Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.
Greg wants to access his music from Amazon with his Echo. Leo says the Echo does support Amazon Prime Music, but that's a limited subset. His sense is that it wont, but it says that it will support Amazon music. He would have to upload his music to his Amazon Music library and then he'll need to have the right syntax to ask to play it. "Hey Echo, Play [Name of the Song]" and it should just play it. If he has them organized in folders, it could be problematic.
Pete has music at Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music, and a host of others. Plus he has thousands of mp3s and CDs. How can he consolidate it all onto one portal? Leo says if he has no copy protection issues (and he shouldn't anymore) it's going to be easy.
Brian picked up the Heil PR40 Microphone to do some podcasting. He also uses a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo. Leo says the Heil PR40 is a mic that Leo uses all the time. The PreSonus makes it possible to use a professional analog broadcast mic with a computer. Brian is wondering what he should use to record podcasts when he interviews people who call in. Leo says that Skype is the way to go, especially when he's having guests all over the world. The quality is amazing, too. The reason why, is because the telephone network is intentionally inferior with extremely low bit rates of 4-6 bits.
Ron tries to stream music from his NetGear App on his Nexus Tablet but when the tablet goes to sleep, the music stops. Leo suspects that the app doesn't support background streaming. There are plenty of other options out there, like Plex. Leo also uses Google Music from the cloud and streams his music. That works even when the tablet goes to sleep.
Microsoft is giving away 10 of the top albums of 2015. If you are on a Windows 10 machine and have the Groove music app, you'll be able to download them. Microsoft did a similar thing last year as well.
Read more at blog.windows.com.
The subscription music streaming service RDIO has run out of money is shutting down, effective November 23rd. Pandora will buy RDIOs intellectual property. Leo says this is a harbinger of what's to come, and he expects that free services aren't really going to last and that it's only a matter of time before Spotify and Pandora will follow and close down. Eventually, we'll end up with just four music services, all run by Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, which really don't need to make money through the service.
Jonathan's external Blu-ray burner for his laptop has just died. Are there any good external Blu-ray burners for Mac? Leo says that just about any Blu-ray burner would work, if he could find software to drive it. Apple doesn't sell one because they don't want to support Blu-Ray burners due to privacy issues.
Joe's Quicktime movie files were playing sideways on Windows 7. He upgraded to Windows 10 and now it plays properly. Leo says it's likely that the video was shot on a mobile phone in portait mode and the previous version of windows couldn't read the metadata for the accelerometer in the phone. Now, with Windows 10, it can read that data and adjust the image properly. If it happens again, Leo suggests using VLC Media Player to rotate it.
Charlie wants to rip his CDs to a memory stick. Should he partition it since it's 128GB? Leo says why not just get a smaller one? Or, better yet, rip the CDs into higher quality. If he's going to do it, do it once. Charlie should rip the CDs into FLAC, which is a lossless format, and preserves 100% of the CD quality. MP3 doesn't do that, neither does AAC. FLAC is identical to CD quality. Use that for archival storage and then he can convert down from there to a USB drive.
Mitch is mad that after updating to Windows 10, Windows Media Center is no longer there. Leo says that he's furious with Microsoft about that, killing off the XBMC without giving anyone a choice. But Leo says there's more to it -- likely copy protection issues.