Dr. AIX's POSTS NEWS — 10 September 2014


I admit to being a fan of Apple. I can’t say that I’d be willing to sleep out in the street to be the first to get my hands on the new products announced on Tuesday, but I’m pretty sure that I will upgrade to the iPhone 6 Plus and adorn my left wrist with a new Apple Watch soon. Why? Because I believe that they’re a step ahead of anything that I’ve seen from Samsung, Sony, HTC or other players in the very competitive Smartphone space in terms technology, design, software, and cool factor.

My Sprint HTC Harman Kardon M8 phone is gorgeous and sounds amazing…I’ve gone on record as saying that it’s the best sounding portable phone I’ve ever heard. I know I haven’t heard them all but I have listened to the Astell & Kern (very, very good sound) and a Samsung Galaxy 4. But there are some things about the HTC that require improvement. On my phone the power connector falls out too easily. It just doesn’t “latch” or “click” into place like the connection to my iPhone 5. And it’s a hit or miss affair whether the syncing software will find the phone when it’s connected to my Mac laptop. These complaints are only mild irritations, but I’m confident that I won’t have those issues with a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. That’s just the Apple way.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Apple rolled out their usual very slick presentation at the Flint Auditorium at De Anza College and closed the rumor mill on the current round of new products. I watched the entire presentation and I recommended it to all of my digital media arts students today. From the opening, very elegant “analog” video (produced without heavy special computer effects) to the “and one more thing” prelude to the unveiling of the Apple Watch, the guys at Apple know how to do “cool” and keep people engaged. I was good with Steve Jobs and the causal turtleneck and jeans but am not convinced that everyone on stage yesterday needs to maintain the same wardrobe restrictions.

But the message was right on target. The new iPhones are masterpieces of design, engineering, technology, and product placement. Do they surpass those offered by other vendors? In my opinion, they do. Did they meet my expectations for great sounding audio output? No. Will they…undoubtedly yes within a few months.

I mean the new A8 processor is impressive enough. Does anyone else remember when there were only 68,000 transistors inside of the CPU chip of the original Mac? And now there are 2 billion of those components inside the new phones? The HD Retina display with over 400 dots per inch spans full HD-Video at 1920 x 1080. Maybe I’m easily impressed by specifications and technology…but it’s only because I’ve lived long enough to remember soldering individual transistors on a circuit board on my Dad’s workbench. I was very proud of my first transistor radio, which contained 3 transistors.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plusn in combination with the new iOS 8n will find its way into the hands of millions of existing Apple customers. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be sufficiently attractive to drive new customers to Apple…the Apple Pay innovation will be the driving force behind this migration. Speaking as someone that still uses a hand swiped credit card machine and paper tickets, I’m way overdue for an upgrade to my eCommerce methods at tradeshows.

So thanks to Tim Cook and Apple for an entertaining, informative, and exciting product announcement event. There’s a reason why Apple is the largest corporation in the world. They just keep doing so many things right.

Come on. Make real high-resolution audio next!

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About Author


Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

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