Archive for July 2023 - Page 1


    Reminder of a Pitfall of Streaming Music

    Screenshot of Apple Music showing the song 'Runs in the Family' by Zandi Holup as 'no longer available'

    Music streaming services like Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify, offer a benefit for being able to listen to just about any song anywhere you are. Through the "Made For You" playlists on Apple Music or the "Discover Weekly" playlists on Spotify, you can be introduced to songs that you were not previously aware of. While these are not perfect at predicting what you may want, they can provide you some new music selections.

    After you have been using a streaming music service it is quite easy to become complacent and think that the music in your library will always be around, but this definitely not the case. Back in January of 2020 I wrote about a downside to streaming media. In that article I made an argument that you should purchase media that you want to be able to watch at almost any point. This is because media can be removed from a streaming service at any point, for any reason, and without any warning.

    In the last week I noticed that two songs are no longer available for streaming. The two specific titles are "It Runs in the Family" by Zandi Holup and "Nicotine and Gasoline" by Nate Moran. The only reason that I noticed that any song was not available was because I wanted to play "It Runs in the Family" by Zandi Holup and that is when I noticed it was "No Longer Available". I did not notice this before because once an item is no longer available it is simply skipped while shuffling.

    Since that song was no longer available I went and did some searching and I happen to come across Zandi's TikTok channel where someone asked why the song was pulled from Apple Music. Zandi replied "It is being re recorded !!", so for that one I will just have wait until it is available again.

    Screenshot from TikTok where Zandi Holup indicates that her song 'Runs in the Family' is being re-recorded

    This is not the first time that I have had a song no longer be available. The impetus for me writing the 2020 article was a similar situation, but that was with the song "Never Told a Lie" by Noah Smith.

    Now, I have quite a few playlists, in fact I have 230 different playlists, 31 Smart Playlists and 199 Standard Playlists. A number of these are the monthly music playlists that are on my Playlists page. I have monthly music playlists going back to 2014. This week I created a new Smart Playlist titled "Apple Music - No Longer Available". This playlist has a single rule that is: Cloud Status is 'No Longer Available'.

    This new playlist will automatically update with any songs that are no longer available. When I created the playlist it originally showed 8 songs. One of the songs I had was a single titled "Springsteen (Live at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT, March 25, 2017)" by Eric Church. That song was available on another album, so I removed that from my library entirely. The other songs in this playlist are just no longer available, but I am not concerned about those songs.

    Screenshot from Apple Music app showing the criteria for my Smart Playlist titled 'Apple Music - No Longer Available'

    Because these songs were no longer available, it prompted me to go and purchase a slew of songs, 60 songs to be exact. The songs that I purchased are ones that I would absolutely want to listen if they were pulled from Apple Music. The only reason I knew about any of these songs is due to two other playlists that I have called "Apple Music to Buy" and "Apple Music to Buy Soon". These have different thresholds.

    The "Apple Music to Buy" Smart Playlist has two criteria, "Cloud Status is Apple Music" and "Plays is greater than 99". The "Apple Music to Buy Soon" smart playlist has the criteria of "Cloud Status is Apple Music" and "Plays is in the range 50 to 99". Just because items are on these lists does not mean that I will buy them, but it providess me an easy means of being able to see the Apple Music that I have played most often.

    Songs are not the only thing that can go away, it is quite common for tv shows and movies to be removed from streaming services. Since you are merely being granted access to the media, remember that it can go away at any point and if you really want to be able to watch it in the future, be sure to purchase it, if it all possible.


    Apple Operating Systems eBook Available for Pre-Order

    Cover for the book 'macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 for Users and Developers'

    Since 2012 I have been publishing a set of books each year for Apple's new operating systems. Since 2021 I have written a single book that covers the new features for all of Apple's operating systems. I again have written another book for this year and this year's book is macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 for Users and Developers.

    This year is a bit different for the book. There is only one digital version and it is available from Apple. Just as with previous years, there is no digital rights management (DRM) on the book. Therefore, you can use read the ePub on any compatible device.

    Apple continues its cadence of yearly releases for its operating systems. macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 are chockful of features.

    Widgets are becoming na increasingly important part of Apple's entire ecosystem. Widgets come to new places on all of Apple's platforms, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS. Widgets are now available on the Lock Screen of the iPad and on the desktop of macOS Sonoma. Health continues to be a big focus with a few new features like Time in Daylight, Screen Distance, State of Mind logging, and a new Journal app.

    watchOS 10 is a big release with new interaction methods, a new design language, full screen backgrounds, and a couple of new watch faces, Palette and Snoopy & Woodstock. If you a cyclist, there are some new enhancements just for you, like Bluetooth sensor connectivity and a Live Activity on your iPhone while cycling.

    Developers get a bunch of new features as well, like Swift Macros, which power features like SwiftData, a new @Model macro, improvements to both Xcode and Documenation Catalogs, and even some additional Swift Packages, including Foundation. Beyond this there is a new Push Notification Console for developers to test and debug their push notifications, which includes some generation and validation tools.

    These are just some of the topics covered in macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 for Users and Developers. There is bound to something for everyone, no matter what your level of expertise.

    You can pre-order the book from Apple Books. The price for the book is $4.99. It is available for pre-order today and will be released when iOS 17 is released.


    Reading List for June 2023

    Cover for the book 'D-Day with the Screaming Eagles' by George Koskimaki

    June has just finished and we are now into summer. June was a lighter listening month and I managed to listened to 10 titles. Just like last month one of the items I listened to was a new title. The new title I listened to is the one that I want to highlight for the month. The new book that I read is called "D-Day with the Screaming Eagles" by George Koskimaki. Here is the description of the book:

    Many professional historians have recorded the actions of D-Day but here is an account of the airborne actions as described by the actual men themselves, in eyewitness detail. Participants range from division command personnel to regimental, battalion, company, and battery commanders, to chaplains, surgeons, enlisted medics, platoon sergeants, squad leaders and the rough, tough troopers who adapted quickly to fighting in mixed, unfamiliar groups after a badly scattered drop. And yet they managed to gain the objectives set for them in the hedgerow country of Normandy.

    This book is primary source material. It is a “must read” for anyone interested in the Normandy landings, the 101st Airborne Division, and World War II in general. Hearing the soldiers speak is an entirely different experience from reading about the action in a narrative history.

    This was an interesting book that provides some more context and detail to what happened on June 6th, 1944. The book was originally published in 1969 means that many of those discussed in the book were alive and were able to provide their first hand account of their experiences. If you are a fan of the "Band of Brothers" miniseries, it is definitley worth reading.

    I am not sure how many titles I will end up listening to in July. There is one new title that I have pre-ordered, but it has been delayed multiple times now, and it is released at the end of the month, so time will tell how much I end up listening to.

    Note: the links below contain affiliate codes where I get a small commission if you purchase something.

    Title Author First Listen Amazon Apple
    D-Day with the Screaming Eagles George Koskimaki Yes Amazon Apple
    The Ghost Army of World War II Rick Beyer No Amazon Apple
    Beyond Band of Brothers Richard Winters and Cole C Kingseed No Amazon Apple
    Fuzzy Nation John Scalzi No Amazon Apple
    Farmer in the Sky Robert A. Heinlein No Amazon Apple
    Ordinary Heroes Scott Turow No Amazon Apple
    Lock In (Lock In Book 1) John Scalzi No Amazon Apple
    Head On (Lock In Book 2) John Scalzi No Amazon Apple
    New York 2140 Kim Stanley Robinson No Amazon Apple
    Exiled From Earth (Exiles Trilogy Book 1) Ben Bova No Amazon Apple
    Total   10    

    Previous Reading Lists

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