tech thoughts

Bye to Spotify

I’ve also said goodbye to Spotify, but I didn’t get to even experience half the issues Brett did. I joined Spotify to listen at my desk at work and the PC application was so horendous, that I could usually never got as far as listening to a song. The app would hang or say it was playing, without outputting any audio.

Brett also points out hard it was to actually find music:

Trying to navigate this app was less than pleasant. While “serendipitous discovery” was possible using the Similar Artists” feature, the only way to add new tracks to your Library—as near as I can tell—is to star tracks you don’t own or add them to playlists. Whenever I found myself wanting to check out a new band or album, I’d have to create a playlist. I don’t usually like playlists and I’m the kind of guy who enjoys listening to whole albums, front to back. Spotify made this, well, cumbersome.

I often tried to see if my favorite band had something new I wasn’t aware of. This was definitely not easily done. In fact, discovering anything beyond the Top lists was very difficult. After a few separate attempts, I was done.

Finally, I can’t stand services that don’t have an easy way to unsubscribe through the admin panel. The email to support was answered quickly and they promptly removed my account, but it should be a one click action I can do myself.

Updated Smart Covers

Apple updated the iPad 2 Smart Covers with some minor changes today but one thing doesn’t sit well with me:

The interior side of the Smart Cover facing the iPad screen had previously been a uniform gray color on all models with the exception of the (PRODUCT) RED version. All Smart Covers are now a consistent color inside and out.

I love that the inside color is different than the outside. I think this helps me flip the cover in the right direction when making it into a stand. When I’ve used the original gray version which previously had the same inside and outside cover, I’ve often flipped it around the wrong way or tried to attach it backwards. This doesn’t work because the magnets prevent the cover from locking in the incorrect orientation. The different colors guide me to use it properly.

No Organization – Not News

If you write by yourself, you aren’t writing news according to Google.

But, it turns out, that Google has a rule about the sites that it includes in Google News: They can’t be one-person operations, and they have to appear to be “organizations.” Never mind solo shops practicing entrepreneurial journalism — Google wants news with overhead!

I’m no Dan Frommer, but someday I might be. Google’s take on News aggregation is definitely not pushing the industry forward.

iPad Orientation

Ben Brooks has an interesting post about tablets empowering users (really it is about iPads empowering users). It’s based on some interesting survey data he collected that shows that users are using both iPad orientations very regularly. But I think there is something he missed that is influencing the data.

For the very first time in computing, the user has been put in control of how best to utilize the display portal they have been given — not the manufacturer.

This isn’t true for the iPad 2. The Smart Cover most certainly affects how I, and many others I’ve witnessed, use the iPad. Because it is so easy for me to setup in a meeting and take notes in the landscape orientation, that is almost always the orientation I use, and it is the one I checked on his survey. But if I didn’t have a Smart Cover, I think I would certainly use my iPad in portait orientation considerably more.

If the Smart Cover didn’t exist, I think more then a few of us landscape users might have fallen into the Portrait camp.