iTunes replaced on Apple devices by Apple Music and TV apps

iTunes has been replaced by Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts on iOS and MacOS devices.  Prior iTunes media library content can now be found in these new apps.  Instructions on how to manage Apple Music and other subscriptions are available.

Apple iTunes is still available for Microsoft Windows.

Apple AirPlay allows wireless communication between compatible devices

Apple AirPlay is a wireless protocol that allows MacOS computers, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs to wirelessly send content to compatible TVs and speakers.  Each device must meet Apple’s system requirements in order to use AirPlay.

Apple AirPlay is currently at version 2.0 and uses Apple HomeKit technology.  This wireless protocol functionality was originally developed under the names Apple AirTunes or Apple AirPort.

Smart devices and media centers that are not Apple products can communicate using Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) or Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standards.

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is hosting its annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from January 8th – 11th 2019 in Las Vegas.

Some of the future products that were displayed include:

A full list of new products introduced at CES 2019 may be found at www.ces.tech/Media/New-Product-Launches.aspx.

TV channels may change frequency because of FCC airwaves auction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently held a spectrum auction to improve wireless services nationwide.  As a result, some over-the-air (OTA) antenna TV channels will soon be broadcasting on a different frequency.  These changes will begin in 2018 and may not end until at least 2020.

TVanswers.org is a website created by National Association of Broadcasters to help TV viewers with this transition.

Other sites that can help with the positioning of an antenna for the best TV channel signal include:

Kodi – a free open source media player for multiple platforms

Kodi is a free open source media player and entertainment center for multiple platforms, including Android, Linux, MacOS X, iOS, Windows, and Xbox One.   It is also available as a downloadable app from Google Play and Microsoft Store.

Kodi was originally known as Xbox Media Center (XBMC) and developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium.   It plays audio, video, and image files, and third-party plugins are available to add additional features.  The Kodi Wiki page lists more details about configurations and options for this app.

Hoopla – free digital media content with library card

Hoopla is a free digital service available for U.S. library card holders. It allows users to stream movies, TV shows, music, eBooks, audiobooks, and comics in a web browser. Android and ITunes app versions are also available.

More information is available at https://www.hoopladigital.com/.

Use VLC Media Player to play DVDs on Windows 10 PCs

Microsoft has removed the ability to play DVDs from Windows Media Player as part of the Windows 10 Feature Deprecation.  Instead, Microsoft has made a separate Windows Store App for Windows DVD Player, available for purchase at the current price of $14.99.  This app does not currently play Blu-ray discs.

A free alternative DVD player is VLC Media Player, which is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. It is an open source product developed by VideoLAN, a non-profit organization made up of volunteers.  VLC does not specify playback of Blu-ray discs, although VideoLAN does have LibBluRay available.