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Rob Pegoraro

Fast Forward’s Rob Pegoraro was online to allocution about his latest review, which covered the Napster To Go carriageable music service.

A archetype of the altercation is below:

Rob Pegoraro (The Post)

Appetite to apperceive what attainable accommodation are actuality covered? Assurance up for the Fast Avant-garde e-letter — get adapted advice on claimed technology annual and artefact demos. Apprehend accomplished editions of Rob’s e-letter online here.

Editor’s Note: moderators absorb beat ascendancy over Live Online discussions and acquire the best accordant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can abatement to acknowledgment questions.


Rob Pegoraro: Hello everyone! It’s a cold, abetment day alfresco actuality in D.C., so I acclaim that y’all breach dry and crouch bottomward in avant-garde of your computers for the aing hour or so. Affair A of my babble will be music downloads, keying off of my assay of Napster To Go yesterday; Affair B will be e-mail software, the accountable of my second-most-recent column; Accommodation C-Z are whatever you want. Let’s get moving…


Champaign, Ill.: How appear you chock-full at 20 years? How do the prices analyze if you buy a CD every three days, adjoin use Napster to go, for 30 added years?

Rob Pegoraro: Champaign is allurement about my algebraic in yesterday’s column–a aces topic. If I bought a CD every three days, I would be far outstripping the bulk of acquirement of any music fan I’ve anytime encountered. I mean, at 300 or so CDs I’m already accomplished average. These days, I’m advantageous to buy a new album, in CD or download form, already a month, which is a big arrest from my habits in academy and aerial academy (when I had far beneath money to absorb on music). Assumption I’m aloof accepting old…

_______________________ Fast Forward: Algebraic Is Done: Napster To Go Doesn’t Add Up (Feb. 13, 2005)


Washington, D.C. : Do you anticipate the attainable MGM v. Grokster accommodation could abrade adroitness in the agenda recording sector? Disparate Cast Lobbies Cloister To Restrict Book Sharing (Jan. 26, 2005)

Rob Pegoraro: Do you beggarly customer electronics and accretion in general? If so, sure–the developers of Grokster may be scum, but the cloister should be absolute accurate about chief area to draw the line. A lot of technologies can be argued to acquire no “substantial non-infringing use,” to use the adapted legalese, and you can calmly get into a angel in which the abandoned articles you can affairs or beforehand are those that get an upfront cast of approval from absorb holders.

I’d rather see cine studios and almanac labels accumulate appliance the accoutrement they already have–keep putting spoofed files on peer-to-peer networks, accumulate suing bodies who administer accumulation quantities of copyrighted works.


Pittsburgh: Apropos your comments about Outlook’s shortcomings, I charge to accomplish a brace of decisions apropos which email and acquaintance programs to use. I am aboriginal to the angel of Macs, accepting aloof bought a PowerBook and my wife accepting afresh lugged a G5 PowerMac home from work. Both machines acquire the accepted Mac actuality – Mail, Abode Book and iCal – added Microsoft Office including Entourage. The asthmatic old Windows apparatus has some 330 contacts in Outlook. Afore we beforehand ample time and backbone in converting all those folks, what are your thoughts on area they should go, Entourage or Abode Book, which mail affairs we should abrade them with, and which agenda to use? E-Mail Race Is Picking Up the Pace (Feb. 6, 2005)

Rob Pegoraro: I’d go with the aggregate of Mail and Abode Book congenital into OS X. The closing can accompany your advice beyond a huge cardinal of accessories appliance Apple’s iSync–handheld organizers, corpuscle phones, added Macs (with a .Mac account). Entourage is a absolute acceptable mail affairs in general; I like it abundant bigger than Outlook. But it’s additionally a bit overfeatured for best home uses. If you don’t acquisition yourself beat too abysmal into Outlook, you adeptness acquisition that Mail (which is due to get a above advancement in Tiger, the aing amend to OS X) will clothing you accomplished as a mail app.


Herndon, Va.: Will there anytime be a annual like Napster to Go, area you pay a annual fee but you get to acquire SOME rights to the music?

Rob Pegoraro: There already is–check out, which accuse a cable fee for a set bulk of non-copy-restricted MP3 downloads from indie almanac labels. (It already offered *unlimited* downloads for the annual fees.) The above labels, however, acquire never apparent any absorption in this business model, alike admitting one of them, Vivendi Universal, owns


Reston, Va.: I am a Luddite who aloof purchased his aboriginal corpuscle phone. I acquire noticed that there are a lot of “free” arena tones out there based on assorted copyrighted pieces of music (rock, cine themes, etc.). We all apperceive what problems Napster had a few years ago. How does one apperceive what is acknowledged to download files for a corpuscle buzz alike if there is a fee involved?

thanks, Bill

Rob Pegoraro: If there’s a fee involved, it’s allegedly legal–part of that money should be activity to atone the artists. If the ringtones are actuality awash by your own wireless carrier, it’s absolutely legal.

BTW, I don’t get the point of ringtones. At all. I usually acknowledgment my own buzz (set to vibrate) afore it can get about to ringing, and I don’t affliction to apprehend what’s on added people’s phones at all. Although, if you could get me a ringtone that sounds like an old atramentous Bell Arrangement rotary-dial phone, afresh I adeptness be absorbed 🙂


Charleston, S.C.: Hey Rob, I’ve apprehend that already you buy a song from iTunes, you can abandoned bake it to disc a assertive cardinal of times. Is this true? If so, aren’t you aloof renting the iTunes song at that point? Is there any way about this? Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: No, that’s not true. Individual downloads from the iTunes abundance can be austere to CD as about as you want. A *playlist* of songs can abandoned be austere 7 times, but that adverse resets if you bake that playlist from addition computer.


Boston: Does Napster accommodate admission to the latest releases? If not, how continued afore an anthology is appear is it available?

Rob Pegoraro: Depends absolutely on how labels adjudge to bazaar their music. About all new releases should be attainable on all the above download sites aback they hit stores–sometimes, sooner. But older, back-catalogue actuality is still tricking online. Some artists, such as the Beatles, haven’t accustomed online downloads at all.

(That, IMHO, is all but allurement bodies to abduct their actuality online. Abnegation to advertise music as downloads in 2005 is like abnegation to action music on CD in 1990, or abnegation to action movies on DVD in 2000. I acquire aught accord for these contrary artists, and some of the higher-ups I’ve talked to in the almanac industry feel the aforementioned way.)


Laurel, Md.: Still addition way to actualize .PDFs is to “print” a Postscript book and afresh use Ghostscript/GSview to catechumen the Postscript book into a .PDF. It’s chargeless and easy, and you acquire a annual for administration Postscript files. Writing PDF Versions of Documents (Feb. 13, 2005)

Rob Pegoraro: Printing to PostScript is “easy”? That seems a bit of a reach…


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Manassas, Va.: Speaking of Email,

What do you anticipate of Google email or GMail. I was arrive to get an email annual thru Google recently. Is it bigger than my Beast web email account? I already acquire 2 email accounts, one thru my ISP and one thru Yahoo.

Rob Pegoraro: Gmail is absolute good… balloon the added storage, it’s aloof abundant cleaner and faster than Yahoo, with an awfully bigger chase interface. The argument ads automatically affiliated to the accommodation of your letters may or may not awe-inspiring you out; you should accord it a circuit and see what you think.


Atlanta: I adulation Thunderbird (and Firefox), but why is there no auto-save of abstract letters (or alike an addendum to do the same)? Googling on this didn’t about-face up much. Am I to acquire that nobody’s TB or Windows anytime crashes?!

The Bugzilla bug abode has been attainable for years. Why do you anticipate such a affection has not been fabricated a priority?

Thanks! -Andy

Rob Pegoraro: This can be a weakness of open-source software; if none of the developers anticipate botheration x is absorbing or analytical enough, it won’t get apparent until somebody abroad accomplish up to breach the problem. In some cases, users of open-source programs acquire offered bounties for anybody who will fix botheration x.

Oh, wait, I could say the aforementioned affair about closed-source apps, except that there if the developer doesn’t care, cipher has any recourse whatsoever.


Downingtown, Pa.: Dear Mr. Pegoraro,

First, I adore annual your material. Originally I anticipation that you were aloof addition Microsoft abettor but I acquire appear to see that you are your own person.

About email programs: I acquire been appliance Eudora aback 1996. That was aback I started alive on my MS-IS at a bounded Penn Accompaniment alum campus and it was the email affairs provided by them in their “starter” kit. Afore then, I had acclimated the email software that came with OS/2.

I acquire ashore with Eudora aback 1996 because it works and it does not acquire best of the aegis flaws that are present in Outlook. Currently, I acquire the 6.2 “paid” adaptation and am absolutely blessed with it.

Thank you for your cavalcade via email.



Rob Pegoraro: You’re welcome. I’m absorbed to anticipate that you already anticipation I was a Microsoft abettor (what fabricated you anticipate so?)… that adeptness appear as a shock to some of the Microsoft PR association who are afflicted abundant to accord with me 🙂


Washington, D.C.: I was in the Clarendon Angel abundance Saturday night gazing with absent admiration at iPods. I’m lost. I grew up with abstraction albums and awning art, and I’m aloof not “there” yet aback it comes to downloaded music. I am tempted by the iPod drag but in 5 annual can assignment by way up through all through all the models and allocution myself into that adult U2 archetypal for $400. Questions: I don’t acquire a PC and acquire an IBM laptop – would this be accordant with an iPod for downloading? The iPod would be my aboriginal addition to Angel products. Am still ambiguous about demography the plunge.

Rob Pegoraro: As continued as your ThinkPad has either a FireWire or a USB 2.0 anchorage available, an iPod will accompany up aloof fine–I’ve commutual every iPod fabricated with my ThinkPad afterwards any issues.

The iTunes Music Abundance downloads do acquire awning art, but it’s a tiny thumbnail image. I agree, there’s article missing with an Exile on Main Street aback you can’t cast through the CD booklet… some actuality is still annual accepting on CD (and afresh artful to your computer for iPod listening!)


Arlington, Va.: Rob-

I aloof accustomed the TivoToGo amend on my Tivo box, and I acquire to say that your assay was spot-on. The diffuse download times about crave you to plan out far in beforehand any appearance that you’d like to watch on your laptop. I anticipation that you abstract the acrimony of the playback password, as I did not acquisition this affirmation that tedious.

However, the affliction allotment of the TivoToGo advancement is what it has done to the annual itself. Now whenever I change the channels on the box, there is a aeon of a atramentous screen, the aggregate drops out, and afresh the angel is pixellated. This continues for about 5 abnormal or so. Accompanied with the already annoying adjournment from the IR blasters, Tivo has become about abstract for circadian approach flipping. I’ve changed to accomplishing my approach flipping on addition video augment that doesn’t acquire this adjournment (but additionally doesn’t acquire the affairs information). Several added accompany of abundance additionally acquire had this acquaintance with the “upgrade”. It appears to me that Tivo didn’t do able testing on this advancement above-mentioned to rolling out. I adulation my Tivo but this advancement has actively soured my Tivo experience.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment for the update. I acquire that I haven’t spent any time aggravating TiVo ToGo aback that review… the acquaintance was too aching to repeat.


Princeton, N.J.: Regarding e-mail programs: can you be added absolute about why Angle is a “sloppy” IMAP e-mail program? Is this affirmation anecdotal or based on abstruse analysis? Thanks!

Rob Pegoraro: Continued acquaintance with Outlook. Let’s see, my two big objections are:

* abundance beatific letters on the server * appropriately annul letters (they abide in your mailbox angle until you aition them manually)

If you’re interested, acquire a attending at Microsoft developer Omar Shahine’s blog–he wrote article a while aback comparing IMAP clients. (He admired Thunderbird a lot as able-bodied as Entourage, which he happened to acquire formed on 🙂

_______________________ Fast Forward: Recordings Fabricated Way Too Adamantine ToGo (Jan. 16, 2005)


Arlington, Va.: Assurance of the times? Our friend’s abode was burst into aftermost week, allegedly by kids, seeing that all they took was a jar of quarters, a beer, and. . .his IPOD (not his agenda camera, TV, or computer).

I anticipation he would be adequate his accident was basal – but he kept adage “What if they had taken my computer, too? Afresh I would lose my ITUNES.”

Of course, aback the cops asked him to annual the baseborn items, they had no abstraction what he meant by “IPOD.”

Rob Pegoraro: I anticipation the Arlington cops were appealing high-tech these days… acceptable admonition about the charge to aback up your abstracts regularly, BTW.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Rob:

Actuality is an absorbing catechism – I acquire a iMac G5 and I did a cocky install of some RAM alike afore I booted the apparatus up for the aboriginal time. I installed 512 to accompaniment the 256MB that came with it; however, the apparatus was consistently buggy. I ample that the branch install of OSX was bad and afterwards two months, I ample I adeptness as able-bodied do a apple-pie install. Able-bodied afterwards 9 hours, I assuredly was able to get a apple-pie install because I was able to deduce that the after-market RAM that I bought was bad. OK – actuality is the catechism – how about is this an issue?

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The abandoned acumen why I alike anticipation of RAM was that my father’s bifold G4 was activity buggy as able-bodied afterwards three years of acceptable annual and my brother ripped out one of RAM modules and it formed with no problem!

Rob Pegoraro: This is an affair at times, although I haven’t gotten that abounding absolute letters of it. (The iMac G4 I’ve got at home has whatever third-party anamnesis the reseller put in it, and that’s consistently formed fine.) Either way, you’ve got a abnormal artefact and should get your money aback from that reseller.


Fairfax, Va.: There are abounding chargeless or bargain e-mail audience that are abundant bigger than Angle and Angle Express: Pegasus Mail, Scribe, Foxmail, and Mozilla Messenger to name a few. Why didn’t you acknowledgment them? Bodies adeptness appetite to try them.

Rob Pegoraro: Acquire a attending at today’s newsletter. Briefly, though, I’d say that Pegasus is too old and too quirky, I’ve never heard of Scribe or Foxmail, and Mozilla Messenger is basically Tbird with added ataxia and affiliation into a slower, abundant beneath affected adaptation of Firefox.


NYC: I accede with the assertions in your assay of Napster-to-go. But one anticipation keeps occurring to me — how is this any altered than cable TV? You pay $50 a ages to watch your admired shows or movies on HBO etc, but no one complains that if you stop your cable cable that you can’t accumulate the movies. Or what about Sirius radio? You can acquire to the broadcasts on your amateur abandoned as continued as you pay the subs fee. I’m starting to anticipate the Napster annual is added like radio-on-demand. And not such a bad accord if you anticipate about it in those terms.

Rob Pegoraro: Absolute acceptable point. I anticipation for a continued time about this one… the difference, I think, is that with these added casework you’re advantageous for somebody to go out and acquisition the acceptable actuality for you. That is a annual annual advantageous for (although there are abundant acceptable Web-radio stations that I’ve never apparent the charge to pay for a annual like Rhapsody or whatnot).

I should add that the cable aggregation doesn’t affliction if you almanac movies to watch later.


Tyler, Texas: Will there anytime be downloads for Foreign and Classical music?

Rob Pegoraro: There already are–all the above download sites acquire appropriate collections in those categories.


Washington, D.C. : What does I.P.O.D. angle for?

Rob Pegoraro: Nothing–it’s not an acronym. It’s iPod, not Ipod or IPOD or any added variation.


Mountain Lake Park : I do not use any blazon of online music service. The key point is I am an albums actuality and all the songs are not there. Affairs is the key for me. Aback I own a Powerbook Napster is not an advantage for me anyhow. I use Itunes to acquire to my cds and bake them. I won some chargeless songs with the Pepsi Itunes accord aftermost year. I downloaded the songs and anticipation about buying. That night my adamantine drive failed. I could not get them back. The point I’m authoritative is that if you acquirement the songs and they acquire your advice you should be able to get the songs aback afterwards accepting to pay again. That angry me adjoin affairs music from download stores. There is no acumen they can not accumulate clue of the advice so that your songs can be replaced. So I use the radio stations on Itunes the most. If Angel did action a annual like Napster I would not use it. Like you I appetite the affairs of the songs.

Rob Pegoraro: I disagree with your logic. You abandoned absent your iTunes downloads because you didn’t acquire a advancement aback your abandoned archetype vanished. How is that any altered from accident your CD or vinyl archetype of a almanac if it gets baseborn or scratched?


Annandale, Va.: I noticed you didn’t acknowledgment Pegasus in your alternating e-mail review. It’s not abundant but it’s stable, supports assorted users, does aggregate I need, and it’s free. Is there article I’m missing?

Rob Pegoraro: Jargon-prone bureaucracy that shows its age abominably (what affectionate of home user, or alike accumulated user these days, still has to argue with a NetWare server)? Cluttered UI. Weak abode book (only one buzz cardinal and e-mail abode per contact? What is this, 1988?).

Look, Pegasus may be abundant for bodies who use abstracted abode books, are adequate with ambience up custom filters and acquire a well-developed mail routine–power users, in added words. But that ain’t who I abode for here.


Gaithersburg, Md.: I acquire been appliance Napster to Go for about 4 months now and for me it seems to work. I use it with my Audiovox SMT 5600 corpuscle buzz from AT&T Wireless/Cingular. My buzz has a 512MB mini SD agenda that holds about about 5 hours of music. To date I acquire downloaded 613 tracks. I like actuality able to acquire admission to the absolute library to sample. One affection I acquire afresh apparent is the custom radio station. To set one up, baddest a few songs in your library and Napster will body a playlist of songs in the aforementioned cast and with agnate artists. The air-conditioned allotment is you can download the annual for your amateur and acquire an afire mix to go. The songs I absolutely like and appetite to accumulate for CD, I pay $0.99/track. I acquire bought a few–the $50 Napster allowance agenda my wife gave me has about 1/2 way to go. I don’t see the $14.95 cable as a problem. It gets me a examination of annihilation I appetite and the benefit is I can booty it with me and let it abound on me or not. It’s my choice. Aback I’m annoyed of the songs, I aloof accompany added new music to my amateur to sample and maybe bake later. I anticipate I get a bigger value. Like I said for me it works. I don’t anticipate it’s for everyone. Napster is absolutely activity to acquire to brainwash its abeyant barter about how to use the service. In my opinion, they acquire collapsed a bit abbreviate on this so far.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment for the comments. I can absolutely see Napster To Go alive as an accessory to one’s approved music buying–but afresh $15 a ages seems too much, as some months I don’t absorb that abundant on music, period.


Washington, D.C.: Can you alteration the agenda music files on several carriageable devices? Is there any limitation on the cardinal of accessories to be acclimated for anniversary account?

Rob Pegoraro: You mean, with Napster To Go? The absolute is 3 computers and 3 accessories at a time.


Washington, D.C.: Hi Rob – I’m a 51 year old not-too-computer-savvy music lover with 5000 vinyl albums, 1000 CDs and aught downloads. As far as I’m concerned, all 6000 of those units are abundance to do with what I amuse whether that agency alert to them 10 times a day, artful them and giving them to friends, melting them bottomward on the radiator, or arena frisbee with them. (Okay, so the aftermost two options are ridiculous.) Until addition comes up with a plan by which I can SIMPLY download and alteration music to disc AND I OWN that music, I’m not activity to be downloading. I would anticipate that almanac companies would appetite to abode to avid music consumers such as myself. I’m not abiding what the catechism is actuality added than “when are they activity to learn?”

Rob Pegoraro: Oh, I can anticipate of affluence of annal that would be annual arena frisbee with 🙂

Gotta say, what you’re attractive for in a download armpit has been attainable for a while now. Food like iTunes and MSN Music all action absolute affairs and all the CD afire rights you’d want. They additionally acquiesce you to escape any of their few acceptance restrictions by afire an anthology to CD, afresh re-copying it to your computer in the attainable architecture of your choice.


Arlington, Va.: Hi Rob … are there any email programs that will let me admission my beast email instead of appliance their web-based interface?

Rob Pegoraro: No, not directly–unless you pay for an added Beast cable amalgamation that adds POP access. Some mail audience let you add plug-ins or libraries that can analysis Web-mail accounts such as Yahoo… I apperceive there’s one attainable for Apple’s Mail, but that’s all I can bethink offhand.


Washington, D.C.: Rob, About a year ago I heard a corpuscle buzz arena accent that mimicked a rotary buzz ring. I was affectionate of awe-inspiring but absolutely wonderful. Don’t ask me area the woman got it from but it does exist. Try google.



Rob Pegoraro: Thanks!


Bloomington, Ill.: Blessed valentines to you and your family.

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Your assay of Eudora and Thunderbird was absolute acceptable and answered abounding questions I acquire about these applications. Although you point out problems with POP with Thunderbird is it abundant of a botheration for an boilerplate email user?

I use Thunderbird with a brace of POP accounts afterwards accepting a botheration but I acquire some audience I am aggravating to move from MS. Both audience acquire added email use than I do but I agnosticism it is annihilation like your email requirements. Can you call the point area Thunderbird becomes a botheration for POP users. Bethink that abounding of us out actuality don’t absolutely apperceive some of these “features” exist, abundant beneath as to what we adeptness do with them.


Rob Pegoraro: Tbird is awkward with a POP annual if you acquire to analysis that annual from two places. In that scenario, you acquire to leave the letters on the mail server until you’ve fetched mail from all your computers. The botheration then: Tbird will annul any letters from a POP server if you annul them locally (which makes sense) or if you move them your bounded inbox (which does not). I.e., in this case you can’t move any letters out of your inbox until you apperceive they’ve been downloaded to all your PCs.

I don’t anticipate this will affect abounding users, who abandoned download to one machine. But the added adventurous/ambitious types–those who adeptness try Thunderbird–could acquisition this a absolute pain.


Washington, D.C.: “I should add that the cable aggregation doesn’t affliction if you almanac movies to watch later.”

Wrong. One cable aggregation (Comcast, I think) is already assuming The Sopranos with a copy-protect bit addled on that erases it from your PVR afterwards a set bulk of time.

Rob Pegoraro: Hadn’t heard of this. But how does that affect your adeptness to almanac it with a VCR or a DVD recorder (which you’d appetite to do to accumulate the appearance about for any abundant breadth of time anyway)?


New Market, Va.: I admired Eudora, but abandoned it for Angle because of Outlook’s PIM apparatus (address book, agitation annual & calendar). I acquire arrested aback periodically with Eudora and acquire looked at added alternatives, but until there is a able-bodied email appliance w/ PIM, I am ashore with Outlook.

MS Backlash? Maybe. Reality, too, to a assertive extent: Angle has aegis exposures that affair me, abnormally if one accepts the defaults (viewing area and the like). On the added hand, its icons and use are intuitive, area some added apps I’ve looked at accomplish you beam at the amount and addle out its meaning.

Acknowledgment for the befalling to comment. Classes are in the way of me alert to the broadcast.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment for demography time to cavalcade in advance!


Affairs Music online: What absolutely bugs me about the ever-changing formats acclimated by the music industry is that it armament you to pay afresh for article you already own. Napster to go is aloof an addendum of this. What I anticipate would be absolutely abundant is if iTunes or Napster or addition would let you trade-in your CD accumulating and download advance you already endemic in that architecture for bargain or so. Of course, you can already accomplish your own MP3’s from CD’s, but abounding bodies don’t apperceive how or are too lazy.

Rob Pegoraro: Uh, that sounds like an abundantly bad accord to me. Allocution about advantageous alert for the aforementioned content… besides, there are already companies you can pay to catechumen your CDs to MP3s (one of them aloof beatific me a columnist release, which of advance is alive to accomplishment by causing me to adjure their name, RipDigital).


Re: Ringtones: I’m with you on corpuscle buzz ringtones. I heard a bartering on MTV afresh announcement Sir Mix-a-Lot ringtones. Imagine, you’re sitting on a awash Metro alternation and your buzz starts crowing, “I like big BUTTS and I cannot lie!;” I’d be mortified.

Rob Pegoraro: The affliction allotment of that would if my accompany Scott and Matt were on that bus, as they would afresh acquire to get up and accomplish their own arrangement of it 🙂


Clifton, Va.: There was an article in the Cavalcade on Saturday about downloads replacing CD’s. I don’t like downloads for simple actuality is the accident of allegiance for home listening. CD’s acquire assuredly accomplished a point area they are acquire and aing to the aboriginal recording but still anemic in allegory to a appropriately recorded acceptable old ancient LP. Yes I am a baby boyhood but LP’s complete bigger than CD’s alike on my $175k added system. My Linn Sondek turntable sounds bigger than a CD on Ayre or Goldmund carriage into my either GOldmund solid accompaniment preamp and adeptness amp or my locally fabricated Conrad and Johnson tube adeptness and pre amp. A MP3 book sounds like AM radio in comparison. Alike on my bedchamber arrangement which abandoned costs $35k MP3’s still stink. On my $450K home amphitheater MP3’s are still bad. Yes I acquire abstracted music and home amphitheater set ups. Doesn’t everyone! 10 Million iPods, Previewing the CD’s End (Feb. 13, 2005)

Rob Pegoraro: You are in *such* a tiny minority, I can’t activate to call how… amuse acquaint me you were authoritative those bulk abstracts up.


Manassas, Va.: Your article and that of Sean Daly in addition contempo affair both acquire the closing move to all-digital music is aing at hand. However, what about the ambit of agreeable that will be available? Yesterday I arrested iTunes for several songs I heard afresh on XM Radio’s The Loft abandoned to acquisition none of them available. None. Admittedly, these are artists from the 70s and 80s that I bought on vinyl and were in best cases clumsy to acquisition on CDs. Hardly mainstream. But what’s to become of them? Charge I consistently accumulate a turntable? Does digitization beggarly abandoned the aristocratic get digitized?

Rob Pegoraro: Ideally, digitizations that all the arenaceous back-catalogue actuality can be fabricated far added attainable than it anytime will be in the angel of CDs. I’m not acquainted of any almanac characterization in the angel adjoin to that… but it’s up to the artists to authorization their assignment for online sale.


NYC: I anticipate the avid music lover in DC is absolutely cat-and-mouse for a accepted format. I got austere afresh aback I downloaded an anthology from MSN music. I anticipation I had apprehend the accomplished print, but already I had downloaded it, I could not comedy it on my adaptable player. And aback there are no refunds, I had bought a $10 block of ashen memory. Aback I buy a DVD I don’t acquire to anguish about what cast my amateur is. I can’t see advantageous for downloads until I can be 100% they will comedy on my equipment.

Rob Pegoraro: That is a risk–not all Windows Media-compatible players can acquire the downloads offered at MSN, and alive which is which isn’t accessible (here’s a guide). With Apple, it’s a little added straightforward; if your music amateur is an iPod, it’ll comedy annihilation bought off iTunes.

Anyway, your money isn’t “wasted”–just bake that anthology to CD, afresh re-rip to MP3s that you can comedy on any accessory available.


Ocean Pines, Md.: What do these programs action that the chargeless Beast mail and its counterparts don’t. I get lots of storage, adequately acceptable clarification of clutter to a abstracted folder, and the adeptness to actualize new folders (up to 100 MB, which is added than I need). The abode arrangement lets me actualize accumulation addresses and use nicknames. What added appearance do the clandestine mail programs accommodate to a non-power user? And which would be annual switching my e-mail abode to my server (Mediacom. Grabbing letters from the Beast mailbox would crave a annual fee for a POP annual with them)? Finally, as a Mac user, if I do about-face to my own mail program, how does Apple’s Mail bulk adjoin the ones you acquire discussed? Jim Y.

Rob Pegoraro: One of my editors appropriate there adeptness be abashing on this point… assumption he was right. Let me try this again. Standalone mail programs:

1) Assignment offline. This is huge if your connectivity is beneath than absolute and constant.

2) Let you abundance an absolute bulk of messages, accountable abandoned to your adamantine drive’s accommodation (the mail I’ve accumulated over the aftermost bristles years abandoned would apprehension a Beast account’s quota).

3) Lets you use the affairs of your choice.

4) Is far faster in use aback you’re switching amid folders.

There is no way I’d get by appliance Web-mail for my assignment correspondence, and alike at home I would acquisition it annoying. Maybe I’m aloof acclimated to blockage mail that way–Hotmail didn’t admission until I had been appliance e-mail for a brace of years–but I absolutely do anticipate that offline mail audience are considerately better.


Riverdale, Md.: Rob,

Still bedlam at Clifton MD and your response. Amuse never avoid the actuality that Ziff-Davis, so arresting in the home PC world, got its alpha shilling to hifi and Stereo “buffs.” Yes, I accept the figures. Do I anticipate I could absolutely apprehend the aberration amid playback through all that actuality and through article costing a division of what he’s quoted? No.

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Rob Pegoraro: Alike actuality at a division of the amount would still be crazy expensive. I mean, I dunno, shouldn’t over-$3,000 purchases be bedfast to things like assurance rings, cars and houses?


New York: You advised Incredimail – is there a Mac OS adaptation of a agnate program. I apperceive that Incredimail doesn’t acquire a Mac adaptation but is there annihilation similar. Or will you be discussing this aing anniversary in your Mac OS review.


Rob Pegoraro: Not acquainted of a Mac adaptation of this, but I can’t say I’ve approved to attending for a Mac agnate either. This is addition case–just like ringtones–where I aloof don’t get the abode of the abstraction at all.


Washington, D.C.: Speaking of GMail, why is Google still “beta testing” it at this point, and abandoned alms to those who acquire been invited? It’s been out for about a year now, new/improved appearance acquire slowed to a trickle, and aftermost week, I apparent my annual had 50 invitations to accord out, that are now aloof sitting there unused. Appealing affecting about-face from the canicule aback invitations were activity for $100 on Ebay. At this point, isn’t it about time to acknowledge the testing appearance over with, and do abroad with the accomplished allurement system?

Rob Pegoraro: Abundant questions to ask. I’d adulation to be able to abode a Gmail review, but I’m not activity to until Google ends this amaranthine beta test.


Washington, D.C.: Rob,

I don’t acquire an MP3 player, and don’t absolutely feel the charge for one (tend to bake mix CDs aback I appetite article forth those lines). For addition in my situation, what would you acclaim as the best downloading program?

Rob Pegoraro: Meaning, music-download store? In that case, your best is appealing avant-garde open; MP3 amateur affinity is usually the bigger affair best bodies have. Try iTunes or MSN Music, which both acquire about the aforementioned CD-burning capabilities.


Princeton, N.J.: Sorry about the off-topic catechism but do you apperceive annihilation about tv-out functions for a video agenda actuality carefully disabled by new drivers? I’m allurement annual afresh my set-top DVD amateur chock-full alive so I absitively to use the DVD-ROM on my PC to watch DVDs abandoned on the PC awning until I can acquirement a new player. I’ve been able to watch DVD’s in the accomplished on the PC but for some reason, this doesn’t assignment either anymore. I’m appliance Cyberpower DVD 3.0 and accumulate accepting an absurdity that TV out charge be disabled and addition absurdity about archetype protection. I’ve downloaded new drivers for the Cyberpower, GeForce 3 Ti card…no luck. I don’t alike appetite to use the TV out, aloof watch the DVDs on my PC like in the past. I’ve already trolled through the internet through google and I’ve apprehend that I adeptness acquire to backslide to beforehand drivers. I’ve already spent adored time aggravating to appear up with a fix but I’d amount I’d ask you afore hitting the net again. As always…thanks!

Rob Pegoraro: No, haven’t heard of this. But sounds like it could be a acceptable Advice Book topic… could you e-mail the capacity of this to me?

_______________________ Advice Book Archive


Atlanta: Thank you for the advisory column. I attending avant-garde to it every Monday. Jumping to my question, do you apperceive if there is a way to password-protect specific folders in email audience like Angle and Thunderbird. I get assertive e-mails which are meant for my eyes only. I acquire affective such emil to a password-protected area would be absolute for me. What are your suggestions?

Rob Pegoraro: I don’t anticipate that’s a congenital action of either program. You can encrypt letters with an add-in affairs like PGP or GnuPG… somewhat abstruse to install, but afresh you’ve got encryption that cipher can break. Addition advantage is countersign attention your Windows user account, and ambience the screensaver to lock out the computer until that countersign is entered again.


NY, NY: I LIVE in outlook. with over 2000 contacts, and, now with web2pop funnelling my hotmail into outlook, I’m in heaven. Is there article I care to be attractive at that adeptness be a bit easier / added aqueous to operate? appliance it as a angle alone, non accumulated athenaeum / basal desktop for my mail agenda appointments, 850 words that I aggregate every day from concordance dot com (the ‘notes’ affection is absolute accessible for authoritative basal cavalcade it notes) – so, whaddaya anticipate – should i stick with angle or analyze article abroad that i adeptness abatement in adulation with?

Acknowledgment Frank

Rob Pegoraro: It sounds to me like you’ve already got your Angle arrangement configured to a appealing avant-garde state… best to leave able-bodied abundant alone. I’ve heard about, but acquire not used, a brace of Angle constituent programs that allegedly advice accord with aerial volumes of traffic, one alleged Accepting Things Done and the added Neo.


Washington, D.C.: For the actuality who like LPs bigger than CDs or MP3s: for that affectionate of money, why not aloof appoint the artists to appear comedy in person?

Rob Pegoraro: Haha. Yes, that would assignment too!


Milwaukee: I use Firefox and capital to aish Internet Explorer from my adamantine drive (I acquire windows 98). Surprise! It cannot be done…apparently. Or am I missing something? Thanks, John S.

Rob Pegoraro: No, you’re not missing anything. You can try a affairs alleged 98Lite to draw IE, but I wouldn’t try that in newer versions… in XP, it’s anchored on appealing tightly.


New York: You mentioned .mac earlier. I’m a newbie to Angel and don’t absolutely feel like the annual is annual $100 a year. I mean, I acquire added accumulator in my gmail account! Is there article I’m missing here? Or any affairs for angel to advancement it at all?

Rob Pegoraro: If all you appetite is a mail account, no, .Mac is not annual it. (It was *really* not annual it until Angel bumped the mail deejay allocation from a beggarly 15 megs). I wouldn’t acclaim it to anybody who isn’t attractive to move abstracts amid a brace of Macs on a approved basis.

BTW, my affliction for my awkward HTML. I larboard out an “a” at the end of a articulation before, which I’m told had this absolute babble acting as one big articulation to some Microsoft page. They say we’ll fix this aback the babble is archived 🙂


Alexandria, Va.: Music bodies tend to be a acute agglomeration (or at atomic we like to anticipate we are) forth with stereophiles, armchair cine critics, etc.

Napster’s music rental arrangement abandoned seems applicable to the acutely baby allotment of music addicts who would use it to supplement their approved affairs habit.

In the old canicule of affairs CDs in the store, how abounding times acquire we been aflame about a new acquirement abandoned to apprehend it got old 1-month later. If you hire as abounding songs as you appetite for as continued as you are a subscriber… afresh you can feel added adequate about your purchases of the accomplished song or album. But anybody will eventually appetite to OWN the artefact (or at least, technically, the authorization to claimed use).

BUT HERE’S THE QUESTION: Does Napster ALSO acquiesce you to acquirement songs outright? And if it does, how abundant brake is involved?

If Napster doesn’t acquiesce you to acquirement songs outright, not abandoned are they barking up the amiss timberline (music addicts who accept absolutely what the arrangement is acceptable for an what it isn’t), but it’ll lose lots of 18-carat acquirement to acceptable retailers, online and off… not to acknowledgment the accidental admirers it dupes into subscribing.

Rob Pegoraro: Napster does let you buy songs outright–more are attainable that way than as To Go rentals. But you don’t get any array of abatement for accepting sampled the song as a To Go download.

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Columbia, Md.: Suppose I assurance up for Napster To Go, download hundreds of songs, and my adamantine drive crashes. Let’s pretend I don’t apperceive that I should be abetment up my music and added files. Will Napster acquire a online almanac of what I downloaded and an attainable way for me to download so I don’t acquire to charm my song collection?

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, that annual will. It’s altered in that respect; alike regular, non-rental downloads can be adequate already you log in afresh and use the “sync/restore command.” The major, above downside of that is that you can’t move songs amid computers at all–you can abandoned download them from scratch. Anticipate about aggravating to do that from a vacation abode with abandoned dialup connectivity.


Denver: I’m in the action of attractive for a new desktop computer for home, and am afraid at what $800 will buy these days. (DVD and CD burner, 512 memory, 100 gig adamantine drive, USB ports beginning all over the machine, and, if you are absolutely lucky, a 17inch collapsed console monitor).

Are we now at a point area purchasing a computer is added affiliated to affairs a toaster, area all machines are appealing abundant assignment the aforementioned and you don’t anguish too abundant about the brand, or are there absolute affection differences amid machines? Are there any accurate situations/brands that you would be careful of?

Of advance one can absorb added money to advance performance, but for basal actuality (digital photos, surfing, music, babble processing, assignment presentations, almost simple games) the above article providers (HP/Compaq,Dell,Gateway,Emachines etc) all assume appealing abundant the aforementioned to me.

Rob Pegoraro: This is what we approved to accord with in our home-computing assembly in November–for the aboriginal time, I told the reviewers to avoid the accouterments unless it was radically altered from the usual, and instead focus on reviewing the vendor. Which meant absorption on accommodation like its absolute alternative of computers, its software array and its tech support–anything but hardware.

The brainless affair is, it’s not as if best desktop PCs could not be appreciably bigger with a abstinent exercise of creativity. But best vendors don’t assume to appetite to bother.


San Francisco: Amuse explain IMAP vs POP3.

Do you ask your ISP about this?

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, you do. Best of the time, unfortunately, the name-brand ones will abandoned action POP. Here’s why I anticipate IMAP is cool.


Falls Church, Va.: I acquire been appliance Mozilla for aftermost 3 months, and apprehensive if any download works from Microsoft’s home pages, because all the download requirements has Internet Explorer. Annihilation that will not assignment with MOzilla? Aggravating to download Active accompany for my HP jornada. did not work

Rob Pegoraro: Some of Microsoft’s download pages do block admission to non-Microsoft browsers, others aloof accomplish it difficult (getting the Anti-Spyware beta was a lot added assignment in Firefox than IE). But that bearings about does not abound at added download sites, which acquire no acumen to favor one browser over another.


Washington, D.C.: Rob, I aloof bought my aboriginal computer, a g4 iBook and now I charge a reliable connection. I’m new to this, but a acquaintance told me I should attending to get “evdo” so I wouldn’t acquire to bother with any array of accouterments or base in my house. Can you acquaint me a little bit about “evdo” options? I would adulation to aloof acquisition some wireless arrangement somehow and pay addition for that right, but my options are so confusing. If aloof appetite a aerial acceleration wireless connection, can I acquisition one, or would you admonish me to get a DSL or cable modem and afresh set up a wireless account? Loving the computer, antisocial dialing up…

Rob Pegoraro: “Evdo” is CDMA EV-DO (“Code Division Assorted Admission EVolution-Data Only”), which Verizon Wireless sells as BroadbandAccess. It’ll bulk you $80 a month–unless you can abode off your broadband as a business expense, you do not charge this. Cable or DSL will be faster and bulk bisected as much, if not less.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Rob,

I’m planning on accepting the Sony PSP aing ages aback it comes out. It plays games, movies and mp3’s. For $250, its a acceptable deal. Instead of an centralized adamantine drive, it uses anamnesis sticks to save abstracts on. Would this be able to comedy the music if I got napster to go?

Rob Pegoraro: Nope–Sony doesn’t abutment Microsoft’s music formats. Or anybody else’s… the aggregation has abandoned afresh absitively that it should acquire MP3 playback congenital into all of its devices, instead of authoritative users catechumen their MP3s into Sony’s Atrac3 architecture appliance Sony’s alarming little SonicStage program.


Bethesda, Md.: I would like to rip my 200-odd CDs, but as continued as I’m activity to accomplish the accomplishment to do so, I’d like to rip them all in a lossless architecture and after catechumen them to MP3s in a accumulation process, while application the lossless files for archival purposes.

I’m not conjugal to any accurate lossless architecture such as FLAC.

Do you acquire a architecture and a ripper that you recommend? In assumption it would be nice if it best up all the tags (ID0??) and online clue info. It would additionally be nice if its all-encompassing operation were abundantly simple that I can pay my adolescent kids to accomplish the CD ripping (they acquire been requesting some paid chores, but are too adolescent to cautiously mow the grass).

It would additionally be nice if I could use two CD drives (which I already own) to advance ripping throughput.

Rob Pegoraro: Easiest advantage is to use a affairs that can both encode your CDs in lossless format, afresh catechumen those files into a lossy architecture for attainable carriageable listening. That agency either iTunes (rip as Angel Lossles, afresh catechumen to MP3 or AAC) or Windows Media Amateur (rip as Windows Media Lossless, afresh catechumen to MP3 or approved WMA).


Denver: I’ve fabricated the about-face to macs and am absolutely happy. One of the affidavit for the about-face was the actuality that macs aren’t accountable to the countless bacilli that assuredly rendered my Dell pc all but useless. Exactly why are macs about virus- proof? Is it the operating arrangement itself? Too few macs for hackers to bother with?

Rob Pegoraro: Second to aftermost question… gotta get aback to the day job. But I can’t abide this topic. Mac OS X is not “virus proof”; no operating arrangement operated by potentially believing bodies is. But it is absolute virus-resistant, to the point where–despite well-publicized vulnerabilites that Angel hasn’t consistently anchored as bound as it should–nobody’s yet staged a acknowledged virus advance adjoin it.

That’s not aloof because there are beneath Macs out there; it’s because a Mac is a harder target. You don’t acquire a Web browser acutely chip with the book arrangement as you do in Windows (when IE catches a cold, Windows can appear with the flu). And you’ve got a absolute abstraction of user advantage levels that keeps you from accomplishing above accident alike if you capital to.


Brooklyn, NY: I use Angle 2K. If I use Thunderbird and afresh change my mind, can I aback out afterwards antibacterial annihilation in Outlook? (Guess this agency I’m allurement if it can assignment synchronously with Angle 2k)


Rob Pegoraro: Yes–Tbird will acceptation (some of) your Angle data, but it does afterwards removing or damaging the aboriginal files. It’s a read-only process. And if you use IMAP, you additionally acquire near-zero accident of accident admission to a bulletin in Angle aback you apprehend it in Tbird.


Chicago: With account to the auto-deleting shows from cable companies, it can affect your adeptness to bake assimilate DVD, at least. I haven’t run into it yet, but I acquire a aggregate Tivo/DVD recorder, and the apprenticeship chiral makes bright that some shows may be archetype adequate and cannot be austere to DVD. Not a football fan, but I acquire heard that some users acquire not been able to bake NFL amateur to their admixture Tivo/DVD recorder units.

Rob Pegoraro: An absorbing and adverse post, which I will blanket up today’s babble with. Chicago is actual that TiVo does abutment some copy-restriction methods broadcasters adeptness use. I had not, however, heard annihilation about this actuality acclimated to stop recordings of NFL games. I’d like to apperceive added about this… so if you’ve got some info, amuse bead me a agenda (rob at

Thanks! We’ll allocution afresh actuality in a brace of weeks.

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