Recent Articles By Dave Hamilton [RSS]
True to their word, Sonos today rolled out version 6.1 of their wireless speaker controller software, adding Apple Music as an option in the beta section. Sonos users will need to opt-in to use Apple Music, but it's a painless process and, based on our testing, works very well. Doesn't feel like beta at all. Read on for instructions.
For the past two months I've been using Apple's new iPad mini 4 and recently I went back to my previous iPad mini 2. Like many iPad mini fans I skipped the iPad mini 3 because all it offered over the iPad mini 2 was Touch ID without any performance boost. The iPad mini 4 changed that, of course, bringing the iPad Air 2's guts and power to the mini form-factor. I wondered, though, does all this new speed – and RAM – matter for daily use? Turns out it does.
Mackie Wednesday released Master Fader version 4, the app used to control their DL-series iPhone- and iPad-controlled mixers. The update adds a slew of new features including real-time analyzers on all outputs, the ability to copy and paste channel settings, split view support for compatible iPads, iPad Pro support, an enhanced iPhone UI and much more. Additionally, version 4 now consolidates the My Fader and Master Fader functionality into one app, making updates easier for people using both iPhones and iPads.
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.