CNET to the Rescue Ep. 31 Streaming media around your houseCNET's Donald Bell helps us get our audio and video files out of our computers and iPods and into our living rooms, where the good speakers are. Also, your questions answered, including how to stream audio from your phone over Bluetooth into your car.
Hi everyone I'm a human this is CNET to the rescue. I'm joined today by Donald bell and boom. -- -- today we're going to be talking about streaming your audio and video files around the house from your computer or your iPod -- iPhone. Or whatever the heck it is head and putting it into where you really wanna sit down and listen to and enjoy your music or maybe this is just an old fashioned thing that old guys like me do what we actually have. You know 1015 year old stereo -- -- the gigantic speakers that we like to use and maybe kids these days just wanna plug themselves into the world of shut everything off the island they love listening to mono files these that -- just anything is greedy. And compressed. And if there's something less than monolith advocate and they listen to it over -- speakerphone crappy send -- Half flow. It sounds like horrible air Baltic and these days -- igniting the payments anyway this is headed to the rescue or try to answer your tech questions and help you make the best -- of the tech you have in today's topic obviously is dealing with audio files around the home and he and you don't air balling -- That sounds horrible it's an uneven and that you're talking about taking -- making sound worse air -- is when they go when your -- watching movies little bit of tech trivia party here and we are. Not even the train has not -- the -- and we are already off the rails. Air bowling is as the technical movie term for. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Natural context that's called -- or something. So glad -- here -- OK moving on so if you have a question for us -- -- to the rescue you can email it to rescue at cnet.com or phone -- -- 28774386688. No question is too basic today shows -- that is about audio and video files and streaming them and let's get started with the big question. That I have. And I've experimented with which is I've got to -- music library share its. On my computer right I want to play it on my stereo I've got these 25 year old -- speakers which I love and I want this music. On these great stereo speakers with this great amplifier that I happen. What is the best way to get my music -- those speakers and elsewhere around my house without walking around plugged into my headphones all the time. Great question. Thank you. There's a couple of solutions one -- the the apps that -- Apple prescribes solution which is using their -- service which is if you've got the -- in iPhone and iPod Touch. You've got your iTunes on your computer you've got. IPad and you wanna get music from that device or from your computer and move to another. -- speakers or. Andy any experts -- -- basically -- your home entertainment and yet. So you'd use -- -- connection. -- sheet music over your home server not using Michael I'd go wireless Bluetooth technology but actually going routing actual digital. You know -- -- your server to that connected device. And then you've got it you know. What hardware doing it service so medium Apple TV. 99 dollars of that -- home theater system at the easiest way to get it on. -- probably -- -- -- -- speakers spoke. And they can also use something the cheapest ways to use. Apple's airport express them with -- you can -- as cheaply if you're if you really shop around and I get around. 6070 dollars yeah refurbish some money back. And that his works as like a little Wi-Fi repeater around your house has -- In a little mini Jack output -- and connect it to a pair of speakers so if you got a pair speakers that are located. And usually aren't located next to a wall outlet to plug this thing in there and and route -- RCA -- mini Jack connections year's speakers. That's another way that if -- not in the Apple unit yes. He gets -- mimic the Sonos system which as just amazing news. Critically reviewed wonderful ratings everywhere you go has most of rapidly loyal fan base -- fine for any product out there outside of Apple. And that is a system where you can find. -- get one you can get even just one little speaker. -- -- integrated system panel looks like a Bose sound knocking it system. Or just the little server box which is Kyle looks like a little item. On the lunch box -- And it can. Find you can connect the hard drive are connected -- -- your computer over I think programs like Winamp. Some of the compatible programs. And it will. Now it's junior year locally hosted music collection but also gives you access to rhapsody. -- Although any cat pandora any kind of stream team in. It's music subscription service or even just. -- -- -- -- Let me take a little side note here I have -- -- -- on loan from pope's -- spokesman review unit. I I think that's a fantastic product it is. Thank goodness that I could never buy that's an ungodly expensive it's less so now that you can you can use things like an iPod Touch to be the control interface seeking use their products -- -- you know happy. Get ads in bad guys -- gonna controller techno. Your right. So the thing about the sun if that's cool it's like a thousand dollars just -- basic -- and now it's only 800. So you get the Sonos S five which is the freestanding speaker yeah that's one of things you can also get a device that doesn't have a -- the plugs into your stereo button now of that device will stream audio from wherever and your network you have on your computer on -- server I have it on a server. Not the idea is just my music -- packed the park service treatment. But in order to do that you need to get the little bridge module which is another. At about 200 bucks now you only one of those upper house the great thing about -- knows. Is that if you want to do multiple zones you can set up like. You know and it's five in the bathroom you can have the fancy -- -- your stereo and in living room you have one in in your office whatever. And you can either have them all play the same music at the same time or haven't played different things and zone and you can control -- all from a computer and an iPad. An iPhone and iPod Touch all the same time or separately ranked -- it's incredibly versatile is reversals very easy to set up I love pandora on. Love it had a go at the others the other thing they do that's different in competitor has -- -- -- when the competitor which is Logitech squeezed by -- talk about that little bit. That's -- it that's I mean and it it's a great product. We typically around the office talk as the poor -- alternative styles. 88 years as Wi-Fi uses the same premise uses. Almost the same suite of services to get music around your house in. It it and it leverages your. And the wife playing -- home and Archie. Different things in house if not sophisticated -- the multi room use it doesn't have a a legitimate like app based control but there are things have been written for it that will do that -- -- -- based control on again but Andreas and I've IOS -- but. It doesn't use. The same mesh network technology that the Sonos system does which Wii Fit a lot easier to just hit the button. Pair with the other devices now and just let it. Unit do its thing not quite as intelligent. And easy but it's still pretty easy and -- get. Devices like -- little squeeze box media which kind of looks cute little retro radio. Thing that I think it probably close to 200 dollars and 79 dollars -- -- has little screen on it. It's a pretty cute little system but it's -- not Madea's. Robots really. -- I. I had -- Logitech bought. The companies the squeeze box that -- was -- -- whatever -- their original product was called the slim. MP3. I have one of my house it's now fancy alarm. A clock on top of my television I think I just took a picture in there Kelly he would start up the original slim. That was really fun it was a really awkward little interface he. But. That worked pretty well. Same same idea this this idea has been around for tenure threat will the other thing to talk to and -- -- the first suggests an airplane suggestion is that. To recognize that that's also Apple's solution going forward for -- video around your house I mean already you can get. Video off of your iPhone your iPad. Q television using like Apple TV solution. This anymore these airplay devices coming this year where this can be dedicated dedicated speakers that it uses -- -- -- protocol. We get. Music trying to homes he could have. In an Apple TV in your living room and you have a dedicated. You now airplay. Enabled speaker open year veteran and control it all from your from your phone and I -- outright -- that's pretty and it's it's the closest to. Some else's like multi room unit -- which are now wanted -- song I'm gonna play. You know which airplay thing you want it connected to rent -- your Apple TV or -- airplay speaker. And that's it that's pretty cool -- what would you recommend. Oh of that solution for talk -- other solutions. -- for most people I feel like that the coolest Baja is to get if you are adding iPhone users and allowed people -- -- are. To get that 99 dollar Apple -- hook up your home stereos -- -- set -- which is. Most my friends there home stereo home like that -- big. Speaker set up -- hook it up there and then it is kind of like this in the non magical thing where you'll open up your iPhone and then it sees it as an Apple TV there. And then you disconnect use -- -- you know airplay to. The Apple TV and that's a -- testament and and our solution yet and -- -- you're using your iPhone or iPod Touch you. And control with being played in years during this kind of wireless DJ and you -- -- about the range issues he would with Bluetooth. Right which is another solution for some of these devices to have. A Bluetooth. Just shoot it directly from the device to Bluetooth -- now before we talk about that. The one last solution that I do wanna mention for people have to keep those -- Tivo and that's might -- -- the Tivo can stream media off of not it's not as good streaming video art believe it or not but it's not bad for streaming audio and also -- -- -- -- player yet and if you have. -- in countries who has a computer up and running in the background most of time passed the time anyways you can use. Make these DL any connected device is -- -- -- -- boxers -- they're not kind of is easy to set up. If you already have when you -- to have one -- explicit posts talk about the the other solutions and not to stream -- the media around over the network but to stream it directly from that device you could of course gonna boombox -- you take -- -- iPhone or your iPod just plug -- in. That'll work and what would you recommend for boom boxes or what other. And boombox like technology -- -- I mean Indiana through the cool thing asks I can't almost the personas killing fame hey you know article that -- -- -- thing -- that. Now when you you look at an iPhone or Android device every single Internet -- music streaming service you can think of is on a used to be that the great thing about the sonus things yet this controller. And had all the services right there finally was so amazing that you keep -- pandora and rhapsody on the same device. And now it's a given on any kind of Smartphone you can have that it. -- and -- kind of buying. Logitech actually -- to make some of that the better affordable portable speakers. Out there there's the one that I gave an editor's choice to. Last year. S 715. I mean if you remember well is they as a portable docking speaker solution that sounds may. It's slim enough to put -- in house and that if you figuring out you know. You know getting big speaker systems and every rooming house he does have this in the UK with -- -- Ten hours of battery life. There you go now there's one other solution before we take a break and come back for your ads prettier -- happy everybody's gonna be advertising with -- before your questions. And that's the jam box which is a new little -- of -- with me. Now it's -- date. It's it's AM. It's a Bluetooth speaker system. What you think about that solution doesn't caucus the they can actually fit in your pocket I mean if you want to predict not if -- -- -- -- and happiness chunky blocks. That's sound baffling quote system especially -- beyond that didn't work with your phone -- for making calls. It's it's a very sophisticated solution that all the things that is how connects your Smartphone in as the noise canceling -- And actually using it in speakerphone mode with some -- -- get good sound now. Okay hey A does get pretty good sound for its size but it still at its there's only so many twists in the physics he -- connected to speak. -- down. There are some bigger solutions as a product called that sound freak. Sound platform I reviewed last year. That is one of the end I think -- -- just -- 200 dollars. And has Bluetooth capabilities with that remote control. Yet you are seeing more of the -- solutions. One thing with -- it is the one thing that's interesting that I've heard I had to courtesy yes and -- -- mention names but. That. A lot -- manufacturers that are on the fence between manufacturing. Bluetooth speakers that are gonna work with your iPhone or iPod or whatever you're. Years you know non Apple Bluetooth mobile product is. -- -- making Bluetooth speaker or making an airplay speaker yet. There is -- I heard there's some. The end of the powers that be an Apple -- don't want products can do both low interest thing. So if you're gonna get that airplay sanctioned stamp of approval from Apple you can't have Bluetooth. And -- Apple they made me want to be -- basically I think that's and that's that's rumor. Are right we -- gonna take a quick break when we come back -- -- more questions from you about streaming and converting and managing your audio and video files we are back. All right but -- okay so com. Before we get questions one last thing senior we -- technology for your iPod in about two based iPod docks. On those does that actually make any sense -- pure digital sound a converted analog in a -- that actually sound good. Yeah I am I ate it does and there's a lot of ways you could do it in a lot of ways to fake it can probably make some good money -- of misinformation to let down the I think if you're if you're doing something where you're actually taking -- Digital. Out button from a -- Apple device. And doing the conversion. In a separate piece of hardware and then running -- through. To -- pre amplifier and it could it could definitely warm up the -- make it sound critical I think there's a lot of ways to make that -- okay. Right so we have questions the first question is from chuck Jackson said after more than a bit of research and review I just purchased an iMac. There are the questions that he has -- this how do I move my iTunes library from my PC -- -- that'll PC to the iMac. And the other -- how to get my three G iPod Touch on to the Mac with the contents intact. After reformat the effect the first question here. Which is they couldn't find the answer to how I -- my iTunes right were from a PC to my Mac -- There -- Lots of ways to skin this cat -- I think one the most recent. And painless ways to do it is actually use the home sharing. -- Apple introduced with iTunes I believe last year and then we get multiple computers on your home network. And signing up at the same. Apple ID -- and then you can see the different libraries that this on different computers and if there are authorized to make the Chancery -- contrast here. You music collections video collections -- is married and from 11 computer together regardless of what alas that right so but this is now we're not talking here I I I use the home sharing thing and I know you can stream. From any iTunes machine to any other right -- -- where -- are things you can also. Transfer yes you can move your entire library over using home sharing you can interesting -- and you can also set things so that you know. Appears to be equalized -- -- iTunes specific purchases you make if you're making profiles that are purchased -- it okay. That's one solution yet a solution which I if if you're moving -- collection or you just. Really want to do it. You know -- -- -- files move and -- -- everything's coming along with because it's probably gonna be some restrictions on like. I think iTunes will show you IV and home sharing that they will show -- video and music files but in my eight scare. Trying to think of neglect the book purchase of -- something that. Or -- does not do such a great job of transferring over song ratings and not share. The get a way to do it before home -- that recommended is. You can actually. Go into iTunes on the PC. Go into years due settings -- can't settings button. And you'll see listings for what -- your library is. And for. Making sure that it's using iTunes organization to keep all the files and one. Place. And -- -- the file menu find a library and they'll be an option for. Consolidating your library and making sure it all together -- iTunes. I think this unique about iTunes that no other media. Organizer tool does. Is that it keeps a separate listing. For. The library in -- XML type foundries it lists how the actual file that's the iTunes library file is a small little. Database file and where has all of that -- the file names of all the files and has no library file -- to them and and all the meta data. Bird you know how many -- -- play the file -- file our path all that stuff and then has to separate actual folder it has all the media. Right so if -- just. There's lots of ways to go wrong with -- you just move the media over yeah you and then you lose all your metadata is all you visited lately it's all that -- -- this sounds like the database that I wrote when I was fourteen years all right it's like -- -- all files over here and you got all the you know the metadata over here and it all works great as long as nobody else touches it right. Somebody else comes a reason your computer move the -- the whole -- both -- and it's exactly like. You know but so other programs he might use like Winamp or media -- -- -- you might be using it basically will look at what you have and show you in. That the listing and -- representation of what it sees the way it's if you move the files out of iTunes and people -- before. And you open up iTunes is it just says like the files missing people that little exclamation mark next and the reason Apple -- this of course is because you get much better performance when you menace that the way. But you'd go -- of -- us anyway so don't get me on that there but anyway if there is there's also met these you can do where you can you can. Hold down the shift key in windows and -- opening iTunes and I'll give you -- little proxy where. You want to create a new library or do you want to open an existing library that's not located. In years your basic folder so that -- a get a hold down shift -- while your iPad and within in. I'm a Mac it's like the option key media key. Are -- command key and on and windows it's eagle on the shift key when -- -- iTunes and get this little dialogue. That'll -- you wanna create a new library file you want to open an existing library file. Or do you want quick. And it's one -- -- I -- I subjected to people who want to have like one separate iTunes libraries when that'll just have holiday music. And -- kind of have to separate iTunes libraries when it's gonna be here. Highlighting music library when -- -- That the music that everything by the holiday music you don't want to hear about the year. Let's move on here. -- internally and when your questions we have a few -- -- try to get to one or two more before we have to wrap up. I do isn't really could simply answer critical -- but it is the company's not your fault -- -- set to less I'm a musician and -- the growing collection of CDs and dvds have recorded concerts of mine. I'm looking for a way to manage this collection of files digitally and was wondering if -- have any suggestions. I love free and open source the open source solutions and ideal situation my mind would be a dedicated Linux box that was able to store files locally as -- that cloud service to a cloud service. So that I could have a backup. Also idea would be some way to categorize the files and embed lots of metadata sit down the road I'll be able to easily find and I'm looking port have any ideas. Yes its stuff what I'm. First of all and it's tough to find services or are or. Media tools that are gonna handle both audio and video very well written especially if you're looking for things that are free and open source that the list gets. Pretty small yeah so -- would you recommend them. As far as bringing in. I'm when I'm assuming it he wants the most pristine version -- wanna convert downed MP3 Mikey wants to replace the perfect copies of his. You know performances -- -- now and CDs or dvds on a shelf you have to get rid of that. Have at all in the exact same pristine -- be searchable be broken up -- track files. Etc. -- There is a tool if if a lot of these are our long. Long recording concerts concert recordings that are hours long. There's a tool. That recommend highly called cakewalk pyro audio creator of the -- tool is not an open source tool but -- -- the best -- out -- for taking in. I'd recommend to a lot people who are converting vinyl. I wanna go split up the tracks and -- them and get all that information easily get -- that but it's also really good if you just taking. Long. Wave file concert recordings and you want to be able to quickly break out. The selections and -- separate tracks -- them export them and manage them. That's one of its its specific to audio. There's also if your if your OK with going the route. Compressing files down to MP3 years -- -- high bit rate mp3. I mean there's lots of great MP3 Taggart tools out there there -- dedicated tagging tools. But a lot of the soft router that's there for media organizations -- can have some pretty advanced tagging capabilities. But down there's links here -- that would be typed in the show notes very download.com have MP3 tag tag scanner and -- community. Which are all recommend brand recommended to me from a Seth Rosenblatt you don't download -- my -- musician too and she am I taking concert recordings of -- and broken them up. And -- them using Windows Media Player now it's actually not bad for that particular purpose and then of course -- import into iTunes which is -- music leopard but Windows Media Player is not terrible at managing. And tagging. Audio files now and Winamp has another one that people. I mean -- they think of it they think of you know 1990s -- taking -- But is actually want to be the fastest most robust. Media organization tools that are out there right now that's not iTunes okay. -- Here's here's finishing and we would implement audio -- -- video here for a second. David says thanks from great -- in -- cutting into the shown -- recently. One thing -- never seen anywhere is a comparison of streaming players like roku Apple TV your boxy and a console like Xbox-360 or PS3. Can you please compare -- streamer like roku and Xbox-360 -- my wife and I just got cable and now we want to have the best inexpensive set up and not buy equipment we don't need. We have an Xbox 36 in the living room and an Internet connected -- -- of TV in the bedroom. Would you say. I mean. Yard he has two great options -- Xbox I have and expect only usually -- my solution for streaming Netflix and getting video. I think the best things going for a box like -- two is that it's kind of the best. Is not it doesn't have to pick a horse as far as the in the actual sweat when its reaches the stream and you know whereas. You're not gonna have an Amazon MP3 or Amazon streaming option on an -- -- -- -- -- -- have an -- to stick -- that. You know that that's good solution. Yeah yeah I mean I think pay. There's no and this is actually the one of the themes of CS CNET you know. Brian -- expo will whatever that they -- the next big thing. Was how there isn't you know. Consumers still want the box is gonna do all of them. And it isn't there I think the most flexible one out there right now is the -- to the brokers also of the -- the they have yet to nine dollar version of the night and it in like -- -- it's. It benefits I think the most from. Not having -- stake in the content that -- -- a friend of mine who is on. Roundtable at the show Jeremy Tillman -- or anything thing about. What do you. -- Internet connected TV or or do you get in a box like the roku or a box or whatever and his point which I completely agree with. Buy a monitor for your display. Can get the dumb it's the best TV -- you can but don't. Forget about the Internet. More bells and whistles from the Yahoo! connected this in this and they Google Latin get a TV and then for your -- -- Get a box like -- roku or a PlayStation or an Xbox or an Apple two year old or whatever get several if you want. And let that he needed the TV thing because if you have a TV and like most people you upgrade your TV every. 57 years -- -- -- -- going on twenty. Whatever content you have come into the TV whatever technology that is it's gonna be obsolete in two years. Against external box to do that now and with the TV -- -- TV. And I guess we'll device -- -- for a car navigation systems. That's been 2000 dollar -- car nav system get a 150 or Garmin. Yeah yeah that's -- they've done a great answer to covering all the bases for cutting the cable and getting all the content. Over the air with an antenna and like getting years your PC based DVR up in writing in and using Hulu on my computer in the -- and over here TVs in different solutions like. It's a mess and get it right now it's a mess and they want to be -- -- they don't want you did I mean none of them none of the companies really want and that could be as simple solution for it to cut it. I can't wait to cut it it's just so much money and I will gladly pay for the content that I. I calculated -- -- I was buying the content that I watch ala carte then I'd be saving about sixty bucks a month. Over the you know bucket cable plan I have yet anyway let's take one last question speaking of cars I love this question. -- -- -- Is it possible to get 82 DP audio streaming by connecting a USB Bluetooth adapter into my cards USB port. I want to stream my music and phone calls from an iPhone 3GS and packed into my 2009. Hyundai Sonata stereo. The question really is how to -- pair of the phone and the Bluetooth adapter. Now I asked Wayne Newton Wayne Cunningham -- Arctic editor and he says this. I don't believe what you're trying here will work the USB port in the Hyundai is designed to read the file structure of a flash drive and will only recognize music files. For iPod support -- uses a special cable audio coming into the aux Jack and iPod control functions coming through the USB port. This USB -- probably will not understand the audio input from the Bluetooth adapter and I don't think the 2009 -- head unit supports HTTP. Now he says he could get it Bluetooth adapter and -- there's one from Kensington here we have a link in the show notes that plugs into the cars aux port. And stream your music over car stereo through that. You only get volume control parts there -- controls -- meant that the battle you'll get I guess if you have a car. The has a USB port and or has an iPod port. You're not gonna get that wireless just plug it in and -- news that the stereo to control the volume in the tracks election but you can't do that wirelessly at least not yet. -- can be cool though is that he'd found a way to get the USB port to power. At least bit dated the Bluetooth dongle that plugs into your aux Jack -- that that that's the annoying part is via the Bluetooth. Little -- -- play in two years your aux Jack it will eventually be recharged. And I haven't seen platinum and try and bring back here and I think it could beat the convenience for -- But if you can get a solution that either recharge which they charge over the that sooner or later port or -- that maybe even the Bible. And are you listening car guys are builders make -- make it happen are right. We're at a time a doll thank you so much for coming in and schooling -- on media snow -- made them fat and you've completed the -- -- -- If you have to -- -- send them to rescue at cnet.com. Or leave a message. To the automated operator -- always standing by 877. 4386688. Donald where we find more of your good stuff we -- the MP3 insider blog -- -- is not -- If not well updated the used to be but -- -- my post on the crave blog. Android atlas had patents all that stuff. I'm all over the -- you -- and -- Donald on Twitter at. -- and I am rate. -- Wall Street Journal article but single name winners of the video and three. No they did mention me either and I work with -- -- there's Donald Brothers Josh and he rules -- her baby. Thanks for producing -- With the guys all actually -- it.