Trading Places

My wife and I swapped iPads.

She had an iPad 2. I had an iPad mini. Same hardware, different sizes. I didn’t use the mini much because it was too small to enjoy some of the work (and play) I enjoy. She used the larger iPad constantly, but found it hard to tote around. Now, she has the portability that helps her and I have the larger size that I craved.

We should have done it a long time ago.

iCloud backup and restore

Swapping was a cinch.

We both manually initiated a backup to iCloud before we erased and deleted the contents of each iPad. This reset them to act as if they were brand new. “Hello. Welcome to iPad.” All that remained was logging into our respective iCloud accounts, plugging in the devices, and waiting for everything to download.

The exchange took about two hours to complete, though they were only rendered unusable for about 15 minutes during the delete and reset. The experience was nearly flawless. Now, she can easily carry the iPad mini in her purse and I can happily write in Ulysses for iPad.

Head in the Clouds

In a world where we are able to look up or around us and be completely awestruck by the surrounding beauty, I wonder why we stare at screens so much or sometimes dwell on petty matters. Just let go and live!

Live from Walmart

Standing in line at the deli waiting to get deep-fried chicken tenders for lunch thinking why not publish a blog now? It’s not like it’s the 1990s and I have to be tethered to a desk to publish something online.

Today is my wife’s birthday. I keep thinking she will catch up with me, but she never does. Don’t worry about the chicken fingers. Plan to cook her something special for supper tonight.

One Day at a Time

Because quitting addiction cold turkey can be overwhelming, counselors encourage those who struggle to take it one day at a time.

Quitting isn’t my problem today. Starting is my challenge. Though I am going against the grain to start an addition, the same advice applies.

“Every day? Maybe several times a day?! I can’t do it!”

Yes I can. I just need to take it one day at a time. If I can write one short thing today, I’ve met my goal. When I don’t post something, wallowing in anxiety doesn’t make it better; it probably makes it worse. I should just shake it off and do a better job the next day.

Cobwebs are the only thing connecting this blog to the web. Returning to a daily writing habit seems overwhelming, but I met my goal today. So far, I have doubled it! I hope to do as well tomorrow, but the world won’t end if I don’t. I’ll just try to write again the next day.

(Which) Music to My Ears

Spoiler: Apple Music wins

Rdio was my jam for a couple of years. A couple of months ago, Spotify offered a cheap deal and I gave it a shot. Now, Apple Music has bebopped into the mix. All three have deep catalogs to fuel a music marathon running in any direction.

Rdio is my favorite of the three, but probably won’t win back the top spot on my devices. The music service does social better than its competition. The app itself wins for its ability to control other versions of the app. By that I mean if a song is playing on my Mac, users can pause or change tracks from their iPhone and iPad or switch to play the track on their mobile device. Discovery is also pretty great. Search for your favorite artists and play a channel of that artist and others like them.

Spotify is more popular than Rdio, at least it seems to have more users. Maybe it’s because I cut my teeth on Rdio, but Spotify’s interface seems confusing to me. The playlists matched to activity is kind of neat, but it isn’t the first one to offer that feature. Songsta has done that for a while, and a new player in the field prominently shares the same sorts of playlists.

Apple Music also offers activity playlists and boasts human curation. It’s also the only service with anything like the DJ-curated Beats 1 Radio.1 “Worldwide. Always on.” Curation by real people rather than algorithms is intriguing and helpful. Apple Connect is a huge improvement over the fruit company’s social flop by serving a different purpose than Ping—connecting artists to fans, not fans to fans. I’m still not sure how that will shake out, but so far so good in my opinion. I’ve found some good stuff in Apple Connect. The “For You” tab in Apple Music is another pro. Some of the playlists here have been perfect for me. Again, these are said to be arranged by real human beings who put thought into these lists like the cassette mixtapes of lore.

The problem with Apple Music, at least on the desktop, is that it is still a part of the monstrous digital hub that is iTunes, Apple’s answer to syncing, streaming, and managing apps, devices, podcasts, videos, movies, voice notes, TV shows, iTunes U, and more. There is a lot to deal with, both on OS X and iOS, so it’s confusing at first. I’m willing to learn.

Even with its warts and pain of the birthing process, the curation and deep roots in my digital ecosystem mean Apple Music is going to be my new jam.

  1. Don’t slip up and just call it Beats One. I hope the “online electronic and dance music radio station based in Calgary, Alberta” is taking advantage of any confusion.