Monday, December 31, 2007

Over a year since my last post

Wow, has it been that long? I was reading what I wrote last and it is like I never left. Apple is supposed to announce that it will begin renting movies through the ITMS (that's iTunes Music Store for you noobs) at the upcoming MacWorld. It appears that Fox and possibly other studios will be renting movies. Could this be the end of Blockbuster? Time will tell.

I hope to write more as time permits.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What to expect from Apple on the 12th of September?

The Unofficial Apple Weblog is reporting that Apple is going to introduce some really cool items come September the 12th at a special event. Among the items to be introduced are:

The movie store - I hope this will be the case as I am getting tired of following this rumor. It has went from a multi-studio 9.99 per download to a 2.99 rental service back to a 9.99 per download from only Disney. You can bet the real deal will be nothing like the above.

A new iPod - I have heard everything from the new iPod video with a wide/touch screen to a new metal scratch proof Nano.

A 23 inch iMac - I spoke with my neighborhood shop today and he speculates that they will get rid of the 20 and make the line 17 and 23 inch.

An Airport Express with video streaming - Makes great sense. I mean I can handle watching my TV shows on my TV trough my iPod or just watching them on my iMac, but this would really make downloading worthwhile. And because it makes the most sense, I doubt we'll see it.

I'll be the most surprised see the Movie Store and the video streaming Airport Express. They would really be the things that would help push Apple out to new customers. I will be unimpressed if it is a simple iPod or iMac upgrade.

Monday, August 07, 2006

WWDC today

Well today is the day that us Mac lovers look to like Christmas. We'll sit eagerly awaiting Steveclause to show us the new toys we are all craving. I'll edit this post with my thoughts on the announcements as they happen. Here's what I predict:
1) Leopard Preview (no brainer)
2) Mac Pro
3) iTMS Movie Rentals

I doubt that there will ever be any iPhone and surely don't see one mentioned today. We will know shortly! At 1:00 PM the fun begins!

Things that intrigue me...
1:10 - The new Mac Pro is introduced. It has core 2 microarchitecture and 4mb shared leve2 cash and quad processors at up to 3ghz and up to 16g ram.
1:35 - Time Machine: A new back up software integrated in OSX Leopard
1:45 - Spaces: Virtual collections of applications that you set up. You can set up spaces that have certain apps running like a web space that has Safari and iWeb or a productivity space that has iWork, Mail and Keynote
1:58 - Mail gets an update: Stationary, Notes and To Dos
2:10 - Dashcode: build your own widget for Dashboard by using part of any web page and it builds the widget for you and it automatically updates.

It appears that is it... Looks like I was wrong about the iTMS movie rentals. At least I got 1 and 2 right. So when will I be able to ditch Netflix and Blockbuster? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where are the iTMS movie rumors?

I have been perusing the Apple rumor sites in advance of the upcoming WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference). I see stuff like an iPhone and hints about the new OSX 10.5 among other things. You know what's missing?

Back in March, maybe earlier, people started talking about Apple putting full length movies on the iTunes Music store. Heck, the Disney original movie "High School Musical" was even available for $9.99. Then talk was about discussions of licensing and price for the movies. I even wrote an article about the rental type service that looked promising.

Here we are, just days away from WWDC and there is no talk about any of it. If you ask me that may be a good sign of things to come. One thing is for sure, come August 7th, there will be plenty to talk about!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Watch your iPod on your TV

I mentioned in a previous entry that you can watch your iPod on your TV. This entry will explain how to do it, cheaply. First things first... you need an iPod video, 30 gig or 60 gig, it does not matter. Next you will need a cable like the one pictured above. You don't need to buy Apple's cable for 20 bucks, you may even have one from your video camera lying around (that's what I use). The last requirement is a TV with RCA composite video and stereo audio inputs (the yellow video, red and white audio inputs), not to be confused with not to be component video inputs (red, blue and green all video) . Make sure that your iPod is set to output to the TV by accessing the setting with in the iPod menus. Go to Video>Video Settings then choose TVout and select "Ask". This makes the iPod ask each time you play a video wheather you want to watch it on TV or the iPod.

There is a trick to using the non Apple branded cables, it's not hard... are you ready...
switch the red and yellow cable (for those that are slow, put the red cable in the yellow input and the yellow cable in the red input). Yep that's it. I'm guessing that Apple figured that many people already have the cables and would try them, so they pulled a switcheroo and wired it differently to get more accessory money. Now you too can enjoy Hannah Montana on your 35 in TV instead of your 17 in iMac. Plus it frees up your computer so you can surf while watching!

When they add movie rentals to iTunes in August, you will be set. There are other options, you can get a dock from Apple, Griffin or DLO. But, at over $100 each, the cable option seems easier to get you going. The docks all include remotes and that makes sense, but this option will let you get up and running for 10 bucks if you don't already have a cable.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Radio Shack saves the day

Laugh if you will, Radio Shack saved my butt. Yes that's right, the "on the corner", "in the mall" "red headed step child" of electronics stores really came through for me today. I was running late this morning, I had a shoot to do this afternoon, nothing major, a swim team. I grabbed my gear bag and headed out. Some time around lunch I thought to check my battery, it had been fully charged just the other day at my son's baseball game, but I thought I'd better check just to be sure. It was low. I have 40 kids to shoot this evening and no way is this going to work out for me. I thought that I would just charge it. I open my bag and to my dismay, there is no charger. CRAP! I'm in deep.

Since my house is 50 minutes away, I went by the mall at lunch and dropped in on Radio Shack on the off chance that they might have a battery charger for a Canon BP511 (10D battery). I walked in and looked around for a bit. I noticed that they have all kinds of iPod stuff, but that is not why I was there. I asked a clerk if they had a BP511 battery. He tapped on his computer for a second and walked over to and end cap on one of the isles. He turned to me and asked if it was for a Canon camera. I could not believe they had it, I really was not looking for a battery, but I could use an extra to prevent situations like this in the future. I then asked if they had a charger for it. He walked over to another isle and picked up a universal charger and looked at it for a second before replying "yep, right here". Sweet! Now I am all set and I may prevent future problems due to low batteries.

Thanks Radio Shack, I may look to you more often!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Off Topic! Psych on USA

This will be a first in a continual series of "Off Topic" posts. There is so much stuff out there that deserves attention that I really need to let people know about. So, look for the "Off Topic" label to deal with the things that don't jive with my blog's description.

Whew! Enough of that...
Psych is a new show on USA (available on iTunes) that has real promise. It has a unique story line that involves a guy who was taught by his father (a cop) to notice subtleties about his surroundings and this gets him involved solving crimes later in life posing as a psychic. The show is funny and I have really enjoyed the FREE pilot episode that was on iTunes music store and am in the process of downloading the latest show. The lead character is Sean Spencer played by James Roday. He and his buddy Gus (Dule Hill) make a great coming team as the pair up to solve crimes the cops can't. If they keep up the good work, this will be a show that gets added to my DVR. Below is the link to iTunes where you can get the free pilot episode (iTunes required, duh).

Psych - Psych, Season 1

iTunes to replace Blockbuster

Well, if you read this blog then you know that Apple is set to start renting movies by way of iTunes. When I wrote that last article, I was disappointed that you would not be able to own the movies you download. Now I am beginning to realize how big this idea really is. Follow me for a moment...

It's Saturday night and you decide to stay in and watch a movie. Right now that requires you to:
A) Rent a PPV from your cable or satellite provider.
1)Limited titles
2)Viewing on their schedule

B)Go to the movie store and rent a movie.
1)Having to go out to the store
2)Desired selection may be "rented out"
3)Late fees

C)Rent from Netflix or Blockbuster Online
1)Waiting up to 3 days for your titles to come
2)your selection may have an additional wait if it is popular

Soon, with iTunes and an iPod, you can choose any movie that is out, you download it to iTunes, sync your iPod, pop it in a dock by your TV(or plug in a cable) and watch it at your leisure. You never have to leave your home, you never have to worry that your movie will be out, you never have late fees and best of all, you can do it on your time table.

Here are some links to the current versions of the TV docks and cables:
Apple's AV Connection Kit (includes Dock, Remote and Cables)
Griffin's Tune Center (includes Dock, Remote and Cables)
DLO's Home Dock (includes Dock, Remote and Cables)
Apples AV Cables (cheapest option, but no remote)

You may want to be prepared and while you are at it, you may want to get a dust cover for that DVD player.