Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

516: One of My Fits of Rage

John’s birthday cake, Samsung’s new monitor, and why Overcast isn’t moving to CloudKit after all.

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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. Everyone is sick
  2. Happy birthday, John!
  3. AI training with GitHub code
  4. chkbit for bit rot
  5. Sponsor: Green Chef (code atp60)
  6. Overcast and CloudKit
  7. Sponsor: Trade Coffee
  8. Samsung Studio Display
  9. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  10. #askatp: Backing up Xcode projects
  11. #askatp: Lossy video on fancy TVs
  12. #askatp: Photo backup via Synology
  13. Ending theme
  14. John’s microphone journey

Everyone is sick

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I sound a little bit bad this week because I’m a little bit sick because everyone’s a little bit sick because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh my god Everyone is sick. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this might be You know anecdotally speaking the most people I’ve ever heard of being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sick at the same time Everyone is sick right now Everyone it’s not all you know, most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it’s not Cove unfortunately a lot of it is just like, you know mild colds here and there Occasional flus here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there but just everyone is sick

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mike McClure, MD, PhD Yeah. Mikayla’s been fighting a cough. She’s been COVID tested, you know, once or twice and it doesn’t seem to be that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey She woke up today complaining of an earache. And so fast forward three hours, she’s getting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey treated for an ear infection. You know, our kids were sick over Thanksgiving. Again, not COVID

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as far as tests and as far as we know. Yeah, I agree with you that it seems like everyone is making up for lost

⏹️ ▶️ Casey time, unlike general illnesses. You know, and it’s not, like you said, it’s not necessarily COVID,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey although it’s certainly Plenty of that going around. But just even general illnesses, there seems to be plenty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of it at the moment.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And the good news is that it seems like the most common thing I hear about is people who just have like mild cold

⏹️ ▶️ Marco symptoms for a week or two at the most, which is really annoying. In fact, I’m currently

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on, I think, my second one of those for the season. It’s annoying, but, you know, it could be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot worse. It has been a lot worse. So, you know, it’s good that it’s all mild. So everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is just kind of mildly annoyed with sickness for this whole winter, which is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, could be worse, but that doesn’t make it any less mildly annoying.

Happy birthday, John!

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What are you going to do? By the way, I don’t think it made it into the release recording. Maybe it did. But as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we were hanging up, so not as the, I don’t think it was when the live broadcast was ending, but as the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey three of us were hanging up on Zoom, Marco sniped me and wished John a happy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey birthday in advance. And I, it had completely slipped my mind last recording, but I will

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now take credit for this one and say, happy birthday, John. I hope your birthday

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was wonderful and your carrot cake was delicious.

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re still working on the carrot cake. Still some left.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, I thought you meant the Zinnit hadn’t arrived yet. I was like, what are you talking about? I thought Tina and Kate made that for you every

⏹️ ▶️ Casey year. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John misunderstood.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was the question. You want

⏹️ ▶️ John to make, should we make the full-size cake? I said, yeah, make the full-size

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cake. Would you ever not make the full-size cake? I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John right. I mean, for just four people, it’s a lot of cake. But I think we can, we’re up to the task.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, carrot cake, so this is one of those things, you know, I hate to admit that you’re right. Carrot cake is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome. Like, I love carrot cake. I, I’m even, I’m going to your pizza place tomorrow. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sucks when you’re right this much,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the carrot cake is relatively new birthday thing. I mean, you, I think, did we, I think Tina

⏹️ ▶️ John made it when we were at, uh, at underscores. Right. That’s right. Right. So that’s, I mean, that’s not the first time we had it, but

⏹️ ▶️ John that was when the tradition was relatively new. So that’s about the age of this, like, I don’t know, like 10 years, 12 years, 15 years, I

⏹️ ▶️ John guess that’s relatively new when you’re an old person. Um, and it’s not just carrot cake in general, it’s that specific

⏹️ ▶️ John recipe. It’s I forget who it is. Maybe it’s Ina Gardner or whatever. It’s like, it’s a carrot cake and it’s got

⏹️ ▶️ John things in it that people may find controversial. One, it’s got raisins in it. I know a lot of carrot cakes have raisins in it. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re good. And two, it’s got pieces of pineapple in it, which maybe you haven’t seen in a carrot cake before, but I think

⏹️ ▶️ John works really well. And then three is just, you know, it’s cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John classic combo. Whether you want the raisins or the pineapples, you know, you can adjust that. But I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John that combo is overlooked. And this is literally the one time a year I have it. I would get sick

⏹️ ▶️ John of it if we had it all the time, but most of the time people are making cakes or cupcakes or whatever. They’re making chocolate or vanilla cake or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever. It’s just my birthday, carrot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cake. That’s fine. The pineapples are really good and really interesting idea. The raisins, I could see why that’d be controversial.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Pineapple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco though, that could be really nice.

⏹️ ▶️ John It keeps the cake moist, I think. I mean, the first time she made it, I’m like, are these dried pineapples? But they’re not, it’s fresh cut pineapple.

⏹️ ▶️ John Bits of fresh cut pineapple and they cook in the cake and like the pineapple gets dry, but the cake

⏹️ ▶️ John gets moist so they even out. So it’s not like there are hard pieces of pineapple

⏹️ ▶️ John in there, but the cake is very moist as well. It’s good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco OK. Yeah, because I’ve recently, I think I talked about this before, I’ve recently honed the skill of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco choosing good pineapples at the grocery store. And so now I’m able to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fairly reliably buy pretty decent to great pineapples. So of course, I’m always looking for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ways to use them. And that’s a good one. I should try that. I think this is it.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, I think we’ve passed around the recipe before. I’ll double check for the show notes. but

⏹️ ▶️ John Ina Garten, not Ina Gardner, sorry, I get her name wrong all the time. And we don’t put pineapples on top like this shows.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, well, that’s a different thing. That’s an upside down cake kind of thing. That’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John whole

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco different

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. No, no, look at the picture. It’s cream cheese frosting, but then they put bits of pineapple on top, and we don’t. Oh, that’s interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that could just be like an indicator. It’s like this warning, this cake contains pineapple, in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco case for some reason you have terrible taste and don’t want that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am actually not a pineapple fan. I wish I liked it, but it is not for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I said, easy to leave the pineapple the raisins out of this, then it just becomes a more boring carrot

⏹️ ▶️ John cake. But, you know, plain old boring carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s one of the classics. Steven Pollack

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what was your cake preference before this thought technology entered your world? Casey Jones I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had one. Kevin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco O’Leary No cake, no presents, no party. Steven

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Pollack Yeah, that’s a big challenge. Casey Jones

⏹️ ▶️ John That remains. That remains. Steven Pollack

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fair enough. Now, I’m a fan of like, just boring, boxed, like, chocolate cake

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John you know, white-

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Kevin O’Leary You’re a cheap date,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Casey. Yes, I am. I know everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey surprised by this, but just chocolate cake with white, with vanilla icing on the top. And the best thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s like lasagna. After you have a little bit, you refrigerate it, come back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to it the next day, and the icing is just a little bit like crunchy. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that about box cake mix, but

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m saying it’s true. Try it out after you try your filth.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey No, I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve had leftover box cake mix. It’s not like I just feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think it’s more about the icing than it is the cake, if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John honest. The icing is a little crispier. You like it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get hard and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John crusty?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. Oh, yes. Have you ever tried combining your loves and, like, maybe, like, putting, like, a layer of Alveda mac and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey cheese in between the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cake sponge layers? No, no, stop. Yuck! Okay, we gotta move on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure it could be done.

AI training with GitHub code

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s do some follow-up. Amy Lee writes, I loved the recent conversation around the copyright

⏹️ ▶️ Casey implications of AI-generated art. There was some hypothetical discussion of how you’d feel if you were an artist and your art was used

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to train these models. I was surprised that something like GitHub Copilot wasn’t in the conversation, as Copilot is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably the closest coding equivalent we have to stable diffusion. If you have any open source code on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey GitHub, it’s likely been used by Copilot, and in a way that doesn’t necessarily respect the license applied to the code.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey OpenAI used all the public code they could find, regardless of license and used it to train the model. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is quite similar to their approach with training on art. A hypothetical for this case would be, what if it was also allowed to train

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on closed source code on GitHub? How would you feel if your code was used in this model, even though

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you never publicly released it or gave it a license to others? That’s potentially just a contract away between GitHub and OpenAI,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no fancy decompilation needed. This was, I think, a very, very interesting point.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really was flummoxed once I read it. I don’t think I have any problem

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with my open source stuff being sucked into like, you know, Copilot or Stable Diffusion or what have you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I would not feel good about closed source stuff ending

⏹️ ▶️ Casey up there, just on principle. Like that’s my private stuff. Yes, it exists

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on GitHub, but that’s not GitHub stuff. That’s my stuff. And I would not feel good about that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco To me, that’s the line is like, if you have private repos, those should remain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco private to you in all ways from,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only exposure to the files for people to see, but also training. To me, that’s an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco obvious line. Yeah, I completely

⏹️ ▶️ John agree with you. I think the weird thing about Copilot and code stuff, well, there’s two weird things about it. One is

⏹️ ▶️ John my impression, based on seeing many examples of Copilot and trying it myself, is that the odds

⏹️ ▶️ John of it producing a snippet of code verbatim from its source is much higher than with any

⏹️ ▶️ John of the AI image stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a good

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John point.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know what I mean? Like, sometimes people, I’ve seen people say, hey, this is like literally my paragraph of code for

⏹️ ▶️ John doing this thing, right? And I think that does make a difference because that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not a transformative any of this, literally just you’ve copied and pasted, right? And on the open source thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John like open source doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. That’s why open source licenses exist. So I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John open source licenses should address this case explicitly.

⏹️ ▶️ John Again, arguably all existing open source licenses do address it in some way that has yet

⏹️ ▶️ John to be tested in a court, right? Because you can say, well, I can look at the existing rules and decide whether I think this falls within them or

⏹️ ▶️ John not. But it would be much simpler if you could just explicitly put it in there. And same thing

⏹️ ▶️ John with the copyright stuff. I feel like this should be something that, if you’re training

⏹️ ▶️ John an AI model on code, you should be using code that you’re pretty sure you’re allowed to use for the purposes

⏹️ ▶️ John of training an AI model. And so obviously a very, very open open source license may do that because it may say,

⏹️ ▶️ John hey, you can use this code for whatever you want. You don’t have to credit us. You don’t have to pay us. to do anything like the broadest of broadest open source

⏹️ ▶️ John licenses. That’s probably game right now. But the more restrictive ones, you know, that requires credit,

⏹️ ▶️ John or if it’s a copy left thing, or whatever, using that to train AI models is still questionable. And the second thing is,

⏹️ ▶️ John unlike with image training things or whatever, the result you get from copilot

⏹️ ▶️ John is not immediately useful. Let’s say we talked about this before, you can’t just take code generated by

⏹️ ▶️ John AI thing. And since I assume this works, you have to actually figure out whether it does what you you wanted to do,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a really important part of programming, not just writing the code the first time, whether you write it yourself or an AI thing

⏹️ ▶️ John writes it, then you have to figure out if what you wrote does the thing that you wanted it to do. And that’s the hard part

⏹️ ▶️ John of programming, right? Arguably, it’s harder when some other thing wrote the code for you, especially

⏹️ ▶️ John if it’s complicated and you don’t understand it. But either way, it’s difficult. And so

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not like people are going to co-pilot up a thing and say, and I’m done. No, you’re not even close to done. You have to

⏹️ ▶️ John now say, okay, I co-piloted up 10,000 lines of code, figure out those 10,000 lines of code come close

⏹️ ▶️ John to doing what you wanted them to do. And that’s, you know, at the micro level, does this paragraph do

⏹️ ▶️ John what I want it to do? And at the macro level, does the program do what I want it to do? That is incredibly difficult. Whereas if an

⏹️ ▶️ John AR thing comes out and you say, I like it, fine, it’s done. Like it’s not functional in that way. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not like the people are gonna look at the image and their eyes are gonna explode, right? But that’s the equivalent that could happen if you

⏹️ ▶️ John have code that doesn’t do what you want and you run it and just absolutely doesn’t do what your program is or crashes or

⏹️ ▶️ John does something like that. So it is interesting. And there are similar issues.

⏹️ ▶️ John But code is so fundamentally different than images or something.

⏹️ ▶️ John Something that tells another machine what to do and that presumably has some kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of correctness, you can say, whether it does what I intended it or not,

⏹️ ▶️ John is a little bit different than something that just someone has to look at and say, I find that acceptable. Therefore, I’m done.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I agree with you that the open source license should prevent this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or may prevent this sort of thing from happening. I’m just saying I’m personally not particularly bothered if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that was subverted or ignored or what have you for open source stuff. But yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey find it really gross for closed source stuff, even leaving aside what you’re saying, John, that it’s not exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an apples to apples comparison. But yeah, I thought this was a really interesting point for me, Nealey, nevertheless. Leonard Muellner

⏹️ ▶️ John The closed source thing of like, have any of you guys read the user agreement for GitHub?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It could be already in the user

⏹️ ▶️ John agreement for GitHub that we have allowed GitHub by agreeing to that thing and putting our code on there, that

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re actually allowed to make a contract with OpenAI and say, hey, we’re allowing them to use your closed code. Of course, if they

⏹️ ▶️ John did that, they could say, well, you agreed to these terms. Then we just take our code off GitHub. I think that would be a bad move for them.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I’m assuming none of us have actually ever read in full the terms for GitHub.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s just centralization and having large, powerful players in the market.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why that’s bad. And to be clear, I don’t think GitHub is some kind of monopoly on Git or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, if GitHub did that, people would take their closed source stuff off GitHub. You know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John There is enough of a competitive market. They are not the only place that can host Git stuff. And Git being decentralized,

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t need any one single place to host anything. So we’re pretty well protected technologically from this. Hopefully,

⏹️ ▶️ John GitHub would be smart with this. But the counter example is, well, GitHub wasn’t particularly smart with the rollout of Copilot

⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of what they used to train it and compliance with the licenses. I think when they first

⏹️ ▶️ John rolled it out, they were just like, everything’s fine, right? And they’re like, well, wait a second, my open source license says X, Y, and

⏹️ ▶️ John Z, and it definitely says you can’t use it for something like this. Did you use my code? It seems like you did. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I think since then, maybe they’ve adjusted and said, okay, we will honor the license set

⏹️ ▶️ John on your repo and only use the ones that we think we’re allowed to use according to the open source license or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I should have been more explicit, by the way. GitHub Copilot is a thing where you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can start typing code in one of the many supported languages. And based on what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you type, it will try to figure out what it is you really want and then go ahead

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and fill out your code for you. So for basic operations like a database

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like CRUD, for example, it can get stunningly close from what I’ve understood. I haven’t really played with this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey myself, but my understanding is it can get just bananas close to what you would actually write if you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey were to write this out by hand. And for tedious, like busy work, of which there’s a fair bit in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey programming, that’s actually super duper cool. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey certainly,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John well, I mean, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s- It’s not cool, but then you have to read a paragraph of code you didn’t write and say, does this really reverse a string? Like whatever trivial

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco thing you can think of.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s the thing, like, it seems like a subtle bug factory. Like, why, like, are you actually saving

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, maybe not. I mean, again, I haven’t really played with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John this. I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean, that’s why I feel like, you know, the thing that people do that is different than this,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like having a computer do it for you, when you’re a programmer is not that much more helpful

⏹️ ▶️ John than you going and looking up something, whatever it is, look it up on Stack Overflow and people

⏹️ ▶️ John just copy and paste everything from Stack Overflow. But Stack Overflow has someone explaining the code to you and people

⏹️ ▶️ John may copy and paste it, but a lot of time what they do is like rewrite it by looking at Stack Overflow and

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a process of understanding, hopefully. Hopefully you’re not just blindly like, well, I don’t understand this at all, but I’m just gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John copy and paste this paragraph of code from Stack Overflow. But even that, copying, pasting

⏹️ ▶️ John code from Stack Overflow is I feel like has a higher chance of success if it’s a highly rated answer

⏹️ ▶️ John on a

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey well-trafficked

⏹️ ▶️ John question. That code probably has a better chance of being correct than the AI-generated

⏹️ ▶️ John equivalent, unless the AI-generated equivalent is verbatim from somebody else’s code, because there’s not a lot of,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially for trivial code, mixing and matching, like what are they gonna do, rename the variables or something? Like half what people

⏹️ ▶️ John do when they copy from Stack Overflow. But if it takes any sort of deviance from, like

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s not a lot of room for riffing, right? It either has an off by one error in the loop

⏹️ ▶️ John or it doesn’t, right? Either correctly reverses strings of all possible links or it doesn’t, right? It handles the

⏹️ ▶️ John zero length case or it doesn’t. You know, it’s kind of an open shut on the micro level. On the macro level,

⏹️ ▶️ John things get hairier and you know, then it’s not like you can ask it to write an entire program for you. But you kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John can. You can say Space Invaders and it’s like, here’s an entire Space Invaders game in JavaScript and it’s not really Space

⏹️ ▶️ John Invaders and it kind of crashes sometimes, but it mostly works.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey So

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, it’s, again, it’s different with code because it’s not just like, I look at the code and I’m happy,

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to actually run it. And it’s in the running where you find out does this thing actually work.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fair enough.

chkbit for bit rot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, tell me about chick bit.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, we’re talking about data, a bit rot. Last episode, someone had a question

⏹️ ▶️ John about it. And there are lots of programs that can do one of the steps that we talked about, which is detect whether there

⏹️ ▶️ John are other errors. Some file systems do it for you. Some operating systems do it for you. Sometimes you can

⏹️ ▶️ John use a program outside of the operating system to do it for you. And here’s one I don’t think I’d heard of last

⏹️ ▶️ John time we discussed this. So I thought I would mention it and link it. Disclaimer, I have not tried

⏹️ ▶️ John this program. I don’t know if it actually does what it says it does. Ha ha. But if you want to check it out,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s written in Python. It’s called CHKBIT, which I’m assuming is short for check bit.

⏹️ ▶️ John And as the website says, it’s a lightweight tool to check the data integrity of your files. It allows you to verify that the data has

⏹️ ▶️ John not changed since you put it there, and that it’s still the same when you move it somewhere else. It just basically makes dot directories and writes

⏹️ ▶️ John it on to checksums in it. This is actually kind of a fun project for like a beginning programmer to like,

⏹️ ▶️ John to become a little bit more seasoned because you’re like, oh, this is easy. I know how to read a file and get a checksum.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know how to make a directory. And I know how to read and write files and check that, you know, like it seems

⏹️ ▶️ John like, oh, I can do all those things. I’m a beginning programmer. I have all the tools I need to do this. If

⏹️ ▶️ John you then go and try to implement a program like this, even though you think you know how to do, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can co-pilot up every single one of those individual steps, you will very, very quickly become a not

⏹️ ▶️ John so beginning programmer as you realize all the weird things you didn’t consider about real people’s disks

⏹️ ▶️ John and what are the actual performance bottlenecks to make this unfeasible, and how much of a pain is it,

⏹️ ▶️ John and what kind of weird errors do you get from the operating systems, and what are sparse files, and what are hard links, and what are sim

⏹️ ▶️ John links, and what are permissions, and what is sandboxing, and you will learn so, especially if you try to do this on a Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ John you will learn so much so fast, probably that you’d never want to know, and if you don’t find that exhilarating,

⏹️ ▶️ John you probably don’t want to be a programmer, but presumably the people who wrote CheckBit have done a bunch of this work for

⏹️ ▶️ John you, so if you just wanted to do something to check some of your files, This is one of many, many options. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John just one I hadn’t heard of before, so I thought it was worth linking.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You are clearly not a child of the 90s like I am. You think you know, but you have no idea. So what was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that MTV Diaries, something like that? I forget, man, it’s true life. I don’t know, some MTV show I used to love. Probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco true life.

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Overcast and CloudKit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, on a recent episode of Under the Radar, which is on a very good run,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and which is not surprising because they are excellent episodes. Usually Marco,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey usually not longer than 30 minutes. But anyways, Under the Radar, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey were talking about a couple of things. You were talking about how you’re kind of pulling the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey plug on using Cloud Kit for overcast, But you are allegedly,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey theoretically, maybe, going to be keeping the web player for Overcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I would like to quickly celebrate the Overcast web player being surviving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for another day, which is great news. Even though I don’t use it that much anymore, I do think it’s cool that you’re keeping

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it around. But I’m very interested in this Cloud Kit stuff. So I’ve been working on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something new that the boys don’t really know about yet, because it’s way too early for that. But this new thing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I’m working on- Are we the boys? Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes, you are the boys. This thing I’m working on, it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is currently written against CloudKit, and I was using CloudKit as a data

⏹️ ▶️ Casey store for what it does. And hearing you have a less

⏹️ ▶️ Casey rosy opinion of CloudKit than I expected is very selfishly interesting to me. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can you give like the 10-second version of your 29-minute podcast, if you don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John mind?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’d love to dig in a little more about, you know, how you came to this conclusion and what you think the implications

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are for not only, you know, people like me that are trying to write something new, but people like you that are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe moving something old into this new world. So I don’t know, take it whatever direction you want, but I thought we could tug on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that string a little bit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, sure. So I, you know, over the last, I’ll be brief, because this is, you know, mostly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco covered under the radar. So we’re mainly doing it here for any additional elaboration and for you guys to yell at me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But, you know, mainly I was facing a couple of problems with Overcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the past year. One was that I’m getting increasingly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco burdened by my massive amount of legacy code, and I’m trying to move myself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forward in some way so that I can, you know, basically adopt

⏹️ ▶️ Marco new things, new languages, new frameworks, new techniques, you know, Swift, SwiftUI,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco SwiftAsync stuff, and all that kind of stuff. So I’m looking at a bunch of rewriting,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically. Not everything has to be rewritten. Like the audio engine, I’m going to keep what it is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is mostly C. And that’s going to be fine. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of the UI I want to rewrite, a lot of the data layer I want to modernize, in part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make it easier to change the UI and to keep it up to date and to keep it fresh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to add features, and in part to fix certain shortcomings

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and reliability problems, certain like weird obscure crash conditions that could happen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Some of those require just re-architecting certain things. So anyway, that’s the motivating factor. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then the second big problem I was having besides my massive legacy code bloat is that my server

⏹️ ▶️ Marco load was really, my server maintenance load, not like the actual load average on a particular server,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but like the amount of my time it was taking to maintain and deal with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my servers and their workload was getting to be a little too much. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the year, over the past year, I really have done a lot of optimization,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of server experiments, moving to certain techniques or services

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are supposed to try to improve things. And some of them did, most of them didn’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve had to deal with a lot of regressions, a lot of bugs. We’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talked on the show a few times about how I would experiment with doing something like with S3 or with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cloudflare as a CDN in front of various things. And almost all of those

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have actually failed. Like almost all of those ideas I had either didn’t make it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better or only made it better if I burned a ridiculous amount of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco money, way more than I could actually justify. Or, and even then, it wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that much better. So in many cases, they introduced a bunch of weird bugs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I learned a lot. One of the things I learned is that all of those web services,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you, for instance, write data to them and you try to read it back, sometimes it’s there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it says it’s updated and it actually hasn’t. Sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the write just fails. Why? Who knows? Sometimes Cloudflare just caches things when it shouldn’t. Why?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Who knows? you know there’s there’s a lot of like you know this works 98% of the time well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s great but when I write things to my SQL it works 100% of the time and then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I read them back that works 100% of the time too and so many of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these optimizations would introduce weird subtle bugs and problems that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco eventually made them not worth it and so anyway so I’ve just gone through all this crap with my servers and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I devised this plan in the fall you know and I’ve been thinking about this for a while you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I should probably just move as much user data as possible to cloud kit because my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco servers process two kinds of data you know one is like global data it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well the this is the list of feeds I know about of RSS feeds I know about for different podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and here’s the episodes in those feeds and you know so on and then the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco user specific part of the data is all right I have these users they you user number 123

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is subscribed to feeds A, B, and C, and in feed B, they’ve listened

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to episodes one, two, and three. It’s a progress, you know, 60 seconds completion and two seconds,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know. That’s what I’m dealing with here, you know, a lot of that data. Huge volumes of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very simple data. And I know from running my previous web services, I know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, the amount of server resources I was spending, like, per user was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not a very good ratio. Like I was spending too much per user

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that like the number of active users I have does not justify the amount of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco server resources that I was needing to to keep the system going and any amount of time it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was taking me to to to like manage it. So anyway so again I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had this idea let me go to cloud kit I’ll move user data there and I’ll keep the public data like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the feed crawling and everything I’ll keep that on my servers but I’ll move user data to cloud kit, thereby

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only being a huge win in terms of like getting possibly privacy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sensitive data out of my hands, which is always a great, a great feature there. It’s like nuclear waste. Like I don’t, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t want this. Like I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want people’s data. Um, and then secondarily, that would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco presumably result in a huge reduction in the server costs and server

⏹️ ▶️ Marco complexity and server maintenance needs that I’d have to deal with. Over the course of fall,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided in one of my fits of rage and in undoing one of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my very bad ideas for, you know, one of the various CDN hosted S3

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucket, you know, one of those various things. I’m like, you know what? Let me just buy some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time with the good old fashioned MySQL setup that just serving stuff directly. Let

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me buy some time and see if I can optimize this a little bit more. And I took

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a week and the one big table that was getting hit the most often had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like three indexes on it. It’s a huge table, you know, hundreds of gigs. It had like three indexes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on it and I ended up consolidating it down to one. Both, you know, by, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, a little bit combining two that were already there and then rewriting the code to not, to just not use the other one,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know. So a combination of, you know, basic database stuff and of code changes made it so I I could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only use one index if I had to. And that single change made

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a way bigger gain than any of the stupid stuff I did for the whole rest of the year.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was infuriating.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is both beautiful and awful all at once.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. So, I did a couple of other things. During that week, I optimized a couple of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other things like the feed crawling. It was hitting one of the big tables twice

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I rewrote the code a little bit so it only had to hit it once. like that you know I did a couple of optimizations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that and it just made a huge difference and I was like damn it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so basically during that time oh sorry go back going back a second

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before I had done that when I was deciding okay my future is probably gonna be cloud kit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I put two things on my to-do list number one I’m like all right I have to issue an update to the app that will measure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the percentage of people who have CloudKit enabled. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I use CloudKit so far, I have used CloudKit for a number of years now, to do something very very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very basic which is if you are logged out, so if you’re you know maybe if you restored a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone or you got a new phone or whatever, if you’re logged out of Overcast, it shows you a list of your accounts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can tap it just log in. and that’s just a list of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically login tokens that are stored in CloudKit. So I knew that CloudKit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was available on most of my customers devices because this the system really has not resulted in any big problems for me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know having this be tied to iCloud and then I also have I use CloudKit on the web to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco help people log into the website who have anonymous accounts that don’t have emails and passwords which is the default

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Apple does have a CloudKit dot js web interface. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is horrific.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey It is really hard to use.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is it is old and seemingly unmaintained. It has a very high

⏹️ ▶️ Marco error rate. And just like just the URLs you’re hitting just error out a lot. And you just have nothing you can’t do anything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it. The documentation is horrendous using it as awkward.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey No, it’s not rotation stinks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. But yeah, using it is is incredibly cumbersome and awkward.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was clearly designed by nobody who has ever made a web anything ever. It is designed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only for JavaScript use and is definitely not designed for any kind of like tying in with the back end. It’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s really extraordinarily cumbersome and bad. So I already

⏹️ ▶️ Marco knew that like if I was going in the direction of CloudKit, the website, it was not something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to really offer. With the web playback. And I was thinking like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess I’ll still have like you know the directory on the web where you can like search and browse stuff because if nothing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else I use it when I’m debugging feed problems you know like I’ll search for a podcasting browse this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco episode list and see all that so like I might as well keep the website but I was gonna lose all user

⏹️ ▶️ Marco functionality on the website if I went with cloud kit because I’m like you know I’m not gonna I’m not gonna have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco access to like what are your subscriptions what is your you know what’s your progress in this episode

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have you know it’s stuff like that that was all gonna be in cloud kit and not on my servers anymore so So this move

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I was planning on doing to CloudKit was going to kill the website for any kind of logged in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use. And so anyway, so I decided,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know what, my servers are just killing me. I’m just going to, I’m just going to like, you know, finally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rip the bandaid off and just tell people, you know what, the website’s going to have to go because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want to make this move. And so I did that in, I think November, something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. I posted a thing to the website, a little banner on top saying, sorry, sometime

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in 2023, this website is going to be discontinued mostly with the user functionality and stuff, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want to leave all my options open with my server stuff going forward. And also because hardly anybody uses it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So to give you some idea of what I mean by hardly anybody uses it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m looking at a few hundred people who use the website. And that is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not a large portion of the user base. And this is like, you know, per day. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s under a thousand people. And so, and that’s well under 1% or whatever. It’s a very small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco portion of the user base. And so I’m like, why am

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I jumping over backwards here for people, for under a thousand people? You know, I’ve made decisions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to like, cut off support for an old OS that still had thousands of people using it. But,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the trade-offs outweigh that or whatever. that or whatever and it was still a small enough percentage that I was comfortable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that or whatever. So, I’m like, this is okay. I can lose the web player, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that big of a deal. Most people won’t care. Boy was I wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I heard from so many people. And I think part of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my problem with this decision, part of what I think surprised me,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that my analytics are not super granular. You know, this is just like a home built analytics system that I,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I report a couple of parameters to my server. That’s all anonymized every, you know, with every sync request

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I count them up and, you know, so I can tell things like how many distinct

⏹️ ▶️ Marco users used feature X. Yesterday. I can’t tell you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how many distinct users use feature X in the past month. So if you don’t use something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every day, you’re not counted every day. Does that make sense? So like, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if a different 200 people use this feature on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, if those are actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco five different sets of 200 people, that’s 1000 people. But my my analytics will only show 200 because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s only measuring it like, you know, per day.

⏹️ ▶️ John What kind of analytics do you have where you can tell per day uniqueness, but not cross the uniqueness? This is like a one day

⏹️ ▶️ John cookie expiration or something?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sort of. I’ve wrote the system years ago, so I forget the exact details. But the gist

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it is is there’s two tables there’s analytics today and analytics archive and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco analytics today is just you know some random numbers and everything and and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then analytics archive is like the sum of how many of those people were for each metric each day

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I’m only really keeping the sum also the the the random number that the app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco uses to associate people per day does rotate pretty quickly I forget what it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s something like a random expiration between like 48 hours and 72 hours, something like that. So that number, the random

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ID people are using to report to me, it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco changes so often, anything more than a day granularity wouldn’t be useful anyway. But I’ve never needed it really.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For the most part, I’m not measuring things that are so critical that I would need that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of advanced measurement.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So everyone is upset that you’re killing the website.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and so I’m starting to get the feeling that again like it’s way more people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than the daily analytics suggest because what people are telling me is I’m hearing the same stories

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over and over again basically it’s like oh I use this occasionally when looking something up or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I use this on certain days when I’m at work on my windows work PC

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and there were so many stories like that a lot of a lot of the use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cases were people who were using the file upload feature which is part of overcast premium, which, and I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco said, I’ll find some way to upload, to offer file uploads still, if I cancel the web player. So that was like less

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a concern, but it was still, it was a common enough thing, and I noticed that occasionally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would use the features too, like if I hit like a link to a website

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that had a podcast episode and I would follow the Overcast link and then, you know, I would add it to my account with the web interface.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m like, damn it, I want people to do this after I make this change. And I started realizing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a lot more, a lot more uses for this thing it’s kind of like the Mac Mini which is like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most people don’t need a Mac Mini. However, there are certain use cases

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that only the Mac Mini can cover and it’s a large number of very small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use cases effectively and that’s how my web player was. It covers a large number of very small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use cases. A lot of people end up using those every once in a while.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was problem number one. Problem number two happened when I shipped the version

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of Overcast that capture the analytics of how many people have logged in iCloud accounts.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I thought that the number of people who did not have CloudKit available,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I thought meant they didn’t have an iCloud account on their device, would be very very small.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was wrong about two things. Number one, not being able to use CloudKit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not just caused by not having an iCloud account signed into your device.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is also caused by having iCloud Drive disabled. That’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very different thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so weird to me that the two things are codependent, for lack of a better word, that I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would not have expected that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where CloudKits stores all the stuff though, right? Yes, that’s the thing. So when people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say iCloud, there’s a bunch of different services that actually is part of iCloud. One that I’ve used before,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I think I might move the account system back to, that little login token list thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is called Key Value Store. And this is one of the very first things, like when iCloud first launched, it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like two or three services, this was one of them. It’s been there since the beginning. iCloud Key Value Store is literally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a key value store for very small bits of data. It’s limited, it’s very limited. I forget the exact limits,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s something like you can have like a thousand keys and values stored, and each one can be up to like four

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kilobytes or something. So you can store decent data there, but it’s more for like preferences

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and short bits of things. It’s not really for arbitrary user data because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the limits are so small. I wouldn’t be able to use Key Value Store because way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco too many people would bump into those limits if you had a lot of subscriptions or whatever. But that service,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I can tell, doesn’t really count against anyone’s data at all. Like it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t count against your iCloud storage in either in any way or in any meaningful

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. That data is also not user browsable at all. Like there is no place I can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go as an iCloud customer and see the key value data for my apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for iCloud as far as I know. Maybe, I mean, you know, maybe who knows, maybe on the Mac it’s in some like library hidden folder somewhere,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t know where that is. And it’s for the most part, it’s hidden from users. So users can’t go in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and like delete it or manage it really. So that data is kept very small. And as far as I know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s not affected the iCloud Drive preference, but I don’t know that for sure yet. Anyway, iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Drive, the amount of storage that you’re allowed to use is just whatever the user has in their iCloud account. So whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco amount of storage they have for free or pay for, that’s what you can use. So it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, as far as the app’s concerned, kind of unlimited in the sense that, you know, you don’t have these arbitrary

⏹️ ▶️ Marco limits of, you know, four kilobytes or, you know, whatever else. So that does make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sense to have controllable in some way by the user, to have visible to the user. So the way Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has chosen to do that is to tie it into iCloud Drive. That’s where that data is stored.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if you have iCloud Drive disabled, apps, just as far as apps can tell,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can’t use CloudKit. And it doesn’t tell you necessarily why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can’t use CloudKit. I think, I could be wrong about this, I think it returns

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the no account status whether you have no account for real

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whether you are logged in but iCloud Drive is disabled. So you can’t, there’s not like an easy message you could show the user

⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessarily that would be very accurate or whatever else. So anyway, so I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shocked to find out, not only that, but the percentage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of not signed in to iCloud or iCloud Drive disabled, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the percentage of my users who can’t use iCloud, who can’t use CloudKit is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco around 12%. And like it keeps going up like I keep following

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this metric. Now, granted, most of my data is from, uh, the end of December

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and, you know, the first day of day or two of January. So it is holiday break time for a lot of people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco A lot of people aren’t at work during this time where they take vacations or whatever else. So it’s not an extremely representative

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time. Also just my overall usage is down by, you know, something like 20% or something like that, uh, for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco during this time, um, just because fewer people listen to podcasts when they’re not in their work routine and they’re like, you know, commute

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything else. So this data is not super strong yet, but it’s been staying since this update

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shipped, you know, a couple of weeks ago, it’s been staying between 10 and 12% of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people who cannot use cloud kit in my user base. This is way higher

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than I thought. I was thinking it would be like 1% maybe. Nope,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s 10 times that. Like, so it’s way higher than I thought.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And If I can’t use CloudKit for these customers, you know, it’s different from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I move the required OS version forward.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I still have, like all those people who I’m leaving behind still can use the old version. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s fine. But if I move all my user storage and sync

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to CloudKit, I’m going to cut off 12% of my existing users,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like not even just new users, existing users. That’s a problem. Now many of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you out there might be thinking, well who cares? Why don’t you just not offer sync to people who don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have iCloud enabled or whatever? And that’s okay. That’s a reasonable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco theory. The problem is on an iOS device in practice, sync

⏹️ ▶️ Marco means backup. If you don’t offer sync, then when somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco loses their phone, or it falls off of Casey’s car, or it…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey watch, not my phone.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whatever. Or they get a new phone and they don’t quite hit the restore

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the correct order and they have to reset everything or they lose their sync keychain or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They just lose all their data. That sucks. And I know how people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel about that from the handful of requests or the handful of support emails and stuff I do get about that problem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when my system doesn’t work for somebody with the whole Cloud Kit account sync thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco expect their data to be there. They expect that no matter what happens, when they get a new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone or they replace their run over phone, they expect that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything will just be there. You can’t just tell them, well, hey, look, hey, if you don’t enable your iCloud account,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is it, no sync, no backup. That’s not really an acceptable outcome for modern expectations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of software. That’s just not an option. So you have to have some kind of account or something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to back stuff up. And ideally it’s automatic. And so anyway, so that’s a no-go. I can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just say, well, sync is optional now. Like that doesn’t fly in this day and age.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I have to offer this. And when I first thought that the reason people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t have an iCloud account would be really obscure situations. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t even know what. Like you’re using some kind of weird test device. Because like it’s actually somewhat

⏹️ ▶️ Marco challenging to use an iOS device without ever signing in an iCloud account. Like lots of stuff doesn’t really work very well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco without that. But I learned when I was, I guess not tweeting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about this, when I was mastodoning about this, I learned, I’m not going to say tooting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a different thing. You should say tooting. Embrace

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John the tooting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No. When I was mastoposting about this, that sounds gross too. No,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you’re just making it worse.

⏹️ ▶️ John Toot as great because it’s so close to tweet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When I was posting on Mastodon about this, I learned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it’s actually fairly common for corporate-issued and corporate lockdown

⏹️ ▶️ Marco devices either to not have an iCloud account at all and to disallow you from logging

⏹️ ▶️ Marco into one, or apparently a lot of corporate IT departments for whatever compliance

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or security reasons or whatever it is, won’t allow third-party cloud storage solutions.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So they will possibly allow your iCloud account to be signed in, but they will specifically disallow iCloud Drive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from being enabled. So that which kills the whole thing for CloudKit. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think what I’m seeing here is way more people than I expected

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use Overcast on a corporate managed iPhone. That makes sense. People listen

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to podcasts as part of their workday sometimes. Like they’ll have it on in the background or you’ll if you bring your phone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you bring that phone to work you’ll use that on your commute or whatever else. Like there’s all sorts of conditions.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what I’ve learned here is CloudKit is really a no-go for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that might be run on a decent number of corporate-issued phones. And so I decided,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like right at the end of December, I decided, you know what? Now that I have this data,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is not a good idea anymore. And since I had, in the meantime, optimized my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco servers a little bit better and made those gains, I’m like, actually, is continuing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to run my servers the way they are really that big of a burden? Is it really worth this loss

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this many people?” And I decided, you know what? No, it’s not. It’s not worth it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, it isn’t worth this loss. It’s not. This whole plan I had to go to CloudKit and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is not gonna work for me. And you know, I’m not saying nobody can use CloudKit, but I’m saying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s… I thought it was gonna be a good fit for this particular app and for my particular priorities

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and needs, and I got more information and it’s not. So the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco website will stay and the Mac Mini remains a product in my lineup

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and I’m going to,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, keep running my servers and I’ll try to keep making it easier on myself. In the meantime,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll get to go, you know, do anything else and not spend a year rewriting my whole sync engine.

⏹️ ▶️ John How swayed were you, assuming this was not the case and it really was a fraction of a percent who couldn’t use it, would you

⏹️ ▶️ John have been swayed by the horror stories from the people who say, oh, if you’re going to use Cloud Kit, you have to have

⏹️ ▶️ John something that’s not cloud kit to serve as your backup for when cloud kit is craps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out? Sync for a podcast app, I just finished telling you why it’s required.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it doesn’t have to be fast, and it doesn’t have to be super aggressive or super recent, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of my customers are only using it on one device. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if cloud kit was having a bad day, and you were still able to use the podcast app, and you’d

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still, you know, in my imagined architecture with my server still existing to do feed crawling and stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In that architecture, you would still even be getting new episodes. That wouldn’t stop if CloudKit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was down. All that would stop would be your data wouldn’t sync between different devices of yours.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I decided in that kind of scenario, okay, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. If CloudKit’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco down for a few hours and your overcast progress between your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone and your iPad and your watch doesn’t sync for a few hours, that’s not the end of the world.

⏹️ ▶️ John about the horror story of it just getting wedged, like that it’s, whether it’s up or down for some

⏹️ ▶️ John period of time, at a certain point it just gets wedged and will just never sink again without some heroic measure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was a little more concerning, for sure. And frankly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just hadn’t gotten there yet. I mean, if I had gone down this path, chances are I would find

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different downsides to it. You know, downsides exist with every solution. You know, everyone’s like, oh, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why don’t you just, my favorite phrase, Mm-hmm. Why don’t you just move to, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco insert Facebook or Google or Amazon hosted solution here? Like, oh, just move to XYZ

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cloud server Parsley. And it’s like, I don’t like you don’t understand.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is not my first day on the Internet. Like this is not the first time I’ve, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used web services or created web services. Like every one of these solutions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has pitfalls and limits and downsides. If you don’t know what they are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet, you haven’t used them enough. Trust me, everything has downsides. Nothing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is hands-off, nothing is automatic, nothing is taking all the problems out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of your hands. Every service has a bad day, every service has downsides, every service

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has BS you have to deal with as the person running it, or using it, I guess. At least, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with my current service of running a whole bunch of Linode servers with MySQL and PHP and stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know where all the pitfalls are. I know how that breaks. I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I need to intervene. I know the BS I have to deal with. Any other service I would move

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to, I knew that I would be signing up for the devil I don’t know. I’d be signing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up for some kind of future BS and some kind of future sleepless nights and headaches

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stress that I didn’t yet know what they were. It’s like, you know, it’s like Dick Cheney’s unknown

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unknowns, whatever that was. It was a rum salt, who cares? Anyway, I knew there would be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of pitfalls with any of these other services. And, you know, cloud kit is, is of course, no exception. Of course,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cloud kit has weirdness and problems and shortcomings and downsides and downtime and errors.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everything does. I’m not scared away by the, by the possibility of a service having them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m scared away by me not knowing them and, and, and knowing that if I move

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to something like this, there will be some amount of learning curve there. Um,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco possibly things that I would, that I would do very wrong as I learned. It’d be one thing if I was like starting a whole new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app with no users to start with, but when I’m, when I’m moving an app from, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I’m, when I’m trying to think about moving existing app with a whole bunch of existing users. That is currently

⏹️ ▶️ Marco making up, you know, my, my, my income as a person, like, I don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to move that willy nilly to just anything. I want to do that pretty carefully.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s quite an operation to move something like that. And so I was entertaining CloudKit because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought it would have significant benefits to me. I thought that the benefits would outweigh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the possible downsides. And I got more information, and they didn’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It makes sense. It’s obviously a big bummer for you that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not getting out of the server business no matter what happens. I don’t know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I thought that a lot of Apple’s stuff is using CloudKit now. Like I thought,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not Shared Photo Library, I thought the iCloud Photos was on CloudKit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is, and Notes and Reminder, I don’t know, I think all of Apple’s recent stuff is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco backed by CloudKit. And what I heard, actually, when I was browsing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my post-a-dons, what I heard was that people who have these devices,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who run devices for work without iCloud Drive for whatever reason, a lot of them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco replied to me and a lot of them said, yeah, a bunch of apps break in random, annoying ways. Basically,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of stuff doesn’t work quite right. A whole bunch of third-party apps don’t sync and just don’t even tell you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why. A whole bunch of Apple’s apps just don’t work right. You are correct, a lot of stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco uses CloudKit and when you have one of these devices, a lot of that stuff just breaks.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just, I find that hard. Like, I’m not trying to say you’re wrong. I’m not trying to imply you’re wrong. I’m not none of those things,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I just find that hard to believe. Right. Like, you know what I mean? Like, it’s just, it’s stunning to me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that so many of your users apparently don’t get to use like half the junk

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on their phone, like obviously I’m being hyperbolic, but it’s just bananas

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me that, that that’s just a no fly zone for so many people and I understand, you know, the corporate thing, I am

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not far enough removed from real work that I don’t understand it or it doesn’t make sense or what have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you. But golly, that is bananas. And I don’t know, I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s a couple of different things that I’m thinking about completely selfishly as I’m wondering if I can create a new thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey rides on CloudKit. And one of the things that I was, the thing I was most worried about in fact, was that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, CloudKit would be unreliable or the API would be crummy or something like that. The API seems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey reasonably okay so far. I have gotten far enough in the pre-alpha version of this app

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I can save stuff to CloudKit and pull it back out and so on. So the API seems fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In my singular use, it seems reliable,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I never thought that, oh, if I release this app, you know, I’m shutting off 10% of iPhone users,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which granted, I mean, I can choose not to, I can choose not to care about that, which is kind of what you were saying earlier. You

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t get to make that choice. I can make the choice that I can just choose not to care, but ugh, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not what I expected and that’s a real bummer.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and to be clear, this might not be 10% of all users. Like, this might just be 10% of my users. That’s fair.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco My user base is not representative of the entire world and part of my user base is very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nerdy, of course, that’s part of it. It’s a podcast app at all, it’s also my podcast app. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a very nerdy leaning, for sure. And also, it depends what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the app is used for. Again, like in my case, I think my theory here is like, in my case, a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people use podcast apps at work. And therefore, my percentage of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work issue device usage is probably higher than the average. So if your top

⏹️ ▶️ Marco secret app that you haven’t told us about yet, not that I’m bitter, is if your top

⏹️ ▶️ Marco secret app is less likely to be used by people on their work devices, you might have a very different number.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, I’m not so sure that’s the case, unfortunately. Well, fortunately and unfortunately.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Huh, that’s something else. So you said you’ve gotten over

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the immediate hurdle of the feeling like your database is going to explode.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not saying that’s actually what was happening, but it kind of, it seems like you kind of felt like, oh, oh, things are getting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a little dodgy over here. So you got through at least the first hurdle in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey front of you with, you know, some changes on your end, some changes on the database end. So now

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the best that you’re willing to share, Like what is the long-term play then? Because these servers aren’t going to go away. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this problem is going to continue to be a problem and God willing, it’s going to get worse because you have more users with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who are, who are doing more with your app. So what’s the plan, man?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Good question. So one of the concerns, one of the things that was frustrating to me was that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was so close to my capacities before. And, and it’s not, you know, look,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s, there’s lots of things I could do to add capacity.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco One of them that I what I relied on in the past, most of the time, with with my SQL

⏹️ ▶️ Marco based things, and you know, my, I’m mostly database bound, you know, it’s my it’s my your standard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of, you know, lamp design of an app. It’s, you know, a monolithic app with a whole bunch of web server, not even,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, eight web servers and a handful of database servers. And the way I had scaled it in the past was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what everyone does at this kind of, you know, low to moderate scale database based app, you split

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some high traffic tables onto their own servers, you know, eventually you have replication using MySQL

⏹️ ▶️ Marco replication and you have like the primary secondary and then you try to send read queries to the secondary and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco write to the primary like I’ve done all those things. You can get pretty far with that. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, obviously like you couldn’t run a very large scale operation with this kind of architecture, but you can get pretty far

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with it. And so that’s that’s what I’ve been doing. I have found MySQL replication

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be significantly worse since MySQL 8, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m looking to move, to reduce my reliance on it to only like a backup or kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hot standby kind of situation, not actually sending any queries to the replicas. And that’s where I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco am now. Right now I have everything going to the primary, no queries are being sent to the replicas, they’re only being used

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as basically live backups, so I could fail over to them. And I use replication, well no, I guess,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I use hot backup to actually copy them for backup. So that’s something else. Anyway, so replication is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only for, at this point, only for like failover scenarios. So one thing I could do, rather

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than using replication to build stuff up later, is I could just split up the user data. Like, you know, what we used to call

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sharding. I don’t know if that still means that today. Because the other thing is like, my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco knowledge of server backend stuff is super outdated. I know the way things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were built in 2006, and I’m really freaking good at it. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything that’s come out since then, chances are I don’t know about it. Or if I do know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it, I’d rather not use it. Because here’s the thing, the stuff in 2006

⏹️ ▶️ Marco solves my needs really well the vast majority of the time, and I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how to do it, and I know how not to do it. Like, I know what mistakes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not to make with this kind of setup. I know how to avoid getting woken up in the middle of most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nights. I know how to set this up so I can actually have a family life and take vacations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and have work-life balance. I know how to run this. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why I stick with it. And it’s served me just fine. Anyway, one thing I could do is shard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco user data. This is very, very simple. My user data does not depend on other user data. So I could say,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all right, let’s take the modulus of the user ID and just make eight different databases.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if your ID, you know, modulo eight equals two, you go to this server, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and split up the user data across eight different servers and have all the, you know, and then all of a sudden I have eight times the capacity.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could do something like that. And I’m fortunate, you know, fortunate, in the sense that my business is not really growing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very quickly, so I can predict what I’m going to need with pretty reasonable certainty. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not, I don’t, so I’m not gonna need eight times as much capacity next month. You know, things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are not that, I don’t have hockey stick growth on my podcast app. It’s fine. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, so, you know, I have lots of options that I can do, but one of the reasons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why I was so stressed all year is that I did feel like I was like really at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that threshold of like I was, I felt like I was at like 90% capacity all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you know, things were not going well sometimes, you know, things would fall behind, you know, cues would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fall behind or whatever. It was very high stress, certain things would go down, it was a whole thing. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to do things that required storing more database data. Like for instance,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the thing I now have tracking data but I haven’t actually shown anywhere yet which is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much hour time you spend listening to each podcast per month

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever. People want that kind of Spotify unwrapped feature where you tell them at the end of the year, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear this every single December, where you tell people at the end of the year, hey, this year you spent 400 hours

⏹️ ▶️ Marco listening to ATP. People want that kind of stuff. It’s a very commonly requested

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feature. Not only the end of the year wrap ups, but people just ask for stats much more often. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of my competitors at this point provide stats. So it’s a very, very, very common user

⏹️ ▶️ Marco request. And so I wanted to offer that. So I need to track more data than I tried. Before

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this, all I tracked per episode was like, all right, you’re at this position. Like you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or you’ve completed it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ve deleted it the smart speed total time saved is Just a double

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s just a number Like the app just accumulates how much time you’re saving and periodically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco writes it to the database and that number is synced That’s it. Like that’s not that’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tracking every single listening session you do and adding it up. It’s just tallying up on a number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So to in order for me to add any kind of stats Well, now I have more data to store.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the idea of writing to my database with more data, I’m like, I just, I can’t do that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feature. Like I’m running at 90% capacity here. I’m having trouble keeping up sometimes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t add load to my database. And well, I could set up a whole new database cluster just to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. But that’s a, that’s a very expensive operation, you know, cause the, this, it’s going to be a lot of data. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I, how big of a server am I going to need for that? And then I have to, then I have to have a replica for that. I have to add to the database

⏹️ ▶️ Marco backup system. It’s a whole thing. So I would just block. I would just say, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t do that right now. And so ever since I did those optimizations,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought, you know what? I bought myself some headroom. Let’s now I can actually see,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco let me launch this feature and I’ll just launch it in the background. And if it turns

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out to be way too heavy on the database, I’ll just stop writing the data. Like I’ll just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco edit the, you know, the PHP file that, you know, that, that, that method of the controller and I’ll just stop

⏹️ ▶️ Marco writing to the database who cares if you know that I just won’t launch the feature publicly but I you know I can test

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can launch the app that starts writing the data and start submitting it to the servers and I can see can I actually handle it or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not so I did that and yet turns out it handles it just fine now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it turns out that’s really small data and so at you know I had enough headroom

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I get I’m I’m able to do all this stuff now which feels really good because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have just spent so much of the past few years with overcast I have spent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wishing I could do something wishing I could add some feature or change the way something works

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but then the the server side of it was prohibitive in some way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco either either it actually did cause too much load or I expected

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it to cause to cost so much more low than I didn’t even try it. And so now I bought myself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of headroom. I’m learning that some of the ideas I have actually are cheaper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the database and stuff than what I thought. And at some point, my actual plan,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to answer your actual question here, my plan for the future is I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if I reach the point where I can’t just double the instance size on Linode to make my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco database have more capacity or whatever, then I’ll split it up. I’ll start sharding and I’ll start

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll start you know splitting more tables into their own servers and do more more user sharding and something like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that that’s all stuff I can do it’s all trade-off of cost and complexity and and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know management time and and you know code adjustment time but it’s all stuff I can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually do and so at the end of the day it’s probably way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco less time and complexity than rewriting my entire sync engine to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use a whole different system. So this is probably the best way forward.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now you can do the fun stuff, which is using SwiftUI to make a cool animated year-end wrap-up screen based on

⏹️ ▶️ John the data that you have. Because you have to have, if you’ve looked at all of the ones that other things do, you have to have some kind of like nice presentation

⏹️ ▶️ John of the information. And that’s perfect for SwiftUI because the data is small and SwiftUI is pretty good at

⏹️ ▶️ John doing animations and arranging images and stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I am, I am very much on board with that plan.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey To go back a step just for a moment, you had made a comment a little while ago that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey your knowledge has been frozen in 2006, 2008, whatever year you said. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that makes sense. And you’ve said many times over many shows, including

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Build & Analyze, that you do not like to be the tip of the spear for these sorts of things. You prefer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to use the boring stuff because it’s the reliable stuff. And that also makes sense. Have you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thought about doing a deep dive in, okay, how do people do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey these sorts of things in 2023 and how is that different than 2006, 2008, whatever? Does that appeal to you?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you think that would be a worthwhile expenditure of your time or are you just going to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do the bare minimum? And I don’t mean this, this is going to come across snarky, I don’t mean it that way, but are you just going to do the bare minimum

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can to kick that can down the road as long as you possibly can?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a good question. I think, you know, when you’re looking at, you know, is what I’m doing too

⏹️ ▶️ Marco old and is the new thing better than the old thing? And should I use the new thing? It’s important to first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ask yourself, like, well, what’s wrong with the status quo? Like what, what, what am I not getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the current thing that I’m using? Like what, what problem am I actually trying to solve here? And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, like I was saying earlier, anything I would move to, not just web services wise, but tools

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wise, any, any software or stack component I would move to would also have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pitfalls and limitations and downsides and bugs and crashes and, and downtime.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I at least know how the current stuff works. I know how to run the current stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that it won’t be problematic for me and be a heavy load on me. Um,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so the new stuff, I’m sure it’s mature by now. Like I’m, I’m sure there’s many different options

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of what people do. I mean, I think part of the problem is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whenever people recommend something to me or something to me, or when people talk about how things should be done,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they seem to either not realize that things can be run inexpensively,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or totally underestimate the scale of the data that I’m trying to store. People will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggest things that, you know, some kind of hosted service that purports to take all your problems away,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then you end up paying per query or per byte or whatever, And it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you actually look, okay, well, even if I rewrote this to be very efficient for this particular service,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m still, I would still need to hit, you know, X, you know, a thousand queries per

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unit of time or whatever. And it’s like, okay, well, that’s gonna then cost like 30 grand a month or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something. Like, it’s some absurd, it’s like, when you actually look at what it would take, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, people don’t realize, people who have grown up in the, in the like, just put everything on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco AWS kind of age, don’t realize how cheap hosting is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for doing things that are like low level that you write yourself. Like, you know, another example

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this is like, there’s all these services that exist to send push notifications for your iPhone apps.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sending push notifications is so comically cheap for me. Like, it costs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing. Not even close to, like, it’s nothing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you are paying anything to send push notifications, you’re overpaying.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like if you have a server to do literally anything else, you can have a background job that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reads a cue to send push notifications and you will never even notice it. It costs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing. So I sent a lot of push notifications. I have never had to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco scale any part of that at all. Like it has never been a thing I’ve noticed, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco uh, receipt validation. I do all that myself. Cause it’s like, you know, one call it’s like one it’s, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s, there’s stuff that if I used a new system, you know, a lot of the new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ways to do a lot of these things, whether they’re low-level components, like, you know, like a, you know, a database

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of thing, or whether they’re, you know, high-level services, like we’ll send you notifications for you. A lot of them,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like one of those as seen on TV, like, you know, what’s he do is at commercials where, you know, you have the black and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco white scene, the person’s fumbling with the old way. How can you make a salad with this? And you’re like fumbling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and dropping all your tools in in the black and white, you need this new tool. It’s like many of those are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco overstating the problem or they’re, they’re, they’re making you think something’s a huge inconvenience when it really actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t. And it’s like this, this weird complex doodadoo had doodicky thing here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever, this is solving a problem that it wants me to think is a big problem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for me. But is it really a big problem for me? Is this problem actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something I need to pay someone a large amount of money to solve for me? What if I just try to do it myself?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What would it take? What does it cost? How complex is it? How hard of a problem is it? I have found

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that with a relatively small amount of virtual server

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resources like you know standard VPS like you get with Linode or whatever else with a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco small amount of computing power you can do a ton if you just have a Linux server

⏹️ ▶️ Marco running like a database in some kind of front-end language like that’s You can do so much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more with that than anybody thinks. I’ve made a career out of running moderate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco volume web services very, very cheaply, so that I don’t need

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to take VC money and I don’t have to have some kind of creepy business model, I don’t have to have some kind of big company

⏹️ ▶️ Marco behind all this stuff. Overcast has more market share by a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than many other apps that have staffs or VC funding

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or some kind of startup to like, like, Oh, we’re going to be the Netflix podcast or like part of the reason I’m able,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m able to do it as a single person here is because I’m really good at hosting stuff cheaply.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So when people recommend a lot of these new alternatives, it’s, it’s not only not solving

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a problem I have, but it’s not solving a problem I have very expensively.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so to the point where like, it’s not even in the ballpark of what would work for me. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a long way of saying I will move to new things if I, if I have to, or if there’s really compelling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasons to. And so far, I haven’t found those compelling reasons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for any of the tool, any of the tools that I’m actually using once I factor in like. The cost of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rewriting everything, the cost of learning a new tool and learning its pitfalls and downsides and downtime

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and bugs and everything else, what I have is working pretty well most of the time, if I actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like optimize it. And I’m a little bit careful about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That makes sense. So when are you going to Postgres?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Postgres, again, Postgres, I’ve never used Postgres. I hear it’s great, but it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem like it’s greater enough than MySQL to be worth the changing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the learning curve. So maybe, you know, I’ll move through if I have to, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not rushing to do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Well, best of luck. I mean, it certainly, you know, makes me wonder about my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey strategy for this thing that may never even see the light of day anyway. It’s not like this is a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey business-crushing decision or anything like that. It’s not dramatically altering my world. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it makes me think. It makes me wonder. I had initially started writing this,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, it’s extremely early stages, but I initially started writing this thing with like, well, I’ll just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey treat CloudKit as the data source. And it’s quickly becoming apparent that for other reasons too, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s not going to work. And CloudKit may end up being like a sync destination, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey having it be the one true source of data is probably unwise. So, you know, there’s a lot to think about. I appreciate you taking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the time. And like I said, listen to Under the Radar 258 if you haven’t already because it was really good. And Under 30 Minutes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a much shorter version of this whole thing.

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Samsung Studio Display

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Breaking news, Samsung has decided to make the studio

⏹️ ▶️ Casey display look like garbage, maybe, possibly. So CES is happening soon,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I guess. I don’t even know. I don’t pay attention to CES, but there’s some CES related announcements. The Verge covered this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and we’ll also put a link to the Samsung PR article as well. But Samsung has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey announced the VUfinity S9, and it appears to be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a shot across the bow at the studio display. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 5K, same resolution. It’s matte. It’s not glossy.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It gets almost perfect DCI-P3 color reproduction. It has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey HDR 600, which we’ll talk about what the heck that means in a minute. It has a 4K external webcam,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which I guess you can slam onto the top of the screen when you need it and then make it go away when you don’t.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Allegedly, this includes automated zoom control that will track subjects in the frame. Does that sound like center stage

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to anyone else?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because it worked out so well for the studio display.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Well, I actually,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am a center stage apologist. I like center stage, but the studio displays, you know, camera fidelity is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty bad. It still is. It’ll rotate to portrait in the included stand. It has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey HDMI input, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, and DisplayPort. It’ll charge downstream, whatever you want to call

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, up to 96 watts. It does not have True Tone. And apparently it runs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Samsung’s, what is this, Tizen? Is that how you pronounce it? TVOS, and it has apps

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on it and whatnot. So you can use it even when it’s not connected to a computer.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s about everything there is to know about this, except the deep dive into HDR 600, which I’ll let

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Captain John take us down in a minute. But at a glance, not knowing a price, not knowing when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s coming out, at a glance, this looks like a pretty compelling option. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not sure it’s better than the studio display. It may be more money than the studio display for all

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know, although I’d be surprised. Unlikely. It is unlikely. But hey,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am all in on there being any competition to the LG UltraMe

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the studio display. So I’m here for this, at least in principle. I’m excited to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see more about this over time.

⏹️ ▶️ John The nice thing about it is that it looks like a studio display too. So if you want a studio display, but you want a cheaper version

⏹️ ▶️ John of it, that kind of looks like a studio display from the distance. From what I can see in the pictures, it looks very similar

⏹️ ▶️ John because you know Samsung in making things that look similar to Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not above that. No. And I feel like they have here. So yeah, because this

⏹️ ▶️ John is a pre-CES announcement, they haven’t actually announced the price or availability, so it’s hard to talk too much about

⏹️ ▶️ John it. But the feature set is just what you would expect, which is we’re gonna do a thing like Apple, we’re gonna make it look like

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s product, we’ll copy their aesthetic, we’ll use the same panel presumably, or a very similar panel, we’ll get to that in a second,

⏹️ ▶️ John and we’ll undercut them on price. And you don’t have to pay extra for an adjustable stand, and our webcam is 4K,

⏹️ ▶️ John which I think gives it a shot of not being crap when they do center stage, because they just

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey have more pixels to work with,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’s an external camera, which is way bigger than the bezel. Like it’s not huge, but like if

⏹️ ▶️ John you look at the picture, it’s a circle that is like two to three times the thickness of a tiny bezel on

⏹️ ▶️ John here. So hey, we can get a normal size camera without worrying about having to fit it in and the camera can be

⏹️ ▶️ John 4K, right? And, you know, presuming it undercuts it on price, it looks like

⏹️ ▶️ John it does everything the Apple one does. Now, the real question is, is it the same panel?

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, so the HDR 600 thing, there’s a bunch of terrible marketing terms. We’ll put a link

⏹️ ▶️ John in the show notes to the HDR 600 ones, but there’s the VESA display HDR certification

⏹️ ▶️ John things. If you watch any sort of review channels for gaming monitors,

⏹️ ▶️ John which I watch a lot of because I’m always looking for a good monitor for my PS5 that is HDR.

⏹️ ▶️ John Every monitor says, you know, supports HDR and then some number.

⏹️ ▶️ John Pretty much all of those numbers, or let’s say half those numbers mean you don’t have HDR.

⏹️ ▶️ John HDR 400, not HDR. HDR 500,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey not HDR.

⏹️ ▶️ John HDR 600, probably not HDR, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because regular monitors go to that brightness. So witness the Apple Studio display.

⏹️ ▶️ John it goes to 600 nits, but it doesn’t have local dimming. And 600

⏹️ ▶️ John nits is brighter than 500 nits, which was the previous kind of standard

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac display thing, but not super bright. And not having local dimming means you don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John get that contrast that you would want in high dynamic range, because the brighter

⏹️ ▶️ John you support in the screen, the brighter your blacks are gonna be too, because the backlight is always on behind the thing, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you look at the HDR 600 specification on the display website. One of the things that

⏹️ ▶️ John it says is, of the HDR 600 standard specifically

⏹️ ▶️ John is, real-time contrast ratios with local dimming. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John in the bullet points of this marketing material for HDR 600.

⏹️ ▶️ John Local dimming means you can turn off the backlight behind some portions of the screen. The Verge

⏹️ ▶️ John said, whoever’s writing this, the search says, I couldn’t get an answer at press time as to whether Samsung’s latest monitor

⏹️ ▶️ John includes local dimming. I’m guessing if it did, they would be highlighting that feature. It’s kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of weird that Samsung wouldn’t say in their press release if it did support local dimming, but they do say it supports HDR 600

⏹️ ▶️ John and the HDR 600 marketing bullet points say local dimming. I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know what this means, we’ll find out. But if it does have local dimming and the local dimming isn’t garbage, like doesn’t have, you know, it’s four

⏹️ ▶️ John zones or something, or it’s not one of those, they do like vertical local dimming. I don’t know if you know about this, but like one of the

⏹️ ▶️ John crappy cheap local dimming technologies just cuts your screen into a bunch of vertical slices

⏹️ ▶️ John and the backlight can be on in any of those slices, which as you can imagine is terrible if you have

⏹️ ▶️ John something that isn’t the full height

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey of

⏹️ ▶️ John the screen

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey because you get blooming in a vertical stripe, it’s bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John So we’ll see. Obviously Apple has no local dimming at all. This is an IPS

⏹️ ▶️ John panel, which is what Apple has, but it claims to be HDR 600, which is, oh, it’s just like Apple because Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John says their thing is 600 nits, but the local dimming thing is still a mystery. And as for True Tone, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is Apple’s thing where they have a light sensor and it like adjusts the color temperature essentially of your

⏹️ ▶️ John screen based on how yellow the light is in your room. This doesn’t have that because True Tone is an Apple technology,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it does have a color calibration feature built into the monitor where you can either

⏹️ ▶️ John use your smartphone with the Samsung app on it to sort of like point it at the screen like the Apple TV

⏹️ ▶️ John thing or it calibrates, or you can also use a more professional calibration tool to calibrate it. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not calibrating to your room lighting, it’s calibrating the monitor to, you know, to some standard or whatever, but

⏹️ ▶️ John that shows where they’re kind of aiming this monitor. So I expect it to be in the ballpark of Apple’s price just because

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t put color calibration on a monitor that people are just gonna use to look at webpages or whatever. It’s trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John get that same market of people who care about color accuracy on their displays. The

⏹️ ▶️ John Tizen OS, this is not Samsung’s first monitor that does this. They have a bunch

⏹️ ▶️ John of monitors that’s been selling for a while. They’re like little smart TVs, right? Only in a computer monitor, right? So you connect

⏹️ ▶️ John it to nothing except for power. you can turn it on and inside of it, it has not

⏹️ ▶️ John an A13 obviously, but some kind of CPU and memory and storage so that you can run essentially TV

⏹️ ▶️ John streaming apps, right? You can even run like Google Hangouts and like do video conferencing and maybe Zoom calls

⏹️ ▶️ John with just the monitor because it has enough smarts in it to run stuff, just like your TV has enough smarts in it. This

⏹️ ▶️ John is just something, it’s kind of weird it took this long to come to computer monitors and in many ways, televisions were ahead of monitors

⏹️ ▶️ John because we buy a monitor and we expect this thing is useless until I plug it into something to send it an image.

⏹️ ▶️ John And because these monitors have an increasing amount of computing power in them just to do their monitor job,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not too much of a stretch to say, you know what, why don’t we just run our TV OS in here too? And so now

⏹️ ▶️ John all you need to do is connect it to power and you can watch Netflix or, you know, look at YouTube or do video

⏹️ ▶️ John conferencing with the supplied camera or whatever. I think that’s a great idea. And I think it’s kind of,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s definitely a huge waste of computing resources for the A13 and the studio display

⏹️ ▶️ John Not to be acting like a little Apple TV in that mode, but that’s something Apple chose not to do, at least in the

⏹️ ▶️ John first iteration of their product. So we don’t know a ship date for this. Maybe by the time this comes

⏹️ ▶️ John out, a new Apple Studio display with local dimming will come out and we’ll have a better comparison,

⏹️ ▶️ John but not having to pay extra for an adjustable display. And if you really don’t like glossy, not having

⏹️ ▶️ John to pay the huge amount of money for Apple’s nanotexture, but instead to accept a presumably somewhat

⏹️ ▶️ John inferior, but way cheaper, you know, default matte display on this thing may be to your liking.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I’m, I’m, I’m with Casey, anything, you know, to get beyond the, the ultra

⏹️ ▶️ John fine as being the only other option. Viewfinity is an awful name, but you know, I think this is

⏹️ ▶️ John some decent competition for Apple’s display.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And by the way, it’s not viewfinity, it’s viewfinity S9. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John S9 reminds me of an Audi, so.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I’m, I’m happy to see this, you know, even if it’s not something any of us want, it’s not healthy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this ecosystem for there to be only one monitor available at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a given size that has like the right DPI for Apple users. And that’s only a fairly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recent thing that’s really been a problem. Like, you know, the XDR

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the first Apple monitor I’ve ever bought. All of my desktop use before this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that wasn’t an iMac, you know, when I go back in a pre-desktop retina time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was always with third-party monitors. I had some Dell monitors, I had an HP monitor, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had, you know, before that I had like ViewSonic and you know, the other like kind of PC brands. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco always been good monitor choices from third parties until relatively recent in computing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco history for Apple people to choose that would have the right DPI, that would have, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the resolution that we’re looking for and the size we’re looking for and pretty decent specs if you didn’t care

⏹️ ▶️ Marco too much about some of the stuff Apple cares about. And like, you know, for me, most of that was always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. Like I never needed like super color accuracy for my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco programming work. Like that’s not something I really ever need. So it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been fine. I’ve greatly enjoyed those monitors at the time they came out. And it was only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when we went to Desktop Retina that the dearth of monitors started. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even like when we first got the 27 inch category of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco monitors, There were a couple of 5K ones besides the LG UltraFine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like Dell had one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey briefly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think ViewSonic actually had one briefly that maybe wasn’t even available in the US. But there were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple others at launch and then they just disappeared and were just discontinued very quickly. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope there are more options. Like Apple should not be the only company making

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a 5K 27-inch monitor. Apple should not be the only company making a 6K 30

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever HD XDR is either. Like there should be other options here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and ideally more than one. So we don’t have the ultra fine problem but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the sign of a healthy ecosystem. And I know for various reasons, like, you know, PC

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people kind of went in a different direction with what they prioritize with monitor design and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a different direction than Apple with the whole high DPI retina, you know, game frame rate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of situation. You know, I get that, but it’s really good to have more options

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here. And so if Apple screws us up again, there’s somewhere else to go.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if this actually ends up being better than Apple’s monitor in ways that are important to people,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like number one, I’m sure price is probably going to be better. Um, number two, that webcam is almost certain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be better because it’s just so it’s so much larger. It has room for like better optics, better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sensor and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Um, it’s 4k. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And so I expect certain things about this to be better. I expect certain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things about it to be worse, but that’s fine. It’s another option. and the more options we have, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better.

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#askatp: Backing up Xcode projects

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s do some Ask ATP. Eshoo Marniti writes, how do you back up and store your main

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Xcode project folders for your apps? Just on your Mac with Time Machine, iCloud, something more sophisticated?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And PS, does Ask ATP work on Mastodon? Let me cover the second one first. No. I need to look into.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it was just an iftttt that did the scanning on Twitter for hashtag

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ask ATP. Is that even something you can do

⏹️ ▶️ John on Mastodon? I don’t probably is, but my interpretation of this question was, hey, can we

⏹️ ▶️ John ask questions on Macedon by addressing them to add at a TPFM and get them

⏹️ ▶️ John answered? And the answer to that is, yeah, pretty much. But I have this is one of my

⏹️ ▶️ John granted. This is not a use case that Macedon probably needs to care about at this point, but it is one of my use cases. So

⏹️ ▶️ John it bothers me. Macedon doesn’t have full search.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s a whole thing. I think I have a good link on that. Tim Brady’s wrote a bunch about it today. We should put that on the show notes. I will find

⏹️ ▶️ John it for you. Remind me Casey to get that link for you But anyway, there’s no full text search

⏹️ ▶️ John You can search your own messages and you can search your favorites and you can search on hashtags

⏹️ ▶️ John But you can’t do full text search and that is an intentional design decision not a technical limitation and there is much

⏹️ ▶️ John controversy about it But anyway, that is the case What that means is for someone like me, I have my

⏹️ ▶️ John personal account But also I like to look at the mentions for ATP FM

⏹️ ▶️ John on both Twitter and mastodon So I can see things like people asking ask ATP questions, especially since

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey’s automation that automatically finds anybody who uses the ask ATP hashtag and shoves it

⏹️ ▶️ John into a Google sheet, doesn’t currently work with Mastodon and we’ll work on getting that work. But I like to look at

⏹️ ▶️ John the ATP mentions manually. And I can, I have access to the ATP account, we share access to

⏹️ ▶️ John that account. I can have it in Mastodon, I can go over that and look at the mentions when I’m logged in, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John What I can’t do though, and what I’m used to doing on Twitter, is

⏹️ ▶️ John on Twitter I just have a saved search for, at ATP FM. And I can look at that saved search and now I’m looking at all of

⏹️ ▶️ John ATP’s mentions. I can’t do that on Mastodon. I have to be signed into

⏹️ ▶️ John the ATP account to look at the mentions, but it’s fine. Again, I can do that. But when I wanna reply to them, I wanna

⏹️ ▶️ John reply to the ATP FM mentions as me. I don’t wanna reply from the ATP

⏹️ ▶️ John account because I don’t feel like I’m speaking, unless I’m speaking for all of ATP, which is a rare occurrence, I wanna

⏹️ ▶️ John just speak for myself. And Mastodon makes that so hard. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John when I’m signed into ATP, looking at the ATP mentions, I see something I want to respond to,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is what I have to do. Copy link to the toot, Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ John Nope, I’m not on board with this. As a URL, then I have to switch back to my account,

⏹️ ▶️ John paste that URL into the search field, switch to post so it finds that post and then reply

⏹️ ▶️ John to it. That is a terrible process. It takes way too long. I just want to be able to reply.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know what the solution to this is because I understand all the decisions that led to this. I understand it’s a weird use case to be looking

⏹️ ▶️ John at like a shared account or whatever, but boy, is it hard to, you know, because the thing might not even

⏹️ ▶️ John be on the same server as you. And so if you do it in the web thing, you have to, it’s just,

⏹️ ▶️ John doing it in clients like the various IOS clients I use, some of them make this harder and easier depending on

⏹️ ▶️ John how well they have integrated the search and reply functionality. It’s weird, but anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you do want to ask can ask ATP on Mastodon, human beings will look at that. And if we find the question

⏹️ ▶️ John interesting, we’ll probably see it. But the automation was really good because the automation just puts it into a giant Google

⏹️ ▶️ John sheet and we can browse that at our leisure. So even if we missed it in the day of or whatever, or noted

⏹️ ▶️ John it, but forgot to write it down, it would always be in the Google sheet. So we’ll work on that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so you can, like John said, you can certainly ask on Mastodon, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we need an automated solution. And actually I was listening to Upgrade before we recorded and Mike was hinting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that they have some sort of automated solution. Now, he never said anything about Mastodon, but I’m curious

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to see what they come up with, and maybe I’ll be able to steal it. But anyway, with regard to issues,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actual question, how do you back up and store the main Xcode project folders? I just checked stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Casey into GitHub, and I don’t remember where I got my gitignore, but it’s like a standard issue iOS gitignore. So perhaps

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m misunderstanding the question, but other than what’s in GitHub, which is enough to just download

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and start development, assuming Xcode is already installed, I don’t do anything explicit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or specific for it. I do have Time Machine and I do have Backblaze, but I don’t do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything specific. So am I missing the point here? I don’t know, Marco, what is the correct

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answer? So the way I read this is, is Shoe not using source control?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. So my answer here is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, the main store for my source code is GitHub. Like that’s the source

⏹️ ▶️ Marco control store. They’re all private repos, which you can do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yeah, same.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I store it there for many reasons. And then the local checkouts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of my code, they are backed up just as any other files on my computer are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as part of Time Machine and Backblaze and everything else.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, same. Yeah, I do think it’s weird that this question didn’t mention version control. Maybe people are in the mindset

⏹️ ▶️ John where like, they’ve been heard so many times if you’ve been around the internet, RAID is not a backup. Like, oh, it’s a way to redundantly

⏹️ ▶️ John store data on a disk, but RAID is not a backup. You need to make separate backups because if you host your data on a RAID,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s host on your RAID. It’s not a backup solution, right? As in, oops, I deleted

⏹️ ▶️ John it. Oh, I wanna get that back. RAID does not help you there. Maybe your file system helps you there. Maybe your

⏹️ ▶️ John backups help you there, but RAID is not a backup. Git, decentralized version control,

⏹️ ▶️ John is also kind of not a backup, but it’s way more of a backup than RAID for a bunch of

⏹️ ▶️ John reasons. So first of all, the point of decentralized version control is there’s not some central server that has all the data and then

⏹️ ▶️ John your client just has a portion of it. When you clone a repo, that’s the word clone is right there. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve got it locally. Now it doesn’t mean they’re always in sync. You could have a repo on your laptop,

⏹️ ▶️ John on your desktop, on GitHub, and they could all be at different states, right? So they’re not automatically synchronized. You have to do

⏹️ ▶️ John that yourself with pulling and pushing and fetching and doing all that stuff. But the thing about version control that

⏹️ ▶️ John has a RAID doesn’t, is that it keeps past versions of your thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you screw it up real badly, you can always rewind to a time when

⏹️ ▶️ John it wasn’t screwed up and it keeps them forever unless you remove them, right? And that’s not, Raid does not do that for

⏹️ ▶️ John you, right? So using Git and having, or any kind of decentralized version control

⏹️ ▶️ John and having multiple reasonably recent clones of that repo that you

⏹️ ▶️ John have some way of keeping in sync is actually a pretty good backup. And the GitHub thing is like, I’m trusting

⏹️ ▶️ John GitHub, the big giant corporation now owned by Microsoft to mostly not lose my data, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John If you wake up one day and like, oh, GitHub is at a catastrophe and 60% of their private repos, the data

⏹️ ▶️ John is gone, sorry. Actually, I think most people, they’d grumble, but most people probably have local

⏹️ ▶️ John copies of that repo, local clones of that repo that are reasonably up to date. In fact, their local repos

⏹️ ▶️ John may be ahead of the one on GitHub because they haven’t pushed recently. So it wouldn’t be as a disaster

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s the nature of decentralized version control. But having it on GitHub is in fact one,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a cloud backup, right? But what Casey said is true too. They’re just files

⏹️ ▶️ John like Backblaze, Time Machine, like back them up the way you back up any of your files. The good thing is they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John probably small files too so you don’t have to worry about it. So yeah, they should be in your patented backup

⏹️ ▶️ John vortex where they get backed up to multiple local backups, multiple cloud backups, and then,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, throw in GitHub as a, you know, a second or third cloud backup because I think it counts.

#askatp: Lossy video on fancy TVs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sean Cameron writes, John, how do you feel about lossy video streaming compression with your fancy new TV?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Platforms do offer content, technically in 4K, Dolby Atmos, etc. But the streams will still be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey compressed lossy, and I find visible artifacts like color banding all the more tragic in the context of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey our era of incredible TV technology. With studios producing new content available streaming only, there’s often

⏹️ ▶️ Casey little you can do to avoid this until it’s released on another medium. How do you manage? And have you ever looked into lossless

⏹️ ▶️ Casey movie sources like Kaleidoscape, which claimed to offer an even higher bitrate than Blu-ray?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, this is a very funny ask ATP because I’ve been giving a friend of mine a real hard time He just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got I actually we were talking about him obliquely when you had recommended the LG and your Sony

⏹️ ▶️ Casey He he just got you know this I think he ended up with a new LG and He keeps insisting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on buying blu-rays and I keep making fun of him for it because no, you know, it’s fidelity fidelity fidelity And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is your time to make me feel wrong, John, and convince me that the Blu-ray player from 15

⏹️ ▶️ Casey years ago that’s been in my attic for 10 years should come back downstairs and be used anew.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe not if it’s a 1080 Blu-ray player.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I know, I know, I know.

⏹️ ▶️ John So yeah, so getting my fancy TV that’s 4K, it’s my first 4K TV, so I’m late to the 4K

⏹️ ▶️ John revolution, but it has, of course, made me realize, oh, I have that movie, and I have

⏹️ ▶️ John it on Blu-ray, but it’s only 1080 and it’s a 4K version. And it’s tricky with Blu-ray because there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John so much more to a Blu-ray release than just the bit rate. It’s how is it

⏹️ ▶️ John mastered? How is it upscaled from the lower res source if that’s the case? How is it color corrected?

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why you see reviews of Blu-ray discs. Which version of the 4K thing of this movie looks good or which

⏹️ ▶️ John one did they screw up by weirdly color balancing it or whatever? So you have to do your research there.

⏹️ ▶️ John In terms of what my favorite YouTube channel calls bit-starved content, things that are

⏹️ ▶️ John lossy compressed with bad artifacts and stuff, there actually is a difference in the

⏹️ ▶️ John television you use to view it and how it handles that. You wouldn’t be

⏹️ ▶️ John surprised to know that upscaling, you know, non 4K content to 4K, different TVs

⏹️ ▶️ John do a different, you know, a better or worse job of that. But even just playing content

⏹️ ▶️ John at its native resolution when it is bit starved, when there is not enough, that the bit rate is

⏹️ ▶️ John not enough to avoid compression, visible compression artifacts, Televisions have ways to try

⏹️ ▶️ John to make those compression artifacts less visible and it’s not even like the really extreme like oh Just

⏹️ ▶️ John totally massage this fixture the picture, you know computational photography But for video even

⏹️ ▶️ John with basically everything turned quote-unquote off Some televisions will do things like decontouring

⏹️ ▶️ John filters at a very very low level that will show difficult gradients with

⏹️ ▶️ John less banding the other televisions the the one that that HDTV has the YouTube channel I was referring to.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, his uses is a scene from the Martian, which has like a red orange kind of Martian sky

⏹️ ▶️ John in the background, and it’s a big gradient behind Matt Damon’s head. It’s like a dark, you know, dark orange,

⏹️ ▶️ John too light orange, huge gradient across the whole sky. And even on Blu-ray,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is difficult to show, some televisions have difficulty showing that content at a high bit rate without

⏹️ ▶️ John banding on the gradient, right? It’s a challenging situation

⏹️ ▶️ John to get a smooth gradient across, you know across an entire 4k screen Some televisions

⏹️ ▶️ John do better than others with that’s why you watch TV reviews and find out, you know What do I care about more do I care about, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ John gaming input lag versus Decontouring versus handling the really badly compressed HBO

⏹️ ▶️ John copy of a Game of Thrones episodes. It’s really dark and has really weird flickering and And

⏹️ ▶️ John what is it, near black luminance overshoot, did I get that right? I think I got the reverse. I’m sorry,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Vincent Teo for

⏹️ ▶️ John near white luminance overshoot. It’s one of those two things. Anyway, there’s a bunch of visual artifacts that you might care about that your TV

⏹️ ▶️ John has an influence on. So that’s why I say look at TV reviews. Now setting all that aside, you do

⏹️ ▶️ John want the highest bitrate you could possibly get. That’s why I buy Blu-ray discs of the

⏹️ ▶️ John movies that I care about the most, because I don’t want to see them in the movies that I care about the most. And yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can see the difference if you actually are familiar with the movie enough, especially

⏹️ ▶️ John on a service where either your network connection is bad, or the service is having a bad day, or the service just has

⏹️ ▶️ John low bitrate stuff. You’ll look at a particular scene and it’ll be blocky and it’s gross and it takes you out of it. If anyone

⏹️ ▶️ John ever throws confetti in your movie, you should get the Blu-ray. Confetti

⏹️ ▶️ John is hell on the MPEG artifact. It’s so bad. Like, the movie would look perfect up until the

⏹️ ▶️ John point confetti explodes and you’re like, oh, what the heck is going on? It’s like the HBO static logo.

⏹️ ▶️ John The HBO static logo is actually better because your eye doesn’t know, like, oh, static is static,

⏹️ ▶️ John and yeah, it might look a little blocky, but you’re not looking for it. But confetti is supposed to be individual, broadly colored,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, little pieces of confetti, and you know that’s what it’s supposed to look like. On those macro block, it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John get hidden like the static logo on HBO does, but yeah. The problem

⏹️ ▶️ John with, of course, high bit rate stuff is it’s big. So I get Blu-rays for the movies I really, really care about, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it is such a pain. Blu-rays suck so bad. They take so long to load. You gotta go through the menus. It is

⏹️ ▶️ John the worst. Everyone hates Blu-rays for a reason, but it’s the best I can have. So that’s why I was saying, what about, what if you just take those Blu-rays

⏹️ ▶️ John and rip them one-to-one, you know, no recompression, just take the data right off the Blu-ray and put it on your

⏹️ ▶️ John Synology? I looked into that back when I had a 1080 TV, and even at 1080 resolution, I do not

⏹️ ▶️ John have the storage to do that. Someday I might, but they’re big.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Blue, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, 1080 Blu-rays, like 50 gigs or whatever. 4K ones might be even bigger. haven’t even

⏹️ ▶️ John looked I just know I don’t have the storage for that even for like the one or two movies that I care about

⏹️ ▶️ John I just I gave up I deleted them off of my Synology and I just go back to the plastic discs that they came from

⏹️ ▶️ John so someday maybe when hard drive sizes continue to get bigger and bigger and movies stay at 4k

⏹️ ▶️ John I will have one to one rip version of blu-ray stuff on my Synology and I think that’ll be great

⏹️ ▶️ John I do now prefer the services that have higher bitrate content there is that uh

⏹️ ▶️ John what was the Sony thing the Bravia core I think it was called the service that

⏹️ ▶️ John Sony runs that will stream you really high bitrate stuff and

⏹️ ▶️ John Your Sony television comes with like 10 free movies or whatever. I look at that I look at

⏹️ ▶️ John you know HBO versus Netflix versus Amazon To see who has the better version of a particular

⏹️ ▶️ John thing It’s usually pretty easy to tell you just start playing it and wait a few seconds for it to snap in and

⏹️ ▶️ John see what see what it looks Like and in my experience HBO does okay Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ John is usually the worst and Netflix is somewhere in the middle, but your mileage may vary based on the particular thing that you’re watching

⏹️ ▶️ Casey watching. Fair enough. All right.

#askatp: Photo backup via Synology

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then Justin Fisher writes, what’s the best way to back up a photos library to a sonology? Ideally, I think I’d like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a backup as a disc image, open to other options as well. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back up my photo library in the sense that I think Justin’s talking about. Like my photos,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as I’ve said many, many times, the canonical version of my photos, as far as I’m concerned, is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s on my sonology. But I don’t do anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really do a lot with like like albums and favoriting and things like that and photos. And if I lost that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wouldn’t personally be upset by it. So I don’t really do anything to back that up other than, you know, to trust an

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iCloud photo or what is an iCloud photo library. John, you obviously, as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’ve talked many times throughout the show, you spend a lot of time curating your photos collection. So what is the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey correct answer to this question?

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you just point Time Machine at your photos library, I think it ignores everything that’s in iCloud photo library

⏹️ ▶️ John like in terms of the photo data or maybe just ignores the entire thing. But the bottom line is that

⏹️ ▶️ John the photos library, especially today, is just a bunch of files on disk. So any file-based

⏹️ ▶️ John backup solution ought to be able to make a 100% faithful backup of your photos

⏹️ ▶️ John library. I would not suggest doing it on a disk image and trying to do that yourself. Like even if you just backblaze it, like just

⏹️ ▶️ John an online cloud backup of your photos library, and as long as you don’t leave photos running all the time,

⏹️ ▶️ John or even if you do, like, I’m wondering if you’re gonna get like SQLite databases like mid update or

⏹️ ▶️ John something. In general, I think just having a file-based backup of your photos library

⏹️ ▶️ John to a cloud backup service or anything else is fine. I wouldn’t go through the trouble to make a disk image

⏹️ ▶️ John on your Synology and then go through that because I don’t think any of the metadata matters that much.

⏹️ ▶️ John You just wanna make sure you’re getting the file. So the prerequisite to that is you would have to have your photos library

⏹️ ▶️ John on your Mac set to download originals so you actually have the photos. If you don’t have it set to download originals,

⏹️ ▶️ John what you’re backing up is a bunch of smaller or lower resolution thumbnails and then some full-size

⏹️ ▶️ John images, right? So you have to set it download originals, you have to let it download all the originals, then use any

⏹️ ▶️ John decent file backup solution to back it up. And the reason I say don’t make a dynastic image is because then you got to

⏹️ ▶️ John mount the image, which might be annoying. And then on top of that, then you have to run some kind of, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John backup file synchronization thing that understands Mac metadata, which is actually pretty hard to find. So better to just

⏹️ ▶️ John point cloud backup or carbon copy cloner or any kind of like basic

⏹️ ▶️ John file based backup solution at your photos library and just have it backed up like any other set

⏹️ ▶️ John of files.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, any thoughts? Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would just use regular backup methods. I would just use Time Machine. Synologies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco host Time Machine backups really well. So if you aren’t already using a Time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Machine Synology backup, I would suggest starting to do that. And then just, it’s then included.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, yeah, but then check, that’s why I didn’t definitively say this one way or the other but I seem to recall

⏹️ ▶️ John that Time Machine ignores photos in your photo library if you have iCloud photo library enabled. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John so check, I guess. Yeah, you’ll be able to tell. Just look on your backup and see if your

⏹️ ▶️ John dot iCloud photo library folder is like one terabyte or like 500 megs.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It should be obvious once you have lots of

⏹️ ▶️ John images. Or you just look inside it. Again, they’re just files. Like your dot iCloud photo library thing, it’s a bundle.

⏹️ ▶️ John It looks like a file in the Finder, but it’s actually a folder. You can go into there and look at the stuff. Don’t mess

⏹️ ▶️ John with the SQLite databases. But don’t mess with anything in there. But you can look at it. It’s just a bunch of

⏹️ ▶️ John files.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Green Chef, Trade Coffee, and Squarespace.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join at slash join. We will talk to you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can

⏹️ ▶️ John find the show notes at And if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John into Twitter, you can follow them at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental, they

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to Accidental, check podcast so long

John’s microphone journey

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, a long time ago you went on an adventure with microphones, and I actually did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of the same thing. Marco had suggested to the two of us that, hey, maybe it’s time to upgrade our mics

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco and — No, no,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s not what I said.

⏹️ ▶️ John Okay. That’s right. I mean, the reason I put this in here is because this is one of those questions we get every few years,

⏹️ ▶️ John and we usually, you know, we like to re-answer the same questions multiple times. If you listen to the shows

⏹️ ▶️ John for years and years, you know that. And I think it’s a useful thing to do. This is our, I don’t know, bi-annual,

⏹️ ▶️ John every three years, whatever, answering of the question, how do you record your podcasts?

⏹️ ▶️ John What kind of equipment do you use? We get that question all the time, but we can’t answer it all the time. But this is one of the times we’re answering it

⏹️ ▶️ John because the story that we’re gonna tell here is tangentially about what we use to

⏹️ ▶️ John record our podcasts, but it was kicked off by Marco posting to various channels that we

⏹️ ▶️ John are in, hey, this microphone that I like that used to cost $700 is now available for $400.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s a good deal. You should check this out. And

⏹️ ▶️ John it wasn’t to us in particular, it was just like, this is quite a price cut. 700 down to 400, was it 700 to 400 or 700 to 300? It was 700, I think to 400.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John but anyway, that’s a good deal, right? And it wasn’t, you know, what we later found out is it wasn’t like on sale for Black

⏹️ ▶️ John Friday or something like that. It was just like, this is the new lower price. And so this microphone that you might’ve looked at and said, oh, Marco

⏹️ ▶️ John likes this microphone, but it’s $700, like I’m not a big wig podcaster, I don’t need to look at that. $400, you’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ John eh, maybe, right? And so when Marco posted this, both Casey and I independently

⏹️ ▶️ John thought, hmm, you know, if we have, we haven’t looked at our audio setup for a while.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is a microphone Marco likes. It’s way cheaper than it used to be. And we do podcasts for a living.

⏹️ ▶️ John We can justify a $400 microphone, easy. Maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey a $700 one,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re like, ah, current mics are fine. But for $400, we should check it out. So I went on this

⏹️ ▶️ John adventure, and so did Casey, of getting this microphone. Without asking me. Yeah, we don’t need to ask you. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco not like Casey was not blaming you for this. It’s not like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you

⏹️ ▶️ John told us to do it. I was just like, this is the thing I’d like to try. It’s not like I mess with my setup very often, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s been years and years. And I’ll get to what my current setup is in a second. But this microphone is called the Earthworks

⏹️ ▶️ John Ethos. We’ll put a link in the show notes. It is a very nice looking, attractive microphone.

⏹️ ▶️ John One of the reasons that I was interested in it, in fact, had to do with the form factor. My current setup is unwieldy.

⏹️ ▶️ John It is, the stand is big and weird. I have a pop filter. It’s got a little springy, what is it?

⏹️ ▶️ John What is that thing called? A shock mount. Yeah, it’s got a shock mount with little elastic thingies. I’ve had it so long that the

⏹️ ▶️ John elastic in the shock mount dried up and broke and I had to get new elastics for it. Just from

⏹️ ▶️ John existing, it dried up and crumbled to dust and I got bought new elastics for it like two years ago or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t like it. And this new one has an integrated shock mount and is

⏹️ ▶️ John slim and, you know, integrated shock mount and a little, what is the little foamy thing called?

⏹️ ▶️ John A pop

⏹️ ▶️ Marco filter, effectively. It’s a foam windscreen technically, but it serves as a pop filter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, and so it’s just a little stick that you put a cable in the back of and it has

⏹️ ▶️ John everything built in. I’m like, that is much slimmer than what I have. I would love to have that on my desk instead of

⏹️ ▶️ John this setup. And hey, if Marco says this is a good microphone, maybe I should try it out.

⏹️ ▶️ John The main reason I wanted to bring this up is this is an XLR microphone. That’s the type of connector that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John on the back of it. And there is no XLR port on the back of any of our Macs. So if you want to plug this microphone into

⏹️ ▶️ John your Mac, you plug an XLR cable into the back of the microphone and then the other end of that cable plugs into something

⏹️ ▶️ John and then that something connects to your Mac. And I have never had one of those somethings.

⏹️ ▶️ John For the entire time

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I’ve been podcasting, my

⏹️ ▶️ John entire podcasting career, I have had a microphone that you plug a USB cable

⏹️ ▶️ John into the microphone and the other end of the USB cable connects to my Mac. And if there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John one message I want everyone to get from this thing, this whole adventure here, is that you can be a professional

⏹️ ▶️ John podcaster with a microphone that connects with a USB cable to your computer and that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John it. You do not need a giant console with motorized faders on it and a bunch of RGB

⏹️ ▶️ John lights. You do not need a stream deck. Do you not need a big fancy amplifier with tubes on

⏹️ ▶️ John it? And also you don’t need any of that stuff. I record this podcast on what I think is

⏹️ ▶️ John like the third microphone I’ve ever bought for doing this. It’s a no longer made, which is relevant

⏹️ ▶️ John in a second, but it is the Shure PG42 USB. And that USB at the end, it says,

⏹️ ▶️ John hey, Shure used to make a version of this microphone with an XLR in it, but they also made a USB variant. And

⏹️ ▶️ John a USB cable just plugs into the bottom of this microphone and that’s it. That is my entire

⏹️ ▶️ John audio setup. I have a microphone stand, a shock mount, the windscreen thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is all just physical stuff. It’s like pantyhose stretched over a little circular thing and a fuzzy foam microphone

⏹️ ▶️ John and some cruddy rubber bands that eventually rot out. That’s it. you do not need fancy

⏹️ ▶️ John audio equipment. And this microphone, I mean, it wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t expensive. I think it was maybe like two or $300 back

⏹️ ▶️ John when I bought it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it was like 249 when it was listed. And we’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John go into the details of this kind of microphone or whatever, but like I said, if you want to podcast, you

⏹️ ▶️ John do not need fancy audio equipment. That said, lots of people I know who podcast have fancy audio equipment.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was like, hmm, you know, I kind of like that I didn’t have it because it makes a simpler setup. But

⏹️ ▶️ John hey, if the cost of having the slimmer microphone that Marco says that he likes, is that

⏹️ ▶️ John I have to deal with some of that XLR stuff. Why not? I’ve got time,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not currently messing with my setup, my computer setup is fine, I should go on this little adventure.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I ordered the microphone, and an XLR cable, and

⏹️ ▶️ John then I needed to buy some kind of box.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hold on, before you get to this, let me tell people about your current setup a little bit more than you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John did.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll explain what you’re gonna explain in a second, I just wanna go

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco through the story and

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey then we’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John understand why the results are what they were. And I think it’s a perfectly fine result, but anyway. I needed a little box

⏹️ ▶️ John to connect it. And the box I was looking for is basically has XLR, the microphone plug into, and then I

⏹️ ▶️ John just wanted USB from that box to my computer. And it would be a USB audio input. There’s lots of boxes like this that you can

⏹️ ▶️ John get. One of the features that’s been difficult for all podcasters apparently to deal

⏹️ ▶️ John with has been like a mute thing. There’s like the cough button that Marco uses that doesn’t really mute.

⏹️ ▶️ John It just makes the volume really, really low. but you can still hear what’s being said.

⏹️ ▶️ John I kind of like the full mute thing and some of the more modern boxes that are made for podcasters actually do have a mute thing

⏹️ ▶️ John on it. The one I found was called the Elgato Wave XLR. Had a touch sensitive full

⏹️ ▶️ John mute, full digital mute button on the thing, which I thought was great because you don’t hear a button clicking, it’s touch sensitive.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like this box is ideal. I also wanted to be able to adjust the balance of my headphones of my own voice and the other

⏹️ ▶️ John people’s voices and this had that as well. And so I got that one, got the microphone, got everything all set

⏹️ ▶️ John up. Boy, it was so much smaller than I set up. It was just, I was like so excited about it.

⏹️ ▶️ John But of course, like being a programmer, you don’t just get it set up and say, we’re good to go. I did what you have to do

⏹️ ▶️ John is, gotta test it. Gotta see, you know, don’t just assume because this is a cool

⏹️ ▶️ John microphone that Marco said was a microphone that he likes, that it’s better than your other one. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I did multiple record. I put the mic, my old microphone, my new microphone right next to each other and I talked into them and I

⏹️ ▶️ John sent Marco the recordings and I said, which one of these is better? and he said, your old microphone is better.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I was like, okay, maybe the box I got was wrong. So I borrowed a box from a friend that had like a lower noise thing, because there

⏹️ ▶️ John was definitely some noise in this thing and did the same thing. Okay, Marco, which one of these is better? Your

⏹️ ▶️ John old microphone is better. And then I did a blind test with the old box and the new box, the old mic, Marco was like, your

⏹️ ▶️ John old microphone is better, which I was very disappointed to hear because boy, this new setup was so much

⏹️ ▶️ John nicer. Like the box wasn’t that big, but the microphone was smaller and lighter and there

⏹️ ▶️ John was less stuff around it or whatever, but always test. Now, why was the old

⏹️ ▶️ John microphone better? My current microphone, my old one, is a large diaphragm condenser

⏹️ ▶️ John microphone, which basically means that there’s a big thing in there that my voice makes wiggle,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’s literally large diameter. And this is the type

⏹️ ▶️ John of microphone that if you read Marco’s giant microphone review that we’ll link, he says, large diaphragm,

⏹️ ▶️ John large diameter condenser microphones pick up every little thing, every little noise, because they have a large

⏹️ ▶️ John thing for air particles to whack up against, right? I happen to have an acoustically

⏹️ ▶️ John nice room with carpets and bookshelves and lots of soft materials, so you don’t hear a lot of echo.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so I get away with using a large diaphragm condenser. Also, my voice being kind of froggy and nasal,

⏹️ ▶️ John I need a large diaphragm condenser to make my voice not sound awful, because the

⏹️ ▶️ John only good parts of my voice need to be picked up by this large diaphragm condenser.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the one, the Earthworks Ethos was, what is that one, Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a small diaphragm

⏹️ ▶️ John condenser. All right, so it’s not a dynamic microphone, which is the other kind. It is a condenser microphone,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it is smaller. Like the diameter of the thing that wiggles is, you can tell it’s smaller,

⏹️ ▶️ John the microphone is smaller. It’s like physically smaller. It is a smaller thing in there that is wiggling back and forth.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it wasn’t as good at picking up the nuances of my voice that need to be there to make me

⏹️ ▶️ John sound slightly less like Kermit the Frog.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And people overestimate or overthink the difference between condenser and dynamic, and they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attribute benefits to one or the other that actually aren’t a result of the pickup

⏹️ ▶️ Marco technology and are more with the result of like the pickup pattern or the other various

⏹️ ▶️ Marco characteristics of the mic. But yeah, you had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a large diaphragm condenser that worked well. And the problem with large

⏹️ ▶️ Marco diaphragm condensers, if anybody’s ever been in this podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco microphone buying game, you’ve at some point probably tried the Blue Yeti. The Blue

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeti is a large diaphragm condenser mic. There’s a few other popular ones that are like in the kind of affordable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco price range. And the main characteristic of these is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can sound amazing in a really good environment. So if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have what John has, which is a small room filled with soft,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco diffuse surfaces, like carpet, bookshelves with lots of books in them, all different sizes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sticking out, any kind of padding or anything, any kind of acoustic treatment you can get. Bay window that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on an

⏹️ ▶️ John angle.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, anything that is not just like a big, hard box, like anything that is soft

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and different shapes that can diffuse the sound, whether it’s actually acoustic foam or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bookshelf or whatever. So, and also large diaphragm condensers are very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sensitive to shaking. Like if you hit the desk, that’s why you put them in those giant

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suspended rubber shock mount things. And they’re usually very susceptible to pops

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you, here, I’ll take mine off for a second. When you say pop pop pop at it, you get that big bass

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. When that big blast of air, when you say the sound, when that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hits the diaphragm, it goes boom and you hear that like, so anyway, they are very sensitive.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They do pick up everything to a fault. And so if you are in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good circumstances and if you baby the crap out of the microphone, they sound amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have never been able to get one of these to sound amazing for me because I’m never in a perfect room, but John for some reason is.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so when he first got this microphone years ago, I told him, oh my god, never

⏹️ ▶️ Marco change it. Like, it’s great. Just don’t change a thing. And that’s the,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, that’s the audio way. When you get something working, don’t touch it again.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the reason I was interested in changing it had nothing to do with the quality of the audio and everything to do with just the physical

⏹️ ▶️ John reality of this microphone. It is unwieldy. Like all the, all the things you said about it, like I, it just, I would

⏹️ ▶️ John love to have something slimmer and less cumbersome and just, you know, cause this, I have, I have a

⏹️ ▶️ John double pop filter, like it’s two pieces of pantyhose strung over like a ring, a double

⏹️ ▶️ John one of those in front of the microphone, which has a foam thingy on top of

⏹️ ▶️ John it. So my plosives are as well arrested as they possibly can be. And that all adds to

⏹️ ▶️ John the bulk. So, you know, if it’s not broken up, part of it is like, because they

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t make this microphone anymore, it literally, if this microphone breaks, I’m gonna have to buy one and then I’m gonna have to start doing research.

⏹️ ▶️ John But at least now I know just to look for other large diaphragm condensers, I suppose.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the good thing is you don’t have to do that much research because large diaphragm condensers, like I did this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my mic test. I got a really nice one from Neumann and a couple others, large diaphragm condensers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sound pretty much all the same. Like, there are very small differences, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, across all price ranges, they sound pretty similar, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have fairly flat frequency responses, and they don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco color the sound. Like, dynamic mics have a huge range of how they sound, because the dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mics, just because of the different ways they pick up, It’s almost like Instagram filters for sound.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like the old Instagram filters, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey when they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would significantly change the way the image. You can get different dynamic mics that sound radically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different on the same person’s voice, and it’s just by the nature of how they’re made. Condensers are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not like that. Condensers largely sound the same, and the large diaphragm condensers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in particular really sound very similar to each other, all of them. You can get different characteristics

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in like pickup pattern and certain built-in filters that might be on the mic, but for the most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part, the basic pickup of them is all very, very similar. And so, and actually, that’s what, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Blue Yeti is a really great sounding microphone in a really good environment.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I don’t recommend it to people usually because no one except John has a really good environment to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco record sound, which we’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey get to in a minute with Casey.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wait, what did I do? I’m not in trouble, am I?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, just to finish on my thing here, I wanna say that like, when I sent the audio recordings to Marco and he said mine

⏹️ ▶️ John sound better, I could hear the difference too. Like if he had said that, but I thought they sounded

⏹️ ▶️ John the same or I sounded better, I would have kept the new microphone. But you know, it was impossible not

⏹️ ▶️ John to hear. Like, because I did like as good an A, B test, I’m literally talking into both microphones at the same time

⏹️ ▶️ John and I could hear the difference and I had to agree. The old one was better, as much as I hated it.

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey was like, oh no.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because I had to return everything and it was annoying for multiple reasons and no one likes to go through all that. I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John I did return everything and I got all the money back, it’s fine or whatever. but it’s like, boy, it was

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey so much nicer

⏹️ ▶️ John when it’s set up, but this one sounds better. And I really do think it has to do with the nature of my voice. If

⏹️ ▶️ John you have like a big earthy kind of, like if you have a voice that is not as nasal as mine, I think the difference

⏹️ ▶️ John would be less severe. I think in fact, I think it was recommended, hey, you should use a large diaphragm

⏹️ ▶️ John condenser by someone who, by a listener, who’s an expert in audio who said,

⏹️ ▶️ John your particular voice, John, you John, because of the way your voice sounds, you will need

⏹️ ▶️ John something like a large diaphragm condenser to make you not sound as bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Or apparently I

⏹️ ▶️ John could wake up at 9 a.m. because everybody loved my voice on the episode where I had to wake up at 9 a.m. And I listened back

⏹️ ▶️ John to it and I’m like, I sound congested and gravely. And everyone’s like, yeah, congested and gravely. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey great. No, I don’t like

⏹️ ▶️ John congested and gravely. Anyway, it didn’t sound as much like me, but yeah. So apparently I need a large

⏹️ ▶️ John Iveheart condenser. They are unwieldy. I continue to have one. I’m glad to hear that if this does eventually break,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can find another one that is essentially equivalent. But I don’t even want to go through that because it sounds like if I find an equivalent,

⏹️ ▶️ John It will also be unwieldy. I’ll have to have the stupid shock mount and it’ll probably be side address instead

⏹️ ▶️ John of front address.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco You don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have to have the thing. Well, anyway, it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it is. That’s why I personally for myself and for most people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommend small diaphragm condensers that are usually in the form of stage microphones. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in fact, this Earthworks Ethos I think is the first one I found that was not that was also otherwise good. And I usually recommend super cardioid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pickup patterns. Because what that means is like, it only picks up like a very kind of narrow

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shape in front of the microphone. And if I move off to the side here, I’m moving much to the side. Now I get quiet very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly. And if I come back to the front of the unit, it’s kind of loud again. So the idea there is the,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the kind of sharper the shape is that it’s picking up within the less room

⏹️ ▶️ Marco echo and background noise it is likely to pick up. Now it doesn’t work miracles with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Casey. Um, it doesn’t work miracles, but, um, generally speaking, like the small diaphragm

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stage condensers like the Beta 87A or the Neumann KMS 105, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now this Earthworks Ethos that I found, they are way more practical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for most podcasters just because most people don’t have perfect rooms in perfect conditions all the time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they minimize background noise better than most. Whether you go dynamic or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco condenser, the supercardioid pickup pattern is one I strongly recommend. And in fact, Casey’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mic is a super cardioid dynamic. It’s the Shure Beta 58A. I recommended

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this to him forever ago. Basically, what happened was a long time ago, when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco John got his new microphone, he, by comparison, made Casey

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I sound like garbage.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey And so we were like, all right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Matthew Feeney This cannot stand. Jared

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Polin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. It’s like, John, all of us, like, you know, we were using like, I was using the Rode Podcaster for, you know, that which is like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what all the like the 5x5 and twit people got a million years ago. And it, you know, by today’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco standards, it was garbage. But back then it was fine. But you know, then once John steps up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to like, you know, a nice large condenser, we sounded like crap by comparison.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So, you know, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had a, I had a Shure something or other for a long time. And then after

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, I think I have this on my website somewhere. But anyway, after that, I got the fifth, what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is this? The 58A? I don’t even remember.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco The Beta 58A is what you used.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And this has been working pretty well for me. And the short, short, short version of the story for me with regard to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Earthworks ethos is that I did the exact same thing that John did. Oh, that’s a good deal. I’m a sucker

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a good deal. I’m a professional now. I should give this a shot. And I did. And Marco immediately

⏹️ ▶️ Casey said, oh, absolutely, absolutely not. That is not going to work for you. Oh my God.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Real time follow up, it was the SM7B. And then like you said, now I’m on the 58A.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, I hate the SM7B so much. I tried to make it work. I bought it myself because I was duped like everyone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else who buys them. Oh, this is a radio classic. Michael Jackson recorded Thriller on it. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my God, what an overrated microphone that is. I tried for a long time and spent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a ton of money trying to make that thing sound good. And it turns out it’s not that great by modern standards.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was great when it came out. That was a very long time ago. We have better options now. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so what happened when Casey tried my new microphone, Earthworks ethos that was now discounted.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When he tried it, I’m like, what is all this background noise? Like, are you running like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a fan? Like, are you in a fan factory? What is going on there? And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re like, oh yeah, well, you know, I’m running these 14 fans in the room, but I always run them. You never hear

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them before.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s mostly true. It is not 14 fans, but typically I had a ceiling fan on

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for like 98% of the run of ATP, and this has actually stopped in the last month or two,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because it was a month or two ago that I guess it just had a little bit of a jiggle

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to it, the ceiling fan, and Marco blew a gasket, which if I were in your shoes, I would have blown a gasket.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco what is this ticking? What is this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ticking? What is it? What are you doing? I was like, I don’t know. It sounded like a bomb was going to go off.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco so- It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like when the little chain of a ceiling fan is a little bit rattly and the fan’s going, hear tick

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tick tick tick tick just all the time. And he’s talking and he’s like tick tick tick tick in the background. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my god! I’m like, what? I’m like, this is, you, we can’t use this. Like, this is totally unusable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and so I was, it was immediately verboten that I ever turn the ceiling fan on, which is,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have honored, I have honored your request ever since. Now, instead, I have a fan blowing at my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey legs under the desk, which apparently is okay and makes a lot less noise. But anyways, but yeah, you know, Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey immediately said, oh my gosh, this is, this is completely unacceptable. And let me remind you, I think I’ve told the story more than once because it still blows

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my mind, but like a year ago or thereabouts, I think I had like a video call for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some reason. This was after I was independent. I had a video call for some reason and I had closed the closet doors

⏹️ ▶️ Casey behind my desk. So my desk faces one wall on the opposite wall on the other

⏹️ ▶️ Casey side of the room. There’s a, one of those like accordion closet doors. And I’d closed them and forgot it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’d forgotten to reopen them during the recording. And the following day, or whenever you went to do the edit, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, like, yep, yep, something’s wrong. It’s not me right here. Marco, what are you talking about? I did nothing different.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Everything is identically the same. And you and I went back and forth for a few minutes and I was looking, I was like looking around the room

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wondering like, what did I do? And then I looked all the way behind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me and sure enough, the closet doors were closed and I was like, well, the closet

⏹️ ▶️ Casey doors were closed and Oh, that was it. Yep. Sure enough. And I have also

⏹️ ▶️ Casey never, ever, ever recorded with the closet doors closed ever since. So make sure you don’t take

⏹️ ▶️ John the clothes out of the closet because that is the function, right? You got to leave the clothes in there too.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s right. And my point is, you know, Marco has a pretty good ear for these sorts of things.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And yeah, apparently the Earthworks Ethos was not a good fit for either

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of us.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because in John’s case, it wasn’t sensitive enough. Because typically, the difference between a small condenser

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this and a large condenser is the high frequency pickup. Like usually, there’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco substantial roll off in high frequency pickup for any kind of smaller mic, including small condensers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and large condensers basically have like relatively flat pickup. And in fact, sometimes even boost the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco high end. And so the large condensers pick up like, you know, everything above like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, 10 kilohertz or whatever, large condensers are way better at picking up usually. So all that high

⏹️ ▶️ Marco frequency crispness that makes John sound awesome. And like, and if you’re like a professional voiceover artist

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re probably using one of these. Like, cause that’s, if you’re really trying to capture a really high quality voice, that’s what you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should be using most of the time. But, you know, for for podcasting, again, like when you when you want to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pick up, sometimes you want to pick up less detail for various reasons, like whether whether you want to minimize the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco harsh like siblings sound or the high the high frequencies like that can be very harsh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sounding. So whether trying to minimize that with certain mics or just trying to minimize background noise

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Casey’s mic is actually pretty insensitive, like, you know, in terms of, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much power it takes to generate a signal, it’s actually pretty efficient because it uses a modern NIB magnets.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the like how much it picks up around it. It’s it’s a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco insensitive dynamic mic. So I the only reason I would ever suggest Casey upgrade his mic is because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Casey has a wonderful voice and and a voice that I think would be compatible with almost any mic and in fact,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you ever heard any of our live shows, I always brought to the live shows three Neumann

⏹️ ▶️ Marco KMS 105. That’s what we use for those. So it’s it’s three of my mic basically like I would always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just bring three of those. And so that you could hear them here. I mean, it’s a little bit different environment there,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you could hear the voices that had a little bit different. And so I would love for Casey to have like, you know, a better mic at some point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get more of that glorious Casey Lewis voice. But he needs a mic that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco incredibly insensitive to make up for his ridiculous fan factory that he podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Oh, stop it. All his

⏹️ ▶️ John fans are just a glass of water with ice in it. And

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco this analogy

⏹️ ▶️ John running two feet away from

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco his desk.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, meanwhile, John accidentally created a perfect recording studio with his home office.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so he’s great with a large condenser. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I do think I need it for my voice. Like that’s where I get it. Yeah. There’s not much, if you take out the highs

⏹️ ▶️ John and my voice, it gets way worse. Like Casey has a more normal voice. And I think a lot of radio,

⏹️ ▶️ John the radio sound is more about the mids and the lows than the super highs. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. And Casey and I both need to be careful about our siblings, that high end.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco both have a strong sibilance in our voices. I mumble too much for that. Right,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. So we both have to use mics that actually have less high-end pickup. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I fix a lot of this with EQ. I EQ all of our voices as part of my process. But sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco EQ can only do so much when the microphone is sometimes just not even picking up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain frequencies. Yeah, you can’t EQ what’s not there. Right, right. And the mic can get you a lot of the way there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, so turns out we all have very different setups for good reasons.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And yeah, when you get it working, don’t touch it. Kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John like you wish you could use the AirPods back when you can use them. I wish my voice was compatible with that microphone because it was

⏹️ ▶️ John so nice. It’s a really nice look. It’s the first microphone that I thought is nice looking because it looks kind of like the shock,

⏹️ ▶️ John not the shock, the flash tube. Do you remember old cameras from like, you know, black and white movies

⏹️ ▶️ John where there’d be someone holding a camera and there’d be like a vertical tube that led to the giant

⏹️ ▶️ John flash. You’d hold the camera with like one hand on the camera, one hand on the big vertical tube that led to the flash.

⏹️ ▶️ John That flash tube is what Luke’s lightsaber in the

⏹️ ▶️ John first Star Wars is based on. They took that tube and added a bunch of crap to it. So that big flash tube, it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John a big silver tube. That’s what this microphone looks like. It looks like that flash tube, only instead of adding lightsaber stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John to it, they added a really cool looking little ball joint microphone thing to it and XLR to the bottom

⏹️ ▶️ John and a fuzzy sock on the top. So I endorse I endorse the Earthworth ethos at its new price of $400

⏹️ ▶️ John as long as your voice doesn’t sound like mine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And as long as you are not in the fan factory. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s not a fan

⏹️ ▶️ Marco factory. Sorry, a bomb factory, but like only the cartoon bombs with the alarm

⏹️ ▶️ Marco clocks on them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey It’s one or the other. You have to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey choose. You have to choose what the factory is producing. It’s either a bomb or fans, one or the other.