00:00:00 ◼ ► As the cold opened to this episode, you should just put in a clip of "We Built This City" from the song. Probably the very opening one, just that phrase "We Built This City". It is a very short clip and then just start the show.
00:00:12 ◼ ► Why? That's... Because that song is kind of a meme and maybe it's not relevant to you too, because you're a little bit too young for it. But if you just threw that in, people would be like "What the hell was that?" and then eventually we get to City of Chips and maybe they'd make a connection, maybe they wouldn't. I just enjoy crap like that sometimes.
00:00:29 ◼ ► And it's literally like a 1.5 second clip, so it's not like you're "We built this city!"
00:00:44 ◼ ► Despite my continued protests of that term, yes indeed, it has been two weeks since my second vaccine shot. I am, according to these standards, as immune as I'm going to be. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, I think maybe you continue to get more immune. But anyway, here I am. And so I'm feeling good. Happy to be over the hump.
00:01:05 ◼ ► Good. So all three of us, we can hug it out as soon as one of us travels, or two of us travels to the other one, I guess. But I am so excited, and I'm not being silly at all, I am so excited to give both of you uncomfortably long hugs the next time I see you. I am counting down the days, or I would be if I knew when we're going to see each other next.
00:01:24 ◼ ► But I am super duper excited. So please, if you are living in a place where vaccines are being distributed, if it's your turn, if you can get a shot in your arm, please, please go ahead and get vaccinated. It helps everyone.
00:01:39 ◼ ► Secondly, for those of you who did go to the ATP store and order things, thank you. The ATP store is now closed, I'm sorry. I got a delightfully small amount of snarky, "Is the store closed?"
00:01:51 ◼ ► I was very happy that most of you abstained from that oh-so-delightful pastime, so thank you for that too. The sale went very well, and we appreciate it. I know that, as we spoke about, shipping, especially overseas, is tough. Shipping the glasses is tough and expensive.
00:02:07 ◼ ► So, for anyone who enrolled in a membership, for anyone who bought anything at all, we thank you very, very deeply. It really makes it much easier and helps us do the show, and we really thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You can, if you want, you can go ahead and cancel your membership.
00:02:24 ◼ ► You don't have to do that. You can just show us. You should also be thanking the people who didn't cancel. Thank you to all the people who signed up to get the discount and then just forgot to cancel. Thank you, because you are the real heroes. The people who forgot to cancel. The people who are not currently being reminded to cancel by this segment, but instead are basking in the glow of our thanks and gratitude, because membership is really the best gift. And, you know, if you want a glass or a t-shirt, that's cool too.
00:02:48 ◼ ► Yep. So I am really looking forward to it. So my little secret, just between the three of us, don't tell anyone. My little secret is that I normally wait until the last minute to buy merchandise, because I just am so busy doing other things that I don't think about it.
00:03:00 ◼ ► And I have not yet missed a sale, although this time I was, I think, the very last day when I ordered. So one of these times I'm going to be that idiot saying, "Oh, is it closed?" But anyway, because I'm at the end of the list, I think, because I presume Cotton Bureau goes from earliest orders to latest orders.
00:03:17 ◼ ► I typically am one of the last to get these orders, and so it is genuinely exciting for me when I see all these people sending pictures of their shirts and whatnot. Oftentimes days and occasionally even a week or two before I get mine.
00:03:28 ◼ ► So I am really excited to see those. Please never feel like you can't tweet me with a picture of your merchandise, particularly wearing your merchandise. It's one thing just sitting on the bed, but it's even better if it's on you.
00:03:38 ◼ ► So thank you so much to those who bought merch. We will almost certainly do another sale in the fall. I think I mentioned in the past that we have some ideas for some other new stuff that we haven't done before.
00:03:48 ◼ ► A couple of ideas that I'm really, really excited about, just like I was excited about these glasses. So look forward to that sometime in the fall time, hopefully in time for the holidays.
00:03:57 ◼ ► But thank you, anyone who ordered anything from the store. And thank you especially to the heroes that haven't yet canceled their membership. And please don't. Thank you. Thank you very much.
00:04:05 ◼ ► All right. We have a lot of stuff to go through tonight. Let's just roll right into follow up. So we had some information from a friend of the show, Daniel Jalkett, with regard to third party menu bar items.
00:04:15 ◼ ► Jon, remind me what the context was here. This was with me dragging stuff off my menu bar. Is that right?
00:04:19 ◼ ► Yeah, like I was just saying, it was a segment where we were talking about bartender and vanilla and I was saying, and also describing just the general way those menu bar icons work.
00:04:27 ◼ ► If you didn't know that you could drag them around by holding down command because it's not particularly obvious. And I said you could drag them off and remove them.
00:04:32 ◼ ► And I said certainly you can remove the Apple ones that way. But I wasn't sure about third party. I tried Skype and Skype didn't allow the removal.
00:04:39 ◼ ► But Dang, I just wanted to tell us that third party applications can absolutely support removal. It's the and a status item behavior removal allowed value for the status item behavior option in a status item that H if your programmer wanted to know why does Skype not support it?
00:04:54 ◼ ► That's a silly question. Skype is terrible, but third party application can support it. So just to make that clear.
00:05:01 ◼ ► Indeed. All right. We're going to talk about spatial audio later on this episode, if I'm not mistaken. But we had some feedback from friend of the show, Guy Rambo.
00:05:09 ◼ ► I believe this was regarding was us saying, you know, why doesn't the Apple TV have it, which, by the way, mine hasn't shipped yet. I'm so jealous because I see people are getting shipment notifications and mine hasn't. I'm so sad.
00:05:20 ◼ ► I'm so sad. But anyways, so we were talking about why doesn't the Apple TV support spatial audio? And I think one of us maybe it was Jon, but it was me. Oh, it was you.
00:05:29 ◼ ► Okay. The one time I assumed it was John and I was wrong. Marco had said, Hey, if you twist the iPad, it will it will make the sound sound like it's.
00:05:41 ◼ ► Oh, you're right. The first thing I was right. I was saying the things that were wrong and John was saying things that were right. Shocker.
00:05:46 ◼ ► No, I was also wrong. So here's here's the problem. The example I gave was like, Hey, if you move the iPad from side to side. But in reality, when I did this test, I was moving my head because who moves the iPad.
00:05:56 ◼ ► Continue with the follow up here to clarify how it actually works. Right. So John was saying, you know, if you twist the iPad to keep your head stationary, then the sound will move. And that's actually not correct.
00:06:05 ◼ ► So here's the feedback from Gee. Spatial audio is not supposed to move the sound based on you moving the iPhone or iPad. It's supposed to move the sound depending on the movement of your head, which is detected by the gyro on the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
00:06:15 ◼ ► Says Gee, I still don't quite get why it can't be done on the Apple TV. It has nothing to do with the U1. There's even an API for headphone motion. We'll put a link in the show notes. As far as Gee knows, it doesn't use Bluetooth low energy at all to estimate motion.
00:06:28 ◼ ► It is all based on the initial position and the relative movement of the gyro in the earbuds or headphones.
00:06:34 ◼ ► We heard this from a lot of people because I was speculating last week that maybe the reason why it is on an Apple TV is that it's too far of a distance to have precise positioning between the headphones and the Apple TV device itself.
00:06:47 ◼ ► And then we heard from a lot of people that basically it doesn't matter at all because the way spatial audio works, it doesn't know or care where the device is.
00:06:55 ◼ ► It merely, when you hit play, whatever position your head is in, it considers you looking at the device. So it just assumes you're looking forward.
00:07:04 ◼ ► And then when it's adjusting the position of the audio as you move your head, it's only adjusting it based on the zero point from wherever your head was when you hit play.
00:07:12 ◼ ► And then apparently if you move your head and then don't move it back, like if you swivel your whole chair around, it will slowly pan the audio to be back in front of you again.
00:07:22 ◼ ► So it seems like it's entirely just based on gyroscope and accelerometer. And so therefore it's entirely within the headphones to detect what position your head is in.
00:07:32 ◼ ► And so therefore it shouldn't matter what the source device is as long as it supports the software side of this from the device side, which Apple TV theoretically should.
00:07:41 ◼ ► I wonder if maybe the previous Apple TVs weren't fast enough to do that kind of audio computation in real time, but that probably is not the reason either because the audio computation is pretty fast to do on pretty much any hardware from the last decade.
00:07:57 ◼ ► I actually have a quick question with regard to that. So I did some networking rejiggering, which we'll talk about probably in the after show, and I was doing a speed test using the bespoke speed test app on my Apple TV.
00:08:10 ◼ ► And let me remind you, my Apple TV was the was the 1080 Apple TV. So I never upgraded once the 4K Apple TV existed. So this is like a five year old Apple TV or something like that at this point.
00:08:21 ◼ ► And I was doing a speed test and I topped out at like 95 megabits a second and I didn't spend the time to look into it.
00:08:31 ◼ ► It is on the 4K models, but on the on the HD and earlier models of Apple TV, those were 100 megabit ports on the ethernet.
00:08:39 ◼ ► I feel a little bit better because for a minute there I was like, what the crap? Why is this not working properly?
00:08:44 ◼ ► And then after a moment I was like, oh, wait, wait, wait. It's really weird that it's topping out at 100.
00:08:51 ◼ ► Right. So anyway, thank you for cleaning that up. I feel much better. Moving right along.
00:08:56 ◼ ► As we record this, it was yesterday that the 24 inch iMac reviews or the embargo dropped. So we started getting reviews.
00:09:06 ◼ ► And there were a couple of tidbits in here that were really interesting that I didn't really know or realize.
00:09:14 ◼ ► First of all, and this was discussed on upgrade as well. In order to set up touch ID on the Bluetooth keyboards,
00:09:20 ◼ ► apparently you pair the keyboard's touch ID with the Mac by double clicking the iMac's power button, which that's fine.
00:09:29 ◼ ► It's just what a weird thing to do. Like, it's OK. I'm not saying it's bad. It just struck me as so peculiar.
00:09:35 ◼ ► And then once you set it up, it's like a laptop. But to set it up, you have to double click the power button, which I thought was just the funniest thing.
00:09:42 ◼ ► It makes sense for just a hardware handshake. Someone can't pair it with your Mac remotely.
00:09:47 ◼ ► Like if you're working in an office and some malicious person pairs it with your Mac unbeknownst to you and now they can authenticate as you or whatever, right?
00:09:56 ◼ ► Another thing that I saw in a lot of the reviews that I thought was neat. So we already talked about when these machines were released, all the different matching things.
00:10:02 ◼ ► The accessories, of course, match the color of the keyboard, the trackpad, the mouse, whatever you get, match the color of the thing.
00:10:10 ◼ ► The power cord is color matched. The little USB-C to lightning cable that they give you, apparently give you with the Mac, is also color matched.
00:10:20 ◼ ► You know, when I was putting together my Mac Pro system, I was looking for black braided cables.
00:10:26 ◼ ► The reason I care about it is because I find the braided cables less likely to sort of get permanent bends or kinks in them.
00:10:34 ◼ ► You know, if you get a plastic cable and it comes out of the box and you kind of unwind it to try to make it straight, but the bends that were in it from it being packed in the box are still there.
00:10:42 ◼ ► Braided cables don't retain their bends as much. So if it comes wrapped in a circle or wrapped around something, when you unwind it, it sort of relaxes and lays flat.
00:10:52 ◼ ► And I find that a nicer experience. And there is an aesthetic preference one direction or the other as well.
00:11:07 ◼ ► I mean, we kind of know from the marketing copy and marketing images that they all come with desktop backgrounds that match the colors.
00:11:13 ◼ ► So if you buy a yellow one, you get like a yellow background. You buy a red one, you get a red background.
00:11:16 ◼ ► And of course, we know those backgrounds are like zoomed in portions of the hello logo.
00:11:31 ◼ ► And they're different colors. One sticker is the color of the back of the Mac and one sticker is the color of the front.
00:11:37 ◼ ► But of course, the silver one is the same color front and back. So if you get a silver one, you just get one sticker.
00:11:43 ◼ ► Apparently when you first boot the thing, it has like an intro movie. This is the thing that Mac OS X used to do after install for a couple years, a couple different releases.
00:11:53 ◼ ► You would boot Mac OS X for the first time and it would show like this welcome video with the word welcome flying at you in a bunch of languages or some sort of shiny Apple logo with a light behind it or a star field.
00:12:05 ◼ ► These show a little hello intro movie where it sketches out the script hello from the original Mac or whatever with the colors.
00:12:11 ◼ ► And then once you're into the Mac, if you go into system preferences in general, you'll see that each Mac, depending on what color the Mac is, comes with a configured highlight color that matches the Mac.
00:12:29 ◼ ► When you know when you select text and it puts like a colored background behind the text because you are selecting it, that color is color matched to whatever color your Mac is.
00:12:37 ◼ ► So you get the color matched desktop background, of course, the highlight color, you know, the highlight color being if a button is not silver, but is instead a color.
00:12:44 ◼ ► Is it a blue color that matches your thing as well? And the highlight color matches it.
00:12:48 ◼ ► So it's really, you know, lots of lots of cute niceties to really complete the the theming.
00:12:55 ◼ ► These are things that individual users could have always done. But the fact that it comes that way out of the box really just adds to the, you know, the fun experience.
00:13:02 ◼ ► Right now, the intro movie, I'm hoping there's no bug where the intro movie constantly plays, because an intro movie like that is delightful the literal very first time you take the thing out of the box and start it.
00:13:12 ◼ ► But I probably don't want to see that movie again. So I'm assuming it shows once and then disappears.
00:13:16 ◼ ► Moving right along, we also have information about gasoline stabilizers, because that's what you thought you were getting when you turned into the Accidental Tech podcast.
00:13:24 ◼ ► Well, this is a very important episode. Last time I had to tell people, people who don't watch tons of movies about the end of the world, who didn't realize that gas goes bad, that it doesn't last forever.
00:13:34 ◼ ► If you leave gas in a gas tank for a couple of years, don't expect to step into that car and start it. It's not going to happen. Why? What happens to the gas?
00:13:41 ◼ ► Right. Well, I say it goes bad, but, you know, there's some chemical process takes place probably involving oxidation or something.
00:13:46 ◼ ► But a lot of people wrote in to say, well, all you need to do is buy some gasoline stabilizer.
00:13:51 ◼ ► In fact, I hear and insert remote state somewhere in the United States, use gasoline stabilizer in my insert, you know, lawn equipment thing.
00:14:01 ◼ ► So it will still be good the next year. So I had to look up what the expectations are for gas stabilizers. And here's what I found.
00:14:08 ◼ ► Depending on the product, the stabilizer can increase gasoline shelf life to between one and three years. Stabilizers work best when you mix them with new gasoline.
00:14:16 ◼ ► They're ineffective at slowing down the degradation of old gas and they can't return contaminated gas to working order.
00:14:21 ◼ ► So if it seems like the apocalypse is happening, hurry up and put the stabilizer in all the tanks of all the cars that you can reach.
00:14:28 ◼ ► Because if you wait six months for the apocalypse to have happened, the stabilizer is not going to bring that gas back.
00:14:35 ◼ ► And even with stabilizer, five years into the apocalypse, any gas that's out there is going to be no good.
00:14:41 ◼ ► So I really hope you've worked on, you know, what is it? Is it Bartertown? Gastown? I don't know. Something from one of the Mad Max movies where you somehow got a refinery working again.
00:14:53 ◼ ► We are sponsored by Aftershocks and their Trick New Open Comm Headset. Imagine this. Say you're, I don't know, working from home a lot these days.
00:15:01 ◼ ► But imagine you want to be aware of what's going on around you. Maybe your kid needs help with virtual school. Maybe your dog is ringing the bell to be let out.
00:15:08 ◼ ► Perhaps you're running outdoors and want to, I don't know, know if a car is going to run you over.
00:15:13 ◼ ► Maybe you plain just don't find the idea of cleaning gunk out of your earbuds once a week a terribly enjoyable pastime. I don't blame you.
00:15:20 ◼ ► Aftershocks can solve all of that for you. They use their straight from the future bone conduction technology so your ears are completely free.
00:15:28 ◼ ► You can hear what you're listening to while also having an awareness of what's going on around you.
00:15:33 ◼ ► I'm here to tell you about the Open Comm, which is Aftershocks new headset designed specifically for efficient communication in the workplace, whatever that workplace may be.
00:15:41 ◼ ► What makes Open Comm nice is that the microphone is on a delightful noise canceling unobtrusive boom arm, which you can slide up and down when you need it or when you don't.
00:15:50 ◼ ► This makes for clear communication on all of those work calls. Open Comm has 16 hours of talk time on one charge.
00:15:57 ◼ ► And if you need to top up, only five minutes of charging via their very nice magnetic connector gives you two more hours of talk time.
00:16:05 ◼ ► We all know what it's like to be on all day zoom calls. And don't worry, Aftershocks Open Comm has you covered.
00:16:11 ◼ ► I took a couple of calls with the Open Comm and nobody was any the wiser. They all thought I was using my actual phone.
00:16:16 ◼ ► The Open Comm is comfortable and it ensures that I know what's going on locally as well as remotely.
00:16:23 ◼ ► To get your own Open Comm or perhaps a no boom arm aeropex, just go to Aftershocks.com/ATP for 15% off.
00:16:36 ◼ ► Alright, so we spoke earlier about spatial audio and this week Apple announced snake oil for music people.
00:17:04 ◼ ► No, I have thoughts about this, obviously, but nonetheless, let's try to stick to some facts.
00:17:11 ◼ ► Apple Music is adding spatial audio, lossless, and lossless recordings at no extra cost sometime next month.
00:17:19 ◼ ► The quick executive summary of this is that spatial audio with Dolby Atmos will be arriving in June.
00:17:25 ◼ ► Apparently, it will be the default for any headphones or headsets that have an H1 or W1 chip,
00:17:33 ◼ ► which I have a question here and we can get back to it in a second, but does that include the original AirPods?
00:17:39 ◼ ► Because I didn't think that my AirPods, my non-pro AirPods could do spatial audio, so I must be confused.
00:17:49 ◼ ► However, I shouldn't have said that, actually. It's not the iTunes catalog. It's the Apple Music catalog.
00:17:54 ◼ ► So iTunes Match and purchases will not get lossless audio, only Apple Music, and all of this is at no additional cost, which is pretty cool.
00:18:03 ◼ ► So if you are the kind of person who thinks you can detect the difference between lossless and compressed audio,
00:18:11 ◼ ► then I have a bridge I can sell you, but also you can have some great new stuff to listen to in June.
00:18:21 ◼ ► tell me how is it that I can listen to these with my second generation but otherwise old and busted AirPods?
00:18:39 ◼ ► but I could swear when all the spatial audio stuff came out, that was only AirPods Pro, I thought. Maybe I'm wrong.
00:18:45 ◼ ► I wonder if maybe the original AirPods, because they have the accelerometers to detect those terrible tap gestures where you break your ear,
00:18:56 ◼ ► The first couple of iPhones had only accelerometers, and then they added a gyroscope somewhere around the iPhone,
00:19:01 ◼ ► like 3GS or 4, somewhere around there, and that made the precision of the motion tracking significantly better.
00:19:08 ◼ ► And so I wonder if they need that precision in order to give spatial audio good accuracy,
00:19:17 ◼ ► So there's a knowledge-based article that R. Mori found in the chat, and we'll put a link in the show notes,
00:19:27 ◼ ► Yeah, it's gotta be a gyro thing, or maybe like a CPU speed kind of thing, who knows, but anyway.
00:19:35 ◼ ► There is spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, whatever that is, you know, spatial audio, and then there is lossless.
00:19:41 ◼ ► Those are two very different things. They're announcing them at the same time, there is a lot of press about both,
00:19:46 ◼ ► and I think, frankly, I don't think either of them are ever really going to become a meaningful thing, that being said.
00:19:59 ◼ ► You know, spatial audio, this is not the first time that the music industry has tried to release some kind of surround sound music format.
00:20:09 ◼ ► I think this will probably be the most widely used one, but the reason why they haven't really gone anywhere in the past
00:20:23 ◼ ► You know, if you think about what people expect from their music, usually music is mixed in such a way that it would sound kind of like you're at a concert,
00:20:34 ◼ ► and so the singer is like panned right in the center, dead center, exactly between left and right.
00:20:41 ◼ ► You might have some instruments that are panned a little bit left or a little bit right, but for the most part you're hearing stuff mostly right in front of you,
00:20:47 ◼ ► and the way audio is mixed, the way music is mixed, it's kind of like you are standing in front of a concert,
00:20:57 ◼ ► Like that's usually the way it's positioned in the mix and the way it's expected to be played.
00:21:02 ◼ ► So what studios and artists are going to start doing, if they haven't already, is to start making surround sound mixes basically for their spatial audio versions of their music.
00:21:15 ◼ ► The thing is, again, we've had this before. We've had this about, I think roughly every 10 years, for like the last 50 years, something like that.
00:21:23 ◼ ► We've had things like this before. We've had other music formats that have had multi-channel surround audio capabilities.
00:21:30 ◼ ► What usually happens is you play it, you listen to like one or two songs, you know, maybe you like, you know, consume some illegal substances and listen to some songs and go, "Whoa, this is really cool."
00:21:41 ◼ ► And then you don't listen to it anymore because it's kind of a gimmick. It's kind of like 3D TV.
00:21:45 ◼ ► Like it's a fun gimmick for like two seconds. You listen to the handful of things that are mastered that way, and then you just go back to listen to stereo because that sounds normal to you.
00:21:56 ◼ ► So I think this is going to be more successful, as I said, than the previous attempts at surround formats in the sense that it's not going to require people to significantly buy into new hardware.
00:22:08 ◼ ► You know, if you don't already have the headphones that do it, you're going to need to get those.
00:22:13 ◼ ► But a lot of people are buying AirPods Pro and AirPods Max anyway. So many people are going to already have the equipment to do that.
00:22:20 ◼ ► I would also suspect that any future like AirPods Nothing revision, which has been rumored to happen any minute now for like the last year, whatever the next version of the base AirPods will be, will probably also support this.
00:22:33 ◼ ► You know, the chances are pretty good on that, I think. So eventually, if not already, there will be a large install base that can kind of try this for free.
00:22:41 ◼ ► And so I think it will have way more consumption than previous attempts have where you might have had to like, you know, buy a DVD audio player or something like that and set up surround sound speakers in a living room.
00:22:52 ◼ ► Like, no one really did that. So this might have some benefit there. But I think it's going to prove mostly to be a gimmick.
00:23:01 ◼ ► And it might be a fun gimmick. It's not to say they shouldn't do it. They already had everything else in place to do it.
00:23:05 ◼ ► So it'll be a fun gimmick, especially for the substance crowd. But I don't think it's going to become a big thing.
00:23:14 ◼ ► And in terms of scope, like just to put this in contrast to the lossless, which we're going to talk about in a second, they're doing all 75 million of their tracks.
00:23:21 ◼ ► Whereas with spatial audio, they say we'll start with thousands. So thousands is not nothing.
00:23:26 ◼ ► But 75 million versus thousands gives you an idea of how likely will you be to find a spatial audio track that is also a song that you actually want to listen to versus you just playing with the feature.
00:23:39 ◼ ► I don't know. Whereas lossless, it will be an option for you for everything in the Apple Music Library.
00:23:50 ◼ ► Okay, good to know. By the way, real time follow up, Steve Trout and Smith points out that perhaps spatial audio for audio is possible with the original AirPods, but not spatial audio for video.
00:24:08 ◼ ► Because if you look at this press release, it says, "Apple Music will automatically play Dolby Atmos tracks on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or a W1 chip."
00:24:19 ◼ ► Either way, it's going to be a whole lot of people who can play it. And so that's good.
00:24:22 ◼ ► And if there's ever been a chance for surround sound mixed audio to take off, this is it.
00:24:29 ◼ ► Like, this is a way better chance than it's ever had before. But I'm still not optimistic that it's going to become a thing.
00:24:39 ◼ ► I feel like it's very similar to surround sound when that was still a unique and novel thing.
00:24:44 ◼ ► Like, I remember vividly putting in the LaserDisc for Top Gun when I was not terribly old.
00:24:53 ◼ ► I would put in the LaserDisc for Top Gun on my family's home theater, and we would use a little...
00:24:58 ◼ ► I don't know if you guys ever saw this, but there was a jog wheel on the remote control.
00:25:03 ◼ ► And you would go frame by frame on the LaserDisc, and you would do that, and people thought it was the neatest thing ever.
00:25:08 ◼ ► And the other thing you would do is you would listen to the planes go over your head and behind you.
00:25:18 ◼ ► And, you know, we had some Super Audio CDs back in the day, and I think HD CDs back in the day.
00:25:26 ◼ ► I would suspect that, you know, you're exactly right, Marco, that this is going to be certainly more adopted than most equivalents that we've tried, like you said, every ten years or so.
00:25:38 ◼ ► By the way, the LaserDisc, for any of you out there who are not too familiar with the LaserDisc format, it's fascinating.
00:25:48 ◼ ► If you're thinking of a giant CD that has digital video encoded on it, no, that's not what it is.
00:25:54 ◼ ► The video is encoded in analog, yet read from a laser. Trust me, read into it. It's pretty cool.
00:26:05 ◼ ► That's the only way Marco knows about any technology that's before his time with technology connections.
00:26:12 ◼ ► Check out that video. But it's, yeah, the way LaserDisc works is fascinating for like modern nerds to look back on.
00:26:20 ◼ ► Well, it was great until you had to either wait for it to change the head to get to the other side of the disc, or pop the damn thing out and flip it yourself.
00:26:28 ◼ ► Oh man, those were the days. Alright, so let me, I would like to talk to both of you, particularly Marco, about this lossless audio thing.
00:26:40 ◼ ► I know, and so let me get out my quick thoughts, and then I promise I'll shut up and let you go on a tear for half an hour.
00:26:45 ◼ ► I think this is one of those scenarios that I'm trying to be more conscious of as I get older, where I feel like I'm doing a reverse that's fine, or maybe it's a that's fine for Casey.
00:26:57 ◼ ► Or a reverse that's fine for Casey. But basically, I don't think that I can tell the difference between lossless audio and compressed audio.
00:27:08 ◼ ► And I've not done like the proper A/B testing or whatever. Like, I'll be the first to tell you this is very unsigned.
00:27:17 ◼ ► And so anyways, it could be that my quote unquote "testing" methodologies are broken. I would totally believe that.
00:27:27 ◼ ► It could be the stereo or whatever that I'm listening to this stuff on is crap, and I would believe that.
00:27:32 ◼ ► But there are people in my life, and including me in certain capacities, but certainly there are people in my life that have genuinely phenomenal stereos.
00:27:42 ◼ ► And I've heard them, and I've heard great compressed music on those stereos and great lossless stuff on those stereos.
00:27:50 ◼ ► And I really don't want to get into the vinyl conversation, but generally speaking, I personally can't tell the difference.
00:27:59 ◼ ► And I think that I'm probably being unfair because I'm probably asserting what is true for me to be true for everyone, which isn't really fair of me.
00:28:08 ◼ ► So I'm curious to hear you justify, Marco, why this is so important, because I can hear how god-awful compressed like XM radio is because that is the pit.
00:28:19 ◼ ► But I can't hear, generally speaking, I can't really tell the difference between a well-compressed, like a 96 kilobit or whatever, like a 256 kilobit MP3.
00:29:01 ◼ ► And I know people are familiar with my points of view on this. I'm going to surprise you on parts of this.
00:29:06 ◼ ► So here we go. Okay, so first of all, the human ear cannot hear the difference for anything that represents frequencies above roughly 20 kilohertz.
00:29:17 ◼ ► Even like young kids who have perfect hearing, who haven't had any high frequency loss yet, you can't hear above 20 kilohertz.
00:29:25 ◼ ► There's also limits on the—oh, and anyway, sampling theory. That means that you can perfectly represent the human hearing range, a frequency range, within the 44.1 kilohertz range of CD audio.
00:29:45 ◼ ► Secondly, the 16-bit side of CD audio refers to how precise the numbers are that you're storing to represent the amplitude of the signal.
00:29:55 ◼ ► That affects the dynamic range. What's the loudest versus the quietest? What's the range of that in decibels?
00:30:01 ◼ ► And the dynamic range you can store in 16-bit, even if you ignore the way dithering works, which you shouldn't because it's complicated and it adds more effective range.
00:30:10 ◼ ► Again, we're going to link again to this wonderful video by Monty over at Ziff. This is one of the—I think it's the place that invented the OGG Vorbis format.
00:30:19 ◼ ► This is a wonderful video and blog post in the series explaining why you don't need more than 44.1 kilohertz and 16-bit audio to represent the entire—and that's CD quality—to represent the entire human hearing range in practice.
00:30:38 ◼ ► There's lots of reasons why you don't, but for the purposes of this conversation, the reality is anything that is higher than that sampling rate of 44.1 or more precise than the 16-bit samples that we're storing there, that's beyond the realm of human hearing.
00:30:56 ◼ ► That being said, things are more complicated, and there are certain areas where the differences in these things matter.
00:31:04 ◼ ► So, for instance, people have all sorts of crazy ideas about—they picture the sound wave as the stair-step thing with the samples, and they say, "Well, if you add more samples, the sound wave will become smoother, and therefore it will better represent the source audio."
00:31:20 ◼ ► In practice, for lots of reasons that I mostly don't understand about electrical engineering and stuff, that's not how DACs work, and in practice, you can perfectly represent that full curvature of those sound waves, and most DACs will approximately output the perfect sound wave.
00:31:39 ◼ ► It will be way more perfect than you think, even with way fewer samples than you think, because of the way DACs work, because of sampling theory and everything else. Again, this is all very well covered in the Ziff.org video that we will link to.
00:31:52 ◼ ► And also, DAC is digital-to-analog converter, so if you think about it, these are being stored as bits and bytes, these audio files, but eventually it needs to be vibrating a cone to make a sound, so the DAC, the digital-to-analog converter, that's what gets you to something that you can play on a speaker.
00:32:09 ◼ ► Also, a cone. Come on, man. Vibrating a film between two sheets of magnets, that's the way to go now.
00:32:15 ◼ ► Anyway, so that's the topic for another day, maybe. So, anyway, we don't need more bits or a faster sampling rate than 44 kilohertz to represent everything we can hear.
00:32:32 ◼ ► So, there's a couple of very small differences in the way that the DAC works, where if you have a higher sampling rate than 44.1, certain parts of the DAC's filtering stage can be made simpler.
00:32:46 ◼ ► Cheaper components can sound better because they won't need as good of a filter or as sophisticated of a filter at that stage.
00:32:53 ◼ ► Again, most of that is way above my head, but I do know that's a thing roughly based on how it works.
00:33:03 ◼ ► What matters a heck of a lot more than the format that you are encoding the audio in is how the audio is mastered in the first place.
00:33:12 ◼ ► Theoretically, we should, in regular audio that we've had all this time, even compressed down to MP3s and AACs,
00:33:20 ◼ ► we should be able to have really amazing high quality audio that you can't tell the difference from super high res lossless in regular 44.1 CD approximating MP3s and AACs.
00:33:35 ◼ ► In practice though, sometimes you get some kind of new format or some kind of new high resolution release and it does sound noticeably better.
00:33:44 ◼ ► But that's not because of the format. That's because, usually in that case, they've remastered or taken another recording of the audio and they've made it a better mastering for modern sensibilities and modern equipment.
00:34:01 ◼ ► So they might have increased dynamic range compared to the super compressed loudness war of the 90s and 80s.
00:34:08 ◼ ► They might have mastered it on more modern equipment. They might have gone back to the original recordings and the original analog tapes and remastered them and remixed them and everything.
00:34:17 ◼ ► That happens a lot and if they happen to do that to an album and remaster it and re-release it in a high res format, it will probably sound better than the original because they remastered it, but not because it's in the high res format.
00:34:32 ◼ ► If you take something that sounds really great, that's a high res audio format, and if you downsample that down to 44.1 kilohertz and 16 bit and encode it as a 256K MP3, I bet it will sound exactly the same to almost anybody.
00:34:52 ◼ ► Because the reason it sounds better is because they did a better recording or a better mixing job to accommodate what people want these days with modern equipment and modern sensibilities and everything else, especially people who are going to listen very critically on high end equipment.
00:35:05 ◼ ► They master it for that, but if you take those high resolution files and resample them down to CD quality, nobody will tell the difference.
00:35:15 ◼ ► I'm telling you, nobody will tell the difference, but because it does sound better because of the mastering differences in some cases, there is demand for this.
00:35:27 ◼ ► The demand is real and there's entire services like Tidal and Neil Young's Pono and there's been entire things based on this.
00:35:36 ◼ ► There's a whole world of audio equipment, there's a whole world of high end DACs, headphones, little audio players, many of these things of which I've owned or currently own.
00:35:48 ◼ ► There's this whole world of all this high res fancy DAC stuff and a whole group of people who swear on lossless and being required and everything.
00:35:58 ◼ ► So the thing is, even if they are not scientifically getting a benefit from this, there is a massive role of demand here.
00:36:06 ◼ ► Apple Music is pretty important to Apple. It's a pretty big part of their services play and they care a lot about music and it's always been a cornerstone of the company.
00:36:16 ◼ ► This is an area in which other streaming services are competing with them and have been competing with them.
00:36:22 ◼ ► I don't think Apple wanted to be left behind and I think they wanted to use their power in the industry to say, "Alright, we're going to do this great thing."
00:36:29 ◼ ► Even if there is not much scientific benefit to it, and we'll get to the Bluetooth question in a second, even if there's not much benefit, the fact is there is demand.
00:36:41 ◼ ► There's a lot of people out there who buy this stuff who think they're getting something that sounds amazing because they are getting something that sounds amazing.
00:37:09 ◼ ► They hear that quality and part of that quality is the mastering. That's a huge part of it.
00:37:14 ◼ ► Part of it is that they're listening usually on pretty good equipment. That's the biggest part of it.
00:37:18 ◼ ► Biggest part of it and bigger than both of those things though is that they're paying attention when they listen.
00:37:24 ◼ ► If you tell yourself, "I'm getting something really special here. I'm downloading this giant file and it's going to be the most amazing remastering of American Beauty I've ever heard.
00:37:37 ◼ ► So you put it on and it's super lossless and there's billions of bits flying at you from all directions and you're really paying attention.
00:37:45 ◼ ► You're listening attentively and you're telling yourself, first of all, you're telling yourself, "This is going to sound great because I did all these things and bought all this stuff to make it sound great."
00:37:55 ◼ ► And then you are paying attention. You're making it a ritual. You're sitting down. You're saying, "I'm going to listen to this and I'm going to pay attention to this."
00:38:03 ◼ ► This isn't just going to be something where I shout at a voice cylinder and it plays it in the background while I do something else.
00:38:10 ◼ ► So you're going to sit there and you're going to listen really closely and you're going to say, "Oh my God, I've never heard the background symbols there before.
00:38:19 ◼ ► There's a French horn tucked back there somehow. I'm hearing things I've never heard before."
00:38:24 ◼ ► It's not because you had more bits or a smoother waveform. It's because you're listening attentively.
00:38:30 ◼ ► And that's great. That's a great way to listen to music. And you really can discover new things that you never discovered before because you weren't really listening attentively and really making it an experience for yourself.
00:38:44 ◼ ► But you can get that same quality from a CD if you can still find one. But the CD can do the exact same thing.
00:38:56 ◼ ► There's nothing wrong with that. And I think it's not right to look down on people for like, "Oh, you're only listening at 44.1. Well, mine's going to sound way better than yours."
00:39:07 ◼ ► At the same time, people like me who are scientific skeptics of the higher end stuff, we shouldn't tell those people that their opinion that it sounds great is wrong.
00:39:20 ◼ ► They might be wrong about why it sounds great, but they are experiencing something great.
00:39:25 ◼ ► And so I think when something like Apple's big thing happens like this where they're going to do all this lossless stuff, that's great. Good for them.
00:39:31 ◼ ► Again, there is demand for it. If people are demanding this and Apple provides it and the people think they're getting value out of it, well, who am I to say that that's wrong?
00:39:46 ◼ ► If they start making scientific claims about why it sounds good, I'll argue that for sure, but if they say this sounds great and they think they're getting their value from it, fine.
00:39:57 ◼ ► That being said, if you're looking to upgrade your setup, if you're looking to make things sound better and really get that experience out of music, first of all, you might not need to.
00:40:09 ◼ ► Again, if you just sit down attentively and listen to something and just pay attention to it, you'll get a lot of value out of that just by itself, even in your crappy AirPods.
00:40:18 ◼ ► You could listen on anything and if you're really paying attention, you really will hear a lot and it'll be a nice experience.
00:40:25 ◼ ► Oh, and by the way, that's entirely why people like vinyl. Side note that's going to get us all the email.
00:40:29 ◼ ► That's why vinyl sounds so good to so many people. It's because they have to, by nature of the format, by how much work it takes to listen to a record,
00:40:38 ◼ ► they have to be attentive. They have to make it a whole thing. They have to make it an experience.
00:40:43 ◼ ► And they put it on and it sounds good. Not to mention there's nostalgia involved in everything.
00:40:47 ◼ ► But the reason why it sounds good is because it's an experience and they're paying attention to it and they're telling themselves this is going to sound good.
00:40:57 ◼ ► There's also the vinyl audio profile of not being able to have too much bass and there's that background hiss that everybody loves and the "warmth".
00:41:04 ◼ ► There is actually a sound profile to vinyl defined by the limitations of the media that people latch onto as that's the way I want songs to sound.
00:41:12 ◼ ► Right. It's not distortion. It's warmth. It's not limited frequency range and incredibly limited dynamic range. It's warmth.
00:41:20 ◼ ► And of course, there's mastering differences and everything. So anyway, this is great for people who want it.
00:41:27 ◼ ► If you just want your stuff to sound good, buy a decent pair of headphones. You'll get way more out of that than you will out of like getting a 182 kilohertz DAC or something like that.
00:41:42 ◼ ► Once you've burned all your money on first the transducers, whether it's speakers or headphones, that's the most important thing.
00:41:49 ◼ ► And then a very far distant second of that is the amp that's powering them only to the point where you need enough power to power them.
00:41:56 ◼ ► Otherwise differences in amps don't matter that much. And then yeah, the DAC should be a very distant third.
00:42:01 ◼ ► But the very first thing you should do is go try to find a better recording of the things that you like.
00:42:06 ◼ ► Because that sounds better on every headphone and on every speaker and including your AirPods.
00:42:10 ◼ ► Now in the world of Bluetooth, by the way, which has been noted here, when audio is transmitted from your iPhone or whatever to your Bluetooth headphones, it's not transmitted in analog.
00:42:23 ◼ ► Your Bluetooth headphones have little tiny built-in amps and DACs. And the way that the audio is transmitted from the device to the headphone is also not lossless. It's compressed.
00:42:35 ◼ ► Early early Bluetooth headphones had a terrible compression scheme called A2DP that was the worst.
00:42:41 ◼ ► But Bluetooth headphones back then were also such garbage that you couldn't really hear the difference because the headphones, like the actual speaker drivers in the headphones were such garbage that it didn't really matter.
00:42:49 ◼ ► As headphone design has gotten better and as higher end headphones have gone Bluetooth thanks to market pressure, we've had better codecs.
00:42:56 ◼ ► And there's a whole bunch of stuff over in the Sony and Android world. I forget what the new ones are called.
00:43:03 ◼ ► Over in iOS land, AAC, the codec, the MP3 successor kind of thing, AAC is usually the codec used to transmit audio from your devices to the headphones.
00:43:14 ◼ ► I don't know what bit rate they use. It's probably some kind of, maybe it's 256k constant bit rate. It's probably something like that.
00:43:21 ◼ ► And that would be fine to be totally transparent to almost anybody almost any of the time.
00:43:27 ◼ ► But when you're listening over Bluetooth, you're already getting it compressed. It's already going to be very limited in terms of it's like, it's not going to be past 44 or 48 kilohertz in all likelihood.
00:43:39 ◼ ► It's not going to be better than 16 bit. The fact is that's all fine because if you are the kind of human who somehow has super human hearing, who can somehow hear the difference with frequencies that literally aren't there because they were cut out in the mastering stage.
00:44:00 ◼ ► But somehow if you can somehow hear the frequencies that aren't really there and if you can somehow hear the dynamic range that's more than 120 decibels of dynamic range or something that you can get from 16 bits.
00:44:11 ◼ ► If you can somehow be way beyond that, you're not going to hear that difference through your AirPods or probably any headphones or speakers that you own.
00:44:22 ◼ ► Unless you are in a laboratory, an amazing speaker design laboratory, you probably wouldn't even have the equipment that could even represent the additional differences in this to a point where you would notice them.
00:44:38 ◼ ► So back off all the lossless stuff. It's not what you think it is, but well recorded masters are and if this is what it takes to get studios to give us well recorded masters, okay, that's fine. I'll take it.
00:44:52 ◼ ► Otherwise, if you want to enjoy your music, just pay attention to it and that does wonders.
00:44:58 ◼ ► I do wonder about the scenario. It's not clear to me what they would do in this case. So you've got your lossless audio, which as you noted, depending on the recording may or may not have been remastered.
00:45:08 ◼ ► But let's say it was remastered. Let's say the original version of this came out in the 90s and is super massively compressed so everything is the same loudness and that loudness is loud.
00:45:16 ◼ ► And they remaster it and they give you one with more dynamic range. So the song actually has quiet parts and loud parts. Imagine that.
00:45:22 ◼ ► But that's the lossless one, right? And you listen to it with your AirPods, but of course the AirPods as you noted, the signal going over the air is going to be compressed in AAC.
00:45:32 ◼ ► Will they still essentially play the lossless one on your phone and then AAC compress it over the air to your AirPods so that what you will hear is essentially an AAC compressed version of the remastered song with better dynamic range?
00:45:48 ◼ ► Yes. The way I understand it, whenever people learn that the AAC is the codec used to transmit Bluetooth stuff from the iPhone to most of its headphones, one of the first questions you ask is things like where does that conversion happen?
00:46:04 ◼ ► Does it pass through unencoded or does it transcode it? Does it decode it first and then re-encode it and send it over?
00:46:11 ◼ ► And as far as I know, I don't have this confirmed, but as far as I know the answer is yes it does transcode it because it's sending an audio stream of every bit of audio on the phone.
00:46:22 ◼ ► The phone might change the audio stream halfway through. It might duck the music to ding a notification sound or something or it might have to mix in some other sounds.
00:46:31 ◼ ► So I'm pretty sure at all times it's decoding whatever you're playing and playing it as raw samples through the audio pipeline and then it's encoding it as AAC at the last step on the way to the Bluetooth headphones.
00:46:44 ◼ ► And so I don't think there's any way to bypass that and send a pure bit stream to the headphones. Again, not that any of this would matter because you're not going to notice those differences ever if not certainly not on AirPods.
00:46:57 ◼ ► So the scenario I was getting at was like, you mentioned lossless, if it's the way we get remastered it's fine, but lossless has a cost in terms of essentially storage space because they're bigger. There's a reason we use compression.
00:47:11 ◼ ► And so if all you want, it's like I just want the new masters because they're mastered better because they have more dynamic range because they're just better. I just want to hear them. But I don't want to waste the space. It would almost be nice if Apple gave you an option that says we know you don't have headphones that can support this and we know you don't even want the storage size.
00:47:28 ◼ ► So here is the remastered one in a 256 kilobit AAC. You know what I mean? Because why should you be denied that? Why should you have to flip the switch that says here please use all my storage space on my phone to get this audio.
00:47:42 ◼ ► And by the way, the qualities they give you, the options are for the lossless thing is you get CD quality, which is the first tier of lossless, which is 16 bit 44 kilohertz, right? Then you can also get 24 bit at 48 kilohertz. And then finally you can get 24 bit at 192 kilohertz, which I think is the Pano level of stuff.
00:48:00 ◼ ► But the 24 bit at 192 kilohertz, not only, you know, you can't listen to any of these things losslessly on your AirPods or whatever for the reasons we just mentioned, but to listen at all apparently to the 24 bit 192 kilohertz, you need a DAC, you need an external DAC because I guess the phone won't do that.
00:48:15 ◼ ► Yeah. All of Apple's built in DACs top out at 48 kilohertz. And that's pretty common. You know, any kind of device that's not like made for audio files. Generally the DAC is a 48 kilohertz at most DAC.
00:48:27 ◼ ► Yeah. So then, so you do need an external box because then the phone or the Mac or whatever it is that you're playing it on is just going to send the digital signal to your DAC and it will be its job to turn it into an analog signal then goes to your headphones.
00:48:37 ◼ ► And by the way, if you're thinking, oh, I have AirPods Max, but don't worry, I won't use Bluetooth. I'll just plug it in with the cable and then I'll get lossless, right? Apparently you won't.
00:48:44 ◼ ► Apple says that, no, even when you connect your AirPods Max with a cable, you still don't get lossless. I guess it's just sending the same AAC compressed message over that wire instead of over Bluetooth in that case.
00:48:57 ◼ ► We'll link to the tweet from it. This is from Apple to Micah Singleton. It says the AirPods Max also won't support lossless over the lightning cable the company tells me. The company being Apple.
00:49:06 ◼ ► So I wonder if that's like a software update or a firmware update they can fix or if it's just a fundamental limitation of the way the AirPods Max are created.
00:49:13 ◼ ► It seems strange that, I can imagine this being a limitation now, but it seems strange if the hardware is fundamentally incapable of supporting it.
00:49:21 ◼ ► The great thing is, though, that Apple could just tell everyone that it supports it and no one would know.
00:49:30 ◼ ► And speaking of golden ears, we didn't really touch on this, but we mostly talk about how CD quality is sufficient to encompass all of human hearing and most of the badness about CDs is bad mastering and so on and so forth.
00:49:41 ◼ ► But we all know if we've been around for the early days of MP3, it's not hard, in case you already said this, it's not hard to tell the difference between a low bit rate compressed audio file and a lossless CD quality file.
00:49:54 ◼ ► Because we know the artifacts that we hear, the sort of crackle and sizzle and weird compression artifacts that we hear when something is heavily, heavily compressed.
00:50:02 ◼ ► Back in the Napster days, people were encoding things at very low bit rates because bandwidth was low and disk space was low and things weren't the way they are now.
00:50:10 ◼ ► I know I have a bunch of audio files in my iTunes collection or whatever we're supposed to call it now that are not encoded at 256 kilobits.
00:50:23 ◼ ► And even my old person ears can hear, OK, once you get below 128, especially if it's MP3 and especially if it was encoded by a bad encoder, I can hear that's not great, which is one of the reasons why I always like to have things on CD, because then you can always re-rip them in higher quality.
00:50:37 ◼ ► And that you effectively have the best quality version of that song that was for sale at the time.
00:50:42 ◼ ► Setting aside remasters, you just want to get the file, uncompressed CD quality audio, 16 bit, 44 kilohertz.
00:50:49 ◼ ► And then you have to mangle it a little bit to get it onto your little iPod back in the day or whatever.
00:50:53 ◼ ► And so lossless is not useless to you if what you're coming from is a 96 kilobit MP3 from 2002.
00:51:08 ◼ ► Now really what you should actually do is just take that CD quality lossless one and recompress it to 256 kilobit or maybe Apple can do that for you and then get the benefit of that.
00:51:17 ◼ ► And that's where I get back to my question of what if I want the remaster but I don't want the lossless, I wonder if there will be a way to...
00:51:23 ◼ ► And if these are DRAMs, Apple Music only does DRAMs. I was so disappointed when I discovered this.
00:51:28 ◼ ► When I was messing with audio files, what was it, probably for the rectifs episode where we were listening to music.
00:51:32 ◼ ► I'm like, "Great, I'll just grab this song and I'll be like, 'Wait a second, what the hell is this song? I thought there's no more DRAM in the iTunes store.'"
00:51:49 ◼ ► So you have to carefully fight with the music app to convince it, "No, I purchased this song. Stop giving me the Apple Music version. Oh, here you go. Oh, you purchased it?
00:52:02 ◼ ► I'm assuming it's literally exactly the same file as the Apple Music one. Is it just DRAM or no DRAM?
00:52:08 ◼ ► But anyway, if these were with no DRAM, you could get the loss of the ones locally from Apple Music and then you could just recompress them yourself.
00:52:14 ◼ ► And then you would have your lossless remastered version of all the songs in a more compact size.
00:52:22 ◼ ► I think, you know, what we're mostly talking about is like who can tell about the lossless one.
00:52:26 ◼ ► I think at 256, you know, a kilobit, like that's probably the limit of adult, adult or certainly older adult hearing where you're going to have, you'd really have to know what compression artifacts to look for.
00:52:39 ◼ ► Maybe you've had some kind of weird industrial music or something with very unexpected frequency, you know, changes and you knew exactly which artifact to listen to, listen for.
00:52:47 ◼ ► You could tell the difference between the uncompressed CD quality and the sort of standard Apple Music quality.
00:52:53 ◼ ► But I do think that if you're coming from much, much worse compressed files, there is a benefit to be had to stepping up to this new modern format, which we called the CD.
00:53:12 ◼ ► We took a step backwards when we all switched to MP3 for its convenience because we had to smush the files down so small that the compression artifacts were there for anyone to hear.
00:53:22 ◼ ► And it was a step backwards and I'm glad we're sort of stepping forwards from that now.
00:53:26 ◼ ► I still think it is a waste of everyone's bandwidth and disk space or storage space or whatever to actually be storing lossless files, especially if they're 24 bit 192 kilohertz.
00:54:01 ◼ ► And you know, and speaking of that, like there's nothing in this press release that I've seen that particularly makes any promises about remastering because they do say, oh, all 75 millions of tracks will be lossless.
00:54:12 ◼ ► That makes me think they're just taking because surely they have the lossless versions of these before they compress them.
00:54:17 ◼ ► Right. You know, so that makes me think unless otherwise specified when you just say, please give me the lossless version of this.
00:54:34 ◼ ► I think they've upped the quality of what's available to purchase and also through Apple Music.
00:54:42 ◼ ► So I'm not sure how many, if any of these things will actually be remastered or whether that will be distinguished in the increasingly broken interface that is the Apple Music application.
00:54:53 ◼ ► And this is part of the reason why I mean, look, they've been doing remastering of things for years.
00:55:03 ◼ ► And like and they've, you know, they still like I don't know how much Apple is directly involved, but they still have, you know, there's lots of stuff all over Apple Music and the iTunes store that is like, you know, remastered versions of older stuff.
00:55:19 ◼ ► So, you know, that I think I think this was actually a fairly easy thing for them to deliver as a feature because they already had so much in place. They already had their own lossless codec, which making a lossless audio codec is not hard because it's a pretty simple, pretty simple math to do it.
00:55:39 ◼ ► So you're basically doing like, you know, encoding like the difference from one sample to the next as the smallest number of bits you can.
00:55:45 ◼ ► That's basically every lossless format. That's it because anything else is a waste of computational resources and they all max out at like roughly 50 percent average compression ratio.
00:56:00 ◼ ► Like and you know, the other sad part about lossless stuff is that while there is demand for it from from, you know, a lot of people, they think they're going to really need it and know the difference.
00:56:19 ◼ ► And in the reality of the world, people are going to try it for like, you know, if they if they know to even go turn it on in settings, they're going to try it and they're going to see, oh, that burned a ton of my data or that burned a ton of my battery and or a ton of my disk space.
00:56:37 ◼ ► And then they're going to turn it off. It's one of those things that people think they want a lot more than they actually end up wanting or using because in practice, it's it's so much more ridiculous in practice.
00:56:51 ◼ ► Like I even like what I when I buy my my live fish concerts from live fish dotnet, there was one season that they did like one tour where I preordered it. They offer every download in in flack and in high res flack and then also just an MP3.
00:57:07 ◼ ► And usually I would just buy the MP3. So I think they're like 256 K, I think constant bit rate. But anyway, they're great MP3s.
00:57:15 ◼ ► And I've never heard a difference. Anyway, there was one tour where I thought, oh, I'm so into this. And this was like, you know, years back before I knew better. And I thought, I'm going to buy this one in flack really treat myself and I'll start doing that.
00:57:27 ◼ ► And it took up so much disk space. They were so big that I ended up doing what john said earlier, I ended up just recompressing them all as MP3s and just like burning all the flax to like a blu ray disc and putting in the closet and forgetting about it.
00:57:48 ◼ ► Speaking of blu ray, though, this is another regardless of the of the merits of this particular feature and the and the trade offs of it.
00:57:56 ◼ ► This is another decision Apple has made with sort of the march of technology and data formats that is really beneficial to their brand.
00:58:04 ◼ ► They did it once before when you when they started rolling out 4k movies and iTunes by basically saying, hey, if you purchase this movie five years ago and you purchase the HD version, guess what?
00:58:14 ◼ ► Now you've got the 4k version. No extra cost. You don't have to buy it a second time. Right.
00:58:22 ◼ ► If you want any of the songs that you have, you know, you subscribe to Apple Music and you want to listen to them lossless. Fine.
00:58:27 ◼ ► They're yours free. It's all part of your subscription. Right. That brand builds brand equity that makes people have confidence spending their money on media from Apple because it's basically saying so far twice.
00:58:40 ◼ ► You know, when the format has changed, Apple has not seized that as an opportunity to make us rebuy everything compared to cassette vinyl, CD, super audio, CD, DVD, blu ray, where in the physical world, I mean, for obvious reasons, you had to rebuy everything.
00:58:54 ◼ ► And it was a huge windfall. Like part of the huge amount of money the music industry made was when everyone was replacing music they had already purchased and they're buying it again on CD.
00:59:03 ◼ ► But in the magic of the digital download era, you don't have to do that. There is no physical media. You can actually just say, oh, that movie you bought a long, long time ago, there's a 4k version now and you've got it for free because you paid us for it once.
00:59:15 ◼ ► And so here you go. That's a smart move in there porn, especially from a company that is currently undergoing some, some, let's say, brand cache loss with the ongoing trials and everything else.
00:59:28 ◼ ► Good, good move for Apple for rolling this out for free. It's a strong competitive move and it makes people feel more confident locking themselves into the Apple ecosystem by buying stuff from them.
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01:01:36 ◼ ► Let's talk about some hardware rumors. This is obviously ramping up in the ever increasing time or decreasing time I should say that we have before WWDC.
01:01:47 ◼ ► And I don't think we spoke about on the show or if we did it was only obliquely that there was apparently a ransomware leak at a supplier of apples.
01:01:56 ◼ ► And so a hacker group called REvil had apparently blackmailed the apple supplier Quanta and they said "hey if you don't pay us a whole ton of money I think via bitcoin then we're going to start leaking some of the stuff we stole from you."
01:02:12 ◼ ► And guess what? They started leaking it. And we don't know if it's real or not but it's looking good.
01:02:23 ◼ ► These are things we've mostly talked about but I think you did a good job of framing this. It's probably real but who knows?
01:02:31 ◼ ► Hacker groups demanding ransom. This could all be fake based on the rumors because in the end the information here is not new.
01:02:37 ◼ ► But assuming they're real or even close to real or even if they're just mockups it gives us a good idea of visualizing the rumors we had before.
01:02:45 ◼ ► We'll start with the MacBook Pro. We talked about this on past shows. The rumor is flatter design, SD card slot, HDMI port, all the things that we wanted.
01:02:56 ◼ ► MagSafe coming back. And so whether these are real leaks or just renders of the information I just gave you, I think it's a good visualization.
01:03:07 ◼ ► I'll put a link in the show notes so you can look at these pictures too. What might this product look like?
01:03:11 ◼ ► As we talked on past shows, hey if it's got flat sides how do you pick it off the table?
01:03:16 ◼ ► Well the two side view mockups show, as we noted last time we talked about it, very prominent feet. That's one way you can solve it.
01:03:23 ◼ ► Let's put some big feet on these suckers. So then the sides are flat but the feet are pretty big and so you can still get your fingernails under it and lift it up.
01:03:30 ◼ ► And then it shows if these things are so super thin, how do you fit HDMI and SD card slots on there? How tight is it? It's pretty tight.
01:03:38 ◼ ► I mean I look at the HDMI port and I think, yeah that's pretty much as thin as you can make anything that still has an HDMI thing in the side of it.
01:03:47 ◼ ► And then also for the screen, the squared off edges, the screen looks very squared off as well in this picture.
01:03:55 ◼ ► Imagine the titanium powerbook but with the screen like a quarter the thickness of the titanium. It looks almost impossibly thin.
01:04:08 ◼ ► And because it's flat sided it's not tapered or anything like the current one. The aesthetic is kind of working for me as a slab sided notebook that is also impossibly thin that has very prominent feet.
01:04:23 ◼ ► Unfortunately the MagSafe bit is mostly just the line drawing thing and we can't really tell. We can see which hole they're trying to say is MagSafe and it's this hole that doesn't look like any of the other ports.
01:04:33 ◼ ► But I can't really tell how the magnet thing is going to go into that. Where are the magnets? How different is it from the MagSafe we knew before?
01:04:41 ◼ ► So many questions love whether we're going to still be able to charge with USB-C or whether it will just be MagSafe.
01:04:47 ◼ ► But either way, I think these mockups, based on the rumors, this is a plausible version of those rumors.
01:04:57 ◼ ► And as we said before, this is what we all wanted. Fix the keyboard, put the ports back on the thing, give us back MagSafe.
01:05:04 ◼ ► I still sometimes have trouble believing they're actually going to do this because it is such a reversal from all their past decisions.
01:05:11 ◼ ► So again, I think this is the right decision. I really do hope they make a machine that's like this, especially with an amazing ARM processor in it, which we'll get to in a little bit.
01:05:21 ◼ ► Yeah, I really, where there's smoke, there's fire. There sure is a lot of smoke around these new port changes. I am so looking forward to this.
01:05:44 ◼ ► I love where this is going. I think having only three USB-C ports is fine if you don't need to use one for charging anymore.
01:05:55 ◼ ► Right, they're really embracing the idea that one of those ports is always just going to be used for power anyway. So now it literally is only used for power.
01:06:01 ◼ ► Right, and if you also have a built-in HDMI port, which they do, built an SD card, this is going to remove a lot of the need for dongles for a lot of people.
01:06:10 ◼ ► And a little detail that I love, it sure looks like the headphone jack has moved back to the left side.
01:06:19 ◼ ► Thank God! Because as I've always harped on, that's the side it used to be on for a reason, that most headphones where the cable only goes into one side, usually it's the left side.
01:06:31 ◼ ► Not to mention the fact that the majority of people who use mice next to their laptops are usually using them on the right side, because most people are right-handed, and the headphone cable coming out on the right side always gets in the way of your mouse.
01:06:42 ◼ ► So there's lots of good reasons to put it over back to the left where it was for years. And so I'm just so happy to see these kind of changes. This looks like it's going to be incredible.
01:06:51 ◼ ► I also see, from the leaked schematic looking drawing, you can clearly see the area where the inverted T arrows still remain on the keyboard, and you can clearly see a row of function T's that are also bigger.
01:07:04 ◼ ► Similar to the MacBook Air render rumors things that we'll get to in a second. It looks like the function key row is full height again, as opposed to being the weird kind of half height that it's been.
01:07:15 ◼ ► So it looks like the keyboard is still as good as it ever is, and man, having all the ports back, I hope this is real. And the more that comes out about it, the more it seems like it is real. And it's going to be spectacular.
01:07:28 ◼ ► You know, I have a question for you guys. I can't remember if we talked about this when we were talking about the rumors earlier. If the trade-off is that you can only charge via MagSafe, which I don't think they would do, but if the trade-off is you can only charge via MagSafe, I don't know if I would want that.
01:07:48 ◼ ► Right, because I have so much USB-C stuff in my life. And as an example, today I went and worked at a local park, and I used this backup battery and hub that I really like, and I'll put a link in the show notes.
01:08:01 ◼ ► And so what I did was I plugged my laptop into this battery, but then put it in hub mode such that I could also plug my phone into the battery, and I can tether to my phone via USB rather than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or anything, which I kind of like.
01:08:17 ◼ ► And so that was one USB-C connection from the battery to the computer, and then the battery also connected to the phone.
01:08:25 ◼ ► And I don't know, I feel like with USB-C chargers just littering my house, I don't think I would want a MagSafe-only lifestyle. I definitely would love the option of MagSafe for sure, and I would give up a port, a USB-C port, to get it.
01:08:53 ◼ ► If you get a MagSafe dongle, then you can still use USB-C, and all your charging infrastructure will work. It's very easy to adapt.
01:09:00 ◼ ► And the trade-off is, okay, so I don't have to have a dongle for SD, I don't have to have a dongle for HDMI, but I do have to have a dongle if I want to fit into the USB charging infrastructure.
01:09:09 ◼ ► Again, I think it doesn't seem like there's any particular reason for them not to support it, because even in USB, being able to charge through a USB-C port, it seems like it's intrinsic to their ARM architecture, basically because it comes from the iPad Pro, where that was first introduced, where you could charge something through USB-C and have it be an ARM processor.
01:09:29 ◼ ► It almost seems like it would take work for them to make that not work, just because the architecture of all their laptops for so many years has been, "Yeah, we have a bunch of USB-C ports, and you can charge through any of them."
01:09:44 ◼ ► And as Marco pointed out, and the reason I was confused by that thing, you really have to zoom in to see that in this mockup, one of the ports is supposed to be MagSafe, but again, this is just a mockup, and it's literally just the USB-C size and shape hole.
01:09:56 ◼ ► I would imagine that the MagSafe port will not be the exact size and shape of a USB-C port for many good reasons, so I don't think that's going to be a problem.
01:10:13 ◼ ► All of the other things they're doing right down to the thing that I forgot, which Marco had pointed out, which is like, "Hey, guess what? No touch bar either."
01:10:19 ◼ ► Net-net, it would still be such a massive improvement over the current models, and then you only have one thing to fix in the next three years instead of fixing the keyboard.
01:10:29 ◼ ► "Hey, people don't like it that you can't charge through USB-C, so for the next revision of this, let people do that."
01:10:34 ◼ ► And now you're done. You have not a perfect laptop, but basically the top seven demands of your users have been met.
01:10:45 ◼ ► Yeah, and it makes me wonder, and I know we've talked about this before, so I won't belabor the point, but it makes me wonder, like, what happened to make all this suddenly possible?
01:10:54 ◼ ► Like, who left, and I know there's an obvious potential answer there, but who left or who got demoted and promoted and so on and so forth such that all of a sudden all of our dreams are coming true?
01:11:06 ◼ ► We need more lawsuits to happen so we can get these depositions and discoveries we can find out, because this court case is nothing about that.
01:11:12 ◼ ► But now I don't really care who proposed what App Store rules and made what deals with Netflix.
01:11:17 ◼ ► Now I want to know why did it take so long to fix the keyboard and how did someone apparently, as far as we can tell from these rumors, finally win the argument and say, "Could we make our laptops good again?"
01:11:29 ◼ ► And so the next one, we've got to go through this. The next one is a MacBook Air rumor.
01:11:34 ◼ ► So the MacBook Air we have now, it's the M1 MacBook Air, it's great, it's an amazing machine, but it is in fact the old MacBook Air with all its insides ripped out and replaced with just amazing new insides and removing all the fans, which is great.
01:11:44 ◼ ► But given this new design that we just described, and also given the design of the new iMacs, the rumors here are essentially the iMacification of the MacBook Air.
01:11:54 ◼ ► So square it all off, give it to us in colors, put Touch ID on the keyboard, making it look like the keyboard on the iMacs where it's the little white full-size key with a circle in it, white bezels around the screen, whole nine yards.
01:12:09 ◼ ► If you look at these mockups, you're like, "Yeah, if someone turned an iMac into a MacBook Air-sized computer, it would look like that."
01:12:15 ◼ ► I still question the brand identity of MacBook Air in a world where it is not wedge-shaped, but things change, and colors can cover up for a lot, and it's not like this thing isn't going to be thin enough, because if you look at the mockups anyway, it's like, again, literally as thin as it can possibly be to fit the port on the side.
01:12:34 ◼ ► The difference is, in this case, it appears there's no HDMI port, but it's just USB-C, which again makes sense for the MacBook Air, but basically make a flat-sided laptop whose flat side is just big enough to fit a USB-C port, and then put an impossibly thin screen on it, put an M1 inside it, give it to us in colors with a full-size keyboard with an inverted T, with real function keys and Touch ID on it.
01:12:58 ◼ ► Yeah, this seems like a great product. My only question about these mockups, and I'm assuming this mockup is based on this, this is from Jon Prosser, he's got a rumor monger on YouTube.
01:13:09 ◼ ► My only question about this is the bottom view, and I think this is based on the rumors. The rumors are that instead of having four feet on the bottom of this thing, there would be two rubber strips that look like skis, and I can't for the life of me figure out what the point of that would be.
01:13:26 ◼ ► I can guess. I mean, part of it is, I think they want to, like, if the, again, that's a big if, like, how accurate these renders and mockups are, but part of it might be to give it a little bit more elevation off the desk, you want something a little bit thicker, and maybe that would be weird with feet, or maybe with standard feet, they would, like, they would get hit and fall off more easily.
01:13:49 ◼ ► And I don't know, like, to what degree the current feet fall off in practice. Maybe this is also just a way to increase the reliability of them staying in there, to just make them bigger and have it be, like, you know, two large pieces instead of four little pieces.
01:14:03 ◼ ► Yeah, there's more glue surface area. Like, the feet do come off. Like, I know from people who work at Apple stores that sometimes the feet do come off, they're just glued on, and they'll just glue new ones on, but in my personal experience, I've never lost a foot on an Apple laptop. You know, it is just glue, and I know a lot of people, like, their Apple watches delaminate from the glue, and that's a more troubling thing, but, yeah, more glue surface area makes some sense.
01:14:25 ◼ ► I still question whether an entire ski would be that, because, like, the four points are more likely to have a pleasing seating effect on a slightly uneven surface than four skis, because the four skis give ample opportunity for imperfections in the surface you're on to translate through to your laptop, right?
01:14:43 ◼ ► Obviously, three feet would be the ideal one for not wobbling. That's why we have tripods, not quadrupods for our cameras, right? But, you know, with a laptop where you're typing on it, a tripod arrangement of feet would not be ideal as you hit the control key in the lower left corner and your thing tips over, right?
01:14:59 ◼ ► But I also don't think two skis is the ideal one. So, anyway, it couldn't just be a fashion thing or a design thing. I don't see any sort of reflection of this. I think someone has pointed out, like, that if you look at the underside of the feet on the new iBacks, that they have strips or something like that, but, I don't know, it's a minor feature, but I'm still a little bit baffled as to what the thinking is, and whether Apple, if they introduced a computer that's like this, would even mention, "Oh, and by the way, it's got the best feet ever!"
01:15:25 ◼ ► I mean, Steve Jobs would do it because some minor detail like this would only get on the thing if Jobs thought it was a good idea, and if he thought it was a good idea, he'd have some rationale, so he would mention it, but in the modern Apple...
01:15:39 ◼ ► In the modern Apple, they tend not to mention stuff like this at all on stage. They just say, "These are great laptops," and then when you ask them later about the feet, they'll just be like, "I don't know. It's our new design."
01:15:49 ◼ ► Anyway, I think my big question about this is "wedge or no wedge?" Or if this is not even a MacBook Air and they just call this a MacBook and keep the Air wedge-shaped, I'm not quite sure, but I'm totally ready for colors to come.
01:16:00 ◼ ► Like the iMacs, you know, their views have all shown all the different colors. I think they're great, they're fun. They should totally do that with the lower-level laptops.
01:16:10 ◼ ► I think they should do it with all the laptops, but thus far, they have kept the colors to the lower-end products, even in the iPhone realm, even in the iPad realm, and been more subdued in the pros, which, you know, that's a reasonable distinction. Most people buy the low-end ones anyway, so it means that most people will be getting colors.
01:16:28 ◼ ► I really hope that... So first of all, I love the colors. That sounds great, and if it's anything like the iMacs, it's probably going to be pretty great. You know, still a little pastel-y for me, but hey, I'll take it.
01:16:40 ◼ ► But I really hope that they don't change two things about this. Number one, it better not have a fan, because having the fanless computer is amazing, so that's big number one.
01:16:52 ◼ ► And number two, I really hope they don't make the battery much or any smaller. Dr. Drang had a good blog post about this last week. Basically, as I've been very happy with it, so has he, that basically because of the way that they designed this first-generation M1 MacBook Air,
01:17:12 ◼ ► where, as you mentioned, John, they basically just didn't change the externals at all from the previous one, and just stuffed a way lower power usage processor in there.
01:17:23 ◼ ► Didn't change the size of the battery, didn't change the size of the case, didn't change the weight, like everything else did the same, so by sticking a very low power usage processor in there, we got this amazing battery life, to the point where I love, like, if I go somewhere for a weekend or if I have to go home for a day or something,
01:17:38 ◼ ► I don't usually have to plug in my laptop the entire time I'm gone. Like, if I take a weekend trip somewhere, I can treat my laptop more like I would treat an iPad, where I probably will not need to charge this unless I'm using it heavily.
01:17:51 ◼ ► And that's wonderful, and it's so great to have it just like, I have it sitting around the house, and sometimes it spends the night over on a countertop somewhere where there isn't a cable, and it's not plugged in, and the next day I can go use it, and it's fine.
01:18:04 ◼ ► Sometimes it spends the night on a charger, and that's fine, but it doesn't have to. And that's wonderful, it's such a great place to be, it really does dramatically improve the everyday usability of this product.
01:18:14 ◼ ► So, I hope that this first generation one is not some kind of fluke because they were reusing the old industrial design. I hope that at least, again, if they want to make the higher end, higher powered ones a little more aggressive on their battery to weight ratio, fine.
01:18:32 ◼ ► But I hope something in the lineup, and I think the Air is a good place for it because it's so low powered, something in the lineup should have the ridiculous battery life that the current MacBook Air with the M1 does.
01:18:44 ◼ ► It's such a great experience, I really hope that this new MacBook Air doesn't just shed the "excess battery" in their terminology and cut the battery life in half because "oh, it's too long now, we have to get it back down to four hours" or whatever. Please don't do that.
01:19:02 ◼ ► I really, really hope that whatever they are trying to do to make this thing thinner and lighter as they are always pushing to do, please stop at the point where it comes to cutting the battery very much from the current one. I would love for them to keep it the same, I think that's a little too much to expect, I can't imagine they would keep it the same, but at least don't cut it by much, please.
01:19:21 ◼ ► Well that gets us back to the wedge though, because the advantage of not having the wedge is not only is there actually more volume for the battery, but even if you cut down the volume by making the fat end thinner, which it looks like in these mockups they are doing, it's just much easier to buy batteries that are uniform thickness.
01:19:39 ◼ ► It's easier to manufacture that, it's easier to fill the space, so even if the overall battery volume is lower, not having to do the weird scallops multipod battery where you are sacrificing space by essentially not making a wedge shaped battery by doing the scallop batteries, because they touted that as like "oh, we have these little scallops, these little terraces like we are farming for rice"
01:20:01 ◼ ► or "they are essentially flat and you have to get multiple ones and chain them together and you are just wasting space in all of those little terraces and scallops"
01:20:09 ◼ ► If it literally is flat, you can fill all the available space with a conventional flat battery, and that gives me some hope that there is a fighting chance that this thing will potentially match the M1 MacBook Air's power efficiency, especially if, I didn't read too much in the rumors, I don't know if this is rumored for next year or something, especially if it comes out later and it's like a
01:20:21 ◼ ► TSMC's 3nm process or something, so you get some power savings and then even though the battery gets smaller, you match the battery life. We'll see, it could be that the M1 MacBook Air that everybody loves does end up being this slight aberration in that it was just so overprovisioned on battery, the next ones are a little bit more powerful, and it's just a little bit more powerful.
01:20:45 ◼ ► I have some hope that if these rumors are true and this really is the Air and it really doesn't have the wedge anymore, that's good for battery possibilities.
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01:23:09 ◼ ► Also, you know, regarding the timing, and this I think might lead us into the next thing, I expect the MacBook Air, the next one, to have the M2 processor. And I don't expect the M2 processor to come out until this fall or winter. And maybe even spring. They could be on a one and a half year cycle for all we know. But most likely like this fall or winter, I would expect the M2, because I would expect it to be based on the A15 cores that will come in this fall's iPhones.
01:23:35 ◼ ► But the other stuff that we're about to talk about, which will presumably be using larger core, larger versions of chips, I would expect those not to have the M2. I would expect those to be effectively, whatever they're going to call it, I would expect it to be an M1X, which is more M1 cores onto a larger die.
01:23:54 ◼ ► And we'll get to that in a minute, but I've heard a lot of people speculating on different podcasts about would it be weird to have the bigger, higher end products using something in the M1 series of chips, and then have the M2 come out and it's like the small chip again for the next MacBook Air.
01:24:12 ◼ ► And I think no, that's not weird. In fact, that's almost always how big chips are made. If you look at the Intel Xeon line, the Xeons that have really high core counts, usually it's not the current generation core when those come out.
01:24:27 ◼ ► It's like last year's core or two years ago's core that they have gotten good enough at manufacturing that they can now start making larger and larger chips with it before, and they're doing the big, large chips using the slightly older core design as they're starting to get good at making the new design in smaller sizes.
01:24:50 ◼ ► And eventually that will scale up to make the next generation of big chips. So the bigger chips usually are like a half generation at least behind the smaller chips.
01:24:59 ◼ ► And that's, again, that's one of the reasons why Intel's newest core designs tended to come out first in small laptops, and they would slowly bring up the line with like the bigger chips that have more cores and the bigger integrated GPUs and stuff like that.
01:25:12 ◼ ► But what I expect to happen here, I don't expect to see this new MacBook Air until the fall at least, fall or winter. What I do expect to see before then is the bigger laptops and possibly the Mac Pro Mini or the Mac Mini Pro, which sounds like they might be two different products.
01:25:28 ◼ ► In addition to the Mac Pro, Mac Pro, which is different. But I expect what we're about to see is the M1X line, and I'm very excited about this.
01:25:39 ◼ ► I'm not sure that I would put too much stake into how Intel has done things. Like the realities of silicon manufacturing are true, but those are mostly tied to the process and not to the products.
01:25:49 ◼ ► Right. So if we assume, you know, like the first five nanometer chip is not going to be like your Xeon type scale thing. It's like you said, it's going to be a smaller laptop chip or whatever.
01:25:57 ◼ ► So Apple's first crop of five nanometer chips were in fact the low power M1 that's put in their low end products. Right.
01:26:03 ◼ ► If they don't change the process for the big chips and they say, now that we've done this process for a while, that, you know, these, this big honking chip for our Mac Pro, it's also going to be a five nanometer chip.
01:26:15 ◼ ► But now we just have more experience with the process. And this was designed from the beginning to be a five nanometer chip.
01:26:21 ◼ ► And, you know, like I can see that happening and it not lagging behind in terms of the core, because, you know, if the M2 core is also targeting five nanometers, there's no reason that can also be the core that is in the big chips.
01:26:35 ◼ ► We'll see. Like, you know, the, the, the Intel approach, like it's what we're all used to, but I think a lot of it also has to do with decisions of how, how Intel paced its product cycle to its process jumps.
01:26:46 ◼ ► And that, that pacing isn't necessarily the only way you can possibly do things. And Apple is essentially one step into a potential plan, which is, you know, five nanometer chip, the M1 in the low end products.
01:26:57 ◼ ► Our next five nanometer chip is the M2 in our big products, because now it's a more stable process.
01:27:02 ◼ ► But we'll see. But like when you mentioned the M1X, like as we'll get to in a second, X seems insufficient as a modifier to delineate the difference between the M1 chip and the slightly more powerful version.
01:27:18 ◼ ► When it was like, oh, the whatever chip and then whatever X chip would be in the iPad. Right. It's like, it's like the phone chip, but it's got a couple more cores.
01:27:41 ◼ ► Yeah. So this, this is the rumors for the, the higher end products, right? What, what are they actually doing? The, you know, more concrete details in the high end.
01:27:49 ◼ ► They have a bunch of code names called Jade's Sea Chop and Jade's Sea Die. And I don't really understand these code names. I'm sure they make sense to somebody later on. They'll have ones.
01:27:58 ◼ ► I can tell you it's right there in the name. We'll get to it. Read what, read the next sentence. It makes total sense.
01:28:09 ◼ ► So for the new, so this was a rumor from, from Mark Erman in Bloomberg, I think yesterday.
01:28:14 ◼ ► Um, so for the new MacBook pros, Apple's playing on two different chips, code named Jade Sea Chop and Jade Sea Die.
01:28:21 ◼ ► Both include eight high performance cores, two energy efficient cores for a total of 10 and will be offered in either 16 or 32 graphics core variations.
01:28:44 ◼ ► I don't know. Well, cause it's a large die. I don't know. Maybe sea die is, maybe sea is, is for cent for 10, although that's more of a hundred prefix, but who knows?
01:28:55 ◼ ► Well, I mean, here's the thing. I don't think they're binning 16 versus 32 cores. Binning is like, okay, one or two cores are dead.
01:29:02 ◼ ► Binning is not half the cores don't work. Like that's the difference between 16 and 32 cores.
01:29:07 ◼ ► Well, they're making, if they're making massive chips, like I bet, I bet that's what it is.
01:29:12 ◼ ► I bet if they're offering the same processor with either 16 or 32 GPU cores, I bet it's a binning thing.
01:29:21 ◼ ► That, that I have never in the industry heard of a something where literally half, and it's not just like ones or twos, like 16 cores, like, Oh, well we can only half the time when we make this chip, you know, like a point that like I,
01:29:36 ◼ ► I maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is, this is the type of thing happens frequently, but just the, the idea that there would be literally 16 of your 32 graphics cores, that they would use the die space for it, like for the square millimeters inside the case of the computer, especially a laptop, but say, yeah, we're going to disable them because the odds of all 16 being bad is very low.
01:29:54 ◼ ► Maybe three or four are bad, but like, why would they not enable it to be like a 28 core GPU or something? I don't, I don't know. Again, these are just rumors and we'll see.
01:30:03 ◼ ► The other important rumors that a part of this is a 64 gigabytes of Ram, which is an appropriate amount for a Mac book pro. And I think would satisfy everybody, but let's just talk about this chip here.
01:30:13 ◼ ► Eight high performance chorus, two efficiency chorus for a total of 10 and 16 or 32 graphic chorus and 64 gigs of memory, assuming it's again on the five nanometer process.
01:30:21 ◼ ► And we know how big the M one is. You can just take that shirt that you all just ordered and take those little, again, it's not, it's not exactly to scale, but you can say, all right, well, we know the counts for all the elements in the M one scale it up linearly.
01:30:35 ◼ ► You know, how much, how much bigger does this chip get? This is a four. This is a much bigger chip than the M one, right? The GPU alone going from eight cores to 32 and the big one.
01:30:46 ◼ ► And then the Ram, we talked about before about various schemes of trying to Sam, you know, layer the Ram on top of each other or whatever the Ram takes up a huge portion of the M one because it's, you know, it's off to the side there.
01:30:57 ◼ ► Like, and cranking that up. Like this is a bigger, much bigger chip. Amazing. You know, it'll be amazing for performance because we know how fast the M one is.
01:31:07 ◼ ► Imagine if you had something with eight of the power cores and then the efficiency core is just whatever thrown in there.
01:31:11 ◼ ► So I think this is a perfectly appropriate chip for a laptop. As I noted the many times we've discussed this in the past, I see no reason for discrete draft graphics, even on the highest of high end MacBook pros.
01:31:21 ◼ ► And this rumor seems to be saying that that's what you're going to be getting is quote unquote Apple integrated graphics. But we, again, we know how fast the eight core GPU is on the current ones.
01:31:31 ◼ ► If you want to know how fast a 32 core one would be because of the massively parallel nature of GPU's, you can mostly linearly scale it up and say, well, you know, be four times faster.
01:31:40 ◼ ► So that's looking good to me as an appropriate use of die space and power for a MacBook pro. I would be perfectly happy with these specs.
01:31:49 ◼ ► You know, it feels like, and I'm saying this based on no facts, but it just feels like the M one chip was really, you know, an iPhone or perhaps iPad chip that was just used in way, way, way more places.
01:32:04 ◼ ► And the way this is described is it sounds like this is perhaps a scaling up of the M one as we know it today.
01:32:12 ◼ ► But it's the first time we've gotten a chip that really was truly designed for a computer was designed for so much RAM was designed for, you know, to have a really good GPU.
01:32:21 ◼ ► It feels like we're now starting to see signs of the first honest goodness computer or traditionally defined computer chip that Apple has made. And I, and I am here for it. It sounds great.
01:32:34 ◼ ► I have to commend you to, we've made it more than five seconds into this topic without bringing up what's supposedly going in the Mac pro.
01:32:42 ◼ ► I mean, in all fairness, that's next. There's one, there's one little in between thing of a rumor that they're going to put one of the higher end chips in a Mac mini, which I think would be a good idea.
01:32:51 ◼ ► And by the way, Casey, to your idea of like a chip designed for a computer, it's also in many ways. And again, we've discussed this at past shows a chip that's designed to be cooled by a fan.
01:33:00 ◼ ► Cause you know what, when you get into the high end, maybe having no fan is not your top priority. Maybe you want to grind through those renders a little bit faster.
01:33:08 ◼ ► So this is chip is going to be bigger. It's going to be hotter. It's going to take up, you know, more power and there's going to be more powerful fans cooling it.
01:33:16 ◼ ► And that's what you do on high end devices. So, um, I'm happy to see them sort of like turning the dial up and saying, look, we have cooling capacity.
01:33:25 ◼ ► It's a 16 inch laptop. We can put fans in there. We've done it before. Um, it's not going to be as hot as the big Intel chips where I would hope, but it's going to be way hotter than the M1 in the current 13 inch Mac book pro.
01:33:37 ◼ ► Cause that's what you do on a pro machine. Uh, so I'm, I am here for it. I'm ready for it. Uh, that chip looks great. And if you want to put a more powerful one in the mini, there's plenty of excess cooling capacity in that mini.
01:33:48 ◼ ► Like they, they kept the huge power supply from before. You know, I forget how many Watts over provision the power supply is, but there's also plenty in room there for more cooling as well.
01:33:57 ◼ ► So if they want to charge even more for a Mac mini and put one of these better, you know, macro pro chips in there, that'll be great. Uh, and then finally for the Mac pro, uh, now they add more Jade to see dye and Jade for seed dye.
01:34:11 ◼ ► Uh, here's where things start to get a little bit wacky. Um, your choices are 20 or 40 computing core variations made up of 16 high performance cores or 32 high performance course.
01:34:23 ◼ ► And then also four or eight high efficiency core eight high efficiency core seems excessive to me. What are you doing in the background that you need eight cores for the, you know, I dunno, we just had room and we just kept putting efficiency cores until we ran out of room.
01:34:35 ◼ ► These are huge core counts. This is a huge chip, but here's where it gets super interesting. According to this rumor again, the chip would include either a 64 core or 128 core options for graphics.
01:34:47 ◼ ► It doesn't say where those would be, but again, remember the name, the M one Jade to see dye and Jade for CDI versus the other one was called Jade CDI. Hello.
01:35:02 ◼ ► I understand. I understand. But here's the thing. All right. We know how big eight GPU cores are.
01:35:11 ◼ ► The means we probably also know again, same process size, assuming similar cores, how big 128 of them would be just do, just make the diagram, just start seeing how big this thing is going to be and start thinking about.
01:35:24 ◼ ► And, and again, assuming they didn't really mention anything about the Ram here, that the Ram would also be there. Like if the Ram ceiling is, is higher than 64 gigs and they use a similar design of like, let's see if we can wedge this all into one package.
01:35:36 ◼ ► Like the M one, this is a huge chip. And when I started to think about was, all right, is this, is this sufficient computing? The cores were fine because you know, the top end, the ions are what, 28 cores.
01:35:47 ◼ ► And these cores are like faster than the Xeon cores. And so if you're going to have 40 of them, you're multi-threaded compute, you're fine. Like that's, we know that will be fine.
01:35:57 ◼ ► I'd buy it. The GPU is, has always been the big question because you can put, you can put like 400 Watts of GPU in the Mac pro and you know, do your, and plus not, not to mention the afterburner card and all that other stuff. Right.
01:36:08 ◼ ► And so to compete with that, you would want to at least match, let's say we just want to match the highest end single GPU. Forget about where people have four GPUs inside their Mac pros, right?
01:36:20 ◼ ► Like, cause you can get two GPUs per card and you can put two of those cards in there. You've got four GPUs, right? Can we even match a single of the current high end graphics card?
01:36:29 ◼ ► And it's hard to tell because GPU cores are not comparable to each other. You can't just count cores and benchmarks are notoriously difficult, especially involving games, which is a lot of what people care about or whatever.
01:36:40 ◼ ► But if we just want to go, I just want you to go like back of the envelope, like, is it plausible that the chip in this rumor could be competitive with the best single GPU that's out there today?
01:36:50 ◼ ► So we looked at the Nvidia RTX 3090, which no one can buy because everyone's buying them for Bitcoin or whatever, but assuming you could get one of these, the theoretical 32 bit floating point teraflops of this is 35.58 teraflops.
01:37:02 ◼ ► Again, teraflops is not a way to measure GPU performance. Just think theoretically, like ballpark capacity wise, what is the computing potential of this thing?
01:37:10 ◼ ► It doesn't mean you're going to get that in any real world application. And again, games are famously complicated and you know, but anyway, I just wanted to try to ballpark it.
01:37:18 ◼ ► To compare that the eight core GPU in the M1 gets about 2.6 teraflops of floating point 32. So 2.6 versus 35.
01:37:32 ◼ ► So if you do the math and figure out what would it take, again, assuming the GPU cores are exactly the same as they are in the M1, which is not necessarily the case for whatever, you know, error this chip is supposed to be coming out.
01:37:43 ◼ ► But if you just say, hey, I've got the M1 GPU cores, I've got eight of them, how many do I need to get to 35.58 teraflops?
01:37:51 ◼ ► And in theory, if you had a 110 core M1 style GPU, you could hit or exceed 35.58 teraflops, right?
01:38:17 ◼ ► And it's huge because, first of all, the chip is huge. Second of all, it produces a huge amount of heat.
01:38:32 ◼ ► All right. But I start to think about, okay, you're going to have and it's not I don't know if it's five nanometers, but anyway, you're going to have a 128 GPU cores, which according to this back of the envelope math is plausibly a mess.
01:38:46 ◼ ► To the current fastest single GPU thing. And you're going to put that maybe this doesn't say in the same package, in the same neighborhood as your 40 core CPU.
01:39:05 ◼ ► They say this thing is going to be, you know, half size or a smaller than the current Mac Pro.
01:39:09 ◼ ► And I can believe that. But it seems to me that 90 percent of the case is going to be taken up with this gigantic city of chips and its associated cooling solution, because this is not like again, GPUs are nice because you can just multiply it out like it's it's embarrassingly parallel, as they say.
01:39:24 ◼ ► There's always more pixels. You can literally scale almost linearly by adding more execution cores.
01:39:30 ◼ ► It's more complicated than that when you get into, you know, more complicated 3D stuff.
01:39:33 ◼ ► But just for raw compute power, just like bring on the pixels, I will just scale up. And for the CPU, it's like, well, what workload am I going to get this can exercise all 40 cores? But we can do it right.
01:39:44 ◼ ► But just just start laying that out again, you know, use the artwork from the shirt and just start laying out these pieces and figure out how big is your SimCity start to get.
01:39:58 ◼ ► That's a lot of chips. That's a lot of transistors. That's a lot of power. That's a lot of cooling.
01:40:07 ◼ ► It has the cooling capacity to cool something like this, but it is going to be a tactical marvel.
01:40:12 ◼ ► Now, the other thing to keep in mind is this rumors of a computer. This might not come out until next year.
01:40:20 ◼ ► And we still haven't addressed the idea of what about a Mac Pro that has four GPUs in it?
01:40:40 ◼ ► And Mac OS 11.4 beta now supports the AMD Navi RDNA2 graphics cards, which are basically AMD's graphics cards that are remotely competitive with with the aforementioned RTX.
01:40:54 ◼ ► I mentioned RTX 3090. They're actually pretty good. Like the 6800, 6800 XT, the 6900 XT.
01:41:08 ◼ ► AMD has more or less caught up. The Nvidia cards are still ahead in a lot of important areas.
01:41:15 ◼ ► There's support for these cards in Mac OS, which is great and all, but Apple doesn't sell any of these GPUs.
01:41:22 ◼ ► And if these rumors are to be believed, Apple is not going to sell any of these GPUs on their new ARM-based Mac Pro.
01:41:27 ◼ ► So what's the deal with this? And the rumor that comes along with this is that the Mac Pro will in fact be revised between now and when the ARM one comes out.
01:41:53 ◼ ► They're certainly not adding it for the hobbyists who can now buy a 6800 and stick it in their Mac Pro.
01:42:00 ◼ ► So seeing the fact that Mac OS support, you know, this Mac OS 11.4 beta supports these cards makes me think that, you know, we might be getting a, I don't know if you want to call it a speed bump update, but it depends on what they do.
01:42:22 ◼ ► If I can put two 6900 XTs in an Intel Mac Pro, that's going to be faster than 128-core ARM chip, right?
01:42:31 ◼ ► Because the 128-core GPU in the ARM thing was just, was able to keep up with or exceed a single Nvidia 3090.
01:42:50 ◼ ► So I still wonder what Apple's plan is, especially if Apple themselves bumps the Intel Mac Pro to, you know, to keep up with the times and to let it support faster GPUs and maybe even giving it a faster CPU.
01:43:03 ◼ ► So this is still the most, obviously, as Casey knows, the most intriguing aspect of this whole thing for me is how does Apple take a phone chip and just, you know, rubber stamp it out until the point where you've got something that's competitive with the current Intel Mac Pro.
01:43:19 ◼ ► And, you know, granted, there are very few applications that need or can even use this power, but for those applications, that's the whole point of the Mac Pro.
01:43:31 ◼ ► And so if you take it away from them and say, well, now the Mac Pro is half the size, but by the way, if you've been, you know, rendering that 8K footage, now it's going to be slightly slower for you.
01:43:40 ◼ ► But hey, everything's smaller now, so isn't that great? People aren't going to like that.
01:43:46 ◼ ► I can't wait to see what monstrosity they roll out onto stage at some point with these number of cores and when they start benchmarking it.
01:43:57 ◼ ► I mean, maybe they could spend the whole time just talking about the CPU performance. It's just going to be phenomenal if the current M1s are any indication.
01:44:04 ◼ ► But boy, the GPU stuff, that's going to be a hard road for Apple, and I'm pretty sure this one's not going to be fanless.
01:44:12 ◼ ► The bad news is that the shirts that were just on sale are the last ATP shirts we'll ever sell.
01:44:18 ◼ ► The good news is that now we're going to be selling ATP blankets because that's the only way we're going to fit the diagram on there.
01:44:24 ◼ ► I can't draw anymore rectum. Well, the good thing is I can copy and paste the cores, I suppose.
01:44:28 ◼ ► That's actually a marketing problem for Apple. Apple rolls out a chip with 40 CPU cores and 128 GPU cores.
01:44:47 ◼ ► The beauty of this strategy, it's all becoming clear now, and it's kind of amazing, they're going to only be making two chips.
01:45:01 ◼ ► One of them, what's currently the M1, will power the MacBook Air, the low-end Mac Mini, the low-end iMac.
01:45:22 ◼ ► And that will power the high-end MacBook Pros, the high-end Mac Mini, if that product ever exists again, the big iMac.
01:45:45 ◼ ► And then there's the big Pro one, and you just put one of them in most products, and in the Mac Pro you put two or four.
01:45:53 ◼ ► I think they just keep making those two chips, and they keep revising them over time to use whatever the newest cores are, whatever the newest core counts are.
01:46:01 ◼ ► And then the main challenge here is, you know, they have to design all the interconnects and all the different technologies involved in having a system that has two or four of those for the Mac Pro.
01:46:16 ◼ ► And until then, you know, they're just building up from the bottom here, but I think that's where we're going here.
01:46:19 ◼ ► I think it literally is just you have these two different chips used in different products in different ways, and that's it.
01:46:38 ◼ ► So, I mean, the M1 isn't one die, right? So, obviously they're going to have to break things up.
01:46:41 ◼ ► But I don't think there'll be like four Mac Pro chips separated by a few inches on a giant motherboard with an interconnect.
01:46:49 ◼ ► Because that's just not going to fly in terms of the CPU cores alone, let alone the GPU stuff, right?
01:47:00 ◼ ► And then over here, elsewhere, we have the GPU stuff, and we have an interconnect for the RAM or whatever.
01:47:05 ◼ ► But I don't think it's going to be like rubber stamp out four of these and make a magical interconnect.
01:47:13 ◼ ► You can't really have the GPU cores of four widely separated CPUs cooperating in an efficient way if you actually want to...
01:47:20 ◼ ► If the back of the envelope math that I just did, let's assume it scales linearly, once you add an interconnect like that, you're not getting linear scaling anymore.
01:47:29 ◼ ► So I do think that there is going to be a clustering of light components for efficiency purposes.
01:47:45 ◼ ► Like we're just stuck in this mindset that the GPU has to be on the same die as the CPU because that's how the M1 does it.
01:47:51 ◼ ► But again, when you start doing the math, it's like, well, is that even plausible for a 128-core GPU to be on the same die as anything else, really?
01:48:06 ◼ ► There's some sort of asymmetrical RAM hierarchy interconnect stuff that we talked about on a past show.
01:48:24 ◼ ► Because you can't just spread it all out and just have, like, oh, I'll just put a bunch of these little tiny chips five inches apart.
01:48:38 ◼ ► And part of the massive speed boost of the M1 is the fact that everything is jammed into not just the same package, but a lot of it is on the same die.
01:48:58 ◼ ► It just says core counts, and it just, you know, it doesn't tell us where are they and how do they work.
01:49:01 ◼ ► But this is getting me excited because anything that comes out that's remotely like this in any way, no matter how they do it, is like...
01:49:12 ◼ ► The gap in performance between this rumored thing and the fanless M1 MacBook Air is going to be so massive as compared to in the Intel era where, you know, the single core performance of the most expensive Mac Pro was destroyed by, like, a really good 5K iMac.
01:49:29 ◼ ► Right? Like, we're not used to these gaps opening up like this because, you know, especially for the GPU stuff, like, this Mac Pro is really, really going to differentiate itself in every possible way of computing from the lower end computers.
01:49:46 ◼ ► Just because it's not as... I'm hoping it's not going to be at a deficit using, like, worse CPU cores.
01:49:54 ◼ ► And especially because, you know, thus far the GPUs have been pretty weak in the low end ones.
01:50:07 ◼ ► Like, everyone is just falling over themselves about... I was just listening to Cortex recently.
01:50:10 ◼ ► They were saying they had to edit some big logic file on the M1 Mac because the iMac Pro was choking on it. Right?
01:50:18 ◼ ► And that, you know, it's like I have to use the $999 computer because my $5,000 iMac, Intel iMac Pro couldn't handle it. Right?
01:50:27 ◼ ► Imagine what's going to happen when it's not, like, the smallest ARM chip Apple has ever put in the Mac.
01:50:34 ◼ ► Imagine when it's something with 40 of those cores and 64 gigs of RAM and 128 core GPU.
01:50:53 ◼ ► Is my recollection right? Like, if you look at what the motherboard looks like, it's like literally just like stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp.
01:51:01 ◼ ► Yeah, it looks like there's just like rows and rows and rows of identical looking motherboards.
01:52:26 ◼ ► So in part of the house construction on the screened in porch, I've noticed that it seems to be a Wi-Fi dead zone.
01:52:39 ◼ ► I recently learned through some recent construction that wood blocks Wi-Fi significantly more than I previously thought.
01:52:49 ◼ ► Maybe that's it then. So given how many layers of stuff there are between the interior of your house and the exterior of your house.
01:53:11 ◼ ► And so getting Wi-Fi from in your house to out of your house is surprisingly difficult.
01:53:17 ◼ ► You really generally need to have access points pretty damn close to the door or the wall.
01:53:41 ◼ ► And I found that phones, laptops, iPads, nothing would work on the screened in porch reliably.
01:54:10 ◼ ► I got my Eero Pro 6, and I went to replace my Eero that was the router with this new Eero Pro 6.
01:55:14 ◼ ► And it didn't work. And so it said, "Okay, well you can type in the serial number by hand
01:55:47 ◼ ► which I think I tripped the circuit breaker that the ONT was on or something like that.
01:55:52 ◼ ► And I had gone through the online troubleshooting, the automated online troubleshooting on the web,
01:56:03 ◼ ► and it basically does a shrug and says, "Psh, I don't know. You're going to have to talk to us."
01:56:50 ◼ ► - I figured you would know, because this is a long segue into Jon doing some things with his network.
01:57:37 ◼ ► If you use your MacBook Air, your iPad adapter, iPad Pro adapter to power your 16-inch MacBook Pro,
01:57:46 ◼ ► And so here it turns out that I had never swapped the power adapter because I thought, "Why bother?"
01:58:08 ◼ ► But, yeah, I'm talking to you via my fancy-pants new Eero, and it's all working great so far,
01:58:32 ◼ ► and we've been using that more and more often as another private space where you can be on Wi-Fi, essentially.