Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Netflix prices, new Google Translation visual translation languages, Prime Day competitors, a Samsung pencil, a Sony foldable phone, and more.
Barbara in Fairbanks, Alaska listens on AM970 KFBX and asked: “My dad just turned 95 and has a lot of cassette tapes and we wanted to put them on disk. There are 7 of us kids and we panted to put it on some kind of media so we can share it. What would be the most expedient way to do that?”
Barbara, are these video cassettes? If so, there are some options you can consider.
For example, there are some DVDs that will read a VHS tape and burn it into a disc, and there are some USB devices that will plug into your computer a let you rip a VHS tape.
Both are much, much harder to find now than they were some years ago, and they both suffer from the same problem: you have to play the tapes in real time. That means that transferring just a few tapes will take a very, very long time.
For a task like this you may be better off getting it done by a pro. It will cost you money, but the software you’ll need to get around paying for the service costs money too, and it will require a lot of personal time.
Companies that do this can also EQ the audio to try to make it understandable and generally improve the image sometimes.
It usually ends up being a better overall deal than taking care of it yourself.
Chad in Webb City, Missouri listens to the podcast and asked: “Chris and Dave, I have a question, I just purchased a new hp pavilion laptop and I need to know how to transfer my information from one to the other, the easiest way to do it. If you can help me with that I’ll appreciate it. And if you send me anything, I would like to ask for the viper smart start for my son, he’s a kidney dialysis patient and temperatures really bothered him it would really be nice.”
Chad, Microsoft had a tool for just this purpose called Windows Easy Transfer.
Unfortunately, Microsoft discontinued it, but luckily for you they partnered with a company called Laplink to provide you with new software that does a similar thing. It’s called PCMoverExpress, and not so luckily for you it costs $45.
If you’re logged into both machines using the same Microsoft account some data like WiFi networks will transfer automatically, but for your programs or files, your best option to move them for free is probably to move them manually.
We haven’t found any good software that does the transfer for you and doesn’t cost extra money.
Joe in Gladewater, Texas Listens on KTBB and asked: “I was wondering if there was a way to download audio files from various websites to save for later on my iPhone?”
Joe, it depends on whether those files are meant to be downloaded. Your iPhone can store and play audio files not just from iTunes or services like Spotify, but also from just random MP3s that you can store in folders.
The problem is going to be finding a website that won’t hide their files and make them inaccessible for download. If the files are freely downloadable, there’s not much to it, you can store them wherever you’d like and then play them by finding the files in the Files app and tapping on them.
If what you want to know is whether you can download files that are hidden behind a player of some kind, the answer is usually no, but that’s by design by the websites that host them.
Norma in St. Cloud, Minnesota listens on KNSI and asked: “I enjoy your program, I’m a fairly new smartphone user and senior citizen. And I have a question regarding my DVR, I rent it from a local cable company but I’m limited and I can’t record as many programs as I would like and I’m wondering if you have a recommendation and how do I know if it’s compatible with my cable company. Thank you”
Norma, to be honest, there aren’t many out there anymore.
Other than TiVo and maybe Samsung, you’ll be hard pressed to find names you recognize that are still making DVRs for cable viewers.
In fact, we’ve had an easier time finding over-the-air DVRs than cable DVRs recently.
Part of the reason for that is both cable watchers and cord-cutters have largely both moved to streaming content. Even if you pay for cable, on demand is basically a DVR that takes up no space and doesn’t have a recording limit.
Your best bet may be to move at least part of your library to on demand or other types of streaming. At least popular TV shows and movies will likely be available, freeing up a lot of space for local content or the rare few things that are not available to watch on demand.
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