Setting the scene: Imagine you are moving a playlist or deleting a track from a playlist. A second later you realize your mistake and want to revert that action.

What’s the shortcut you’d reach for first? For me it would be Cmd + Z, the universal shortcut for “Undo that last change”.

Small Apple Music.app pop-quiz: What happens if you decide to use that shortcut?

Answer: The playlist folder name is deleted and renamed to “untitled folder”, if you hit Cmd + Z a few more times it creates additional playlist folders called “untitled folder”. Obviously.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s anyone actually using Apple Music at the fruit company for more than a few minutes while doing a demo. While I really like the curated playlists there are some serious usability problems with them:

  • You can’t put them in folders like regular, locally created playlists
  • You can’t see which one is a local one you can put in folders and which one is an Apple Music Playlist that can’t be moved without just trying it.
  • You can’t select multiple playlists to remove or move them (Like it would work in any native Mac app)
  • To rename the playlist you can’t right-click / rename as you would expect it to work. You have to open the playlist and then figure out that you can click the name in there. But just in the right way, otherwise it starts playback of the playlist. Or in the case of an empty playlist a random song from your library…for reasons. This is so discoverable that people had to call the Apple Support to learn that.

If you’ve used Apple Music for more than a couple of days you’ll end up with an endless list of alphabetically sorted playlists in the side bar with no way of organizing them or deleting them without right-clicking every single one of them.

I guess that’s what they mean by “Lose yourself in 60 million songs.” on the Apple Music marketing landing page.

For months I have been wondering why on a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro the fans would always spin up like crazy when a simple Time Machine backup was running. It also seemed really odd to me that almost always when I checked, it would show several GB of data being backed up – I rarely change that much data. Then I read about Catalina fucking up yet another thing and figured that must probably be the reason.

Still, it was so insanly annoying that I could not let it rest. I figured there must be some way to find out what data exactly changed inbetween two TM snapshots. There is. I let that script run (for almost an entire day) and in the resulting output I was quickly able to find the directory that was responsible for almost the entire size of the changes: ~/Library/Arq/.

So I went into that directory, finding a Cache.noindex directory in it that was several dozen gigabytes large. After the recent debacle with Arq 6 (I’m still on version 5) my initial reaction was to blame the developer for putting that cache directory in the wrong place, causing it not to be ignored by Time Machine. But alas, there was the .noindex1 ending in the name, so should that not also mean that Time Machine ignores it? Yes. Yes, it should. But for whatever reason, it doesn’t. So for months, my two primary backup strategies have negatively affected each other by slowing down to a grinding halt and consuming ungodly amounts of CPU power and fan spinnage.

I have now manually added that specific directory to my Time Machine exclusion list and haven’t heard the fans since. It just works!


  1. There is (was?) also .nobackup. [return]

While clicking around in the Shortcuts.app I peeked at some of the offered ready-made Shortcuts. I’m not sure how this value is generated but at least for my understanding of languages this one doesn’t quite roll off the tongue easily.

As one of the few people who use Siri every day I mostly use it to control lights and temperature in my flat.

Every evening I make sure the heating is turned down to 15º (Celsius) and every few days Siri tries to barbecue me in my sleep by misunderstanding my commands.

Every morning I go through the same routine of two completely unnecessary steps when entering what I read the night before:

1) Even though I’m never reading more than one book at the same time, the GoodReads app forces me to “select” that one book manually. Even though I’m opening the app via the “Update Progress” shortcut, where the app could easily be smart enough to realize that there is only one book for which I can update the progress.

2) After entering the new progress value, I’m thrown back to the selection screen from before. With the same data from before. To make sure my data was actually saved and not sacrificed to the gods of package loss, I have to manually refresh myself.

It’s has been 20 0 days since we encountered an annoyance within the aura of the Music.app.

There’s this handy feature where you can “Pause” a song by right-clicking the icon in the Dock and then selecting “Pause” from the menu that pops up. Today I realized that this doesn’t work if you have a dialog open in the Music.app, this could be for example the “Get Info” dialog where you get details about the currently selected song.

Maybe with the rumored switch to ARM processors we can overcome this shortage of processing power and run these two things in different threads.

I was about to complain about something else on Twitter but unfortunately that will have to wait as almost every time I’m trying to upload a video on Twitter it just fails with a non descriptive error message.

Instead of telling me what’s wrong Twitter just gives me a useless message that tells me to try it again until magically the aspect ratio of my video changes. Maybe I should also reboot my computer while I’m at it?

Looking at the requests posted to api.twitter.com/1.1/statuses/update.json I can see that it got rejected because of the aspect ratio. Maybe that would be a more helpful error message?

{
    "errors": [
        {
            "code": 324,
            "message": "Aspect ratio too large: Maximum: 3:1, Actual: 396:91 (MediaId: snf:1234567891011)"
        }
    ]
}

I won’t give it another shot.

The AirPods Pro are plagued with issues. There are firmware issues(Sorry for linking to Medium.com) with the noise cancelling and other software (or hardware?) issues resulting in clicking or buzzing devices.

So far I was mostly able to enjoy the latter ones and after getting the left AirPod replaced for clicking noises it was time to replace the right one for buzzing noises. That was easier said than done as the I couldn’t enter the support chat with my serial number for some reason. As usual I’m not the only one with that problem.

Ducking iOS doesn’t let me type “fuck” without changing it but apparently the one time I give Siri dictation a chance because my hands are full of grocery shopping germs it just transforms “can’t” into “cunt” and sends the message.

Being somewhat skeptical of Siri I already added a disclaimer without seeing the result of the Siri transcribed message, a reasonable idea in retrospect. Apparently this is known as SDBNR.

Annoyances vented by Manuel Grabowski and Philipp Defner.

Colophon. Follow via RSS (Atom), Twitter or Telegram.


Retweets are endorsements.