CNET guest blogger Matt Rosoff found himself in the middle of a digital media tangle of WMA, AAC, FLAC, OGG, and MP3 files. This file would work on that media player, but not that one, and so on. As the situation became more desperate, Rosoff turned to dBpoweramp Music Converter to unmess his muddle. Could the popular download also be the right digital converter for you? This First Look video can help you decide.
There are scads of products that convert vinyl records to digital files on the market, but most look either utilitarian or like an old dorm-room stereo. So even though its retro look may not be for everyone, Grace Digital is at least trying to make its design a little more interesting.
The "Victoria Classic" looks like a radio from yesteryear, which may appeal to those who may be entering the Digital Age for practicality but aren't quite ready to part with their past just yet. One of three new models being introduced, the Classic can burn vinyl … Read more
For the woman who gave you life, you can help her keep all her old memories this Mother's Day with this digital picture converter. Looking a little like a small paper shredder, this device lets you feed in photographs which will then be converted into a format you can edit on a PC.
We know what you're thinking--a scanner can do exactly the same thing for much cheaper. But honestly, we don't think anyone will relish trying to teach their mom how to use a flatbed scanner and Photoshop Elements for resizing, cropping, and touch-ups. This solution … Read more
Power Downloader tries his best to help all, but recently his friend Francois Foto approached him with a tricky problem: is there a way to easily convert photos from one format to another? ''Ze emphasees,'' said Francois, ''eez on easy.'' Power had a simple solution, a freeware program called XnView.
XnView is a robust program, an image browser and viewer as well as a converter. For conversions, though, it can handle more than 400 formats from Camera RAW, JPG, GIF, TIFF, and other still image formats all the way through AVI, MOV, MPEG, and a multitude of movie formats. Metadata … Read more
We finally got one of our government-issued DTV converter box coupons in the mail, and one of the notices on the accompanying information sheet caught our eye:
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING REFUNDS: You will not be able to receive cash or credit for the coupon amount, but you can receive cash or credit for any amount you paid out of pocket, if the store policy permits.
To be honest, that's not much of a surprise when you consider how the coupon program actually works. If consumers were able to get credit or cash for returned DTV converter boxes, unscrupulous buyers could return a DTV converter box then use the credit to purchase any piece of electronics they wanted--which is definitely not the spirit of the coupon program.
But what happens if you get your DTV converter box back and it's broken?… Read more
Editors' note: Since the publication of this story, a battery-powered DTV converter box has been released, the Winegard RCDT09A. While we'd still hold off on buying a new portable TV this year--it's better to wait for portable TVs with new digital tuners--older analog portable TVs can be used with the RCDT09A if they have a composite or RF input. For more information, read our full review of the Winegard RCDT09A.
Portable TVs can be great for camping or in case of emergency, but you're probably going to be getting ripped off if you buy one in 2008. That's because almost all portable TVs use standard analog TV signals, and those signals are going to get turned off on February 17, 2009. And even though these TVs are just about obsolete, you can still buy them at places like Target, Wal-mart Stores, and Amazon. Some of the pages have warnings about the impending DTV transition, but some of them don't.
While it is possible that someone will come out with a battery-powered DTV converter--which could work with a portable TV that has inputs--we wouldn't hold our breath. The FCC's DTV FAQ page already explicitly says, "it is not anticipated that battery powered digital-to-analog converter boxes will be produced,"… Read more
With its chunky body, powerful stereo, and live rear axle handling, we couldn't help but think of the 2008 Ford Mustang Convertible as a thick, juicy steak of a car. The styling evokes the muscle car era effectively, reason enough to salivate for people in a certain age group. On a hard corner, the car feels like it has a lot of meat on its rear, making power slides possible, for good or ill. The 500-watt stereo pumps out audio thick enough to satisfy fans of bass-heavy music, although people of more refined appetites should stay away.
Ford has … Read more
The DTV transition is less than a year away and as of January 1, 2008, Americans have been eligible to sign up for a $40 coupon to help purchase DTV converter boxes needed to receive new digital TV signals. While your instincts may tell you to sign up as quickly as possible, there's a strong argument to be made to hold off for a little while. Here's why:
1. The coupon expires in three months If you carefully read you the FAQ on the government's Web site, the program clearly states that the $40 coupons expire three months after they're shipped. That's unfortunate because we're guessing many people don't think much of it, and are just trying to sign up before they forget. Now you're forced into getting whatever DTV boxes that are currently on the market, even though...
2. Better, cheaper boxes are coming… Read more
Microsoft offered Mac fans both good news and bad news on Thursday, and it all depends on which version of Office for Mac one is using.
The software maker said that it plans on March 11 to deliver the first update to Office 2008 for Mac, delivering several key fixes. At the same time though, it has again pushed out the release of converters needed by users of Office 2004 to read documents saved in the new XML file formats used by Office 2007 for Windows.
"The team is mobilized to get Office 2008 updates out as soon as … Read more
The very popular Videora iPod Converter is one case in which an app shouldn't be too hastily judged by its name. This video-converting freebie transforms files for the range of Apple's ilk--three types of iPods and the iPhone to boot. Videora iPod Converter can grab and convert YouTube videos through an in-app browser (this is good for owners of the classic iPods), and will also work over files stored on your desktop (this is good for everyone).
However, Videora iPod Converter isn't the only free converter in town, and it has some notable drawbacks. Decide if it'… Read more