Apple Music is a Usability Nightmare

Apple Music has some pretty interfaces, but at least in terms of setting up playlists, it is absolutely abysmal. Just flat out awful and near unusable.

I really wanted Apple Music to win me over, but it only made me realize how nice of an app Spotify has both on desktop and on iOS.

UPDATE: Yes, this post is a bit overdramatic and focuses only on making playlists. Yes, there are lots of things that Apple Music probably does well. I just wanted to make my own playlists, and I became very annoyed with how poorly Apple Music currently supports that. A more appropriate title, maybe, would be “Apple Music was a Usability Nightmare for me,” because I ran into issues and roadblocks every step of the way. As Apple makes updates to the iOS app and iTunes, I will definitely check the updates out. Right now, however, it’s not worth my time to go through tedious clicks over and over just to get to the same point that I’m already at with Spotify.

Yep. Pretty much on this update is a freaking mess to use or discover. I’ve given up on Connect obviously, it was as bad if not more than Ping and as equally as useless, and there’s no way in hell I’ll subscribe to this mess in 3 months time. In fact what I’ll find out is how to rid iTunes interface of all of this mess menus and just go back to “my music and my playlists”. And much probably, just like I’be been going with Apple’s Mail, try to find a third party alternative that just works and it’s simple. You know, things Apple used to be!

oh FFS

Screen Shot 2015 06 30 at 23 54 18

It’s probably the fourth time I’ve done this and i still can’t continue… random artists i don’t even know or remember who they are, no way to listen to their music, no pictographically icons or images so that I might recognise them. It’s resorted to a list of artists that I recognise and that I don’t dislike that much. And I still can’t continue.

Seriously. Ask me: “name 6 artists you like or listen frequently” and I’ll have no problems writing them down for you. What the hell are these nonsensical bubbles for? They’re a pain in the ass, ineffective and annoying as hell. If you can’t figure out from my iTunes playlist who I listen more, then just allow me to write them down. This is just retarded.

There is no MonoCulture and Apple has no idea what the word Focus means anymore

In case I wasn’t perfectly clear on the last post, and because I’m trying to listen to Beats 1, for the second time, THERE. IS. NO. MONOCULTURE. WORLDWIDE.

I assumed this wasn’t required to explain to a large corporation as Apple but apparently it is. Beats 1 is just a online radio. That’s it. There’s nothing innovating or particularly brilliant here. In fact there isn’t even nothing particularly useful here! What you listen in New York or Los Angeles is not the same to what someone listens in Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Bombai, Luanda, Cape Town, Brasilia or Lima…

I fail to see why Apple is actually wasting its resources here, instead of leaving this to a plethora of third parties and partners, regionally relevant and interesting. It’s not like Apple doesn’t have a plethora of issues to fix, if there’s enough resources to waste on crap like this, I expect no more basic low level bugs, usability short-comes and crappy own-offerings such as iCloud Drive and the current version of iWorks.

Seriously Apple. FOCUS THE FUCK ON. Stop spreading your efforts in a ton of things that never work reliably or even work at all. Focus on a core, make it bullet proof, and leave the rest for third parties to build on. Get your shit together.

Who am I following???

Apple's Music first SNAFU on Following

While they haven’t fix the Home Sharing issues, they seemed to have decided that I would be interested in following these artists. It’s amazing how Cupertino has become small minded, presumptuous and unware that there might be more than the Top Ten list on iTunes sales… And how instead of asking me to select a bunch of artists to start following they automatically added me these… don’t even know how to call them… I don’t listen to a single one. Apart from Robbie Williams which has a very nice Jazz CD. His only CD that I listen.

I was already shocked at the “monoculture” scream that they actually intended to launch with Beats 1 and 2 and 3. It was amazing to me how a company like Apple couldn’t understand that not everyone in the world listens or even cares, to the anglo-saxon focused music that they listen to. It’s now even more amazing how they don’t understand that polluting a product launch with a set of an undesired defaults it’s worst that not having defaults at all.

Sigh… If this is our best offer in the field of Computers and Operating Systems, it’s a cry of help for the others.

Kill the man, eliminate the problem

“Home Sharing” on iTunes between an iOS and OS X device was spotty at best. So, with this new release of iOS 8.4 and OS X 10.10.4, where the dreaded DiscoveryD was finally put to rest, what does Apple do to fix this spotty working? Eliminates the feature completely obviously.

Oh Apple… I don’t know if I’m more disappointed or angry at your utter incompetence lately. Seems like Microsoft’s Marketing Department took over the reins at Cupertino, with its very specific touch of “geniality”

iTunes home sharing is utterly broken.

It’s broken because it depends heavily on Discoveryd. And as we all know Discoveryd is a mess, and I have to terminate it at least once every two days. Or more. So, although I would love to use my ipad while listening music from my Mac multi-gigabyte library, I can’t. It never works reliably. Or works at all.

The hidden cost of yearly updates on OS X

A fact that has been ignored by both Apple executives as Apple’s focused media, is that the concept of free yearly updates on OS X has drawbacks and hidden costs.

One of them, and the most egregious for me, is that now, if I was to follow each year update to the launch date, I would be without most of my needed/dependable software on time, as new versions and compatibility have to be checked and fixed, and rarely released in time. And I would be in need to purchase the new “updated” version of said software because developers have to eat and if “stability and bug fixes for a launched software” can be done with minimal resources living on the initial and steady number of sales, now most developers will have to test their software against the new OS, the “improved” or deprecated APIs/libraries/functionality, fix it, and launch the software again.

So, if you’re actually heavily invested in OS X productivity software, the new “yearly free updates” now implies to either stop using old software or keep paying the treadmill license for continuous updates of new software. You’re effectively in a worse condition if you depend on your Mac to work than you would be before the yearly update policy took in.

This has to stop. It’s insane. It could be done on iOS ’cause iOS apps are made from the start to be limited and work within the sandbox container, but OS X apps are different and can’t be turned equivalent without destroying the general utility and all-purpose function of the Mac. Most Mac apps are a complex, elaborated piece of software, their developers can’t be expected to keep drastically checking and updating it every year without additional funds. And so, again, they’re actually more expensive to use and less reliable to do so.

Apple, yearly updates to your computer OS are. a. very. bad. idea. Stop it. Please.

iOS 9 & OS X 10.11 to bring ‘quality’ focus

For the first time in several years, Apple is changing up its annual iOS and OS X upgrade cycle by limiting new feature additions in favor of a “big focus on quality,” according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s operating system development plans. We first reported in February that iOS 9, codenamed “Monarch,” would heavily feature under-the-hood optimizations, and we’ve now learned that Apple is taking the same approach with OS X 10.11, codenamed “Gala.” Sources have revealed additional new details on how Apple will optimize the new operating systems for improved stability and performance, add several new security features, and make important changes to its Swift programming tools for developers…

According to sources within Apple’s software development departments, Apple engineers have been pushing executives for a Snow Leopard-style stability focus in 2015, following numerous bugs that clouded the launches of both iOS and OS X. Apple directors reportedly opposed a complete pause on new features, but agreed to focus on quality assurance by holding back some features that were initially planned for the latest operating system launches. One source explained, “I wouldn’t say there’s nothing new for consumers, but the feature lists are more stripped down than the initial plans called for.”


Quality doesn’t just appear out of thin air because some Apple directors have “ordered it” to do so. It appears when engineers/developers are given time to do it reliably, with focus, and without being always on a perennial treadmill between iOS releases, OS X releases and the god damned September “new iPhone” release!

The fact is that both OS X and iOS will continue to degrade while this yearly update insanity and pairing of iOS and OSX releases with the new iPhone release continues. OS X doesn’t required a yearly upgrade and it has been effectively hurt by doing so. QUality has decreased, stability has decreased, reliability has decreased. What exactly do I need new features in iOS and OS X if not one of them can be relied upon?

Mistake One

Now, Apple’s priorities have changed. Rather than make really great products that are mostly thin, they now make really thin products that are mostly great.

This concerns me more than you probably think it should. Not only does it represent compromised standards in areas I believe are important, but it suggests that they don’t have many better ideas to advance the products beyond making them thinner, and they’re willing to sacrifice anything to keep that going.

Marco Arment –

Universal “despair” with Apple’s current products is increasing… And rightfully so. It’s a mess, it’s misguided and it’s much lower value than Apple previously offered.

Something needs to change at Cupertino.

NSFW: Microsoft doesn’t suck, and you don’t have to hate it

I have to admit that I’m pretty excited about some of the stuff Microsoft is working on these days. Every chance I’ve had to use Microsoft Office 2016, I’ve been impressed with how well it works. It’s available as a preview version that can be installed alongside Office 2011 if necessary.

I’ve also been experimenting with Microsoft Windows 10 on my Mac, installed in a virtual machine environment, and I’m also quite impressed with how much better that is than Windows 8.1. Two of my kids use Windows Phones and like them a lot, although they wish their choices of apps were more robust.

Turning your back on Microsoft is fine when you have alternatives that work for you. But many of us live in a world where we have to cooperate with people who still depend on using Microsoft products to get their work done. So being familiar with and continuing to use Microsoft products is ok, really. They’re improving. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is moving the company in a good direction.

Look, it’s all right not to like Microsoft. You’re better off investing your enmity in other things not to like, though — like cancer, typhoons, or people who are mean to animals. Hating a company — Microsoft, Google, Apple, or whichever — is just dumb.

Peter Cohen – iMore

Is Apple Trying to Do too Much Too Quickly?

The problem is that, now, iOS and OS X are inextricably linked. A number of iOS features aren’t available, at least not fully, because OS X 10.10 Yosemite isn’t out yet. Being married to a release cycle based on hardware, not software, makes sense for iOS – certain features of the mobile operating system depend on new hardware features in iPhone and iPads – but it makes less sense with OS X, which does not have an annual hardware update cycle.

Yes, something has to give. Apple is great at showing us how wonderful our world will be with new products, but they’ve been less successful lately at delivering on their promises. It’s time for Apple to take a step back, slow down, and get things right, instead of just getting things shipped.

Kirk McElhearn

I’ve had more bugs and crashes and malfunctions in the last 6 months than in the last 6 years. It has come to that perilous place where I’m on Apple’s software not because I believe it to be the best/more reliable software, but because, mainly there’s no alternative.

This phrasing: “the best” vs “there’s no alternative” might sound the same to you, but believe me, it’s not. In one, I truly believe it to be the best OS available and on where I can rely and trust. On the other, I’m just “killing time” till an alternative shows up. And I’m actively looking for it, while before, you couldn’t even persuade me there was an alternative…

If Apple continues with this decay, the market is ripe for some disruption. Anxiously waiting for some other contenders.

Google Plus helping out


A family member sent a couple of pics from a family event through Google Plus.1

Please notice the orang arrows i added and see how Google cares so much about you and doesn’t try to stick G+ down your throat…2

I, being a reasonable techy savy guy, had to read the damn thing three times to realize where i should actually click to see the photos. I wonder if the numbers of members of G+ are actually rated the same as Facebook members by the marketeers and advertisers. At this moment it’s more a “number of persons who were conned into signing up” than actual “membership numbers”.

  1. i have no idea why! []
  2. yeah, obvious sarcasm. []

The end of the Facebook era

We can learn a lot from observing this transition of power. It goes to show that social products are just as mortal as the people who use them. They grow old and long for the youth they once had. They become set in their ways and burdened by their legacy. They are subject to the ebb and flow of cultural evolution and the fickleness of popular opinion.

What was cool in the 70s wasn’t cool in the 80s. What became cool in the 80s was no longer cool in the 90s. Social networks are susceptible to the same shift in trends and fashion that we’ve witnessed in society before our social lives extended into the digital world. This is why social networks, like Google+ (where I worked for one year), are struggling even more than Facebook to get a foothold in the future of social networking. They are betting on last year’s fashion – they’re fighting Facebook for the last available room on the Titanic when they should be looking at all of the other ships leaving the marina.

It wasn’t too long ago that we thought nothing could stop Facebook. That era has come to an end. There will always be room for new and exciting ways to share and connect with the people that matter in your life.

Chrys Bader

Google Plus is specially struggling ’cause they’re actively forcing people to become a member instead of letting it grow on its own merits. That fact that they don’t succeed in in growing by its own merits is simply explained by the fact that they have absolutely no merit whatsoever.

By trying too hard to be a replica of Facebook, you essentially get the same product in different packaging. And if there isn’t any specific advantage why would I change? Sure, G+ had ‘circles’ but that’s not an ‘advantage’ in itself. it’s essentially a ‘feature’, easily replicated by FB in a couple of months. An advantage would be something different that FB couldn’t or didn’t want to replicate. Like for example anonymity.

It’s one of the main reasons why I use Twitter. I don’t particularly like the silly 140char limit. Nor the fact that everything is public by default. But for registering with it, I was asked two things: an email address and a username. Not my ‘real name’, not my job, not my Linkedin profile, not age nor anything. A mail and a username. It’s the exact same thing why other platforms such as Tumblr are a strong niche. Despite Mr. Zuckerberg talks about the ‘death of privacy’, people still expect some sort of privacy. They are okay sharing their nude bodies or intimate thoughts or silly interests, they just want to do it on their terms and in compartmentalised, relative anonymity.

Facebook started as a simple social network space and did this ok. At first the issue of the real name wasn’t even an issue. Then it was, but Facebook was still too insignificant to become an issue. Then it ended up not being ‘insignificant’ at all but it was already too ‘ingrained’.

Now G+ is created to contend this space and its first option is to enforce the real name policy not only on G+ but on every associated Goole service as Youtube! What exactly is the advantage of that to actual people using it? It’s no wonder why it’s failing, even as other smaller networks are actively growing and removing audience and content from Facebook.

I use this nickname of maccouch for a couple of years now. I have, however, other nicknames that i use since the beginning of the ‘interwebs’. They are a ‘person’ on itself, as valid and consistent id as my real name. I just don’t like to have it directly attached to me because i like that different aspects of my life remain separated. By trying too hard to enforce the ‘real name’ feature in order to create a better profile and sell more to advertisers they just end up making people retreat to the same ‘social strategies’ you employ on real life. Don’t tell anyone about your deep issues, don’t show that you’re in problem, share it only with your closest friends and family.

Now, if that’s the point, then why do we need the social networks again? Their advantage was that you could be talking about your issues with anyone else in the world. And/or share your taste of weird Japanese manga about fighting avocado fruits. And do it all without exposing or sharing too much of the other aspects of your life.

Copyright vs free speech

By curtailing the powers of the spy agencies, we could restore the internet to its original functionality and openness while maintaining the right to privacy and free speech – but maintaining a 20th-century copyright/IP model at the same time is impossible. Or we could give up our privacy and other civil rights to allow specific protected industries to carry on coining it in. A last option would be to switch off the internet. But that is not realistic: modern countries could not survive a day without the internet, any more than they could function without electricity.

As a society, we’re going through the painful realization that we can only have two out of the three options. Different corporatist interest groups would no doubt make different choices but, along with the vast majority of the people, I opt for the internet and privacy as both a free channel for communication and the free transfer of useful information.

Like any social change (the abolition of slavery, universal suffrage), this is also accompanied by heated arguments, legal threats and repression, and lobbyist propaganda. But historically, all this sound and fury will signify…precisely nothing. Maybe at some point, basic civil rights will make a comeback, upheld by the legislature and protected by law enforcement.

The choice is simple: internet, privacy, copyright. We can only choose two, and I know which I choose.

Annie Machon — RT Op-Edge


I really like the way FaceTime was put together, much more than Skype or other video chat alternatives; specially for one factor: the lack of an ‘online status’!

Yes, many people have complained about this ‘missing feature’, but for me it’s, in fact, not a bug but a feature! I hate having the ‘always seeing eye’ that an online status puts on you. When you reach the office and you turn on Skype, everyone on your contact list knows that you reached the office. When you turn it down to go to lunch, everyone knows that you have gone to lunch. If you are late or early or simply not in the mood, your options are simply to go offline, in which case no one can contact you, or invisible, in which case no one knows that they can contact you, or put the ‘busy’ flag which in work hours is basically redundant and ignored.

FaceTime avoids this by basically being the equivalent of a phone. People don’t know when your phone is on or off, or ‘busy’. They simply call you. If you want to answer, you do. If you don’ want to answer, you don’t. That’s it. No pesky ‘online status’, no “why don’t you answer me if i just saw you change your status”, no nothing. It’s, essentially, a video-phone system.

Of course, there’s some drawbacks to this, such as not being able to have ‘asynchronous’ conversations as you have in ‘chats’. But that is where Messages enters. There, you can just leave a text message, and I will get back to you when it’s convenient to me. And you have all the ‘online status’ paraphernalia.

I used to read some articles, back when Messages and FaceTime were put on OS X, about why were they two different systems/apps. Back then, not having or using neither, I couldn’t really understood this question or essentially why Apple had done it this way.

But now? Really, Apple, great idea! Just leave it like this. It’s a great way and a great software to work.

Now, if you could just opensource the FaceTime protocol as you promised…

Gmail, Mavericks, and apparently suck together

Gmail is a highly proprietary, constantly changing, email-like product. It is not standard IMAP email, and it will never work flawlessly in standard IMAP clients. (It never has.) Google has always supported IMAP reluctantly and poorly, and that won’t change — in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they removed IMAP support in the next few years.

Gmail’s primary, most important, and best-supported client will always be its web interface, with its own native mobile apps following. Everything else — especially standard IMAP clients — is a less-profitable nuisance to Google, not showing ads and holding back feature development by not being under Google’s complete control.

If you want to use email in a browser and Google’s mobile apps, use Gmail. But if you want to use standard IMAP email apps, use a standard IMAP email host.