On This Day
In 1947, Edwin H. Land first demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which was the first self-developing film for the general public.
Join our LAN Party
Ever wanted to go face-to-face with Leo, Patrick, Martin, and other TSS crew members? Now's your chance. Every Thursday, "The Screen Savers" will host a LAN party during the live broadcast of the show. You must register to participate.
One note about yesterday's LAN Party. We inadvertently ran an older version of the UT2K3 server. The next LAN Party will use the latest server, which means you must have the latest patches. We apologize for the error.
Morgan's anime attack
Morgan gives us the scoop on "Betterman" series running on TechTV, anime at the Oscars, and the upcoming release of "FLCL" volume 2.
'Dick Tracy' Technology
Larry Karr of Microsoft talks about the Spot chip that brings Dick Tracy-like watches to life.
Leo talks about a current favorite, Konfabulator for Mac OS X.
Download of the Day: Auto-Illustrator
Create abstract art with this beta graphics tool.
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Every week, we're giving away a coveted TechTV T-shirt to one randomly selected newsletter subscriber. And if that weren't enough, each newsletter contains a secret link to "The Screen Savers" bonus tracks, a hidden page on our website packed with priceless video clips of our most embarrassing moments. You can't get this stuff anywhere else but in our newsletter.
Come see the show in person
If you're going to be in the San Francisco Bay area and you'd like to join "The Screen Savers" live on the set, here's how you can request tickets.
Send us email
- Got something for the show notes? Email us.
- This page is updated throughout the live broadcast of the show at 7 p.m. Eastern.
- Looking for a past article? Find it in our archive, which keeps a list of articles up to a year old.
Slow audio CD playback
John in Wichita, Kansas, has a CD burner and a CD-ROM drive. When he plays an audio CD the speed isn't right. It's like listening to a 45 single at 33 turntable speed. When he digitizes music from the CDs the songs sound fine. What's the problem?
At first Leo and Patrick thought it was a hardware problem, but John says it happens on both drives. He's also using an AMD Athlon 2100+ CPU, so there isn't a processing bottleneck.
As far as software goes, John says the audio is affected regardless of the software player, whether it's Windows Media, Musicmatch, or any other player.
There might be a problem with your sound card. Try updating the sound card drivers. Find out who manufactured your card, visit that company's website, and get the latest drivers.
If that doesn't work, borrow a sound card from a friend and try it out. There might be a hardware problem with your sound card.
Joel in Red Bank, New Jersey, wants to know the difference between VBR and CBR for MP3s. He's using LAME to encode MP3s.
VBR stands for variable bitrate. The bitrate throughout the file varies to maintain quality. It's an MP3 encoding method that's used when file size isn't an issue. Use VBR encoding when you want the highest audio quality. Not all MP3 players can read VBR files, however.
CBR stands for constant bitrate. CBR encoding maintains the same bitrate throughout an encoded file. Use this method when file size is critical and audio quality is of little importance.
Read more about MP3 bitrate.