Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
Carl transferred some podcast audio from one computer to another and it won't play one the other computer hard drive, just on the USB drive. What gives? Rich suspects a format issue. It's sounds like it isn't a standard MP3 file, and as such, your windows mp3 player is having issues playing it. Rich also says you may want to try converting the audio using VLC or handbrake. Another possibility is that it requires some sort of "key" to play the audio. Or additional components.
Brian has two Apple TVs that stream music from his computer and iTunes, but lately it just stops after a few minutes. Apple says that it's a corrupted library, but Leo disagrees since it doesn't happen when he streams music on his computer directly. Leo has a hunch it's the router. Using AirPlay, he could be dealing with buffering issues. He also should make sure nothing else is connected to his AirPlay device. It could also be an issue with home sharing and his router configuration. It could be a blocked port issue.
Bill is building a computer system using an Arduino. Leo says that Arduino's are a fun project. But when he connects his data drive, he can't open any of his data files. Leo says that it could be a permissions issue on the old Windows account. Go into file explorer, right click on a file, select properties, and see what's going on under the security tab. Also check there file permissions. It may not be listed as giving you the right to read or write to that file.
Paul would like to rip DVDs and then put it on a 128GB thumbdrive so that his kids don't trash his DVDs. Leo says that's a great idea and you can use both Handbrake and VLC Media Client to do it. But how does he convert a DVD that's PAL? Leo says that the DVD is probably region coded to prevent you from watching a DVD from another country here in the US. The first time you play the DVD, it sets the Region code. But there are DVD players that don't do it. There's also a few back doors that respond to a certain number of remote button presses to unlock them.
Jim wants to know why his computer can't read his USB thumb drive. Leo says it's probably formatted wrong. If he formats it NTFS, he should be able to read it.
Rolland wants to make hard drive copies of his DVDs. Leo says you need two programs ... Handbrake (which does the re-encoding) and VLC Media Client (which does the playback to bypass the copy protection). If you want the full thing. Image Burn is very popular for Windows. If you're on Mac, then Disco. The chatroom says DVDFab.CN is another option. But Leo says that's probably illegal, technically.
Eric cut the cable and wants to know if he can get programs off his old TiVo. Leo says in the first generation TiVos, he would be able to. But copy protection has locked down and encrypted that data. TIVO to Go was an option, but it was a very poor solution. There is one way to do it still, and that's the analog hole. Eric can connect his TIVO using the analog component jacks (red, white and yellow), but it will be standard definition.
Charles has a thousand MP3s and he has multiple copies of all the songs, which is annoying. Leo says that in the iTunes settings, he can tell it to manage his music. But since he already has an iTunes folder with duplicates, Leo recommends taking it off his hard drive (to a thumb drive) and then restart iTunes and select the option to let iTunes manage his music. Then he won't have to deal with duplicates. iTunes is a terrible program for syncing music, especially in Windows.
Ben likes to stream videos using Plex and sometimes it'll disconnect after only a few hours watching specific shows. What's going on? Leo says that there''s probably a naming issue and if the naming isn't consistent, then Plex can get confused. He should make sure the transcoding is consistent as well with the same format.
Lynn has a bunch of old VHS home movies. How can she convert them so she can watch them? Leo says that the best way these days is to go to a service, like Scan Cafe. They have professional equipment and can color correct. When factoring in the equipment she would need to do it herself; the VCR, the cables, the analog to digital converter to get it into the computer, and the time, she may as well just pay Scan Cafe to do it.