Tidbits: New iPod/iTunes/iMac Misconceptions, Apple Bug Friday IX/X

Thursday, 2005-10-13; 23:21:00

Mmm... misconceptions with a helping of bugs.

Just to clear up three misconceptions that seem to be making the rounds regarding Apple's latest announcements:

1. The new video iPod has the SAME dimensions as the old 4th-generation iPod, it's just that the larger screen and slightly smaller scroll wheel create an illusion of it being wider. It's actually not. Check it out the size of the iPod from last November. Yes, I know that's almost a year ago, but the 4th-generation iPod was already out, and the height and width have never changed. At the bottom in the third column, it says the height is 4.1 inches and the width is 2.4 inches. The new iPod's height and width are identical.

2. An infamous potential problem in the FairPlay restrictions on the new video content in the iTMS has reportedly been that you can't burn them. Steve Jobs even said so at the Apple Special Event (check around 38:25 for the quote). Evidently, though, it just means that you can't burn it onto a set-top viewable DVD, meaning that you actually can copy the file and burn it onto a data CD/DVD normally. I saw this reported somewhere else as well, but I can't find it right now. I also can't find confirmation on Apple's website, and because of the lack of evidence, I'm walking on pretty shaky ground to call this a "misconception". So I decided to put my money where my mouth is and try a $1.99 experiment. The verdict? You can burn it both on to a data CD (so presumably a data DVD as well), and you can even burn it to a CD from within a playlist on iTunes. (Yes, I tried these videos on another computer to make sure.) So this is a non-issue. Here are two screenshots for proof:

iTMS burned movie in the Finder iTMS burned movie in iTunes
3. The new iMac -- its remote does NOT use Bluetooth, but it uses infrared. The page clearly says at the bottom in red that the remote is "[c]ompatible with Apple products introduced in 2005 or later that have a built-in Infrared (IR) receiver" [emphasis mine]. I suspect the "or later" implies that Apple will be building in IR receivers (again, lol) to more computers, and that Front Row will gradually migrate to all Macs. I wonder why Apple used IR instead of Bluetooth, though. (My first thought was range -- low-powered Bluetooth devices apparently have a 10 meter range. That seems to be enough, but on second thought, my room is about 15 feet long, and I can easily see a sofa being positioned at least twice that far away. Remember that with an iMac, you can use video mirroring meaning that you won't necessarily only be using Front Row on a 20-inch display.)


When I initially started to participate in Apple Bug Fridays, I noted that I started during the second week that it was created, not the first. Today's two bugs are an effort to make up for that shortcoming. :)

The first one is simple: when doing searches in the Keychain Access program in Tiger, searches are case sensitive. That's VERY bad design, and is very annoying too, since I keep my program serial numbers stored in there (so that they'll be synched to all my comps via .mac). Filed under bug number 4300878.

The second one is regarding the iDisk. When you have local iDisk disabled (which means that you connect to it like you do for any other server), the Finder lies to you when uploading files. After initiating a file copy, the Finder reports that it is rapidly uploading the file, until it gets to the last few hundred KiB. It then apparently stalls, saying "5 seconds remaining", and stays there until it REALLY finishes uploading the file. Quite annoying. (For good measure, clicking the X to stop the transfer often doesn't do anything either.) Filed under bug number 4300880.

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