Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
Chris says that iTunes 12 has caused the sidebar to disappear. Leo says it has, and it's likely to never return. Leo thought the sidebar was great, but Apple should really just start over and rebuild the app from scratch. That actually might happen since Apple bought Beats and plans to integrate it. If it does, it could be the end of iTunes as we know it. They've been taking bits and pieces out of it for years, and as such, it's become rather ghastly.
Art wants to convert his Hi8 tapes to DVD. Leo says he'll need an analog to digital converter to do it. He'll connect the camera to the Analog to Digital Converter. FireWire would be better than USB. USB can work, but it's compressed. Leo suggests the Grass Valley ADVC110 Converter.
Joshua owns and operates Minecraft servers and he wants to know what the future has in store for online gaming. Leo says that since Microsoft bought Minecraft, it's possible that Microsoft could require Minecraft be run from Azure. But Leo doesn't think there's much cause to worry because the Minecraft culture is very independent. Gamers won't really feel Microsoft's presence in Minecraft for at least a year, but there's not much cause for concern. Since online gaming is social by nature, the future is bright.
James says that prices of cable and satellite services are escalating. What can he do to cut the cable and get the same programming? Leo says that content companies are raising prices and cable companies are just passing the cost along. Cutting the cable can be done by using streaming and buying ala carte channels. It would be great if he could do that and eliminate the middle man. He could also get exactly what he wants and none of what he doesn't. But the cable companies are standing in the way. That's where streaming and buying shows on iTunes and Netflix is beneficial.
Peter has a bunch of videos that he's recorded and put on DVDs. He wants to put them onto a large thumbdrive. He copied the videos, but couldn't get the audio. Leo recommends using VLC Media player. He's probably not getting audio because the player he's using isn't able to play the file type properly. Leo also recommends using a href="http://www.handbrake.fr" target="_blank">Handbrake to rip the DVD and process it out to an MP4 that can be played on any computer.
Evan listens to audiobooks but it drives him crazy that some audiobooks don't bookmark and pick up where he leaves off. Leo says that he can do that with any eBook by going into iTunes and looking into the MetaData. Select the audiobook in the "Options" tab under "Media Options" in iTunes. Then iTunes will bookmark it as he goes.
Stan wants to clear off his DVR with a 2 Bay RAID to save his programs. But his beef is that there isn't a lot of documentation. Leo says don't worry about all that. Just use the PC settings. You can also use a DROBO, which allows you to hot swap drives if they fail so you don't have to stop it from running. But two drives isn't best because it's mirroring and you will only get half the capacity since they're identical. Leo prefers RAID 5 with three drives which gives you 2/3 storage 1/3 redundancy. It's robust. Companies that make eSata RAID 5 include Drobo.
Pete is interested in hi-res music. He wants to download FLAC music and convert it to Apple lossless. Leo says you can do that, but remember that the MAC tops out at 96 Khz, but the iPod can't play it because it's not that high, nor does it have the CPU power to process and playback hi-resolution audio. You need special hardware to play back high resolution audio. Leo says that iPods were designed for mp3s, but they can play back Apple's lossless compression at 48K x 24 bit.
Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back the lossless compression like FLAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if it's true.
Apple's invitations for the September 9th event have gone out, and it could hint at a huge product rollout. The event, which returns to the Flint Center in San Francisco, also includes a custom built, large structure, which Leo says will be a demo area. Leo says the conventional wisdom is that Apple is moving to a 5.5" iPhone 6, along with a 4.7" version. But there's also talk that Apple will finally reveal the iWatch.