I could tell HomePod made some adjustments while playing The Big Money. Notice the woofer seems to struggle during the really busy bass line and double kick drum of 6:00. Blank Space is off to a good start.

HomePod was delivered far earlier this morning than I anticipated. Guess I will cut this work day short and finish my day out at home.

🎵 HomePod Test Playlist

When buying a car in 2015 I created a playlist of test tracks for my future car stereo as it was one of the most important features for me. I decided I should take that same playlist, make some edits, and use it for HomePod tomorrow. I’ll let you know what I think about it once I’ve had some time to play with it.

  1. Big Money by Rush. Thanks @joec. A new addition, but I have always though Power Windows was one of the best produced Rush albums.
  2. 6:00 by Dream Theater. That opening drum fill is a great test of soundstage.
  3. Blank Space by Taylor Swift. The thick bass and crackling synths in the chorus give HomePod a lot of layers to play around with.
  4. New Rules by Dua Lipa. A new addition. This song has been my latest pop obsession and the way it makes my Soundsticks sub dance makes me excited to try it on HomePod.
  5. Hope by Rush. Gotta hear some crisp acoustic guitar work.
  6. The Enemy Within by Rush. I was really into this song when I got my car. I think 80s Rush is always a good test because of all the layers of synth.
  7. Losing It by Rush. I think I can cut this one. Even for me, there is a lot of Rush in this playlist but I think they really do have a wide diversity of sound that makes each of these valid in their own right.
  8. Leave That Thing Alone by Rush (specifically live from Time Machine Tour): A new addition. I need to hear how HomePod articulates Geddy’s signature live bass tone and this is probably the best example. Fun fact, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame agrees: this is the song they play for Geddy’s Fender Jazz on display.
  9. Spring Break Mix 2015 by Kap Slap. I used this to test the EDM output. Specifically around 22 minutes when Five More Hours kicks in.
  10. Illumination Theory by Dream Theater. This song has a lot of moments of complexity that I like to test, particularly the symphonic moments.
  11. Don’t Take Me Alive by Steely Dan. A new addition. Steely Dan is known for their extremely well produced, jazzy sound. This is one of my favorite tracks by them with great vocal harmonies.
  12. Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash. A new addition. Another song with great vocal harmonies that I want to use to hear how HomePod processes each voice.
  13. Sharped Dressed Man by ZZ Top. A new addition, mainly because I want to listen to it tomorrow. Its pulsing low end and necktie shout outs should be pretty cool.
  14. Paperback Writer by The Beatles. A new addition to the list mainly because it hard pans the instruments in the stereo channels and I am curious how HomePods computational computing will handle this input.

The Trolley Problem
I think @siracusa nails this. My thought is an AI smart enough to determine it was going to hit a person or kill its passengers would be smart enough to never get in that scenario.

Anyone know why Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree isn’t on Spotify or Apple Music? Glad I still have my iTunes Match copy…

Loving the newest Micro.blog iOS app. Well done @manton!

Daring Fireball: HomePod

Not supporting Spotify might sell some number of new $10/month Apple Music subscriptions, but supporting Spotify properly would sell some number of $349 HomePods that wouldn’t otherwise be purchased. Apple makes money from both hardware and services, and my gut says they’ll make the most money by making HomePod more useful, even if that means opening up an SDK that allows for competitors to Apple Music.

I think it would behoove Apple to add a Siri domain for audio playback. Summoning Overcast or Spotify via Siri would be excellent and make the device more attractive. I currently have both Spotify and Apple Music as they serve different purposes for me, but that isn’t something most people should have to do.

🏈 The Philly Special

I think the Ravens could learn from this.

“You learn if you play passive, if you play conservative, if you call plays conservatively, you are going to be 8-8, 9-7 every year. Every year.”

🏈 I thought the Eagles were the best team in football this year, but when I saw Wentz go down I was one of the people who thought their season was over. Congrats to Nick Foles and the rest of the team for overcoming and beating the Pats. 🏈

Unleash Apple Watch

The last few days I’ve been going to the gym in the morning and doing about 30 minutes on the elliptical while watching some YouTube. I’ve been tracking my exercise using Apple Watch’s Workout App. I don’t have any of the power saving features on.

After my workout, my watch is at 100% battery. My Series 0 would be at ~75, even when the battery was brand new. I know that 100% is never truly 100%, but every morning it is at 100% after my workout. The battery life of Apple Watch has improved dramatically year over year and it’s time to unleash it.

I’ve been tracking my watch’s battery each night before hitting the charger and on my longest day of over 6 hours of usage it ended with 66% battery. There has to be something we can do with this excess battery.

I would be surprised if the Series 3 could not support a low power watch face all day that becomes the watch face we are used to upon raise to wake. If this is exclusive to a new hardware revision of the watch (which I wouldn’t be surprised by) I’d be disappointed. I know that feature is one that would drive upgrades, myself included.

As much as I’d like to see a more robust developer API for the watch to enable better apps and things like podcast playback, I’d take an update that exclusively gave an always on watch face.