Tidal Lossless Music Streaming Review: Forget Spotify, Get CD Quality Music

 

Tidal Lossless Music Streaming Review: Forget Spotify, Get CD Quality Music |Forbes:

But from today, there’s a brand-new service that is launching in both the US and UK. Its main claim is that while Spotify offers 320kbps music, it will offer CD quality streaming using the “Free Lossless Audio Codec” or FLAC – ALAC (Apple AAPL +0.16% Lossless Audio Codec) is used on iPhone and other iOS devices. The specs say that you’ll get the full CD sampling rate of 44 kHz, 16bit and at a bitrate of 1411kbps.

Of course the main selling point for Tidal over anything else is the quality. And on that front I have to say that I was totally blown away. I tried several different phones and a PC for my testing. 

Another part of the service is access to 25,000 ad-free music videos in HD. I used this less, but I really like the idea of it being there. In an ideal world I’d be able to stream these to a Chromecast from the app, but that might arrive later. For now, music videos are a nice bonus, but not really a reason to subscribe on their own.

£20 or $20 per month is expensive when compared to other subscription music services like Spotify £9.99 or Rdio £9.99 but then Tidal are offering a level of quality that only QoBuz is currently doing – full lossless sound quality at FLAC 16 bit/44.1 kHz 1411kbps. If you are seriously into your music then Tidal or QoBuz is the way to go with full unlimited music at true CD quality sound but until Spotify and Rdio catch up, that twenty per month might put some people off for the moment.

Taylor Swift Explains Why She Knew Spotify Was Trouble

 

Jordan Crook’s Argument Against Taylor Swift Explains Why She Knew Spotify Was Trouble:

Spotify is not the Napster of yesteryear, nor is it any of the illegal file-sharing sites of today. It is a legal way that millions of people listen to music, and that isn’t going to change, no matter what you do with your albums. What they can’t find on Spotify, they can always find on YouTube.

Why fight against the flow of your industry, like the people who came before you and ultimately lost, when you truly have the power to dictate what the newest version of the music industry will look like?

Interesting points from Jordan and it would need a great many more artists to follow Taylor Swift’s lead for the subscription model to change if at all but maybe the solution for all parties maybe become clear once Trent Reznor and Apple have their say soon:

Trent Reznor talking to Billboard:

I am on the side of streaming music, and I think the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems,” Reznor told Billboard. “Ownership is waning. Everybody is comfortable with the cloud — your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them. That idea that I’ve got my records on the shelf doesn’t feel as important even to me as it used to. I just think we haven’t quite hit the right formula yet.”
Apple acquired Beats Music when it bought Beats for $3 billion earlier this year. As the chief creative officer of Beats Music, fans are curious as to how Reznor’s role will evolve under Apple’s leadership.
“Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them,” Reznor told Billboard. “I can’t go into details, but I feel like I’m in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. This is very creative work that’s not directly making music, but it’s around music. It’s exciting to me, and I think it could have a big enough impact that it’s worth the effort. I’m fully in it right now, and it’s challenging, and it’s unfamiliar and it’s kind of everything I asked for — and the bad thing is it’s everything I asked for.

USB stick offers infinite iPhone storage

 

Oddball USB stick offers infinite iPhone storage | Cult of Mac:

The iBridge comes with a Lightning connector on one side that you can plug into your iPhone, and a USB on the other so it can double as a regular USB drive. Unlike other iPhone storage expansion options, like Mophie’s Space case, iBridge works both with and without a case, thanks its odd J-shape that wraps around the back of your iPhone or iPad to beef up your storage.

iBridge will require users to download its app to add files to the storage drive, but now that iOS 8 lets apps into the share sheet, tossing pictures, music, videos, and other files onto this thing should be a breezy.

Leef tells us all the details will be revealed later this month, with the first units hitting stores before Christmas. For now though they’re keeping quiet on price and how much storage it comes with, but as long as it lets me carry my entire music library without taking up any space, I’ll be happy.

Finally.

Neato for iOS – A Unique Widget Notification Centre Text Composer

With the introduction of customisable widgets in the notification centre in iOS 8, developers have been prolific in expanding their apps to take advantage of the extra functionality that the Notification Centre can bring and Neato is a dedicated app designed just for the widget/Notification Centre functionality.

From a rules perspective, it’s highly possible that Apple will pull this app from the App Store due to the fact it potentially infringes on the App Store’s guidelines that apps must stay within the boundaries of the API guideline for the Notification Centre and it’s highly likely that any sort of text composing or editing is such one of these guidelines. Due to the recent controversy over the app PCalc and what they were allowed to show in the Notification Centre for their app, it’s possible that Apple is currently reviewing their guidelines and this Neato app has slipped through the net so to speak.

Screen Shot 2014 11 07 at 11 12 16

Having said, the functionality of the app is very useful as once you swipe down to show the Notification Centre widgets and start typing, you can then send that text straight to Evernote or Dropbox. With Evernote’s own widget, you have a link to create a new note which upon tapping, takes you straight to Evernote to start composing your text but with Neato’s widget, I can compose my text right on the Notification Centre and when I am done, I tap send and it will open up Evernote, create a new note and have the text already filled in so I can store it or expand on it more.

With Neato you can:

•Take notes simply and quickly

•Take notes while using other applications

•Save the notes to your Dropbox or Evernote immediately

•Mail, tweet or text the notes rapidly

There is an argument to be made on whether you are actually saving any time typing in the Notification Centre but if you think of other scenarios where you quickly want to write some text, a quick swipe down on your iPhone is going to be quicker, then unlocking your iPhone, navigating to an app then composing.

It’s a simple app overall and it has some issues namely with cursor placement which will be down to the API restrictions but for a free simple, text composing widget, I like it and would suggest downloading it very soon before Apple pulls it from the App Store. You can download it here.

Microsoft releases Office apps for iPhone, makes basic editing features free

 

Microsoft releases Office apps for iPhone, makes basic editing features free | 9to5Mac:

Microsoft announced today that it’s rolling out standalone Office apps for iPhone after releasing the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps exclusively for iPad earlier this year. Microsoft previously had an “Office Mobile” app for iPhone that integrated features of all three Office apps, but today’s release of standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPhone are officially replacing Office Mobile as Microsoft’s Office solution for iPhone.

Microsoft is also delivering updates for the Office iPad apps that include new features along with the ability to create and edit for free.

Sensible from Microsoft to remove the paid restriction of creating and editing in these apps and change to freemium. Between Microsoft Office, iWork and Google, the 3 big players now have equal footing on the app store.

Arguably, Google’s office-based apps are best for collaboration, Apple’s iWork are best for design and how your documents will look whilst the Microsoft Office suite has the power.

Will.i.am’s Puls smartwatch is Very Underwhelming

 

Will.i.am’s Puls smartwatch is the worst product I’ve touched all year | The Verge:

Musician, producer, and just generally positive dude will.i.am has dipped his toes more than once into the personal technology world. His latest venture is a wearable smartphone called the Puls, sold under his i.am+ company. The Puls is a fully independent smartwatch — it has its own SIM card and doesn’t rely on being connected to a smartphone to work. Will.i.am introduced it to the world on a stage at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference last month in front a bunch of devotees to CRM.

I got a chance to use an early production model earlier today. It’s objectively the worst product I’ve touched all year.

Ouch. Sounds like they got an exclusive first use of Beyond Verbal’s mood detecting tech and that was enough to push the watch into production but “an unresponsive interface and frustrating experience is not going to win over the masses.

iPad Air or mini?

 

Daring Fireball: The iPad Air 2 (And a Few Cursory Words Regarding the iPad Mini 3):

Anecdotally, most iPad photographers I see in the real world are using 9.7-inch iPads, not the Mini.) And the sort of iPad users who are pushing the performance limits of the platform are the sort of people who’ve preferred the 9.7-inch models all along. In short, I think the Mini really is more of a pure consumption device, and the Air is more of an alternative to a MacBook.

I think that is a great point from John – Although you can use the mini as a laptop replacement, it really is the bigger sized iPad that is the true laptop alternative – bigger screen for photo and video editing, two handed typing etc. If you are on the fence on what size to get, consider that before purchasing.

iPad Air 2 60% Faster Than the iPhone 6

 

Secret hardware upgrades make the iPad Air 2 the fastest frickin’ tablet on the planet | Cult of Mac:

And what does that mean practically? It means the iPad Air 2 is not only the fastest tablet in the world, smoking even Nvidia’s Tegra K1 Shield Tablet. It’s also over 60% faster than even the iPhone 6.If you want a top-of-the-line iDevice with blistering fast speed, the iPad Air 2 is as good as it gets.

No Free Space Left to Upgrade to iOS 8?

 

Daring Fireball: Note to Self: It’s the Storage Space, Stupid

that either they themselves or people they know want to upgrade to iOS 8 but haven’t yet or can’t because the OTA software update won’t fit on their devices.

Jonathan Hoover puts it well:

iOS 8 OTA update requires about 5GB of free space on the device. Most people, especially those who wouldn’t update until they get the badge on the settings app, don’t have 5GB free on their iPhone. They have no idea they can plug their iPhone into their computer and iTunes will update it. They don’t know they can free up space by downloading their pictures and videos to their computer. 

iPhone makes it so easy for casual users to take gigabytes of photos and videos but nearly impossible for those users to know what to do with them.

This is a serious problem for Apple, because all those 16 GB devices (let alone the 8 GB ones) aren’t going to suddenly gain more free storage space on their own. A lot of these devices might never get updated to iOS 8, but would if the OTA software worked. Unless they can rejigger the OTA software update to require less free space, iOS 8’s adoption rate might lag permanently.

Apple need to either start selling larger storage-capacity devices and stop selling 8 and 16gb versions and/or they need to reduce the footprint of the over the air annual iOS update – either way, they need to address this matter soon as it is affecting their adoption growth which they proudly like to talk about at their keynotes.