Tag Archives: cloud

Amazon Echo

Dan Moren wrote on Six Colors last month about the Amazon Echo. On the voice recognition working so well:

“The Echo’s hardware deserves a full share of that credit. The microphones on this device are impressive; even when I’m several rooms away, Alexa rarely mishears me. I’ve triggered it from my kitchen and from my hallway, the latter of which doesn’t even have line of sight to the Echo.”

I have one too. I pre-ordered it on a whim and then promptly forgot about it for 2 months. Then seemingly the next thing I knew it had showed up at my house. If I had remembered about the order, I might have cancelled it, but now I’m glad I didn’t. The Amazon Echo is great.

I remarked on Core Intuition that it’s like a task-specific Siri, with better accuracy because there are limited things you want to ask it. Play some music, set a timer, measurement conversions. It can’t do everything, but what it can do is particularly useful in the kitchen or living room. Plus it’s probably the best wireless speaker we’ve ever owned.

Because it’s so effortless to play music now, I’ve uploaded some tracks from iTunes to the Amazon cloud via their music uploader. (Remember when we wanted DRM-free music? This is a concrete reason why.) And since we have an Amazon Prime membership, I’ve discovered that we have a significant amount of good music in the cloud already.

I’m looking forward to Apple Music and will probably subscribe, but I’ve realized after having the Echo for a while that Amazon is quietly sitting on something pretty special. They should do more with music — I didn’t realize until now that they even had a dedicated iOS music app — and more to build and promote their service. Music is in their “DNA” just as much as it’s in Apple’s. After all, Amazon’s 2nd offering after books was music CDs.

Climber for ADN

Toward the end of this week’s Core Intuition, we talked a little about the App.net file storage API and mentioned the new iPhone app Climber. The developer, Rob Brambley, [has posted a nice write-up](http://blog.alwaysallthetime.com/climber-from-hackathon-to-app-store-submission-in-two-weeks

) of how the app was built and shipped in less than a month:

“All Climber posts are more or less like any other post to App.net, but with a link to our website where the video can be watched. Our video pages simply rely on App.net post data to retrieve links to video files contained in personal App.net file storage. If a user chooses to delete their App.net post, or even just delete the video file in their file storage, then it can no longer be viewed on our website.”

This separation between the app and the hosting is a great advantage over services like Vine or Instagram. If the Climber app goes away or their web site is down, the videos are just .mp4 files on App.net. You can download them to your computer with any App.net file browsing client.

There’s a lot of activity around App.net file storage right now. I think we’re going to see some great things built with this.