Songs in the Cloud, Parental Controls and Balky Routers
Dear Re/code reader: You have some tech questions, I have some answers. Every Friday, I try and resolve these mysteries, succinctly and in plain language. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that I won’t be able to diagnose your personal tech glitches and problems. I also reserve the right to edit questions for length or clarity, and to combine similar inquiries.
Q. I’ve maxed out my 25,000-song limit in iTunes Match. Are there any work-arounds, outside of deleting songs?
A. Not as far as I know, unless you have multiple accounts. The service, which allows you to store your music in the cloud without having to upload most songs, has had this fixed limit since launch. The only exception is music purchased from Apple’s iTunes store using the same Apple ID as your Match account — those songs don’t count against the limit. One alternative for people with huge music collections is to switch to Amazon’s similar product, Cloud Player. It has a much higher limit of 250,000 songs, for the same $25 annual subscription fee. But it isn’t integrated into iTunes.
Q. I recall in the past reading about apps that allow a parent to monitor the child’s use of a mobile phone and alert parents whenever a child’s name is posted on any social network. But when I search on Google, I can’t find these. Can you help?
A. I haven’t tested any apps that monitor kids on their phones, so I can’t recommend one. But a Web search for “monitor kids on phones” turned up a bunch of choices, with names like TeenSafe, WebWatcher and PhoneSheriff. In addition to monitoring, you can lock down or limit a wide variety of what kids can do on an iPhone by using the Restrictions feature under General settings. On Android, some devices offer restricted profiles or Kids’ modes. And there’s a popular Android parental control app called Kids Place. The phone carriers also offer parental control options.
Q. I have cable internet service, with a Netgear router. The router is 18 months old. For the past six months, it has stopped working; roughly every 2 weeks, I have to unplug it and restart it to get it to work again. Friends have told me this is normal with routers. Is that correct? Do I need a new router?
A. Yes, I’d say you need a new router. Every Internet setup I’ve had requires an occasional router restart, but nothing like every two weeks. If it’s happening that often, I’d say the router needs replacing.