Ultraviolet – “The Dark Knight Rises”

Having recently purchased the latest Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” on DVD I was made aware by the largely unsubtle information which adorned display stand that the DVD copy came with a digitally downloadable version of the film. As this was certainly a blockbuster in the traditional sense, I was curious as to how well this system may have been incorporated, and how likely this would be to stop people acquiring their own illegal digital copies anyway after purchasing the film. I thought I would post about my experience here…

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My iPad Experience

Although I had naturally formed opinions about iPads, I had until now kept quiet as any opinion would have been largely hypocritical, given that I had never used one. My main opinions resulted from drawing comparisons between what I had read about Android and the iPad (yes, contrary to common American grammatical butchery, the iPad is an entity not a concept and therefor the word “the” should undoubtably be used). This largely focused on price and ecosystem but no longer, as I am fortunate enough to be able to borrow one for a weekend to kick the tires!

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Google Play Movies

I’ve just rented a movie from Google Play Movies and thought I’d post a small review of my experiences.
Firstly, at 99p (in a sale) the rental was very good value, and with some movie rentals at £2.50, and therefore competitive with pay as you go LoveFilm there was some hope.

Or so I thought.

Rented films have to be watched within 30 days of renting – this is ok and is reasonable enough.

Once playback has been started, you have 48 hours before the rental expires. Considering they are competing with the likes of Netflix, LoveFilm and iTunes, most of which offer monthly recurring plans, this seems strange. I understand that some kind of limit has to be placed on the rental, but why not a 30 day rental (or even a 14 day rental), scrapping the expiry once playback has begun.

You can sync rented movies to your Android phone, to playback offline. This is simply a necessary feature. It does however disable the option to watch the rented film in a browser – you can’t split your 48 hours of viewing between mobile and desktop without repeatedly re-downloading the movie to your phone.

You can watch on a desktop, but only in the browser. When buffering (in a YouTube player) video playback was often stuttery. Now I know my hardware can play back 1080p YouTube content, so there is something different about this flash only player. Video played smoothly once the entire film was buffered, and was good quality, at a max. of 720p for the particular film I rented (which was released in 1976 and so would not have benefitted from any higher resolution). In addition, and although having not tried this with standard YouTube content, it is not possible to use dual monitor functionality when playing rented movies in the browser. Once the lightboxed player is full screened, other tabs cannot be opened and used whilst full screen (I was using the latest version Chrome on my mac).

Or…I hear if you somehow find yourself in posession of a verion of the film as an .avi, it plays pretty much anywhere, for as long as you want. I would never encourage the aquisition of films in such a format however, when faced with inconveniences between the content and the enjoyment of the content there is little wonder why the path of least resistance is often followed by consumers.

Google Music

Very easy way to get Google Music working in the UK:

I’d read that Google Music only checked the geographical location of your IP when you accept the terms and conditions. I had tried with a free proxy service to accept the terms and enable Google Music for my account but to no avail.

I recently persevered using the free option on the paid service proXPN.

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Vinyl Comparison – Background

Firstly, I’d like to just cover some interesting things I’ve discovered about the medium, as I believe they play a major part in why there are supposed differences between modern high fidelity digital formats (of which I only consider their to be only one – CD quality WAV) and vinyl releases.

As I mentioned in the introductory post, what goes on on the surface of a record is largely black magic to me, and the process of converting 1s and 0s into an audible waveform makes much more sense. However, after doing a bit of reading, I may have shed some light onto the surface of those little discs.

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Vinyl Comparison

Of late I have begun my vinyl journey.

Having borrowed a turntable from my father-in-law, my record collection is growing. The acquisition of more and more records has taken place based solely on the experience of listening to the albums as until now, I had performed no direct comparison between vinyl and the digital counterpart of the same track. I have performed the recordings and will post a separate entry detailing my findings and opinions. I suppose the fact that I have continued to invest in vinyl undermines any ‘findings’, as I’ve already decided I like the medium, but a greater understanding of the medium is what I seek. Let’s face it, the concept of 1s and 0s becoming music makes more sense to me than the black magic going on on the surface of a record so I wanted to understand more about the medium; this is what the follow up post will attempt to achieve.

Bose VideoWave

I recently attended a demonstration of the Bose VideoWave at Earl’s Court in London so I thought I’d post my thoughts on the new system, which I believe was being demoed reasonably exclusively at the Ideal Homes show where I saw it.

Firstly what it is: a TV made by Bose.

What it is more than:  a TV made by Bose!

The VideoWave attempts to combat the issue which is rapidly ruining many new TVs; the trend to make them thinner for some reason, even though no one ever looks at them from the side once they have left the showroom. The VideoWave has built in sound engineered by Bose and as with many Bose products, far far exceeds any possible expectations you could have when hearing a TV with built-in speakers.

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1st Entry

Well… I thought I would add a blog to my website. Mainly because I wanted to play with the blog pages in Rapidweaver, but also because I thought it might come in useful for venting and the like.