Just Take Advantage of It

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)

Burning at Both Ends

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 hard­ware1. 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 hard­ware2. 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.

  1. This is the com­pa­ny that is rac­ing to dump phys­i­cal media, for one thing! []
  2. Note that, in the case of Ama­zon’s print pub­lish­ing, they are con­sum­ing the entire busi­ness between author an read­er. Now that is as much an end-to-end solu­tion as one could have, short of pro­vid­ing advances to authors. []

Getting iPhoto to recognize your updated iOS 5 device

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:

  1. Eject your iPhone or iPad if it is connected.
  2. Using Find­er and select the iPho­to Library file in the Pic­tures fold­er in your home directory.

  3. 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.

  4. (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.

  5. Right click on the fold­er named iPod Pho­to Cache and select Move to Trash.
  6. 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).