Home > Podcast > AV Rant #167: Too Many Topics

AV Rant #167: Too Many Topics

February 11th, 2010

Dina is back and Tom has two weeks of topics saved up. More from Wooooomack. Jeremy has a question about his lights. A new 3D display coming out that doesn’t need glasses. The Panasonic black level controversy. Netflix gets surround sound. Tom reveals something about the iPad that you may not believe. John suggests an iPhone app (note – Tom was wrong, it works like a touchpad, not a mouse). Johnathan wants to know why sources have different volumes. The Ritmo – training your baby to love compressed music. Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley. To see our (mostly) complete collection of show videos, click here. To get our iPhone app, visit the iTunes store.


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  1. mugs
    February 12th, 2010 at 18:54 | #1

    I’m not sure if this is the right place for this, but I’m curious to know why Tom keeps referring to iTunes files being a lowly 128kb. They moved up to 256kb when they dropped DRM in April of 2007. I enjoy your show but I’ve heard this a few times now and it just sounds weird when it’s so easy to check up on.

    • February 12th, 2010 at 20:37 | #2

      Yep, I never claimed to be an expert on iTunes – I’ve actually never used it for anything. I’m glad they upped the bitrate. It seems (now that I’m looking into it) that anything priced at $1.29 is 256 but anything at $.99 is still 128 correct? Most of what I see when I open iTunes is $1.29 but there is still a bit of $.99 out there.

  2. February 12th, 2010 at 22:01 | #3

    Three of the complete albums I bought from iTunes are all either 256kbps, or 246 VBR. The individual songs are $0.99.

  3. Rob
    February 13th, 2010 at 09:22 | #4

    The price doesn’t indicate the bitrate on iTunes. Almost all songs on iTunes are now 256kbps with no DRM. Prices can vary. Often, the most popular songs are now sold at higher prices…go figure :p

    iTunes used to all be 128kbps and $0.99. So some of my older purchases are at 128kbps. But if you purchase from iTunes these days, you can expect 256kbps 🙂

  4. Rob
    February 13th, 2010 at 09:32 | #5

    In other news – working today during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies was IN-FREAKING-SANE!

    Holy crap! I have never had to deal with so many issues in one day! Road closures, lane closures, freaking protesters (gawd!), people PROTESTING THE PROTESTERS (I’m serious). People just walking in the streets EVERYWHERE. The goddamn bicycle alliance deciding to ride around in a freaking huge pack to disrupt even more traffic!

    I supervise the buses in our public transit system here in Vancouver, by the way. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that we didn’t get the same baby-blue uniforms as all the other Olympic services. On the one hand, NOT being in baby-blue means that people weren’t quite as quick to ask me all about Olympic venues and such. But, on the other hand, not being in baby-blue meant that I didn’t get the mostly good-will shown to our Olympic volunteers and I pretty much got lumped in with the cops who had a hell of a day…let me tell you!

    Alright…vent over :p

  5. David
    February 15th, 2010 at 08:50 | #6

    Hey Tom, I’m not sure why you are so excited about the iPad. From what I’ve read it doesn’t multitask. So if you wanted to browse the web and listen to music at the same time, can’t do it. Plus tablets have been around for years. I know people get excited about how pretty Apple makes things look, but they’ve had tablets that can multitask for at least 5+ years. I know when I was shopping for my last Thinkpad, IBM’s last line of PCs before they sold them off to Lenovo, included a tablet with the same features as my laptop, but it included the flip and fold touch screen.

  6. Jason
    February 15th, 2010 at 11:32 | #7

    I also decided to go and watch Avatar recently and totally agree with you, a prosaic Dances With Wolves/Pocahontas knockoff. I did however like the idea of a naturally occuring computer like ecosystem.

    But the main reason my wife and I went to see it was to find out what the big deal was with 3D.

    My expectation going in was that 3D might be cool for the first 30min or so but that once I got used to it, it wouldn’t really enhance the experience in any meaningful way. I was genuinely surprised to find that it actually detracted from it. Besides the comfort factor of the glasses, there were two issues for me.

    The first is that it’s not 3D. Sure, elements in the image are seperated spatially but the focus is still forced. You can’t choose to focus on any element on screen other than the one the camera is focusing on, which means you’re forced to second guess your way through the film in terms of where you should be resting your vision.

    The other issue I think is related to the polarized glasses. They seemed to cause certain elements to shimmer, similar to what you find with a lenticular print.

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