Meet Apple Music + Subtraction.com

Meet Apple Music + Subtraction.com:

The playlists include a whole bunch of stuff I can’t stand, along with a smattering of albums from acts that I’m okay with but not particularly passionate about

That’s odd, because I’ve found the “For You” section to be almost eerily accurate. I can pretty much close my eyes, click anywhere, and hear a song I like.

I too am curious how much Apple Music uses my thousands of iTunes Match songs and purchase history to guide the recommendations. I almost hope they forget most of it or I’ll be hearing Counting Crows or other bands I used to like but now, well, dislike.

Also the “bubbles” were fun and playful and worked like a charm.

Don’t Touch That Dial — Medium

Dave Pell

Apple’s Beats 1 radio station will be the most popular part of its music service. And it will spawn additional stations. And we’ll realize that while it sometimes pays to follow the technology, it can be just as fulfilling to follow the beaten path. And along that path, if you happen to see a few other heads moving to the same beat, all the better. Rock on.

I think this is exactly right. Everyone seems to want to share everything so why not the shared experience of listening to the same thing at the same time as thousands of other people?

I mostly sit in front of a beautiful 27″ Retina monitor. I’d rather not do anything on my phone.

Tried using Emacs/Gnus for email. Hooked up BBDB and everything. Not gonna happen. Mutt still wins by a mile for me.

Bet there’s a lot of really interesting stuff buried in podcasts I’m never going to listen to because I hate listening to podcasts.

Retired the Extended Keyboard II for now

I’m a little sad that I had to stop using the wonderful Extended Keyboard II due to my recent foray into Emacs and Org Mode. The Caps Lock key on Apple’s keyboard physically locks when pressed so it’s not possible to remap the Caps Lock to Control key. Well, it’s possible, but useless.

S’okay, I pulled the Das Keyboard out of the closet and that’s a pretty great keyboard also.

The Amazon Echo

echo

I’ve had my Amazon Echo for a couple of months now and it’s pretty great. Alexa (her name, because the Echo responds to calling it (her?) “Alexa”) sits in my kitchen and waits for me to ask her things. I ask her things constantly.

She tells me the weather, plays whatever music I want to hear, looks things up on Wikipedia, plays the news, reads me my Audible books, and sets cooking timers.

Note that none of the above involve directly purchasing stuff from Amazon. Well technically, the Audible books are from Amazon and some of the music is via Amazon Prime, but the Echo doesn’t seem to care if I buy anything or not. It’s almost weirdly un-Amazon in that way. In fact I wish she did let me buy stuff.

She does all those things without me having the think about how to make her do them. I just say, “Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes” or “Alexa, play some Rage Against the Machine” or “Alexa, read me ‘Ready Player One'” and she just does it, nearly instantaneously. She understands commands from across the room over music already playing . I don’t even need to yell. It’s all quite remarkable.

I have a Sonos system in my house and plenty of decent gear for listening to music, including a turntable and lots of records. I love all that stuff, but I find myself just saying “Alexa, play my Beastie Boys Pandora station” because it’s effortless, and sounds good enough. Much better than having to grab my phone, open the Sonos app, find the music I want, choose the room, and hit play. So yeah, it’s making me a bit lazy.

I thought using Siri on the Apple Watch would be a great way to do many of these things, but Siri doesn’t work well on the Watch. At all. I’m not going to bother grabbing my phone, either. Not anymore.

 

SCOTUS

It’s been a wild week of significant Supreme Court rulings. As a heterosexual white male with company-provided healthcare I don’t have much skin in the game, as it were, but it feels like we’ve moved things in the right direction for the many who do.

Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.
Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

Oh yeah, there’s still a Tilde.club!

Back in October, 2014 Paul Ford did something amazing and wrote about it: I had a couple drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds

It was the story of tilde.club.

I love the idea of tilde.club-type sites everywhere. I even ran one for a spell. Mr. Ford was kind enough to provide me with an account on the original server. You can find it at tilde.club/~jbaty. I still update it occasionally. It’s comforting having a statically-served1 “~” account on someone else’s server.

I even pop into the local-only IRC channel. There are a few folks still around, but they’re pretty quiet. Still, it’s nice to know they’re there.


  1. The site is generated using Dave Winer’s Fargo