* Posts by Le Adder Noir

7 posts • joined 16 Jul 2013

No, Siri – I said PAWN stars! New Apple TV gets voice, touch control

Le Adder Noir

Visualizer?

Will this version allow the iTunes visualizer to run on one's TV when playing music? Can't find any mention of it in any articles (but some do mention "screensavers", with no further info).

Appreciate this won't be everyone's main concern, but, since grabbing a popcorn hour the only thing I use my old ATV3 for is streaming my iTunes library from my NAS to my lounge surround sound (on the rare occasions home sharing decides to work, that is).

It always struck me as a massive (mahoosive) oversight by Apple that the ATV couldn't play the visualizer on the TV. Would be great to have on in the background....

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

Le Adder Noir

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

Right, apologies if this is in the wrong section (the question doesn't seem to fit neatly in any one category), but I'm looking for a bit of a steer on a project for a new house.

As the title suggests, I'm looking to build a NAS-based home media set-up. I live outside the UK, where TV media is, dare I say it, even worse than in Blighty, so most of our stuff is purchased online and stored on drives. Up until recently, I've been using my PC as a media hub in the lounge (using a mixture of internal and external drives), hooked directly to the receiver/amp and TV.

Now, it looks like I'm going to have a proper office, so I want to move the PC there, and use a NAS to store media that is accessible in the office, lounge and bedrooms. It's how I go about this that is causing me some difficutly.

In terms of the NAS unit itself, I'll probably go for an off-the-shelf unit, if only because getting parts where I am can be tricky and expensive. I'm thinking of Synology or QNAP.

The intention is to have fully wired broadband connectivity throughout the house, or at least fairly decent wifi.

The questions I have then are:

How to I get stuff from the NAS to the TV(s)?

Do I need separate media players for each TV and, if so, which ones would work best (files are a mixture of the usual, MP3, FLAC, MP4, MKV, AVI etc. and I'd prefer not to lose quality for HD files through transcoding or the like)?

WIll I be able to stream either different content or, more importantly, the same content to different devices simultaneously (sort of like the set-up on an aircraft entertainment system) and do I need some sort of programme for this?

How can I ensure my NAS is secure - i.e. read/write only from PC, read-only from certain devices, no access externally?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

Le Adder Noir
Unhappy

Shame

I was waiting for an alternative browser. I liked IE 10 but IE 11 is a shambolic piece of software. Several steps back. Am sadly stuck with it in Win 8.1.

Hot, fit, SWEATY users stroke Backbeats model, beg: DON'T CALL US

Le Adder Noir

Second this. Picked some of these up at the airport the other day. Was almost put off by the price. Early days yet but so far very impressed. Agree getting the fit can be fiddly (I have fairly normal-sized lugs, but it took me a good 20 mins or so to get the proper buds, wings and strap alignment, with help from youtube) but when they're in, they don't budge (I went for the over-ear fit).

Sound quality is suprisingly very good - clear, but with good bass - and by their design they are some what noise-cancelling (passive N-C).

They seem to work well with the iPad nano via blutooth anyway (worn on left arm), which means I'll actually use the damned thing.

As to another poster's point, when you don't want to / physically can't exercise in the 50 degree C outside temperature but your gym is populated by posing "grunters", music can be a godsend.

Second-gen Surface and Surface Pro rumored to be minor upgrades

Le Adder Noir

Actually, while I think of it, USB charging would also be helpful - I did not enjoy carrying around the charger or indeed having to fork out 30-odd squid for another wall-wart for the office.

Day-to-day, it's fine, and the long battery life helps a lot. However, when travelling (i.e. when I most use the thing), I would be willing to sacrifice charging speed in order to be able to use a simple USB cable.

Le Adder Noir
Gimp

It's a shame because, for me - one of the three people who actually bought an RT - the device is pretty much everything I wanted in a tablet (a form that has its own limitations whatever the brand/OS). I find it to be of far more use than the iPad or Android equivalents - mainly becuase of Office and the microSD/USB slots (and in this regard, I suppose I am one of the few that find the desktop to be very useful when e.g. saving and transferring files).

I also find the flak directed at the RT brand very odd. No, I don't really know what "RT" stands for either, but then, does one really need to? It's sufficient as a differentiator between models and, IMHO, the difference between the Pro and RT models was obvious to anyone looking even vaguely at the Surface slabs - particularly given the coverage in the media about the apprent "confusion".

I just don't buy the "public were confused about the OS" argument - it's almost wilful ignorance of iOS and slating MS for something for which its competitors are lauded (or, at least, given a free pass) - and the RT model has a lot to offer if people gave it a chance.

The problem, I felt, was more in the way it was/is marketed - the dancing robot schoolgirls etc. were all very flash, but nothing actually sold the device on the basis of what it could do (and do better than the competition). The more recent advertisements comparing the Surface with the iPad were - while a little too late and (let's face it) smacking of sour grapes - a step in the right direction and showed a lot of the Surface's capaibilities. Again, however, they bizarrely made no mention of Office - surely a key selling point?

My two pence: the Surface 2 needs a bit more speed, higher res (I don't consider this important, but obviously a lot of punters do), a much lower price and a lot more public focus on what it is and what it can do, rather than trying to sell style over substance.

Microsoft lathers up Windows 8.0 Surface RT for quick price shave

Le Adder Noir

I quite like it

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Have to say I don't quite get all the hate for the Surface RT.

I bought mine after some considered research into what I wanted a tablet for - a lot of it probabaly comes down to mangement of expectations but, put simply, no other tablet ticked as many of the boxes as the Surface within the same price point. I think the issue is that people (a) were (probably justifiably) wary of a MS tablet and (b) just didn't look into what the tablet could do (not helped by MS itself, I will readily concede).

Essentially, I wanted something primarily for media consumption when travelling but (a) do not like media format restrictions, (b) hate iTunes with a passion and (c) was reluctant to buy what is essentially a toy at the price Apple et al. were offering - I wanted to be able to be productive with it if required.

So:

- it plays everything I have thrown at it, including FLAC, MKV and RAW.

- it has an HD screen (no, it won't hit the "retina" or Nexus 10 PPI, but it's a 10" tablet, not a 60" flatscreen so this does not bother me at all). 720p and 1080p movies and high-res. photos all look great on it - from the video perspective the aspect ratio is better (in my opnion).

- it has a USB port and expandable micro-SD memory. I can swap out and manage my media and, more importantly, can back up all my RAW photos on the go (suprisingly useful on a long holiday anywhere slightly removed from civilisation). Both of these are MASSIVE benefits.

- Office transforms the tablet and raises it head-and-shoulders above the competition. I have not yet tried the Outlook beta, but having Word, Excel and PPT on the go has proved amazingly useful for those odd occasions where I need to work when on hols. The whole licence issue has been massively exaggerated imho.

- there are sufficient apps for what I want (which, is admittedly, not a lot). I have yet been unable to find a good app for something I want to do.

- battery life is really quite impressive.

No, it doesn't run legacy apps, but, for a significant user base (essentially, those looking for a tablet rather than a computer), that's probably not important. It's also obvious from basic pre-purchase research (admittedly more so now that in its infancy).

There are, of course, some things I would improve if I had a say in it, such as processing power and speed. I suspect the Surface 2, if ever produced, will be a significant step-up.

For a casual user, though, I'd say the discounted bundle is a steal.

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