Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

Notable Technology Anniversaries This Week Include First Podcast and IBM PC

Episode 1110

IBM PC

The IBM PC was released 33 years ago, and ten years ago, former MTV VJ Adam Curry premiered the first episode of the "Daily Source Code" podcast. Leo says that while there were previous recordings posted online, Curry's was the first to actually follow a set format we've come to know as podcast. He also created the moniker.

How long will DVD or Blu-ray discs last?

Episode 1109

George from Santa Monica, CA
DVD

George wants to know how long Blu-ray and DVD discs will last. Leo says that the promise of DVDs and CDs is that they would last forever. But that has ended up not being true since they scratch and become unreadable as the reflective surface corrodes. Burned DVDs, however, are different and fade over a shorter time because the dyes that are used to burn the data will fade.

"Weird Al" Yankovic Releases Eight Videos in Eight Days

Episode 1101

As part of the release of his new album "Mandatory Fun," music parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic has released eight videos in eight days as part of his #8videos8days campaign on Twitter. The songs include Pharrell Williams "Happy" with "Tacky" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" with "Word Crimes". But Leo says what's interesting is that he's released them across multiple internet portals. And he's killing it.

Comcast Rep Refuses to Cancel Comcast Service for Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont

Episode 1101

Tech reporter Ryan Block tried to cancel his Comcast cable account on the phone, but the account rep wouldn't let him. He tried for over an hour to get Ryan to change his mind. Leo says that he's learned the rep loses money on his salary after a percentage of accounts get cancelled, to the point where he ends up making minimum wage. So the representative probably was trying to save his salary. This is a bad way to do business, and Comcast later issued an apology for the hardship that Ryan dealt with.

Does YouTube delete videos when I delete them from my phone?

Tom from Warren, OH

Episode 1099

Tom is about to go traveling and would like to clean off his videos and photos. He uploaded the videos to YouTube, but when he deleted the videos off his phone, they were deleted on his YouTube Channel as well. Leo says that's odd. YouTube isn't caching his video on the phone, but it may be that YouTube syncs to his iPhone through iOS and any changes he makes there affects his channel on YouTube.

How can I rip my DVDs to a hard drive?

Episode 1099

Joe from Van Nuys, CA
DVD

Joe wants to rip his DVD collection and put it on an external hard drive. How big of a hard drive will he need? Leo says that regular DVDs have 4.7 GB of space, if he wants to keep all of the data from the DVD. But if he just wants the movie itself, then it won't take up as much space.

Joe should get Handbrake and VLC Media Client. Then if he encodes the movie and strips out everything else, he'll have a movie at about 1 GB. He could store a lot more movies that way.

Aereo's Individual 'Dime Sized Antennas' Claim Might Not Be True

Episode 1096

Television

The Supreme Court ruled this week that Aereo is no different than a cable company, and should be required to pay retransmission fees. Aereo leases individual dime sized antennas to customers so they can watch local broadcast television for a low monthly fee. But this claim that all of these small antennas work independently from one another could be a lie. It may not technically be possible for such a small antenna to work by itself, and they may instead be working in concert as an array.

What streaming video box should I buy?

Fran from LaCrescenta, CA

Episode 1095

Fran is going to move to Hawaii for a short time and wants to stream all his content via a set top box like the Roku. Which should he go with? Leo says that each box has specialties that work better than others. AppleTV works great if he's in the Apple world. But Roku is better outside that, as is the FireTV.

If he buys a lot of content from Amazon, then FireTV is for Fran. They have a great games section as well. He won't be getting HBO, Showtime or ESPN with it, unless he keeps his cable subscription active. He should make sure to try it first.