Thank you for reading DVD Catalyst Newsletter 118.
A bit later than usual again (sorry). As mentioned last week, my wife and I went camping again, and we came back Friday late afternoon. I tried to spent some time on the newsletter during the week, but it is easier to type for longer periods of time behind my desk, rather than using a Surface.
While I did check the web (briefly) on a daily basis, I've likely missed a few things, but lets start with this week’s tech news.
Apple Keynote Sept 10, 2013:
September 10 has been pegged for Apple’s yearly keynote for its announcement of new iProducts.
Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C:
Rumors and pictures have appeared for new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5S is the next generation of the iPhone, and supposedly will see an additional color added, gold/champagne, next to white and black. Specs will not be that much different from the iPhone 5, however, it might include a finger-print scanner to be used as unlock functionality.
The iPhone 5C is likely to be a lower-end iPhone model, intended for emerging markets, or a way for Apple to try and get some piece of the action in the budget/prepay segment.
The newly added fingerprint unlock functionality is cool. I’ve used it for a couple of years on an IBM laptop, and even on my Sony Vaio UX mini-PC it works really well. I can see it come quite handy on a smartphone as well, eliminating the streak on the screen from the unlock-swipe, and of course it would nicely integrate into other things as well. In games, using your fingerprint to identify which player, in iTunes user-specific playlists for music, protected folders for videos, and of course in place of password verification when you purchase/rent something.
The iPhone 5C I am not so sure about though. Ever since the iPhone was released, people have been complaining about the price, so it is nice to see that Apple might be releasing a cheaper iPhone, but, one of Apple’s main reasons for success is for sticking to its principles, and releasing a similar product for 2 different sides of its market segment is not something I see Apple do.
But then again, no-one thought that Apple would follow the market with 7″ tablets, yet when released the iPad Mini became an instant success.
Apple iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2:
With the upcoming Apple Keynote, the last few weeks have been filling the web with plenty of speculation in regards of a new iPad Mini.
Speculation for the iPad Mini 2 seems to lean towards the inclusion of a retina display, but aside from that, nothing is sure.
What I am thinking in regards of the Mini 2 is that, since the original iPad Mini is using the internals of the iPad2, the iPad Mini 2 will have the specs of the iPad 3.
It would be nice to see it being released with iPad 4 specs, but then what are they going to do with it next year? By going for iPad3 specs, they can release an upgraded model with iPad4 specs in a matter of months, similar as to what happened with the iPad3 > iPad 4.
As for the iPad 5, not much in rumors. Who knows if an iPad 5 will be released. Apple should at least update it, or drop the price throughout the line a bit, especially so close for the holiday season.
In addition to the above, I think this would be the perfect moment for Apple to enable apps and games on the Apple TV, or release an Apple TV4 with this ability. With both Sony and Microsoft refreshing their consoles, and Android gaming systems like the Ouya gaining some momentum, for Apple to enable gameplay on an Apple TV, maybe paired with a wireless controller or a controller app you run on an iPhone/iPad, would make quite an impact. A device with specs similar as an iPad, but connected to the TV rather than a (pricey) retina display shouldn’t have to cost more than the current Apple TV. Hell, since it will only work with iTunes Apps, Apple could sell it at a loss, and still make a huge profit from it, especially when released right before people start grabbing PS4′s and XBOX One’s.
Google Chromecast support:
My Google Chromecast came in, so I’ll be trying to do something with it in MovieGallery and MP4 Streaming Server. No promises yet as to if or when it will be available, however, I’ll do what I can to make something work with the Chromecast.
During my initial setup of the Chromecast, I did try a few things, and if you do want to play your (android-optimized) MP4 videos from your computer onto your TV with the Chromecast, simply drag the video (on your PC) into the address bar of Google Chrome, and cast the tab.
If you want to use your Chromecast with DVDs, or have a large collection of video files in formats not supported directly by Google Chrome (MKV/AVI/ISO/VOB etc), you might want to use a converter such as DVD Catalyst to convert them. Especially with a large collection of video files, there is nothing out there that converts your videos in batch-mode easier than DVD Catalyst 4. Just drag & Drop your videos (10-1000-1.000.000) on top of DVD Catalyst and tap Go.
App count in App Stores:
Last week, GamesCom, the annual trade-show for video games was held, and of course, it was a battleground for Sony and Microsoft. Both sides were eager in showing off the games for their upcoming console-systems, and while impressive, it appeared to be a focus on game-count. We got more launch games than you do.
App/game count is something that is used by many big tech companies in advertising, and used by many people to determine what they should get. Unfortunately, the system is majorly flawed. Devices such as the Surface RT and of course Blackberry with its Playbook, Q10 and Z10 devices are struggling partially due to a lack of apps. Both Microsoft and Blackberry have been working hard on getting developers to release apps for their system, even going as far as running specials, payments and free device give-aways. Unfortunately, this can result in some difficulties as well. Now, the Blackberry store has a 100.000+ count of apps, but close to half of them come from a single developer.
One developer makes over 47,000 of BlackBerry 10?s 120,000 apps | Ars Technica
With an almost empty app-store, it is a good idea for a developer to release its apps there. Publishing on Google Play or in the Apple Appstore is like throwing a dime in a fountain, and then trying to figure out which one was yours, but when the store is empty, your apps are very likely to be noticed, and downloaded. In addition, the people who are using a device with a limited app-store are also more likely to just deal with iffy apps, because of a lack of other options.
As mentioned above and in last week’s newsletter, my wife and I did some camping again.
This time, we visited South Dakota, a little of Wyoming and a little of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
The scenery was breath-taking, and it was like every couple of miles things changed to something even more amazing. Especially the Badlands and Devil’s Tower.
Unfortunately the Rockies was a bit less enjoyable for us. We set up in Estes Park (Estes Park, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), but at that height, my wife’s oxygen equipment wasn’t able to pull enough air to fill up her oxygen tanks, so while we planned to stay there for a couple of nights more, we ended up leaving early.
We took a LOT of pictures, but haven’t had the chance yet to go through them all. I did skim through them a bit, and picked the some of the best ones (tap to enlarge):
Badlands, SD, Badlands National Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Custer State Park, SD, Custer State Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mount Rushmore, SD, Mount Rushmore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crazy Horse Memorial, SD, Crazy Horse Memorial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Devil’s Tower, SD, Devils Tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Overall, the trip was amazing. I'll include more in Friday's newsletter.
And that is it for this week’s newsletter. Again a bit late, and I’m sure I missed something of interest, but as I catch up on things this week, I’ll try and include more in the upcoming newsletter.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week,
About DVD Catalyst:
DVD Catalyst 4 is the fastest, easiest and most affordable software available for converting and optimizing your movies and TV shows from DVD and for converting popular (AVI, MKV, ISO etc) video files into the right file format for PCs, smartphones and tablets.
For only $9.95, you can watch your own DVD collection on your tablet or smartphone, without having to purchase or rent movies you already paid for from an online movie store such as iTunes or Google Play.
In addition of converting your DVDs, DVD Catalyst also optimizes videos that do not play properly on your device so that you can watch them without stutter or freezing.
Here is how it works:
Step 1: Download and install DVD Catalyst 4 on your computer.
If you have not done so already, download the free trial version (link) or purchase the retail version for a limited time for only $9.95 (link).
Note: DVD Catalyst works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.
Apple MAC/OSX or Linux are NOT supported at this time.
Step 2: Start DVD Catalyst 4 and select your device profile.
Step 3: Insert your DVD or drag your video files over onto DVD Catalyst 4, and tap Go to start the conversion process.
After the conversion is complete, connect your device to your computer and copy the created movie file over.
Quick, Easy, Affordable and the best possible quality,
for a limited time, only $9.95
Regular price $19.95, for a limited time only $9.95