Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
Sonos users rejoice! Apple Music will be available in beta form on Sonos's wireless speakers starting December 15th. According to Sonos, this will feature streaming of everything in Apple Music's For You, New, Radio and My Music sections. If you have a family account setup, six of them can be added to Sonos individually, allowing everyone to access their own selections and playlists. Instructions on joining the beta are in the full article.
I'm pleased to welcome this week's sponsor, Digiarty, makers of MacX DVD Ripper Pro back here to TMO. Having a simple, DVD-ripping solution is vital as we all move to consuming our content on iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. MacX DVD Ripper Pro makes this easy with a single app solution that you can download for free right now.
Sonos's Trueplay room-tuning technology is now available for everyone; just update your Sonos app from the App Store to begin the process. Once the updated app launches it will prompt you to do a firmware update to your entire Sonos system. After the quick firmware update is finished the Sonos app will walk you through its automated process of tuning your speakers. Using your iPhone's microphone the Sonos app is able to discern what, if any, EQ adjustments need to be made to each room of your Sonos system to bring you the Sonos signature sound. You can then tweak bass and treble from there to your liking. This is available for free for all models of Sonos PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and PLAY:5, regardless of age. For more information check out our recent Trueplay review.
Wireless speaker leader Sonos has replaced its flagship PLAY:5 with a new speaker called... the PLAY:5. This new model replaces its six-year-and-two-day-old predecessor in the line-up, though new PLAY:5 has been designed and engineered from the ground up to truly stand on its own. For one, this unit has six independent speakers instead of five, but Sonos said instead of calling it the PLAY:6 they decided their flagship speaker should retain its name. Fair enough.
In addition to one more speaker, the new PLAY:5 sports a completely new design, the ability to rotate and be operated while placed on any three of its front-facing sides, a multitouch control pad and some additional magic that really allows it to create a stellar stereo field.
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, Apple updated their iTunes Store Terms and Conditions. Changes from the June, 2015 update are minimal and simply include references to App Store for Apple TV and tvOS, and caveats for "on-demand download of content based on app usage and resource constraints (which may use cellular data)." Otherwise, everything is business-as-usual.
After years of being overlooked, there's recently been a lot of attention paid to Facebook's iOS app and it's over-use of background resources. Facebook has indicated they're aware of – and working on – the problem. Let's all say a hopeful word of thanks for that. Unfortunately, it's not just your iPhone that's being overworked by Facebook. Facebook runs rampant when its website is loaded in your Mac desktop's web browser, too, using more RAM than just about every other app – and definitely every other web page – you have open.
Monday night at the WSJD conference Tim Cook announced that Apple Music currently has 6.5 million people in the "paid category." Many folks are comparing that to Spotify's 20 million paid subscribers. Opinions on that comparison are all over the map, as you might imagine. One thing that seems to be missing is data showing how much each of those customers are paying. Many of them are paying far less than the perceived $10 per month.
Decades or centuries from now no one will care what we thought about any given movie or book released about Steve Jobs. What people will care about, however, is the information held by people who knew him. Let's stop the fighting and get to the documenting, folks.
Our friends at Macphun are sponsoring TMO this week ... and offering all of you a chance to win one of two Apple Watches or a brand new iPhone 6s! The folks at MacPhun have made entering this contest super simple. Just visit their contest page, enter your name, your email, your country and whether you use a Mac or a PC (you have to pick just one, you cross-platform-using ninjas!) and that's it, you're entered.
Sonos today introduced the new PLAY:5, a completely redesigned speaker for wireless audio in your home. Replacing the existing PLAY:5 in the lineup, this new model features six synchronized, custom-designed drivers in a brand new enclosure, providing fantastic sound and excellent wireless performance. Combined with their new Trueplay tuning technology, the PLAY:5 truly earns its place as the new flagship of the Sonos line. I had the chance to preview and test the new units last week at Sonos's offices in Santa Barbara, CA, and they've really out-done themselves this time. The new PLAY:5 can be oriented on 3 sides, standing vertically or horizontally depending upon your room's layout and desired speaker coverage. In either orientation, the sound is extremely wide, with a stereo image projecting quite well out of just a single speaker in horizontal orientation. Of course, the PLAY:5 can be paired with a second, matching unit for a stereo pair that delivers a truly immersive experience. The controls, too, are completely new, with Sonos eschewing buttons in favor of a multitouch panel. Right now the panel supports play/pause, volume and track switching, but future possibilities are endless. The all-new Sonos PLAY:5 will retail for US$499 and will be available later this year in matte black or matte white finish. We'll follow-up with a more in-depth review once we've had the chance to really put the new unit through its paces.