There are a number of video formats that are used for compressing and distributing videos these days. While most use common and open standards such as H.264 that are readily viewable, others may be more obscure and will require you to install a codec to view videos encoded in them.… Read more
I occasionally get e-mails asking about cheap and easy ways to soundproof a listening room. Readers want to minimize the amount of bass and sound leaking into neighboring apartments or rooms in a house from their home theater.
Bona-fide soundproofing is neither cheap or easy. Anything short of building a "floating" (isolated) recording studio type listening room won't totally soundproof a room. You see, a floating room's ceiling, walls, and floor are acoustically and structurally isolated from its surroundings. Prices vary, but plan on investing at least $10,000 for a professionally installed floating room. After the floating room construction techniques, you can attain more limited success with double sheetrock on the walls. That is, install new double sheetrock walls with an air gap between them and the original walls. Double sheetrock can make a big difference, but it's still far from a cheap or easy solution.
A friend put a layer of lead sheeting under his apartment's finished wood floors to reduce bass transmission to the floor below. It worked, but I'm not so sure about the health concerns from living around that much lead.
But I do have a few tips to reduce sound leakage from one room to another, or between floors of a house or apartment that won't break the bank.
Before we go any further, let's define our goals: sound isolation isn't the same thing as improving room acoustics (I'll cover that in another blog).
Sound is transmitted from one room to another either through structure borne vibrations (wall, ceiling, or floor movement), or through the air. Thick carpets or wall pads won't do much in the way of soundproofing, but they may improve sound quality in the room.… Read more
Apple recently updated a number of knowledgebase articles, which address problems people have been having with their iPhones, iPods, and Mac hardware and software. The issues include problems with iDVD encoding settings, iMac restores using incorrect system software, and problems installing OS X to external drives.… Read more
The recent iTunes update has addressed a number of issues some people have had with iPods, playlist syncing, and the capability to remember passwords. While for most users the update should work without problems, some people have experienced issues with iTunes updates in the past and there is no guarantee that new problems will not occur.… Read more
We've heard a few people complain that taking photos initially with their iPhone took a while to get used to because of the awkward placement of the Camera app's shutter button and the shape of the phone. Tapping the shutter button resulted in blurred or out-of-focus photos. So forget about tapping that button; we've got a better solution!
We noted that when taking photos with the iPhone it will not actually take the photo until you release the shutter button. So the key to better photography on the iPhone is to press and hold the button while … Read more
The Mac platform is seeing a number of new users, with many of them being switchers from Windows. For these people, once the system has been set up the question of what to do next may come to mind. Apple provides quick access to the Web, e-mail, and other services with built-in applications, but a few people have wondered how to go about getting the most of their Mac and learning the system.… Read more
The desire to move way from Flash and other plugins for Web content is quite apparent, and has taken a further step with last week's release of Firefox 3.6. In response to the progress in HTML5 development, sites like YouTube and Vimeo have released HTML5 versions of their media implementations. Despite this, the instructions for enabling the beta implementation of HTML5 on YouTube are not the clearest.… Read more
It doesn't matter if you are a Mac or PC user; the iPhone and iPod Touch behave similarly when plugged into a computer using the USB sync cable that Apple provides. They both cause iTunes to launch for syncing media and they initiate photo and video syncing by recognizing both devices as a digital camera. This week's tip is is about disabling the digital camera notification in Windows and Mac OS X.
Steps for Windows Vista and Windows 7
1. Connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer. 2. Open the Windows Control Panel. 3. Choose Hardware … Read more
In the process of troubleshooting poor application performance, the removal of preference files is often an easy remedy. In Mac OS X, preference files are usually saved in the property list format, which are identified by their .plist suffix. Since preference files are recreated by applications upon launch, the recommendation to remove preference files is relatively harmless; however, do not misinterpret these recommendations to mean any plist may be deleted safely.… Read more