Perry wants to know what his alternatives are now that Locast has shut down. Leo says that an antenna is the best free option. Sling and other streaming services do offer other local channels for an extra cost. Here's a list of alternatives. There is a Reddit thread at reddit.com/r/cordcutters which talks about some options.
Diane hears that Google Photos is going to end on January 5th. Leo says that's not accurate. Google Photos will be ending their free unlimited photo storage on June 1st. However, until then, you can store unlimited photos that will remain free forever. After that, the 15GB limit will apply to any new photos, music, all your docs, and email. But Google's pay tier is pretty affordable if you need more space.
There are other options like Shutterfly and Amazon Prime.
Keith uses Dragon Naturally Speaking, and he's noticed that it is moving away from a consumer version. The Mac version has been retired. What are his alternatives? Leo says that most of the speech to text tools were bought by Nuance, and innovation isn't as important anymore. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft have been building voice dictation into operating systems, so they are natively included. Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Echo. That's where the innovation is happening. Even Microsoft Word is doing very good Voice Dictation now.
For physicians: Scribe, by Moebius MD.
Chuck is using Dragon Naturally Speaking on the Mac, but he just found out that Dragon is discontinuing support for Mac. What are his alternatives? Leo says that Windows and Mac both have voice recognition and dictation now, so it may be that they discontinued it because the market is drying up. Google is also doing this. Sadly, it won't have nearly as many voice features as Dragon did. One thing he could do is use the Windows version and dual boot his Mac as a Windows machine using BootCamp.
Micah has been frustrated with Skype making unwanted changes and he eventually just gave up and chose to use Google Hangouts instead. Leo says that the sad thing about Microsoft buying Skype is that they continue to dumb it down to make it "easier" to use. But it gets frustrating because it doesn't always help when it comes to sound quality for recording.
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.
Dave lives in an apartment complex and has a surround sound home theater system, but sadly he can't use it because of his neighbors complaining. Are there surround sound headphones? Scott says there's a few ways to go about that. He could simulate it with a DTS Headphone X algorithm, but it has to be included in the AV receiver. Dolby has Dolby Headphone, which is another AV option. Mozaex makes a set of headphones that are surround, but they're not cheap. The Smith Realizer is the Rolls Royce of surround sound simulation which he would plug his headphones into. But it's about $3,000!
Rick s frustrated with iTunes. It seems to have a mind of its own. It wants to manage his own personal music and deletes some of it randomly. Is there a substitute that gives him more control over his music and podcasts? Unfortunately, iTunes has taken up all the air in the room in this category and most of the alternatives have dried up. But there are some third party programs to consider:
Dan wants to know what alternatives there are to Adobe Reader. Leo says there's tons of free alternatives and he's happy to recommend them because Adobe Reader has such poor security. Here are a few Dan could try:
There is a site called AlternativeTo.net, which would allow him to enter in a program name and then will tell him alternatives to it. This doesn't work for getting an alternative to a program on another operating system, though.