Vista beta testers mad about forced startup sound

Folks testing Microsoft Windows Vista have been emailing me today complaining that in Vista the startup sound that goes off everytime the OS starts up will be forced.

Today in Windows XP you can turn off the startup sound, but from what the beta testers have been told that startup sound will be forced to stay on.

I’ll call Steve Ball tomorrow (he runs the audio team) to find out if he can clarify this. Translation: I have not gotten Microsoft’s side of the story on this one. Will let you know when I hear from them.

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New DivX video portal rocks, but will you download it?

I love the new DivX Stage 6 video portal (er, YouTube competitor). The video quality ABSOLUTELY ROCKS compared to other video portals I’ve seen.

One problem? You need to download the plug-in and install it. It worked well on my browsers, but some people might have trouble and it takes a few minutes to wait for your first video.

So, will you rather go to YouTube, which runs on Flash which you probably already have installed, or will you go to Stage6, which has bigger and higher quality videos, but requires a few minutes of setup?

I’m going to DivX, but quality is important for me.

Here’s a session on video blogging from the Sundance Film Festival that I’m watching right now. Widescreen. Sharp. Nice audio.

The other thing to look at is how much processor time these things take. My processor on my Lenovo X41 Tablet PC is running at about 65% while playing that video.

Thanks to Katie Fehrenbacher on Om Malik’s new supersite for linking me to this.

Slashdot Founder on Geek Entertainment TV

One thing we’re learning about is just how bad the experience is on video.

Seems like we have a few choices.

1) Compress the hell out of the video so it downloads and plays well on almost every connection.
2) Leave it nice and sharp, but that keeps people who aren’t right near one of our datacenters or Akamai (they mirror our stuff so you can get it fast) from getting it.

Even on a fast connection it’s a frustrating experience. But, that’s why connecting video with RSS makes sense, so your aggregator will download the video and it’ll sit on your hard drive after it’s finished downloading.

Anyway, fun video with Geek Entertainment TV who went to Linux World last week and got this interview with Cmdr Taco, founder of Slashdot. Hey, is that Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List in the background? Why yes it is!

Hmmm, speaking of which, I gotta try RedSwoosh. Here’s a link to the same video, but on RedSwoosh. It’ll be interesting to see how that can help with these issues. RedSwoosh is a peer-to-peer piece of software that you load on your machine. A lot like BitTorrent.

If that works, maybe we can put up some really high res versions of our videos. But dealing with HDTV quality is gonna be tough through IP-based networks. I’m encoding the video with Thomas Hawk and it’s massive, even at a non-HD resolution.