Protecting the Cash Cow: Why the iPad Does Not Have Multitasking Ability

Why Apple does not allow multitasking on the iPadThe internet is abuzz with what the iPad is missing, but for each statement there is a very specific and reasoned answer.  I’ve been happy to see Daring Fireball give background on the reason Flash is not and should never be built into Apple’s Touch platform.  With that properly explained, let’s look at why the iPad does not allow multi-tasking of applications.

Apple enthusiasts are often quick to point out that the iPhone would run out of batteries too quickly or the processor would not be strong enough to support snappy use of multiple applications.  This proves true in testing a jailbroken iPhone.  But the iPad Apple tablet does not get the same defense.  The carefully touted A4 chip should have no problem running a sophisticated 3rd party application and the native mail client at the same time.

This is big trouble as more complex games for the device are introduced.  For example Grand Theft Auto, The China Town Wars, is a complex 3D game recently released for the iPhone and iPod Touch. GTA: CTW has the potential to lose mission progress by dropping you back to your apartment every time the game is left unexpectedly.  While this clearly negatively affects the gamer experience, imagine how frequent push notifications begging gamers to leave for just a moment will affect more persistent, longer-session games like World of Warcraft.

The A4 is pretty tough chip and conceivably should have the ability to safely run multiple iPhone and iPod Touch applications, if not the more weighty future iPad-specfic titles.  So why isn’t multitasking being allowed?

Apple does not want people to use streaming music services like Pandora and Last.fm until it is ready with its own cloud-based, Genius-powered streaming music recommendation engine a seamless listening experience through the iPod application and iTunes.

Currently, the only ways to play back audio while running another application (crippled multitasking) are:

  • Using the iPod application
  • Downloading an mp3 or other audio attachment from an email and hitting play. (Plays back from within the mail application)
  • Downloading an mp3 or other audio from the web. (Safari plays it back)

Similarly, the only way to playback streaming audio is using the Last.fm application, the Pandora application or a few other apps that use a recommendation engine to create lists of songs you do not own and stream them to you.  If Apple were to allow you to playback Pandora today on the iPad and work with the iLife suite to author documents they will be training you not to use iTunes!

“But they can’t get away with that!” That’s right, they can’t.  That’s why Apple will introduce its cloud-based iTunes offering either before or in tandem with the release of the next generation iPhone this coming around June. Using the brains acquired in the purchase of Lala, Apple will be introducing a mixed-mode local and cloudbased listening experience where any iTunes music collection can be played back in part on the locally stored disk or streamed from the cloud using an iPad.

Apple will use Genius to identify and stream audio to iPad users in its own competitive play against Pandora and Last.fm.  Once a strong streaming, Genius-powered solution is available to iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users future devices will be able to multi-task all applications, including the most threatening, streaming audio services.

Jobs made it a point to illustrate Apple has 125 million credit cards on file through iTunes.  Every streaming audio selection that is in turn bought by the user can be facilitated using that payment information.  Not the case with Pandora or Last.fm!  Denying these applications the ability to gain traction gives the iTunes ecosystem time to evolve to include their services.  This will make the future allowance of multitasking apps delivering this music less impactful in pulling users away from greatest cash cow in software’s history: iTunes.

Portland as an Creative Powerhouse as Broken Bells Consumes The Shins

Portland Dangermouse Mercer photo by Matt McgeeMy old friend David Peixotto was visiting Portland for the holidays and this morning we snagged breakfast at Stepping Stone.  Dave and I have been working hard on a stealth iPhone application to be published by our company, NeutrinosBackspace in northwest and Urban Grind in northeast have been some of my favorite haunts so I showed them off to him and took the opportunity to extol on him the freshest virtues of the city I hope he’ll return to.

I showed Dave a print of an owl in a suit I bought at  Crafty Wonderland barely touching on variety in the vendors and size of the crowds out that day to explore the local fare.  I remember walking among the booths, looking at a velvet painting of Michael Jackson and hearing The Thermals playing overhead.  It was Portland art celebrating Portland art.

Something I’ve noticed through an array of networking and business meetings I’ve set up is that Portland has attracted a powerhouse of technological and artistic talent.  There aren’t a lot of jobs, but there is a creative class of people ambitious to combine creativity with entrepreneurial behavior to produce amazing things. This is starting to attract publicity.

James Mercer, The Shins and Broken Bells

What does all this have to do with Broken Bells? Let’s take a look at the context around the release.  James Mercer, frontman for The Shins, decided to move to Portland a few years back. Recently keyboardist Marty Crandall and Drummer Jesse Sandoval were replaced by by Fruit Bats’ bassist Ron Lewis and Modest Mouse’s Joe Plummer.

Mercer suggested in May that a new Shins album could come in early 2010, but then in September announced a collaborative project with Brian Joseph Burton aka Dangermouse titled Broken Bells. The release of the first single off Broken Bells, “The High Road” on the 21st of this month was quickly overshadowed by what some are calling the “best Christmas present ever,” the complete leak of the album.

One listen and it is clear that Mercer aimed for and delivered a dashing mix of phonics and verse, doing well to combine his creative style with a bang up set of instrumentation from Burton.  When the album makes its official debut it is certain to be a hit.

In light of this new work it seems hard to believe a new Shins album will be dropping any time soon.  And to celebrate Broken Bells as a Portland achievement hold less water than to simply say it is heavily in association with the city.  The idea that Portland would influence the creation of an effort like Broken Bells seems to jive with what I’m seeing on the ground.  There are no doubt wonderful things yet to come from this city and I’m excited to see what else shakes out.

Bonnaroo 2009 Pocket Images for the iPhone

iphone bonnaroo schedule wallpaper

The less you need to carry around, the more you can focus on the music and artistic displays at Bonnaroo.  I put together two sets of Bonnaroo schedules formatted for the iPhone.  

 Download the 2009 Bonnaroo Schedule Formatted for the iPhone

Set one is meant to be saved as a athe following five jpeg images formatted for the iPhone in 480×320. The schedules are taken from Mizary’s printable schedule.   Continue reading Bonnaroo 2009 Pocket Images for the iPhone

April 2009 Song of the Month: N.A.S.A – Gifted

gifted_nasa_music_video

I struggled with April’s song of the month, “Gifted,” which appears on the album  Spirit of Apollo by N.A.S.A.  N.A.S.A (North America / South America) is a project of Sam Spiegel aka Squeak E. Clean and  Brazilian DJ Zego spent five years assembling a gang of artists spilling across genres.

Performers on this record include:  George Clinton, David Byrne, Cee-Lo, Seu Jorge, Sean Lennon, RHCP, Tom Waits, Ol’ Dirty, RZA, Method Man, oh and Kanye West. Continue reading April 2009 Song of the Month: N.A.S.A – Gifted

December Song of the Month: "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll"

I first noticed The Rapture when closing down a bar on Beacon and Harvard Ave.  Boston doesn’t seem to support a strong alternative scene, but it was going strong in the bar and the DJ closed the house with “Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks.”

People were going nuts.When I saw that the band had put together a mix of dance tracks for a new album,  Tapes (!K7), I had to check it out.  There are a lot of great sounding cuts on the record, but the stand out track is “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll” which was originally released in my birth year of 1980 by Vaughn Mason & Crew.

The track is unchanged, but cheers to The Rapture for the back-of-the-crate selection.  I was a fan before I hit up Oak’s Park Jam Skate this past week.Here are some handy links to pick these up:

Facebook Profile Discretion and the Guitar Tab for Britney Spears, "Out From Under"

britney spears out from under guitar tabI’ve begun work developing a guitar tab of the Britney Spears song, “Out From Under,”  but before getting to that, we have some ground to cover.

Some friends on Facebook noticed that for a few days this past week Britney Spears was on my list of ‘favorite music.’  The music section of the Info Tab on my profile is usually limited to a select group of artists I would feel comfortable having a clear argument for recommending them to a stranger.

Example artists include:  Beirut, Cat Power, David Byrne, Jandek, Kraftwerk, Thom Yorke, Wilco, Joanna Newsom, and Lupe Fiasco.  Each of those artists makes list through a combination of the following:

New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy

Radiohead may know music–but they and their management do not know digital downloads. In trying to be artsy, buying In Rainbows was confusing and clunky. When it came time to download, they couldn’t handle the traffic. I found that particularly startling because a band with that kind of IT budget should have been able to get a decently distributed web server set up in 10 days.

Anyhow, three cheers for Saul Williams and his management for connecting with Musicane on the pre-order of his new album Niggy Tardust. (Yes, that is a racially charged album title. This guy has some pretty serious stuff to say to you.)

Musicane’s system for doing the pre-order was the slickest I’ve seen yet, offering a pre-order download of the 192kbps version for free or you could pay $5 and have access to 192kbps, 300kbps, or FLAC. I paid the $5 and it was worth it! Continue reading New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy