Tag Archives: sony

Which is Better: Nintendo DS or Sony PSP?

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The debate is over. People have asked me every day in the chat room which of these is better. Is it Sony… or Nintendo. I am here to tell you the final answer, and why.

PSP is the winner. It’s better for one reason, and only one reason. The PSP can play UMDs. The DS cannot. Let me show you. I pulled the UMD out of the Sony. There is no slot in the Nintendo DS for it. It won’t work or go in!!! Thankfully there is a slot on the PSP for my UMD.

If Sony wants any kind of share of the market, they have to design their products to accept the UMDs. I mean, seriously. Shame on you Nintendo.

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Apple and Sony: It's All About the Community!

I’m no prophet, but I called the ball on two things that have come to light in the past day or so: (1) Apple’s decision to bundle Safari with iTunes for Windows, as I predicted would happen when the first Safari beta for Windows was available – and (2) Sony charging extra to ship systems without the software bloat, with my well-established concerns that PC OEMs have been lost at sea longer than Oceanic 815.

To their credit, Sony didn’t return fire to those who attacked this shortsighted decision – instead, the company reversed its decision quickly. Good for you, Sony – but you’re not out of the woods yet. You’re just beginning to learn a tough, but extremely valuable, lesson:

THE COMMUNITY IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

Stop listening to your marketers, stop paying attention to the numbers on your spreadsheets, and stop erecting barriers between your products and the rest of us. We’ll tell you what to do, and if you listen… you just might win a few more friends in the field. I’m not a multi-billion dollar corporation, so I can’t pretend to understand what politics are at play. I can, however, speak as someone who is quite aware of what users have to deal with… YOUR users. We care enough to complain, if only to warn people that this practice should not be tolerated. We still care – we’ll always care.

It’s when we stop complaining that you should really worry.

I don’t have massive amounts of resources on hand, so I have to make due with what’s on the table – putting pieces of the puzzle together to accomplish my own goals as an independent consultant and private business owner. “If I ran the zoo,” I’m sure things would be different – because the “end user” label would die and be replaced with something along the lines of “user beginning.”

Now, Apple’s move to insert Safari into the Apple Software Update application for Windows… are you people telling me you that didn’t see this coming from a mile away? So many software update / installation routines have upsells and cross-sells and extra “experience” software for users to try. I’ve installed registered commercial applications that come bundled with junk I didn’t (nor would ever want to) buy. What happens when iTunes needs Safari to run (imagine an iTunes experience within a Web browser, for seamless local and/or remote experiences)? We’re not there yet, but… I’m saying it’s possible. Users have a choice to buy an iPod or not, install iTunes or not, and install Safari or not. It’s called Apple Software Update, not Apple iTunes Update.

I was pretty happy when I installed Windows XP in a Boot Camp partition not only because it didn’t come with unnecessary software – but I made specific mention that Apple’s own Software Update tool allowed me to opt-in to both QuickTime and iTunes installations (which I did not do).

I’d guess that a fair amount of people who unwittingly install Safari don’t have anything other than Internet Explorer on their system, anyway – and if they happen to try to use any JavaScript-intensive site with Safari, they might find that their “Internet” moves much faster (perish the thought). I have some people complaining that my site(s) don’t work in IE6 – a browser I thought had been abandoned years ago! Of course, they’re also likely the same people who have 6 toolbars running at one time. Sound familiar? But this isn’t about Web browsers.

I’m not saying that Apple wasn’t right to include Safari as an optional app install, but they’re most certainly not wrong to have done it. Apple, much like Google and Microsoft, are using that tool to market another one – this isn’t out of the ordinary. I, for one, was happy when Microsoft pushed their Live tools a single installer – there’s no easier way of discovering what’s available to me. Google has a similar application, albeit a poorly designed one (the best Google desktop apps were the ones acquired).

Sometimes users don’t know what they want – but expecting them to find options on their own is equally as ridiculous as bundling questionably-useful software and then charging for its removal. There’s a very fine line, here – and I think it ends at showing someone what’s available, then letting ’em move on with their lives if they don’t want to hear about it again. Give people a clear option, and don’t make them pay for the privilege of not padding your bottom line.

In either of these situations – Apple’s or Sony’s – the user is at the center of the controversy. Oh, I understand there’s market share at stake! Still, it’s all about the user community – those of us out here who will tell you and everyone we know precisely what we think (and if we’re off-base, others will chime in and further the discussion). We’re your market share, after all – aren’t we?

Rinse and repeat.

Are You Ready for Blu-Ray DVD?

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Now that the Format War is over (for now at least), I realize I will have to buy myself a Blu-Ray drive one of these days. When I do buy one, it will be an external USB drive, so I can take it with me from one machine to another in my house. I’m not in a rush, however. One of our Community members sent in the following top five list, of reasons to not rush out to buy a Blu-Ray drive.

  • The best Blu-Ray player currently on the market is a game console. I am not criticizing the PS3s video capabilities. It has been said by many that it’s one of the best Blu-Ray players out there. I just feel like there is something wrong with this picture. I mean, you are going to create a new video format and the best player for that format is a device that was not even designed with video playback as its primary function? Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea that consoles are more than just gaming machines. Something just feels wrong about it being the BEST Blu-Ray player. I don’t know why I feel that way, I just do. Plus… I would rather have a dedicated player.
  • Video availability. This will probably become less of an issue in the coming months now that HD-DVD is dead. I understand that there are great movies out there for the Blu-Ray… however they are not numerous enough yet to warrant the investment.
  • Evolving standard. This is where I will contradict myself a little. If you must purchase a Blu-Ray player today, PLEASE get the PS3. I say this because almost all the current Blu-R,ay players are somewhat obsolete. The great majority of players out there are v.1.0, while the newer players are v. 1.1. Later this year Sony will introduce v. 2.0 for their Blu-Ray players. I may be wrong about this, but while most players will allow you to upgrade the firmware… none are wi-fi capable. The ps3 is already wi-fi capable (so there is no need to route a broadband wire) and Sony has been excellent when it comes to expanding the capabilities of the PS3.
  • Price. I am not willing to pay the current prices for a Blu-Ray player. When it comes down to about $200 or so, I will entertain the thought. For now, I will assume a wait and see position.
  • DVD. I just can’t find a compelling reason to let go of my dvd player. Yes, I know Blu-Ray looks better, but is it honestly that much better? DVD had a clear advantage over VHS, but can the same be said for Blu-Ray over DVD? I also don’t feel like it has a “killer app” or a must-have feature. Some people used the lack of WOW feature as their main reason not to move to Vista… and I honestly believe the same could be said about the Blu-Ray format.

After this was posted, I received the following email and wanted to share it in this post.

You said to chime in as to why we chose one format over the other, and here is my 2 cents. I myself chose Blu-Ray because I am a big fan of Sonys game consoles (yes, a playstation man thru and thru). From a gamers stand point, being able to put much more information per disc, was going to allow Sony (at least in my mind) to smoke the competition with the potential of their gaming consoles graphics and gameplay. I don’t have an HDTV (trust me, i’m workin on it) so HD movies didn’t tickle my fancy. I stayed away from the movie player scene. This is probably the most basic answer you’d hear for people who are pro Blu-Ray, but I figured I might as well tune in. Oh, and as a side note, the potential for Blu-Ray far exceeds the gaming and movie scene. The potential for just storage or large amounts of information as a hard copy backup for corporations or just the general users… Blu-Ray can be written in quad layers for 100gigs of information.

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PSP Tips

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Do you own and use a PSP? Do you take good care of it? These aren’t cheap devices, and you wouldn’t want them to break unexpectedly, would you? Here are some tips for keeping your PSP in excellent working condition.

  • Keep ALL parts free of dust. Just like a computer, dust can damage PSP components and even the screen. One time, I left my PSP in a dusty place when I went on vacation. When I came back, there was a one inch CRACK on the screen.
  • Buy a PSP case rather than a PSP pouch. A case is hard and a pouch is soft. This means, if you accidentally drop your PSP while it’s in a case, it will survive the fall. Doing this acually guarantees a longer life span for your PSP.
  • ONLY purhase a memory stick duo that has enough memory for what you need. For example, it’s no use buying a 2 GB Memory stick duo, if you only use the PSP occasionally, and you put like 5 songs and 10 pictures on it. This will save you money and not make you feel as though you wasted money.
  • Always check the status of your PSP’s battery. You may not know this, but as time goes on battery capacity actually decreases. If you don’t replace the battery at all, it will come to a point where it will only run on the charger plugged into an outlet. So if you notice that battery life is getting shorter, get a new one.
  • When playing a UMD game, NEVER, under any circumstances attempt to remove the UMD when the game is in session! This will actually corrupt the data on the UMD, and lead to the disk being no longer useable. If you want the remove it, first go to the home page and then remove the disk. This saves the UMD and even parts of the PSP.
  • Always plug in your ac adapter BEFORE doing any firmware upgrading (the countless times i’ve heard of people losing power and bricking their psp is almost untrue!)
  • Make sure to buy memory sticks from reputable online shops or even retail shops, as fake cards are a waste of money and you risk jeopardizing your precious game saves and music!!!
  • If you want to convert DVDs to play from your memory stick, download DVDFab HD Decrypter 4 and ImTOO DVD to PSP converter. They work very well with each other, the first removes any copyright encrytion from your dvd and store it to your hard drive. Once complete use the ifo file with the ImTOO converter. (You can specify what resolution and even what bit rate your film will be made at, i get my films down to about 400mb at decent quality).
  • Invest in the SONY PSP media manager 2.5 PRO. It has a backup utility and if you have PSone games downloaded from Playstation Store, you can use it to store these on your PC hard drive.
  • If you haven’t already got a wireless router get one they make updating and PSP’s much more fun especially playing Killzone Liberation, Worms Open Warefare 2 or wipeout pulse.

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Unpacking a New PSP Slim

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I love my PSP. The screen is amazing, and it’s great to watch movies on when I travel. I’m a casual gamer, so this has fit my needs well. I was anxious to try the new PSP Slim this week, and decided to open it on a video.

When the PSP first came out, I wasn’t planning to ever get one. I was still mad at Sony over the whole “memory stick” thing. However, after playing a friends’ PSP, I realized I had to have one. As I said already, I LOVE mine, and use it often. I’ve been looking forward to this newest version.

This new PSP Slim is purported to be slimmer, faster, and have more memory. I bought the Limited Edition Daxter bundle. Upon opening it, I can tell it’s not only slimmer, but it’s also significantly lighter. It feels better in the hands. The buttons are, of course, in the same place as the older PSP. In this new version, you can connect your PSP to the TV for gaming and such.

The LCD screen is much brighter and crisper. THe memory is definitely doubled. The colors it comes in are excellent. I of course, chose silver. I love silver gadgets! RSS is a bit better with it, but still not quite where it should be. I have to also give Sony credit for updating the firmware quite a bit. Specs from the website:

Heart-pounding game play and mobile entertainment now fit into smaller pockets. The latest PSP handheld system is 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the previous model, with twice the memory—now 64MB—for faster loading times. To get you started on the action, this bundle comes with the new Ice Silver PlayStation Portable system, Daxter adventure game and the hilarious Family Guy: Freakin’ Sweet Collection UMD movie. In addition, this pack features 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo media, an AC power cord, AC adapter and a smaller, more efficient battery pack that lasts up to six hours. Featuring 64MB of internal system memory and a dedicated PSP® CPU running at up to 333MHz, the PSP has the horsepower you need for an unmatched gaming experience. The 4.3″ LCD screen sports a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, 480 x 272 pixel resolution, and 16.7 million colors for graphics that come alive on the screen.

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Do You Own the Music, or Does the RIAA?


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – The lead attorney for Sony BMG announced publically that copying music you legally purchased for your own use is illegal. The round table had a field day with this one.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

Song BMG has gone on record, stating that “When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song. Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy’.”

WHAT?! If I buy a CD, she’s saying I cannot save it to my own computer, and then listen to the CD in my car? Or… I can’t listen to it on my iPod? All of these items were purchased legally, including the CD. So why in the name of everything I hold precious can I NOT listen to MY OWN MUSIC?

The music industry has gone too far. They are hurting financially so much due to file sharing, that they are now making it nearly impossible for people to legally listen to their own music. Album sales have decreased dramatically. Yes, that’s true. However, telling me I cannot listen to the music I BUY from you in any way I want is not going to help your bottom line, Sony. All that is going to do is ensure I don’t purchase ANY music from you ever again.

Stop the insanity.

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Copy Your Old Tapes to a DVD


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Last night, I picked up the new Sony VRD-MC5. This little device is amazing. It takes the complexity of configuring software to record things to DVD and completely wipes it out. Now, you can convert pretty much anything into DVD format with ease!

The new Sony VRD-MC5 is just awesome. It can’t get any easier than this, folks. You can plug in a number of different devices, such as a VCR, cam corder, USB drive, even your TiVo shows! Plug one in to the Sony, pop in a blank DVD, and let it do the work for you. No software, nothing to install or configure. Sony does the work for you! You can even take still photos and turn them into a DVD slide show… which is great to send to relatives who may live far away, and are missing you.

For around $220.00, this little device is definitely worth its weight in gold.

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