It’s hard to believe in the iTunes era of blink-and-you-miss-them CD rips, but in the mid-90s, ripping a CD was a time-consuming process, fraught with peril. Ripping a single disc to 128kbps MP3 could take 8 hours on a 200MHz Pentium! Fast forward a decade, with faster hardware and better software and CD ripping is so mainstream your mom does it.
Ripping DVDs and transcoding the video stored within into more efficient formats involves an order of magnitude more scary math than ripping audio CDs. A machine that will rip the latest Miley Cyrus CD in moments could take hours to extract and convert your copy of AVP to an iPod-friendly format. However, with the right software, a quad-core equipped PC, and a little know-how, you can cut your disc rip time from hours to 20 or 30 minutes. There are still plenty of tricks and traps for first-time rippers, but we’ll show you the basics, then walk you through the secrets of ripping power users everywhere.
However, the first thing you need to decide is simple: what player are you ripping your discs for? Are you ripping for a portable player, like the PSP or iPhone? Would you rather stream to device in your living room, like the Xbox 360, PS3, or Popcorn Hour? Are you simply interested in making an archival-quality DVD rips, in case you lose your collection? More likely, you’re probably looking for a combination of all three of these things. We’ll show you how to rip your DVD to a file suitable for streaming that consumes a fraction of the disk space of a DVD but maintains full video and audio quality. Then you can take that file, and convert it for whatever other devices you might have, like a PSP or an iPod. For the purposes of this story, we're going to focus on DVD rips. Getting ahold of unencrypted high-defintion video legally is still pretty tricky. We'll update with Blu-ray ripping info as ripping Blu-ray gets easier.
At a series of press events over the past few days Adobe has unveiled a brand new version of flash aimed directly at smartphones. The new version of Flash is optimized to work with ARM processors (like the one used in the iPhone).
So long as your smartphone has a processor clock speed of at least 200MHz and 16MB of RAM, it should be able to run the new Flash. It’s also mentioned that a “completely capable browser” is required, but given the phones that it’s meant for, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Google’s G1 is expected to get the update soon, among others. Whether it’ll be simply downloaded by the phone itself or updated in-store is yet to be revealed.
While many other smartphone vendors are prominent when it comes to excitement about the possibility of Flash on their phones, Apple isn’t. Steve Jobs has mentioned that Flash “performs too slow to be useful” on the extremely popular iPhone. To many this seems like a match made in heaven, but Apple has politely snubbed that notion.
Apple has cut their Q4 iPhone production proposal drastically from what they had originally planned, according to a report by Freidman Billings Ramsey analyst Craig Berger. Having originally set out for a 10 percent drop, recent data suggests that production could drop more than 40 percent.
This data however, doesn’t necessarily reflect a significantly slowing iPhone demand. While the production is slowing down, iPhone shipments won’t be 40 percent lower.
Lowered production numbers could have a lot to do with the hurting economy, and the fact that Apple deliberately produced an excess of iPhones in Q3 to help provide some excess supply.
According to Berger, “…iPhone production plans are being revised lower suggests that the global [macroeconomic] weakness is impacting even high-end consumers, those that are more likely to buy Apple's expensive gadgets, and that no market segment will be spared in this global downturn. This is a negative signal for global demand, in our view.”
Even as Google pushes its own SmartPhone platform, it continues to release some pretty rad apps for the competitor. Google Earth for the iPhone has hit the App Store’s virtual shelves as a free download, and it’s definitely worth a look.
The pint-sized Google Earth looks to have all the same functionality as the computer version, including integration with Wikipedia and Google’s Panoramio library of pictures from around the world. Of course, navigation is a little different on the iPhone, with zooming controlled by pinching your fingers on the screen, and scrolling handled by sweeping a digit across the display. In a nice touch, the viewing angle can be controlled by actually changing the angle of your iPhone.
The apps also integrates Google’s “My Location” feature, which uses cellular tower triangulation to identify your approximate location on the map.
They’ve also posted a video showing off the new app. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Back in August there was quite a commotion over the discovery that Apple had included a “kill switch” in the iPhone, functionality that allowed them to remotely remove applications from the device without the user’s consent. Now, in the Android Market terms of service, Google has revealed that Android has its own kill switch.
To Google’s credit, they’re not attempting to hide the kill switch. They say, in the terms of service “Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement … in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion.” Apple, on the other hand, didn’t say a word about their remote removal function until a developer called them out on it.
Further, Android’s kill switch only applies to programs downloaded through the Android Market, meaning that if users really want some verboten app, they still have the option of getting it from the developer, or through other channels, unlike the iPhone. Also, Google says that it will try to refund the purchase price of any app bought through the Market that it has to disable.
What do you think of the kill switch? Will it help keep malware off your G1, or should that be left up to the user? Tell us after the jump.
It doesn't matter that the first-generation iPhone lacked 3G functionality or that early adopters were slapped in the face so quickly after its release. Even intentional bricking through a firmware update hasn't been enough to knock Apple's iPhone off its pedestal as the must-have cellular phone for geeks and hipsters alike. Can T-Mobile's HTC G1 Android phone deliver the right hook and make this a fight?
It's far too early to tell, but early indications look promising. According to the Motley Fool, T-Mobile subscribers have already gobbled up all of the available preorders for initial shipments of the G1, prompting T-Mobile to triple its order with handset maker HTC. Those have sold out too. All tallied, roughly 1.5 million G1s are already accounted for, with another couple million reserved for retail sales.
That still puts the G1 far behind the 10 million iPhones Apple said it would like to sell this year, but it's a good start for a phone that hasn't even been released yet and still won't be for another couple of weeks. And if the G1 is going to have any chance at taking a bite out of Apple, it's going to need to come out strong and convince buyers there's more to the Android platform than hype.
Anyone plan on picking one up or already placed a preorder? Hit the jump and sound off.
We don't always agree with sister site MacLife.com's outlook (we recently had to slap the site silly when it went on the offensive towards PC users), but this is one time we find ourselves on the same side of the fence. Is anyone expecting great things out of Flash for the iPhone?
MacLife says no and points out several reasons why iPhone owners may rue getting what they wish for. Chief among the fears is a lack of usability in which the desktop experience for Flash heavy sites might become a convoluted mess when ported to the iPhone. Other concerns include irritating ads (you know they're coming), more frequent crashes back to the home screen, and a tug of war over standards.
According to reports, Microsoft has delayed the release of its Windows Mobile 7 OS. The mobile OS will now be launched in the second half of 2009. It was previously slated for early 2009. The company is said to have notified its partners about the delay, though an official confirmation is still awaited. Windows Mobile 7 will face stiff competition, when it eventually debuts, from Symbian OS, Android and the iPhone . A new version of the most popular mobile OS in the world, Symbian OS, is also expected in 2009. Microsoft certainly has its task cut out.
You know it, we know it, the whole damn world knows it: On ever-so-rare occasions, there are technologies that we, the nerd elite, have ever-so-slightly... umm... overhyped. That's right, we said it. Overhyped. It's just that when we're talking with engineers or reading about about some hot new technology, we get so damn excited. So excited! And can you really blame us? I mean, who wouldn't get excited when you hear about CPUs that clock in over 4GHz, or instruction sets that will multiply your CPU's performance? And geez, who wouldn't want to turbocharge his gaming framerate? Hell, we shouldn't be blamed for overhyping, it's those damn engineers fault!
In case you do blame us, hit the jump before you collect your torches and pitchforks, and definitely read our apology to the world before you bring an angry mob to Maximum PC HQ.
Microsoft is no stranger to digital distribution: its popular Xbox Live service was a first for game consoles. However, the company has no effective digital distribution channel to sell the myriad of third party apps for its Windows Mobile OS. But Microsoft seems to have finally taken a leaf out of Apple’s book with news of an application store for the Windows Mobile platform doing the rounds.