Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.
Mike bought a copy of the The Martian and it comes with a digital download. But he has the choice of getting it from iTunes or "Ultra Violet." Which one will work best with most of his devices? Leo says that iTunes will work on Apple Devices and Windows, but not Android. And he can't stream it on anything but an Apple TV.
Noah's sister is going to France in May and wants to know the best way to travel and still use her phone. Leo says that Noah's sister uses Verizon, which is the worst for traveling. T-Mobile and Sprint are the best because they have free, albeit slow data through One World. Leo says that the best option may be to just buy a local SIM card and then swap out her SIM while she's in France. She can also local Wi-Fi, which won't cost anything. She can also rent a MiFi device which will give her an LTE Hotspot which she can add her phone to, as well as her laptop or tablet.
Leo says no. It's a limitation to Bluetooth. Many devices can be paired, but only one will be active. A Bluetooth receiver that can then split it out could work, though.
George has a huge MP3 file he wants to chop up into several small clips. Leo says that MP3 Splitter is a good option. Audacity is another good option. He may need an MP3 encoder like LAME along with it.
Don is calling to discuss wireless spectrum and the way it is managed. Don doesn't think most Americans really know what's happening with the sale of wireless spectrum. Leo says we own the spectrum, the air above us is property of the American people. But there has to be some way of managing it so everyone doesn't use the same frequencies. So the FCC is chartered by congress, among other things, to manage spectrum. They've determined what radio stations are on what frequencies, and that has worked for almost a hundred years now.
The FCC is considering a proposal that would make cable box rental fees a thing of the past. The plan would give third party manufacturers the right to build competing set-top boxes that users could simply purchase, rather than rent. This could cost the cable industry up to $20 billion a year in lost rental fees. The plan is similar to a plan that was placed on the telephone industry back in the 80s.
Bobbie has ripped all her CDs and is trying to sync them to her iPad, but they won't sync. Leo says it's likely that her iPad is full and just can't take anymore data. Leo says she can manually manage her iTunes music, or she can use playlists. That way she can replace her playlists as needed. She can also use iTunes Match, which for $25 a year, will enable her to stream music from the cloud. She could also get a device that supports Bluetooth or AirPlay. Then she can stream to her home theater or Bose system.
Greg wants to access his music from Amazon with his Echo. Leo says the Echo does support Amazon Prime Music, but that's a limited subset. His sense is that it wont, but it says that it will support Amazon music. He would have to upload his music to his Amazon Music library and then he'll need to have the right syntax to ask to play it. "Hey Echo, Play [Name of the Song]" and it should just play it. If he has them organized in folders, it could be problematic.
Pete has music at Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music, and a host of others. Plus he has thousands of mp3s and CDs. How can he consolidate it all onto one portal? Leo says if he has no copy protection issues (and he shouldn't anymore) it's going to be easy.