The Next iPhone

As soon as the iPhone came out I wondered, “What will be in the next one that will make all the people that have one now upgrade.” There were a few ideas, better camera, better GPS, etc. Obviously adding a video camera to the 3GS was a huge step. It wasn’t enough for me to switch, but it was enough a product change that I considered it. Here are some thoughts about what people want in the iPhone 4.0. So far, it focuses almost entirely on the OS. I’m curious, though, are there any hardware changes that would be especially exciting for you? (OK, OK, besides battery life.)

The Next iPhone

25 Media Maxims from Ken Auletta

Ken Auletta from the New Yorker wrote a book about Google, “Googled: The End of the World as We Know It” and before he published it, he cut the last chapter of 25 media maxims. Click the link above to read the chapter, or see below to see them in cribbed form. You might recognize the first maxim from Steve Jobs’ Stanford graduation address (video below via AllThingsD)

1. “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
2. Passion Wins
3. Focus is Required
4. Vision is Required
5. A Team Culture is Vital
6. Treat Engineers as Kings
7. Treat Customers Like a King
8. Brand Often Means Trust
9. Every Company is a Frenemy
10. The Speed Of Change Accelerates
11. Adapt or Die
12. “Life is long but time is short.”
13. A “Free” Web Is Not Always Free
14. Digital is Different
15. Don’t Think of The Web as Another Distribution Platform
16. Technology Provides Potent New Targeting Tools
17. The Web Forges Communities, and Threatens Privacy
18. Beware The Government Bear
19. Paradox:The Web Forges Both Niche and Large Communities
20. More Media Concentration, Yet More Choice
21. Luck Matters
22. No More Old Media Magic
23. No More New Media Magic, Either
24. Don’t Ignore the Human Factor
25. There are no Certitudes

25 Media Maxims from Ken Auletta

Apple Gives You a New iPhone if Your Old One Breaks

I don’t know what’s more remarkable, how often I’ve heard of the 3G iPhones crapping out because of hardware issues or how easy it is to get a new phone from the Genius Bar at the Apple Store when it does. Seriously, this seems like the hidden story of the 3G phone. My guess is Apple knew very quickly that the 3Gs weren’t ready for primetime and went against about 25 years of corporate policy to make it easy to replace a malfunctioning product. I just got a new one today and I’m psyched!

Apple Gives You a New iPhone if Your Old One Breaks

Best iPhone App?

I love the iPhone. I use mine incessantly. Mostly I use Mail, Safari, Google Apps, and Facebook. Maybe I’m just jaded, but most of the applications on the App store are garbage and don’t do anything terribly exciting. The other morning I downloaded the AccuWeather GPS-enabled iPhone app, though, and wow. This is the weather App for which you’ve been waiting. It uses GPS to give you the temperature at your current location, plus a “feels like” temperature. Plus there’s a radar section , finally. And to top it off a risk bar set up. It’s not perfect, but it’s the most perfect free weather App I’ve found. Also, it’s one of the more useful applications. Anybody have thoughts on other useful applications? Leave them in the comments. (By the way, the working definition for useful is something like “Not a light saber, zippo, or glass of beer.”

+++
Since writing this post a couple weeks ago, I’ve noticed a few quirks in the app that I would change if I was building the BEST iPhone app. If you’re looking at the 5-day forecast and you switch to a day a couple days away, it goes back to today when you toggle between night and day. Also, you can’t view today’s forecast more than a few hours into the future? It would be good if you could hit ‘next’ and move forward. Fact remains, it’s still more useful than all the others and I want to know what you’re using.

+++
Update: Thanks to digiphile in the comments for pointing out my error in leaving out Pandora. I was remiss. I don’t use it much, but that’s a great app. Also, since iTunes started streaming podcasts, I appreciate it even more.

Best iPhone App?

Moving a Time Machine Backup to a Time Capsule

I bought myself a Time Capsule, for a few reasons. Our wireless network at home has been pretty flaky—our AirPort Expresses (AirPorts Express?) seem to drop off the network a lot, and the “AirTunes” feature cuts in and out—and I have this vague hope that a network made up of all Apple hardware will work better. I also like the idea of always-available, wireless network-attached storage, since I’m only pretty good about remembering to hook up the external backup drive, and Rachel never remembers. Now that we’re both running Leopard, Time Machine + Time Capsule seems to add up to painless backups.

The hitch was that I’ve been running Leopard with Time Machine backups on my external LaCie drive for a few months now, and I wanted to move those backups to our shiny new 1 TB drive and maintain that backup history. When I called Apple support (our first Time Capsule was a dud) to ask how one might migrate an existing Time Machine backup from an external hard drive to a new Time Capsule, the nice man put me on hold for fifteen minutes and then came back to say it couldn’t be done.

Puh-leeze.

I know moving Time Machine backups isn’t as simple as just dragging the files from one drive to another. Because of the way the files are stored (Time Machine seems to use hard links to avoid wasting space) a regular file copy would massively inflate the size of your archive, and possibly screw up metadata, too. But surely Apple must have recognized that disks fail, archives grow, and people buy new hardware! There must be a way to move a Time Machine backup.

And there is! I found the solution on the discussion forums for SuperDuper, so that’s the software I used to accomplish the move. It’s possible that Apple’s DiskUtility would do the trick as well, but I didn’t try that. After going through it myself, I thought I’d gather the instructions in one place.

Here’s how to move a Time Machine backup from an external drive to a new Time Capsule:

  1. Hook up the external drive where you store your Time Machine backups, and do one more backup, just to be safe, by choosing “Back Up Now” from the Time Machine menu on the menu bar.
  2. Make sure your computer has a name in System Preferences -> Sharing or else your first Time Capsule backup will fail. This would be annoying later on.
  3. Set up your Time Capsule using the AirPort Utility. When you’re done, you should be able to see the Time Capsule under Shared in the sidebar of a Finder window:
  4. Mount the Time Capsule drive, by selecting the Time Capsule in the sidebar, and then, if necessary, clicking the Connect As… button and entering your Time Capsule password (that you set up in the AirPort Utility).

    You should then see a folder called Data. This represents the internal disk in your Time Capsule.

    Double-click on the folder to open it; it should be empty.
  5. Open the Time Machine preference pane (by choosing Open Time Machine Preferences… from the Time Machine menu) and click Change Disk… Choose your new Time Capsule from the list.
  6. From the Time Machine menu, choose Back Up Now to force Time Machine to start backing up to your Time Capsule. Once it starts whirring along, check out the Finder window that was showing the contents of your Data folder. Very soon you should see a file appear in that window whose name ends with .sparsebundle. Once you see that file, cancel the Time Machine backup—we were only using it to create the sparse bundle file. Once it stops, turn Time Machine off.
  7. Download SuperDuper, which is a pretty nifty backup and disk copying program. The free version is all you’ll need, but if you like it, you might consider buying the full version to support the fine people who made it possible.
  8. Double-click the sparse bundle file that you saw created earlier. This should cause a new drive to mount on your desktop, called Backup of your computer name.
  9. Launch SuperDuper. Set it to Copy your old backup drive to Backup of [your computer name] using Backup – all files. Click the Options… button, and choose Erase backup, then copy.

    Double check that your old backup drive is the source (on the left) and your Time Capsule is the destination (on the right). I mean, seriously. Then, take a deep breath, and push Copy Now.

  10. Go kill some time! This will take a while. My 200 GB of backups took about eight hours, copying from a FireWire 800 drive to a Time Capsule over wired Ethernet.
  11. When it finally finishes, go back into your Time Machine preferences and make sure your Time Capsule is still selected as the backup drive. Now, Enter Time Machine and verify that your backup history is still present. Voila!
  12. At this point, I recommend doing one more Back Up Now just to make sure everything’s working properly. This first backup after the copy will take a long while during the Preparing… phase. I’m not sure why. After that, you should be in business.

Hope this helps someone else!

Moving a Time Machine Backup to a Time Capsule

The Changing of the Music Business

Universal Music Group says that the traditional music business isn’t dying (at least not as much as it seems because the 6% decrease shoots up to a 1% decrease when you account for the strengthening of the dollar against other currencies.

What happened? CD sales are still declining, of course. But Vivendi said the rise of digital music–that means you, Apple (AAPL)–is finally beginning to balance out some of the decline. Digital sales increased 33 percent in the first nine months of the year, the company said.

And then Live Nation has announced that they will begin selling DRM-free MP3s for their artists making LN a one stop shop for everything involving your favorite artist (so long as they are a Live Nation/Music Today band).

Essentially, Live Nation is turning into a microcosm of the music business at large. If you’re a fan of one of its bands, you’re going to spend money on them eventually, whether its a concert ticket, a T-shirt, a CD, fan club access to exclusive “VIP” content, an MP3 from an artist page or whatever. And when you do, Live Nation will be there to take a slice of the pie — a savvy business strategy when no one knows for sure where the bulk of music revenue is going to come from.

This touches on something I got from Kevin Kelly’s True Fan thoughts from several months ago. Musicians don’t need record labels to do most of the stuff for which they used to need record labels. They don’t need large advances to record in expensive studios (they can record in Garage Band). They don’t need help with distribution (they can upload their music themselves to iTunes and social networking sites). And they don’t necessarily need marketing help (they can use Facebook and MySpace to organize street teams, directly target their fans, and create and manage a community that increases a fan’s passion for the band).

Many savvy bands will be able to manage all of this (the community especially) themselves, but many also won’t or will not want to. I think this is going be where music businesses of the 21st century make their money. The record label dinosaurs can stick to their business model, or they can adapt to offer community management services from which they may once again become prosperous.

I’ve always been envious of Music Today as someone who used to work for a band (and I’m still sending out CDs twice a month! How’s that for long tail?). They figured out that it’s mostly impossible to make any money offering services to bands because band’s don’t usually have any money. The way to make money off of bands is off of their fans. That will always be true.

The Changing of the Music Business