J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


How to manage playlists on the go in iOS 7: Buy Swhipy

Swhipy screen shot  (By J. Barrineau)

Swhipy screen shot
(By J. Barrineau)

After several frustrating months of not being able to manage my iPhone’s playlists on the go, I have found a $2 solution that allows me to create playlists from playlists: Swhipy by JYPApps. It’s an understated app that’s worth every damn cent and then some, and it’s as close to being what I would consider a New Year miracle.

My joyful purchase was all part of an effort to manage my large music library — MUSIC THAT I HAVE PAID FOR — following my switch to an iPhone 5S (64GB) with iOS 7. When I discovered the loss of functionality in the iOS 7 Music app, I turned to the Apple discussion forums, where other dismayed music enthusiasts were also registering their puzzlement and complaints. Based on several users’ recommendations, I also downloaded Ecoute ($2.99) and Lagu (free). These are interesting alternatives to the abomination that is the Music app, but they didn’t do what I needed them to do, which is build playlists from other playlists on the go. (Side note: Ecoute is the app for you if you’re suffering through the Music app’s disastrous sorting issues. Meanwhile, Lagu is interesting because of its “queue” feature, but there’s something missing. If you try to save a playlist, you’re prompted to type a title for the playlist, but the keyboard doesn’t appear. Oh well, it’s free.)

It’s no secret that Apple shit the bed with the release of iOS 7 — I will NOT call it an “upgrade” — but the changes to the Music app were particularly painful for music lovers. (Editor’s note: I have understated this on purpose because it’s not as though we’ve been fed alive to starving dogs or anything.) I realize this is a “first world problem” of the first degree. It’s also a pocketbook issue: Consumers who have paid for their music should have the right to manage their music on their terms.  And this isn’t a learning curve, as some bloggers would suggest. No, I’m talking about a loss of functionality and flaccid user experience that underscore Apple’s blatant disregard for its loyal customers who built the megadynasty that is iTunes. I mean, really: Would we have bought so much music if they hadn’t made it so easy to enjoy?

Why Apple would remove so much functionality from its native app is baffling. And yeah, I’ve read about the efforts for a “more simplistic” design — and that’s just bullshit. It’s one thing to simplify an icon; it’s another to simplify an application to the point of frustrating the user with radical limitations. There’s nothing simple about plumbing the depths of a gazillion-song library to find JUST ONE SONG. And, finally, if this sick-making overhaul is part of some coked-up marketing scheme to drive me to iTunes Radio, then that’s just evil.


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When trivial became good again: On iPods, 9/11, and Steve Jobs

iPod Classic by Aaron Logan

In 2011, it’s hard sometimes to remember there was life before Facebook or iPhones. It’s hard to remember that one had to sit down at a computer and log into an email account rather than having the messages delivered to a smartphone in a pocket. It’s hard to remember the once-coveted music compact discs and their portable players, and it’s nearly impossible to remember music was once played by a moving stylus on a plastic disk with grooves. And although new names make headlines every day, a look at the past decade’s nearly frenzied embrace of technology shows the influence, the reach of Steve Jobs.

Although I had used Apples and Macs at school and work for years, Apple gave me my first real taste of truly personal tech in 2001. Shortly after 9/11, the news service where I worked received two supercool-looking gadgets from Apple they wanted us to test drive and write about. It was called an iPod, and its 5GB hard drive held “1,000 songs in your pocket.” (A 1,000 songs?!! Really?!!) I got to take one home and play with it — and I played with it for hours, which turned into days.  After my test drive, I was able to pre-order one. I was one of the first people in America to own an iPod. It’s probably my greatest achievement.
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Steve Jobs: R.I.P. 1955-2011

 

UPDATE 10-06-2011: I say goodbye — and thanks

 

Steve Jobs: R.I.P.

UPDATE 7:59 p.m.: The Wall Street Journal story

 

UPDATE 8:13 p.m.: WSJ interactive timeline of Steve Jobs’ life

 

UPDATE: #iSad trending on Twitter

 

UPDATE: Twitter mourns a genius

 


Proof that it’s good to get away

In ChelseaEarly Friday, I wrapped up an ecommerce class, tried to forget about work and boarded a train for a much-overdue trip to New York City. This meant I had three hours to kill with no WiFi and zero desire to read the book I had brought along. I was, however, armed with my iPhone, so I snapped graffiti as I saw it along the train tracks. (I was on a speeding train, so some photos were better than others.)

As we walked 13 miles around the city on Saturday, I continued to snap away. I took more than 300 photos over two days; in the interest of my readers’ time, I have heavily edited my collection.

On Flickr: Train track tags & street graffiti

 
 

Near public libraryBubble?Grapes?Caress


Get Gaga for 99 cents on Amazon

Attention Little Monsters: For one day only eCommerce giant Amazon is offering Lady Gaga’s new album Born this Way for 99 cents. The wheels of Web 2.0 were in full force for this promotion: I heard about it first on my iPhone, and then on Facebook and finally, Tumblr.

Get it while you can click it.

Hat tip to Erin K. at Ultra K for the heads-up.

RELATED: The Weird Al Yankovic parody, Perform This Way.