In another episode of the “Storytime” series, we let you sit back, relax and hear us tell tall tales about open source quests towards the lands of the big brown tower AND some Star Trek Fan Fiction of our own. So sit back and relax as we take you to the edge of real and Cyberspace in another episode of “Storytime”.
We take an in depth look at “Boxee”, the cross platform media front end software that turns your computer into the next generation of TV-Entertainment. We talk you through the installation process, the configuration, the different screens an implementations of Boxee. Use it as your mediabox, your media player, your social entertainment aggregator or more. All of it is possible using.. Boxee.
So I suppose we have an excuse that our living room is a disaster area.
The trouble with a lot of technology these days is, that devices are no longer satisfied with performing a single service. Somewhere in the not so distant past, a seed of rebellion must have been planted in the minds of electronic devices that to serve one single purpose was below their dignity and that they should endeavor to become more then themselves. It started out small of course, with those digital watches that ALSO became calculators, then we had radio’s that also played cassette tapes, flashlights that doubled as keyrings .. and so on. Of course there where some shady mishaps ( Strollers that doubled as rocket launchers never ‘took off’) but these days there is hardly a single purpose device to be found.
When we started surfing the web on our mobile phones I always compared it with building a jigsaw puzzle, through a keyhole, with chopsticks. Or emptying a Rock quarry with a wheelbarrow. Sure it works, but it isn’t really the right tool for the right job. And speaking of ‘the right tool for the right job”, lets look at one of our most hated software application, who’s quest for ‘multi purpose’ has risen to heights Louis 14th would blush at : ITUNES. Because not only HARDWARE tried to dominate our multipurpose life .. Software was even WORSE.
What started out as a measly music management application has somehow turned into this behemoth that insists on being the gateway for all of the multimedia content that goes onto your IOS devices. Its modest starting point : “Playing mp3 files” is just a spec on the horizon, as Itunes now insists on organizing (or dis-organising) your ENTIRE music collection, Manage your podcasts, Keep hold of your Ebooks and insists on keeping a copy of every Video you want to play on your IOS Device. I’ll try not to complain to loud about the fact its the only way you can get to Itunes U content or managing applications. Itunes tries to be the ‘flamethrowing baby stroller’ that wants everything in its giant library. And I don’t like that ! Sorry ? Why ? Because I hate apps that do things they where not initially designed for (yes, i’m looking at YOU ICQ) and I get a rash from stinking white sync cables. (but you all knew that by now). So I’ll share some dirty tricks on getting content on your Ipad / iphone / Ipod WITHOUT having to use Itunes. ( well almost)
Email to Ibooks.
I mean : Why do you need to have PDF’s in Itunes. There is a quick and snappy workaround to get content on your IOS Device. Set up a dedicated Email address just to receive emails on your device. ( for example : firstname.lastname@example.org or something) and use good old email to get your content over there. Once the attachment is downloaded you can open your PDF’s in Ibooks (where they stay) or save them as for example, a picture. Want to get geeky and throw some wget scripts at it ? Why not have your ‘server’ download and email content to you automatically and setup your own ‘over the air’ magazine server.
This is also an application that spits defiantly at the feet of Itunes. Audio, text and pictures are easily synced over the air between your desktop and your IOS device.
Also an application that I love. After signing up you can drag a bookmarklet to your browser bar (both on the Ipad and your desktop) and whenever you come across a piece of text you want to ‘read quietly’ just click the bookmarklet and the article is reformatted and pushed to your mobile device.
Dropbox to goodreader.
Many IOS applications use Dropbox as the ‘over the air’ middle man. Goodreader (a popular ‘i read everything except Epubs) is also pretty good at that. Chuck your books in your Dropbox and have Doodreader pull them in.
For this last one you do “need” Itunes, but the workaround is that you don’t have to store the content INSIDE Itunes. With Video this can be a real drag. Having to convert video’s and import them into Itunes to play them in the standard IOS videoplayer is a DRAG to say the least. Buzzplayer lets you ‘drop’ any movie format into the its preference pane in the “apps” section and pulls in the content on your Ipad. So it does NOT get stored inside your Itunes directory.. and the good thing is : Buzzplayer picks up where VLC Player left off. It plays almost anything and is one of my killer apps.
Sure there are plenty more apps out there .. but I just got an Xbox and now i’m gonna stop typing and play Halo.
As reported earlier this week, some people had trouble downloading the latest episode of KWTV from our servers over at Bluehost. Since Bluehost is capping our available bandwith we are looking for alternative hosting locations that don’t cost us an arm and a leg. So today we are re-upping KWTV 0025 to a different server AND dropping the episode BACK into the Podcast feed to check if everybody is able to download the episode and is able to download the episode at a decent speed. Sorry for people who are tight on data to “double download” the episode to you. But we did have some people who had a hard time getting it. If you can do one thing : Please report your download speed of the RE-upped episode into the comments field if you have any trouble. That way we can find out an even better solution should we have the need to
The hosting solution we are trying out right now is “the internet archive A totally groovy place that ASKS you to archive your entire content for ever and ever. For as far as we know the service is free AND offers us more bandwith then we have over at Bluehost (at least thats what we are hoping for). I took the time to browse through the internet archive and .. well lets just say .. its the biggest library where you never want to leave ! Podcast, screencasts, websites, archived versions of websites (the Way back machine), Live speeches, books, performances and so on .. There is soooo much in there .. incredible.
So bear with us as we tinker with some files in order to get you the very best server – service you deserve and continue pumping out content from the edge of real and Cyberspace !