News Archive for: 7/5/2005 Tuesday's News
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Countdown to 500 Million iTunes store songs sold (w/prizes)/Live8 Performances at ITMS
Apple's news page has an iTunes Music Store Countdown to Half a Billion Songs:

" Music fans in 19 countries are clicking their way to 500 million downloads on the iTunes Music Store. To celebrate, the purchaser of every 100,000th song until iTunes Music Store sells 500 million will receive an iPod mini and a 50-song gift card. And the music fan who purchases the 500 millionth song will receive 10 iPods; a gold 10,000-song gift card for the music store; 10 additional 50-song gift cards to go with those iPods; and a trip for four to see Coldplay on its current tour."

They also have a note on Live 8 Performances at iTunes Music Store.
While on the subject, Matthew called to say some iTunes 4.9 users are reporting problems (library files/metadata issue) and reverting back to v4.8. I've not seen any here so far with v4.9 on 2 Macs. (Library looks ok, MP3 and ITMS songs appear ok/play ok, etc - although the few ITMS songs I have are on a 10.3.9 system, not Tiger.)

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EyeTV/Tiger user request for help w/Dolby Digital
" I own an EyeTV 300, and I tune to the mostly German Astra Sattelites. Mac OS is 10.4.1, EyeTV Sovtware 1.8, latest m-audio transit USB driver 1.6.1. (see previous page here of M-Audio (USB) Transit Feedback/Tips) Sound is decoded and amplified by Logitech's Z 5500

Everything works fine, exept I'm not able to get DolbyDigital. It worked with Panther, DolbyDigital passthrough worked perfectly. The Z-5500 displays the sound format (DD digital), so I'm very sure about that.

After upgrading to Tiger, EyeTV 1.8 and m-audio driver 1.6.1 (now works fine with DVD Player, DolbyDigital works) there is no way to get DolbyDigital from EyeTV. There is a menu item "digital output device", selecting it just gives me silence (Z5500: "no digital data"), no matter if I select the normal stereo track or the Dolby track from the EyeTV-recording. In Panther this would give me the DolbyDigital sound selecting that track, or silence selecting the normal soundtrack.

I asked Elgato's support, the gave me the following recommendation:

    " EyeTV should be set to use System Sound (from the Audio menu), and OS X to use the Digital output (in the System Preferences). Do not set EyeTV to use Digital output directly, or you could have problems (it can grab the output and hide it from other applications).

    Thus, set EyeTV to System Sound, quit it, restart your Mac, and see if that solved the problem."

Now I do have sound for both selecting the stereo or the DolbyDigital track - but the DolbyDigital track is mixed down to simple Stereo (Z 5500 display: "Dolby PL II", means ProLogic, thats the old surround format extracted from stereo.)

In addition, exporting a recording to programm stream, the DolbyDigital track disappears. This can be verified using the information window from VLC 0.8.2 test1. The original EyeTV recording does have the Dolby track. So burning EyeTV recordings to DVD results in loosing the DolbyDigital sound. This also was in former EyeTV versions.

Are there other users having problems with DolbyDigital sound? Or does nobody use it? Or do most people not notice that there is no DolbyDigital but just Stereo sound.
Regards, Matthias
(he later wrote)
We are now on EyeTV 1.8.1, still no AC-3 passthrough.
Elgato-support recommended not to use the digital output option but the system sound output, using the Transit USB as system sound output. Transit USB is working well for other apps (VLC, DVD player)"

I don't own an EyeTV personally but if any reader has a suggestion let me know.

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Report on EyeTV and iSight (disconnecting iSight helped)
" Just a quick comment - I'm runnng a 1.25GHz flat panel G4 iMac, and EyeTV 410. When I first plugged it in, the software would work fine and then give me "No Signal" afer 7-8 minutes, and I could only get the TV window back by unplugging the eyeTV box.
However, there was an iSight camera plugged into the other firewire port. I unplugged the iSight camera, and since then I've had perfect operation.
All freeview channels come in fine. Now it's working properly, as it has done now since removing the iSight camera, it's wonderful! Picture is great, TiVo functionality is very good - my first attempt at recording was 9 hours worth of Live 8 this weekend, and it worked perfectly. I'm impressed with the whole package
-Bill "

I asked Bill if the iSight had the latest firmware update for it (although it still may impact performance of some other FW devices) and just for the record, his EyeTV software version and OS X version. I've added his report to the previous page of EyeTV reports/tips.

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More feedback on M-Audio Transit 1.6.1 Driver/Tiger
I've updated the Transit feedback page with a Transit/Tiger (10.4.1) user that reporting problems with AC3 output. (Updated 3PM with a note on the problem solved.)
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Future Mac Support for Slingbox
Posting per a reader request - if anyone has any suggestions let me know. (Updated with notes that Mac support is planned.)

" I'd love to get some discussion going on the new SlingBox by Sling Media. The device allows you to place shift your cable TV so you can watch stuff on a remote computer. Check it out at
The problem (as is typical for us Mac users) is that the software needed to make it work is Windows XP only. I installed VPC 7.0.2 for the sole purpose of using this software. I got the device to work, but frame rates were horrible, even when hardwired directly into my router. I suspect that the VPC emulation simply can't keep up with the video stream.

I was hoping that someone could come up with a solution. Either a creative way to open the stream in a player like VLC, Quicktime, or even Windows Media Player for Mac.
As it stands right now, I'm out of luck. Any help out there?
- Ron
(I asked if he'd written Slingmedia about Mac support-Mike)
Yes, there is an ongoing discussion over at AVS Forums. So far, there is no set time frame for Mac support. I was hoping somebody could come up with an alternative solution to make it work (besides Virtual PC, of course). It is, after all, just a video stream. "

A reader also replied that they had plans for Mac support:

" Probably you've had multiple reports already, but SlingMedia does plan to support the Mac.

(a clip from
"In the coming months, SlingPlayer software will be available for select PDAs, smart phones, and Macintosh computers and will be fully compatible with the Slingbox. Please visit our support site for the latest information on additional Slingbox and SlingPlayer platform compatibility"

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Other Net News
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 12 new reports added this morning. (Entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 14,867 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHR-5239S (52x32x52x) in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)
    (problems noted)
  • IDE Samsung SW-252B (52x24x52x) in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)
    (problems noted)

    DVD+RW Drives:
  • IDE HP DVD Writer 400i in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Lacie D2 16x DL lightscribe used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3) (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support in 10.3.x. )
  • Firewire (cased) Lacie D2 used w/iMac G5 (OS X 10.4)
    (mentioned noise on audio tracks imported in iTunes from the drive)
  • IDE Liteon SOHW-832S in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support in 10.3.x. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)
  • IDE Panasonic SD-R5112 in G5 tower (OS X 10.4)
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-109 used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (Using Toast for burning. For iApps burn support in 10.2.x he'd need Patchburn.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support in 10.3.x.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in Beige G3 (OS X 10.3)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Toshiba 4025GAS 40GB in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (PB G3 Pismo illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD360GD 36GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches). For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database. (If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,986. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple G4/AGP OC report (Quicksilver G4/800 at 933MHz)
  • Giga Designs Dual G4 1.8GHz (7447A) in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 7)
  • Powerlogix Dual G4 1.2GHz in (gigabit ethernet) Dual G4 (rated 1)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand).

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System/Video Card Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
The Mac Benchmark/Game Performance database has been updated with Unreal Tournament 2004 Flyby and botmatch results at 1600x1200 from a Dual 2.3GHz G5 w/6800 Ultra card running OS X 10.4.
If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.
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Mac Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included a review of X2 the Threat. Total Reviews (all titles): 1231. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long list of titles, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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