Microsoft struggled through two rounds of Zune before hitting the nail on the head with the third generation of the MP3 player, but the company got at least one thing right from the start. Even the first pass offered a larger-than-average screen, clocking in at 3 inches diagonally, and the latest version packs a video-worthy 3.2-inch screen. Of course, getting video content was a bit of a challenge at first, but the Zune Marketplace continues to expand its catalog, which now offers TV shows from several major networks such as NBC and Comedy Central.
However, that video content is going to cost you--about $2 per episode, to be exact--and the Marketplace currently does not offer movies to rent or buy (unlike iTunes). That's where this tutorial comes in: if you already have a collection of digital video content, this step-by-step guide will show you how to convert it for playback on the Zune. The software used in this how-to can convert from any of the following formats: MP4, 3GP, MPG, AVI, WMV, FLV, and SWF.
Note: Unfortunately, ripping most commercial DVDs is currently illegal in the United States, as it requires circumventing the copyright protection found on the DVDs. For unprotected DVDs, try Handbrake.… Read more
The Apple TV is an excellent little device, if you limit yourself to the Apple universe of music, video, and podcasts. Who wants to be limited? Watch our video on how to add DivX, AVI, and more to your Apple TV. Then return here for the written steps.XBMC is free and open-source software for Windows, Linux, and OS X that many consider the best media-center software out there. It grew out of the mod chips used on the original Xbox. Because it can run on OS X, that means it'll run on the Apple TV, which runs OS … Read more
Considering the mess the real economy is in, the virtual goods economy is a welcome distraction.
I'll be there grilling people on how they make money from items that only exist ethereally and then determine if I can create a sub-market of "ghost goods" which … Read more
If this doesn't scare you, your nerves are granite.
The other day over the Indian Ocean, the pilots of a Qantas Airbus totally lost control of the plane. It made a rapid ascent and then plunged 8,000 feet.
Now, investigators are saying that among the possible causes are a laptop with its wireless switched on, a Bluetooth mouse, or a video game.
Frankly, I wish someone would explain in very simple terms whether it really is possible to affect a plane's controls with your laptop, video game, or cell phone.
I know people who, during a flight, … Read more
Microsoft made a splash recently by announcing (among other things), Halo 3: Recon, which is slated for release next Fall. According to the company, the title will feature a new protagonist and be a prelude to the events we played through in the original Halo games.
At first glance, the game sounds like a smart idea: Halo is one of the most celebrated titles in the history of gaming and is one of the main reasons the Xbox and Xbox 360 are relevant today. But the question of whether or not we should have another Halo hit store shelves is not an easy one to answer.
The original Halo title for the Xbox was undoubtedly one of the best games of that generation. It featured outstanding gameplay, a pretty good story, and a multiplayer experience that was unrivaled at the time. Since then, though, the Halo franchise has become a shadow of its former self.
Sure, Halo 2 and Halo 3 may have been embraced by gamers and the latter made $170 million in its first day of availability, but anyone who played through the last two games knows all too well that the experience couldn't match the first game, the stories weren't nearly as appealing as the first, and the gameplay couldn't quite compete with the first title.
And now, Microsoft wants to go back to the well to see if it can squeeze every last ounce of cash out of the Halo franchise before it enters gaming's retirement home. Financially, it will probably behoove Microsoft to do so. But from a long-term perspective, will it do more damage than good?
I think so.… Read more
Under the terms of the agreement, Universal's music videos will begin being distributed on the "KiwiboxTV" video portal before the end of the year. Universal's labels and artists will receive a cut of ad revenue in compensation.
"Music remains one of the most important outlets of teen expression, and Kiwibox has long been a leader in promoting artists to its rapidly expanding community, " CEO Lin Daisaid in a … Read more
It's clear that the sorry state of the economy will have some negative business effects. Enterprise purchasing decisions seem to be slowing down, but on a positive note consumption of the internet and video games seem to be on the rise--which means advertising should be able to weather the storm.
IAB announced today that internet advertising is up 15.2% to $11.5 billion for the first half of 2008 versus the same period in 2007.
Of course that was before the economic meltdown.
Jeremy Liew wrote that we are in an advertising recession and that advertisers will stick to what they know, which means trusted ad networks and direct response marketering. I would also suggest that "actionable" advertising such as rewards and coupons will become more appealing as marketers can better refine the targets and the actions they take.
On the other hand, Matthew Ingraham found that "many marketers believe that online advertising has actually been benefiting from the economic uncertainty, as advertisers look at the Web as more measurable and effective." And Svetlana Gladkova at Profy found that advertising was actually pretty healthy during the Great Depression. … Read more