The January-Music Edition Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apple Updates GarageBand For iPad Pro, Intros New Music Memos App, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Apple says that Music Memos was "inspired" by iOS' simple built-in Voice Memos tool, but with a few added features to make it more useful to musicians trying to capture quick song ideas. Like Voice Memos, Music Memos captures sound with your iPhone or iPad's built-in mic, but for guitar and piano music, the software can detect the chords you're playing and add a basic drum-and-bass backing track to give you an idea of how it will sound with fuller instrumentation. You can use tags and star ratings to organize your library of song snippets, add notes to each individual recording, and share them via iCloud to other iDevices and Macs where they can be opened up in GarageBand or Logic Pro.

Hands On With Apple’s New Music Memos For iOS, GarageBand 2.1, by Jim Dlarymple, The Loop

The brilliance of the app is that Apple built-in a drummer and bass into the app. Simply tap on those instruments and you can hear your song idea with a full band. Like Drummer in GarageBand or Logic, you can choose a different type of drummer, go half time, or any number of other options.

Since Music Memos analyzed the audio track you recorded, it follows along with you, even if you sped up or slowed down during the recording.

I Wrote And Published A Song In 30 Minutes With Apple's Music Memos, by Serneity Caldwell, iMore

After only an hour with it, I'm pretty confident that it's going to delight true musicians. But for music dabblers like myself, it might actually spur more regular tune creation than you previously thought possible.

Apple’s New GarageBand For iOS Is An Electronic Musician’s Dream, by Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

Apple launched a huge new update to GarageBand for iOS that has a lot more appeal to novices (like myself) and will undoubtedly be much more popular with electronic musicians thanks to the addition of Audio Units and a new feature for crafting beats.

The real star of the show here is a feature called Live Loops which gives you a brand new way of producing tracks that’s more conducive to the task of building electronic jams. The grid-based interface allows users to highlight different cells to create stellar-sounding samples that you can customize endlessly. What results is a drum machine-style experience that’s kind of a blast to poke around with and is something that I bet you’ll see getting busted out at more parties in the future than you might expect.

Apple Updates Logic Pro X & MainStage 3 Mac Apps With Performance Improvements, New Features, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Logic Pro X now supports a new multithreading threading feature that significantly improves performance when processing multiple live channels. Previewing Apple Loops and performing region edits is also much quicker. 30 plug-ins have also been updated and redesigned to support Retina displays and improve usability. [...] MainStage 3 has been updated with its own share of enhancements. Like Logic Pro, 27 plugins have been enhanced with Retina display support and improved usability. Alchemy has also been significantly enhanced with 11 new spectral effects and Apple Loops support.

Greg Kurstin “Hello” From The Inside, by Apple

For anyone familiar with Kurstin’s track record, his hand in Adele’s repeat success was no surprise. A multi–Grammy Award nominee, Kurstin is known in the industry as an “artist whisperer” who brings out the best in performers like Sia, Beck, Katy Perry, Foster the People, and many more. He does it by bringing a unique set of producing skills to his sessions — world-class ability as an instrumentalist, deep understanding of music and song structure, and a highly effective writing and producing process that runs through Logic Pro X.

Building Apps

Apple To Create First European iOS Development Center, by Rich McCormick, The Verge

Apple is opening a dedicated iOS app Development Center in Italy, the company announced today, offering a curriculum designed to train the next generation of app developers. The center, to be located in Naples, will support teachers and offer a specialized curriculum provided by Apple itself and aims to give students practical skills that will help them make apps for the company's iOS devices. Apple says it also plans to expand this new program to other countries in the future.

Apple Says It Has Helped Create Over A Million European Jobs, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

It is interesting to note the claims on job creation come as European tax authorities continue to consider how much tax the company owes in the region. Apple claims to have helped create well over a million jobs across Europe.

Why Apple

Why Apple Defends Encryption, by Rich Mogull, TidBITS

Now is the time when we get to decide if we have a right to privacy and security, and the limits of our government for the digital age. It won’t happen because of public statements by tech leaders. No, it’s up to us to make our opinions about online privacy and security known to our elected representatives, in order to determine the limits of policing (and protecting) by consent.

Why Apple Assembles In China, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The U.S. can’t compete with China on wages. It can’t compete on the size of the labor force. China has had a decades-long push in its education system to train these workers; the U.S. has not. And the U.S. doesn’t have the facilities or the proximity to the Asian component manufacturers.

Keeping Track

New 'Music Tracker' App Monitors Your Apple Music Library For Changes And Raises Privacy Concerns, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Music Tracker, from developer Ben Dodson, is a new app designed to keep an eye on changes made to the music library on your iOS device. After downloading, the app scans a user's music library and then tracks all changes that are introduced, including new song additions, deletions, and metadata changes to details like the title, artist, album, and genre of owned tracks. Whenever a change is discovered, a notification is sent.

While this is useful for those who like to monitor content and changes made manually to a music library to keep personal logs, it's perhaps best suited to Apple Music subscribers. There are instances where content available through the Apple Music service is deleted or changed due to licensing issues with record labels, and this app will allow users to keep track of potential deletions to replace missing music.


4 Reasons Why You Should Run Your Own Mac Server, And 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't, by Jason Snell, Macworld

I think I’ve had a Mac running as a server in my house continuously for nearly 20 years. Over the years, the hardware has changed—at least four times, so far as I can remember—and the tasks required of it have changed dramatically, too. But despite all that change, the presence of a server in my house has always been useful.

Then again, running a Mac server isn’t for everyone—and these days, network-attached storage (NAS) devices can provide most of the functionality of a computer at a lower cost and reduced complexity. What I’m saying is, it’s complicated.

Launcher With Notification Center Widget Adds More Magic, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

If you regularly use Launcher with Notification Center Widget to perform actions with a tap, then an update today, Jan. 20, giving you more options will make you happy. For making calls, sending emails, opening websites, checking the weather, and much more, quickly and easily, this launcher now gives you more magic items.

Remote Buddy Display: Control Your Mac From Your Apple TV Using The Siri Remote, by Graham Spencer, MacStories

Remote Buddy Display is an app that enables you to wirelessly mirror your Mac onto your TV. What differentiates it from AirPlay Mirroring, built into OS X, is that you can also control your Mac, using just the Apple TV's Siri Remote. Provided you have installed Remote Buddy onto your Mac, you can take control of your Mac via your Apple TV simply by launching the Remote Buddy Display app on your Apple TV.

What makes this compelling is that the touchpad on the Siri Remote actually works incredibly well at moving around your Mac's cursor. Sure, the surface area of the touchpad is a little small, but it's certainly usable – and accurate.

CloudMagic Is The Mac Email App I've Been Waiting For, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

The things that make any writing application successful are consistent and predictable. You prefer clarity over clutter, intuitiveness over irritation, and speed over sluggishness. On each of those sliding scales, CloudMagic’s Mac app veers strongly to the positive side.

Adobe Now Lets You Make Your Voice Heard On Your iPhone, by Aldrin Calimlim, AppAdvice

Adobe Voice (formerly Ginger) helps you create animated video presentations in mere minutes, using story templates or beginning from scratch.

Facebook Sports Stadium Lets You Enjoy Your Favorite Sports With Friends, by Rich Edmonds, iMore

This new feature enables users of the official Facebook app to experience sports in real-time with friends from around the world.


Developer Insight: Ken Case, The Omni Group, by William Gallagher, MacNN

"We've been thinking about and working towards just how to bring more of the power of the desktop to iOS, particularly now that there is the iPad Pro. We're thinking about how do we take advantage of that larger screen. We're thinking about how, if this is Apple's vision of the future of computing, how do we get that future to be as powerful and flexible as what we have currently on our desktops with Macintosh?"

Swift Named Parameters, by Use Your Loaf

The rules for naming parameters in Swift functions and methods have changed for the better over the last few releases but still seem to cause confusion. Here is my quick summary updated for Swift 2.1.

Building A Simple App With The Windows Bridge For iOS, by Nick Gerard, Microsoft

Welcome to the first in a series of hands-on blog posts for the Windows Bridge for iOS. The Windows Bridge for iOS is an open-source project that allows you to create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that can run on Windows 10 devices using iOS APIs and Objective-C code.


iOS Cookie Theft Bug Allowed Hackers To Impersonate Users, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

You Say You Want A Diverse Workforce, by L.V. Anderson, Slate

Let’s say you’re a CEO, and your staff is overwhelmingly white—especially in the upper ranks. You want to make the company more diverse. So you take active steps: You bring in a consultant to conduct diversity training; you require managers to consider performance reviews and tests to prevent them from only promoting their cronies; you add a sentence about diversity to the corporate mission statement and another to the jobs page on the website. You’ve educated your staff, reformed the promotion process, and made your commitment to diversity explicit.

Congratulations! You’ve probably made things worse.

Ordering Food By iPad Leads To Healthier Choice, by MedicalXpress

Imagine you are in a restaurant and you can choose between a healthy fruit salad or a high-calorie chocolate mousse. If you order orally, chances are high that you will go for the high-calorie chocolate mousse. However, if you order a dish via button pressing, for instance, you are more likely to opt for the fruit salad.

Inside Facebook’s Ambitious Plan To Connect The Whole World, by Jessi Hempel, Wired

For Zuckerberg, is more than just a business initiative or a philanthropic endeavor: He considers connecting people to be his life’s work, the legacy for which he hopes to one day be remembered, and this effort is at its core.

Bottom of the Page

I don't believe in after-life. I believe once I am dead, I am dead. There's no longer a self. There's no longer a me to know there is no longer a self. There will be nothing. Free. And void.


Thanks for reading.