Itunes M4V Video Files to DVD

Itunes uses a protected format of mpeg4 to prevent copying and distribution of video you purchace and download from thier website. I think next time I'll order the DVD. I recently purchaced season 1 and 2 of "Sliders" and found that it would only play in Itunes or the Quicktime player. Even with all my video tools the most I could do with Itunes was burn the files to a Backup Data DVD...again still limited to watch it only on the computer.

Since I prefer to watch movies on the TV I started looking for solutions.

Most of the websites referenced or are pushing an application called "Tunebite" and It didn't work for me for what ever reason. The resulting video didn't display properly and kept capturing other areas of the screen besides the video. Pulling the audio only off wouldn't  even play.

I use a program called AutoScreenRecorderPro v 2.1 which gives me some flexibility as to what codec, framerate and cpu priority to make the recording with. I also used the Quicktime player instead of the Itunes player and told the recorder to record the window of the player so it effectively cuts out everything but the movie.

In AutoScreenRecorderPro I selected the Microsoft MPEG4 Video Codec V2, Image quality 80, and framerate 60 recording priority set to High. I had to play with this a bit. After it created the .AVI file I dropped it into DVD Movie Factory 4 and made a DVD that played great on the TV.

The Pro version supports recording audio but they also have a free version for testing the video recording capability at

Anyone using this method should remember it is illegal to distibute or make available for distribution the resulting file in any form or fashion and would be subject to procecution under international copyright laws. Doing this for "Personal Use Only" is another matter. Personal Use comes under the same 'Fair Use" laws that allow you to insert a DVD movie you purchace in any DVD player of your choice.

I don't think I'll ever own a Video Pod to carry movies with me. But I already have a Laptop and a couple of DVD players in the house.


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Grand Canyon Skywalk

I received this email this morning....

Message Subject: Grand Canyons new bridge..

Would you walk on this?

The Glass Bridge Construction of the Skywalk began March of 2004 and is estimated to be completed by 4th quarter of 2006.

Glass Bridge will be suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon . On May 2005, the final test was conducted and the structure passed engineering requirements by 400 percent, enabling it to withstand the weight of 71 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes (more than 71 million pounds).

The bridge will be able to sustain winds in excess of 100 miles per hour from 8 different directions, as well as an 8.0 magnitude earthquake within 50 miles. More than one million pounds of steel will go into the construction of the Grand Canyon Skywalk.




Very cool but do know that it in fact....

Can it really withstand the weight of 71 747's...have they tried this? I see a potential landing problem with thier design.

How did they get mother nature to blow winds at 100mph from eight directions on demand?

I think the last earthquake of 8.0 was here 1922, November 11, 04:33. A magnitude 8.3 earthquake occurred in the southern part of Atacama Province, central Chile. Locally, the tsunami caused extensive damage. The tsunami arrived at Hilo, Hawaii in 14.5 hours. The period of oscillations was 20 minutes, and the height of the tsunami was 2.1 m; many boats were washed away, and some damage was done. The wave reached Honolulu in 15.0 hours. The period of oscillations of the waves was 23 minutes, the height of the wave 0.3 m.

A little farther away than 50 miles. They don't mention how far away from the edge of the cliff this thing is anchored do they? The cliff looks a little eroded to me.

So my question basically is who checked the figures and who in the hell is gonna clean the underside of the glass?

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What to do?

Well another long week is over and not sure at this point what I actually will do....This weekend


1. Sleep all weekend

Not usually what I do but ever since daylight saving time I'm up before the chickens working on my DVD project for 3-4 hours then put my 8 hours on the clock.

2. Play with my new Video Camcorder.

Picked up a small inexpensive camcorder off EBAY to get my feet wet. Darn thing only has 32mb memory card with it so can't be too creative without having to ofload it to the pc. It's got all this stuff I'll probably never use like the stuff on my gazillian remote controls I never bothered to figure out. They usually break before you get them mastered and need to learn another one so it's kind of a waste of energy. I usually walk to the tv to turn it on if that gives you a clue.

3. Install Wiring Harness and Tow Hitch on the Jeep.

The dealer says about $500 bucks to do it and I've got the parts....Let's see how cold it is first before I devote the weekend to this project. I need to get it done though so I can tow the boat trailer and my utility trailer with the new Jeep. My trailer has been ready to go to the dumps since my other jeep was stolen a few months ago.

4. Put plastic up and cover the swamp cooler.

I really need to put a new roof on the storage shed but I bought a tarp for that and the boat and the motorcycle. Swamp Cooler is a huge heat leak so that will likely get done out of everything.



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The Vote IS IN!

Looks like Winter is officially here! Didn't have a lot of work to do today so I just hung out. The weather wasn't bad all day until after I went out.

I ran down to the Jeep dealer to pick up a wiring harness for my new tow package I ordered online and it was raining just a bit. Ran dow to Anderson and it was raining a little harder down there. I had a computer to fix but the lady wasn't home yet so I checked out Wally World and got a new electric blanket and a set of sheets.

After I fixed the computer and started coming home was a different story. It was raining buckets. I ran in to Sentry Market to get the broiler pan for the turkey and a few odds and ends and it was hailing by the time I was ready to come home. Also some pretty impressive lightning to go allong with it.

As soon as I pulled up at the house it let up for about 5 mins....great timing!

Here comes the rain again and knocks out the satelite.


Here's a few pics from last winter.

We are only about 5 miles from Shasta Lake and about 2 miles from the snow line. Doesn't snow very much here but I can see snow almost year round on Mt Shasta which is around 14,00 feet.



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TechZilla News - More on IE7

 TechZilla News

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TechZilla Says: 

Never did get IE7 to quit crashing on MSN video although had no problems at Google Video or YouTube. I believe somehow this may be related to the minor anamolies I've had with Windows Media Player since I built my new machine. Other than that it seemed fairly stable. I did uninstall from my desktop and went back to IE6 since it's my main computer I use.

I also installed IE7 on my laptop and had no problems what so ever so far. I believe I may keep IE7 on my laptop to become familiar with it so I'm not a fish out of water at clients homes and businesses. I believe this is going to boil down to a matter of choice as to what browser you want. If you have a friend who has made the plunge, I would go look at it and see for yourself. Microsoft also has a tour located at

One last thing, what I understand is
that users will not be forced to accept IE7 nor will Microsoft
silently install IE7. Users will see a dialog box offering IE7. Users can choose “Install”, “Don’t Install”, or “Ask me later”.  They also have a command line utility that will create the necessary registry change so even that will quit bugging you. I'm not really sure how aggressive the dialog box will be at coming up.

Copyright © TechZilla News 2006


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Techzilla News

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TechZilla Says:

exerpt from WserverNews by Sunbelt Software Nov 20 2006
IE7 Rejected By FBI

InfoWorld has a "gossip" journalist that had an item this week that I thought was immensely entertaining so I'm sending you a short blurb of the "Robert X. Cringely" column!

"Microsoft may be 'gung ho' about Internet Explorer 7, but the FBI doesn't share its enthusiasm. Cringester and gun dealer Robert B. got an e-mail from the Feds saying its NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) does not support IE7. The G-men want to perform a background check on the browser's security flaws before they pull the trigger. (A good idea.) Suddenly Microsoft's plan to roll out IE7 as an automatic Windows update looks even dumber. Maybe Redmond should change that to semi-automatic." Hee hee.


If you use IE6 (Internet Explorer 6) which is the default browser for Windows XP, be aware that Microsoft plans to make IE7 an automatic update. Be aware that not all websites fully support IE7 such as some banks etc. While some of the features seem nice and lots of users like them, some of them including my self do not. One major change I noticed was the toolbar is less configurable. Right after it was released to the public, I installed it and within 5 minutes was uninstalling it because for one it looked funny, and I couldn't quickly make it do what I wanted. Then of course it also crashed my new system for what ever reason.

Since that time, I have learned that it changes the cookies and temporary internet file storage folders to "protected system folders" making them more difficult to browse to on the system and manually delete the items. I'm sure there are other things I will learn about over time.

I plan on installing IE7 again this weekend and will let everyone know what I think before the automatic updates occur hopefully.

Hope all is Well!

Copyright © TechZilla News 2006


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TechZilla News

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TechZilla Says:  

If you have a microphone, it's fairly easy to record your voice to say something like "You've Got mail" or something and assign the recording to a Windows event sound. But what if for instance you wanted to record a song that is playing through the sound card from some website or off a cd or dvd? Third-party utilites typically make this easier but can be done with the Windows Sound Recorder.

To do this, First go to START>All Programs>Accessories>Entertainment>Volume Control.

When the Volume control loads, click on the "options" menu option and select properties. Select the  Adjust Volume for "Recording" Options and make sure there are check marks on the Stereo and Mono Mix options and click ok.

Next open the Sound Recorder which is in the same menu group you found the Volume Control. By default the Windows Recorder will only record a 60 sec wav file but there is a workaround. I just discovered this actually...the old dog learns a new trick!

Below is the method recommended by a user in a discussion group I belong to on Yahoo Groups:


Using Sound Recorder the trick to creating a longer recording is to join shorter blank recordings.

Click Start and point to All Programs and then point to Accessories.

Point to Entertainment and then click on Sound Recorder.

Record a "blank recording": Click the Red "Record" button and let it run until it stops (60 seconds). You will see the electronic tape progress as the slider bar moves from left to right. When the tape runs out, the slider bar will stop moving.

Click the Edit menu and then click the Copy command.

Click the Edit menu and click the Paste Insert command.

Notice that the length has changed, you can see the length in the right side of the dialog box.

Repeat step #2 again. Your blank recording should now be 240 seconds

(4 minutes). Using this method, it will double each time you repeat step #2. You can always cut off what you don't use later.

Save the blank recording: Click File and then click the Save command.

In the Save As dialog box, type in a name for the tape. Call it something like Blank (xx)Minutes so you know that it's a blank tape and how long it is.

Close the Sound Recorder and open it up again. Click File and then click the Open command. Open the blank tape you saved. Press the Red "Record" button and record your message. When you're done recording, click on the Square "Stop" button. Click on the Edit menu and click the Delete after current position. You'll see a dialog box informing you that everything after the current position will be deleted. Click OK.

Click the File menu and click the Save As command.

Save the file with a different name. This allows you to keep the current recording and leave your blank recording unchanged.


One user in the group suggested that the file size you create should not exceed 76mb. Wav sound files are typically huge. For example let's say you have an audio cd that has 10 audio tracks and the disk contains 700mb/80min worth of data/time. If each track were identical. The resulting recorded wav file would be about 70mb/8min. Of course these are just rough figures. 

When testing this method I was able to create a 1920sec blank sound file which is actually about 32 minutes or 322mb. When trying to go beyond that I recieved an out of memory error. The recorder is actually only capable of displaying up to 999:99 seconds for both the position and length so my test file when loaded shows 920:00 but is actually 1920:00 seconds. The limit seems to be actually based on the available ram you have and not so much the actual file size so far. I was able to record 32 minutes of a DVD with no problem.

If you did this alot, it would be easy to fill up your hard disk.

Wav files can be converted to smaller compressed files like .MP3 files or .WMA files to save space or used to burn a custom audio cd. The quality is typically better than any of the conversions because it uses no compression to save space. So if you use your WAV files to create a custom Audio cd with your favorite tracks, the result will actually be better 'technically' than those made with other file formats. I say technically because certain sound frequencies are not even audible to the human ear and can be removed during the compression process.

I suppose it would be actually possible to capture an entire sound track from a DVD in multiple parts and burn them to audio cd's. In my case I could pause the DVD at a little before 32 minutes and stop recording and trim the ends. Then save my first segment, and start over with the blank file and keep repeating the process until I had the entire movie done in separate files. Upon completion I could get aproximatel 2 files burned to each audio cd. For a 90 minute movie it would take probably 4 cd's unless I created at least 2 smaller or shorter recordings of about 50mb each.

So while it's illegal to drive and watch your favorite can certainly drive and listen to it if you have a cd player in the car.

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Will the idiot that put the missing computer parts in my steamer trunk I carry with me in my Jeep to hold odds and ends please step forward?

I guess I can't say I never put parts in there that belong to jobs I'm running any more. I seldom go into it except I needed to get out a set of earphones to test a sound card. The relief of finding the stuff outweighs the feeling of pie on the face.

I guess I'll just have to record this as my first of many senior moments. OR maybe it's just CRS (cant remember SH..).


To the person I suspected but never accused....Sorry


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Wasted Trip

Got up at 3am to go to a meeting in Hayward today. Got stuck in traffic and was an hour late to the meeting. That was ok except they didn't really expect me to come down from the Redding area. When they said "All" the full-time techs they didn't single me out and say you don't have to come. So I was there about 30 min and drove back. The good news is that it's still light out and still time to get something accomplished.

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