No shuffle in new iOS 8.4 Music App

I was not too sure about the new Apple Music offering, but so far it seems quite alright! The music choices are generally good, and I hope that as I use the music app in iOS 8.4 more the choices get better.

Unfortunately I ended up using the app while not having mobile coverage and no WiFi either… so I reverted to “My Music” and since I was in the middle of a run, I wanted just to hit the shuffle button and hope for the best… However, I was surprised that there was no shuffle button to be seen… I ended up hitting the first song in the list and take it from there. It turns out that the shuffle option is set by default, you just have to seed it by starting playing any song. That seems good, except for the fact that it is not obvious at all.

You can select if you want the shuffle mode or not after starting playing any song and expanding the “Now Playing” bar:

iTunes Shuffle 1

 

And there you will be able to see the usual Shuffle icon:

iTunes Shuffle

 

RFU Podcast feed – one that can be used!

Association crest
Association crest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been waiting quite a bit for the RFU to make their podcasts available via iTunes or some other similar service. I used to listen to them but for one reason or another the feed changed to the extent that no submission was done to iTunes and the RSS of the RFU’s website is basically dead.

So, inspired by a post by Rolando Garza, I decided to hack an RSS that can actually be used to download the RFU podcast and get some information about Rugby. So I used a combination of Feedity which used HTML scraping to generate an RSS of almost any page. With the help op Yahoo Pipes I managed to use the magic of regular expressions to add appropriate dates and enclosures to the feed and the result is the RFU Podcast Feed.

So, as long as the RFU does not change the way they deal with their website and the posting of their mp3 content, then you can enjoy a bit of Rugby right in your mp3 devices.

Downgrade iPhone 3GS from iOS 4 back to 3.1.3

I have been very happy with the performance of my iPhone, but I could not help noticing that after upgrading the 3GS to iOS 4, the phone not only slowed down, but effectively stood still. Not really what you want when you are in need of getting directions, finding the name of that actor in that film, or simply making a phonecall. So, if you are in that boat, here is a recipe to downgrade your device and recover some functionality! You will need the following ingredients:

  1. iPhone 3GS
  2. iTunes
  3. Cable to connect iPhone to iTunes
  4. A copy of iOS 3.1.3
  5. RecBoot
  6. Some patience

Preparation 1 – Get iOS 3.1.3 ready

This sounds like a tricky one, but do not panic, it might well be that you do indeed have a copy of the iOS available in your hard drive, check in:

~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

On Windows, your iPhone OS updates should be stored in:

C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates

If you see a file inside this folder corresponding to

iPhone1,1_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw

or

iPhone1,2_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw

those are likely the restore images you need.

If you don’t see anything that resembles the 3.1.3 OS or you just want  a freshly downloaded one,  iClarified has a list of iPhone firmware files. Just find 3.1.3 for your phone and download it to a place in your hard drive that you can remember.

Preparation 2 – RecBoot

Later on in the process, you will need RecBoot to be able to tell iTunes to free your iPhone after downgrading. You can download it here (available for Mac and Windows).

Preparation 3 – Put your iPhone into DFU mode

You need to put your iPhone into Device Firmware Update (or DFU) mode in order to downgrade to 3.1.3., here is how:

  1. Plug in your iPhone.
  2. Power it down by holding the sleep/lock button at the top and sliding to power off.
  3. Once it’s powered down, press and hold both the sleep/lock button and the home button for ten seconds.
  4. After ten seconds, release the power button but continue holding down the home button.
  5. If you did it right, iTunes will pop up a window telling you that it’s detected an iPhone in recovery mode and your iPhone’s screen will be black. If it didn’t work, start from the beginning and try again.

Preparation 4 – Downgrade to 3.1.3

It is now time to do the downgrading. Dismiss the iTunes alert that told you you’re in recovery mode. Select the iPhone in the iTunes sidebar

  1. Hold Cmd and click the Restore button
  2. iTunes will pop up a window prompting you to choose a file. Navigate to the location of the 3.1.3 OS file you obtained in preparation 1.
  3. Select that file, and iTunes will start the OS restore process. You will now use the bit of patience as thos takes a few minutes
  4. When it’s finished, you’ll  receive an error message  and your iPhone will boot up with a “Connect to iTunes” screen.

Preparation 5 – Recovering the iPhone

This is where RecBoot becomes useful. Open RecBoot, and click “Exit Recovery Mode”. After a few seconds the software should prompt your iPhone to leave the plug-me-into-iTunes mood  and there you go, you have a freshly downgraded iPhone device!

Serve cold and enjoy!