529: The Cycles of Marco


00:00:00   There is a thunderstorm happening outdoors.

00:00:03   John apparently lost power for several hours earlier today.

00:00:06   So this is going to be a little bit more of a stressful ATP recording for us than it normally is.

00:00:12   We'll see how it goes.

00:00:13   I feel great. I just live on a barrier island.

00:00:16   Yeah, I'm sure your house will still be there in 15 years.

00:00:18   [Music]

00:00:20   News, breaking news even.

00:00:22   There is not another holiday to celebrate, unfortunately.

00:00:25   I wish I could come up with one. I'm so sorry, John.

00:00:27   But I have different good news.

00:00:29   Don't worry. Give him time listeners. He will find more.

00:00:31   Anniversaries you were celebrating the holidays.

00:00:35   They're all holidays to me, John. But anyway, uh, we have some breaking news.

00:00:39   It turns out that we ordered a, another shipment of mugs,

00:00:44   I don't know, like a month or two back. It was a little while ago and in January,

00:00:48   thank you. And we used the little tool that, that, uh,

00:00:52   our friends at cotton Bureau put together to email those that have said, Hey,

00:00:56   Email me when this comes back, please.

00:00:58   And it turns out that, as expected,

00:01:00   not everyone who requested that email

00:01:02   has actually purchased a mug.

00:01:04   So if you're looking for a mug,

00:01:06   you can go to ATP.fm/store and get yourself a mug.

00:01:09   And John, these are the red interiors, is that correct?

00:01:12   - They're almost all red interiors.

00:01:14   There's a handful of gray interiors left,

00:01:16   if that's what you want.

00:01:17   - There's also a smattering of pint glasses.

00:01:19   There are not many.

00:01:20   So for both of these,

00:01:22   I would suggest acting sooner rather than later.

00:01:24   but particularly for the pint glasses,

00:01:26   there's very few of those remaining.

00:01:28   So if you're interested, go snatch those up at ATP.FM.

00:01:32   - Yeah, and this is not, to be clear,

00:01:33   this is not our pre-WWC merch sale.

00:01:36   We're still working on that.

00:01:37   This is just some leftover stock

00:01:38   that honestly we forgot that we even had.

00:01:40   So it's been there.

00:01:42   You could have come at any time

00:01:44   between the last sale and now and gotten a mug,

00:01:45   but occasionally we do get messages from people

00:01:48   like, "Oh, I had a mug and I dropped it and it broke.

00:01:50   "When are you gonna sell them again?"

00:01:51   And we're like, "Oh, I don't know."

00:01:52   Oh, anyway, they've been there the whole time.

00:01:53   Sorry about that.

00:01:54   So yeah, and same thing with pint glasses if you've broken one or just want some more.

00:02:01   When you go to adb.fm store, you will see the mug and the pint glass at the top of the

00:02:04   page.

00:02:05   You also see a whole bunch of shirts.

00:02:07   Do not buy those shirts.

00:02:08   Those shirts are for the suckers who desperately want a shirt now, now, now and can't wait

00:02:15   for the sale.

00:02:16   But you, you know the WWDC is coming and you can wait for the WWDC sale where you will

00:02:20   get the superior quality and more expensive shirts that we have for the WWDC sale.

00:02:27   So don't be distracted and think, "Oh, this must be all the shirts they have for WWDC."

00:02:31   It's not.

00:02:32   That's just our on-demand shirts.

00:02:33   Honestly, I like some of them because they're simpler and don't have stuff on the back or

00:02:36   whatever, but the printing process is not as fancy as the printing process that we use

00:02:41   for the time-limited sales.

00:02:43   So for all the people who listen to this show, you know not to buy the shirts until we tell

00:02:48   you, "Hey, it's a WWDC merch sale."

00:02:50   But the mugs and the pint glasses are exactly the same as they've always ever been, so that's

00:02:53   what we're telling you about now.

00:02:54   Oh, I have some other follow-up for members of the show.

00:02:59   This is possibly my favorite bug report I've ever gotten.

00:03:03   We've heard from actually a few members over the last few months, if you were still using

00:03:08   what used to be called iTunes, now it's called the music app on the Mac, to sync with an

00:03:13   iPod.

00:03:14   If you were syncing our podcast through either our bootleg or our member feeds to an iPod,

00:03:20   It wouldn't have worked when I changed the CMS a few months back for any episode past

00:03:25   when we started membership.

00:03:27   So whenever that was, like three years ago, two years ago.

00:03:30   The feed just didn't see those episodes.

00:03:32   Only if you were syncing to an iPod.

00:03:33   What?

00:03:34   I'm happy to report that I have fixed this bug this week.

00:03:38   How?

00:03:39   What was the bug?

00:03:42   So a special thanks to member Charlie who wrote in and was the latest person to report

00:03:47   this.

00:03:48   Earlier people had written in.

00:03:49   I don't have your names handy.

00:03:51   I had just let them fall on the floor

00:03:53   after a while of giving up.

00:03:54   So, Charlie pointed out exactly which episode

00:03:58   was when the cutoff was that it stopped syncing.

00:04:00   And I took a look in the feed and I realized

00:04:02   that was when I had changed the enclosure URLs,

00:04:06   like the audio file name URLs that are in the feed,

00:04:09   to just be like long hashes.

00:04:12   And they did not end in .mp3.

00:04:16   And I remember when I was looking at this,

00:04:18   I'm like, wait a minute, I remember a long time ago,

00:04:22   Apple used to require that podcast feeds,

00:04:25   they used to have to end the enclosure file names in .mp3.

00:04:30   And I think this was even undocumented.

00:04:32   But if you didn't do that, your feed wouldn't--

00:04:34   - Undocumented from Apple?

00:04:35   No. - I know, right?

00:04:36   But, and to be fair, the Apple podcast team

00:04:39   has always documented the feed format

00:04:40   they expect and work with, but,

00:04:43   and I don't know if this detail was documented,

00:04:44   but that was a detail back forever ago.

00:04:47   And for some reason, that was buried in my mind.

00:04:50   That's what sticks in there.

00:04:51   Not like birthdays, holidays, homework assignments,

00:04:54   but that sticks in there.

00:04:56   And I'm like, wait a minute.

00:04:58   I wonder, if I just add .mp3 to the end of these URLs,

00:05:03   I bet they'll start working.

00:05:05   And sure enough, they did.

00:05:07   So file extensions live on,

00:05:11   much to people like John's chagrin.

00:05:14   - File name extensions.

00:05:16   I hate when people shorten it to file extensions because it doesn't make any sense.

00:05:20   File name extensions, they're extensions on the file name, they're not extensions

00:05:23   on the file.

00:05:24   Next, Marco's going to tell you about his ATM machine.

00:05:27   Yeah, yeah, which I accessed with my personal PIN number.

00:05:29   No, that's the opposite.

00:05:30   That's adding too much information.

00:05:32   This is removing information.

00:05:34   File name extensions.

00:05:35   Yeah, that's terrible because the world is terrible and we can't have nice things

00:05:38   because the whole world decided that they wanted to use file name extensions.

00:05:42   We all suffer for it.

00:05:44   - For a brief time, I lived without them

00:05:45   and it was glorious.

00:05:47   I'll tell my grandchildren about it.

00:05:48   (laughing)

00:05:50   - Well, I'm glad to hear that.

00:05:51   Also, we have some news.

00:05:52   I genuinely, Marco did not tell us this

00:05:54   before he brought it up on the show,

00:05:55   so that was surprising and new for me.

00:05:57   And then you also have some news for members in India,

00:06:00   is that correct?

00:06:01   - That was another whole thing.

00:06:02   There was a very difficult to find bug in our CMS

00:06:07   or in our payment gateway in particular

00:06:09   that would affect cards that were verified

00:06:12   with a thing called 3D Secure,

00:06:14   which I think is pretty much universal in India

00:06:17   and doesn't exist in the US.

00:06:18   So I really didn't know about it.

00:06:20   And this is one of those many details that Stripe,

00:06:23   which is what we use to process our payments,

00:06:25   pretty much handles for you.

00:06:26   You don't really have to think about it.

00:06:28   Except when you start customizing crap behind the scenes,

00:06:31   which of course we can't help ourselves but do sometimes.

00:06:33   And I had customized things behind the scenes

00:06:35   in such a way that was breaking 3D Secure

00:06:37   in a really difficult to find way.

00:06:39   And some people, I don't know if it's everyone in India,

00:06:43   but certainly multiple members who tried to sign up

00:06:47   in India were getting an expired payment link error.

00:06:50   And it was very, very hard to diagnose,

00:06:51   but I eventually figured out it was,

00:06:52   there was something I was doing on the back end

00:06:54   to make failed payments suck less

00:06:57   in the way they're handled.

00:06:58   I was being too clever and it broke 3D Secure

00:07:00   and I unbroke it, so sorry.

00:07:02   - And then as a final note, speaking of members,

00:07:05   just a very heartfelt thank you to all of you

00:07:08   who have ever been a member,

00:07:09   and especially those who are currently members,

00:07:11   and double especially for those who just recently signed up

00:07:14   after us talking about it recently.

00:07:15   So thank you to all of you.

00:07:17   Our membership numbers are looking better than ever,

00:07:19   and I'm genuinely extremely pleased and humbled

00:07:21   and thankful for that.

00:07:22   So thank you, everyone. - Yeah, me too.

00:07:23   - We appreciate it.

00:07:24   All right, let's do some follow-up.

00:07:26   The WWDC lottery has come in.

00:07:28   I can tell you that I am not a big winner.

00:07:31   - I'm pretty sure we can safely say we all lost,

00:07:34   is that right? (laughs)

00:07:35   - Yep, I mean, the odds were against us,

00:07:36   so it is what it is.

00:07:37   - No, WWC lottery winners amongst the ATP hosts,

00:07:41   which is expected.

00:07:43   - Yeah.

00:07:44   - But congratulations to all the winners.

00:07:45   And honestly, we don't even wanna win the lottery.

00:07:47   We don't wanna take someone else's spot.

00:07:48   We want press passes.

00:07:50   Which we also probably won't get, but still.

00:07:52   - Yeah, that's what we want,

00:07:53   but I'm not sure that's what we're getting.

00:07:54   - That's a different lottery.

00:07:56   - That's not a lottery, that is not random.

00:07:58   It is the opposite of random.

00:08:00   - Well, from our point of view, it appears like a lottery.

00:08:02   We get press things sometimes,

00:08:04   and we are very thankful when that happens,

00:08:05   but we have no idea when they'll be offered

00:08:08   and most of the time they aren't.

00:08:10   - Or why, really honestly, or why at all.

00:08:13   'Cause when we get them, you don't ask questions.

00:08:15   I mean, you don't get them, no one's gonna tell you why.

00:08:17   So it is what it is.

00:08:19   - I also wanted to, this is completely unrelated,

00:08:21   I wanted to make a brief correction

00:08:22   with regard to my beloved CalDigit TS-4.

00:08:25   This is the Thunderbolt 4 docking station

00:08:28   that I've been espousing for a year, year and a half now.

00:08:30   I think I had made mention many, many moons ago

00:08:33   that because of the particulars of the LG Ultra MAF 5K,

00:08:38   I was doing a two-cable solution for my laptop.

00:08:40   One of the cables was the CalDigit TS4.

00:08:43   The studio display is and always has been

00:08:46   hanging off of that.

00:08:47   I have a few other devices hanging off of it.

00:08:49   And then I would separately plug in the LG 5K

00:08:51   because I was under the impression

00:08:53   that you cannot have an LG 5K share with the CalDigit

00:08:57   because it doesn't use display stream compression,

00:09:00   if I remember correctly.

00:09:01   And so it just didn't work.

00:09:02   It had to be directly connected to the Mac.

00:09:04   Turns out that's not right.

00:09:05   Somebody on Maston, whose name I don't have in front of me,

00:09:07   was asking for clarification on this,

00:09:09   and I was like, "No, that doesn't work.

00:09:11   "Let me just try it again."

00:09:13   Oh, oh, so now I am in a one-cable solution

00:09:17   for both the Studio Display and the LG 5K,

00:09:20   so if you're one of the probably four people

00:09:22   that I scared away from the CalDigit TS4,

00:09:25   maybe not be so scared of it.

00:09:26   It actually does work when the dual monitor's set up

00:09:28   with the Studio Display and the 5K.

00:09:30   The only thing that does not work is two LG 5Ks.

00:09:33   That apparently is too much for one connection

00:09:36   and that I am 100% sure does not work,

00:09:39   but studio display in 5K is okay.

00:09:41   So--

00:09:42   - Did you double check that something hasn't changed

00:09:44   about the thing?

00:09:45   Like, is it not really 5K?

00:09:47   Is it like the, does the bit depth go down

00:09:49   or anything like that?

00:09:50   - Those are, that is a completely fair question.

00:09:51   I will say I did recently upgrade the firmware

00:09:53   on the CalDigit and I swear to your point

00:09:57   that I swear I tried this at some point and it didn't work,

00:10:00   But it very well could have been user error.

00:10:03   It very well could be a firmware update

00:10:04   and it very well could be that the display,

00:10:06   the 5K UltraMA is not showing as much as it could or should,

00:10:10   or maybe if I plug anything into the back of it,

00:10:13   'cause if you recall, it has a couple of USB-C ports on it.

00:10:16   Maybe if I plug something in, it'll all come crumbling down.

00:10:18   But at least for now,

00:10:19   I'm living the one cable blissful lifestyle

00:10:22   where I don't plug in power, I don't plug in any monitors.

00:10:25   I literally just plug in the CalDigit

00:10:27   and everything else hangs off that and it is wonderful.

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00:12:32   (upbeat music)

00:12:36   - Jon, tell me about Apple Photos deduplication

00:12:38   in shared libraries, if you please.

00:12:41   - That was a feature Apple rolled out in iOS 16.4,

00:12:44   Mac OS 13.3, and whatever the hell iPad.

00:12:47   iPad OS is also on 16.4,

00:12:48   I don't remember if they're in sync on numbers.

00:12:50   Anyway, we talked about it last episode,

00:12:53   and I wanted to try it, so I did.

00:12:54   And I did it in my usual cautious way.

00:12:56   I remember my wife has the real photo library,

00:13:00   and I had my own private photo library,

00:13:02   but then I had also been manually taking everything

00:13:05   from my phone from my photo library

00:13:07   and manually importing it to hers,

00:13:08   but I had this whole backlog of stuff in my library,

00:13:10   some of which came from her library,

00:13:12   'cause I'd take some pictures that were like the favorites

00:13:14   from her library and put them into my library.

00:13:16   And so when shared photo library came out,

00:13:18   If I had just taken my entire library and shoved it into the shared library, there'd

00:13:22   be tons of duplicates.

00:13:23   But there was no duplicate detection.

00:13:24   Well, now there is.

00:13:25   So I'm like, finally, I can essentially empty my personal library, because my wife's personal

00:13:29   library is empty.

00:13:30   All of her photos, essentially, are in the shared library.

00:13:33   I want that to be the same for me.

00:13:34   So we would have one big shared library and a very minimum of photos in our personal library.

00:13:39   And to give you an idea of the only photos that I wanted to keep in my personal library

00:13:43   were my Destiny photos.

00:13:45   And you may be wondering what that is.

00:13:48   screenshots of builds and maps and you know maps with call outs written on them and you know

00:13:54   raid mechanics and patterns. Anyway, it's stuff that she doesn't want. No one's ever gonna want to look at it.

00:14:01   Why?

00:14:01   Yeah, I don't know why she wouldn't want that. And the second thing is a long series of pictures of my toes

00:14:07   which if you want to know what that's about.

00:14:09   Listen to Reconcilable Differences.

00:14:11   I've been taking pictures of my toes during various medical situations. She did not want a shared library.

00:14:17   and honestly I do not blame her.

00:14:19   So those stayed in my personal life.

00:14:21   - You know there's someone out there who,

00:14:23   that went from the most sexy potential thing

00:14:26   you could have possibly said very quickly

00:14:28   to the least sexy potential thing.

00:14:29   - Wait, Destiny?

00:14:31   Destiny build screenshots?

00:14:33   - Yes, that's what I was doing.

00:14:34   Definitely not the toes.

00:14:34   - Okay, all right.

00:14:35   Anyway.

00:14:36   (laughing)

00:14:37   So, but I, you know, this feature,

00:14:39   like I read a lot about it, but you know,

00:14:41   this is, you know, I had tens of thousands of photos.

00:14:44   Maybe, you know, 60, 70,000, I forgot how many it was, right?

00:14:47   most of those were going to be unique but there was going to be lots of

00:14:50   lots of duplicates right

00:14:53   i've checked a bunch in there just like a hundred so chuck them into the library

00:14:56   and then

00:14:57   and then you have to wait for like in typical apple fashion

00:15:00   is not like you could say now please detect duplicates no you have to wait

00:15:03   until it decides to detect duplicates and

00:15:06   the way you'll be able to tell that it has decided to detect duplicates is suddenly

00:15:09   a duplicate photos item will appear on the sidebar. I'm doing this on the Mac by the way

00:15:12   so it's a sidebar in mac photos. You could have done it on iOS as well but i wanted to do it on the big

00:15:15   screen and everything

00:15:16   And when it finds duplicates, you click on the duplicates and in the Mac version of photos,

00:15:21   it shows basically a linear list top to bottom and each row in the list is two photos.

00:15:27   It shows two photos and then underneath it two more, underneath it two more, which is

00:15:29   ridiculous on the Pro Display XDR because it's this huge expansive white space to the

00:15:33   right of it where there's nothing.

00:15:34   But whatever, it's two by two, right?

00:15:36   That was Zark.

00:15:38   And then there's a little blue link above each set of two that says merge these two

00:15:43   photos.

00:15:44   Why is it not a button?

00:15:45   Is it a blue web link?

00:15:47   Who freaking knows?

00:15:48   So I'm looking at it, and I click the merge on that one,

00:15:52   and it says--

00:15:54   I think the first one was like, merge these two exact

00:15:56   duplicates?

00:15:57   And it has some explanatory text that explains what it means.

00:16:01   And I said yes.

00:16:03   And then it takes the one that--

00:16:05   it throws away one, puts it in the recently deleted folder,

00:16:08   so it's not really immediately deleting it.

00:16:10   So it's still there, so you can look at it.

00:16:11   And then it takes the other one, and like we

00:16:13   episode, it puts it into the shared library and says,

00:16:16   this was added to the shared library by person x and person

00:16:20   y.

00:16:20   So it shows that it came from both of those places,

00:16:22   which is great.

00:16:23   And it's supposed to pick the highest quality

00:16:26   copy of the photo.

00:16:27   And so what I did before I looked at it, it's like, OK,

00:16:29   let me look at this.

00:16:30   And sometimes, when it says exact duplicate,

00:16:33   they would be the same file size, the same resolution,

00:16:36   like pretty exact duplicate.

00:16:38   Sometimes when you click the little merge these two photos

00:16:41   thing, it will say merge these two photos,

00:16:43   but it wouldn't say that they were exact duplicates.

00:16:45   In that case, one of them would be a different resolution,

00:16:48   much smaller than the other, so on and so forth.

00:16:51   And in that case, I would click the merge,

00:16:52   and then I would confirm, like, okay,

00:16:54   one is three and a half megs, and one is 174K.

00:16:58   I really want to take the three and a half meg one, please.

00:17:01   And so I'd click merge, and then I'd go and confirm,

00:17:03   you can like show photo in all photos,

00:17:05   and I would confirm, yes, it kept the 3.3 meg one,

00:17:07   and that would look and recently delete it.

00:17:08   Okay, there's the 174K one.

00:17:12   I did this manually spot checking many, many, many times as I scroll, merge these two photos,

00:17:20   look at the dialog, see what the options are, decide what I think it's supposed to do, let

00:17:24   it do its thing, confirm that it did what I thought it was supposed to do.

00:17:27   Sometimes it would have two RAW photos, a RAW versus a JPEG.

00:17:31   I couldn't quite tell why in some situations it would show me a RAW and a JPEG and consider

00:17:35   them duplicates.

00:17:36   In other cases it wouldn't.

00:17:38   So I just basically made sure that it always did what I wanted it to do.

00:17:41   And I did this for dozens of photos, manually.

00:17:44   And then I was like, all right, so I'm

00:17:47   pretty sure this is working the way Apple said it would.

00:17:49   It never made a mistake.

00:17:51   Every time I looked at two photos,

00:17:52   I would agree that we should only keep one of them,

00:17:54   and I would decide which one it should be,

00:17:56   and I would let Apple's thing do it,

00:17:57   and it would pick the one that I thought it should.

00:17:58   So good, thumbs up, it's working.

00:18:00   And it took me a little while to figure out, OK,

00:18:03   do I have to sit here and click the little merge these two,

00:18:05   merge these two, merge these-- it would be like,

00:18:06   merge these two, and then hit the Return key

00:18:08   to select the default button on the dialog that appears.

00:18:10   Merge, return, merge, return.

00:18:11   Like, do I have to do that for all of them?

00:18:13   So I glanced up to the duplicates thing and say,

00:18:15   how many duplicates are there?

00:18:16   And the answer was 30,000.

00:18:18   - Oh, goodness.

00:18:20   - So I was not going to sit there and click the blue link

00:18:22   and click return 30,000 times, right?

00:18:25   And so since it's a Mac, it works the way most Mac things

00:18:28   do, you can just select all or click one

00:18:30   and then scroll down to the end and shift click.

00:18:32   All sorts of things that I imagined I would have

00:18:35   a little bit more trouble doing on a phone

00:18:37   just because of how fidgety things are with the scroll bars

00:18:39   and the small screen and my big fat finger.

00:18:41   So I was glad I was doing it on a Mac.

00:18:43   But I didn't select them all first.

00:18:44   First I selected, you know, a thousand

00:18:47   and said, you know, merge these duplicates.

00:18:49   And it did, and then I, you know,

00:18:51   I tried to spot check the thousand that I picked

00:18:53   and they all looked good.

00:18:54   And then I did 2000 and then eventually I'm like, okay,

00:18:58   I am thoroughly satisfied that this thing is working.

00:19:00   Select all, merge all these things.

00:19:02   And it merged them all.

00:19:04   And it, as far as I can tell,

00:19:06   everything went off without a hitch.

00:19:08   No, as far as I can tell, I didn't lose any photos.

00:19:11   I went into the recently deleted thing

00:19:12   and looked through what it had deleted,

00:19:14   and I'm like, yeah, these look like the ones

00:19:15   that I would want deleted, and didn't do anything weird,

00:19:18   and I emptied my library,

00:19:19   except for Toe photos and Destiny photos.

00:19:22   Actually, what I did, I actually just merged them all,

00:19:27   and then I unmerged the Toe and the Destiny ones.

00:19:30   I probably unmerged them before

00:19:31   they even synced to anybody else,

00:19:33   so that was the easiest way to do it,

00:19:34   'cause I had them in folders or whatever.

00:19:36   So thumbs up on this feature.

00:19:38   Just like the shared photo library,

00:19:39   I'm pretty sure it works exactly the way Apple said it would.

00:19:43   And my only complaints continue to be the lack of features

00:19:46   and not the features that they did add, right?

00:19:49   So I still want shared albums and so on and so forth,

00:19:50   but as they add the features, the features appear to work.

00:19:53   And I think I'm giving these things a pretty good workout

00:19:56   with my 150, 160,000 photo library

00:19:59   and merging 30,000 duplicates.

00:20:01   And there was a typical kind of like,

00:20:03   sometimes there was lag

00:20:05   and I went over to different computers

00:20:06   and I saw this one still thinks there's some duplicates.

00:20:08   There was like one day worth of me visiting each computer

00:20:11   and saying, do you think all the duplicates are gone?

00:20:13   Do you think all the duplicates are gone?

00:20:14   And occasionally a few more would pop up,

00:20:16   but now everything has settled down.

00:20:18   And during the whole time,

00:20:19   I don't think it did anything wrong.

00:20:20   So if you are afraid of this thing,

00:20:23   this duplicate feature,

00:20:24   know that at least one person has tried it

00:20:26   and it has not been disastrous.

00:20:27   (laughing)

00:20:28   - Yay. - Glowing recommendation.

00:20:30   - Right, right.

00:20:31   All right, so tell me about disasters

00:20:33   with regard to your bug reports.

00:20:35   - This is about my Anus Tracking Area bug.

00:20:37   And it said that it seemed like maybe the team

00:20:40   that made the change was hoping they could make a change

00:20:42   to a framework, but sort of not tell anybody about it

00:20:45   in the hopes that like, probably no one will notice this.

00:20:49   And so we can just make this change.

00:20:50   We don't have to put it in the release notes.

00:20:52   We don't have to, you know,

00:20:53   make a change to the documentation.

00:20:55   We could just, you know, no one is probably relying

00:20:57   on this existing behavior, right?

00:20:58   And it turns out I was relying on that existing behavior.

00:21:01   And so I, you know, wrote a bug about it.

00:21:02   And then they had to say, oh yeah, no, the new behavior is new behavior.

00:21:05   So here's some anonymous feedback regarding this phenomenon within Apple.

00:21:09   This person says, I was on a team at Apple 10 years ago.

00:21:13   This is the problem with these stories.

00:21:14   You get info from people who are willing to talk.

00:21:16   They're willing to talk when they were at Apple 10 years ago.

00:21:18   They're not really into talk right now or whatever.

00:21:20   But anyway, take it for what it's worth.

00:21:22   I was on a team at Apple 10 years ago that worked on a tool that would ingest all iOS

00:21:26   apps in the store nightly and run analysis to see what frameworks and methods they were

00:21:30   using.

00:21:31   frequently get asked by other teams to provide usage information of specific framework calls

00:21:35   to see if any of the top 100 apps use them. I assume this information will be used to

00:21:40   determine the effects of removing or changing frameworks. This was 10 years ago and I would

00:21:44   assume they have better methods for this now. This makes me think that Apple would definitely

00:21:47   know if Microsoft Office or Photoshop would be affected by these types of changes.

00:21:50   So a few things about this. First, there's lots of reasons why you would examine API

00:21:55   of apps in the App Store beyond letting teams know whether they can change an

00:21:59   API. Second, Photoshop is sold outside the App Store. I know there are versions of

00:22:05   Photoshop inside the App Store but like the real Photoshop is outside the App

00:22:08   Store. Microsoft Office I believe is sold both outside and inside the App Store so

00:22:12   I'm not entirely sure if this would let you know. But yes, Apple obviously does

00:22:19   lots of analysis of the apps in the App Store. That's one of the advantages of

00:22:23   of running the App Store and the advantage of it reviewing every application is any kind

00:22:27   of automated thing like this of just saying like, "What frameworks are popular?

00:22:31   Who's using them?

00:22:32   We introduced the new framework at WWDC.

00:22:35   How long does it take for that framework to start appearing in apps?

00:22:37   Who is using it?

00:22:38   What APIs are they using?

00:22:39   If we made a framework, how much of the API service is being used and by what?"

00:22:43   And especially for the top 100 apps, the apps that we really care about, I don't know how

00:22:47   they even determine top 100 apps.

00:22:49   It's all casino games for children at this point, so I'm not sure how representative

00:22:53   that is of what APIs they should work on.

00:22:55   But yeah, I do think Apple has good visibility into that.

00:22:58   But of course, Apple being Apple, the team making changes to the framework has to ask

00:23:03   some other team, the API usage app store analysis team to find out.

00:23:09   And of course, my API in question was on the Mac, and so they have to ask about the Mac

00:23:12   App Store, and I think the top 10 apps in the Mac App Store are probably not representative

00:23:17   of the top 10 apps used by Mac users, and so there's a little bit more difficulty there.

00:23:21   But anyway, there's one take from the inside on Apple's unsurprising awareness and analysis

00:23:28   of the software that passes through their ecosystem.

00:23:31   We also got some feedback from another anonymous person, which indicates that maybe the radar

00:23:36   grass is not actually greener on the other side.

00:23:39   I'm going to read most of it.

00:23:41   "I work for a big developer in the games industry, and we definitely get a very different support

00:23:44   experience from Apple, though I'm not sure the outcomes are any different.

00:23:48   At the corporate level, which is way above my level,

00:23:50   we have whole teams of developer relationships,

00:23:52   people from Apple talking to our first-party relationships,

00:23:55   people about business deals or whatever.

00:23:58   I have only the tiniest insight into this,

00:23:59   and I can't share it.

00:24:00   My team is direct contact with someone

00:24:02   in Apple Developer Relations

00:24:03   and several engineers that work with them.

00:24:05   We have monthly meetings between our engineers and this team

00:24:07   in which we raise issues, ask for advice, et cetera.

00:24:09   We also have a private Slack channel

00:24:11   with that same DevRel team

00:24:12   where we can raise issues and get a response at any time.

00:24:15   It seems like this should be great, right?

00:24:17   Right? But we end up with broadly the same frustrations.

00:24:21   Da-da-da-da. Wow. Responses to our bug reports are slow. Granted, less slow because we have more

00:24:28   ability to nag them about it. We continually have to prod the Slack thread and ask, "What's happening

00:24:33   with this issue?" We see the "We think we've fixed it!" or "Try in the latest beta" responses from

00:24:39   Apple, but they haven't fixed it and it's still difficult to figure out which beta that will

00:24:43   will supposedly have the fix.

00:24:45   They still can't share any details

00:24:46   of how things work under the hood

00:24:47   to help us come up with viable workarounds,

00:24:49   which in some cases we would need

00:24:50   even if the bugs were fixed

00:24:51   because we want to support a broader range of OS versions.

00:24:54   They often can't answer straightforward questions

00:24:57   like what are the performance implications of X versus Y?

00:25:00   Either because they don't know, can't say, or it depends.

00:25:03   And they can't tell us on what.

00:25:05   I guess my point is it isn't just the feedback radar system

00:25:09   itself that's the problem.

00:25:11   Apple's organization seems to be set up

00:25:13   with such a focus on secrecy

00:25:15   that they just can't provide the transparency

00:25:16   that you need as an external developer

00:25:18   to really believe that they do actually care about

00:25:21   and are working on your problems.

00:25:23   I'm gonna read it again because I think it's that good.

00:25:26   Apple's organization seems to be set up

00:25:28   with such a focus on secrecy

00:25:29   that they just can't provide the transparency

00:25:31   that you need as an external developer

00:25:33   to really believe that they do actually care about

00:25:36   and are working on your problems.

00:25:39   Amen to that.

00:25:40   - I know this is framed as,

00:25:42   our deal for us is different when we're at a big company,

00:25:45   but the outcomes are the same.

00:25:46   But how much would you kill for a private Slack channel

00:25:48   with Apple engineers? - Oh gosh.

00:25:49   - So you could prod them in threads.

00:25:51   Like I know that it's still,

00:25:52   they are held back by being unresponsive

00:25:55   and like, oh, they can't tell you.

00:25:56   And like, yeah, it is frustrating, it is worse than,

00:25:58   I think what they'd be comparing it to is,

00:26:00   say you're a big important company.

00:26:02   Big important company would get better support

00:26:04   from say, Microsoft than they get from Apple, you know?

00:26:07   We're not expecting that tinky little developers

00:26:09   will get the same support as a big, giant company.

00:26:12   I think where they're coming from here

00:26:14   is we are a big, important company,

00:26:15   so we know how big and important companies get treated

00:26:18   by different platform owners.

00:26:20   And Apple is the worst, right?

00:26:21   Because of secrecy.

00:26:22   Because they can't tell us things,

00:26:24   and because they're unresponsive,

00:26:26   and because there's layers-- that the organization is not

00:26:29   set up to be responsive to demand.

00:26:32   So as jealous as we are as individual developers

00:26:35   of having these kind of touch points,

00:26:37   It's unrealistic to assume that any individual would have this.

00:26:41   But within each sort of cohort, within each strata

00:26:46   of developers, it seems like if you were to compare like to like,

00:26:49   big company, how do you get support from Apple versus how you get it

00:26:53   from Microsoft versus how you get it from Google, Apple is always in last place,

00:26:56   seemingly for structural and secrecy reasons.

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00:28:50   - All right, and thus we enter the camera portion

00:28:56   of the show which begins in follow-up,

00:28:58   but will continue into the main topic.

00:29:00   I believe this is all Marco, is that correct?

00:29:02   - It's certainly a lot, Ne.

00:29:05   Although I'm sure Jon will jump in, and I hope he does.

00:29:09   Because there's going to be a lot.

00:29:12   All right, so I've gone through my brief camera buying phase

00:29:17   of the five-year span that we're in, because it's about as often

00:29:20   as I buy cameras.

00:29:21   It's a pattern.

00:29:22   I recognize it at this point.

00:29:24   About every five years, I see what modern cameras can do.

00:29:27   It blows me away.

00:29:28   I buy one or two modern cameras.

00:29:30   And then over the next few years,

00:29:32   I stop using them because they're too much

00:29:34   to carry around.

00:29:35   iPhones get better and more convenient,

00:29:36   and I say, eh, I'm never gonna buy a camera again.

00:29:39   And then what inevitably happens is,

00:29:42   a few years later, the cycle repeats as cameras get better.

00:29:45   - Has the cycle repeated that much?

00:29:47   I think you may be on the first round

00:29:48   of this particular cycle, 'cause I think you,

00:29:50   basically you were like, big cameras are good,

00:29:52   I'm into big cameras, and then the iPhone camera got good,

00:29:55   and then you switched all iPhone,

00:29:56   I think this is your first backslide,

00:29:58   unless I'm remembering it different.

00:30:00   - No, that sounds right.

00:30:01   - I think this is the first loop.

00:30:02   I mean, I agree with you that it's probably gonna repeat.

00:30:05   Let history be a guide.

00:30:07   They're the cycles of Marco.

00:30:08   (laughing)

00:30:09   I think to be fair to you,

00:30:11   this is your first time through this.

00:30:14   - Maybe, yeah, maybe my first,

00:30:16   it's certainly my first time in a while,

00:30:17   in about five years.

00:30:19   I guess there was my brief flirtation

00:30:21   with being a video producer,

00:30:22   where I bought a couple of objects for video production,

00:30:25   never used them, and eventually mailed them to you.

00:30:27   - I mean, you made some videos.

00:30:29   You actually made videos with them, right?

00:30:31   - I think I made a video.

00:30:32   - No, you had like a Mac mini video and some other thing.

00:30:35   - And the iPad Pro 2018.

00:30:38   I think it was the same event.

00:30:40   - But in that one, I don't think you had a period

00:30:42   where you were like, big video cameras are crappy,

00:30:45   you should just use your iPhone for everything.

00:30:47   - Yeah, but anyway, as usual during this phase,

00:30:50   I was trying to figure out how do I make my new cool camera

00:30:54   as convenient as the iPhone.

00:30:55   And of course, that's impossible.

00:30:57   But I ran into a couple of issues.

00:30:59   Number one was I was torn between the physical size

00:31:04   of the Ricoh GR3X, which is awesome.

00:31:07   I was not super thrilled with the color of its pictures.

00:31:12   And then I was very impressed by the Fujifilm X100V,

00:31:17   but it was a little bit less technically easy to use

00:31:21   and technically sharp as the Ricoh GR3X.

00:31:25   But the Fuji produced pictures

00:31:27   that I just loved the colors from.

00:31:29   And so, got a bunch of feedback on this.

00:31:31   So first of all, a number of people sent in this website.

00:31:34   It's ricorecipes.com.

00:31:36   This is Richie's Rico Recipes.

00:31:38   And the Rico has these various customization options

00:31:42   where you can set, all right, for custom mode number two,

00:31:45   set color plus two, saturation minus one,

00:31:48   sharpness plus one, that kind of thing.

00:31:50   And so, what this person Richie has done

00:31:52   is made a whole bunch of presets for those settings

00:31:55   that you can enter into your camera

00:31:57   to achieve different looks.

00:31:58   and the idea is to get much of the same benefit

00:32:01   as Fuji's film emulation modes,

00:32:03   which are very appealing and very popular with Ricoh cameras.

00:32:08   I tried them, they are better than the Ricoh's defaults,

00:32:12   but I was not able to find one

00:32:15   that I really thought was comparable

00:32:17   to what I was getting out of the Fuji

00:32:18   with no effort whatsoever.

00:32:20   If what you want is really cool colors in the photos

00:32:23   and if you like the way Fuji's render color,

00:32:26   there is no direct substitution in camera hardware.

00:32:28   Now, you can get Lightroom presets and stuff

00:32:31   that people have made to try to emulate Fuji's modes,

00:32:33   and they might come closer,

00:32:35   but I have not yet found anything that offers

00:32:36   what Fuji does in in-camera JPEG processing,

00:32:39   so you can just dump it right onto something

00:32:41   and use it immediately.

00:32:42   On the Fuji itself, I talked about how crappy

00:32:46   all the camera apps are, about transferring photos

00:32:49   over Wi-Fi to your phone or whatever,

00:32:51   like all these different schemes everyone has,

00:32:52   and they're all crappy and terrible and slow.

00:32:54   Fuji has this feature called PC Auto Save,

00:32:59   and I assume it's how you pronounce it,

00:33:00   'cause it's in all capitals.

00:33:01   - PC load letter, what the eff does that mean?

00:33:03   - Abort, retry, fail.

00:33:04   - There you go.

00:33:05   - Let's pull out all the old PC tropes

00:33:07   where everything was in caps.

00:33:08   - Yeah, so anyway, PC Auto Save is on most Fuji cameras,

00:33:13   at least most reasonably modern ones,

00:33:16   although it's funny, I decided in the intervening time

00:33:20   to cancel my return for the XT5.

00:33:25   I kept the XT5 and I love it and shut up.

00:33:28   So anyway, PC autosave is on the X100V

00:33:32   and many other modern Fuji cameras.

00:33:34   It's on the XT3 and 4, I think.

00:33:36   For some reason, I don't think it's on the XT5.

00:33:39   I can't find it anywhere and it's not

00:33:41   on the compatibility list and it's not

00:33:43   in the instruction manual and I can't find it anywhere

00:33:44   in the menus, so.

00:33:45   - Did you do a firmware update?

00:33:47   - Yes I did, it's the modern version of everything,

00:33:48   thank you for.

00:33:49   John, you were the one who taught me

00:33:51   that camera firmware updates exist.

00:33:53   So that's the first thing I tried.

00:33:55   Oh, maybe I got an early version and it didn't help.

00:33:58   And it's listed nowhere, it's documented nowhere,

00:34:00   it's not in the instructions,

00:34:01   so I'm pretty sure it just doesn't have this feature

00:34:03   for some reason.

00:34:04   But anyway, what PC autosave is,

00:34:07   is you run this horrendous little Fuji app

00:34:10   on your Mac or PC or whatever,

00:34:12   you set up the camera, you kind of pair the camera

00:34:14   to this app on your computer

00:34:15   that's always running in your menu bar

00:34:16   with a hideous icon and an even more hideous interface.

00:34:19   and you can tell the camera,

00:34:21   you can go to the playback menu and select PC auto save

00:34:24   and it will then begin to very slowly

00:34:28   connect to your WiFi network, find your PC

00:34:31   and then very slowly automatically save the pictures to it

00:34:35   over your WiFi network.

00:34:37   And it is a comically slow process but it does work.

00:34:42   So if you happen to have your computer

00:34:45   on the same WiFi network as your camera,

00:34:48   this method is a little bit less horrible

00:34:51   than using the apps to transfer.

00:34:52   But ultimately, all of these methods

00:34:54   are so much more horrible than just plugging the camera

00:34:58   directly into your computer or popping the card out

00:35:00   and using a card reader.

00:35:02   You're better off just doing that.

00:35:03   And I think once the iPhone goes USB-C,

00:35:06   I would imagine you will probably be able

00:35:09   to just plug in any USB-C card reader to the iPhone

00:35:13   and I bet it'll import it directly.

00:35:15   'Cause right now Apple has sold various camera connection

00:35:19   kit accessories over the years.

00:35:21   Some of which have USB ports,

00:35:22   some of which just have SD card slots.

00:35:25   I believe the ones of those that use the lightning port

00:35:28   I think do already work on the iPhone,

00:35:30   but I'm not positive about that.

00:35:31   I don't have one here to test,

00:35:32   and I wasn't gonna buy one a few months

00:35:33   before the USB-C iPhone comes out.

00:35:35   So I could be wrong on that, but anyway,

00:35:37   that's an option maybe to go directly to a phone.

00:35:40   I know it at least works on iPads,

00:35:41   and definitely works on Macs.

00:35:43   So that's the way to go if you wanna transfer photos

00:35:45   to your cool Apple hardware is just dump them onto the computer directly with the card or

00:35:50   the cable. Also got a wonderful tip, my complaint about the X100V was I was having trouble getting

00:35:59   the autofocus to really nail the focus, like especially on eyes, it was sometimes like

00:36:03   you know focus on the tip of the eyelashes instead of the actual eye surface, stuff like

00:36:09   that, it was like slightly missing focus a lot and I was having trouble getting sharp

00:36:13   So anonymous wrote in to say that the F100V ships with the

00:36:18   release/focus priority setting on shutter,

00:36:22   meaning it will prioritize taking a picture

00:36:25   over actually getting the right focus.

00:36:27   Changing it to focus improved my hit rate noticeably

00:36:30   and seems to have little impact on shutter lag

00:36:32   in most situations.

00:36:33   So to explain this, basically almost every modern camera,

00:36:36   at least in default mode, usually if you push the shutter

00:36:41   button but the lens has not focused yet,

00:36:43   usually it will wait until it locks on focus

00:36:47   and then take the picture, so that's shutter lag.

00:36:49   And sometimes it's really frustrating

00:36:51   if you're maybe in the dark

00:36:52   and the camera's having trouble focusing

00:36:54   and you're like, just push it, just take it,

00:36:55   and the camera's going, going back and forth

00:36:58   and can't really focus on something.

00:37:00   So oftentimes this feature, in more pro modes

00:37:04   or more pro models, will be set to shutter priority,

00:37:07   which means as soon as you hit the shutter button

00:37:09   all the way down, just take the picture,

00:37:12   regardless of whether the autofocus engine

00:37:13   thinks it has focus or not.

00:37:15   So the X100V ships in that mode by default,

00:37:17   where it just takes the picture,

00:37:19   even if it's not focused all the way.

00:37:21   So I changed this, the way Anonymous said,

00:37:23   to change it to focus priority,

00:37:25   so the former where it waits for focus,

00:37:27   even if it introduces some lag

00:37:29   before it actually takes the picture.

00:37:31   And I agree, it seems to have improved the hit rate,

00:37:35   and it does not seem to introduce noticeable lag

00:37:37   in any situation I've encountered so far.

00:37:39   - Are you not a fan of back button focusing,

00:37:44   which would also solve this problem for you?

00:37:46   - Like the AF on button on cannons and stuff like that,

00:37:48   where you hit the button there without,

00:37:50   because normally I just half press the shutter

00:37:53   and then go all the way.

00:37:53   - Right, so most people, phones,

00:37:55   phones, cameras, big cameras ship,

00:37:58   so that if you press the shutter button halfway down,

00:38:01   it will start focusing,

00:38:02   and then if you press it the rest of the way down,

00:38:03   it will take the picture,

00:38:04   and at that point, everything you just described takes place.

00:38:06   It says, "Should I really take the picture,

00:38:07   "or should I wait for the focusing motor

00:38:09   to finish getting to where I know it's supposed to focus and so on and so forth.

00:38:12   The other technique is often called back button focusing, which means you assign some button

00:38:17   on the back of your camera to be the "please do autofocus now" button.

00:38:23   And then the shutter button is, you turn off the feature that makes the camera try to focus

00:38:28   when you push the shutter button halfway down.

00:38:30   So you separate the two functions.

00:38:31   So you decide when you want your camera to do autofocusing with the back button, and

00:38:36   once you're happy with the focus you can press the shutter button. you can do both

00:38:40   of them at the same time and then you would still have the same situation where

00:38:43   should I wait for the motor or whatever but you can also do your focus and then

00:38:47   once you're happy yes you've got the focus to my satisfaction and you know

00:38:50   the thing isn't moving the person isn't moving or whatever then when you press

00:38:53   the shutter button it's going to take it immediately because no part of pressing

00:38:56   the shutter button tells it to do focus again focusing is separated from

00:38:59   shutter. I am not a big fan of this but I see I see the situations where it could

00:39:05   be advantageous and some people, this is the only way they view the camera and they consider

00:39:09   it broken to use the other way, but I feel like it's just kind of a muscle memory type

00:39:12   thing a lot of the times.

00:39:13   But you see the advantage is like, if you get it focused on somebody and they're not

00:39:17   moving, very often with cameras, with modern cameras being so good at focusing on stuff,

00:39:23   like someone in the background will move and turn their head towards the camera and the

00:39:26   camera will be like, "Ooh, a pair of eyes.

00:39:27   I'm totally going to focus on that."

00:39:29   It's like, no, no.

00:39:30   Focus on the ear of the person I just focused on.

00:39:31   Like you know, if you get the focus the way you want and the person you focus on turns

00:39:35   their head away, so now they're just ears facing you, but you're happy with that focal

00:39:38   plane, you don't want it to jump to the person in the background whose two eyes just face

00:39:42   that.

00:39:43   You want it to stay where you left it, so in that situation, you do back button focusing

00:39:47   to get the focus you want, so you get perfect eye focus on that person, and even if they

00:39:50   turn their head slightly, you don't want it to pick some other subject, so then you use

00:39:53   the shutter button for it.

00:39:55   So if you got used to that technique of focusing, I think that would essentially do the same

00:40:01   thing as you saying shutter priority because, you know, in that case the shutter never activates

00:40:05   autofocus it just fires the shutter.

00:40:08   Yeah, I never shot that style but, you know, a lot of people do so there's probably some,

00:40:13   I probably should be using that style.

00:40:15   It's more cumbersome a lot of the time, and especially if you forget that you've, you

00:40:19   previously selected this focal plane and I'm never going to change it unless you hit the

00:40:23   back button again and you think, oh, you know, because you get used to just using the half

00:40:27   The other way to solve this problem with lag or maybe the focus is to get a Sony camera

00:40:33   or some other camera that has insanely good, really, really fast, really smart focus selection

00:40:39   that's just been getting better and better over time.

00:40:40   And to be fair, all camera manufacturers have been getting better and better.

00:40:43   Sony used to have a huge lead and now it just has a smaller lead, but Sony still is a really

00:40:48   good focusing system where it will...

00:40:50   Like the reason you don't notice it on Sony is it's so fast.

00:40:53   First of all, Sony lenses are very fast to physically focus, and second, the Sony image

00:40:58   detection system is really good at finding the thing you want to focus on and tracking

00:41:02   it and not getting distracted when something moves.

00:41:05   So that's one of the advantages of the Sony cameras.

00:41:07   But other ones have been catching up, and these types of settings are a good way to

00:41:10   sort of shore up the minor inefficiencies as compared to the best of the best.

00:41:16   Yeah, and in all fairness, as much as I love the Fuji color processing, they are not close

00:41:22   to class leading with autofocus sophistication.

00:41:25   That is one area where they are, I think,

00:41:27   behind the competitors, and I think all their views

00:41:29   agree with that.

00:41:30   So I have noticed that it is not as smart

00:41:33   as Sony's autofocus, but it's smart enough for me,

00:41:35   and I'm loving the pictures that it's getting.

00:41:39   If I was a sports photographer,

00:41:40   I would definitely not use Fuji,

00:41:42   but I would, but for taking pictures that I like a lot

00:41:46   in other situations, it's proving to be fantastic.

00:41:49   One thing I noticed as I was taking pictures

00:41:52   with these cameras for the first time,

00:41:54   like since using an iPhone,

00:41:56   I missed the iPhone HDR photography.

00:42:00   And I don't mean the,

00:42:03   so cameras have caught up in a number of ways.

00:42:05   So since I, the previous last camera I bought

00:42:10   was the Sony A7R III, which is at this point

00:42:14   probably something like five years old in that ballpark.

00:42:18   And what, cameras have gotten really good at eating away

00:42:22   some of the iPhone's advantages in the meantime.

00:42:24   Not all of them, and they never will get all of them,

00:42:26   but some of them.

00:42:27   And one of the things is, you know,

00:42:29   the iPhones have always been really, not always,

00:42:31   but modern iPhones have always been really good

00:42:33   at dealing with high dynamic range scenes.

00:42:36   Scenes where you have something very bright,

00:42:38   like maybe something, you know,

00:42:40   water reflecting the sun, or the actual sun,

00:42:42   or the moon, or something, you know, in your shot,

00:42:44   something very bright, but you still wanna have detail

00:42:47   in the darker shadow areas.

00:42:49   So you have to have a lot of dynamic range in the image.

00:42:52   And modern camera sensors in big cameras

00:42:55   can capture that dynamic range very well.

00:42:57   Modern camera sensors have incredible dynamic range,

00:43:00   but usually where they lacked is in processing down

00:43:03   the dynamic range to a useful photo

00:43:06   that you would actually want and look good

00:43:08   without losing all the details in the highlights

00:43:11   or the shadows.

00:43:12   And usually you had to shoot raw

00:43:14   to really make the most of that.

00:43:16   and I am so done shooting RAW,

00:43:18   like the pictures are so huge and they break and everything

00:43:22   and I'm just not,

00:43:23   and that's for a more editing focused workflow

00:43:26   than what I ever want.

00:43:27   - You might be back to RAW eventually,

00:43:29   but I think, so this is relevant to a link

00:43:32   that we'll put in the show notes from PetaPixel

00:43:34   that is actually from two days ago,

00:43:37   where the headline is,

00:43:38   Gen Z discovers modern digital cameras

00:43:40   are better than iPhones.

00:43:41   And it shows a bunch of pictures on like TikTok

00:43:43   where they're like, look, you know,

00:43:45   this person was sitting on the beach

00:43:47   and we wanted to take a picture of them.

00:43:48   Here's what it looks like on the iPhone.

00:43:49   Here's what it looks like on a real camera.

00:43:50   And there's situations in which the iPhone sensor

00:43:52   is too small to gather enough light

00:43:54   and the real camera is able to gather enough light

00:43:56   to correctly expose the person, right?

00:43:57   But a lot of these pictures,

00:43:59   like, oh, look how dark everything is in the iPhone.

00:44:01   I think they're terrible examples

00:44:03   because what you just said is so true.

00:44:05   Where the iPhone excels is not being good

00:44:07   at low-light photography and that it gathers

00:44:09   a lot of light on the sensor and can see in the dark.

00:44:12   No, that's not why the iPhone photos come out well.

00:44:15   They come out well because it does the high dynamic HDR

00:44:18   photos, meaning, and we're setting aside

00:44:19   what you're gonna get to eventually, right,

00:44:20   with just the EDR stuff.

00:44:22   But like, when the iPhone does high dynamic range,

00:44:26   it does it in the same way that big cameras can do it,

00:44:29   but it does it without involving the user at all.

00:44:32   You just press the shutter button on the iPhone.

00:44:34   And what the iPhone does, it's not like,

00:44:35   oh, it processes its dynamic range better.

00:44:37   It takes multiple exposures, right?

00:44:40   It takes one underexposed.

00:44:42   It takes one overexposed,

00:44:43   I don't know how many exposures it takes,

00:44:44   it takes at least two, maybe more,

00:44:46   and it combines them.

00:44:48   So it's not a single photo,

00:44:49   'cause a single photo has crap dynamic range

00:44:51   on a sensor that's like the size of the end

00:44:54   of an eraser on a pencil, right?

00:44:57   It's going through this tiny little lens,

00:44:58   but this tiny little, it's just,

00:45:00   there's not a lot of light there.

00:45:01   So why do the iPhone cameras actually look better

00:45:04   where the real camera breaks up?

00:45:05   Because it takes multiple exposures and combines them.

00:45:08   If you take a single exposure with a full-frame camera

00:45:11   in a very challenging lighting situation,

00:45:13   like a person with a bright sunset behind them,

00:45:16   you can choose to expose, so the sunset is not blown out,

00:45:19   and then the person is all dark.

00:45:21   You can choose to expose the person,

00:45:22   so their skin tone looks good,

00:45:24   and then the sky behind them is blown out.

00:45:26   With any single exposure, you can try to get as much,

00:45:29   you know, big camera sensors have a lot of dynamic range,

00:45:31   you can try to get a compromise between them,

00:45:33   but in very challenging situation

00:45:34   where there's a really bright light behind somebody,

00:45:38   you can't have both.

00:45:39   But big cameras can also take multiple exposures

00:45:42   and try to combine them.

00:45:43   They just, there's so much worse at it than phones, right?

00:45:46   'Cause first of all, there's the contract

00:45:47   when you're using a big camera,

00:45:48   which is you press the shutter button,

00:45:50   we do a single exposure.

00:45:52   Oh, do you wanna do exposure bracketing?

00:45:53   Well, that's a setting and you get to do it

00:45:55   and maybe you wanna use electronic shutter

00:45:56   or maybe we're gonna take multiple ones

00:45:57   and I hope you don't shake the camera

00:45:58   'cause our software is not very good

00:46:00   at aligning the pictures and combining them.

00:46:01   The iPhone totally wins there.

00:46:03   So I feel like this PetaPixel article

00:46:05   is showing a bunch of photos where I'm like,

00:46:07   the iPhone probably would do better here

00:46:09   unless you're in a situation that is within the realm

00:46:13   of the dynamic range of a real camera.

00:46:15   That you don't need, if you have a big sensor

00:46:17   and a real camera, you don't need to do multiple exposures,

00:46:20   whereas the iPhone does need to do multiple exposures

00:46:22   and it ends up looking worse.

00:46:23   And I guess that's what their examples are here.

00:46:24   But I think, you know, you've said in the past, Mark,

00:46:26   with iPhones are better at low light,

00:46:28   and then we get all this feedback saying,

00:46:29   are you crazy, iPhones aren't better at low light,

00:46:31   they have a tiny sensor, they can't gather any light,

00:46:33   or whatever, and it's like, no, they're not better,

00:46:36   physically speaking, in terms of photons,

00:46:38   But they're better because they take two or more exposures,

00:46:42   I honestly don't know how many they take,

00:46:44   and they find a way to combine them,

00:46:45   even if your hand is shaking,

00:46:47   even if the processing of the multiple exposures

00:46:50   that they take exposing for the sky,

00:46:52   exposing for the person's face, exposing for this,

00:46:54   and then they do all this processing,

00:46:55   and they mush it up into this thing that they call a photo,

00:46:57   which is a combination of multiple photos,

00:47:00   that's what they're better at.

00:47:01   And big cameras can do that, but it's a setting,

00:47:04   and you have to know how to use it,

00:47:05   and they're still not as good at doing the combination

00:47:07   of those exposures as Apple is,

00:47:10   let alone doing them seamlessly

00:47:11   when you just press a single shutter button.

00:47:12   Maybe they'll get there someday,

00:47:13   but I do kind of feel like there is that implied contract

00:47:16   with the real camera, which is you press

00:47:18   that shutter button once, we do one exposure.

00:47:20   And if you want something different,

00:47:21   you have to ask for it explicitly.

00:47:23   - Well, and there actually, there is an HDR mode

00:47:25   on the X-T5, I gotta see if the X100V has it.

00:47:29   - But you're talking about multiple exposures,

00:47:31   or you're talking about, oh, the thing

00:47:32   where we add a brightness channel

00:47:33   that shows the bright stuff brighter?

00:47:34   - So there's multiple options.

00:47:36   So there is the multiple exposure thing.

00:47:38   You flip a knob over to HDR, it's right at your thumb,

00:47:41   you hit the shutter and it goes buh buh buh,

00:47:43   and it takes three pictures and it merges them

00:47:45   and you get a JPEG out and it's done.

00:47:47   That's, and that's using the exposure bracketing,

00:47:50   one dark, one light, one medium,

00:47:52   different settings for like how much range

00:47:54   you wanna cover there, how much you wanna crush

00:47:56   into the final picture.

00:47:57   But then modern cameras also have usually some form

00:48:01   of extended dynamic range shooting mode.

00:48:04   So what this, and the various details of how they do this

00:48:08   are, you know, they vary by manufacturer and everything.

00:48:11   Some of them will have like dynamic range priority modes,

00:48:13   but the idea basically is they use a larger range,

00:48:17   like they capture a larger range than they normally would

00:48:20   and then map that to like, you know,

00:48:22   the zero to one color space, you know, for the JPEG.

00:48:25   So what ends up happening is it looks, you know,

00:48:28   if you've seen HDR pictures online,

00:48:31   like they can look a little bit odd,

00:48:33   like in terms of the contrast is maybe too low

00:48:36   and everything kind of looks almost like a painting,

00:48:38   like not texture-wise, but like color-wise.

00:48:40   - Are you thinking, again,

00:48:41   I feel like we need to distinguish,

00:48:42   you're talking about HDR with multiple exposures?

00:48:45   - No, one exposure.

00:48:46   - All right, so then what you're talking about

00:48:47   is if you take a photo with your iPhone, for example,

00:48:50   of a sunset, you may notice that when you view that

00:48:52   on your iPhone with an HDR screen,

00:48:53   that the sun looks brighter?

00:48:55   - That's different.

00:48:55   So there's three different things.

00:48:58   I'm talking about extended dynamic range modes

00:49:00   on big cameras where they kind of,

00:49:03   they use the range they have differently.

00:49:06   They map it differently to capture more range

00:49:09   at the expense of usually contrast and possibly noise.

00:49:14   Because they kind of like shoot at a higher ISO

00:49:16   than they would need to and then kind of capture.

00:49:20   I don't know the details of how it works.

00:49:22   - Speaking of details, I should find this in a show

00:49:23   that's on a future show.

00:49:24   I actually had it in the notes.

00:49:25   I learned something recently.

00:49:27   We were watching a video about Sony cameras,

00:49:28   ISO in particular.

00:49:29   you probably already knew this and maybe we've mentioned on a past show but if we did I totally

00:49:33   forgot it, that Sony's sensors on their cameras have two different capture modes essentially

00:49:39   depending on what ISO level they're at.

00:49:41   There's like a low sensitivity one and a high sensitivity one and when you cross an ISO

00:49:44   threshold which differs from camera to camera it kicks into the other mode which I had no

00:49:50   idea about but it explains so much.

00:49:52   If you look at the test results you can see I can see and on this camera an ISO 400 is

00:49:55   switches to the other thing which is, you know, it's a trade-off between dynamic range

00:49:59   and noise and stuff like that, but it's something that Sony doesn't really mention because they

00:50:04   don't consider it to be a feature that you can count on.

00:50:08   I forget what the term of art is, but their video cameras do it explicitly and they only

00:50:14   talk about it there because the video cameras are able to be equally good in both of the

00:50:17   ranges, but it explains a lot if you have a Sony camera of like, "Why, when I was cranking

00:50:22   up the ISO, everything kept looking worse and worse until I crossed the threshold and

00:50:25   and all of a sudden it got better

00:50:26   and then started on a whole new curve.

00:50:28   It's because these sensors have two different modes.

00:50:30   It makes sense when you see the underlying stuff.

00:50:31   I'll try to find it for a future episode,

00:50:33   or maybe even for this one, but it was fascinating.

00:50:35   And that's the type of technical detail

00:50:37   that is buried inside your cameras

00:50:39   that is good to know because on a real camera,

00:50:42   you have control over that stuff.

00:50:43   On the iPhone, even if you're using a third-party camera app

00:50:46   and tweaking all the settings, not quite as much control.

00:50:49   - Yeah.

00:50:50   And so rounding out the dynamic range topic,

00:50:53   One of the things I missed also was

00:50:56   what John said a minute ago.

00:50:57   When you take a picture with a modern iPhone

00:51:01   of a high dynamic range environment

00:51:04   like there's a sunset or something,

00:51:06   you notice when you view it,

00:51:08   it cranks the brightness up way past normal

00:51:11   pure white brightness levels

00:51:13   for those parts of the photo that are super bright

00:51:15   like the tips of the waves, the sun,

00:51:17   the light in the background, the moon, whatever it is.

00:51:20   Those get higher brightness levels.

00:51:22   Same thing happens on any kind of modern Mac with,

00:51:26   do they call them EDR or HDR for the screens?

00:51:28   They call them XDR.

00:51:30   - EDR I think is what they call the technology of,

00:51:32   hey, we're gonna show your screen the way we normally did,

00:51:34   but if you show one of those photos

00:51:36   that was taken how you describe,

00:51:38   we will also show that on the same screen

00:51:40   without changing your display mode or anything like that.

00:51:43   That's the EDR, it's like the ability

00:51:44   to combine regular dynamic range,

00:51:47   your windows and webpages and stuff like that.

00:51:49   But oh, here this little square of it

00:51:51   is high dynamic range, just that little square.

00:51:54   We've talked about it before with the aerial screensaver,

00:51:56   when you show a preview of it in system settings

00:51:58   or whatever, that it's like this little tiny window

00:52:00   that's suddenly HDR, but the whole rest

00:52:01   of your screen is normal.

00:52:03   - I was wondering, well, if I'm using a camera

00:52:05   that can capture all this dynamic range,

00:52:08   how can I get my pictures to render in that mode

00:52:11   on my Pro Display XDR and my MacBook Pro?

00:52:14   It's obviously just some kind of metadata somewhere,

00:52:16   like how do I set that?

00:52:17   So I was looking for an app that can do this,

00:52:19   I can be like, all right, take this photo from my camera,

00:52:22   turn on EDR display mode for it,

00:52:25   and then let me map in the image,

00:52:27   like all right, what levels correspond to what?

00:52:30   So, you know, 'cause what EDR, the way EDR works,

00:52:33   basically, if your regular screen brightness

00:52:35   is like 0.0 to 1.0, EDR would be like,

00:52:39   all right, in this photo, we have some areas

00:52:41   that are 1.5 bright, so, you know,

00:52:43   map what the photo has from, you know,

00:52:46   zero to one, map it really to zero to 1.5

00:52:50   and show that that will end the screen.

00:52:51   So there's a way you can map the brightness levels

00:52:55   and the tone levels from the picture

00:52:57   onto a different range for display on the screen.

00:53:00   - Did you look up how the iPhone does this?

00:53:03   - No, I didn't have time for that.

00:53:04   - So I believe my vague recollection

00:53:08   is that the way Apple decided to do

00:53:10   exactly what you're describing,

00:53:11   they wanted to do it in a way so that when you share

00:53:14   that photo with somebody who doesn't have an HDR screen,

00:53:16   like they just have a regular, they have a MacBook Air

00:53:18   or they have an iMac 24 inch or something like that

00:53:21   and they don't have an HDR screen,

00:53:22   that it still looks normal to them,

00:53:23   like that nothing goes wonky.

00:53:25   So my vague recollection is that what Apple did is,

00:53:28   it's, you know, the JPEG or whatever the Heeck image is,

00:53:31   just the regular dynamic range.

00:53:33   And then there's a separate, sort of a separate channel

00:53:36   that's like the brightness enhancing channel.

00:53:38   - Oh yeah. - And non HDR screens

00:53:40   will just ignore that channel and just show it normal.

00:53:42   But if you have an HDR screen,

00:53:43   it takes like the brightness channel and smooshes it together with the picture and then produces

00:53:48   the output.

00:53:49   What you're describing sounds more like you've got the image data and then you're

00:53:52   just like telling it to reinterpret it.

00:53:54   But I do wonder if the Fuji thing is doing the, you know, separating the brightness channel

00:53:59   from the regular image for back-up compatibility reasons or if it's really just like baking

00:54:03   it into the photo and then just reinterpreting it according to some flag that says, "Hey,

00:54:07   when you look at this thing, interpret it this way."

00:54:08   - Well, so as far as I can tell,

00:54:10   I don't think any modern standalone cameras shoot that way.

00:54:14   With whatever that metadata is

00:54:16   that makes Apple display them super bright,

00:54:18   I don't think any modern cameras do that.

00:54:20   So I was wondering, how can I apply that in editing?

00:54:24   Is there some app that can toggle that flag

00:54:26   and generate that brightness data for my pictures?

00:54:29   And I looked around, so I have Pixelmator.

00:54:33   So Pixelmator on the Mac can do it.

00:54:36   If you go to the color adjustment section,

00:54:38   hit customize, you can add an EDR toggle.

00:54:41   The problem is this only works for raw files,

00:54:43   as far as I can tell.

00:54:44   And it seems like the X-T5 raw files

00:54:48   are supported by nothing right now.

00:54:50   Including, not Pixelmator, not Mac photos,

00:54:53   like nothing seems to support the X-T5 raw files,

00:54:56   even though this camera came out like last fall, I think.

00:54:59   It's not super new, but anyway.

00:55:01   Pixelmator on the Mac can do it only for raw files.

00:55:04   Pixelmator Photo is their iOS app.

00:55:07   This can do it for all files.

00:55:09   If you go to the adjustment sliders,

00:55:11   hit the ellipsis menu, and then there's an option

00:55:14   that says turn on EDR.

00:55:16   So that's what this, it's called EDR in Pixelmator,

00:55:19   and so that's what you wanna turn on

00:55:20   if you wanna play with this.

00:55:21   I separately found an app called Radiance Plus,

00:55:25   I'll link to it, it's three bucks a month

00:55:28   or 30 bucks lifetime, and I converted two photos with it

00:55:32   and instantly paid the 30 buck lifetime fee.

00:55:35   It's a very, very simple app.

00:55:37   It just has like two sliders, it's like brightness

00:55:39   and strength or something like that.

00:55:41   I converted these two pictures I had taken

00:55:43   with the Fuji X100V, they look awesome.

00:55:47   And these pictures were awesome by themselves

00:55:49   like before I did this, but they're even more awesome

00:55:52   when I added this flag.

00:55:54   It much better captures the actual range

00:55:56   that the scene actually looked like.

00:55:58   And I'm very, very happy that I can basically

00:56:00   take awesome camera input and make them look

00:56:04   as nice as the iPhone photos do in this particular way.

00:56:07   And then that syncs, I added them to my library,

00:56:10   like it works in your photo library,

00:56:11   and so now those show up on all my devices

00:56:14   in that cool EDR mode and it looks great.

00:56:17   So I will link to these apps in the show notes.

00:56:19   If you wanna do it, I strongly recommend

00:56:21   giving these apps a try.

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00:58:18   While I was doing all this, I was in camera mode,

00:58:25   and so one of the most common times that we use

00:58:30   big cameras in our household is we can occasionally see

00:58:34   some wildlife from our deck of our house.

00:58:38   And so I wanted something that had a big zoom.

00:58:41   And I gave Tiff as a gift a couple years ago,

00:58:45   I gave her a super zoom lens for our Sony.

00:58:50   The 200 to 600 millimeter Sony zoom with a 2X teleconverter

00:58:55   so that it reaches to 1200 millimeters.

00:58:57   It's a very far reach.

00:58:58   We've tried to shoot with this a lot.

00:59:00   we haven't had great success with it,

00:59:03   in part because it's just not a very sharp lens.

00:59:06   And so we've gotten some pictures

00:59:09   that just were very soft and very low contrast.

00:59:13   And I thought at first maybe that's just the teleconverter.

00:59:15   So I took the teleconverter off,

00:59:16   less reach, faster, et cetera,

00:59:19   and it just still was not very good.

00:59:20   And some of it is just distance.

00:59:23   If we're taking pictures of something

00:59:24   that's like very, very far away,

00:59:28   the atmospheric haze, the water vapor in the air,

00:59:31   like it just makes it hard to capture anything very sharp

00:59:34   at a very great distance because that's just how air works

00:59:38   and you can't really get around that.

00:59:40   You can put a UV filter on it and everything,

00:59:43   that doesn't really do much.

00:59:44   It's not really, you're dealing with the atmosphere.

00:59:47   So there's only so much you can do.

00:59:50   But I was curious, now that I was in the Fuji system,

00:59:54   Fuji has a similar reach lens.

00:59:57   I also know that there's this whole category of super zoom cameras.

01:00:01   And I had never tried one before.

01:00:02   I know Jon has occasionally tried things like this, right?

01:00:05   Yeah, before I got interchangeable lens cameras, I went from like little handheld, like, you

01:00:09   know, point and shoot type things, which are my first digital cameras, to super zoom, which

01:00:14   I used for many years, because what you get with the super zoom, I remember I was taking

01:00:18   pictures of my kids playing in the waves in the water, is you get a really good quality,

01:00:23   incredibly long zoom lens for the price of never being able to take it off your camera,

01:00:27   it's not an interchangeable lens camera. It is a camera, it comes with this built in,

01:00:30   and it is what it is. And I was able to get, I think my last one that I got was like,

01:00:33   it was like a, you know, a 2.8 aperture through the entire zoom range, which is absolutely

01:00:39   unheard of unless you're willing to spend like thousands of dollars on a like interchangeable

01:00:43   lens zoom thing. Because normally, you're lucky if the lowest end of the zoom range is, you know,

01:00:48   f/2.8. Usually it starts off much worse than that and gets worse as you zoom. But I was able to get,

01:00:53   for a very low price, a tiny sensor in a not very good camera, but it comes built in with

01:01:00   a extremely long zoom that's f/2.8 through the whole aperture range.

01:01:05   If I had to try to get that in a "real camera" equivalent, it would have cost thousands of

01:01:10   dollars more.

01:01:12   I endorse that type of camera and they're really cool, but of course that's all you're

01:01:16   getting.

01:01:17   You can't put a prime lens on it.

01:01:20   the sensors tend not to be very big,

01:01:22   or if you do get one with a big sensor or whatever,

01:01:24   then those also cost thousands of dollars.

01:01:26   But it is a very inexpensive way

01:01:29   to get a really good quality, really long zoom,

01:01:32   as long as you're okay with that being

01:01:33   the only thing this camera can do.

01:01:35   - Yeah, and usually, there's other compromises.

01:01:39   It might not have the best optical quality.

01:01:41   Usually the sensor is substantially smaller

01:01:44   than you would get in a big camera.

01:01:46   Resolution's usually not as good.

01:01:47   It doesn't have as many pro features.

01:01:49   There's other downsides to it, but overall,

01:01:53   it's, you know, super zooms can be pretty good.

01:01:55   And so I was curious--

01:01:56   - And also, the super zooms are almost always

01:02:00   way, way, way smaller than an equivalent focal length range

01:02:04   would be on like a full frame camera or something.

01:02:06   Like smaller, lighter, like, some of them are comical,

01:02:08   like you put this picture up.

01:02:10   Some of the biggest super zooms do get comical,

01:02:11   but they're still smaller.

01:02:13   They're still smaller than if you were to get

01:02:15   that same focal length.

01:02:17   Smaller, lighter, if you get the same focal length

01:02:19   interchangeable lens.

01:02:20   So it is, I love that category 'cause it's like,

01:02:23   we're gonna make compromises for the sake of

01:02:26   having really good zoom and not being so big

01:02:29   that you need like an extra person to hold

01:02:31   the front of the lens up for you.

01:02:32   - Yeah, so here, I just pasted this link,

01:02:34   I'll make this the image of the chapter art.

01:02:36   This is all the different cameras.

01:02:38   And so I don't own most of these.

01:02:40   I went to lens rentals and I rented

01:02:43   a whole bunch of stuff from them.

01:02:44   'Cause I'm like, I wanna try out modern super zooms

01:02:47   to see how good are they, how do they compare

01:02:50   to the Sony Super Zoom that we have,

01:02:52   and do I want to maybe sell the Sony thing

01:02:55   and buy something else?

01:02:57   - And by the way, are you calling a Sony thing a Super Zoom?

01:02:59   I think Super Zoom only applies to the cameras

01:03:01   that don't have interchangeable lenses

01:03:03   and have really long zoom. - You're right.

01:03:04   No, I know, I'm the only person,

01:03:05   I'm just talking about a giant telephoto lens.

01:03:07   - Yes, exactly.

01:03:08   - I consider the combined unit of the camera

01:03:12   and the giant telephoto lens, I will call that a Super Zoom.

01:03:14   I know it's technically not,

01:03:15   There's other things in here that also aren't super zooms,

01:03:17   but I'll explain why in a minute.

01:03:19   But anyway, so I decided to rent all this stuff

01:03:21   to see how do I like modern long reach camera options?

01:03:26   How do they compare to my giant Sony full frame,

01:03:31   600 millimeter telephoto?

01:03:32   Like how does all this stuff compare

01:03:34   and maybe does something else fit my needs better?

01:03:36   Maybe I could trade the Sony for it

01:03:39   with B&H or something like that.

01:03:40   So anyway, I rent all this stuff from Lensrentals.

01:03:42   They were great as usual.

01:03:43   I also wanted to try with all,

01:03:46   so I rented what seemed to be, according to DP Review,

01:03:50   which is, I've been on that site so much recently

01:03:52   and I'm still so sad it's going away.

01:03:55   I went to their reviews and ratings and everything

01:03:58   and did some research and found it seemed like

01:04:00   the two generally best regarded super zooms right now

01:04:04   are the Sony RX10 Mark IV

01:04:08   and the Nikon Coolpix P1000.

01:04:12   The Nikon's about a thousand bucks,

01:04:13   the Sony RX10s almost 2,000,

01:04:16   so it's a pretty big price difference.

01:04:18   The Sony only, quote, only,

01:04:21   goes to an equivalent of 600 millimeters.

01:04:23   So it's not a massive reach,

01:04:26   but that is still pretty far,

01:04:29   especially for something that is as small as it is.

01:04:32   And if you look at this picture

01:04:33   of the overview of all these cameras,

01:04:34   the Sony RX10 is the one in the bottom left corner.

01:04:39   And you can see it is way smaller

01:04:42   than the telephoto cameras, than the full frame telephotos.

01:04:46   And it's even significantly smaller

01:04:47   than the next one to its right.

01:04:49   That other black camera is the Nikon P1000.

01:04:52   But the P1000 doesn't just go to 600 millimeters.

01:04:56   It goes to 3000 millimeters.

01:04:59   - Goodness.

01:04:59   - I also wanna point out,

01:05:00   and if you're looking at this photo, which you should be,

01:05:02   it'll be the chapter art

01:05:03   and it'll probably also be in the show notes,

01:05:05   that when Margot says the one in the lower left corner

01:05:07   goes to 600 millimeters,

01:05:09   that's how far at least one of the white ones

01:05:11   on the right goes. - Yes, the one on the far right

01:05:14   is the same. - Goodness.

01:05:15   - Yeah, the far right lens has the same zoom distance

01:05:18   as the far left camera.

01:05:20   So when we say you save size and weight

01:05:22   by going with the super zoom, this is what we mean.

01:05:24   - Yeah, and in all fairness, I did have the lens hoods

01:05:26   attached to everything. - But you should.

01:05:30   There's a lens hood on the one on the left too.

01:05:31   - Yes, and you really should for, you know,

01:05:33   when you're trying to minimize, you know,

01:05:35   any kind of thing that could cause haziness

01:05:37   and trying to maximize contrast,

01:05:39   you want the lens hoods on.

01:05:40   - I think the lens hood on the camera on the right

01:05:42   is bigger than the entire camera on the left.

01:05:45   - I think you're right.

01:05:46   (laughing)

01:05:48   And I also, you'll note right above the Nikon P1000

01:05:52   is a little tiny black camera.

01:05:53   That is the Sony RX100 Mark VII.

01:05:58   This is not a super zoom,

01:06:01   but the reason I rented the RX100,

01:06:03   first of all it's very inexpensive to rent.

01:06:05   I'm like I'm already renting all this other stuff,

01:06:06   let me throw this in too, I wanted to try it.

01:06:09   The RX100 series, I first got one,

01:06:13   I first rented it from Lens Rentals actually,

01:06:15   back in 2013 I rented the very first one.

01:06:19   And now they're on Mark 7.

01:06:21   Unfortunately Mark 7 seems to be,

01:06:23   this might be the last one.

01:06:24   Like they released this Mark 7 in 2019

01:06:29   and there's been like nothing on that front since.

01:06:32   But what's interesting about it

01:06:33   is that it's kind of pocketable,

01:06:35   not really, you know,

01:06:38   you wouldn't want this in your pocket.

01:06:39   A jacket pocket you could do.

01:06:41   Definitely not like a pants or other clothing pocket.

01:06:44   You could easily put it in any,

01:06:45   pretty much any size bag and larger jackets.

01:06:50   I was interested in the RS100, the new one,

01:06:52   because I had heard it had gotten a lot better

01:06:54   since the one I had tried in 2013.

01:06:55   And the one in 2013 was pretty underwhelming

01:06:58   in terms of image quality.

01:06:59   It is, the RS100 series is very small

01:07:04   and it has a zoom range of 24 to 200 equivalent.

01:07:08   So I thought that's really interesting to be in that size.

01:07:11   How good could the optics possibly be in that?

01:07:14   And I saw sample pictures on dpreview.com

01:07:16   and I was like, that seems impossible.

01:07:19   They look pretty good for a camera that's that size,

01:07:22   has like a little, I think it's like a one inch sensor,

01:07:24   like a little, still bigger than a phone by a mile,

01:07:27   but still a small sensor for a standalone camera

01:07:30   and these little tiny optics that go to 200 millimeter,

01:07:33   how good could that possibly be?

01:07:35   But the reviews were stellar.

01:07:36   So I thought, let me rent this thing.

01:07:38   You know, I think it was like 60 bucks to rent.

01:07:39   I'm like, fine, let me rent it, I wanna try this.

01:07:41   Where big cameras can still very much shine

01:07:43   is areas that the iPhone really cannot compete in.

01:07:46   And one of those areas is long reach.

01:07:49   Now we will see, I know this fall,

01:07:51   there's the rumors of the Pro Max phone

01:07:54   having the periscope arrangement of its optics,

01:07:57   which would almost certainly result

01:07:59   in a much better zoom reach.

01:08:01   but I would be surprised if it was competitive

01:08:04   with anything else here, frankly.

01:08:06   So anyway, I decided, let me see something

01:08:10   that is approximately pocketable-ish, almost size class.

01:08:15   Let me see its reach as a competitor to a phone.

01:08:19   I was thinking, if I really love this little tiny

01:08:21   Sony camera, maybe I would buy one

01:08:22   and just kinda keep it in my backpack wherever I go

01:08:25   and occasionally use it, because that can cover roles

01:08:28   that the iPhone really can't cover,

01:08:30   and sometimes I want that.

01:08:32   So anyway, I rented all this stuff,

01:08:34   and I tried it all out,

01:08:35   and I made a little sample gallery,

01:08:37   I will link to that in the show notes as well.

01:08:39   Found out a couple of, I think, useful comparison points.

01:08:43   I'll try to be quick, I know it's not super entertaining

01:08:46   listening to a podcast about photos,

01:08:49   but I'll try to be quick.

01:08:51   What surprised me the most,

01:08:52   so I took, I went outside,

01:08:54   and I tried to take the same approximate set of pictures

01:08:58   with all of these cameras,

01:09:00   at when possible at the same focal lengths

01:09:03   and just kinda compare to see how are they in handling,

01:09:07   what kind of quality am I getting,

01:09:08   what kind of sharpness and stabilization can I get

01:09:12   at the long reaches,

01:09:13   and how do the pictures end up looking.

01:09:16   And number one thing I noticed was,

01:09:18   wow, the iPhone really sucks.

01:09:20   I've thought for a while, wow, the iPhone

01:09:23   is an amazing camera, but it's not an amazing camera

01:09:27   when you want reach.

01:09:28   The 3X lens on the iPhone 14 Pro

01:09:30   that I was using for these comparisons, sucks.

01:09:34   I have noticed so far this year of using this phone,

01:09:37   the amount of over-processing and over-sharpening

01:09:41   is kind of irritating to me a lot of the time.

01:09:44   Not every time, I still get a lot of good photos with it,

01:09:46   and it's still gonna be the camera that I use

01:09:48   by far the most 'cause it's always in my pocket,

01:09:49   but the amount of processing that it does

01:09:53   is a little off-putting.

01:09:56   And so I might try to experiment with apps like Halide

01:09:59   to see maybe if I do more manual control,

01:10:02   maybe I can get a better balance that I like more.

01:10:05   But I am not super thrilled

01:10:09   with the iPhone 14 Pro's camera system

01:10:11   in the sense that I have tried to make it replace

01:10:15   a big camera and at first I thought it really could.

01:10:18   And now I see it really can't.

01:10:20   It does really well for what it is.

01:10:23   But at the end of the day,

01:10:24   it is still a tiny little sensor with tiny little optics

01:10:27   that have to cost probably like 40 or 50 bucks.

01:10:29   And so there's gonna be a lot of limitations there

01:10:32   for physics, for components, for quality,

01:10:34   like there's so much that's limiting it.

01:10:37   And it makes up for a lot of that with its smarts

01:10:39   and its various processing and intelligence

01:10:41   and what it does with that sensor

01:10:43   and how it dumps data off and how it deals with everything.

01:10:45   There's a lot of intelligence there

01:10:46   and it really is incredible for what it is.

01:10:50   But there's a lot more out there.

01:10:53   And so what this experiment has taught me is

01:10:57   there's still a place in my life for other cameras.

01:11:00   So anyway, I took pictures of far away objects

01:11:05   with all these cameras, including the iPhone

01:11:07   and the RX100. (laughs)

01:11:09   And the iPhone, I showed the regular 3X resolution,

01:11:13   the regular 3X perspective, and I zoomed it all the way in

01:11:16   with the digital zoom just so you could see

01:11:17   what that looks like.

01:11:19   It's not good.

01:11:20   I would not recommend using the digital zoom

01:11:22   for anything, but it's there, so you can compare.

01:11:26   And what I was, so first of all, I was very, very impressed

01:11:31   with the little Sony RX100.

01:11:34   If you look at the pictures it got,

01:11:36   it blows away the iPhone for reach,

01:11:40   and it's really not bad.

01:11:42   It's not great, and I think I've decided for the moment

01:11:46   not to buy one, and it also doesn't have USB-C,

01:11:49   'cause it's so old. (laughs)

01:11:51   But anyway, it's not an amazing optical quality.

01:11:54   But for its size, it's fantastic.

01:11:57   And I could very easily see at some point

01:11:59   me justifying the plan of just keeping one

01:12:02   on my backpack all the time.

01:12:03   Because it really is an incredibly versatile camera.

01:12:07   It even has my favorite part about the RX100,

01:12:10   is it has this cute little pop-up viewfinder.

01:12:14   You hit this little tab on its side,

01:12:16   and this little tiny cube goes pop,

01:12:19   And it pops up this little,

01:12:21   it's the cutest little viewfinder.

01:12:23   And it works, I usually, you know,

01:12:24   I use it outside because it's so bright.

01:12:26   It works, like, it was great.

01:12:28   Anyway, it's an adorable camera.

01:12:32   It is not something I wanna ever put in a pocket.

01:12:35   It is something I would occasionally carry in a jacket

01:12:38   and I would very much carry in a backpack

01:12:39   if I had more frequent needs like that

01:12:41   because they really just cover a lot

01:12:42   that the iPhone doesn't cover.

01:12:44   And for what it is and for its size,

01:12:47   I'm extremely impressed by the RX100 VII.

01:12:51   All right, moving on.

01:12:52   In rough order of price, the Nikon Coolpix 1000,

01:12:57   this is the one that can go to 3000 millimeter equivalent.

01:13:00   It does that by using a much smaller sensor.

01:13:03   You'll even notice its pictures are four by three,

01:13:06   not three by two, the way most cameras are,

01:13:08   because it's basically a phone sensor,

01:13:10   as far as I can tell.

01:13:12   The review's gonna say that I'm like,

01:13:13   "Hmm, that's interesting."

01:13:14   And then I notice it shoots natively in four by three,

01:13:16   So it's like, oh, maybe there's something to that.

01:13:19   But anyway, 3000 millimeter equivalent

01:13:22   is kind of hilarious.

01:13:26   It is also kind of like the iPhone digital zoom,

01:13:29   not especially useful.

01:13:31   'Cause the problem is, when you get to 3000 millimeters,

01:13:34   when you're like, you know, in that kind of range,

01:13:37   stabilization becomes extremely difficult.

01:13:40   Like I was standing on a deck,

01:13:43   And even if I put it on a tripod,

01:13:47   the vibrations of the deck from wind,

01:13:50   so from like a slight breeze,

01:13:52   were making it jiggle visibly.

01:13:54   And so even to get these pictures,

01:13:56   I had to have the shutter speed way up,

01:13:58   like 2,500th of a second,

01:14:00   way, way up, super fast shutter,

01:14:03   right in the middle of the day,

01:14:04   just so I could get some kind of sharpness in these pictures.

01:14:08   Most of the pictures I shot at those far reaches

01:14:10   were totally blurry and unusable.

01:14:13   These that I got in my sample gallery

01:14:15   were the best ones that I shot,

01:14:17   and I did everything I could to make that happen.

01:14:20   I shot it also at 600 millimeters,

01:14:23   just so you kinda see how does that look

01:14:25   compared to the other ones,

01:14:25   and it's fine when you're zoomed out.

01:14:29   If you're not looking too closely at the pixels,

01:14:31   if you look too closely at the pixels, it's a mess,

01:14:34   even at 600 millimeters, and it gets way worse at 3,000.

01:14:38   When you zoom in, it's a mess.

01:14:40   It is not good.

01:14:41   So the P1000, I think it's a fun novelty,

01:14:45   but ultimately it's very hard to get good pictures out of it

01:14:49   even when you do, it's just not a very sophisticated sensor

01:14:52   in there and I found the stabilization,

01:14:56   even the stabilization at 600 millimeters

01:15:00   was not as good as the other cameras and lenses

01:15:03   at that same length.

01:15:04   So it's not a very good stabilizer

01:15:06   and it's a very like plasticy, like kind of light,

01:15:08   cheap kind of feeling camera.

01:15:10   It's a fun novelty to rent,

01:15:12   but I was not impressed by it, honestly.

01:15:14   - And this looks big.

01:15:15   This is not the bottom left,

01:15:17   but the one directly to the right of it, correct?

01:15:19   - Correct, yeah.

01:15:20   And it goes to, when you turn,

01:15:22   so those cameras, that's in their off position.

01:15:24   When you turn them on and when you zoom in,

01:15:26   the lens sticks out like a Pringles can at the front.

01:15:29   Like it extends outward.

01:15:30   It looks really hilarious.

01:15:32   Like it looks ridiculous.

01:15:35   But it was, you know, it, anyway,

01:15:38   This is not their fully activated state.

01:15:42   So anyway, moving on.

01:15:43   - The reason I bring that up is only because

01:15:46   it's not like you can shrug this off as well.

01:15:49   The pictures aren't the greatest, but the camera's tiny.

01:15:51   Like the camera's pretty big

01:15:53   until you start comparing to the lenses.

01:15:56   This doesn't seem like it has very many redeeming qualities

01:16:00   at all from what I'm hearing.

01:16:01   - No, but it is half the price of the next one,

01:16:04   which is the Sony RX10,

01:16:06   which is the one in the bottom left corner.

01:16:08   So, Sony RX10, it is almost double the price of the P1000.

01:16:13   The RX10 IV really impressed me.

01:16:16   For what it is, for how big it is, or rather isn't,

01:16:20   for how heavy it isn't, and how easily it handled,

01:16:24   I was very impressed with the RX10 Mark IV.

01:16:28   It took pretty good pictures.

01:16:30   It only goes to 600 millimeters, which is pretty great.

01:16:33   The only reason I say quote only 600 millimeters

01:16:37   is relative to some of the other ones

01:16:39   that's not the furthest, but it's pretty great

01:16:42   and it achieves pretty good detail

01:16:45   relative to its price and size and trade-offs.

01:16:49   So I was pretty impressed by the RX10 IV.

01:16:53   And I think if I was in the market to buy

01:16:55   an integrated super zoom camera,

01:16:57   that's the one I would buy.

01:16:58   It isn't worth trading in my giant full frame,

01:17:00   my giant gear for that,

01:17:01   just because the bigger gear surprise is better.

01:17:06   But it's not, you know, the bigger gear is like

01:17:09   three times the total cost or two times the total cost

01:17:12   and probably three times the total size and weight.

01:17:15   And I wouldn't say it's three times better.

01:17:17   So anyway, that's the RX10 IV, a very solid contender.

01:17:22   There's a reason why that camera is so well rated.

01:17:25   Next I have my new Fuji XT5 and I rented the

01:17:30   Fuji 150 to 600 millimeter giant telephoto lens with that.

01:17:34   As usual, it I think had the most pleasing colors.

01:17:39   I would say the Fuji 150-600 is a substantially sharper

01:17:44   and nicer lens than the Sony 200-600,

01:17:49   even though it is not as optically fast.

01:17:54   What's interesting is that because the Fuji

01:17:56   is made for its crop sensor cameras,

01:17:58   it's made for APS-C-sized sensors,

01:18:00   It's 600 millimeters is an equivalent of 900 millimeters.

01:18:05   So I shot all these and you can see it is more zoomed in

01:18:09   and you get pretty sharp results.

01:18:14   It is a little tricky to focus in certain lighting.

01:18:17   Again, that's I think mostly due to Fuji's focus system,

01:18:19   not the lens, but it is surprisingly good

01:18:24   and surprisingly detailed.

01:18:25   Overall, very impressed by the Fuji.

01:18:28   And then finally, I have my trusty old Sony A7R III

01:18:31   with its 200 to 600 millimeter lens.

01:18:33   I did two sets, one with the teleconverter

01:18:35   to get it to 1200 millimeters

01:18:37   and one without the teleconverter.

01:18:38   And it did fantastically in terms of detail,

01:18:42   like the text on the sign on the right set,

01:18:45   the text I think is the best on the Sony series,

01:18:49   but the lens overall is just not a very sharp lens.

01:18:53   - You say that, but I was definitely looking at the text

01:18:56   in the same thing.

01:18:57   And I have to say, the Sony, the very bottom one,

01:18:59   either with or without the teleconverter,

01:19:01   has sharper text than any of the other ones.

01:19:05   So you say, oh, the lens isn't as sharp.

01:19:06   Well, the text is sharp.

01:19:07   That's why I was looking for text,

01:19:08   because we know what text looks like.

01:19:10   In particular, if you look at ripcurrents.noaa.gov,

01:19:14   the descender in the gene .gov is right on top of a rivet.

01:19:19   That rivet reads way better on either one of the Sony pictures

01:19:23   than it does on the Fuji one.

01:19:24   That's interesting.

01:19:25   If you pixel peep that and go in that, it's just sharper.

01:19:29   It's sharper, it's not as fuzzy,

01:19:30   I can't even tell that it's a river than the other ones.

01:19:32   I definitely, looking at all these pictures,

01:19:34   I was surprised to see that even with the teleconverter,

01:19:36   which usually hurts your sharpness

01:19:39   and light gathering or whatever,

01:19:40   that the Sony comes out on top as far as I'm concerned.

01:19:44   I mean, and it's close, it's not like the Fuji

01:19:46   with that giant lens is much worse

01:19:48   than the Sony with the giant lens,

01:19:49   but I would definitely say that the Sony is sharper.

01:19:53   Now, I think if you had, not that you need to spend

01:19:57   more money, but like, you know, the A7R is up to

01:19:59   the A7R V now, and that is not the most recent

01:20:02   big giant, ridiculously expensive, white zoom lens

01:20:05   from Sony, so if you, you know, refreshed all of that

01:20:09   with modern Sony stuff to compete against your modern

01:20:12   Fuji stuff, I think it would probably widen the gap

01:20:14   even more.

01:20:15   - It's possible, I mean, certainly, you know,

01:20:16   it would have more resolution and everything,

01:20:17   but yeah, I was surprised, you know, just owning

01:20:20   the Sony lens, I've been surprised like how little

01:20:23   I like the pictures that I ever get out of it.

01:20:25   And I don't know what, maybe that's just--

01:20:26   - And I have to say, I've heard this from other people

01:20:28   as well, and so you're not, this is you,

01:20:30   but either I like what the Sony's do,

01:20:33   or whatever difference you're seeing,

01:20:34   I don't see or don't care about.

01:20:36   Like the way they call it the color science or whatever.

01:20:38   I see the differences from camera to camera,

01:20:41   but I would never choose a camera based on it.

01:20:44   'Cause I always just feel like,

01:20:45   I guess it's because what it comes down to is,

01:20:47   like you said, I'm editing these things.

01:20:49   I mean, any picture I care about, I'm editing.

01:20:51   So if there's something I dislike about the JPEG

01:20:56   that came out, I'll go to the RAW

01:20:58   and change it to the way I want it.

01:20:59   I really don't care how the JPEGs look,

01:21:01   especially when you're talking about

01:21:02   one of these gigantic camera rigs

01:21:03   where you're like, I'm done shooting in RAW, right?

01:21:05   But if you've got that gigantic camera

01:21:07   that's longer than your arm and it weighs a ton

01:21:10   and you're setting it all up or whatever,

01:21:11   spend the five minutes to edit it.

01:21:14   But I need the JPEGs to come out exactly how I want them,

01:21:16   but I'm willing to lug around a camera

01:21:17   that's bigger than my child to take the photo.

01:21:21   I don't quite understand that turned off.

01:21:22   For the pocketable one, sure,

01:21:23   but for the white colored camera lens

01:21:26   that is gigantic and costs a bazillion dollars,

01:21:29   edit those photos.

01:21:30   - Sometimes I find with the Sonys that like,

01:21:32   no matter what I do with the edit,

01:21:33   I can't get the colors to look what I want them to look like.

01:21:37   - But I do wonder what you're looking for.

01:21:39   Like, I think the Sonys look okay.

01:21:43   Like, I don't have that, you know.

01:21:45   Maybe it's a little bit like,

01:21:46   the Fujis I've always felt look a little bit,

01:21:48   it's kind of like when people, you know,

01:21:50   like the Sony's always to me look mostly neutral,

01:21:53   whereas the Fuji's remind me more of film,

01:21:55   just setting aside the ones where it's trying

01:21:57   to look like film like you were talking about.

01:21:59   And I don't want the film look,

01:22:01   whether intentionally trying to look like film

01:22:03   or just kind of like accidentally looking like film,

01:22:06   I want it to be, I wouldn't call the Sony more neutral,

01:22:08   but that's how I think of it as like the Sony's

01:22:10   just showing me the colors that were there

01:22:12   without trying to massage them.

01:22:14   And that wasn't true, the Sony has its own bent

01:22:16   about how it handles reds and stuff like that,

01:22:17   like I can see that, but I definitely wouldn't choose

01:22:22   a camera based on it, it's strange to hear.

01:22:25   It is such a factor in your decision making

01:22:27   about which cameras you want, even ones that are,

01:22:29   even when we're talking about giant zoom lens

01:22:31   on a giant big camera.

01:22:32   - I've lived in Sony land for a while now.

01:22:36   We used to be a Canon family.

01:22:37   Tip still has her old Canon gear because she never

01:22:40   ended up liking the Sony pictures very much.

01:22:42   She has the same complaints I have of like,

01:22:44   just can't get them to look the way you want.

01:22:45   Sony excels in extreme technical skill

01:22:50   at the expense of being really boring.

01:22:54   Actually is kind of my greatest strengths and weaknesses

01:22:57   as well as a person.

01:22:59   But Sony, there's not a lot of pizzazz or excitement

01:23:05   in the way Sony renders things.

01:23:07   It doesn't make you go wow,

01:23:08   but it's technically very much, very high

01:23:11   and it beats everyone else on technical specs

01:23:13   most of the time.

01:23:15   And so there are lots of situations where that's okay,

01:23:18   or that's what you want.

01:23:19   Like if you're gonna be heavily editing

01:23:21   the pictures afterwards.

01:23:23   That makes a lot of sense.

01:23:24   I know myself well enough to know that I'm not gonna edit.

01:23:27   Like a long time ago, at some point for a Christmas one year

01:23:32   we rented this crazy high priced Leica camera,

01:23:37   also from Lens Rentals.

01:23:38   We've done a lot of stuff with them over the years.

01:23:41   It was this, whatever Leica was their digital rangefinder

01:23:46   at the time, I think I made a blog post about it.

01:23:48   My impression of it when we had it was,

01:23:52   first of all, being a rangefinder was such a giant

01:23:54   pain in the butt to use.

01:23:56   If you've never used a rangefinder, consider yourself lucky.

01:23:58   If you have, I'm sorry, you probably hate me right now.

01:24:00   But such a massive pain in the butt

01:24:02   to shoot things with a rangefinder.

01:24:05   At the end of the day, I was disappointed by the camera's

01:24:08   high ISO performance, it sucked in low light.

01:24:11   Being a ring fender, it didn't have autofocus at all.

01:24:14   The technical side of it, I was very disappointed by.

01:24:17   But over the following years,

01:24:20   I would always look back on those photos and be like,

01:24:22   man, I love these pictures, I love the way they look.

01:24:26   And it's not because of its technical perfection,

01:24:28   'cause it didn't have that.

01:24:29   It wasn't because it did great in low light,

01:24:31   because it didn't.

01:24:32   It wasn't because it had the highest resolution,

01:24:34   because it didn't.

01:24:36   I just liked the way they rendered colors,

01:24:38   between Leica's optics and whatever they were doing

01:24:41   in the camera to process those colors,

01:24:43   I just liked the pictures a lot better

01:24:45   than the other ones I was getting at the time.

01:24:47   I just, I liked, it's indescribable,

01:24:50   but you like what you like, right?

01:24:51   And so anyway, that, we didn't go the Leica direction

01:24:55   for many reasons, but, although honestly,

01:24:57   I considered renting a Q2 during this run,

01:25:00   but it would've like doubled the price of my entire rental.

01:25:03   I'm like, I don't wanna do that.

01:25:04   (laughing)

01:25:05   But anyway, for a while we left Canon Land,

01:25:09   or I did at least, to go to Sony World

01:25:11   because Sony World had just the amazing technical chops.

01:25:15   So good in low light.

01:25:17   The Sony full frame sensors, back with the first

01:25:21   Sony A series cameras, were just kicking Canon's butt.

01:25:25   They were so much better back in that time

01:25:29   and so that got me over to Sony Land.

01:25:31   But while I've taken a lot of decent pictures with Sony,

01:25:35   I'm not loving the pictures I get out of my Sony cameras

01:25:38   as much as I used to love some of the Canon stuff

01:25:40   I was getting, as much as I love those rented Leica pictures,

01:25:44   and as much as I love the handful of pictures

01:25:45   I've shot so far with the Fuji gear.

01:25:47   It just doesn't fit me, and I've tried, I've edited them,

01:25:50   and I've tried processing them and doing different things,

01:25:53   and I just can't get out of the Sony what I want

01:25:55   in terms of niceness, something I love.

01:25:59   It's not about technical specs.

01:26:01   - You know, I'm not sure this is a good analogy,

01:26:03   But when I listen to you say this, it makes me think of the somewhat similar situation

01:26:09   in the audio world of people who we've talked about in the past, people who like the smile

01:26:13   curve because it makes movies exciting where you boost the bass and you boost the treble

01:26:16   and you dip the mids and people who want a more neutral sound.

01:26:19   And then there are people who think a neutral sound is super boring.

01:26:22   And it sounds to me like you like the like a smile curve and neutral photos seem like

01:26:28   poison to you and that also that you're unable to reproduce the smile curve when you try

01:26:32   to manually edit it.

01:26:33   And I would have to think the inability to reproduce

01:26:36   the thing you want from a neutral photo

01:26:38   mostly comes down to not knowing what it is

01:26:42   that you need to do with your neutral photo

01:26:43   to make it look like those Leica photos, right?

01:26:45   'Cause it's an indescribable thing that you know,

01:26:47   you know you like it, you see it, you know you like it,

01:26:49   but if you don't know, all right,

01:26:51   how do I go from neutral to that,

01:26:54   you're never gonna be able to do it just by, you know,

01:26:55   randomly poking at curves and stuff

01:26:57   to try to make it happen.

01:26:59   - Yeah, and part of that is because

01:27:02   it's really complicated and it's like when you try

01:27:04   to correct--

01:27:05   - Yeah, it's not as simple as just push this dial up

01:27:07   on the equalizer and you're done, right?

01:27:09   - Right, yeah, it's like trying to correct something

01:27:11   you don't like about headphones with EQ.

01:27:12   It's like you can sometimes do that a little bit,

01:27:15   but the whole frequency response and distortion

01:27:19   characteristics and reflection characteristics

01:27:21   of a headphone are so much more complicated

01:27:23   than just the basic EQ controls you have.

01:27:26   And that's how I feel with photos.

01:27:27   Like I can use something like Lightroom or the built

01:27:30   and photos app and use the editing controls.

01:27:33   I've done that before.

01:27:34   I did that for years.

01:27:35   And sometimes it would work out for me.

01:27:38   Usually not.

01:27:39   And it's partly because it's more complicated than that.

01:27:42   It's also largely because I'm not very good at it,

01:27:44   and I'm never gonna be very good at it.

01:27:46   - And you'd have to start from raw

01:27:48   to have a fighting chance.

01:27:49   'Cause if you start from the JPEG,

01:27:50   you're just, you know, you're screwed.

01:27:52   - Exactly.

01:27:52   So I've decided that my camera journey is

01:27:56   I'm gonna abandon technical,

01:27:59   or technical class leadership, I think.

01:28:03   And just go with what I love.

01:28:06   Go with what gives me the pictures I love.

01:28:08   And right now, that is Fuji.

01:28:10   And I never tried Fuji before,

01:28:11   because they weren't leading in the technical stuff.

01:28:14   They never had the best high ISO noise performance.

01:28:18   They usually didn't have the best megapixel resolution.

01:28:23   I didn't really know anything about their lens situation.

01:28:25   They didn't have anything full frame.

01:28:26   It's funny, they don't have full frame.

01:28:29   They have APS-C and they went right to medium format.

01:28:32   They have nothing in between.

01:28:33   But anyway, I thought for a long time

01:28:37   that what I wanted was technical perfection,

01:28:39   but I now know what I want is pictures I love.

01:28:42   And some of those are gonna come from iPhones,

01:28:44   some of those are gonna come from Fugees,

01:28:45   some of those are gonna come from random rented Sonys

01:28:47   here and there, but I'm getting a lot more of them

01:28:50   from Fugees and my hit rate is quite good.

01:28:54   - I will give your Sony gear a good home.

01:28:56   - I will probably be sending some of it to you.

01:28:58   (laughing)

01:28:59   First I'm gonna trade some of it to Beck,

01:29:01   probably to B&H to get, probably to buy this Fuji lens

01:29:04   and then we'll talk.

01:29:05   All right, thanks to our sponsors this week,

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01:29:14   And thanks to our members, once again,

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01:29:17   We've had wonderful membership numbers recently

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01:29:30   You can join an atb.fm/join.

01:29:33   We'll talk to you next week.

01:29:35   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:29:40   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:29:42   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:29:45   ♪ Oh it was accidental ♪

01:29:48   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:29:50   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:29:53   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:29:56   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm And if you're into Twitter, you can follow

01:30:03   them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:30:15   Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A, Syracusa

01:30:22   ♪ USA Syracuse, it's accidental ♪

01:30:27   ♪ They didn't mean to, accidental ♪

01:30:33   ♪ Tech podcast so long ♪

01:30:36   - I'm going to do my dear friend Mike Dirty

01:30:42   and talk about something that we spoke about

01:30:44   a little bit on analog this week, but isn't out yet.

01:30:46   This is the pain that comes from analog recording

01:30:49   on a Tuesday, but not typically being released until Sunday.

01:30:53   So I'm sort of taking away Mike's exclusive.

01:30:56   And I'm sorry, Mike, I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention,

01:30:59   but here we are. - Hey, we were here first.

01:31:00   - Well, he was there first,

01:31:02   it's just nobody heard it but the two of us, so.

01:31:05   - Marco's rapid production cycle wins again.

01:31:07   - You got a ship, real artist ship, you know?

01:31:10   - Oh, brutal, poor Mike, I'm sorry, Mike.

01:31:13   So anyway, so what we talked about, Mike and myself,

01:31:16   and I will put a link to the

01:31:17   as we record this forthcoming episode of Analog,

01:31:20   but will soon by Sunday will be

01:31:23   the released episode of Analog.

01:31:25   Mike and I talked about my forthcoming app.

01:31:28   And I am pretty, pretty sure

01:31:33   this one's actually gonna see the light of day.

01:31:34   It is not ready yet.

01:31:36   It is getting pretty close,

01:31:37   but I thought I would try something different

01:31:42   and talk about it a bit.

01:31:44   And I'm not really sure why I wanted

01:31:45   try something different other than it's different, but I figured we could talk about it, the

01:31:50   three of us and the listeners kind of by proxy and see what we think.

01:31:54   So what am I up to?

01:31:56   As usual, I don't have a good name.

01:31:58   If you recall, in the past I didn't come up with -- well, actually, I think it was my

01:32:02   friend Steve that came up with Masquerade if memory serves, but that didn't happen until

01:32:05   pretty late in the development cycle.

01:32:08   I don't have a good name for it, and I have an even worse icon for it for those who are

01:32:12   on the test flight, which is basically just friends

01:32:14   at this point.

01:32:15   - Do you wanna share the terrible name?

01:32:18   Just so you can tell me how you came up

01:32:19   with this terrible name.

01:32:20   - Okay, so the code name--

01:32:22   - Oh wait, no, I think I figured it out.

01:32:23   Go ahead, see if I'm right.

01:32:24   - So the code name is, well, I don't wanna pronounce it

01:32:27   because of how it looks like a joke.

01:32:29   No, no, no, so the code name is the word lookup

01:32:33   with an F in front of it, which is supposed to be

01:32:35   a portmanteau of film lookup to become flookup, right?

01:32:40   Well, I said this to Erin, or I showed Erin the name.

01:32:43   I did not verbalize it to her, and she says, "Flukeup."

01:32:47   - Flukup? - What the hell is Flukeup?

01:32:49   - It does look like Flukeup.

01:32:51   Now that I see, I instantly read in my head Flukeup,

01:32:54   when I saw it first, but I can see why you'd get Flukeup.

01:32:57   - Yep, I read Flukeup, and then I tried to eff Flukeup,

01:32:59   and I was like, "No, they're both bad."

01:33:01   - They're both bad.

01:33:02   I mean, full stop, they're both bad.

01:33:03   - Flukup P, fast look up P.

01:33:06   - Yeah, it's no P on this one, not yet anyway.

01:33:08   See, I need a name. I'm still working on that. And I need an icon. The icon is...

01:33:12   I like Flukup. I think it's a funny name. I think it works.

01:33:15   No, do not listen to Marco. It's a terrible name.

01:33:17   I always like your initial terrible names.

01:33:19   Well, it's probably better than Face Splash, but that's neither here nor there.

01:33:25   But only marginally.

01:33:26   Oh, God.

01:33:26   But anyway, in any case, so we're getting off track already. So what the heck is it?

01:33:37   The thesis statement, if you will, is imagine IMDb but written by someone who has self-respect.

01:33:44   And so what this was born from is I often, when I'm watching a television show or a movie or some

01:33:53   such, I would want to know, "Oh, who is this person?" or "Where do I know this person from?"

01:33:57   or what have you. And for years and years and years and years I would use the IMDb app or the

01:34:02   to the website, the website is still mostly okay.

01:34:07   - Disagree. - It's not great.

01:34:09   - So bad.

01:34:10   - It's unusable. - So much.

01:34:12   I hate it.

01:34:13   - Well, I can use the website and I can do it

01:34:17   without actively vomiting on myself.

01:34:19   - Without scrolling up and down the page seven times.

01:34:22   It's gotta be here, right?

01:34:23   - That is fair, that is totally fair.

01:34:24   That is totally fair.

01:34:25   - Best experience by IMDb, I hate it so much.

01:34:27   - However, I will say that the IMDb app,

01:34:30   my personal opinion, is unusable and has been for like two or three years now. So

01:34:35   the reasons I don't like the IMDb app, not to belabor it, it's constantly like

01:34:40   playing videos or trying to play videos or show you images at like three

01:34:43   quarters the size of the screen. I don't want to log in. I don't want to log in.

01:34:49   Stop asking. I don't f***ing want to log in. Just stop. So that in and of

01:34:56   itself is enough to drive me nuts. And it's very gross now. It's clear that Amazon owns

01:35:02   it. It's clear they want you to either watch their shows or buy things from them. And it's

01:35:06   just frustrating. And so I started wondering, well, could I fix this problem? And there's

01:35:13   a pretty great website called The Movie Database. And we'll put a link to The Movie Database

01:35:19   in the show notes. It is a kind of, I don't want to say knockoff, that's kind of disrespectful,

01:35:26   But it's an alternative to IMDB.

01:35:30   I'll be the first to tell you the data is not quite as good as IMDB's, but it's pretty

01:35:36   close.

01:35:37   And for any of the major stuff, it'll be there.

01:35:40   And so I started digging and looking and well, wow, they have an API and wow, this API seems

01:35:46   to make sense.

01:35:47   It's not completely bananas.

01:35:49   And if all you're doing is reading stuff, you don't need to log into anything.

01:35:54   And so that's how FlukeUp was born, or whatever I ended up calling it.

01:35:59   And the idea is, what if it's IMDb by someone who actually cares?

01:36:04   And it lets you look up TV, movies, episodes of TV shows, seasons of TV shows, and people

01:36:11   as well.

01:36:13   And I started--the first commit--I should have had this handy, I'm sorry--but the first

01:36:17   commit on this was something like January 25th or thereabouts?

01:36:22   And I think I'm in a position that, barring the name and icon, I could send this to App

01:36:29   Review in the next few days, I think.

01:36:32   So I am pretty darn proud of how fast it's come together.

01:36:36   It's 100% SwiftUI.

01:36:37   I'm literally not using UIKit for anything as far as I can recall.

01:36:41   It's using Async/Await, which has gone really, really well.

01:36:44   And I'm just really enjoying writing it.

01:36:47   And I'm having a lot of fun with it, which is cool.

01:36:51   The most interesting thing at the moment

01:36:55   is how do you monetize it?

01:36:57   But actually I should interrupt and say,

01:36:59   do you two have anything you wanna talk about,

01:37:01   add or ask before I start talking about monetization?

01:37:04   - Yeah, first of all, I will nitpick.

01:37:07   When you sent me the very first version,

01:37:09   I nitpicked a few things.

01:37:10   I did one of my trademark video tour.

01:37:13   I've been holding back until things calmed down

01:37:16   a little bit to send my final design nitpicks.

01:37:18   (laughing)

01:37:19   But this is coming together really well.

01:37:21   This might be your best app yet.

01:37:22   I mean, it's really good.

01:37:25   And it's very useful.

01:37:27   I think this is going to be useful to a lot of people.

01:37:32   This could be it.

01:37:34   And I'm happy to hear that you've quote,

01:37:37   "Only worked on it for about three or four months now,"

01:37:40   because that's how to become a successful iOS developer,

01:37:45   is like, try stuff.

01:37:49   You know, you gotta put stuff out there.

01:37:50   You gotta try it and see what's gonna work

01:37:52   and what's gonna stick, what's gonna find an audience,

01:37:55   what's not, that's what you gotta do.

01:37:57   And if you're spending a whole year on an app

01:38:01   and you put it out there and it's actually

01:38:02   a pretty specialized thing that doesn't have

01:38:04   a huge audience, that's not a great use of your time.

01:38:07   And if you want this to become a bigger part

01:38:09   of what you do, this is how to do that.

01:38:12   You get an app like this where it's like

01:38:14   you identified a pretty substantially sized market.

01:38:18   It's a big market.

01:38:19   You built something that doesn't seem to have

01:38:22   major costs to you.

01:38:24   Like you're not running the servers.

01:38:26   You're not running any kind of backend service for this.

01:38:28   You're not paying for the API it seems, right?

01:38:32   - So there's a whole story there.

01:38:35   We'll get back to that.

01:38:35   But suffice it to say, so far that is correct.

01:38:37   - Right, so there's that.

01:38:39   And you made something that looks and feels pretty good

01:38:43   without taking a ton of time to do it.

01:38:45   That's a great story.

01:38:46   And the result is really good.

01:38:49   It's very useful.

01:38:51   It is something that I've used a couple of times so far.

01:38:54   The only reason I haven't used it more

01:38:56   is that I don't watch a lot of movies.

01:38:57   But when I do, I have the same need.

01:38:59   And I'll do the same thing you do on TV shows.

01:39:01   Oh, it's that guy.

01:39:02   What's he from again?

01:39:03   And I'll go look it up or whatever.

01:39:06   And I think this is great.

01:39:07   I really do.

01:39:07   I think this shows your growth as an independent iOS

01:39:12   developer.

01:39:12   You are getting better, and your ideas

01:39:15   are getting more mainstream and this is,

01:39:18   I think a pretty good opportunity.

01:39:20   And I will nitpick things, obviously.

01:39:24   - That's why you're here, that's why you're here.

01:39:25   - But I have less to nitpick here

01:39:28   than any of your previous apps when I first seen them.

01:39:31   Like way less.

01:39:32   - Yeah and it's come a long way.

01:39:33   It's come a long way and I think some of that is me,

01:39:36   some of that is our mutual friend Ben McCarthy

01:39:39   who makes Obscura among other things.

01:39:41   I'll put a link to Obscura in the show notes.

01:39:43   It's like an alternative camera app.

01:39:47   Ben had some really phenomenal UI ideas

01:39:50   that they shared with me,

01:39:52   and that I think made a tremendous, tremendous difference.

01:39:55   Anything looks good is either them or me,

01:39:57   and anything looks bad is 100% me.

01:40:00   So that's what we can agree on.

01:40:01   - Wait, I'm taking credit for my PG-13R,

01:40:04   like the styling of the rating.

01:40:05   That's me. - Oh, that's true.

01:40:06   That's true, I'm sorry.

01:40:07   No, you're right, I completely forgot about that.

01:40:08   You're 100% correct.

01:40:09   - I'm the one who first ripped off the MPAA for you.

01:40:12   (laughing)

01:40:14   No, I do feel like it looks pretty good.

01:40:16   It's not perfect by any means, but it looks pretty good.

01:40:18   I'm pretty happy with it.

01:40:19   John, any commentary before we talk

01:40:21   monetization and API stuff?

01:40:23   - I was gonna say, when I was thinking of this app,

01:40:24   like I immediately understood what you were making,

01:40:26   even when the app did nothing, it was terrible.

01:40:28   (laughing)

01:40:30   But I understood, like it was clear to me.

01:40:32   And to be clear, you sent this app to us,

01:40:34   and like it didn't explain anything about it.

01:40:36   And I saw the icon, and I didn't understand

01:40:38   what the heck it was, and it was terrible.

01:40:39   But then I launched it, and I'm like,

01:40:40   "Oh, I get it, IMDb, but not sucking."

01:40:41   So thumbs up on the concept.

01:40:45   I have to say for me personally, and this does not affect your market because your market

01:40:48   is much more mass market, but for me personally, your biggest competition, which is currently

01:40:53   way, way ahead of you because they've been out for years and years and years, is Letterboxd.

01:40:58   And I know they don't do TV, and I know it's not really the point of that site, but they

01:41:02   have had so many years to polish their experience of finding movies and who's in them and what

01:41:08   the things they might be in and stuff like that, and their site and their app, which

01:41:12   is really just their website, is not junked up like IMDb.

01:41:16   So I feel like within the realm of people who even know what PackLadderBoxD is, it is

01:41:20   very strong competition because it is not…

01:41:24   I think it's way better than the movie database site.

01:41:26   It's certainly better than IMDb.

01:41:28   It is the same ethos as you.

01:41:30   It's, "Hey, guess what?

01:41:31   A thing that people might want to use to find information that is nicely organized and laid

01:41:35   out and this site was not created in the last three months, right?

01:41:40   So they have a big lead on you.

01:41:42   Your advantage is nobody who's not a giant film nerd knows about Letterboxd and honestly

01:41:46   it's overkill for the simple use cases if I'm on the couch and I want to find out what

01:41:49   this person's in.

01:41:50   I go to it because I use Letterboxd all the time and I do movie stuff or whatever but

01:41:55   Marco is not the target audience for Letterboxd and he would use your app.

01:42:00   And this is also to say if you want some good ideas about how to lay things out and how

01:42:04   to do UIs, I'd go to Letterboxd, their website, and again, their quote-unquote "app" I think

01:42:09   is just a web view onto their mobile version of their site, which is a testament to how

01:42:14   good the mobile version of their site is, but I would say check that out for some good

01:42:17   ideas.

01:42:18   Oh, I should do that.

01:42:20   Yeah, it's funny because a lot of the people that I've sent the beta to seem to, the cross

01:42:27   section between my friends and Letterboxd users seems to be quite strong.

01:42:32   I am not a letterbox user.

01:42:34   It's not something I think I need or want in my life, but I can totally understand why

01:42:38   one would want it.

01:42:39   Like, I use Goodreads fairly religiously to track the things that I've read, and it's

01:42:44   a very similar idea.

01:42:45   I want to congratulate you for your ability to pronounce the name of that site differently

01:42:49   than me in the same conversation and not giving in like the GIF GIF people do when you're

01:42:53   conversing about somebody with it and you can't help but just start copying the other

01:42:56   person's pronunciation like whoever said it first, but no, you're holding strong.

01:42:59   - And to be clear, Casey is pronouncing it the right way,

01:43:01   and I'm pronouncing it the John way.

01:43:03   (laughing)

01:43:04   - We'll see how well I do, but in any case.

01:43:08   So yeah, so I think if this continues to be a thing

01:43:12   and if it's not just a flop,

01:43:13   then one thing that I've gotten some very clear interest in,

01:43:17   at least because of the small test group I've sent it to,

01:43:20   is having letterboxed integration and marking.

01:43:24   I don't even know what that would mean, to be honest,

01:43:26   because again, I don't really use letterbox,

01:43:28   but I would investigate that and see what makes sense

01:43:31   to be in both places.

01:43:33   But that's another version way down the road.

01:43:35   So with regard to monetization, so yes,

01:43:38   so Marco touched on this earlier.

01:43:40   It's a little bit of a squishy thing

01:43:44   because the movie database seems to not want my money.

01:43:49   So they have like a couple of different,

01:43:52   this is just for the listeners, not even just the members,

01:43:54   but for the listeners, because this is kind of putting me

01:43:58   a little bit of an awkward spot. So I have--I could belabor this story quite a bit, but

01:44:02   suffice to say, I've asked several times to get a commercial key, like, you know, API

01:44:08   key from the movie database. I've asked in this one place over here and another place

01:44:12   over there, and so far they refuse to give one to me. They keep ghosting me when I ask

01:44:18   them. And I'm like, "Hey, you know, I'm currently using a developer key. That's fine, but this

01:44:23   This will be sold at some point.

01:44:24   Can I have a commercial key?

01:44:26   Crickets.

01:44:27   So, I've back-channeled a little bit with some people that are using the Movie Database

01:44:32   API in other uses, and I don't think they're ever going to want my money.

01:44:40   But that's not like it's in writing or anything, right?

01:44:43   So like, I need to account for the fact that this is an API that I don't own and I don't

01:44:48   control.

01:44:49   it is perfectly within their, you know, rights to say,

01:44:52   "You got to pony up, big guy."

01:44:54   So since this is something that hopefully people would use a lot

01:44:57   and hopefully a lot of people would use,

01:44:59   I need to have some sort of recurring revenue.

01:45:01   I don't want to be put in a situation

01:45:03   where suddenly my weather API,

01:45:04   so to speak, not in a literal sense, you know,

01:45:06   the weather API that goes from free to not free

01:45:09   to, oh, my gosh, expensive.

01:45:11   So I think what I'm going to do is make this a subscription app.

01:45:17   And I did not start down that path,

01:45:18   but I think it was underscore in a conversation

01:45:20   we were having, said to me,

01:45:21   "Look, you gotta go subscription

01:45:24   "'cause you never know what the future will bring."

01:45:26   I hope I'm not putting words in underscore in its mouth.

01:45:28   I'm pretty sure it was him that started this in my head.

01:45:30   But that makes me think, okay, I should do a subscription.

01:45:33   But that, in turn, I don't think it's right,

01:45:37   you just beg us the question, but beg us the question.

01:45:38   - Raises the question.

01:45:39   - There it is, thank you.

01:45:40   How much does one charge for this?

01:45:44   And honestly, I don't have a great answer

01:45:48   because I was looking at what can I think of

01:45:53   as something that has a clear and obvious cost,

01:45:56   recurring cost to the company,

01:45:59   and even an end user would understand that,

01:46:03   and how much does that cost?

01:46:04   Well, there's an app called Overcast

01:46:07   that has a clear and recurring cost

01:46:09   to the person or persons that run Overcast,

01:46:12   and I should look at how much that is.

01:46:15   - No, you shouldn't. - And if I'm not,

01:46:16   Well, if I'm not mistaken, overcast is $10 a year.

01:46:21   So to me, that sets a high threshold

01:46:26   that I don't think I should be even that particularly close

01:46:29   to $10 a year.

01:46:31   But then where should I be?

01:46:33   And honestly, I don't know.

01:46:34   - I'm not sure, pfft.

01:46:36   See, I get what you're saying.

01:46:37   It was like, oh, I have a comparable, as they say

01:46:40   in the real estate industry, but it's not comparable.

01:46:43   Setting aside whether Marcos pricing is right,

01:46:46   - It's not.

01:46:47   - Right, but like, here's the deal.

01:46:50   No one who is interested in buying your app

01:46:53   knows or cares what Overcast goes for.

01:46:57   They're not competitors, they might not even know

01:47:00   Overcast exists, right?

01:47:01   The question, not that this makes it easier,

01:47:05   but I'm just saying the question is,

01:47:07   how much are people willing to pay for an app

01:47:08   that does what your app does?

01:47:09   - When there's a very clear free alternative.

01:47:12   - And that has almost no connection

01:47:14   to how much are they willing to pay for a podcast app

01:47:16   that does what Overcast does.

01:47:17   - Sure.

01:47:18   - And then the second question is,

01:47:20   oh, is Overcast charging the right amount?

01:47:22   (laughing)

01:47:22   - It's not.

01:47:24   - So, and I'm assuming, Marco,

01:47:25   you think you should be charging more?

01:47:26   - Yeah, definitely.

01:47:27   - I agree.

01:47:28   - When I, you know, when I launched Overcast Premium,

01:47:31   God knows how many years ago,

01:47:33   subscriptions for, you know, non-content apps,

01:47:37   like, you know, subscriptions for like, you know,

01:47:38   newsstand apps were common, you know, stuff like that,

01:47:41   but like, subscriptions for like regular app functionality,

01:47:44   That was not that common still back then.

01:47:47   And $10 a year felt like a bit of a reach,

01:47:51   but like a doable reach, so I did it.

01:47:53   Now, I mean look, I just told you,

01:47:56   five hours ago when we began this episode,

01:47:57   I just told you that there was this app

01:48:00   that made the EDR photos for me.

01:48:03   It's a one feature app that I'm gonna use

01:48:05   here and there occasionally.

01:48:07   It's $3 a month or $30 lifetime,

01:48:09   and I jump right for the $30 lifetime purchase.

01:48:12   But if I didn't, it was $3 a month.

01:48:15   Like, and I'm paying 10, I'm charging $10 a year

01:48:18   for an app that people use typically,

01:48:19   you know, multiple hours a day.

01:48:22   So the comparison, as John said, is not, you know,

01:48:25   super direct between what many different apps do.

01:48:27   But if I was launching today,

01:48:30   I would not charge $10 a year.

01:48:32   I would probably, I mean, look, even my competitors.

01:48:34   Like, if you look at other podcast apps

01:48:37   that charge money for anything at all,

01:48:39   I'm cheaper than all of them

01:48:41   for the premium feature set.

01:48:42   I think all of us are free up front now,

01:48:44   but the premium feature set, I'm by far the cheapest,

01:48:47   I think, I think by half or more.

01:48:51   And so if I were doing this today,

01:48:54   I would probably go to 20 a year maybe?

01:48:58   Or maybe I'd have some kind of monthly, I don't know.

01:49:02   Maybe I'd have to do a free trial,

01:49:03   which I still have not done.

01:49:05   So I don't know necessarily what I would do,

01:49:08   but it wouldn't be $10 a year.

01:49:09   it would be substantially more in some way.

01:49:12   That being said, Overcast is not $10 a year.

01:49:15   Overcast is free with ads or $10 a year.

01:49:18   You can put ads in this,

01:49:20   and that's what most people would do,

01:49:22   and you would crap up the experience

01:49:24   and be exactly what you are trying to not do.

01:49:27   - Exactly, exactly.

01:49:28   - But you would make some money from ads.

01:49:30   That's the thing, and you could have,

01:49:32   most people would leave them,

01:49:33   and you'd make a few pennies here and there

01:49:35   from those people, and then people like me

01:49:37   who are jerks about ads, not wanting to see ads in my ass

01:49:41   if I don't have to, we would pay

01:49:43   for whatever the unlock would be, and that would be it.

01:49:46   And you'd get some purchases for the no ads purchase,

01:49:49   and you get some purchases for the ads,

01:49:51   or some money from the ads, and that would be it.

01:49:53   That is probably the best way to do it.

01:49:55   Whether you'd want to do that or not,

01:49:56   it's a different story, but if you want

01:49:58   to maximize your money, that's what you should do,

01:50:00   is put ads in it and tolerate some crappiness.

01:50:05   But again, that's not the way to make the best app necessarily.

01:50:09   That's the way to make the most money.

01:50:10   - So you complete the trifecta of not taking

01:50:12   any pricing advice from your podcast co-hosts.

01:50:15   The tiny number of people who use my two apps,

01:50:19   run them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

01:50:21   So I should be charging tons of money.

01:50:23   Instead, it's a one-time price that never repeats.

01:50:25   Don't price like my apps.

01:50:29   And apparently don't price like Margos' apps.

01:50:31   Well, I guess he's saying yes, price like his app,

01:50:33   but don't price just like the premium portion

01:50:35   of his app, don't forget there's the free part with ads.

01:50:38   - Yeah, and by the way, what you said a minute ago

01:50:41   about you don't know what the future holds

01:50:42   in terms of your API access to the service

01:50:45   that your app depends on and is useless without,

01:50:48   to me, that's a giant red flag for a subscription purchase.

01:50:52   'Cause what just happened with the Twitter apps

01:50:54   that were cut off and had to refund?

01:50:57   - And I would say, even if that API is free forever,

01:51:00   even if they never charge you any money for it,

01:51:03   and I would say that any app, and setting aside

01:51:05   what Marco was just saying is that look,

01:51:07   every app charges subscriptions no matter what they do now.

01:51:09   But any app that accesses a third party API

01:51:14   that you don't control should charge a subscription.

01:51:17   It doesn't have to be expensive subscription,

01:51:18   but it should charge a subscription.

01:51:20   It could be $1 a year, but whatever it is.

01:51:22   Because that app is guaranteed to require

01:51:25   some kind of ongoing maintenance above and beyond

01:51:28   the just keeping up with the latest version of iOS,

01:51:30   'cause APIs change, unless they're dead.

01:51:32   I mean, if the API is dead,

01:51:33   then you have separate problems, right?

01:51:34   because APIs change, and that means you'll have to update

01:51:36   your app, or you'll wanna update your app.

01:51:39   You are essentially writing on top of a thing

01:51:42   that you don't control.

01:51:43   We're all writing on top of the Apple platform,

01:51:44   and we have to keep up with those changes.

01:51:46   We have no choice.

01:51:47   But I think once you go the extra step of saying,

01:51:49   oh, and by the way, my app is essentially a front end

01:51:51   for an API that has nothing to do with me,

01:51:54   you will have to ride that bear in the Steve Ballmer sense.

01:51:58   You will have to continue to chase that API.

01:52:02   wherever that API goes, you don't have control over it,

01:52:05   and wherever it goes, you have to follow it,

01:52:06   or your app doesn't work, or breaks, or is worse.

01:52:08   And so that argues for,

01:52:10   unless you're just gonna give up on the app

01:52:11   after a year or something,

01:52:12   that argues for some tiny little subscription fee,

01:52:15   or a one-time purchase that's enough

01:52:18   to fund your ongoing maintenance and development

01:52:21   for what you think the life of the app is going to be.

01:52:24   - Yeah, and that's what makes it tough,

01:52:26   is if I knew for sure that it was free forever,

01:52:29   I would probably just charge, like I always do,

01:52:32   like a one-time fee and call it a day.

01:52:34   But even considering the Twitter debacle

01:52:39   from a month or two back,

01:52:41   I still feel like it makes sense to account

01:52:45   for the possibility of, oh, they've decided to charge me.

01:52:50   That money's gotta come from somewhere,

01:52:53   otherwise I am utterly doomed.

01:52:55   And so it seems to me like a subscription

01:52:59   is the right answer.

01:53:00   Now, I echo what you're saying, Marco,

01:53:02   that if I was really going for a money grab,

01:53:06   without question, advertisements,

01:53:09   and then, you know, an unlock,

01:53:10   or, you know, a remove ads unlock or whatever,

01:53:13   that would make way more sense

01:53:16   and surely be way more lucrative.

01:53:19   But I just don't want to do that, I don't think.

01:53:22   - And that's fair.

01:53:23   That's a totally valid answer.

01:53:24   - And the advantage of having ATP and analog

01:53:29   and the apps that I have is that in terms of finances,

01:53:34   I don't need to do that, or at least not today.

01:53:37   Ask me again in a week, but sitting here now,

01:53:40   I don't need to do that.

01:53:41   I don't need this thing to go gangbusters

01:53:44   in order to put food on the table.

01:53:46   And so I'd rather do something that I'm,

01:53:50   well, this is gonna sound a little flippant, and I'm sorry,

01:53:52   but I'd rather do something I'm extremely proud of

01:53:55   than junk the app up with ads that I don't control.

01:53:58   I think Overcast is a bit of a weird exception

01:54:00   because that's your own ads,

01:54:01   and that's a very different beast.

01:54:03   But that's not something I could do.

01:54:05   - And also the major selling proposition of your app

01:54:07   is it's like that other thing you're familiar with,

01:54:09   but not junked up, and ads are part of that.

01:54:11   Right, and so you'd have to have like an asterisk,

01:54:13   like oh, unless you have the free version,

01:54:15   which is what most people--

01:54:16   - Less junked up.

01:54:17   (laughing)

01:54:18   - Right, there's fewer pieces of junk, but there's still--

01:54:21   - It's like when Twitter tried to, you know,

01:54:23   like a Twitter Blue, they said,

01:54:24   "Pay for Twitter Blue and you'll get fewer ads."

01:54:26   - Yeah, right.

01:54:27   - Not no ads, just fewer ads.

01:54:29   What does that mean?

01:54:30   - It's like my New York Times subscription.

01:54:32   - Mm-hmm, yeah.

01:54:33   - I pay to have the worst reading experience in their app.

01:54:36   Anyway. - Hooray!

01:54:37   - No, but keep in mind though,

01:54:39   this is a double-edged sword.

01:54:41   People's alternative is to just go to IMDb or whatever

01:54:45   and get this information for free covered in ads.

01:54:47   So if you are offering something covered in ads too,

01:54:50   that's gonna hurt you a little bit.

01:54:51   But also, if you're putting up a paywall too soon,

01:54:54   that's also gonna hurt you a lot

01:54:55   because people are gonna try this app,

01:54:58   they're like, oh, this is kinda nice.

01:54:59   It's like IMDB, but nice.

01:55:01   Then they're gonna slam into a paywall,

01:55:02   and most of them are gonna be like, all right, bye.

01:55:04   (laughing)

01:55:05   - That's exactly right.

01:55:06   - So it is gonna, like, if your paywall is too,

01:55:10   you know, too aggressive, people are gonna bounce right out,

01:55:13   and then word of mouth isn't gonna happen,

01:55:15   ranking isn't gonna happen, no one's gonna use it.

01:55:17   If you have the paywall be too generous

01:55:20   and give too much away for free,

01:55:22   you'll make no money because nobody will go past the paywall.

01:55:25   So it's a hard thing to do.

01:55:28   I mean, look, developers have debates and arguments

01:55:30   and anguish about this all the time,

01:55:33   because this is a very hard problem to solve.

01:55:35   And I mean, look, it took me a long time

01:55:38   to get it right in Overcast.

01:55:39   It took me like three or four years

01:55:40   before I came up with a system I have now

01:55:42   that fortunately does work for me,

01:55:45   but it took a while to get there.

01:55:46   It took a lot of attempts,

01:55:47   a lot of different systems to do it.

01:55:49   So I can't necessarily say anything's gonna work.

01:55:53   I think ads, the ad-based business model

01:55:56   with the option to pay to remove them

01:55:58   is the cleanest conceptually,

01:56:01   and it is the best in terms of maximizing

01:56:04   the number of people you will get to install the app,

01:56:06   the number of people who keep it installed

01:56:08   and who will keep using it,

01:56:09   and the number of people who,

01:56:10   and the amount of money you make.

01:56:11   Like all of that will be maximized if you have ads

01:56:15   and an option to remove the ads for some x per year

01:56:18   or x one time or whatever.

01:56:20   That will make you the most money, you get the most users.

01:56:22   But if that's not the app you wanna make,

01:56:25   then don't do it.

01:56:25   That's not, you know, no one's forcing you to do this.

01:56:28   So you should make the app that you wanna make.

01:56:31   And so I totally get that.

01:56:33   So the question is then what do you do?

01:56:35   Subscription does concern me from the point of view

01:56:38   of the API thing.

01:56:39   Like, you know, that's part of why the ad option

01:56:43   makes that really clean.

01:56:44   As long as the app works, you are seeing ads

01:56:47   and we are making money.

01:56:49   As soon as the app stops working, you'll stop using it,

01:56:52   and everything stops, and that's clean.

01:56:55   Anything you do involving taking people's money

01:56:59   is going to be less clean than that,

01:57:01   and could bite you in the butt

01:57:02   if things go badly down the road with the provider.

01:57:05   - I wouldn't worry about that,

01:57:06   especially if you stick to monthly

01:57:07   and don't even do an annual or something,

01:57:09   but whatever, the whole thing where Apple's gonna

01:57:12   refund everybody for the Twitter apps

01:57:14   'cause they shut it down or whatever,

01:57:15   that's an extreme scenario, and I feel like

01:57:17   the odds of that happening again are low,

01:57:19   And if they happen, yeah, you just eat that.

01:57:21   And if you're not expecting this to be your main source of income

01:57:25   that's going to bankrupt you if that happens,

01:57:26   then you would just be like, oh, that'll

01:57:27   be a bummer if it happens.

01:57:28   But honestly, the odds of it are so low.

01:57:31   Is the movie database run by a giant jerk?

01:57:33   Probably not.

01:57:34   Or at least not an Elon Musk caliber jerk.

01:57:37   So I wouldn't spend too much time fretting about that.

01:57:40   I mean, so many apps on the App Store have subscriptions.

01:57:42   And many of them have a thing that if it was run by a jerk

01:57:48   like Elon who cut the thing off with nobody noticed,

01:57:49   they'd be in the same situation.

01:57:51   It just doesn't happen that often.

01:57:52   That's why it was so shocking when he did it,

01:57:53   that it is not a common thing

01:57:55   and I don't expect it to be a common thing.

01:57:56   So I wouldn't lose too much sleep over that.

01:57:58   - Well, and furthermore, I think the difference is,

01:58:01   is that even if that were to happen,

01:58:03   it is unlikely, not impossible,

01:58:05   but unlikely it would be flick of a switch,

01:58:08   like it basically was for the Twitter apps.

01:58:10   I think in all likelihood-- - That's what I'm saying.

01:58:12   They'd phase it out and you can sunset the app

01:58:14   and it would, you know, whatever.

01:58:15   - Yeah, so the other thing to consider

01:58:17   is when we, fancy iOS people,

01:58:22   when we Apple enthusiasts and podcasters in this space,

01:58:26   when we think about value of an app,

01:58:29   we are thinking of it from our perspective,

01:58:31   from what we think is valuable,

01:58:32   from what we think is a reasonable price,

01:58:34   and from the quality level that we set for ourselves

01:58:37   as kind of a community.

01:58:39   If you look at the App Store, it's not that.

01:58:42   It's very far from that.

01:58:44   pretty much everything else in the app store,

01:58:47   it's a ton of garbage with massive quantities of ads,

01:58:52   tricky upsell things that try to shove you

01:58:54   into a subscription deceptively,

01:58:57   and then every app wants like $2 a week from you.

01:59:02   Oh, you wanna be able to crop photos?

01:59:03   $5 a week.

01:59:05   That's the app store.

01:59:06   That's the market you're in.

01:59:08   Most people's phones are filled with garbage apps

01:59:12   to crop photos and stuff that are, you know,

01:59:15   these thinly veiled subscription scams

01:59:17   that are full of ads and are charging them six bucks a week

01:59:21   and just like extracting as much as possible from people.

01:59:23   Like that's most of the app store.

01:59:26   So first of all, it doesn't take much to be better than that.

01:59:29   Second of all, that's the price expectation

01:59:36   or ad expectation that people have of apps

01:59:39   'cause that's what most apps are.

01:59:41   Most apps are not the boutique apps from people

01:59:44   who we know on formerly Twitter are now massed on.

01:59:46   That's not most apps.

01:59:48   Most apps that most people are using are big corporate apps

01:59:51   like Facebook stuff that are just their own form

01:59:53   of specially abusive garbage.

01:59:55   And then the huge long tail of all the garbage

01:59:58   photo cropping apps that are full of these

02:00:02   massive weekly subscriptions and stuff like that.

02:00:05   So that's the market you're playing into here.

02:00:08   So it's tricky.

02:00:09   It can be tricky to figure out what's right for you.

02:00:11   I think if you really don't wanna do ads,

02:00:13   which it sounds like you don't, and that's fine, again,

02:00:15   if you really don't wanna do ads, then do a subscription,

02:00:19   but keep in mind with the pricing of it

02:00:21   that a lot of people are gonna bounce right off.

02:00:24   I mean, there is kind of an argument to be made

02:00:28   for a one-time purchase, because I think people

02:00:32   are so burned by subscriptions recently.

02:00:35   I think a one-time purchase is seen as refreshing

02:00:39   to a lot of people, and since you don't have

02:00:41   ongoing server costs for this now,

02:00:44   and you probably-- - Yet, yet.

02:00:46   - Well, and then maybe you could change your mind

02:00:48   down the road, but since you don't have ongoing costs now,

02:00:51   there is something to be said for that,

02:00:53   but I think ultimately I would probably agree

02:00:55   with Underscore, you should probably have recurring revenue,

02:00:59   but that will turn more people off at the door,

02:01:02   so you kinda have to price it accordingly,

02:01:04   and you can with App Store subscriptions,

02:01:07   they recently did add the option,

02:01:09   which I think I might at some point use,

02:01:11   that you can raise the price of a subscription

02:01:14   without losing all your old subscribers.

02:01:15   You couldn't do that before.

02:01:16   You couldn't do that before about,

02:01:17   I think a year or two ago.

02:01:19   They added it for Disney+

02:01:21   and they made it available for everybody.

02:01:23   So, or was it HBO?

02:01:24   One of those.

02:01:25   Anyway, one thing you could do,

02:01:27   'cause my worry with subscriptions would have been

02:01:29   if you're charging people a buck or two a month,

02:01:33   and then you all of a sudden have to pay for your API access

02:01:36   and it's more than that, that could be a problem for you.

02:01:40   But you don't have to worry about that.

02:01:41   So what I would say is start people on a subscription plan,

02:01:46   but make it a really cheap one.

02:01:49   If you have to raise prices down the road

02:01:51   because some API cost happens, so be it.

02:01:55   If not, or until then, you will just keep making

02:01:58   lots of sales that you wouldn't have made otherwise

02:02:02   if it was too expensive.

02:02:03   One other consideration.

02:02:05   If you want to minimize your refund liability down the road,

02:02:09   if things go really bad, monthly would be better than annual.

02:02:13   But that being said, if you want it to seem really cheap,

02:02:19   annual's the way to go.

02:02:21   - Right, yep, exactly.

02:02:22   And that's what I'm struggling against is I know

02:02:26   that anyone who is likely to already have had an interest

02:02:31   in the sorts of thing that Flook Up,

02:02:34   or whatever I end up calling it, does,

02:02:36   it probably already has the IMDb app installed

02:02:39   on their phone.

02:02:40   So I have to overcome free and already working.

02:02:44   And that's tough.

02:02:46   So my current thought, which I have no idea

02:02:50   if it's wise or not, is $6 a year,

02:02:53   because it's like 50 cents a month, that's not that much.

02:02:57   And it doesn't seem too aggressive.

02:02:59   Like, you know, even a dollar or two a month

02:03:02   seems like kind of a lot to me.

02:03:04   And so $6 a year, it's more than nothing,

02:03:08   but it's like-- - Do eight.

02:03:10   - It's a coffee, it's Starbucks or something like that.

02:03:13   Do eight, what makes you say that?

02:03:15   - 7.99 is a nice looking price.

02:03:17   It still is under 10 bucks, people think it's cheap,

02:03:19   but it doesn't seem that much more expensive than 5.99

02:03:24   and you'll get more money and I think it's the same

02:03:29   perceived price class.

02:03:31   I think also you're talking about the one-time cost people are tired of subscriptions and

02:03:36   so on and so forth.

02:03:37   It depends on how you're looking at the app because if you start with a subscription and

02:03:43   if you price it high that it scares a lot of people away, if the app has any kind of

02:03:49   success at all and you decide, "Yes, this is worth me working on," you can make the

02:03:53   app grow into your price.

02:03:55   Whereas if you started the app with a fixed price, you will grow out of your price.

02:04:00   Like if the app turns out to be popular, then you will make the app better and better, and

02:04:04   soon the app is good enough that you shouldn't be charging a one-time price of $5 or something.

02:04:09   And it's so much harder, I feel like, to go from a one-time price of $5 and say, "Hey

02:04:14   everybody who bought this app that's actually getting subtraction and becoming popular,

02:04:17   guess what?

02:04:18   It's a subscription now."

02:04:19   Whereas if you started out at that subscription that was kind of expensive, and the app grows

02:04:23   into it, the original customers are satisfied.

02:04:25   Because they're like, "I bought it when it was a 1.0, and now it's so much better, and

02:04:29   I'm paying the same subscription.

02:04:30   And then when you grow into the price,

02:04:32   people look at the price and aren't as scared away

02:04:34   because it's a better app now.

02:04:35   Like it just seems like,

02:04:37   I feel like I've seen that happen too often

02:04:39   where someone underprices it initially

02:04:40   'cause the app's not that good,

02:04:41   and everyone's app's not that good

02:04:42   in the first release, right?

02:04:43   But you have to think about if this app works,

02:04:46   if it works in the market at all,

02:04:47   what will the app be like?

02:04:48   And I always feel like it's better to price it like that

02:04:51   because that produces the least amount of regret

02:04:53   among your customers, right?

02:04:55   Because the people who are willing to buy it early

02:04:57   when it was a 1.0 and it seemed kind of expensive,

02:04:59   They'll be happy when your app improves and grows into it.

02:05:01   And the people who weren't, they'll

02:05:03   only arrive after your app goes into its price.

02:05:05   But in both of those scenarios, everyone more or less

02:05:08   is satisfied with and understands the deal.

02:05:10   Whereas I hate seeing apps that's like, oh, it's just

02:05:13   a 1.0 and it's not that good, so it's a $3 one-time purchase.

02:05:16   And then two years into development,

02:05:18   the app is amazing and the developer's not making any money

02:05:20   because the development costs and the maintenance overhead

02:05:24   is high.

02:05:25   But they feel like they can't increase the price

02:05:26   let alone go to subscription.

02:05:27   because you know what happens when you go

02:05:29   from a fixed price to subscription, everyone hates it.

02:05:31   - Yeah, yeah, and that's the other thing I'm looking at

02:05:34   is I don't ever wanna have to renege

02:05:38   and go into subscription.

02:05:40   It's another thing if I choose to, I'm making this up,

02:05:43   but if I choose to do like a forever unlock

02:05:45   for $100 or something like that, again, I'm making this up,

02:05:48   that I feel like that's different,

02:05:50   but to go from a one-time only IAP to, oh, just kidding,

02:05:55   I'll use your money periodically now,

02:05:57   That's just really, really hard.

02:06:00   That's just really hard selling.

02:06:01   - Buy my apps to the forever unlock price of $5.

02:06:04   (laughing)

02:06:05   - God, I'm still regretting.

02:06:07   I sold for, I think, one year,

02:06:10   Overcast's first year in 2014, I sold a $5 unlock.

02:06:14   - How did I not buy that?

02:06:15   Is it because I was on the beta?

02:06:17   - Probably, or maybe you might have bought it.

02:06:19   So I have a special case in the app.

02:06:21   So if you have that $5 unlock,

02:06:23   you don't get the premium feature of the uploads,

02:06:26   'cause that's the monthly S3 cost that I have to pay,

02:06:29   and that wasn't there back then, that came later.

02:06:32   But you do have no ads shown if you have

02:06:35   that original unlock because there were no ads

02:06:37   in the original app.

02:06:38   And I have thought for a long time,

02:06:41   I actually track in my analytics,

02:06:42   how many of those people are still using the app?

02:06:46   And it's a lot of people.

02:06:47   It's a substantial portion of my user base

02:06:50   and I've thought for a while,

02:06:52   I should really end that ad exclusion from them

02:06:54   'cause these people paid $5 nine years ago,

02:06:58   and I'm now, literally just four days ago, five days ago,

02:07:03   my web host just raised prices 20% for no reason.

02:07:07   So it's like, now my costs just went up by 20%, awesome.

02:07:09   Like, and I've been paying all these server costs

02:07:12   for nine years to support these people.

02:07:15   - And yet those people will be,

02:07:16   they'll be so mad when it happens too,

02:07:18   because if you explain to them,

02:07:20   you paid $5 nine years ago, they'll say,

02:07:22   and kind of rightly, yeah, but nine years ago,

02:07:24   you said this is a forever unlock for five dollars and you're bad right? Oh yeah

02:07:29   that's why I haven't done it because I know it'll result in a million one-star

02:07:32   reviews and the reality is customers hold that one-star review system it

02:07:39   basically holds us hostage as app developers like we can't do anything

02:07:41   about that those like that's why I haven't done like I'm I'm losing money

02:07:45   every single time those people use my app but it's not worth the the hostage

02:07:50   situation of having all these people one-star review me

02:07:55   and kill my business.

02:07:56   So I can't really do it, I just have to support them forever.

02:07:59   So, Casey, don't do that maybe.

02:08:01   (laughing)

02:08:02   But at least, but again, you don't have server cost yet,

02:08:05   at least, to worry about, so that's a huge difference.

02:08:08   - But you do have that API to chase.

02:08:09   Like, I mean, you're like, oh, they'll be free forever.

02:08:11   Does that mean it won't change forever?

02:08:13   Right? - Yeah, no,

02:08:14   you're exactly right. - Like, they could change

02:08:15   the API or they can add things to the API

02:08:17   or they can break the API and like, oops,

02:08:19   they rolled out a new release and it broke your app

02:08:21   and now you're scrambling to fix that.

02:08:22   Like they didn't do that to screw you,

02:08:23   it's just a thing that happens

02:08:25   because you don't control them.

02:08:26   They probably don't even know you exist

02:08:28   considering they won't answer your emails, right?

02:08:29   Which means that things they do

02:08:32   can affect your app immediately with no notice

02:08:34   and that is the type of thing

02:08:36   that you have to be willing to wrangle.

02:08:38   So either the app works and you're on board to wrangle that,

02:08:41   in which case you kinda need some minimum amount of money

02:08:43   to keep doing that,

02:08:44   whether it's from acquiring new customers or subscription,

02:08:46   or the app doesn't work

02:08:47   and then you just sunset it and whatever.

02:08:49   Right, exactly. And so that's why I'm leaning towards subscription. And for what it's worth,

02:08:54   I was always planning on having like a one week free trial. But you still, it's still tough,

02:09:01   because I still need to have some amount of functionality that is there to give you a taste,

02:09:08   so that when I present the paywall, you're not like, "No." And so in a Slack that we're all a

02:09:14   a part of, you know, I've been going back and forth with a few mutual friends where,

02:09:18   you know, initially I was told, and I think justifiably, "Well, my paywall was too aggressive

02:09:22   too soon," et cetera. And my thinking at the time was, "Well, you know, that's what the

02:09:27   one-week free trial is for," but I can see how that would appear to be exploitative and

02:09:30   that it would appear that I'm just hoping and praying that people forget to cancel that

02:09:35   free trial. And so—

02:09:36   I wouldn't characterize it that way, for the record, but go ahead.

02:09:40   - Well, and so, I'm happy to be convinced

02:09:43   that I'm wrong about this as well,

02:09:44   but so I moved the paywall back a little bit,

02:09:47   but then some mutual friends were saying,

02:09:50   "Well, you've moved it back so far

02:09:52   "that now I probably would never bother

02:09:53   "paying for the app at all."

02:09:55   And that's also not good.

02:09:56   So I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out

02:09:59   where is the appropriate line,

02:10:02   and where do I say, "Tough noogies,

02:10:04   "you're gonna have to sign up now."

02:10:06   - I haven't been in that conversation too much.

02:10:07   I've seen a little bit of it,

02:10:08   but has the idea come up of,

02:10:11   which used to be very common in shareware type things,

02:10:13   of allowing the full functionality,

02:10:14   you're living it a number of times,

02:10:16   and saying if someone actually wants to buy the app,

02:10:18   they'll use it more than that number of times,

02:10:20   and so they get to experience the full breadth

02:10:22   of the functionality,

02:10:23   but then after they use it the fifth time,

02:10:24   it's like, okay, well, you've used up your four free uses

02:10:28   for the day, or whatever,

02:10:29   like that type of thing where you're not choosing,

02:10:31   not simply choosing functionality that is in front of

02:10:34   or behind the paywall,

02:10:35   but instead following usage patterns

02:10:38   saying you can use the app this amount

02:10:40   over this period of time for free,

02:10:42   but once you exceed that, you have to pay.

02:10:44   Presuming that someone who gets enough utility of it

02:10:46   will use it more than that number of times

02:10:48   and hit the paywall, but they will hit it

02:10:50   after having experienced the full functionality

02:10:52   of your app, you know what I mean?

02:10:53   - Yeah, and that actually was recommended earlier today,

02:10:55   and I'm probably gonna go that route.

02:10:58   I gotta see how ugly it would be to implement, but--

02:11:00   - You're just moving the problem to a different place,

02:11:02   which is like, okay, but what is the right number of uses?

02:11:04   - Exactly, exactly.

02:11:05   - Over what period of time, right?

02:11:07   Because what if someone watches like one movie a week, they're never gonna hit it, right?

02:11:11   That's exactly right.

02:11:12   And I think it would be a fairly small number.

02:11:16   Like it would be enough for what I would consider to be a day or two of average use.

02:11:23   And then again, I would stick with the free trial, I think.

02:11:26   And if people really only use the app for a week in a day or something like that, and

02:11:31   then that's it, okay, then maybe it's not for them.

02:11:33   I don't want to take your money unless you want to I want I want you to give me your money

02:11:38   I don't want to take your money. You know what I mean?

02:11:40   Marco was saying about what the App Store is actually like what the App Store is actually like is you launch the app and you

02:11:46   Can't do a single damn thing until you absolutely positively agree to start a free trial right now

02:11:51   Which is yeah closer to the way this was that's how the App Store works

02:11:56   Like there's so few apps

02:11:57   You can't even see what the UI looks like until you agree to pay for the in-app purchase

02:12:02   which has a seven day free trial, which is nice,

02:12:05   and you can cancel and pay nothing,

02:12:06   but we're hoping you forget.

02:12:08   - Yeah, and keep in mind also, Casey,

02:12:10   I never make a thing about this

02:12:12   because I always forget too,

02:12:13   with my people who give me test flights,

02:12:15   but subscriptions on test flights are horrible.

02:12:18   - They suck so bad, it makes me type my password.

02:12:20   Casey, make it stop.

02:12:21   - And then they only last like a day,

02:12:24   you know, and then they reset.

02:12:25   - Yeah, and then you have to type your password again,

02:12:26   and my password is long and complicated,

02:12:28   and it's hard, it's just I can't do it.

02:12:30   - Yeah, like anybody out there

02:12:31   who's trying to send a test flight out to your friends

02:12:33   to test an internet purchase.

02:12:34   - Or Apple fixed this.

02:12:35   - Don't bother.

02:12:36   Like, yeah, just don't even bother

02:12:38   because a test flight paywall sucks.

02:12:40   It's impossible.

02:12:42   It drives people crazy.

02:12:43   You will lose everybody.

02:12:44   Everyone will jump off your beta.

02:12:45   It's hard enough to get people

02:12:47   to keep beta testing your app.

02:12:48   Like, a paywall instantly makes all your friends say,

02:12:51   ah, forget it, and they quit and they move on.

02:12:53   - But of course you want to test the IAPs.

02:12:55   You actually do want people to test it,

02:12:56   but they don't wanna do that

02:12:57   'cause it's not like the real experience.

02:12:59   The real experience you can pay

02:13:00   by double tapping the Home button and using your face.

02:13:02   But not in test flight, because reason is that Apple--

02:13:05   so it's just such a-- this is just a beta tester thing.

02:13:08   But it's not-- regular customers don't have to deal with this.

02:13:10   But I've seen a couple different purchases.

02:13:12   One, to make the restore purchases thing,

02:13:15   just always say yes, totally, you're fine.

02:13:19   So you leave all the payables in there,

02:13:21   but then you present people with, like, oh,

02:13:23   restore purchases.

02:13:24   And anybody who taps your store purchases says,

02:13:26   oh, you totally paid.

02:13:27   And then so you would avoid the whole authentication problem.

02:13:29   but then you're not exercising your IAP flow really, so.

02:13:32   - Right, exactly. - It's a pain.

02:13:33   - Yeah, there's no good answer. (laughs)

02:13:35   - The good answer is for Apple to make TestFlight IAP work

02:13:38   like the real one does.

02:13:40   - Yeah, exactly.

02:13:41   I'll have to add some sort of hack.

02:13:42   I hadn't considered that, but you're exactly right.

02:13:44   - But honestly, I mean, the whole idea of having it be,

02:13:48   basically you have to subscribe to do almost anything,

02:13:51   but it's a free trial, that's fine.

02:13:54   I don't think that's that bad of a solution.

02:13:58   and there's a reason why so many apps do that,

02:14:00   'cause it works, it's effective,

02:14:02   and people like free trials, people like that,

02:14:05   that's not a bad idea, honestly.

02:14:09   And so many apps, as John was saying,

02:14:10   so many apps in the App Store, that's how they work,

02:14:13   that are way crappier than yours,

02:14:16   that have way less value to people.

02:14:18   - But you don't have to put it literally

02:14:19   the first thing that they see.

02:14:21   You can give 'em one or two searches for free, and then--

02:14:23   - Make it a third thing they see.

02:14:25   - Yeah.

02:14:25   - Yeah, and that's the thing,

02:14:26   So like at first my thought was oh you I forget exactly where I put the line, but basically you can search

02:14:33   But you can't drill into anything like it'll show you search results

02:14:37   But then you don't get to see so let's say I did a search for Ryan Reynolds

02:14:41   You could see that Oh Ryan Reynolds is right there at the top

02:14:43   That's what I expect but the moment you try to drill into Ryan Reynolds and see like the details about Ryan Reynolds

02:14:49   Then then it would throw up the paywall, which is I think probably a little too aggressive

02:14:54   So now, you know, what I was thinking is, in the way it currently is, which is probably too lenient, is,

02:14:59   "Oh, you can see the results, like you can go from search to details, but anything that's linked from there."

02:15:06   So like, if you're looking at Ryan Reynolds,

02:15:08   you couldn't drill into Deadpool or any of the other any of the other roles that he's had.

02:15:12   At that point, when you try to drill into one of Ryan Reynolds's roles, then it would throw up the paywall.

02:15:17   But then that means, worst case, you just go back up and search for Deadpool, and then you get to see Deadpool, you know?

02:15:22   And so I think that's a little too permissive,

02:15:24   and I'm not sure what the right answer is.

02:15:26   But I mean, certainly, in a Slack that we're all a part of,

02:15:30   there was a visceral reaction that I was,

02:15:33   that a free trial alone,

02:15:35   and putting up the paywall that quickly

02:15:36   was absolutely the wrong answer,

02:15:38   and I'm a fool for even thinking it was okay.

02:15:41   So I don't know, I gotta figure out what the right answer is

02:15:44   and obviously I don't know.

02:15:46   - Now keep in mind also, once you've decided,

02:15:48   all right, I'm gonna go subscription

02:15:49   with a free trial of this duration

02:15:51   with this annual price,

02:15:53   then you can tweak the rest of it afterwards.

02:15:55   You can ship that way and say,

02:15:57   "All right, this is the business model, period."

02:15:59   But then the detail of like,

02:16:00   "Well, how much do you get for free?

02:16:01   "When do I show the paywall?"

02:16:03   That can change over time.

02:16:04   You can play with that.

02:16:05   - Yeah, that's exactly right.

02:16:06   So, I don't know, we'll see.

02:16:08   But I'm excited for it.

02:16:11   I think, and I think it was Marco,

02:16:13   but one of you said this earlier.

02:16:15   This, I think, has an even bigger space

02:16:18   or potential market than anything I've done so far.

02:16:21   Like, well, Vignette was different,

02:16:23   but that was short-lived and I got sunset real quick.

02:16:26   But if you look at peak of view,

02:16:27   you know, well, it's parents or people who hand their phones

02:16:29   to other people a lot, and then masquerade.

02:16:31   Well, it's people who actually care about privacy,

02:16:33   which these days is almost no one.

02:16:34   And I'm not saying that everyone in the world

02:16:37   is looking for an IMDB replacement,

02:16:39   but I think it's probably more people

02:16:41   than are looking potentially for either of my other apps.

02:16:44   And so here again, ignorance is bliss/less.

02:16:48   - No, no, no lisp puns, we're not doing that.

02:16:52   - So sitting here now, I'm hopeful.

02:16:55   And again, I'm proud of the work.

02:16:57   Like whether or not it's interesting to anyone,

02:16:59   I'm proud of the work.

02:17:00   And even if it ends up being a complete flop,

02:17:04   I do think I'm getting better at my craft,

02:17:07   which is what you were saying earlier, Marco,

02:17:08   and I appreciate you having said that.

02:17:10   I think I'm getting better at my craft

02:17:11   and I am proud of that.

02:17:13   It is not a perfect app.

02:17:14   It is not flawless.

02:17:16   It probably has bugs somewhere,

02:17:17   although it's been reasonably bug-free so far,

02:17:19   which I'm pretty proud of.

02:17:21   But it's the best I think I've got going so far,

02:17:25   and it's a little bit better, if not a lot better,

02:17:27   than Masquerade, which was, I think,

02:17:29   a little to a lot better than Peek-a-View.

02:17:32   And so I'm making progress,

02:17:34   and I'm pretty happy about that.

02:17:35   And even in a worst-case scenario,

02:17:37   this doesn't take off, ATP suddenly goes away,

02:17:39   analog goes away, and I need to find a big boy job again,

02:17:42   then I have something to show for what I've been doing

02:17:44   for the last several years, right?

02:17:45   And, well, in this case, the last couple of months,

02:17:47   but more broadly, the last several years.

02:17:49   And I think that's a positive thing as well.

02:17:51   And I'm learning how to use new stuff.

02:17:53   And all of these things, I think, are nothing but good.

02:17:57   So even if the app flops,

02:17:59   and certainly I hope it doesn't,

02:18:01   but even if it flopped, I still feel pretty good

02:18:04   about what I've learned

02:18:06   and how I've grown during the process.

02:18:08   (beeping)