Archive for the ‘Apple’ Tag

iTunes Update 11.14 Error Fix for Windows Users   Leave a comment

Last  night, I posted a message on Facebook saying I would explain in detail how to get iTunes to work after applying the iTunes update released on 1/24/2014.

First, here is the link to the support thread for those with an iTunes Account:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/24615167?searchText=Missing%20file%20MSVCR80#24615167

For everyone else, here’s what to do as listed in that thread:

Go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (Win XP) or Programs and Features( Vista, 7 or 8)

 Remove all of these items:

  • iTunes
  • Apple Software Update
  • Apple Mobile Device Support
  • Bonjour
  • Apple Application Support

 

Reboot, download iTunes, then reinstall, either using an account with administrative rights, or right-clicking the downloaded installer and selecting Run as Administrator.

To quickly get to your control panel on a Windows 7 or 8 Computer, open the Start Menu and click in the search box. Type in “Control Panel” to pull it up. Next, click Programs and Features. This will pull up the list of just about every program installed on your computer. Before you do anything further, make sure you do not have an Apple Device–iPad, iphone, iPod and do on–connected to your computer.

I slightly edited the original text to clarify the Operating Systems this fix will work on as well as to point out the ordering after iTunes does not matter as long as ALL of the listed programs are ALL uninstalled. If you use Safari and/or iCloud DO NOT ininstall them even though they are both Apple Products. These two programs DO NOT share files with iTunes like the four listed with iTiunes above do.

After you uninstall all five programs, reboot your machine, download iTunes and re-install it using Run as Administator. That’s it you’re done.

One other thing before I forget, actually two:

  1. Your Library should not be effected as your library is automatically stored in separate areas from the program files. Even so, it’s a good idea to back up your library on an External Hard Drive or iCloud if you have a big libarary.
  2. You will need to reinstall your Apple Devices to the affected computers. This is why I said to unlug your devices before you start the process. All you should need to do to reinstall the driver(s) for your device(s) is plug it in after you’ve installed iTunes. Windows will do the rest.

That’s basically it. I hope this proves helpful!

 

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The thing about DRM You Should Know   Leave a comment

When we talk about Bootleg Media and Pirated Movies or Music this usually comes to mind:

Or this:

Times have certainly changed.

As you may be aware Movie, Music, Software and Video Game companies have been taking agressive steps over the last 14 years to combat the piracy of their products. At the close of the last century, when you talked about Pirating Music this website came to mind:

For those who don’t know their Internet History, Napster was the first and most popular Filesharing King. That was before the service and Napster Founder Sean Parker–then considered the Robin Hood of the Industry by Napster supporters–were taken down by the RIAA (Record Inudstry Association of America), which was originally formed specifically to shut down Napster and the copycat filesharing serrvices it spawned. Of course, in the years since then Napster came back as an online music store.

Even so, the internet has since been feeling the effects of the revolution Napster ignited before they want legit. Copycat filesharing services like Limewire, eMule, Etomi Pro and Kazza stepped in to fill the massive void created whe Napster was taken down. Given several million people worldwide engage in filesharing worldwide, it’s clear threats of multimillion dollar fines and 100-year prison sentences from the RIAA aren’t enough to discourage the people who do it.

That isn’t to say companies aren’t getting with the times and offering services similar to the filesharing programs to give people more control over how they can get their mits on their favorite media. Before I continue, first let me refer you to a couple of You Tube videos on the subject of DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Of course this one specifically targets people who upload copyrighted material to You Tube despite the fact 90% of time the uploaded media is covered by Fair Use or would otherwise be considered a Derrivative Work.

…And this one is pretty self-explanatory =D

Here is the text he pasted in the video:

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

Again: 90% of what people upload to You Tube is covered by Fair Use. The link above goes into more detail.

Now here is DRM explained:

VERY recently DRM was front and center when Microsoft unveiled its Xbox One game system. The next-gen console, which is going to be released later this year was originally going to have strict anti-piracy systems in place–at the expense of the consumer. Read this blog I wrote before Microsoft backpedaled after the public uproar.

Speaking for myself, I support a company’s right to protect their product from theft. What I have a problem with is cases like SimCity 2013 in which you don’t actually own the game you paid for and instead you paid $60 for a client to stream the game on your computer. While I buy the reasons Maxis explained for this at the core, it’s because of DRM they released the game the way they did.

 

Sony Music is easily one of, if not the worst offender when it comes to DRM: In 2009 it was revealed Sony been embedding spyware and trackware on physical music CDs. Spyware and Trackware are both programs used to monitor the computers they’re install on, usually for malicious purposes. Sony’s explaination for the spying? To scan the hard drives of customers for pirated music. That’s their explaination but that could and usually does lead to other things. Luckily it was discovered when it did or other companies would think it cool to do that. It’s not about weather someone has something to hide. It’s the principle as well as a blatant invasion of privacy. Someone going through your hard drive is no different from someone going through your bedroom.

 

Contrary to a long standing popular belief, when you buy a physical or digial media (Movie, Song, game, etc.) you don’t actually own it. Your purchase is simply you buying the license to use the media for personal, commercial or private use depending on the license. For example you don’t actually own your copy of The Departed. You simply have legal permission to watch it however you want whenever you want but only if the audience is 50 people or less and you don’t charge people to watch the movie. Both would legally be considered theft. Even movie theaters have to pay a licensing fee (distribution). NO ONE is exempt.

Now that I’ve no doubt half-scared some of you or made another chunk of you a little paranoid, DRM does work both ways. You are entitled to certain rights as the licensee or to say that in plain English; The person who bought the movie or album.

  • Your purchase should work as advertised or you are entitled to a refund or similar compensation.
  • You are protected from prosecution as long as you do not try to profit from the media in some way.

Some companies have been going above and beyond what’s expected of them to support their consumers:

  • Apple’s iCloud is easily the best: Once you buy a movie or song you more or less “own” it forever. You can download it to as many authorized devices as you want without restriction at no additional cost. Got a new computer? You can download ALL of your iTunes purchases with a single click on your new one.
  • Xbox Live (XBL) and The Playstation Network (PSN) come in second with theirs. Once you buy a game, movie or TV Episode you can immediately download it to your console or PC (If you use Media Go or Zune) or just stream it if you prefer. Once it’s been downloaded you can use it as much as you want even if the title is no longer available for purchase later. The drawback to both XBL and the PSN is your license only grants you 5 downloads so if you use up all of those downloads you’ll need to make a new account to get it again. I was lucky when I got my desktop 3 years ago and was able to convince Microsoft to give me a full refund in Microsoft Points of purchases I couldn’t transfer to my new computer. A good $215 worth of media.
  • Amazon and Netflix both offer Streaming in addition to physical movies. Amazon has a streaming App for Apple, Android and Microsoft Products that you can use to enjoy your music and movies without even having to download them. The Netflix Client can be used on everything under the sun including the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita so…yeah.

And of course when you buy Blu-Ray Movies you usually get three copies: The Blu-Ray version, a Standard Definition Version (Regular DVD) and a digital copy. These days, many software companies require online registration to use their products. Some of you might remember this blog I wrote for Microsoft Office 2013. This is obviously Microsoft’s way of protecting its product from being pirated but as I said in that blog, I use Open Source alternatives to MS Office.

All in all, if you’re going to use DRM it shouldn’t infringe on the rights of the honest people who make up the majority of people who consume media. On the other hand there are times when piracy can and does actually help companies by telling them what consumers want. Just look at Napster and iTunes. iTunes exists because of Napster. The same can be said for Megaupload, Box.net and the Cloud services that have popped up in recent years. For the video game industry it’s because of Steam all of the console makers give gamers the option of downloading full games directly to their consoles, cutting out need to get a physical copy.

Think what you want about it but for all intents and purposes, if it wasn’t for Napster online stores as we know them probably wouldn’t exist.

I just got an iPod Touch (4th Gen) this weekend   Leave a comment

I feel like a sellout personally.

I LOVED the Zune HD but Microsoft discontinued it in favor of the Windows Phone. A shame given Apple now monopolizes the MP3 Player market. The Microsoft Surface has been selling well and I’m hopeful they will reintroduce the Zune HD in the near future.

To those with an iPhone who’ve never seen/used an iPod Touch, it does everything an iPhone can except make phone calls. I actually had a 2nd Gen iPod Touch (16GB) for two weeks but bought the 4th Gen (32GB) this past friday so that I could watch Netflix on it. It also helps the 4th Gen’s Wi-Fi Connection is WAY stronger than the 2nd Gen. Speaking of which, I gave my 2nd Gen to my mother as an early birthday present (her birthday’s next month). The Zune HD’s Wi-Fi Connection wasn’t all that impressive either (just like the PSP and PSP Go) sadly though from what I’ve seen so far the 4th Gen’s Wi-Fi is as powerful as my Xbox 360 and Nintendo Handhelds. It’s sure to come in handy at Anime Boston next month!

For those wondering why I didn’t get an iPhone, I’m getting a Windows Phone in June. I’m holding off buying anything over $50 until after Anime Boston (for I want to make sure I have a certain amount of Spending Money for the Dealers’ Room) so…yeah. Speaking of which: Buying the iPod Touch left me broke through my week off. If you’d like to spot me some cash, use the PayPal Button. No PayPal account needed on your end.

Almost forgot: Here is the list of some of the Apps I’ve installed I’m sure many of you would like to know I have:

  • Facebook (I only physically check it once every three months)
  • Twitter
  • You Tube
  • WordPress (I can now check comments, Likes, etc. without turning on my computer)
  • Netflix (goes without saying)
  • Google Earth
  • Google Maps
  • Various MBTA Apps (WOOT!)
  • Battle.net Mobile Authenticator

I learned my lesson from the Freemium Games I played to death on Facebook five years ago. All three of the games I installed are Freemium but since I know they’re working in real time I only check in on them once or twice a day at the most. By the way, Freemium means the game is free to play but you’re goinng to want to pay real money to succeed faster/sooner. For example in Megalopolis you’re prettymuch strong-armed into paying real money for virtual money to finish certain structures. The other option is to trade with someone but let’s be honest: You’re probably the only person on your friends’ list who plays these kinds of games regularly.

This is how these small, sometimes single-person Mobile App makers end up raking in millions overnight. They know folks will pay to get ahead so…yeah. $2 for 10k Coins in Virtual Families 2 may not sound lime much profit but multiply that by 100k people per hour per day and you get the idea. What actually bothers me more is the “Tell your friends about us!” pop-up everytime you do complete a task or level up. Those are the worst since they’re effectively telling you to spam your friends’ Facebook pages in exchange some free virtual currency/resources.

DON’T do it. Best case they block the App itself but worst case they de-friend you. With all of the updates that have happened since I regularly used FB it’s much easier to filter what people want to be exposed to while using Facebook. And yes I have experiemced both.

…Anywho, yeah I’m pretty satisfied with my new toy. I can fit all of my music on it like I could with my Zune HD as well. One thing I will NOT do is repurchase all the Movies and TV episodes I bought via Zune/Xbox Live via iTunes. For one many of Anime are no longer available on both iTunes and Zune/Xbox Live. The other is it costs more on iTunes both in money and in Disc Space.

Here’s an example: I bought Les Miserables (2012) from Xbox Live in HD for $12 and was 2.3GB in size on my Xbox and 1.7GB on my Computers. In comparison, iTunes sells Les Miserables (2012) in HD for $15 and is a whopping 5.45GB! Why pay more when the competition sells the same thing for less? Makes no sense. Now granted that extra 2.22GB on the iTunes version is because you’re getting a bunch of extras (which XBL has started offering at no additional cost) including a DVD menu. Having made DVDs myself I know that adds size the presentation. Most people just want to jump right into the movie so…yeah.

I’ll be honest in saying there are a few movies I will buy a second copy of (via iTunes). They’re all movies I either own a physical copy of or they’re worth being able to watch on the go and I won’t buy them in HD.

As for weather or not I’ve changed my opinion of Apple because of my purchase, my answer is no. My iPod Touch is just a means to an end. I needed a dedicated portable music player and having figured out how to use my PSP Go Music Playlists in iTunes it was a logical choice. Speaking of my PSP Go, nothing happened to it other than I wasn’t playing the games I bought from the Playstation Network since I’ve been using my PSP Go exclusively as a music player.

Whew…went on a bit of a tangent there. I have this week off from work but I’ll speak more to that in a separate blog post.

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