Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
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.
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.
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.
Robin is looking to cut the cable and wants to use an over-the-air antenna to get live TV. Leo says that if she can get reception, then an antenna can take over for the satellite and she'll end up with a very nice, and more uncompressed HD broadcast. Leo advises going to AntennaWeb.org and see what she can get in her area based on her address. It'll also recommend the best antenna for her area.
Georgeanna has an RV and a satellite dish. She's thinking about using Slingbox and a Hotspot with her cellphone, but that'll impact her data plan. Leo says that will definitely hurt the data plan, and the quality won't be all that great even over 4G. Slingbox is a good option though if she can get Wi-Fi connected to it. There are self aiming satellite antennas, but they aren't cheap.
After Winamp had announced it was shutting down, Spotify created an app called "Spotiamp" as a tribute to the popular Windows jukebox app. Spotify's version will allow you to stream tunes through Spotify using the classic Winamp interface.
It's not clear whether or not Winamp will be purchased by another company. There are rumors indicating a deal could be in the works for Microsoft to buy the app from AOL, but there haven't been any further details on it.
Beyonce released a surprise album with great success on social media sites. Each song has an accompanying video, and there were tons of photos shared on Instagram as well. But since the album was sold exclusively on iTunes the first week, other retailers including Amazon, Target, and other retailers are now saying they won't carry it. Walmart will be carrying it, however, because Beyonce was shopping there for Blue Ivy. She also was giving 750 $50 gift cards to people at Walmart. The album sold 600,000 units in the US first 3 days and 820,000 worldwide.
John bought a 60GB hard drive to rip VHS tapes and digitize them, but they won't play on most of the computers he's tried. Leo says that file size could be an issue. There's a 2GB and 4GB barrier and he'll need the most recent version of Windows 7. The other problem could be the codec John used to encode the videos. Leo recommend VLC VideoLan Client. Leo also suggests reformatting the drive to NTFS so he can play the larger file sizes.
Rolf likes that Windows tablets have SD card slots to access more memory. Leo says that is a bonus, but it's important to understand that flash memory has a limited number of writes and can fail. So he should be sure to make a backup of the data he puts on them. He'll be able to get a few years out of them, though.