Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Airplay and Pandora

Like most people I enjoy the Pandora radio app, which gives me access to my favorite music channels while surfing the web.

Today, I was wondering if the Pandora app could utilize the new Airplay feature in iOS 4.2 and stream this music from my iPhone or iPad to my house speakers. Well, it can.

Log into your Pandora app on your mobile device. Select your favorite music channel and then start playing the channel.

After selecting the music channel to play, the player will be displayed on your mobile device. Notice the small blue up arrow icon in the lower right hand corner of the player. This is the access to your remote speakers that you can utilize via Airplay. Click on this arrow to display the speaker choices.

As you can see, in the illustration below: I have the option to listen to Pandora music through my iPhone speakers or headset, my house speakers hooked to an airport express base station or the speakers hooked to my Piano via airport express base. Select the speakers and viola you have music streaming remotely throughout your house.

Many of the musical or audio apps on your mobile devices can be played via this method. Just hook up some speakers to Airport Express base stations and setup on your Mac using Airport Utility application, then select your apps and Mac applications (iTunes for one) and try them out.

Music soothes the soul.

NOTE: The iPad version of Pandora doesn't seem to have the up arrow icon on its player. However, you can start playing a channel in Pandora on the iPad and then using multitasking capabilities of iOS 4.2, switch to your iPod player app and set the speakers through that app and then go back to your Pandora app and the music will stream through the external speakers. This little trick using iPod player app to set the speaker choice works with other apps like Netflix where you wish to stream a movie to your iPad, but have the sound come out some external airplay speakers.

musicalTouch - Airplay Connection from my iPad to Speakers in Disklavier

I've been exploring the Airplay feature in the iOS 4.2 update for Apple mobile devices. Yesterday I streamed music I played on the virtual keyboard in an app called musicalTouch.

musicalTouch provides 5 instrumental voices for the user to play on the virtual keyboard: piano, guitar, organ, syntheszer and electronic Bass. I must say the quality of the audio samples used for these 5 voices are amazing. There are also 10 unique drum loops of varying types: Pop, R&B, R&B2, Rap, Rap2, Dance, House, Techno, Rock, and Jazz, that allowed me to have a drum accompaniment as I played.

Some of the other features that are implemented in this app include the ability to overlay the key notes on the keys to facilitate learning and teaching tunes. But the best feature, was the newly implemented ability to be able to multitask and utilize Airplay. I was amazed at the ability to record and play my newly created tune remotely through the speakers on my Disklavier piano in the living room upstairs. The quality of the piano audio sample voice was so good, that it sounded like the piano was actually being played rather than just coming through the speakers.

Check this app out at:

Chris Khoury has an interesting app that might be of interest to some of you budding musicians out there. Now if only this app could somehow implement the midi functions and send those to my Disklavier and really play those keys.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where's My Shared Printer? - Printopia

I was very excited about the new feature called 'Airprint' for Apple mobile devices that was included in the 4.2 iOS update that came out yesterday. I immediately went to the photo app on my iPhone to see if I could print a photo.

I was able to access the print option, by selecting a photo from my photo library on my iphone and then clicking on the share icon in the lower left hand corner. This brought up the options for sharing, one of which is 'print'.

Clicking on the 'print' option brought up the Printer Options window and I selected the arrow next to the Printer and waited patiently for my iPhone to find my Brother printer which I had shared in my system preferences options on my Mac Pro. The wheel started spinning and nothing seemed to happen in recognizing my printer. Alas. I then searched the Apple support pages to find out that there were only 11 printers that were directly supported by the new Airprint feature. Of course, they were HP printers and I no longer use a HP printer on my Mac.

Feeling a little disappointed I decided to research my options for some sort of printing this morning. I found a solution.

Ecamm has always been a software company that has had numerous solutions that I have used over the years. They have the solution for adding additional shared printers to all Airprint-enabled devices on your network. They have a 7 day demo that is worth checking out at the following link:

After downloading the Mac version of Printopia and installing it, I tried printing again from my iPhone. I have successfully printed my task list from Google web page and also a photo from my iPhone library.

PS - Also worked with my iPad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where's the Beef?

There is so much hype these days about 'branding' and how it should be utilized. Many of the expert social media gurus, point to the importance of using branding to get your company out there in the marketplace. As a result, most are jumping on the Facebook and Twitter band wagon to get their company and products known.

I must say that as an ex- small business owner, I realize the importance of making use of the internet to spread the word about your products. In most cases, small business owners have limited cash reserves to spend on big marketing campaigns. So utilizing the internet social network to spread one's name is pretty economical and easy for most to achieve.

Most of my business came from word of mouth and recommendations from of my customers to their customers, clients and suppliers. It was great and after the first year or so of heavy marketing and advertising fees, it was nice to put my resources into my production and let my customers do my marketing. In a sense, this is what Twitter and Facebook provide the small business man or woman. Nothing is better than having your customers recommend your product to their friends on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. In fact today, I made note of a company, explored their website and products on the recommendation of someone I follow on Twitter. Had I not seen their tweet about the service, I may have never discovered what this company had to offer.

In the past, branding was something that we saw in TV and radio commercials, that cost huge amounts of money. Just last night I was watching a great documentary about Dave Thomas the owner of Wendy's. I was intrigued with his life story, his achievements, hard work and innovative means to build an empire. He was one of the pioneers to utilize a successful branding that some will remember - Where's the Beef?

Not all small businesses have the means and money to pay for costly spots for Super Bowl TV ads and it seems to me that Twitter and Facebook are certainly a means to accomplish this for a lot less.

Check out this tribute to Dave

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Test blog post by email

I decided to test the option to post a blog from my iphone using email method.

To find the email address to use for posting a blogger text and 10mb photo - check under settings.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Where is it?

I am patiently awaiting the iOS 4.2 for my iPad. The suspense and time waiting is killing me. Very anxious to see all the features. Interested of course in the ability to have folders for apps, but the 'midi capabilities' is also intriguing.

Are there any 'midi' enthusiasts out there that will be making some apps for midis or will be evaluating and reviewing that feature? I certainly hope so.

Well, another day passes and still no appearance of the update for iPad iOS 4.2 system in the App Store.