Black screen in crashed iPad video player app

For unknown reasons, the iOS video player app found on all iPads locks itself up in rare situations. Opening the video app results in a black screen, all you can do is jump back to the home screen using the home button. Both, restarting the iPad or re-syncing it on iTunes won’t help.

Now before you restore your iPad, there are two quick things you could try first:

  1. If you know the title of a movie on your iPad, use the search function to look it up and start it by tapping it
  2. …or open the iPod app and select a video podcast or iPad video and play it

The video app should be working again from now on. If it doesn’t then I’m afraid, you probably have to do a full restore of your iPad.

Dreambox HandBrake preset for iPad or iPhone

Did you know that you could easily convert recordings from a Dreambox sat/cable receiver using HandBrake to watch them on your iPad or iPhone?

Here’s the preset I use on my DM800 HD. It should work for all recent Dreambox models like the DM500 HD and the DM8000 as well. The preset is optimized for standard definition (SD) recordings and takes care of deinterlacing if needed using the decomb filter in HandBrake. To import the preset open the Preset menu in HandBrake and select Import. After importing you’ll find the new preset in the preset window (use the Toggle Presets button to open it).

Download HandBrake iPhone/iPad preset for (interlaced) Dreambox standard definition (SD) recordings.

To convert HD (720p) recordings make sure you use the built-in iPad or iPhone presets in HandBrake.

Apple cancels iPad 2 orders to freight forwarders and international addresses

Apple just started canceling iPad 2 orders in the U.S. that ship to freight forwarding services or international addresses. This is the email you receive from Apple if you try to order an iPad 2 via

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple order.

While we appreciate your interest in iPad 2 and iPad 2 accessories, we
are unable to process your order. Apple is unable to fulfill orders
that exceed the quantity limit per customer, or that ship to an
international, freight forwarder, or an APO/AFO address.

Your iPad 2 order has been cancelled, and you will not be charged.

Apple Online Store Team

It seems only iPad 2 orders are affected, Apple store orders shipping to freight forwarders for accessories like JAM by Apogee are still active.

Streaming video from a Dreambox to an iPad with Dreambox LIVE

I’ve been looking for a solution to stream recorded or live video from my Dreambox DM800 sat/cable receiver to my iPad for a while. I was able to stream recorded video using an uPnP server on the Dreambox and an uPnP client on the iPad, but the iPad app involved was somewhat limited.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an iPad app named “Dreambox LIVE”.

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New iOS 4.3 beta iPad multi-touch gestures not working?

Can’t use the new “multitasking” finger-swipes on your iOS 4.3 beta iPad? That’s probably because you updated your iPad in iTunes. You have to restore it in Xcode’s Organizer and click “Use Development Mode” to get the new four and five finger-swipes. You need a valid iOS SDK developer account to do this, it’s not enough to have the iPad’s UDID registered with someone else’s dev account. Continue reading

How to merge/combine/join multiple .mp4 videos on the Mac

I have a whole bunch of photography tutorials I converted from Flash video format (.flv) to .mp4 so I can watch them on my iPad. Since those tutorials are broken down into a myriad of .mp4 episodes it makes it much harder to watch them in the right order. I needed to find a way to merge several episodes into large movies. This is where Squared 5’s MPEG StreamClip for Mac comes in handy. While this free video conversion tool allows you to convert alls sorts of video formats to .mp4, it also allows you to merge multiple .mp4 videos. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading

How to convert .flv Flash video to .mp4 on the Mac

I have a bunch of photography tutorials in the Flash video .flv format which I want to watch on my iPad. As you may be aware, everything with the name Flash in it doesn’t play too well on Apple’s iOS devices. VLC Media Player for iOS is able to play the .flv format but Apple doesn’t allow 3rd party software devs to use the built-in H.264 hardware acceleration for video playback. As as result, .flv videos usually don’t play very well on iOS devices. Besides, I prefer to manage my video collection in iTunes instead of dragging every clip onto an app icon.

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No video AirPlay in Apple TV 2 – yet!

A few days ago I received the re-vamped Apple TV 2 (or 2G) in the mail. The iOS version in the new Apple TV is listed as 4.0. I was very curious to try the new AirPlay feature that Steve Jobs announced in his keynote in early September. AirPlay enables the ability to stream any kind (well, obviously the format needs to be supported by iTunes) of audio and video from any iOS device to Apple TV 2. I have yet to find out why this feature could be useful but hey – at least it’s pretty cool, isn’t it? ;-)

To be able to stream content to Apple TV 2 you need to press that small antenna icon on the right to the volume slider and a dialog pops up to choose the target iOS device. I tried both, the iPad and iPhone 4, to stream a movie to Apple TV 2 but unfortunately, only the audio stream is being recognized by Apple TV 2. Continue reading

Enable AirPrint printer sharing for iOS 4.2 and higher for iPad or iPhone

To use Apple AirPrint on an iOS device like the iPad or iPhone you either need an AirPrint enabled printer or a printer that’s connected to a Mac. Here’s how to use a printer that’s connected to a Mac. In order to be seen by any iOS device, the printer needs to be shared on your local network. Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and activate the checkbox for “Printer Sharing”. Click the “Open Print Preferences” button. In my example, I’m going to share my Lexmark C530 laser printer. Continue reading