AppleTV and HD

I just finished Eureka, in HD, on my TV. The shows are expensive, yes, but they’re quite lovely. The show was free, as are several other shows in Apple’s rollout of HD quality TV shows to go along with the movies. I know that several Battlestar Galactica fans are going to be happy that the first show of this season is also free in HD.

NBC is back with iTunes. I had a feeling the companies would kiss and make up. You can still get the shows like Eureka and BG at Hulu, but the quality just doesn’t compare. I figure I save the bucks by not having cable, UVerse, or the like—I’ll just get my shows ala cart.

I was a little disappointed today that the Apple show didn’t roll out any new computers. I had my heart set on getting a decent deal on a late model iMac or Macbook Pro. Now, I’ll have to wait and see what Apple rolls out in the Spring, and make do with what I have.

I may be doing it wrong, but I didn’t like the iTunes “Genius” at all. It kept pushing songs at me to buy. To me, that’s an annoyance, not a feature.

My iPod is still working, so wasn’t interested in the rest of the show. Sacrilege! Not want the Apple eye and ear candy!? I must be tired. However, I am glad that Apple is finally taking some of the “green” stuff to heart.

I did get the Genius to output several playlists. I’ll load them into my iPod tomorrow, and see how it did. Still, the ads for songs to buy are irritating.

Per Dave in comments, recommendation sidebar can be collapsed out of view. Much better.

When you download one of the HD TV shows, you also get the SD quality show. I have to wonder if this isn’t a direct shot at Amazon, which provides both the larger show for your TV and a mobile device version. Regardless, it would be nice if Apple provided an option to turn this off.

It would also be nice if Apple provided Amazon’s digital media storage, so that you don’t have to keep copies of the movies and TVs on your own external drives.

Lastly, this forum thread states that the HD tv shows are only in 853×480 resolution, but that sounds like the SD show. I have noticed that you can’t seem to buy the HD quality shows directly via AppleTV, but only through iTunes. I haven’t checked today to see if this has changed.

I’m only interested in purchasing shows for two series, so I’m not going to be adding overly to Apple’s coffers by going hog wild on HD TV shows. Well, unless Dr. Who also comes out with HD quality.

And according to this thread there is confusion about which version a person is buying. I noticed that the AppleTV lineup doesn’t seem to be keeping pace with the new iTunes rollout.

It does seem like you can only get the HD shows on your iTunes, and then sync them up with the AppleTV. Rather a pain, that. That’s an unusually clunky move on Apple’s part. I wonder if this is a signal that Apple is becoming


Josh Whedon strikes again

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I’m predisposed to like anything from Josh Whedon, but his newest, an online webisode show, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, is the cat’s jammies.

The 3-part show is hosted through Hulu, and can also be downloaded through iTunes. The first two shows are available, and the third goes up tomorrow. If you’re a fan of Firefly, keep an eye out for “Captain Hammer”, and you’ll see an old friend. However, everyone in the show is exceptional, including Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day as Penny, Dr. Horrible’s secret love, and, yes, that is Nathan Fillion as an outstanding Captain Hammer.

What an absolute treat. And to add to the enjoyment, also check out the fan site. But check the show out quickly, because according to the fan site, the freebie shows will end July 20th.

(via Doug)

Media SVG Writing


I’m almost ready to go live with the site. Right now I’m trying to create a custom Drupal theme from this site’s design. Once that’s finished, then we’ll be in business.

The image below was created by converting two bitmap graphics, the book cover and a painter’s easel, into one combined image using SVG–Scalable Vector Graphics.

Though the book cover image was large enough for my intended use, the easel wasn’t and using SVG allows us to resize images beyond the original and without pixelation. The combined image was sized to what you see here, and then re-converted back into a bitmap graphic, in this case a PNG.

I used Vector Magic to convert the bitmap images to SVG and Inkscape to convert back to the bitmap. Inkscape also has a bitmap trace function to convert from bitmap to vector (SVG), but I’ve not found it to be as good as Vector Magic for my purposes.

I received my inspiration for the drop shadowed clip art used in all of my sites from the old English/Victorian toy theaters. These wonderful creations featured static backdrops painted like a theater set, with characters that could be clipped or cut out from a book, pasted to a stick and then used to re-create a specific play. Ironically enough, toy theaters lost their popularity with the advent of television, itself endangered by the increasing use of the web to deliver video content. What goes around, comes around.

All is not lost for toy theater, though. Released last year and with a planned US release of this summer, a new movie adaption of Dante’s Inferno was created with modern theme and as toy theater. If your computer can swing it, select the HD trailer. Note that this trailer does have a mature theme.

For the more ambitious, a laptop framed in a toy theater box.