iPhone App of the Week – Mactracker


This one is definitely going to have more appeal to the Mac users out there than the Windows PC users. However, Windows users stay tuned, I’ve got a reason why you might want this too.


Mactracker has been a long standing indispensable reference tool on the Mac to look up the specs for all the various Mac hardware that Apple has released over the years. It’s a great tool especially when you’re in the market for a used Mac or selling your Mac and you or your customer wants the specs. Well now that tool comes to your iPhone or iPod touch. Just like the desktop version, Mactracker for the iPhone is organized by category and then by Mac type.

mactracker2 mactracker3

So lets say you wanted to know the specs on the 20″ iMac G5 with iSight camera. You would first scroll up to Desktops (assuming you had scrolled down to see what was there) and then you’d tap on iMac. There you see every iMac model since the first Bondi Blue introduced back in 1998.


Once you scrolled down to iMac G5 (20-Inch iSight) and tapped on it, you would then see all the important information. Things like when it was introduced and when it was discontinued. Processor speed, latest Mac OS that it could run, maximum amount of RAM that you could put in it and all the info about Expansion, Ports, Graphics, and even the famous audible “Startup Chime” feature.

Mactracker, it’s not just about Macs

mactracker5 mactracker6

Let’s say you are a Windows user, but you have an iPhone, iPod, AirPort Base Station, Apple Display, or Apple TV. You guessed it! That stuff is in there too. So if you were selling or buying any other Apple gear, this would be a useful tool to have.


The Bottom Line

Having Mactracker on my iPhone is GREAT! I love the instant access to the specs about machines that I’ll never remember or care to remember. Although the App works as advertised and best of all it’s FREE, like most things there is some room for improvement. I was actually quite surprised that there was no option to email the specs page of a specific machine. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the desktop app doesn’t have this either, but it seems like such a natural for the iPhone version. I’d also like to see an “I have that” section. This way I could go through the database finding all my gear and mark it as a Favorite or “I have that” and then whenever, I wanted/needed to know the specs of a Mac or piece of Apple gear that I owned I could just go right to that section. Otherwise this app is great! I highly recommend it!

Get Mactracker today from the App Store as a Free download.


P.S. If you’ve ever wondered about some of the apps Apple features in their iPhone TV ads, they’ve put theme all in one spot for you. Check them out here.

Apple ProCare: Let me get this straight?


I use my Macs for work. So if I have a problem, I need that problem fixed pretty quickly (read immediately). My local Apple Store is great. I know most of the reps on a first name basis. They treat me wonderfully!! Although I could probably walk in and get special treatment, I try NOT to abuse their kindness. I don’t walk in expecting special treatment. Therefore, I pay for Apple ProCare, which gives me (or you) Priority Support. You get to make advance reservations for a Genius Bar appointment. You get rapid repairs and moved to the front of the queue. This is the kind of stuff/treatment that I’m more than willing to pay for as I hate waiting in lines!

What I don’t get is why does Apple treats this program so oddly?

With Apple you can do almost anything online including ordering thousands of dollars worth of equipment that will be delivered to your door. I have called support on occassion (prior to the Apple Retail stores)  and when the problem couldn’t be resolved over the phone, Apple has shipped me a box to ship my computer back to them in and turned it around relatively quickly. Once they even sent a rep to my home to swap out a logic board.

You can buy MobileMe online and you can even buy AppleCare support online. Out of everything that Apple allows you do do online, the one thing that don’t allow you to do online is buy ProCare ??? You have to go into the store and signup/pay for it in person! OK, fine! Whatever, I’ve done that. That’s not the odd part. The odd part is that you get a ProCare card with no printed experation date. Sure you can keep track of it from the invoice and I do. However, once it expires, Apple sends you no notification whatsoever. No emails, no phone calls, no SMS messages, no nothing! I would think that they would want another $99 for the next year, but it seems like they don’t care. Still this is not the odd part. OK, here it comes: Let’s say that I keep track of my own expiration date. It’s not to hard, simply put it on your iCal or other calendar. My card recently expired on 5/2/09. Again no notification, I only know this date because I’m manually keeping track of it. I want to renew it. However, the only way to renew it is to make another trip to the Apple Store and wait in line to do so. So I have to go to the store, possibly wait in line to renew the thing that I pay for not to have to wait in line. Apple! Dude! What’s up with that? Why are you making it so hard for me to give you money?

I have an idea for an iPhone app


OK, you guys are always so good at recommending really cool things back to me. Well here’s your chance. I’m not sure if it exists, but if it does you guys will probably find it and if not, then I want someone to write it!

The “Meet Me Halfway” iPhone app

There are times when you’re meeting someone to complete an eBay/online transaction, or you’re meeting a friend or a colleague and you simply want to pick a place that is half way between your location and theirs. So it would really be cool if there was an iPhone app that would allow you to use your current location and an address that you enter (or one picked from your Contacts) and then show you the halfway point on the map. Once it found the halfway point, it could then tell you the public places in that area (restaurants, coffee shops, gas station, mall, bars, parks, etc.) – like the AroundMe and iWant apps do. You would then pick a place and email or SMS that location to the other person so they would have the directions on how to get there from their location. Of course the place you picked should also be routable for you via the Maps app as well.

It doesn’t sound like it should be all that hard to have an app that does this, yet I’ve only been able to find one app so far called “InBetween” and I just don’t like the way it works. First off it requires that both parties have an iPhone and the InBetween app and an account on their website. Need I go further? It’s just way too much to go through for this relatively simple task.

As a matter of fact, here’s a cool website that finds the midpoint between two places today. So give me this with things in the area of the midpoint as an iPhone app and we’re there!

So that’s what I want! If it exists, let us know in the comments below. If there are any iPhone app developers out there reading this, how about it? This would be an App that I’d pay for.

Enjoy my iPhone Book on your iPhone

A few weeks back I reviewed the Kindle App for iPhone. One of the books that seemed like a natural in this format was my iPhone Book second edition. Well now you can actually buy the Kindle version of the iPhone Book and enjoy it right on your iPhone or Kindle device. If you need to look up how to do something on your iPhone, you’ll now have “the book” right on your iPhone.

The Kindle version is $9.99. The Kindle App for iPhone is a Free Download from the App Store.

The hard copy version is $13.59.

Hook up an internal drive externally, temporarily


Earlier this week I completed my project (two months sooner than expected thanks to throwing more Macs and DVD drives at it) of ripping all my DVDs to iTunes/Apple TV. Of course after spending months on this project, the first thing that came to my mind was “I want ANOTHER backup!” The movies are being served up from a Drobo connected to an iMac and I even have that Drobo being backed up nightly to a second drive, but I still wanted one more backup of this massive project to take offsite. I had a spare 750GB drive from a previous upgrade just sitting there. The problem was that it was a bare drive with no case. Also since this is going to be an “if all hell breaks loose” kind of archival backup, I didn’t want to dedicate a case to it. So I just wanted to hook it up to the iMac long enough to do the copy and then take it to my safe deposit box at the bank for safe keeping.

Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter


I had one of these sitting nearby for just such an emergency. The good folks at OWC like to keep me up on the latest and greatest gadgets and made sure that I had this cool accessory for testing and review. I’ve had it since January, but this was the first time that I got a chance to put it to use. After all, nothing like a real world test right?

What is a Universal Drive Adapter? Imagine if you took an external drive case and took the electronics that actually hook up to the drive out of it. Now also imagine that those electronics would connect to IDE or SATA drives 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives as well. That’s basically what the Universal Drive Adapter is. It allows you to temporarily hook up an internal drive externally via USB 2.0. The Adapter comes with all the necessary cables and includes an AC adapter to actually power up the drive. The fact that it works with either IDE or SATA drives makes it a great solution for anybody that needs to hook up a drive every now and then and doesn’t want to always have to buy a case or tear into one to do so. This adapter would also be good for anyone that is upgrading to a larger drive. You could connect your new New drive up using this adapter long enough to clone over your old drive to it and then swap the drives.

How well does it work?

This is one of those things that either works or it doesn’t! The first time I got one of these was actually before January and out of the box I could never get my drive to actually mount on the desktop. I eventually just gave up, stuck the drive in a case and it worked fine. Things went a lot better with this kit. I connected it up to my 750GB SATA drive, plugged in the power and the USB cable into my Mac Pro and it came right up. I then used Disk Utility to reformat the drive. Next I moved the drive to the iMac and again for some reason it didn’t mount the first time. I was beginning to get discouraged until I remembered that there were some troubleshooting instructions. I followed them and the drive did mount. I just did a Finder copy of the Movies folder onto the drive and let it run over night (it is only USB 2.0 speeds after all). The next morning, the data was there and I disconnected the drive. Now I can take that drive offsite as an archive. Although I still have the DVD discs as backup, I would never want to have to spend the weeks or months doing the ripping again. That’s the point of this double backup.



The one problem with working with bare drives like this is that they are exposed! On most hard drives you can actually see (and potentially fry) the electronics of the drive on the bottom. So OWC also sells a rubber cover called the ProtectaDrive. This sleeve is designed to offer you some protection against shock and touching the electronics of the drive. They make them in both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive sizes. Not much to it, you just slip it over your drive before you hook it up to the adapter. I felt a lot better using this than nothing at all. Although I could store the drive in it, I plan to just use an anti-static bag for the drive (like the ones they ship in) and put the drive in my safe deposit box at the bank. This way I can use the ProtectaDrive for other copy/clone projects as they arise.

The Bottom Line

If you need to connect a drive up and don’t want to have to buy or use a case, this is your solution. I could see using this adapter in a lot of different situations. The only thing that I can think of that would make this solution even better is if it also had the ability to use Firewire 800/400. That would make the transfers even faster.

OWC sales the Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter for $29.99. The 3.5″ ProtectaDrive is $9.95. The 2.5″ ProtectaDrive is $7.99.

Which video sharing site is best?

A couple of weeks ago I started the discussion about which site(s) are best to do photo sharing and you guys responded loud and clear with your favorites and why they were your favorites, but in the end it was as I suspected that no single site had it all. The two favorites among you guys were Smugmug and Flickr. Well now it’s time to ask the same question, but this time about video sharing sites and I imagine that the answer is going to be the same. What’s “best” will greatly depend on what you’re looking for.

What you might want in a video sharing site

I’m finding that I’m really enjoying shooting small clips and sharing them on the web with friends, family and colleagues. I used to cringe looking at YouTube clips because the quality was just so bad. I imagine that back when YouTube first started, they were encoding the video using lower quality settings to keep the file sizes down and therefore the bandwidth costs down. However, now that YouTube isn’t the only game in town, they’ve had to step up their game to stay competitive. I asked on Twitter which sites were people using and why and the four sites that kept coming up over and over again were YouTube, Vimeo, Smugmug and Blip.TV. So I decided to give them all a spin.

Here are some things you might want to consider when picking a video sharing site:

  • Quality of the video playback
  • Allowable length of the video
  • Ability to make a video private or secure with a password
  • Embeddable player
  • Customizable Player
  • Advertising
  • Time it takes the video to start playback
  • Tools and ease of use for uploading the video
  • HD support
  • Full Screen Options
  • Ability to turn off embedding for others
  • How easy can your video be found by others
  • Upload video from your cellphone directly
  • Ability to turn on/off video downloading by others
  • Playable on an iPhone or iPod touch

In my testing I found that each of the sites had many of these options, but no one had it all. I tested all 4 sites by uploading the same HD video to them (my Wacom Intuos 4 video review). Then I embedded the video from each site onto the same page so that we could see a side-by-side comparison. Check out that page here and see for yourself. Also check the page on your iPhone/iPod touch.




Pros: very easy to get started. It’s free. Probably the largest of all the sites and therefore the most likely site to have your video found on. Support for embedding HD video at no additional cost. Videos can be played back on an iPhone or iPod touch even if they are embedded on your webpage using the Flash player.

Cons: Not as many options to make your video private. Videos are limited to 10 minutes/1GB each.

Final thoughts: For most of the videos I’ll be putting up I’m likely to use YouTube. Although they don’t have as many player options or privacy options as the other sites, YouTube seems to offer the best balance of features and playback options.




Pros: Excellent video quality. Free to use the basic features. Great stats on your video plays. HD Support. You can password protect your video or simply mark it that only Contacts or people that you choose can watch it. You can turn on/off the ability for others to download the source video. You can also turn on/off commenting.

Cons: HD video requires that either upgrade to Vimeo Plus or  your viewer will have to see it on the Vimeo website. Doesn’t playback on an iPhone/iPod touch. The free service is limited to 1 HD video/500MBs per week.

Final thoughts: I like the features of Vimeo, although I’m not as crazy about their player. They definitely have the nicest stats page. It’s a little thing, but I also love the fact that you can replace the video with a corrected one without losing your stats and comments. I’ve run into this on YouTube at least a couple of times where there was a minor change to the video and I could only delete the one that was posted and upload a new one. Vimeo Plus is $59.95/year and allows 5GB of uploads per week, unlimited number of HD videos, ability to Embed your HD videos, higher quality video, priority uploading, player custimization, advanced privacy options, and no banner ads.




Pros: Probably the BEST video quality. Support of HD video up to 1080p.

Cons: No free options. In order to upload HD video you have to pay for the Pro service at $149.95/year. Even if you pay, you’re still limited to 10 minutes per movie. If you embed a higher quality video on your page, the playback could take several seconds before it starts. Limited embedding/player options.

Final thoughts: SmugMug would be the site I’d use if I were mostly concerned by the quality of the video. In other words If I were trying to impress you with gorgeous HD video, this is the site I’d use. This would be keeping in mind that the video is not playable on an iPhone/iPod touch and that highest quality settings may mean a delay before the video starts.




Pros: the most options for customizing the player! You can allow for advertising or not and if you do, they will pay you for it! Web, Mobile, FTP and Desktop Client for uploading.

Cons: Although there was an option to make the video iPhone/iPod touch compatible, it didn’t work in my testing. Have to upgrade to a Pro account ($8/month) to make your videos private.

Final thoughts: Blip.TV is awesome when you want to customize the look and feel of your player/video. Also it’s the only one that I’ve seen that is willing to share the revenue from the OPTIONAL advertising generated by your video.

The Bottom Line

I’m finding myself producing fewer and fewer DVDs as a means of sharing video with friends and family. Sure there are some older members of my family that aren’t online and never will be, but that is a very small percentage of folks I know and share with. Shorter clips shared over the internet for free is the key. You can’t really go wrong with any of these sites and like I figured going into this, there is no one site that is significantly better than all the rest. Each one has something to offer depending upon your needs. For example, YouTube is great for the video reviews I do on my blog. However, if I wanted to post a family video and keep it kinda private, then I’d use Vimeo. If I were trying to put video on my website and match the look and feel perfectly, then I’d lean towards Blip.TV. Lastly if I were trying to impress a client with the highest quality HD video the first site that would come to my mind would be SmugMug.

There you have it!

When I don’t have a photographic assistant


There are times like the shot above, where the sun is cooperating and I can get beautiful light coming in the window. However, there are those other times when the light is too harsh and needs to be diffused.  I LOVE natural light!

Ask any photographer who has ever worked with an assistant on set and they will tell you that it’s absolutely fantastic to have some one to hold that reflector or move that light or change that setting. However, most times I’m flying solo when I’m in the studio. Although I get lots of offers from friends that want to volunteer to help me out, I just usually work alone. So the more equipment and gadgets that I can get to help me out the better.
One of my frustrations when shooting natural light coming through the windows is that sometimes I need to diffuse the light. This is where an assistant would come in to hold the diffuser at just the right angle. You won’t believe some of the ways that I’ve propped up diffusers in the past.

Lastolite to the rescue, again!


The first item in my bag of tricks is the Lastolite Mini TriFlip 8-in-1 Collapsible Reflector kit. This one does it all. It’s a reflector or a two stop diffuser. If you use it as a reflector you have a choice of white, silver sunfire, sunlite, or gold. You can also use it as a flag because you get black as well. Like I said, having an assistant to hold this up when needed is great, but when you’re flying solo then you’re going to want the next item.

The TriGrip Bracket


This handy gadget is an adjustable arm that holds your TriFlip Reflector at just about any angle you want by simply putting it on a light stand and adjusting it the way you want. It gets better, not only can it hold your TriFlip/TriGrip reflector/diffuser/flag, but it can also hold your speedlight. This is great for when you want to shoot through the diffuser to diffuse the light. Now you can do it all from just one light stand and you can keep your hands free to actually take the shot.

The Bottom Line

If you have an assistant GREAT! Then you’ve got someone to hold stuff up for you. However, if you work alone sometimes or if your assistant can’t be in two places at once holding stuff up, then you’ll definitely  want to check out both the TriFlip and TriGrip Bracket from Lastolite. I highly recommend them both. The Lastolite TriFlip kit goes for $75.95 at B&H Photo. The Lastolite TriGrip Bracket (not yet on B&H’s site – hint hint) goes for $117.90 here.

Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk


My buddy Scott Kelby just announced his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk to take place Saturday, July 18th 2009. This is a worldwide event with photographers gathering in their local area and taking photos to all be submitted for the big contest or doing it just for fun. I lead the Detroit walk last year and not only did we have a blast, but one of our photographer’s (Jim Howe) photos was a finalist in the contest. I’ll be leading the Detroit walk again this year and as of 9AM this morning it was already half full. So if you even think that you want to participate, you better head over to the site and save your spot no matter what city your in!

Check out our group from last year:

My new online class is up!


At Photoshop World Boston, I had quite a few people come up to me and ask me if I was coming out with any new classes/videos for CS4. My answer was yes, stay tuned! Well I’m pleased to announce that my New “Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS4 Integration” class is now available via KelbyTraining.com.

What is KelbyTraining.com

I’m honored to have my classes available via Kelby Training. I’m in awesome company with some of the best instructors in the world! Kelby Training Online is a one stop shop for all your graphics training needs. They have both monthly and yearly all you can eat plans that start at $19.99/month ($17/month if you’re a NAPP member). You can pay one price and watch as many classes as you want, by as many instructors as you want 24 hours a day.


Hey! Was this post just a shameless plug for your new class? …… yep! 🙂

iPhone App of the Week – SlingPlayer Mobile


This is a bitter sweet kinda review. So let me get to it. When the iPhone 2.0 update came out last year and the iPhone was open to 3rd party app development, one of the main apps on my wishlist way back then was a SlingPlayer Mobile app. After all Sling Media had produced mobile versions of their player for other mobile platforms and the iPhone seemed like a natural for this kind of app. So I waited. Then I thought my dream might actually come true. I actually got to play with an early Alpha fo the SlingPlayer Mobile app back in January at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. The app was beautiful with a nice translucent display for onscreen buttons. I started getting really excited until I heard those words. They said, “well we’re just about ready to begin the submission process to Apple.” That’s when it dawned upon me that even though this app was being developed, that doesn’t mean that it will actually make its way into the hands of users. Unlike most other mobile device platforms, Apple has to approve every app submitted for the App Store. So there’s always a chance that the app could be rejected. Back in late March, the news broke that SlingPlayer Mobile app had been submitted to the App Store for approval. The approval process takes about a week on average. When two weeks went by, I knew that there was trouble in paradise. Something was wrong. Another week went by and I had pretty much assumed that this thing would never see the light of day. I had a suspicion that the problem was not with Apple, but with AT&T. AT&T has recently been reemphasizing their polices on streaming data and bandwidth to wireless devices. The SlingPlayer certainly would violate this policy. Even though they later came back and said that the update was released in error, the writing was on the wall. So it was no surprise to me that when the SlingPlayer Mobile App finally got released this week that the ability to stream video over 3G networks was removed.

It’s finally here! SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone


What’s a SlingBox and SlingPlayer?

To save time, if you have no idea what a SlingPlayer is and why you’d want one, go read my review of the Slingbox Pro here. Go ahead and read it now. We’ll wait…..

How well does the SlingPlayer Mobile App for iPhone work?


Now that we’ve gotten past all of the politics (well not quite, but let’s put that on hold for a sec) and what a Slingbox/Player is, let me concentrate on the app itself.  The idea of the SlingPlayer and SlingPlayer Mobile app is that you can watch your TV (DVR, DVD player, Apple TV, basically any video source you have connected to the Slingbox) on the go. I LOVE the ability to watch recorded shows from my DVR anywhere I happen to be as long as I have my laptop and internet connection. The SlingPlayer Mobile app promises to give you that same capability on your iPhone or iPod touch. It’s great to have this ability when you find yourself with some down time or sitting in a waiting room somewhere. Plug in your headphones, fire up the SlingPlayer Mobile App and using the on screen remote control interface you can change channels, switch sources and watch recorded shows from your DVR.


My DVR of choice is the TiVo HD. I have Comcast cable and I do have one Comcast (Motorola) DVR. This is the DVR that I have my SlingBox Pro connected to. Why not connect it to one of the TiVo HDs? There’s a reason that I have it connected to the Comcast box instead of my favorite DVRs. When you use a SlingPlayer to watch your TV/DVR remotely, you are physically controlling that DVR in real-time. So whatever you do will be seen by the people in your home if that TV happens to be on. So as to not disrupt the TV viewing for the rest of my family, I put the SlingBox Pro on the DVR that no one likes to use. Yep, that’d be the Comcast box in my office. This way I can have it to myself when I’m on the road.

I downloaded the SlingPlayer Mobile app the minute it became available (something like 1AM my time).  I wanted to see how well it worked and of course tell you about it as well. The app works great! I haven’t had a single issue yet. When I first fired it up, it requested that I log into to my Sling account online. I hadn’t actually set up an online account yet, but I did right there on the spot. Took just a couple of seconds to get going.

Once I had my account setup the app/site found my Slingbox and I was watching live TV! Wow! It works! I don’t really have much interest in watching live TV, so of course the next thing I wanted to see was my DVR. The integration was right on the money. I pressed the onscreen DVR button and it sent the proper commands to my DVR to bring up the list of recorded shows. I was able to easily navigate to a show and start playing it. Again, it just worked as advertised. Although I don’t really use the SlingPlayer to watch live TV, I wanted to test these features too. So I setup my “Favorites” buttons so that I could switch to any of my favorite channels with the press of a button. It worked fine.

What could be better?



This is 4:3 content while the player is set to the widescreen mode. If it's set to the 4:3 mode, the content will fill the screen top to bottom.

The one thing I noticed is that I can’t ever seem to get the video to fill the screen. If I watch 4×3 content I can set it to letterbox it. However, if I watch 16:9 widescreen content, there doesn’t seem to be a way to zoom in on it (even if I’m willing to crop some off) to see it fill the screen from edge to edge. Apple allows this in the iPod app. I would like to see this in the SlingPlayer app as well. Although the remote functions well, there will be a few second delay from the time you press a button until the results are displayed. You have to remember that it’s sending these commands over the internet and then via IR to your device. So give it a sec.

Bonus Tip: Since you have control of your DVR via this app, there’s nothing stopping you from using this as a remote control to schedule recordings too.


I can’t ignore the elephant in the room. As great as this app is, the single biggest frustration is that it only works over a Wi-Fi connection. If you’re an iPod touch user, you’re used to this. So it’s probably no big deal. However, if you’re an iPhone user, it may be a deal breaker. It means that you’ll only be able to stream content from your TV source or DVR when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and not over the 3G network. Argggggh! So close, but so far.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the thing with this app, it works as advertised. However, I can’t ignore the biggest problem and that is it’s been crippled by AT&T restrictions and doesn’t not allowed to work over a 3G cellular network. It only works over a Wi-Fi connection. While it’s easy to blame AT&T for this restriction, there is one thing that Sling Media could have done to soften the blow and that is lower the price! I don’t have a problem paying $29.99 for a SlingPlayer Mobile app (heck I just did). However, I do have a problem paying the SAME price as every other version of the SlingPlayer Mobile app (for BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc.) and not being able to watch over the SAME 3G network as all the other players do. Think about it! If I go buy a BlackBerry from AT&T, I can buy the SlingPlayer Mobile App for BlackBerry and watch TV over AT&T’s 3G network. Granted, it’s probably in violation of the small print in the agreement I would sign, but there would be nothing stopping me from doing it technically. If caught, AT&T would be within their right to suspend my account. I’m not advocating breaking the rules. I’m just using this as an example.


This is not the first app crippled by AT&T. Remember, it wasn’t long ago that Skype shipped their iPhone app and like the SlingPlayer for iPhone, it only works over Wi-Fi.

Bandwidth abuse or overuse is a legitimate concern especially when you know that your network can’t handle the hit. If you’ve been to the last two Macworld Expos you’ve witnessed AT&T’s data network brought to its knees by the sheer volume of iPhone users simply checking email and surfing the web. Each year after the Apple keynote you could forget about using your iPhone to do anything data related on AT&T’s network. Nothing but gridlock. Streaming video/audio takes way more bandwidth than email and web surfing. AT&T is concerned that thousands or hundreds of thousands of SlingPlayer users suddenly streaming video for hours on end would be a significant impact to all their users. They’re probably right!

I have read many of the angry comments in protest of this and people are saying that they refuse to buy the app without 3G support. Frankly, I don’t blame them. Yes, I know that software development costs money. Remember, I work for a software developer? I know that Sling’s hands were tied over the whole 3G issue, but they are the ones that set the price. Why should we be asked to pay the same price for our app that doesn’t have the same functionality of the same apps on every other mobile platform that this app is available for? So there I’ve said what many of you have been wanting to hear. I agree with you!

Apparently AT&T released a statement explaining their stance. Let’s hope that this rumor is not true that they purposely crippled this app as it was competition for an U-verse app that they are going to release.

The SlingPlayer Mobile app (Wi-Fi) is available for the iPhone and iPod touch for $29.99 from the App Store. I don’t think I need to say it, but just in case: you will also need a Slingbox connected to at least one video/audio source in order to take advantage of the app. Need a Slingbox? The Slingbox Pro HD is here for $234.80 (List Price $299).

Sling Media has done a very good job coding this app. If they lowered the price OR if AT&T would allow it to work over 3G it would be a must have for every Slingbox user out there.

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