Delta Engine Blog

All about multiplatform and game development

Flying to Seattle for the MVP Summit once again

Yep, it is time for the MVP Summit again (starts this Sunday) and for that reason I will fly to Seattle once again in a few hours. Seems like I go there every year now ^^

This time I will have some extra time to run around and enjoy the cold weather (its not better here in Germany anyway). I will make photos as usual and have hopefully something interesting to say about whats going on.

Since I have a Zune, an iPod and a Creative Zen player and I will take all of them with me:
  • Zune for playing around with XNA
  • iPod for many apps and since I'm doing a bit of iPhones development right now
  • And the Zen for actually hearing music and watching some movies. I just uploaded a crap-load of stuff onto that thing. Really cool that each movie or tv show is just a few 100 MB.
All 3 devices have pretty cool hardware. The Zune is not used much and kinda expensive, but at least interesting for its XNA capabilities.

The iPod is just way to expensive, but interesting for iPhone development. The iPhone is kinda cheap, but you will need a very expensive phone provider contract, which is over 1000 euros over 2 years here in Germany.

And then there is the Zen (or other devices), which do not have many extra features, but its cheap and it just works. It even got a SD slot so I can extend the flash memory. But the main reason why I use the Zen all the time is the amount of hours I can hear music or watch videos on (Zune or iPods with hard disks just suck in that regard, they will be empty in half a plane ride) and because I can put whatever I like on that thing. There is no stupid Zune player or iTunes to install. It does not tell me that I cannot use any files or that I have connected an iPod on too many PCs. Just drag and drop files over, which I often use for safes or copying files from home to work, or just drag in music, add some podcasts and for the plane ride I now also got some videos on there :)

BTW: Everything with the Zen mp3 player is great, even the software you can optionally install is non-intrusive for the most part. The only little annoyance is that it takes a long time to convert videos to .wmv files with 320x240 pixel resolution (required for playback) using the Creative Video Converter. But there are some other programs that can help:
  • I tried AutoMKV, which always crashed for me when trying to do .wmvs, but other formats did work.
  • There are tons of iPhone Video converter apps out there, most cost money and almost all of them are pretty crappy (both for performance and stability).
  • And then there is the Free Zune Video Converter 1.1, which works pretty nice and is incredible fast.
  • After that I stopped searching, there is probably more out there (even converters on the web, where you upload your movies, wtf?). Creative Video Converter is quick and dirty minus the quick, Free Zune Video Converter is fast and easy and VirtualDub is for the more complex jobs ^^
Ok, time to go to bed now, plane is lifting off in a few hours ..