In Review 26th Week Of 2023

Why I’m Writing

I enjoy reading and writing about tech and often get sent questions, about product recommendations, upgrades and workflows. These posts are an attempt to share things I’m into, my opinions on tech, and tech media coverage that I find valuable. Feel free to send me a suggestion if there’s topic you’d like my thoughts on.

As always when making a purchase take some time to source multiple opinions and come to your own conclusions about what will work best for your unique situation and setup.

Thanks for reading!

This Week In Apple

Developers’ Early Experiments with visionOS – MacStories
Checking whether your existing app is compatible with visionOS | Apple Developer Documentation
Apple’s next AirPods Pro may check your hearing health and take your temperature


Brainworx bx_townhouse Buss Compressor
A new addition to the ever expanding plugin folder. I love the musicality, tone and vibe of this plugin. It’s amazing to live in a time where I can have all of these classic rack units available on my laptop based studio. I have been enjoying experimenting with this on all of my stem busses. It really adds warmth, glue and punch to the whole mix.

Thanks for the recommendation @ AUDIO WMC.


How Apple Should Have Framed the $3,500 ‘Vision Pro’ Price Point

I do not think Vision Pro is over priced as much of the world does. It looks to be the best headset on the market with none of its competitors (Meta, Microsoft HoloLens 2, Sony PlayStation VR 2 etc) being able to offer anything close to the augmented reality experience Vision Pro looks to provide for its future users. For price context the MacBook Pro M1 Max 2021 that I run my business off and wrote this post on cost around $4,500.00 two years ago on the secondhand market. It is just a Mac, very powerful and the best computer I’ve ever used, however it is just that a Mac computer. There is no touch input, no eye sight tracking, no gesture control, no lidar sensors, 360 degree video capture etc.


Google Pixel Fold review: closing the gap – The Verge

Google Pixel Fold an exciting idea and release that appears to have been executed poorly which is very unfortunate.

We’re a long ways away from having folding iPhones. Displays integrity and reliability seems to be a continuing problem in the foldable market. Both Samsung and now Google foldables have proven to be unreliable and full of long term durability issues.

Samsung’s Z Fold 3 durability one year in: Tougher than you might think, but with one big caveat
The Google Pixel Fold could have a durability problem
RIP to my Pixel Fold: Dead after four days | Ars Technica

I do think foldables will eventually make their way into Apple’s mobile device line up. I’d suggest were 3-5 years away from seeing their first foldable iPhone. After the three year cycle of the upcoming iPhone 15and iPhone 15 Pro USB-C design refresh maybe. Both iPhones 15, 16, 17 and all Pro variants will continue on with the slab of glass with metal frame designs that have been in production for many years.

The first place I think we will see any type of folding device will be with the highest end of iPad Pro line. You can read more about some of these early predictions at MacRumors. However, I don’t think we’d see any of these hit the market for at least 3 more years. Apple will instead release a larger sized 14 inch and possibly a 16 inch iPad Pro starting in 2024, per Gurman 9 To 5 Mac. Unless the bezels get even smaller a 16 inch iPad Pro seems borderline unwieldy, very expensive and possibly very fragile?

Time will tell.


Mac Studio

A couple weeks back I wrote and linked to the following information about the Mac Studio;

Original Post: In Review 24th Week Of 20239

Apple Mac Studio (2023) review: the M2 Ultra rips

The best new Mac for creators, videographers and audio pros? Time will tell. If you decide to drop some cash on one. Be sure to buy the exact spec you know you that you will need for the next three to five years as after purchase upgrades of any kind are entirely impossible. At least the power cable is removable. Didn’t get enough soldered on RAM or SSD Storage the first time around, guess you’ll have to trade up and in for the next M series release. With Apple’s current Mac trade in rates being absurdly low, you’d be better off selling it privately if you find yourself in that situation. Quoting Monica Chin’s article, “Apple will give you “up to $1,500″ for your now-obsolete M1 Ultra Studio in trade-in credit, should you decide the upgrade is necessary.” Upgrading from the M1 Ultra Studio to the M2 Ultra is not necessary for the vast majority of M1 Ultra users, most probably wouldn’t even notice the spec bump in day to day today work. The only exceptions are videographers who need the GPU bump as illustrated in Tyler Stalman’s excellent review.

Tyler Stalman – M1 Ultra vs. M2 Ultra DaVinci Resolve

The M2 Ultra exists for users upgrading from Intel Mac Minis (2018 or earlier), Mac Pro (2010), Mac Pro (2012), Mac Pro (2013), Mac Pro (2019) if you got a lower spec 8-Core or 12-Core, or any Intel Macbook Pro or Air where the user is looking to shift to a more powerful desktop based setup. Also, a great option for PC Based Cubase users looking to switch to Mac.

In general doubling your current specs is the best way to start your upgrade journey.


Current MachineMinimum Upgrade
Mac: Mac Mini 2018Mac: Mac Studio
CPU: 3.2 GHz 6-core Intel Core i7CPU: M2 Ultra 24-core, 60-core GPU, 32-core Neural Engine
SSD: 512 GBSSD: 1 TB
RAM: 64 GBRAM: 128 GB

To save some cash consider an Apple Certified Refurbished M1 based Mac Studio if you don’t need the latest and greatest, can live with 128 GBs of RAM and the possibility of a slightly louder fan based cooling system.”

In the time since that writing, I’ve come across a configuration that might be more ideal for audio producers/composers looking for their first higher end desktop that isn’t going to completely break the bank and a more affordable upgrade path for users coming from a Mac Pro 2012 or 2013 who need to use software that requires the latest macOS Ventura. But don’t require the power of the M2 Ultra and its expanded RAM SKU options.

A More Affordable Upgrade To Mac Studio

Current MachineMinimum Upgrade
Mac: Mac Mini 2018Mac: Mac Studio
CPU: 3.2 GHz 6-core Intel Core i7CPU: M2 Max 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
SSD: 512 GBSSD: 1 TB
RAM: 64 GBRAM: 96 GB

Chris Lawley reviewed a similary spec’d unit on his YouTube channel, Mac Studio M2 Max: First Look at Unlimited Power. The results are impressive.

M2 Max Mac Studio PriceM2 Ultra Mac Studio Price
CPU: M2 Max 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 16-core Neural EngineCPU: M2 Ultra 24-core, 60-core GPU, 32-core Neural Engine
RAM: 96 GBRAM: 128 GB
PRICE: $3,199.00PRICE: $5,599.00

The $2,400 in savings could be used for a variety of things. More external storage, an external display, studio monitors, a printer, sample libraries and extra cash on hand for future investments.


Daring Fireball 380: ‘The M Is for Magnificent’, With Matthew Panzarino

John Gruber and Tech Crunch Matthew Panzarino share their first hand experiences with Vision Pro, and provide valuable insight onto how they see Apple’s newest platform evolving as developers prepare their current apps and create news apps for the visionOS platform to be released early next year. Especially insightful if you are looking for more in depth coverage on Vision Pro.

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Written on MacBook Pro using Drafts Pro in Markdown.

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