Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lifestyle changes due to Apple

Although to my generation of friends it seems to them that I'm the first to adopt a new product but I am actually a little behind the times. It is only recently that I have untied the ropes that bound me to my desk and it was in part thanks to my iPhone.
Several years ago, I untied myself from a land line phone by redirecting all calls to my cell phone and subsequently canceling my land line once everyone was aware of my new cell number.

Canceling my cable subscription was my next step as the internet provided all my cable needs. Today, NetFlix supplies all the movies that I want to watch for only $8/month.

Like most of my peers in my generation, I was at the point where I don't like change especially when a product like my old HTC touch windows mobile cellphone, had served me well for three years; the old motto of why pay more for something you don't need. However it was old tech and it was because of the 320x200 screen that made me hesitate to accept email or browse the internet on the device. When my contract ended on December of 2010 that I decided that I would take a leap of faith to the iPhone since the iPad had proven itself to be a usable product.

So today's blog is about how my work habits has changed.

In the past, as a photographer, I would write down my assignments on a small pocket book calendar, scribble notes on a large notepad and if I had to travel to my assignment, I would google the address, then print out the directions.

Today on my iPhone:
1. email received with date, time and address for assignment.
2. tap on date-time to add event in calendar
3. tap address to search google maps
4. sync with Mac to ensure backup of calendar.

Everything is on my iPhone including calendar, notes, contacts and addresses; if I were to lose my iphone, all this info is on my desktop and sync'ing a new iphone to my desktop will restore everything including my apps.

I hardly use my desktop computer with exception of photoshop for photos and the occasional blog.

My server provides an iTunes home share for sharing with my Apple TV; selecting, converting and adding new movies can all be done via my iphone. Torrents for new movies are all done via RDP (remote desktop protocol) via iPhone/iPad to my torrent program running on my server.

Air video also allows me to stream any movie in any format from my server to my iPhone or iPad as well as converting any movie (mkv,avi, wvm) to Apple TV format.

I can watch a netflix movie on the Apple TV, pause the show and resume watching the same movie on my iPhone/iPad.

In addition, I can upload a movie to my iphone and air share the movie from my iphone to the Apple TV. Music on my iphone/ipad can be air shared to my apple TV with a simple tap. This seamless portability was only a dream a few years ago but is now a reality with the apple products.

Although it may be true that the Android line of products may provide similar seamless portability, Android is still in its development infancy. For example, Netflix is still being develop as of this writing, as well as TomTom voice navigation is still not available on Android.

In addition my iphone/ipad can control Apple TV remotely thus the idea of having distributed media clients around the house is now a reality where music/movie sharing is now possible using wifi-n and remotely controlling all the units.

I've defected over to the Apple camp for a good reason and thanks to Apple my lifestyle has completed the final change and I have settled in.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movies on the Go

Recently I signed up for Netflix on the Canadian Side and the reason that I state Canadian Side is according to the internet our choices of movies is much less then our southern U.S. Cousin due to copyrights, which I am unable to verify since I am redirected to the Canadian site due to my IP. Although I could use a proxy, just to check out the selection, it is best that I don't torture myself.

Despite the slimmer pickings, Netflix is still what we have been waiting for since the delivery of the home PC; a library of movies at your fingertips on demand.

In order for companies like Netflix to work is that you must remember that that these are not the most current releases of movies. In fact the latest movie is about 6 months old and some of the more popular movies like Avatar is not yet available although the icon is up for display. "When Harry met Sally", "Back to the Future", all my old time favorites are also not available.

Now I do have the DVD's for these and they are part of my private collection for home theatre viewing. So it isn't that I am dependent on Netflix for all my home theatre needs.

Netflix works on a plethora of devices and certainly my iPhone, iPad and my most recent purchase, Apple TV, all work without a hitch. I can have up to 6 authorized devices on my account and resume watching any movie on any device. Thus I was getting sleepy watching a movie on the couch, I resumed the same movie on my iPhone and headed to bed. Since I fell asleep before the movie ended, I continued watching on my computer this morning while I answered my mail and posted this blog.

At Wendy's, I was able to scroll through a large selection of movies and simply picked an older movie for entertainment while I devour my evening meal.

There are movies that I definitely never want to watch, but the choices are there and since it is unlimited, someday I may choose to catch up TV shows such as Weeds, Chris Angel and much more.

Although the movie quality is 720p and at times depending on the bandwidth such as my IPad 3g, the quality dropped down to a pixelated mess, the movie was still watchable. At home, through Wifi N, I am able to get a consistent 720p with 5.1 surround sound on certain movies.

Netflix for $8 a month augments my meager home theatre selection and it the freedom to watch unlimited along with a library that is bigger then mine that makes Netflix a nice addition to my array of Apple entertainment products.

If you want blue-ray 1080p quality, netflix is not for you, but if you simply want to watch a quick movie, no download times, then netflix could be a nice addition to your tv selection.