Planning to get in touch, with more-modern music.

I am a 52-year-old man, who has mainly been listening to music from my own era, from when I was a teenager. This is a completely normal thing to do.

Also, I have known people who claim, that everything – including music – which was produced in this era, is not as good as things were in our era.

I find this last statement to be absurd. There existed geniuses in the 1970s and 1980s – even young geniuses. There is no reason to assume that our Society has simply stopped producing geniuses. What this means is that rather than judging everything which is produced today, it might make better sense to try understanding it.

Now that I have a account, in addition to my account, this could be an opportunity for me to explore modern music. With , I have been listening to a collection as I went through my daily routines, that stem mainly from my era. But on , I am making an effort to add music to my playlists, which is more from the era today.

Thus, I could end up listening to music on my  when I am home, that actually contrasts with what I have been listening to on my phone. And if there are glitches, we will just have to troubleshoot those, so that the glitches are solved! :)

Dirk

 

I finally put Spotify on my Roku.

In this earlier posting, I wrote that I had acquired a ‘‘, and that one feature which was glaring at me, was that button with the ‘‘ logo, which was designed to launch this music-streaming app, but which was also designed to attract customers to .

The tremendous allure of this finally melted my brain, and one button on the remote which did not work just had to be fixed. I signed up for a account, of which I am being offered a Premium subscription, the first 30 days of which are free.

Because I was already a customer of , I accept that there will be some duplication of services, and for the moment have decided that this is here to stay.

I must say though, that the channel specifically, strikes me as a bit unstable. I find that the Android app is 100x better, because to have reliable responses to taps and clicks and button-pushes, helps me with my experience. I think their app needs a little updating.

But that can easily happen with some of the channels. Their ‘Netflix’ channel is a highly polished app, that seems to work like a charm. But OTOH, there exist numerous so-called ‘Private Channels’, which were designed by amateurs, and which do not work well – or which do not work at all! But then again, we usually do not pay for those Private Channels.

Even though I am willing to pay for it, I find that the way the channel works on , is a bit more like one of the Private Channels. I am looking forward to some future improvements in its stability.

At first I was experiencing that playlists, which I had created using the Web-player in my PC browser, did not update to the channel. And just this evening it was happening to me, that the streams would not start to play. I would select to shuffle my main playlist, the channel would go to a random song within the playlist, but then the music would just not start to play.

And this cannot have a consistent explanation because at random, playback would start working again, without my having applied any sort of solution to the problem.

Dirk

P.S. What seems to have solved this problem for the time being, was to log the channel out of my account, and then to log in again.

 

Internet TV and Bit-Rates

When we hook up our Internet TV box for the first time, we are allowed – in most cases – to set our TV resolution to 1080p. But the reality today is, that this resolution does not by itself state the picture quality.

Such video streams are sent to the receiver in compressed format, and the compressed bit-rate is a more accurate indication of what the actual picture quality will be. I.e., even if the basic format is 1920×1080, by compressing the stream more, lower bit-rates can be achieved, at the expense of picture quality.

Modern Internet TV boxes are quite intelligently programmed, to be able to change the bit-rate in mid-stream. Thus, when my ‘‘ started buffering, during an initial test, it did not only allow for its buffer to catch up with the point in the movie I was watching, but also noted that the real bit-rate of my connection was not high enough to support the highest quality level, available at 1080p. Immediately after that, the picture seemed slightly less sharp, but as I continued to watch, the overall quality of the picture started to recover again.

My has never had a streaming-interruption since then.

In fact, the way it is with HDMI connections to our TV, it is impractical for the source of the stream to change the picture-format in mid-stream. It tends to stay fixed.

And when we compare – which is a service offered by my ISP, also to stream TV to me via DSL – its reason for maintaining a consistent picture-quality is actually different. In this case, the bit-rate of the stream is reserved at the Modem / Router, which also belongs to Bell. I.e., the Bell Modem can ensure that a certain rate of bits per second are available for TV, and can do so at the expense of actual computers also trying to communicate. My is counted by the Bell Modem, as just another connected WiFi client.

What this actually means, is that if another person is considering buying a , but worried that his Internet is not fast enough – as long as he does have some form of high-speed Internet – he need not worry much. The receiver would detect his slow connection, and adjust the picture quality to suit.

Also, with a , we get to set the picture format to 720p instead, so that the required bit-rates start at a slower one.

If my TV was a 4K TV, I could set the format accordingly, but then I would worry, that this might be time and money wasted, because then, the picture quality on my network might not keep up with the 4K format.

Dirk

 

A Glitch in the Roku

The , like many home appliances today, periodically downloads firmware updates, designed to fix glitches. Yet, it might be helpful for its developers to know what all of them are – and what they have yet to fix.

(Edit 05/11/2017 : The status of this glitch or bug has been superseded, by a firmware update which took place since the time of this posting, and which I’ve written about in this later posting. The bug seems to have been fixed. )

One feature the has, which I have described before, is its ability to use the HDMI interface, to tell the TV, to make it the selected input, as soon as we operate any controls. My TV has 3 HDMI inputs, and all 3 are currently connected to some sort of appliance.

calls this feature “One-Touch Play”.

Samsung calls it ““.

The problem becomes noticeable, if we leave the TV input switched to the , turn off the TV, and then simply allow the to go into standby, at some later point in time.

What happens is that as it goes into standby, the ‘remembers’ that it was the selected input of the TV. This may in fact not be the case anymore, when we next want to use the , because by then, we may have switched the TV input to something else. But, when the resumes, it still ‘thinks’ it is the selected input, and fails to send the signal to the TV again, to make itself the selected input.

This problem can lead to confusion until the cause is identified, and carries on in a very persistent way. When we have multiple remotes, being able to understand what each of them does may no longer be satisfying. We may actually want to keep their operation as direct as possible as well.

IMHO, The correct behavior would be, that the forget it was the selected input, and that it resend the signal to the TV anyway, to select itself, as soon as a control is pressed.

I have been able to create another similar situation, in which the was simply on its home-page, after viewing video for an hour or more, and in which to switch the TV to a different input – using the TV remote – did not send the message to the , that the was being disconnected.

Actually, I can tell whether this feature is working correctly or not, while I switch the TV to another input, before shutting everything down. When things are working, my TV displays a message saying ““. This tells me that the TV is sending the signal to the as well, telling the latter, it is no longer the selected input.

This only happens with the , not with the Sony Blu-Ray player, which suggests that it may still be a glitch with the .

Dirk

This bug exists with

(Edit 02/15/2017 : )

The other situation in which this glitch occurs is as follows.

The could be on its Home Page, and I could use my TV remote, to switch the TV to a different input. At that time, the TV Menu does display the word “” next to the currently-chosen input. Then, I can switch the TV off.

If the has not gone into standby yet – i.e., its white LED is still lit – and I use the remote both to Turn On the TV, and to allow the to Recapture the TV input, this next works. But after that, the next time I use the TV remote to switch its input to another input, first of all,

  • The TV Menu no longer displays the word “” next to the currently-chosen input, and
  • After that, using the remote no longer recaptures the TV input.

Dirk