Streaming media delivers a lot more choice and flexibility when it comes to consuming content, but it’s also creating a ton of media hype and confusion.
So says Dan Rayburn, executive vice president of StreamingMedia.com and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, on this week’s PC Mike Podcast.
“The thing we’re seeing in the market is that consumers have more choice and more flexibility with how they want to watch their content,” Rayburn says. “That being said, it’s still a very fragmented market.”
Rayburn says the availability of so many devices (Google Chromecast vs. Roku, for example), each seemingly delivering different kinds of content and services like Netflix – not to mention varying levels of quality – can leave consumers’ heads spinning, and often not getting what they want.
Add in other factors, such as media hype over the notion that traditional cable service is going to soon disappear, and things aren’t any easier to figure out.
On this episode of the PC Mike podcast, however, Rayburn helps put things in perspective for the burgeoning streaming media industry, providing great insider insight from the business side of things and how consumers could be affected as well as guidance on what questions you should ask yourself when it comes to your own content needs. Specifically, Rayburn addresses:
- What’s so great – and not-so-great – about the evolution of streaming media?
- The difference between devices like Roku and services such as Hulu.
- Can services like Netflix continue to deliver quality content people want – and not break its own bank?
- How much bandwidth do you really need?
- What actually might be slowing down your network?
- What questions you should be asking yourself when considering “cutting the cord” to cable?
- Why you should not buy 4K TV before 2016 or, maybe, even 2017
Listen to the Episode Below (00:43:25)
It’s a new year and in this New Year Episode of the PC Mike podcast, I preview the tech trends that will be shaping 2015, from Apple Watch to the apps that can help us keep our new year resolutions when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. Plus, I have a really nifty dashboard camera you may want to install in your vehicle to document your drives.
Listen to the Episode Below (00:45:23)
In this episode of the PC Mike Podcast, I reveal my choice of the worst tech gadget of 2014 – Google Glass.
Google Glass sucks. There’s just no way to make this turkey look good.
It’s the worst tech gadget I’ve used used this year, shelling out $1,500 for it just 11 months ago. It has a dismally short battery life, very few useful apps, is difficult to sync with smartphones and the public thinks those who wear Google Glass to be “Glassholes.”
Listen to the Episode Below (00:38:20)
We sure do a lot of typing on our various devices these days. What with email, social media postings and texting, it can be challenging to dash off replies and messages. That’s where some special apps that I have found for us this week come in so handy.
If you’re a parent and have a smartphone or tablet, your kids probably know how to use it better than you do. I have some suggestions that will help you spend quality time with your kids and turn any night into family night by finding the best apps for young people.
Apps for kids are one of the most popular categories available for smartphones and there are games and educational choices available in great quantity and quality. So for starters, check out the recommendations of the Best Apps for Kids website. They review and sort kid apps by age group and can quickly help you find the best app or eBook for whatever category you’re searching.
I like the apps from Duck Duck Moose, especially their free ChatterPix kids iPhone app that lets children take a picture with the smartphone and then turn their photo into a puppet that talks with your child’s voice.
If your kid likes science, try the Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island app. It puts your kids in charge of an island and they solve various environmental issues, from cleaning up an oil spill to planting trees. $1.99 for Apple and Android devices.
For educational and fun apps, check out SmartApps4Kids. Their various math apps are great to help young kids with their counting skills and even learn a little about money and finance. 99cents for Apple devices
Summer is get outside an play time and as warm weather finally sweeps across the country, lots of folks are taking to two wheeled transportation and the sport and pastime of cycling. I have some special apps can help help you get even more from bicycling..
Whether for recreation or transportation – earlier this month the nation celebrated bike to work week – cycling has become one of the nation’s most popular passtimes .
And with everyone having a smartphone, there are some great biking apps.
Start with the app called Runtastic. They have apps for runners and cyclists as well as optional gear that reads out your heart rate and cadence. The $4.99 Runtastic apps measure speed and distance as well as tracking and mapping your route. You can share status and reports via social media. It works on all major mobile phone platforms and there are specialized apps aimed at road cyclists or mountain bikers.
The Map My Ride app has been around for several years but really has a strong following of more than 20 million cyclists. It is updated regularly and lets you find specific routes and trails to bike wherever you are, oretty much anywhere in the world. You can get maps of routes to ride, or create your own route. And the app, of course, tracks your speed and distance. The app works on all platforms and is free.
One more: Wahoo Fitness. A lot of hard core cyclists love this app. It tracks al the standard things but works with Bluetooth for heart rate monitors and other add-ons. The app works on the iPhone and Android phones and is free.
With warm weather and spring now in full bloom, it’s time to get serious about our gardens. Growing fresh vegetables is fun and healthy and I have some apps for smartphones and tablets that will help your garden grow like you really have a green thumb.
My favorite app this year is the Organic Gardening Planting Planner for the iPhone. It starts with a calendar to maximize your planning and time your planting for your region of the country. This free guide covers vegetable, fruits and flowers, from artichokes to zucchini. This is a great resource app for new and experienced gardeners alike.
The Burpee Seed people have a great app for Android and Apple devices called the Garden Time Planner. The app also tells you the best times to plant and it has an impressive database of plants, local weather, and links to how-to gardening videos. There’s also a calendar that tells what you should be doing by what dates.
Then there’s Plant Link. This puts a wireless sensor in your garden to monitor moisture. It connects to the Internet and then alerts you when your plants are too dry. You can even connect a hose to the system so your garden is automatically watered… no mater where in the world you happen to be. The cost? $79. The Plant link system works indoors or outdoors and you can add extra sensors.