Renewing My iPhone Vows

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve had an iPhone for near­ly 5 years. I’ve late­ly noticed more of my friends are switch­ing to Android, and I’ve read a num­ber of arti­cles about blog­gers cut­ting ties with Apple. Would I join them in 2013? Could I break free from famil­iar iOS apps and move to Android?

Turns out I won’t be mak­ing the switch. I’d dialed in on the Droid DNA. I’ve been research­ing it for weeks, watch­ing YouTube videos, read­ing reviews and talk­ing to friends who’ve been try­ing to get me to move to Android for a while. I was con­vinced this was the phone for me. More­over, I’ve recom­mit­ted to Google on iOS in a big way. Throw in Google Now and I was sure I’d switch.

And yet I won’t. Why?

I had no idea how much I’d grown to love the iPhone form fac­tor. I’ve seen the “feels good in the hand” meme, but there’s some­thing to it. I just could­n’t switch to some­thing that felt like a less­er prod­uct, know­ing full well the specs are off the chart.

Instead I’m choos­ing to stick with the iPhone when I upgrade and switch to Ver­i­zon. With that in mind, what are the apps you can’t live with­out? I’m com­mit­ting to Ever­note, blog­ging with Poster (it’s great!), lov­ing YouTube and I can’t say enough good things about Zee­box, a great app Com­cast invest­ed in last year. Rec­om­mend your favorites and sug­gest good blogs, Twit­ter accounts, YouTube chan­nels and pod­casts that you fol­low to stay up with the lat­est and greatest.

Last Guy on Earth to Subscribe to Spotify

This is how I used to feel about music 2.0. Now I’m more than will­ing to spend $10 a month to lis­ten to what­ev­er I like, give or take. I will say that the playlists fea­ture is pret­ty great, espe­cial­ly now that I’m not a music edi­tor who would’ve been tasked with assem­bling them. Tedious work, that. That said, I’m enjoy­ing the Pitch­fork Top 100 songs playlist right now. Point me toward good playlists and I will add them.

I’d love to see them add a book­mark fea­ture so I could cat­a­log titles I find as I surf around the web. Think Instapa­per, but for music.

Making Tech Resolutions for 2012

Did­n’t fol­low through on any of my res­o­lu­tions last year. Those CDs? Still in box­es or in the rack that dom­i­nates a full wall in our walk-in clos­et. New goal? Get them out of the house by the end of Jan­u­ary. DVDs, too. I’m going to go wild with Hand­brake and get all the Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion titles I nev­er get around to watch­ing onto the new iMac I plan on buy­ing first thing next year.

Upgrad­ing the home stereo, too. Thanks to the Wire­cut­ter, we’re going all in with a Pio­neer VSX 1021. I can’t wait to take advan­tage of Air­play like nev­er before and final­ly get some good use out of my beau­ti­ful Axiom Audio speak­ers I bought back when. Can’t wait!

Impor­tant­ly, I need to unplug more. It’s one thing to stream music through the home and anoth­er to be glued to my iPhone. Need to cut down on that and spend more time away from glow­ing screens and non­stop news­feeds. I’m an info junkie through and through, but I need to give my eyes a break and make time for oth­er things.

What are your per­son­al tech res­o­lu­tions for 2012? Any big pur­chas­es on the hori­zon? Ser­vices you’re plan­ning on optimizing?

Taking Ripfest to the Next Level

You know what makes this blog great? It’s always remind­ing me of my short­com­ings. No, not that I post once a month; that I post res­o­lu­tions every year and nev­er ful­fill them.

This year I planned on rip­ping all my CDs to my Mac­Book. Did­n’t hap­pen. It’s tedious, there’s nev­er time, the litany of excus­es goes on and on. That changes next year. 

Why? Because if we’re plan­ning on buy­ing a new home in 2013, I need to shrink my por­tion of dig­i­tal goods con­sid­er­ably. There’s no excuse to not have every­thing loaded onto a com­put­er that can be accessed via home shar­ing. Flip­ping con­tent from com­put­er to oth­er devices in the home is real­ly awe­some and I’m final­ly see­ing that potential.

What does it mean? I need an iMac. While every­one is going small­er — whether that’s iPads or Mac­Book Airs — I’m real­iz­ing that I need a machine that can com­fort­ably store all the CDs and DVDs I own local­ly that I can then access on mobile devices. My Mac­Book just won’t cut it. I want some­thing that can whirr qui­et­ly upstairs and be the clas­sic home com­put­er. I think iMac fits the bill.

Wish me luck in 2012 in get­ting our dig­i­tal life togeth­er! (Do peo­ple still even buy used CDs and DVDs?)

My Issue with Apple

I went to the Apple Store in Cher­ry Hill yes­ter­day morn­ing to get my Mac­book top­case repaired for the third time. I went to the Genius Bar and told the guy that my key­board cracked while they replaced my fried hard dri­ve. I fig­ured they’d hear me out, under­stand that there was some­thing fun­da­men­tal­ly wrong with my com­put­er and replace the unit alto­geth­er. What was there to lose, right? It’s pret­ty much a blank slate since I haven’t uploaded but a hand­ful of pho­tos to it.

Fat chance.

I was told the stock top­case was faulty, but that the sub­se­quent replace­ments were rein­forced. Then why have I been back twice since, I asked. Must’ve been some­thing I did wrong, although the Apple rep was care­ful not to blame me out­right. Sil­ly me. What could I know about a prod­uct that’s been noth­ing but an annoy­ance since I bought it. The cus­tomer is nev­er right, huh?

The fun did­n’t end there. When I asked if he could show me how to sync my iPhone to my repaired Mac­book, he almost laughed. Not only did he tell me that my iPhone looked pret­ty beat­en and bat­tered — I guess that’s what all Apple employ­ees are trained to say about prod­ucts that are a whop­ping two years old — he told me that I would­n’t be able to sync my phone to the new com­put­er with­out restor­ing it to fac­to­ry set­tings. Sweet! You mean I can lose all of my apps? Great!

Need­less to say, it’s a mess, and I’m not sure what recourse I have. I guess this is what I get for jump­ing aboard the Apple band­wag­on just as the com­pa­ny was rock­et­ing into the stratos­phere. Fun­nier still, this nev­er hap­pened to me with all the PCs I’ve owned since 1996.