Sunday, September 21, 2014

200$/year for a smartphone?

Following my last post, one of my Twitter follower (@sinedioMD) replied back that spending "200$ a year for a smartphone is ridiculous anyway..."


He's got a point.  Assuming the cost of the device, whatever the brand, it can come around 200$ a year considering supported life time.  Adding the cell plan that goes along with the device, the real cost is (60$/month) 720$/year.  For a grand total of 920$/year.

We are spending almost a thousand bucks each year to be able to send a few messages, read some stuff on the web, call someone when needed and listen to some music.  Isn't it a bit much?


If we compare to a cheap cellphone (the flip one) with just a simple plan of 20$ a month, get a decent MP3/Media player and wait at home to browse the web, it would be cheaper.

A flip phone will cost around 75$ and a decent MP3/media player can cost 80$.  The first year would round up to 120$+75$+80$=275$


The next year, it would go down to 120$/year. 

That's insane when you think about it.  For sure, we don't get all the mobile internet access but if you get a cheap Android tablet at 75$ and use wifi when available, you will almost get the same functionalities.

Smartphones are making us dumb...



The iPhone's price is too much!

Over the war raging against Apple products, one of the most popular complaints is the price.  I was curious and started investigating the cost issue everyone is talking about.

If we consider the price of the iPhone 6 (16 gigs) to a Nexus 5, there is no doubt that it does cost more.  The iPhone 6 goes around 650$ compared to the Nexus 5 at 350$.  That's a 300$ difference in price.  Of course, you can always get into a 2 years contract with your cell phone provider for an easier way to acquire a smartphone.  But let's consider the raw cost, without any contracts...

There is more than the initial cost to consider.  How long will your device be supported with updates and upgrades?  In general, the iPhone does get support for 3 years.  My current iPhone 4S was acquired 3 years ago and received the latest iOS 8 this week.

With an Android smartphone, it all depends on the brand acquired.  The Nexus series is probably the most up to date regarding updates and new upgrades.  The Google policies for supporting older hardware  is around 18 months.  This means that devices older than 18 months may not receive the next Android L on release day.

iPhone 4s was released on October 2011 and was updated to iOS 8.  The Nexus 4, released on November 2012 may not get the next Android L.  People a speculating on this issue...  The Nexus 5 was released on November 2013 and should be supported for about another 12 months.

If we do the math:

- iPhone: 650$/3 years of supported life = 217$/year
- Nexus: 350$/1.5 years of supported life = 233$/year

Overall, assuming that Google keeps its current policy, the iPhone is cheaper in the long run.

That's something to consider...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

YouTube Analytics in realtime

As I was reviewing my YouTube channel, I saw that youtube has added a new feature to YouTube  Analytics: Real Time.



This could be interesting to see how viewers are visiting my YouTube channel.  The realtime feature was already available in Google Analytics and I always wonder why it was not available in YouTube.

You can access it right under the Analytics link in your channel account.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's lost with iOS 8

I was eager to update my iPhone and iPad tonight with the new iOS 8 from Apple.  A lot of new features but also a few disappointments...


Before upgrading, if it's not too late, you may want to know about these:

- iPhoto is not supported anymore.  Your pictures will be imported into the Photos app but nothing is replacing the brushes and effects you had in iPhoto.  That's a 5$ down the drain...
- iBook is now installed and cannot be removed
- Podcasts is also installed and cannot be removed
- Tips, a new app is also installed and cannot be removed
- Health...  You know the tune...

Not much can be done and it's not a matter of life and death.  Nevertheless, I will miss iPhoto and its brushes...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A copyright claim is pissing me off! (SOLVED!)

UPDATE3:  Finally, the last claim was removed.

UPDATE2: As everything was settled, guess what?  Another claim on episode 8. Same music, same sample, same everything...


UPDATE:  After having a few tweets exchange over Twitter with +AdRev (@adrevnet), they released the claims after I sent them the link to the videos.  It took around 20 minutes from the 1st contact in Twitter till the final issue.  See comments below for more...

I have many Youtube videos that I've created and some of them (Kill a Sheep!) do have a sound track that I have created using GarageBand for iOS.  As I am not a professional musician, I used available loops to create a neat jingle to play as a sound track.  You can hear it in the next video:


Nothing fancy there I it is based on the sample loop "Front Porch Dobro 01" and "Front Porch Dobro 02" essentially that I play over and over with drums and a few other samples provided by GarageBand.

Those samples loops are provided for free and are royalty free as stated by Apple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2931?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

The GarageBand software license agreement says:

"GarageBand Software. You may use the Apple and third party audio loop content (Audio Content), contained in or otherwise included with the Apple Software, on a royalty-free basis, to create your own original music compositions or audio projects. You may broadcast and/or distribute your own music compositions or audio projects that were created using the Audio Content, however, individual audio loops may not be commercially or otherwise distributed on a standalone basis, nor may they be repackaged in whole or in part as audio samples, sound effects or music beds."

So don't worry, you can make commercial music with GarageBand, you just can't distribute the loops as loops.
Last Modified: Aug 27, 2008
The statement is quite clear.

Last week, I received 3 copyright claims against my "Kill a Sheep" videos  by AdRev for Rights Holder.


  • AdRev for Rights Holder
I've looked around what was this song as I had never heard from it and even less AdRev for Rights Holder

I finally found the ALIBI song here: http://alibi.sourceaudio.com/#!explorer?s=ALIBI%20wwwalibimusiclibrarycom-ALIBI-Barnyard%20Stomp%20Holiday%20Mix%20

On the first claim, I replied back that the music was in fact from Garageband, in the samples loops available for free..  They rejected my reply and re-instated the claim.  I replied back with more content, the direct link to Apple website and hope to put an end to this.

After a few searches on Google, it became clear that this company is making money by invoking false claims on Youtube users.

I do not care about that jingle.  It was for fun and as a sound track of my videos.  But I am really pissed off as I may loose this battle simply because I am only one guy against a company probably having all required resources.

Thinking about it,  Apple do provide GarageBand and those sample loops.  I wonder if I could ask for some help.  Basically, AdRev is hurting GarageBand users by false claims...  Apple should sue them for copyright infringement...

Yes, I am really pissed off!



Saturday, September 13, 2014

ScreenStudio 1.3.0 is online

A new version of ScreenStudio has been uploaded to http://screenstudio.crombz.com

The new version is now at 1.3.0 and contains small bug fixes and a new feature: Refresh Sources


From the "Options" menu, I added a new entry called "Refresh Sources" that will reload your audio and video devices to update the list of the available sources.  This should be handy when you connect a device while ScreenStudio is running.  Prior versions had to be stopped and re-launched for the sources list to be updated.

Enjoy!



Vingle, very community

We all have many online accounts: Twitter, Facebook, G+, Instagram, etc...

As a blogger and Youtuber, I use those tools to promote my work over the web.  The main issue is that my posts get lost into thousands and thousands others and getting some exposure is really hard.

Last week, I was exploring the web to find some place where it was a bit less crowded and where the community would be friendly.  I've found one called Vingle.net (http://www.vingle.net/patrickballeux)


There is an iOS app and also an Android app which makes it easy to share on the go.  The interface is nice and the basic idea is that you create cards having pictures and links to share with the others.  I'm slowly building my account with Vingle.  Of course, Vingle.net is also available in your favourite browser.


I like the card idea where you can join pictures with you link and some text.  It's then easy to share the card with others, Twitter and Facebook.

It's a perfect mix of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

Come join us an don't forget to friend me!