AMITIAE - Wednesday 10 December 2014
Apple Notes, Queries and Conversions (Bangkok Post, Life)
By Graham K. Rogers
With the size has come an increase in control. Apple has always been secretive. That is part of the fun writing about the company: trying to pick my way through a minefield of sometimes opposing rumours, all the while knowing that despite the revelations coming from a variety of sources, the real source (Apple) would say nothing until it suited them.
Some of the control now apparent is questionable. I am fairly certain that the overall intention is to protect the customer, especially in the light of recent news concerning the way some security agencies are demanding companies provide back doors to allow them to spy on users.
The current situation makes it almost impossible to break into the iPhone, so a campaign began using the red herring of children being hurt if they were not able to open every phone at will. I am all for protecting children, but this is rolled out every time the authorities want changes in the law which will allow them to break into everyone's data: computer, internet account, and now smartphone.
The developer had been pressured to make changes within the app and eventually gave up, removing iCloud access. This is not the only developer to cave in to pressure from Apple and the authorisation process has come in for some criticism. On the one hand, it is lucrative. Apple publicises the amount paid out at keynote presentations and it is now well over $15 billion, which suggests income from apps is considerable higher.
A day or so before this appeared I was looking for a reference for a writing app I use in conjunction with DropBox and the Mac: WriteRoom. The developer had given up supporting the app and it is no longer available for iOS devices: "90% of my effort on infrastructure issues . . . file system browsers, url data sharing schemes, sync, etc. Leaving me little time/energy to actually push the actual app function forward."
Pristine, converts old analog recordings (usually the tapes) into digital format and the download is in FLAC format. iTunes doesn't handle FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec. Instead, Apple has its own lossless format. With many types of sound file, the user just drops them into iTunes and they are imported. The Magic Flute needed a magic app.
Using Google and the search feature in the Mac App Store, I found several options and eventually narrowed my search down to a free application (licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License) aptly named, Music Converter.
I also saw a leaflet for a service called iServe: the renamed service centres. Copperwired has one on Floor 3 of Amarin Plaza and there is also Maccenter (in Siam Discovery and Fortune Town).
Late NotesSince I sent this to the Bangkok Post at the weekend there have been a number of comments concerning the way the Apple Review process for developers is being applied:
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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