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Posted by Stefan

28 May 2014 2:43 PM

As most will know by now, I am a huge music fan and buy an album or two or three pretty much every week, as well as a variety of singles and EPs. My iPhone’s primary purpose really is as a personal jukebox - with 50GB typically dedicated to MP3s. Because of the limited space available on the iPhone - max 64GB for the last three generations, I constantly need to chop and change my selections as I add new albums to my playlists - these constant updates seem to exacerbate the syncing and backup process somewhat.


Right from the earliest days of my iPhone ownership I have had issues with the iTunes <> iPhone sync - typically with the process freezing out at some stage during the number 1-7 steps and occasional corruptions occurring. Corruptions seems to occur on both apps backup / syncing as well as on music. there was a time when the same 2 apps were being copied to the phone for every single sync (for several months in a row) - even though neither had been updated recently.


Since iOS 7 was launched on September 18th 2013 - that is to say iTunes versions 11.1 onwards, the experience has been an unmitigated disaster for me. There’s pages and pages of user complaints / notes about music and playlist syncing errors on the various Apple support forums. The issue has been so serious for me that in the last few months I have had to reset and restore my phone to factory settings a dozen times, half of the time needing to set up the phone from scratch as the backup was not restoring properly. I find that a lot of fitness and dance instructors - who use the playlist function extensively are having the same issues. It’s not just a matter of the playlists not copying across properly, but frequently during a sync some existing tracks / songs can get corrupted somehow and are no longer available for playback - the only way to fix that really is to restore the device completely - both very frustrating and time consuming. I’m still getting random freezes and the ’update’ icon continuing to cycle on my iPhone on occasion even after decoupling from iTunes.


Most recently I updated to iTunes 11.2 last Friday night, and all the music on my phone became corrupted as ’Other’ format. It took 6 restores to factory settings with two ’set up phone from new’ to finally get everything back in

... iTunes is ruining the Apple experience
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Posted by Stefan

20 Jan 2012 3:05 PM

Yesterday’s Apple Education Event (iBooks 2) was essentially all about the iPad’s increasing role within the realms of education. I already own a number of educational-type Apps on my iPad which I believe had a significant impact on this evolution - Touch Press’s ’The Elements’ and ’Solar System’ as well as Transworld Digital’s ’The Magic of Reality’ are all superb types of a new interactive forms of learning - the latter is closer to the new standard that Apple has introduced with its digital ’Textbooks’ - actually just an updated standard of its iBooks format.

These new ’Textbooks’ are essentially interactive books with inline media and other games and interactive puzzles included within the flow of the books, as well as built-in tests, glossaries and clever indexes and bookmarks / study cards.

The Key Features are as follows:

Thumbnail Index - essentially a visual plus text overview index of the key parts of the textbook

Integral Videos - inline Videos and animations within context

Interactive Animations - animated timelines, puzzles and the like bring an added tactile dimension to learning - which of course aids memory

Study Cards - Highlighted passages of text and notes will automatically turn into ordered and indexed study cards - to aid revision

Custom Glossary - Each textbook will have it’s own explanations / descriptions of key terms

Quizzes and Review Questions - Instant Quizzes built into the end of each chapter - to aid memory recall

For content creators, Apple has provided a new ’iBooks Author’ Mac OSX App - wich allows anyone to create their own enhanced interactive textbook in this format (in fact any iBooks can be created like this) - the App is free and is available on the Mac App Store.

Apple has also produced a specific iPad App for Higher Education called ’iTunes U’ - which is already being used by universities - Duke, Stanford and Yale to provide large parts of their curricula in this format.

Apple has once again really stolen the march on its competitors! I had expected Amazon to have made some ground with its Kindle offerings, but truth be told - E-Ink is great for reading regular books, but it’s way too laggy to provide a full interactive environment along the lines of the iPad. A friend of mine has the latest Kindle Touch -

... Apple launches Student Textbook MKII
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Posted by Stefan

06 Oct 2011 3:12 AM

I am very saddened to hear that Steve Jobs has unfortunately succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a brave fight of some 8 years.

As someone who loves technology, and more importantly loves the benefits that great technology brings - I will be eternally grateful for Steve’s contributions to the world.

Hundreds of millions around the world have benefitted both directly and indirectly from Steve’s input. Steve was never afraid to go his own way, he always believed though we frequently doubted.

From his love of black turtle necks, Levi’s 501s and New Balance 993 trainers, to his stalwart championing of great design - Steve was ever uncompromising in his pursuit of useful and beautifully usable technology - for genuine benefit to the people.

His legacy and trail of innovation will be with us for a very long time to come:

  • AirPlay
  • AirPort
  • Apple II
  • Apple TV
  • iCloud
  • iMac
  • iOS
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • iPod
  • iTunes
  • MacBook / Air / Pro
  • Macintosh
  • Mac Mini
  • Mac Pro
  • NeXT
  • OSX
  • Pixar
  • PowerBook

Our thoughts are of course with his family and friends.

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