Rdio vs. Spotify (vs. MOG, Rhapsody)

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I’ve spent the last month or so reviewing the premium subscription services from several music streaming services.  I tried MOG, Rhapsody, Rdio, and Spotify in that order.  I ruled out online radio only services (Pandora, Last.fm, and the upcoming iTunes Radio) as I wanted to listen to specific playlists and specific albums in their entirety.  I did skip Google All Access as one of my requirements something that runs native on iOS (not some cheesy HTML5 Web App).
Over the course of the trials, I discovered a TON of new music.  I found artists that I may have heard once or twice in the past that are now some of my favorite artists.  I tried to challenge the libraries with college tunes from 20 years ago.  I put them through the paces on iPhone, iPad, Android, Web interfaces, and downloadable PC and Mac apps. Continue reading “Rdio vs. Spotify (vs. MOG, Rhapsody)”

It's not the GPS that is the problem, it's the stoopid.

There was yet another story about some people who died a horrible tragic death because they used a GPS.  I know it’s a tragedy and shouldn’t happen, but it’s not the GPS, it’s the (stupid) people.
I’ve heard of a couple who were lost 7 weeks after taking a logging road in the Pacific Northwest on their way to Vegas (one of whom died), this family in Death Valley, a group of SUVs getting lost in Utah, I remember a bus that tried to go through a tunnel that it didn’t fit through, a man who drove a bus into a lake, and another lake story, I’ve heard Park Rangers tell of getting calls from cell phones where someone asks how to hike out of where they are lost using a GPS, and many many others.  All usually blamed on the GPS.
Every one of these stories seems to “blame” the GPS, in fact this story calls it “Death by GPS.” As harsh as this seems it’s actually the “STUPID” that is the issue (so the story should be re-titled “Death by STOOPID”).
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a gadget guy and I love my gadgets. I had an early version of the hand held Garmin GPS which was marketed to hikers, campers, and the like. I have an in-dash GPS in my car, my wife has the ubiquitous GPS suction cupped to her windshield, both our phones have Google Maps with turn-by-turn instructions (walking, public transportation, and of course driving). Continue reading “It's not the GPS that is the problem, it's the stoopid.”

Kindle Reader – #Kindle, #iPad, #iPodTouch, #Android …

I still prefer paperbacks and I am still an avid user of the Internet’s used bookstores (Bookmooch and Paper Back Swap), and wrote a blog about them a while back.  However, I purchased a Kindle for my wife last year and she loves it.  We scan her journal articles in using a ScanSnap, run Optical Character Recognition on the resulting PDFs and upload them to her Kindle.  She then has a search-able archive of a ton of recent articles on Equine Surgery on her Kindle for easy access and (restaurant, car, plane, bathroom, bed) reading.
Her biggest complaint is that I have purchased a few recent books on her Kindle and have been known to curl up on the couch with *her* Kindle on lazy weekends.  I also recently purchased an iPad, which has a Kindle App.  I’ve had the Kindle App on my iPhone for a while and since I’m leaving AT&T and going to Verizon, I recently downloaded the Kindle App for Android.
Here are my thoughts: Continue reading “Kindle Reader – #Kindle, #iPad, #iPodTouch, #Android …”

Android (HTC Incredible) vs. iPhone (3G) my thoughts

I posted an entry a few weeks ago regarding my switching from AT&T to Verizon and more specifically leaving my iPhone to get an Android phone (HTC Incredible). My phone arrived in time for a trip up to Ithaca, NY where we are moving this summer.  I really wanted to see how the differing networks behaved in the area as I don’t want a phone I can’t use where I live…what good is that.
Let me start by saying that I got my first iPhone a week after they hit the street. I LOVED it. It was the best phone I had ever used. Years ahead of anything that was on the market at that time. The network sucked, but I could live with it because everything about the phone was perfect. I upgraded to the 3G when available skipped the S and was waiting for the iPhone 4. However lately the AT&T network has really started to be an issue. I noticed this the most as I purchased a Verizon Wireless MiFi last fall and love it. I often have it on and am using the WiFi tether on my iPhone because the AT&T network sucks so bad. And having the proverbial apples to apples comparisons of the AT&T network to the VZW network has really opened my eyes to how bad the AT&T network truly is.
Let me start with the negative. The things that the Android is lacking that the iPhone just does better: Continue reading “Android (HTC Incredible) vs. iPhone (3G) my thoughts”

Hello iPad (written on iPad)

I broke down this weekend and purchased an iPad. So far I’m loving it. In fact this post is sort of a test, it is being written on the iPad using the native WordPress Dashboard. The first thing I noticed while creating a blog post, was that the WYSIWYG editor doesn’t work in Safari on iPad, so this is coming from the HTML window on the Dashboard rather than the WYSIWYG editor.
The keyboard is much faster than the iPhone keyboard, but not as fast as an actual keyboard. Text navigation is also a bit slower than on a computer with keyboard and mouse, but still doable.
Using the Dashboard HTML editor it is also laborious to create links. However, it can be done manually (as opposed to using the GUI). Same thing goes for more advanced text editing features, you can do them, but not as easy or as fast as the WYSIWYG way of doing things.
Tagging and other post features are really no different than on a computer.
Enough of this post. I’ll write another with the WordPress iPad app later today and maybe another with some more solid review of the iPad itself at a later date.

Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted

With a heavy heart and an empty wallet, I’ve decided that I am finally fed up with crappy AT&T service, enough so that I’m letting go of my iPhone!  I was an early adopter. I waited in line for my first iPhone the day it came out.  I had a Verizon Wireless Blackberry 7200 prior to the iPhone and was amazed that I couldn’t actually use my new snazzy phone in my house for the first several months.  However, the phone was a cool enough novelty that I put up with the network and dropped calls figuring it HAD to get better.
I upgraded to the 3G iPhone the week it came out (even though there was no 3G where I lived (yet)) and I’ve still got my eye on a WiFi iPad.  I just can’t wait until Christmas to see if Apple and Verizon can come to terms (and if Apple will build a CDMA version or if they will wait for LTE). Continue reading “Goodbye AT&T … Goodbye iPhone, it's been fun while it lasted”

Every employee can impact your companies image

granite-hardwoodsLOGOThis is a bit of a rant, but I’m going to do it anyway. I drive a lot for my job. I spend endless hours on the road driving between client locations. I often have my iPhone on the dash where it gets better reception and use bluetooth for calls and even have it plugged into my car stereo via one of those junky tape deck adapters so I can listen to music, Podcasts, or more recently streaming Podcasts via Stitcher (which in my opinion is one of the killer iPhone apps).  It’s also very handy for snapping photos of interesting things you see on the side of the road.
This morning, I was driving from Raleigh, NC up to Blacksburg, VA where I’ll be spending the week for work.  I got off I-81 to fill up my car and when I was getting back on, I had a small altercation with a semi-truck driver. It was a typical entrance ramp on the right and as I was coming down the ramp a big rig, who was accelerating, got up close to the van in front of him in the right lane, making it impossible for me to merge. I am a pretty safe driver, so I slowed down almost to a stop and eventually was able to get in the right lane, but I was already in the gravel.
Continue reading “Every employee can impact your companies image”

Google Voice and the dumb pipe (AT&T/Apple/iPhone)

4232368305-voice_logo_smI got my Google Voice invite recently.  Even though I consider myself pretty tech savvy and up to date on cool betas and other Internet tools, I let this one bake for a bit before giving it a test. My first impression is that it’s a very useful tool and is yet another example of the Internet (and Google) making past and present tools and technologies commodities. In this regard, I have to express my frustration with AT&T and Apple and echo many folks before me.  I’ll get into that, but first here’s my early impression of the service and features.
For a brief introduction, Google Voice is a telephone number that is supposed to be your last and final telephone number. You set up Google Voice with your other phone numbers and then you can control how and when you accept calls from who. Sounds great, but let me provide an example which may make more sense. You set up your Google Voice number to send everyone in a “Work” or “Coworkers” group to your office phone number and your cell phone number during week days from 8am-7pm, but not your home number, but you have one particular work buddy that likes to call you on weekends so you make an exception for that individual, but only for your cell phone. You never give out your cell phone number (or any other number) and Google Voice “screens” your calls.
Continue reading “Google Voice and the dumb pipe (AT&T/Apple/iPhone)”

WPtouch – iPhone theme for WordPress

cropI found the coolest add-on/plugin for WordPress. It creates a theme for your blog when browsed to from an iPhone. It doesn’t mess up your default theme, but when someone browses to your WordPress blog from an iPhone, iPod touch, or Android it displays a custom theme for the small form factor.
No modifications of any kind were necessary on my part. After installing, I immediatly browsed to my blog from my iPhone and checked it out. I then went into the settings for the plugin and made some changes like including tags in the theme, or changing the icons in the menu.
Here are some screenshots from my iPhone:

And since I was plug-in happy, I added the NextGEN Gallary as well..now I just need to see how that is displayed on my iPhone.

iCal Server (CalDAV) to Mobile Me and my iPhone

apple_iphone_ipod_cameraI can’t take all the credit for this.  I can’t even take a small amount of credit for this.  All I did was google, google, and more google for a method to get my calendar entries from my company calendar server (running Leopard Server) to my iPhone. Most of the solutions I came across involved some sort of sync between two calendars (local and remote) using paid for software (which may provide more functionality (like reverse sync)) or using paid software to sync your calendars to Google Calendar and use that as your iPhone calendar.
What I really wanted was alerts. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a conference call or was late to a meeting that was on my company calendar that wasn’t on my iPhone. I just wanted it to ping me 5-15 mintues before a meeting, is this too much to ask for?
Continue reading “iCal Server (CalDAV) to Mobile Me and my iPhone”