Tag Archives: streaming

Taylor Swift and the Apple Music trial

Taylor Swift writes on her blog (via iMore) that she’s hopeful Apple will be the first company to get streaming right, but that she can’t agree to 3 months of artists not getting paid:

“I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.”

I agree with Taylor. Apple still has a mountain of cash. Seems reasonable for them to use it to launch Apple Music properly and get musicians excited about the service. Usage will be higher during the free trial, so it would be a nice gesture to the music community, even with some kind of reduced royalties.

Imagine if Apple had launched the Mac App Store with this same model, where users could try apps for free and developers wouldn’t get paid for the first 3 months. Pretty unacceptable.

Wii Transfer 2.5.2 and Leopard

Happy Halloween! “Wii Transfer 2.5.2”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/ is now available. This is probably one of the most difficult bug fix releases I’ve done. Full changes are in “the release notes”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/releasenotes/, but the biggest stuff includes fixed Leopard UI glitches and a new 2-pass encoding that should result in much more consistent movie streaming quality. Along the way I touched most of the corners of the product, including many hours of trial-and-error debugging the Flash FLV player component.

While testing Wii Transfer on my TV the other day I had a moment to reflect on how this product has evolved. What started as a one-weekend hack has grown into something quite a bit more complex. It has a few rough edges, sure, but I’m proud of this little app and how I’ve been able to put a simple UI on all these different technologies (embedded web server, HTML/JavaScript/Flash UI, MP3 and FLV conversion, iLife integration, etc). I have a few new features planned and in various stages of development, but I think the just-released 2.5.2 is going to start a trend of refinement; there’s a lot I could do to improve the movie conversion and streaming experience before introducing anything radically new.

So, Leopard. I had originally planned to just wipe my old Leopard seed partition on the MacBook and test the GM, but at the last minute I dove full in and did an upgrade install on my primary machine, the Mac Pro. I have nightly SuperDuper clones just in case, but the upgrade was completely smooth. It’s a great OS foundation and I can’t wait to see what other developers have been working on.

Wii Transfer 2.5

This morning I finally rolled out “version 2.5 of Wii Transfer”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/, the most significant release of the product yet. It probably deserved a 3.0 label slapped on it, but I like how all the 2.x releases revolve around the sharing features (sending movies, music, and pictures to the Wii via the Opera browser). Besides, I have a special set of entirely new stuff planned for 3.0.

So what’s new? Movie streaming is the big one. You can now drag and drop movie files to convert to Flash Video format, which Wii Transfer’s web server will happily stream up to your Wii. It works surprisingly well considering the Wii has such limited memory and no hard drive. Last night I even tested with feature-length movies.

Other new features include background music for picture slideshows (both MP3 and AAC) and bookmark sharing, so that you can browse your Safari or Firefox bookmarks on your Wii to easily visit those sites. The “release notes”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/releasenotes/ page has more of the details.

I’ve also bumped the price up to $19, where I expect it to stay for some time. One way I like to think about the price of Wii Transfer is in relation to another common purchase from Wii owners: games. It’s still less than half the price of a new Wii game.

Special thanks to the beta testers who provided feedback. There are still a number of things about movie sharing that I’d like to polish up, so additional minor updates are likely. I often use the “Wii account on Twitter”:http://twitter.com/wii to post these and other announcements.