Giant in the subway

I didn't realize these giant iPod is still around!

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QotD: In-Flight Entertainment

How do you pass the time during a flight?  What do you bring in your carry-on?

Depending on the flight time but generally this is the order of events:

  1. Start reading a book/magazine that I want to read for a while but didn't have time until the flight/vacation.
  2. Get bored and switch on the in-flight map to see where we are.
  3. Get bored with the map and start listening to podcast on my iPod.
  4. Dozed off and only wake up for food and drinks.
  5. Rinse and repeat…

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iPhone battery

What is everyone so worked up about iPhone's battery being not changeable? Just think about this, how many iPod owners do you know who also have a sync/charge cable with them, either in the office or at the airport waiting lounge? At least one? Ok, then you can charge your phone almost everywhere. I mean, surely you will be able to borrow a charger/cable if you promise someone a few minutes of playing your iPhone?

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Newsnight as you go

Last week while I was browsing around iTunes Music Store, looking for new podcast to subscribe to, I decided to see how many new BBC podcasts had been added to iTunes since I last looked. So I typed in "BBC" in the search box and the list was pretty long. As I read down the list, I spotted the Newsnight video podcast. It is a short excerpt of the week's footage so it is a nice way to get the best digest of the program.

I didn't manage to watch the three episodes until late last night and a couple of minutes into the first one, I wondered what file format BBC is encoding the podcast. A quick check in iTunes showed that it is just plain mp4 video, and I then wondered further whether my Nokia E61 will play it.

So I dug out the USB data cable and connected the phone up. The memory card showed up as a disk on my Mac desktop and I just dragged the file into the disk. A few minutes later I had it on my phone and RealPlayer was playing the podcast in its fullscreen glory! The video quality is pretty good. I didn't notice any dropped frames and the sound from the speaker is adequate for a talking head program. Battery life, of course, suffers when you play video on the phone but that is to be expected.

Anyway, after that it was just a matter of entering the long URL for the podcast into the Nokia Podcasting app on the phone. Soon it was download the latest episode onto the phone via the Wi-Fi connection. This is especially cool for me because I can't play video on my 4G iPod (obviously) and I am waiting for the next generation before upgrading. Being able to play video on my phone means I have less of an excuse to buy the 6G iPod when it comes out.

So now I have even more content to keep me occupied as when I am stuck in a subway train. One thing still annoys me though. Why can't all audio and video podcasts on iTunes uses non-DRM, non-proprietary format like BBC. How about that Apple? Can I have iTunes New Music Tuesday in regular mp4 audio format, may be as an alternative to the special one you've been using? I don't care for the album arts and chapters, I just want to listen to the podcast on my phone!

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