iTunes music on Android gadgets
Q. I bought an Android smartphone. How can I load up my iTunes music?
A. There are a few ways to do this. You can grab a program like DoubleTwist. It will import your iTunes library and it even looks and works like iTunes.
Unlike iTunes, it allows you to sync music with Android gadgets as well as Apple gadgets. Some smartphones come with software that will import your music for you. You could also plug your smartphone into your computer and drag the music files over directly.
Android will play the iTunes AAC format. Just know that when you buy new music from iTunes, you’ll have to drag the new files over manually.
Better video chat
Q. My video quality on Skype is really bad. Is it my camera?
A. If your video looks bad but the video of the person you’re talking to is OK, then it’s probably your camera. Older cameras have trouble with low-light rooms, so make sure you turn on the lights and put them to the sides or in front of you. Putting light behind you will just create a silhouette.
If the video is bad for both of you, then your Internet connection might be too slow. This will usually show up as stuttering and a general low-quality look. You can test your Internet speed with a service like Speedtest.
Pricing a router
Q. How much should I spend on a really good router?
A. That depends on your definition of “really good.”
You can pick up a solid name-brand 802.11n dual-band router for $60 to $80. Many of these now include “high-end” features like traffic shaping for better video streaming and support for guest networks. For most households that’s enough.
Of course, if you want to stay on the cutting edge, you can buy a router that supports 802.11ac. This is the latest and greatest version of Wi-Fi. But it will set you back $130 or more.
You’ll also need 802.11ac-compatible laptops and mobile gadgets to take advantage of the blazing fast speed. So for now, I’d give it a pass.
ADHD and technology
Q. Can tablets and video games cause ADHD in children?
A. There’s no evidence that technology use can cause ADHD. However, according to some scientists, people who have ADHD will have a hard time shutting off a video game or leaving the Internet. This can impact their schoolwork or social life.
Even if your child doesn’t have ADHD, some studies show that spending hours on the Internet or playing games can increase anxiety in children. So, as a parent you need to set firm time limits either way.
Catch a bandwidth thief
Q. My home network got really slow recently. It looks like one computer is hogging the bandwidth. Why would it be doing that?
A. The most obvious answer is that you have a virus. It might be using the computer to send spam or attack other computers. Run a full scan with your security software. You might try using Malwarebytes as well. It can sometimes catch viruses other scanners miss.
If you have several people in the house, it could be someone is running a file-sharing program like BitTorrent. Or possibly neighbors snuck on to your Wi-Fi and are using your connection to stream videos. You’ll want to encrypt your network to keep them, and hackers, out.
Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Hear it locally at 94.3 WSC News Radio noon-3 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to www.komando.com.