I’m lov’in the web site stage6.com for it’s variety of available videos. Every video file that I’ve downloaded transferred completely to my PC without any problems. I mostly download old 60s, 70s, and 80s SciFi TV shows, which seem to be abundant on this web site. The quality is quite good, and they convert to Zune format very easily. Don’t be afraid of the DIVX format, as it is basically an AVI file.
Lately, I’ve been downloading old shows like The Time Tunnel, The Six Million Dollar Man, Firefly, and Space: Above and Beyond, and I’m sure I’ll find more oldies as I continue to review the available downloads. If you plan to convert the DIVX files to WMV format, make sure you have a good DIVX video codec installed on your PC!
So what’s the first thing I try when I have a video file that won’t convert using Windows Media Encoder 9? I examine what video and audio codec was used to create that troublesome file. To do this, I use a program called GSpot which will give me the attributes of a video file. If you’re interested in knowing how to use GSpot, you can review my page called Determining Video Attributes which shows a few examples of different file formats and explains what you can do to get the necessary codecs for video conversion.
If you don’t know what “Bittorent” is, then I’ll enlighten you what this system is and how it works. Basically, Bittorent is a peer-to-peer file transfer system where individuals can download files from a system of computers on the Internet. Instead of downloading all the data for a desired file from a single file server, you are downloading bits and pieces of that file from multiple computers on the Internet that have it on their individual hard drives. Any computer that has the Bittorent application running can potentially be a machine that “serves” bits of these files to others on the Internet (and it will definitely slow down your Internet connection). So when you are downloading files using Bittorent, your machine is also acting as a server for others to download files from.
The primary use of Bittorent, is to share copyrighted music, video, and software application files, and this is done illegally. So, you’re downloading music and movie files illegally, cracked software applications, etc.
Most people feel safe in using Bittorent, since they think they are anonymous on the Bittorent system. This is a wrong assumption. For example, whenever you visit a web site, the web server you are hitting knows exactly what IP address you are making your connection to the Internet from. Therefore, the web server knows who your Internet Service Provider is and basically can find out your home address through your provider if requested. Whether you make your Internet connection via cable modem, DSL, or modem dialup, a web server records your unique IP address and that can easily be traced back to you. Continue reading
Just in case you deleted some or all the preloaded Zune Files (e.g., jpg images, videos, etc.) from your Zune and you want it back, you can download all of those files from this web link at the Microsoft.com site. The file is 410 MB in size, and downloads fairly quickly with a broadband connection.
I come across a lot of web sites that claim to have current movies available for download if you pay a low monthly subscription fee. In most cases, you’re just paying to see a web page that has links to free download servers that have illegal movies uploaded by some anonymous person. So, these sites are totally illegimate and illegal.
A few weeks ago, I came across a forum posting where someone mentioned ZuneDVDMovies.com, and they claimed that it was a legal, legitimate site for purchasing and downloading movies for your Zune. I was a bit skeptical, but a few other forum users posted messages saying that it was legal and legitimate. This afternoon, I decided to test this out by making a purchase to see for myself.
I went to their site and reviewed the “New Releases” category and purchased the movie, 3:10 To Yuma with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. This movie was released to DVD just a few weeks ago, so it seemed plausible that it could be offered for sale on a web site for download. The movie was priced at $6.99 US, and a charge of 50 cents was added to cover the credit card charges. I noticed that the order page was secure (it used the https:// web address header which indicates a SSL certificate (secure socket layer)), so that made me feel a bit more comfortable that my credit card data was being sent securely. Continue reading
As you can tell from my previous postings, I frequent the different Zune forums on a regular basis to get information and help others with answers to their questions. Often, I’ll find questions concerning video conversion which I answer with a suggestion to visit this forum for more information. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people are using shortcuts, Internet acronyms, and simply misspelled words in their postings that really irritate me. Something like the following:
lol. I need hlp converting vids becuz i want to wtch vids on Zune lol. Plz hlp lol cuz my Zne is sad wo vids lol.
Just typing that sentence is irritating to me! And, why the need to put in all the “lol” jargon? (I’m assuming that lol = laugh out loud). I can only guess this type of posting is written by a teenager who is too lazy to type out full words or use correct grammar. I wonder how do these teenagers graduate from Junior High or High School? If they are so use to writing in this manner (probably text messaging on their phones), how do they write term papers for class? That must be a big problem, unless MS-Word can correct all their grammar for them.
For me, this type of writing is just as bad as writing a posting or email in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!! (That’s a whole different pet peeve topic…)
I came across some more sites offering free videos and music downloads. The first is ROFL – Funny Video Clips which offers downloadable videos in MP4 format (suitable for the Zune). They have a lot of YouTube-like videos available, which are mainly commericals, funny home videos, TV clips, etc.
For music, check out music.download.com, which offers free music in streaming format. For the most part you can listen to music from their site, but you can’t download it. They do have a few locations where you can download MP3 files for free, such as on the iPod Starter Kit link (on the main page). Most of these musicians are Indie, so you won’t get the big name artists here.
Also on music.download.com, you can click on the Indie Rock link, and then click on any of the Artists that appear under “Indie to Go Vol. 12” to find more downloadable MP3 files.