Category Archives: iTunes

Here, have a post (Title stolen from the Vomit Comet)

I have a blog post by my Twitter friend Morgan I want to plug but I need to remember to blog earlier in the day. It’s only 7:30 and I’m so ready for bed. I want to give her post my full energy so it will have to wait. It’s so cool! Maybe I’m just being mean and making baseball fans wait.

I recently finished Stephen King’s new book, “11-22-63”. Incredible book, just incredible. I don’t have enough brain power to really write it up but I’ll just say I loved it and had an intense desire to read “IT” again. I first read that book in fourth grade, then again in eighth and I’ve wanted it in audio for awhile now. Unfortunately Stephen King books are very expensive. I wasn’t sure I wanted to use an Audible credit on it since I only get one a month, but B saved the day today, showing up with a $25 gift card for iTunes. I’m currently downloading “IT” and got it for nine bucks. Sweet! He also got me a speaker for my iPhone, which makes books sound so much better. I’ve been just holding my phone and using the built in speaker, but that makes a very tiny sound. B’s co-worker got us a Music Bullet and I’ve enjoyed hearing my books on that at night, so B decided an actual speaker would be nice. I’m really going to appreciate the volume buttons on it, that’s for sure. When you turn up the volume on the audio book on the phone, the screen reader gets louder too, which is rather annoying.

That’s a really long story to explain that I’m very much looking forward to going to bed. I’m almost done with “A Separate Peace”, so I might begin “IT” tonight.

I experimented with taking my new med this morning. My doc recommended that I take it at night since it can make you drowsy. I felt like I was wasting all my pain relief on sleep though and I haven’t gotten very sleepy at night on it. I can’t tell if it made me sleepy today or not, since I’ve had to rest my back today. Laying around on the heating pad and taking a long bath are rather relaxing activities, so I might just be sleepy from that. I also managed to do yoga this morning. My back had definitely tightened up over night so the yoga helped stretch me out again.

The injury is definitely healing. The pain is getting smaller, if that makes any sense. That’s a big relief. I’m still being uber careful though, and poor Jayden is being a champ about being patient with me.

Speaking of Jayden, I got the holiday greetings from GDB today. It was so cool! My eyes definitely misted a few times. I got to hear my field rep and my main class instructor! Yay! There were many others of course, several I talked to while at school. I was hoping to hear from Mr. Bad News since his wife was pregnant while I was in class, but he wasn’t featured. Jayden was curled up with me on the couch when I got the email, so he got lots of loving. Just about every other person said something like, “give your dog a hug from me” so Jay got even more attention than normal.

It made me wish I had recorded some kind of holiday greeting this week while I had time alone in the house. I thought about singing the song I sang solo in while in that choir, but I don’t have the music track anymore. Why did I delete that!?!? I have the CD somewhere, but who knows where. Oh well.

Blogging every day has been great and I’m happy to have a record of the last month and a half but it’s certainly not helping me write fiction. It’s like the fiction writer in me has fled. Although, maybe once I get used to this med and stop being miserable physically, that will help? Who knows.

I do know that as soon as I’m feeling better I have to attack this house. I haven’t cleaned in days. Sitting around and doing nothing for days on end is wearing on me. I’m usually at least somewhat active every day. This too shall pass. This is probably my body’s way of saying hey, let’s chill for awhile, ok? Sound good? Ok, I’ll listen.

Speaking of the body, Applebee’s healthy menu rocks!! I had a stake and shrimp dinner tonight and oh was it heaven, mmm. And from the healthy menu! Yay! Tomorrow won’t be such healthy food hehe! Dinner with my family. Can’t wait!

Ok, tomorrow I will blog about Morgan’s post during the day when I’m not half asleep. Want a hint? It’s another Q&A with baseball players on Twitter. Did you miss her first one? I blogged about it here. And if you follow that link and then the link within that post you’ll go to Morgan’s blog and you can check out her latest post if you don’t want to wait for me to get around to blogging it. 😉

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Filed under Audio books, Choir, family, GDB, gratitude, iPhone, iTunes, Jayden, misty eyes, num num food, random stuff, screen reader, spoons, twitter me this, writing, yoga

Thank you for shopping with Amazon. Would you like a bra with your Audible?

Oh cue the spam when this post hits Twitter.

I can’t begin to describe to you just how confused I was about how audible.com would save me money. I’ve always known I was a visual learner, hence being great at geometry and not algebra, so what happens when you take the vision out of a visual learner? Mucho confusion about Audible, that’s what.

Folks on Twitter kept trying to explain to me that Audible would be so much cheaper than iTunes, where I’ve been getting Audible books. Pay Audible fifteen bucks a month and get a credit. Use your credits towards books. I’m sure you’re nodding your head because it makes perfect sense to you, right?

I think I thought a credit was equal to a dollar and so I thought the fifteen dollars translated into credits or something. Is that what I thought? I honestly don’t know, but it really made no sense to me how I would save money. I never know when I can afford fifteen a month, but since I’ll soon be changing banks, I’ll be eliminating some automatic stuff so I figured now would be the time to check out Audible. After all, I could cancel it.

Going to the website made it click. A credit is worth one audio program. Ah! There was the image I needed in my head. An audio program is like holding a book in my hands and the credit is like a poker chip in my brain. Exchange. There ya have it.

So I signed up. I got in on a special, or maybe it’s always this way, where the first two months are half off. So I paid seven bucks and change and got a credit. Now, what to buy what to buy.

Abridged books should be shot. No really. The word abridged should not exist and no one should publish abridged books. What is the point? If a writer writes a book that is four hundred pages, chances are they needed each page to convey the story. So why are you going to chop pages out? Have we become such a society that we can’t even read an entire book?

Ok, that’s better after a rant. Now I can explain. I wanted “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris. It’s the book after “Silence of the Lambs” which I just finished reading again for the umpteenth time. My copy is narrated by Frank Muller. Love him! iTunes only had “Hannibal” abridged and narrated by Thomas Harris. In fact, they don’t even have the Frank Muller “Silence of the Lambs” anymore. Guess I got lucky back in the day. Anyway, I thought going directly to the source in Audible would yield more pleasing results. No. Abridged, narrated by Thomas Harris. You know what I hate as much as abridged books? Books narrated by the author.

Back up plan was the new Stephen King book, which has a date for the title and I can never remember the date. When I looked it up on iTunes just after it came out, it was nearly fifty bucks. Gulp! However, with my credit poker chip deal, I got the almost fifty dollar book for my membership dues of just over seven! Ok, totally understand the Audible now. You could put your credit towards something that costs two dollars or fifty. Best to spend it on expensive stuff, for sure. There was something I read that said some items are more than one credit. I wonder what the heck those would be?

Say I want another book before I get another credit next month. Well, as a member, I get thirty percent off the price of audio books at Audible. So there’s that, but the best part?

Free stuff!!!! That’s always a good thing. They have a section of free stuff for members. There are interviews with authors and such and even free novellas. There are also very inexpensive documentaries! Geekgasm! I got a biography documentary about Lizzie Borden for sixty cents. So if I can’t afford a book before I get another credit, there are still tons of audio type things for my listening pleasure.

One of the best things about this thing today, was being able to use my Amazon account to sign up for Audible. Talk about easy! Which leads me to my first ever real issue with Amazon. Part of my last order hasn’t shipped yet and it’s sold by Amazon, LLC or whatever. There was no contact seller info I could find, so after about ten minutes of hunting I finally found a way to contact Amazon asking for updates on why my item hasn’t shipped.

Naturally it’s the part of my order I’m most interested in since it’s a bra. Yep, a bra. I’ve never ordered a bra online. Normally, as most women will tell you, that is the sort of thing that must be tried on. But getting to the store is a pain and my old Hanes Her Way bras I bought at Wal-Mart back in 2007 are just a tad too big these days with my weight loss. So I took a chance and ordered a bra based on reviews from Amazon and I just want it darnit!

Ok phew. I’m in a strange mood. I’m still hurting pretty bad, but at least I had some fun stuff to write about. Thought about writing about wondering where things go when you delete them, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

Nice! Published this and checked email and Amazon already replied to let me know my bra is now on backorder, with apologies and an upgrade in shipping once it’s available. Carol, weren’t we just talking about writing letters?

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Filed under Amazon, Audio books, iTunes, rant, twitter me this

I loved E. Salem’s music before…and now?

I’ve never had the pleasure of following an artist from the beginning of their career, until now. I first learned of E. Salem’s musical talents when he performed in the Rays Spring Training Talent Show.

I was incredibly impressed and soon discovered his Twitter account and got to listen to more of his singing when he posted youtube videos of his cover songs. Those tweets quickly became a bright spot for me.

I knew from his tweets that he was working on some original music and I got to hear them when he posted them on his Myspace page. I fell in love with the songs and found myself singing along right away. I loved the raw sound and acoustic guitar. I have to be honest and say I was worried about what would happen if he got signed and started recording those original songs in the style of today’s music. Would I hate it?

I was not disappointed. Salem released an EP on iTunes recently and I downloaded it today. I LOVE IT!!! I knew three out of the four songs and when the first song played, a grin filled my face.

The familiar acoustic guitar began playing “Don’t Stop” and I sang along. When the beat track started, my heart leapt! What a different sound to the song I already knew so well and I loved it. Salem still has that raw sound I love and the beat track mixed with the acoustic guitar his fingers so expertly play gives way to an upbeat song that just made me want to get up and move.

The next song began with piano and I love his talent on the keys. The acoustic guitar entered again along with a beat track and he started singing “What You Need”. Again, I began singing along. This song is a great mix of Salem’s bluesy voice and rap phrases. I’m not a big fan of rap, but I really like it in this song. Maybe it’s just Salem’s voice that makes me fancy it. This song is also incredibly sexy. I thought it was sexy before and now? Oh my!

“All About You” came next and I hold a special place in my heart for this song. It’s just Salem and his guitar, just like the version I had heard before but he’s refined it just a bit. I adore this song.

The fourth song I hadn’t heard yet. “Down to Love” is now competing with “All About You” for the spot as my favorite. The mix of piano and acoustic is beautiful and I think the song really shows off Salem’s vocal range.

I hope he releases more originals for download. iTunes has this classified as pop but to me, pop today is all that electronic robot sounding stuff and Emeel Salem is far from that. His music is raw and you feel him singing from his heart.

It’s amazing to me to have followed Salem’s budding career like this. We’ve had several exchanges on Twitter which makes me feel even closer to his music. If you’re looking for some new music, check out the iTunes page for E. Salem’s EP, or search E. Salem in iTunes. I’ve had the four songs on repeat since I downloaded them almost two hours ago.

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Filed under emeel salem, iTunes, music, plugs, twitter me this

No time to really write but here

Busy day. Good busy but busy. Got up, did laundry, while loads were in began moving furniture. Moved white couch to move blue couch out. Put blue couch in hallway thing. Jayden wondered why I moved his couch. Finished laundry, put stuff away, vacuumed where old couch was, washed dishes, Carol tried to find guy to help move couch because first guy flaked. Carol’s couch had been gently used by two neighbors after her, great couch, wanted me to have. Gugys came, brought couch. Took old couch out of spare room. Oh yeah I had cleared that off at some point too. Guys had to take door off to get blue couch in. Guy put cover on couch for me. Carol and I went through insurance booklet ordering me stuff out of it out of my allotted money they give for disabled. Gathered some things things for Carol and we were both starving so we heated up Amy’s bowls. Carol left I sat fir a minute then took shower. Massage at five, ride came at quarter till. First massage since beginning of October. He needed a chisel in some places. Had been so tired after shower I didn’t even want to go, how sad is that? Came hom, B put DiGornio pizza in oven and tried burning a CD in iTunes but his PC didn’t see it. My Mac did so I burned the CD on another CD and that worked on his computer weird. Did all that while eating.

Now it’s almost time to turn in. I’m stretched out on my new couch with Jayden. We both fit so nicely. Yay for wireless headphones and keyboard!

Not gonna edit. Yeah, triggering my own pet peeves. 😉

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Filed under fellowship, iTunes, Jayden, laundry

#NaBloPoMo – Il Canto (Music survey thingy)

This morning I reached out to Twitter needing help with what to write today. After some discussion, Steve came to the rescue with a music post idea that morphed into one of those survey deals you answer with the songs on shuffle in your music playlist. Steve, being the wonderfully amazing man he is, went and found such surveys over at The Vomit Comet. Let me tell you about Steve. If you need a Canadian man who will always be a fantastic friend, That’s Steve. Having a bad day and need a pick me up? That’s Steve. Have you ever wondered if a man speaks to the beer bottles in his fridge, giving them a pep talk? That’s Steve. Do you enjoy listening to a sudden outburst on subjects such as the word “tweeps”? That’s Steve. I could go on and on about this incredible man, but we’ve got a music survey to get to.

Carin found Steve’s music survey and since he originally said I should write a post about how wonderful he is, I’m modeling mine on his. You probably know the drill. Shuffle your music playlist and answer each question with the song that plays. Hit next but never, ever skip. I’m switching it up a bit and including the artist, since I never know the artists on these things when people do them. I’m also going to add some more current events/pop culture type questions to make it a little longer, because I can. I think I’ll also throw in little comments after iTunes answers the questions for me, if they’re funny. I wrote all the questions down before going to Gamma’s. Man I can’t wait to turn on the iTunes later!

Ok, home and finally done coming up with the last bit of questions. Gonna turn on my “just music” playlist so we don’t get audio books and described movies. Here we go! iTunes, please make this good…

Here are the original questions.

1. If someone says, “you’re hot”, you say?

Concrete Angel (Martina McBride)

*My muscles are hard as concrete?

2. How would you describe your life?

One Blue Sky (Sugarland)

*I love this! So positive!

3. What is your life long goal?

Nessun Dorma (Paul Potts)

*I had to look this up. Apparently it means, “nobody shall sleep”. This means my goal is to never be boring.

4. What do your friends think of you?

Get Out of This Town (Carrie Underwood)

*I’ll just be in the corner crying.

5. What do your parents think of you?

The Past is the Past (Tantric)

*Wow. A little misty here, I must admit. That’s perfect.

6. What do you often think about?

The Unforgiven (Metallica)

*Uh oh, does that mean I’m holding a grudge? Hmmm.

7. What do you think of the person who likes you?

The Valkyrie: Ride of the Valkyries (St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra & Stanislav Gorkovenko)

*Hahahahaha! This cracked me up when it started playing. Interesting.

8. What does your best friend always say to you?

Waste (Seether)

*She does? Alrighty then.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Freak on a Leash (Korn)

*Kinky!

10. What is your favorite saying?

Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)

*I might just have to incorporate this…

11. What will you dance to at your wedding?

Million Faces (Paolo Nutini)

*It’s actually a decent first dance tempo for a wedding that will never happen.

12. What will be played at your funeral?

Bark at the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne)

*This is fitting since I’m a Freak on a Leash.

13. What is your biggest fear?

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: IV. In the Hall of the Mountain Kin (Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra & Jansug Kakhidze)

*Wow ok so I looked it up. Peer Gynt was a play and one of the descriptions was: “has also been described as the story of a life based on procrastination and avoidance.” I’d say that’s a pretty relevant fear. iTunes knows me well.

14. What is your biggest secret?

Castle On a Cloud (Les Misérables Original London Cast)

*It’s my happy place.

15. What do you think of your house?

Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne)

*I got nothing. iTunes missed this one I think.

16. What will you name this post?

Il Canto (Paul Potts)

*I think I’ll change the title of the post. That won’t hook anyone.

That concludes the original survey. Hmm, what should I add? Ok some of these sound like Magic 8-ball questions.

17. Do you prefer Apple over Microsoft?

Sugarland (Sugarland)

*That’s pretty perfect because Apple is more of a happy kind of Sugarlandish type company to me than Microsoft.

18. Is Twitter better than Facebook?

Jupiter (Jewel)

*Yeah I think Jupiter is a cool planet.

19. Is he/she just not that into you?

Intro/Escape (Journey)

*Hmmm. I don’t know how to take that.

20. What do you think about ‘Twilight’?

Lithium (Nirvana)

*Yeah I think I might need that if I read/watched ‘Twilight’. Maybe that explains the sparkles…

21. Was Casey Anthony guilty?

Fall Down or Fly (Lindi Ortega)

*Uh huh, she flew into hiding.

22. How do you feel about politics?

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16 in A Minor: Allegro Molto Moderato (Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Marian Lapsansky & Bystrik Rezucha)

*I think the minor chords say it all.

23. How do you react when someone refers to your sports team incorrectly?

Overture to Egmont, Op. 84 (London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) & Alberto Lizzio)

*iTunes would pick now to throw out all the classical pieces, wouldn’t it?

24. How do you feel about Four Square?

The Point of No Return (Phantom of the Opera)

*Hahahaha that’s kinda funny.

25. Will that big problem ever get resolved?

Wishing (Tantric)

*And Tantric makes me misty again. Really? Just wishing? Ugh.

26. What will play when you cash in your freebie card? (It’s laminated!)

Sex Type Thing (Stone Temple Pilots)

*Hahahahaha!!! And notice the band before this question was Tantric? Hey, a girl can dream.

27. What do your Twitter friends think of you?

Hey Now (Tantric)

*Hey now what? Am I boring? And hmm, the freebie card question is sandwiched between two Tantric songs…

28. How do you feel about the holidays?

Un Giorno Per Moi (A Time For Us) (Paul Potts)

*Nice. This track translated for me. Pretty fitting. It should be a time for us, not commercialism.

29. Will the Cubs ever win a World Series?

Nova Heart (Spoons)

*Hahaha! A nova is a star that gets really bright and then fades again. So maybe Cubs fans’ hearts will always swell without that happy ending? Hope iTunes is wrong. I’m glad a Spoons song came on since Steve and Carin got me that album.

30. What are your thoughts on Justin Bieber?

*Heart Failure (Sixx: A.M.)

*Hahahahahah!!!! Trust me, not the swoony kind of heart failure.

Well that was fun, and hard work. Why’d iTunes have to play all those classical songs? Hope you enjoyed it.

PS – iChat shows my iTunes tracks, so Erik is my proof that I didn’t skip. )

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Filed under apple Inc, fellowship, Gamma, iTunes, misty eyes, music, NaBloPoMo 2011, plugs, silly girl, survey says, twitter me this

#NaBloPoMo – Audio: Hanging with Ro Episode One

I had the idea this morning to do an audio blog of sorts for today’s post. I had the music playing and had already resigned myself to being lazy today since I’m sore from the gym. My iPod wasn’t charged so I gave it some juice and then started recording. I decided to call it, “Hanging with Ro” because essentially, that’s what it is. I hope it’s at least mildly entertaining haha!

I was going to try doing a transcription of the audio but wow, that’s practically impossible. Ok maybe not impossible with some practice, but that’s going to take awhile to master that skill.

Topics include but are not limited to:

*Music that sounds the same

*Evan Longoria in a toga

*Twitter (You might hear your tweet)

*Suspension training

*Silly accents

*A description of my work area

I don’t think the topics are in that order but I thought I’d give you an idea of what you’re about to listen to. If you like it, please comment here. If I should do more of these, let me know what you’d like to hear. I had fun doing this!

Click here for the direct link.

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Filed under coffeeholic, emeel salem, evan longoria, Gamma, hanging with ro, iTunes, mom, music, NaBloPoMo 2011, random stuff, silly girl, twitter me this, weather, workouts, youtube

#NaBloPoMo – I just had to finish the book

Let’s see how quickly I can write today’s post without it being something simple and silly just to fill the space for November second for my third 30X30 project. I have no idea what this will be, let’s see, shall we?

I knew I would be pressed for time today and this morning nearly talked myself out of going back to the gym. There had been a small hiatus but that might be explained in another post. I knew I was cutting things close, getting a post in today before things get too busy later this afternoon and still, I inserted the final CD into the laptop, an audio book my friend JB sent me.

This will also be another post, one I’ll write for sure this month because the book deserves much more than a passing mention. It was sixteen CDs in all and I had burned them into iTunes to transfer to my iPhone (iAddict?) to read at night. I knew I was nearing the end of the book last night so had added the next book JB sent, to begin after this one ended. I had somehow managed to skip the last disc, much to my dismay as I lay in bed last night, hungry for the ending.

I told B this, after I had begrudgingly began the next novel, and B said, “King’s endings always suck anyway; you aren’t missing anything.”

At first I almost agreed with him, even made that same reference as I ended yesterday’s post, but this one was going to be different, I knew it.

I often take a character into myself when I read, especially if I really get into a good book. I’m finding bits of Liesey in me now, though a lot of the parts of her that I’ve taken into me were already parts of me, long ago buried. Her husband Scott too, is taking some residence. After all, they were two now, weren’t they?

After I returned home from the gym today I knew I needed some lunch and Liesey said, “why don’t you finish my story as you eat your Amy’s Bowl?”

And so I did. And so her story became the first of King’s novels to not only disgust me and make me cry out in the evenings when I didn’t hear B enter the room. It made me shut the book off after the can opener came out and when my fingers danced over the top of the mixed fruit can Gamma gave me, I was never so relieved to feel a pull top there.

The ending was perfect. The afterward by King made my inner writer stir and beg to go “down to the pool”.

This is one of those books that shall be kept, put in a safe place, into the pool I might need to visit somewhere down the road when I need to find my inner Liesey again.

I had thoughts of running home and writing about my day at the gym. That will be in another post, maybe. For when you reach into the pool and lazily run your fingers through the cool water, they take on a mind of their own and who knows what you’ll write? I’m grateful for this post. I don’t think I’ve ever put my immediate feelings down “on paper” right after finishing a book before. A year from now I can read these words again and remember the feeling this book left me with. Calm, serene, happy and not at all empty. It’s a first, finishing a book and not feeling empty, rather feeling completely and utterly satisfied and not needing more. I really believe this is a first for me. I want no more. The story was closed, the last out made. Bool for real now. I wish I had an RC.

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Filed under apple Inc, Audio books, Gamma, gratitude, iPhone, iTunes, NaBloPoMo 2011, writing

First day with the iPhone and Voiceover

I’m very lucky to have gotten help from family for that ridiculous deposit I had to pay to start a contract with Verizon. The nice thing is that after a year of on time payments, we’ll get that back with interest, so I’m just gonna set up automatic payments. Now that that ugliness has passed, I can get to the awesomeness that is iPhone.

My other phone was completely on it’s last legs, dying constantly and making it so I was uncomfortable going out. For those interested, I had the T-Mobile Dash, basically a Blackberry, with Mobile Speak installed. Sure, tactile buttons were nice, but the screen reader was quite garbled, and unless you were on a home key or the D key with the dot, you had to really be certain which button you were hitting. I basically kept one button poised on delete since I didn’t know what button I was pressing for sure, until I selected it.

I called Verizon Tuesday morning and got my iPhone via FedEx yesterday. I was surprised when the driver showed up at 10:30. Yay for not waiting all day! On a side note, she asked me a very odd question. After she helped me sign that tablet thing she asked,” so do you just stay home all day?”

I had been giving myself pep talks about the iPhone. I knew there was going to be a learning curve so I just kept telling myself to take it slow, be patient, don’t throw it.

I set the box gingerly on the coffee table and opened it up. When I took out the slim, sleek, square device, I was surprised at how sturdy it felt. It’s also got a heft to it I wasn’t expecting.

I had been talking to Georgie that morning and she said there were two volume buttons on the upper left side as well as a switch to turn off volume. She described the home button on the bottom middle of the phone and also a slider on the touch screen near that button that you have to slide to unlock the phone. I was glad she told me about these things.

I found the USB cable and plugged the iPhone into the Macbook. iTunes had been open, waiting.

The sales associate told me I would just plug in the phone and iTunes would finish the deal. Sure enough, there was a message from Verizon that popped up on iTunes solidifying the contract and such. After all that I was able to go into the iPhone through iTunes and turn on Voiceover by selecting the general tab and scrolling down to Universal Access, I believe it’s called.

As soon as the checkbox was checked I heard a female voice come from the phone, saying voiceover was on. I was ready to go. Incredible.

I left it plugged in to the computer since the battery hadn’t come fully charged. I began dragging my finger around the screen, listening as the voice told me what I encountered. At the top left is my signal strength and then as I moved right I heard the time and charge level. As I moved down there were icons like mail, messages, phone, Safari, iTunes, iPod, etc etc.

You activate nothing while you’re doing this. If you stop after you hear messages, the voice says, “messages. Double tap to open.”

Oh and that slider Georgie told me about? The voice says “slide or double tap to unlock.” Very easy.

Initially I was amazed as I dragged around exploring. Once you select something like messages, basically all that means is you stop dragging when you hear what you want, the focus stays there. You double tap anywhere on the screen to open. You don’t have to double tap on the icon itself, which is nice. Can you imagine trying to aim a double tap when you can’t see?

All my contacts were synced from the address book in the Macbook, so everyone was already there. I was able to open up a contact by double tapping anywhere on the screen when I heard their name.

Unfortunately there was one step the sales rep hadn’t mentioned. The phone was on and stuff, but not hooked into Verizon’s network. I tried calling it from the home phone and got a recording that the number had been disconnected. So they cancelled the T-Mobile account and imported my number, but the iPhone wasn’t talking to the network.

I didn’t know how long that switch took so I kept playing. I decided to see if I could dial into voicemail and when I tried, it asked me to enter the phone number. Haha! I thought, it’s gonna take me five minutes to find the keypad so I started saying to Silicone Sally that I needed customer service. That Sally isn’t as smart as T-Mobile’s Sally, but she finally got what my frantic words meant and I got a representative.

Turns out I had to activate the phone. She gave me instructions and I wrote them in a text document on the laptop and began. I double tapped the phone icon which brings up your keypad. It tells you you’re in edit mode so you know you have a keypad or keyboard.

I had to enter star and then three numbers. It was tedious and new, but fairly simple. I managed to hit send. Then I had to press one. Aaah ok drag around, hear one, double tap. Then it had me enter the mobile number. I wasn’t fast enough. Sally kept saying invalid invalid and hung up.

deep breath. You can do this. I must mention it’s harder to work a touch screen for the first time in your life when your hands are shaking because you’re feeling rushed.

I got it on the third time, even when she asked for the last four of my social. Finally it was done and I could now make and receive calls and text messages.

I managed to send B a text that read, “iPhone text”. That took about five minutes hahaha!

I practiced answering a call by calling the iPhone from the home phone. The answer button is on the bottom of the screen and while the call is coming in, you can still drag and wait to hear “send”, then double tap. The phone announces who is calling.

Gamma called shortly thereafter and I was able to answer the call.

I somehow managed to call B when I was trying to reply to his text message and it took me awhile to figure out how to end the call. That was a long voice message haha!

There was never a moment of oh my God I can’t do this, no moments of sheer frustration and panic, nothing. I just played and explored.

I opened up youtube and managed to do a search. You just drag until you find the search field and then double tap. The phone tells you you’re in edit mode and you find your keyboard. I’m a fast typer on the laptop so I know the layout of a keyboard. This helps as you’re dragging to find keys. I would find the key and double tap. It was tedious. I managed to search for Emeel Salem and clicked the Rays Talent Show link that popped up. I played the video. It was awesome! Oh, and you can actually control youtube videos on the iPhone, unlike with the Macbook where I can’t pause or anything. You can on the iPhone. Sweet!

I spent the afternoon just playing. Of course I had to do the most important thing of all – assign ringtones. I can even give people custom text tones. Now I won’t ignore B when I’ve got baseball texts coming in.

I was able to answer the call when B called and end it this time. Hahaha!

Pretty much all I knew about how to work the iPhone was from this page. I had checked it out briefly a few times but didn’t want to lust after the iPhone too much until I was in a position to have one.

A few hours after I had it, I listened to the video there. It showed me a much better way to type. Using both hands, drag a thumb around until you hear the key you want. Leave your thumb there and tap anywhere with the other thumb. Sooooo much faster.

The voice says the letter with a higher pitch so you know you’ve selected it. When entering secure text in a password field, it won’t repeat the letter, playing a sound instead, and only enters bullets. Someone could still hear what you’re entering unless you’re really fast, so if you’re in public, use your headphones if you’re worried.

The phone came with earbuds that are also a headset so you can talk into them on a call. They feel kinda flimsy. I hate ear buds because they tangle so I’ll probably sync my Bluetooth at some point for calls.

I have yet to put music on the phone but that’ll be soon.

Oh one thing I really like is the fact that the screen locks pretty quick after it’s idle. I thought that would drive me crazy having to unlock it but it’s fast and when it’s locked, nothing is going to happen when you pick up the phone. Also, when it’s locked and you hit the home key, she says the time. Nice and easy way to check the time in the mornings.

I haven’t figured out how to adjust volume and rate of Voiceover, but it’s actually good where it is. The voice is much easier to understand than Mobile Speak was.

Since I’m already familiar with iTunes and how to control iPods through it and such, it’s nice and easy for me to do anything to the iPhone like adding apps and stuff. For someone completely new to all of it, it might be a little challenging, but there’s always help online.

Especially with Twitter. You get answers fast. Amanda helped me find the Twitter app she likes and another friend helped me figure out the three fingered swipe to page down in my contacts list or on the ringtone page and such.

There’s a lot more left to learn, but I had the basics down by the end of the day.

I love it so much. If it asked me to marry it, I would!

I had seen an iPhone for like five minutes back when I could see. I knew nothing about it really until I had it in my hands. Remembering where things are is key and once you’ve got that down, you’re gold. You can also move icons on your home screen so things are positioned where you like them. That’s fun, to be able to drag and drop again.

Ok I think that’s it for things to touch on. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment. Also, if you know of any good resources for really getting in depth with the iPhone and Voiceover, let me know. I learn best when I have a web page or a blog with hints and such. Apple’s site is great, but I’d like some more in depth stuff.

Oh wait, the compass. Have to mention the compass briefly. It’s already on the phone and it’s amazing! I use a braille compass for orientation so I really like this feature. Ok, that’s it. REally.

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Filed under apple Inc, assistive technologies, cool product, emeel salem, Gamma, iPhone, iTunes, proud geek, screen reader, Silicone Sally, twitter me this, Voiceover, wow, youtube

Artsy fartsy me

A silly blog post

writing it all in haiku

because I’m a dork.

It is sad making,

I just finished downloading

Westerfeld’s last book.

Not really his last book,

the last one available

to get from iTunes.

Oh well at least I

can enjoy another one

before October.

For in the tenth month

Goliath will be released

happy making, yes.

If you will comment

challenge yourself to haiku:

be silly like me!

Five and then seven

finish with five you will find

a silly poem!

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Filed under Audio books, iTunes, NaBloPoMo 2010, random stuff, silly girl

Annoying audio book feature

A few weeks ago, Lisa loned me the fourth and fifth books in James Patterson’s Womens Murder Club series. I had read them before, way back in my sighted days, but I read them again. My favorite thing to do while crocheting is listen to a book.

I thought I had left off on the sixth book before I went blind, but I couldn’t remember. Anyway, I downloaded ‘The 6th Target’ from audible.com through iTunes, and started listening to it yesterday.

Ok, any readers of Patterson will know how many chapters are in his books. You practically read only one paragraph before another chapter begins. It worked well on the cd versions, because each track was a chapter, so if I lost my place, it was easy to find it again. The narrator just plainly announced the chapters.

Well, for the sixth book, the producers decided to get cute and it’s incredibly annoying. When I first heard a chapter being announced, I thought my iPod was doing something hinky. The narrator sounded like she was in a bathroom, the way her voice echoed. And that’s not the worst of it.

For every chapter announcement, along with the echo in the narrator’s voice, this music plays. It sounds like the music in a porn, though I’m sure it’s supposed to sound dramatic. It’s exactly the same every time. So every few minutes, because of the lightning fast chapters, I have to hear the narrator’s voice sounding like she’s sitting on the pot, along with this annoying music.

I really don’t think music and sound effects are necessary in an audio book. I don’t come across it often. In some books, music will play at the beginning and end of a cd, which isn’t too bad. There was one ‘Bourne’ book I read that really went overboard with sound effects.

We really don’t need all that jazz, guys. All you’re doing is jacking up the price of the book. And when people read print, they don’t have the benefit, or annoyance, of sound effects. They get to imagine the sounds themselves.

Usually I can look over sound effects. But these chapters are going to drive me nuts, totally taking away from the book. Why, oh why, would you choose sound effects on chapters in a Patterson book? I’m gonna have to hear the bathroom sounding porn music well over a hundred times.

If I ever write a novel, I am going to be so, so picky about the audio version of it.

8 Comments

Filed under Audio books, crochet, iTunes, rant