Friday, September 28, 2012

WDTV Problem Averted

As you may know, I love my WDTV. While not the most functional nor flashiest of the streaming set top boxes, it does what it does for me very well. Well enough that my 4 year-old is now able to select what he wants to watch from a list by himself. If that isn't a testimony of ease-of-use, I don't know what is.
I had two surprises recently with the WDTV box. The first was when I restarted it. Well, I accidentally pushed the power button to turn it off. When it came back up, it asked me whether I wanted to update the firmware. Now that was a pleasant surprise. The WDTV's warranty was over as it has been over a year. So to see a new update being offered was nice. Restores my faith a bit in companies that stand behind their good products in our increasingly disposable world. I reckon they wanted to update codec and probably get rid of the MediaFly option in the Internet section. However, I really wanted to watch something so I said no, knowing that I could do it manually at a later date.
Some days later I decided to update the WDTV's firmware. But this time, when I tried doing it manually, it said that it didn't find any updated firmware. I was upset and thought there was something wrong with the WDTV box. Worse still was the thought that whatever was wrong with it, required the new firmware to fix it.
I checked WD's website and found that a newer firmware was listed as being available. So that meant there was something else that was happening. But on some pages, it listed that my current firmware was the most updated version. I was confused. Since Western Digital does make several variants of the box for different reasons, I reckon that I had just looked at it wrong. So I went back to the page where the newer firmware was listed and downloaded it. I read up on how to do a manual update. But every where there was a description of how to do it, there was a strong suggestion to do it automatically.
How can I do what's right with so many conflicting messages?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Belting Your Heart Out on YouTube

Starring: You
Category: YouTube
I don't understand why but I actually like listening to karaoke. Good karaoke that is. Probably because I appreciate live music. With karaoke, of course, it's the singing that's live. The singers try to follow the stylings of the original song. That makes it familiar. Then there are singers who try something different. That makes it fun. Some of these efforts work out, some fall flat. Finally, you stumble upon talent. 
And there are tons of karaoke on YouTube. The more popular ones are those that graduate into live performance and become YouTube stars. Check out this playlist of live music on YouTube. I made it over a year ago and most if it is Boyce Avenue but check out also whom they are collaborating with. It's been a blast to watch the growth from posting up karaoke clip, to singing on YouTube to these full blown music video production by first-time artists. 
Which brings me back to something I first saw just over 4 years ago. 
I love this guy's rendition of Second Chance by .38 Special. For a time, it was the only version I could listen on YouTube because the video of the group's version were being brought down due to copyright problems. I have to say, the guy has both talent and passion for singing this song. I really, really, hope the song doesn't have any connection to him :) ! Listen to it to end and catch the comments buy the other patrons nearby. Funny and inspiring at the same time.

Leave a comment at the YouTube page. He'll appreciate it.
Now, some of those people that were belting it out on YouTube or their local karaoke bars have now a new outlet for their talent: Reality Singing Shows. You name it, American Idol, X Factor, the Voice. That is what they are, an opportunity for these singers-at heart to sing in front of a larger audience.

That is what they are, an opportunity for these singers-at heart to sing in front of a larger audience.