Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

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.

Aereo To Fight Over-the-Air Broadcasters In Supreme Court

Episode 1050

Aereo, a company that uses tiny antennas in major cities to capture and stream live TV over the internet, will be battling broadcasters in the Supreme Court. Users of the Aereo service pay a monthly fee to access the channels, and in effect, are just paying for an antenna to receive the content. Broadcasters have sued Aereo claiming that it's illegal, and that the subscribers of Aereo aren't paying for the content. The confusing part is that this is content that is actually free over-the-air, if you lived in that area anyway.

Why does my streaming video buffer?

John from Kendrick, WA

Episode 1050

John says that when he watches video online, it buffers and the quality devolves a lot. Leo says it's amazing how we expect streaming video to have the quality of television now. And often it is. But data doesn't arrive in order and on time like a broadcast signal is. It's transmitted in packets and sometimes those packets arrive out of order, and has to wait for the missing packets to be received in order to play them back. If it doesn't arrive, then it stutters to the next available packet. The computer John is using may not be fast enough, though.

Is there any single service for all of my entertainment content?

Mike from Detroit, MI

Episode 1050

Mike wants to know if there is any one service that can offer all his entertainment needs: music, movies, tv shows, eBooks, audio books, etc. Leo says that Apple and Amazon would probably be the closest, but the entertainment world is pretty fragmented between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Audible, and others. Leo says that people are basically used to the idea of paying several smaller fees a month instead of one large cable bill. The irony is, people aren't really saving anything, which was the main force driving cord cutting.