It’s President’s Day here in the U.S., which means most of us are working at half-mast since the banks and post office are closed for business. But the news business never slows down, and in the tech world, a Monday holiday is usually reserved for a few curveballs, such as the curious case of Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard going missing from Netflix streaming in the wake of her death (which turns out to be a case of mistaken license term, apparently). With that in mind, here’s the rest of the news for this slow Monday, February 20, 2012.
How about that Apple Inc.! Today marked the fateful day when the company’s stock price soared above the $500 per share mark, so there was likely a cascading fountain or champagne in ol’ Cupertino today. Definitely a nice early Valentine for Apple, but the week is young and there’s plenty more excitement to come, we’re sure. For now, let’s kick back and bask in the glow of a warm Monday, February 13, 2012, shall we…?
In the April issue’s Ask column, you recommended “CineXPlayer for iPad ($1.99) or the universal GoodPlayer ($2.99)” for watching AVI videos without needing to convert them first. But you left out the free VLC Player application! Its capabilities appear to be equivalent, but it doesn’t require any financial commitment.
If you want to get your DVD collection onto your Mac, Apple TV or portable iOS device, chances are you’ve already discovered the free HandBrake software, which handles the task like a champ. What you may not know is that there are some simple tricks and tweaks to make HandBrake really sing, particularly if you’ve been challenged by getting commercial discs from your personal collection properly encoded.
We've got high expectations. Not only do we want to be able to use our phones to make calls and send texts, but we also want internet access, games, apps that get us to social media, a music player as well as online music. We want to watch movies and read books and take pictures and -- whew, our little phone is starting to get a little crowded. And pretty much the same story goes for the iPad even with its bigger memory. Streaming music can take some of the load off, but if we could move a few of those episodes of Mad Men off our iOS devices, that sure would free up some space.
Late Friday, Apple finally pulled the VLC app after receiving a complaint two months earlier from a single developer involved in the creation of the original open-source VLC code over breach of the GNU Public License -- but the app is available again, at least to jailbreakers, via Cydia.
If you’ve ever wanted to encode one of the DVDs in your personal collection so that you can watch it on the go with your iOS device, you’ve no doubt discovered the wonder that is HandBrake, now with even more awesome.
It's called the Swiss Army Knife of video players, and not for nothing. VLC is your standard go-to software when you end up with some bizarre codec-locked movie file that just won't play in your standard players. With the news that Apple was relaxing its App Store regulations and letting in all kinds of video players, we prayed to see VLC show up. It did, and we grabbed it the moment we could.