Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

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.

How can I get my audio books back into iTunes?

Dennis from Virginia

Episode 1054

Dennis goes overseas a lot and listens to both audio books and podcasts. He has an audio library now of several hundred books. But recently he's been unable to transfer purchases from his iTunes account. It requires him to erase his iPod to transfer them. Leo says that's copy protection nonsense. One thing Dennis can do is download them again from Audible.

Why does my video stream buffer so much?

Episode 1054

Kathy from Santa Clara, CA
TWiT Live Streams

Kathy watches Leo online through UStream and is frustrated because it buffers a lot. Leo says it's on UStream's end, and he can't do much about it. He also streams through BitGravity and Justin.TV, so she could try one of those. Also, choosing the lower resolution from BitGravity could help. Kathy should also look at her bandwidth online. If she only has 1.5 Mbps down, for instance, she will continue to have a rough time with streaming. It could also be a bad modem. She should ask for a new modem or buy her own. She could first try rebooting both the modem and router.