How To Move From iCloud Photos Library to Google Photos on OS X

Photo embedded from Google Photos library.

I have been using the iCloud Photo Library for quite a few months now.

In an earlier post, despite it’s obvious strengths, I listed some things that bugged me about the service. One of those things was the amount of space used by the Apple Photos app. Even with photo optimization switched on, the iCloud Photo Library was consuming over 4GB of my 16GB iPhone.


After reading up on Google’s Photo app for a while, I much prefer Google’s approach to the client iOS app.

Why? Continue reading

Geek, Music, Recording

Trying Out Apple’s New “Music Memos”

I thought I’d try out Apple’s new iOS app for song writers, called “Music Memos”. I posted a video about it earlier in the week.

The interface and functionality is similar to Voice Memos on iOS, except Music Memos will add accompaniment automatically to your song recordings, in the form of bass and drums.

My initial test was a vocal recording, with no instruments. It was not able to detect tempo properly, nor was the generated bass line anything I could use.

I then grabbed my guitar and used a section of Chris Tomlin’s “At The Cross” to see how it performed. This yielded much better results. The strumming of a guitar seemed to give the app a little more to work with.

In the screenshot above, you’ll notice how it added the chords and detected the time signature. You can toggle drums and bass at the bottom of the screen. There is also the ability to add notes, etc. and tag your ideas for future retrieval.

A number of sharing options are available — Garageband, SoundCloud, Email, etc. I exported the song direct to SoundCloud so I could embed it in this post. You can listen to the results below.

It’s not amazing, but it may be a useful tool to add some body to rough song ideas. If you haven’t got it already, it’s a free download from the Apple App Store.

Recording, Resources

Apple releases new ‘Music Memos’ iOS app for songwriters

Check this out! Apple have just released a new app for songwriters called Music Memos. You can download it now for free from the App Store.

Source: Apple releases new ‘Music Memos’ iOS app for songwriters | 9to5Mac


The Lure Of Apple Music

I’m struggling with temptation.

In the past I have not been interested in music subscriptions. I could not see the value in spending $10-15 per month to listen to music I can hear on the radio, or from my own music library.

Now I’m not sure why it tempts me so.

I recognize these feelings of temptation from when iTunes Match was first launched. At first I believed I didn’t need it. I mean I can just sync whatever songs I want to listen to. Right?

Nope. After a few weeks of humming and haa-ing I finally gave in. And now I could not go back. Having every song in my iTunes library available to me wherever I am is so invaluable to me.

Then the new Apple Photos app arrived and dangled the new iCloud storage options in front of me. Every photo I have on every device wherever I am? Think about all those #tbt Instagram posts I could upload!

I tried to resist. I did. Eventually I signed up, once more.

Not long after signing up, Amazon Prime offered unlimited photo storage for free with Amazon Prime membership. I seriously considered switching but it just doesn’t fit perfectly in my Apple ecosystem.

Now my latest deliberation is Apple Music. So far I have even resisted participating in the 3 month trial. Silly, right? But I know if I start the trial the chances are I’m not going to be able to leave. Apple knows this.

I am wondering however, if the $10 per month will reduce the need to buy as much music as I normally do? Again, as a Prime customer, I have Prime music available to me, but the library and playlists have always felt quite limited.

For those of you who use Apple Music already, here are some questions:

  • If I subscribe to Apple Music, do I still need iTunes Match? Will my current iTunes library still be available to me with an Apple Music subscription only?
  • Are there any artists/albums you listen to that are not available on Apple Music?
  • Does the content have an expiry date, like Netflix & Prime movie content, etc?
  • Worship Leaders: Is it a good resource for new worship music and discovering new songs for church?

6 Ways Apple Could Make Their New Photos App and iCloud Library Awesome (for me)

  1. ios7_photos_iconReduce the app footprint. Give me the option of whether all, partial or no photos at all are cached on my iPhone. All my photos should still be available but thumbnails will stream to my phone from iCloud instead. I also use iTunes Match – I can stream all my music without having to download and carry around a percentage of my music library and no-one thought of that when developing Photos? The current all or nothing approach for Photos is forcing me to look at alternative solutions.
  2. Make it faster. The Photos app on my phone is slooooow. This is probably because the phone is trying to work with zero space left (see #1). When I click to attach a photo in iMessage, it can take an age for the photos to initially appear.
  3. Help me get rid of my duplicates! Not Apple’s fault, I know, but please include an intelligent duplicate finder and help me reduce the overall size of my photo library.
  4. Better integration with other iOS apps. Sometimes it can be tricky to pull an iCloud photo into Instagram because it doesn’t appear to be downloaded, even when I’ve clicked on it before loading Instagram. To get around this, I created a ‘scratch’ album which I’ll share images to and then pull them from there, or used copy & paste where supported.
  5. Families share photos! I know I can share selected pictures/albums within family sharing. But I want to be able to automatically give access to all my photos to anyone on my family sharing set-up.
  6. iTunes Syncing. The iTunes sync content bar thingy which tells me the ratio of content types that are on my phone displays 82GB for photos (I have a 16GB phone). On top of that, the tool-tip on that bar is accessible right the way across my screen, well off the edge of the iTunes app.


Geek, Reviews

Was MailBox Worth The Wait? #iOS @mailbox




It seems like I jumped on the band-wagon a little late with Mailbox.

When I downloaded the app from the Apple App Store, I was already over 600,000 behind in the reservation queue.

Wait, reservation what?!  For those of you who don’t know, when you first download the application, unless you have a reservation ticket already, you will have to join a queue.  I’m not sure how long they plan to use this ramp-up method but once you grab your place you’re best forgetting about it until you get actual notification it is ready.

Continue reading