Cloud iTunes

The Cloud?The rumor mills are churning it. My friend Bryan has been taking about it for years. It looks like this summer, with the release of the iPhone 5, we could see a completely revamped MobileMe, again.

MobileMe is Apple’s cloud-based suite of services that includes; mail, calendar/address book/bookmark syncing, photo galleries, online storage called iDisk, and a few other neat tricks. First let me say that I do pay for this $99 a year service. Almost exclusively for the syncing features. I have four devices that are all completely synced up. Add a contact on my laptop at home, and it’s on my computer at work when I get in. Bookmark a webpage on my iPhone while waiting in line at Penn Station and it’ll be there waiting for me on my iMac back at the apartment. The syncing is flawless and done in the background and I love it. However, with the exception of “Find my iPhone”, a service that allows you to locate (and wipe if you have to) a lost iPhone, you can do all of the things Apple offers in MobileMe with other, freer options. And in most cases, better. is ok, but Gmail is light years better. Apple galleries are ok, but Flickr and even Facebook offer more for less. Even syncing between all of your devices can be achieved in a number of ways other ways.

The point is, it’s really hard to justify spending $99 a year on MobileMe. Unless you’re me.

And until now. Maybe.

I really don’t like to write about Apple rumors here because it’s usually pretty fruitless and too techno-lusty for me. But there IS a lot of chatter pointing to an upgraded MobileMe with a seeming focus on a cloud-based iTunes option. It makes a lot of sense. Keep the costs down on the iPhone by offering less local storage and the ability to stream your music (haven’t heard squat about video content) to your phone or other computers away from home. Obviously this is not a perfect solution, yet. My commute to work is completely underground and that’s where I do most of my music listening. But it would represent a major dive into living in the cloud where we’ve only been lounging in the warmer waters of the baby pool. Apple even recently built a massive server farm in North Carolina which many assume is expressly for this purpose. This one is a little more solid than a rumor.

Here’s my question… How do I get… 16,184 songs (76.48GB); 1,275 episodes worth of TV (306.92GB); and 386 movies (347.85GB)… How do I get all of that into the cloud? Do I strap my 1TB external drive to an Estes Rocket and launch it at Apple so they can do it for me? Because I’m sure as hell not uploading all of that to MobileMe. It would tie up my computer a take MONTHS to transfer.

I see two options. Turn iTunes into the server which streams your media library from your computer. But that would mean having to run your computer all the time. And I suppose would present some security risks. Another option would be to upload all of your music to a central pool of sorts. You don’t have to upload “Teenage Dream” because it’s already up there. You’ll simply be given access to it. Sounds tricky, but I’m pretty sure this was where Lala was headed…before Apple bought them. You’ll still have to upload all of those mp3s of your friend’s band and depending on how much of that you have, it could take some time and resources. Dont worry though, I’ll be uploading “Satanic Mass” by Coven so you don’t have to.

NOTHING beats having your entire music collection in your pocket like I’m able to achieve with my 80gb iPod, but I’m not carrying around both an iPod and an iPhone. Not happening. An 80gb iPhone would be nice.

A cloud-based iTunes is a pretty good workaround and in line with what most of the major tech players have decided is our destiny.

Boardwalk Empire visual FX compilation

The first season of Boardwalk Empire treated us to an exciting period drama that featured lots of disturbing imagery from prohibition-era violence to Steve Buschemi’s ass. Boardwalk Empire was also stunningly shot show with gorgeous photography and high production values. What is not immediately apparent is just how much of what we were seeing was computer generated. This goes for pretty much everything we see now a days. Everything.

Below is an intriguing compilation of some of the before and after shots from the show, compiled by the design studio that created them and set to that killer opening theme song. Can’t wait for season 2. Enjoy.


This is cool beans. Visual artist Alexander Chen, working at Google Creative Labs created this animation based on 24 hours of the NYC subway system. Each colored line represents, in real time, a departing train. The full size project homepage is over at Check it out. And watch your step.

Face Exercises

Been meaning to post this for a while and when Jack LaLanne died a few days ago at the ripe old age of 96, I was reminded to. Firstly, it’s important to celebrate a man who preached fitness and a good diet. No scams. No bad science. Just a natural diet and exercise. If there’s one thing that disgusts me about this country, it’s the obesity epidemic and Jack LaLanne was looking out for us before we even knew what super-sizing was. One of his classic quotes over the years was, “I can’t die, it would ruin my image.” Well JLL, I can say with decent clarity that you were wrong on that one. Practice what you preach and you live to 96.

This post, however, is not for obese people. It’s for ugly people. You see, JLL didn’t just care about your health. He cared about how you’ll look as you get older. So he offered up these face exercises. These are from The Jack LaLanne Show circa sometime in the ’50’s. I’m a bit biased because I tend to treasure vintage stuff like this. I love the look and feel of this program. The music. Jack’s easy demeanor. And facial exercises invaluable!

a collection of random thoughts and ideas about the future with some comedy zested to taste.