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Episode 874 May 13, 2012

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from San Diego, CA Comments

This could be happening because of a failing hard drive, or perhaps a corrupt index file. There are a few things to try to resolve this issue:

  • iTunes Match
  • For $24.99 a year, Apple will put your music library in the cloud by "matching" your songs with the songs in iTunes. In most cases they are higher quality than the ones currently in your library. If iTunes doesn't have a copy, it will upload it. Once it's done, you can delete all of your songs and re-download the higher quality, copy-protection free versions. You'll only have to purchase it for one year -- you'll be able to keep all of the converted songs. If you want to continue having them available in the cloud, you will have to keep paying $24.99 every year.

  • Check to see if the file is actually there.
  • Look for the iTunes folder inside your music folder. Here you should find a folder for each artist, and you can check to see if the song file is there. If it is not, and you haven't moved it or deleted it somehow, then it may be a hard drive problem. If this is the case, you may notice other problems like system crashes or slow downs.

  • Rebuild your library
  • In your iTunes folder, there will be a few "iTunes Library" files with ".xml", ".itdb", and ".itl" extensions. Move these to a different location, and launch iTunes again. Now it should be empty, but don't panic -- your music isn't gone. Next go to the iTunes file menu, select "Add to Library", and point to your iTunes music folder. You will end up losing some data like play counts and ratings, but everything else should be preserved.

Watch Dennis from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Yes, but you'll have to root the phone first. The XDA-Developers Forum is a great resource for asking questions and learning how to root your phone. Once your phone has been rooted, you can backup your phone using an application called Titanium Backup. It will back up all apps and settings. There's both a free and pro version in the Google Play app store.

Watch Denise from Valencia, CA Comments

No, emails will not be lost in the MobileMe to iCloud transition. Your email address will also remain the same. Special smart folders, however, may go away.

There are many other MobileMe features that will discontinue as of June 30th including the syncing of widgets, keychains, dock items and system preferences. iDisk will also go away, but there are other options now such as Dropbox. MobileMe photo galleries will be gone too, so make sure to save your photos (iPhoto can do this) before June 30.

Watch Tom from Atlanta, GA Comments

You might want to consider just using your smart phone instead of a camcorder for live streaming. The cameras in smart phones are very good now, and there are apps such as JustinTV or Ustream that allow streaming over wifi or a cellular network. This is going to be by far the cheapest and most portable option.

Whenever Leo goes out to stream events like NAB or CES, he uses the LiveU. The LiveU is a backpack with slots for 12 3G and 4G cards from all of the major carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The box (which is more like a computer), takes the video and sends it to the internet using all of the cards for a lot of reliable bandwidth to make it high-def. LiveU more recently came out with a 5 pound device that's much easier to carry.

Tom asked specifically about the Cerevo Live Shell for $299. This device only will stream over a wifi connection. Leo has no reason to suspect it wouldn't work, but using a smart phone is still probably the best and least expensive option.

Watch Mike from Olympia, WA Comments

Since the instructor is currently using a handheld mic, a better solution would be a wireless lavalier mic. The challenge here is that a lavalier mic picks up more ambient noise and there is a higher potential for feedback with the PA system. It will be important to make sure there's enough distance between the mic and the speakers to avoid this. A lot of companies make lavaliers, but here's a few to choose from:

  • Samson offers some more affordable options.
  • Audio Technica is Leo's favorite among lavalier manufacturers, but they aren't the cheapest.

There's another kind of mic frequently used by preachers called the Countryman. They are very small mics that are flesh colored and appear almost invisible. Since they are close to the mouth, the probability of feedback will be lower. Again, these aren't cheap but they are a very good solution to consider.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chris from London, England Comments

Since Chris has a GSM phone, the easiest thing to do would be getting a temporary SIM card from the AT&T store. The chat room suggests going to Wal-Mart or Best Buy to get a SIM card there, but data is expensive. It may be best to go get a cheap unlimited data phone with a 1 month policy from MetroPCS and then give it over to a friend when Chris goes back home.

Watch Steven from Fontana, CA Comments

Every TV nowadays will have an ethernet connection and will be a so-called "Smart" TV with apps and such. In most cases they are just not easy to use, they're slow and even can be a nuisance at times. It's better to get the "smarts" outside of the TV. Roku and the AppleTV are external boxes that connect to the TV, and are generally better designed products that are also easier to update.

Watch Gary (Dr. Bird) from Long Beach, CA Comments

This situation really calls for a "shotgun mic". A shotgun mic is a highly directional mic, and many of them are actually designed for digital SLRs like the Canon 5D Mark ii or 7D. It doesn't matter how close the subject is, it will just capture anything that's directly in front of it. There are a couple options to consider here.

Leo uses the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro, which is designed for picking up left/right ambient noise. Rode also makes the VideoMic Pro, which is a more directional shotgun mic.

To deal with any wind noise, Gary will need the Rode Deadcat. Don't worry, it's not an actual dead cat -- it's a giant furry wind muff. It may be a terrible name, but it's a very effective way to block wind noise.

Check out Gary's photos here...

Watch Darlene from Long Beach, CA Comments

The fastest way to do this is with the Apple Camera Connection Kit which Apple sells for $30. It's a connector that plugs into the iPad. It comes with two adapters -- one with a USB port, and another with an SD card reader. Darlene will be using the USB adapter, and will plug the iPhone 4's cable into that. The camera connection kit can be used for connecting other devices as well, so it is a handy thing to have. Leo got it because the new iPhoto app for iPad is incredible. He copies his pictures and movies from his iPhone onto his iPad, uses iPhoto to process the still pictures and iMovie to process the videos.

The chat room pointed out that there's a free app called "Bump", which will use wifi to transfer photos, but this method is a little slow.

Watch Richard from Pasadena, CA Comments

Yes, iTunes Match will mark songs as duplicate and will not re-upload them. After buying iTunes Match for $24.99, he can delete his songs & re-download them. Not only will he get the higher quality versions of his songs, they will also be free of the duplicates.

It's also still possible to show duplicates in iTunes in the "File" menu, but that can be difficult to work with.

Richard has a foundation called The Cancer Fighting Chef. Find out more about it at his site:

Watch Mae from Inglewood, CA Comments

Mae should get the upgrade disc, because it's cheaper. The dirty little secret about Windows is that the disc for the full version is the same as the upgrade disc. If you have a previous copy of Windows already, just insert the Windows 7 disc and it will give you the option to upgrade.

The real question here is what type of install to do -- upgrade in place or install as a new copy? Leo doesn't usually recommend the choosing the upgrade option, so it's probably best to choose the full install. It's also a great opportunity to clean out your system and start fresh. Since Mae has Windows Vista which is so similar to Windows 7, however, she should be fine just choosing the upgrade.

Mae mentioned something important to remember: If you aren't performing the install, make sure to get the disc in case you have more problems down the road!

Watch Trevor from Valencia, CA Comments

"The Cloud" has become just a marketing term. It essentially means "the internet". The truth is, any web hosting is in the cloud. When companies say they have "cloud hosting", they really mean you're running on multiple servers instead of a single server. Depending on how it's implemented, this could be good or bad. Since Trevor has such heavy traffic to his site, Leo thinks virtual hosting (a "cloud" solution) is the best option. Basically, there are three different types of web hosting:

  • Shared Hosting
  • When you get a cheaper web host, usually you're on one machine with 100 to 1,000 other websites.

  • Dedicated Hosting
  • With this, you are paying for one machine to host only your site.

  • Virtual Hosting
  • This is the "cloud" type service where multiple machines are hosting your site. Virtual hosting is the most reliable option, but it comes at a higher price. Other than cost, as long as you have a good cloud hosting company like Rackspace, there isn't really a downside to this. Cloud servers are great because it scales based on how much bandwidth and space is used, and charges you accordingly.

Watch Martin from Lower Lake, CA Comments

Martin would set the price for his app. Then Apple would get 30% of the sales revenue, and he would get 70%. If the app is free, then Martin wouldn't get anything because as Leo said, 70% of nothing is still nothing. It does mean, however, that Apple also gets nothing despite the services they are providing such as bandwidth and promotion of the app. Both Martin and Apple have a vested interest in a rich app environment and free apps are part of that.

Watch Bruce from Irvine, CA Comments

If Bruce gets a GSM phone and a local data plan in Belgium, then everything should work just as it would in the States. The Google maps or Open Street Maps that most services like Instamapper use both have excellent maps for Belgium. The biggest concern here is really the cost.

Another possible solution is the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger.

Bruce is asking this because he is going on a cross country bicycle trip to Belgium to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge, and wants people to be able to track their location live as they go. Find out more at