MEDIA CENTER EXTENDERS

Since the market for living room computers never developed, Microsoft decided to focus on “extenders,” a different way to deliver media to your television.

Huge numbers of people already have a computer in the house running Windows Vista Home Premium, holding photos and music. An “extender” is a small box for the living room that connects to the computer over a wireless or wired connection to display the photos on the television and play music on the living room speakers. […] continued

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MEDIA IN THE LIVING ROOM

Your photos are on your computer.

Your music is on your computer.

It makes sense that computers should be able to record TV shows – it’s kind of a computery thing to do, right?

It’s probably occurred to you that it makes sense to store movies on a computer instead of buying them or getting them from Netflix. […] continued

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THE BIG MONEY, SOUNDUNWOUND

Two new sites have been added to the bruceb favorites page.

  • The Big Money is a business web site created by the editors of Slate, intended to be an authoritative source of business news combined with interesting business blogs. It will be trying to stand out from the other big business sites – Forbes, CNN Money, and the rest.
[…] continued Read more

APPLE BLUESCREEN FOLLOWUP

Apple reacted quickly to the reports that the latest iTunes update has caused some Windows systems to crash badly. Last night Apple posted another version of iTunes that rolls back the offending hardware driver to an older version. If your system is blue screening, all you have to do is uninstall iTunes, uninstall Apple Mobile Device Support, and then reinstall iTunes from last night’s release. […] continued

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iTUNES 8 UPGRADE CAUSING CRASHES

New slogan for Apple: iTunes ain’t done till Windows won’t run!

After its iPod conference this week – more of a non-event than usual for Apple – a new version of iTunes started to roll out to Windows users. For some people, it’s causing crashes and even causing blue screens after it installs broken drivers without any disclosure or warning. […] continued

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WHAT I USE

On the assumption that my choices are endlessly fascinating to an ever-growing number of people – really, really bored people – I’ve added a page with details about the hardware and software that I use here at the high-tech headquarters of bruceb consulting. I’ll try to keep it up to date. […] continued

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BLUE JEANS CABLE STRIKES BACK

This is for my lawyer friends and clients – and anyone who enjoys seeing a lawyer smack down a company that deserves it.

Monster Cable makes high-end, expensive audio and video cables. It’s not obvious that Monster Cables are worth the price – recently blindfolded audio aficionados could not distinguish between audio delivered on Monster Cables, on the one hand, and coat hangers, on the other hand. […] continued

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DIGITAL MUSIC NOTES

There have been a lot of changes in digital music recently, many of them favorable for consumers.

People are recognizing the value of the MP3 format, free of any licensing restrictions. If you are ripping your CDs, make sure you use the MP3 format at a high enough bit rate to preserve the quality of the music! […] continued

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SPEAKING GEEK

The Wall Street Journal’s site All Things Digital has a useful article that translates some geek jargon into English. It’s a nicely written collection of common-sense explanations of terms used to describe digital cameras, mobile devices, televisions, and more. Sample:

“DIGITAL CAMERAS – Megapixels: This term describes the highest resolution photo a camera can take.

[…] continued Read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!

In 2007, we started to work with Windows Vista, bought lots of handheld devices, and started to move things online – our mail, our photos, our movies.

What will 2008 bring? It will start with lots more of the same. Many of you will get your first Windows Vista computer and discover that it’s quite a nice operating system. […] continued

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DAVID BYRNE & THE FUTURE OF MUSIC

David Byrne, former leader of Talking Heads, has written an article for Wired Magazine about the long-term prospects for the music industry when the costs of producing and distributing music are both approaching zero. What is the role for a record company when an artist can produce professional-quality music with laptop computers and distribute it worldwide through an inexpensive web site? […] continued

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PLAYSFORSAYWHAT?

Microsoft has a name problem.

I used to think that Microsoft had learned a lesson from the years of confusion and frustration caused by the similar names for “Outlook” and “Outlook Express,” two programs that were not even remotely related.

The same people must have been on the committee that decided “Windows Mail” (the free program included with Vista) would be on the market at the same time as “Windows Live Mail,” the similar but not identical free program for Vista and Windows XP. […] continued

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J RIVER MEDIA JUKEBOX 12

J River Media Center is the only important program on my computer developed by a small company. J River just released Media Jukebox 12, a simpler free version focused on music that you might want to consider if you’re not already using Media Center.

MJukebox Media Center is the only program I use for music. […] continued

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MP3s AND THE FUTURE OF MUSIC

The music industry is in complete disarray; the shift away from CDs is irreversible and most consumers simply expect music to be free. The recording industry’s hostility, arrogance, and litigation tactics have alienated everyone, making it harder for the industry to imagine a business plan that works – especially while it’s controlled by executives who freely admit they don’t understand these new-fangled Internet tubes. […] continued

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THE WIRELESS FUTURE

Wireless technology is a blur of confusing acronyms and frequent frustration, but we are making progress and there continues to be hope that more and more wires will disappear in the future.

Wireless Internet connections for our computers are slowly becoming more comprehensible and easier to manage, although the word “wireless” is still used for too many different things. […] continued

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