We have a number of Google Home devices around the house. A Lenovo Smart Clock in the bedroom, Zolo Mojo’s in the kitchen, living room, “office” and the girl’s bedroom and a Google Home Mini in Charlie’s room.
Other than Alice playing “5, 6, 7, 8” the second most used feature is just listening to the radio.
We’ve had DAB radios in the past. Whilst in Lincoln the signal was weak as there was no local DAB transmitter, the radio would only work with the aerial at full length and if on the right window sill. It had five presets, otherwise switching channels required you moving around in circles to find the station you wanted. And to turn it off, you needed to hold down the “power button” and then OK as a short press just switched it to FM.
Now instead we just shout “OK Google”, the Smart Clock is set to play Scala Radio from 6.30 with their In The Park programme of pleasant classical music and bird song.
Then at 7.00 a weather forecast followed by BBC Radio 2.
As I head to the kitchen for my Breakfast Radio 2 is put on, and as I then head to the desk in the office Radio 2 is started there.
Get to midday and my dislike for Talk Radio means that we switch to Radio X. That’s on for the next four hours until Johnny Vaughan starts, as I then ask Google to play Absolute Radio.
If I’m still at the desk by 7pm, depending on how I feel I might switch to Radio X, BBC Radio 2 or Scala.
The Mojo is a Google Assistance device very much like the Google Homes. I got one on import a while ago for my desk.
Now we don’t have a Google Home nor an Amazon Alexa so I can’t compare to them, but as someone who isn’t an audiophile I’m pleased with the audio quality that come out of them.
Now I primary listen to Radio 2, RadioX or Spotify at my desk, whilst all of this is possible via my laptop, my laptop speaker isn’t great, I also use sites that need sound, so I had to adjust one and the other to get the best balance and also I’m not hogging ram. Continue reading Anker Zolo Mojo Review→
NOW TV have chosen to block the dev channel slot on their hardware. I respect their choice, but this does mean that the FilmOn app will be removed if you have it installed.
Several people have asked for a work around or suggestions, the answer is to get a full Roku.
Not only can you install the FilmOn app without the need for dev mode you also get Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I migrated from the NOW TV small black boxes to the Roku 2. Hardware wise they are identical. The only thing you’ll be missing from a NOW TV box is Sky Sports News HQ, Sky Sports Box Office and for some reason the BOX Plus. Continue reading NOWTV Dev Channel and FilmOn abroad→
When FilmOn made their changes last month they blocked a loophole which allowed users to watch the higher quality (note, I’m not going to call them HD as I feel they aren’t high enough to have that label) streams without the need to have a premium FilmOn account.
Several people requested that I support being able to login to FilmOn to reach the better streams, so today I’m please to announce version 2.0.8 of my FilmOn app.
You can now login with your FilmOn email address and password and if you have an active pro account watch the higher quality streams. Continue reading FilmOn Higher Quality→
This little bluetooth speaker is built like a builders radio, it can take a good kicking and I’d expect it to survive a drop from some scaffolding.
The audio quality is what you’d expect for a £20 bluetooth speaker, good but not amazing.
Pairing was a breeze with my mobile, however after that it was let down by the bluetooth. I had the speaker on my dining room table, walking through the doorway to my kitchen (a distance of several meters) was enough to cause the audio to start dropping out, which means that either the phone stays with the speaker, or the music has to be paused if I’m not close enough.
It has a hidden micro usb port for charging and also comes with a 3.5mm port for audio in, if the device you use doesn’t have bluetooth. It would have been nice if it also had USB A port, then I could have considered powering a Chromecast audio from it and then wouldn’t need to rely on the poor bluetooth, but it’s a cheap speaker.
By being braided it should be less likely to kink compared to the cable that Apple provide with their iPhones. It’s also less likely to knot up, however when trying to pack it does like to spring out. At 1.2 metres long you can use the phone whilst on charge without having to sit next to the wall.
Being Apple MFI certified, your phone won’t moan about using an unsupported cable.
As with any USB cable the main test is how they perform in 6 months, and I’ll update next year.
So yesterday I began to get reports from users that streams would no longer play, this occurred around 16:30 (GMT) as I was preparing to leave work to head home. Once I arrived home I could see that some of the tricks previously used to generate the m3u8 urls returned an error from the FilmOn servers.
I quickly built some new code which used more of their API and successfully allowed me to watch most of the channels, this was the 1.5.0 release at 19:15.
Again reports came in of issues for some channels with the new “Unable to fetch stream URL” error message that I added. I could only replicate this issue with BBC News, Really and some of the french channels. I was able add some more code which fixed this issue for me and 1.5.1 was released at 21:25.