Chris answers viewer questions about his latest video and how he designs patterns for his videos.
Check out my new Patreon video! And I test out a new audio dingus called a Fethead to boost the signal, baby!
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Links and Show Notes
I’m here to talk about one specific point of contention I keep seeing pop up. Currently the Wacom Cintiq is regarded as the pinnacle of professional drawing stylus/surface design. A lot of hesitation (or dismissal) of the Apple Pencil seems to stem from people’s belief that Cintiq is superior in performance and design at a similar price.
She tweeted a Tl,DR; version of her article:
Saved you a click: Cintiqs suck
— Linda Dong (@lindadong) September 10, 2015
I tweeted a question earlier today that’s been rumbling around in my brain1:
Alternate universe question: If Microsoft hadn’t bought Mojang, would Apple be debuting Minecraft for Apple TV tomorrow?
— Chris Enns (@iChris) September 8, 2015
On Wednesday, September 9th 2015 Apple is reportedly presenting their new vision for what the Apple TV hardware and software will be. As usual, rumours are swirling about what apps will be available – Twitter is rumoured to be working on a version of Periscope for the new Apple TV – but what I was drawn to immediately was the games that would work with the new remote they’re allegedly building for it.
Games are fairly universal. Features like “NFL Football” and “HBO Go” for Apple TV in the past are tied to licensing contracts primary based in the USA. But games 2 don’t have that problem. A popular game on the App Store can be available around the world within days – not years like music and TV based apps.
Never Dig Down
The most profitable iOS game based on my random viewings of the top paid apps 3 over the last year or so has got to be Pocket Minecraft. It’s $7.99 and rarely goes on sale but is consistently in the top 5-10 apps on the paid chart.
So if Apple is hoping to bring developers over to their new Apple TV platform, you’d think Mojang (developers of Minecraft) would be on the top of their list.
Except that Microsoft bought Minecraft last year.
So I’m guessing we won’t see Minecraft for Apple TV on stage tomorrow, nor launch day of the new Apple TV. But I’m sure that Microsoft won’t want to turn down potential revenue to pay back their Minecraft purchase, nor will it likely be all that much work for developers to deploy to the Apple TV since it’ll likely be structured a lot like the existing iPhone and iPad platforms for developers.
So Minecraft for Apple TV will come but it’ll come later. For now, keep crafting on your iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac, or Android tablet.
Screenshots of Pocket Minecraft for iOS
I haven’t read any articles about this from Mojang or Microsoft so forgive me if I’m out of the loop on this.↩
…as well as apps in general but for the purpose of this article, I’m just talking games.↩
top free apps are a different category. Free often have in-app purchase so it’s a different kind of market.↩
I try to be frugal when I’m handing over my hard-earned money in exchange for entertainment. It’s not that I don’t buy games, apps, software, services, movies, TV, music, etc. It’s just that I have to do it carefully and with plenty of thought given to long-term as well as short-term enjoyment – what I’m getting has to be worth my time.
So when Apple announced a 3 month trial and subsequent pricing for their new Music streaming service, I started thinking about whether it would be worth it for me and my family to use it beyond the free trial.
Here’s where I’m at currently with my iTunes music collection.
iTunes Match Math
- We pay $27.99/year for a subscription to iTunes Match.
- This allow us to store all music we’ve either bought from iTunes or on CD in the cloud and is accessible from any of our Mac or iOS devices, including our Apple TV.
- Playlists, ratings, and song play counts are synced and aren’t specific to one user or device – so if my wife removes a song from a playlist, it’s removed from all devices.
- We can play back music from multiple devices at the same time. No restrictions on how many copies of “Songs of Experience” we can stream at once from all our devices.
- I’m the one who does most of the fiddling with playlists so it works out great for me. If my wife was more interested in managing playlists, we’d probably run into conflicting ideas of what should be in the “Best songs of 2014″playlist.
- The only way we get more music is if we buy music from the iTunes Store or buy/get a CD and import it into iTunes and “match” it into the cloud.
One important detail, as we’ll see later with Apple Music, is what happens if you stop paying for your iTunes Match membership:
Any songs you’ve upgraded or downloaded again are completely safe. The only thing you lose is the central storage — iCloud will no longer stream or download matched or uploaded songs to your devices.
So as long as you download all your songs to iTunes on your Mac, your songs are yours for as long as you have a computer capable of playing MP3s.
Apple Music Math
Apple Music is $9.99/month but in order for both my wife and I to be able to use Apple Music on multiple devices at the same time1 we’d have to pay for the family plan which is $15/month.
Let’s break out the calculator.
- $15/month x 12 months = $180 per year for Apple Music
Whew. Math is hard.
That $180/year gives you access to almost any music ever made in the history of the world. You get curated playlists made by smart people at Apple Music, access to social connections to artists and friends, and the freedom from ever having to worry that you don’t have a copy of Bob Marley’s Greatest Hits album for the beach2.
The key difference between Apple Music and iTunes Match is that if you stop paying for Apple Music, all that music is gone. You no longer have access to any of the music.
Owning Music is for Old People
What if instead of streaming music, you bought it? (Gasp!)
The cost of an average album on the iTunes Music Store is $9.99. So instead of paying for Apple Music what if you just gave yourself the freedom to buy an album – or individual songs adding up to as much as $15 – a month?
After a year you’d have 12 new albums of music that you owned.
Any month that you didn’t buy an album, you’d have an extra $15 in your pocket to spend or save.
I love the idea of a streaming music service where you can play anything and everything, depending on your mood. Discovering new music without worrying about buying an album that sucks is great. I’ve had lots of fun listening to albums on Apple Music that I wouldn’t have otherwise bought.
What I don’t love is the idea of putting money into something and then having nothing to show for it when I stop paying. 3 I’m fine with paying $8/month for Netflix and with the knowledge that if I stop paying for Netflix, I can’t watch anymore. But somehow music feels more important than that to me. Digital vs “real” CDs doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if it’s on my computer or on a physical disc spinning in a record player. I want the freedom to be able to stop paying and still enjoy the music I love.
We’ll see what happens in 2.5 months when the Apple Music trial runs out, but I think we’ll stick to the old fashioned way of owning our music and running it through iTunes Match. I’m guessing that as part of the negotiations with the music labels Apple had to promise to retire iTunes Match at some point in the future. At which point we’ll likely hop on the Apple Music bandwagon.
On the non-family plan, if you start playing Apple Music from another device, it automatically shuts off whatever device is currently streaming music.↩
Provided that there’s a decent internet connection at the beach.↩
You could compare it to renting a house vs buying. However, mortgages and interest rates are not part of the Apple Music experience. Yet.↩
Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.
It’s a beautifully cut trailer. And I appreciate that they aren’t trying to tell his whole life story – focusing instead on his fall from and eventual return to Apple.