Media

Downloading, streaming, or encoding music and movies.

Why won't my DVD play?

DVD

Episode 1625

Richard from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Richard bought a new DVD. And he can't play it. It's "dead." Leo says that it may not be dead, it may be region encoded. If there's a different region encoding for a different market, it won't play in your DVD player. Even if it played once before, it could have become region locked after that. The next thing to check is if it's PAL instead of NTSB. If that's the case, it won't play either. 

How can I rip an album with a Mac?

Vinyl Album

Episode 1620

Art from Thousand Oaks, CA

Art is trying to rip a vinyl album to his computer. He uses a USB turntable and it's not capturing. Leo says that using a USB turntable is the best way to do it, but since Art is using a Mac, it's likely that the software he's using doesn't support Mac. But it also means he may not need that software. Leo advises opening the sound preference pane in the Mac, and see if you can see the turntable. If you do, then you can probably use Garage Band or Amadeus to capture with it.

How Can I Crack an Old Floppy Password?

floppies

Episode 1614

Mike from Riverside, CA

Mike resurrected an old computer to look through some old floppies, but they're password protected and he can't remember the password. Leo says that if Mike can figure out how he password protected it, that could give him a clue. But floppy disks weren't normally password protected. So it's an odd thing for a password pop up to happen. It may be possible to examine the disk using a Linux computer. That could lead to being able to read it. But not for very much longer, as Linux will not support floppies moving forward.

Why is My Car Playing U2 When I Get Inside?

Songs of Innocence

Episode 1614

Jon from LA, CA

Jon complains that U2 will start playing when he puts down his phone and gets into the car. It's very annoying. Leo suspects that it's the free U2 album that Apple gave to everyone a few years ago. It's called Songs of Innocence and it's probably in iCloud. Apple created a special tool to delete it, he can get it here. But the larger issue is that when he gets rid of it, his Bluetooth audio in his car will just play something else.

Can I play Pandora in my business?

Pandora

Episode 1609

Ted from Whitter, California

Ted has a business and plays a pandora in the background. Is he breaking the law? Leo says that technically, you need a license fee to play music in your business. ASCAP/BMI has secret shoppers that go around looking for this kind of thing and then sends businesses letters letting them know you're in violation and have to buy a license. Google ASCAP BMI, you'll find a page on what to do in order to play music. The fee is about $250 a year. There is a service called MUZAK that does just that. They handle all that, but you pay for the service. Also, check out SoundTrackYourBrand.com.

Can I Rip DVDs to Put on My Tablet?

VLC

Episode 1606

Eric from Orange, CA

Eric is travelling with his kids and wants to know if he can download movies to his tablet or laptop for them to watch. Is that legal? Leo says that it is, and many streaming services will let him download content for watching offline. Can he rip the DVDs? Leo says he can. It's pretty easy to do. To do that he will need two programs: Handbrake and VLC Media Client. They work in concert to rip the DVD and put it into a single file to upload to the device. 

Should I Record to My SSD?

Mac Mini

Episode 1604

Rich from Tuscon, AZ

Rich is an audiobook narrator, and he records huge files on his Mac Mini. Should he record to an external hard drive, rather than the internal drive? Leo says that is just silly.  The SSD has wear levelling that keeps it in a safe condition and the reliability isn't an issue. They also have error correction built in. So it will be just as fine to record to the internal drive than an external drive. Thunderbolt 3 is also just as fast as the internal drive, so either one will work. And professional grade professional software will ensure no errors happen.

What's a Fast Way to Digitize Physical Photos?

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

Episode 1603

Nate from Tustin, CA

Nate is looking for a fast way to digitize his Mom's physical photos. Leo says that you can go to a service bureau like Scancafe where you can ship them your photos in a box that they send you, and they will send you back CD's of your digitized photos. However, since Nate has tons of photos to be digitized, Leo recommends buying a scanner and doing it himself. Leo recommends the brand, Epson, on scanning your photos because they have a type of scanners called FastFoto that has a feed that is great for scanning photos quickly.

How can I burn Blu-ray DVDs?

Blu-Ray Disc

Episode 1596

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA

Howard has a computer with a Blu-Ray burner, but he doesn't have software to use it. What apps are available? Leo says that NERO was the gold standard for burning DVDs for years, but they may not do Blu-ray. Leo says that Premiere Elements 2018 and later can burn to Blu-Ray directly. So you don't really need a third party app. Leo also likes ROXIO. But you may end up with a special driver that can cause compatibility issues. Stick with Adobe Premiere Elements. Leo also likes FoxIt. 

Is There an Alternative to Texture for Digital Magazines?

Texture

Episode 1595

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny hears that Texture is going away. What is an alternative for reading digital magazines? Leo says that Texture was bought by Apple, and they're shutting it down this week. But you can get Apple's NEWS Plus for the same price, same magazines, and pretty much the same interface. Leo tried it and then canceled after a few days because it's sandboxed inside the Apple ecosystem. There's no Android option, unfortunately.