Category Archives: Podcasting

Apple iphone/itouch firmware 2.2

I have been toying around with the new 2.2 firmware for my ipod touch (2nd Gen).  I had been really excited to check out the new podcast features in the itunes app, but alas, its not as good as I had hoped.  It turns out that the new podcasting features of the itunes app are independant of your itunes configuration.  So you might have a list of podcasts you are already subscribed to in itunes, but none of them show up on the touch.  Podcasts (a new menu item in the itunes app on the iphone/touch) are indepednant of what you have in itunes.  While this new functionality is still cool, it would have been nice to import my itunes podcasts as those are the ones I want to update anyway.  This new functionality has little use to me, but is still neat if you aren’t already using itunes to manage your podcast subscriptions. 

I have also been having an issue with wifi connecting to WPA protected APs, basically I would have to turn my wifi option on and then off and then back on again in order to get it to connect to any wireless.  Hopefully this new firmware will address that issue as well. 

UPDATE 11-24-08
   It turns out there is a way to download new episodes of your podcasts from the touch (using your existing subscriptions and not the built-in separate podcast client on the iphone/touch).  When you go into your podcasts and view the details of them, there is a new option as you scroll down to “Get more episodes”.  So even though itunes and the podcast client on the touch are two separate things, you can at least download new episodes of your current subscriptions.  I was confused since my subscriptions weren’t under the podcast menu button at the bottom.  You have to go into the podcasts you have synched on your iphone/touch as if you were going to listen to one, scroll down and there you will see how to download more content right from the touch.

Make your iTunes library portable

Now that I have an iPod Touch, I found that being limited to using iTunes on a single computer to sync and manage my library of music, podcasts and videos was a drag.  So I did some google searching and found that I could store my iTunes library on a portable hard drive and use iTunes on any computer (granted the iTunes version if the same).  I gave it a try, installed iTunes on two computers, made sure my portable hard drive was using the same drive letter on both computers and then began to setup my library.  As a result of all this work, I can now manage my library, sync my iPod and make changes anytime on either PC.  This works great and is very convenient for me.  Now I just need to get a dock for my desk and a few other accessories.  I didn’t find a need to post detailed instructions on my blog as there are many existing resources you can find with a simple google search on how to set this up.  Its very easy and works great, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go mobile with iTunes. 

My favorite iTouch Apps

I have gone crazy with the iTunes App store for my new Touch.  Here is a list of some of my favorite apps and games.  Some of the games can be played against another Touch device over Wifi.  This is only the current list, there are apps being added all the time and I can hardly wait to see what else comes out!  (One warning, if you use folders, watch out for updates, as if you have a large amount of data stored in the app, it will never update and you will have to restore your IPOD to recover, just don’t install the updated versions).

FS5 Hocky – fun wifi game
Folders – awesome
Billminder – not free
Expsharer – also awesome
Banner Free
MazeFinger – awesome
Pageonce – awesome
SQ Lite
CAr CAre – not free but awesome

IPOD Touch Review

Last week I finally purchased a 32GB IPOD Touch (2nd gen).  I have to say right off the bat, that this is one of the coolest tech gadgets I’ve ever played with.  Its sleek, ellegant, functional and easy to operate.  The App Store on iTunes is great, there are tons of free apps and a whole lot more of non-free apps that are great as well.  I personally now have over 8 pages of icons on my home screen!  I love the wifi connectivity, rich browsing experience with Safari, and an equally rich e-mail experience.  One of my favorite features of the iTunes remote option, that lets you control a running instance of iTunes with the Touch over wifi.  Everything from now playing controls, to volume.  Its great, and will make a convenient remote control for a party or event where you want to have music playing in the background.  I wish it had bluetooth support, a camera and GPS, but oh well.  If you want those features, get an iPhone. 

I can’t personally use an iPhone because of my work e-mail requirements, but I am seriously considering getting my wife an iPhone soon and experiencing it that way.  I went with the largest model at the recommendation of someone I know who has a Touch.  It is absolutely true that if you have the space you will use it.  I am now using over half of the space on my Touch between the apps and movies/music/podcasts… 

My recommendation would be to buy the 32GB model, immediately get a Zagg protective cover and get yourself some kind of case to keep it in.  These shiny sleek devices are easily scratched on the back and have no trouble collecting layers of skin oils on the surface to smear around.  With all that being said, I love my iTouch, its amazing and if you (the reader) are thinking about getting one, I highly recommend it.  One other tip for you, disable the backup (see previous post) to speed up synch times. 

Windows 7 is the name

Microsoft seems to have decided to keep Windows 7 as the official name of their next Operating system after Windows Vista.  I’m not sure what to think about that, but some people have voiced their negative opinions regarding the name.  To me it seems like they are trying to do some things similar to Apple, (OS 9, 10, X).  Hope that strategy works for them and I also hope that Windows 7 will be more successful than Vista.  Although I have never had any real trouble with Vista (post SP1), it will be interesting to see what they do with the next version of the Windows OS.  Source Article here.

Affordable hosted e-mail solution

I came across FuseMail in my search for an outbound SMTP relay solution and really like its many features and small business focus.  For home users who need more than just pop mail, this would also be a great solution.  Check out their website for more information.  For only $2 per mailbox per month, its a great deal and feature rich.

Migrate DHCP servers on Widnows Server 2003

This is not ground breaking information, but someone may find it helpful.  If you want to migrate a Microsoft DHCP database from one Windows 2003 server to another, you may be surprised to find that the backup/restore feature doesn’t work.  I don’t know why this is included if it won’t work, but its there.  If you want to successfully migrate DHCP to another server just do the following:

1. Authorize the new DHCP Server in AD through the DHCP MMC
2. From the command prompt on the old DHCP Server, run the following: “netsh dhcp server export C:dhcp.txt all”
3. Copy the resulting export file to the new DHCP Server
4. From the command prompt on the new DHCP Server, run the following: “netsh dhcp server import c:dhcp.txt all”

Refresh your MMC view to see the imported settings.  You will notice that everything including leases are migrated over successfully.  Verify your settings and thats it!

Overlooked tool for Windows – SyncToy

I have never met anyone else who actually uses this tool, but I find it very useful.  I’m talking about the Microsoft SyncToy 2.0.  This is a great little utility, its easy to configure and use and really is a set it and forget it utility.  I use this at work to sync my local documents, favorites, outlook PST files, etc, with the office File Server.  At home, I use this for keeping my itunes library synched between two computers.  This is a very versatile tool and if you think that you could use a file synchronization tool and prefer a free solution, check out the Microsoft SyncToy 2.0 and give it a try.

How to record "What you hear" in Windows Vista

Recently I had a need to record the stereo mix or “What you hear” sound output from Windows Vista.  I used to be able to do this in Windows XP without a problem.  I prefer Adobe Audition for all my sound/audio mixing, and every time I’ve tried to get this to work since installing Vista several months ago, it just hasn’t worked.  I never really put any time into figuring this out until recently.  I stubmled upon this link to downloadsquad which had a great blog post with screenshots on how to re-enable the stereo mix channel in Vista.  I guess Microsoft decided people didn’t need this feature in Vista and just disabled it by default in Vista on purpose. 

Once I followed the instructions in the link above, I was able to configure Audition and Audacity to use the “Stereo Mix” channel and set my input levels.  I tested everything out and it works great.  One thing I think is a little strange is that the audio levels seem amplified quite a bit, possibly due to the default level for the stereo mix channel being set to 23 (I think).  Reducing this to zero may alleviate this, but I found it just as easy to reduce the volume levels in Windows or in the media player being used to get around this. 

Annoyance in WordPress – automatic plugin upgrade

One of the nice features of wordpress is the ability to upgrade plugins fairly easile and now in an automated way since WordPress 2.6 came out.  However, ever since I’ve been using it, there have occasionally been instances where I’ve tried to upgrade a plugin using the automatic method and something goes wrong.  Usually the process will de-activate the plugin in question and sometimes even deletes the original files, download the new source, and fail on activating.  What this leaves me with is a missing plugin that I then have to browse for (If I can remember which one it was), and then re-install manually.  It doesn’t happen every single time, but enough that its annoying.  Just thought I’d vent a little… 🙂