News Archive for: Friday January 12th, 2007 (later added items first)
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Apple kbase doc on iTunes -48 error during iPod (5G/nano 2nd gen) Syncs
One of Apple's updated kbase docs today is iTunes for Mac reports unknown error (-48) during iPod sync (5G and iPod nano 2nd gen) that has an odd fix noted. (Temporarily change OS X's Time Zone setting to PST, Restore your iPod, then change time zone setting back.)
While on the subject, I mentioned before here some other 'unknown errors' during iPod software updates that were fixed by disconnecting my USB mouse from the Powerbook. (Last year a couple readers with Powerbooks that had problems with iPod file copies noted a powered USB hub helped, although most users didn't see that problem.)
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EyeTV 2.3.3 User Switching Problems (and fix)
(Updated - within a minute of posting this another reader replied he'd seen the same thing - see below for notes on 2.3.3b with fix)

" I would like to elicit your readers feedback on the EyeTV 2.3.3 update. I have been using this excellent software for a long time to record and encode from a Miglia TVMini HD. Eyetv is used from one account of a DP2Ghz G5 (6GB Ram) to record and encode and is running all the time, while we switch into other accounts to do other things. Thus far that worked flawlessly.
However with v2.3.3 this is not possible anymore. User switching while EyeTV is running results crashing the application when you switch back.
Doesn't matter if the program is idle, recording or exporting. Took me a while to figure out that it was user switching because I was so used to it just working. Basically now you can't switch into other accounts while you do things in EyetTV and it can take many hours to encode HD content in H264. This is really a step back in capabilities.

Tech support just stated that Elgato never advertised user switching compatibility of Eyetv and expect it to do poorly with multiple users on the system. Anyway, I went back to 2.3.2 and things are back to normal.
I wonder if anyone else had similar experiences? What may be the reason that 2.3.2 and 2.3.3 behave so differently?
-H.R. "

I don't own EyeTV (never have) but if this is a common problem, I wonder if it's due to EyeTV 2.3.3 using files that are in one user's directory? (work/temp file, output file, prefs, etc. that are not in a shared or common location).
Update - another EyeTV user replied he'd seen the same thing and said a 2.3.3b version fixed it:

" Yup, exactly the same thing happens to me. The input in my case comes from one of the Terratec T2 plugin modules. G5 1.8DP with 1GB RAM. I'm assuming that you (H.R.) upgraded to 2.3.3 because of the audio issues in 2.3.2, (mentioned last fall here) - they also have a 2.3.3b which would seem to have none of either the sound or the switching issues. Maybe try that.
(I asked how he got the 2.3.3b version)
I contacted Elgato direct and they gave me a download link, alas I no longer have it and really should have kept it. It's just that 2.3.3 seemed to work so well I didn't think it was necessary to keep the beta. I think I had it for maybe two weeks before the official 2.3.3 came out. (I remember someone else mentioning having a beta just before the 2.3.3 public release but didn't remember the version number.-Mike)
CORRECTION, I have found it. It's called eyetv233b30.dmg, a 24.1MB file... I will see if I can upload it somewhere and make it available to other users.
Done it, this is the download link; (the folder is called MY Stuff and the dmg resides within) http://rapidshare.com/users/IXE6B3
Once there, the password is '33beta'
-Dwight "

"H.R." later wrote he tried the 2.3.3B30 version and that it did fix the problem:

" Confirmed, absolutely right: the beta EyeTV2.3.3b30 works with user switching while the released v2.3.3 does not.
Smooth encoding and recording while switching into other accounts. Hope Elgato fixes this with next release. Thanks Dwight.
-H.R."
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Comments/Questions on Apple TV Hard Drive/Storage
(from a reader mail - see below for updated comments on internal hard drive upgrade. Updated again at 4PM, Matt saying despite what one reader was told at the Expo, the official stance is no user internal drive upgrades according to several Apple Techs he asked at the Expo.)

"I was disappointed in the Apple TV's meager capacity of storage for the money. For $10 they could have put in a 120GB drive? No gigabit ethernet?
Hopefully someone can confirm soon whether or not the box will support external storage via the USB or ethernet connection. If this is already known, please advise?
Thanks, Scott"

I agree a larger drive would be nice. I suspect a 120GB vs 40GB would have been more than $10 difference, but at their OEM/QTY prices it wouldn't be near end user qty 1 prices. I guess to maintain margins it would have bumped the price by $50 or so and they wanted to have a $299 list max. (I'm almost surprised 40GB drives (even notebook ones) are still made anymore.)
I tend to doubt you could connect another drive (USB or NAS) for content to the AppleTV but not positive on that. (BTW - The AppleTV specs page notes USB 2.0 port "for service and diagnostics".) However the Apple TV Sync page notes you can stream from the computer if you want - See 2nd paragraph:

"Apple TV streams as well as it syncs, so you can pair up to five additional computers and let friends and family stream their iTunes libraries to your TV. Apple TV stores up to 50 hours of video, ready to watch when you are.
And if iTunes is still syncing what you want to see - or if you don't want to sync at all -- you can watch a stream from your computer right away."

When these ship anyone that gets one should write in about playback performance in that mode. I also wonder if users could upgrade the internal drive or if it has some proprietary format or code on it, although tivo users got around that in the past. (Update - see below for later comments on internal drive upgrades.) I wish they had more codec support also. Always seems like every new product has some features missing (that may or may not be in a 'rev b'...). I feel like iTunes is an island almost as far as 3rd party hardware (although the anti-drm folks always seem to have workarounds...)
Update - a reader replied to this post saying he was told the internal drive can be upgraded. (But a later reply disputes this.)

" In response to the Apple TV hard drive size and whether an outboard hard drive could be used (or upgrade the internal drive), I asked a technician from Apple at MacWorld if I could open it up like a mini and upgrade the hard drive, the persons response was yes you could. (she even talked about using the putty knife like you would use to open a mini...)
I will be doing so when mine arrives and will report on the success or failure of the mission! I should be able to clone the hard drive and expect no issues. Will see!
-Jim C. "

I hope that's true (sometimes what you're told isn't always 100% correct). I asked Jim if he was told it was a 2.5in SATA drive (like used in Intel-CPU Mini's and MacBook/Pros) or if it was a 2.5in ATA/IDE drive. (I'd guess SATA.) A reader thought it might be a 1.8in drive like the iPods but I'd not think so (more expensive per GB, slower, less mfrs to choose from)
NOTE: Matthew called around 4PM eastern today to dispute the above, saying he asked several Apple techs at MWSF and all said the AppleTV's internal drive could not be user upgraded/replaced. (Officially 'no user serviceable parts inside') Officially the same thing applies to the Mac Mini although readers (many times) have upgraded drives and even CPUs (Intel Mini has a socketed CPU). But I wondered if the AppleTV hard drive had some special format or firmware, etc. on the drive. (Although owners of TiVos for instance found ways to upgrade the hard drive, no idea on the AppleTV at this point. Time will tell once they ship.)
Matt also said they confirmed what I had mentioned earlier, that the USB 2.0 port on the Apple TV is for "service and diagnostics" only. (This is listed on the AppleTV specs page .)
BTW - Matt said his Apple store order confirmation for Apple TV said it will ship by Feb 28th/delivered by March 6th. Jim later wrote his order showed a Feb. 26th ship date.

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5G Video iPod Hard Drive Upgrade Guide
I had someone ask about upgrading their iPod video 30GB drive to an 80GB model recently. I've not done this personally but remembered iFixit's guides - here's their iPod 5g part replacement guide main page and 5G Hard Drive replacement guide. Ifixit also sells parts, but their current price for a 60GB drive is $199.95 (didn't see a 80GB drive). Here's another source of a iPod 5G Video HD replacement guide and they had 80GB drives listed at $160-$168 as of today. I've not checked to see what other street prices are on the 80GB or possible larger capacity drive swaps. A new 5.5G iPod 80GB lists for $349 - not sure how much a used 5G/30GB iPod video would fetch to compare selling/buying new vs upgrading the 5G model.
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Apple posts MWSF 2007 Photo Galleries, Ads, QT videos
Apple's MW2007 coverage is a page with links to several Photo Galleries, Keynote videos, Ads, product announcements and industry reaction.
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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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