Where is TiVo Transfer?

Roxio recently released an update to Toast Titanium 8, which includes, among other things, TiVo Transfer, the officially-sanctioned application for using the TiVoToGo feature of a Series 2 or Series 3 TiVo with Mac OS X. This application is used to move recorded shows off of your TiVo and onto your Mac, where you can play them back, convert them for viewing on your iPod, or archive them to DVD, etc.

The thing is, when I downloaded the ~175 meg update, and opened the disk image, there were five updated applications, but none of them were the updated TiVo Transfer. WTF?

Turns out you just need to run the main Toast application, and use the Extras menu to activate TiVo Transfer. The updated application will be written to the same directory as Toast.

Announcing Aldo on TiVo

Instead of working on updated versions of my instructions for importing audiobooks into iTunes, I have instead branched out, adding a new section covering a new topic. Announcing Aldo on TiVo!

Currently there is only one article in the section, Playing BitTorrent Downloads on a TiVo Series 3, reflecting a new trick that I figured out for my TiVo, namely downloading video from the Internet and playing it back, in high-definition (HD). It’s not nearly as easy-to-use as iTunes and an Apple TV, but it does work, and with the much wider variety of video content available on the Internet, something that iTunes can’t handle.

Playing BitTorrent Downloads on a TiVo Series 3

The article covers installing and configuring TiVo Desktop software on your computer, downloading video from the Internet using Miro, converting it to a TiVo-compatible format with VisualHub, and transferring it to your TiVo for playback.

Currently the instructions are Mac-only, but a reasonably savvy person could easily figure out how to use them on a PC, with slightly different software (pointers are given in the article).

Five reasons Apple should license FairPlay

I have some very specific, personal reasons why I want to see Apple license their FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) system to other device makers; I’ll publish those later this week. Here I want to lay out a logical argument for why Apple should do this, in their own best interests.

  1. Running into the wall of customers’ other (non-Apple) devices slows sales. Requiring people to give up things they like is more likely to lose sales than to convince them to buy new Apple stuff.

I’ve spent more than $400 on the iTunes Store, but I stopped buying FairPlay protected tracks 10 seconds after I realized they wouldn’t play over my new Sonos music system. And I won’t buy movies or TV shows from the iTunes Store because they can’t be played over the network via my TiVo.

I’m not going to buy an AirPort Express or an Apple TV for the privilege of buying content from the iTunes Store. Those devices do not work as well as my Sonos and TiVo, not even close. Instead, I’ll simply buy CDs, and keep my basic cable and Netflix subscriptions.

  1. Apple is going to have to do it eventually. Too much success means lawsuits and government action, neither of which is good for business.

With the success Apple has had with the iTunes Store, they have or will reach a level that some will consider a monopoly. That in turn will bring consumer lawsuits and government intervention. It’s already happening in Norway, the Netherlands, and other European states. There’s a U.S. iTunes lawsuit, too. This is a headache Apple doesn’t need.

  1. Apple is going to have to do it eventually. Too much success will turn the competitive market into “everyone but Apple.”

This happened to Microsoft. “Everyone but Microsoft” is constantly trying to make effective alliances, and constantly showing up to testify in lawsuits (see the previous item). While it hasn’t lead to Microsoft’s downfall, it has added drag to their momentum.

The efforts of Apple’s competitors have to date been pretty laughable, but when their current partners, the record companies, start saying they might consider selling music without DRM attached, it’s not because they’re happy with the status quo. Apple is so successful at selling music right now that Apple is in the driver’s seat, and that’s not something the recording industry has historically been good at accepting. At some point, “desperate times, desperate measures” will apply. And when your partners start conspiring against you, you’re fucked.

  1. Apple is apparently already doing it.

Apple has apparently already licensed FairPlay to NetGear. A step in the right direction. There is a rumor this is the first of many.

  1. People will like Apple more.

Customers. Partners. The market as a whole. Yeah, this is kind of touchy-feely, but if Apple opens up FairPlay voluntarily, before they are forced to, it will generate goodwill and positive buzz, and in the Internet age, that can spread pretty far and wide. Remember that the iPod didn’t start out as an iconic device, and a large part of its spread and success came from the same people who will be happy to see FairPlay opened up.

Stop Stealing Feed

Not too long ago a big media executive whined about how people who used TiVo were stealing. I love my TiVo, and I skip stupid commercials, so I guess that makes me a thief. There’s a way to stop all this larceny: make better commercials.

Not too long ago a big media executive whined about how people who used TiVo were stealing. I love my TiVo, and I skip stupid commercials, so I guess that makes me a thief.

There is an antidote to that, for the networks and their advertisers. Stop showing stupid commercials. Show good ones instead. A new Honda ad is a great example. This commercial is so good, the opposite of skipping it is happening. I’m recommending it here, and in e-mails to friends. And I’m not the only one.

So stop your stinkin’ whining, Mr. Kellner, and start turning out stuff people want to watch.