After I “blogged last month”:http://www.manton.org/2007/01/i_hate_domains.html about the very small number of domain names I own, I got some good feedback from people I respect. They basically said: “You’re an idiot. Domain names are cheap.”
And the more I thought about it, the more they were right. So last week I made an offer to buy the wiitransfer.com domain from its current owner, and after just about 48 hours I had the domain and was updating Wii Transfer to use it. Now all registered users can use the simpler bookmark URL wiitransfer.com/username to point to their shared music.
I’m also finally rolling out a bug fix update tonight (version 2.2.1, “available here”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/). The most important change is that some MP3s that would not play will now work. Some customers never saw this, but for some people a large percentage of their music library was unusable. It turned out to be that certain kinds of embedded cover album artwork in the MP3 would break the Flash player on the Wii. The work-around I used is to load the MP3 into memory and clear all its ID3 tags before sending it over the wire.
It feels good to be working on Wii Transfer again. The next version is already underway and should make a lot of people happy.
I finished “Wii Transfer 2.0”:http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/ late Thursday night. This version is an interesting milestone for the application because it goes beyond just using the SD card to shuttle data back and forth between your Mac and Wii. There is a small Cocoa web server embedded inside Wii Transfer that can serve up MP3s and JPEGs directly to the Wii using the Internet Channel. I think this could be the basis for some really fun stuff in the future.
One of the things I added at the last minute is to try to simplify how you connect to your Mac from the Wii. IP addresses are difficult to memorize for most people and may change depending on how your home network is setup. To solve this, Wii Transfer will optionally create a permanent URL for you on bookmark.riverfold.com. You can then add that URL as a favorite for your Wii and it will always redirect to your local machine. Wii Transfer will ping the Riverfold server on startup and update the bookmark database with your current IP address. You can think of it as a simplified version of “Dynamic DNS”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_DNS.
I just noticed that Wii Transfer is the featured download and staff pick in the “video section of Apple’s download site”:http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/video/. That is a nice surprise. It will be interesting to see what that does to download stats.
One last thing. Starting next month the price will go up to $14 for version 2.0 (free upgrade for all existing users). I usually work on Wii Transfer at night, so the increase will help offset all the sleep I lost. :-) Even at $14 it may be underpriced. Remember the “Brent Simmons rule”:http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/168/the-price-is-wrong: anything less than $20 won’t be taken seriously. In this case though I think it’s just about right. I’m also finding a large percentage of purchases from Europe, despite no localization, probably because the US dollar is so weak now. Enjoy!
When I started on the “music sharing feature”:http://www.manton.org/2007/01/holiday_hacking.html in the upcoming 2.0 release of Wii Transfer, I knew it couldn’t support protected songs from the iTunes Music Store. Still, it was disappointing when I started using it and such a big chunk of my favorite music was inaccessible. The only DRM problem I’ve ever run into before now is forgetting to deactivate old machines and hitting the 5-machine limit, but that’s easily solved, and I have been quick to defend iTMS and promote its convenience to others.
No longer. Overnight my music library has become much less valuable, just because I chose to use it in a different way. Almost all the music I’ve bought in the last couple of years is from iTunes. I created two smart playlists, one to show protected and one not. Apparently of the 5000 songs on this computer, 500 of them are from iTunes. 10%.
I’m not sure what is going to replace my use of iTunes yet, but for now I think I’ll lean on Amazon Prime’s free 2-day shipping and just order and rip CDs to good old fashioned high-bitrate MP3s. Too bad, because I do love the iTunes experience. Just gotta keep repeating to myself: text files, JPEGs, and MP3s are forever. Everything else is suspect.