As something of a follow-up to Friday’s piece on companies like Netflix moving towards content creation and apps on newer, third-party devices, I noted my employer’s CEO being quoted in a Engineering News Record piece on Bentley’s recent announcements (emphasis added):
[Greg] Bentley credited the rapid proliferation and repurposing of consumer products, such as the iPad, into wirelessly connected field tools for construction as accelerants to the development of new processes for the collection and exchange of project and asset information. He says it is a “tremendous” moment for software developers, who no longer have to struggle to find hardware capable of supporting innovations. “Thank goodness we don’t have to invent it, just take advantage of it,” he said.
Bentley doesn’t make any hardware and their acquisitions that once did (such as Intergraph) now exclusively support third-party hardware. Taking advantage of hardware on third-party devices to move them into new and creative markets benefits everyone in that three-party arrangement. (via Rick Stavanja)
Anyone who has read this blog in the past (thanks, Mom!) knows that I’m a fan of Netflix as well as the Fox Network show Arrested Development. Today, Netflix announced that it is going to be bringing back Arrested Development in 2012 exclusively to their streaming video service; firmly placing them in the category of a premium cable channel. I’m also a fan of Apple and Amazon, who along with Netflix, are businesses which represent the future of the entertainment industry and media consumption, though in significantly different ways.
Jon Gruber stated the other day that he didn’t think Netflix was capable of creating hardware to support an “end-to-end solution.” I don’t disagree that there’s essentially no chance Netflix will move beyond the app business and into actual hardware. But I disagree with the notion that Apple and Amazon are providing end-to-end solutions. In fact, what Apple and Amazon are really providing are middle-to-one-end solutions. That is, they take content licensed from a studio and serve it over their systems to their hardware. Netflix, however, is moving to the other end by creating content to serve on their systems to someone else’s hardware platform via an app. In doing so, they get a wider installed base with no hardware investment (which no one other than Apple has really yet to crack; though the Kindle Fire from Amazon is just a week old).
Netflix has dabbled with being a studio in the past, or at least a financier of independent film. Their folded Red Envelope Entertainment—which backed some really great indie films—was a worthy try, but competed against some of their bread & butter content providers. While that fact hasn’t changed much, the stakes have. When Netflix made the decision to close their Red Envelope Entertainment division, the Apple App Store had just launched and the iPad hadn’t even been announced yet. That landscape has completely changed, with premium network HBO having a really terrific app now that lets subscribers watch their shows on demand. The ability to watch Game of Thrones anytime, anywhere has surely helped HBO’s subscriber numbers and I think this is what Netflix must have it’s eye on.
The price of Netflix’s streaming service puts in the range with HBO and now Netflix has the killer content which will compel fans to sign up if they weren’t already subscribers. Thus they stand a chance to gain subscribers at the expense of premium cable providers like HBO, especially among the growing number of cable-cutters (you don’t need a cable subscription to watch Netflix shows; you do for HBO’s).
So, which is a better business to be in between hardware and content producer? I honestly don’t know, but given the nightmare of content licenses all these tech companies are having to navigate, I have a good feeling that producing premium content might be more as appealing as getting into the hardware game. Though the markets for iPads is essentially the same age as the market for streaming video apps on such devices, the playing field among studios looks a lot more leve than having to taken on a juggernaut like Apple’s iOS devices from scratch.
You’re move, Amazon.
It’s almost embarrassing that I hadn’t tried transferring my photos off of my iPhone 4—running iOS 5— in nearly a month since upgrading. I suppose with the iCloud service, many users won’t ever have an issue with this. However, Angela and I share a iTunes account and don’t really care to have our photos doubled on one another’s computers. She doesn’t care about my goofy Instagram photos and don’t need to see the photos of some office baby shower. Therefore, we still back up our photos on our computers manually via iPhoto, or at least we’d planned to.
When we plugged our phones into our computers today, we realized that the iPhone device or camera roll weren’t showing up in iTunes. Even checking the Image Capture on the mac didn’t show the camera. After some hunting around, I finally found the solution. It’s not one I would have ever thought to do and it really strikes me as odd that Apple didn’t hammer this out already with all the other upgrades required for using iOS 5.
To get iPhoto to recognize your iOS 5 device, do the following:
- Eject your iPhone or iPad if it is connected.
Using Finder and select the iPhoto Library file in the Pictures folder in your home directory.
Right click and select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu.
The internal folder structure of the file is displayed.
Tip: It may be helpful display items in a list, as there are quite a few files in the iPhoto Library.
(Optional) Right click on the folder named iPod Photo Cache and select Compress “iPod Photo Cache” from the pop-up menu.
This will give you a back up copy, in case something should go wrong. However, this is an automatically generated folder so you really shouldn’t lose anything.
- Right click on the folder named iPod Photo Cache and select Move to Trash.
Reconnect your iPhone or iPad to your computer
You should see the device appear in iPhoto, where you can import photos and videos as with previous version of iOS.
If you happen to still have the contents of the iPhoto Library still showing in Finder, you’ll notice that the folder you just deleted gets generated using the new database structure used in iOS 5.
According to Royalwise Solutions, this issue stems from a change in the database used by iOS versions 2 through 4.3.3 is no longer used in iOS 5.0. Thanks to them for providing the details on how to fix this issue. Easy solution but not something most users are likely to figure out on their own (I know I couldn’t, anyway).