Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Reads From Around The Web

Lots of good reads already, much of it resulting from the CES show that is just about here:


slingpro-hdDave Zatz talks about the Slingbox pro-HD and the Blackberry Mobile Client.  The pro-HD looks interesting as it streams high-def video at "up to" 1080i and with 5.1 audio.  It also will incorporate a digital tuner for ATSC and clear QAM content which is very exciting news indeed.  I'll be interested to see how the quality is if it requires compression over a network and also how this works and how (or if) it might be used in conjunction with a HTPC....  More details can be found at ZatzNotFunny, A hands-on post from Engadget and a hands-on impression from Gizmodo.


Lifehacker has a nice writeup with their List of The 23 Best iTunes Add-ons.  My favorites from the list is the MP3 to iPod Audio Book Converter which they discovered from my post earlier this year (I use this one often as I listen to a lot of audiobooks on my iPod...) and The Filter which is another one I use occasionally.

I would add to that list of fine iTunes tools the following iTunes/iPod tools:

  • QTFairUse which will strip the dang DRM from your iTunes files so you can listen to those tunes on any device
  • The iPodifier which you can use to automatically monitor and transcode video and then import that video into a variety of video sources such as BTV, MCE, SageTV etc. 
  • The last one I'd add to the list is MyTunesRSS which gives me remote access to my iTunes collection over the internet.

I guess that list solidifies my status as a geek.........


Sean Alexander tells us about HP's plans to put Microsoft's Media Center onto their new MediaSmart TV's and Receivers.  Integrating MCE into hardware takes that HTPC one step further into the regular-guy's household.  I can picture my dad for instance buying one of these and thinking "wow, it sounds nice to put the DVR, Music and Video's into my TV...."  and then calling me to spend a week helping him to get it working (and me telling him he'll have to buy a Vista Media Center PC to use that feature).  Not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing, but it shows Microsoft is serious about extending the PC into the living room one way or another.


Davis Freeberg has been getting a lot of attention after he explained how adding a monitor to his setup caused Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service to lock him out of the Netflix Feature due to DRM restrictions.  It was picked up by Hacking Netflix, Boing Boing, Thomas Hawk among others.  Read Davis's story HERE.  It's worth a read if your interested in how DRM can be bad even if you're trying to follow all the rules.