Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 33,
Quite the week this time. After somewhat of a drought regarding new releases, this week made up for it. With “The Hangover 2″, “Cowboys vs Aliens”, “The Help” and “Mr Popper’s Penguins” all being released on Tuesday, movie lovers like me had a hay-day.
Aside from the new releases, Google reached a milestone in app-downloads through its Android market and is celebrating it with $0.10 sales of popular apps. Nintendo finally released an update for the Nintendo 3DS and of course Microsoft released its update for the XBOX360. Other than that, nothing really noteworthy.
The XBOX360 update this year adds some major enhancements. With a look similar to that of Windows Phone and Windows 8, the interface looks a lot more intuitive, and of course with an integration of some (limited amount now but expanding) channels like ESPN, the 360 is ging quite beyond just a gaming console.
Google reached the 10 Billion downloads mark (congratulations) for the Android Market, and is celebrating. I haven’t had the time to actually play with the apps yet, but I did pick up a few deals. Minecraft, Scetchbook Mobile, SoundHound, Fruit Ninja, and a bunch of others, all for $0.10 a piece. Major shopping spree for less than a buck total
The Nintendo 3DS update. I had to get it back out of the box and charge it up again after having it put back in a few months ago. I have been looking at the new Mario games, and of course Zelda, but with a 360 that hasn’t seen action for most of this year, I just don’t have the time to get into the games. The update finally adds video support. I did play for a couple of minutes to see if I can do something with it, but I need a bit of time to get the proper settings figured out.
DVD Catalyst News:
Not that much this week. I spent the entire week mainly on an update for MovieGallery. Currently in the final testing stages, so it shouldn’t be long before I update it in the market.
This week I only had time to add some articles to the DVD section:
The Smurfs (2011) DVD
Faster (2011) DVD
Friends with Benefits (2011) DVD
Friends with Benefits (2011) Bluray
The Hangover 2 (2011) DVD
The Hangover 2 (2011) Bluray
The Help (2011) DVD
Cowboys and Aliens (2011) DVD
Mr Poppers Penguins (2011) DVD
As I mentioned last week, I’ve been using the NOOKtablet as my main device. I’ll try and write a full review next week (if time permits), but I will share some of my thoughts on it.
I miss my Kindle Fire. It was hard to resist, but I didn’t grab it at nights. I did use it a few times to test MovieGallery with.
I’m still fighting with the headphone port on the NOOKtablet. Because my cat likes to climb on everything, I always unplug and disconnect the stuff I have on my nightstand. It happened quite a few times in the past that I am working and then hear a lot of ruckus from the bedroom, and its the cat whom knocked over everything. To make sure he can’t damage anything, I disconnect everything.
So the same goes for the headphones I use for my “off-time” at nights. And, every evening when I want to watch something, I end up having to spend 5 minutes of fiddling with the headphone jack to get proper audio out of the thing. I really have to get to the B&N store to see if it is an issue that is just on mine or on more of them.
During the week (well, a couple of days more) I have been using the NOOKtablet mainly for videos. I did use the web a few times as well as the email client.
For video in general, it works great. No issues with video files, and of course the SD card (I’m using the 16GB one that came with my Droid X) gives me plenty of space. Unfortunately, Netflix is a bit weak. I had a few crashes of it, and it doesn’t seem to like to be rotated on the NOOKtablet. When you switch it from portrait to landscape, it doesn’t seem to update the view, and only shows half. At this point, the button-functionality doesn’t work, so you are forced to get out of it completely and go back in.
While that is only a minor gripe, I did have the actual user interface of the NOOKtablet crash a couple of times on me when switching/starting apps. It looks like the device reboots, but it is actually just the NOOK interface that B&N added on top of Android.
The email app on the NOOKtablet takes some time to get used to. It is not as intuitive as one would expect. Since I use gmail, I found it easier to use the browser rather than the actual email app.
This week I’ve been putting most of my time into the update of MovieGallery for the NOOKcolor and NOOKtablet, and while the NOOKtablet is a bit faster (noticeable with the new thumbnail generation feature) the NOOKcolor seems to be a lot more stable. With both looking nearly the same (my office is a bit gloomy, so the color difference of the casing is not as clear), I found myself using the NOOKcolor a lot more for testing than the NOOKtablet.
In last week’s newsletter I wrote about how my wife and I keep fighting with the TiVo and one of our TV shows. I received a lot of responses on that (thank you), and it turned out the blame was due to sports running into overtime. So last week, we set up the recording to run an hour longer, and of course, this time it was on-time.
The sports thing brings up something else for me to gripe about though. With the due date for Digital TV, my cable company “promised” it wouldn’t drop analog, but of course, back in march of this year, they came back on their words, and dropped it, forcing me to replace our 2 beloved TiVo Series 2′s for a TiVo Premiere. I have wrote my fair share of comments on that experience, but the reason why my cable company dropped analog was so it could add more (premium) sports channels. So all the issues we have been dealing with this year regarding TV are caused by sports. Broken promises from the cable company, forced upgrade, missing/half recorded TV shows, all because of sports. If they added more sports channels, you would expect that they would make sure that the non-sport TV doesn’t get affected, which would of course result into more sales for the premium sports channels. Sad, very sad.
Tip: Online DVD/Bluray Cataloging:
A few weeks ago, I finally started cataloging my DVD collection. I tried a few different websites, and found one that would actually connect to a barcode scanner app on Android devices, making it quick and easy to do. I didn’t get back to it for a week or so and unfortunately, , I forgot the website I used. Because I tried so many of them, I forgot the name, and because I deal with a lot of emails on a daily basis, I couldn’t find the email confirmation. Last night, I got a newsletter from the one I used, so now I have it bookmarked. If you are looking for an easy way of cataloging your DVDs, Blurays, Games, Books etc, visit iTrackmine - The Ultimate Collection Manager It works really well, and with the barcode scanner, its (for most) simply swiping the barcode past your phone, and it will pull up the DVD ready to add it to your collection. In a matter for a couple of hours, I added worked myself through about 250 DVDs, way faster than if I would do it by hand.
If you have more than one phone/tablet you want to convert your movies for, this article will show you how to add additional devices to your conversion, so that with 1 click, you can create video files for all of them.
TV Show episodes:
If you ever used other conversion tools to convert multiple episodes from DVD, you probably realized that things can get a bit complicated and time-consuming. You either have to convert one episode at a time, or create a batch by adding individual conversions to a list before you start the conversion process. This article shows how to convert all the episodes on a DVD with just one click.
Batch conversion for video files:
Similar to converting a TV show DVD, this article shows how to drag a folder with multiple video files onto DVD Catalyst and start a conversion of all of them with just one click.
This article explains how to use the batch-rename feature in DVD Catalyst. If you convert a lot of TV shows, you probably have your own naming system in place to organize them according to season and episode number.
And that is it for this week. Next week, I’ll try and write a full review on the NOOKtablet, and I might be able to get an article written up on how to use the iTrackmine online cataloging website. Thanks again for reading the DVD Catalyst Newsletter, and I hope you have a safe and warm weekend.