Archive for March 10, 2023

Friday, March 10, 2023

Music to No One’s Ears

Joe Rosensteel (member post):

Look, I’ve been hoping that at some point, the rocky transition from iTunes to the Music app would be over and we’d all look back on it and say, “Wow, I can’t believe that was so brief.” But it isn’t over. Here I am, in the year 2023, and I have the same problems using the app that I’ve had for about half a decade at this point. And yes, many of these problems are tied to changes made for the Apple Music service.

When launching the Music app on macOS, you always start off at the Listen Now section of the app. It doesn’t matter what I was previously listening to in the app—that information has been lost to the sands of time. I can’t resume playback of anything I was listening to on this device, or any other. Anything I was looking at in the interface is wiped away too. I can, instead, see the four things that Apple thinks I want immediate access to.


Surely, the section under it, Recently Played, is exactly what I want? No, I want what I was last listening to, where I was last listening to it, tied directly to the play button. Recently Played only provides the entire song, album, or playlist I was listening to from its start.

He also discusses how search doesn’t work as well as it used to and how it lost his star ratings.

Dan Moren:

In implementation, however, the macOS Music app is basically the former iTunes app with Apple Music’s streaming functionality bolted on. While being able to include both tracks from your personal library and Apple Music in one unified interface has its benefits, especially when it comes to ease of use, it can sometimes feel like Apple’s performing some clever legerdemain. For example, one of my biggest frustrations is discovering that a specific track from an album that I’ve added to my library is unavailable because of streaming rights. Why just a specific track? It’s almost always unclear—but it does put paid to the idea that music in your library is actually in your library.

That’s just one example of where this melding doesn’t always work; there are plenty of others, including matching an explicit version of a song to a clean version (or vice versa), ending up with split albums because of metadata problems, and just plain getting the wrong version of a song (live instead of studio, for example).


But there exists no similar [Handoff] functionality for music. If I pause a song I’m playing on my Mac and want to pick it up on my iPhone—an analog of which was performed in the very first ad for the iPod in 2001, I have to launch the Music app on my phone, find the track, and skip ahead to where it was on the Mac.


This has caused me no end of frustration, especially when I start listening to an album on my phone, AirPlay it to my HomePod mini, and then go back to my phone only to discover that it’s still on the same track it was when I first AirPlayed it.

Pierre Igot:

One of the many ways that Apple effectively punishes Mac users for not fully embracing the all-Apple approach to music (by using third-party tools to rip CDs, etc.) is the chronic failure of #iOS’s #Music app to provide reliably GAPLESS playback of ripped album tracks. Could they not use a bit of that “machine learning” magic to detect when there is no silence between tracks and make sure the playback has no annoying gaps/blips between them?

I just tried to open the MiniPlayer window in the Music app, and in response I got a modal alert asking me to join Apple Music.

Nick Heer:

Was wondering if Apple had fixed Music’s “Sync Library” feature. Nope. Still not enabling it.


Update (2023-03-14): evilerutis (via ednl):

[A] majority of songs came back. But a few hundred are just completely gone for good. The support person said “sometimes that happens” (?!?)

Adam Demasi:

I’ll take an occasional bad design decision (Spotify’s new TikTok-style homepage) over the death by a thousand cuts you’re made to endure to use Apple Music.

Judo 1.13.1

Judo (via Collin Allen):

Judo is a design and build tool for SwiftUI apps that writes production-ready code for you while you’re designing. Eliminate back-and-forth with developers and free them from unrewarding grunt work.


Drag-and-drop a Judo file into any Xcode project and use the Judo SDK to render it as native SwiftUI — then wire up button actions and input controls to custom code.

Roku Doesn’t Support IPv6

DingleBog3899 (via John Gruber):

Our tribal network started out IPv6, but soon learned we had to somehow support IPv4 only traffic. It took almost 11 months in order to get a small amount of IPv4 addresses allocated for this use. In fact there were only enough addresses to cover maybe 1% of population. So we were forced to create a very expensive proxy/translation server in order to support this traffic.

We learned a very expensive lesson. 71% of the IPv4 traffic we were supporting was from ROKU devices. 9% coming from DishNetwork & DirectTV satellite tuners, 11% from HomeSecurity cameras and systems, and remaining 9% we replaced extremely outdated Point of Sale(POS) equipment. So we cut ROKU some slack three years ago by spending a little over $300k just to support their devices.


Now if ROKU cannot be proactive at keeping up with connectivity standards they are going to be wiped out by their own complacency. Judging by the growing number of offers to replace their devices for free their competitors are already proactively exploiting that complacency.

I suppose I’m lucky that, as an end user, IPv6 so far isn’t something I’ve had to think about. It’s kind of like Y2K in that I know there’s been a lot of work going on, but it’s been mostly invisible. I don’t actually know which of my devices and apps have been updated.

Geoff Huston (in February 2022, via Tim Bray):

I bet that nobody believed in 1992 that thirty years later we’d still be discussing the state of the transition to IPv6! In 1992, we were discussing what to do about the forthcoming ‘address crunch’ in IPv4 and, having come to terms with the inevitable prospect that the silicon industry was going to outpace the capacity of the IPv4 address pool in a couple of years, we needed to do something quickly. We decided to adopt a new protocol, IP version 6, a couple of years later, and in December 1995 the IETF published RFC 1883, the specification of IPv6.

There were many views as to how long the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 would take, from an optimistic six-month rapid cutover to a hopelessly pessimistic view of a protracted ten-year transition. If there was a prevalent view at the time, it was that the transition would take a further five years or so. But don’t forget that this was in the lead up to the Internet bubble of 2000, and anything that was going to happen five years from now was shelved as a ‘tomorrow’ problem while we toiled away on adding more carriage capacity to the network, fixing the myriad of issues with routing, and making dial-up modem access work!

While this was a pressing issue in 1992, four years later in 1996 there was no longer any particular sense of urgency about the transition to IPv6. Why not? There are four major reasons for the shift in attitude.

Google (via Hacker News):

Google collects statistics about IPv6 adoption in the Internet on an ongoing basis. We hope that publishing this information will help Internet providers, website owners, and policy makers as the industry rolls out IPv6.

It’s around 38% right now.


Screen Saver Doesn’t Properly Display Rotated Images

Adam Engst:

But therein lies the longstanding rub: an unresolved bug that spans many years. The big win of Apple’s photo screen savers is that they let you select photos from your Photos library or a folder. According to the author of ArtSaver, an independent macOS screen saver that offers many more options, Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps access to your Photos library.

The macOS permissions system is designed around giving apps access to things. There is apparently no way to do this for a plug-in.

The problem is simple: Apple’s photo screen savers display only original, unedited images in Photos. If you have edited an image, including rotating it, the screen saver ignores your changes, instead using the original image stored separately in Photos.


There are workarounds, but you’re not going to like them because they waste disk space and require regular maintenance to include new photos.

The seemingly basic task of displaying a collection of photos from the system photo library on your lock screen is awkward on both macOS and iOS.


Update (2023-03-14): Satish E Viswanath:

ever tried screen savers on Apple TV via Home Sharing your photo library? It does NOT support HEIC photos (!) Dates back to 2017.

Working Around Stuck Safari Tabs Syncing

Jesse Squires:

Aside from tabs not syncing, the biggest problem I’ve had is that tabs from my Mac get “stuck” on my iPhone and iPad. These “ghost tabs” are ones that have been closed on my Mac — often for weeks or months — yet they continue to appear as open tabs on my iOS devices. Most recently, a tab appeared on my iPhone that was supposedly open on my Mac for a project on GitHub that I haven’t worked on for over a year! I’ve tried deleting/closing these ghost tabs on my iPhone, but they always reappear.

He disables syncing on all devices, keeping the data only for the Mac, reboots each device, and then launches Safari for Mac first.