Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Apple iMessages for OS X Download

  • at June 15, 2012
  • by Kroy
  • in apple
Comments Off on Apple iMessages for OS X Download

Apple just pulled the Messages Beta app for Mac OS X from its site. But fear not, you can download Messages Beta here.

Just a warning though: Apple is rumored to be actively disabling existing iMessage beta installs for current Mac OS  users. Launch day for Apple’s newest OS X version, Mountain Lion, is still a few weeks out though, so why not enjoy free iMessages between iPhones, iPads and fellow beta app users on the desktop until then?

Personal notes: not the prettiest app in the arsenal, but sending iMessages to iPhones/iPads for free, and being able to pick up a conversation from your other Apple devices at any time is sweet. Good job, Apple!


Download the iMessage Beta .dmg file here


Download the .zip file here


Image borrowed from

Comments Off on Get The Big Boy Final Cut Studio Before It’s Gone

Final Cut Pro X not cutting it for you? Need to open up legacy projects? Want to edit like a fucking professional again? Why, get your dialin’ fingers read: Apple has a limited quantity of Final Cut Studio (the previous version. The one that rocks) available via its phone sales department.  It’s like $999 or thereabouts. Part number MB642Z/A.

Apple telesales phone number: 800-MY-APPLE

Or switch to Avid or Premiere Pro. They’ll be around a while. Your call.

HP’s Real Reason for Bailing Out

Comments Off on HP’s Real Reason for Bailing Out

So HP is contemplating getting out of the consumer PC business. Now, HP is HUGE in the computer biz. That’s like Pepsi saying they’re getting out of the soft drink business. But HP should stop making consumer products.

HP blamed low profit margins and declining consumer PC sales on a supposed consumer preference shift to tablets. They make it sound as if everyone on the planet is ditching their laptops and desktops and is using an iPad now instead.

That’s interesting because according to IDC,  tablet sales are actually down by almost 30% in Q1 of 2011. Apple is selling Macbooks and Macbook Air and iMacs (read: full-size computers) just fine. On the Windows side, Dell is doing quite well, too. Also, if tablets are the lone wave of the future, why did HP announce that they would get rid of Palm OS – and all their tablets and mobile devices? Does he think the iPad (iOS) is the only thing people want? I think it’s HP that’s the problem, not tablets.

Fact is, Read the rest of this entry »

Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Comments Off on Are Mac Users Dumber Than The Rest?

Among my clients sites, around 13% of all visitors and members are on a Mac. Yet an estimated 30% or more of all their tech/customer support requests come from Mac users. For some odd reason they seem to forget their passwords and mistype their user names (that they picked themselves…) more often than the rest.

This post’s headline is click bait. Using the Mac vs. PC debate and throwing an accusatory , divisive tone at it is a favorite among tech writers. In fact there is a recent article that discusses scientific findings of how Internet Explorer users are the “dumbest” of ’em all. Expectedly this gets high search engine rankings and lots of inflamed comments.

But in this case I actually do think there’s something to it – numbers don’t lie. Anyone have a similar experience?

Disclosure: we use Macs, PCs, iOS devices, Android devices, (rarely) Linux, and all major browsers. We use what works best for the task at hand.

Is The Beta Mindset Killing Business?

Comments Off on Is The Beta Mindset Killing Business?

Beta is fine. I love stuff that’s almost done but may still have some minor kinks to work out, as long as I get to test drive it free and can be sure us beta testers can provide feedback that actually gets acted upon. Windows 7’s beta was pretty fab.

This Beta Mindset has become an ugly trend

It’s one thing for Mozilla to release a free Firefox beta to play around with. But releasing some half baked crap that *should* be called beta but instead selling it at full price to the masses while pretending everything is a-ok, is just bad business. Beta used to be for the nerds, the ones that are cool with messing around with stuff that’s not ready. But now it seems everything is released in beta. But whether you actually call it beta or not doesn’t matter though.Things need to work, or it’s in beta.

This goes for electronics, phones, operating systems, software, web sites, content...Everything.

Often times “beta” really just means half-assed.

When a electronics manufacturer, or software firm, or a services firm, or a web site hypes and sells something they damn well know is not ready for prime time, that’s a form of the Beta Mindset.

Apple does well in part because it does not have a Beta Mindset. When they release hardware or software, it works. If there’s a limitation (Flash, anyone?), Apple doesn’t hide that fact. When you buy an Apple product you normally know very well what you’re getting in to.

And this coming from someone who isn’t exactly an Apple fanboy. But considering the utter junk many firms are pushing out these days, I’m starting to become one.


Comments Off on Light Peak Thunderbolt on Macbook Pro – Why?

I’ve been excited about Intel’s Light Peak (now named Thunderbolt) development since reading about it some time ago. This transfer technology provides up to 10Gbps of transfer speed (dual channel!) which, needless to say beats the pants off even USB 3.0.

You can connect several Light Peak enabled devices at the same time (daisy chaining), and it hooks up to monitors with DisplayPort. Yeah it’s a bit weird to visualize this, so for a better demo check out Engadget’s great write-ups on this technology.

In one stunning example, Engadget demonstrates playing 4 simultaneous streams of 1080p footage pulled from an attached RAID enclosure, while streaming everything back real time to the DisplayPort based monitor in real time. Very cool stuff.

However I find Thunderbolt’s debut device to be a rather odd choice: the newly released Apple Macbook Pro. This transfer technology is so powerful, most consumers won’t have a need for this for now, but folks such as professional editors are going to benefit from it. If you have a bunch of RED files you have to work with, Light Peak  Thunderbolt is going to be a godsend (provided you have the RAID setups necessary as well, otherwise there’s no point in using Thunderbolt since just a regular ol’ hard drive or two can’t saturate these speeds anyhow.)

But how many professional editors – the kind that actually works with footage that requires these kinds of transfer speeds – do their regular work on a Macbook Pro? Sure, the occasional rough cut (maybe even while still on set) I can see. But as a regular start-to-finish HD workflow? I mean, it’s cool you can hook up those RAID enclosures (hopefully more devices soon) as well as your DisplayPort-based monitor, but that still leaves the fact that the MBP’s processors might just not be powerful enough to comfortably edit (and by that I include color correction, and other processor heavy manipulation) the kind of footage that would justify using Thunderbolt technology. From my own experience and from what I gather from Final Cut Pro/MBP users online, editing those big league HD files just isn’t fun on a Macbook Pro. So really, who is Thunderbolt for then? Bragging rights?

It would have been beyond awesome if Adobe CS5’s Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) could be used on those new Macbook Pros – but ya can’t. Apple ditched NVIDIA and uses ATI (okay, now AMD) graphic cards now..which don’t work with MPE at all. Of course MPE didn’t work with the previous Macbook Pro models either because of the type of mobile GPUs used, but at least one could’ve hoped Adobe (or a clever hacker) would find a way to make those mobile GPUs work with MPE.  Now that’s just not going to happen with AMD. So Final Cut Pro it is.

I would have loved to see Intel work with Apple and other partners to put Light Peak into proper workstations first. Or heck, even just offer motherboards with this technology. I hope this is coming soon.

So let’s hear it – you full time Final Cut Pro users, how many of you are doing all your work on a Macbook Pro? Do you think Thunderbolt is going change your life (provided you run out and buy them new MBPs, and those RAID enclosures), or are you going to wait until this technology gets into real workstations?

The Future of Web Video – WebM


Fellow video professionals, the web has a new standard for videos. Learn about it because it’ll become a major player in your life. The standard is called WebM.

This may come as a positive surprise to those who have been watching the Apple-Adobe-Flash feud closely.

If you recall, one of the issues with videos on the web is that there really is no single format standard. Flash is about as close to a standard as can be, but with the Apple-gadget eco system refusing to work with it, a big chunk of the web is just not available to iPod/iPhone/iPad owners. H.264 is what Apple and cohorts want to replace Flash with on HTML5 based sites, except there are some major problems with that.

Now imagine a video standard that can be played on HTML5 web sites, but will also work through Flash if so desired, and will be supported by Firefox, Opera, and Chrome almost immediately, with the other browser guys presumably to follow shortly as well. Now imagine this format to look about as good as H.264 video, except it’s free and there are no licensing issues to deal with. Ever.

That’s WebM.

WebM will utilize the VP8 codec, which is a codec developed by the company On2. On2 created the ubiquitous VP6 codec (used a lot in videos encoded to Flash) and was bought by Google a while ago. Now Google has announced it will release this codec for free. That by itself is great news but the juicy part is this:

VP8 (video) will be combined with the Vorbis audio codec and the Matroska container format to create this new web standard, WebM. You’ll notice that all these codecs are free. If you worked with these codecs you’ll also notice that the quality is excellent.

Google also announced that it will begin converting all YouTube videos to this new WebM format going forward. Brightcove is about to do the same. So the largest video site on the planet is moving ahead with this codec. WebM is backed by Google, Mozilla, and a growing number of other big guys. Yes, WebM will be the new web standard.

With Steve Jobs of Apple and Flash maker Adobe becoming increasingly vocal about their shit I keep seeing a lot of wrong information being thrown around in regards to HTML5, videos, and Flash. Couple of things you should know…

What You Need To Know about HTML5 and Video

Some people seem to think that HTML5 by itself can play video but that’s not the case. HTML5 does not have some magic little super codec embedded. It merely uses the <video> element, which in turn then points to one or multiple versions of a video. H.264 is just one format one can choose to publish that video in. But this is not mandatory.

So What Does HTML5 Do For Video Then?
The thinking is that HTML5 figures out what codecs your computer can play. It then goes through the list of available versions of the video in question and plays the first one your computer is able to play. Smooth.
Except it’s not because it might still require multiple versions of the video. Why? Because if your browser doesn’t have the right codec and the video isn’t offered in a format for which your browser does have the codec then HTML5 won’t help here.
The problem then with H.264 is that…it’s not free. The MPEG LA licensing group has a fee structure that publishers as well as creators of encoders/decoders are supposed to pay, but for some reason this isn’t ever discussed. Probably because some publishers are exempt from having to pay the fee until 2015 (was 2010, got extended), so folks think everyone’s exempt. Not so.
So really what needs to happen is that ONE video codec/platform becomes the mandatory standard everyone encodes to if/when they begin publishing via HTML5. IF that codec is H.264 then there’ll be the question of licensing fees. If Apple has its way, H.264 will indeed become the standard. I doubt they’ll pay everyone’s licensing fees though…
HTML5 is not the magic pill certain people want you to think it is. Don’t get me wrong – HTML5 is great and will be the future standard. But it is important everyone gets on the same page with this thing or it’ll just be another standards-nightmare.
Another problem is the fact that HTML5 is just not ready yet. Internet Explorer (unfortunately still the most widely used browser) doesn’t support it yet. I’m sure it will “in the future” but not right now. Apple’s argument is that HTML5 and H.264 is the future and that’s probably true. But you’re buying the iPad/iPod/iPhone NOW and not in the future.
Flash Ain’t Just for Videos
But let’s say all that’s squared away. We still have only solved the video problem. But Flash doesn’t just do video. Yes, Flash is behind a lot of those annoying ads, but also animations, games, and a bunch more. You may not realize it but a lot of stuff you see and do is based on Flash at this time.
You can not expect web developers to re-create all this stuff in other, open formats now just because Apple wants it that way.

Personally, I understand where Jobs is coming from, and I’d love strict standards for video. Makes my job easier. But I also know that HTML5 and that elusive one-codec-for-video standard is far from realistic right now. I think for right now, a device does need to support Flash in order to get the full web experience. Everything else is just watered down at this point, and I’m not paying for watered down web. I’m liking what Android is doing for the smartphone market.

Your thoughts?

Apple iPad Sold Out, Recession Is Over

  • at March 28, 2010
  • by Kroy
  • in apple

As I had pointed out in earlier posts, the Apple marketing machine is on course to ‘do it again’.

According to Apple Insider, Apple has already sold out its initial stock of iPad models via pre-orders. Sure, Apple may purposely have kept its stock fairly low to achieve the “we’re sold out already ‘cuz everybody wants our stuff” – aura. But according to Wall Street Journal sources familiar with this whole gig, well over one million iPads are on track to be sold over the next 3 months.

That’s one million customers spending upwards of $499 for a product they don’t really need.

This is just the latest example of how in this recession there are still plenty of people willing to part with their cash for what they want – as long as the hype is good enough and you can make them think your product/service is what they really want. Again, it’s about wanting, not needing.

I remember when, during the worst of our ‘recession’, the parking lots of upscale fashion malls in Scottsdale and Phoenix were completely full, and folks were still running around with their  shopping bags as usual. The media made it sound like everyone in the country would be living on the streets soon, but then you see this and figure out that just like iPads, a recession is pretty much what you make it appear to be. If you hype it enough, people will ‘buy’ it – regardless of what ‘it’ is.

Except the iPad actually has more naysayers than the recession, as I had pointed out earlier. Everyone ‘accepts’ that there’s a recession. But when the iPad was demo’ed by Steve Jobs, a lot of folks quickly turned to online forums and pointed out the glaring issues (no Flash, no multi-tasking, etc.) It doesn’t matter because those consumers that purchase an iPad right after launch are  generally not the same consumers that find reasonable problems with an item and make a calculated need vs.want/ or cost/benefit analysis. They want it, they buy it. And that’s who you’ll want to market to.

Steve Jobs iPad

Update 03/12

Looks like I wasn’t as clever as I thought with the “shrinking Steve Jobs” thing – Rocket Fuel apparently thought of this gag before I did. Well, it is kinda obvious. Regardless, the actual point of this post still stands:

Marketing Tip: Selling Mediocre Stuff

Seth Godin, who (rightfully) says that one needs to have something truly remarkable in order to strive in today’s markets, is gonna hate this but here it goes…

You know, while the iPad has garnered some of the most negative views I’ve ever read from folks on forums and gadget comment sections, you have to remember that marketing is where it’s at.

Mediocre, crippled shit doesn’t sell – unless you’re Steve Jobs. I truly consider Steve Jobs one of the greatest marketers of all time (caveat below…). Steve can present a card board box  and we all think we can’t live without it. He is a master at ‘locking in’ customers. Everything Apple makes is ‘ground breaking’ and ‘revolutionary’, even though almost everything they’ve come out with had already been done in one form or another.

Reasonable, well informed people know this. But most consumers are neither reasonable nor well informed it seems. So you need to take this into consideration if you market something mediocre.
But Apple knows how to pull in the masses with the right words, the right design, the right hype, and fostering a cult following second to none in the gadget world. Steve Jobs is a marketing god – which is why even the iPad will sell well. Regardless of how you feel about Apple products, you should study the man.

Here is the problem: you are not Steve Jobs. So mediocre don’t cut it. Seth Godin is right after all…

Seth Godin is one of the most prolific marketers of our time. I have been devouring everything this man has published since Idea Virus and a lot of my marketing incorporates his ideas in some form. Any serious marketer needs to stock up on his books, especially All Marketers Are Liars,  and Purple Cow, and check out his blog musings on a regular basis.

Popular Posts