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Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

BBC Listener: Good Idea, Bad Content

In Apple, iPhone, iTunes/iPod, Radio on June 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I discovered an interesting app today. I haven’t tried it myself, though. It’s not exactly what I’d be interested in, in terms of content. What I find interesting is the monetization behind the app. BBC released an app called BBC Listener (iTunes LinkOfficial Site). To sum it up, it’s a radio app without the radio channel. Every week, 20 new shows are made available on top of an archive of 400+ shows. You can also download shows for when you’re offline.

Now this is what I found interesting: The app costs 99 cents and offers you 30 days with the service, with a $9.99 subscription lasting 3 months. And what’s really interesting: It’s a BBC Worldwide offering and only available, as of yet, in the US and Canada.

At first, the price might seem silly. I’m pretty sure you can even get most, if not all, of the BBC Radio stations live for free – something I don’t think even this app does. And for that matter, I’ve checked: you can listen to past episodes of one of the BBC Listener shows, Americana, for free online. The app itself seems to be not much more than a fancy curated service of shows the BBC is trying to make a buck off by making non-UK users pay for them… despite offering some for free to desktop users and (as I’ve just found out) having at least the latest episode of some shows, such as BBC Listener’s In Our Time and Desert Island Disks, available as a podcast – for free – on iTunes and thus on iPods and iPhones. On the flip-side, at least one of the BBC Listener shows, Life Story, doesn’t seem to be available online.

It’s kind of infuriating. The only good point I can give for the app is the fact that it does at least curate the content and offer what the BBC believes would interest US and Canadian listeners. But if the fact you make people pay (a subscription, at that) for less or the same amount of content than they get for free – the 400+ archive being possibly this app’s only saving grace – is fairly sad.

But think of this: What if the BBC wasn’t undermining its own pricing model by offering the same content for free? What if it was only available as a paid app? What if the back catalogue actually reflected the back catalogue of the people behind the app (I’m sure the BBC has much more than just 400 shows that it could offer online)? What if we stopped talking about the BBC but instead talk of a smaller, newer media organization?

This simple subscription model the BBC is using might work well to fund a smaller podcasting network that tailors directly and specifically to it’s subscriber’s interests. The less pretty example of this – depending on how you define “pretty” – might be porn but more useful examples might include a service offering shows related to a small community not being well served by a city’s radio station or a service offering video guides for using Mac software (I’m talking about ScreenCastsOnline’s premium service). It’s not a new idea, clearly, but what seems to annoy me about the BBC Listener app is the fact the BBC could have done exactly that: offer an app with new, original shows tailored to a North American audience. The shows and app would be self-funded through a subscription fee and thus not use up UK tax payer’s money on content that probably wouldn’t interest them.

But they appear to have decided to just charge you for some stuff that’s free anyways. I will admit that I haven’t tried it yet and probably won’t seeing how they seem to be charing for new and past BBC radio shows, something I wouldn’t pay for even if there wasn’t a free alternative. If you’ve tried the app and think I’ve gotten the app all wrong, please tell me.


Wednesday! Wednesday! Wednesday!

In Apple, iPhone, iTunes/iPod on September 6, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Apple Events. It’s like having more than one Christmas each year. And according to my clock, it’s about time Apple comes out with new iPods.

Oh! What do we have here? Yes, it’s the yearly (pretty much, now) September event. I’m eagerly waiting for new iPod touches. I can only hope these will pack the same “S is for Speed” power Apple gave the iPhone 3GSes. A camera is pretty much a given at this point, as well. Anyway, I’m going to be close to an Apple store on Wednesday so if they become available on the 9th, I might be able to make a few videos about the new touches. Or just play with the new touches and let other people record stuff.

Just When You Thought PC Couldn’t Outdo Himself…

In Apple, TV, Windows on a Mac on October 19, 2008 at 8:26 pm

I though Apple would have to make a new series of ads after Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ads. They were useless in making Vista seem better but they showed that Apple’s ads were missing some “real” humans.

And then this happened. I will never again doubt Apple’s ad agency. To all those working on “Get a Mac” ad, I salute you. You are all amazing.

Screw Obama vs McCain. The computer industry is where you’ll find the best attack ads.

Well, At Least we Got it, Right?

In Apple, iTunes/iPod, TV on July 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I’m really hating iTunes right now. Not only because of Apple but because of other parties involved.

-Let’s start off with Apple. Wouldn’t you know that Canada has laws that forbid Apple to sell Apps with anything but a credit card. Apparently the same rule applies for the 2.0 upgrade… despite the fact I was able to give them $20 using a iTunes Card in January for that upgrade. I’m just glad I knew this before buying a $50 card…

Yeah, I actually didn’t know. Fun.

-Now for Nickelodeon and/or YTV. I’ll admit it. I love Avatar : The Last Airbender. I bought Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD… before they came on iTunes for about half the price. But that’s not why I’m annoyed. The series just ended on Nick in the States but the final episodes are rolling into Canada right now through YTV. Unfortunately, none of the latest episodes are available at iTunes Canada. Not even the ones that already aired. And I missed them. Fun.

The Doctor has arrived in iTunes. You can download series 1 to 3 of the new Doctor Who. Well, you could if you lived in the States. Despite the fact that they fund the damn thing, neither CBC or BBC offer Who in Canada or the UK. So much for our tax dollars at work…

*sigh* And what do we get? American Gladiators. It seems that it’ll be joined soon by other MGM shows on iTunes Canada, with entries for Dead Like Me (which rocked) and In The Heat of The Night appreaing, although no shows are available as of yet. Well, at least we got something, right?

The iPhone 2.0 Launch – Complaints

In Apple, iPhone on July 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Hey Canada! Fed up about the included data in the iPhone 3G plans? Think the minutes are a joke? Prefer not paying extra for Caller ID? Here’s where to complain :

Rogers’ contact page

Fido’s contact page

Apple’s iPhone feedback page and contact page

Be nice but state your distaste clearly. You can also sign the petition at

Can You Feel it? It’s People Power!

In Apple, iPhone on June 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Canadian Apple fans aren’t taking the Rogers iPhone plans standing down. Petitions have been started. Sites (with very eloquent names) have been launched. Contact info has been passed around. Is it working? Well…

Hey Look! An Apple Product I Want to See Fail.

In Apple, iPhone on June 27, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I’m not a cellphone person. I rarely use the one I have, but there was one cell that got me interested in wireless phones : the iPhone. Well, so much for that!

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It’s coming.

In Apple, iPhone, iTunes/iPod, Mac, TV on June 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm

It’s that time of year again. The time where you start counting the days not as weekdays, but as days before or after the Keynote. Yes, it’s WWDC time and this year should be fun. With 3G iPhones, the App Store, iPhone launches across the globe (Canada included), a new .Mac service, movies coming to iTunes on both sides of the Atlantic and whatever else Steve might have hidden in a pocket, an envelope or on a Mac, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.

Sure it Works But Can it Play Guitar Hero?

In Apple, Mac on March 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I’m sad.  Apparently, my Exposé-induced crashes might be caused by the 3rd party RAM I added a while back. I had 2GB of RAM but now I’m back down to 1. Sure my Mac seems to work but Guitar Hero requires a minimum of 2 GB  of RAM. And it was laggy with that!

I Love Loosing Work

In Apple, Mac on March 1, 2008 at 12:13 am

Even back when I was using Tiger, my MacBook Pro was plagued with these odd crashes : My screen would freeze when I used Exposé but my mouse would still work and iTunes, for example, would keep playing. Other times, everything would stop and I’d get the spinning beach ball. They seemed to have stopped when I installed Leopard. Unfortuantely, they started to occur again and following a day when it happened three times, I called AppleCare. They recommended that I clear up my drive (my Mac HD had only 5 GB left) and if that doesn’t help, do an Archive & Install of Leopard. I freed up about 10 GBs but the crashes kept happening. I did the A&I about 2 weeks ago and it’s been all good… until now. I got the Exposé freeze three times this week. This last time (and the time before), I got it when working on one of those documents. You know, the kind you swear to all things holy that if you loose you would take it out on something / one. Fortunately, the worst I lost was a single sentence and I have various versions of said document in my Time Machine back up, on a separate drive and online. I’m going to call AppleCare when they open and see what I  or they can do now.