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Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Wii Transfer - iTunes Music Library on Your Nintendo Wii

Friday, July 6th, 2007

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I scored a Nintendo Wii a few weekends ago. Between Wii Sports Boxing sessions with Paige, my 3 year old (we each won a match), and throwing out my neck driving and putting in Super Swing Golf, I realized that I could use the Wii to send my digital music collection to the living room stereo. We’d been missing music upstairs in the kitchen/dining/living room area. I had even been considering getting a second Airport Express, especially since their price reduction, to handle music in the living room.

To my surprise the Wii can stream music through its Internet Channel. A buddy at my day job recommended Wii Transfer by Riverfold Software to handle this task. Wii Transfer gives you access to both your iTunes music library and iPhoto albums through the Wii’s Opera browser. It can also transcode video files to a format the Wii can understand when copied onto an SD card and viewed through the Photo Channel, and backs up game saves.

Wii Transfer works as advertised though it has some annoying limitations (though some may be the Wii’s limitations):

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Popularity: 55% [?]

Hercules Wireless iTunes Controller - PSP Replacement?

Friday, March 30th, 2007

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My Sony PSP frustrates me. As a long distance remote in my listening room for my iTunes upstairs, it can be very slow when loading Coverbuddy/iTunes album art web pages. I have to wait for all the little album thumbnails to load on the page before I can pick the album I want and I guess because of the PSP browser’s poor caching every bit of the UI loads fresh including the play and skip buttons. The PSP/Coverbuddy combo is almost free so I put up with its clunkiness.

In moments of frustrated weakness, limited gadgets like the Hercules Wireless iTunes Controller look very attractive with its simple monochrome text display and scroll wheel:

Hercules Wireless iTunes Controller: The Hercules Tunes Explorer Wireless is yet another USB wireless iTunes remote control, but with a twist. It integrates a small back-lit LCD screen which ‘displays the song titles, play lists etc’ and so allows you to ’select your music without having to go to your computer.’ It has a side mounted thumbwheel for scrolling and since the device is RF and not infra red it is not limited to line of sight. I can imagine this could be a very handy little device for controlling your den computer from the bedroom, for example (provided of course that it’s compatible with the Airport Express).

The Hercules Tunes Explorer Wireless is €49.99 (~$65) and is PC as well as Mac compatible.

[Via Playlist]

I’ll stick with my PSP for now, but if you don’t have any iTunes remote the Hercules could overcome the feat.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog.)

Popularity: 21% [?]

Embarrassing Video of Me Playing Wii Boxing

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Fuzzy just posted this video he shot of my co-worker and I Wii Sports Boxing during the office holiday party. I’m pretty sure the dancing doesn’t help your avatar get back up from a knock out, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m the spaz closest to the camera in the brown sweater. Enjoy.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Cute Toddler Moment - Fishing with Link at the Nintendo Wii Kiosk

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Paige (and I) need a Nintendo Wii. Fortunately, for my pocketbook, none are available.

Nintendo has a six Wii strong demo kiosk strategically placed behind the children’s playground at my local mall. We passed it while wandering around the mall after Paige’s visit with a real-beard Santa (who thought she was telling him she was a good girl instead of really asking him for Groovy Girl dolls). After lunch, Beth, my wife, and I split up so she could shop for baby boy clothes at H&M and I could take Paige to play Wii Sports Boxing.

Rounding the corner to the kiosk, it looked like a large crowd had formed but they evaporated by the time we got there (it was hard to tug Paige past the play area). I asked the Nintendo rep if he had Boxing (I wanted to recreate this video of a spastic toddler with the right hook, left jab and fancy footwork). We followed him to the other side of the kiosk but Boxing wasn’t loaded on any of the machines (I think the Wii’s had weird demo discs with limited features).

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Popularity: 15% [?]

iTunes 7 Breaks My PSP+Airtunes Setup - Airfoil to the Rescue

Monday, November 13th, 2006

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I knew I shouldn’t have upgraded to iTunes 7.

Now when streaming music to my Airport Express from iTunes 7 it takes forever to switch to the next song and worse it will just stop playing randomly. iTunes will actually get stuck at the 0:00 of a song and when you toggle play and pause it skips to the next song still stuck at zero. I have to quit iTunes at the MacMini to get the signal back to the Airport Express. None of the dot updates have helped.

So is my PSP/Airtunes Dance Party over?

Continue reading iTunes 7 Breaks My PSP+Airtunes Setup - Airfoil to the Rescue

Popularity: 19% [?]

In the Groove Arcade Kids On My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 31st, 2006

The handrail behind the DDR and In the Groove arcade dance pads have always confused me. I've really only seen YouTube video of kids salsa dancing with them and the handrails never came into play. Was it there for safety? How could you use it and still see the screen?

I got my answer to the mystery handrail last week on vacation in the Cape Cod Mall FYE arcade. My daughter, father-in-law and I were passing the time in the arcade while my wife and her mom shopped for maternity and baby boy clothes. My father-in-law played a soccer themed pinball game while my daughter and I watched over his shoulder. My daughter got restless after he hit 65 million points and we moved on to pretending to play driving games. While hopping from one Initial D bucket seat to another I spied the DDR action.

Continue reading In the Groove Arcade Kids On My Summer Vacation

Popularity: 12% [?]

Guitar Hero - Toddler_o_Geek Rocks and Head Bangs

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Though never on my agenda, we ended up at Best Buy twice this weekend. The first visit was to buy my wife some time to shop at Old Navy across the parking lot; the second was to check the look and feel of the Panasonic DMC-FX01S 6MP Compact Digital Camera (it’s the size of a thick wallet, but somehow has a 28 mm lens).

On both visits my 27 month old daughter couldn’t be torn away from the Guitar Hero demo. Best Buy has a PS2 attached to a 42″ flat panel TV and two of those cheap bucket video game seats but only one Guitar Hero controller.

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Popularity: 13% [?]

PSP + Airtunes + Coverbuddy = Dance Party Hi-Fi Wiring

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Now that I have my Mac Mini set up to deliver my whole iTunes library to my listening room through Airtunes with Sony PSP remote control, I needed to rewire my hi-fi components. The goal: deliver the digital Airtunes signal through the best DAC in the path and passing the analog signal cleanly through to my loudspeakers. I have no budget, so I must only use components I already own.

I also wanted to test how much I could combat the compressed audio feed’s nasties in the analog realm. My weapons: Taddeo Digital Antidote II and Rogue Audio Magnum 99 Preamp. One of these components won the battle and the other almost lost the whole war.

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Popularity: 17% [?]

PSP + Airtunes + Coverbuddy = Dance Party Software Setup

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Not able to afford an additional $2500 investment in remote music server hi-fi equipment I had to make due with music server components I already owned: Airport Express, Mac Mini, Onkyo TX-DS989 AV Receiver and a Rogue Audio Magnum 99 Preamp. With some additional software on my Mac Mini I could remote control the music served to the remote system in my listening room with my Sony PSP.

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Popularity: 14% [?]

Mobile Video Convenience versus Home Theater Quality

Monday, May 8th, 2006

I’ve never bought entertainment software for convenience’s sake. If I try to purchase something I already own, Wife_o_Geek vetoes with, "Don’t you already have that? We need diapers." I can’t smell a dirty diaper while riding the train to work, watching Samurai Champloo on my PSP. We move out of electronics and into the baby aisle.

Why buy expensive UMDs and iPod TV Videos from the iTunes Music Store? You can rip and re-encode the DVDs you own, right? Not so fast, that’s illegal and you’ll get sued by the MPAA.

When dealing with electronic forms of entertainment you want your money to go toward improvements to the experience: higher resolutions, bigger screens, more surround sound channels, crisper and clearer, less noise, whatever. You may have a hard time paying for tiny resolution, formatted for a 2 inch screen, mono or stereo sound (Dolby Pro Logic II on headphones with some UMD titles), and compressed and noisy audio and video.

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Popularity: 13% [?]