In the past Apple online store had held one day sales event for "Black Friday" (aka "Boxing Day", the day after Christmas). Usually any other times Apple products are rarely discounted; unless it is through the Corporate or Education sites or refurbished items. So it is a bit surprising to receive a Sale event announcement from Apple Hong Kong this morning. Let along a one day sale event from Apple HK. The email announcement detailed their first ever Chinese New Year 2011 one day sale event to be held on Friday, January 14th in their online store. There are currently no additional details about the deals, discounts or products included in the one-day-sale event. Visiting the page on Apple HK online store right now, one will see a message asking visitors to return on Friday for details.

Over the past years iPod and iPhone capacities have gotten larger and larger. Throughout these times I still advise friends to stay with the smallest size models in the iPod and iPhone lines. You may say, "Isn't larger the better?" Well in this case, that is not necessary true. Especially when people store mostly audio tracks: music and podcast, on these devices.

Some say, "I have a collection of several thousand tracks, how can I store them all on an iPod or iPhone with small capacities." My question to that is, how many hours do you have in a day to listen to audio tracks? For most that is 8 - 10 hours during a normal day.

My suggestion to these people who I recommends to buy the samllest size iPod or iPhone, is to use the "Smart Playlist" feature within iTunes to help select a set of fresh music tracks to synchronize to the iPod or iPhone each day or however frequent.

This above is just an example of the filters (criterions) to use for your Smart Playlist. Of course your filters may be different, but the goals are to not choose too many tracks and to always select new tracks each time the iPod or iPhone is synchronized with iTunes.

The first filter is to choose the list of tracks that had not been played in the past day. You can increase these if you do not mind listening to the same track as the day before.

Next, among these tracks I choose only the ones that I had given a rating of more than 3 stars. How you use the rating system within iTunes is up to you. I personally use it to mark tracks that I really like to listen to or will want to appear on my iPhone.

The "Limit to" checkbox I set the total selection to fill 8 hours and these tracks are chosen randomly. I also checked the "Match only checked items" checkbox, because when I rip (import) a CD I normally rip the entire CD for archive purpose, but I may only like one or two tracks on the CD, so I only check the tracks that I like and leave the others unchecked.

The above Smart Album is only about 740MB in size which means that even for a 8GB iPod I still have a lot of room for customized playlists (ie. "work out"), podcasts and video files.


iPod TouchHave been in New York City for the past 3 days.

Today, while going into the Apple Store on 5th Ave. for a friend of mine who wants me to help them purchase an iPod nano in Red.

I notice something very odd. There were a table of iPod Touch set up for people to play with. They sat among the a bunch of iPod Classic (aka. 6G iPod) and there was no fan fare or poster advertising the fact that they had arrived.

According to Apple's original information the iPod Touch was not to be available until September 28th in United States. I wonder if they have also arrived early else where around the world.

Will this mean that the iPhone v1.0.3 firmware upgrade, that rumors to enable the WiFi iTunes Store on the iPhone is also imminent?

If you are located else where other than United States, please comment to this post to share your findings.


Each time you allow iTunes to update your iOS device, iTunes will automatically delete the previous iOS firmware (ipsw) file from your computer. As a result you will not be able to restore your iOS device to one of these older iOS firmware. I decided to create a place where I list all the iOS firmware Apple ever released in the past. The following are all hyperlinks to Apple's official repositories, so there are no worries if any of these package contains malware payloads.

iPhone links:

iPad links:

iPod touch links:

I will do my best to update this list as Apple releases new iOS firmwares. I do not know how long Apple will continue to offer access to these files, I would be happy to serve these files from my own repository, but worry about infringing on Apple's copyrights.

If I have missed any, please feel free to share the official Apple hyperlinks to iOS firmware versions in the form of comments below.