The Playing-by-its-Lonesome Edition Saturday, January 21, 2023

Apple’s New HomePod Unsurprisingly Sounds Close To The Original, by Chris Welch, The Verge

I had a brief amount of listening time with Apple’s second-generation HomePod speaker this morning. There were numerous demos of its capabilities, but I’m only permitted to share details with you on what I heard in one specific room. While there, I heard a new HomePod playing by its lonesome and also got to sample the sound quality of two units grouped as a stereo pair, which produces a much wider soundstage.


But even if the guts have changed some, the new HomePod still... very much sounded like a HomePod during Apple’s music demos. Like its predecessor, the second-gen speaker exhibited a nice richness, multidirectional room-filling sound, and an emphasis on high-end clarity and detail. When used solo, it’ll likely rank in the upper tier of smart speakers with products like Amazon’s Echo Studio and Sonos speakers.

I Listened To Music On The HomePod 2 And Was Totally Blown Away, by Lance Ulanoff, TechRadar

Because of the HomePod 2’s design, you could expect 360-degree audio, but that simplistic term is misleading. Based on my listening experience, the HomePod 2 uses its wrap-around audio skills, and the technology backing it, to create an impressive, and immersive, audio landscape.

Apple Confirms The M2 Max Actually Is Twice As Fast As The M2 Pro, by Michael Simon, Macworld

When the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros landed earlier this week, there was some confusion on the spec sheet regarding the number of encoding engines on the M2 Max. Apple has cleared things up—the M2 Max processor has the same media engine as the M1 Max.


Timothee Chalamet Feels Left Out Of Apple TV+ In New Ad, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

Chasing down a similar theme to "Everyone but Jon Hamm," a new Apple TV+ ad called "Call Me" features Timothee Chalamet feeling left out of Apple's success. The short ad shows him viewing Apple TV+ content at different moments, thinking out loud about how he'd be able to perform each role.

Audio Hijack 4.1, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The release brings a “greatly enhanced” Session List window that works more like a familiar Finder window, plus an improved Global window that optionally lives in the menu bar.

Belkin Wireless Magnetic Charging Stand Review: Minimalistic, Gets The Job Done, by Nathaniel Pangaro, AppleInsider

The Belkin Wireless Magnetic Charging Stand is a great charging stand that offers a light and minimalistic design in either black or white. The long and sturdy power cable behind it offers a wide range of areas for you to place the charging stand to your desire.


Layoffs In Some Of Apple's Retail Channels Have Begun, by Andrew Orr, AppleInsider

AppleInsider has learned that Apple has started to lay off non-seasonal employees in its retail channel outside of Apple Stores.

The layoff news was first disclosed from an email to AppleInsider. The email — which we have since verified through other sources — says that some Apple retail channel employees who work in places like Best Buy stores have received a thirty-day notice about their rights as it pertains to a layoff.

Tech Layoffs Shock Young Workers. The Older People? Not So Much., by Tripp Mickle, New York Times

“Once you experience your first crash, things change,” Professor Nagel said. “You realize bad stuff happens and maybe you should be a bit more cautious.”

For Gen X, the dot-com collapse hit early in their careers. From 2001 to 2005, the tech sector shed a quarter of its workers, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by CompTIA, a technology education and research organization.

Bottom of the Page

It is common, and very difficult to prevent, that people will interrupt one another in a conversation, especially if the conversation is conducted over Zoom.

But, in a podcast, for goodness sake, please do some editing to make listening to the conversation more pleasant.


Thanks for reading.