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CNET video podcast on Touch/iPhone

by ktreb / July 27, 2008 2:00 PM PDT

Is anyone having playback issues with CNET video podcasts on their iPhone or iPod Touch with the 2.0 update? I have the Touch which I updated to 2.0 on July 12.

Ever since the update, if I stop a CNET video podcast and then go back to it later, the audio and video don't sync up right. When I mean stop, it's not just touching stop then starting back up immediately. I mean stop, then going back to menu or home screen, then going back to the video and trying to take up where I left off. The video starts playing where I left off but the audio starts from some point earlier. I don't have any problems if I play through without stopping. The first time I noticed it was for the 2 hour CNET Live and I've seen it on subsequent CNET Lives, Buzz Report, Today in Technology History, CarTech and BOL Video. It appears that the videos that were done at/after the 2.0 update are affected. I don't have any issues with the ones done before then nor do I have any issues with non-CNET podcasts (Tekzilla, popSiren, Happy Slip). Everything plays on 5th gen iPod just fine. I haven't had a chance to see if Loaded or other video shorts not mentioned do this too.

I'm just putting this out there to see if anyone else has this issue. Someone in the mp3 players forum did, but I haven't heard of anyone else. I don't even know if iPhone users are affected.;posts#2816055


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by Nicholas Buenk / July 27, 2008 6:39 PM PDT

Some issue with the encoding software CNET is using and 2.0 iPhone OS I guess.
No other podcasts have this issue for me but every CNET one does.

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by raygun01 / July 28, 2008 1:10 AM PDT

Yes. We became aware of this issue shortly after the iPhone/Touch 2.0 software was released. Seems to be something with the way our videos are encoded on our end.

We are working on the solution. Sorry for any inconvenience in the meantime. It really stinks that they are all performing this way.

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(NT) Thanks, Jason!
by ktreb / July 28, 2008 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Issues...
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Thanks for the update Jason
by CPUWiz / July 31, 2008 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Issues...

I hope the fix happens soon as cnet videos are what I watch the most on my ipod touch. Keep the great work you do at cnet.

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thanks for the update
by sizemoresr / August 4, 2008 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Issues...

Hope this gets resolved soon. It makes watching cnet video podcasts on my iPhone a lot harder.

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Yep same here
by davviau / July 28, 2008 9:23 AM PDT

Hadn't realised it was just CNET videos though.

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it may not be limited to CNET
by ktreb / July 28, 2008 1:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Yep same here

Someone in the mp3 players forum noted that he has problems with Ask A Ninja.

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same problem
by snu_d / August 4, 2008 12:28 AM PDT

having the same problem..
any ideas on how to solve this conundrum?
any iphones/ipod touches on 1.1.4 or 1.1.5 having the same problem?

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by alchemistmuffin / August 11, 2008 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: same problem

Here's a quick method to solve this issue...

Using Quicktime Pro, select export to iPod or iPhone....

This way, the audio syncs when fast forwarding, and rewinding....

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Can you do this CNET?
by CPUWiz / August 11, 2008 5:33 AM PDT

I love watching CNET but I think Cnet should to do this and not me. So, how about it Jason can you do this for CNET fans that use the ipod touch?


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good idea
by ktreb / August 11, 2008 3:41 PM PDT

But I used Videora iPod Converter since I don't have QuickTime Pro nor do I want to pay for it. $30 isn't a whole lot of money, but free is better. Videora is available on

I just converted last week's CNET Live from .m4v to .mp4 and I can now play it on my Touch without any of the problems I previously encountered. It wasn't too painful of a process. It took about 10-12 minutes to convert the 27 minute video.

It's not perfect. The file size is a lot bigger, by over 3x. The original CNET Live was 124 MB and the resulting file was 424 MB. Since I delete these soon after viewing, for me it is a small price to pay. You can probably play around with the settings to get a smaller file size. I just kept it at my defaults for the Touch. And there is a little bit of lag when you either stop the video/go back later as well as forwarding and rewinding. The video has to catch up with the audio. You hear the audio first and then see the video fast forward to catch up with the audio. But it does catch up quickly and they do end up snyched. And it is kind of amusing watching Tom (or anyone) in fast forward.

Videora is a good alternative to paying for QT Pro until the CNET TV gods encode their videos so that everyone can play them on their PMPs.

To update my original post, it appears that even older CNET videos have the same problem. I thought it was just the ones done since the update. It may have been my imagination that they worked fine.

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in itunes
by mementh / August 12, 2008 9:58 AM PDT
In reply to: good idea

right click and select convert to Iphone/Ipod format.. and it will for free.. no quicktime needed!!!

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While this is true
by DaveBinM / August 12, 2008 11:21 AM PDT
In reply to: good idea

and Mementh is right about being able to do it in iTunes 424MB is a LOT to download as a podcast. For those of us on metered bandwidth (which 99% of us Australians at least, I'm not sure about the rest of the world), that's a hefty amount. I only have 12GB a month at 1.5Mbps, so it's a pretty decent chunk of my usage, for one episode. (Mind you, that's why I only watch the shorter video podcasts, like Loaded).

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I forgot about iTunes
by ktreb / August 12, 2008 1:58 PM PDT
In reply to: While this is true

One big d'oh! I forgot iTunes did that. Even better then.

I wouldn't dream of having people download the huge file that results from the conversion. I meant for people to do it on their own for free with Videora. Then Mementh pointed out iTunes does this, so no additional software is needed. But Videora seems to be at least 25 percent faster. But I suppose that depends on your computer.

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it IS but....
by mementh / August 12, 2008 3:15 PM PDT
In reply to: I forgot about iTunes

It is faster but it is in essence a hacked together version.. it sometimes gets things wrong because you can set diffrent code rates and such. but you get a super small file.
whereas Itunes doe a default MPEGtype conversion which is very large and unweildy.

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Yeah, I can see people converting things
by DaveBinM / August 12, 2008 7:58 PM PDT
In reply to: I forgot about iTunes

themselves, but it'd just be better if CNET's version worked (no offense intended Jason! I love what you do)

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of course
by ktreb / August 13, 2008 2:43 AM PDT

I would also like them work without conversion, but it is an option for iPhone and Touch users until they work out the encoding.

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by Stkxppro / August 15, 2008 4:05 PM PDT
In reply to: of course

Hello. I just bought an iPod touch today and I am extremely angry that this issue has not been resolved becasue I am a huge CNET fan and would really like my downloaded CNET podcasts to play proplerly on my iPod touch. Jason if you see this please respond with a fix or when you think there will be a fix for getting CNET podcasts to play properly on the iPod touch with 2.0 software. Thank you very much and hopefully this issue is resolved very quickly.

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itunes conversion not working
by snu_d / August 18, 2008 4:34 PM PDT

guys...i did the itunes conversion and uploaded the new file to my touch..
still got the same problem...i think ill try videora and see if that works

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Nokia N95
by walkin007 / August 19, 2008 3:01 AM PDT

Subject says it all!!

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CNET video podcast issue for Touch/iPhone
by ktreb / August 22, 2008 4:35 PM PDT

It appears to have been fixed. I'm not sure when this happened, since I just tried it out a little while ago. I haven't tried CNET Live yet, but I have tried the newest episodes of Buzz Report, Insider Secrets, CarTech Video, Crave, and Loaded (Thursday's episode) and they all work. I only had 1 video left from last week, an Insider's Secret, that didn't work so it probably happened sometime this week.

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I think it's fixed
by Stkxppro / August 22, 2008 10:43 PM PDT

yes I too think that the videos are fixed. I began noticing this after upgrading to the iPhone 2.0.2 software.

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It's Working
by CPUWiz / August 23, 2008 4:33 AM PDT
In reply to: I think it's fixed

I noticed the videos were working after my firmware update also. Looks like it was an Apple problem and not CNET's. I am happy!

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I'm not so sure...
by ktreb / August 23, 2008 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: It's Working

That it was because of the firmware update, but it did coincide with it. CNET videos from last week still don't work. If it was the firmware update, I would have expected them to work. I have a few that are older, like the Donald Bell's Lasonic Boombox review that don't work either.

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