Archive for May 31st, 2009

Infidelity many possibilities

During our love-making process tonight.

JBQ: Do you love me?
Eugenia: My love is as big as the clouds, the sea, the sky, the galaxy, the universe!
JBQ: 🙂
Eugenia: Then again… there might be parallel universes that you don’t know about.
JBQ: 😮

The pain of a home theater entertainment

Today, we had to upgrade to TwonkyMedia Server 5.x, because its 4.x versions were not serving .mp4 files to our XBOX360. There was a tip online to rename the .mp4 files to .m4v in order to fool the XBoX360, but apparently version 4.4.11 had a bug about .m4v files too. Only renaming them to .mov would force Xbox360 to play them but if I was to do that, then our Sony PS3 wouldn’t play these files.

So the upgrade to v5, fixed most of our problems. The XBoX360 now plays all my .mp4 files, .m4v (that it didn’t before), plus all the other formats that it was able to before (e.g. WMV). It also supports the .mov container, the MPEG4-SP (the kind of .mp4 found on cellphones), something that the PS3 doesn’t (although the PS3 supports AVCHD and HDV files, that the Xbox360 can’t). Both consoles can playback XViD/DiVX AVI files with the same success (so-so, that is). The XBoX360 can playback more kinds of WMV and WMA than the PS3 can (e.g. I had a WMV video here that its WMA audio wouldn’t work with the PS3, but it did with the XBoX360). The XBoX360 also supports streaming .mp4 videos (e.g. Youtube HD rips), and non-PSP .MP4 containers (e.g. the kinds of MP4 that Adobe CS4 exports by default) — the PS3 doesn’t support any of these kinds of MP4s (it only supports the ones that their container has some “PSP” extensions, usually it is the default exporting format on video editors, except for Adobe’s).

For the rest of the formats out there, e.g. Sorenson, MJPEG etc, I would need an AppleTV. Plus, the AppleTV would behave best with .mp3/aac audio files, something that the PS3 only does so-so (it seems to confuse album art), while the XBoX360’s AAC and mp3 compatibility was terrible (non-DRM AAC from iTunes wouldn’t work at all, even after installing the AAC plugin, while one of my mp3s was playing in slow-motion)!

There was also a specific .mp4 file that TwonkyMedia would think it was audio and would only serve it as audio (even if it’s video). Renaming that to .mov made it visible in the list while using the v4 server. But after upgrading to version 5, while version 5 fixed everything else, the file wouldn’t be visible again because it now seems that TwonkyMedia v5 looks inside the format rather than figuring out what’s what from the extension. But that’s just one file, and besides, TwonkyMedia is *the best* UPnP/DLNA server out there anyway. If they can’t get it right, probably no other piece of software can (everything else I have tried is buggy as hell).

In other words, if you don’t want to be setting up Linux PC media centers that will piss you off one way or another while configuring them, to play A/V files on your TV without having to transcode each time to the device’s supported formats, you need all three devices (with their firmwares upgraded): PS3, XBoX360 and AppleTV. And that doesn’t even give you OGG, Theora or MKV by default (which are only semi-working via third party addons on the AppleTV).