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Posts Tagged ‘ iTunes ’

Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Windows UI

Years ago, various regulators tore strips and billions of pounds from Microsoft for bundling applications with its operating system. Today, Windows software is plagued with a far more serious bundling problem that nobody seems to want to do anything about: bundling crapware.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to download any kind of free software without the installer trying to sneak some other piece of junk on to your system. Installers have become almost a puzzle game within themselves, in which the user tries to figure out the consequences of pressing a button.

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Seven devices my iPhone and iPad have made redundant

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

iPad 3 portrait

“You’re never off that bloody iPhone,” is a common remark in our household. And it’s true. A survey this week claimed that we check our smartphones 150 times a day, and is it any wonder when they do so much for us?

Between them, my iPhone and iPad have made at least half a dozen other devices redundant, taking on all manner of tasks and often doing a better job. Maggie Thatcher would be proud of them.

Here, then, is a rundown of the things my iPad/iPhone combo has lain waste to. While this blog focuses on Apple devices and apps there’s no reason why a combination of Android/Windows phone and tablet couldn’t do likewise: most of the apps mentioned are cross-platform or have equally competent equivalents.

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Four ways to get PC Pro every month

Friday, November 9th, 2012

PC Pro 221

At the risk of sounding like a Stephen Fry voice-over, it’s never been easier to get your hands on PC Pro every month. We now have four different ways to pick up the magazine in either print or digital form, and to help you decide which suits you best, I’m going to run through the options here.

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Apple iPod nano review: first look

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Apple iPod nano

The new iPod nano got a bit lost among the larger devices launched by Apple on Wednesday, but it’s actually the most dramatic redesign of the three. Whether the small touchscreen of the old model was deemed too fiddly, or Apple just fancied doing something different, the new nano now has a 2.5in multitouch display that occupies most of the length of the device – all but for a new Home button at one end.

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Apple iPod Touch review: first look

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012


Apple iPod Touch 5th gen

The attention is all on the iPhone 5, but the new iPods deserve some love too. The new iPod Touch is lengthened just like the iPhone, and in fact uses the exact same screen, which means it’s 4in across and has a resolution of 1,136 x 640. And it’s bright. Very bright.

The Touch is thin and very light, with a curvier look and feel than the iPhone 5. (more…)

Apple Podcasts app for iPhone review

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Apple Podcasts for iOS

You may have missed it earlier this week, but without fanfare Apple has pushed out a new Podcasts app. You can find at the top of the App Store, as well as in the Podcasts section of iTunes.

There’s no doubt that the cluttered, frustrating podcast interface of the existing iTunes app reflects a time when podcasts weren’t such a big industry as they are today. A redesign has long been needed, and rather than doing that within iTunes – where the same old podcast section remains in place – Apple has opted to produce a standalone podcast app for those who want it. (more…)

The all-new PC Pro Real World Benchmarks

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

PC ProIt’s our mission to bring you the most accurate and informative reviews on the market. That’s why we’ve updated our benchmarks to reflect the way real people use computers today.

Our new tests don’t rely on synthetic measures: we use real, current applications such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Photoshop CS5, as well as a completely new set of responsiveness tests, to get an all-round picture of a PC’s performance.

That means the benchmark scores you’ll see from this day on are not directly comparable with older scores, but they give the best ever insight into exactly what each system can do for you.

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The Beatles on iTunes: we can’t work it out

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Beatles on iTunesSo The Beatles have finally released their back catalogue on iTunes. Whoopi-do. Can we get on with the rest of our lives now?

To a man (and woman) in the PC Pro office, none of us can work out why anyone would want to buy the albums off iTunes, let alone the £125 Beatles Box that wraps up all 16 of the albums plus a selection of questionable extras.

For starters, you’re far better off buying the albums on CD – presuming you haven’t already. Take for example the The Beatles 1967-1970 (The Blue Album) is £17.99 to download in iTunes’ 256Kbits/sec AAC format, while the double-CD version of the very same album is half the price on Play.com. And that’s in a completely lossless format, that arrives with its very own backup media (ie. the CD) and sleeve notes.

The only possible reason for buying the album off iTunes instead of Play is the convenience and unbeatable speed of delivery: but is anyone really in that much of a hurry to download albums that have been out for 40 years or more?

And what about the nutcases who want to own the first ever digital release made by The Beatles for the sake of it? Well, I’m sorry. You’re too late. The Beatles released a delightful little apple-shaped USB stick that contained the remastered audio from all 14 of the band’s stereo albums – in both 24-bit FLAC 44.1Khz and MP3 320Kbits/sec formats – last year.  Sure it cost £200, but that has more keepsake value than a bunch of AAC files downloaded from iTunes.

So, please tell us, why does Apple think this is a day none of us will ever forget?

Low prices can break the illegal download habit

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Appetite For Self-Destruction

Last month I came across one of the most interesting books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time: Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age by Steve Knopper.

As well as a riveting account of changes in the music industry over the past several decades, it tells the story of the birth of Napster, the rise of peer-to-peer downloading, and the terrible choices the industry has made that have directly led to the situation we find ourselves in today.

The sheer scale of the head-into-sand plunging that evidently went on in industry boardrooms until very recently – and still does in some – is astounding, and it’s hard to feel sympathy for the fat cats who are now seeing their bottom lines being squeezed by punters with more technological nous than they. The plight of the artists themselves, and the music they make and we enjoy, is a different matter entirely – one which the book seeks to address.

But Knopper’s not looking at ways of preventing illegal downloads. He’s more interested in how the industry can make legally downloading a song a better experience than taking the free alternative route. It’s an obvious point, but in my opinion Apple’s recent stranglehold over the digital music market and its rigid pricing (not to mention the appalling design of iTunes) were standing firmly in the way of that ever happening. To this end, even though I use my iPhone as my primary music player, I’ve never purchased a track from Apple.

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Palm should leave Apple alone

Monday, October 5th, 2009

palmI challenge you to name something – anything – more ludicrous than the war of attrition being waged by Palm against Apple.

I realise that looks the wrong way round. Palm is the smaller company. The weedy David to Apple’s giant Goliath. But each time the chance to go to war with a company several times its size has been presented, Palm has reached for it with both hands like a 19-stone man lunging for cake.

I’m talking, in case you’re not following the smartphone market as closely as you should, about Palm’s moronic battle to keep the Pre compatible with iTunes.

(more…)

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