Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 51.
After a week of nice weather, It is raining out today. They were working on the road in front of my place, and now, with the rain going, of course they took the day off and we get a nice moat for a couple of days.
This week wasn't as eventful for me. I had a few appointments, which of course affected development time, and of course with the tools4movies.com website still under construction, I made some changes and added a few articles.
Let me start with this week's tech news:
Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6/4.2.
A few months ago, thanks to some inconsistencies with MovieGallery and Samsung's custom Android shell, TouchWiz, I picked up a Galaxy Player 5.0. When first announced, the Galaxy Player seemed like the perfect replacement for my iPod Touch. It runs Android, and of course no phone-fees. Unfortunately, aside from using it for development and testing, I don't use the darn thing that much, because of the connection issues with my laptop. While file-transfer works fine, in order to do updates, it relies on some custom, iTunes-like, sync software on your computer, and it is a hit and miss situation in order to get it to work. As an Android device itself, it works fine, but the custom Samsung stuff is a nightmare to work with.
Now, Samsung released new generations of its Galaxy Player series, and while they look nice, it seems they just upped the hardware (and reduced the screen-size) a bit, and kept everything else in place, and based on some of the actual user reviews, including the issues with their Kies software. I'm not impressed.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.
Coming from a person who already has a fair collection of different tablets, all I can do with this one is "Why Samsung, Why?"
Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab 7.0 (v1) Galaxy Tab 7.0 (v2), Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1. What is next, Galaxy Tab 6.1, Galaxy Player 2.0?.
It is nice that there is a large variation in different sizes and price ranges, but it might be a good idea to fix some of the issues with what is out, rather than just trying to counter (copy) every other tablet out there with one of your own.
Aside from new devices from Samsung, other note-worthy news this week was regarding eBook price-fixing,OnLive's "Desktop" offering, Facebook purchasing InstaGram (I don't do much with pictures, so I haven't done anything with Instagram myself)
Starting last week, I've been doing some work on the website. Unfortunately, this week, I didn't have the time I wanted due to some appointments I had, but I still managed to get some things done.
I updated a few guides, and I added an easy way to access them directly from the front page. Of course I already had links to the guides in the side menu, but having the links in a more prominent location should make it easier to find them.
After last week's newsletter, someone suggested to look into a site called "smashwords" for the eBook versions of my guides, so I started posting them up there. Aside from offering additional formats, the smashwords website works pretty well.
Aside from that, I did make some time to do some work on DVD Catalyst 4 based on a few user suggestions.
As mentioned, I updated a few guides on my website.
NOOKcolor Video Guide:
Xoom Video Guide:
Both guides are similar in format, with quick start, detailed, and of course a troubleshooting section.
The guides, along with a few other new ones I finished are now available in eBook format as well. The eBooks actually contain a bit more information. The eBook versions can be found here:
Then there were 2 DVDs that I ran through DVD Catalyst 4. The first one, The Darkest Hour is a new-release movie:
which converted just fine. The second one, Sleeping Beauty, is your average Disney DVD, and of course was a bit picky, but with a settings change, it can be converted.
A few days ago, I started playing around a bit with the Apple TV and the iPad. I've been using the iPad for some TV show episodes, and with the Airplay feature, it is a simple tap on the screen on the iPad, and it is sent to the Apple TV. It works pretty easy, and makes it a lot nicer for me to switch back and forth from TV to more portable viewing.
Eventhough I do not have kids of my own, the brand of movies I end up purchasing the most is Disney DVDs. Every week, I get questions regarding some new version of some Disney movie that came out that doesn't want to convert properly.
9 out of 10, it is just a simple settings change, but the 1 out of 10 is tied to the fact that Disney doesn't care about making their DVDs actually compliant with the official DVD standard, which of course results in some older DVD players and DVD drives choking on them. I use a 2 year old external DVD burner for testing, and it works fine with almost all of them (except Beauty and the Beast, which locks the drive up), but if you are trying these DVDs, even something as simple as actually playing them on an older computer, or a laptop's internal DVD drive, there often are complications.
A bit unusual for me to write about these, since they don't do video and all, but the last couple of weeks, I have come to appreciate the e-ink eReaders. I'm not that much of a reader, aside from google-skimming and news websites, but slowly I have been doing more and more., and because I can't wait to find out what happens in Game of Thrones, I started reading the books on my Kindle Touch.
A few years ago, I used my iPod Touch 4 with a couple of eBooks, and while it looks great with its retina display and all that, sunlight is a bit of an issue with color-screen devices. The Kindle Touch' grey-scale screen holds up really well on a nice day outside.
Not much for this week's newsletter unfortunately. The tech-world is still facing a drought of some sorts, and this week, aside from a few appointments, most of my time was spent on the website and the guides.
Thank you for reading the DVD Catalyst Newsletter, and I hope you will have an enjoyable weekend.