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Articles tagged with: iTunes

Apple’s software (for Macintosh and Windows) for syncing, purchasing music, apps and podcasts for your iPhone, iPod and iPads.

Written By: Gary on September 12, 2007 No Comment

So my Mom went to get me a Gift Card from the Apple Store and she was talking about her experience there. I’ll paraphrase –

I had never been to an Apple Store, it’s kind of a strange store. It was 10:30 am on a weekday and they were packed, there weren’t any cash registers and it was just kind of odd. The store was very small but there were a lot of staff and they were all busy. It was a different shopping experience.

It was just an interesting experience listening to her talk about it, trying to comprehend the Mac fascination of the Mac users.

I kinda wished I had talked her into getting a MacBook, I just wasn’t sure if she’d use it and wasn’t sure if it was worth the extra expense (in case she didn’t use it). Now I know that it would have been…

Written By: Gary on September 10, 2007 3 Comments

ChuckjourneymanYou can see Journeyman, Chuck, Life and Bionic Woman for Free with Amazon UnBox. This means you can download them straight to your TiVo and watch them on the big screen (or you can download them to a PC, but I’ve never done that) for a limited time. I haven’t seen Life yet, but I’ve seen the other three: Chuck is awesome, Journeyman is excellent, Bionic Woman is luke-warm but I’ll give it a chance (and you can see for yourself!).

On a side note, this ties to NBC cutting ties or getting pissed at the iTunes music store (I can’t remember why) and are now partnering with Amazon. I have no idea how long this offer might last or if the link will last but this is a permanent (I think) link to Amazon Unbox.Lifebionic

Amazon Unbox is an interesting service, more so for your TiVo than your PC (IMHO). You can rent high-quality movies for about $3.99 each, but each weekend they offer a half-dozen 99 cent ones (some are new and some are old), so keep your eyes open for those. Rentals are on your machine for 30 days but once you start to watch you only have 24 hours to finish (or re-watch it). Personally, I think 24 hours is too short, it needs to be about 36 hours; if I start to watch a movie Sunday afternoon at 4 and don’t finish it, I’m probably not going to be home from work in time the next day to finish it. I really think they need to extend the 24 hours (which is starting to be an industry standard) to about 36 hours (48?) or figure out some way to get another $1 out of me so that I can keep it for another day). It’s just more consumer friendly, it’s not like I’ve got the media and they need it to rent to another person.So back to the free previews. It’s a very cool marketing idea. But here’s my question – why aren’t there any ads?!? They could be making money off of this (or at least advertising their fall line-up). They need to explore this so that they can explore this delivery medium and realize that free to the consumer is good. That’s the whole model of television, free with commercials. If they gave it away free they could probably even rig it to force you to watch the commercials (or just the first few seconds) so they know they are getting their money’s worth. But as always, I hope they figure out a way to target the commercials to me (I don’t need tampons or Cialis, I need Apple products and movie previews). Just a thought…

Written By: Gary on September 6, 2007 No Comment

So Apple redid the iPod line-up yesterday:

  • iPod touch – Basically an iPhone without the phone. It’s got the WiFi browser and you’ll now be able to buy directly from the iTunes store from the phone.
  • iPod Nano – Totally new shape to accommodate a new larger screen so you can watch movies and video! Available in 4 or 8 GB sizes.
  • Classic iPod – The same but up to 160 GB of music a video (also in 80 GB).
  • iPhone – Price dropped $200 and only the 8 GB model is available now. And you can buy ringtones and songs via WiFi. I’d expect at 16 GB model soon…

    You can use the WiFi free at Starbucks, but I’m not sure if that’s for surfing or just buying music. You can also see a “now Playing” list at Starbucks and easily purchase any of the last ten songs. If it’d update my podcasts via WiFi or if the had a 160 GB iTouch I’d really be tempted…

    Please note – Some of the features and items aren’t ready yet, but I think all are supposed to be by the end of the month.

  • Written By: Gary on August 19, 2007 One Comment

    10Gb.MacI’ve mentioned Apple’s .Mac service before and I really like it. Apple has expanded their .Mac on-line backup/syncing to 10GB (from 1 GB). Apple has always been behind the curve in how much storage space for the cost ($99 a year) but they’ve made up for it. With the increased storage it really makes the family plan more practical and affordable too.

     .macIf you have a Macintosh, you’ll love this (especially if you have a laptop or more than one Mac). It’s a remote backup / synchronization / file sharing / training / web publishing software service rolled all-in-one! The biggest feature to me is that if you use your iDisk for all your documents, the next time you connect to the internet it seamlessly synchronizes this document to the server & all your other Macs and you can access the files from any web browser on any platform (it also keeps a copy of all your documents on your hard drive so you can see them if you aren’t on-line). It also synchronizes your bookmarks, e-mail, calendar, contacts data/settings across all your Macs. So if I drop my laptop (or have it stolen), I don’t lose any of my data (as long I’ve been on the internet recently).

    With the extra storage I can save all my purchased iTunes to to my .Mac Music folder and it’ll be on all my computers and I don’t need to make a copy until I have a DVD’s worth of music. The same goes for my photos, I’m always worried about losing my irreplaceable photos.

    For regular documents, you’ll never notice that it’s biggest downside, it’s slow. But if you drag a bunch of huge files in there it’ll take a while, but since it’s seamless you’ll probably never notice, if it doesn’t have enough time, it’ll just continue the next time you’re on the ‘net!Banner To get more info you have to read my earlier post (I’m already repeating myself from that one).

    Written By: Gary on August 14, 2007 No Comment

    AfinefrezyfreeitunesWhen Brandi Carlile is in Detroit (October 14, 2007) she’ll be playing with A Fine Frenzy. I’m not really familiar with them but their You Picked Me is the Free iTunes song of the week this week (until August 20, 2007) so check them out. The free song is and I like it the few times I’ve tried it so give it a free download! And if you turn on iTunes Plus it looks like it comes without DRM copy-protection so (maybe?) you can put it on some other music players. Actually, most of their music at iTunes is DRM-free and inexpensive ($7.99 for a fourteen track album or $1.99 for a three song EP) when you consider the higher quality DRM free versions are $1.29 a song.

    The 10/14 concert is general admission ($20) and it’s a a great venue (my second favorite in the Detroit area). Let me know if you’re going to the Detroit concert so we can say “HI!”

    Written By: Gary on July 23, 2007 One Comment

    So the future of television is certainly changing. The networks haven’t completely caught on yet, but they will. In a day when users can download higher quality video than they currently receive, get shows from parts of the world that aren’t available and have the advantage of having no ads and are free (please note this means stolen). We can also buy many of these videos from the iTunes store or Amazon UnBox for $1.99 an episode (iTunes has some at 99 cents for an episode and sometimes get that cheap if you subscribe for season). I know “legal” is not what people think when they hear the word BitTorrent, but BitTorrent.com even sells shows legally these days.

    If I could subscribe to a lot of the shows I enjoy for 99 cents an episode and have them automatically download to my AppleTV, TiVo, iPod or other device I’d never have anything more than basic cable. I’m sure this goes for a lot of people. Everything needed (except the mentality) to do this currently exists. The networks and producers of these shows need to somehow start embracing this model before it gets even easier for people to get (steal) these shows for free.

    Or charge me significantly less and let me trade the produces some statistical information about myself and let them insert in advertising relevant to me. Give me geeky ads, movie and TV show previews that I like, music that I like. Advertise events and concerts that are taking place where I live. I don’t need diaper ads, tampons, bad credit information, refinancing, ads for cars that cost $50,000+, ways to give up smoking. With the right information instead of advertising a new bed which I may have just purchased, they can advertise new pillows or new sheets (and mark in their files to start giving me new bed advertisements in another 5 years) that I might actually purchase.

    Even better, let me give “them” lots of information about me, which I’ll update a few times a month with information about what I’ve purchased or I’m shopping for (who in my life has a birthday coming up) or where I’m traveling to. And they can actually pay me to watch television! I’m not looking for a lot of money but just something to make it worth giving them info (besides, think of how much you’d save on cable if it was free!). Maybe some hotel discount coupons when I mention a vacation, or a coupon for Best Buy when they know I’m looking for a new video camera.

    Written By: Gary on July 22, 2007 2 Comments

    My AppleTV is awesome! An “iPod for your TV” is a accurate description. I ran the software update (painless!) and it gave me YouTube videos and fixed “enhanced podcasts”.

    It mirrors one of your computer’s iTunes just like an iPod does (and allows you exceptions) and will stream from any other computers running iTunes (platform independent) and I don’t think there is a limit. I can’t believe how fast it pulls hi-res movie previews from Apple down to the unit, it’s very very fast. It’s actually much faster than pulling down YouTube videos (many which are low-res).

    It really streams full-scren video from other computers really efficiently. Very rarely does it need a moment to catch up. It has no problem with steaming audio. It almost makes no sense to download podcasts, I bet you could stream them live if you had a way to just get the RSS feeds onto the AppleTV.

    With “enhanced podcasts” it now properly advances the embedded images to follow along with the audio. The problem is that it just shows them to the side like the album artwork, some images are much larger so it really cheats you by scaling them down. Since you don’t use the up/down keys on the remote during this process “up” would be a great way to enlarge the images.

    I have the same image size concern when viewing slideshows with the “Ken Burns effect”, sometimes I want to view the whole image. Once again this would be another great use for the up button. The down button could be used for viewing filenames, date, time and other info about the images. Actually, this would be a good use for the down button while viewing videos or audio.

    A few more features (like on the TiVo) like weather, movie listings and maybe Flickr photo viewing and it’d be even better…What I don’t like is that it only lets you sync with one computer. I’d like to sync music with one, videos with another and podcasts with another (not so sure if I care about the latter).

    What I need:
    1) A way to automatically convert videos and stick them into iTunes for me (so when I drop/download a file to a folder, it starts processing for me). I could probably do this via Mac or Windows….

    2) A way to play other file formats on the AppleTV, such as AVI and DiVX files. I think I can hack it to do that but I’m not sure if I want to take it apart yet.

    Written By: Gary on July 21, 2007 One Comment

    So I’ve been very interested in the AppleTV and never got around to trying it. But I was feeling pretty happy after happy hour yeast and Best Buy has a good return policy so I’m now the proud owner of an AppleTV (40GB). It’s very cool. Very easy to install. Very easy to configure. Pure yummy Apple perfection. And there is no way I’m going to return it!

    Two user-interface suggestions:
    1) They need a better distinction between the computer you sync with and the computers you stream from. This needs to be better in the AppleTV and in iTunes.
    2) The top menu item says AppleTV and it looks like it’s a title and not a menu item (it actually takes you back to the main menu) and it’s confusing. I’ve read about this but I forgot about it…
    3) Put in a DVD player and a video/s-video port. (This doesn’t count since it’s not an interface issue).
    3b) Safari would be cool too! This would just be for .Mac members so it would interface with your bookmarks!

    If you think you’d like one of these, then run and go get one, it’s way cool.

    Written By: Gary on July 11, 2007 One Comment

    Brandi Carlile is headlining the VH1 You Ought to Know Tour. She’ll be at St. Andrews Hall on October 14th. Yeah, I know I just saw her, but she;s going to be about a 10 minute ride from my place, how can I not go?

    If anyone is going let me know and we can say HI at the concert.

    Pre-sale tickets were supposed to be at VH1 today, but I can’t find them. TicketMaster wasn’t supposed to have them until Saturday, please note the operative worlds “supposed to” they appear to be available for some cities.

    And Ticketmaster give me 10 free iTunes songs (their choosing) so be sure to pay attention at the end of your order to not miss the button for that…

    Written By: Gary on April 6, 2007 No Comment

    So PC World has a story on the Best 50 Tech products. Considering a few of the items in the list, I think few things are missing: Skype, one of the early pieces of ZIP/StuffIt software, maybe a Palm (or even Windows) cell phone, a TRS-80, the Sony WalkMan set standards for portable (choose your own) music players and I’m sure I’ll think of a few more later. Half of the software “tools” seem to be things to fix parts/utilities missing from the Windows OS. And there isn’t any software for creating web pages / FTPing files (from the era of Netscape and Eudora) or blocking spam. Should flickr or Google be considered a product? Amazon or eBay? Okay, so I’m getting ahead of myself, lets show the list.

    Of the 50 I’ve bolded items owned/used (some were free or work owned for my use) and added comments to many items (even ones I don’t use):

    1. Netscape Navigator (1994) – Netscape and NCSA made the Internet (and Eudora), thanks!
    2. Apple II (1977) – I never owned one until years later when I got a deal on one.
    3. TiVo HDR110 (1999) – Early adoptor and I’ve added many converts
    4. Napster (1999)
    5. Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS (1983) – More of a VisaCalc/Excell user but they’re all great.
    6. Apple iPod (2001) – I waited for a color one with a big hard drive and spent the early adopter prices for it (now better ones are 1/2 the price).
    7. Hayes Smartmodem (1981) – I can’t be sure I actually had a Hayes, but I had one of the first generics if I didn’t (I’ve had so many modems, I can’t recall). Hayes changed computer communications IMHO.
    8. Motorola StarTAC (1996) – Several of these from several carriers and they were all awesome.
    9. WordPerfect 5.1 (1989) – I used it but I’m not proud, I think it’s awful
    10. Tetris (1985)
    11. Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (1994) – This has almost always been too complicated for any needs I’ve ever had.
    12. IBM ThinkPad 700C (1992)
    13. Atari VCS/2600 (1977) – I always wanted one of these (even years later) but I never had one.
    14. Apple Macintosh Plus (1986) – I was a late apple adaptor but I loved it. I still love Apple and I think I always will…
    15. RIM BlackBerry 857 (2000) – no interest in one of these ever
    16. 3dfx Voodoo3 (1999) – I don’t think I’ve ever had a machine with this card.
    17. Canon Digital Elph S100 (2000)
    18. Palm Pilot 1000 (1996) – I jumped on the palm bandwagon late but now I’m a fan
    19. id Software Doom (1993)
    20. Microsoft Windows 95 (1995) – I’m sure one of my work Machines ran this, I’m not sure if I ever owned a machine with it. I think I jumped from Windows 3.1 back to DOS and then to ME or 98 at home.
    21. Apple iTunes 4 (2003) – THE best/easiest way to shop for music on-line
    22. Nintendo Game Boy (1989)
    23. Iomega Zip Drive (1994) – These folks dominated the market. Everyone I know had one of these drives and then they just faded away…
    24. Spybot Search & Destroy (2000)
    25. Compaq Deskpro 386 (1986) – We sold these and I’ll always remember the customer that pronounced it Comp-A-Que and we had no idea what they were asking for.
    26. CompuServe (1982) – Had an account for a while, this was pre-Internet…
    27. Blizzard World of Warcraft (2004)
    28. Aldus PageMaker (1985) – I have never been a PageMaker fan.
    29. HP LaserJet 4L (1993)
    30. Apple Mac OS X (2001) – It just works! (generally)
    31. Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
    32. Eudora (1988) – Probably one of the best e-mail clients ever, way way way before it’s time.
    33. Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000 (1995)
    34. Apple Airport Base Station (1999)
    35. Brøderbund The Print Shop (1984) – This was why people never wanted to get rid of their dot matrix printers (the pinfeed paper for banners).
    36. McAfee VirusScan (1990)
    37. Commodore Amiga 1000 (1985) – I always wanted one of these!
    38. ChipSoft TurboTax (1985) – I love tax software, it’s so worth the money
    39. Mirabilis ICQ (1996)
    40. Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 (1992) – This was the standard for audio cards forever.
    41. Apple HyperCard (1987) – Best software ever! This was the premiere application using hyperlinks and (almost) had plug-ins and supported multimedia. Think linking and interactive pages (cards) of information and graphics all running on your computer (pre-internet)
    42. Epson MX-80 (1980) – These were one of the most durable dot matix printers ever.
    43. Central Point Software PC Tools (1985)
    44. Canon EOS Digital Rebel (2003) – I love this it feels like a real camera in my hands. It works like one too.
    45. Red Hat Linux (1994) – Awesome easy to use/maintain version of a free OS.
    46. Adaptec Easy CD Creator (1996) – I have/use various versions of it, but I’ll always love toast.
    47. PC-Talk (1982)
    48. Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 (1997) – The floppy disk cameras made it easy for everyone to get their photos off the camera. This was always my favorite camera to have schools use.
    49. Microsoft Excel (1985) – Excel is an awesome spreadsheet.
    50. Northgate OmniKey Ultra (1987)

    Here’s a complete list for “printing” but I’m not sure if it’ll link properly (at the bottom of the page are just the items).

    Written By: Gary on April 4, 2007 No Comment

    I wasn’t ever a Doctor Who fan (not even a bit), a friend mentioned it to me more than a few times but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But then they started running a new series a few years ago and it seemed okay, but then I started watching it from the beginning of the 2005 season and it was really good. I really enjoy the humor, just a little British with a lot of wit; some of with wit is just barely acknowledged and then they move along (so sometimes you miss it).

    This is a perfect episode to start watching the series, it’s the first episode of season three (2007), it’s called ‘Smith and Jones’. She’s Dr. Martha Jones and he checked into the hospital under the name ‘Smith’. The Doctor is a bit out of sorts having lost his last traveling companion (Rose) but the show always has sidekick so we get to be introduced to the new companion. She’s a medical doctor in training who doesn’t get too freaked out about with the strange things that happen and she’ll probably be a great asset to the show. So it kind of re-introduces you to the main characters.

    Since the series was restarted they’ve changed both the doctor and his companion/assistant; it’s the start of year two for the doctor and the first episode with the new assistant. The 2005 Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, has been playing the invisible man on Heroes season one. I haven’t seen Rose on anything else yet. Some people will refer to this (2007) as the third season but some die hards will refer to it as the 29th season. I think the BCC is who restarted the numbering but I’m not sure why (but it’s probably due to a 15 year gap in the series).The Doctor is a quirky guy, smart (but seems flaky), a bit egotistical but he usually knows what he’s doing; he’s played by David Tennant and is the tenth Doctor in the series. He’s also the last of The Time Lords, his time ship which used to camouflage itself to fit in the environment got stuck looking like a 1960’s police call-box and liked it so he’s never fixed that (besides humans never noticed out o place things like that). The assistant is usually pretty helpful, not apt to panic and in some episodes is the one that saves the day. The thing to keep in mind is there isn’t always a lot of continuity between the episodes and some of the “science stuff” isn’t explained completely and won’t be; it’s a show for fun not to be over analyzed like the physics of Star Trek (or insert your geeky series here). And FYI his “sonic screwdriver” is the Dr. Who trademark tool to fix things, open doors and other oddities; it’s really the only thing he carries around everywhere.

    I don’t think anyone in the US has picked up season 3 yet so if you don’t get the BBC I think the only direction to send you is to a torrent site. (I’ve checked iTunes, Amazon unBoxed, SciFi channel, PBS and it just doesn’t seem like any stations are carrying season three yet.)

    Written By: Gary on March 29, 2007 No Comment

    It’s about time! Now you can go back and buy the rest of an iTunes album at a discount if you previously bought one song. Just go to the iTunes Music Store and in the upper right choose “Complete My Album”.

    Apple iTunesThis is great mainly for several reasons: If you bought one song off an album that had 12 songs on it (for $9.99) you can now get the other 11 for $9.00 instead of having to buy the whole album (it looks like it’s full credit). Also, if you bought one song off an album and some of the songs were “album only” purchases you now have the option to get rest since you’re actually buying the whole album. For a 10 song album, it really doesn’t make a difference. Not all artists are doing this and you only have six months to get your missing albums, but it’s a nice option if you regretted not getting it in the first place. FYI, they did grandfather in all the old albums you bought more than six months ago (so you can still get the missing ones).

    I’m not sure if this will help if you bought a pre-release single since I haven’t bought that many. I’m pretty sure a few of the songs on the list are ones I’ve (purchased) for free, but I could be mistaken. And I know there are a few that I didn’t purchase off the album they are showing, I must have bought off some other album or special purchase mix that iTunes offered (iTunes Originals or something).

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    Written By: Gary on March 13, 2007 One Comment

    Brandic.ThestorySo this week’s free iTunes song is Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” (it’s only free ’til the 20th). If you watch Grey’s Anatomy then you’ve heard her, I think she’s had three(?) songs on, but it might have been the same song a few of the times (Tragedy, the acoustic cello version). This free song is has a little more beat than some of her other stuff, I think of her a being a little more mellow than this one. She’s got a lot of different tracks at the iTunes store, different singles and some acoustic tunes.

    I’ve seen her in a small venue (Ann Arbor last year) and she was wonderful up close and personal. She seemed very excited that we were all there to see her :)

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 No Comment

    So I keep forgetting to mentioned that I found iLike, it’s kind of a music social networking site.


    The big difference is it recommends music to you and allows you to download it for free. It appears to work best with iTunes, if you download the iLike sidebar it’ll upload lists of what you listen to most and make recommendations in the sidebar where it’ll let you preview music and download it directly to iTunes. Now the free songs are mostly artists that you haven’t heard of, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, I’m really enjoying some of my new found music. It seems like most (all?) of the new music comes from GarageBand.com

    My iLike page is at http://ilike.com/user/garylapointe

    They just keep adding new features that they’re pretty god a keeping you up-to-date on the iLike Blog. And they’ve got a widget for your web page (which I’m hoping is showing up on your screen as you read this) and it’ll even let you play my recently played songs as you read this post!What I don’t like about it is it calculates favorites based on the songs in iTunes on your hard drive and not what’s on your iPod (even if this was some manual option I had to select I could deal with it). I’ve got a 60 GB iPod, I don’t have that much room on my laptop to carry around all my music on it all the time (besides I’ve probably got it with me on my iPod). So really what it thinks is my favorite is what I’ve bought from the iTunes store that’s on my laptop and played the most (on the laptop or the iPod). So Conjure One is what it lists as my absolute favorite and while I like them a lot they wouldn’t be listed as my favorite. And when I was playing a lot of Christmas music (which I also had on my laptop) it push that up on my favorite list (I see Kenny G is still high in my rankings because of Christmas.

    Written By: Gary on January 21, 2007 No Comment

    So I haven’t said much about the iPhone since it was announce but what’s to say it looks awesome!!! It’s a widescreen video iPod with an internet browser, e-mail and it makes phone calls. The downside (IMHO) is it’s only on Cingular and I don’t think the network the iPhone is using is as fast as the EVDO speed networks.

    IphonehandThe negative I’ve seen some reviewers mention is that it only accepts music from the iTunes music store. Which isn’t true, it only accepts protected music from the iTunes music store. And it’s important to remember all other players don’t allow music from the iTunes music store, I see that as a problem. You can buy from some (smaller) music sites and put your CDs on it. FYI, the iTunes music store sells 58 songs a second (5 million a day) that makes them the fourth largest retailer of music (Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target are above them) then just pulled ahead of Amazon. The iTunes and iPod experience makes it so pleasant to use I don’t think most people care if you can only use one store to buy (protected) music from…On a side note there are rumors that Apple is making a huge advertising announcement during the SuperBowl. The rumor is that they are going to start carrying the Beatles CDs, I just don’t see that is a major announcement, but we’ll see. It’s interesting since Apple Records (the Beatle’s label) has sued Apple more than a few times for infringing on their trademark but I just don’t see it as that huge of a deal. I see them maybe running some new AppleTV ads and maybe some iPhone ads or maybe a new widescreen iPod ad, who knows, the SuperBowl is where they started their ad blitz for the Macintosh in 1984.

    Written By: Gary on December 16, 2006 4 Comments

    SarahsilentnightOops, I forgot to mention this earlier this week. You can get Sarach McLachlan singing Silent Night for free from the iTunes music store. This track is off of her Wintersong Holiday album. These iTunes freebies are generally from Tuesday to Monday, so make sure you grab it this weekend.

    Written By: Gary on October 9, 2006 No Comment

    The TV industry needs to catch up with reality and the Internet (the ‘net is real). They’ve tried a few things like elling shows on iTunes (for $1.99 an episode!) and other sites and free downloads at their websites (really it’s sitting at your computer and watching).

    Here’s the thing, people (not me) can download it faster and cheaper from the ‘net. Oh yeah, it’s higher quality and there isn’t any ads (but illegal). Over at MiniNova they list an approximation of downloaders (there are dozens of sites like this, some are private). Here’s some numbers (and info):

  • 15,000 people are grabbing last nights “Desperate Housewives”. And let’s be clear that’s this particular copy, there are probably dozen’s of others (some ultra high-def and some iPod versions).
  • 5,000 are grabbing “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” which for some reason showed up around dinnertime instead of after the 10 PM (EST) showing.
  • This isn’t counting the people who are going on and off line (“leechers” who take and disconnect without “seeding”). I’m not going to get into a technical discussion on this, but it’s not that hard to set up something to grab your shows automatically every night (and it’s getting easier every day).

    If they supplied these shows with ads they could control what the people are seeing, many people will fast forward but at least the ads are in it. Currently people are using BitTorrent technology and supplying the bandwidth for them. Heck, if the cable companies would provide a seed, it wouldn’t even use up much internet bandwidth (which would be a complaint they’d make), they could get a cut of the money or insert in their own ads!


    I’d rather pay for a higher quality version directly from the studio networks than have to download it illegally. Think about it, what people pay for cable, for channels. I personally would pay (for no ads of course) $15 a year directly to the SciFi channel for shows (I’d probably do the same for USA). That’s got to be way more than the cable company is giving them for me. Maybe a sliding scale makes more sense $5 for one show (for a season) $10 for 3?

    But let’s pretend they give it to me for free with ads. They make a dozen different versions of the show laced with ads. One for sports fans, one for geeks, one for teenagers, etc. I might actually watch the ads! Imagine that, ads targeted for me! Do you think they could charge more for that? A box like the TiVo should just be pulling these down and storing them and pushing them down to whatever device you want to watch them on.

    When this many people are stealing shows that are on broadcast network television there is something wrong with the way the system is set up. They (the networks) are totally missing the ball on this.

  • Written By: Gary on August 11, 2006 5 Comments

    Kyra asked these questions on her blog. She actually asked them two different ways: If you had six months and what if everyone had 6 months.

    If you knew you only had six months to live, and the world was guaranteed to end for you – how would you live?

    What would you do?
    Take it easy, relax, travel and lots more.
    Would you spend your money, or save it?
    Spend it. I’d clear out my 403b, 401k and IRAs! Heck, I’d stop probably stop paying my bills.
    Would you eat healthy/diet, or would you be into the ice cream and chips every day?
    Not healthy (not any less healthy than now either). Maybe more desserts :)
    Exercise?
    Exer-what? Actually, I’d be running around so much I probably wouldn’t need any.
    Would you stay in your current job, or find something else to do?
    Six months? I’d quit! (I like my job but at that point what’s the point).

    Would you keep your current friends, or cut the ones who only waste your time?
    I’d keep them all.
    Would you talk to every single person that you consciously make time for? Or cut your loses?
    Status quo.
    Would you stay where you live, or move?
    I’d stay there but also travel.
    What things would you stop caring about, that you do now?
    Bills, upgrading the house (painting, furniture, etc.), stop saving for car, retirement, etc.
    Anything else?
    I’d throw more than a few parties and give away a lot of my stuff, I don’t need lots of it and and why make someone else decide who gets what later. I’d have to rush and finish lots of my 101 in 1001 list, just the fun ones, not the chores, those are the ones I really want to do anyways so why not… Since I’m dying in 6 months it probably wouldn’t do any good to tell some people about my secret feelings for them but you never know. It might get me more kisses or (goodbye) sex…

    I’m single and have no dependents so that really makes the options easier for me than some people. Sure I’d hook Mom up with some of my savings but she’s probably fine without it so that makes this a lot more fun list for me than it might be for some others.

    I’m not going to go the route if it was six months for everyone, I’d have to assume it’d be a bad place to be (chaos and all). But the new series 3 Moons Over Milford (free at iTunes at this point in time) is kind of a end of the world scenario (the moon breaks into three pieces in a degrading orbit) where it’s not chaos, I’d like to think it’d go that way.

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    Written By: Gary on July 4, 2006 No Comment

    ItunesredwhiteblueThe iTunes song of the Week (this week) is Red, White and Blue by Rockie Lynne. If you’ve got iTunes click here and scroll down to the lower left to download it for free.

    It’s country, which isn’t really my thing. But the thing that caught my eye in the description is when it said “it’s willing to admit that flag-waving isn’t enough anymore” and it preaches tolerance “but doesn’t shove it down your throat”. I’m patriotic in that I’m incredibly grateful for this wonderful country we live it (even with it’s flaws), but I’m not a huge red/white/blue kind of person. I was the same way at college too, I loved it at MSU and raved about it to people, but I was a student much more that I was a spartan and my green and white ward robe still suffers.

    Happy 4th of July!!!

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    Written By: Gary on June 28, 2006 No Comment

    So I really liked Kyle XY. I’m not saying it’s a great show, but I really like the sense of wonder they give him as he figures things out. You can still get the episode oniTunes for free and I think ABC is rerunning it on Friday night. Here’s the premise: This teenager is found naked in the woods, he’s intelligent but no concept of understanding his surroundings. A psychologist (of some sort) takes him into her family with a teenage boy and girl and the story begins.

    Like I said, I really like they way they have him thinking and examining the world around him. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he has no belly-button. Be sure to watch the news running on the television in the background when you watch it (you are going to watch it, aren’t you?).

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    Written By: Gary on June 25, 2006 2 Comments

    Kyle xy freeI thought that the first episode of KYle XY looked interesting (it premiers tomorrow) and I see they have the first episode on iTunes for free (I think only through the 29th). It reminds me of the TV series John Doe but it looks ask if it will be more of a Family show than a mystery show (I haven’t watched this yet, but I needed to mention it while it’s still free). This show premiers Monday at 8pm ET on ABC Family.

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    Written By: Gary on May 25, 2006 No Comment

    The other day Dawn mentioned Pandora Music so I checked it out. You tell it a few things you like (and it seems the fewer the better, just try one or two) and it does some calculations with the Music Genome Project and creates your own radio station and it streams the station to you. It then shows you cover art with links to Amazon and iTunes and you can then give songs a thumbs up or down and it fine tunes it. what are you waiting for? Go try it out!

    Things to know:

  • Two thumbs down for an artist and you never hear them again (a little harsh IMHO).
  • You can only skip a few songs per hour before it won’t let you any more.
  • It’s free for now (and has been for a while) but they will eventually start charging or add advertisements.
  • It’s not just genre it really seems to be a bit of a song by song comparison, it’s been pull individual songs off of some soundtracks and I’m liking them (a little bit too much bubble-gum though).
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    Written By: Gary on March 23, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’ve got this podcast with the enhanced images working!

    Two kinds of podcasts:
    this is the “better” enhanced AAC podcast (for iTunes, iPods and Quicktime).
    this is the mp3 podcast (for everything else).

    The enhanced file is a AAC/MP4 (m4a) file so you probably need an iPod or iTunes (or Quicktime) to see the images. The MP3 will just be on it’s own for any software/hardware player.

    I now have both a Enhanced RSS Feed and a MP3 RSS Feed set up.

    (If you get goofy characters you’ll need to save it to the computer first, sorry. This should be fixed, but you never know…)

    I apologize to those using feed software, this (and the feed from the next podcast or two) will be goofy as revise and work out the bugs…

    Written By: Gary on March 8, 2006 One Comment

    Tori fade to redThis is a little different it’s Tori Amos: Fade to Red a video collection and commentary from the Apple iTunes store. It looks good, I’m not just sure if I want to buy it and it’s not DVD quality. Most of it’s old stuff that I already have on video or DVD. I guess I should check to make sure, it’s possible I already have all of it…

    They have all the other Tori Amos music, videos and they actually have a few live concert “bootlegs” too (Boston, Manchester, London, Denver, LA and Chicago).


    (Later) And now I see that Amazon carries the Tori Amos – Video Collection: Fade to Red DVD. So I guess it’s not as different as I though (although, it did come out less than a month ago). But that’s full screen and it’s a few bucks cheaper too, but I’ll still need to see if I actually need any of the videos.

    Oh, who am I kidding, it’s Tori, I need to have it…

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2006 4 Comments

    AimeemannitunesorigOkay, she didn’t actually disappoint me because I didn’t actually see her. It’s the fact that she rescheduled and I didn’t get to see her was the disappointing part. She was supposed to be in Ann Arbor tonight at the Michigan Theatre, I didn’t have tickets but there were seats available and I usually do pretty good picking some up at the last minute. I’m not sure when the show got bumped to the 20th (not one-hundred-percent sure I can make that one, but I’ll try). Since I really enjoyed the Liz Phair iTunes Originals album I picked up the other day I thought I’d pull out my Aimee Mann iTunes Originals album I had never really appreciated them before Liz’s so I’ll have to check out the few others I’ve purchased (and didn’t purchase).

    I first saw Aimee Mann in concert (and started listening to here) at the Lilith Fair test tour, this was the tour when Sarah McLachlan took some other female artists out with her to show the concert promoters that people would come. I think it was Aimee, Sarah, Lisa Loeb, Patti Smith and Paula Cole. It was a nice concert in that it wasn’t a madhouse with all these bands playing on all these difference stages, but (if I recall correctly) it seems the performances were cut a little short due to having five headliners….


    On other disappointments today:

  • Since I didn’t go to AA, I thought I might check out the festivities downtown for the SuperBowl but the weather is so crappy out I don’t even want to be wandering around downtown.
  • So I since that didn’t happen I figured that I always enjoy Battlestar Galactica so let’s watch that, but I really thought this week’s was a little slow :(

    The thing about Galactica is I never rush to see it but it’s always SO good I never understand why I waited to watch it…

    Actually I had a pretty good day today, I’m not moping, I’m just whining because I was just listening to her and thinking about it so I started typing…

  • Written By: Gary on January 22, 2006 No Comment

    LizphairitunesoriginalsSo I bought the iTunes Originals album with Liz Phair. It’s great so far I really like her commentary between the songs. I think it’s 12 songs and 11 commentary tracks for $9.99, now that’s a deal. She covers the whole range of her songs old and new so I think I’ll enjoy the rest. (There is a non-explicit version if you poke around the store, I’m assuming it’s missing a few of the older tracks).

    I’ve seen her in concert a few times and I’ve always enjoyed her (I’ve mentioned Liz Phair before).


    You can see all the iTunes stuff with Liz Phair here.

    Written By: Gary on December 23, 2005 No Comment

    Two free videos from the iTunes Music Store. You don’t need an iPod to see these, you just need the free iTunes software installed.

  • Chronicles of Narnia Rap, which I mentioned a few days ago.
  • Battlestar Galactica, a 21 minute behind the scenes (which I haven’t watched yet).
  • Written By: Gary on December 19, 2005 No Comment

    So this was on Saturday Night Live. It’s a bit dorky but fun.

    Now free at the iTunes Music Store.

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    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 No Comment

    BlondfirexmasSo Blondfire (formerly known as Astaire) has released an exclusive Holiday EP through iTunes. It’s only $3.96!! I’ve mentioned Blondfire several times before and seen them in concert and I sure wish they’d play somewhere local again.

    I’ve purchased it at iTunes and I am (impatiently) waiting for the tracks to download…


    And speaking of holiday tunes:

  • The free iTunes download of the week is Jingle Bells by Diana Krall (it’ll only be free through the 13th of this December).
  • And for 99 cents you can get Let it Snow by Carly Simon.
  • Written By: Gary on December 3, 2005 No Comment

    Let me start with me saying, “If I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry.” But this story is a little more about Adam. This is not really a “history” it’s an offshoot of my previous post on memory but it got too long to stick in as part of that post (it started as a just few sentences).

    To me, Adam has been one of the biggest proponents of podcasting and moving items onto iPod-like players. He’s not the creator of podcasting or even the word “podcasting”, he’s not the creator of attaching files to RSS feeds (though I think he suggested it to Dave Winer who did do it), he’s said he couldn’t even get people to do some of the work he needed to make this work, I’ve heard him say “I couldn’t get people to ‘do my homework’ for me”. He makes it sound as if the original program for receiving podcasts was parts that he found and cobbled together and had to learn applescript to do it (I may not be giving AC enough credit here).

    Adam Green editing parts of Adam Curry and Dave Winer podcasts into a 35 minute history (I haven’t listened to it yet, I found it after I posted this and just added it).


    A podcast that he and Dave Winer did (Trade Secrets, I think?) often gets credit as the first podcast and he denies it (although says they did earlier shows). So it seems to me it’s not like he’s just trying to get credit (he’s getting it for that item, but still denying it), it really seems as if he’s just trying to get some of it straight. During some of this the rival to RSS, RDF, already supported audio attachments but no one really utilized it.

    He’s certainly one of the biggest proponents of podcasting out there and he’s always said he wants to somehow figure out how to make money off it. He’s not going to make money off of the actual concept, that’s done and gone and that’s where the history so it really doesn’t matter that much from a monetary standpoint. It seems like it’s just a history thing. Apple’s stuck it in iTunes and there are a million other pieces of software out there. His money is probably going to be from selling tools, space, advertisements and maybe his own shows (I’m guessing). I don’t know if you can really make money off the talk show network? and interviews? Oh and he does a great show and is very entertaining! This is probably key in the whole process.

    It’s possible I’m getting some of this wrong (especially the RDF part, I’ve only seen that written once and maybe heard it once). But AC comes off as pretty charismatic and people who generally disagree with him seem to come off more like grunters/complainers (at least the stuff I read) and that’s always going to make things fall in his favor. Without Adam podcasting would have happened (no doubt in my mind), but he had a big part in it and people like him since he’s the old Mtv face. I’m not aware of any of the other “big names” out there trying to make money on the scale that he is and a lot of the “big names” out there have jumped on board of what he’s trying to do. In an alternate universe where Adam had nothing to do with podcasting I think he’d still have jumped on the bandwagon and be doing stuff awfully similar to what he’s doing now; he’s got the connections, history, money(?) and motivation to do this kind of project.

    As I said, if I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry. I’m not saying others weren’t there but those two seem to be the big push no matter where you look.

    All this “stuff” just builds on previous technology. Web browsers were after Gopher browsers (I don’t think University of Minnesota ever gets credit for that) which was after WAIS, FTP and any other processes that it used and tapped into. All most of it was doing was putting a nice front end on “stuff” that was already out there. It’s possible that Gopher was concurrent with the original web stuff, but the web certainly wasn’t more popular until images was added and NCSA Mosaic was out (although no one remembers Mosaic, they remember Netscape).

    Another way to look at market and getting credit: Apple didn’t create music files or create music players. They just took a idea and built on it on it and ended up with a huge percentage of the market of the MP3 players and a great on-line store. Now iPod is synonymous with music player.

    Written By: Gary on November 26, 2005 No Comment

    So I know you’re thinking the winter holidays when I say gift certificates but really that’s not it. I’m thinking of my birthday which was ten weeks ago and that I finally just ended up spending the last of my gift certificates. And yes, I know that was ten weeks ago, but I didn’t want to waste them.

    Yesterday I spend the last few at Best Buy for memory for my computers. After moving some around between a few I ended up doubling the memory in the one and increasing the other by 50%. I thought it was going to work out a little better than that (I thought the one had more memory slots) but you can still tell the difference on both of them.


    I think most of the gift cards were for Technology or Books or Target (plus I had a few duplicate items that needed to be exchanged). Things I bought with the gift cards were:

  • Memory for the computers
  • Firefly on DVD
  • An astronomy reference card set (very cool)
  • iTunes (I had to return an Apple item and that worked out best)
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Smallville Season 1
  • The West Wing Season 1
  • Liz Phair’s new album
  • And I know there was another book or two…

    Except for the Firefly DVDs, I think everything I bought was on sale! I’m a good shopper. :)

    Thank you everyone!

  • Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 No Comment
  • Apple 12 inch Powerbook: Software, Internet, Music, Audio Books, Podcasts, eBooks, Movies and more. It’s got just about everything I need.
  • Palm OS Cell Phone (Samsung i500): Phone, Day Planner, Address/Phone Book, a few games, slow internet (but I can get info and check my mail), it’ll work as a modem for my computer in a pinch.
  • Digital Camera (Minolta Dimage Xt 3.2MP): Photos, short Movies, Audio recording and in a pinch it’ll work as a thumb drive (I think it’ll work as a webcam on a windows machine).
  • iPod 60GB color (no video): Music, Podcasts, eBooks, my (read only) calendar/addressbook, some eBook files and works as a really big thumb drive.
  • TiVo (250 GB DVD recorder): Plays TV (what I want when I want), Records what I want every week (and makes suggestions), plays CDs, DVDs, Video CDs, streams audio and photos from my computers. With the new (free) HME options I can check the weather, movie listings, RSS feeds, photo feeds, flickr streams, play games, play my iTunes, back up shows to my computer and more (people keep writing these modules).


    All are pretty mullti-functional devices that are converging. The Powerbook + TiVo have pretty similar capabilities and the phone + palm + camera + iPod are certainly sharing some capabilities too. Merge those in to two devices that let me doc them together and life would be good. The only thing missing is a real video recorder (and that’s probably coming soon).

    I’m pretty covered, I’m not sure what else I need. Other than the newer / faster / smaller versions of these same gadgets, of course (I’d like the iPod video player). Maybe something to power/charge all these gizmos. Obviously I need a TV/projector for the TiVo (and speakers for the surround sound) but other than normal appliances these do pretty good for me.

    From Top 5 Friday.

  • Written By: Gary on October 13, 2005 No Comment

    Apple finally did it! (Even though in the past they said they saw no need for it). You can buy videos on-line and play them on your iPod! Available in white or black.black (they make 60GB or 30GB models). I don’t think I’ve had mine for a year yet and I feel like I need a new one! They’ve got content from ABC, Disney (I think it’s $1.99 for ad free shows and videos) and 2000 music videos.


    The new version of iTunes is 6.0 (they just released 5.0 a few weeks ago). Of course it plays music and podcasts and has photos too! I’m assuming you can buy a video without the iPod (I’m not upgrading to 6.0 until I back up my music) but it’s giving me problems while trying to buy with version 5.0, I’m not sure if it’s me or them (they might be overloaded or it might be the version)… UPDATE: It finally let me try this morning, but it responded with an error “you must have iTunes 6.0 to purchase videos” or something like that.

    They also released a new iMac G5 that’s very media-centric. A built-in firewire camera, a remote control and a navigable menu for movies, music and photos! No recording yet on the iMac, but I’m sure it’s in the next model. That’ll be the hook to get you to buy the Intel models in the future…

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