Archive for September 2009

You’re our customer! We hate you!

September 28, 2009

It is axiomatic in modern American life: the longer you are a customer, the more some of our most common, everyday corporations come to disdain you.


Please Give a Beep! How to Make Streaming Audio Apps Better

September 23, 2009

In the vein of David Pogue’s crowd-sourcing of technical innovation ideas, and as an homage to his Take Back The Beep campaign, here’s a humble proposal for streaming audio players

Use the audio output to tell me when you are buffering, when you are waiting pointlessly, and when you have given up on the stream.

The Tyranny of the Dancing Bear

September 21, 2009

As a software engineer, I see a lot of Dancing Bears. All too often they are a form of technical debt that comes back to hurt you in the end.

“The important thing isn’t that the bear dances well, rather that the bear dances at all!”
— Unknown Smart Person

(I really wish I knew the source of that quote; I’ve relied on it for years.)

The Garage Principle

September 14, 2009

Over time, most people have come to realize that: Everything interesting in technology eventually can be built in a garage.

I call this the Garage Principle.

Links: Apple; Linux; Cathedral and the Bazaar; Verizon MiFi;

Multiple iPhone Headset Deaths. Sigh.

September 12, 2009

In the space of two days, my three month old Ultimate Buds and my brand new Airdrives died, both in the same way.

Both lost button control and no longer saw the mic. Sigh.

Trying some Altec BackBeat Plus Mobiles; the cord seems sturdy.

The bag of dead headphone sets is getting heavy.

Still, I can remember when my audio players were tossed while they still functioned because their earphone jacks disintegrated. So I shouldn’t complain.

WunderRadio’s Audio Backgrounding; ooTunes jumps on the Bandwagon

September 12, 2009

Yesterday, a new update of ooTunes came out, which functions pretty much as WunderRadio does for media streams — it lets you jump to Safari and open a stream there. It doesn’t seem to be quite as stable as WunderRadio’s implemetation, but it is nice to see developers are starting to notice.

MLB AM? Pandora? Slacker? Hello?

Wunder-ful iPhone Multitasking!

September 10, 2009

In my post regarding the lack of iPhone multitasking, I pointed out that merely allowing for media back-grounding would alleviate a lot of the problems posed by the iPhone’s lack of multitasking. In that post I mentioned that you could-sorta-a-bit listen to streams while doing other things if you could get the Safari-encapsulated Quicktime player to play it via a web link. But it was hard, in an age of MLB At Bat 2009, Slacker, Stitcher and a plethora of other media apps, to make a case that this odd route to to multitasking was useful.

But hey, something Wunder-ful has happened!