hjertnes.blog

The App Store and Netflix is great; but the search sucks.

08.07.2014 02:00

My mother have never owned any computer except for her iPad and iPhone. And she never downloads anything, except for the apps that I have installed on them.

She got a new TV last year. And my step father was browsing netflix on it, during christmas, looking for something all of us could watch. And I realised the major problem with Netflix for my parents generation; in particular the part of them that aren’t computer savvy.

We couldn’t find anything. All of us wanted to watch. I would just pick some random movie, and watch ten minutes, to figure out if I wanted to watch more of it, and do that until I found something interesting.

What I wish Netflix had is some IMDB integration, combined with some Pandora like features.

Here is what I want. Let’s say my mother likes Titanic. You search or pick that movie in Netflix, they look at meta-data about that movie, and you get a list of similar movies in the netflix catalogue, sorted by rating.

The problem with both the app store and netflix for non-geeks or non-computer savvy people is that there are no good way to find what you want.

On the app store side, I want some way for developers to check off some standard features that the app has. Like for example: I want a markdown editor, with built-in browser that syncs with Dropbox.

It would be really hard for me to find that with a search in the app store.

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Rate your podcasts.

05.07.2014 02:00

This shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that know me: I’m a huge fan of podcasts. And there are a few ways you can help podcasters out. You can write about them on your blog, or tweet about them; something I do often when I discover something new. The obvious one is to visit their sponsor, and buy the thing they are selling.

But, one of the most important things you can do is to review them on iTunes. I haven’t reviewed many of the podcasts I have listened to over the years. It’s a hassle. I don’t use iTunes to sync or listen to podcasts.

So, I had this idea last night. While listening to Ben Brooks new podcast. I’m going to review every single podcast I’m listening to.

The reasons for writing a review, or rate a podcast in iTunes is very simple. Most people subscribe to podcasts with iTunes. Rating and reviews are the thing you can do to make sure more people see the shows you love.

Podcasts need bigger audiences to attract new sponsors to make the whole business viable. They can’t rely on Squarespace forever.

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Be the best you can.

03.07.2014 02:00

I have been reading Randy Murray’s blog for a long time now. And I love it.

Check out the link, it’s about sucking.

I started out being a terrible writer. I never cared about writing. And then I started a blog. I have written many hundred thousands of words, if not millions. And I still think I suck. But I show up almost every single day. And I do the best I can.

My goal is always be as good as I can be.

I don’t think you can ever reach the level of your heroes.

There was this interview with BB King that I saw on YouTube a few years ago. I can’t find it right now. But it was great. He talked about how he thinks that he wasn’t as great as the people that was his heroes growing up. And BB is the fucking kind of the blues.

Keep writing or whatever you are doing. That’s the only way to get better at it.

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RIP Aperture

30.06.2014 02:00

The Loop reported that Apple won’t do any more development on Aperture. I don’t think this is a big surprise for anyone. But I think it’s sad. I used to use the app for a long time; before I switched to Lightroom.

Here is the basic story. I got Aperture when the App Store launched. And then, as time went I got more and more annoyed by the fact that Apple hadn’t released a major update. So, I bought Lightroom the day they had released two major updates, since the last major Aperture update.

Lightroom is a great app, if you are looking for a Aperture replacement. And you can get a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription with Lightroom and Photoshop for $9 a month.

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Advertisements.

28.06.2014 02:00

This is a collection of my thoughts about ads, and especially ads on the web. I don’t think they are nearly as offensive as billboards and ad’s in the real world.

Here is the thing, a huge amount of the people that create stuff on the internet rely on ads as their income. Some make videos on YouTube, other people have blogs or podcasts – most of them have ads.

I don’t skip ads on podcasts, and I don’t use ad blockers.

I get something for free – or I’m not paying for something. And therefore I’m the product they use for getting paid for their work. That’s a fair deal.

There is however one important detail.

Some people use Ad Networks like Google to provide ads, and just show anything or anyone that are willing to pay for it. While others seek to have something tailored for their audience.

I never click on any generic Google or Facebook ad. I have never done it. And I seriously doubt I will ever do it. Ever.

But I do often click on ads on blogs, or go to the sponsors of podcasts, because they are of interest for me. Blogs and podcasts are much better at finding and showing good ads, from interesting products.

Squarespace, Audible, Lynda, MailChimp, JetPens or Smile Software are just a few of the companies that I discovered on podcasts and blogs. And there are probably hundreds of others.

Good ads are great. Terrible ads is the problem. Irrelevant ads are the problem. Know your audience, and find companies that have relevant products for them.

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Great content.

28.06.2014 02:00

I’m always looking for great new content.

I subscribe to 63 podcasts and somewhere between 40 and 50 sites in FeedWrangler. And I do suspect that I would find more or less the same subscriptions, if I looked at most hard core Apple-geeks podcast or RSS apps.

David Smith had a great episode of Developing Perspective the other day. Where he talked about a few sites and podcasts that I hadn’t heard about. Which is great.

There is always room for something great. I would subscribe to all of them if I found a new podcast network with 40 great podcasts that I really liked.

It’s hard to find great apps, great blogs and great podcasts these days. All of us listen to 5by5 and TWiT. But there have to be more out there.

I wish someone would create something like what MacStories is for apps, just for podcasts.

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App

27.06.2014 02:00

Facebook released a new app a few days ago. It’s called Slingshot.

A lot of people around the internet have posted some far from favourable reviews.

I kind of disagree with them.

First of all, the app looks much better than Snapchat. And they avoided to implement the most annoying part of Snapchat, the timer. The fact that you have to send a picture back before being able to view the pictures someone sends you is weird.

But, it’s a fun app. It’s more fun than Snapchat. And it might stick.

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Show up!

26.06.2014 02:00

There are a lot of different advice around the internet about writing a blog, doing a podcast and almost any other kind of content creating. Oh man, I hate that work. But, I couldn’t find something better.

My personal opinion and experience about creating content is that you should put all the effort into showing up on a consistent schedule.

The most important part is to show up and do the work. Write once a week, or every day. But make sure to do it in a consistent manner. And the other part is about evolving. You don’t start out as a John Gruber or a Shawn Blanc. But try to always create content you are proud of.

Show up, and create something awesome.

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The Enough Archive is back.

25.06.2014 02:00

The Enough archive is back.

I created a complete archive of both the audio files, and the show notes for The MinimalMac Podcast, also known as Enough, when the show ended.

There is also a rss feed that you can paste into any podcast app.

It went away back when I moved away from Squarespace. And I finally got it back up a few weeks ago.

Enjoy!

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Journaling should be simple.

24.06.2014 02:00

I’m a Day One user. And I have been using it for a very long time. But, sometimes I download and test some other journaling apps, just to see what’s out there.

Most of the major ones are pretty nice. But there is three things that Day One get, that all the other ones don’t get.

Simplicity. Some of them have very complex interfaces. That’s such a turn off. They make the difficult process of journaling harder than it have to be.

Dated. Some of the alternatives out there look dated. The thing I love about Day One is that updates for new major releases of OS X and iOS are usually there on Day One, or a few days later. And that is important. I want to use a product I know is supported well for journaling. It might be the most important app on my phone and laptop.

Hard. The last, and maybe the most important thing a lot of the alternatives don’t get right is how many clicks it is to start a new entry. Day One have two large buttons on the top of their iPhone app. One for writing, and one for adding either a new or existing image. It’s great. I know it’s one click to start.

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