Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC conversion. But Leo says that's not the best option. You want something that's all digital, so avoid connecting through your headphone jack. Bluetooth is sold option. Google has Chromecast Audio. That's a good idea. It's supported by Spotify and Pandora too.
Hank has a 2007 Nissan Infinity and it has Bluetooth support with its stereo, but it won't play music. Leo says that it may be that the audio connection is secondary to his mobile phone connection. There are two profiles with Bluetooth — one is the headset profile for talking on the phone, and the other is a higher quality A2DP profile for music. It could be that if the stereo doesn't support A2DP, it won't be able to connect for music. If there's an aux jack, he can try using a Bluetooth connector that way. Or he could even just use a wire.
Shane isn't a big iOS fan, but he finds that the iPhone handles music and streaming much better than Android. Leo agrees, but says that Android has claimed they have finally solved their music latency problems. Even if they have, it's hard to beat how Apple handles their music. From higher resolution audio, to streaming from the cloud, to iTunes, it really is the top.
Dave has an old school iPod that he loves to use every day. Leo says that what killed the iPod is music streaming. It's the HBO model and everyone likes having access to more music, even on a monthly basis. It's really a commodity now. It's not so much a work of art anymore -- it's a service. But Dave can't access the service with an old school iPod. He'd need an iPod Touch for that, or use his mobile phone.
Vince wants to do digital music recording through GarageBand on his iMac. But he wants to know if he can do it with Carbonite backing up in the background. Leo says that music files can be quite big and if he doesn't have a lot of upstream bandwidth, it could take awhile to upload it. Carbonite will only use half his upload bandwidth, though. So there are some files that Carbonite is not ideal for.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
George bought some music from Walmart, but he can't play them anymore because the copy protection servers have been shut down. Leo says that this is the reason not to buy copy protected music. These are unplayable sadly, but there may be a way to strip out the DRM. George should Google "strip WMA DRM" or "Strip WMA copy protection." It may seem like he bought the music, but if he looks at the terms of service, he technically rented it.
John wants to know if he can get an older iTunes Pro 7 version to work on his MacBook Pro. It's easier to use. Leo says that iTunes has become awful and it really needs to be redone from the ground up. It's just plain unintuitive and broken. Apple does offer older versions at support.apple.com/downloads/itunes. The oldest he can get is iTunes 9.2.1, though.
Ryan plays in an indy music band and they've been doing really well with crowdfunding for their projects. They've since made the fans their record label and they're even more successful, even though they aren't making as much money. They get more money from every sale. Leo says that when record companies rob artists by taking the lion's share of the profits, what do they expect but their talent going with a more independent business model that benefits them in the longer run? They have greater fan engagement. They also get more out of merchandising.
Dave has a lot of songs that had been downloaded from Napster a long time ago, and all of the cuts have been put on a disc at least once. After doing some rearranging, when he tries to burn certain cuts to a disc, he gets a warning message that says he can't rip or burn them because he doesn't have a license. These songs were all paid for, though. The files were on a data disc, and some of the songs are WMA and some are MP3. If he were to make an audio CD, all the songs would be converted into a special format that could be played back in regular CD players.
Preston's music is in the cloud now, but he wants to know how he can listen to that when he's not on the internet. He's using Apple Music. Leo says there's a button in Apple Music for downloading music, and as long as he's a subscriber to Apple Music, he can download and play the music even when he's offline. He just needs to find a playlist or album he likes, and look for the download button. Sometimes music services will phrase it a little different, and say "Cache" or "Pin" instead of "Download."