182: I Had to Reboot My Car Today10 Aug 2016
Cameras, car infotainment systems, Apple TV Guide, bug bounties, and why podcast MP3s aren’t VBR.
- John's camera hunt continues
- The tradeoffs of zoom lenses
- Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm lens
- Sony RX10 III superzoom that John probably should get, but won't
- Fuji X-T2
- Sony A7R II, Marco's camera
- iFixit teardown
- Sony A7 II, the cheaper, older one
- Differences between A7 II and A7R II
- Olympus OM-D E-M10, Casey's camera
- Panasonic Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Micro 4/3 lens, Casey's 50mm-equivalent
- The mediocrity of car infotainment systems
- The ARM Mac feedback that won't die
- Planet of the Apps announces their advisers
- Apple TV Guide
- Apple launches bug bounties
- Apple's new diversity numbers
- Ending theme by Jonathan Mann
- Post-show: Why podcasts aren't VBR MP3s
- MP3 file structure
- More on frame headers, including the Xing VBR jump table
- Existing standard ID3 tags that could solve the problem, but appear not to be supported by anything:
- ASPI: Not precise enough for long podcasts.
- MLLT: Provides any precision level. A good candidate, but unsupported everywhere.
- A VBR version of this episode with Xing and MLLT tags
- Compared to the CBR version, it's 25% smaller with better quality during the theme song
- Hover: The best way to buy and manage domain names. Use coupon code RIPTIVO for 10% off your first purchase.
- Harry's: An exceptional shave at a fraction of the price. Use code ATP for $5 off your first purchase.
- Linode: Get one of the fastest, most efficient SSD cloud servers for only $10/month. Use code AccidentalPodcast10 for a $10 credit.
- Running Macs overnight
- Cameras and zoom lenses
- Car infotainment systems
- Sponsor: Hover (code RIPTIVO)
- Follow-up: Audio drift
- The ARM Mac feedback that won’t die
- Planet of the Apps advisors
- Sponsor: Harry’s (code ATP)
- Apple TV Guide
- Apple begins bug bounties
- Sponsor: Linode (code AccidentalPodcast10)
- Apple diversity progress
- Ending theme
- Why podcasts aren’t VBR MP3s
Running Macs overnight
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So are you recording in a format that is not just call recorder nope?
⏹️ ▶️ John recording in a format that is not just call recorder. You’re just asking me to mess things up
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh because you’re afraid he’s gonna pull Casey mm-hmm
⏹️ ▶️ John my ups lasts for at least five minutes. I’m actually plugged into it so
⏹️ ▶️ John Yes, yes, I hear the truck. Do you hear it? Do you hear it’s driving away? Let’s say
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it’s leaving yeah, I think it’s driving away all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right So Marco had just asked John if he could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey start a crash resilient sound recording program so that if this truck was doing some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of electrical work and suddenly the power went out, it wouldn’t be a big deal because John
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hopefully would be using something that isn’t call recorder like I was using when my Mac crapped
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Which I can tell you why that matters if we ever get to talk about the MP3 file format.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would love to do that actually, but anyway, John had said to Marco, oh well it doesn’t matter because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my UPS lasts for at least five minutes and I’m plugged into my UPS.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. That was an accurate reproduction. That is a completely flawless reproduction. It was effectively verbatim.
⏹️ ▶️ John If only it was recorded. Oh yes, it was on my end, on my call
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey recording. It will successfully
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, I bring all this up because not 20 minutes ago, I was sitting at my iMac,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knowing that I’m going to be going out of town and thinking to myself,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all right, I don’t know what to do. Because I really want to let this thing run for another week and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see if it reboots itself. And if it doesn’t, I think
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at that point I will personally be fairly convinced that the OAM RAM is good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that the OWC RAM was bad. But I’m probably going to be using Plex at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some point. The Plex server is the iMac. If this thing turns itself
⏹️ ▶️ Casey off, I don’t have any mechanism to turn it back on. Should I turn
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it off and plug it into the battery part of the EPS? I don’t know. And I decided not to because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I went into system preferences and confirmed that the little checkbox that reads, so start
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up automatically after a power failure. And so I’m just going on faith that either we won’t have a power failure
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or if we do, the Mac will start itself back up. And somebody in the chat
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is asking, you don’t shut down your machine at night like the rest of us. Now, this thing is on always. I turn the screen
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m the exact same way. No one should be shutting down their machines at night anymore ever. It doesn’t make
⏹️ ▶️ Casey To be fair, there’s there’s no reason not to, I guess.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, there is. There is a pretty big reason they do use a good amount of power. But you know, the probably the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ideal balance between like functionality and power savings is sleep mode to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually put this to put the machine to sleep, not the deep hibernation mode, but regular sleep mode, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like, I think, a great balance for most people. You
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to put it to sleep. Your energy saver settings should do that for you. After one hour of idle time, go to sleep or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, but not, I don’t want that happening during the day though when I’m awake, because at any moment I might
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to do something on this Mac remotely. And yes, I could do wake on land, blah, blah,
⏹️ ▶️ John but… That’s what scheduled sleep is for then. If you know, you know, scheduled to go to sleep at 11 p.m. every day and wake up at 5
⏹️ ▶️ John a.m. and you’re fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t know that that was a thing. That’s a thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, yes, schedule. That’s how I do my backblaze backups. My computer wakes itself up at around
⏹️ ▶️ John 3 a.m. and does backblaze and then goes to sleep. So I don’t actually run it continuously all day. I just do like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Interesting.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is that so I assume the wake up is the Mac feature and then backblaze to say put me to put it to sleep when it’s done.
⏹️ ▶️ John Backblaze has its own independent schedule, which is either run continuously or choose when you want me to run. So I have
⏹️ ▶️ John two independent schedules that I just synchronize. Good old Kron style say the Mac wakes up at three
⏹️ ▶️ John or the Mac wakes up at 255 and backblaze starts at three and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. So every day you’re ruining five minutes of power usage of your computer you’re just wasting that power.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not five minutes it stays awake for like an hour I let it do all its stuff during that time or probably just time machine backups
⏹️ ▶️ John and like power nap is like I think predates or postdates my Mac but power nap will
⏹️ ▶️ John have things wake up from their sleep and do time machine backups and check mail and stuff but it doesn’t help with backblaze. Although
⏹️ ▶️ John technically if it wakes up to do time machine backblaze will also run if you I was set to continue. So anyway, the point is, the scheduling
⏹️ ▶️ John feature is part of OS 10. It’s been there for years and years and years. You should use it. It’s cool.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I probably should sleep this thing at night, but I just never do. And I say that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only because nothing is happening on it while I’m sleeping. I mean, I guess that one of you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey guys or maybe like Jason Snell, since he’s three hours in the past, might be trying to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey watch something off of my Plex server that I’ve shared with you guys. But in principle, There’s no reason I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shouldn’t just let the thing sleep at midnight or one o’clock or something like that and wake itself back up at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey six or seven in the morning.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, you can use that as your own political statement of, you know, you guys should really go to bed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Stop watching Top Gear off my Plexer. You need to go to sleep.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I just thought it was funny because I was having this internal debate with myself about whether or not I should move
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Mac onto the battery side of the UPS. Once I have—
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It should only be a question of when, not whether.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sure, and that’s exactly what I was about to say, actually. Once I have my data point with regard to the OEM RAM,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at that juncture, I will move it over to the battery side of the UPS. But I don’t want to mess with anything until
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am still a little concerned that there was that one seeming GPU-related
⏹️ ▶️ Marco failure, like a day after you put the stock RAM back in. That is, that’s like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only thing that’s weird about this to me that says like maybe this is a more complex problem. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the fact that it hasn’t happened at all in, what, three weeks or something, and it was happening about every week,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is a pretty strong switch over there. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not entirely ready to say it’s definitely the RAM, but I’m probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about ready to say you should at least get the RAM swapped.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. And basically, as I’ve said in the past, all I’m doing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right now is trying to get a data points so that I can go to OWC or Mac sales,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever the hell they’re called, and say, hey, listen, you know, I was having reboots once a week. I put the OEM RAM back in.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It ran for blank without a reboot. I’m pretty confident it’s the RAM. Can you send
⏹️ ▶️ Casey me new sticks? And actually, I don’t have the individual’s name handy, but somebody had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sent me a couple of tweets over the last couple of weeks saying that they had similar issues with OWC RAM and ended
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up returning it, I think. And I presume at this point I’m well out of the return window because I got this computer
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in January. But anyways, they said that they had gotten crucial
⏹️ ▶️ Casey RAM instead, and thus far it had been flawless. Although to be fair, it had only been a few
⏹️ ▶️ Casey days at that point. So I think what I’ll try to do is I’ll try to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do a return on the OWC RAM, assuming my test plays out the way I expect it will. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then if that RAM has similar issues, at that point, I’ll probably either ask to return
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, or I should say in exchange or whatever, and then I’ll ask to return it if the new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hypothetical RAM has the same issue and maybe just get like you know Crucial RAM or something like that.
Cameras and zoom lenses
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, we should probably do some follow-up. Is John doing Lensrentals wrong?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I got an email today that said, this is a reminder from lensrental.com, this is
⏹️ ▶️ John a reminder that your rental ended yesterday and our system indicates that it has not been sent back to us. So, I was surprised
⏹️ ▶️ John by this email because first of all, my rental didn’t end yesterday. It ended on Monday and
⏹️ ▶️ John yesterday was Wednesday. And I sent it back on Monday.
⏹️ ▶️ John And of course, when I sent it back, I got a receipt from the FedEx place and I took a picture of the receipt with my phone so as soon as I got this
⏹️ ▶️ John email I could immediately reply with a picture of my receipt with a tracking number that if they were to enter it into the
⏹️ ▶️ John FedEx website they would see was on truck for delivery back to their place in Missouri or whatever they are
⏹️ ▶️ John and my question is to Marco who’s done this before did I do it wrong am I supposed to enter my tracking number after I return
⏹️ ▶️ John it am I supposed to go to the website and click a button that say that I shipped it back did I mess this up somehow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you didn’t mess it up at all basically something messed up that doesn’t usually do that
⏹️ ▶️ John But anyway, they don’t have the lens I want to rent for my wife’s vacation, so I’m kind of upset about that
⏹️ ▶️ John uh, what lens is it? It’s a lens that I probably don’t want to buy because it’s $1,000. And it’s a,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m trying to find like a zoom, a zoom that I wouldn’t want to buy because it’s like a compromise, but it’s a pretty good
⏹️ ▶️ John compromise. This is the Sony Vario Tessar T star E 16 to 70 millimeter.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a very compact zoom. It’s like if you want to just have one lens on your camera
⏹️ ▶️ John on vacation, that takes decent pictures at many ranges and has a pretty good zoom range not
⏹️ ▶️ John really really big zoom but you know pretty wide to pretty close up and
⏹️ ▶️ John folds back to a small size this looks like a good lens for that but then again it’s also $1,000
⏹️ ▶️ John and do I really want to spend $1,000 on a zoom lens that isn’t optically that amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John but it really is very flexible and it’s much smaller than the zoom lens I had so I’m thinking of renting that
⏹️ ▶️ John and then just buying some primes with the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera Yeah, I mean honestly and I was actually very pleased we got a lot of feedback from other photographers so far
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically saying that they too and these are some some pro photographers that they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco too only own primes and and some of them said I occasionally rent a zoom for like an event but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part there’s been a number of people who were basically saying that they agree with with my plea last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco episode to please consider only using primes and please at least get the 50 prime equivalent for your system.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There were actually quite a a lot of those. That was very nice to hear. So it does seem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you are looking at that. I left it to mention in the last show, if you’re not looking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the Sony system, I would also give serious consideration to the Fuji XT line
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or X-Pro line. There was the X-T1 that a lot of people loved. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco believe the X-T2 is now out or at least it’s about to be out. The whole Fuji X-Trans
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sensor thing is kind of cool and has some pretty cool advantages. So I would strongly recommend
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you don’t want to jump all the way up to Sony’s A6300 slash A7
⏹️ ▶️ Marco price ranges, consider the Fuji X line because it is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have not had any direct experience with it, but it is very well regarded and a lot of people like that a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the slightly lower price point.
⏹️ ▶️ John People are trying to talk me into a micro four thirds, all right. And I’m totally aware of all these things. I think I’ve read
⏹️ ▶️ John every single review on DP review for every 2016 camera at this point. So I’m very aware of the things and you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m pretty settled on the Sony body. I’m willing to pay the extra money for the extra and like it’s a camera
⏹️ ▶️ John that I used. Like I, you know, it’s a known known at this point. I rented it. I used it. I liked it.
⏹️ ▶️ John The Fuji’s are less expensive, but I don’t mind the extra cost for the body, especially when I’m looking at lenses
⏹️ ▶️ John that all cost a bazillion dollars. Anyway, still no purchases made, but I’m thinking about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Also worth pointing out as one person did that I also neglected to mention last episode, The lenses
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I buy are the full frame lenses, the FE line in Sony’s parlance. John
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would not need to buy the FE lens, he could buy the crop sensor E lenses. And so like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lens you were just mentioning, John, that is not available in full frame. There is no equivalent to that for full frame. I know,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s why it’s a good lens. Like, it’s perfect for my camera. That’s why it’s a versatile lens. Well, for my camera,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like, I don’t wanna pay the amount of money I’d have to pay for a full frame version of the same
⏹️ ▶️ John lens, and I don’t want the size that that would bring. So here is a lens made specifically for my size sensor that is very
⏹️ ▶️ John compact, that has a good zoom range, that is optically pretty good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. Yeah. So for your needs, I do recommend for most people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they like that if they have the budget for one of these Sony A7 series full frame cameras
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to step up to it if you can, because the quality difference is immense. However, for what you are using and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for your stated needs for zoom lenses, basically for for really far reaching
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but also small and somewhat affordable zoom lenses, I would not recommend full frame. I think you’re making the right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco move by not going full frame for that particular reason. But it pains me to say that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would go full frame if the body wasn’t so, I would go full frame if the body wasn’t so big. Like I would sacrifice the zoom
⏹️ ▶️ John if the body wasn’t so big and if the body wasn’t literally three times the cost. Like it’s not a small price jump.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’d pay a couple hundred extra, but 3,500 bucks, I’m out.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and one thing to consider, if you don’t want to go all the way to the $3,000 A7R II,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the regular A7 II without the R came out something like six to nine months earlier.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I rented one of those before I decided to wait for and then buy the A7R II. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco regular A7 II is not that much more money than the A6300, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not quite as advanced in some of the newer stuff, like some of the video features and the focus. I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there aren’t as many phase-detect focus points on it, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ John and the burst mode thing and it’s bigger. Like yeah, I know, I looked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at it. But the sensor for the A72, it is full frame and I think, I mean, you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get those things for what, like $1,400 or $1,500? For what they are, they’re an incredible value right now because it’s kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like last year’s model that’s still for sale basically. That is a very good buy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you want full frame but don’t wanna spend like three grand on it. And compared
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to what was available, like if you wanted full frame before the Sony A series, you had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to go for a 5D Mark II, Mark III, and those were $3,000 cameras. That used to be the only way to get full frame.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was the entry point for full frame was these $3,000 Canon big SLRs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco To have something like the Sony A7 series and to have their full frame sensor starting at like 1,500 bucks is amazing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for quality photography and for bringing that to people. It’s really quite
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’m gonna do the Casey prediction now and say here’s what’s actually gonna happen. I’m gonna get this camera, we’re gonna use it for a few years.
⏹️ ▶️ John the new whatever replaces your camera is going to come out and or there’s going to be a full frame
⏹️ ▶️ John camera in a similar form factor to the 6300 and several years after buying this camera and a bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ John lenses I’m going to sell it all and buy a full frame mirrorless camera which may or may
⏹️ ▶️ John not be from Sony so I know that’s going to happen like it’s inevitable but I’m willing to spend the three or four years now with this small
⏹️ ▶️ John camera as a transitional face
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah that’s totally fair honestly I would bet against that feet that future for you just because like you think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m too cheap no I I think they’re fair I mean that might be that might be a factor here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I’ve been talking to you about cameras for like two years now or three years now and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ve never wavered on the point of like I like good cameras but I will never buy one that’s that
⏹️ ▶️ John I know because it’s a money pit I know I’m susceptible to this money pit and my wife made me enter it and
⏹️ ▶️ John as predicted once you have one and use it a lot like you just it’s I know I know myself
⏹️ ▶️ John I was trying to avoid this particular money pit now I’m easing into the money pit and
⏹️ ▶️ John like your camera is like I feel like your camera is still a little bit in transition I feel like this
⏹️ ▶️ John whole mirrorless revolution is kind of like just getting going here and I want to I really
⏹️ ▶️ John believe that you could have a decent full-frame camera with all of your features in a smaller form factor
⏹️ ▶️ John that has even better performance I think that is coming I just have to wait like five to seven years and I’m willing to wait
⏹️ ▶️ John and the 6300 is really cool and I think I’ll use that while I wait.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Uh, I’m not sure it’s going to get that much smaller, honestly, because like, like the,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the, the a seven line before the two, the seven to a seven or two, the regular a seven line was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit smaller. One of the reasons that had to get bigger was the giant, uh, in body stabilizer thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. If you look, there’s, there’s actually a tear down on, on I fix it of the a seven R two. There really is not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of room in there to shrink this thing any further. And also if they did shrink it further somehow,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would probably mean an even smaller battery, and that’s the last thing this thing needs.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s plenty of room for more battery. If they need to talk to Apple about scalped batteries or something, there’s room for more battery,
⏹️ ▶️ John man. And you can’t change them. I’m totally willing to not have the in-body stabilization, like do
⏹️ ▶️ John the 6300 but with a full-frame sensor, but without the stabilization. Anyway, I believe in the future of technology,
⏹️ ▶️ John and I believe cameras will get smaller and better, and so I’m willing to wait it out. And even if it
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco doesn’t. Wait,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you don’t want the stabilization, Hold on, how much is an a7R? The first a7R. Actually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s contrast only. You don’t want that. But that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the old camera, slow burst mode and not as good sensor.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, you don’t want contrast autofocus, nevermind.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, exactly, forget about it. Anyway, we’ve had enough camera talk. At some point I’ll buy
⏹️ ▶️ John something, then we’ll talk about it some more. Okay.
Car infotainment systems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey We got a bit of feedback with regard to QNX, which is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that real-time operating system and Dan Dodge, I believe, is the gentleman’s name, that was co-founder
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and is now working at Apple. And anonymous, well, two different anonymous sources. The first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey told us that the M5 that Marco had and the i335,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey both the iDrive systems are running on QNX. And this particular
⏹️ ▶️ Casey individual also added that there really isn’t any requirement for real-time OS for infotainment. It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just kind of happens to use QNX. Kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like the standard that everybody does.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I was about to say, and that’s apparently fairly popular. And furthermore, from what I understand,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the CarPlay features that are in a lot of modern cars, a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot of that support happens at the QNX OS level, even before the iDrive
⏹️ ▶️ Casey tier, if you will, or level in the software. And then a And a different anonymous source
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrote us a really fascinating email, which I’d love to read the whole thing, but I presume John has called
⏹️ ▶️ Casey out a couple of parts that I’ll read to you. The biggest performance problem in car UIs is usually
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the embedded chipset used. Our system has to work on 10 plus chipsets by different manufacturers.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Car companies save every cent on their chipset. The fact that some cars built today still have less
⏹️ ▶️ Casey than 128 megs RAM, although RAM costs almost nothing, shows that perfectly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey As my head of engineering once said to me, they’d rather spend money on three software engineers for two years
⏹️ ▶️ Casey trying to get that system to run as efficiently as possible rather than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey spending a few dollars more on each chip. And that’s because of the economy of scale that, you know, when you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey building 11 gazillion cars, a few dollars per car really starts to add up. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just, I mean, it makes sense, but I didn’t really think of it that way until this anonymous little birdie wrote in and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey said that. So I thought that was fascinating.
⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t make sense. It’s the exact definition of pennywise pound foolish. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John think like, oh, you’re right about the math and how it multiplies out, but you’re wrong about, or the car companies are wrong
⏹️ ▶️ John about the value provided by having good software. The good software
⏹️ ▶️ John is an important differentiator, an increasingly important differentiator in cars. And you saving two bucks
⏹️ ▶️ John on that chip is not worth the value lost to your brand. Like all the people, like Marco said,
⏹️ ▶️ John drives this, this, you know, really nice Mercedes, but it’s disgusted by the infotainment system. You spent
⏹️ ▶️ John all this money on this car. So many parts in the Mercedes are 50 cents more expensive
⏹️ ▶️ John than they are in other cars. One cent more expensive, one dollar more expensive. From the fuel lines, to the filters,
⏹️ ▶️ John to the mufflers, to every single part of that car is just a little tiny bit more expensive than Honda. That’s what makes it a Mercedes.
⏹️ ▶️ John The software you can’t treat like, oh well, we’re only going to put 120 megs of RAM because doubling the RAM would cost three
⏹️ ▶️ John extra cents, instead of we’re going to have three engineers work on this and to jam
⏹️ ▶️ John the software into this tiny little chipset with this small amount of RAM because hey it’s cheaper do the math it is cheaper but you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John making your product worse in a way that is way out of proportion to the money that you save if you just
⏹️ ▶️ John add up like okay two bucks two extra bucks per car times the number of cars we sell you’re adding so much more value to
⏹️ ▶️ John your brand as Mercedes as a car that people want to buy by making decent software and you make decent software by
⏹️ ▶️ John not making your software engineers have to jam their software into a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of weird underpowered chipsets that are RAM constrained is it’s a terrible idea and you know that
⏹️ ▶️ John this email and say is the good part is all these problems are slowly getting worked on the companies creating these
⏹️ ▶️ John inventions systems are slowly getting better understanding the technology hurdles and some car companies that really care
⏹️ ▶️ John are taking this away from third-party vendors basically taking it in-house kind of like Tesla does so
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re getting better about this but the mindset is like totally wrong and you know we’re totally not blaming the people who make
⏹️ ▶️ John these invoitainment systems because you know as this person said they have to write this thing has to work on these terrible washing
⏹️ ▶️ John machine chip sets that in these cars because they’re cheap. And of course they’re terrible. And by the way,
⏹️ ▶️ John the infotainment system on Q and X thing that was in response to the last episode, we’re talking about Q and
⏹️ ▶️ John X. And it’s like, well, you don’t need a real time operating system for the infotainment. You need it for like the self driving car, the,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the automatic stopping system that prevents you from hitting pedestrians and other things that are critical that need
⏹️ ▶️ John to be in real time. But Q and X is also a reliable, popular embedded operating systems. I guess they just use
⏹️ ▶️ John it for the infotainment systems to maybe they’re not even using the real time features. Like, this was my question, like, what is
⏹️ ▶️ John it about the infotainment system that needs real time? And the answer is nothing. It’s just, you know, it’s a good embedded operating system
⏹️ ▶️ John with that automotive engineers are familiar with. It runs in a runs on those washing machine chips
⏹️ ▶️ John with a tiny amount of RAM. So there you have it. I should also point out that I had to reboot my car today.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey How do you do that?
⏹️ ▶️ John It happens. You hold down a key combination, right? Yes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I should point out, too, this is the third time I’ve had to do this and since owning the car
⏹️ ▶️ Casey three months. You should really look at the RAM, Marco. I hear that’s troubling these days.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey so what was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the symptom? So the first time I had to reboot it… So there’s two screens. There’s the screen where like the speedometer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like right in front of you on the little, you know, little dash console thing. And there’s the giant touch screen in the middle.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And those are actually running like two different computers or like the one in front of the driver
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of of like a sub interface that remotely controls the main one in the center. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the main one in the center also controls all the HVAC stuff, all the media
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, and a bunch of other things that are not driving but are a lot of other accessory features
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the interior. So I went out one afternoon and the driver facing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one said, “‘There’s a problem with your center console. “‘Call service.’” I hate talking on the phone, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rather than calling customer service, I just searched the web for like this error message and found like some forums
⏹️ ▶️ Marco posts and everything saying like oh just reboot it and then it took me another ten minutes to figure out how the heck do you reboot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and the way you reboot it is you like the steering wheel has a little like jog wheel on each side like by the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the buttons like for the controls and if you hold if you click in both of those jog wheels and hold
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them in for like five seconds the center screen reboots interesting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I had so I did that it fixed the problem you know I came back up it takes like 20 30 seconds to reboot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it came back up it was fine. And then I did it willingly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about a month ago because the navigation when it highlights
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the road you’re supposed to drive on with a blue overlay, sometimes if you zoom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or pan or otherwise cause the map to redraw, sometimes the blue
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overlay stops drawing reliably. It’ll either omit sections or it’ll just not draw at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all. it looks like it’s maybe like running out of texture memory or something and so like the texture is just not being painted right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something. I don’t know how these systems work in enough detail to say for sure but it looks like you know some kind of just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know memory leak bug that slowly this just stops working very well. And actually when I had the service loaner
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I got my windshield replaced that car had that same symptom where it just wasn’t drawing the overlay right so I know it’s not just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my car. I used to know how to fix it in the service loaner but now I do you just reboot it and it’s immediately better. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then today the center console just stopped responding and like the audio froze and it was playing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over Bluetooth so it wasn’t like a cable issue. And yeah, so I was like driving at the time, so I was like, well, I hope
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this doesn’t do anything weird. So I was stopped at traffic lights, I’m like, all right, good time, hold them in, reboot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was fine, like came back up again, totally fine. I will say overall, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now that we’re on the subject of these infotainment systems, it kind of annoys me that Tesla
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is working on all these automatic driving things and pouring so much of their resources into that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco while their in-car navigation and media system still could use a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco improvement. It’s still pretty rudimentary. It is nice in that it has the big touchscreen and everything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the media interface is extremely basic. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco supports very little of Bluetooth audio capabilities, control capabilities, doesn’t support artwork and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff like that, doesn’t support fast forward and rewind, there’s no, of course, browsing or anything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no iPod interface, no CarPlay. So they’re missing a lot there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then the navigation is also very rudimentary. You can’t set waypoints. You can’t say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all right, well drive here to here, but use this highway. Or drive here to here, but stop here in the middle. You can’t do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have to just make separate trips. So stuff like that, and also the directions. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco map images come from Google, but I think Tesla has its
⏹️ ▶️ Marco own street data. And Tesla also provides its own navigation,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco despite wherever the data’s coming from. Like it’s not using Google’s navigation, Tesla has its own navigation. And Tesla’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time estimates are never right with traffic. And it is not very good navigating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco around traffic-heavy cities. Like I’ve made the mistake of following it a couple times for Manhattan, and it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a disaster every time. And like it was not that driving in Manhattan had to be a disaster,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it just made really bad choices, and I followed them. And then I would look over and like, oh, if I would’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just stayed on the highway, one more exit, I would have bypassed all of this. That took me 40 minutes, you know. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overall, Tesla’s head unit is, or like the navigation system is, you know, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good. I love having the big screen. However, I wish they’d put more resources into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that because it seems like they haven’t really touched that in a long time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And for them to be putting all this amazing effort into cool AI features and stuff, that’s nice. And you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you look at the big picture, if these things end up saving lives, that’s awesome and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is more important. But at the same time, as a customer of their car, I do wish the system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was better. And it is kind of weird that such a tech-forward company has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of dropped the ball on the basic features of their technology
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the car facing the user. Also the touchscreen is just really sluggish. Navigating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the map is very, very low frame It, you know, it’s kind of like navigating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Google Maps on like a Pentium 3. Like it’s not like it’s not like using
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an iPad. Like it’s not at all like that. It’s very sluggish and there’s all this all this latency in the interface
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and and I you do kind of expect more from a car of that caliber.
⏹️ ▶️ John So features aside, getting back to the rebooting your car and stuff, you kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of well, I don’t know, it’s hard to separate it from the features. I’ve been talking about this, but I think a
⏹️ ▶️ John lot of regular people have this feeling and it’s easy for us to slip into it too, is like
⏹️ ▶️ John when things were simpler and didn’t have as much computer stuff, they were more reliable because there
⏹️ ▶️ John were fewer things that can go wrong. And as soon as they started adding software to their stuff, like when we talked about this with smart
⏹️ ▶️ John TV, that old smart TV post I had from CES, so worst products through software, they had all this software
⏹️ ▶️ John and it just makes the thing less reliable and more annoying to use. And you’re speaking
⏹️ ▶️ John of it in terms of the basics, like, they’ve added a bunch of software to the car, which is good, and they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John better at it than a lot of other people. But on the other hand, it’s also less reliable. And my terrible, terrible infotainment,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you want to even call it that, system on my Honda Accord, I’ve never had to reboot it, but it’s just terrible all the time. So
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s kind of like in the in-between phase where everything is not as simple as it used to be, like
⏹️ ▶️ John on my wife’s Accord that has no infotainment screen at all. That was, you know, it’s simple, fixed function,
⏹️ ▶️ John everything implemented in hardware with, you know, some very rudimentary firmware, you would even
⏹️ ▶️ John call it no sort of general purpose touchscreen menu system software, like nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John like that. There’s a bunch of CPUs in there, there’s a bunch of memory, but they’re all basically like little embedded systems.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s like as far as the car industry can go along the lines of like everything is super
⏹️ ▶️ John reliable. And as we all know, as programmers, but it’s sometimes easy to forget as consumers,
⏹️ ▶️ John as soon as you make real live software like a GUI, you can’t make it the same way
⏹️ ▶️ John an embedded system you have to have a GUI framework and an API and like you know regular application
⏹️ ▶️ John development for human interaction as opposed to this is custom
⏹️ ▶️ John software for this little chip that controls the radio and instead of you know it’s not like the more you start making a platform
⏹️ ▶️ John the more you start making what we know is like a pc style platform where you build applications on top of
⏹️ ▶️ John it where you’re farther farther away from that ideal embedded system that just has like a ROM
⏹️ ▶️ John or something and you just get all the bugs out of it and you get it right or if there are bugs there sort of known bugs where once you start having
⏹️ ▶️ John real live software it’s there’s nothing so far that we as humans have
⏹️ ▶️ John been able to figure out how to do to make that software as reliable
⏹️ ▶️ John as the thing without software without sacrificing huge things
⏹️ ▶️ John like just okay it will you know we’ll do space probe reliability metrics but it will take
⏹️ ▶️ John us years and years to write a very small amount of code and the limitations are so onerous that no one would ever want to do anything
⏹️ ▶️ John in that way, unless you’re writing a space probe, in which case you have no choice, right? But cars are not space probes.
⏹️ ▶️ John The cost benefit ratios are different. So bottom line is once you add software to cars, you have to reboot your car. Like essentially,
⏹️ ▶️ John that is inevitable. You know, we do want software to be added to our cars, because we think it’s a better user interface,
⏹️ ▶️ John and they can do a lot of stuff. But you will have to reboot your car. Like there’s no like, if only you had tried harder Tesla,
⏹️ ▶️ John then Marco wouldn’t have had to reboot his car. Like there’s, there’s there’s you know, there’s a sliding scale of quality,
⏹️ ▶️ John but a car with software is never going to be as reliable
⏹️ ▶️ John as the car with a hardware radio because the hardware radio either works or it doesn’t and when it stops working you throw it Out and you put a
⏹️ ▶️ John new hardware radio and for the life of that hardware radio, it doesn’t change There’s no firmware updates There’s no software being sent to and
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s doing so much less doing so so much less than Marcos thing it’s like pulling images and doing GPS
⏹️ ▶️ John and Navigating and talking to you and putting images up on the screen like it’s doing so much less
⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s not as if you know it’s this magic sauce. When you do more stuff, it’s more complicated. Software has bugs,
⏹️ ▶️ John the more software you have, the more bugs you have. And until we get like, a sort of emergent
⏹️ ▶️ John AI to write and fix our software for us, that seems to be the way of things probably for most of our life.
⏹️ ▶️ John So we should just kind of get used to this. Now the features discussion, I think is a separate issue, which is Mark was saying, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you, you know, you’re gonna have bugs, you have a lot of software, spend more your time here instead of less of your time there. And we say the
⏹️ ▶️ John same thing about Apple, especially on the Mac, like, If you’re not, don’t try to look for the next big feature, dad, why don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John you just make all the features that are already there much more reliable? And that definitely is possible and it is something Tesla should be doing, but
⏹️ ▶️ John whenever I feel like high and mighty about the fact that I never had to reboot my Accord, I realize it’s only because it doesn’t really have
⏹️ ▶️ John as much software and features as Marcos car does, and as soon as it does, it’s gonna be just as bad.
⏹️ ▶️ John And, you know, we as programmers understand why that happens because software without bugs
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t exist, and more software, more bugs. I see what you
⏹️ ▶️ John Wow. Is that depressing? I don’t know, but like, you know, that’s the way
⏹️ ▶️ John of things. I feel like we should understand that better than anyone because we do it for a living and we know what
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Follow-up: Audio drift
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jamie is written in and they asked, I’m surprised that the clocks in different computer recording
⏹️ ▶️ Casey devices can’t keep frame accurate time. I say frame since I come from the film world, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, accurate to a 24th or 30th of a second. This has been solved in sound recorders and cameras since the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 50s and 60s, using a quartz crystal with the inaccuracy of a few parts per million. Computers can’t provide the accuracy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of a quartz watch. It’s so nuts. Marco, would you like to comment?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so this is in response to my discussion about audio drift being a problem in long
⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast recordings where basically when your sound card is sampling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your microphone at 44,100 times per second, then over the course of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a two-hour recording, what your computer thinks is the correct time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the number of samples it has recorded might be off from your co-host’s computer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by like half a second to one second. And it’s just due to imprecision between
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the computers. Like my sound chip might just be, you know, .0001% less accurate than yours, but when you’re doing 44,100 samples
⏹️ ▶️ Marco per second over two hours, that could start to add up to something noticeable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because it only takes like a half second for the two tracks to be off before you can really notice it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My reply to Jamie’s feedback here is, I don’t know why they can’t do it. I mean, if it’s possible to do it somewhere else,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know why, I’m sure there’s a good reason because this has been a problem for a long time. One of the ways that this problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gets avoided in professional equipment, which Jamie’s probably familiar with, if you look at pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio gear, like really pro audio gear, there is usually a clock input
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and output port on the back, and you can use separate devices for clock
⏹️ ▶️ Marco generation. So what they do is they don’t rely on incredible precision to make sure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that this device and this device have exactly the same precision on their clock chips. No, they just outsource
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the problem. They declare like one source of the clock rate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be authoritative and they just hardwire all to each other and say, all right, this device is providing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the clock for me so my internal circuitry is not going to do it. This is the world I know very little about. I just know that this exists.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if I’m getting those details wrong, I apologize, but that’s the gist of it. That is how that world deals with it. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not by getting incredibly precise components, it’s simply by outsourcing the problem to one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco device and saying, okay, you’re the master of the clock.
⏹️ ▶️ John I put this feedback in there because I had the same question when you were describing it. And I was thinking along the lines of, look, the, the clocks
⏹️ ▶️ John have to be pretty darn accurate from one computer to the next. Could it be instead
⏹️ ▶️ John that, because again, we’re not using real time operating systems here to record our audio, that
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s easy to miss a frame here and there because some other things happens and it’s not a big deal. You’ll never
⏹️ ▶️ John notice it audio wise, but if you add that up, like in other words, it’s basically a software problem and not a hardware problem
⏹️ ▶️ John that the quartz crystals And our computers are all Close enough to each other
⏹️ ▶️ John that it wouldn’t matter but our computers aren’t hardware audio recording devices They’re general-purpose computers.
⏹️ ▶️ John And in the end, it’s a piece of software that’s pulling samples off a bus and so many things in the middle that
⏹️ ▶️ John Missing a few things here and there because but I don’t I guess that wouldn’t explain systemic drift because if it was really a random Error
⏹️ ▶️ John and it was equal on all our computers. Maybe you would even out. Anyway, I don’t know the answer either either. Your
⏹️ ▶️ John theory sounds reasonable, but I have the same questions about like, look, quartz crystals should
⏹️ ▶️ John be accurate and matching. But then again, I didn’t know about this whole thing of having a clock being fed into multiple audio components.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I don’t know what to think. So if you are an audio person who does audio on computers, and you know the definitive answer,
⏹️ ▶️ John please write in and tell us. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’d be great. Also, for whatever it’s worth, I’ve always noticed that laptops
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have way more drift than desktops. Mac pros have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way less drift than iMacs. So it does seem to possibly be related to just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the quality and the conditions of the components.
⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t say like the components, like a laptop may just be under more stress, like it’s more likely to be thermal
⏹️ ▶️ John throttling up and down and doing other stuff. Again, I would imagine that the clock crystals inside
⏹️ ▶️ John the related chips and all those things are of equal quality, but we are not
⏹️ ▶️ John solid state audio recording devices, like a little handheld thing to do. It’s a whole computer in there. So much
⏹️ ▶️ John can go wrong between the samples being pulled off this really complicated bus and going
⏹️ ▶️ John out to a file. So anyway, please write in and tell us. But we all see the results. If you want to try this experiment
⏹️ ▶️ John yourself, feel free. Do a double-ender podcast with two friends across the country on a laptop and try to put the
⏹️ ▶️ John audio together and you’ll realize why
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you need Marco’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Let’s see here. So…
The ARM Mac feedback that won’t die
⏹️ ▶️ Casey One of you put in here and I’m quoting the arm Mac feedback that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey won’t die it won’t
⏹️ ▶️ John people keep suggesting it. It’s been like three months six months This this literally will not
⏹️ ▶️ John die and I feel like now fine. Okay, fine. We will address it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey quote It’s obvious what’s going on with the Mac lineup colon total arm reboot.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is from a tweet This is a concise form of what everyone is telling us every time we complain about where are the new Macs?
⏹️ ▶️ John Why aren’t they updating the Mac Pro? What’s taking so long with the Mac Pro updates? Everything says don’t buy in
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac buying guide thing on the Mac rumors site. Doesn’t seem like they care about the Mac anymore. And everyone’s like, you dummies!
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s because every single Mac is being converted to ARM and they’re just taking a long time. Why don’t understand why you don’t realize that? Why
⏹️ ▶️ John won’t you reply to my tweets? All the Macs are going ARM. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Maybe,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe all the Macs are going ARM. We’ve talked about that many, many times in the past. A
⏹️ ▶️ John couple of things I have to say about that And the reason why we don’t bring that up, first of all, we’ve talked about our Macs forever on past shows
⏹️ ▶️ John and all the different tradeoffs inherent in them. We’re not going to rehash all that, right? But first, if all
⏹️ ▶️ John the Macs are going arm still kind of doesn’t excuse the tremendous delay. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John look at the Intel transition. They didn’t stop selling power PC Macs and not update them for three years before
⏹️ ▶️ John the transition to x86. Right. And they knew that was coming for a long time. You sell the old computers
⏹️ ▶️ John right along until you tell the world, hey, world, we’re changing to a new architecture.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, in all fairness, though, that’s a bad example, because back then the Mac was Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco main product. Like they cared a lot more about it. They prioritize a lot more engineering wise.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco These days, it doesn’t seem like it is that high of a priority.
⏹️ ▶️ John But if it’s not a high priority, it’s not a high priority, whether it’s changing or not. And that gets back to last week’s argument of like, maybe it’s not high
⏹️ ▶️ John enough priority to care to switch to ARM because then you’d have to develop ARM chips suitable for all your Mac line. And that costs a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John of money. But anyway, second thing is and the conventional wisdom about
⏹️ ▶️ John the arm transition is if Apple is going to convert to arm, they have to essentially pre announce it because developers
⏹️ ▶️ John need to get their stuff together the same way they pre announced the X 86 transition. They didn’t announce it and say and you can buy an X 86
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac today. Nope, they had to announce it to
⏹️ ▶️ John first and then developers could get like that test hardware was like a was like a Pentium four and a cheese
⏹️ ▶️ John grater case and all you know and you could make sure you recompile your apps and update all the tools and blah
⏹️ ▶️ John blah blah. So could be could be that Apple is converting their whole line to arm. But
⏹️ ▶️ John that is not the that is not the obvious explanation of what’s going on. And it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John even the number one most likely explanation. It’s probably like the number two or three possible explanation.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I would be very surprised if Apple is converting the entire Mac line arm
⏹️ ▶️ John and didn’t tell the world and developers before you could buy the hardware. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. You have anything else to add about this? This eternal feedback that tells us we’re adults.
⏹️ ▶️ John We’re not realizing it’s a complete arm reboot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a nice idea if you don’t think about it for too long or if you’re not that familiar with what would be involved or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the markets here. I just don’t think it’s realistic. I don’t think there’s not to say that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple couldn’t release a whole line of our max,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that’s all we could.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. As we’ve talked about and we’re, you know, we’re all under the impression that they probably have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco arm os 10 running in the labs and have for some time, they probably just maintain it as like a parallel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just in case branch, but there really is just not a lot of motivation for them to do that right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco In as we discussed, you know, I’ll summarize it briefly. Basically, it would take a lot of work would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a lot of downsides and Intel just isn’t bad enough yet.
⏹️ ▶️ John And again, what I get getting back to is like our max yes, no, whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the delay in updating all the Macs is unrelated. Because like, there’s no reason
⏹️ ▶️ John why you would say, because we’re doing the ARM thing, therefore we’re gonna delay. It’s not as if they would say, we
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have time to update those old cruddy Macs. We’re gonna take every person who was working on Mac hardware before
⏹️ ▶️ John and put them all on the ARM hardware. You know, it doesn’t make any sense. And also
⏹️ ▶️ John because there have been massive delays in the past, like the cheese grater Mac Pro not being updated forever. And that wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John explained by an ARM reboot either. It’s just plain old, like there’s so many more explicable reasons Skylake
⏹️ ▶️ John having bugs and taking a long time to come out and being delayed and then skipping generations like those are the actual reasons why
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a delay even if they come out with a complete ARM reboot in a month I will still say this theory
⏹️ ▶️ John was wrong why because all those delays were not related to the ARM reboot they’re related to all the things we’ve talked about so many times
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not it’s not speculation that they skip chip generations they did they skip them and then it’s not speculation that Skylake
⏹️ ▶️ John was delayed and had rollout problems that’s a real thing that happened that alone is sufficient to explain
⏹️ ▶️ John the the delay and what we’re complaining about on the past shows is Hey, Apple, don’t skip generations, because if you do,
⏹️ ▶️ John any bump in Intel’s plan makes your computers embarrassingly late. Bingo. And,
⏹️ ▶️ John by the way, update your GPUs.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and the other thing I just wanted to throw in there really quickly is that it’s been,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me personally, less of an issue since my new job and since I’m doing iOS development.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But in my last job, and a job or two before that as well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of the developers generally speaking, used Macs, but they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all lived in VMware Fusion or Parallels or VirtualBox if they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really hated their lives. And virtualizing against
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the same chipset is fairly easy. To have OS X running on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey x86 and then virtualize Windows, which is also running on x86, that’s fairly straightforward and easy. If
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this was an ARM Mac trying to virtualize x86, that would have just slowed everything down
⏹️ ▶️ Casey tremendously in all likelihood and would really be a potentially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very bad thing for business users that need to have VMs. Even business users that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey need VMs not for their day-to-day, but for their one old legacy app that only runs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on IE6. And so they need to boot into XP and a VM to use that one app. Like that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey happened a lot in past jobs. And maybe if it’s just that one app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in IE6, you can deal with it being slow. But I mean, up until this job, I lived in VMware Fusion and I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was developing in VMware Fusion and it would probably be a lot worse
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if the Mac in which I was using wasn’t Intel. And to the point that I would probably have to use
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some crappy Dell or Lenovo or something like that. And that would be just sad.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Microsoft did take a run at this ARM transition with whatever the Windows for ARM thing for their Surface thing. And
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not going so well. They did it badly. They didn’t commit. They’re just like, well, we’re also going to have an ARM
⏹️ ▶️ John version of Windows. cool right guys and the market was like not not that cool because
⏹️ ▶️ John we need to run our x86 software yeah the only way to do it is the way Apple does it which is like look we’re changing everything from 68k
⏹️ ▶️ John to power pc get on board and if they do an arm transition on mac i feel like they’re gonna do the same thing they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not gonna let the two computers live on which will mean exactly like Casey said if you’ve got to run that x86 stuff in virtualization
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re gonna be super sad and it’s just it’s not going to be it’s not gonna be feasible it’s gonna be like the bad old
⏹️ ▶️ John days when i ran virtual pc to run x86 software on PowerPC and it was so slow.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, just the worst.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you remember, I think we talked about this at some point, but they had the like daughter cards for old, old, old
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Macs. I remember hearing about this when I was a kid.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, but they had like 486s on them and
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco stuff. Yeah, it was basically just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a whole PC on a card. Yep, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey what it was. Right,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. And this was just so that you could have a somewhat livable virtualization experience
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on ancient Macs. All right, one last piece of follow-up and then we are finally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think we’re still in follow-up. I know, especially since we recorded, what, two nights ago, three nights ago?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco How is this possible? These are topics. Come on, these are just, these are really just
⏹️ ▶️ John No, these are all, I can justify every single one of these for being follow-up, and so can you, because you know what they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John about. Apple is follow-up.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey talked about it last episode.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have issues with long follow-up, It just so happens that we have long follow-up.
Planet of the Apps advisors
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Gwyneth Paltrow and Will.i.am, which is sort of kind of new, and Gary Vaynerchuk, I hope I pronounced
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that right, are going to be the advisors for Planet of the Apps that was just announced.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Was that today or yesterday? Sometime recently, as we record
⏹️ ▶️ John this. Yeah, serving as a… Gwyneth Paltrow is going to be a mentor to the contestants, so I guess she’s there
⏹️ ▶️ John for like just moral support and like motivates them. I’m not quite sure what her credentials are to help people
⏹️ ▶️ John develop applications, but like, you go guys. Anyway, She’s famous. Um, and Vaynerchuk,
⏹️ ▶️ John Vaynerchuk is, uh, he’s a VC. Um, so he, I guess he’s on the VC side of the
⏹️ ▶️ John shark tank fence. Will. I am is a famous person who likes Apple, who has worked with Apple a lot, and he’s an entertainment
⏹️ ▶️ John industry person. And I guess that’s relevant to building apps if you’re really into entertainment. Um, and they
⏹️ ▶️ John will serve as advisors, which I’m not sure is different than a mentor. Anyway, if you’re wondering who they’re going to get to be on the show,
⏹️ ▶️ John uh, Vaynerchuk, I could have like, that’s right up the middle of what I would expect. like VCs who want to promote
⏹️ ▶️ John themselves in their VC-ness.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, Vaynerchuk is not quite really a VC. He does his own stuff. He’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a business consultant. He came up through Wine Library TV and then came up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and developed this promotional company with a bunch of his own media projects. He’s basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a media personality and a business speaker and business consultant and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John Did he do Corked with Dan Benjamin or is that a different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, that’s Dan Sederhulm, I believe.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John All right, yeah. But no, Gary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Vaynerchuk, he got famous by having this really quite amazing, very early
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video series. I don’t even know if it was on YouTube. I think it was on YouTube, but I’m not positive, called Wine Library TV.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco His family owns this big wine retailer in New Jersey, and every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day he would just go and do this five-minute video featuring a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wine reviews from a really New Jersey, middle-class approach
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to wine. So it was very like low BS, like reviewing low-cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, and he was very good at describing how it tasted, like, oh this tastes like grass, and like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he was really, he was surprisingly charismatic and excellent at this seemingly boring topic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of wine reviews. Anyway, so then his whole career kind of ballooned after that of like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, being this like kind of outrageous, like loud guy who promotes stuff and talks to businesses
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about how to do stuff, but actually I I would say of this list of people, he is probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by far the most qualified to advise people on how to do their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app stuff. Although I admit I have not followed his work very closely recently, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what he has done in the past, he’s definitely more related and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is better at knowing how to promote stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John Real time follow up, Gary Vaynerchuk did buy Corked. He bought it from the two, from Dan Zinnerholm
⏹️ ▶️ John and Dan Benjamin. And by the way, I found this out by googling and it’s on the site winecast.net.
⏹️ ▶️ John Brief aside, if we could all go to winecast.net everybody and look at the logo in the upper left hand corner,
⏹️ ▶️ John do not make your logo look like a
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey condom. Oh, goodness gracious. Oh wow. That’s no good. With
⏹️ ▶️ John a tiny little sperm like crawling its way. Bad job Winecast.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m also seeing a PHP warning being emitted into the page on top.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah. MySQL, no fields. Expect
⏹️ ▶️ John parameter one to be a resource. Boolean given. That’s fine. Anyway, bad logo.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so it’s Gary Vaynerchuk, Will.i.am, who I believe we had already known was involved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with this from a producer standpoint or something, or advisor or something like that. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like you said, Gwyneth Paltrow. So I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think this is really meant for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey us. And we talked about this a lot in the past. We don’t need to go into this too much, but I don’t think this is a show meant for us. I think it’s in theory
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a show meant for people who are not really in the industry. But I’m,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m, I’m curious to see it. I will certainly watch just like, you know, the new top gear, I will watch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an episode or two and assuming it’s not Apple music. So I guess, uh, maybe I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can’t because I don’t subscribe to Apple music. But anyway, if I can, I will watch it off my flex server.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Yeah. Right. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will watch an episode or two and I suspect it will not be very good, but you know what, you don’t know until you try.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So we’ll see what happens.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll watch it for Gary Vee. I like him. So I will gladly watch it for him Fair
⏹️ ▶️ Casey enough. All right at this point. I think we are officially out of follow-up. So what else is awesome these days?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Whoo. Yeah, we need a break and a cigarette. No, I don’t smoke neither. Do it. None of us do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can see John like sneaking under the under the deck or something
⏹️ ▶️ John is not the least likely thing you’ll ever see me doing I know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s so true. I, of, of, if, if any of the three of us had a secret smoking habit, John would be by far the most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco amusing one to have, to have that habit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just smoking out like under the tree that drops the acorns, hitting him every so often, like, oh!
⏹️ ▶️ John I told you, we, the trees, all the trees defeated for the most part. You know, all the limbs are cut off.
⏹️ ▶️ John One questionable limb when I look up might still be in line of sight, but a lot of that tree is all gone now. So
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco we’ve, we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John solved that problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Now you can get your Ferrari. get
⏹️ ▶️ John your Ferrari for my wife’s new Accord not safe for a Ferrari because I don’t you want to leave that outside in the winter and you don’t want to squeeze it into my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’re also sponsored this week by Harry’s
Sponsor: Harry’s (code ATP)
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Go to Harrys.com slash ATP to get $5 off your first purchase. You know how razor companies
⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep putting out new models and raising their already high prices? Well, Harry’s does not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco believe in upcharging. They just made a bunch of improvements to their razors and they’re keeping prices exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the same. So it’s still just $2 per blade cartridge compared to $4 or more you will pay
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the big brands at the drugstore. So Harry’s 5-blade razors now with these new improvements now include they still have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the same five blades, a softer flex hinge for a more comfortable glide, a trimmer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco blade for hard-to-reach places, a lubricating strip on one side, and a textured handle
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for more control when it’s wet. Harry’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was founded by two friends to offer people a great shave at a fair price. They
⏹️ ▶️ Marco market them mostly towards men, however we hear from lots of women that these are really unisex razors
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and women use them too. 100% guaranteed.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you don’t love your shave, Harry’s will fully refund your money. And these blades
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are made in this incredible German blade factory that Harry’s bought, and they sell their own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco razors direct from this factory. And because they’re selling them direct and they own the factory and there’s no retailers or anything else,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they literally charge you half the price or less of what you’re paying at the drugstore for similar blades from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big brands. So get the starter set today. The Harry starter set is an amazing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco deal. You get a weighted razor handle of your choice, moisturizing shave cream, three precision
⏹️ ▶️ Marco engineered five blade cartridges, and a travel cover, all for just 15 bucks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s 15 bucks is the regular price, but again, if you go to Harrys.com slash ATP,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you will get $5 off your first purchase. So that means you could get the starter kit for just 10 bucks. So that would be 10 bucks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to cover handle, shaving cream, and three blade cartridges. It’s an incredible deal.
Apple TV Guide
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So right now go to harrys.com slash atp to claim that deal. That’s harrys.com slash atp.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There’s a rumor that apple has pivoted their brand and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is going to be taking a different approach to the apple tv as in like the set
⏹️ ▶️ Casey top the the television set sort of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco thing again
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, uh Recode reports that they’re going to make the most baller
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV guide ever. That’s a growth industry. Right. And I guess
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the plan is to be able to let you search, and no matter where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the thing you’re looking for may be, be it paid or not or whatever, it will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey figure out a way to get it to you, presumably through your existing accounts at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like Netflix or whatever, which I think it can do already, but also perhaps by partnerships
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with some of the traditional TV folks like maybe ABC or CBS or something like that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean this is kind of cool and I would certainly be interested in it, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean like you said, Marco, this is, I don’t know, TV, I don’t want to say it’s not long
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for this world because I mean it’s been around for a long time and I don’t see it going away that soon? But I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean, is this the sign of major changes in how we consume our television? I mean, that and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Netflix and Amazon creating their own
⏹️ ▶️ Casey television shows. I don’t know. What do you think?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This seems like kind of an extension of what they’re already trying to do with the Apple TV. They already have universal search,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think it is still limited to partners only on the Apple TV at least,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iOS. They already have cross-provider search with Siri
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and being able to search for a TV show or movie or whatever and say, all right, well, it’s available
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Netflix and on HBO Go and for my tune. They can already list all those. That’s already there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if this is just kind of an extension of that or an expansion of that, that’s great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s good. I would question their ability to get these deals, though, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like we’ve been hearing reports for what, three years now? That
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple keeps trying to make a TV service, like one grand new TV service to rule them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all, or something along those lines. Honestly, I—there was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a story I was making fun of last week or whenever about an EDDQ walking into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the meeting with TV executives wearing shoes without socks and a Hawaiian shirt and jeans or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was and Apple’s basically like, you know, we’re Apple, screw you method
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of negotiation with TV companies and who knows if that was real or not, you know, we don’t really know and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how accurate that was, you know. That was a story sourced from TV
⏹️ ▶️ John executives by the way. Exactly. So like, of course they’re gonna say the other side was unreasonable in our negotiation and they
⏹️ ▶️ John wore the wrong clothes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. So chances are, you know, those details are probably not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 100% accurate but it was probably the gist of it, you know, like it’s very likely that that was the gist of what happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we’ve heard similar attitudes, we’ve heard of that before from both
⏹️ ▶️ Marco EDDQ and Apple, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the gist of this is true.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would say that the TV companies are being more unreasonable in these scenarios. If you
⏹️ ▶️ John are a TV company, it seems like Apple’s being unreasonable because Apple is not budging on things they want you to do that you
⏹️ ▶️ John are never going to do. But if you were to be a third party outside observer and say, what things are the
⏹️ ▶️ John TV people never going to do what things does Apple want, you would say, eh, it’s probably better
⏹️ ▶️ John for everyone involved, or at least it’s probably better for us as the consumer if TV companies who did what Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John asked. But the question is, is it better for the TV companies? And maybe, maybe not. So that’s why we don’t have a deal.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, that’s the thing. I mean, like, we’ve heard for years now that Apple is, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re working on this new thing. And the details of what that new thing is shift slightly over time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the gist has been the same. They’re working on some kind of TV plan unifies multiple TV sources
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and something or other, you know, whether that’s related to the new Apple TV or not. That’s been the plan for years now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it just seems like they aren’t getting the deals. And so maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this approach they’re taking to deal-making, they’re walking in there as though they own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the place. And I think at one time, you know, like maybe they did at one time have that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of power in certain industries, but I think it’s pretty clear that what they’re doing isn’t working.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so when we see another report that says, oh, well, now the new thing is they’re going to be this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco version of this plan. Well, show me any evidence from the past that we should believe them on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this. Like, there’s nothing.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s why they’re pivoting, though, because they’ve failed with the past approaches. They’re not sticking to the past approaches. They’re pivoting
⏹️ ▶️ John and trying new things. But in some respects, I think Apple still feels like time is on their side. And they may
⏹️ ▶️ John be right, because the holdouts in all of this are not the Netflixes of the world.
⏹️ ▶️ John ABC, NBC, Disney, CBS, those are the difficult ones there,
⏹️ ▶️ John and all the local television, and all the deals with other things. Apple’s most recent pivot that we have in front of us
⏹️ ▶️ John in our houses now is the future of TV is apps, and we make Apple TV, and on your Apple TV you can find an app for
⏹️ ▶️ John Major League Baseball, you can find an NFL app, you can find an app for ABC, CBS, Netflix, Showtime, HBO,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what you can find. This, I wouldn’t even call this a pivot, but this latest rumor is
⏹️ ▶️ John basically that Apple’s new approach, sort of their version of the omnivorous
⏹️ ▶️ John box that I talked about in the last show, like we will take in all content and provide you one unified interface, like the current Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John TV is like, here’s your unified interface. It’s a bunch of rounded rectangles.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Isn’t that a great unified interface.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you can do Siri search across them. And you know, like, like, as this article says, like, they already have a thing where
⏹️ ▶️ John people who make the Disney app, or the ESPN app, or the NFL app, if you use Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John API’s and make your information searchable, that when you say show me whatever that the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ John can search across all of them. But it’s not quite the same as a TV guide. Like a lot of what a lot of people want to do is say,
⏹️ ▶️ John what’s on or what are the series that are currently running that are popular? Like we can imagine a much better
⏹️ ▶️ John interface to television that is independent of where the show has come from. Tivo does this as many
⏹️ ▶️ John people have written about Tivo. Tivo has a thing where you can search for stuff and it’s like, here’s the show. It’s airing these episodes. These
⏹️ ▶️ John five are streaming. The season passes show but different icons to see where you can get them from. But like, that’s what we all want. We don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want to have to switch inputs who are one unified interest, everything the old way, Apple declined to participate in, which
⏹️ ▶️ John I still think would have been a good idea because it shows so far no one has been able to do it. So they could have been doing that old thing anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John is to just be a box that takes input from all the different places. But nowadays, TV doesn’t come from
⏹️ ▶️ John all these different sources from cable from these, you know, like it comes increasingly across the
⏹️ ▶️ John internet. But there’s still all these whole things that come across, you know, the all the television networks, as you still have the
⏹️ ▶️ John similar omnivorous box program, but Apple has been able to persuade the networks for the most part, to put apps on their
⏹️ ▶️ John platform, like we’re getting close guys, right? All we need to do the last thing is to give people like
⏹️ ▶️ John a unified interface to that to all that programming across all these apps. Only instead
⏹️ ▶️ John of the interface being here’s a bunch of rounded rectangles, arrange them how you want and pick the one you want, or talking to this
⏹️ ▶️ John terrible remote control and try to find the show you want. We want to provide what people are kind of used to like a guide, maybe it doesn’t look
⏹️ ▶️ John like the big grid or whatever. And we will we will be the face of television to people in the same way that Tivo is the face
⏹️ ▶️ John of television to anyone who had TiVo, especially the days before streaming services. But even with the streaming services, it’s kind of worse
⏹️ ▶️ John because you got to go find the client. But anyway, Apple wants to be the face of television. The one unified interface, the
⏹️ ▶️ John one box you never change in. But it’s always an Apple TV. You can watch whatever you want to do that. They need to make deals.
⏹️ ▶️ John The deals are not happening because most of the deals are probably not in the interest of the networks. And you can imagine if you’re the network, like
⏹️ ▶️ John if your only interest was we are the network, we we want to survive as a thing that can
⏹️ ▶️ John extract money. I think there’s a lot of problems with that long term anyway, but it would say never give
⏹️ ▶️ John up the primacy of, you know, never give up the interface to television to Apple. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t don’t let them be the face of television. They are just decreasing your value, making you just one more source
⏹️ ▶️ John of content. And then the only value you have is your ability to produce quality content that people want to watch. And
⏹️ ▶️ John network television, for the most part, is terrified of that because historically they have not been really good at that.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s only because of the legacy of the fact that they have these certain frequencies the airwaves that they’re ABC NBC CBS
⏹️ ▶️ John and you know Fox or whatever and although Fox arguably got its place by having quality content
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re being out competed by HBO and Netflix and Amazon for crying
⏹️ ▶️ John out loud in some cases in the hey can we make interesting content that people want to watch if that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the only competition if it’s like Apple is the interface and the programs come from these services
⏹️ ▶️ John that you pay for and you pay for the service that has the shows you want the networks are like people are going
⏹️ ▶️ John to pay to watch NCIS colon some other word. Those people are really
⏹️ ▶️ John old and they’re dying and everyone else is watching, you know, Game of Thrones on streaming
⏹️ ▶️ John services. And so, of course, they’re terrified of that future. But in the meantime, that basically means that Apple strategy of
⏹️ ▶️ John like we are the unified interface to all your television is a no go because there’s still enough television, particularly
⏹️ ▶️ John live television, local news and sports that is tied up between between behind owners
⏹️ ▶️ John and contracts for companies that don’t want to be basically disenfranchised.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I don’t know if this latest strategy of Apple is I mean I guess it’s better than the old ones and at least
⏹️ ▶️ John you can do something but I don’t know if it’s ever gonna work and I think the whole like well finally we don’t have a deal that
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s trying to wait them out it’s like look we don’t have to do anything network television
⏹️ ▶️ John everything Netflix and an HBO and Showtime and Amazon and AMC
⏹️ ▶️ John and all these other cable companies are just are nibbling get coming at you from all sides.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re making better content, there’s more of them people are willing to pay for their services, whereas they’re only willing to pay for you as part
⏹️ ▶️ John of a bundle, you get to be over the air, but that like all this legacy stuff like we’ll just wait you out.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so I feel like Apple is walking away from the table with their flip flops and the Hawaiian shirt and saying, All right, well, we tried we made,
⏹️ ▶️ John we made another run out of this time, but time is on our side. Every for every year you refuse
⏹️ ▶️ John to do a deal with us, your competitors make you less and less relevant. And when the generation of kids that’s born
⏹️ ▶️ John today grows up, they’re not going to care what the hell you are and all their shows are going to be in other networks. And once that
⏹️ ▶️ John happens, we have good relationships with the Netflix’s of the world. And they’re already on our app
⏹️ ▶️ John platform and we just need to make really good app platform. They haven’t quite done that yet. But in the meantime, we will just keep
⏹️ ▶️ John sliding that terrible remote around our rectangles and being careful not to ever touch it while watching TV. Don’t touch it. You’ll mess everything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco honestly, do you think this is more about UI control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or more about just money? If I had to take a guess, I don’t think the TV execs give two craps about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the UI. I think it all comes down to money.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yep. It’s not that… Well, the money is the reason Apple won’t do the deal, because the other companies won’t do a deal
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple… Apple wants a deal that’s palatable to customers, and the parties that have to be involved in that
⏹️ ▶️ John deal want more money that Apple would have to charge too much for. That’s why this never… That’s basically what it comes down to.
⏹️ ▶️ John does come down to money, but like, why do the do the networks want so much money? Because they don’t, it’s it’s not like the UI,
⏹️ ▶️ John they just don’t want to be taken out of the equation. They want to be them. They want you to go to move your little rectangle to go to
⏹️ ▶️ John the ABC app. They want you to know that ABC is a thing a brand that means something that the shows are on ABC.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, they don’t want you to just say what’s on and see a giant undifferentiated
⏹️ ▶️ John grid with maybe an ABC logo somewhere on it and just say this is all of television and I will pick the show I want to watch because again,
⏹️ ▶️ John that reduces them entirely to the quality of the shows they produce. And they they don’t want that because they need
⏹️ ▶️ John they need the the other intangible BS branding stuff to prop
⏹️ ▶️ John up the fact that they make worse shows than other people like they used to be the fact that like they are
⏹️ ▶️ John Channel 4 and they come over the airwaves and they’re one of the five sets of channels that come in good on your little
⏹️ ▶️ John rabbit ears and therefore they have a default importance that you cannot argue with even if all their shows
⏹️ ▶️ John are crap if they’re just another provider of video behind a unified interface undifferentiated
⏹️ ▶️ John made not any different than any of the other services that some of which may not even be quote unquote
⏹️ ▶️ John real TV stations like Amazon. That’s not good for them. So that’s you know that
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re right. The money I think is definitely a part of it and why the deals don’t happen. But why do they want so much money? What’s the big deal?
⏹️ ▶️ John Because if they’re going to give up that role, they want to be paid for it handsomely because you know
⏹️ ▶️ John their CBS or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I feel like this is AT&T in the iPhone or singular at the time in the iPhone all over again.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s not exactly analogous because I think, to my recollection,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey AT&T or Singular at the time was really not doing terribly well and Verizon was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just eating their lunch. I think they were kind of on the ropes and knew it. To their credit, they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had the wherewithal to know that they were on the ropes and make this really onerous deal with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple from their perspective. It ended up paying out for them big time.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t help but wonder who’s going to be the singular of the big American
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV channels, you know, the Fox, the ABC, the CBS, and NBC, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey who’s going to be the first one of them to say uncle and make a deal? And will that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be better that way? Will it be worse? Will they end up becoming,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, more popular and rolling in cash? Or are they just going to be, you know, hastening
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and the difference here is like you only need one cell carrier.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, exactly. Like once you got the cell carrier, now you now you have an iPhone as a product. But until you get them
⏹️ ▶️ John all, it’s kind of like the music labels of iTunes. The iTunes music store had rolled out with some of the labels, but not other ones. It’s tough.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, like I, we have not seen Apple score a lot of great content
⏹️ ▶️ Marco deals in recent years. I really do question whether,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I don’t obviously, you know, anything we hear about these deals is always like rumor and speculation and everything because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re not going to go talk about how they went or anything, but it just seems like Apple’s negotiating position
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might just be wrong or possibly too arrogant or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco asking too much or whatever the conditions are.
⏹️ ▶️ John It depends if you think time is on their side. If you think time is on their side, it’s like the longer we wait, the next time
⏹️ ▶️ John we come to the table, we will be even stronger because you will have been weakened by your internet native
⏹️ ▶️ John competitors. And I think that’s been true. Every time that Apple has gone back to the table, they have been in a stronger position because
⏹️ ▶️ John the networks have been in a weaker position, not because of anything Apple did, but because of what the competitors to the networks have done.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I think, I mean, you may argue if they if they don’t make a deal, then someone else will come
⏹️ ▶️ John and sweep this way. But they are developing the Apple TV. It is improving, unlike, you know, some other
⏹️ ▶️ John products they might have where, you know, the Apple wasn’t a drought. And now it’s sort of on
⏹️ ▶️ John the track again. It’s just a question of whether someone else is going to get there first. But nobody like as far
⏹️ ▶️ John as I’m aware, nobody has deals with all these networks because because of the iTunes thing, everyone is scared to
⏹️ ▶️ John be like, as an industry, we can’t all sign a deal with one company because that takes away
⏹️ ▶️ John too much power. So let’s all just bargain individually with each things like Hulu is, I forget who’s behind Hulu, is that NBC
⏹️ ▶️ John or Comcast, you know, Cable Town, whatever. It’s balkanized because
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone’s afraid to give one technology company too much power. But I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know, I’m kind of in favor of not doing a deal that is unfavorable
⏹️ ▶️ John because If they do that deal, like financially speaking, they’d have to take a loss on every subscription or they would
⏹️ ▶️ John have to make it too expensive and it would be unappealing. They have to undercut cable is what they have to do. They have to be able to offer
⏹️ ▶️ John a thing that’s like, this is like cable, but either cheaper and way better
⏹️ ▶️ John or way better and around the same price. They can’t say this is like cable, but 25% more, but hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a bunch of good features because no one’s going to go for that.
Apple begins bug bounties
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, Apple today has announced or let slip, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not entirely clear what happened here, but… Announced. Oh, it was announced. Okay, because I saw a tweet fly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by of somebody taking like a picture of a slide at some conference or something like that. And so I wasn’t sure if this like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey leaked or if it was formally announced. Anyway, Apple, I guess, announced
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that they are doing a bug bounty program. And so if you’re not familiar with what that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, basically that means if you find a bug in some of Apple’s code and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the specifics change per company. But generally speaking, the way it works is if you can exercise it and show
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple, rather than letting it out into the wild, if you come to Apple and say, hey, I found a bug, here’s how you exercise
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, and you do the right thing, in quotes, then they will pay you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in some cases a tremendous amount of money for having done the right thing and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey brought that bug to them and not just used it for nefarious purposes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And what’s also interesting, apparently if you choose to donate the money that they give
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you, which in some cases is up to $200,000, they will match that donation one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for one. So that $200,000 hypothetically becomes $400,000. I think this is a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey great thing. The prices, the relative prices I thought were a little bit
⏹️ ▶️ Casey weird. Like $200,000 was for like the bootloader or something like that, I forget, or something
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty low level, which made sense. But like the secure enclave was half
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that or maybe even a quarter that, which struck me as very weird. I would assume that the secure enclave, if you found a bug in that, that would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be worth easily as much as the most,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the highest reward, easily worth $200,000.
⏹️ ▶️ John to price them not just how valuable it is to find the vulnerability, but how difficult,
⏹️ ▶️ John which translates to how many vulnerabilities you think people will find.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey kind of depressing
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco where you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John like, what is it? vulnerabilities only 25 K sandbox and vulnerabilities are serious, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I think Apple thinks there’s probably a lot of them and they’re probably not as hard to find as as boot rom vulnerability.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s a balancing act of like, how do you price these things? You can’t just price them on how important they are
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re kind of afraid that you have like tons of sandboxing bugs because you will, you know, if it’s 200 K
⏹️ ▶️ John each and you get 300 of them, that starts to add up. Even Apple doesn’t like to just give away money, but the
⏹️ ▶️ John charity thing is a total Apple move to kind of like guilt you into not keeping the money yourself by by
⏹️ ▶️ John spending even more of their own money. I think we had something way, way down in the show that someone
⏹️ ▶️ John can find and delete later, about, you know the problem with Apple is that they don’t have bug bounty programs. Every
⏹️ ▶️ John other company has bug bounty programs, and so people find bugs in Apple stuff, and it’s more valuable
⏹️ ▶️ John for the people who find the bugs to sell it to jailbreak people or use it for malware than it is to go to
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple, because from Apple you get nothing. You don’t even get a thank you. You just throw it into a black hole, and then they don’t fix it
⏹️ ▶️ John for a year, and then you fret about whether you feel the good. The white hat people are like, I
⏹️ ▶️ John sent you this out this bug Apple for free. It’s super serious. I have a suspicion that I’m not the only person
⏹️ ▶️ John in the world who knows it. I haven’t told anybody. But if I know it, that probably means the bad guys know it too.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s been six months since I reported it to you. And I’ve heard nothing. If I don’t hear from you soon, I’m going to tell
⏹️ ▶️ John the world, hey, guys, you all have a phone that’s vulnerable to this exploit. And chances are good. The bad guys already know about it.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then Apple gets cranky about that. Or why are you disclosing? and then the people like, well, why don’t you fix the damn bug? And people have
⏹️ ▶️ John vulnerable phones. And anyway, the bug bounty program, just the incentives
⏹️ ▶️ John to, uh, to make things nicer. They have an incentive to give it to Apple. Apple has an incentive
⏹️ ▶️ John to do something about it, I suppose. Um, and they, you know, it’s, it’s more likely,
⏹️ ▶️ John it makes it more valuable that even the bad guys will say, I found this exploit. How can I make the most money from it? It’s like, you know what?
⏹️ ▶️ John I can make 100k right now, guaranteed, if I do this, and I just give it to
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple. So I hope this works. And by the way, this was announced at the Black Hat Conference, which is as big,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, as the name implies, a hacker conference or security vulnerabilities and stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John As far as I’m aware, Apple has not had a any formal presence or a particularly prominent
⏹️ ▶️ John formal presence like their their relationship with the community. The security community has been sort of standoffish,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, as evidenced by not having a bug bounty program and people being cranky about sending things to Apple and not
⏹️ ▶️ John anything. And this is just just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s about it’s about as friendly as they’ve been to the developer community.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well it’s a little bit worse because when you find a security vulnerability Apple’s kind of angry about it like they’re they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not particularly grateful and security researchers like have done that thing where they said I sent this to you Apple I did responsible
⏹️ ▶️ John disclosure but you haven’t done anything so then I’m going to announce it to the world and Apple’s like don’t announce it to the world we hate you now
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like but I found this bug and anyway it’s a fraught relationship but this is another
⏹️ ▶️ John tiny step along the line of Tim Cook’s more open Apple, that Apple sends, or was it their
⏹️ ▶️ John their head of security engineering to Black Hat to speak there to
⏹️ ▶️ John represent Apple and to say here we have this thing that everyone else in the world has had forever. You know, they’re playing catch
⏹️ ▶️ John up but this is Apple being more open and doing more of the things that everyone has said they should always do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, this is this is only good things. It is kind of embarrassing that this wasn’t already in place
⏹️ ▶️ Marco given the rest of the market. However, This is great progress, and I’m glad they’re doing it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, I completely echo what you guys said. I can’t believe it’s taken this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey long, but at least I got there. That’s what matters.
⏹️ ▶️ John One more thing on this, as someone in the chat room pointed out, as in the stories you’re pointing out, like, it’s baby steps.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is not a program where, hey, anybody who finds a bug, report it to us. It’s an invite-only program,
⏹️ ▶️ John where if you find a bug, if you are among this class of people that Apple says, we find
⏹️ ▶️ John you are trustworthy, and you have the skills, so please send us a bug. There’s also this
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. This is I think this is from Gruber site said Sources that Apple mentioned if someone outside
⏹️ ▶️ John the program discovers an exploit of one of these classes They could be added to the program so it isn’t completely closed, and I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t understand that makes sense look It’s closed or it’s not it’s like well. It’s closed, but if you find a vulnerability We will add
⏹️ ▶️ John you to the group that’s closed, so I guess if you can Demonstrate that you’re a good
⏹️ ▶️ John guy By giving them an important bug they will put you into the program but then do
⏹️ ▶️ John you not get paid for the bug that puts you in Apple Apple be Applin I guess
⏹️ ▶️ John it could just make it open to everybody but they don’t but it’s kind of open so anyway
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe next year we’ll be announcing that black hat that the bug bounty program is open to everybody just like everyone
⏹️ ▶️ John else’s bug bounty program but they would keep 30% yeah right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wow. We are sponsored this week by Linus.
Sponsor: Linode (code AccidentalPodcast10)
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Go to linode.com slash ATP for a $10 credit using promo code
⏹️ ▶️ Marco accidentalpodcast10. Linode is a web host. They have these Linux VPSs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I use them myself and I have used them for a long time now. Way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before they were a sponsor. I mean, they’ve been a sponsor for like a few months. I’ve used them for years. And I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco honestly say they are my favorite web host I’ve ever used. That’s why I keep using them for everything. All of Overcast is hosted there.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco backups, load balancers that they call node balancers. They have these long view
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stats, and you can get a server running at Linode in under a minute. It is so easy, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have the best control panel I’ve ever used of any web host. And believe me, I’ve used a lot of web host control panels,
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco You could also do things like run a Git server. If you’re a developer, you want to run your own source control servers, have your own control over that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could do that too. You can run VMs, you can run containers. There’s so much you can do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at Linode. It’s having your own server and it’s great. The support is great, I’ve used that before. I really,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really enjoy Linode and they’re not paying me to say that. They can’t pay me to say that, I’m saying that anyway because that’s how much I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enjoy it and I’m so happy they’re finally a sponsor. They now have, and their pricing’s always been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good, but it gets better, like every year or so they do hardware updates and stuff and they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just make their plans better for the same prices. It’s so great. They now offer, for $10
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Linux, you know.
Apple diversity progress
⏹️ ▶️ Marco In a final note for today’s episode, speaking of things that have taken a long time, diversity
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at Apple. Progress, it seems,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is being made. I was looking at these numbers when they were released a day or two ago.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it didn’t seem like things were too terribly rosy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey year on year. And I’m trying to find which specifically number it was, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t at the moment. But suffice to say, Apple’s released their annual, semi-annual diversity
⏹️ ▶️ Casey page and diversity numbers. And one of the more impressive things that I think we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey definitely need to applaud is that They claim to have 100% pay equity
⏹️ ▶️ Casey across all of Apple so that any job that a woman would do, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a man would do, those two people should make the exact same amount of money for doing that exact
⏹️ ▶️ Casey same job. Of course, everything is open to interpretation so it’s hard to say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whether or not that’s really real, but Apple is claiming and is asserting that that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the case. Oh, there it is. The
⏹️ ▶️ Casey number that I didn’t like was data from the last three years, most of the way down the page. 2015, 54% of Apple was white.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 2016, 56% of Apple is white, which is not getting more diverse.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s getting less diverse. So that’s not good.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I’m nitpicking perhaps on one particular data
⏹️ ▶️ Casey point. But it’s 1% less male-dominated. We went from 69% to 68%, which is an improvement.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey One thing that they’ve made very clear on this site is that their
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hiring practices are changing. It says, our hiring trend over the past three years, we are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey steadily attracting more and more underrepresented talent, global female new hires. In 2014, it was 31%. In 2016, it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey URM is underrepresented something or other. underrepresented
⏹️ ▶️ Casey minorities. Thank you. US URMs, new hires. God, URMs just sounds
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so dismissive. I don’t like that at all. But anyway, 21% in 2014, 24%, 2015, 27% in 2016.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So definite improvement in new hires, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which which should be celebrated. So a little bit of good a little bit of bad, but the fact that they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they seem to be paying this much attention to it, I think is 100% good. This
⏹️ ▶️ John is some borderline Amazon charts down here though like
⏹️ ▶️ John three data points now So like they had two and you can make a line out of two But it’s more impressive when you have three and of course
⏹️ ▶️ John the highlight here are the lines with the slopes that are going up Into the right sure, you know, they are doing better with new hires
⏹️ ▶️ John of underrepresented minorities They are doing better with with female hires, right? So they show these things
⏹️ ▶️ John but there’s nothing along the y-axis There is no y-axis They just show they decide 21% is
⏹️ ▶️ John like a centimeter from the bottom and 27% is like three times higher 27 is not three times higher than 21.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Oh, it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John zero based? No. I mean, yeah, anyway, positive
⏹️ ▶️ John trends, progress is slow. They’re highlighting where they’re doing the best, obviously, and new hires,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re going to do the best somewhere, like that’s, you know, it’s, you know, forward looking, try to try to
⏹️ ▶️ John fix this going forward as much as possible. And the other numbers, I don’t know. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John one of the most important things is that Apple has a web page at apple.com slash diversity, and that
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re open and transparent with these things. But as always, like, there’s a tension
⏹️ ▶️ John between Oh, good job, Apple slap on the back, you really care about this. Let’s give you cookies for
⏹️ ▶️ John being caring and having a web page. And on the other hand, it’s like, but on the other hand, these numbers aren’t
⏹️ ▶️ John awesome. And so Apple’s job is kind of it’s kind of weird making this web page, your job making this web
⏹️ ▶️ John pages, show that Apple cares, the website is there, right? Good. Show the progress Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John is making. But also be honest an upfront as they have been in the past about where your problems are.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I think that’s maybe where this falls down a little bit because their original diversity thing was like we take a look at a diversity.
⏹️ ▶️ John We are not doing a good enough job. Like it was totally unflinching saying like, oh, there’s good and bad.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the first run of this, I forget what year was was like, we are not happy with this. We are not doing
⏹️ ▶️ John a good job. We are not meeting our own standards for how this should be. And the same pages,
⏹️ ▶️ John this page this year is more about like, hey, we’re doing well and everything. I’m sure internally they still have their eyes
⏹️ ▶️ John on the prize and like, all right, there’s still progress to be made. But there is a danger
⏹️ ▶️ John of falling into the trap where every time they’ve come out these numbers that we just parrot back the
⏹️ ▶️ John the the cherry stats that are getting better and don’t realize like the overall picture is still pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John grim. So I don’t know. Like, I don’t want to slam them for not making progress
⏹️ ▶️ John faster, because again, like, it takes a long time to turn a ship this big. It’s not like you’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John to fire all your employees and start over again from scratch. And new hiring is the place where you can fix things and they’re doing
⏹️ ▶️ John better. But on the other hand, there’s a long road ahead. So I hope I hope this page is still here 15
⏹️ ▶️ John years from now. And I hope if you were to do the 15 year graph with an actual labeled y axis, that it would still
⏹️ ▶️ John show equally encouraging a zero based y axis, it would show equally encouraging trends.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, it’s tough because I want to celebrate this so bad so much, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s, there’s a lot of room for improvement. I mean, 2016 global
⏹️ ▶️ Casey gender in what they describe as tech is 77% and 56%
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of it is white. Like that’s a lot of room for improvement there. But I mean, if you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey look at, to be fair, if you look at my company, there are four Android developers, four
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iOS developers, and every single one of us is a white male. So I mean, I shouldn’t really be throwing stones on this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey myself, but I hope we get better. I would love to see us get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey better, and hopefully as we open other offices we will get better. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s hard and it shouldn’t be, but it is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Hover, Harry’s, and Linode. And we will see you next
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey begin Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research,
⏹️ ▶️ John Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh it was accidental And you can find the show notes
⏹️ ▶️ John at atp.fm And if you’re into Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,
⏹️ ▶️ John Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to
⏹️ ▶️ John accidental Tech Podcasts So long
Why podcasts aren’t VBR MP3s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so Marco you and I went through a deeply painful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey episode last week when we had to hear about Tevo for entirely too long
⏹️ ▶️ John and Remind me again why that was so painful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I just don’t care. I just really don’t care
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s pain. It’s painful to hear about things. You don’t care about it’s painful.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I’m just being silly. It’s not painful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was I actually I thought it was gonna be worse than it was I just zoned out and I Just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretended like I was listening to hypercritical And like I just I just forgot that I could talk for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the time and just pretend like I was in a hypercritical and for that it was great because it was basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a brief interlude of hypercritical. Yeah that’s fair.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know I’m just giving you a hard time John. It was
⏹️ ▶️ John well this is not gonna be a brief interlude of build and analyze because I don’t think you would have ever talked about the mp3 file format
⏹️ ▶️ John on build and analyze. No I didn’t know that much about it back then. But even if you did like this is very nitty-gritty
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah so tell us what it is that we need to know and don’t know about the mp3 file format because I genuinely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am very interested.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So this is basically kind of like this developer rat hole I fell into last weekend where I had I had some work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time and rather than then do what I’m supposed to be doing this summer which is updating Overcast to iOS 10
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and making a whole new watch app and making a today widget and all this other garbage, instead I was procrastinating by working
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Forecast, my mp3 encoder, and I decided you know let me just do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever work is required to make it work with VBR output. So to To back up a little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit, just a high level version of the MP3 file format.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The way MP3s work at a very high level, and please if you’re a nerd about this stuff, please forgive me
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about these details if I’m getting any of them wrong, I’m trying to give a very high level overview here. The way lossy compression works
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is basically try to not store things that you probably won’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco notice if they’re not stored. And then for the things you do notice,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to store them with less precision. In an MP3, one of the famous ways it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does this is by omitting sounds that you probably won’t hear. And so, obviously, things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are outside the range of human hearing, that’s the easy one. They also do things like, there’s a principle called masking,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where if there’s a very quiet sound and a very loud sound at the same time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the very loud sound is going to be so overpowering, the very quiet sound is just going to be drowned out. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s no reason to store the information about the very quiet sound, because the very loud sound, that’s all you’ll hear.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way they achieve the size savings is just by omitting things that are just kind of drowned out or that you won’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear. Another way they do it is by reducing the precision of the things you do hear and so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are a few different tricks they can do for this because basically the the precision at which we perceive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what we hear is not constant throughout the frequency range. Very low frequencies,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very high frequencies, we tend not to have as much precision about perceiving
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those things and so they can store those less precisely and therefore using less data.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They can also do things like in a stereo recording where you know you might have very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very similar sound coming out of left and right channels with just slight differences. So there’s there’s a method called
⏹️ ▶️ Marco joint stereo where basically this is the left channel and the right channel differs by this much and just store the difference
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the right channel. We are also very bad at perceiving not not only the details
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about very high pitch and very low pitch sounds but also where they’re coming from and you might realize this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like if you if you can hear a very high-pitched sound like in your house like it like back in the old days like you’d hear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the very high-pitched whine of a CRT TV and you like you could just walk into a house you could hear like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can hear there’s a TV on somewhere in the house but you might not be able to pick out where exactly like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what direction exactly it was coming from also similar reason why subwoofers in home theater
⏹️ ▶️ Marco systems tend to just be one subwoofer that you just put somewhere and it kind of doesn’t matter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the very low frequencies again you’re not nearly as good at perceiving where they’re coming from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so they can do things there too they can save space there too with things like all right well you know if we have to store this separated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stereo image here maybe we can just store the average of the very high and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very low stuff in the middle and not have to worry about the sides you know not not have the separation so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the whole print the whole principle of the mp3 file format and all loss are all lost the audio formats
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is is based on this idea of like figure out what we can either omit entirely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from storing and then figure out tricks we can use to store it less precisely.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Obviously though as you lower the amount of space you’re willing to spend on it, as you lower the bit rate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how many bits per second you’re willing to devote to storing this, it becomes you start hearing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco artifacts, you start hearing the quality loss, you start hearing oh this is now this is sending muffled or that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sending distorted or that’s sounding weird or that symbol hit kind of sounded weirdly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco telephonic, like you start hearing flaws. I don’t want to get into too many of the details
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the argument over whether you can hear the difference or not. Generally, most tests show that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about 192 kilobits per second, you don’t really hear the difference in most things for most people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s beside the point, though. So when you’re encoding a podcast, there’s a few different ways you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can go about managing the bitrate, how many bits per second you are willing to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spend on the audio. The most direct kind is constant bitrate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or CBR. So MP3 files are divided into frames. It’s just a time slice.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Every frame is 1152 samples. Whatever your sample rate is, like at 44k, that’s like 26 milliseconds.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Every frame you have a bitrate and you say, all right, well, in constant bitrate mode, frame
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will get 96 kilobits or 64 kilobits or 128 kilobits or whatever. And that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a very simple way to do things and that mostly works and podcasts are almost always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco encoded that way. I started to wonder why exactly, you know, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we also have these other methods that are based on variable bit rates or VBR.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The encoder has some idea about the complexity of each frame. Each one of those little 26 millisecond,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco each one of those little time slices, the the encoder can decide, this part I’m encoding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now, this little time slice is a pretty complex, there’s a lot going on here, so to encode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this with a certain degree of perceived quality, I need more bits. And then maybe like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco three seconds later, there’s a quieter passage or a simpler passage,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can say, you know, this part, I don’t need this many bits, I can encode this at a lower bit rate. You know, you can have the encoder
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of decide on a target perceived quality level and just use as many bits as you need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to achieve that quality level and have it just vary constantly throughout the file. For podcasts, this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is an obvious choice, right? It makes sense that for podcasts that should work really well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because podcasts have a lot of silence. This is, I’ve kind of built my current living on this. They, podcasts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a lot of silence and voice is pretty easy. And then occasionally you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco throw in like a music clip or a music bed running under things or a theme song or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a clip from TV or something like. So you occasionally have more complex stuff that could use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more complexity. And like in our show, we started out being a 64
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kilobit mono show for like the first year or two. And it sounded okay.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It didn’t sound great, it sounded okay. One of the things that sounded the worst was our theme song,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because 64K mono is kind of terrible for music. A while back now, maybe a year ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something like that, I switched to 96K stereo. and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it made the theme song sound way better. And anytime we’d insert a clip, like from a Steve Jobs keynote or anything, it made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all those sound way better. Any kind of musical clip or any kind of insert sounded way better. And our voices sounded better too.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And even though the entire rest of the podcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is us talking and I don’t do any kind of stereo separation, so it’s just a mono thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because of the way the joint stereo encoding works, we just get all 96 kilobits
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to our mono channel for the entire rest of the file. because it can say, alright, well, the channels
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are encoded as like, you know, the main channel equals this, and the difference in the other channel is zero,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically. So you get all the bits to yourself. And then only when you have a stereo thing inserted,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do you then split up the bits as necessary between the channels. So it is really a great way to do it. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what would be even better would be a VBR encoding. All these silences between all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco words I’m speaking, those would get like the minimum frame size, which I think is 32 kilobits per second.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like the minimum frame size for all those sounds is because it doesn’t really matter, you won’t hear the difference. And then when we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco throw in a music clip or something, that could go all the way up to like 192 to really get the music to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco perfect quality. If you did it that way, it wouldn’t take up very much more space. In fact, it probably takes up less
⏹️ ▶️ Marco space. And in my tests, it actually would take up about maybe 25% less space
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than my constant 96K to have similar voice quality as we have now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then have the ability to put in like our theme song at effectively perfect quality.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So why don’t we do this? So I spent the weekend adding the capability to forecast to say, you know what,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco let me just give it the ability to output VBR files, because it wasn’t that much more work, and I got to dive into the format
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and learn a bit more about it. There’s also, for completeness, there’s something called ABR, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is average bitrate. And the idea here is, it is VBR, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco instead of targeting a certain quality level, it just says, try to keep the bitrate at exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this average over time. So basically if you have like a couple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of very brief frames where you can like, you know, for this second
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of audio, you need more quality, but for the other 30 seconds around it, you don’t. You know, you can have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little temporary jumps there, but ABR would not work for the case I’m talking about,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is if I say, you know, average bit rate of our whole file, it needs to be this. Well, the theme
⏹️ ▶️ Marco song is gonna just blow that because a theme song needs like two minutes of really high
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quality, so the average during that time is gonna be way higher. And so it basically doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work right. Like you could have a few seconds of higher quality, but not minutes of higher quality. So that wouldn’t work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for our needs. So I really started trying to figure out like, how
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can I get a true VBR encoding in the world of podcasts? Because again, VBR has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been around for almost 20 years. This is not a new thing, and yet almost no podcasts are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco VBR. Off the top of your head, can you guys think of why this might be?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Because podcatchers don’t support it for some reason or another, or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t at some point. Or what about the hardware, actually? The old hardware, the old
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Good question. So honestly, I think by the time iPods came out in 2001, I think all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the hardware supported it. In the very early days, some hardware would have problems with it, and maybe if you had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the first like mp3 CD players or mp3 flash players like the diamond real like if you had some of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very first mp3 players or software or like car stereos that played mp3s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe there’d be a problem there but VBR compatibility has been solved so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long ago in all this stuff because it’s literally almost 20 years old.
⏹️ ▶️ John My music has always been VBR I’ve never done CBR from the second I ever made an mp3
⏹️ ▶️ John I have the choice VBR or a constant rate and it’s like why would I choose constant VBR always and
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s always played and obviously I started listening to it on actually I did we had a Yamaha
⏹️ ▶️ John mp3 player for like running or whatever was like the size of a shuffle and that played VBR
⏹️ ▶️ John so no I don’t think it’s the hardware either.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah so what I what I found out the main problem with VBR
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is streaming. If you when you’re streaming and when you when you when when a player plays back a stream
⏹️ ▶️ Marco file if you need to jump ahead to a time stamp and you haven’t downloaded that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of the file yet like you don’t have that far the way this is usually done is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the player will download the first few you know 100 kilobytes maybe like the basically they’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco download the first part of the file to get all the header information and everything all the metadata and then they will terminate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that connection and make a new connection that jumps ahead using a range request to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco begin playback like you know 50 megabytes into the file so it doesn’t have to download
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of you know everything in the middle there to get there so the problem is it needs to be able to predict
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at what byte offset in the file maps to the time stamp that it’s going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it also needs to know how long the file is you know duration is another it’s not the challenge here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and with with a constant bitrate or a BR average bitrate kind of kind of scheme
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can do that pretty effectively. MP3, once you have like the byte
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stream, I mentioned this in the past show, once you have the byte stream, you can jump ahead to a certain byte point
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then every MP3 frame, every one of those 26 millisecond time slices, begins with a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain byte pattern that’s easy to seek to and locate. So you can jump into an MP3 byte stream at any point, any byte,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can just scan forward until you see 11 ones, basically an
⏹️ ▶️ Marco FFE or whatever it is. You can scan forward until you see that and then that’s your frame header, and you can start playing from there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you still have to know where you are. So if you jump ahead to byte position,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, 50 megabytes, expecting that to be timestamp one hour and 20 minutes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s nothing in the file, in the byte stream, that says I am timestamp one hour
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and 20 minutes at that point. So you have to already know the timestamp that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you are at. You have to keep track yourself as the decoder, as the player. And so in a file where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know the constant bitrate, where it’s kept the same, you can just do the math. You can say, all right, well, you know, I know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the music data began at byte zero, and you know, the file is 100 megabytes. And you know, the duration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the header says it’s an hour long. So if you jumped to point 50 megabytes, that’s right in the middle. So that should be 30
⏹️ ▶️ Marco minutes done in a constant bit rate file. That’s true. You know, probably
⏹️ ▶️ John solve this problem. Quick time. Hmm. You know, you hate those container
⏹️ ▶️ John formats and the MP MP4 for a container formats that spun from because they’re all complicated
⏹️ ▶️ John and you have multiple atoms and streams or whatever, but I’m pretty sure they solve this one. But
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco yeah, QuickTime
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has a number of other problems, actually. But
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, so the fact that Apple is not interested in anymore being the most primary one. But anyway, but this this
⏹️ ▶️ John exact problems like to be able to pick different codecs, have them be variable bit rate, to be able to have time codes
⏹️ ▶️ John and other, you know, multiple streams to tell you how I’ve come to a point in the file,
⏹️ ▶️ John how far am I in the file? and what is the subtitle I should be showing and what is the picked image
⏹️ ▶️ John that I should be displaying on top of the thing, anyway.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, one of the fun challenges about the wonderful QuickTime file format and its undocumented chapter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spec is that in MP3 chapters, all the chapter info is right up front in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco file. So you can read the first couple hundred kilobytes and have all the information you need to show the entire table of contents and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can jump to the point you need.
⏹️ ▶️ John QuickTime predates internet streaming, QuickTime predates internet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but QuickTime chapters doesn’t and they still did it this way. So in quick the quick time format important
⏹️ ▶️ Marco information like the chapter titles are spread throughout the entire
⏹️ ▶️ Marco file like the title occurs in the file when the music does like at like in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio at that point the titles interleaved there. So in order to display the table of contents
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to have the entire file basically. So that’s that’s a bad design for this for this kind of use.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, the main problem with the MP3 format is you know with with seeking and and duration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco estimates and streaming VBR files is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you need to know like what byte position in the file maps to what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco timestamp. And this, you know, they figured this out early on. This was a problem right from the start.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco People in the chat are saying that they used to have like maybe old software, old hardware that would display the wrong duration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on VBR files. One of the ways decoders would do this would be to just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco read the first couple mp3 frames and and figure out the average bitrate of those frames,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or even just read the very first one, and then just look at the file size and say, all right, well, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna assume this represents the average bitrate of the file, and extrapolate from the file size how long this file is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s dumb and doesn’t work. So that’s why those programs would often display the wrong durations. There is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also an ID3 tag value of the duration of the file, but not everything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco supports that, not every encoder embeds that, and somebody might have edited that, so it might be wrong.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco early on they figured out a little solution to this problem and it’s it’s the do you guys
⏹️ ▶️ Marco remember back when people argue about mp3 encoders remember the encoder that was a zing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway they figured that early on then the current hack to do this is in these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mp3 frames which are like you know 300 bytes long from for this kind of file
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in these frames the very very first audio frame in the file is called an info
⏹️ ▶️ Marco frame for VBR files. And they basically write all zeros of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the audio data and then they have a bunch of free space in the frame because they didn’t use it all. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have this special format where they embed really, really tiny metadata. And one of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the things they embed is a 100 byte seek table that literally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just maps percentage points to the unsigned character
⏹️ ▶️ Marco value. So you have 255 values there of like, it maps the duration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco percentage to the byte percentage of the file. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fascinating. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m sure there’ll be no rounding errors with that along files with that system. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also incredibly imprecise, right? Like, for a song, if the song is more than a minute and a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco half long, you already don’t have second level precision. You already are like less than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one second precision. For a podcast, that’s like less than one minute precision. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even worse. So that is terrible, right? And that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it turns out, that is for the most part what most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple playback interfaces, you know, most of the APIs, the AV player and everything, that is what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of these things will use. And this, again, this info frame with this jump information and it has been around for a very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long time. So that’s what most hardware will use with VBR files to just be able to tell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, all right, well, this VBR song, if you seek ahead to point X we don’t have the whole file,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we know we can jump to about this byte position and be approximately correct within a couple of seconds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for you know, a three minute song doesn’t really work for podcasts, right? So the idea I had,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I you know, I’m making the encoder, I make the player, what if I just make,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I define a new ID three tag, that gives way more precise, you know, I could do like, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, second level precision and just have it have it be as long as it needs to be, or something like that, you know, whatever it is, like I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco come up with a scheme that is the size wouldn’t matter for 100 megabyte podcast file or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it could be like you know 15k and have all the information I would need so I figured I you know I was like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was drafting this plan in my head of like what if I just do this and the main problem with this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is even if overcast supports it nobody else would support
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it because how many people do you think are working on the low-level mp3 decoding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco libraries at Apple or Google this is It’s ancient stuff now. It’s like so many people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have tried to modify and advance the JPEG format and none of them ever take off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because nobody is still working on their JPEG decoders. Like there is no new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco version of JPEG that’s going to ever matter because we have JPEG already and that’s everywhere and nobody wants to touch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it because they consider it a solved problem. MP3 is the same way. Like there are other audio formats and advancements
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything and most of them have really gone effectively nowhere with the exception of AAC because Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco uses it everywhere. for the most part like most improvements have gone very very very few
⏹️ ▶️ Marco places because basically like nothing implements them and no one cares right
⏹️ ▶️ John so if you fed a vbr file to one of these non overcast players and they ignore your id3 tag because
⏹️ ▶️ John they have no idea what it means uh would what would they do for
⏹️ ▶️ John duration and skipping around like they would just read that little zing thing if it was present
⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s it like i don’t understand how they you even use that zing thing but like again i jumped to this offset does it just display
⏹️ ▶️ John the exact number of seconds that it should be according to its math with some rounding yes and then just be like that’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John the real offset but oh well that’s the best we can tell you if we’re you know if you’re streaming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that literally is what happens like if you if you have the whole file the the file you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can you can just scan forward and scanning forward is incredibly fast because it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re dealing with very small data ranges here and the like in order in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco order to find and read an mp3 header is incredibly simple like bit shifting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s very very simple stuff because this is an old format designed for like really slow computers so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you have the whole file you can seek back and forth just by reading all the frames and you know and keeping track yourself
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can have perfect accuracy there it’s only an issue with streaming and only an issue if you are and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco streaming if you’re playing from the beginning it isn’t a problem but it is a problem if you’re trying to jump ahead to a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco timestamp where you have not downloaded the intermediate part of the file between the beginning and that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco timestamp. That is the only place this is a problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John The obvious terrible solution that springs to mind for me is all right, fine, then overcast just
⏹️ ▶️ John makes a different request to the server. And if it has a VBR version with a special thing, it serves it. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if it doesn’t, you know what I mean? Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John smarts and it’s terrible. I know, but it would totally work because you’re like, everyone else will get the normal constant
⏹️ ▶️ John bit rate one. And then now you’d have have to make two versions of ADP one special one for one overcast savvy version
⏹️ ▶️ John that would be VBR and better quality and blah blah but everyone else would get the other version and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a terrible solution because you haven’t changed what anyone else does but you have made your player slightly better but now you have to encode everything twice
⏹️ ▶️ John and if anybody else wanted to do that which I assume you’d want other people to do it too they’d be pissed at you because now you have to encode everything
⏹️ ▶️ John twice and it’s dumb
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah and there’s there’s all sorts of other problems with that for example we’d have to leave Squarespace because here’s the thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. Podcasts have been around for so long that there’s all these like WordPress plugins and CMS is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Squarespace that have podcast support. But I don’t think any of them have the ability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to define to say to have like, Oh, you know, in my feed, actually, every entry is now going to have to enclosure
⏹️ ▶️ John You just do a stupid, you do a convention of our configuration dot mp3 dot Marcos
⏹️ ▶️ John weird version. Oh, God, that’s even worse. Like the RSS feed would just say that mp3 but overcast would
⏹️ ▶️ John know, actually make a request for.mb3.marker with weird version first. If you get a 404, then make
⏹️ ▶️ John a request for, yes. I’m telling you, this is a terrible, like this is the obvious terrible solution that comes
⏹️ ▶️ John to mind immediately. That you should probably never do. But like, people have done worse things. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John the other one is the whole embrace and extend thing. Oh, get it added to the ID3 spec, socialize it, something like, that’s how everything
⏹️ ▶️ John happens. And you can make it de facto standard, I’m just not sure you have the market share to pull that off at this point.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and the other problem is like, You know, if I actually made just the regular file
⏹️ ▶️ Marco VBR, one of the biggest problems here is my timestamp share links
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because when you open up a timestamp share link that Overcash generates for, you know, share
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this podcast at this point in time, it’s using the HTML5 audio tag and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s just Apple’s decoder. Like, it’s gonna load up, it’s gonna use Apple decoder and I’ve tested this with VBR files
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and, you know, it’s just off. Like, it doesn’t work correctly. it does not seek
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the share link would have to use the.mp3 instead of.mp3.marcosweird version. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, basically the only way this works is the marcosweird version, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the truly sad part about all this is like, after doing all this research, after figuring out this crazy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco info frame and the rest of the VBR file format, now I have this awesome parallel VBR encoder that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I basically can’t use, and even if I did the craziness
⏹️ ▶️ Marco required to make this work with Overcast, ATP would probably be the only podcast that ever did it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because most podcast producers simply don’t care about audio quality very much. To them, they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco encode it at like 64K and that’s good enough, and maybe they’re paying per gigabyte and so maybe they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t afford larger files. Funny thing there though is like, even if you were doing 64K mono, I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco done tests on that too. VBR would save them like 25, 30% for most shows, but most people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are not interested in causing a possible headache with certain players in exchange
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a 30% file savings.
⏹️ ▶️ John We gotta do it, it’ll be like handcrafted artisanal podcasts where like,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco yeah, only you would do it
⏹️ ▶️ John and five other people in Brooklyn would do it. But it’s like, oh, everyone knows you have to encode it twice one.mb3
⏹️ ▶️ John for the peons and then one.mb3.marco’s weird version which by the way is bad branding.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco If you come up with a clever name for it instead of.mb3
⏹️ ▶️ John it would be like.mpz which is probably already taken. Or some other.mb3.something else
⏹️ ▶️ John like you could brand this in a way that it’s like, yeah, nobody does this But the people who really care about it, people really
⏹️ ▶️ John care about locally sourced, handmade, you know, fair trade
⏹️ ▶️ John podcasts, they encode everything twice. And, and, and the one good player that cares
⏹️ ▶️ John about it always makes a request for the dot mpz file first and if it 404s,
⏹️ ▶️ John it requests that on p3. But if it doesn’t, it plays the dot mpz and it’s better.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so basically, I went on this giant expedition, I achieved a lot I made forecast a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better better by making it right that info, that crazy info frame and understand the format a lot better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and be able to do VBR if it ever needs to. But the moral of the story is, I ran into a whole bunch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of barriers that basically nobody will ever care as much as I do to fix and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that make it pretty much impossible to really use for podcasts in a responsible way.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, here’s the other angle on it. Like, remember when Microsoft had secret API’s that only they could
⏹️ ▶️ John use to make their apps faster and everything and people were all angry about it. So this will you could do this frame this as
⏹️ ▶️ John like, this is a secret overcast API that only ATP you know, because everyone is always obsessed with the idea that ATP
⏹️ ▶️ John is like a preferential treatment in your podcast app or whatever. But like that only ATP has access to
⏹️ ▶️ John it and you do it. And then when someone comes using Well, actually, it’s not a secret API, here’s a web page that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John been up for a year telling you if you want to do this data, make make a dot mpz file, and you can do it. And then suddenly
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s on them to be like, if they come back and say, Oh, that’s annoying. It’s like, well, you wanted the secret
⏹️ ▶️ John API you’re wondering why does overcast that why does ATP sound so good and the file size is so small
⏹️ ▶️ John and the other podcasts don’t that’s the seat you know so you got you got to make them come to you with the anger about
⏹️ ▶️ John like ATP is using a secret API and then you could say nope not secret it was just so
⏹️ ▶️ John onerous that we didn’t think anyone else could do it but the web page has been there forever and then they’re like what can they say then they’d be like
⏹️ ▶️ John oh well I guess we can do it but it seems kind of annoying and so you know anyway I still didn’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John you’d get good adoption except in Brooklyn but that’s something right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah but they wouldn’t even they wouldn’t even want it because like the headphones and stuff that look really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cool that look cool to be in Brooklyn aren’t actually good enough like and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the sad part is about all this the main reason I’d be doing all this is to make our theme song sound better like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our speech we’ve already reached the point where our speech is being represented in a way that is pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much what I’m putting out from logic like you really can’t tell the difference between the wave and the mp3 for our speech
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can only tell for the theme song.
⏹️ ▶️ John Can you do multiple enclosures so the player will play the
⏹️ ▶️ John you know basically have it three mp3s have the show the song and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then the after show? Well it has to be one file for podcast clients you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could technically just have like basically like three constant bit rate sections of the file
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then any seeks during streaming to the after show would have the wrong timestamps yeah and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and when they’re wrong they’re wrong by a lot. Like in my test of trying to see if it’s going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be off, it’s off by like a minute and a half. It’s a pretty big difference and has the wrong timestamp.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then, yeah, it’s a mess when it happens.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steven Connelly So can we go back just a little bit? So you had said if you created your own version
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of this table, you would stuff it in an ID3 tag, hypothetically?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Jared Ranere Most likely be too big to fit in a frame. And I wouldn’t want to run the risk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a player trying to play the frame as audio and weird things coming out of the speakers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So again, it’s no big deal to shove it into ID3. ID3 has a max size of 256 megabytes, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a lot you can shove in there.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So the hypothetical scenario then would be you have Marco’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey custom jump table in an ID3 tag, but you would still presumably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey populate the really crummy existing jump table that’s in that frame.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, and that would work with no server-side changes. It would just work in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Overcast, and it would fall back and degrade gracefully in other clients. But the problem
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have with that is that the Overcast jump to this moment feature,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which hand on heart, no sarcasm intended, I think might be the most impressive feature of Overcast, even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey more so than SmartSpeed, it would break that feature, and that’s why you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t want to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Basically, yeah, because I really do think that my share links are very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco important for podcasting. I agree. And not a lot of people use them, but they do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get used, and the usage is going up over time. That to me is very important, and I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to keep promoting that. I want to keep making them better. I have a lot of crazy ideas for how to make them better. Most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of these ideas are terrible and will never happen, or I will attempt them, realize they’re terrible,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then cancel them before I actually release them. that some of these ideas will actually work and will be good. I just don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which ones yet. That’s how this goes. I really do care a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot about those times. And this is one of the reasons why I really get annoyed with some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the big publishers using dynamic ad insertion platforms because when they do dynamic ad insertion,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which basically gives you new ads on every download. So if you download a really old episode
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a storytelling show and you get a brand new ad in it, then it’s like, oh wow, this company didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even exist this episode ran in 2013 or whatever. That’s what was happening is like literally every download they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco serving you a new ad and the idea there is to better monetize their back catalogs because their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco advertisers paid back in 2013. They’re not getting paid anymore. So let’s put in new ads. We can charge people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again. One of the problems with these platforms, one of the many problems these platforms
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that they don’t always have ads or the same length as the original ads. So basically,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco timestamps are not persistent between downloads because the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ads you’re inserting in the show vary in length on every download. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it totally breaks timestamp share lengths, which drives me crazy. I’m trying to make sharing better,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you’re throwing it away. Everyone complains, like, podcast, don’t share. We need more sharing for podcasts.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then the big podcast producers make sharing more difficult.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, if you really want to solve that problem, you know, the QuickTime slash MPEG consortium
⏹️ ▶️ John solution to that problem is that you need to have a more comprehensive map of the content
⏹️ ▶️ John that also incorporates the maps of the ads. So when they change the ads, they change the map. And so you can do it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, look, you can do it with chapters. You could just you could store the chapter ID and an offset in within that chapter ID.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. But that would mean is the sharing links can’t just contain an offset. They have to contain an offset in like a version to say and
⏹️ ▶️ John this version of the file was this offset and the map has to say, Oh, well, I’ve inserted a new ad since then. And I can translate your offset
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, no one’s gonna do that, though. Because this is the thing, like any any advancement you make in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcasting, you basically like, you have to assume that if it involves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anybody, any, if it involves any producers, changing their workflow in any way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or changing their, especially changing their CMS in any way, it’s never gonna happen, no one’s gonna do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, you need to have one giant proprietary platform that can dictate because they’re what matter
⏹️ ▶️ John and whatever they do is what everyone has to follow and that’s how it would work, but we don’t have that and that’s a good thing. So
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re stuck in the technological backwater that is the MP3 format, enjoy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, I really do enjoy the format. The format is very refreshingly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco simple and straightforward. It just has this one wart of this stupid 100
⏹️ ▶️ Marco byte precision offset thing for VBR files that, and again, when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re downloaded, it’s not a problem, it’s only a problem when they’re streaming and you’re jumping ahead.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s a wart on a wart, though, because the original wart is they don’t have this information, and the secondary wart is
⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve tried to jam this information and using tiny little bytes, and we can only have 100, we can only do percentages.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, the bigger problem, though, is that everybody stopped advancing the MP3 format 15 years
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backwater and I mean I’m gonna hear from all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the the og and the he a AC and mp3 pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people I’m gonna hear from all these people like all the newer audio for instance this is I HGAC supposed to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be better than mp3 yes I’m aware of all these arguments
⏹️ ▶️ John bet they solve this problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no I mean the reality is like mp3 encoders are so good and have been so good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for quite some time now, but like a well-encoded mp3 is already a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really fantastic trade-off of size versus quality and it’s compatible with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything everywhere and it has been for a very long time and that’s why people still use mp3. Also, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like patent issues with some of the newer ones and mp3 did have patents on it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but almost all of the mp3 patents have expired and the ones that haven’t expired a expire
⏹️ ▶️ Marco soon and be are I think entirely or mostly for like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obscure variants that you could enable that almost nobody does enable of the format
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so bit mp3 has is almost public domain and it is effectively public domain
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now because it is so old that is a technological technological backwater thanks John it is so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco old the patents have expired which makes it way better than everything else in the world Wow you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what’s even worse about this to what drive me nuts about this I in my analytics and overcast streaming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like 10% of playback really like I did all that work for streaming and now I’m fretting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all about streaming
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m glad you did it because now I have overcast on my iPad and I tell it to stream everything and download nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John because I don’t want it taking up any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah actually like on like an iPad that you listen on sometimes that is the perfect case for streaming like that’s it’s perfect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but man I’m it makes me so sad that like I did all this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work for streaming and almost nobody uses it basically.