Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
What started in 2008 as a small media server project today has matured into version 1.0. The first public release of Plex Media Server happened two years later in 2010, and it has been growing ever since, now used by milliions of people. The changes rolled into the 1.0 release aren't all that major – certainly nothing more than any other Plex Media Server release we've seen recently – it's the version number change itself that is significant.
Version 1.0 shows Plex's commitment to ship software that no longer has the assumption of being beta, communicating reliability and predictability for customers. I'm a long-time Plex user and now with both iOS and Apple TV client apps it really is a best-in-class product. Many of its features are available for free, though a paid PlexPass is well worth your money if you want to view your content offline or on your mobile devices. Congrats, Plex! Thanks for doing what you do!
Today's announcement that Sonos added lockscreen controls to iOS led us (ok, it led my son) to realize that this likely meant it would also be controllable from an Apple Watch paired to the same iPhone. Sure enough, it is, and that's because whatever music is controllable from your iPhone's lock screen is also controllable from the "Now Playing" glance on Apple Watch. Note that the Now Playing section of the Apple Watch Music app is less likely to show this data, but sometimes it will appear there, too. The "Now Playing" glance, however, has proven 100% reliable in all of our tests.
In a scenario where many Sonos users might find appropriate use for the word, finally, today Sonos rolled out a new version of their iOS controller app that adds playback controls to the iOS lockscreen. Users can now control volume, play/pause and seek location as well as being able to see album art without unlocking their iPhones (and from the Apple Watch, too). Previously users would need to unlock their iPhones and launch the Sonos app to do any of these things. In addition to the lock screen controls, Sonos added Peek & Pop shortcuts, split view, slide over, simpler TruePlay tuning and higher quality Napster and Rhapsody streams. For this Sonos user, today's update is very much Cool Stuff Found! Version 6.3 of the Sonos iOS controller can be is available for free in the app store.
Ten dollars per user per month is simply too expensive for streaming music, and the labels know it. Today's announcement that Spotify has dropped their family pricing to match Apple Music's $15 per month for up to six users is yet more evidence that the music industry is continuing to march towards this reality.
I use iTunes every day, and when searching in the iTunes Store for new music it just seems odd to me that there's no link or option to show the same content in Apple Music. In today's video, an example of that and perhaps a better option for iTunes...12.5?
When the iPhone 6 came out I had a choice to make: go to a bigger iPhone or an even bigger iPhone? The 6 was to be larger than my 5s and, being a power user that always wants to have the latest and greatest speed and technology, those were my choices. The recent introduction of the iPhone SE, however, meant I could revert the size choice I made 18 months ago if I wanted. I immediately set to testing exactly how size mattered to me.
Have you ever wished you could do something on your iPhone and save it as a video recording? You can, and you can even do it for free with Apple’s QuickTime Player. Here we show you how.
OS X provides a great feature that allows you to create shortcuts for longer text substitutions. These are synced to iCloud and accessible from your iPhone, too, and now there’s a way to backup and restore them, as well! Watch this quick video to find out how.
Recently on Mac Geek Gab we were discussing your router's Quality of Service (QoS) settings and avoiding a scenario where everything else on your network slows down when one device is using up all of your bandwidth, a condition known as Buffer Bloat. One way to test that is to do a speed test while simultaneously watching a series of pings from the Terminal. Another is to simply use DSLReports' speed test which does all of this for you! Check it out.
With Smile’s announcement yesterday came a new wave of anti-subscription sentiment about paying for software. Frankly, I think that sentiment is pretty short-sighted. It's OK to be upset about a pricing change, it’s just important to qualify where the negative sentiment comes from.