Latest Happenings and Musings:
Another full day of work is done with. Now I get a long weekend to rest and relax from work and school. Then I start work again on Monday. Still, it won’t be all vegging out and doing nothing for the next couple of days (or even weeks) as I mentioned in the previous Personal Musing. Tomorrow will basically be spent on building the new PC and then where it goes from there, I don’t know. But I’ll be keeping myself very busy. I must be insane for pushing myself during what should be my break but I guess I should get used to the idea of no breaks now rather than later right? hah… 😉 But not to worry, this is all fun to me. Otherwise, why would I continue to do this?
Tech and Gaming News To Read:
Apple unleashed iTunes 11 onto PCs and Macs a little while back and this wasn’t a small update adding a simple small feature to Apple’s media player. This update from 10 to 11 included a completely rebuilt player, a new looking Store with preview history, tighter integration with iCloud, a new UI look and a few other playlist features. iTunes has been drawing a lot of criticism for being a resource hog, feeling bloated, clunky to use and the criticism is well justified. iTunes evolved less than gracefully from a music player to a full blown all-media player with Apple simply stacking addition one after the other. Or at least that’s how it felt when people used it. So Apple finally paid some attention to their media player and gave it the attention it deserved. This was an update that I was very iffy about updating to as I worried they would remove functionality or make it worse than ever before. After having used it for a while, I can feel secure in saying that its actually an impressive update overall.
It comes with “Play Next” which lets you create temporary playlists as your listening to music. If you want to listen to a song/album/playlist without interrupting the current song your playing, just have iTunes play it next. Its a handy feature, though as I’m told has been available in other media players for a very long time. It also lets you drag and drop songs into your playlists from any view, allowing you to add to your playlists easier. iTunes 11 also features a better mini-player and a new album view. When you click on an album in album-view, it now expands to show you the songs in the album without you leaving your library. In the expanded view, it colors the text and background based on the album art. Its a really nice feature and adds a lot of color to what has normally been a very clean and mono-colored player. This new album view does reduce the amount of information you can see about songs like playcounts and such but for me that info wasn’t really necessary. And you can probably get that functionality back, I just haven’t looked for it. There were features removed such as Cover Flow and iTunes DJ among other minor little things but I can’t say I miss them all that much. Cover Flow never made sense to me as I have 100s of albums to scroll through and there is no way I’m doing that one at a time.
Overall, iTunes feels snappier and looks more colorful then it ever has and I welcome that. I’ve been feeling that iTunes has been getting worse and worse performance wise as time has gone on. So the performance improvements are great. I find the new album view much nicer than the previous one and all the functionality changes work well. Its long overdue that Apple added some functionality to the base player with “Play next” too. I still feel like Apple could do a better job with the iTunes store and the face-lift they gave it just doesn’t do enough for problems like finding new apps or other media. Still, its a lot of good stuff in this update.
Audio of Note:
Peter Hollens sings a very good cover of “Home”.
I had a good laugh at the Synthetic Orchestra’s Super Mario World Christmas Calendar song.
This version of O Come, Emmanuel by thepianoguys is haunting…
Photos To See:
Waynehenderson’s flower is quite the good looking flower. I like all the water droplets on it and he says he didn’t photoshop the image at all.
Another pic of mekster’s kitty.
Interesting Videos To Watch:
I was thoroughly amused by this super abridged version of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
“Stranger In Need” is a bit of an odd but entertaining Machinima video.
If you want to hear about the upcomign Space Sim game: “Star Citizen” you should listen to this interview of the man behind the project: Chris Roberts.
I hope you liked this post and until next time…