Category Archives: Audio / Video

The Future of Digital Cameras

camera-phone

Digital cameras have so far stayed out of the smartphone sphere. While smartphones have cameras and social sharing features, digital cameras have remained purely for photography. Until now.

A New Era of Cameras

Samsung has recently released news of their Galaxy camera, which is basically a digital camera in the front, and a smart phone from the back.

The 16.3 megapixel Galaxy is powered by Andriod 4.1 Jelly Bean, and has 3G, 4G, and dual-band WiFi connectivity abilities. This allows users access to a whole range of abilities that were previously closed to digital camera users. Andriod allows users to immediately edit their photos in Photoshop Touch, or whatever photo editing apps they choose from the Play Store, on the 4.77 inch HD touch display, which has 308 pixels per inch.

After editing, users can immediately upload their photos to their favorite social media platform, making the shooting, editing, sharing … Read the rest

Top Gadgets for your HDTV

hdtv

Who doesn’t LOVE their HDTV? Sitting in your special spot, kicking back and enjoying the best in home entertainment is as awesome as…well, beer on tap, in the desert. Ok, maybe not as good as that, but you get the picture. We have so many types of HDTV to choose from, too: Plasma, LCD, LED, DLP and 3-D TV.

What about the toys; you know, the stuff you really want to hook up to the HDTV, to enhance your experience, or better yet—rub in the faces of your friends. Here’s my personal list of the top gadgets you should consider buying for your High Definition Boob Tube.

Apple TV: Under a hundred bucks, almost as good as Blu-ray (1080p), streaming, minimalistic and easy to set up; what could be better? This is the best of the best when it comes to streaming boxes. Choose from thousands of movies, current … Read the rest

Top 5 Video-Sharing Apps for Your Smartphone

Viddy

Remember when you needed an expensive, high-spec video camera, chunky tripod and pricey sound booth to capture a special moment or event? Thanks to super-clever developers and smart technology, those days now behind well and truly behind us – now all you need is a smartphone, a video sharing app and an internet connection to create a visual masterpiece you can share around the world.

Here are our top 5 picks for the hottest video-sharing apps on the current market:

  1. Viddy: Available on the iPad, iPhone and Android devices, Viddy is probably the most well known video sharing app on the planet at the moment. Quick and incredibly easy to use, Viddy allows you to post videos of up to 15 seconds in length on all the major social networks. Very similar to Instagram but for videos not images, Viddy allows you to edit your footage, change the colours and
Read the rest

Why is Mercedes’ ‘The Catch’ video getting so popular?

The Catch

The phenomenon of viral marketing videos offers a wealth of opportunity to observe social psychology in action. What makes them work? Why do they fail? We’re going to take a look at Mercedes’ recent viral video, ‘The Catch’ to see how it works an audience, and why that’s contributing to it going viral.

1.    It doesn’t set out to be a viral marketing video

Mercedes kind of include the vehicle they’re marketing – the SLS AMG Roadster – as almost an afterthought to the video. Sure, the car’s being driven in the main, but it is hardly tarted up (in fact, with all the camera equipment it looks pretty tarted-down). The video makes no claims as to its speed, efficiency, or aptitude to this particular task.

And that’s a really, really good thing. Many companies make the attempt to create a viral marketing video from the mission inwards. That is, … Read the rest

Spider Player – Free music only media player

spider

Despite the fact there are an inordinate number of media players available, it is difficult to find one that is quite as well rounded as Windows Media Player; the application included as standard with Windows.  Many other media players are either overloaded with features you will never use or stripped down to the point where the few extra features you are likely to use on a daily basis are missing.

Just recently, however, I was pointed in the direction of Spider Player, an application that is available via a free download at www.spider-player.com.  Admittedly this is just a music player and does not support videos files but focusing purely on audio allows it to excel in this area.

It offers a 32-bit sound processing irrespective of the specification of your sound card which should ensure a high quality of playback of all your audio files.  The player also supports 5.1/7.1 … Read the rest

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

media-player-classic-homecinema

One of the most common problems I experience when playing movies and videos on my home PC is poor lip syncing caused by the sound and video not marrying up perfectly.  Rather than performing any degree of troubleshooting I always fall back to the trusty player ‘Media Player Classic Home Theatre’ which despite a complete lack of both bells and whistles always performs admirably.

The user interface for Media Player Classic looks just like the old Windows Media Player 6.4 which was bundled with Windows ME and early versions of Windows XP.  I expect few users to know this specific version off the top of their heads so simply refer back to the version in your memory that could be described as looking ‘particularly primitive and dated’.

There are no fancy skins, no modern looking icons and no ribbon style interface; what you simply get is a blank screen along … Read the rest

Paint.Net v3.5

paintnet

Paint.net is an application I’ve found myself using on a day to day basis over the last couple of years. In my opinion it’s a perfect bridge between the ridiculously simple but underpowered ‘Microsoft Paint’ that’s bundled with Windows and the powerful but expensive to buy and difficult to learn ‘Adobe Photoshop’.

The majority of users will find the features of Paint.NET more than enough for day to day photo manipulation however, also thrown in to the mix, are a number of extremely powerful tools.

Firstly, the application has layers; unless you’ve ever used layers it’s difficult to explain in words exactly what they are and how they can help you. The simplest way to explain them would be to think of them as a number of transparency slides, which when all stacked and viewed together form the basis of a whole image. If you change one of the individual … Read the rest

ISO Format

isoformat

One of the most common file types used in the distribution of software over the Internet is the .ISO format; these single files contain within them an exact copy of an entire CD or DVD disc. They are ideal because rather than having dozens, hundreds or even of thousands of files to transport you only have one.

There are of course other methods of achieving the same goal; some of you may be familiar with .zip or .rar files which have the added advantage of being able to not only take many files and store them temporarily as one but also compress the data, making the total file size smaller. Unfortunately, when using this method on a media disc you strip out important characteristics of the original such as boot code, disc structures and file attributes which can often prevent an application from running.

As a result of this exact … Read the rest

The iPod Effect

apple_ipod_nano

In a time when everybody suddenly seems to be looking to Apple for the next exciting piece of new technology, I’m forced to look back and wonder when everything all of a sudden started to go ‘right’ for them.

Things haven’t always been this rosy for Apple; back in 2001 the ailing technology company posted a year loss of $25 million on revenues of $5.3 billion however, just 7 years later, they posted a $4.8 billion profit in 2008 based on revenues of $32.5 billion.

Such a turnaround is quite remarkable and seems to coincide very much with the release of the iPod; a revolutionary portable media device which enjoyed its first full year of sales in 2002. Initially released in October 2001, the iPod was easy to use and included a large hard drive which had an incredibly large storage capacity compared with the flash media based players of … Read the rest

Image Resolution FAQ

resolution

A question I’m currently receiving on a weekly basis is ‘how many pictures will I be able to fit on this’ when a customer is referring to the size of memory card or USB Flash Drive.  Understanding image resolution and size is important in this digital age and although the intricacies are incredibly complex, the basics are pretty easy to get to grip with.
What is Image Resolution?
A pixel is a unit of programmable colour on a computers display and by combining many of them together we are able to create an image; the term resolution typically refers to the number of pixels that are used in this process.  On the whole, the quality of the image will increase with a greater number of pixels as we are able to store a greater amount of detail.

How is Resolution Measured?
Resolutions are generally expressed in two different formats – … Read the rest

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