Daily Archives: February 20, 2008

Airfoil update adds support for Apple TV

Airfoil update adds support for Apple TV Rogue Amoeba has released a new version of Airfoil, its application that allows users to send any audio to AirPort Express, other Macs and now Apple TV.”

(Via Apple, Mac, iPod and iPhone News.)

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Microsoft: If you can’t buy em, beat em

Microsoft: If you can’t buy em, beat em

Microsoft is apparently taking the next steps in its bid to buy Yahoo! A few weeks ago the Yahoo! board of directors rejected Microsoft’s $31 per share bid, saying that it undervalued Yahoo! at $44.6 billion. The general consensus was that Yahoo! would be plenty happy to be taken over by Microsoft — for a higher price. But Microsoft instead has taken a different approach: Try to replace Yahoo!’s board of directors.

Microsoft is expected to spend between $20 and $30 million to nominate a new board of directors and try to convince Yahoo! shareholders to elect the group. While that might seem like a lot of money, it’s a lot cheaper than raising the bid price.

On the other hand, with both Microsoft and Yahoo! stock falling, the original bid’s value has already dropped a few billion. Maybe Microsoft just needs to wait until Yahoo! stock hits bargain basement prices before making another offer

(Via Download Squad.)


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Tips for Video/Podcasters for AppleTV


If you’re a podcaster, or thinking about becoming a podcaster, Apple has issued a series of tips for improving performance of podcasts on Apple TV. If you’ve used the AppleTV for watching podcasts its clear that some shows load more efficiently than others, but I hope that, over time, a standard is developed that produces great quality podcasts that load quickly.

Apple’s tips include:

Recommendations to help you create the best possible experience for users:

1. Apple TV viewers are immediately aware of video quality. If you encode your video podcast at 320×240, we strongly encourage you to increase the resolution to 640×480 or 640×360 (depending on the aspect ratio of your source files). When encoded well, video podcasts at this resolution look great on Apple TV and still play on iPhone and video-compatible iPods. To ensure compatibility, we recommend that you encode using QuickTime’s “Movie to iPod” preset or Compressor’s “Apple > Apple Devices > H.264 for iPod video and iPhone 640×480″ preset.

2. When you perform the final encode on your video, enable fast starting. Most recent versions of QuickTime enable this setting automatically. But it’s easy to undo the setting by making changes to the file after the encode. If you do make a change after the encode, be sure to “Save As” again.

3. Apple TV displays a large version of the podcast art (the file referenced in the tag). We recommend that you use a 600×600 square JPG or PNG file.

4. Several new introductory video tutorials have been developed for iTunes, including one for podcasts. If your web site offers how-to information for new podcast users, please consider linking to it.

For those hosting podcasts on their own servers, consider the following recommendations:

5. To reduce wait times, iTunes and Apple TV use byte-range requests in some circumstances. For example, Apple TV 2.0 employs this functionality when the user accesses the podcast directly over the Internet. We recommend hosting episode files on HTTP/1.1 servers that correctly support the HTTP byte-range request specification.

6. Please ensure that your HTTP servers return the correct MIME types in the Content-Type header. Failing to do so can create errors. A list of MIME types can be found in the iTunes podcast technical spec.

(Via Apple Gazette.)

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MacBook, MB Pro keyboard firmware fix!

MacBook, MB Pro keyboard firmware fix unveiledApple today unveiled a firmware fix for MacBook and MacBook Pro owners, remedying some long-standing keyboard issues. The update says it addresses a problem where the computer would ignore the first key pressed after a period of inactivity, also addressing “some other issues”, according to the supplied literature. Some users were having similar issues.


(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

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New version of Handbrake now out for Leopard

If you’re a fan of Handbrake — the tool that allows you to extract your DVDs* into more portable formats (such as your iPod / iPhone / Apple TV) — listen up. Handbrake has hit version 0.9.2!

So what’s changed from the last version, released back in October last year? Well, first-off the application is Leopard-only which may well irk some readers (debate away in the comments, folks). Throw in improved queueing, Sparkle updating for keeping Handbrake up-to-date, iPhone Anamorphic video, ‘multi-track audio on Apple devices’ and Elgato .eyetv file support. Of course, there’s many, many, more enhancements that we’re not mentioning, and the changelist shows there’s plenty of new goodness in this release.

All for the very excellent price of free, the new version is available from the Handbrake site for Mac, WIndows and Linux citizens.


*It goes without saying that you should only use Handbrake for DVDs which you are licensed to do so. a Geekspot & TUAW does not condone piracy.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

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