HT Professional Recorder is a dictation-recording software with several useful features for recording your thoughts and comments. Though the iPhone comes with a voice memo app, with HT Professional Recorder you get tons of options for serious dictation recording. The interface has a unique swooshlike design with buttons across the top for creating a new recording, starting your recording, playback, and pause. There also are buttons to advance or "rewind" the playback in 5-second increments so you can scan for specific parts of your recording. On the bottom of the swoosh design, you also can use a slider … Read more
Subscription-based music service Rhapsody on Monday morning released a new version of its iPhone app that offers offline playback, allowing you to play playlists even when you don't have an Internet connection.
This advance puts Rhapsody in a unique position, at least for a couple months. Subscription service Spotify has an iPhone app with offline playback, but it is still available in Europe only. MOG hasn't gotten its iPhone app out the door yet, and Thumbplay, whose offline playback feature is a big selling point for the service, is available only for the BlackBerry.
The Rhapsody app is … Read more
There are tons of entertaining and informative videos on the Internet, and one of the most common and lightweight formats for these videos is Flash, or FLV. There are plenty of ways to download videos from sites like YouTube and Dailymotion, but we suspect that many people are disappointed when it becomes apparent that FLV files can't be handled by the average media player. That's where programs like Moyea FLV Player come in. This simple program allows users to view downloaded FLV files as easily as they can view any other video format.
Moyea FLV Player's interface … Read more
Awhile ago, Western Digital tackled the home entertainment arena with the WD TV, which turned out to be a success. Nonetheless, a lot of enthusiasts, including me, were turned off by the fact that the WD TV lacks support for networking and doesn't include the capability to decode DTS audio, which is popularly used in compressed high-def video formats.
It seems Western Digital took our complaints to heart as the company announced Tuesday the availability of the next generation of the device, the WD TV Live HD Media Player.
Outside, the WD TV Live has the same shape and size as the WD TV. However, on the back, apart from the USB, HDMI, and composite ports, you'll find the newly added 10/100 Ethernet port. This port opens the device to many possibilities, which, for now, include access to YouTube, Flickr, and Internet radio stations.
On the inside, the device now can decode both DTS and DTS 2.0 audio encoding and sports a faster processor.
Like the previous WD TV, the new WD TV Live supports playing back all kinds of video, audio, and photo formats, including the most popular high-def video formats such as Matroska (MKV) and DivX. In addition, it also has these new and improved features:Full-HD 1080p video playback with support for different sound tracks, subtitles (when available), and the capability to decode DTS audio Capability to play videos, music, photos, and radio from the Internet Ethernet port for wired connection to access digital content from other network devices Supports two USB mass storage devices at the same time, including external hard drives, digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players
I tried the unit out and it was indeed a much better experience than the WD TV. … Read more
The Ultimate Video Screensaver hd1080p provides users with a fairly simple way to create a custom screensaver. While some of the controls are confusing, users will love their ability to perfect every detail.
The program features a sleek interface that allows users to select a variety of customizations using well-marked radio buttons and file trees. The process of getting images and sound is a little confusing because there are no instructions, but a trip to the Help file will clarify any worries. The program starts, oddly, with requesting users to select smaller details. Simple radio buttons allow users to select … Read more
As its title may suggest, an MP3 player's primary duty is to play MP3s, which are more often than not music files. But audiobooks, podcasts, and other spoken-word content enjoy plenty of face time on portable audio devices, and why not? They offer an informative and entertaining way to pass the time. But for those of us who prefer our information and entertainment in condensed form, time is of the essence. Spoken-word content is one type of audio that (generally) doesn't sound completely absurd when sped up, and doing so gives the listener a way to get through … Read more
Vacuum tube amplifiers are the Holy Grail for a lot of audiophiles, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than solid-state amps.
Priced at $1,295, the A-50T is one of the most affordable all-tube integrated amplifiers on the market, but I wasn't thinking about that as I ran my fingers over its half-inch thick front panel and fondled the beautifully machined knobs, or admired the quality of the rear panel's RCA jacks and hefty, gold-plated speaker wire binding posts. It's beautiful and the A-50T's quality is on par with amps that sell for $2,000 or more.
I reviewed the Cayin for Playback magazine a few months ago, and you can read the full review here.
Cayin is one of China's oldest and largest high-end audio manufacturers; they're justifiably proud of the fact that they build every significant part of the A-50T in-house. Got a turntable? The A-50T can be ordered with a built-in phono preamp for an extra $250; that still leaves three line-level inputs. … Read more
There are several excellent freeware video playback programs out there, and VLC media player is one of the best. Made by "those VLC folks," or VideoLAN as they prefer to be called, the wildly popular open-source player now offers a slightly better experience than before for both Windows and Mac.
VLC will now cooperate with Last.fm, there's direct playback of video URLs, and, unexpectedly, a lot of attention has been given to how VLC interacts with the Internet. Users will find VLC to be more secure, with options for strictly regulating Internet usage through the player … Read more
Along with VLC and the KMPlayer, GOM Media Player's support for a wide range of file formats has helped it stand out as a firm favorite. A pop-out playlist can save and organize your various media files, though the limited sort modes--two--hardly makes it a champ.
More impressive are the customizable settings on the control panel. Here you can adjust a video's image brightness, hue, and saturation. There's no preview window, and changes occur as the video runs, so unless you care for a rousing session of trial and error, be sure to tweak the settings after … Read more
When it comes to video files, nothing is ever as easy as it should be. Thankfully, VLC media player offers a one-stop solution to the file-format and codec problem for Windows, Mac, and thumbdrives with a portable version. The open-source program supports playback of OGG, MP2, MP3, MP4, DivX, DVD, and what seems like thousands of other file types. In addition, it also can function as a streaming media server.
Though the interface varies from platform to platform, the sparseness of the standard version leaves plenty to be desired. Some skins perks things up slightly, but the program seems to … Read more