The dominion of grass

Mankind likes cutting down trees to replace with grass

I live in an area in which new neighborhoods are being added rapidly, and I’ve realized something: humans are controlled by grass.

I personally like trees, but I see all around me, and around the world, that it’s clear: mankind is driven to cut down trees and plant grass.

Must… plant… grass…

I have no theories or explanations as to why – just the realization that mankind was probably created by grass to secure its dominion over the Earth.

If I were setting up an online store

There would be no cart. Clicking a “buy” button would queue the item for purchase, prompting for billing/shipping info if needed, only once.

Shipping would be free, and would be 2-day shipping. Shipping is a cost of business, just like paying rent for a storefront.

That’s it. Shopping should be simple.

Multi-Version Media format

Make living music albums. Make movies that don’t always end the same way.

The multi-version media format is a simple, cross-platform package file format that allows developers to write audio/video applications in which the media being played (eg a song or movie) can be a different version with each play. See the Amber G. App (iOS only) for the first such player (for which I developed the format 🙂 ).

Each media file (e.g. an MP3, M4A, MP4 or MOV file) is replaced by a specially-formatted directory containing multiple versions of the same piece of media (eg multiple live versions of a song, versions of a movie with alternate endings or extended scenes).

Format

  • <media name>.mvm
    • media_list.json
    • <file version>.<extension>
    • <file version>.<extension>
    • <file version>.<extension>
    • ...

Example for the song “Alive” by Amber Griis:

  • Alive.mvm
    • media_list.json
    • Alive.mp3
    • Alive live drums.m4a
    • Alive crazy rock drummer.mp3

media_list.json

This file contains a specially-formatted JSON object that describes the contents of the directory.

[ 
    { "Name" : "Alive", "File Type": "mp3" },
    { "Name" : "Alive live drums", "File Type" : "m4a" },
    { "Name" : "Alive crazy rock drummer", "File Type" : "mp3" } 
]

Playlist.json

This file sits at the root level of the directory in which your .mvm folders sit and simply contains a list (an array), in the order in which they should appear in a playlist, of the names of the folders in your player.

Example:

[ "Alive", "Fly", "Be In Love" ]

Note that this means your folder names must match what you want displayed. This is intentional to provide simplicity by convention.

My new “app doesn’t have release notes” procedure

I like reading release notes, as I’ve mentioned before, because I like to know what’s been updated. Some app developers have decided to include “we update our app regularly”, as though that’s informative. So, here’s my simple process for when I see that:

  • Do I really really need the app?
    • No: Delete
    • Yes:
      • Leave 1-star review stating app/service is great, but no release notes.
      • Email support, ask what’s new in the latest version, e.g.:

        I was really curious to see what’s been updated for iOS 10, in particular if there’s Siri integration. The release notes said “We update the app as often as possible to make it faster and more reliable for you…”, which is the same thing it’s said since June 27.So, what are the new features? Does Uber work with Siri yet?

“We update our app regularly” = delete

I read app release notes because I like to see what an app’s capable of doing. I’ve noticed that some apps have gotten lazy recently and just put something like “we update our app regularly”. When I see that, if I’m not actively using the app, I delete it. If I am actively using the app (I’m looking at you, Dropbox and Facebook), I try to think of other apps I could use instead (e.g. OneDrive, Google Drive, and heck, “nothing” sounds like a good Facebook replacement). See, I feel insulted that they want to just shove new code over my Internet connection onto my device when their changes aren’t even important enough to include in a text file they push to iTunes Connect. So, developers, if your release process is so agile that you release updates regularly, then track what you’re releasing and add it to the notes. Otherwise, I think your release process is crap and I’ll delete your app to keep said crap off my devices. 

Update 7/6/16: The Dropbox app is currently rated 2 of 5 stars in the App Store, despite being a great sync service and listed in The App Store’s “essentials” list. Why? No release notes. 


Oh, and I did delete Facebook (I highly recommend doing so), and switched from Dropbox to iCloud Drive.