Oh dearie me, can't say I'm surprised though.
8 posts • joined 23 Oct 2008
All this proves that Apple, Microsoft et al still have a way to go before they produce compelling media centers that will find homes in the living rooms of all but a masochistic fringe. Why force your customers to jump through frankly ridiculous hoops just to play content they legally own, just because the file format differs from the corporate preferred choice? Format bigotry, plain and simple.
Ah, so you can play .FLAC and .MKV files out of the box on Vista Media Center can you? No, thought not. Windows MC is little better, if at all, than Apple TV in this respect, just a different set of hoops to jump through.
I've all but given up trying to get my large library of FLAC files to play nice for any length of time on Vista MC and am either transcoding them to WMV Lossless or digging out the CDs and re-ripping. Doing the former makes even a bigger arse up of Media Player's tagging however. Still, there's always SP2, eh?
Why does this remind me of the first hesitant steps towards unmetered internet about a decade ago? The desire amongst the public for legal P2P is undoubtedly there and ISPs are keen to cash in provided a suitable business model is available, but the labels are scared it will ream their cash cow.
Compare to 1999 where the desire amongst the public for unmetered access was definitely there, the ISPs were keen cash in if a suitable model could be demonstrated, but BT was scared it would ream their cash cow.
Fast-forward 10 years and everyone is smiling - there may be dark clouds on the horizon with regard to net neutrality and funding for next-gen networks, but in the end it only took one committed stab at an unmetered package by an organisation with sufficient money/industry clout to open the floodgates.
I wonder who the legal P2P world's Freeserve will be?
Paris, because she loves a committed stab as much as the next girl.
I recently wanted to replace a few remotes, including a knackered RF Vista MC remote, with something that would have the ability to control everything and have a bit of WAF about it too. I settled on a Gyration remote as it also offered a "wave about" cursor and, supposedly, texting-like keyboard functionality.
The Gyration mousey bits work perfectly, but the (presumably) off-the-shelf learning IR solution is a dog and has already forgotten how to control the TV and hi-fi. Plus, Gyration's triple-tap patch that is meant to enable the entry of text outside of Media Center doesn't work and they have so far refused to respond to my email about this.
All this for £65, but it was about as cheap as an RF/IR remote comes, and they are not easy to track down. Solid information on availability (numpty at PC World told me Microsoft don't allow aftermarket supply of "green button" remotes - WTF?) and decent reviews are short on the ground when you enter this territory. Surely I can't be the only one in this situation?
In other news - "Think tanks nearly 100% effective at stating the bleedin' obvious". Anyone who has visited a hospital or surgery in the last few years could have come to the same conclusion.
Despite some superficial trappings of having joined the 21st century (flat screen monitors, woohoo!) the NHS's systems remain resolutely un-joined up, forcing you to restate every little detail of your life whenever you have need of their services. It's frankly embarrassing.
Come to think of it, given all the intimate personal details forced out of us at A&E desks, they would be good places to do some identity theft harvesting....
These were the only kind of texts you could send with my first GSM phone, an aberration of an Ericsson with a bendy flip-out antenna. It had about 6 stock texts that you could send, stuff like "I'm on my way", "Meet me later" and "This SMS lark will never catch on like this, will it?"
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