Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
"Cosmos," Carl Segan's epic PBS science television series about the universe returns to TV tonight on Fox at 9pm. Leo's very excited about it because Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson is the new host.
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.
Paul has several interviews on his iPod of World War II vets and the iPods are dying, so he needs to get them off. He'll need a computer to do this. Paul will have to be careful not to erase the iPod, since that's the first thing iTunes will prompt him to do when he connects it. Then he can get a third party program that will get the files from the iPod.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A site called "Forgotify" will find songs that are on Spotify, but have not yet been played by anyone. Out of the 20 million songs available on Spotify, there are about 4 million that have never been played by anyone before on the service. Start listening to these undiscovered tracks at forgotify.com.
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.
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.