Archive for the 'Entertainment' Category

Slingbox Info?

Jan 31, 2007 in Entertainment, Gadgets, Internet, Sports

Any Slingbox users out there? With the MLB Extra Innings package likely moving to DirecTV for the 2007 season and beyond, I thinking about installing a Slingbox Tuner at my parents’ house so I can get the Red Sox games down in DC (or wherever I end up).

The other option would be another year of, but that offering left me thoroughly unimpressed last year. Supposedly, the stream quality will improve to 700 Kbps for next season (versus 350-400 Kbps last season), but you still have to contend with the blackout issues.

I have two main questions/concerns about the Slingbox.

1) How’s the video quality when streaming over the Internet?

2) What’s the impact on the location you’re streaming out of? For example, would my parents notice a slowdown if I was streaming a video off of their internet connection?

Yes, moving to DirecTV would be another option, but it’s not an idea I’m particularly fond of for several reasons. Right now, I live in an apartment, so the dish is a no-go. I like the option of having the TiVo UI, either through dedicated TiVo hardware or the upcoming TiVo software offered by Comcast. I don’t want to use satellite internet and it’s generally cheaper to bundle Internet access and television (since I don’t have a landline, DSL isn’t a real option).

The Joys of Owning a Video iPod

Jun 21, 2006 in Entertainment, iPod

I think I’ve discovered my favorite aspect of my new iPod: getting to watch an episode of Sports Night every day while I’m taking the bus home from work.

iTunes SAP

Oct 14, 2005 in Entertainment, Mac


Which shows are missing from the iTMS? Are you a Battlestar Galactica fan? Or perhaps you’d enjoy All My Children all the more if you could watch it on your iPod during a morning commute?

This got me thinking. Battlestar Gallactica has a podcast that’s designed to be played while watching the show. These podcasts will also be available on the upcoming Season 2.0 DVD set.

Many, if not all, TVs ship with an SAP button. The most common use I’ve seen of this function is simultaneous broadcasts of sporting events in both English and Spanish, but I know at least one network (TNT, maybe?) once broadcast the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as the SAP.

Why couldn’t Apple add something similar to SAP support to iTunes? The primary track would obviously be the the normal sound track. The secondary track could be the podcast, similar to how commentary tracks work on DVDs.

Obviously, this isn’t something that would be beneficial for every show (do we really need commentary on shows like Joey?), but it could provide a nice incentive for people to purchase TV shows that they’d otherwise watch for “free.”

A Musical Baton

May 19, 2005 in Entertainment, Family and Friends

In the past 24 hours, I received what I think is my first “Why haven’t you been blogging!” message from Chris and I got meme-slapped by Michael. Wow, big day.

Total volume of music files on my computer

15.71 GB

The last CD I bought was

Crossfade’s self-titled album

Song playing right now

Nothing at the moment, but the last thing on the iPod was a live version of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or mean a lot to me

Right now, I don’t really have any songs that mean a lot to me. However, there are a few that that’ve stuck with me over the years and a few that I’m rather into right now.

Five people to whom I’m passing the baton

You know, I’m not even sure if half these people know about this blog 🙂 I think that means I need better advertising.

A quick note for Michael, Chris, and Lee — thanks for claiming the pretty much the whole ATPM staff!

Certain other people in my life need to get weblogs, simply because I’d really like to see how they’d respond to this.

National Anthem Performances

Dec 29, 2004 in Entertainment

Bob Ryan:

Any singer, or singers, whose national anthem exceeds a minute and 15 seconds would be subject to arrest and prosecution.

That might be a bit harsh — I’m sure there have been some decent renditions of the national anthem that have run a bit long.

My version of this would read:

Any professional singer, or singers, who get the words wrong when singing the national anthem would be subject to arrest and prosecution.

If you’re a professional performer and your honored (yes, honored) with the task of singing the national anthem at a sporting event, learn the words. You have one job, please do it right.

Tessie on ITMS

Sep 25, 2004 in Entertainment

I was looking through the ITMS Just Added page last week and I noticed that you could buy the Tessie EP.

In 1903, the Royal Rooters, fans of the Boston Pilgrims, turned Tessie into their anthem. The Pilgrims went on to win the first World Series. Later, the Pilgrims would become known as the Red Sox.

At the request of the Red Sox front office, the Dropkick Murphys have updated the old tune to aid the Red Sox in their continuing quest to bring a World Series championship back to Boston.

The other thing about Tessie is that it’s not just an attempt to aid the Red Sox in the World Series quest. All the proceeds from the purchase of Tessie are being donated to the Red Sox Foundation.

It’s good to see Tessie available on the ITMS — assuming the proceeds from ITMS purchases are also being donated to the Red Sox Foundation, this opens up a a new avenue of income for the charity.

Harry Potter

May 02, 2004 in Entertainment

Not sure why, but I’ve been on a complete Harry Potter kick lately. Over the last three weeks, I’ve read the first 5 books, bought and watched the first 2 movies, and watched the trailer for Prisoner of Azkaban a handful of times.

I think this came about when I was watching the Prisoner of Azkaban trailer and I noticed a few scenes I didn’t recall from the book. Truthfully, though, the blame for all this rests squarely on the shoulders of my coworkers. If they’d not insisted that I needed to read the first few books, this never would have happened.

MTV2 Album Covers

Mar 31, 2004 in Entertainment

You know, I’m really liking the MTV2 Album Covers that are available on the iTMS. Currently, there’s Guster covering the Violent Femmes and Dashboard Confessional covering REM, with a little help from Michael Stipe.

I’m not a big MTV2 person (I don’t even know if my cable company carries it), but I’ve been listening to both of these albums with regularity since I bought them. Heck, the Guster album’s only been available for two days now and I’ve already listened to it at least three times. I wonder if we can look forward to any more of these in the future.

Getting Down With the Dickness

Mar 25, 2004 in Entertainment

After thinking about it for far too long, I finally broke down and bought Richard Cheese’s Lounge Against the Machine from iTMS.

There was much silent rejoicing as I fired up the iPod to listen to my latest acquisition. Somewhere during the first song, though, I realized I’d made a terrible mistake — I purchased the edited version of the album.

Some songs, like Fire Water Burn by the Bloodhound Gang, are actually better when edited. That wasn’t the case for Lounge Against the Machine. The editing job really took away from the Richard Cheese Experience.

In most cases, Apple’s been pretty good about labelling albums as either Explicit or Edited, but somebody dropped the ball this time. The explicit version is marked as such, but the edited version is missing the tag.

Normally, my brain would spend a few cycles considering this conundrum and decide it was better to buy the explicit version. However, I stumbled across Lounge Against the Machine by searching for Blink 182. This lead me to track 10 on the edited album, What’s My Age Again (Originally by Blink 182). Had I instead searched for Blink-182, I’d have found all the Blink-182 albums and the explicit version of Lounge Against the Machine.

After I explained the situation, the kind customer service folks at the iTMS refunded the $9.99 I spent on the edited version. I promptly deleted those files and purchased the explicit version of the same album. I was told this was the only refund I could ever get, but since it’s one more refund then I ever expected, I’m not complaining.

On another Richard Cheese note, I saw Dawn of the Dead tonight and it included Dick’s cover of Disturbed’s Down with the Sickness. Classic. I really need to pick up Tuxicity at some point.

Oh yeah, the moral of the story — if you think an album you want from the iTMS might be explicit and isn’t marked as such, check to make sure you’re not buying the edited version.


May 13, 2003 in Entertainment

Just finished watching the season’s penultimate episode of 24, via TiVo-delay. Wasn’t as exciting as the recent episodes, but it set things up for the next week’s finale.

More importantly, the preview for next week’s episode called it the “Season Finale,” as opposed to “Series Finale.” Sounds like my Tuesday night entertainment is guaranteed for another year 🙂