As a new owner of an iPhone, I am very happy with the whole experience. The device is great. As a media geek, I’m finding it difficult to something basic. And Apple seems to be working against me. Here’s what’s frustrating:
I want to be able to update the media on my iPhone over-the-air. I want my Podcasts to be updated automatically, without having to sync with my PC. I also want to be able to email radio shows automatically recorded as MP3 files (using Replay A/V) to my iPhone, and then play them. (Think TiVo for the radio – on your phone!) For me, this would be the coolest. But no luck 🙁
On the Podcast side, an app called Podcaster promised to do just that sort of thing, but was rejected from the Apple store for no apparent reason.
On the Radio show side, Replay A/V is able to send me emails with links to download radio shows automatically recorded by my home PC. I was hoping to be able to send myself radio shows to listen to on my iPhone. But alas, Safari is “unable to download” files from these links. (The links are generated by YouSendIt, which is integrated into Replay A/V).
So, here are my theories:
Stupidity: Is Apple so dumb as to disallow significant over-the-air media transfers for no good reason?
Evil: Is Apple disabling this capability in order to enable their own service?
Weak: Is Apple being bullied by AT&T to disallow too much 3G data traffic? (Another app that let you use your iPhone as a laptop modem was also killed by Apple.)
This is also puzzling given the Pandora player, which is also a media downloader, and works great on the iPhone. There’s no way Apple could kill the Pandora app though, as it would create a huge outrage. These uncertainties should be troubling to anyone seriously considering developing media enabled apps for the iPhone. And the authoritarian, opaque, random policies behind the app store really need to end, otherwise all the development talent will go to Android or some other truly open platform, the coolness of the iPhone notwithstanding.
Apple Insider has an article about a new Apple (AAPL) patent filing regarding iPhones accessing iTunes libraries from anywhere. The gist is that your desktop PC can have all your media (songs, videos, Podcasts, and more) on it, and your phone would be able to download and play anything from your desktop PC. This would be a huge bonus for Replay A/V users. Imagine having your favorite radio shows recorded on a PC at home, imported to iTunes automatically, and available for listening wherever you are. This can be done now with the YouSendIt plug-in we provide (as you can email yourself recorded files automatically), but this mechanism would be much slicker. Go Apple!
I’ve always been a gadget hound. So, no surprise that I waited in line all day to be one of the first to grab an iPhone. The Apple iPhone is the ultimate convergence device. Sure, it’s pricey, but I’m loving the fact that I have a phone, iPod , camera and email/internet device that fits nicely in my pocket. Plus, it is without a doubt the most beautiful device I’ve ever owned.
Replay AV, Replay Media Catcher and Replay Converter make great companions for the iPhone. Use Replay AV or Replay Media Catcher to capture online media. Use Replay Converter to convert your audio or video to a format suitable for playing on your iPhone. It’s really easy. Replay AV will even transfer your newly recorded and converted media to iTunes automatically. Next time you sync the iPhone your recordings will be there ready for you to enjoy or show off to others.
Video that can be played in iTunes will sync with the iPhone. Use Replay Converter to convert your home movies to iPod video format and take them with you on your iPhone.
For me, the iPhone was worth the wait. It’s functional and beautiful. This morning I heard that the Apple store I had camped out at still has a few in stock. My first thought was Ugh! You mean I stood in line all those hours for no reason??!! But actually, I’m glad I had the experience. It really was fun and exciting to be 9th in line. I proudly earned my geek badge on iPhone launch day.