Apple discriminating… again!

Yes, yet again, Apple discriminating. Not sure if by their own will, or just because they are stupid. Nevertheless, they got warned, and their action will clarify this point.

Now, why? Not sure why (there is a page with that story but I really never read it) but Apple has a trailers page. It is a nice page, with HD version of trailers. So, why not use it. The problem is that the HD versions, that are watched opening QuickTime (or supposedly, any other similar application), doesn’t work if you are using Firefox (on Mac OS X). You get a redirect to the original trailers index page.

Nevertheless, if you change your Firefox user agent string to the Safari user agent string, then the link will work properly. This means it is not a technology problem or anything. It is just Apple filtering what user agents can watch the movies.

So, if you still want to use Firefox and Apple trailers page for this task, then install, for instance, the Firefox user agent switcher plugin.

And a final thank you to João Neves for his precious help debugging this problem.

Firefox 9, Mac OS X Lion and Apple Trailers page

I am having some trouble with Firefox 9 (well, I had it already with Firefox 8, and after the update the behavior continues) and Mac OS X Lion, when trying to download a trailer from Apple trailers page. I have no clue about what is going on, so if you have any idea that can solve my problem, please leave a comment, or contact me directly.

First, choose a movie from Apple trailers page. Any movie will work. I chose Prometheus, just because it is one of the first in the list, and Science Fiction. There is a small bar at the left that reads “View Trailers (4)”. I expand it clicking the arrow. Before continuing, I activated the Web Console for Firefox, that shows what is going on (that is, lists the requests that are sent to the server, and the received response).

Next step, choose one of the trailers. Let’s say, the first. In the small arrow in the “watch now” button, you have two sections. One of them is named “watch” and the other “download”. Let’s try to download one trailer (or watch it in QuickTime, instead of watching it directly in the webpage). Click the 480p (20MB) link.

What happens?

Well, for most users, it will open QuickTime and start loading the video. For me, nothing happens. The Web Console just issues GET as it should. And logs the answer as [HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily 118ms]. And it is all. No further messages in the watch window, no QuickTime starting, nothing. Rien!

I have no clue about what is going on. If you have, please let me know (and if you say not to use Mac or to use Safari I’ll be punching you in the teeth).

Apple takes one month to deliver laptop

Ordered a Mac Book Pro, 13″, i7 with 128 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM. Accordingly with Apple Store Portugal, if I buy this configuration, it gets deliver in two to four days.

I did not order directly on Apple Store, I like to have somebody to complain to. So, I ordered in an official Apple retailer, here in Portugal.

The order was done in 3rd November. Today, 30th November, the retailer did not receive the package yet. And I paid half the value already.

As I did not find any contact directly to Infinite Loop, I am complaining here. If you have any relation with Apple, please make them aware. It is inconceivable to wait one month for a laptop, not with the speed technology evolves nowadays, and in a global world, where a package can travel the globe in a few days.

My only comment is, APPLE FAIL!

iPad and prices in the Iberian Peninsula

This week I went to Vigo to a conference (FALA2010) and my hotel was right in the building on the side of a Apple Store. Of course I entered and gone to try iPad. The cheaper version costs 488 euro. In Portugal, there aren’t iPad being sold. At least, I just found it in Pixmania, by 558 Euro. It seems that everybody likes to steal in Portugal, ranging from government to stores…

Mac Book Pro Charger

Apple mac book charger
Apple mac book charger

I hate Murphy. I hate him and his stupid rule. During vacations my Mac Book Pro AC adapter died. Nothing complicated. As far as I could understand, the problem was the cable, near the box. I cut it, and tried to fix it. It worked for a week, and died again. The cable is very thin, and strange. Instead of two copper wires, it is made of just one main wire, with a plastic skin, and then some kind of net, and another plastic skin. It resembles the old TV antenna cables.

Well, I needed to get a new one. I might fix this one using the proper tools, but I need to have a good one.

Unfortunately apple hardware is too expensive. And although people claim that it is good quality, sometimes I doubt it. A new 60W adapter was 79 euros on all Portuguese online stores. Was almost buying one when a friend asked… why do not you try ebay?

I did. I bought one. Paid 10 Eur for shipping. Total paid, 40 Eur. Half the price of a new one in Portugal. And it works. Difference? It is like the one in the picture: it doesn’t have the apple logo, and it doesn’t say Apple.

Zuma – iPod Game

Zuma is the second game I buy for my iPod Classic 5th Generation. The first one was a car simulator. Let me say it is crap. Great it was just 5 Euros.

In that occasion I saw the Zuma screenshot on iTunes Store and noticed it might be a nice game, as the type of game is very adequate to the iPod touch wheel.

After about one year I decided to buy it. The game is pretty nice and playable. I just have two complains. First, the music. It is always the same. I think it repeats every five seconds or so. Yeah, I know I can make my iPod musics to play during the game, but the music could be better anyway.

My second complain is regarding efficiency. The developers of the game know exactly the hardware where the game will run, but the game still have problems running there. Sometimes you notice glitches in the music, and more rarely, on the game itself.

Organizing books with Book Hunter

Jonas Nielsen twitted about Book Hunter, a Mac OS X application to organize your library. It is cool because you add the ISBN or title, ask it to autocomplete, and it fetches all the missing information from the Web. I did this to some of my technical books (not all, yet), and I discovered I have too much technical books…

Book Hunter

iPod continues failing after five generations

ipod-nanoAfter years of iPods, generations and more generations (are we in the fifth or in the sixth?), about four kinds of iPod (touch, classic, nano, shuffle), iPods with phones, iPods with cameras, and Apple is not able to deliver a basic and simple functionality: delete a song.

Normally I do not hear music in my laptop. Thus, my iTunes is not highly customized. I have the tracks names, the album cover and nothing more. Just a few songs have ratings, and I do not have playlists. This because I do not use my time in front of the laptop to organize my musics.

Therefore, when I rip some of my CDs to iPod, I add all musics without exception. In some cases I remember the musics that I enjoy, but some other times I do not. And when hearing  on my iPod I need to skip musics that I do not enjoy. And as iPod does not includes paper and a pencil, I do not have time to write down the music that I do not like to remove it later.

Some people use another trick: they rate musics to delete with one star. Then, when syncing with iTunes, they go through those musics and remove them.

While this last solution is not properly bad, I can not understand why iPods does not include a delete command. I can not understand what are the syncing problems that might arise. It is just a matter of defining one solution, and use it. Some options:

  • when you delete a music in the iPod it removes the music from the flash disk, and adds the music in a black list (for instance, the MD5 of the file). When syncing no file is removed from iTunes, but no musics are uploaded to iPod that are in the black list;
  • when you delete a music in the iPod, the music is removed both from the iPod and from the hosting iTunes when it syncs. Of course this can be accompanied of a message for confirmation;