Category Archives: iTunes

Ideas for iOS 11

Hi folks. This is yet another post on iOS but this time it’s all about iOS 11. I have some ideas of what I would like to see when iOS 11 rolls around in September.
To start off with, I like iOS 10 so far and thankfully with the latest updates, some problems have been fixed. For example, when I’m reading an article on Wikipedia when I select a section it reads it twice and says “edit”. For example: when I’m looking at a band or a person and the section is “History” it says history twice then it says edit and goes on to read all about the history section of the article. Another thing which I am very happy about is that finally The Simpson’s is acknowledged on my iPod touch. Ever since I had one of them, when it reads the TV show titles it has always left it blank or it says “in iCloud.” Thankfully with the last two iOS 10 updates this has been fixed.
Now we’re going to start talking about iOS 11th and what I would like to see. Before we do that, let’s talk about what we know so far. First of all, we know that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c are no longer a part of the future iOS updates as of the end of iOS 10.  We also now know that Siri will be revamped with a more human sounding voice and I wonder if since new voices have been added to VoiceOver, will Ava and Tom Be the new Siri voices for North American English speakers? it would make sense because those two voices are used for GPS and telephone IVR systems, as I have mentioned in past posts. The same could be true for other voices and dialects around the world, which were added on for iOS 10.
Also, the App Store will get a redesign and I wonder what that will be like. I hope that it will be just as simple for people like myself who are blind to get around, as well as those who can see their devices.
Anyway, those are just two things that jumped out at me when I First read about iOS 11 on Wikipedia. now let’s talk about what I would like to see in the update for iOS, which is not been spoken about and yes, I will mention voices which I and others would like to see added on in September. 
First of all, I have an issue with the alarm clock in that it does not play the full song anymore, unless it’s under 15 minutes. I specifically but one of my songs in my music library as and alarm to wake me up. Unfortunately the song is about 22 minutes long but as of iOS 10 it only plays 15 minutes of it then it shuts off. I hope that with iOS 11 goes back to iOS 8 and how the alarms used to Play an entire song, no matter how long it is whether it is two or 20 minutes long without repeating it.
As for the voices I would like to see in Voice Over, I hope they all stay because all the voices are good in their own right. I especially appreciate the fact that we can download the Siri voices as I mentioned in the past and I’m not going to get into it any further. However, I want to see some new voices added, particularly for North America. Some of the names I like to see added are: Paul, Mike, Jennifer, Donna and or Crystal in iOS 11, along with everything else. I like Donna because much like Alex, she actually breeds but she does sound a little more robotic then most of the voices we have here. However, she does have a human intonation to her voice.
This brings me to changing the internation of a voice, which you can currently do on the computer but not on an iPhone or an iPod. I would love to change The internation of some voices, to make them higher and maybe even deepen one or two of them slightly. For example: I would love to make Ava’s voice just a bit higher and she’ll sound even better to me. I think this could be done with the option of changing the pitch. Simply, they can add the option to change the pitch not by toggling anything on or off but by creating a new option to change the pitch or intonation of the voice, as well as maybe the inflections of the selected voice. In some cases some voices don’t speak properly in that they don’t acknowledge questions by the voice going up at the end. Karen is a prime example of this and I would like to change that if it is possible with iOS 11. Also, I would Play with other voices to either make them lower or higher, just so I can hear what they sound like. Now that we have Fred, you could do the same thing with my proposal of adding on the pitch change option. Imagine me Fred sound more robotic?
As for other things I would like to see in iOS11 and later, iTunes should have a section where if you can’t find the album in your country store you should be able to get it from another store around the world. We could do that and record stores where they sell imported copies of albums at a higher price. Why not with iTunes? Obviously the price will be higher because it’s an import but, at least we would all get what we want without having to get another iTunes Account in another country or address. It would certainly save a lot of headaches when looking for an album on iTunes using Google and finding out it’s available in another country, other than where you live. I’ve been burned by that many times and I had discussed that here and in other blogs.
The same could go for apps on the App Store, where if you can’t find what you want and it’s available somewhere else, you could get it at a higher price. Once again, this would save a lot of headaches when searching for something on Google. Although in the case of apps, I can understand why some aren’t available everywhere because not all apps apply to everywhere around the world. However, in the case of iTunes, music does apply to everywhere around the world and everyone should have the same access to the same music, where ever you live. The same with audiobooks because I’ve done the same thing on Google and as I mentioned earlier with music, I’ve been burned by finding out an audiobook is available somewhere else and the same thing with movies and TV shows.
To end off this post I have some other ideas: I would still like to see video playlists being added to the videos app because I would love to watch episodes of some TV shows in a certain order. Also for the Maps app, I think that the iPhone should speak with all options while going somewhere. I find that it doesn’t say anything when using Transit options. Yes there are transit apps but the maps app does have The options for driving, walking and transit directions. It talks while driving or walking but why not for Transit?
For the notes app I think that you should be able to move attachments from not just iCloud and the “My iPhone” folders but two other folders throughout the app, encompassing your email or (email addresses) if you have more than one. Also I think that for iBooks and the audiobooks portion, not just the title and author should be shown but who also narrates the book. For example: I have a copy of A Christmas Carol which is narrated by Patrick Stewart. It does not say that on the outside but if you open the book, the voiceover says it before the story starts.
If we have apps with sounds Or voices attached to them they should be automatically a part of the suite of ring tones, voices and alert tones. For example: One of my weather apps has its own sounds for when an alert is issued. I would like to have that as an alert tone for my phone, for whatever I would like it to be for email or otherwise. further to that, I hope that in the future we can select a voice for voice alerts for apps which allow for it. For example, all the apps so far whitch have a voice alert option use the compact voice as opposed to the enhanced voice. I think we should at least be given the option, as to which voice we would like to use for the particular app and it’s voice alert. Also, since some people like to switch voices on the fly, why not allow for the option for each app to use a different voice if we desire. For example, I would use Tom for my weather apps and as my default voice I would use either Ava or Samantha and for Safari, I would use a different voice. This could be done in either the speak screen or voice over speech setting options and at first, I admit it would look confusing but it would give us what we really want, which is variety without having to change things manually on the fly.
Finally, I hope that all of the upgrades which have been made in iOS 10 continue in iOS 11. I like the text selection, which is great for copying and pasting text from emails and websites, for example. I have also gotten used to the new email format and well, I hope both examples I have mentioned here stay in iOS 11 and future upgrades.

IOS 10, So Far

Hi folks. This is the first post since iOS 10 was released on Tuesday and I have some things to say about it, both good and bad. These are all my own personal feelings on it and you may agree or disagree but, I stand behind what I say here.
Okay, let’s start from the beginning… I first heard about it back in July, when I read about it on Wikipedia. Okay, I know that Wikipedia isn’t always right but in most cases they are absolutely bang on and in the case of iOS, I wanted to find out about it so I could be prepared for what was to come.
So, I did my research and I have posted here, my feelings on Apple dropping support for certain iPhones and iPods and I did what I had to do, to get ready for September 13th. Of course, I had no idea that iOS 10 would be released that day. I thought it would come out on a Wednesday, as it had come in the past few years.
Now we will get to the download itself. On Tuesday September 13th I went to my usual location to download anything that was bigger than 100 MB and or the latest iOS Software updates onto my iPhone. I did it successfully on my iPods but not on my iPhone at first. I have an iPhone5c and well, it’s kinda old and the battery is rather shaky in that it charges quickly and discharges just as fast.
The download got through but the installation was a real problem. First of all, my phone decided to go to 0% battery power, despite that I used my portable charger to keep up the charge. I went to the Apple Store and found out that the iPhone was frozen and I wasn’t surprised. I had this problem with it for a while now and it is frustrating but I know now not to do a hard reset unless I really, must do so.
Anyway, I went home and managed to get the phone going again and iOS 10 was now installed in all my devices. So, I was happy and now, we can get to what I like and dislike about iOS 10 so far.
What I Like
I like the new voices you can download and if you have any type of screen reader or GPS you know the mall. We have: Tom, Susan, Allison, Lee and many others who are familiar to anybody with anything which talks. We even have Fred, who sounds like an Old fashion computer from the 1980s. In fact, if you have the album OK Computer by Radiohead, check out the track Fitter Happier. It is a short peace which consists entirely of 1990’s slogans which singer Tom York put together quickly, according to what I read. That’s Fred on the track and on the first single paranoid Android, under Tom’s singing “What’s that?” With the held e on the word that. Anyway, I digress.
As for the classic voices for Siri and the iPhone, they are all there in the basic and enhanced forms. I like that all the names of all the voices are available now and they are not just named Female Siri or Male Siri. For example: my favourite Austrailian Siri voice is named Catherine I called her Sheila before I found this out. So, I’ll call her Catherine now but I still like her and she likes me too.
I think it is really cool that we are now able to change how some words and phrases are pronounced. Too bad you can’t change the dialect of a voice such as changing Catherine’s voice to an American dialect. Hmmm! If we could I would do that in a second and as for Karen, I would change your dialect and her inflections. I found that she was rather unemotional, unlike her current counterpart.
What I Don’t Like
Okay, this is about what I don’t like about the new iOS but there are some things in this section, I like but they need to be improved upon. I also believe there are too many things that if not used properly, you could shoot yourself in the foot.
For the Music app, I like that everything is organized and the “Downloaded Music” tab is a good idea. However, if you swipe the wrong way then tap you could accidentally delete a song or an entire artists work from your music library. Everything else is fine and I may comment on other things that will come to mind later.
I find the email is now confused in that in some message threads, I had a real hard time reading all the messages at first. I had to change some things in the settings so I could be able to get to all emails in a thread, when they apply. Also, if you have more than one email address it will direct you to send an email to a certain folder or another email box. That is used with the second or third email address and not so much with the default account. That is confusing and hopefully this will be looked at for future updates.
The alarm is fine except that it repeats songs like in iOS 9. Another thing I found out is that it will only play a song for 15 minutes and that is it. I used a 22 minute song as an alarm to wake me up for the past couple of years and now, it cuts off after 15 minutes. I think that Apple should have gone back to how it was in iOS 8, where you could play a song as an alarm once and it would play the entire length of the composition.
One more thing I will mention here is the video application. Earlier in the summer I said that there should be an option where you can create a playlist of videos and or movies, which you would like to see. This will be good if you are on a long trip wore want to watch episodes of a TV season you have downloaded, in a certain order according to you. However, you still can’t do that and I think that it should be looked at for future updates pronto.
Something else that deserves a mentio is the new iPhone7, coming out tomorrow. The main thing everyone is talking about is that lack of an earphone jack. I agree with those who don’t like this and I believe that this is done, so you can listen to your much using Bluetooth headphones or, the new EarPods coming out later this fall. Let’s be honest about this and ask ourselves, do we really need something else to be responsible for while listening to her music or talking on our phones? It seems that Apple is forgotten that Bluetooth uses battery power, just like the iPhones, iPods and iPads. This is just one more thing to have to babysit, while either listening to music, talking on your phones or writing out a report, blog post, etc. I know there are other things you can do but I think you understand the point. In the future there will be other add-ons but you will need to purchase, which require you to monitor battery power. This means carrying multiple battery chargers with you, while you were mobile.
Well, that’s about it for this post and I will be back tomorrow with another one.

Is This Strange To You?

Hi folks. I’m back from my break from blogging! I actually stopped posting on July 31st, in my blog related to The Simpsons. In my last post here I recounted my tale of the frustration I am going through, while my apartment building is being renovated and the problems that have come up with it. I also mentioned having new windows being put in the next day and well… they are in and I will reserve comment on how good or bad they are in this blog… for now.
Today it is all about strange things in my iTunes Music library. I recently acquired a new iPod Touch because of iOS10. I mentioned why in a previous post about iOS10 earlier this summer, if you are interested in looking!
When I downloaded all of the music I wanted on this pod, I checked it all out the next day. I found something rather odd about one of the songs. It was the song N.W.O. By Ministry from their 1992 album Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed & The Way To Suck Eggs. The version I downloaded and purchased originally had a more thrash metal style and this new updated mix, had some of it taken out and replaced with some words from George W. Bush. Both the original George Bush and W Bush speeches about a New World Order are in this version, with George’s Father’s original samples intact at the end of the song. I also found it on the compilation Greatest Fits and a 2005 compilation, which listed the same mix as the “Updated Mix.”
I don’t know why this happened but I guess that it may have changed, dew to the current American Presidential Election going on now. I wonder if there will be any Donald Trump samples in any further updated mixes of the song in the future. If so, it would be very interesting.
Something else that is rather strange is the song Back In The U.S.S.R by The Beatles, from their White Album. At first it ran together on the album, with the next track Dear Prudence but lately, it has faded out like the version that appears on The Beatles 1967-1970. As Dear Prudence starts the airplane in the previous song is heard, as if it ended normally. I wonder why this is.
I also noticed a similar situation with the Cheech & Chong albums Big Bambu with the tracks Let’s Make A Dope Deal and Unamerican Bandstand. Dope Deal fades out, like it does on Cheech & Chong’s Greatest Hit and then goes into Bandstand, somehow with out missing a beat. There are 2 other examples with the Greatest Hit album that are Noteworthy to mention. The bits Sister Mary Elephant and Sergeant Stadanko are separated on the iTunes version of this album. Along with Cruisin’ With Padro de Pacas and The Continuing Adventures Of Padro de Pacas and Man are also separated. Those two beds along with the previously mentioned pair are normally linked together with each other. However, the rest of the album remains as it was released. So, why? Not that it’s bad but it does sound like someone put it together on their own iOS device, as a playlist. Then someone at the record label decided to take hold of it and put it out that way.
I noticed it very soon after purchasing both albums on iTunes and I find all of these examples very strange. Do you know of any examples in your iTunes collection, VS. Your cd, cassette or vinyl collection? There are probably more out there but I just wanted to point out the most obvious ones to you, that you would notice on first listen.
Well, that’s about it for today.

Looking Forward To iOS10

Hi folks. This post is about iOS10 and my own thoughts on what it should include. This of course will depend on any changes made to various apps in the next updates in iOS9. For example: last year the music app was completely redone and fixed by the end of 2015.
I hope that iOS10 will continue to allow us to download the Siri voices, as screen reading voices because, in some cases they actually use more inflections that we would use in real life, while speaking to each other. Also, I think the variety of voice options is good in that, we can have a female Australian voice read a story to put us to sleep. We can change it to what ever we want to hear, depending on what it is we are doing at the time. If they could talk to each other, that would be fun, while it is reading a fan fiction story. For example: if Samantha narrated and the male and female American Siri acted out the dialog in such a story it would be really interesting to hear. The only thing that would be a problem is if the wrong voice did a character of the wrong gender. Could you imagine a man talking like a woman in his deep voice as part of a dialog? Well, maybe this would require even more intelligence on the part of Siri, as to the character that is being portrayed in the story.
something else up and thinking about is if music can allow for playlists, why not video playlists? If you have downloaded and purchased TV shows and you want to watch certain episodes in a particular order, while on a trip or for marathon viewing, why not have video playlist which you can create just like you create a playlist of your favourite songs? For example: I like to watch my Simpsons episodes in a chunk and not just the whole season during a particular day and I would love to divide up a season, without having to delete any episodes or put others on other devices. I think that would be a real bonus for not just a long trip with the kids but for those of us at home, who would like to watch episodes in an order we choose.
I have also been thinking about the clock and the use of music as an alarm. When iOS8 was around, you could use music as your alarm to wake you up and it would play the song once. This time with iOS9, the song plays continuously until you unlock the screen or press the sleep button on your iOS device. I hope that for iOS10 we will go back to the alarm clock playing a song once, then silence until the next song you would use to alarm you to wake up or whatever. If you have more than one device you could create a possible mix of music, to wake you up or whatever with iOS8. You can’t really do that now!
That’s about all I can think of right now, for my thoughts on the upcoming iOS10. I will be checking out the Internet for more updates on it and I am looking forward to what will be in store for us this September.

The Simpsons and The Canadian iTunes Store

Hi folks. Yes, it’s a Monday and an unusual day for me to post but, I have something to get off my chest. If you are a Canadian cidisen and you use the Canadian iTunes Store and are a fan of The Simpsons and you have purchased the latest season Season 27, you may notice that a couple of episodes have since aired. The last one available on the Canadian iTunes Store was The Marge-Ian Chronicles, which aired on March 13 and was available on Saturday March 19th. This was the last episode which has been available to those of us in Canada, who have purchased the Season Pass. I have checked on Google and all episodes so far are available on the American iTunes Store, Hmmm!

Clearly, something is wrong and I want to know what is going on and why, I am not receiving the episodes in a timely manner. I may not necessarily like every episode but it is important that they become available in a reasonable amount of time, after airing in all iTunes Stores world wide. I have contacted iTunes Support on this issue and nothing so far, has been said about it to me in my email. I certainly hope that this post will get the attention of certain people and that this issue, what ever it is can be resolved quickly.