After nearly a decade, my iTunes library weighs in at almost ninety-four gigabytes. A lot of serious music nerds would sneeze derisively at that, but it still represents over 13,000 songs that would take me, from start to finish, a full 48 days to listen to back to back.
I’d be lying if I said most of these had been acquired legally. Most of these albums were acquired on Bittorrent in my twenties. Many more were ripped from CDs lent to me by friends and family, or slurped up from Usenet to satisfy my obscure yet surface-thin musical fixations. Some were purchased through iTunes or other sources online, but truthfully, if you stripped everything out of my iTunes library that I’d acquired legally, I’d probably have a digital music library that could fit on a first generation iPod.
Over the course of the last two years, though, something interesting has happened. I’ve grown a conscience. These days, all of the music I listen to is listened to legally. But iTunes not only has no part in it. In fact, for the past two years, my iTunes library has just been collecting dust: a graveyard to the music piracy of my youth.
I’m ashamed of it. I want to try to explain things. Both why I started pirating music, why I stopped, and how, in fits and starts, being a music pirate helped transform me into someone who cared enough about music to buy it.
Whatever you want to call it, there’s a lot of talk out there about how Apple is going to revolutionize the living room experience by releasing their own proper television set.
There’s reason enough to be skeptical of these reports. From the industry’s notoriously low margins — Sony’s losing billions on their television business — to the fact that consumers simply don’t upgrade their TVs like they do their smartphones, does it even make sense that Apple would want to release their own television set?
Sure, Steve Jobs said he had “cracked” the TV problem before he died, but who’s to say that he wasn’t talking about Cupertino’s existing set-top box, the Apple TV, a $99 puck that anyone can afford and that slurps up streaming content from the web or the iPhones, iPads and (with Mountain Lion) Macs already in the home?
I’ll say it. The Apple TV is not enough, and Apple absolutely must release a revolutionary television set in the next two years.
Why? Because no matter how popular the Apple TV becomes, it will never be essential.
Before Apple unveiled the new iPad on Wednesday, no one was quite positive what Apple would announce. It seemed pretty sure that the iPad 3 (as it was being called then) would have a Retina Display, but would it have an A5X processor or an A6 processor? 3G or LTE? 512MB of RAM or 1GB of RAM. Would it be thinner or thicker? And what would it be called: the iPad 3 or iPad HD? (Everyone got the name wrong: it’s just called the “new iPad” now.)
One thing few people had any doubt about was that Siri would be making her way to iPad this year… which is why Siri’s absence on the new iPad counted as probably the biggest disappointment of the entire event.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the iPhone 4S looks identical to the iPhone 4. Deciding which iPhone to buy this year is more complicated than it ever has been, and there’s a lot more variable to consider now than there ever have been in the past.
Should you buy an iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS? Should you get one in white or black? Should you get one with 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage? Should you sign up with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint?
Those are big questions, and the answers will vary from person to person. Still, Cult of Mac has given this a lot of thought, and for most people, we recommend buying the 16GB Sprint iPhone 4S in White.
Below you’ll find our logic, but if you disagree, pipe up in the comments and explain why. We’re going to take the reader consensus and turn it into another post. We can’t wait to hear which iPhone the hive mind will choose.