Tuesday, 22 January 2013

iTunes Match - put a match to it

I've just concluded a 2 month experiment using iTunes Match, and it is the perfect example of over-engineering.  It's the classic issue where engineer reach perfection, but stock holders and managers insist on them continuing to 'evolve' the product. Unfortunately, the only way from perfection is down, and that's where iTunes is now heading.

When you pay for iTunes Match you now relinquish control of your music collection. I say 'now' because, until the latest iOS release, it wasn't the case. You used to be able to happily download and delete single tunes to/from the cloud.  Now you can only download albums or playlists (that you can't manage), and you can't delete anything.  Senseless over-engineering.

Same with iTunes' new look.  Although that improved considerably once I figured out how to switch the sidebar back on.

Honestly, leave it alone, Apple. Are you getting so bored with world domination that all you can think of now is how to cock up the secret sauce? Or has Steve Jobs' departure really impacted you that profoundly?  Was he really the ultimate quality control at Apple, that prevented them from creating duds before?

Anyway, back to disabling iTunes Match, scrubbing down the iPhone and going back to laptop syncing.  You may get this cloud thing yet, Apple. Or it may be your undoing, just as the Internet was Microsoft's.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A route to happiness

Got a piece of frustrating news at work today. Enough to make me leave the office and tend to my own clerical concerns: some banking, some home office tweaks and some paperwork. After thoroughly organizing myself at home, I then got stuck back into some office work (from home, mind). The mantra I adopted that affected the successful re-focusing was "I must find a route to happiness". It seems a bit too profound as I type it, but it dug me out of the hole I felt I was in.

And now, in the evening with a glass of wine, I ponder whether most bad situations are fundamentally met with a sense of disorientation, of momentarily losing sight of the route to happiness. We all deal with disorientation differently, depending on our personality and our circumstances. And perhaps the sense of disorientation manifests itself into our default behavior before we even sense it as such. We just get frustrated or depressed or angry. Or shrug it off, depending on personality and circumstance.

While the cliche of lemons and making lemonade is mildly poetic, it's hardly instructive. Perhaps a better approach is to acknowledge the disorientation, and then resolve to re-orient oneself: to find the route to happiness.

And now I imagine the sound of a slightly exasperated GPS voice saying "recalculating...!". Maybe I need to switch to port.