Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

What Do I Need to Digitize VHS Tapes?

Combo Player

Episode 1772

Paul from Laguna Nigel, CA

Paul has 35 VHS tapes and he doesn't want to pay $650 to digitize them. How can he do it himself? Should he just buy a VCR and use it to digitize? Leo says he can do that. But while at it, look for a VHS model that also has a DVD burner built-in. It's called a Combo player.  But Paul wants to get it done sooner rather than later. But with a VHS player, he'll need a video capture card to hook it up with that can take the red, white, and yellow composite video cables. S-Video would be even better. But the capture card is what's important.

Can I Stream Music in My Business?

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Episode 1771

Jessica from Orange City, FL

Jessica runs a gym and uses Pandora to play music. Does she have to pay ASCAP fees? Leo says that Pandora has a commercial service, which is probably what she uses. The reason is that playing Pandora for free can be considered piracy and can incur fines for the unauthorized playing of music in the public eye.  Pandora's commercial service also covers all license fees from ASCAP. But they aren't the only ones. There's also Mood Media, Spotify for Business, Cloud Cover, and others. 

Why Are My Podcast Mp3s All Out of Order?

Apple Podcasts

Episode 1769

Peter from Las Vegas, NV

Peter has a bunch of Leo's podcasts that he's downloaded over the years. But now the shows are all out of order. Leo says that advertiser based technology has forced a change in how they name their podcast files. The files are run through a service called Megaphone, which then triggers an ad at an appropriate spot based on what your interests are. As such, the file is named differently for each downloader. But there is a solution. You can get an mp3 renamer that can change the file name based on the file metadata.

How Can I Copy a DVD?

VLC Media Player

Episode 1769

William from Santa Clarita, CA

William wants to make a video and use iMovie to edit it and post it online. But how? Leo says the issue isn't what editor you use, but how you host it. Leo recommends hosting it on YouTube. It's free. It's ideal if you don't know video. How to share it? You can embed it to your website or provide a link for the viewer to watch. 

How Can I Catalog and Organize My Library of Music and Movies?

Delicious Library 3

Episode 1759

Nolan from Los Angeles, CA

Nolan wants to know if storing passwords on your iPhone is safe. Leo says if you only use Apple devices, it's about as secure as it can get. iOS has it's own built-in password generator and wallet. But your passwords won't be available if you use a Windows Machine or other cross-platform device. That's where a third-party app like LastPass comes in handy. 

How Can I Digitize My Old Albums?

Crosley CR6010A-RE Collegiate Portable USB Turntable

Episode 1759

John from Palos Verde, CA

John wants to digitize a record album of his mother's appearance on the old game show Queen for a Day. Is there a turntable that he can get, which can convert it to an mp3? Leo says that Crossley makes a turntable with a USB connection. There is also Victrola and ION. They make them as well. And you can get them as little as $100, and it also includes a CD burner. Just do a search on Amazon for a USB Turntable.

How can I rip DVDs to my hard drive?

Handbrake

Episode 1754

Steve from Riverside, CA

Steve uses PLEX to stream his home media. He's got over 400 movies on his hard drive. But his DVDs have VOB files on them. How does he rip them so he can add them to his PLEX system? Leo says that what you want on your hard drive is the movie itself. Not necessarily the VOB file. But PLEX should be able to read it. A far easier thing to do is to use Handbrake to convert your DVD movies to MP4 files. You may also need VLC Media Client.

Is There a 3rd-party DAC for My Mac Mini?

 Bit Perfect

Episode 1753

Jeff from Cederville, OH

Jeff has an online radio network that he runs on a series of Mac Minis. But he found a bug in the audio that's causing a whine. Leo says that it's likely from the digital-analog converter (DAC) chip that has failed. He recommends getting a USB DAC, rather than just paying to repair it. The quality audio will be better.  But if he has Apple Care Plus, Apple will just replace the logic board. 

How Can I Overdub Using Audacity?

Audacity

Episode 1752

Tim from Palatka, FL

Tim runs a low powered radio station. He's been using Audacity to edit his audio, but recently, it has stopped resetting to the beginning when stopping recording. Now it creates a new track, and that prevents him from overdubbing as he had been in the past. Leo says there's likely a setting in Audacity that will disable the change. He's going to have to use a second, separate track and then position them to overlap. But Tim has problems with that since he's visually impaired. Shift+R can create a new track and then use the cursor keys to move along the track.