Scraping the Web Now, Asking for Permission Later

Apple

Federico Viticci, writing at MacStories about Apple’s details on their AI model being trained on web content:

As a creator and website owner, I guess that these things will never sit right with me. Why should we accept that certain data sets require a licensing fee but anything that is found “on the open web” can be mindlessly scraped, parsed, and regurgitated by an AI? Web publishers (and especially indie web publishers these days, who cannot afford lawsuits or hiring law firms to strike expensive deals) deserve better.

I agree wholeheartedly. I felt similarly when I looked at the data that trained Google’s AI. I see Chorus and our forum very clearly in their training data. We didn’t agree to that. Our community never agreed to that. Google played a massive role in devaluing small and medium sized websites (and the online ad business) and we’re certainly not going to be the ones getting any publishing deals. None of it sits well with me.

QuickTune for MacOS

Apps

Mario Guzman has released a new Apple Music app that mimics the nostalgia feel of old Apple operating systems:

Control Apple Music with this simplified controller that has the look and feel of QuickTime 7 and Mac OS X “Tiger”.

Apple Releases Sports App

Apps

Apple has launched a new sports app featuring real-time scores, stats, and more.

Apple Sports incorporates rich team stats, team lineups, play-by-play information, live bettings odd and more, all in one place. The app includes shortcut links so users can easily jump across to watch live games through the Apple TV app, or connected streaming apps.

Needs a widget and live activities, but, I’m very happy this exists.

Apple Podcasts Adds Transcripts

Apple has announced a new feature adding transcripts to podcasts:

Apple automatically generates transcripts after a new episode is published. Your episode will be available for listening right away, and the transcript will be available shortly afterwards. There will be a short delay while we process your transcript. If portions of your episode change with dynamically inserted audio, Apple Podcasts will not display the segments of the audio that have changed since the original transcription. Music lyrics are also not displayed in the transcripts.

Apple Offers Reward for Musicians to Use High-End Audio Format

Ashley Carman, writing for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is offering incentives to artists and record labels to produce music using a spatial-audio technology that surrounds listeners in sound.

Starting next year, the company plans to give added weighting to streams of songs that are mixed in Dolby Atmos technology, according to people with knowledge of matter. That could mean higher royalty payments for artists who are first to embrace the technology made by Dolby Laboratories Inc., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the change hasn’t been announced.

I’m not a fan of this as long as many Dolby Atmos mixes remain subpar and rushed. I’ve talked to multiple artists in the genre we cover that never even knew their songs were remixed for Atmos and had no say in the matter (and often disliked the mix). I don’t personally turn the setting on for this very reason.

The End of iTunes?

Kirk McElhearn:

Soon, all that will be left of the iTunes brand is the iTunes Store for music. And people buy much less music [than] in the past, having mostly shifted to streaming. Will the iTunes name finally fade away as music sales dwindle? It’s hard to imagine Apple stopping digital music sales entirely; even if fewer people buy digital music, the market isn’t dead, not by a long shot. Global digital music sales peaked in 2012 at around $4.4 billion, and in 2021 they had dropped to $1.1 billion. That’s a decline of about 75%, but Apple still earns a hefty amount of money from selling digital music.

Apple Acquires Classical Music Label

Techcrunch:

More than 80% of the music we listen to today is delivered over streaming, according to figures from last year. But when you look at classical music, it’s been a stubborn hold-out, accounting for just a tiny fraction of that, with just 0.8% of streams (and that’s in the stream-friendly market of the U.S.). Apple’s bet is that this percentage will grow, though, and it wants a piece of that action.

Robert von Bahr, founder of BIS:

We thought long and hard on how to maintain and build upon our prestigious history and looked for a partner who would further our mission, as well as an increased global platform to bring classical music to new audiences all over the world. Apple, with its own storied history of innovation and love of music, is the ideal home to usher in the next era of classical and has shown true commitment towards building a future in which classical music and technology work in harmony. It is my vision and my sincerest dream that we are all a part of this future.

Apple Music Gets “Discovery Station”

MacRumors:

Apple Music today gained a new “Discovery Station,” which is located under the “Listen Now” section under Top Picks in the ‌Apple Music‌ app. The customized radio station is paired with the personalized radio station featuring your name, and it has the “Made for You” label.  It can also be accessed through this link for those who do not yet see it.

I hit play on mine and the first song was from Cold Years. Not a bad guess.

Jony Ive Designs a Record Player

Linn worked with Jony Ive to create the Sondek LP12-50 turntable. It’s only $60,000 and there are only 250 in existence.

LoveFrom has applied their design expertise to the new, precision-machined power/speed control button and hinges – providing delightful and precise interaction with the turntable. Further aesthetic refinements to the classic Sondek LP12 form have been made with deep respect for the quality and integrity of the product.

The combination of performance, usability, and aesthetic improvements result in an historic piece with unrivalled sonic quality and beauty. Only 250 of these limited edition Sondek LP12-50s will ever be produced – with each bearing an embossed aluminium plaque celebrating this landmark collaboration with individual numbering. 

Apple Adds Concert Discovery Features to Maps

Apple

Apple:

On Maps, more than 40 new Guides, each expertly curated by Apple Music editors, highlight the best venues to experience live music in some of the world’s leading culture hubs. From landmark Viennese symphony halls to cutting-edge techno clubs in Brooklyn and Tokyo, these hand-picked selections — currently spanning over 10 cities — are all music fans need for an unforgettable night out. Apple Music Guides also allow fans to browse venues’ upcoming shows directly from Maps through Shazam’s concert discovery module — part of a suite of features that Shazam introduced last spring, leveraging concert information from the world-renowned event recommendation and artist discovery platform Bandsintown. 

MusicSmart 2.0

Apps

John Voorhees, reviewing MusicSmart 2.0 for MacStories:

MusicSmart, which is available for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, is a little different than Tanaka’s other apps. Instead of casting a broad net to track the entire range of your musical tastes, the app is about digging deeper into individual songs, albums, or artists’ catalogs. But follow the threads offered by MusicSmart, and the narrow focus that sets it apart from Tanaka’s other apps will paradoxically lead to new musical discoveries and, ultimately, broaden your tastes.

I’ve been using it for a while and it works better on the more popular/mainstream stuff in my collection, but it’s a lot faster than Googling and trying to find any information on an album/song.

Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro Come to iPad

Apple

Apple:

Apple today unveiled Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad. Video and music creators can now unleash their creativity in new ways that are only possible on iPad. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad bring all-new touch interfaces that allow users to enhance their workflows with the immediacy and intuitiveness of Multi-Touch.