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Tag: iTunes

How to Use Dropbox on Your iPhone to Listen to Podcasts

If you’re not into iTunes to help transfer a podcast from your computer to your iPhone, then you should think about moving that file up to the cloud where your phone can find it.

If you’re not into iTunes to help transfer a podcast from your computer to your iPhone, then you should think about moving that file up to the cloud where your phone can find it.

My wife recently invited me to listen to an hour-long podcast that she was interested in discussing with me. “An hour?!” I wondered. Where would I fit that into my busy day? The obvious choice eventually percolated to the top of my narrowly focused brain…

Listen on my way to work on my iPhone!

Whether I was driving or commuting on the train, I could consume this content on the go.

Great!
Now the question was how…

Stream It
The podcast lived on a website… so I could simply stream it directly from there. Sure… that’s the easiest way. But when I travelled through dead zones in cell coverage, I’d be stuck.

iTunes is Always There for You…
The podcast creator, having already thought through this limitation, invited its Apple listeners to download the audio file onto their respective Macs. From your computer, you can move the audio file to iTunes and then manually sync your iPhone/iPad with iTunes to move the file over.
(And no… this particular podcast can’t be automatically accessed and downloaded online from iTunes. That, of course, would make it easier…)

The whole ‘transfer in… then transfer out’ process with iTunes on your computer seemed like an unnecessary amount of work, since I was intending to listen to this podcast only once.

Look to the Cloud
Hmmm…
It all felt so yesterday. I immediately thought that a cloud solution should be able to better handle the challenge….

And of course it can!
Here’s how I did it…

Four Steps to Easy Podcast Prep

Dropbox is my personal cloud-sharing solution.
(There are many others out there.)

Step 1
So I downloaded the audio file from the website to my iMac and then simply dragged the file to a new folder I created in Dropbox.

Step 2
Then, I picked up my iPhone and opened up the Dropbox app…
(Can you believe it… the audio file was magically right there!)

I was already at the finish line in two steps, but the file would only stream when I tapped on it. I wanted to listen locally…

Step 3
There’s a ‘Make Available Offline’ option in the Dropbox app.
I tapped that, and Bam!
Now, I was ready to listen, regardless of cell coverage…

Step 4
I tapped the ‘downloaded’ file, which I could also access in the ‘Offline’ section, and a Dropbox audio player opened up.

My podcast began to play.

Sweet.

Happy Listening
Again, there’s nothing wrong with moving your podcasts into the iTunes ecosystem. I was just too lazy to take the time to get it there.

Dropping the file into Dropbox was so much quicker.

And that’s more time you can put towards your podcast listening!

The New Star Wars Teaser Will Blow Your Mind

If you’ve been preoccupied, you may have missed a significant disturbance in the Force last week.  The good news is your opportunity to catch up is only a click away…

If you’ve been preoccupied, you may have missed a significant disturbance in the Force last week. The good news is your opportunity to catch up is only a click away…

I’ve always enjoyed watching movie trailers. They used to be the favorite part of my film-going experience. But no more… That’s because every blockbuster trailer I’ve seen at the multiplex I’ve already caught at home when I’m online.

Download Vs. Streaming
Typically, I go to the iTunes Movie Trailers page to find the newest previews.

I usually prefer downloading the ones I really like to my iPhone and then watching them whenever the moment moves me.
(Usually when my commuter train isn’t moving too fast)

You may recall, I’ve had some ups and downs with this….

A couple years ago, Apple inexplicably began taking away its trailer downloading functionality, leaving streaming as the only viewing option. This is hardly ideal when your smartphone doesn’t have a strong connection.

…and Barrett was frustrated.

Then, a year later, Apple seemingly gave it all back.

…and Barrett was happy again.

Prepare Yourself
So this past week, I was looking for the newest summer movie teasers, as the blockbuster season is nearly upon us.

Imagine my glee when I spotted the second teaser trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

When the first teaser came out in November, millions of geeks in galaxies near and far could barely contain themselves. The fact that J.J. Abrams had successfully recreated the look and feel of the original “Star Wars” was almost too much to handle.

Come on… This is J.J. Abrams we’re talking about.
“Lost,” “Star Trek,” “Fringe.”
You didn’t think he was going to get the basics right?

I thought the first teaser trailer was just fine.
It was nice to have a quick peek.
That’s what any first teaser usually does…

Traveling Back in Time
But then I clicked on this second teaser trailer.
My finger was running on autonomic instinct; my brain, barely keeping up.

I felt like I was fourteen years old again watching “Star Wars” for the very first time with my mother at the east 86th street multiplex in New York City. I was transported back to those two mesmerizing hours…

And then I heard-
“You have that power too.”

And then I saw-
“Chewie, we’re home.”

OMG.

Now, this is more like it!

An A+ Trailer
I’m not entirely surprised J.J. Abrams blew my mind with this new teaser trailer. He did something similar with the early trailers for his first “Star Trek” movie. But those suggested something different from the “Star Trek” we grew up with.
(And in fact, it was an alternate reality.)

This “Star Wars” trailer by comparison feels exceptionally familiar. Of course, because the Star Wars universe is being continued, not re-imagined.
(It would seem.)

We’re given the perfect balance between what we already know about and teased with what we don’t.

And then that last shot: We get to see Han Solo!
Glorious…

I Have a Good Feeling about This
We’re still eight months away from seeing how strong the Force really is with Episode VII.
That said, this trailer completely reenergized all my geeky energies.

After I watched it, I just stared at the screen.
“Whoaaaaah….”

And then I downloaded the two minutes of movie (and marketing) magic.

I felt like a kid again.
It was the perfect moment…

Thank you, Disney for spending $4 billion in 2012 to keep it all going.
Only now, at the end (of the wait) do I understand…

Apple Returned My Movie Trailers

My love/sometimes-hate relationship with Apple has taken a recent happy twist. It’s not a universe-changing event, but for those of you who like to maintain your own personal collection of movie trailers, I’ve got some good news for you buried in iTunes…

My love/sometimes-hate relationship with Apple has taken a recent happy twist. It’s not a universe-changing event, but for those of you who like to maintain your own personal collection of movie trailers, I’ve got some good news for you buried in iTunes…

A year ago, I bemoaned the loss of downloadable movie trailers on Apple’s iTunes. Without explanation, newly posted QuickTime trailers became streaming-only. And only at a resolution of 720P.

Nothing in 1080P!
And no more downloading!!
(gulp)

I really enjoyed watching my movie trailers on demand and having them live on my iPhone to be summoned wherever and whenever I had two minutes to kill.
(Without a strong wireless or Wi-Fi connection, a streaming solution just isn’t going to hold up.)

I experienced this new stark reality as a slow, cruel, excruciating loss.
And this geek was really sad.

I publicly pleaded with Apple to reconsider this decision.
“Please…. Restore my little joy,” I posted on my mighty, tiny blog.
(as if I had some inside track)

And then… I moved on with the rest of my life.
(Because what else can you really do?)

But I did not forget…

In a World Without Downloadable Movie Trailers…
Over the past year, I think I’ve adjusted quite nicely, thank you very much.
Ironically, Apple’s iTunes Movie Trailers website is still the best game in town to watch trailers for the season’s upcoming movies. So despite it all, I’ve remained a frequent visitor.

But deep down, the disappointment… it hadn’t entirely dissipated.

Every so often, I still Googled “Download Movie Trailers” to see if anyone else had picked up this particular torch. Sure, there are a few homegrown efforts out there, but I’ve always felt more comfortable downloading content from a known commodity.

A couple of days back, I found myself randomly running the Google search before hitting the sack, as if some ‘Q-based’ life force in the universe would simply ‘will’ there to be different answer.
And guess what…?

Just before I was about to power down, I glanced over some of the wording under Apple’s standard link to iTunes Movie Trailers.

I almost missed it, but there they were… “Download” and…”1080P”

What?

I quickly navigated to Apple’s movie trailers homepage.
No. Nothing had changed.

Hmmmm…

There Lived One Man Who Almost Lost His Faith…
Then it hit me!

  • I opened up iTunes as a program and immediately clicked on the iTunes Store.
  • Then, I navigated to the Movies section.
  • Buried at the bottom of the ‘Movies Quick Link’ section on the right is ‘Theatrical Trailers.’
    (I rarely go there, because of the extra steps it takes to open up the same inventory you can more quickly access on the website.)
  • Click

At that moment, I think I noticed the wind pick up outside.
And was that some distant thunder I heard?

I focused my gaze from the myriad of trailer choices down to the thumbnail photo for this winter’s final “The Hobbit.”

I hovered my mouse over “The Battle of the Five Armies.”
(A chill ran down my spine.)

Click.

OMG.

He Would Wait a Near Eternity for the ‘Return…’
There it was.
A download icon right under ‘Play.’
And when you click on ‘Download,’ you can choose between 720P and 1080P.

I sat there stunned.

It was back. All of it.

For the Fate of the Universal Movie-Trailer Experience was Finally at Hand
On the edge of the next month’s anticipated Apple announcement where the world is salivating over the upcoming iPhone 6 and who knows what else…

I am already satisfied.

My movie trailers have been returned… securely positioned within the iTunes ecosystem.
My faith is restored.

I don’t know how long these downloadable trailers have been back.
And I don’t care.

Oh yes, it’s the little things in life…

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