Apple ruined A-Punk by Vampire Weekend for me

In fact, it’s such a common nuisance that a song made up of 10 minutes of silence with a name that begins “A A A A A” — so that it becomes the first song in your library — topped the the iTunes charts back in 2017.

It apparently has been driving iPhone users crazy since iOS 3, based on discussions in Apple’s support forum. I found one thread dating back to 2011 that still had complaints added to it late last year.

And the issue is not just with cars. Some complain about the problem when connecting to Bluetooth headphones, as well… More here.

I have listened to the first few seconds of A-Punk hundreds of time and now I hate it! My whole family hates it. Get in the car, plug in the iPhone via USB and it starts to play, every single time! Would it kill Apple to add a random play feature at some point? First world problems…

Eames Radio

More than 70 years later, Vitra has joined the Eames Office to revive the design of this compact radio, which was a favourite of Charles and Ray. Encased in an elegant walnut cabinet and equipped with up-to-date technology by the British manufacturer REVO, the Eames Radio today bears witness to the designer couple’s unwavering belief in progress… More here.

Such a perfect design.

A Spotify Music Player (MIGHTY VIBE)

MIGHTY is the first ever device that plays your Spotify music without a phone, screen, or Internet connection.

THE NEW MIGHTY VIBE is new and improved:

5+ hours of playback with Bluetooth and wired headphones
Expanded Bluetooth playback range and stronger connectivity
Compatible with all Bluetooth headphones and speakers
Redeveloped mobile app for an intuitive and fast user experience.. More here.

An interesting idea and not a terrible price. Good for adventures when you do not want to take your phone.

The Best All-in-One Turntables

It should be noted that when we say “all-in-one” turntables, we’re referring to turntables with built-in amplification. They need only to be paired with some speakers and speaker cables in order to listen to music. That said, there are “all-in-one” turntables that are decked out with a record player, preamp and Bluetooth receiver. Some even have speakers built right into them. But there are very few of these, many of which we probably wouldn’t recommend… More here.

Ever notice how the turntables on offer in the likes of HMV and other stores, in the UK at least, are cheap plastic offerings that suggest the entire notion of vinyl is a gimmick. Click the link above for some better options.

UPDATE: Richard from Audiologica got in touch to say the following- Misleading, you won’t just need “speakers and cables” , you will also need an amplifier. The phono preamplifier output is what feeds into the main amplifier which is then connected to the speakers. Alternatively, “active speakers” with built-in amplifiers can be used… Actually the ProJect model does have built in power amp too…not others though.

Apple’s strange guarantee for Steve’s replacement devices

A friend at work, Steve, is now on his third pair of Beats X headphones because the previous two started to lose audio quality. He called Apple support and was asked to take them to his nearest Apple store where they had to be inspected. He then had to return a few days later to pick up a replacement pair once they had been delivered to the store. This happened on both occasions.

Now, this is not the best experience for anyone because if he had bought his Beats X from PC World (terrible company?) they would have replaced them there and then, but it seems as though Apple does not keep replacement stocks of the Beats which is in contrast to if a much bigger item broke such as an iPhone or an iPad, or even a Mac.

Anyway, he got his replacements, but there is another part to this that perplexes me. On both occasions he was told that the guarantee on the replacement devices only runs until the end of the original 12 month period. So, if his Beats X break after 6 months he only get another 6 months guarantee and in the latest instance only another 3 months.

I don’t get this.

If Apple is replacing a product surely it is of a standard where 12 months should be applicable. I realise that this could potentially go on forever if the products keep breaking, but I would argue that they should not break so often (I am also on my third pair of Beats X) and it would be a nice gesture to offer the full 12 months if the customer has to make repeat visits to get them replaced.

What do you think?

Music

In the beginning (well, my beginning anyway) there were LPs and my parents old 33s. Then cameth cassette tapes and behold the radiant wonder of the CD. Upon this time was a golden age of mixtapes, whereupon one might assemble a cherrypicked selection of tunes (and come on – some may disagree but wouldn’t you say most albums are a few good songs and a bunch of filler?) for thine only pleasure or to pitcheth a bit of woo… (gettest thou to the High Fidelity if you are ill-informed of this most wond’rous art.) More at Kirk’s UI Dev Blog.

Kirk covers a lot of the frustrations of dealing with keeping music in 2019 and I get where he is coming from. It also coincides with a conversation I had with a friend from work, a friend who buys music on CD. Yes, seriously. He buys music on little discs, the like of which people used to buy in the olden days.

It dawned on me that time has moved on to the point that for some of us physical music makes no sense at all. The idea that you should buy music on a physical disc for it to feel real makes sense until you realise this is an illusion. Imagine for instance 400 CDs on shelves- how many of them would get played and even those that do would only come off the shelf very occasionally. They sit there for 99.9% of the time doing nothing apart from taking up space and using the Earths resources to be made in the first place.

Also, my experience with Apple Music is one of discovery to the point that the majority of music I play on a daily basis was unknown to me 2 years ago. Artists like Billie Eilish would have passed me by completely were it not for streaming and I am now more than happy to pay a monthly subscription, presumably for the rest of my life, to have access to all of the music I need. CDs be damned.

Note: the music in the video below is brilliant, the visuals, however, may not suit those of you with a nervous disposition.

Sunrise Records buys HMV, but why?

Canadian music store chain Sunrise Records has struck a deal to buy British retailer HMV out of bankruptcy in a deal that will keep most of the locations in Britain open… More here.

This Is not a new story of course, but thanks to Bob for sending it in.

I was in Norfolk earlier this week and a lady from Heart FM was wondering the streets interviewing people about HMV. I managed to get caught and was asked the following questions, my answers in italics.

When was the last time you bought music on a physical format?

So long ago I cannot remember.

Do you think HMV will do well in the future?

No

Will niche products like vinyl save the company?

No

I just don’t understand where the company can go. Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

Going For A Song

Garth Cartwright has travelled the length and breadth of the country, conducting more than 100 interviews with some of the icons of the record shop trade and the wider music industry, including Martin Mills (Beggars Banquet), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Andy Gray (Andy’s Records), Ralph McTell, Chris Barber, The Specials and many more. Featuring a foreword by the renowned comedian and writer, Stewart Lee. From the UK’s first record shop, Garth traces the history through more than a century of unprecedented social, cultural and political change… Available here.

Looks like a really good book and it’s available at HMV for £4.99 with any other purchase. Best to grab it from HMV while it is still there…