Loopback 1.1.2 Released. Full MacOS 10.12 Support and More

Loopback is an audio routing app which has been both a blessing and curse for me in my podcasting world. Think of loop back as a virtual mixer where audio sources can be passed into and out of into applications. With it’s latest release Loopback has become even more awesome.

Loopback 1.1.2 includes an important bug fixes for users with nested Loopback devices, as well as other small improvements.

Loopback 1.1 brought a slew of new features and improvements.

Continue reading → Loopback 1.1.2 Released. Full MacOS 10.12 Support and More

Ferrite Recording Studio Updates – Extract audio from Video and more bitrate exporting options.

Ferrite is perhaps the best way to record, edit and publish a podcast right from your iOS device and I make no secret of my liking for Ferrite. I’ve used it more than once to edit the Essential Apple podcast and recently did a whole show on the topic of producing a podcast just using an iPad (Ep 17: Nothing more than an iPhone). A new update is out with new features exclusively for paying customers and general free updates.

Continue reading → Ferrite Recording Studio Updates – Extract audio from Video and more bitrate exporting options.

EE to Offer 6 Months Of Apple Music To New And Upgrading Customers

Apple and UK mobile phone giant EE have stuck a deal to offer 6 months of Apple music free to new or upgrading users to the EE mobile network. People familiar with the matter have reported that the CEO of EE flew out to Cupertino to get the deal done.

At the time of writing an EE store employee, who for obvious reasons wanted to anonymous, reported that front line staff are already being briefed on the deal which will be completely seperate from Apple’s 3 month trial.

The 6 months free Apple music offer is due to roll out soon and what better timing with the Apple Music Festival at the RoundHouse London coming up on September 18 – 30.

6 months of Apple free Apple music dwarfs any free trail offeres from rivals Spotify and Pandora who offer free premium service trails for up to 60 days if you Google around and with EE having pretty decent 4G coverage and speeds around the UK buffering shouldn’t be too much of an issue but of course keep an eye on your data limits.

This deal follows hot on another deal where customers can get  6 months free BT sport.

Find out more on the EE.co.uk website about six free months of Apple music.

EE to Offer 6 Months Of Apple Music To New And Upgrading Customers

Apple and UK mobile phone giant EE have stuck a deal to offer 6 months of Apple music free to new or upgrading users to the EE mobile network. People familiar with the matter have reported that the CEO of EE flew out to Cupertino to get the deal done.

At the time of writing an EE store employee, who for obvious reasons wanted to anonymous, reported that front line staff are already being briefed on the deal which will be completely seperate from Apple’s 3 month trial.

The 6 months free Apple music offer is due to roll out soon and what better timing with the Apple Music Festival at the RoundHouse London coming up on September 18 – 30.

6 months of Apple free Apple music dwarfs any free trail offeres from rivals Spotify and Pandora who offer free premium service trails for up to 60 days if you Google around and with EE having pretty decent 4G coverage and speeds around the UK buffering shouldn’t be too much of an issue but of course keep an eye on your data limits.

This deal follows hot on another deal where customers can get  6 months free BT sport.

Find out more on the EE.co.uk website about six free months of Apple music.

Bring Back The Best Games Of YesterYear With Retro Gaming On Your Mac.

Gaming on the Mac is a strange beast. Take a look at some top tier games and you’ll find an array of information telling you what isn’t compatible, rather than what will work. I’m looking at you X-Com 2. Running a system a couple of years old will stand you in good stead especially since Apple hasn’t updated some product lines in over 300 days, but even then if you don’t have the top of the line model you may be struggling with some of the most demanding  games.

But what if your kit is like mine, perfectly adequate for day to day use it still runs the latest Mac OS betas fine but getting your game on isn’t going to happen and funds don’t permit purchasing of a new shiny? There’s retro gaming.

Retro Gaming has seen an incredible resurgence recently even more so as the process of gaming in the yesteryear era is now substantially easier.  Before emulation / retro gaming could be a complete hassle. Previously it was a case of finding an emulator, finding a ROM to boot the emulator[1], configuring the emulator and then finding the ROM for the game you wanted to play. Depending on the game, you may have to tweak the emulation experience and then, finally, you’re  up and running (hopefully).

However there is an easier way thanks to the excellent website GamesNostalgia All of the pain has been removed of configuration leaving you to just search for a game, download and run. That really is all that’s needed and I should know as I’ve wasted more than a few weekends rolling back the years with Speedball 2 or just one more match on Sensible World Of Soccer.

Thousands of games are available from a huge range of old console and computer formats such as Amiga, C64, Spectrum,  Megadrive, SNES, Atari, Coleco, Gameboy… The list goes on and on, each game running near flawlessly on all my aging kit, including my 2009 MacBook Pro and my i7 iMac with a huge amount of ram powered by a weedy Intel HD graphics card.

Running retro games on a big screen did make me feel all nostalgic and for the brief moment I considered trying to work out how I might find a CRT and connect that up just so it would look fuzzier for the full old school gaming vibe.

Granted the experience hasn’t been perfect for a couple of reasons. Back in the day designers worked with the limitations of CRT screens. Back in those days colours would bleed together and on today’s LCD screens it looks almost jarringly sharp but that doesn’t detract from a horrendous level of addictiveness of some games. Also I don’t own a microswitched competition pro joystick or being a bit more up to date an Xbox controller, which is easily configured to work on the Mac, and has now been ordered from Amazon[2].

So if you want to game on your older equipment and you don’t fancy playing an iOS version of some games via airplay onto your TV go check out GamesNostalgia

[1] Not all emulators need this but the interesting ones like Dolphin and Playstation do.  
[2] All the Amazon links here use our affiliate code. It would be great if you used them when shopping at Amazon.

Rumours and Rumours and Rumours, Oh My!

With only a few weeks remaining until Apple reveals the new hardware it has been working on the tech press is naturally filled with rumours. The audio jack will be removed, dual cameras, OLED screen bars and countless other supposed rumours and hearsay that ‘people familiar with the matter’ or ‘unnamed sources’ seem more than willing to share.

Now I realise that these sites have to meet their daily post quotas and usually any attention grabbing headline with the word Apple in it is bound to generate some interest, be it positive or negative, but things appear to be getting out of hand this cycle.

There have not only been the usual rumours but now it seems a fresh cry has joined the chorus. That being that this year’s iPhone will be so lacklustre in new features that you’ll most probably be better off waiting until 2017 before upgrading.

What appears to be the main reason for this? Well, it relates to the fact that next year is the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and some believe Apple will really push the boat out for that model and load it with countless technological treats that we can only gawp at in wonder from way back here in boring old 2016. For some even the 2017 model is not good enough and it’s the 2018 model that we’ll ‘really’ want.

Now I want to give these publications the benefit of the doubt and trust their opinions are shared in the best interests of us mere consumers, however, I can’t help but feel a little cynical when I read these articles. I understand Apple has its detractors and I can see why some of the choices it makes can infuriate users and commentators, not to mention bewilder the competition and analysts alike. But to believe that Apple’s flagship device, the device that earns the most every financial quarter, would be allowed to lapse and lay stagnant for twelve, or even more ridiculous, twenty-four months is almost laughable.

These devices that we use are not rushed and pieced together a few months before launch. They are worked on for years. In an interview Jony Ive has discussed how as Apple was preparing to launch the iPhone 4 his team was already working though the form factors for the iPhone 6.

Apple is a long term company, especially when it comes to hardware. They are in the enviable position that they do not need to rush to market. Whereas other technology companies may release a number of different devices throughout the year and hope the sales are significant enough to earn a profit, Apple, until recently with the iPhoneSE, releases one model (albeit in two different sizes) but they still need it to be a successful in real terms. They need to make this one phone the best they can because they will not be able to correct it for another 12 months following the launch. They also have to build enough units to satisfy the enormous demand, a daunting logistical nightmare that they usually handle competently.

I have no real clue what Apple will announce this coming September, and from the looks of it neither do most of the tech press. This is not their fault as Apple is one of the most secretive companies around, something that is not surprising seeing how many of their designs are copied shorty after launch.

As a result it is no wonder the tech sites and press scramble for every morsel of information, no matter how outlandish, how brazen or, ironically, how predictable (it will be thinner and faster). Fortunately Apple will soon reveal their new devices and there will be a few glorious hours when rumours will take a backseat to actual facts. So once Tim Cook takes to the stage next month enjoy that brief respite, as it will only be a few days, I’m sure, until we’ll start hearing about the iPhone 7S or iPhone 8… and apparently this one will read your mind, an ‘informed source’ tells me.

Hey-Siri.io: A Comprehensive Guide On Talking To Siri.

Sometimes dealing with Siri is great, never missing a beat. Other times a drawn-out, knock-down battle rages, just to get the simplest thing done with Siri. How many times has Siri asked you a question to which you answer with a simple “no” only to be rewarded with “sorry I don’t understand”?

Most people will know the basics “call someone”, “Facetime audio someone”, “tell Karl I’m going to be late for the Podcast” but what if you want to delve deeper? To use the virtual assistants full selection of commands. As per the apparent standard from the Cupertino giant, there is no guide. Apple seem to want you to work it out for yourself. However, help is finally here.

  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/57a1d464ebbd1a60b5e80793/1470223461340/image.jpg" alt=""/>

Meet Hey-Siri.io an incredibly useful site letting you browse every command supported by Siri in Apple’s apps. Over 433 commands are documented with 1000 variations ready for your perusal.

The Hey-Siri.io is very Apple-like in design, plenty of white space, easy to read text with a search facility and you can just choose a command you want to find out more about. I wasn’t aware that “I’m Home” existed.

As great as this resource is, the creators are seeking suggestions and feedback to make Hey-Siri.io even better. Here’s hoping for an even bigger update when Siri drops on the Mac later this year.

Hey-Siri.io: A Comprehensive Guide On Talking To Siri.

Sometimes dealing with Siri is great, never missing a beat. Other times a drawn-out, knock-down battle rages, just to get the simplest thing done with Siri. How many times has Siri asked you a question to which you answer with a simple “no” only to be rewarded with “sorry I don’t understand”?

Most people will know the basics “call someone”, “Facetime audio someone”, “tell Karl I’m going to be late for the Podcast” but what if you want to delve deeper? To use the virtual assistants full selection of commands. As per the apparent standard from the Cupertino giant, there is no guide. Apple seem to want you to work it out for yourself. However, help is finally here.

  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/57a1d464ebbd1a60b5e80793/1470223461340/image.jpg" alt=""/>

Meet Hey-Siri.io an incredibly useful site letting you browse every command supported by Siri in Apple’s apps. Over 433 commands are documented with 1000 variations ready for your perusal.

The Hey-Siri.io is very Apple-like in design, plenty of white space, easy to read text with a search facility and you can just choose a command you want to find out more about. I wasn’t aware that “I’m Home” existed.

As great as this resource is, the creators are seeking suggestions and feedback to make Hey-Siri.io even better. Here’s hoping for an even bigger update when Siri drops on the Mac later this year.

How to stop iTunes opening when you plug in your iPhone / iPad

iTunes opening when you attached your device is handy to start with but soon becomes an annoyance. iTunes pops up, invariably there will be a dialogue box of some sort when all you wan to do is give your device a quick charge.

iTunes has changed how you stop it launching  when a device is plugged in, before you would open iTunes, select your device, go to the Summary tab and unselect Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected. With iTunes 12.4.2.4 that option has moved.

How to stop iTunes running when plugging in your device.

  1. Open iTunes (or just plug your device in).
  2. Goto preferences
  3. Click devices
  4. Un tick Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from synching automatically.
  <img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/57388caab09f95c3fbe348ae/5738974dc2ea512278cd96c8/579c84b137c581f948fbd333/1469875421641//img.png" alt=""/>

and you’re done. The only thing to bear in mind is that now you’ll need to run iTunes manually if you keep your backups on your system.