My Story With Streaming Media
- A Kid with a Computer
When I was a kid my dad used to talk about the way things would be in the future. He wasn’t talking about any of the far out things that I saw in Back to the Future like hovercars or self drying jackets, but the real things that we saw the fledgling stages of in the 80′s. Once, he told me that the phones that rich people had in their cars would be available to everyone, but instead of them being in our cars we would be able to carry them around in our pockets.
See, my dad has always had his eye on technology, wanting to see what the latest and greatest product had in store, and as they say, like father like son. Since I was a young boy I was exposed to technology (I believe we got the Apple II e in 1985 or 86. I would have been around 3.) and as a result,I was involved with computers during the fledgeling stages of the internet. My brother and I first connected to some bulletin board systems (or BBSes) in the early 90′s. I’m pretty sure the first modem we used was a 2400 baud. That’s 2400 bits per second. For comparison, if you have a 20 Mb download speed, your speed is 8738 times faster than mine was back then.
- Early File Sharing and the Advent of Napster
My involvement with computers was always pretty strong, all the way through high school, the late 2000′s. At that point the peer-to-peer file sharing craze was beginning, and being a teenager with little to no money, free music definitely appealed to me. I was downloading music directly from other people on my 56k modem in 1997, searching through peoples files in chat rooms. And then came Napster.
Napster allowed you to search thousands, if not millions of users computers for the mp3 file they were looking for. Although there were other services out there that did the same or similar things, Napster changed the game because of the scope that it had from a massive amount of exposure.
Napster ran into some troubles pretty early in it’s existence and I can’t say anyone was surprised. The fact of the matter is that piracy is illegal and Napster (and other peer-to-peer networks) allowed an incredibly simple and effective way to get all that free music.
Of course, the game evolved (and continues to evolve to this day. More on that later.) Napster gave way to a host of other peer-to-peer networks, each with new ways to protect both the network and user from getting in trouble.
- Downloading South Park Movie
And, of course, the types of media being downloaded evolved as well. Low quality mp3s became better, and we started downloading video content as well. One day I decided to download South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut.
This was eye-opening for me. I downloaded an entire movie and saved it on my hard drive. No VHS tape, no DVD yet I could watch this movie any time I wanted. Of course, there was a downside.
After downloading the movie I didn’t have enough space for anything else on my hard drive. I had to burn the movie to a CD and keep it there. That’s not to mention, of course, that it took over a month to download the thing.
But it helped me to see what was possible. One day we would be able to watch movies over the internet.
- bittorrent and the MPAA
Jump to today. File sharing still continues but it happens differently. Nowadays the preferred method of file sharing is bittorrenting. If you talked to me a few years ago I would have told you all about how to do it.
Yep, until not too long ago I continued to download mp3s and videos illegally. I’d like to go on record and say:
I do not condone illegal file sharing.
I had a reason (I won’t speculate on whether the reason was good or bad) to share files illegally before. I couldn’t afford to buy the music and movies I wanted to watch, so I would download them instead. My justification was that if I did or didn’t, it didn’t matter; the company wasn’t getting my money.
But then, affordable ways to get what I wanted came into existence. Spotify, for music, provides me a virtual music collection available to me at all times and places for under $ 10 a month. I used to buy two CDs a month when I was a teenager (before I started stealing music)… meaning I would spend more than 3 times what I spend on music per month now.
How I Watch TV Today
And that goes for TV and movies too. There are subscription services that allow me access to a lot of the stuff I was downloading, and rental services for the brand new stuff the subscription services don’t have.
Personally, I watch all my TV either through the internet on Hulu+, Netflix or a sports content provider like ESPN3 or mlb.tv or on a basic antenna if I want to watch local networks.
I get the internet to my TV through a computer. Well, really, to my TVs, plural. I have a 42 inch flat panel and a 32 inch flat panel both mounted to the wall. One is connected to the computer by HDMI, the other by a VGA cable. If those terms confuse you, don’t worry. I’ll talk more about those later.
I can hear some gripes forming already.
There’s no way I want a computer in my living room. This won’t work for me.
Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to get the content to your screen. I choose to use a computer because 1.) it’s the most powerful way to get internet to your TV and 2.) I’m really nerdy.
There probably is a better option for you. For example, many video game systems will get the job done. Blu-ray players generally have the ability to stream content. And of course, there are dedicated players like Apple TV, Roku and Boxee that are cheap and easy to set up.
With all these options available, have you seriously considered how internet content can help you lighten your cable bill?
For more information, please visit http://streamyourmedia.org/
Movies & TV
Recently retired from the adult film industry, superstar Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino) is pregnant with the child of late rock star Nick Chapel. She is trying to make ends meet by teaching a community college sex education class aimed at housewives when a figure from her past, flight attendant Cora (Marley Shelton), approaches her with a proposition. In exchange for the (stolen) lyrics to Nick Chapel’s last record, all of which is about Elektra, Cora needs Elektra to seduce her fiancée. Elektra reluctantly agrees to do this favor, setting in motion a series of hilarious events which will see her come face to face with detectives, sex bloggers, emotionally unstable neighbors and the Virgin Mary herself as she wrestles with the prospect of motherhood and tries to become a person of substance. Watch ELEKTRA LUXX and hundreds of other free full-length streaming movies and TV shows on www.crackle.com Crackle Twitter twitter.com Be a Facebook Fan! www.facebook.com
movie trailers Video Rating: 4 / 5
Category: Movies & TV