Apple iPhone X Announced

Today's Apple iPhone announcement brought several new additions to their lineup, but nothing that hadn't already been leaked. In fact it is amazing how many rumors were correct. This made all of the false rumors somewhat disappointing. Literally everything Apple announced today had been known for months, so all they were doing was revealing which rumored features that didn't make the cut.

Apple Watch 3

They began the show with a new Apple Watch Series 3 that includes a built-in cellular chip. This makes the device much more independent! Unfortunately it is still a giant brick strapped to your wrist, and at a premium $400 price for the cellular version. There were a lot of rumors that this new Apple Watch was going to include non-invasive blood sugar monitoring, but alas that is not yet available. I've been on a fitness kick this year, and glucose monitoring would have finally gotten me to buy one of these. They talked about some heart rate research for early alerts on Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), but it is all still research and not yet FDA approved.

Apple TV: Still a Thing

Apple reminded us all that they have a TV set-top-box, and this will now support 4K content. They tried pretty hard to convince us that this time the Apple TV was definitely going to be a gaming console.

No one was convinced.

iPhone 8

This year's iPhone would ordinarily be the S model, so you might have been expecting an iPhone 7S today. But once again the rumors nailed this and it is in fact being dubbed an iPhone 8. Bigger, faster, yada yada. They rolled out some impressive sounding stuff for photography, but the only big upgrade between the iPhone 7 and 8 is Bluetooth 5.0 and Qi wireless charging. The lowest-cost model gets a bump up from 32GB to 64GB on both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone X

The iPhone X (pronounced: aɪˌfəʊn tɛn) announcement was equal parts exciting and disappointing. The new 10th Anniversary iPhone drops the iconic Home Button, and features an elaborate multi-sensor 3D-InfraRed camera on the front. This allows you to unlock the phone simply by looking at it. And you will want to look at it quite a lot, because it is the first iPhone with an OLED display. This is big news! If any of your friends or family have a Samsung phone, you might have been wondering why their screen looks so much better when Apple is telling you that you have this amazing Retina Display.

The secret sauce for Samsung has been OLED since 2011, introduced on the Galaxy S2. Now Apple customers can get the same display in what Apple are unapologetically calling Super Retina. The importance of OLED cannot be understated. The difference in display quality is probably enough to get me to pop for this over the iPhone 8, and at $1,000 for the base model that is a big pop.

There were rumors many months ago, started by Robert Scoble with the insistence that he had insider information from Apple, that the iPhone X would be transparent. Fuck Robert Scoble. He's an annoyingly arrogant ass at his best, and now at his worst he made today's announcement a lot less impressive.

Apple didn't need help making the announcement any more lackluster, because it arrived with nothing new to show. They actually rolled out the same exact AR game demo they used at WWDC. I still have high hopes for AR, especially in the creative realm, but instead of doing anything interesting with it they played the same game demo and then animated shit emojis. Seriously. They spent 10 minutes animating emojis with their faces. I've never yawned so much in a single press conference.

While the iPhone 8 will be available for preorders this Friday, shipping on the 22nd, the iPhone X will not be available for another month. Apple will be taking iPhone X preorders on the 27th of October and they will begin shipping November 3rd.

If you thought you were going to make it through this day without punching a baby, then Jony Ive has some condescendingly smug words for you.

Apple iPhone Event 2017: The Rumor Mill

Today Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, as well as an ultra model being dubbed the iPhone X. At something like $1,200 the iPhone X is expected to have features unavailable on the more modest, but still really fucking expensive, iPhone 8. These features are expected to include edge-to-edge bevel-less display, and no home button. In place of the home button will be something like the Touch Bar found on MacBook Pro. The already large iPhone 7 is expected to grow even more in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X according to peripheral and case manufacturers.

Or at least those are the rumors. There are a hell of a lot of those this year!

We'll know for sure in about an hour at 10 A.M. California time. This gives us some time to make up our own rumors because that's what Apple coverage is all about! Comment here with your own outlandish schemes and see if you can outdo Apple at their own game.

discchord v3.1: Preset Sharing... Now with more downloading!

I thought the preset uploading was going to be the hard part, but actually downloading the presets presented some challenges that I was unprepared for! Safari and Chrome on iOS simply would not download preset files, instead displaying them like text files. This is a somewhat understandable security precaution, Apple don't want you downloading random nonsense on iOS, but it's a bit overzealous and annoying for our purposes!

The Dilemma

If you haven't been following the discussion of this problem in the comments section, there were a couple of workarounds. The easiest (for me) was for people to simply use different browsers. Puffin lets you "Download to Dropbox" where you can then "Open In..." the files with their appropriate app. iCab Mobile doesn't give a fuck and will let you download anything you want. Both of these solutions require the use of paid apps though, and I didn't want to force everyone to do that. Also, if you like your browser I don't want you to have to switch just to use discchord.

These are mobile presets, so you should be able to easily download them on your mobile device! One workaround on my end would be to either require, or force, all uploads to be .zipped. You could then open the zipped file in AudioShare, and then import presets from there. This was a pretty good idea, because I'm sure 90% of you already have AudioShare, and the other 10% of you probably should. But... I still didn't like the idea of forcing you to pay for an app to use the presets here.

This is where I'm really glad I spent most of 2016 writing discchord v3 from the ground up. Not only can I add site-specific features like preset sharing, I can write entirely new code libraries to make them work. So I did!

Dropbox Mirroring

Now whenever someone uploads a preset to the site, my code will immediately mirror it to Dropbox. So the file exists both here on the discchord server cluster as well as inside of Dropbox's cloud. When you press the Download Preset button, one of two things happens. If you're coming to the site on anything other than an iOS device you will download the file as normal. This will also happen if you spoof your OS user-agent, so if you're an iCab Mobile Power User and just want raw downloads you can do that. But if you are on your iOS device; instead of downloading the file you will be redirected to a Shared Download Link on Dropbox.

Now the only app you need to have installed on your iOS device is Dropbox! And Dropbox is free!

You'll notice I've also tweaked the way iTunes links are displayed. Now you can see an app's Discchord Reader Rating, Comments on the AppDB, as well as a number showing how many presets have been uploaded for it. Dropbox is kind of a poor example of that, so here are the ones with presets available now. Clicking on the preset number, or icon, will take you directly to the presets page for that app.

Let's Play with MV08

There are a lot of great drum apps on iOS, including many specifically catering to the TR-808 sound. MV08 caught my eye because it includes parameter locks! These let you modify sounds on a per-step basis. You can make individual steps do some weird things, or modify the pitch on subsequent steps to create a melody. I do a little bit of both while struggling with technical challenges from the app hating my recording software.

Video Description:

MV08 is a new drum machine app based on the TR-808 that distinguishes itself by including parameter locks! There were a lot of difficulties in recording this, as it did not get along with my recording software, but fortunately the footage is smooth! My birthday is in August, and I would like corals for my birthday. If you've enjoyed this series please consider making a gift by becoming a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

If you'd prefer to make a one-time gift, I would make great use of gift cards this coral shop ( my email tim@ the most obvious domain name that comes to mind ): http://uniquecorals.com/gift-card-nam...

discchord 6th Anniversary

This weekend discchord turns 6, but perhaps even more importantly I turn 38. This is usually the time of year I combine our birthdays for an annual fundraiser/gimmie presets... which I will continue to do, but this year I've got a present for you!

Preset Sharing

You didn't ask for it, and you got it! I've spent the last several months working hard to bring you a feature that I think will be extremely useful to the community. You can now upload presets to the site! These presets can include custom artwork, and demos from either SoundCloud or YouTube. The goal here is to make sharing presets as easy as possible, and I sincerely hope I have accomplished that.

There are a hell of a lot of security concerns involved in letting people upload files to the site. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure people couldn't hack the site, but preventing people from using the service to upload malicious content is even harder. There are just too many different types of presets, so I can't check them all. To weed out miscreants I've limited uploading to just Patrons, developers, and active members of the community that have been here for a while.

If you have had an account here for longer than 6 months, and you've been actively commenting, your account is now automatically enabled for uploading! If you didn't make the cutoff don't worry! The system will continue to enable uploading for people who have been on the site for a year and are actively commenting. If you still can't make that cutoff, and don't want to be a Patron, you can email me and I'll consider you on a case-by-case basis. Now for someone to upload something they shouldn't, they would have to spend an extremely long amount of time to do so.

Right now there is only one preset up there, so I hope there will be a lot more by the end of the weekend! To see if you are an authorized uploader hit this link. If you don't see a message saying you can't upload, then you can!

Now Back to the Important Stuff

As I continue to age disgracefully, I keep trying new and interesting hobbies to avoid golf... or worse, model trains. This year I'm getting into reef keeping. This is the challenging end of the aquarium hobby, which combines fickle saltwater fish and even-more-fickle corals.

There's so much to learn! The hobby demands constant water quality tests to maintain a delicate balance of water chemistry. I'm only one month in and have already had to deal with some serious issues in that regard, but I'm loving it! The challenge is extremely engaging!

So this year, as every year, I ask that if you enjoy the site please become a Patron! (Per Video or Per Month) You get an ad free experience on the site, automatic upload approval, and the knowledge that you are helping me directly! If you aren't comfortable with Patreon, please consider sending me a one time gift such as a gift certificate to Unique Corals (my email address is tim@the most obvious domain name that comes to mind), or PayPal me to help me pay for fish! If I've helped you enjoy the music making hobby, please help me enjoy the reef keeping hobby!

I'm documenting my experience as a novice reefer in a series called Proteus Reef on YouTube. This is a monthly episodic journal of what I've learned and how I deal with challenges along the way. The first episode if up right now, and another will be posted to YouTube at the end of the month. I'm not going to be posting any more of them here, because I can appreciate that most people won't give a fuck about my fish.

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