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Tag: itunes

GNC #689 Bandwidth Challenged

Posted by geeknews at 1:22 AM on July 22, 2011

Looks like someone is messing with my net connections while I am streaming the show. Twice in two weeks the net connection has went dead while live time to do some digging. Lots of tech tonight but the last two shows the intro has slipped a bit in length. I will get that re-aligned next show. So far nothing but postive feedback on the HD version of the show. See the bonus links in the show notes and check out our iTunes network provider listings.

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Sync Office and Google Docs.
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PlayPlay

Create Your Own TV Station

Posted by tomwiles at 10:22 PM on March 20, 2011

One of the problems with watching video podcasts as an alternative to conventional television is that you have typically and deliberately watch one video at a time. On longer videos it’s not as much of a problem, but with short videos that last 5 minutes or less you have to keep manually restarting the next video after the previous one has finished.

I now have three Mac Minis – one is an old somewhat underpowered Power PC Mac Mini that I’m using as a video podcast aggregator. I have that machine’s iTunes database located on a much larger shared drive that’s available to every machine on my home network. I’m subscribed to a variety of tech podcasts, most of them in the highest resolution file sizes available.

I have two other Mac Minis that are of the latest design. I have an “Eye TV” USB HD tuner connected to one that’s connected to a substantial external antenna. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can receive up to 18 channels counting the various digital sub channels. This enables the Mac Mini to function as a DVR.

The second Intel Mac Mini is in another room and the Eye TV software also loaded on it is able to work from the other Mac Mini’s shared recordings.

Today I discovered by accident when playing around with iTunes on one of the Intel Mac Minis that the shared videos show up in the shared playlists from other iTunes databases. So, in other words, I can pick a shared iTunes list from the Power PC Mac Mini’s shared iTunes and a list of video files shows up. Since the videos are in the list just like audio would be, I am able to start a video file playing and when one file ends it will immediately start playing the next video file on the list. This is particularly useful because I can start videos playing as I do other things and it will continue to play just as if it’s a TV station. This is quite a handy capability to have. The lack of an ability to set up continuous video playback has long been one of the Apple TV’s biggest shortcomings.

Periodically I go to the Power PC Mac Mini and delete the video files that have been played, since iTunes keeps a play count, so I always have fresh material to watch.

 

NHK World TV iPod App

Posted by tomwiles at 8:59 PM on March 13, 2011

Like millions of others, I’ve been glued to news sources to get as much current information as I can about the ongoing disasters in Japan following the massive earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear plant disasters. This has to be the biggest natural disaster that has occurred in my lifetime.

In pre-Internet days, we had to rely on newspapers and television for news. Those forms of information have their problems. This is the Internet age. I want current information directly from the source NOW, not later. I want current information of my choice, not what news agencies that aren’t directly on the scene think is or is not important for me to know. If I want 24/7 disaster coverage, in the Internet age that becomes possible, allowing me to completely bypass limited conventional coverage.

It took a while for me to find, but there’s an iPhone/iPod/iPad/iOS app from Japan’s NHK called NHK World TV Live. The app is free. Once the app is installed, it operates very simply. You simply open the app and the live video directly from Japan’s NHK World news service immediately begins streaming. Search iTunes for NHK World TV Live.

The service has an English translator that talks over the lowered volume of the original Japanese broadcasts. The English translators aren’t slick and you can hear them become a bit confused from time to time.

There’s also an app from the Al jazeera TV English news network that operates live out of Doha, Qatar. Al jazeera TV English is highly produced from a beautiful state-of-the-art studio. The on-air newsreaders seem to be British nationals. Though Al jazeera gives more news from the Arab world than the typical American is used to, they do a pretty good job of covering international news, including the situation in Japan. Search iTunes for Al jazeera English Live.

Savvy TV news agencies in today’s world have to make themselves available if they want to continue to be relevant. News agencies such as the BBC, CBC, CNN, Fox, etc. seem to be dragging their feet regarding available-to-anyone-anywhere 24/7 Internet TV broadcasting. I believe they are already losing world market share.

 

GNC-2011-03-07 #653 Not the Charlie Sheen Show!

Posted by geeknews at 1:35 AM on March 8, 2011

I spend a few moments talking about the technical portions of the Charlie Sheen show on Ustream. Considering the train wreck that happened on their inaugural show on Saturday makes me proud of all the new media creators that produce their own shows, and do so with 50x the professionalism of what I observed Saturday night. I have a new giveaway starting tonight listen to win. This show is action packed from the beginning to the end! Become an Insider or Make a donation to the show to qualify for the contest.

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Facebook Saves Boy.
Star Trek Wakes Discovery Crew.
Discovery Leaves ISS.
Can we Get our Groove Back?
Woz on Tech and Education.
6 Things in Space.
What went up did not stay up!
Our First Alien.
New Angle on Saturn.
Supernova back as Video Portal.
Fake MPAA/RIAA notice scams $280K
Fox Double DMCA Takedown (Idiots).
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Sorenson Squeeze 7.
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Google Responds to Droid Malware.
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WD buys Hitachi HD Manufacturing.
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iTunes Home Sharing Update.
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PlayPlay

Apple removes Ping Feature Podcasters Need from Itunes!

Posted by geeknews at 9:10 AM on February 11, 2011

Since Apple introduced Podcast in the iTunes application in June of 2005, there has been a feature where a podcaster could ping Apple to let them know that a new episode  had been published.  This guaranteed that time sensitive content was able to get listed and be available to subscribers with a few hours of its posting. Sometime earlier this week Apple removed that feature. It came to light when we discovered that pinging apple now redirects you to a online version of iTunes.

Completely unannounced to even their support people, Apple.com has removed the documentation how to ping iTunes when your podcast updates from the official  iTunes podcast specifications. I cannot even start to explain how bad an impact this is going to have. Apple says they will now update directory listings once every 24 hours. Problematic if  Apple just visited your site 5 minutes before you hit publish on the hottest story of the decade. Podcasters with evergreen content this change means little.

Since July of 2005 when Apple introduced Podcast to iTunes this has been a critical feature in more ways than one. From a tech support angle, it makes it much harder for my company to support podcasters when they are having trouble as well.

In recent days my audience members complained that the listings were not updating for a couple of days after the show was published which is suspect because once subscribed to a show the listing in iTunes should update automatically when you sync your phone. This is going to negatively impact on listener numbers either way, and also make shows that have time sensitive information less relevant. If you are a podcaster you need to voice your opinion very loudly with Apple. We need this feature re-instated to ensure that podcast listings on iTunes get updated in a timely manner.

For More Info on how this is going to impact you please read my companies official post on this.

Todd Cochrane

GNC-2010-11-15 #627 Back Scatter Mania!

Posted by geeknews at 9:58 PM on November 15, 2010

Need a bigger green screen, had fun experimenting with it will introduce it once I get back to Hawaii. Lot’s of tech tonight and I keep the show to just an hour. Some big announcements coming later this week just waiting on some deliverables from some vendors.

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Apple Ping: Apple’s Social Network that’s Not Very Social

Posted by J Powers at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2010
Apple Ping

Apple Ping

I took the time to download iTunes 10 over the weekend. With it, the new service – Ping. A social network within a walled garden of iTunes.

But not really that much of a social network

The service is simple to activate. Apple – just like Google did with Buzz – placed an icon on the sidebar of iTunes. You select it and the service asks you to turn it on. You can turn the service off at any time, but you have to go hunting that option…

Once you set up your profile, you are ready to start. Just like Twitter, you find your friends and start following them. They can turn around and follow you – or maybe not.

Why it’s not a Social Network

It’s simple: you don’t get to be social at all unless an approved action or transaction takes place. You can friend someone, you can like and comment on something that happened, but you cannot really initiate a conversation. At least, I cannot seem to find a way to do that…

There is no “What are you doing now” type option. I have to wait for someone to purchase something to reply. It’s like sitting in class until a teacher says something – you can then raise your hand to comment or question.

Selective content to Ping

Since I don’t have cable in my house, I purchase the season pass for “Mad Men” through iTunes. I was surprised to not see that Ping did not post: Jeffrey Powers watched episode 405 of Mad Men. It didn’t post: Jeffrey Powers just subscribed to these podcasts or that I just downloaded the latest and greatest iPhone app.  I couldn’t even press a button to announce that I was doing stuff on iTunes.

However, I can download a song, choose to “Like” it and that information will show up in Ping.

What? I have to keep iTunes open now?

Some of us don’t think too much on this – you might have iTunes open all the time. However, I try to keep a minimum amount of programs open.

When iTunes is open, it also opens up Apple Mobile Device Helper, disnoted (for iPhone connection) and a series of other processes depending on what you have connected to your iTunes. The full list  of processes are on Apple’s website. Not all of those processes end when I close iTunes.

Spammers

Apparently, spammers hit the page as quickly as they did with Buzz and Facebook. Apple has taken steps to resolve that one. Being behind that walled garden might help curb issues. Still, if people stop using this service, it could become a constant problem. Spammers seem to love any open door.

Will Ping replace Facebook?

Not at this current stage. I always said you would have to add Farmville and MafiaWars to have that happen. Apple doesn’t even let people know what apps you bought on your iPhone.

At most it’s a sounding board for musical artists. Instead of hearing about politics, technology or sports; you find out about what music is new and what people’s tastes are in music.

For instance, if you looked at my Ping profile, you will find out my musical tastes and what songs I just downloaded.

In summary, Ping is the social network that lets you talk when it’s your turn. You can only talk about the stuff posted on the board – which is limited. I cannot even find my Twitter friends easily, which might be a good thing. You must use iTunes to use it, so if you don’t use iTunes to purchase music, this service is completely useless.

One more thing: I tried to check out the privacy policy and all I got was this (it’s the only link on the page that fails):

Ping Privacy Policy

Ping Privacy Policy

GNC-2010-08-26 #605 Hotel Broadband SUCKS!

Posted by geeknews at 7:27 PM on August 26, 2010

Hotels in Large part do not care about their guest and over the past couple of years bandwidth has continued to decline at every place I stay it is quite discouraging. Start complaining loudly where ever you stay and hopefully we can reverse the trend. Headed for Honolulu on Saturday ready for a few days at home.

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$0.99 Streaming TV Shows in iTunes?

Posted by Alan at 8:49 AM on July 10, 2010

A recent report (which, much like every other report about Apple, means a completely unsupported rumor) regarding the much-talked-about new version Apple TV, claims that lower priced streaming TV shows are on the way to iTunes.

According to sources, Apple is in negotiations with TV producers to allow it to rent shows for $0.99 as opposed to the $1.99 they charge for purchase of shows.  This would work much the same as the current movie rental model.  Once rented, the customer will have 30 days to begin watching the show.  And, once started, the show will expire after 24 hours.

This will essentially place the content in the cloud, where the other heavyweights in this fight are – Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video-on-demand are all streaming services.  Although, Amazon does offer the option for download.

Not long ago Engadget reported that the next version of Apple TV will run iOS, the same operating system as the iPhone and iPad.  This would almost necessitate streaming as (per Engadget):

The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage — 16GB to be exact.

That’s a huge drop-off in storage capacity from the current 160GB hard drive.

This would come on the heals of the new Hulu Plus release, which brings subscription TV to the online masses.  But, it would have more content than Hulu.  HBO shows, among others, would be available.

But, would Apple try to partner with third-party hardware manufacturers the way Hulu and Netflix have?  Or would they continue to make their iTunes offerings available only through PC’s, Macs and Apple hardware?  That may be the key to this market if they really want to be a player.

GNC-2010-07-06 #590 We have a Winner!

Posted by geeknews at 1:05 AM on July 6, 2010

Congratulations to Katie she is our Lenovo A63 system winner. Big thank you to everyone that participated, this was our biggest response to a contest to date.  Some interesting feedback from the last show and my comments to those comments.  Big thank you to the Ohana for all that you do. I did not get the insider out this weekend but it is on my growing list for this week.  It will be a good one as I have a topic planned that will give you some insight into what I do day, to day to make the show better. Looking for volunteers for CES 2011!

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Digital Changes are you Ready?
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How Lazy can we get?
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