As much as I like Google Sites, I like control over infrastructure – thus back to self-hosted WordPress! I’ll always be a systems administrator and will want to fine tune stuff until the cows come home.

Anyway, I’ve made a few changes. Still using Cloudflare, but I’m relegating more of the WAF functionality to the server, so will be saving a bit of money in the process.

What’s to differentiate between Apple TV+ and other streaming services, other than the content and a lower price? Unfortunately, very little. One of the biggest frustrations I have with all of the current streaming services is the complete lack of additional features and audio commentaries.

Apple had a chance to make their Apple TV+ streaming service truly unique by introducing special features and audio commentaries to their original content, but this just has not happened. Yet. Until they do, Apple TV+ is just another platform offering limited original content.

iTunes Extras has been the only service available to most (dependent on the film studio) film purchases on iTunes to provide special features. It’s the main reason I’ve stuck with iTunes as a purchase platform. It is the closest I can get to physical media features on a digital platform. I can play films on my Apple TV 4K, iPad Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max or 2018 MacBook Pro. It’s both portable and can be played on the big screen TV. I still prefer physical media for most things, but as I’ve mentioned many times here and elsewhere, it’s a rapidly losing battle.

On the TV programs front, iTunes has been a poor show. None of the titles available are in 4K, and very few carry any extras – mainly because iTunes Extras is a format reserved for films. Breaking Bad is currently the ONLY title I own that has special features and audio commentaries – and I can only play the audio commentaries by disabling Dolby Surround.

Apple TV+ content IS available in 4K. Whether this will push existing TV studios to consider releasing their purchasable content on iTunes in 4K, I just don’t know. I doubt Apple will let you purchase episodes or whole series of Apple TV+ shows since it’s in their interest to keep you as a subscriber. But that then brings me back to the special features and audio commentaries.

Netflix, oddly, puts many special features about their shows on YouTube. Not on their own platform. Amazon is equally rubbish at this, and also put special features on their YouTube channel too. Amazon have been the only streamer to put an audio commentary on their service, but only for one title, and for one season.

No. Unless Disney+ pulls its fingers out and puts special features and audio commentaries on their platform as well as releasing new content and offering their back catalogue, Apple TV+ isn’t going to be unique in the market place at all.

Other problems with Apple TV+ have been the super annoying Up Next bar during end credits. I can’t dismiss it – but it does vanish after a while – but it still obscures credits. And the Apple TV+ user interface doesn’t tell me the frequency of new episodes of a current season. I had to look up when new episodes for For All Mankind came out having watched the first three episodes this weekend.

For All Mankind, BTW, is a decent show but somewhat let down by its visual effects. I’ve seen Method Studios and Pixomondo do better. But the storytelling is compelling enough to stick around for now. Other titles have received very mixed reviews. I have a free year’s trial with Apple TV+ thanks to upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, so only time will tell if I’ll be paying for it next year (even if it’s £4.99/month).

In other news, I cannot tell you how much frustration MacOS Catalina and iOS 13 have caused me over the past few weeks. This is some seriously buggy piece of crap from Apple, and by far the worst quality releases that have come from them in years. If Apple doesn’t buck their ideas up, I’ll be moving back to Dell and Windows late next year.

.. this is the closest to being so. I think numbers were mixed up as to which razor size was going to be used, and it was a bit too late.. though you never argue with a man with a cut-throat razor!

I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS..

Shades of Walter White going on there (or in case Sony Pictures is reading this, to avoid trademark infringement – generic evil man).

Oh well. At least it’ll grow back. But the one good thing is that it shows off that I was once blonde. The amount of grey and almost white hair chopped off was alarming.

My 70’s and 80’s musical education continues with a look at Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. Not only do I love the name, but the band’s style is an eclectic mix of big-band and swing wrapped up in disco.

What impresses, even more, is their presentation. Here’s a clip from Coati Mundi‘s YouTube channel where they’re performing on TV in front of a studio audience. The zoot suits! The huge hat! The lady backing singers dressed as bellhops. The sheer SCALE of the thing. It’s fantastic. And I love the song too.

I also love their other hit, Cherchez La Femme. Brilliant stuff.

Next up, I’ll be exploring the influence of 70’s Italo Disco. Which seemingly was mostly made in Germany.