One of the downsides to Internet-based video content is that generally each new program being played back must be initiated by the user. This isn’t much of a problem if one is watching a full-length movie or television show via Netflix or Amazon Streaming. However, if one is watching short-form content like video podcasts such as “Film Riot” then watching a bunch of episodes in a row tends to be a bit more of a pain since each one must be started playing depending on the playback platform.
I discovered an interesting trick that the Roku is capable of using the free iTunes podcast database app that can be added from the Roku store on your Roku. The app connects with the iTunes podcast database and will display both video and audio podcasts. Select an episode and it will begin to play. If you select an older episode, either video or audio, it will play that episode and then automatically play all episodess that follow it in the correct order.
This is a very useful feature say if you want to catch up with several weeks’ worth of video podcasts. Each podcast plays automatically in the proper order. It is almost like being able to turn video podcast streaming into more of a conventional television viewing experience.
This app is exactly what I needed! Recently, iTunes made a change to the specifications for show artwork for podcasts. Now, your image must be a 1400 x 1400 jpg. This made things a bit difficult for me.
For a while now, I have been creating original artwork for one of the podcasts that I am involved in. I have a background in Art Education, which means that every so often I just feel the need to create some hands-on, not done on a computer, type of art. After the art is finished, I would take a photo of it, upload the photo to my computer, and then use it as art for an episode of my podcast.
The new change meant that I wasn’t going to be able to do things as easily anymore. The photos I was taking were at least twice the specifications that I now needed to fit the artwork into. What I needed was an app that could quickly and easily resize that image for me, (without costing me a fortune to use it). I also needed it to be Mac compatible.
I started my search by clicking on the App store icon that was at the bottom of my screen. After a little looking around, I found an awesome little app called Image Resizer. It was created by Bitten Apps, and only cost $2.99. The price was nice, so I decided to give this little app a try.
I found it to be incredibly simple to use. Open the app, and an interface immediately pops up. Drag the image that you want to resize from your desktop, and drop it in the app. It will keep the image aspect ratio of the original image (unless you go and uncheck the box that tells it to do so).
Unlike some of the other image resizing apps, this one allows me to type in the dimensions that I want the image to be changed into. All I had to do was type 1400 into each box, and click the button that says “Resize!”. Just like that – I had turned an image of my artwork that was too big to use as podcast art into something that fit into iTunes new specifications. I highly recommend this app.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 6:47 PM on April 4, 2012
I have a Mac Mini with Lion and the latest version of iTunes installed. Occasionally iTunes will do something strange and today was one of those days. I was on iTunes listening to some music and podcasts. When I was finished I went to shut it down. After I shut it down it popped back open. I tried to shut it down again and the same thing happened. I then tried to force close it and still it popped open. The only way I could get rid of it was to shut the computer down by using the power button. This is not a practical solution so I started to do some research.
I started to search the Apple forums for an answer. The first answer I found said to repair your disk permissions. To repair permissions you go under Utilities, then Disk Utilities and then choose your home hard drive and then click repair disk permissions. Repairing disk permissions took about twenty minutes and when it was done, I restarted iTunes and then closed it down and again it popped back open. Another person suggested moving the iTunes .plist from the Preference folder which is in the Home Folder to the Desktop. So I tried that and again iTunes popped back open. I went back and re-entered the search string and realized I had been looking at an older forum. I found a more recent forum from 2011 and one of the posters commented that on occasion a dashboard widget can cause this problem. The light bulb went off in my head, when I remembered that I had attempted to use the Red Alarm Widget earlier in the day. I deleted the widget and that solved the problem. I still not sure why it worked since when I reinstalled the widget and restarted iTunes with the alarm turned on, I was able to successfully close iTunes down. The same thing had happened once before several months ago and that time the problem application was Plex. Again when I uninstalled Plex and then reinstalled it everything worked normally. Have you run into this problem and did you find a different solution. Finally does anyone know what is causing this problem to spring up every once in a while.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 7:52 AM on December 10, 2011
It seems Apple thinks you may want to give the gift of the Beatles this holiday season as they have released a brand new iTunes Beatles ad. The new ad comes right on the heels of a free children’s eBook hitting the iTunes store. The Yellow Submarine eBook carried with it the simple “For Steve” dedication and tells the tale of the 1968 movie in the form of a children’s book, with clips from the film, animated illustrations, and a read-along from actor Dean Lennox Kelly.
The new TV ad, which was posted to YouTube by Apple yesterday, features a clip from the song Magical Mystery Tour as the video rolls seamlessly through a history of the Beatles albums with real and animated pictures. The commercial excludes U.S.-only Beatles releases like “Meet the Beatles” and focuses exclusively on the core U.K catalog, ending with Abbey Road. The ad ends with a simple “The Beatles on iTunes”.
With Beatles music still fairly new to the digital form and still just as popular as it was when it was released more than 30 years ago, it’s not really a surprise that Apple would put out this little reminder in time for holiday shoppers looking for just one more little gift. The Beatles music has now reached a whole new generation of fans, including my own children who were 13 and 10 when we took them to their first concert two years ago – Paul McCartney won them over.
I’m possibly a bit slow on the uptake here, but Starbucks in the UK are offering a free “Pick of the Week” iTunes download. Some weeks it will be a music track, other weeks it will be an e-book, some will be well-known, some will be up-and-coming.
I came across this freebie last week while frequenting my local coffee house but after checking on-line, it looks like the promotion has already been running for a few weeks.
You’ll find little credit card-sized vouchers with a download code on the back close to the tills. I picked up The Damned United by David Peace. Enter the code into iTunes / iBooks and it’s added to your collection. Easy.
JamUp gives guitarists access to many tones. They also have the iTunes Jam Player and the very first sound-on-sound phrase sampler. With 24 hybrid amps/effects, 16 user presets, sound-on-sound phrase sampler, iTunes player and more, you might be able to replace your large pedal board with an iPad or iPhone.
“JamUp is the must-have guitar app on iPad or iPhone for guitar players,” remarked Calvin Abel, Product Manager at Positive Grid. “It channels the traditional multi-effect pedal into one single guitar app with a good number of jamming and practice features, plus the stunning user interface and convenient form-factor, giving you the ability to completely transform your rig with this one app.”
You can choose from 6 historic amp models and convolution cab simulator, spring and digital reverb, tangy modulations, tape and digital delays, classic and fuzzy distortions, filters, compressors, noise gate and other essentials. JamUp also has “play along” capabilities. Capture loops and riffs and create sound-on-sound overdubs.
You will need the special adapter to connect the guitar into your iPhone, however, if you already have that device from another program, you can easily use it with JamUp.
Two versions of the software: JamUp Lite (Launch Special 30 days free) and JamUp Pro ($19.99) are available in iTunes App-Store now. JamUp Plug US MSRP is $39.95.
I give lots of Prizes away and also a chance to win some very exclusive prints from a cool artist. Listen to win and join me for a trip down memory lane, we kick it off old school with some intros that we have used in bygone years. Nearly 7 years of podcasting excellence all made possible by all of the Ohana that subscribe and listen to this show.
Big Thanks to Our Executive Producer Jack Ellis for all his work on all of our shows!
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Looks like someone is messing with my net connections while I am streaming the show. Twice in two weeks the net connection has went dead while live time to do some digging. Lots of tech tonight but the last two shows the intro has slipped a bit in length. I will get that re-aligned next show. So far nothing but postive feedback on the HD version of the show. See the bonus links in the show notes and check out our iTunes network provider listings.
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One of the problems with watching video podcasts as an alternative to conventional television is that you have typically and deliberately watch one video at a time. On longer videos it’s not as much of a problem, but with short videos that last 5 minutes or less you have to keep manually restarting the next video after the previous one has finished.
I now have three Mac Minis – one is an old somewhat underpowered Power PC Mac Mini that I’m using as a video podcast aggregator. I have that machine’s iTunes database located on a much larger shared drive that’s available to every machine on my home network. I’m subscribed to a variety of tech podcasts, most of them in the highest resolution file sizes available.
I have two other Mac Minis that are of the latest design. I have an “Eye TV” USB HD tuner connected to one that’s connected to a substantial external antenna. Depending on atmospheric conditions I can receive up to 18 channels counting the various digital sub channels. This enables the Mac Mini to function as a DVR.
The second Intel Mac Mini is in another room and the Eye TV software also loaded on it is able to work from the other Mac Mini’s shared recordings.
Today I discovered by accident when playing around with iTunes on one of the Intel Mac Minis that the shared videos show up in the shared playlists from other iTunes databases. So, in other words, I can pick a shared iTunes list from the Power PC Mac Mini’s shared iTunes and a list of video files shows up. Since the videos are in the list just like audio would be, I am able to start a video file playing and when one file ends it will immediately start playing the next video file on the list. This is particularly useful because I can start videos playing as I do other things and it will continue to play just as if it’s a TV station. This is quite a handy capability to have. The lack of an ability to set up continuous video playback has long been one of the Apple TV’s biggest shortcomings.
Periodically I go to the Power PC Mac Mini and delete the video files that have been played, since iTunes keeps a play count, so I always have fresh material to watch.
Like millions of others, I’ve been glued to news sources to get as much current information as I can about the ongoing disasters in Japan following the massive earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear plant disasters. This has to be the biggest natural disaster that has occurred in my lifetime.
In pre-Internet days, we had to rely on newspapers and television for news. Those forms of information have their problems. This is the Internet age. I want current information directly from the source NOW, not later. I want current information of my choice, not what news agencies that aren’t directly on the scene think is or is not important for me to know. If I want 24/7 disaster coverage, in the Internet age that becomes possible, allowing me to completely bypass limited conventional coverage.
It took a while for me to find, but there’s an iPhone/iPod/iPad/iOS app from Japan’s NHK called NHK World TV Live. The app is free. Once the app is installed, it operates very simply. You simply open the app and the live video directly from Japan’s NHK World news service immediately begins streaming. Search iTunes for NHK World TV Live.
The service has an English translator that talks over the lowered volume of the original Japanese broadcasts. The English translators aren’t slick and you can hear them become a bit confused from time to time.
There’s also an app from the Al jazeera TV English news network that operates live out of Doha, Qatar. Al jazeera TV English is highly produced from a beautiful state-of-the-art studio. The on-air newsreaders seem to be British nationals. Though Al jazeera gives more news from the Arab world than the typical American is used to, they do a pretty good job of covering international news, including the situation in Japan. Search iTunes for Al jazeera English Live.
Savvy TV news agencies in today’s world have to make themselves available if they want to continue to be relevant. News agencies such as the BBC, CBC, CNN, Fox, etc. seem to be dragging their feet regarding available-to-anyone-anywhere 24/7 Internet TV broadcasting. I believe they are already losing world market share.