September 2009


Podcast 35: Starbucks iPhone Apps-Conversation w/CIO Stephen Gillett

In MobileViews Podcast 35 I speak with Starbucks CIO & GM for Digital Ventures, Stephen Gillett, about Starbucks’ two new free iPhone apps: myStarbucks & Starbucks Card Mobile.

The myStarbucks app provides store locations, a drink builder, food & coffee menus. One of novel aspects of this app is that it tells you were various coffees come from and a bit about each one’s distinctive flavors. Starbucks Card Mobile lets you store your card numbers (more than one) and get balance information for each one. You can also reload your Starbucks card from the app. And, you can even make purchases from the app in 16 locations around the Seattle and Silicon Valley.

FYI: If you noticed errors of Starbucks store locations in myStarbucks, head over to Starbucks’ web feedback portal found…

MyStarbucksIdea.com

– You can listen to the podcast right now from your web browser by using the embedded player above.
– You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or this RSS feed.
– You can also point your smartphone’s browser at mobiletoday.podbean.com to listen to or download the MP3 file over the air to your phone.

Mobile Devices
podcast

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Zune (1st gen) sometimes not starting when charged

My 1st generation Zune has been acting oddly for the past couple of months. It sometimes refuses to start (light the LCD) when it is charged (sometimes fully charged). Plugging the Zune into a power source (AC adapter in my case) lights the LCD and lets me use the Zune. But, still, it is annoying. It is a good thing I never take the Zune out? Otherwise, I might be faced with a temporary brick.

Zune

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Podcast 34: Smule “I Am T-Pain” iPhone app – Ge Wang CTO/Co-Founder

In Podcast 34, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Smule CTO/co-founder Ge Wang again (we first spoke in Jaunary 2009). The topic this time is the phenomenal $2.99 iPhone music app…

I Am T-Pain

It combines Smule’s iPhone sonic app programming savvy with the branding of musical artist T-Pain and his signature use of Antares’ Auto-Tune product. Auto-Tune corrects a singer’s pitch. In most cases, you never know it was used to “fix” a pitch error made by a singer during a recording session. T-Pain, however, uses Auto-Tune as a musical instrument in its own right. Its use in this manner, by the way, is somewhat controversial.

So, please join me for Podcast 34 as Ge Wang and I spend a bit over 30 minutes talking about the business angle, technology, and music behind the “I Am T-Pain” app.

– You can listen to the podcast right now from your web browser by using the embedded player above.
– You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or this RSS feed.
– You can also point your smartphone’s browser at mobiletoday.podbean.com to listen to or download the MP3 file over the air to your phone.

Apple
iPhone
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Project Gotham Racer for Zune HD? Now, I Might Have to Buy a Zune HD :-)

Any info on availability/pricing of Project Gotham Racer for the Zune HD? The game was a favorite of mine on the 1st gen Xbox.

Originally posted as a comment by Todd Ogasawara on TechFlash using Disqus.

Mobile Devices

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Part 2: 5th Gen. iPod nano Video Compared to Flip Ultra

5th Gen. iPod nano & Flip Ultra Video Recordings Compared Part II from Todd Ogasawara on Vimeo.

Based on the chance that the 5th generation iPod nano focused on the raindrops falling near its lens in the first video comparison with the Flip Ultra, I took both devices to a different location. You can see the two video recordings compared here. I think the Flip Ultra clearly dealt with dynamic lighting changes much better than the iPod nano. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Flip Ultra is a superior video recording device.

However, Cisco (Flip’s current owner) has a problem on its hands. Because, the iPod nano is a lot smaller, a lot more fun to carry around, and records video that is pretty good (though not as good as the Flip Ultra).

Apple
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Video Recorded with 5th gen. iPod nano Compared to Flip Ultra

MobileViews: 5th gen. iPod nano Video Compared to Flip Ultra from Todd Ogasawara on Vimeo.

You can see my first comparison of the same scene recorded using the new 5th generation iPod nano and the Flip Ultra. Both record at 640×480. The iPod nano video seems a lot darker than the Flip Ultra video. But, I’m beginning to think that it may be because it auto-focused on the rain drops. If you look at both video recordings, you’ll note that the rain drops seen in the iPod nano video are distinct and in-focus while the rain drops in the Flip Ultra video are blurred lines. However, the scene beyond the sheet of drops is easier to see.

I obviously need to do more comparison testing.

Apple
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