Tuesday, January 31, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

It Just Works

Adrian Kosmaczewski (via Andy Lee):

I start iTunes. It tells me that I need to log in to Apple Music. I do not remember ever having logged off. I enter my username and password. The dialog goes away. iTunes still does not allow me to listen to music. I close and re-open iTunes. I log off and on a few times. I finally reboot my Mac. I discover that the artist I would love to listen to that morning is not available on iTunes Music. I select another artist. I hit play. Music does not come out from the built-in speakers. I plug in my old 2002 Harman Kardon SoundSticks. I plug the USB 3 to USB dongle first.

[…]

I sit on my Mac and open a Pages file stored on iCloud, one I was working on my iPad Pro during the weekend. The sync fails and I cannot see the last modifications I made on my iPad Pro. Open and close apps on both devices. I reboot them both. Pages for Mac tells me that there is a conflict between the versions in both devices, even though I have never edited the file on the Mac. I select the version on the iPad. My changes are lost.

[…]

I try to open an application I bought yesterday on this Mac. The operating system protests, telling me that I have to login to the App Store because the application was bought in another Mac. It is not true. I log in anyway. The app opens.

This seems too bad to be real, but I’ve had days recently that feel like this. I have an old Mac and sometimes think a new one would be more reliable, until I read about problems people are having with a brand new MacBook Pro and display. At least I don’t have kernel panics.

Lloyd Chambers:

I had mangled a bunch of html files as part of a major site overhaul, and I just wanted the top-level folder back as of 12 hours or so prior—that’s the type of thing perfect for Time Machine.

  1. Enter Time Machine.
  2. Restore Folder.
  3. Observe that the restored folder now has ZERO files in it (empty). Time Machine WIPED OUT everything. No error message, no indication of any issue (that folder has had files for many years, and thousands of them).

Update (2017-01-31): Peter Steinberger:

Huh, has it been another month yet? About time for Time Machine to break again.

7 Comments

Thinkpad + Linux for me from now on.

I don't see what you are complaining about. Management is handling the hardware supply chain just fine. That's all Apple does, no?

See? Apple 1Q earnings up 2.3% per share, YoY. The supply chain just works. Everything is fine.

I had a similar disaster yesterday when trying to rent a movie on a 4G Apple TV. Many password entries, CVV entries later it finally said I needed to use an iOS device or a Mac. I tried my iPhone, for about 5000 timeout messages while I verified my payment information over and over again. Eventually I realized this was just completely broken. So I switch to the Mac and at that point I decide just to rent the movie on iTunes. Except that Apple removed the feature by which rented movies will play over Home Sharing on the 4G Apple TV— my only option was to leave the Mac on and use AirPlay. Which required downloading the movie in its entirety.

Having spent the last few days doing identical Siri and Alexa integrations, Amazon does this much better. Alexa *does* just work.

"I had a similar disaster yesterday when trying to rent a movie on a 4G Apple TV. Many password entries, CVV entries later it finally said I needed to use an iOS device or a Mac. I tried my iPhone, for about 5000 timeout messages while I verified my payment information over and over again. Eventually I realized this was just completely broken. So I switch to the Mac and at that point I decide just to rent the movie on iTunes. Except that Apple removed the feature by which rented movies will play over Home Sharing on the 4G Apple TV— my only option was to leave the Mac on and use AirPlay. Which required downloading the movie in its entirety."

Don't hold it that way, Nicholas.

Seriously, and tip your waitresses well, I simply don't understand why ANYONE would EVER use the iTunes Store for video.

If I rent/buy from Amazon, I get to use it with my beloved TiVo, and its terrific unitary watchlist - aka OnePass. It works with my Roku. It works with the ultra-cheap-o Amazon Fire TV stick I got to just to get early access to FilmStruck.

The stuff always works smoothly. Customer service always works smoothly. I'm not tied into a sole-provider hardware solution.

"Having spent the last few days doing identical Siri and Alexa integrations, Amazon does this much better. Alexa *does* just work."

Across all interfaces. They own the service space in video. (And in services, more generally.) They were determined to supplant Blockbuster video, and they pulled it off.

Yesterday iCloud Drive on my Mac wiped everything. Poof. Gone.

The files then began to resync from iCloud servers, so they were still there but wow, I can't tell you how much I was scared. Around the same time I got warnings my boot drive was full, despite it usually being more than 50% empty.

Here's my advice: DO NOT USE ICLOUD. IT WILL PAY YOU BACK IN PAIN OR SHAME.

I'm in the process of switching to Dropbox for my storage. Dropbox simply wouldn't just wipe every file or delete it -- if I turn it off, the files stay right there.

I'm now switching away from every Apple service that I can, to companies that do nothing but that service.

TL;DR: Apple has always been crap at services but right now with the way things are they're genuinely dangerous. Don't trust them with your stuff.

Unfortunately, it's not just the Mac. Two of my friends bought new iPhones during the last month. Both of them lost all of their contacts. And I mean *lost*. The contacts were wiped from their old phones; presumably, instead of moving the contacts from from the old phone to the new one, the empty state from the new one was synched to the old one. One of the two also wiped out all of their notes from the notes app.

There is probably some way to restore this stuff somehow. Neither of the two people were able to figure out how.

One of them also had their contacts synchronized to Google at some point. After setting that up, those synchronized to the phone just fine. So there's that at least.

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