so that I could give him more time.

00:27:15   "I made sure that he could not watch me enter the pin,

00:27:18   "except he had started a screen capture

00:27:21   "before giving the phone to me."

00:27:22   This is so good. - Totally owned.

00:27:23   - So good. - This is amazing.

00:27:26   - It makes me so happy.

00:27:27   - There are so many people

00:27:28   giving the same story that they're kids.

00:27:30   I guess this is going around in the kids' circles

00:27:33   of just start a screen recording and ask for more time

00:27:35   and give your parent the device

00:27:37   and then you'll see what they typed in.

00:27:38   'Cause the screen recording will show

00:27:40   what things highlighted when you hit the numbers or whatever.

00:27:43   - Oh, that's very, very good, very clever.

00:27:45   - That's incredible.

00:27:47   - So many more exploits people have sent us.

00:27:49   The iMessage apps, even if iMessage itself is secure,

00:27:52   like the exploit that my kids were using,

00:27:54   the iMessage apps have ways to get through it.

00:27:56   Someone was saying that if you ask for one more minute time

00:27:59   in three separate apps, there's a bug that just totally

00:28:03   stops all screen time prescriptions.

00:28:05   Like, you don't even have to get it.

00:28:06   Just go to app number one and say one more minute.

00:28:08   Go to app number two, say one more minute.

00:28:09   Go to app number three, say one more minute.

00:28:10   You don't need a parent to approve those things at all.

00:28:13   Just by merely requesting it in three different apps,

00:28:15   then downtime for the phone just goes away.

00:28:19   - That's amazing.

00:28:20   - Oh, Apple.

00:28:22   With regard to ISP bandwidth, and I think it was an Ask ATP

00:28:25   asking, you know, what do you do

00:28:26   with your gigabit connections anyway?

00:28:28   Michael Hansen writes, "One thing that you didn't mention in the discussion about asymmetric

00:28:31   bandwidth, TCP needs the uplink speed for ACMES, or acknowledge packages.

00:28:39   If you saturate your uplink, download speeds will suffer heavily too."

00:28:41   So in other words, the way TCP works, which is the way most of the internet is hung together,

00:28:46   when you download something you need to acknowledge, "Okay, I've got this."

00:28:48   And so what Michael is saying is, if you're downloading something crazy fast, well you

00:28:52   need to send those "yep, I've got it" messages back to where it's coming from.

00:28:56   and it can end up that you have more download bandwidth

00:28:59   to spare, but you're flooding your upstream bandwidth

00:29:02   with yep, got it messages,

00:29:03   and that would be very unfortunate.

00:29:05   - Yeah, this is why, you know, nowadays most routers

00:29:09   that people have in their houses and everything

00:29:11   are a little bit better at dealing with this,

00:29:13   but this used to be a problem back in the day

00:29:15   because if you like, you know, took a video on your iPhone,

00:29:18   and then you plugged your iPhone into Charge,

00:29:20   it would upload it to iCloud, and it's uploading,

00:29:23   you know, this two gig video you just shot on your phone,

00:29:26   then the wifi is quote down for the entire rest of the house

00:29:30   because everyone else is trying to do stuff

00:29:32   and your phone is saturating the upstream

00:29:34   and so nothing else works.

00:29:37   So it's one of the many reasons why

00:29:40   having a whole bunch of headroom

00:29:41   on your upstream bandwidth as well

00:29:43   is very important because you can't do that.

00:29:45   And of course, if you have a modern router

00:29:47   that supports prioritization and QoS kind of stuff,

00:29:49   then this problem is largely mitigated,

00:29:52   but it definitely helps.

00:29:53   - Moving on, John, tell me about a problem

00:29:55   with the Apple TV remote with touch disabled, please.

00:29:58   - Yeah, last episode we were talking about

00:30:00   the ability to force quit apps

00:30:02   without the ability to swipe them up.

00:30:03   And of course the answer there is to double tap

00:30:05   the up button, something that many, many people

00:30:08   sent us on Mastodon while they were listening to the show

00:30:11   only to learn minutes later that we said that.

00:30:14   So we caught a lot of people on that one.

00:30:15   We don't do this on purpose, by the way,

00:30:16   but it is fun to see how many people do respond

00:30:19   in real time as they're listening, right?

00:30:21   And the answer is a lot.

00:30:22   Anyway, one more thing from Eric Hemeter.

00:30:25   It says when you disable touch on the Apple TV remote,

00:30:30   you don't have a way to find out

00:30:31   what the screensaver location is.

00:30:32   So the screensaver shows like different places on earth,

00:30:35   like with a slow camera pan over them or whatever.

00:30:37   And if you just touch the touch pad,

00:30:38   like not click it, but just touch it,

00:30:40   it says, oh, this is London or this is whatever.

00:30:42   Like it tells you the location.

00:30:43   'Cause you're always curious, like what city is that?

00:30:45   Where is that?

00:30:45   So now we'll do it again.

00:30:49   We don't know how to get that to appear

00:30:51   without touch enabled,

00:30:52   but maybe before the end of the show,

00:30:53   we'll find out and say it in the show.

00:30:55   So if you know, you should probably finish listening to the whole show before you send

00:30:59   a message to Mastodon telling us how to do it.

00:31:01   Now chat room, the race is on.

00:31:03   You have to figure this out before the end of the show so the people who send us a message

00:31:05   will feel embarrassed by the fact that they didn't wait to hear the answer.

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00:32:51   (upbeat music)

00:32:54   - All right, we have some yellow things follow up.

00:32:57   Joel McIntosh writes,

00:32:58   "The best and worst car colors for resale value,

00:33:02   "according to CarPro.com," which I've never heard of,

00:33:04   but that's neither here nor there.

00:33:06   "According to CarPro.com, they write,

00:33:08   "while it may be among the least popular color choices,"

00:33:11   because it's gross,

00:33:12   "yellow is the vehicle color that holds its value best

00:33:16   "over all, depreciating 70% less than the average vehicle."

00:33:20   - Well, okay, so just for reference here,

00:33:24   I saw this too and I was gonna do a victory lap,

00:33:25   but then I thought, but at the same time though,

00:33:28   most cars aren't available in yellow,

00:33:31   so the ones that are available in yellow

00:33:34   are already more rare, more specialty models most likely,

00:33:38   and so I think that might be skewed in the data.

00:33:41   You can't get a Honda Accord in yellow.

00:33:43   - Is it not normalized within each car?

00:33:46   I don't know, but look at the stats.

00:33:49   I figured they would do it within each car.

00:33:51   So this car comes in five colors, one of which is yellow,

00:33:53   and the yellow one depreciates 70% less.

00:33:55   Like that would be the stat,

00:33:56   not what you're saying like across all cars.

00:33:58   - Yeah, I'm not sure.

00:33:59   - Well, I believe it because you know why?

00:34:01   Yellow is a fun color when people buy a used car,

00:34:03   they want it to be fun.

00:34:05   - Anyway, I also would like to point out

00:34:07   that it says in the same article,

00:34:10   and I am pointing this out because I'm trying to be better,

00:34:13   the colors that retain the best value by segment are,

00:34:16   and for the SUV segment, the answer was yellow.

00:34:19   Similarly, even though this isn't a car thing,

00:34:24   well I feed around and found out

00:34:26   because Apple has released a yellow iPhone.

00:34:29   (laughing)

00:34:30   This could not have been a better troll.

00:34:32   To be honest, and genuinely, I'm not trying to be funny,

00:34:34   I think this is not my favorite yellow,

00:34:37   but I'm in full support of fun iPhone colors.

00:34:39   Just because I don't like yellow cars

00:34:41   doesn't mean I don't like yellow other things.

00:34:42   I have my Playdate sitting on the desk in front of me.

00:34:44   I adore the yellow, although it's honestly

00:34:47   like an orangey yellow, but I adore the Play Date yellow.

00:34:49   This is a little aggressive, but I'm still here for it.

00:34:52   I'm in favor of it.

00:34:53   I wish we could get the pros and fun colors,

00:34:56   as we've all lamented many times,

00:34:57   and particularly the colors ours on upgrade.

00:34:59   No, this is cool, I dig it.

00:35:01   - Yeah, it looks fun.

00:35:03   It is fairly light, and in fact,

00:35:04   Apple also released a whole bunch of yellow accessories

00:35:07   in their spring color refresh.

00:35:09   They got some new watch bands, new iPhone cases.

00:35:12   Nothing that jumps out at me necessarily,

00:35:16   but I wanna go see them in person.

00:35:17   There's what might be a promising orange on the sport band.

00:35:21   But yeah, going back to the yellow phone, it looks fun.

00:35:24   Whenever they do this in the spring,

00:35:26   they do some kind of minor iPhone color refresh

00:35:29   in the spring in the last few years.

00:35:31   It's a fun thing.

00:35:32   I don't know a lot of people who get them

00:35:35   because most people in our circles

00:35:37   will make their buying decisions in the fall.

00:35:39   So this is more for people who haven't upgraded yet

00:35:43   and don't just jump on it in the fall

00:35:45   and they just kinda get it whenever the previous phone

00:35:47   dies or breaks and it looks like a pretty good color.

00:35:50   And like Casey and like Upgrade, I do wish they would

00:35:54   give us these fun color options on the Pro phones.

00:35:57   So maybe in our titanium USB-C future,

00:36:02   maybe they'll be a little bit more generous with the colors.

00:36:04   Who knows?

00:36:05   - Rumor is it's like some darkish magenta type thing

00:36:08   is the new Pro color, but we'll see.

00:36:09   - Yeah, yeah, it's like a maroon.

00:36:11   Actually, I don't know if they're renders or what,

00:36:14   but like the mockups using that color

00:36:17   actually looked pretty cool to me, but we'll see.

00:36:20   - It's hard to guess colors.

00:36:21   You know, when I saw this yellow phone,

00:36:22   I thought it looked like the E36,

00:36:25   the yellow E36 BMW 3 series.

00:36:28   I was trying to figure out what that color was,

00:36:30   so I put a picture of it at a link in the chat room.

00:36:33   Well, I guess before I put it in the show notes,

00:36:34   it was Dakar yellow two, Roman numeral two.

00:36:39   It's a little bit more,

00:36:39   because there's a Dakar yellow

00:36:41   that looks really like deep, saturated yellow,

00:36:44   But I always remember the one from walking down Comm Ave in the 90s at BU, seeing all

00:36:49   the BMWs that belonged to the wealthy students.

00:36:52   And I saw this yellow all the time and it was definitely kind of a pale yellow.

00:36:55   That's what I feel like the phone is.

00:36:56   The phone is not like, even though people have been holding it up next to the playdate,

00:36:59   the playdate is richer and more orange.

00:37:02   This is more kind of like, it's not totally pale yellow, it's not like, you know, springtime

00:37:07   pastel yellow, but a little bit more pale.

00:37:09   It's not big bird yellow, right?

00:37:13   Is it R1S yellow?

00:37:14   I don't know, 'cause I can't figure out

00:37:15   what yellow that freaking car is.

00:37:16   Every time I see a picture,

00:37:17   it looks a different color.

00:37:18   - Yeah, me too.

00:37:19   I have yet to, I feel like I don't have a good handle

00:37:22   on what the color is.

00:37:25   In pictures I've seen, it has looked everything

00:37:27   from basically like champagne gold

00:37:30   to like super, you don't drink enough water kind of yellow.

00:37:35   - Big Bird yellow.

00:37:36   Sometimes it looks Big Bird yellow.

00:37:37   How is this the same color?

00:37:39   - I don't know if this is my reformed BMW fan

00:37:42   speaking or something, but this Dakar yellow,

00:37:45   as yellows go, and I stand by that yellow cars are gross,

00:37:49   as yellows go, this is pretty good.

00:37:51   - Hey, if I ever buy my old classic Toyota MR2

00:37:54   that I've always wanted, that comes in yellow.

00:37:57   - I thought, you gotta get that in fake Ferrari red,

00:37:59   'cause it's a fake Ferrari Toyota.

00:38:01   - Red is kinda like the default MR2 color, if I'm honest.

00:38:05   - It is.

00:38:06   - But that is a cool yellow.

00:38:08   - And when they catch fire, they turn orange.

00:38:09   - This yellow Marco is not good, it is not good.

00:38:12   - I do not approve.

00:38:13   - I would drive it straight to your house.

00:38:15   - That's fine, I would love for you to do that

00:38:17   'cause it has been too long since we've seen each other

00:38:19   and you visited and vice versa,

00:38:21   but I do not approve of this yellow.

00:38:23   - Yeah, if I'm honest, the correct color

00:38:25   for the MR2 Turbo is red, but oh well, someday.

00:38:30   - One day.

00:38:31   All right, let's talk about some other stuff.

00:38:34   Is there a spring event?

00:38:36   What's the story here?

00:38:37   - We just talked about the yellow phone,

00:38:39   and the yellow phone was one of the things

00:38:41   rumored for the spring event, but of course they released the yellow phone and gave it

00:38:45   to, they had like press briefings remotely or whatever and handed out the yellow phones

00:38:49   to people and stuff, they did all the things, right?

00:38:51   Like and they did it without an event.

00:38:54   So is there going to be an event or was there going to be an event if they said no, no event

00:38:58   would have sent people yellow phones?

00:38:59   We don't know, but either way the rumors about the things that might have been in that event

00:39:03   are some vaguely interesting developments in the Max that I care about at least.

00:39:09   So the first one is the one we talked about a couple past episodes, is the Max Studio.

00:39:12   We talked about the rumor like, "Oh, the Max Studio is not going to be updated that often.

00:39:16   Oh, is it a dead machine or is it just going to skip a generation or whatever?"

00:39:20   The rumors are stronger now that have the Max Studio skipping the M2 Ultra.

00:39:24   Right now the Max Studio, you can get an M1 Ultra in it and it would make sense if you

00:39:28   think like, "Oh, we're just going to update all the Max every year with the next big M

00:39:31   number."

00:39:32   The Max Studio had the M1 Ultra and it will get the M2 Ultra because we've got the M1

00:39:36   Pro and Max and a bunch of other Max, right?

00:39:38   it's time for the M1 Ultra to be in the new version of the Mac Studio.

00:39:42   Seems like that's not going to happen.

00:39:44   That is related to everyone's favorite Mac, the Mac Pro, where the rumor that we talked

00:39:47   about in past shows about that is the 4X one, the one that would have been two M2 Ultras

00:39:51   shoved together somehow magically, that that chip was canceled, that Apple's not making

00:39:56   it.

00:39:57   Part of the reason why that chip may have been canceled is, you know, what we talked

00:40:02   about before, low volumes, not a lot of people are going to buy that, it's going to be super

00:40:04   expensive, and high cost.

00:40:07   And this is something I think we didn't get into as much in that past episode when we

00:40:11   talked about it, but when Apple put Xeons in its Mac Pros, like the one I have here,

00:40:16   Intel Xeons, those are expensive chips, right?

00:40:20   And Apple didn't get to make them, Intel made them, and Apple had to pay Intel's markup

00:40:25   on them and so on and so forth, and they were still expensive chips, but Apple benefited

00:40:28   greatly from the fact that Mac Pros are not the only place Xeons appear.

00:40:34   Xeons are mostly sold into the server market.

00:40:37   And what Intel hopes is tons and tons of them sold it,

00:40:41   way more than Apple's ever gonna sell Mac Pros.

00:40:44   They're selling servers from Dell,

00:40:46   I don't know if HP still sell things,

00:40:48   and just into data centers everywhere.

00:40:49   Xeons being a server chip, a big expensive server chip,

00:40:53   that's what Intel's selling.

00:40:55   Oh, and by the way, Apple,

00:40:57   since we're your chip supplier

00:40:58   and you need some big honking CPU for your top end computer,

00:41:00   you should probably buy a Xeon from us.

00:41:02   Here's the ones we have to offer.

00:41:03   And that was frustrating for Apple,

00:41:04   'cause they're like, "We don't really want the Xeons.

00:41:06   "If we could make a chip for a Mac Pro,

00:41:07   "it would be different, it would be better," right?

00:41:10   Well, now Apple has its wish.

00:41:12   They can make their own chip for the Mac Pro.

00:41:14   But lo and behold, when it's time for them

00:41:16   to make a chip for the Mac Pro, they're like,

00:41:18   "Geez, it costs a lot of money to make this chip

00:41:21   "that's 2M2 Ultra stuck together."

00:41:23   'Cause it's not like Apple's making it themselves,

00:41:26   they have to farm it out, they have to have it done

00:41:28   in the fabs, TSMC fabs at three nanometers or whatever.

00:41:32   and they have to package everything together

00:41:34   with whatever weird interconnect, you know,

00:41:36   we only know what the M1 Ultra has as an interconnect

00:41:38   and the Priscilla M2 Ultra will have on.

00:41:39   We don't know what the plan was for four

00:41:41   because geometrically, like the M2,

00:41:43   the M1 Ultra is just connected to end to end.

00:41:45   If you've got four of them, how do you connect them?

00:41:47   And there was all those rumors that we talked about before

00:41:49   about how that would work.

00:41:50   But anyway, that is a weird thing to do.

00:41:52   And then you have the packaging

00:41:53   where you have to put all that thing in a package

00:41:55   with all the RAM chips around it and put it all together.

00:41:57   And that's expensive, really, really expensive.

00:42:00   because again, Apple has to pay manufacturers

00:42:03   to do all that.

00:42:04   They have to pay someone to print the silicon chips,

00:42:07   they have to pay someone to do whatever interposer stuff

00:42:09   that they do, they have to pay someone

00:42:10   to package it together,

00:42:11   and they have to pay someone for all the RAM chips,

00:42:13   and it's like, and the people who they're paying to do that,

00:42:16   they're like, okay, so how many of these do you want?

00:42:18   Apple's like, I don't know, a dozen, who's gonna buy them?

00:42:21   (laughing)

00:42:21   Who's gonna buy this Mac Pro?

00:42:23   Like the volume, not that they're that low,

00:42:24   but like the volumes are low compared to Intel Xeon, right?

00:42:28   And so now it's like, it's a reckoning,

00:42:30   It's like, well, if you wanna make your own ship

00:42:33   for the Mac Pro, you think you can do a better job

00:42:35   than a Xeon, you're only gonna sell a tenth,

00:42:38   a hundredth as many Xeons, and so everybody you pay

00:42:41   to do this is gonna charge you an arm and a leg

00:42:43   because you're not ordering 10 million from them.

00:42:46   You're ordering in small volumes.

00:42:48   You are a small volume manufacturer

00:42:50   of bespoke artisanal Mac Pro ships now,

00:42:53   even though you're trying to reuse

00:42:55   all the building components from the Mac Studio

00:42:57   and the laptops and stuff.

00:42:58   They're already trying to save money that way.

00:43:00   But the one way you can't save money is,

00:43:01   well, if you want four of those things in here,

00:43:04   you have to connect them some way,

00:43:05   and you have to package them,

00:43:06   and that costs a lot of money.

00:43:06   And it seems like Apple ran away screaming

00:43:09   from the idea of actually paying for that chip

00:43:12   because their volumes are just not high enough.

00:43:15   And I guess even Apple thought we can't,

00:43:17   if you're gonna charge us that much,

00:43:18   then we have to charge our customers so much money,

00:43:20   then they're gonna be like,

00:43:21   no one's gonna buy this Mac Pro

00:43:23   because instead of it being a $10,000 machine,

00:43:25   now it's an $80,000 machine,

00:43:27   and it's not eight times faster for that advantage.

00:43:31   Now, I don't know any of that for a fact,

00:43:33   that's just speculation,

00:43:34   but it's something that occurred to me

00:43:35   when I thought about why they bailed on the Forex chip.

00:43:39   And it's irrelevant to the Mac Studio skipping the M2 Ultra

00:43:42   because if the Mac Studio skips the M2 Ultra,

00:43:46   then you can roll out the Mac Pro with an M2 Ultra

00:43:48   and say, "It's the fastest Mac!"

00:43:52   Because the Mac Studio still has the M1 Ultra.

00:43:56   So if you had updated the Mac Studio,

00:43:57   it'd be like, why would I ever buy a Mac Pro?

00:43:59   It's got the same system on a chip as the Mac Studio.

00:44:02   They both have the M2 Ultra, I don't need any slots,

00:44:04   I don't understand, and I can't put GPUs in the slots anyway

00:44:06   or whatever the hell the story is that's gonna be there.

00:44:08   Why would I ever buy a Mac Pro?

00:44:09   But now by intentionally, not intentionally,

00:44:12   but basically like logically as we discussed previously,

00:44:15   not updating the Mac Studio every year

00:44:16   because it is also a low volume device,

00:44:18   the Mac Studio stays stuck with the M1 Ultra,

00:44:21   the Mac Pro gets the M2 Ultra,

00:44:22   and Apple gets to put a bunch of graphs on stage

00:44:24   showing how much faster the Mac Pro is than any other other Macs.

00:44:28   And I think that makes a perverse kind of Apple sense in terms of how they explain the

00:44:34   machine, how they run away screaming from the cost of making the big 4X thing, and how

00:44:39   the Mac Studio update cycle can skip a chip generation.

00:44:42   Just like, I mean, I'm presuming eventually the ARM Mac Pro will also skip chip generations

00:44:48   just because the lower the volume, the less Apple seems to be able to justify updating

00:44:52   the machine every single year.

00:44:54   The rumors and quote information that we keep hearing about the Mac Pro are so all over

00:44:59   the place.

00:45:01   The more I think about it, the more time it goes on, the more I think either you are right,

00:45:07   that the Mac Pro will basically just be the studio with slots of some kind, and same chips

00:45:14   and everything otherwise, or the rumors are way off, just totally wrong, or option three,

00:45:23   the Mac Pro will actually never ship.

00:45:25   And I don't know which of those

00:45:28   is the most likely at this point.

00:45:29   - An Apple person recently in an interview

00:45:32   gave vague reassurances that the Mac Pro is still coming,

00:45:35   like as in I think less than a month ago.

00:45:37   - I mean they said AirPower was coming and then it didn't.

00:45:39   - I know, but like, so they said the Mac Pro was coming

00:45:42   in that event presentation,

00:45:44   whatever it was last year sometime, right?

00:45:46   And it's like okay, well maybe the plans

00:45:48   have changed since then.

00:45:49   But I feel like if many, many months have passed since then,

00:45:52   and an Apple person officially is saying to the press,

00:45:55   oh yeah, the Mac Pro is coming,

00:45:56   I feel like that means it's coming.

00:45:58   What's coming?

00:45:59   And I agree with you that we could be totally wrong

00:46:01   because this is the type of stuff that doesn't leak

00:46:03   'cause no one cares about it except for us.

00:46:04   (laughing)

00:46:05   - And the thing is, again,

00:46:06   the rumors are so all over the place.

00:46:08   Whatever the Mac Pro is currently rumored to be

00:46:11   is usually something that is so far different

00:46:14   from everything else in the Apple Silicon lineup

00:46:16   that it is kind of, it seems like kind of a reach

00:46:20   that that's what they would be doing.

00:46:22   And so it's just, I don't know,

00:46:23   I'm starting to get worried really about the Mac Pro.

00:46:26   Like I'm starting to think--

00:46:28   - Then you're doing it right.

00:46:29   This is the Mac Pro experience.

00:46:30   - I know, right?

00:46:31   This is our show for the last decade.

00:46:34   It's like--

00:46:35   - You're starting to get worried about the Mac Pro,

00:46:36   you say, Marco.

00:46:37   We can play this clip at any time in the next 20 years

00:46:40   that will be true.

00:46:40   - Or the past 10.

00:46:41   Yeah, so I hope the answer is

00:46:46   that the rumors are just wrong,

00:46:47   or at least largely,

00:46:48   'cause they're so all over the map

00:46:50   and kind of not encouraging that,

00:46:54   yeah, I'm hoping that's the real answer

00:46:56   'cause that does happen too.

00:46:58   Yes, Apple does fail at things and change their minds.

00:47:00   Also, rumors are wrong a lot.

00:47:02   So I wouldn't say which one is more likely to be the case,

00:47:05   but the rumors, they just don't make sense

00:47:08   with what else we know and what else we expect.

00:47:11   And so either they're gonna kind of chicken out

00:47:15   of the high end like your theory

00:47:17   about the Max Studio being skipped a little bit

00:47:20   and stuff like that, or something's wrong.

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00:48:36   There are some other Macs that were rumored, potentially,

00:48:43   for a March event that may or may not happen.

00:48:46   The iMac, the 24-inch iMac, that hasn't been updated in a while.

00:48:50   It still has the plain old M1, no modifier, no suffix.

00:48:54   And it's fine for that size of computer, but the idea is, OK, well, that will eventually

00:48:58   get the M2, won't it?

00:49:01   Seems like maybe not, because the M2 has been out for a while, and the machines that Apple

00:49:04   would update with the M2 have mostly been updated to the M2, but still not the iMac.

00:49:08   So most recently, Germin thinks that there won't be an update to the 24-inch iMac until

00:49:13   the second half of the year at the earliest and by that point the M3 will be available

00:49:17   so it could be that the iMac also skips a generation and goes from M1 to M3.

00:49:24   Presumably for similar reasons, not a lot of people buy desktops, right?

00:49:29   I guess the iMac is probably, well I don't know, which sells more, the 24 inch iMac or

00:49:33   the Mac Mini?

00:49:34   Probably the iMac.

00:49:35   Oh yeah.

00:49:36   Those are sold in a lot of like offices and stores and yeah, they do sell a good number

00:49:40   of those.

00:49:41   The premiums compared to the laptops have to be smaller.

00:49:44   Is that why it's skipping a generation?

00:49:46   We don't know.

00:49:48   Because of supply chain COVID and because of the ARM transition, it's still very difficult

00:49:52   to pick up patterns in Apple's because there's still so much chaos.

00:49:57   What is their pattern?

00:49:58   What is their update cadence?

00:49:59   Related to that, again, I think it was Germin, not an Apple spokesperson.

00:50:04   Germin said something to the effect that Apple, again, declaring this with no sourcing or

00:50:09   or anything, we're just saying Apple seems to want

00:50:11   to update their Mac SOCs on a yearly cycle,

00:50:15   just like the iPhone.

00:50:16   So, you know, A15, A16, A17, they wanna do M1, M2, M3

00:50:20   every year, not a 1.5 year cycle, not a two year cycle.

00:50:24   Every year, they want the M number to go up one,

00:50:26   just like the A number goes up one.

00:50:28   If that's true, I endorse that plan.

00:50:31   Apple is, you know, go for it.

00:50:34   But that doesn't mean they're going to put

00:50:35   those updated numbers in every one of their Macs

00:50:38   on a yearly cycle, as evidenced so far by the Macs that have not come along to the M2

00:50:42   generation, and the rumor is that some of them may wait for the M3.

00:50:45   So we'll see.

00:50:46   By the end of 2023, presumably a 24-inch iMac will be updated.

00:50:49   Will it be updated with an M2?

00:50:50   Or will it be updated with an M3?

00:50:54   Related to that, one more Mac, the 15-inch MacBook Air that everyone's been talking about.

00:50:57   The MacBook Air already has an M2 in it.

00:50:59   They already updated that one from M1 to M2, so that's out.

00:51:02   That's here.

00:51:03   15 inch one, the sort of straightforward rumor is it'll be just like the existing 13 inch

00:51:10   MacBook Air, it'll be 15 inches, it'll have a bigger battery, and it'll have a bigger

00:51:13   screen and it'll have an M2 in it.

00:51:15   That's a perfectly fine product, I think it's great, I think it fills a hole in their line,

00:51:18   I think it's cool.

00:51:20   There are some rumors that it might have an M2 Pro in it instead of an M2 because you've

00:51:23   got more room and more cooling.

00:51:24   The thing that I've been thinking about that I haven't seen anyone say yet, and it's been

00:51:28   weeks and I figure someone would have done it by now, but if not I'm going to say it,

00:51:33   They talk about the room, but like,

00:51:33   maybe it won't even be called a MacBook Air, huh?

00:51:35   I wonder what it will be called.

00:51:37   And they never let the other shoe drop.

00:51:39   Wonder what it will be called.

00:51:40   What will it be called?

00:51:41   Two co-hosts of ATP.

00:51:43   If it's not called MacBook Air and it's 15 inch,

00:51:45   what will it be called,

00:51:46   according to Apple's current naming conventions?

00:51:48   - Maybe MacBook just by itself, but I don't know.

00:51:50   - Yeah, that's what I was gonna say.

00:51:51   - But it's a little big for that.

00:51:52   - What?

00:51:52   Am I the only one who thinks this?

00:51:54   MacBook Studio.

00:51:55   That's what's between the bottom end and the pro.

00:51:58   It's the Studio suffix.

00:52:00   It's the MacBook Studio.

00:52:01   It's 15 inches, it's got an M2 Pro, the MacBook Studio.

00:52:06   It's right there.

00:52:07   - No, I don't buy it.

00:52:08   I don't buy it.

00:52:09   - No, Studio is higher up the line.

00:52:10   Studio basically means desktop Pro right now.

00:52:13   - No, it's below Pro, right?

00:52:16   Because the Mac Pro is above the Mac Studio.

00:52:18   The MacBook Pros are above the MacBook Studio.

00:52:21   - I see what you're saying.

00:52:22   I don't think, I think it's just gonna be

00:52:23   the 15 inch MacBook Air.

00:52:24   - Yes, it probably just should be,

00:52:26   I mean, this was predicated on it coming with the M2 Pro,

00:52:29   which is one of the rumors, right?

00:52:29   If it just comes with the M2, it's a 15-inch MacBook Air.

00:52:32   That's literally what it is, right?

00:52:33   And that is the most straightforward thing.

00:52:34   - And that's what I would expect that.

00:52:36   Like, I don't think they would give it the Pro chip.

00:52:38   - Or best, you could option the Pro chip

00:52:41   and it would not come by default.

00:52:42   - Oh, it definitely won't come by default. (laughs)

00:52:44   - Yeah, no, I feel like this really depends on

00:52:47   whether Apple does what they did with the 14 Plus,

00:52:51   which is like, we want to have a larger version

00:52:54   of the cheap phone, right?

00:52:56   - Yes.

00:52:56   - And that's basically, it's the 14 inside there,

00:52:58   it's just bigger.

00:52:59   Like that is straightforward what it is.

00:53:01   Or they could say, no, we still refuse to do that.

00:53:04   If you want anything with a 15 inch screen,

00:53:05   you're gonna pay more because that's a step up.

00:53:07   And even though we could make a 15 inch MacBook Air,

00:53:10   we're not going to, we're gonna make a like,

00:53:13   scaled down 16 inch MacBook Pro

00:53:15   and we'll call it the MacBook Studio.

00:53:16   I hope they make the 15 inch MacBook Air,

00:53:19   they call it the Air, it has the Air motherboard,

00:53:20   has Air-like pricing,

00:53:22   it'll be more expensive than 13 inch,

00:53:23   but not that much more.

00:53:24   'Cause I think that's the product they need to make.

00:53:26   But if they can't resist saying,

00:53:27   "Well, no, as soon as that screen gets bigger than 13",

00:53:30   we're gonna need more money from you.

00:53:31   If they do that, then it's a MacBook Studio,

00:53:34   although I do admit that that naming convention

00:53:36   is too consistent for Apple to do it.

00:53:38   - No, I mean, I expect, first of all,

00:53:40   I expect this 15-inch MacBook Air.

00:53:44   This seems to be a real deal.

00:53:45   The rumors are very strong, and I hope it's real

00:53:47   because I think they'll sell a ton of them.

00:53:49   I think it's a great idea for a product,

00:53:52   and I don't think that it will too badly cannibalize

00:53:55   the 16 inch just because I don't think,

00:54:00   if you look at the current price gap here,

00:54:02   you know the MacBook Air, even if you get the new M2 model,

00:54:07   it's like 1200 bucks and the cheapest 16 inch is $2500.

00:54:12   This is a huge gap and so I would expect a MacBook Air

00:54:19   15 inch going from $1200 from a 13 inch,

00:54:22   I would guess maybe it's two or three hundred dollars more.

00:54:26   So maybe it's like fifteen hundred dollars.

00:54:28   That's still very far from twenty five hundred dollars.

00:54:31   So that's the kind of difference I would expect there.

00:54:35   And if they do that, and it's otherwise the same computer,

00:54:39   with no other changes, no Pro chip, nothing higher spec'd,

00:54:43   just a bigger screened MacBook Air for a few hundred dollars

00:54:46   more.

00:54:47   - And a bigger battery, importantly,

00:54:48   which I think is gonna make that machine

00:54:49   extremely attractive.

00:54:51   Yeah, but honestly, I don't even know how much,

00:54:54   I mean the battery would need to be proportionally bigger

00:54:56   just to have the more screen area be lit up,

00:54:59   but it doesn't need more battery life.

00:55:00   The MacBook Air has tons of battery life already.

00:55:02   - I know, but what I'm saying is I think the battery,

00:55:05   the amount of extra area they have for battery

00:55:07   is more than enough to account for the larger screen size.

00:55:10   I don't know if I'm right about that calculation,

00:55:11   but that's my gut feeling,

00:55:12   that they will have excess battery.

00:55:14   And since the M2 MacBook Air already has good battery life,

00:55:17   this thing will be a battery camel,

00:55:19   and I think it will make it very popular,

00:55:20   'cause hey, you pay a little bit more money,

00:55:22   you get a bigger screen and even more battery life,

00:55:25   that is a very attractive machine.

00:55:26   Like I've wanted Apple to make a machine like this

00:55:28   for a long time.

00:55:29   That's why I kind of feel like I can't believe

00:55:31   they're actually gonna do it.

00:55:32   They did do it with the iPhone

00:55:33   and the rumor is the 14 plus or whatever

00:55:34   is not selling that well.

00:55:35   It just disappoints me

00:55:36   and I hope they don't get scared by that

00:55:38   and pull a mini and be like, oh, we did that once

00:55:40   and people didn't buy enough of them

00:55:41   so we're not doing it again.

00:55:42   It's like Apple, every model can't be the best seller

00:55:45   and they're not all gonna sell evenly.

00:55:47   Someone's, one phone is always gonna be the one

00:55:50   that sells the least.

00:55:50   I mean, you cancel that one.

00:55:52   Just have a cheap phone in big and small,

00:55:55   an expensive phone in big and small.

00:55:56   And Apple seems to be like,

00:55:57   "Well, we made a cheap phone in big and small,

00:55:58   and not enough people bought the big ones,

00:56:00   so we're back to just small.

00:56:01   Want more, pay more."

00:56:03   I don't like that attitude.

00:56:04   And instead what they're gonna do is the iPhone Ultra,

00:56:07   it's like, "Well, we have the iPhone Pro,

00:56:09   and that wasn't expensive enough.

00:56:11   So we're going super high end."

00:56:12   It's the iPhone, that is,

00:56:13   we haven't talked about the rumor,

00:56:14   but the iPhone Ultra rumor is out there,

00:56:16   that there's an even higher price point

00:56:18   for the one that's made out of diamond or whatever.

00:56:20   (laughing)

00:56:21   Going back for a sec to the 15 inch air.

00:56:23   So first of all, your battery camel theory is good.

00:56:26   I'm not sure they would necessarily do it though

00:56:28   because batteries are heavy

00:56:30   and the air brand means thin and light.

00:56:33   I mean, it means mainstream really, but--

00:56:34   - I'm saying they're not making it any thicker than the 12.

00:56:36   They just get more battery 'cause it's 15 inches.

00:56:38   Like that's just free real estate.

00:56:40   - But it's not free weight though.

00:56:41   That's why-- - I know, but they're gonna

00:56:43   fill, they're not gonna leave it empty with air, ha ha.

00:56:45   - No, but-- - It's gonna be on battery.

00:56:47   - They can put a cellular modem in there.

00:56:49   - Oh, stop it, no, actually they can't,

00:56:52   that's impossible, it's been proven.

00:56:54   - Yeah. (laughs)

00:56:55   But yeah, also, so anyway, this machine,

00:56:58   I expect to be great.

00:56:59   It feels a little early to be seeing any M3 Macs.

00:57:03   The M2 MacBook Air just came out last summer, so right?

00:57:09   - Yeah, no, the MacBook Air is not rumored to be,

00:57:11   the 15-inch is not rumored to be M3.

00:57:13   The only ones that have rumored to be M3

00:57:14   is potentially the iMac,

00:57:15   which will be second half of the year,

00:57:17   and that's, oh, and well, there was a couple other M3 ones

00:57:21   rumored by more than this, but even the Mac Pro,

00:57:23   there would be M2 Ultra, not M3 Ultra.

00:57:25   - Yeah, so we'll see about all that, but anyway,

00:57:27   the 15-inch Air, it sounds real,

00:57:30   I think they're gonna do a good job with it,

00:57:32   and I think it continues their,

00:57:35   it fills in a huge gap in the lineup,

00:57:37   'cause right now, if you want a bigger screen than 13-inch,

00:57:40   you have to, again, like more than double the price,

00:57:44   And again, cannibalizing the 16 inch,

00:57:48   I don't think is a huge problem because what you get

00:57:52   with the 16 inch is not just one more inch of screen space,

00:57:55   you're getting way higher end components in other areas.

00:57:58   Like when you compare to what the MacBook Air offers today

00:58:01   versus what the MacBook Pro offers today,

00:58:03   the MacBook Pro has way better screen,

00:58:05   way better performance, way higher resource limits,

00:58:08   better speakers, better microphones.

00:58:11   It's a lot better in a bunch of ways.

00:58:14   And so a 15 inch Air would not really eat into that.

00:58:17   Meanwhile, if you are looking at the MacBook Air at $1200

00:58:21   and you're like, well, I wish the screen

00:58:23   was a little bit bigger.

00:58:24   You don't go look and say, oh well, okay,

00:58:26   I'll pay $2500 for the extra couple inches.

00:58:30   No, you just buy the smaller MacBook Air

00:58:32   or you go buy a cheap PC.

00:58:33   So I don't think that upsell process

00:58:36   is working that way very well now.

00:58:40   and I think this would be a pretty big thing.

00:58:41   Also, I think where this would sell a ton

00:58:44   is in corporate sales.

00:58:46   Tons of companies buy large quantities of MacBook Airs

00:58:51   and they also like to have a little bit bigger options

00:58:53   and I think if there's a 15 inch MacBook Air,

00:58:57   they would sell so many of those in bulk

00:58:59   to like, you know, fleet buyers

00:59:01   and that's another reason why I think

00:59:04   they're not gonna go super high end with anything.

00:59:07   I don't think they're even gonna go with the Pro chip there.

00:59:09   Again, because the purpose of the MacBook Air

00:59:12   is large volume, inexpensive model

00:59:15   that satisfies most people's needs.

00:59:17   And the regular M2 does that.

00:59:18   You don't need the M2 Pro to do that.

00:59:20   I know right now a lot of companies do just buy

00:59:22   a bunch of 16 inch MacBook Pros as their stock computer,

00:59:24   but that's mostly for higher end uses,

00:59:26   like developers, designers, that kind of thing.

00:59:29   Not a lot of people are buying those for their sales staff.

00:59:32   And you know, they're--

00:59:32   - Yeah, Apple's stupid price structure

00:59:35   for the big laptops cost a ton of money,

00:59:36   was passed on to me in my corporate life because companies in general want to offer computers

00:59:44   to their employees.

00:59:45   They're like, "You can get a big screen or a small screen."

00:59:47   And so with the Dell laptops or whatever, that's what they would offer you.

00:59:50   And yeah, the big one is a little bit more expensive, but they basically gave you a choice.

00:59:52   Do you want it small and portable, or is it a bigger screen, more important to you?

00:59:55   Right, because the difference was a few hundred bucks.

00:59:57   Right.

00:59:58   But with the Macs, it was this whole regimented system, and people were like, "Okay, well,

01:00:01   I want a Mac, but I want it with a big screen."

01:00:03   They're like, "Oh, oh, wait a second.

01:00:05   If you want the Mac with the big,

01:00:06   because it's literally double the price.

01:00:07   It's not like a hundred dollars, right?

01:00:09   If you want the one with the big screen,

01:00:10   you have to be this level,

01:00:11   or your boss has to approve it or whatever.

01:00:13   And you're like, I don't care.

01:00:14   Like they don't, people who ask for that,

01:00:15   they don't know or care anything about Macs.

01:00:17   They just want a bigger laptop screen

01:00:18   'cause it's easier for them to do stuff.

01:00:19   And they work a lot on their laptops

01:00:21   when they're not on the road even,

01:00:22   but just in meetings and rooms.

01:00:23   People are like, oh, why don't you just hook a monitor up?

01:00:25   Nobody cares, buy a cheap Dell monitor.

01:00:26   Like that's fine for their other desk.

01:00:28   People are on quote unquote on the go,

01:00:30   even within the office back in the day

01:00:31   when we were all in the office,

01:00:32   just going from conference room to conference room

01:00:34   and a 15 inch screen is bigger.

01:00:35   And people would request,

01:00:37   and the companies that I work for,

01:00:38   I want a Mac laptop and I want one with a big screen

01:00:40   and they got so much pushback

01:00:41   because of Apple's stupid pricing structure.

01:00:43   So if the 15 inch was available,

01:00:45   corporations would snap it up.

01:00:46   'Cause they do not want to buy,

01:00:48   to the cheap corporations,

01:00:49   do not want, which is most of them,

01:00:50   don't want to buy every employee who wants one,

01:00:53   a big screen Mac laptop because they're so expensive.

01:00:56   And honestly, employees don't need a 16 inch MacBook Pro

01:01:00   if all they're gonna do is check email all day

01:01:01   and look at web browsers and have Excel open, right?

01:01:04   15-inch MacBook Air will do that perfectly.

01:01:06   - I would go even broader than that.

01:01:08   Almost everyone doesn't need a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

01:01:11   Almost everyone's needs could be solved just fine

01:01:15   with a 15-inch MacBook Air if it was,

01:01:17   maybe you bumped the storage and RAM up for some people,

01:01:19   but otherwise, many of us are still stuck

01:01:22   in the old way of thinking,

01:01:24   well, the low-end consumer-priced entries

01:01:27   in the Apple lineup are not suitable for,

01:01:29   if you're a video editor or a heavy coder or whatever.

01:01:33   And that maybe used to be true.

01:01:35   That's not true anymore.

01:01:36   Now, almost anybody's job can be done perfectly well

01:01:41   and not just barely done, can be done well

01:01:44   on a MacBook Air class processor.

01:01:47   Almost no one actually needs the larger resources.

01:01:49   I'm very happy to keep making them.

01:01:51   I'm gonna keep buying them.

01:01:52   But the fact is, if I had to do my job entirely

01:01:54   on a MacBook Air, I could.

01:01:56   A year ago, I did.

01:01:57   It was fine.

01:01:59   (laughing)

01:02:00   Like the Apple Silicon class low end chips,

01:02:03   quote low end, are so good,

01:02:05   we are not even coming close to filling that headroom

01:02:08   and actually using it in most fields.

01:02:10   And every year as those chips get better and better,

01:02:13   the number of tasks that you really benefit

01:02:17   with the higher end hardware for is getting smaller.

01:02:20   It's a very good place to be.

01:02:22   If they, already the 13 inch MacBook Air

01:02:24   is an amazing computer for almost everything,

01:02:27   make it a little bit bigger and you cover way more needs

01:02:30   and you don't need to make the chip any faster

01:02:32   if you don't want to.

01:02:33   - One of the things they could do,

01:02:34   a couple of things they could do with 15 inch MacBook Air

01:02:36   if they wanted 'cause we were talking about,

01:02:38   oh, if they fill that space with battery,

01:02:39   it makes it heavier or whatever.

01:02:41   You know what you could fill that space with?

01:02:42   I know they're not gonna do this,

01:02:43   but I just thrown that out there for Apple.

01:02:44   I know it's too late, but 15 inch MacBook Air,

01:02:47   plenty of room for an SD card slot.

01:02:49   I know, we were talking about what do you get with a 16 inch?

01:02:51   You get an SD card slot?

01:02:52   - That is one thing I really would like.

01:02:54   - You get an SD card slot and you get an HDMI port.

01:02:57   I'm not saying on the Air, put HDMI, it might not be thick enough, right?

01:02:59   But SD is very slim and it will fit and if you have all that space, maybe think about

01:03:03   that.

01:03:04   The other thing you can do, you're not going to get the cool HDR screen on the MacBook

01:03:07   Pros, that's part of what makes it expensive, those are amazing screens, but the MacBook

01:03:11   Air ships with a default resolution that's not native res for its screen.

01:03:15   The 15-inch potentially could ship with native res for its screen instead of a scaled resolution.

01:03:21   Now that's a pro thing, they're not going to do that.

01:03:23   I don't know, it's 15-inch though, I'm saying like it's not 16-inch native resolution, it's

01:03:26   15-inch native, and honestly, screens for native res 15-inch that aren't HDR, like,

01:03:32   you're not breaking the bank on that, Apple. That is not advanced technology. That is a

01:03:35   known quantity. You can get those screens. It's not that much more expensive. And because

01:03:40   so few people even know about what we're talking about, the fact that the MacBook Air comes

01:03:44   at non-native res out of the box, people don't even know that. So it's not even like it's

01:03:48   a selling proposition where you're pushing people up to the high-end line with that.

01:03:51   I just, at a certain point, not having native res even on your cheapest laptop becomes silly.

01:03:56   We're not at that point yet, but we're getting close.

01:03:58   And I feel like with the 15-minute MacBook Air,

01:03:59   it's a chance for Apple to take that next step up.

01:04:03   - So, on upgrade, when I guessed it,

01:04:05   I think it was last week,

01:04:07   we discussed this rumor about a compute card.

01:04:11   And there were references for this

01:04:13   found in the iOS 16.4 beta.

01:04:15   And Mike and I had a conversation trying to figure out,

01:04:18   what does that even mean?

01:04:19   And I don't think we came up

01:04:20   with any particularly great conclusions,

01:04:22   or solid conclusions.

01:04:24   What is this about?

01:04:25   Is this something for the Mac Pro or is this something else entirely?

01:04:28   So this is such an age-old rumor for Apple stuff, but I think for computers in general,

01:04:35   because it's like a sci-fi thing, right?

01:04:36   I remember back, I guess this was around the PowerPC time perhaps, when the Mac was transitioning

01:04:42   to PowerPC, and especially when the G5 was rumored to be coming out after the G4.

01:04:48   It's an evergreen rumor, and the idea is that it's some kind of powerful computer that gets

01:04:53   more powerful the more kind of building blocks you buy and plug into it.

01:04:57   And it's a thing that makes sense to non-technical people, but anyone who has ever done programming

01:05:02   or ever studied computer science and understands just the basic theoretical limits of parallelism

01:05:09   and then the financial and practical limits of wide buses that are very fast and what

01:05:16   kind of intertexts are needed, different components, it very quickly becomes the realm of fantasy

01:05:22   to think that you're going to have just a bunch of these interchangeable modules and

01:05:25   you'll click them together and if you want your computer to be more powerful you just

01:05:29   click two more modules on it and it gets twice as fast because you had two modules and you

01:05:32   put two more and now you have four and it's just things don't scale that way.

01:05:37   If you look at what the speeds are and the interconnects between a computer and its caches

01:05:41   and its memory and its SSD and how all those buses work and the idea that you're going

01:05:45   to make one backbone that carries everything and will plug things into it and it's like

01:05:48   I mean, anything's possible if you give enough money,

01:05:51   but not at prices consumers are going to spend.

01:05:55   Even at the super computer level,

01:05:56   this stuff is very expensive and very difficult to do

01:05:59   in a way that the interconnect does not cause bottlenecks

01:06:01   and give you diminishing returns.

01:06:03   So this compute card rumor, people quickly said,

01:06:06   this is for the Mac Pro, you'll be able to buy a Mac Pro

01:06:09   and it'll come with one M2 Ultra,

01:06:11   but if you want it to be faster,

01:06:12   you can buy a compute module that has another M2 Ultra

01:06:14   and it's like, well, if you want two computers,

01:06:16   just get two Mac Minis.

01:06:17   Like, I mean, do you want two computers?

01:06:19   'Cause two computers sitting next to each other,

01:06:21   unless you can split up your video render

01:06:22   between the two of them, which is possible,

01:06:24   you know, you can farm out the job and blah, blah, blah,

01:06:25   but there is some overhead to that.

01:06:27   You don't magically get twice as fast

01:06:28   by putting two SOCs in there.

01:06:30   It's like, how do they talk to each other?

01:06:31   How do they have memory coherence?

01:06:32   Like, this is not something new,

01:06:34   but in sci-fi, it's cool to think that everything is modular

01:06:38   and if you don't have to think about what happens

01:06:39   when you plug a module in, if you're just a user

01:06:41   reading a book about sci-fi or whatever,

01:06:42   you're like, I'll just plug it in

01:06:44   and everything will be faster.

01:06:45   But if you're someone who has to design this,

01:06:47   you're like, "Wait, so how does that work?

01:06:49   How do they share information and resources and IO,

01:06:54   and how do they interact with memory?"

01:06:56   And you've got a non-uniform memory architecture

01:06:59   where some memory is more distant than others,

01:07:00   and it's like overlapping cache hierarchies

01:07:03   and cache coherence between the CPUs

01:07:04   and how do jobs bounce around it?

01:07:05   It's like, and on and on and on.

01:07:07   Part of the reason that Apple's SOCs

01:07:09   are as amazing as they are

01:07:10   is because they are systems on a chip,

01:07:12   where within that system on a chip,

01:07:15   you've got your memory,

01:07:16   you've got all your computing resources,

01:07:17   you've got everything locally, you know where everything is,

01:07:19   and you can optimize all the paths between them

01:07:22   to be as efficient as possible,

01:07:25   because everything is close together

01:07:26   and everything is designed by the same party.

01:07:28   Once you say, oh, there's gonna be another physical box

01:07:30   that's gonna plug into a plug,

01:07:32   now you're sipping through a straw.

01:07:34   You're like, well, we won't make it a straw,

01:07:35   we'll make it really wide.

01:07:36   Well, now you're spending lots and lots of money.

01:07:38   So this compute card stuff has an idea

01:07:41   that it's going to be a thing to make the Mac Pro faster.

01:07:44   daughter cards for, or whatever you want to call them,

01:07:47   for the Mac Pro that add computing.

01:07:50   Sure, we have that FPGA thing, the afterburner.

01:07:53   You can buy cards to accelerate video things.

01:07:55   They're called video cards.

01:07:56   I don't know if Apple will support those, we'll see.

01:07:58   (laughs)

01:07:59   There are cards that you can plug in

01:08:01   that will do a specific task faster,

01:08:04   but the idea that you'll just be able

01:08:06   to make the whole computer twice as fast

01:08:08   by plugging in something that is basically

01:08:10   a second Mac Pro on a card.

01:08:12   If you plug in a second Mac Pro on a card,

01:08:13   you've got a second Mac Pro, which is fine and well and good and probably costs you a

01:08:17   lot of money, but that's kind of like the old 486 card that you can plug into a Mac.

01:08:21   Now my Mac can run Windows things.

01:08:23   Yeah, because you plugged in a 486 PC into your Mac.

01:08:25   So now you have two computers in one, which is great, but you didn't just make your Mac

01:08:28   twice as fast.

01:08:29   So I basically entirely discount the fantasy rumor of just adding resources to your Mac

01:08:36   Pro by plugging in compute cards.

01:08:38   I don't discount the idea of cards that you can plug in that can do a special job faster,

01:08:42   because again the afterburner card does that and there's a long history of cards

01:08:45   that you plug into a Mac Pro that can do a special job faster on behalf of the

01:08:48   host computer. That makes perfect sense even if that card has some other SOC on

01:08:54   it like a specially made SOC that just has neural engines all over it, right?

01:08:57   If Apple wanted to make that they could and that is a reasonable application of

01:09:01   an accelerator card where you would farm out a job to the accelerator card it

01:09:05   would do the ML job the ML card would might even have its own memory kind of

01:09:08   like GPUs have VRAM or whatever,

01:09:11   and then it would give you the result back.

01:09:13   But the idea that there would be two peer SOCs

01:09:15   that are exactly the same,

01:09:16   and they would magically make your computer twice as fast,

01:09:19   not gonna happen, so don't worry about that.

01:09:21   All that said, I don't think that's what

01:09:23   this compute card thing is.

01:09:25   I don't know what it is, but it's kind of related

01:09:29   to the rumors we've heard about like the AR/VR headset

01:09:33   and how, whether all the computing is going on

01:09:36   inside the AR/VR headset or whether your phone is doing some of it or whether there's an

01:09:41   external compute module that you have to connect it to or something.

01:09:45   Maybe it's some leftover from that.

01:09:49   Maybe the AR/VR headset will work that way somehow with a compute card that you can plug

01:09:52   into a Mac Pro to do development work when you're projecting onto the headset.

01:09:57   Or maybe it's something really boring that's unrelated to either one of these things.

01:10:00   The fact that it's in the iOS 16 4.4 beta doesn't mean that it's a phone feature.

01:10:05   It just means that the compute card might run iOS because if iOS has references to compute

01:10:10   card, iOS would have to run on the compute card and so it would have to know about the

01:10:13   compute card the same way that iOS probably has references to the studio display because

01:10:17   apparently inside the studio display is a little version of iOS running all the speakers

01:10:23   and the camera and all the other stuff.

01:10:25   I'm assuming the compute card thing is way way way way less exciting than people think

01:10:29   it is but until and unless Apple releases something related to this we can speculate.

01:10:34   try to tamp down the idea that you're going to plug modules into your Mac Pro

01:10:38   to make it twice as fast. Noted. I'll be aware of that when I buy my Mac Pro

01:10:43   for $80,000. If they ever ship it. If they ever ship it. And it will take, you know,

01:10:49   1,500 watts to power it because... Small price to pay, am I right, Jon? Yeah. We are

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01:12:36   (upbeat music)

01:12:39   - Hey, so do you need us for this next thing

01:12:41   or can Marco and I just like come back in an hour?

01:12:43   - I mean, I don't know, like as I said,

01:12:45   I had a two day break in my COVID isolation

01:12:49   where I could unpack all the boxes

01:12:52   that had arrived in my house and have fun with my little project.

01:12:55   I talked about it last week.

01:12:57   I said I had a bunch of boxes arrive to upgrade my sound system, but I hadn't been able to

01:13:01   unpack them yet and eventually I wouldn't.

01:13:02   I would talk about it.

01:13:03   So I did do what I could in that two day period.

01:13:06   I didn't know it was going to be a two day period, but practically speaking I didn't

01:13:09   have time to complete it, but I figure I'll just give an overview of what I did.

01:13:14   To review, my project was upgrade my sound system because I bought a new TV and a new

01:13:20   receiver and a new Blu-ray player recently, and I've talked about that on the show,

01:13:24   I didn't buy new speakers.

01:13:26   My speakers are very old, they're very small, they're fairly cheap, and I figured

01:13:29   every other part of my system has been updated, I should update the speakers too.

01:13:35   And it wasn't just like, "Oh, I should just do it because I just need to spend

01:13:37   money."

01:13:38   It was, I felt like they were not holding up their end of the bargain in the television

01:13:42   and movie watching experience.

01:13:43   Not that they were bad, but now my TV was so much better, and the speakers, the speakers

01:13:49   It's 4K now, my Blu-ray player is 4K, and the speakers, they're fine.

01:13:54   It was a 5.1 system.

01:13:56   I didn't put a link in here, Casey, but I'll see if I can find one to my 5.1 system.

01:14:00   I think they still sell it.

01:14:02   It's pretty cheap, it comes with all the speakers you need, it comes with front, left, right,

01:14:07   and back surrounds, and a center channel, and a subwoofer.

01:14:13   But they're small.

01:14:14   These are small speakers.

01:14:15   I like the fact that they were small because originally I was like, "Oh, how am I going

01:14:18   even find room for 5x1 speakers in here, is my family going to accept it?"

01:14:22   So it was good that they were small, but small also means not great sound reproduction.

01:14:29   Obviously none of these small speakers have any bass, that's where the subwoofer comes

01:14:31   in, but subwoofer trying to, you know, cheap subwoofer trying to fill in the bass for all

01:14:35   these tiny speakers.

01:14:37   And practically speaking, one of the things that would always come up, and I talked about

01:14:39   this when I was setting up my receiver is, people complain that they can't hear the dialogue.

01:14:43   Now that's not just my sound system, there's many articles about how sound mixing in television

01:14:47   movies and making it harder and harder to hear dialogue.

01:14:49   I thought that your surround system with your center channel was supposed to make that a

01:14:53   problem of the past because I don't have that problem with my basic two channel stereo setup.

01:14:57   You don't watch movies or TV shows or at least not recent ones.

01:15:00   What are you talking about?

01:15:03   You're watching sitcoms.

01:15:04   I know you can hear the dialogue there and the laugh track.

01:15:07   I know you're watching Last of Us with Tiff though.

01:15:09   That's good that you're kidding me.

01:15:10   Yeah, I'm watching Last of Us.

01:15:12   We're watching New Girl.

01:15:13   That's not that old.

01:15:14   You're not watching Christopher Nolan movies where everybody mumbles.

01:15:16   So the center channel, as I talked about with our receiver,

01:15:21   really does help there because you know where the dialogue's

01:15:24   coming from.

01:15:25   It's coming from the center channel.

01:15:26   And you can do what I did, which is turn up

01:15:28   the center channel, which makes the dialogue louder

01:15:31   than the other stuff.

01:15:32   Because if you just turn up the volume,

01:15:33   everything gets louder.

01:15:34   And if it's mixed poorly-- again,

01:15:36   the problem is not necessarily the speakers involved.

01:15:38   But if it's mixed in such a way that the dialogue is overwhelmed

01:15:42   by the other sound effects, just turning up the volume

01:15:44   doesn't help because it just makes everything louder.

01:15:46   So having a center channel,

01:15:47   you can just turn up the center channel

01:15:49   and pretty much just the dialogue will be there.

01:15:51   And that really does help.

01:15:52   But it's not just that, it's not just the center channel.

01:15:55   My center channel speaker is small.

01:15:58   And also, if you've seen the diagram of my room

01:16:02   that we talked about last week,

01:16:03   I've got two couches in my room.

01:16:04   And when we'd have,

01:16:05   like when my family was visiting for the holiday

01:16:06   or whatever, even just my local family,

01:16:09   just sitting around at the various seats in the couch,

01:16:11   especially if someone wants to lay on one couch,

01:16:13   they take up half the couch and they have a dog with them.

01:16:15   so two other people on the other couch,

01:16:16   we are spread pretty widely in our weird room

01:16:19   around the television screen, right?

01:16:22   And the center channel speaker

01:16:25   is only really pointing at one person.

01:16:27   And if you have a cheap, small center channel speaker

01:16:31   without sort of a wide dispersion,

01:16:33   the person who's sitting in the quote unquote good seat

01:16:36   can hear the dialogue fine.

01:16:37   But the people in the other seats feel like

01:16:39   they don't hear it as well,

01:16:40   because first of all, the volume is lower,

01:16:42   and second of all, who knows which frequencies

01:16:44   they're reaching them, right?

01:16:45   So you can turn up the volume,

01:16:46   but then the person sitting in the good seat

01:16:48   says the dialogue's too loud now, right?

01:16:50   So these are the problems I was solving.

01:16:52   Better sound system in terms of just like,

01:16:54   just better sound overall, right?

01:16:55   Not small, tiny speakers that can't reproduce

01:16:58   lots of frequencies.

01:16:59   And also, and you know, better dialogue,

01:17:01   better clarity of dialogue,

01:17:02   but also better in more seating positions,

01:17:05   which means a speaker that is able to send

01:17:08   the same sound information to a wide array of people,

01:17:13   Instead of just a beam that goes straight out from the speaker, more of a fan shape

01:17:17   so that if you're sitting directly in front of it, offset by 5 degrees, 10 degrees, 15

01:17:22   degrees, it still sounds more or less the same.

01:17:24   So these were my goals with this system.

01:17:26   Oh, and also don't spend a lot of money, obviously.

01:17:29   And don't be humongous, right?

01:17:30   Because I can't, I can't, you know, I have no place to put any speakers, let alone big

01:17:34   giant speakers.

01:17:37   And that was my, you know, my COVID research project.

01:17:40   And I had a tech podcast host twist thrown in here, which I can't complain about because

01:17:48   it is my privilege to be in this position, but it was nevertheless a confounding factor

01:17:53   in my decision-making process.

01:17:55   A nice person who works for a speaker company passed along a friends and family discount

01:18:00   to me for a couple of particular brands of speakers.

01:18:05   And the discount was substantial.

01:18:07   - It's a problem to have.

01:18:08   - It's like those elf puzzle problems.

01:18:10   It's like you have to find speakers

01:18:13   that aren't that expensive, that fit in your room,

01:18:15   that have wide dispersion for the center channel

01:18:18   audio clarity and are better than your existing ones

01:18:21   and aren't that expensive and oh, by the way,

01:18:23   these particular brands are way cheaper than other ones.

01:18:27   And it really confounded things 'cause you can't just shop,

01:18:31   I'll just shop based on price and features.

01:18:33   Every time you shop based on price and features,

01:18:34   like oh, but is this one of those ones that's cheap?

01:18:37   Now suddenly it raises in esteem,

01:18:38   it's like, or maybe you can shop the next level up

01:18:41   in that product line, but maybe you should shop down

01:18:43   and save some money and spend the money

01:18:45   and other things that made everything so much harder for me.

01:18:47   I know, boo hoo me, you got a big discount on speakers.

01:18:49   It's mostly so hard to pick.

01:18:51   (laughing)

01:18:52   So, one of the first things I encountered in my research

01:18:56   was trying to find people who talk about the issues

01:18:59   that I was saying.

01:18:59   You know, the centerpiece haha of my system

01:19:04   was going to be the center channel speaker.

01:19:06   People don't think about that in a 5.1 system because they think about like the glory speakers,

01:19:10   the left and right channel for your stereo or whatever.

01:19:11   But when you're watching television and movies, the center channel is where it's at.

01:19:16   Yes, all the dialogue comes through there.

01:19:18   Lots of other sounds come through there too.

01:19:19   It's the main sort of like central sound of the show.

01:19:23   It's not like listening to stereo music where the left and right channels are the stars.

01:19:27   The center channel is the star on television shows and often a lot of movies.

01:19:31   So if you're going to spend a lot of money on your 5.1 system, do not skimp on the center

01:19:35   channel that is a very important channel.

01:19:38   The thing that I found and was confirmed by a video that I'll link in the show notes is

01:19:41   that most companies that sell speakers also believe that the left and right channel are

01:19:46   the glory channels and do not care about the center channel and they make weird bad speakers

01:19:51   for center channels compared to their cellular channels, right?

01:19:55   Because for two reasons.

01:19:57   One, the center channels are often intended to be laid on their side for obvious packaging

01:20:01   reasons and that messes with speakers especially if you're like oh we have our

01:20:05   special fancy audio engineers and they made this amazing speaker for our

01:20:09   stereo speakers right if you lay that speaker on its side all the careful you

01:20:14   know engineering they did to make the sound dispersion work is now sideways

01:20:18   like it was made to be uniform at a certain height for you know listening

01:20:23   for people sitting in front of them with the expectation that speaker is

01:20:26   vertical but when you put that speaker on its side now its dispersion pattern

01:20:29   is on its side, unless you're laying on your side as well, things aren't going to work

01:20:32   quite the same way.

01:20:34   So that's one problem.

01:20:35   Second problem is, center channel speakers are often smaller.

01:20:38   Again, for obvious reasons, people need to stick them in their entertainment center,

01:20:41   they want to put them under their TV, you can't make them 20 feet tall unless you're

01:20:45   one of the real home audio people, like the, what do you call it, home theater people,

01:20:50   the thing that the fancy home theater people do is they do what they do at movie theaters,

01:20:54   which is the center channel speakers are behind the screen, which is acoustically transparent,

01:20:59   they're like the size of refrigerators.

01:21:00   - Wait, what?

01:21:01   The screen is transparent?

01:21:04   - In a movie theater, like the movie screen

01:21:06   in a movie theater.

01:21:07   - Oh, oh, oh, right.

01:21:08   - The speakers are behind there, right?

01:21:10   - Right, okay, yes.

01:21:10   - That's why the sound comes out

01:21:11   and it's an acoustically transparent

01:21:13   like movie projection screen, right?

01:21:15   And people who do home theaters in their basements

01:21:17   with projection screens, that's what they do.

01:21:18   'Cause you can put huge refrigerator-sized speakers there,

01:21:20   right, just like in a movie theater and spend lots of money.

01:21:22   That's not me, that's not relevant to me.

01:21:24   So center channel speakers are,

01:21:26   oh, I have to fit this in my, you know,

01:21:28   I have to fit this above my VCR, huh, whatever.

01:21:31   Above whatever you have, above my cable box or whatever.

01:21:33   Or it has to fit underneath my, you know,

01:21:35   right by the CV, kind of like a soundbar.

01:21:37   So when you make a center channel speaker

01:21:39   really small like that, it's not gonna be as good

01:21:42   as your left and right speaker,

01:21:43   'cause the drivers on it are smaller,

01:21:45   you can't have anything even approaching a woofer

01:21:47   'cause everything is super tiny.

01:21:49   It's kind of a mess.

01:21:51   So this YouTube video is the problem

01:21:53   with most center channel speakers,

01:21:54   and it's from this audio,

01:21:56   one of these obsessive nerdy audio reviewers that I found in my travels.

01:22:01   And he has this really weird measuring device where he puts a speaker in the center of the

01:22:05   room and sends this robotic armor and it measures sound dispersion while playing test tones

01:22:09   of various frequencies and stuff like that.

01:22:11   And he produces these little polar coordinate graphs of sound dispersion that show like,

01:22:18   you see these graphs in the show, I should probably put one of them as a chapter art

01:22:20   or link to them, they're on the web.

01:22:24   It's not a spatial diagram, so don't picture yourself seated at the bottom of this diagram.

01:22:29   It's polar coordinates, so it's a circular chart.

01:22:31   And as you go from the circle to the edge, that's frequency, right?

01:22:35   So I think the outer edge is the higher frequencies, and the middle is like the base.

01:22:40   So at every step along that thing, it's saying, "Okay, if you're listening to a 200 hertz

01:22:46   signal and you're sitting at 0 degrees, here's how strong it is, and 300 and 400 and 500

01:22:51   and so on and so forth."

01:22:53   But still, what you want to see in this diagram is a big fan shaped region that is similarly

01:22:59   colored that says, "If you're anywhere within this fan, you're going to hear all the frequencies

01:23:03   more or less the same way you would if you were sitting dead in front of the speaker."

01:23:07   That is a speaker with good dispersion, and they show horizontal and vertical versions

01:23:10   of that.

01:23:12   And one of the ones that was used as the example in the video that was good was called the

01:23:16   SVS Prime.

01:23:17   SVS is a speaker brand.

01:23:19   Prime is their product line.

01:23:20   The SVS Prime Center had really good dispersion.

01:23:22   He also gave an example, if you scroll down in the showings, you'll see this, of the Mica

01:23:26   MB42XC as an example of a center channel with really bad dispersion.

01:23:32   And if you compare the two diagrams, you can see, oh wow, big difference, right?

01:23:35   If you are sitting even 10 or 20 degrees off axis on this Mica speaker, many frequencies

01:23:42   are just gone for you, right?

01:23:44   And important frequencies, frequencies in the words of Kilbill, frequencies that you

01:23:49   will miss, right?

01:23:51   frequencies or you know in the speech range right you can look at them in

01:23:54   there it should be all red and dark red instead it's like blue which is like the

01:23:58   minimum color there are spots where they're blue green yellow you're missing

01:24:02   lots of frequencies even if you're if you're sitting in the seat next to the

01:24:06   quote-unquote good seat in the couch so that's an example of a center channel

01:24:09   with bad dispersion and you will not be shocked to learn that most center

01:24:12   channels have really bad dispersion and one of the reasons cited in the video is

01:24:16   that most center channels since they're laid on their side are done with like a

01:24:20   a mid-range, and then a tweeter, and then a mid-range.

01:24:24   So it looks like three drivers

01:24:25   if you take off the little speaker grill.

01:24:27   And they're only mid-ranges instead of woofers

01:24:28   because they're so skinny, right?

01:24:29   So it's a tweeter right in the middle

01:24:31   of two mid-range drivers.

01:24:32   And the interference pattern you get from that

01:24:36   is not great with the two mid-ranges

01:24:37   overlapping with each other

01:24:38   and having the typical interference pattern.

01:24:40   He does this whole thing with the wave pool,

01:24:41   but if you just know how two sources of waves can interact

01:24:44   and leave dead zones, that happens.

01:24:46   And also, with just one tweeter,

01:24:48   tweeters tend to be pretty directional,

01:24:50   with just one tweeter pointed in one direction,

01:24:53   you're missing out on all those frequencies as well.

01:24:55   So the SVS Prime Center was said,

01:24:57   this is the center channel with good dispersion.

01:24:59   But that doesn't mean the SVS Prime Center

01:25:00   is a good speaker, it's just saying,

01:25:02   hey, dispersion-wise, it sounds the same

01:25:04   in all these locations, but then you get into,

01:25:05   okay, but how good a speaker is it,

01:25:07   how is its frequency response, how does it sound,

01:25:09   you know, blah, all the speaker review stuff.

01:25:11   So this is the rabbit hole I went down,

01:25:14   trying to find a center channel speaker

01:25:17   that was a good speaker, that fit in my entertainment center,

01:25:20   and that had good dispersion.

01:25:21   And that really narrowed the field down a lot,

01:25:24   because I needed to find speakers where I could see

01:25:28   a dispersion diagram, either from this person

01:25:30   or another person, lots of people do these type

01:25:31   of diagrams, right?

01:25:32   So I could tell what the dispersion was like.

01:25:35   One of the things you can tell is if it's,

01:25:37   you know, he gave all these acronyms like MTM is

01:25:40   mid-tweet or mid, you can do WMTW,

01:25:45   where it's woofer mid, tweeter mid, woofer,

01:25:47   like all these different arrangements.

01:25:49   Most of those arrangements are bad

01:25:51   in that you know you're not gonna get good dispersion.

01:25:54   The two arrangements that were good

01:25:56   were one that Marco will be familiar with.

01:25:59   The KEF brand does a thing where they do,

01:26:01   what do they call it, coaxial or?

01:26:03   - Yeah, they put the tweeter inside the mid.

01:26:05   - Exactly, so it looks like it's just one speaker cone thing

01:26:10   but the thing in the middle is the tweeter

01:26:11   and the thing in the outside is the mid

01:26:13   and that prevents the waves overlapping

01:26:15   in a destructive interference way

01:26:16   'cause they're literally coming

01:26:17   from the same centralized source.

01:26:19   - Oh, it sounds so damn good.

01:26:21   I don't know if that's why these speakers

01:26:22   sound so damn good, but these speakers sound so damn good.

01:26:25   (laughs)

01:26:27   - It's not necessarily a big thing about audio quality

01:26:30   'cause that's not what we're talking about.

01:26:32   We're talking about dispersion.

01:26:33   We're saying if I sit 10 degrees off,

01:26:35   does it sound more or less similar

01:26:37   to when I'm sitting dead on?

01:26:38   And the coaxial tweeter inside the mid or the woofer

01:26:43   makes it sound more of the same

01:26:47   the more you get off access.

01:26:48   Now whether it sounds good or not

01:26:49   is a question of high quality speaker or whatever.

01:26:51   So, keV speakers tend to have pretty okay dispersion

01:26:55   and more importantly not a lot of dead zones

01:26:57   where you get the destructive interference

01:26:58   of like the tweeter and the mid or whatever, right?

01:27:01   The other arrangement that seems to work well

01:27:04   is a mid and then, this is what the SVS is,

01:27:09   and then a tweeter, or a woofer,

01:27:11   and then a tweeter and a mid on top of each other vertically

01:27:14   'cause again stereo speakers very often have

01:27:16   a big driver and a little one, a woofer and a tweeter

01:27:19   above each other like vertically.

01:27:21   And lots of speakers are tuned to sound good that way.

01:27:24   Stereo speakers, or setting aside the KEF ones,

01:27:27   are tuned to sound good that way,

01:27:28   it is a common arrangement.

01:27:30   So when you lay a speaker on its side,

01:27:31   if you can get the tweeter and the mid

01:27:33   still to be on top of each other, they'd be side by side if it was vertical, but when

01:27:37   you lay it on its side you do that arrangement, that also produces a good dispersion.

01:27:42   At least in the SVS Prime, and I forget what they call that, I think they're called like

01:27:44   3-way or something, where it's W T/M W, because it's a woofer, and then a tweeter and a mid

01:27:51   vertically and then another woofer.

01:27:54   That's what the SVS Prime is.

01:27:56   And then other brands also do make conical ones.

01:27:58   And so that really really narrowed down the field, because pretty much every single standard

01:28:02   channel speaker is one of those, not one of those good ones.

01:28:07   It's either KEF, which does the conical, SVS Prime, which as it turns out is not a great

01:28:12   speaker, or the one I eventually settled on, which is from a band I never heard of, the

01:28:17   ELAC UC 52.

01:28:19   You got an ELAC?

01:28:20   I've never heard of this brand, I guess you have.

01:28:24   I haven't ever owned ELAC speakers, but they are extremely well regarded.

01:28:28   So this center channel speaker has coaxial mid and tweeter in the center of the center

01:28:34   channel speaker.

01:28:35   It's got two pretty large, I don't know if you call them woofers, but the center thing

01:28:40   of it is one of those coaxial type of things.

01:28:42   It has really good dispersion, according to the diagrams, not as good as the SDS Prime,

01:28:46   but still pretty good, and also it's also a good speaker.

01:28:49   It's also important, you want it to be a good speaker with good frequency response and clarity

01:28:54   and all the other crap you can read about or whatever, right?

01:28:57   The downside is that it's huge.

01:28:58   - This is gonna be big.

01:28:59   Yeah, I was gonna say, I was just looking at it,

01:29:01   the woofers in it are five and a quarter inch woofers,

01:29:04   so that's, this is a large speaker,

01:29:06   to have two of those in it and the mid, that's.

01:29:09   - I mean, another thing you learned about doing

01:29:11   all the speaker research is you see lots of pictures

01:29:15   of speakers and they never show anything next to them

01:29:18   for size, so you might have in your mind how big they are.

01:29:21   Like, there's nothing for comparison.

01:29:23   Like, they should put a little person or an apple

01:29:26   or like a quarter or like a MacBook Pro

01:29:29   or something that I recognize the size of.

01:29:32   How big is it?

01:29:33   Because they all look small

01:29:34   and you see them on the picture.

01:29:36   And then you go look at the dimensions

01:29:37   and you're like, "Wait, what?

01:29:38   "That's 24 inches deep, what?"

01:29:41   The KEF speakers are a great example.

01:29:43   Your KEF speakers are so deep.

01:29:45   They're just so huge.

01:29:47   So everything I'm looking at,

01:29:48   I was constantly measuring,

01:29:49   "Will this fit, will this fit in at my entertainment center?"

01:29:51   The ELAC UC52 fits in my entertainment center barely.

01:29:56   and you know how it fits?

01:29:57   I have to eject from the shelf that it is on

01:30:00   both the TiVo and the Blu-ray player.

01:30:02   - See ya.

01:30:04   - 'Cause there's just no room for them

01:30:05   with that stupid speaker in there.

01:30:06   But I said, oh, this is gonna be, you know,

01:30:09   the centerpiece of my system

01:30:10   and is literally my only option.

01:30:11   It's this or the SVS Prime, which isn't as good a speaker.

01:30:14   The other thing I was worried about

01:30:16   that I talked about in "Masszone" is like,

01:30:18   people tend to advise against mix and matching

01:30:21   different speakers on a home theater system

01:30:23   because you have to match the timbre

01:30:25   and it's not going to sound right and this that and the other thing and it's like okay

01:30:29   I did a lot of suggesting to people like is that always terrible can you make that work

01:30:33   how bad is it and I got varying opinions some people like oh it's not that bad you're not

01:30:38   going to notice a difference other people like never do it you should never mix but

01:30:41   if you don't mix you are you're stuck with like every every one of these manufacturers

01:30:46   has a product lines like buy all our speakers from us here it is here's our 5.1 system and

01:30:52   People tend to review individual speakers, not entire systems.

01:30:55   This speaker is good, this speaker is bad, this left and right channel are good, these

01:31:00   surround speakers suck, this center channel sucks, that's usually the thing in the 5.1

01:31:04   systems.

01:31:05   Here's this 5.1 system, the center channel sucks, here's the 5.1 system, the center channel

01:31:08   sucks.

01:31:09   I found the ELAC one on the center channel didn't suck, I could have bought ELAC left

01:31:11   and rights and ELAC surrounds, but guess what, they're huge.

01:31:14   And also very, very expensive.

01:31:16   And by the way, ELAC is not one of the brands that I discount.

01:31:20   So I'm paying full price, baby, for the ELAC UC 52.

01:31:23   I did try to buy one on eBay, because I'm

01:31:25   trying to bring the price down.

01:31:27   Someone was selling the ELAC 52 for way too little money.

01:31:30   And I lowballed them, because it was like, you know,

01:31:32   our best offer.

01:31:33   I lowballed them by $50, and they never responded.

01:31:36   And I just felt a little bit scared even buying it on eBay,

01:31:39   because I'm like, what condition will this be in?

01:31:40   And speakers are delicate.

01:31:41   And my wife kind of scared me off a little

01:31:43   by saying, who knows what you're going to get in the mail?

01:31:45   That picture is really grainy.

01:31:46   I'm like, you know what?

01:31:47   That picture is grainy.

01:31:48   Yeah.

01:31:49   Well, also, like, you know, worst case,

01:31:50   if you really hated it, you can't easily return it

01:31:52   to just an individual on eBay, you know?

01:31:54   - Yeah, like, what if I get this

01:31:55   and it's like not worth the money,

01:31:57   or I thought it would fit, but it really doesn't?

01:31:59   'Cause remember, another thing I have to do

01:32:01   with the center is tilt it up a little bit,

01:32:02   because I'm putting it, like, it's right under my TV.

01:32:05   It's as close as it can get to be under my TV,

01:32:06   but my TV, you know, under my TV is not where my TV is,

01:32:09   so I have to tilt it up slightly,

01:32:11   so it aims at our faces when we're sitting on the couch.

01:32:15   So it just barely fits. - Oh, my word.

01:32:17   - So that was the big expense.

01:32:19   No discount.

01:32:20   ELAC UC 52, basically my only choice.

01:32:23   I knew I wasn't gonna be able to buy other ELAC speakers

01:32:25   'cause they're just too expensive and also too big

01:32:28   to fill the other roles.

01:32:29   So I got that.

01:32:30   But then after that painful experience, I'm like,

01:32:33   "You know what, I need to use the discount

01:32:34   "for the rest of these speakers

01:32:36   "'cause I just can't continue at this pace."

01:32:40   It's not super expensive.

01:32:40   How much is the ELAC?

01:32:41   It's like 400 and change or something?

01:32:44   Yeah, it's not that bad.

01:32:45   In terms of volume or weight,

01:32:47   You feel like you're getting your money's worth.

01:32:49   - So big.

01:32:51   - I don't know what's in there,

01:32:51   but whatever it is, it's heavy and expensive.

01:32:53   - This is 400 bucks worth of wood, that's for sure.

01:32:55   - Yeah.

01:32:57   So for the rest of the speakers, I said,

01:33:00   okay, well, if I can't match,

01:33:02   I can't buy a full EOC system,

01:33:04   why don't I just at least buy matching front, left, right,

01:33:08   and back surrounds from the same manufacturer,

01:33:11   so at least those will all match,

01:33:13   and I'll buy one from that I have a discount on.

01:33:15   And so that's what I did for my front right and left

01:33:17   and my back right and left.

01:33:18   I bought Polk speakers 'cause I had a discount.

01:33:21   That is literally why, right?

01:33:22   And they're well reviewed and they're good.

01:33:23   And I was able to shop.

01:33:25   What I ended up doing in Marco fashion was

01:33:28   rather than saving money and getting the cheap speakers

01:33:30   with a big discount, I just went out the line

01:33:34   until the speakers that I bought with a discount

01:33:36   were as much as I was willing to spend

01:33:37   for the full price cheap ones.

01:33:38   You know what I mean?

01:33:39   Yep.

01:33:40   I'd basically, yeah.

01:33:41   So I bought the Polk R100s from my front right and left, not just because of the discount,

01:33:46   but also because they are bookshelf speakers and they are among the smallest bookshelf

01:33:50   speakers in their sort of price category.

01:33:54   Because unlike the KEF ones, they are not 19 inches deep for some reason, right?

01:33:58   And that was important to me getting them in the room because I have very little place

01:34:01   for these to go and they're like near walls and everything.

01:34:05   So I bought those and I had to buy stands to put them on because they're bookshelf speakers

01:34:09   and I wanted them to be at the right level

01:34:11   and the stands were also expensive

01:34:12   and I didn't get a discount on them.

01:34:14   I'm like, "Maybe I'm Casey,

01:34:15   I need to get a discount on everything.

01:34:17   If I get a discount on it, I'll buy it."

01:34:19   For the back surrounds, I bought the very poorly reviewed

01:34:21   Polk XT-15 back surround speakers,

01:34:24   but honestly I don't care

01:34:24   'cause they're back surround speakers.

01:34:26   - Yeah, who cares?

01:34:27   - They are bigger, they're undoubtedly better

01:34:30   than my past speakers for sure.

01:34:32   They are bigger than my past speakers,

01:34:34   but so far they have passed the spousal approval,

01:34:38   I mean, not approval.

01:34:39   She said disapproving things about them

01:34:41   when I was setting them up, but didn't demand that I

01:34:44   take them down immediately.

01:34:45   And I feel like, you'll get used to them.

01:34:49   If they aren't immediately rejected,

01:34:51   you're in a good place.

01:34:52   Yeah.

01:34:53   They are bigger than they were, but they're

01:34:54   as small as I could get.

01:34:56   I wanted them to be better than my other ones.

01:34:57   My other ones were so tiny, and these are OK.

01:35:01   So there I've got my five speakers here

01:35:04   at my expensive center and my Polk right and left

01:35:07   and back right and left.

01:35:08   and I need subwoofer.

01:35:10   And here is where, so it's like,

01:35:12   I've got Casey on one shoulder saying,

01:35:13   buy a Polk subwoofer, you've got a discount.

01:35:15   (laughing)

01:35:17   And I've got Marco saying,

01:35:18   don't buy it just because you have a discount.

01:35:20   Get a good subwoofer.

01:35:21   - No, that's not, you haven't asked me this question yet.

01:35:25   I love having subwoofers.

01:35:28   The difference between a great subwoofer

01:35:30   and a cheap subwoofer is not as big

01:35:33   as the other speakers involved.

01:35:35   It is a much smaller difference

01:35:37   and you get severely diminishing returns.

01:35:39   - The audio reviewing world disagrees with you strongly.

01:35:42   - There's different, look, there's different characteristics.

01:35:45   One thing I love is a force canceling subwoofer.

01:35:49   I've mentioned before, the Sonos sub is one of those.

01:35:52   I've never admitted this before in public.

01:35:55   I think only Ben Thompson knows this until this moment.

01:35:58   But I have a small KEF subwoofer under my desk

01:36:03   for my computer subwoofer and it was absurdly expensive.

01:36:06   - I know which one you got.

01:36:07   - I got the smallest one.

01:36:08   - Because I looked at all the reviews for it

01:36:10   and yes it was, but it's made of aluminum,

01:36:11   it's really heavy, it's actually pretty good.

01:36:13   - And it's force canceling,

01:36:14   and because before this I had some inexpensive one

01:36:18   from Amazon, one of those brands that had some kind

01:36:21   of hipster name that seemed like it would be fancy

01:36:24   and you get it and it's just like particle board

01:36:25   and it's just crap.

01:36:26   - Do you remember which one it was?

01:36:27   Because now I know every subwoofer in the world.

01:36:30   - I'd have to look it up, but I ended up,

01:36:32   I sent it back to Westchester and it's waiting

01:36:35   in a closet to be used for something.

01:36:37   But that one, it was just too boomy.

01:36:39   - Find out which one that is,

01:36:40   because I may want to buy it from you.

01:36:42   (laughing)

01:36:43   - It's probably, it wasn't, I wouldn't recommend it.

01:36:46   - I know, I'll get to that in a second, but yeah.

01:36:48   So the one you were describing, you said it's force

01:36:49   canceling, I believe they mostly describe it

01:36:51   kind of Subaru fashion.

01:36:52   - Kanto.

01:36:54   - Oh yeah, okay, I know Kanto.

01:36:55   And I know those subs.

01:36:57   It's not that bad, but the Kef one is way better.

01:37:00   (laughing)

01:37:01   - Yes.

01:37:02   - But I believe the Kef one, they describe it

01:37:04   in Subaru fashion as essentially horizontally opposed.

01:37:07   And not necessarily-- - Yes.

01:37:08   (laughing)

01:37:09   - 'Cause that's what it is, if you look inside,

01:37:10   it's horizontally opposed drivers,

01:37:12   but not necessarily force canceling

01:37:14   the same way as the Sonos one is.

01:37:16   It's still a very good sub.

01:37:17   - No, it is.

01:37:18   They don't use that term, but it's the same design,

01:37:24   it's the same thing.

01:37:25   And there's a couple others on the market

01:37:27   that are force canceling, but it's very, very few.

01:37:29   - The other thing about the KEF one

01:37:31   that definitely recommends it is it's good sub

01:37:33   and also very small for how good it is.

01:37:36   That is the key, very, very small.

01:37:38   That's why I was looking at that one

01:37:39   until I saw the price and then ran away.

01:37:40   - Yeah, it also, it has a bunch of adjustments on the back.

01:37:44   So you know, not only, I mean every decent subwoofer

01:37:46   will have like the crossover and level adjustments

01:37:48   in the back, but you know, 'cause that tells you

01:37:51   how much, what frequencies to play through the subwoofer

01:37:53   and how loudly, those are very important.

01:37:55   But the CAF also has all different adjustments

01:37:58   for things like, you know, like different,

01:38:00   like little EQ profiles to know like, you know,

01:38:03   how much bass do you want, how boomy do you want it to be,

01:38:07   how strong do you want it to like, you know,

01:38:09   puncture or whatever.

01:38:10   And I found that the, like it was weird,

01:38:13   like when I was using the cheaper subwoofer,

01:38:16   you know, it's under my computer desk,

01:38:17   you know, this is where I listen to music mostly,

01:38:19   so it's under my desk, and when I was sitting in my chair,

01:38:22   it, like the volume it would take to sound good

01:38:25   at my chair level above the desk,

01:38:27   and therefore the desk is between the subwoofer

01:38:30   me at that same volume level with the cheap subwoofer somebody sitting on the chair like

01:38:35   the kind of like lounge chair behind me they they had a kind of a more direct earshot to

01:38:41   it because the desk wasn't blocking it as much and it sounded way too boomy if you were

01:38:46   like not sitting in the desk and for whatever reason whatever the design was that's how

01:38:52   the cheap ones and then when I when I upgraded to the kef that problem went away and it was

01:38:56   I was able to get a pleasing subwoofer strength

01:39:01   at desk level that didn't also sound super boomy

01:39:03   to the rest of the room.

01:39:05   So there's lots of advantage to this.

01:39:07   People in apartments like them because you can make them

01:39:09   like less boomy down low and make it transmit less

01:39:13   to your neighbors.

01:39:14   Anyway, I love this ridiculous subwoofer,

01:39:17   but it is so expensive.

01:39:18   And I didn't even pay full price.

01:39:20   It was on sale one day and I picked it up,

01:39:22   but it was still like, I can't believe I spent

01:39:25   I'm not gonna defend this much on a sub worker,

01:39:25   but there is a difference in those ways.

01:39:29   That being said, this was, I mean,

01:39:32   I paid almost twice as much as whatever I paid

01:39:33   for the Sonos sub a million years ago,

01:39:35   and the Sonos sub has many of those same benefits,

01:39:38   much of the same quality.

01:39:39   The only downside of that is that the Sonos sub

01:39:41   has no line in, you can only use it

01:39:44   with a small number of Sonos products.

01:39:47   - I did look at the Sonos sub until I realized,

01:39:49   hey, what am I doing, I can't use this.

01:39:51   This is not a stereo component.

01:39:52   The Sonos sub, it is great, and it's great for its price.

01:39:57   But yeah, you can only use it with a Sonos amp

01:40:00   or a couple of Sonos soundbars.

01:40:01   - You know, if this is the correct subwoofer,

01:40:04   the KC62, which looks to be-- - That's the one.

01:40:06   - Okay, I can tell you that it is very neat

01:40:09   that on the back, the EQ slider is for room, wall,

01:40:13   corner, cabinet, or apartment, which I really enjoy.

01:40:16   - Yes, it's so good.

01:40:18   - I really dig that.

01:40:19   But also, I can tell you why Marco Armond bought this subwoofer.

01:40:24   And it is because there are four dip switches on the back.

01:40:27   Why are they there?

01:40:28   Who knows?

01:40:29   But that is huge Marco energy to be able to fiddle with dip switches in the back of a

01:40:33   subwoofer.

01:40:34   So I understand now.

01:40:36   It's the high-pass filter.

01:40:37   That's why it says HPF above it.

01:40:39   Ah, I didn't even notice that.

01:40:40   Yes, yes, yes.

01:40:41   Fair enough.

01:40:42   That is very funny.

01:40:43   So that keft subwoofer falls into the category of subs that are kind of made for, they say

01:40:48   say it like for stereo use.

01:40:49   And what they mean is, if you're hooking this up to--

01:40:52   for example, you have bookshelf speakers,

01:40:54   and you're connecting your phonograph, Casey, to it,

01:40:57   or whatever.

01:40:58   Or your Mac.

01:40:59   That's what mine is.

01:41:00   I have two bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer

01:41:02   as a footrest and a bass.

01:41:04   If you're in a scenario where you have stereo sound,

01:41:07   and you want to augment the stereo sound with a subwoofer

01:41:09   because your speakers don't have giant woofers on them,

01:41:11   that's what this is for.

01:41:12   And a breed of subwoofers have features that are like,

01:41:16   hey, we'll sound good in that scenario

01:41:18   because we have all sorts of stuff in the back of the sub

01:41:20   lets you tweak the way it's blended

01:41:22   with the other speakers.

01:41:24   For home theater applications, the receiver does all that.

01:41:28   And so you don't need those features in the back.

01:41:30   In fact, when you're in a home theater scenario,

01:41:31   what they tell you to do for your subwoofer

01:41:33   is the crossover just set it to maximum.

01:41:35   Because basically, you're selling the sub,

01:41:38   just play what you get.

01:41:39   And the actual crossover is done in your receiver.

01:41:42   And it figures out the correct crossover with your speakers

01:41:44   through sound calibration, all that crap, right?

01:41:46   like that.

01:41:48   Basically, the receiver has the smarts.

01:41:50   So it just needs a sub to essentially be dumb speaker.

01:41:53   So it was good that I could shop in the category of subs

01:41:57   that are less expensive because they don't have fancy iOS app

01:42:01   controlled DSPs to adjust.

01:42:02   That's all in my receiver.

01:42:03   I already paid for that.

01:42:04   That's all in my Dirac, blah, blah, blah.

01:42:07   So the smarts are there.

01:42:08   This just needs to be dumb.

01:42:09   The thing with subwoofers, though, as I was talking

01:42:11   about Marco's small one, the reason

01:42:12   I was looking at that one, I don't have

01:42:14   a lot of room for a subwoofer.

01:42:16   Because I don't have a lot of room for anything in this room.

01:42:18   I don't have a lot of room physically.

01:42:20   I don't have a lot of room--

01:42:21   Mentally?

01:42:22   Family-wise.

01:42:23   Because one of the good things about the Sonos sub

01:42:25   is it's relatively small.

01:42:26   Like, you can hide it somewhere.

01:42:28   You can tuck it behind something.

01:42:30   Quote, unquote, "good" subs tend to be large.

01:42:34   Larger than you think, larger than anybody

01:42:36   wants in their house unless you have a dedicated theater

01:42:38   room where you can hide it with a plant or something.

01:42:40   And I couldn't do that, right?

01:42:42   Actually, they make good plant stands.

01:42:43   Like my Sonos sub upstairs here,

01:42:46   I believe it has two plants on top of it,

01:42:48   'cause it's just a big rectangle.

01:42:49   And actually the little kef one,

01:42:51   the top is a little too rounded,

01:42:53   you can't really put stuff on top of it,

01:42:54   but I mean, it's fine, it's a footrest.

01:42:56   - Yeah, yeah, it's kinda marshmallowy, yeah.

01:42:58   - Yeah, yeah, but the Sonos sub is great, nice flat top.

01:43:01   - Don't put anything on top of a sub

01:43:02   unless it is force canceling/horizontal pose,

01:43:05   'cause otherwise it will shake off.

01:43:06   - Yes, exactly, put your crystal collection up there.

01:43:10   - Yeah, so my previous sub,

01:43:12   because it was part of the world's tiniest 5.1 system,

01:43:15   was, I mean, not tiny, but I came to think of it like,

01:43:17   oh, this is how big subwoofers are,

01:43:19   so I'll just find one that's the same size.

01:43:20   The answer is no, you won't.

01:43:21   Like, the calf is actually smaller,

01:43:23   but every other subwoofer,

01:43:25   almost every other subwoofer is bigger.

01:43:27   And that let me down the very quickly diverging fork

01:43:30   on the road of subwoofers,

01:43:31   which is sealed versus ported.

01:43:34   Sealed subwoofer is a subwoofer

01:43:36   that has a big giant speaker cone in it,

01:43:38   and it looks like a giant speaker

01:43:39   with a big giant speaker cone, right?

01:43:41   Ported, it looks like a big giant speaker cone,

01:43:42   but there's a hole in the speaker.

01:43:43   Lots of speakers are ported.

01:43:45   If you see a stereo speaker and there's a hole in the front

01:43:47   or the back of it, that is a port.

01:43:49   It allows air to flow in and out.

01:43:51   In subwoofers, the ports are tuned to be resonant

01:43:54   at a particular frequency.

01:43:55   It makes the subwoofer more powerful at lower frequencies.

01:43:59   Ported subwoofers tend to go louder lower.

01:44:03   Some people might say they tend to be boomier.

01:44:06   It depends on how you adjust them.

01:44:07   But most importantly, ported subwoofers are bigger

01:44:10   because ports take up space because the ports in a subwoofer are not just like

01:44:13   little tiny slots like they are sometimes in a speaker or one little

01:44:15   tiny quarter-size hole like they are in a bookshelf speaker or something

01:44:19   the ports are big they take up room there's a plastic tube in there for air

01:44:22   to go down that is a particular length and shape for tuned for its use

01:44:27   and so ported subwoofers

01:44:29   are the size of many fridges they're just they're just massive

01:44:33   and i could not fit one in my room despite the fact that my cheapo sub

01:44:38   from my existing 5.1 was a ported sub,

01:44:40   but it was a ported sub with an eight inch driver in it.

01:44:43   And you know, eight inch driver is not big for a subwoofer.

01:44:47   Like you can find, you know.

01:44:48   - I would call that mid-sized for us.

01:44:50   I mean, you could get the bigger, but like,

01:44:52   I mean, look, my little Kef one's only 6.5, I think.

01:44:54   - I know, well, that's part of why the Kef one

01:44:56   is so expensive and amazing.

01:44:57   - Yeah, I think the Sonos is also 6 1/2-inch,

01:45:00   something like that, but I mean,

01:45:01   that's fairly small for a subwoofer driver.

01:45:04   - That's why the Sonos and the Kef get such good reason.

01:45:06   Like can you believe this thing has this much bass and it has a 6-inch driver?

01:45:10   That's why, that's maybe why it costs so much money, but it's also why they get such good

01:45:13   reviews because it's like wow, they managed to get good bass, good clean bass out of it.

01:45:17   So when we say clean we mean that if you look at the frequency response diagram it's not

01:45:20   just like a giant peak around the resonant frequency of the port and then you know really

01:45:24   low everywhere else.

01:45:26   Sealed sub-orbs on the other hand are much easier to make behave like a regular speaker.

01:45:30   Some people call them "more musical" quote unquote, although you'll find many debunking

01:45:34   videos in this and saying like it look it's just a big speaker and it can have a frequency response

01:45:37   that is flat within the range that it is used or flat-ish within the range that it's used. So if

01:45:41   you're using it to augment, if you're listening to music and using a subwoofer to augment the

01:45:45   low frequencies because your bookshelf speakers have smaller drivers, get a sealed sub because

01:45:50   you won't have any boominess and it will blend in nicely with your speakers. But for my purposes,

01:45:56   the important thing is that sealed subwoofers are way way way way smaller. So I had a choice.

01:46:02   can I find a ported subwoofer that has good reviews and has good sound that I can fit in this spot?

01:46:08   Or can I find a sealed one that I can put there that takes about the same amount of room?

01:46:13   Polk and the other brands I discounted on did have subwoofers that were, I think they had both

01:46:20   ported and sealed. No, I think mostly just ported. And they were all bigger and they weren't

01:46:25   particularly well reviewed. And I said, you know what? I want to get a good subwoofer and I want

01:46:31   I want it to be small and one of the most popular subwoofer brands is the aforementioned

01:46:35   SVS.

01:46:36   And they make a 12 inch sealed subwoofer that has good reviews, has good frequency response,

01:46:41   doesn't have any features that I don't need because they make a pro version that has a

01:46:45   bunch of features that I don't care about that cost like $100 more.

01:46:47   It's like great I can save money.

01:46:49   I don't need the iOS app and all the DSP stuff.

01:46:51   I got my receiver.

01:46:52   Let me get the cheap one.

01:46:54   I didn't know if I would like or not like a sealed subwoofer.

01:46:58   I can't argue with the sizing.

01:47:00   It's a well regarded brand.

01:47:02   It's a good brand, it's got good reviews.

01:47:03   I'm like, okay, that's what I'm gonna do.

01:47:05   So I got the SVS SB 1000,

01:47:07   which I don't even think they make anymore.

01:47:08   I think they just make the Pro.

01:47:10   But the Pro is just basically this with an iOS app

01:47:12   and some more fancy buttons on the back.

01:47:14   It's basically the same physically.

01:47:16   And it fits where my old sub went.

01:47:18   And I have to say that I can definitely tell the difference

01:47:22   between a sealed versus ported sub.

01:47:24   Because unlike when you're listening to music

01:47:26   where the sealed sub is great,

01:47:29   When you're watching movies,

01:47:31   that boominess that people complain about,

01:47:33   sometimes in a movie, you kinda want that.

01:47:35   If you've been in a movie theater,

01:47:37   seeing an action movie, you're hearing some boominess.

01:47:39   Is that perfect and ideal?

01:47:41   And if you measured it in a microphone,

01:47:42   you're like, oh, it's too boomy.

01:47:44   The bottom line is that's what movie theaters sound like.

01:47:46   There are resonances.

01:47:48   The room amplifies certain frequencies.

01:47:51   You find boominess, and part of the experience of movies

01:47:54   is very often that big, low rumble.

01:47:57   and a single 12 inch sub just does not have the rumble

01:48:02   that a eight inch ported sub did.

01:48:06   And I could tell that it's cleaner,

01:48:08   I can tell that it's better, music sounds way better,

01:48:11   and in fact, most of the audio sounds better.

01:48:14   And the 12 inch sub does go down to the same frequencies

01:48:17   as a ported sub, it just doesn't have as much oomph

01:48:21   down there, and there's no resonance at the port level.

01:48:25   So, and the SBS, by the way, wasn't cheap.

01:48:27   It was, I think it was more expensive

01:48:29   than my center channel ELAC thing.

01:48:30   - Oh, wow.

01:48:31   - Although, no, I bought it from their outlet store,

01:48:33   yeah, KC Power.

01:48:34   (laughing)

01:48:35   - That's right, that's right.

01:48:36   - Find a bar, 'cause I was like,

01:48:37   I'm a shop in the outlet store, find the ones.

01:48:40   SBS is so cruel, though.

01:48:41   They sell all their speakers in like,

01:48:44   kind of like a faux wood finish,

01:48:46   and also a like glossy piano black or piano white,

01:48:50   and they charge $100 more for the glossy finish.

01:48:54   It's such an Apple move, such like a, oh no,

01:48:56   maybe a Porsche move, like, really?

01:48:58   Different finish on the speaker is plus $100

01:49:01   on a $400 product?

01:49:03   - That's amazing.

01:49:04   - That's funny.

01:49:04   So I could not, obviously I could, I bought the cheap,

01:49:06   I bought the cheap wood grain black one

01:49:08   from the outlet store, it's, you know,

01:49:10   factory refurbished, you know, five year warranty,

01:49:12   like it is from the brand, so I'm, anyway.

01:49:16   That's what I got.

01:49:16   The good thing is, my fancy receiver,

01:49:20   like most decent receivers,

01:49:23   can support more than one subwoofer.

01:49:25   That's why I was asking Marco about his.

01:49:26   Now I have, I still have,

01:49:29   and mother-in-law subwoofer is often recommended

01:49:31   because you get all sorts of dead spots in the room.

01:49:32   I was like, that's, when you were forgetting,

01:49:33   like when I sit in this chair with the subwoofer,

01:49:35   it's too loud.

01:49:36   Subwoofer is definitely,

01:49:38   so if you just have one subwoofer in a room,

01:49:39   there are going to be spots in that room

01:49:41   that are way louder or way less loud than other spots.

01:49:44   It's just, it's inevitable, right?

01:49:46   Having multiple subwoofers is a way to kind of fill that in,

01:49:49   to try to make it more even, right?

01:49:51   So you can have two subwoofers at less volume

01:49:53   than you have the one,

01:49:54   and you'll have a more even distribution

01:49:56   of where the subwoofer goes.

01:49:59   So I did try hooking up my old eight inch ported sub

01:50:04   in addition to the sealed one.

01:50:06   That definitely brings back the boom, let me tell you.

01:50:09   And so you kind of get the best of both worlds.

01:50:11   I was using Top Gun Maverick as my test thing or whatever,

01:50:14   and that was a great demonstration

01:50:15   that I spent a bunch of money on my speakers

01:50:17   and they sound better, like for movies,

01:50:19   for top gun, jet planes flying overhead,

01:50:23   missiles are going off, there's music.

01:50:25   And I also played a bunch of music from Apple Music.

01:50:28   I played a couple of the newly released singles

01:50:31   from bands that I like that were in

01:50:33   like Dolby Atmos multi-channel,

01:50:34   and that sounded surprisingly good in a way.

01:50:36   I hate spatial audio listening through AirPods,

01:50:38   but the tracks that are mastered for multi-channel audio

01:50:41   playing on my multi-channel system sounded really good.

01:50:44   And then I played some stereo tracks too

01:50:46   to hear the front and left to right

01:50:47   and getting filled in by the sub.

01:50:49   So overall I'm pretty happy with the sound but I feel like there's more I need to do with the bass

01:50:54   So, you know, I do I did find cleverly secretly don't tell my wife. Oh, no, she's listening to this now

01:51:00   She's gonna know but I have to say she didn't find this subwoofer that hid in the room

01:51:05   So I feel like if you didn't find it once you find it

01:51:09   Can you really complain that you don't want it there because you didn't even find it

01:51:13   Anyway, I do have a place for the second subwoofer

01:51:17   But my second subwoofer is you know what 10 15 years old very cheap and it makes a very low humming noise when it's plugged in

01:51:24   It has always made that noise

01:51:29   Is it like a 60 Hertz ground loop kind of hum or is it just like like, you know, just amplifier noise

01:51:34   I I know what you're talking about

01:51:37   I don't know enough to know if I could say I don't have perfect pitch when it comes to the ground loop hum

01:51:41   You know, you know that you can't mistake it, you know when you hear that sound

01:51:45   I think I think that's what it is. I can record it and see for sure

01:51:49   But I think that's what it is

01:51:50   And it has always made that sound and the volume is really low and because it is like on the floor behind stuff

01:51:56   You tend not to hear it and I've never mentioned it to anyone

01:52:00   But it does make that sound and I was happy to get my fancy new sub which does not make any noise when it's plugged

01:52:06   In like good audio components shouldn't as you know to imagine

01:52:09   I was like wow

01:52:10   It'd be great to have that hum gone right and also by the way

01:52:12   my wife did notice this, when you adjust the volume on the receiver occasionally the old

01:52:17   sub would make a little boop boop every time you want the volume go up and down right?

01:52:21   It's like from interference or?

01:52:22   Who the hell knows? It's really old, it's really cheap, like it's not super high quality

01:52:27   component you know like I it has had years of good service right? But she did notice recently

01:52:33   that's been doing that it's probably been getting worse over time. So I don't want to have my old

01:52:37   sub hooked up to my fancy new system. So I thought maybe I could just like flick it on when we watch

01:52:42   movies and then turn it off but it makes the hum whenever it's plugged in even when it's turned off

01:52:46   which again lens credence to the theory that it's you know ground loop 60 hertz hum type stuff

01:52:51   so i am looking for a cheap small ported sub that fits where this one is currently hidden

01:53:00   to augment my good fancy 12 inch sealed sub so the project is ongoing and by the way calibration

01:53:06   I did a very rough calibration and then got COVID again and had to, or had a COVID re-surge

01:53:12   in my body and had to retreat back to my room.

01:53:14   So I haven't even fully calibrated this and I've learned a lot more about calibration,

01:53:18   most of it just confusing and sad.

01:53:20   But anyway, so that's the story of my setup here.

01:53:23   If you take anything from this, please look in the show notes to links to these various

01:53:27   audio forums and review things I've seen.

01:53:29   In particular, the problem with center channel speakers video is worth watching because this

01:53:35   something I had never heard people talk about before.

01:53:38   And the reasoning and science behind it and the pervasive acceptance of it within audiophile

01:53:43   circles led me to believe that it's not just one person's vendetta, but it is just a problem

01:53:47   with the industry, which is nobody cares about center channels, the autophiles don't care

01:53:51   about it, it's just the home theater people.

01:53:53   And home theater people are pissed that they can't find good center channels.

01:53:57   Although it's not that you can't find it like there are ones with good spread.

01:54:01   There are more of them if you're willing to buy something the size of a small child.

01:54:05   They get so big.

01:54:06   I always thought to myself, "Where are people putting these?"

01:54:09   Then I watched all the YouTube videos of these audio files doing it.

01:54:12   They put them on, not on milk crates, but basically on milk crates in front of their

01:54:16   giant screens.

01:54:17   It's like a small child sat on top of its own private piece of furniture, tilted up,

01:54:21   and they're so huge.

01:54:23   You can't put them in any kind of cabinet.

01:54:25   They're bigger than my XDR in terms of width, and they're really deep.

01:54:29   They're just so, I mean, if you think about

01:54:31   when you go to the movie theater,

01:54:33   you ever look on the wall and look at those speakers

01:54:34   and think about how big they are?

01:54:35   That's what people are putting in their homes, right?

01:54:37   And just picture one of those on its side.

01:54:39   Even Monoprice makes this like massive center channel

01:54:42   that if you look at it, you're like,

01:54:43   oh, that looks slim, you can do that.

01:54:44   No, it literally does not fit in any of my furniture.

01:54:47   It's just, they're just huge.

01:54:48   So you can get good center channels,

01:54:51   but not if you're like a reasonable person

01:54:53   who wants to not have a little altar

01:54:56   for your speaker in front of your television.

01:54:59   Again, my room is not a home theater room.

01:55:00   It is just like the main living room of my house,

01:55:02   so I can't do that.

01:55:04   So anyway, check out the center channel speaker.

01:55:05   Check out the different measurements that they do on it

01:55:07   and understand what they're talking about,

01:55:09   and it is like kind of a bad spot on the market.

01:55:11   And once you go down that rabbit hole,

01:55:13   it is fun to look at like, you know,

01:55:15   whatever speaker you're looking for.

01:55:16   If you're looking for bookshelf speakers

01:55:18   or like computer speakers or whatever,

01:55:19   to see what the options are,

01:55:21   'cause there are a lot of surprisingly good options

01:55:23   for not that much money that are gonna be

01:55:25   a million times better than whatever you're using now.

01:55:28   And then if you want to go whole hog,

01:55:29   you could get something like Marco did

01:55:30   with that fancy little tiny sub.

01:55:31   Like it's good that stuff like that exists

01:55:33   because there are people trying to fill this market of like,

01:55:37   so you want good sounding speakers for your computer

01:55:41   and you don't want them to be like

01:55:43   you're having too many fridges on your desk?

01:55:45   You know, but people are willing to find them.

01:55:47   Like even like, what do you,

01:55:48   do you have keft speakers on your computer?

01:55:50   - Yeah, I have the Q150s here

01:55:52   and at my TV, I have the Q350s.

01:55:54   Now in their defense,

01:55:57   they are not made to be used this way, like at all.

01:56:00   - They're not, like Marco is doing a little bit overkill,

01:56:02   but even the 150s I feel like that is not that big.

01:56:05   Like you can fit them on a desk and not feel ridiculous.

01:56:08   - Yeah, the depth is what really, the depth is--

01:56:11   - Right, but a desk has depth, right?

01:56:13   - Yes, but like, it's funny, when you actually look at

01:56:17   speaker audition rooms and high end stereo stores

01:56:19   and everything, they're placed way out from the wall.

01:56:22   Most speakers are designed to be at least a foot

01:56:26   away from the wall.

01:56:26   - Well, it depends if they're ported,

01:56:28   and it depends if they're rear ported or front ported.

01:56:29   - True, but most good speakers are designed

01:56:33   to have a decent amount of space between them

01:56:36   and the wall behind them, and in reality,

01:56:38   nobody has their room for that in their rooms,

01:56:40   and so nobody ever sets them up that way.

01:56:42   - Well, the home theater people do,

01:56:43   because you see where they port them,

01:56:44   they're like, that's like three feet from the back wall.

01:56:46   It's like, yeah, this whole room is just for theater.

01:56:47   - No, I mean, what everybody always tells me,

01:56:49   please, before you write in, I know on my desk

01:56:52   I'm supposed to be using studio monitors.

01:56:54   I know that.

01:56:56   I don't care.

01:56:57   I love the way the Q150s sound.

01:57:00   And I know it's not correct, but it's what I like.

01:57:04   So you're going to have to deal with it.

01:57:06   - KEF was one of the brands that they said

01:57:07   that you can basically back all the way up against the wall,

01:57:09   the non-ported KEF speakers.

01:57:11   Maybe it's because the cases are so big

01:57:14   that no matter how far you push up against the wall,

01:57:15   they're not really that close to the wall.

01:57:17   But that was one of the selling points, yeah.

01:57:19   So, oh, and I did, the other thing I did

01:57:23   I did actually overbuy some stuff because I didn't know if I was going to like the ELAC

01:57:27   or whether it would fit.

01:57:28   So I also bought a Polk Center channel, which as it turns out I think I'm not going to use

01:57:32   because I think I do like the ELAC one.

01:57:35   So I will probably be returning and/or reselling that one.

01:57:37   Well I'm glad you're happy.

01:57:39   I'm glad you've gone down this road.

01:57:42   My goodness what a journey though, as it always is.

01:57:45   And we didn't even prepare the way.

01:57:48   We skipped all that.

01:57:49   I mean, I'm still, I have, I won't talk about this now,

01:57:52   but I'll save her for your episode.

01:57:53   The project is not done.

01:57:54   I have the speakers on stands.

01:57:56   I have the speakers on stands,

01:57:57   but they're not supposed to be on stands.

01:57:59   It's supposed to be a piece of furniture

01:58:00   that's supposed to, that one I'm supposed to go on.

01:58:02   That's gonna hold my Blu-ray player,

01:58:04   which can no longer fit them.

01:58:04   You know, like there's a whole, you know,

01:58:07   tile puzzle thing going on there.

01:58:08   But the piece of furniture is the wrong height,

01:58:10   so I have to cut it down.

01:58:11   So I have to go to Home Depot to buy some threaded rod

01:58:13   and cut it with a hacksaw.

01:58:14   And like, that's all, that's all in the future.

01:58:17   I'm still working.

01:58:18   And then calibration.

01:58:18   Calibration, plus with the multi subs,

01:58:21   there'll be more updates in the future,

01:58:22   but anyway, I just wanted to fill everyone in.

01:58:24   I do get new speakers, they do sound better,

01:58:26   my journey continues.

01:58:28   (laughing)

01:58:30   I am very happy for you.

01:58:32   - Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:58:34   Trade Coffee and Collide,

01:58:36   and thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:58:37   You can join at ATP.fm/join.

01:58:40   We will talk to you next week.

01:58:43   (upbeat music)

01:58:45   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:58:48   They didn't even mean to begin, 'cause it was accidental.

01:58:52   (Accidental)

01:58:53   Oh, it was accidental.

01:58:55   (Accidental)

01:58:56   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, 'cause it was accidental.

01:59:02   (Accidental)

01:59:03   It was accidental.

01:59:05   (Accidental)

01:59:06   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:59:11   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:59:20   So that's Casey, Liszt, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:59:25   Auntie Marco, Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A, Syracuse

01:59:32   It's accidental (it's accidental)

01:59:35   They didn't mean to, accidental (accidental)

01:59:40   ♪ Tech podcast so long ♪

01:59:43   - I have to thank the person who gave me the discount.

01:59:47   I did thank them over email and everything,

01:59:48   but thank you again.

01:59:50   Despite my complaining about,

01:59:51   "Oh, I have all these discounts, I don't know what to do."

01:59:52   And despite the fact that it basically led me

01:59:55   to buy all Polk speakers, in the end,

01:59:57   they're good speakers.

01:59:59   There were discounts on good reputable brands.

02:00:01   So I'm very happy with the speakers I got.

02:00:03   And I don't know what I would have done with the discount.

02:00:05   I would probably still be fretting.

02:00:06   - If we know any KEF sales reps, let me know.

02:00:09   (laughs)

02:00:09   Yeah, once I had the discount, I was like, hey,

02:00:11   does anyone have an SVS discount?

02:00:13   Because those subs are expensive.

02:00:14   It's like, I'm just getting mad with discount power.

02:00:16   To Marco's point, you bought yours on sale,

02:00:19   a lot of times speakers do go on very deep sale.

02:00:22   Or in the case of SVS, you can shop in their outlet store,

02:00:25   and it's like hundreds of dollars off stuff

02:00:27   for like open box or factory refurbished or whatever.

02:00:31   If it's from the manufacturer and they guarantee it,

02:00:34   like just same as a new product, there's not a lot of risk

02:00:36   in buying it and you save a lot of money.

02:00:38   - Yeah, even just like on Amazon sometimes.

02:00:40   Like the KEF speakers, you'll occasionally catch them

02:00:42   on sale on Amazon for like 40 or 50% off.

02:00:46   Like I don't know why, and they're legitimate.

02:00:49   - 'Cause they have huge margins, that's why.

02:00:50   - Yeah, I guess that's why.

02:00:52   - And KEF speakers are expensive, but yeah,

02:00:54   that's why you will actually find them discounted,

02:00:56   especially if you buy like last year's model,

02:00:58   like the new one comes out and it's got a different piano,

02:01:01   black finish or whatever, get the last year's one,

02:01:03   they're still good speakers.

02:01:04   - Yeah, I mean similarly for me,

02:01:05   And I think I kind of made the passing mention of this on the show when I was talking about my sono setup

02:01:10   But I was able to get a steep discount on my sono stuff

02:01:14   And that's why I was able to go hog freakin wild like there was

02:01:17   No way that I was going to spend the kind of money I spent

02:01:20   Which I mean, I think the full retail price for my setup was something like three ish thousand dollars

02:01:26   And I spent way less than that way way way less than that

02:01:29   So I was very lucky and I am very appreciative to the person that that was able to score that for me

02:01:35   So I can totally sympathize with people.

02:01:38   You know, if you're paying full price for all this stuff,

02:01:40   which I do for almost everything I buy,

02:01:42   I just happen to get lucky on the Sonos stuff,

02:01:44   it gets expensive fast.

02:01:46   Like home theater stuff, I don't know if you've noticed,

02:01:48   Jon, but home theater stuff gets pricey real quick.

02:01:52   - But other things, like you can't,

02:01:53   like it's best to just wait.

02:01:54   Like don't wait for like Black Friday or whatever.

02:01:57   Like wait for that particular brand of speaker

02:01:59   to go on sale 'cause it's not like,

02:02:01   you know, even the friends and family discount

02:02:02   that I've described, when you get an Apple friends

02:02:04   and family discount, it's like 5% off, $50 back on your phone.

02:02:11   It's not nothing, but it's not significant.

02:02:14   Whereas the friends and family discounts on these speakers, or even just the sale price

02:02:17   on Amazon when they want to clear inventory, it's so much less than the regular price.

02:02:21   It feels like no one should ever pay full price for speakers, but just wait for them

02:02:26   to go on sale because the discounts are so big and their discounts don't make any sense

02:02:31   because the new model of the speaker comes out,

02:02:33   it's not twice as good.

02:02:34   Pay half the price when they go on a 50% off sale

02:02:37   when the new speaker comes out.

02:02:38   After reading reviews, obviously, and blah, blah, blah.

02:02:41   - I will say, though, one nitpick I have,

02:02:44   or one nit I have to pick with you, Jon, on this topic is,

02:02:48   people, and maybe, I think it's mostly your fault

02:02:51   by constantly telling me how good a center channel is,

02:02:54   but people keep telling me, from you to our friend

02:02:58   Ben Thompson, too many others.

02:03:00   Oh, just try a center channel.

02:03:02   You gotta try it.

02:03:03   Because I have the Sonos amp set up and the Sonos sub,

02:03:09   what it would take for me to try a center channel,

02:03:12   so I have Sonos amp powering two Q50s,

02:03:17   two Q350s, excuse me, and a Sonos sub.

02:03:20   There is no way to use the Sonos sub

02:03:24   with any left and right channel speaker setup,

02:03:27   as far as I can tell.

02:03:29   'Cause the only things that can power it

02:03:31   are the Sonos amp, which only supports left

02:03:33   and right channels and no center,

02:03:34   or a Sonos soundbar.

02:03:37   And as far as I know, you can't connect

02:03:40   separate left and right speakers to a Sonos soundbar.

02:03:44   You can't even use Sonos' own wireless,

02:03:46   but you can use them as rears.

02:03:48   Like if you have a Sonos soundbar,

02:03:49   you can get two other Sonos speakers

02:03:51   and use them as rears,

02:03:52   but you can't use them as front, left, and rights.

02:03:55   It's the most frustrating limitation.

02:03:57   I think your keft does this.

02:03:59   One of the features that a lot of subs have is they say,

02:04:01   basically, hey, just send me the sub, your left and right

02:04:04   channels, as well as the sub.

02:04:06   And then you connect your left and right speakers to the sub.

02:04:09   Yeah.

02:04:09   Sonos could have done that.

02:04:11   If it-- like, lots of subs do that.

02:04:12   But it's like, we know you don't have a way

02:04:14   to connect all this stuff up.

02:04:15   So just send all the music to the sub.

02:04:17   And the sub, with its fancy stuff,

02:04:18   will figure out how to distribute the audio.

02:04:20   And then your left and right will be connected to the sub.

02:04:21   But yeah.

02:04:22   Sonos-- there was the interview with the CEO of Sonos

02:04:25   talking about their new speakers that actually have line in on them because

02:04:28   what they basically said is hey people buying record players like dummies and

02:04:32   they want to connect their record players to their speakers and the

02:04:39   record players like you can buy like a Bluetooth dongle and stuff like that but

02:04:42   people say hey I have this phono output can I just plug this into your speaker

02:04:46   and so the latest Sonos speakers actually do have a line in on them still

02:04:50   they're not like stereo components well they probably don't have phono preamps

02:04:53   though yeah yeah I think I think they do I think they said specifically whether

02:04:58   there's a switch right you know yeah what we're talking about is the record

02:05:02   players because their record players are super old put out output at a different

02:05:05   level than you get from other sources so your your thing that is getting the

02:05:09   input needs to know hey this is this is phono input this is from a phonograph

02:05:12   this is from the 1900s right yeah well because what most people don't know is

02:05:17   that record players did not output regular line level audio the way we know

02:05:21   in more modern terms.

02:05:24   They have, like records were mastered with a special EQ

02:05:28   that basically reduced the,

02:05:30   the version of the sound that's encoded on the record

02:05:33   has way less bass because large bass frequencies

02:05:38   encoded there would actually make the needle

02:05:39   jump out of the track.

02:05:41   And so they called it the RAA curve

02:05:44   and they had this whole custom EQ curve

02:05:46   that records were pressed in

02:05:50   And then the record player,

02:05:52   or the amp you were running it through,

02:05:54   would run it through a circuit that would undo that curve

02:05:57   and make it regular.

02:05:59   - It would try to fix it, 'cause if you listen to the audio

02:06:01   as it comes out of the record player,

02:06:02   it would sound even worse than it actually does.

02:06:04   - Yeah, if you put your ear up to the needle as it's moving,

02:06:06   you can hear this little tiny tinny version of it,

02:06:09   and it sounds horrendous if you actually amplify that.

02:06:12   And so if you just take the raw output from a record player

02:06:17   and plug it into a regular amp, it won't sound right.

02:06:19   you need a special phono preamp that does that conversion.

02:06:22   And so I'll look it up, I wonder if,

02:06:24   do the new Sonos era speakers actually have that built in?

02:06:28   - I mean, he specifically said it was for that.

02:06:31   It could be that he's assuming people

02:06:32   at modern record players have one on one.

02:06:34   - I think that's correct. - That's the thing.

02:06:35   So yeah, most, like if you go out today

02:06:37   and buy like a modern hipster record player,

02:06:39   they all, I mean, first of all,

02:06:41   they all have Bluetooth in them.

02:06:42   But second of all, they also all have built-in phono preamps.

02:06:45   So this is not a thing you have to worry about

02:06:47   with quote new record players,

02:06:50   but if you have like your parents old record player

02:06:53   from the 1960s and 70s, like this,

02:06:55   you will have to deal with this.

02:06:56   - Yeah, on the flip side of that,

02:06:57   fancy receivers still have phono input

02:07:00   that understands like actual phono input for expo,

02:07:02   like that has not gone away,

02:07:04   that is still a component of all like top of Navy gear.

02:07:07   But Marco, you and I are in opposite situations.

02:07:09   I couldn't look at the Sonos sub

02:07:10   even though it is small and is a good sub and it would fit,

02:07:13   because how the hell am I gonna hook that up?

02:07:14   And you can't look at center channels

02:07:15   'cause how the hell are you gonna hook that up?

02:07:17   - Right. - Sonos is a separate world.

02:07:18   - For me to try a central channel,

02:07:21   I would have to buy a receiver

02:07:24   and redo that whole setup.

02:07:27   - Or a different soundbar.

02:07:29   - No, I couldn't use the Sonos amp

02:07:31   or the Sonos sub anymore.

02:07:33   I'd have to get rid of both of those components,

02:07:35   which I love, and then replace them with a receiver,

02:07:38   which would be this giant thing

02:07:40   that would take up more space,

02:07:41   would have its own remote, would have its own control.

02:07:43   That's why I love my setup.

02:07:45   It's super simple.

02:07:47   The Sonos AMP does not have a remote control.

02:07:51   It just takes volume from the TV through HDMI eARC

02:07:54   or whatever, and so the volume's controlled by the TV,

02:07:58   it automatically switches inputs, it's wonderful.

02:08:02   It's like having, it's like the small box allows me

02:08:05   to plug in passive bookshelf speakers and a wireless sub

02:08:09   into, almost directly into my TV.

02:08:11   It's wonderful, and so you had to try a central channel

02:08:16   would be somewhat involved.

02:08:18   - I mean, you could get a Sonos soundbar

02:08:20   and then you would, I know you wouldn't be able

02:08:23   to use your left and right channels, you're right,

02:08:25   nevermind.

02:08:26   - Now you know how much Marker loves soundbars.

02:08:27   Yeah, that's the other thing people complain about.

02:08:29   In general, soundbars demand to be your left and right.

02:08:32   They're like, no, I'm a soundbar,

02:08:33   I will not be your center channel.

02:08:35   - Well, 'cause then otherwise, that ruins the illusion

02:08:38   that they're anything but a trumped up center channel.

02:08:40   - Yeah, I mean, that's the part of the,

02:08:41   I mean, the soundbar and center channels

02:08:44   have some of the same problems.

02:08:46   soundbars have to be slim to fit where they fit and that means the drivers in them need

02:08:50   to be small and that means they need to be augmented by a subwoofer and it's difficult.

02:08:54   At least soundbars at least are engineered to try to sound good because it's not like

02:09:00   they're an afterthought.

02:09:01   That's the whole product.

02:09:02   The soundbar is the product so they try to make them sound good whereas center channels

02:09:05   in 5.1 or 7.1 or whatever systems, it's always just like an afterthought speaker.

02:09:11   It's almost like the Mac Pro where they didn't want to spend the engineering resources.

02:09:13   All the resources go to the left and right things, the big tower speakers, to get them

02:09:18   to sound good, to get them to have a good dispersion pattern with no dead zones and

02:09:21   carefully tuned or whatever.

02:09:22   And then they say, "Okay, we need a speaker for the center."

02:09:25   Eh, slap something there.

02:09:27   And before you ask, one of the things people think is, "Well, what if you just take a left

02:09:29   or a right speaker, like one of the good ones of the engineer, and lay it on its side?"

02:09:33   That tends not to work well, because again, the dispersion pattern is made for it to be

02:09:37   vertical.

02:09:38   Once you lay it on its side, it makes everything all cattywampus.

02:09:40   But I did look into it.

02:09:41   The other problem is that even bookshelf speakers are pretty darn big, and so at least center

02:09:47   channels tried to be slim-ish.

02:09:49   Like a bookshelf speaker that had the drivers that the size of my center channel does laid

02:09:55   on its side wouldn't fit because they would arrange them differently there.

02:09:59   It's a tough situation.

02:10:01   Real time follow up to go back to the Sonos line-in discussion.

02:10:05   I was thinking about it and I was like, "I feel like I had to cross this Rubicon at some

02:10:09   point. So I'm looking at my Sonos port, which is not the same as the speakers, but presumably

02:10:14   would work? It's an amp without the amp. Yeah, exactly. And when I was setting up the turntable

02:10:20   coming into the port, because the port has in and out, and so the port is what's also

02:10:24   driving my port speakers, well, via, and the port drives the amp, which drives the outdoor

02:10:29   speakers. Anyways, in the port settings, there's line in, which, you know, you can set what

02:10:35   the name is and whatnot. You can also set the source level which runs from low, or excuse

02:10:40   me, level one which is labeled as low, two is considered AV component, four is labeled

02:10:45   as AirPlay, excuse me, six is labeled as Mac computer, there's all one through ten, eight

02:10:49   is labeled as portable player or PC, and ten is high. And you can set the source level

02:10:54   based on that. So I think it will, it basically can be either phono in or irregular in.

02:11:01   But you're talking about levels versus the actual EQ change.

02:11:06   If it does not say it has a phono preamp, it doesn't.

02:11:10   - Oh, no, that's a fair point, that's a fair point.

02:11:11   Yeah, I'm honestly not sure.

02:11:13   I'm trying to look at the documentation.

02:11:14   I'm really honestly not sure.

02:11:15   - Yeah, I mean, the sono stuff is not AV equipment.

02:11:17   Every AV receiver has a phono input,

02:11:19   which is hilarious when you see all this stuff

02:11:21   that's in the back, but they all have it

02:11:22   because it's just like that's,

02:11:24   the same reason they have giant knobs in the front.

02:11:25   It's like, it's just what you do.

02:11:27   - Yeah, and that's the whole world

02:11:28   that I don't wanna be in if I don't need to be.

02:11:30   - Yeah, the world of receiver is, it's better than it was.

02:11:33   I mean, the receiver I got wasn't that that expensive,

02:11:36   and it has like every feature under the sun.

02:11:37   I could have gotten a worse receiver and still been fine.

02:11:39   I just wanted to have a little overhead.

02:11:42   Setting aside the inability to buy receivers at all,

02:11:44   because apparently they couldn't manufacture them,

02:11:46   and there's a lot of consolidation in the industry,

02:11:48   but, and there's definitely room for improvement there,

02:11:50   but they're way better than they were

02:11:51   when I bought my last receiver,

02:11:52   when it was still like the Stone Age,

02:11:54   where like the on-screen displays look like VCRs

02:11:56   from like, you know, the 1980s.

02:11:58   They are better than that.

02:11:59   Mine isn't much better than that.

02:12:00   Some of them are.

02:12:01   Sony actually finally made a new receiver.

02:12:03   Like you thought Sony was out of the Blu-ray player

02:12:06   business and the receiver business,

02:12:07   but suddenly after, I think it might be 10 year gap,

02:12:09   some insane year gap, they made a new receiver.

02:12:13   And it's good, surprise, modern technology.

02:12:15   You can make a better receiver than you made 10 years ago.

02:12:17   Congratulations, Sony.

02:12:18   - Who would have thunk it?

02:12:19   - The other thing I didn't mention

02:12:20   is I put banana clips in everything.

02:12:21   - Nice. - Big upgrade.

02:12:23   - Oh, how did that go?

02:12:24   - It's pretty well.

02:12:26   I also bought new speaker wire.

02:12:28   I didn't want to rewire everything because,

02:12:31   I don't know, I'm just crawling around, whatever.

02:12:33   And basically I didn't rewire--

02:12:34   - Did you get the like, you know,

02:12:35   never contacted Oxygen, you know,

02:12:37   mined from the depths of the sun?

02:12:39   - No, no.

02:12:41   So when I bought the new ones, I'm like,

02:12:42   look, I want better speaker wire,

02:12:45   mostly because I was talking about

02:12:46   how I'd made the runs too tight

02:12:48   and there wasn't a lot of slack

02:12:49   and I wanted to fix that problem.

02:12:50   And it's like, well, while I'm there,

02:12:51   I should get better wire.

02:12:52   'Cause I had like, I forget what I had.

02:12:54   I think I had like, maybe I had 18 gauge,

02:12:57   maybe it was 16, I forget.

02:12:58   But it was it was cheap speaker wire

02:13:00   But I decided rewire but every right everything so I didn't rewire the backs arounds because again who cares

02:13:04   They're small speakers

02:13:05   And I didn't want those those are the wires that run the longest and I have to move the most furniture

02:13:09   So I didn't rewire those but I rewired my front left and right

02:13:12   And my center and my sub already had a big thick, you know sub speaker going to it. So that was fine

02:13:18   and I bought I bought wire with like a

02:13:22   One of those they like sheath on it for in wall use

02:13:26   Even though mine aren't in the walls just because the sheath was white and it would blend with my baseboard

02:13:31   That's also white instead of being like, you know speaker wire color speaker wire brown. It could be the same colors

02:13:36   Right speaker wire brown does not blend with my baseboard. It does blend with my hardwood floors

02:13:42   But anyway, so I bought white sheathed 14 gauge wire

02:13:46   Which is probably overkill for speakers that are like three feet from my TV

02:13:49   But whatever and then I rewired everything and the wire is thicker

02:13:53   Obviously it's 14 gauge, but as the gauge number goes down the wire gets thicker

02:13:56   And it's got the sheath on it

02:13:59   but it let me sort of

02:14:01   Get clean connections to the new banana clips and that all worked out pretty well

02:14:05   I'm happy that I did the banana clips because now I can easily connect and disconnect the speakers

02:14:09   And I don't have to worry about like metal fatigue slowly making them

02:14:13   Come undone because they're screwed into these little posts or whatever

02:14:16   And I put banana clips on the backs around as well, so that was a big upgrade

02:14:21   Nice.

02:14:22   Highly endorsed banana clips.

02:14:24   - My recommendation for people's speaker wire needs

02:14:27   is the first time you need to make your own speaker wire

02:14:31   lengths for whatever reason, just go buy a spool.

02:14:35   - Yeah, that's what I bought, I bought a spool.

02:14:36   - Yeah, buy a spool of inexpensive, cheaper speaker wire,

02:14:40   Amazon, Monoprice, whatever,

02:14:42   you will never need more than that.

02:14:44   That will last the rest of your life.

02:14:46   - Unless you're me, because that's part of the reason

02:14:49   runs were too short. I measured for my 5.1 system when I first installed it, I measured

02:14:56   15 times. I'm like, "This will be enough wire." But it's kind of like the shore of England

02:15:02   or whatever, the shore of Scotland. It's got lots of little kinks in it, and so you're

02:15:05   measuring all this stuff and you think you measured it all, but did you account for the

02:15:08   vertical runs? Did you account for how far it has to go into your entertainment center?

02:15:12   I bought like, I think, a 100-foot spool, and I ended up using pretty much all of it.

02:15:18   And I made a couple of the runs too short.

02:15:21   So when I bought another spool, I bought 100 feet of it, but I didn't do the back surrounds

02:15:25   with it.

02:15:26   So I had plenty left over, and now I think I may have gotten too far in the other direction

02:15:28   where I've got some coils as slack, where I'm like, "I've got all this extra wire, what

02:15:32   am I going to do with it?"

02:15:33   So I may cut them down farther.

02:15:35   But that's the beauty of having the banana clips, the banana plugs, and a spool of wire.

02:15:39   You can just cut, splice, make it any length you want.

02:15:43   If you make a mistake, you can always make it shorter.

02:15:44   You can't make it longer, but you can always make it shorter.

02:15:47   And I do have plenty left on the spool, so I'm pretty happy with how that went in my

02:15:50   two days between COVID.

02:15:52   You did a lot in those two days.

02:15:54   I did.

02:15:55   Like basically on the first day I spent the whole day just crawling around on the floor

02:15:58   and removed everything from the entertainment center.

02:16:01   You know, just crawling around back there, pulling out all the old wires, putting everything

02:16:05   in.

02:16:06   It was refreshing.

02:16:07   Just, if you can imagine the back of an AV receiver with, you know, five, six, six pairs

02:16:14   of wire.

02:16:15   I mean, I do the math wrong all the time.

02:16:16   5.1 right well it's five speakers plus you got the subwoofer but anyway each one of those is like this little speaker wire

02:16:22   And it's split and then like the little the little stranded

02:16:25   You know wire that's twisted and shoved into a little hole and screwed down on it, and they're all so close to each other

02:16:30   It's just such a mess to just rip all that out and to have plugs plug plug plug plug plug plug

02:16:35   It's so much nicer. I feel so much better. It's like a dream. I should have done this ages ago

02:16:39   There we go.

02:16:40   (beeping)