Archive for the ‘iTunes’ category

Odometer hits 400,000

January 26, 2008

Last November I blogged about reaching 300,000 visitors here at the gWHIZ blog. While I was taking a hiatus from blogging/tweeting it hit 400,000. That took less than three months. For some, that’s a couple hours or a long day

Here sometime soon I’ll pass the 925 posts mark on posts too. That’s roughly one entry per day since I started blogging. I can feel good about all that.

A couple of interesting bits of tid:

  • There are 825 comments on the gWHIZ blog (a ratio I’d like to improve). But, it means we do have discussions sometimes (gasp!);
  • The gWHIZ Technorati rank is at 110,648. I’d love to break into the top 75,000… Favorite us and help that along please? (shameless, I know);
  • According to Google there are only 31 links into the gWHIZ bl0g (could use more…doh! shameless again);
  • The single biggest day on the gWHIZ blog was  17,479 visits on October 30, 2007;
  • I’ve used 635 tags (half of which are misspellings I can’t seem to delete);
  • And the gWHIZ tag cloud says I’m HEAVY on Apple, Leopard, iPhone, iTunes, MacOSX and WWDC;
  • Surprisingly there have only been 7,572 spam comments (all caught and killed by Akismet);
  • And the all time post “views” leader is sitting at 124,346 views. (over 1/4 of the total traffic) and it’s not that good a post…

Now, I’ve been totally winging this and posting on an “as I can” basis. I’m not a professional journo and 110% sure I don’t want to be. The beautiful thing is… most of the people I enjoy reading aren’t either. They’re either subject matter experts in interesting fields, highly opinionated and interesting on that alone, or they have something unique to offer.

A couple of things learned in the last several months: Pick a handful of topics and work them like mad; Digg and StumbledUpon are super helpful; Tagging is super helpful; Writing often is super helpful; Insightful commenting on other peoples blogs super duper helpful; Trackbacks to other blog entries indispensable; Most of all LINK OUT liberally but with good reason and pure intention; Establishing an alternate FeedBurner feed is super helpful.

To follow up that last point… RSS Feeds… I happen to be of the mind to ALMOST always offer a full rss feed. There have been two exceptions I can think of recently. I highly recommend full-feeds. Once I did that… traffic went ballistic (by my standards).

I also highly recommend as the engine behind your blog. Free with some primo options you can pay for… Very nice. The number of times people have said, “Wow, you stayed up through the big Digg.” Yeah, because I have great infrastructure (for free).

Why this post? Why now? Blogging is gaining in speed, popularity and acceptance. My post earlier this week on helping a local family with some serious needs wasn’t a massive success in traffic count, but it was a help in getting the family some relief and additional attention from people who were in a position to be able to help in big ways. Blogging did that. Sure, the emails I sent out helped. But, they simply linked back to the blog.

This post is for people who don’t yet blog who wonder what they can expect in the way of traffic, participation and how long it will take to build a following. The real answer to all the above is, “It depends.” of course. Look at Fake Steve Jobs blog. That went nutso crazy. It’s unique and super hard to duplicate. There are precious few blogs out there focused on the Apple platforms right? 🙂 So, I’ve found my place by focusing on things others don’t, but things I like. Reviewing high-end software (Daylite, DivX), writing detailed How-To’s, all things Apple Developer Connection (ADC) and live blogging the big events. Podcasting and XServes are really my passion in the middle of all of this and I’ll focus more on that in the coming year.

Godin, “It’s Important To Charge SOMETHING”

January 21, 2008

Apple’s move into online movie rentals is setting right another misconception (this time, one of THEIR own): Online movie rentals are the way to go and pricing models matter. As Seth Godin points out… Free ain’t going to cut it. He posits 99 cents. I dunno about that. Apple’s probably taking it in the shorts badly at that pricepoint. ‘Course having a premium tiering for HD is absolutely right. The model of rent v. buy is going to have a halo effect on BUYING too.

No one’s really glommed onto this little tidbit yet (‘cept maybe those wiley folks at Apple). Imagine all the content we’re going to have less expensive access to in the form of rentals. If Apple will create just one more tier like “Rent now and apply $2 to purchase price of the movie within 60 days”… I bet they’d get a big boost in their movie sales. Frankly, if I rent something from Blockbuster now and like it… I typically buy it. I may be odd guy out on that one. Still, it’s a bit of programming on their part and they’re still net ahead of the game. As it is, when a rental expires… all the cookie crumbs of that transaction evaporate. Seems like wasted energy to me. They could covert a fraction of us to upgraded owners with just a little more effort.

Apple sure doesn’t need our help Monday morning quarterbacking their business models. They’re doing okie dokie without us meddling kids running around. 🙂

The Magnificent Seven: iTunes Rental Experience

January 16, 2008

iTunes Rental

Just rented “The Magnificent Seven” via iTunes. Saw it a LONG time ago. Hmm, description reminds me of Bug’s Life.

Anyway, well within my first 24 hours of the rental and have started watching it as it’s downloading. So far, so good. Will be interested to see if there are any practical limitations. Such as – multiple viewings within the first 24 hours. What happens if I’m not connected to the net once the download is complete? Will it expire as expected? What if I change my laptop’s clock so that it never truly shows 24 hours have elapsed? What if it expires and I set my clock back to the a time the movie was valid?

I’m full of questions and it’s too early for me to answer much of anything. Yet. So, come back in 25 hours and I should have some more details.

Couple things I’ve learned since initial rental:

  • Yul Brynner made for one crappy cowboy. Cool look. Still… definitely a “dude”;
  • There seems to be no practical limit to how many times you can watch the rented video in the allotted time (once the meter begins running);
  • Loading onto the iPhone was as easy as any other movie;
  • The iPhone reminds you how much time remains on the rental;
  • Closed Captioning isn’t “in there” yet but chapters are;
  • I put my iPhone in Airplane mode and set the date ahead one full day. My rental disappeared from list of available. I set the date back and the rented movie didn’t come back. The space it occupied is now freed up.
  • So, if we go by the clock of the device… what happens to the road warriors whose computers get their time from NNTP servers and gets screwed on the rental? Admittedly rare… still, makes me wonder about these things.

More tomorrow.

Well, it’s like the rental never happened. I watched it yesterday. Plopped it on the iPhone (nice and intuitive). And, today, 25 hours later there is no residual image of the rental at all. Nothing that tells me I ever rented it. Seems un-Apple-like.

Finally. iTunes Rental Links.

January 15, 2008

Rentals are finally beginning to appear on the iTunes store tonight. Several hours passed after the Macworld Expo keynote without anything in the way of movie rentals. Many of us were beginning to wonder if we’d misinterpretted the statements from the stage. No worries… Rentals are appearing.

Appears there are 150 rental videos if the advanced search count can be trusted. Some are rent only and can’t be directly linked to yet. Or, they’re buy/rent. I don’t specifically remember the days when there were this few of anything in the iTunes Store (music or otherwise). Jobs sure got a lot of buzz and press out of 150 files.

The following are the only movies I can link directly to (there are several more. However, the “copy iTunes URL” method isn’t working for those. Need to poke around a bit and get my bearings back. Be advised: These links WILL launch iTunes and you’ll need to have upgraded to iTunes 7.6 in order to “rent”):

iTunes 7.6 Available

January 15, 2008

Be quick and you can nab iTunes 7.6 before it’s generally “found out”. I’ve downloaded it and confirmed it’s 7.6 (Mac anyway).

Leopard/iTunes Visualizer Video

October 2, 2007

OK, how about some early Halloween eye-candy folks?

Pixar’s Lifted

ListenUp –>>

September 26, 2007

Back and podcasting to boot. Yep, that’s right. The “first corporate podcast” kid is back in the ring to take another swing. 

It’s not polished. It’s done with stock kit. It’s not edited. It’s done in one take.

It’s as much as I can fit in THREE minutes. I’ll try to do this daily with the hope of getting better and more focused. But, if I don’t have anything to say… I’m not going to waste your time and mine with more rambling stupidity than I’m already known for.

Robert… This is your doing man! Well, you, Adam and Jeff. The whole idea of a personal, do it yourself media space… Yeah, you guys are the reason this high-quality production stuff is being driven down to the desktop. And, for that, thanks!


The production of the gWH!Z podcast is done with a MacBookPro, QuickTime Pro, the old school iSight (GREAT audio recorder when handheld),, files saved as .mov and converted to 22.050 MHz MP3s via iTunes, and last and certainly not least… Leopard for the OS.