If you use an iPhone, iPad or iPod then chances are you’ve worn out the supplied Apple Lightning cable. They usually wear out around the connectors, exposing wires or simply failing to work anymore. I stopped buying Apple branded cables for this reason. I tried other brands, but they all seem to fail at one point or another. Some wouldn’t even give error messages indicating that the cables weren’t completely compatible. Sigh.
In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV I answer a Facebook Fan request on how to shoot tethered to an iPad? Unfortunately there still isn’t a way to just plug in your camera to your iPad and have the images show up as you shoot with your DSLR and quite frankly even if you could it would have limited application due to the storage constraints on the iPad itself. So instead I’ve come up with a way to use Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile to accomplish the same thing not only to an iPad, but to an iPhone, Android phone, Android tablet or even a web browser. With the technique above you can shoot tethered to Lightroom and have your shots automatically sync to Lightroom Mobile via Creative Sync and those shots will be on all of your devices as well as the web simultaneously.
Do you have my App?
See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:
You might remember my post a couple of weeks ago comparing the NEW Live from Facebook Mentions to Periscope. After doing a few more broadcasts to both services I quickly realized that I usually have a larger number of views on Facebook. I thought that it would be great to be able to stream to both services simultaneously. That way I could finally address both my large Twitter/Periscope following as well as my large Facebook following at the same time. This would of course require streaming from two devices. I could use my iPhone 6 Plus and an iPod touch. The real question was, how would I hold both devices at the same time and keep them steady? I went in search of a “dual tripod head mount” and I found this one on Amazon. I ordered it, but when it arrived I wasn’t that happy with it. For one it was bigger and heavier than I hoped and the bigger problem was that the devices were spaced out too far apart for broadcasting the same thing up close.
That’s when I challenged my friends over at Arkon Mounts to make something better! Not only did they accept the challenge, they showed a mock up the very next day.
The mock up was night and day better than the one that I had put together and even better they would bring it to Photoshop World and hand it to me to try. After I used it for a day I was thrilled with it. It was everything I wanted, but that wasn’t good enough for Aaron. Aaron was concerned that the devices could possibly pop out. He had his company overnight their better smartphone grips (the ones used on their motorcycle mounts) and replaced the ones on mine with the stronger ones.
The TW Broadcaster Pro was born
Check out this video review that I recorded over the weekend:
I did several simultaneous live broadcasts to Periscope and Facebook Mentions Live. As I was walking around the show I got lots of double takes as people assumed I must be shooting 3D video.
Even if I wasn’t streaming to both Periscope and Facebook at the same time, I’d still use this to broadcast to Periscope in it’s current vertical video format and use the second device to record standard 16:9 wide video.
This mount is just freaking awesome with lots of uses. Of course it can be mounted on a tripod too.
It’s also versatile enough to be converted into a single mount (the TW Broadcaster) for those times when you only need to mount one mobile device.
The Bottom Line
I’m thrilled to have this new product which perfectly fits my broadcasting and recording needs. I’m deeply honored to have it named after me as well. Even if you’re not interested in this particular solution you should definitely check out the mounting solutions at www.arkon.com. If you have a need to mount a mobile device, camera, etc, on to something they’ve likely already built a solution for you. If you are interested in the TW Broadcaster Pro you can order it here. Or if you’re interested in the single mount (also great for selfies) TW Broadcaster model you can order it here. You can even take 10% off anything you order from their site with my discount code “twhite”.
Apple recently stated that they had over 11 million users doing the 3 month trial for Apple Music. I’m one of those 11 million folks. I wasn’t sold on the concept of Apple Music, but I wanted to give it a fare shot before I did my review. I wanted to try it for at least a month before deciding if it’s a good fit for me or not.
Let’s start with how I enjoyed music before Apple Music
I used to buy singles (45’s as a kid). If you don’t know what a 45 is then you are probably more likely to be a candidate for Apple Music 🙂 As I got older and had more money I continued buying vinyl in the form of LPs. I then moved to 8-track, then to cassettes, then CD’s and finally to digital downloads. Whenever a new song/album comes out that I like, I buy it on iTunes. But I definitely don’t spend $9.99 a month on new music. I pretty much have all the music that I’ve ever wanted and in many cases I bought that music multiple times just to get it on the newer formats. When it comes to hearing new music I rely on Pandora Radio. It gives me a nice mix of stuff I already have/like and new musicI actually have a paid account at $3.99/month just not to hear the ads and to be able to skip more songs if I want. Even with the Pandora account it’s rare that I spend $10 on music in a month unless a new album comes out that I want. I have a Spotify account too, but it’s the free one. I never could bring myself to pay for it because I already have all the music I would be listening to regularly. Also thanks to iTunes Match I access to ALL of my music on all of my devices. Now that you know a little about my music needs, let’s get to Apple Music.
What’s Apple Music?
Apple Music is Apple’s new music subscription service that allows you to listen to just about every song on the iTunes Store for one price. $9.99/month. You can listen to any song, album, artist anytime you want as much as you want with no limits. You an even add songs to playlists and make them available OFFLINE so that you can listen to them on your devices when you don’t have an internet connection. Apple Music also includes currated playlists so tha you can listen to playlists put together by others. Lastly there’s Beats 1 radio. This 24/7 radio station has a real DJ and it’s the latest, hottest tracks playing anytime you want to listen.
Who is Apple Music for?
In my opinion Apple Music is for people that don’t have a huge investment in their own music. It’s for people that listen to music often and want to always be able to listen to what’s new from a variety of artists. If you’re the kind of person that LOVES music and always want to listen to either a lot of music or new/different music that you don’t own then you’ll likely love Apple Music.
I’m just not that guy
Apple Music is ok. It’s just not for me. Sure I like new music, but not enough to justify the monthly cost. Like I said, if I hear something new that I want, I just buy it and rarely does it cost me more than a few bucks a month.
The interface leaves little to be desired
One thing I’ve always loved about Apple products is that there was a certain elegance about them. The Apple Music internace wasn’t as strait forward as I had hoped. I’m used to it now, but it just seemed a little weird at first. The For You tab contains the curated playlists based on the artists you said you liked during the setup. These playlists are usually good, just not long enough for me. This means that I either have to add the songs to an existing playlist (which in most cases I already own these songs) or I have to combine them together to get playlist that’s long enough for my drive/commute. The New tab is where you would discover new music. Radio is where you’d listen to Beats 1 or your own radio stations, Connect is Apples new attempt at connecting you with your favorite artists. Playlists is where your playlists are stored and My Music is of course my music. Since I listen to music mostly on my iPhone these days the interface is a little tighter and sometimes there’s a lot going on on the screen at the same time. Also since you can now mix Apple Music tracks in playlists with the songs you own it’s not real obvious which tracks are yours and which ones are rented.
Goodbye iTunes Radio and Good Riddance
When iTunes Radio first hit the scene I was really excited to try it. I was already an iTunes Match customer and that meant that I could enjoy iTunes Radio ad free. I was hoping that I would be able to cancel my Pandora Radio account and just use iTunes Radio. However, iTunes Radio was a disaster. So much so that I ended up going back to Pandora. If I added a station based on an artist it would rarely play songs from that artist. If I added a station based on a song, I would NEVER hear that song again. I would find myself skipping several (unrelated – not even close to what I would want to hear) songs in a row just to get to one that I’d want to listen to. It was just weird the way it worked. Apple quietly changed iTunes Radio to Radio in Apple Music. At first I just avoided this option figuring that it was the same old iTunes Radio that I hated. However, one day I decided to listen to one of my stations just to see if it had improved and I was pleasantly surprised to notice that I wasn’t skipping songs. It was playing songs that I actually wanted to hear. After doing a little digging online I found that lots of former iTunes Radio users were complaining that their stations were now gone in Apple Music. Sure enough I noticed the same thing. There is a Recent Station feature but it only lists a few of the ones that I had created and only the ones based on a single artist/song. The old iTunes Radio allowed you to build a station based on multiple artists. That feature is now gone. You can only build a station based on a single song or single artist. I’ll gladly forgive them for that since it now actually creates stations that I’d listen to. Sadly Apple still as the cumbersome “Star” button that when you tap it it gives you a choice of “Play more like this” or “Play less like this”. Why can’t we simply have a separate thumbs up and thumbs down button? The NEW and IMPROVED Radio is by far my favorite Apple Music feature.
The Bottom Line
Is Apple Music worth it? The answer to that question will definitely depend on you and where you are with your purchased music and how much new music you like to listen to each month. Is it worth it to me? At this point I would say that I probably would not continue with Apple Music if it were just me. At $9.99/month I’d actually be spending more than I do now. However, what will likely make me keep it after the trial is the very smart thing that Apple did by creating a “Family Plan”. At $14.99 not only can I enjoy Apple Music, but so can 5 of my family members. I can add my two daughters and my sister for example and then it becomes a no brainer. My daughters are in their 20’s and listen to new music all the time. The new Apple Music Radio is now good enough that I’ve suspended my subscription to Pandora Radio saving $3.99/month. So while I don’t love Apple Music, I can justify it with the family option.
On a side note: iTunes on the desktop is long overdue for a complete rewrite. Every time they add something new to iTunes it becomes that much more of a pain in the ass to use. If you look at iOS you can see that Apple has separated out many functions into separate apps. You have the Music app for music, the iTunes app to buy/rent new content, the Podcasts app for Podcasts, the iBooks app for books, and the Videos App for movies and TV shows. Yet on the desktop the Mac/PC version tries to do everything in one Application. Since we rarely connect our devices up to our computers anymore to sync, there is a less of a need to have this all in one approach. Apple kept the Mac App Store separate and there’s no reason now not to separate out the iOS App Store and many of the other things that iTunes does now. They could then focus on building a killer Music app that would be the showcase for Apple Music. By the way, stop hidding the sidebar. We actually like it and use it!
In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, I’ll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop Generator to make webclip icons for your website so that when people bookmark your website to their home screens on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch they’ll get your custom icon.
Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?
See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:
I really wanted to like iTunes Radio for two simple reasons. The first is that it’s integrated into all my iOS devices and iTunes and that just makes it easier to enjoy and control. The second reason was that since I’m already paying for iTunes Match $25/year (that I absolutely love), iTunes Radio is delivered to me Ad free. Yes I had high hopes that I would be able to drop my Pandora Radio subscription (yes I hate ads), and just use iTunes Radio, however I just resubscribed to Pandora Radio ($3.99/month, which ironically bills through my iTunes account).
Why go back?
I went back for one reason and one reason only. THE MUSIC! As much as I tried to tweak my iTunes Radio stations I just couldn’t seem to get the same variety/favorite mix that I get on Pandora. iTunes Radio seemed to play the same songs over and and over again and yet not play the ones that I wanted to hear. Even if I added specific songs to stations it seems like I would NEVER hear them. I just can’t seem to get iTunes Radio to play the songs I like or new songs that I wouldn’t mind hearing consistently and this problem doesn’t exist for me on Pandora Radio.
I may go back to iTunes Radio from time to time because of the tight integration in iOS, but for now when I just want to hear good music I fire up Pandora Radio.
What’s been your iTunes Radio experience? Also why do many of you prefer Spotify?
Get the Pandora Radio app here:
I was one of the ones anxiously awaiting the arrival of iTunes Radio. Before iTunes Radio I was a paid user of Pandora Radio. While Pandora does offer streaming Internet radio for free, I paid to avoid hearing ads. I like Pandora, but the beauty of iTunes Radio is that it would integrate right into iOS 7, iTunes on Mac/PC, and Apple TV. Like Pandora you create stations from your favorite artists, songs, genres, etc. iTunes Radio will sync all your stations to all your devices automatically via iCloud. The interface is pretty clean and consistent for the most part.
It was really easy to get started. Launch iTunes Radio on an iOS device or go to in iTunes and tap/click the + sign to add a new station. Key in an artist, song, genre, etc. and you’re done. You can add additional artists, songs, etc. if you like. I also LOVE the ability to add artists that I NEVER want to hear! (Justin Bieber). I don’t know if there is a limit on the number of stations you can add, but I was able to add in several with no problem.
Music Playback and Repeats
The audio quality is excellent and I’ve used it both on WiFi at home and 4G on the road and in my car with no problems or skips. I did have one problem station that I ended up deleting and recreating. It actually got stuck playing the same 3 songs in a row over and over again. Once I got my stations sorted out with favorite artists and artists to never hear from, I have been using it every day. I have noticed that it does play a lot of the same songs repeatedly, especially when starting out at the beginning of my day. It seems that only after I’ve listened for a while (at least 3 songs) do I start to hear new songs. Luckily the songs it repeats are ones I really like.
Skipping Tracks and Thumbs Down
You can skip up to 6 tracks per hour per station. This is similar to Pandora. Due to the licensing restrictions from the music industry you can’t just keep skipping songs until you hear the one you want. One of the odd interface things in iTunes Radio is that at first glance there doesn’t appear to be a way to thumbs down or tell it that you never want to hear a particular song again. You CAN do it! However, it’s oddly hidden under the Star icon. At first glance I figured the Star was to mark songs that I like (thumbs up). It wasn’t until I tapped on it on my iPhone and discovered that it’s actually a menu that contains the choices “Play more like this”, Never Play this Song” and “Add to iTunes Wishlist”
Your stations can also be shared with your friends and family or on social media. You can also turn on/off explicit lyrics.
Costs and The Bottom Line
Like Pandora Radio, iTunes Radio is FREE with Ads. However, if you are an iTunes Match ($25/year) customer (and I am) then you won’t hear ads on the devices that you have set up for iTunes Match! This works out to be a cost savings for me ($3.99/month) since I already had iTunes Match and was able to stop my Pandora Radio subscription. If you hear a song you like and want to buy it there’s a button in the upper right corner that lists the price. Just tap it and buy the song. Also each station keeps a “recent” history so that you can go back through and see which songs have played and buy them if you like.
While I like the potential of iTunes Radio and how it’s integrated into all my devices, it will take a little more time to see if the music really works itself out. I have used Pandora Radio for over a year and with the thumbs up and thumbs downs that I’ve done over the past year, I could listen to Pandora for hours on end and hear music that I liked. It will take time to train all my iTunes Radio stations the same way.
As far as improvements go, I’d love the ability to restrict a station to only songs from a particular artist. I’m sure this is probably against the licensing agreements, but it would be nice.
If you’ve upgraded to the latest iTunes (and you’re running on a newer Mac/PC OS – Lion or above on Mac) you’ll have iTunes Radio right in your Music section. If you’ve upgraded your iOS devices/Apple TV you can check out iTunes Radio right in the Music App or main menu.
As many of you know, my watch is actually an 6th gen iPod nano. When I first started wearing it there were only a couple of different bands available. Now there are a lot more. I like the Loop Band as my “sports” band. If I’m doing anything where I’m active the Loop Band is perfect as it won’t scratch or scuff.
Get the Loop Band here.
The iPod nano was updated with a redesign, now what?
Apple totally revamped their iPod lineup including a redesign of the iPod nano. This basically means no longer wearing it on my wrist as a watch. I no plans to get the new nano. I don’t need another music player. However, Loop Attachments has developed and will be shipping soon The Clip. The Clip is designed to make the new iPod nano more like the previous generation and gives you the option to clip it onto your clothing and wear it.
Both these options come in multiple colors and they also carry other solutions for iPhones, etc. You can check them out here.
I've been a fan of the Harmony One for some time now. It's actually my favorite off the shelf universal remote. While it's not perfect, it offers the best universal, multiple device experience I've seen to date (aside from the Bose Lifestyle T20 RF remote). Recently I stumbled upon the Harmony Link. This small module connects to your WiFi network and basically serves as an wireless IR repeater to send commands from the Harmony Link App running on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device to your audio and video equipment. In essence with the Harmony Link, your mobile device because your touch screen universal remote that does NOT require line of sight.
The Harmony Link comes with an AC adapter and USB cable. Dont' worry about the USB cable being short because you only need it for the initial setup and you can plug in the Harmony Link to any AC plug near your computer long enough to set it up and then relocate it near your TV when you're done. Since Harmony prides themselves on having a large database of remote codes, you merely need to collect all the Make and Model Numbers of your gear. Then you simply download the Harmony Link setup app on your Mac or PC. The 1st step is to join the Harmony Link to your WiFi network. Then walk through the setup by entering plain English to identify each device you want to control. If there is a device that you have that Logitech doesn't know about, it will prompt you to get the original remote so that you can teach the Harmony Link the commands it needs to know.
The Harmony Link App for iOS
The next step is to grab the App for your mobile platform. I downloaded the Harmony Link App for iOS (see my review here). Once you have the App and your mobile device is on the same network as the Harmony Link module it will see it. Then just log in with the same user name and password that you used during the initial setup.
How does it work?
Once I got the device setup and the App installed on my iPhone 4s and iPad 2 I took the Harmony Link for a spin. I configured three "activities", "Watch TV", "Watch DVD/BD" and "Watch Apple TV" my only challenge is that my Sony Google TV has the worst input switching implementation ever. Unlike most TVs that either have a direct Input button (ie. HDMI 2) or the ones that simply go "Input Next", mine brings up an on screen menu and while that's not the end of the world, after choosing the Input you have to click "OK". This isn't a standard thing and therefore it threw my Harmony One and of course the Harmony Link for a loop. To make matters worse each time the menu comes up on screen it doesn't highlight the current input, instead it starts at the top. I was able to get it to kinda work but I need to put a call into their tech support to get the best setting. Outside of my weird Input problem on this one TV, everything else worked perfectly. I was able to easily control my Sony Google TV, TiVo Premiere XL, Sony Blu-ray player and Apple TV. When I done watching tapping a single button on my iPad or iPhone turns everything off. Since this is working via WiFi you don't have to worry about pointing your phone or tablet at your screen (great for turning off the stuff that was left on upstairs or downstairs without having to make the trip. There goes that little bit of exercise you were getting 🙂 ). Also the Harmony Link works in cabinets and has two ports for IR blasters to get to hard to see IR ports.
What could be better?
While the Harmony Link does work as advertised, there is room for improvement. The first thing is that if you have more than one mobile device or other Harmony remotes, those other remotes/mobile devices don't know that your gear is on if you started with a different remote. For example, let's say I turn everything on with my iPhone 4s and then later pick up my iPad. The iPad doesn't know what activity I'm using or which gear is on or off. It would great if each remote/device could read from the Harmony Link to see the current status/activity. Also if you've got any AV gear that uses RF instead of IR you're out of luck. Another drawback in general is that since it's using your phone or tablet this means that it's 100% touch screen and that's not a good thing because it means always having to look at your display to see the button you want to use. On the Harmony one, there are physical buttons that you can use without looking. Lastly can we kill the green LED that's always on?
The Bottom Line
I'm one step closer to having the perfect universal remote. I would actually like to see an upgraded Harmony One that allows for the button customizations of the Harmony Link App and offer WiFi connectivity. If you're in Remote Control Hell and you have a smartphone or tablet, then you should take at the Harmony Link.
You can get the Harmony Link for $99.89 here.
I've been an iTunes user since day one (and even SoundJam before that). I've been an iPod user since day one too. I have a decent sized *music collection (6,649 songs) with a mix of tunes ripped from my CDs, purchased from the iTunes store and purchased/downloaded from other sources such as Amazon.com. While Apple has always done a good job in allowing me to sync my music/playlists to any number of iDevices, for some reason the company never saw fit to allow automatic syncing of music between multiple computers. I've complained about this on my blog in the past as well as going with 3rd party work arounds.
The NEW iTunes Match Solves My Problems
In addition to iOS 5, iCloud and iTunes 10.5, Apple rolled out a new service called iTunes Match. iTunes Match is a paid service ($24.99/Year) and the idea behind it is that once you sign up (via iTunes 5) your music collection will be analyzed and "matched" with the music currently available on the iTunes store, whether you originally bought the music from the store or not. Tracks that are matched are then available to up to 10 of your devices (Macs, PCs, iDevices running iOS 5, or Apple TVs) via the cloud.
This also includes your playlists! Tracks that were not matched (in other words songs you have that aren't on the iTunes store) are then UPLOADED from your library to the iTunes cloud (iCloud). This means that ALL of your music is now available in the cloud no matter where you obtained it originally.
Problems this solves for me
Once it did the initial "match" on my dedicated iTunes media server (a dedicated iMac running iTunes 24/7). I then went to my MacBook Pro and deleted all the music from that library. Once I deleted all the songs and playlists, I turned on iTunes Match on that computer as well. After a few moments ALL of my Playlists appeared on the MacBook Pro that are on the iMac. Any song/playlist that I want to listen to can now be streamed via the cloud. Also any music/playlists that I actually want to be physically on the drive say for offline listening can be downloaded with a single click. As long as my MacBook Pro has an internet connection I have access to ALL of my music at all times. Those times that I don't have access to the internet I can still enjoy the music that I've downloaded.
On my iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – we know that these devices have limited storage. Therefore carrying around a large music collection means giving up something else. Once I turned on iTunes Match on these devices the music that was stored on them was immediately wiped and just like on my MacBook Pro, after a few moments I had access to ALL of my Playlists and All of my songs. The difference here is that any song you play is not only streamed initially but also stored so that it won't have to stream a second time. And yes you can proactively download any song(s) playlists that you know you'll want to be stored on the device for offline listening.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of iTunes Match are clear! I have access to ALL of my Music on any of my devices at all times (with an internet connection). I now use less space on my iDevices because I don't have them loaded up with music that "I may want to listen to someday". The other advantage is QUALITY! Some of my original CD Rips were at a lower bitrate. With iTunes Match you get everything at Unprotected AAC, 256Kbps (iTunes Plus) Quality. The other slick feature is that now it doesn't matter where I make organizational changes or new purchases. If I change a playlist on my MacBook Pro it's updated everywhere. If I buy a new song and add it to a playlist on my iPad, it's updated and available everywhere. This is one of those services that's worth every penny to me!
You couple iTunes Match with the new iTunes WiFi Sync for iOS (iPod touch in the car) and I'm completely in music heaven! I pull into my garage and it connects to the WiFi in my home and syncs the iPod with the latest changes.
Now let's get iTunes Match for video/movies!
*Note: If you have more than 25,000 songs in your library that you did NOT get from the iTunes store then you exceed the limit of iTunes Match. iTunes Match only works for songs, not audiobooks, videos, ringtones, podcasts, etc.