Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

Netflix Wants Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

Episode 1068

ISP

Explaining that he had no choice but to pay Comcast's "toll" to allow users to stream Netflix content, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blasted the cable company for anti-competitive behavior. "The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," wrote Hastings on the Netflix blog. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1067

Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about audio sampling. Leo became a Kickstarter backer for a company called Pono this week, which says that audio is way too compressed and oversampled, leaving the pure audio experience wanting. Neil Young's Pono seeks to change that. Leo says that he would like to hear music at the highest possible quality, as if you were hearing it while being in the same room. You don't get that with the current state of the art - mp3s.

How can I have separate Apple IDs for the family?

Episode 1066

Todd from Petaluma, CA
iOS Apps

Todd would like to have separate Apple IDs for his kids. Leo says users can have up to 5 Apple IDs per credit card, but only two Apple IDs per device. iTunes allows 10 devices with 5 computers. Todd will have to remember to deauthorize them when he stops using a device.

Leo also says that he can have as many iCloud accounts as he wants, and that's good for backing up photos to Photostream. Todd can have a separate iCloud account for Photostream and then a separate Apple ID for purchases and iMessages.

How can I backup all my pictures and videos online?

Richard from Crawley, UK

Episode 1062

Richard is trying to back up about 300GB of photographs and videos. He's using Dropbox and it's expensive. He's also tried Carbonite, but it takes too long. Leo says that's because his upload bandwidth is really slow. Amazon has a more affordable option called Glacier. It costs pennies per GB, but it's cheap because he won't have access to it immediately.

Why can't I play video on my PC running Windows XP?

Episode 1059

John from Van Nuys, CA
VLC

John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.

How can I transfer my old PDA contacts to a new Phone?

Episode 1058

Russ from Redondo Beach, CA
Handspring Visor PDA

Russ uses a Windows XP machine at work, and his contacts are in an old HandSpring Visor PDA. Leo suggests exporting the data to the CSV (comma separated value) format and then inputting them into Google contacts directly. He can also do his Calendar data that way. Then it really doesn't matter what phone he uses or if he changes phones. It'll be there automatically.

Why does the audio drop out or get out of sync on video recorded with my PC?

Episode 1055

Chuck from Manchester, NH
VLC

Chuck uses his media center computer as a TIVO. His video plays fine, but the audio drops out or is out of sync. Media player doesn't work either. What can he replace it with? Leo says that Windows Video Player can be replaced by VLC Media Player. This may not help if the video is copy protected, though.

How can I stream the Olympics if I don't have cable?

Episode 1055

Randy from Seattle, WA
Olympic rings

Leo said that NBC spent a lot of money to get exclusive control of the Olympics and to see it online, Randy has to verify who his cable or satellite subscription is with. The only way to complain about this is to complain to the Olympic Committee, but they're making money hand over fist. The BBC, by contrast, is streaming it live and some people run VPN software to log in and watch it live as it happens. It's an illusion that the Olympics are a great public spectacle. They really aren't. It's a commercial enterprise now.