Growing up the in the 1990s meant that I came of age in an era before iPads, Pandora, and streaming cloud music, when Zunes and Walkman MP3 players weren't just shiny paperweights and the only way to get exposed to new music was either via MTV, the radio--and if you were really desperate, VH1 or the Disney Channel. Fortunately I was quick to embrace the Internet age with its promise of bringing people together; that is a great thing, but all I really cared about was the potential of getting music from these people. But that only left me … Read more
VLC Media Player for Mac is the all-around reliable, works-out-of-the-box media player that you might never have heard of, though that's no reflection on the app, itself.
We installed the latest update for VLC Media Player for Mac on our test machine without problems. We quickly downloaded the DMG, and then copied VLC to Applications, overwriting our previous installed version. As longtime users of this software, we were happy to see that not much has changed. The interface remained the same, with standard buttons for playback, forward, and back. Advanced controls are available for more options, as well. The … Read more
If MultiExtractor's file-extracting capabilities (and stiff price) are more than the average user needs, it could be the answer to many pro user's needs. MultiExtractor extracts icon, image, audio, video, texture, and similar files, including zipped, hidden, and encrypted files, from deep inside a wide range of programs, drivers, and other software resources. You merely need to choose a file or directory and let MultiExtractor comb it for each type of file you're after. MultiExtractor displays results in a variety of customizable views so you can be sure you've hit the target. It also decompresses files … Read more
Despite the Internet's ability to connect Web sites and other content across continents, finding video content from other countries can be difficult. SopCast for Mac allows users to view channels originating in many countries from one program on their computer.
Available as freeware, the program's channels are also viewable at no cost. The program is small, downloaded quickly, and easily installed. In terms of functionality, SopCast for Mac allows you to watch from a list of channels organized by country of origin. There is also a menu allowing you to directly paste links to other SopCast channels not … Read more
A communications freeware product made for those with a VoIP phone system or a high-speed broadband Internet connection, X-Lite supports instant messaging, traditional phone use, and video or conference calls. It has a number of very desirable features such as call recording and is a great way to cut phone expenses while still maintaining quality communications with friends, family, and business contacts.
X-Lite has a unique interface; it resembles a traditional cell phone with all 10 numbers and working buttons, such as redial and mute. The user can dial the phone just like a traditional cell phone or use the … Read more
What's the top media player? Opinions differ, but if you mean one that's open-source freeware, plays more files than the others, can be totally customized and configured to suit, and is not only updated frequently but also regularly offers new features and options created by a huge community of programmers and users, the answer is VLC Media Player.
Our default media player for years, VLC has managed to stay ahead of the competition in features and performance, if not always looks, though that's easy enough to fix if you want to. VLC and its source code are … Read more
VLC Media Player is a longtime open-source favorite, and the latest version offers fixes and feature enhancements for the Mac version that make it a must download. It's not the only option for free video playback, but it's one of the best, and it's often the go-to media player for Mac users who can't seem to play a specific media file.
VLC Media player offers a number of tools and customization options to manage and watch video. Users get frame-by-frame advancement; granular speed controls allowing for on-the-fly slower or faster playback; and live recording of streaming … Read more
Daum Potplayer: It's probably not what you're thinking, whatever that is. It is, in fact, a free video player. We hear you say, "There are so many free video players; what sets this one apart?" Its built-in codecs handle most video formats, and you don't have to install them yourself. It has several levels of controls and settings, making the most useful commands easily accessible. It's attractive but also skinnable and customizable. It supports a variety of video devices, including capture devices like cameras, DVD and digital recorders, and both analog and digital TV, … Read more
Editors' note (September 20, 2011): Apple has released a major software update to Final Cut Pro X. Additional features added include support for XML, custom starting time codes, Xsan event and project compatibility, support for media stems/audio channeling, full-screen view toggle for Lion users, and GPU acceleration.
The bottom line: Final Cut Pro X is truly a dramatic rewrite of Apple's mature and well-developed video-editing software. It borrows some interface elements from iMovie that may disappoint seasoned professionals, and also it loses many key features that are simply an absolute necessity in the professional world, like XML export. … Read more
Specifically, I listened to the 802 Diamond speaker that sells for $15,000 a pair. The speaker has a big and beautiful, carefully honed design. The 159-pound speaker stands 44-inches high by 14.5-inches wide by 22-inches deep. It has a 1-inch synthetic diamond dome tweeter, 6-inch woven Kevlar midrange driver, and two 8-inch Rohacell woofers. Rohacell is a super lightweight, yet highly rigid material that is ideal for woofers that need to move a lot of air without flexing.
The 6-inch midrange driver is housed in a teardrop shaped "head" that is crafted from inert Marlan composite material, a synthetic, mineral-filled resin. This granite-hard enclosure is sprayed with seven coats of hand-polished black lacquer. The head's internal cavity--a sphere closely coupled to a short tube--absorbs most of the sound from the back of the driver. On the outside, the teardrop shape smoothly disperses the sound around the speaker, creating a solid, three-dimensional stereo image.
The diamond tweeter is fitted to a tapering tube that is filled with absorbent wadding to control the energy that radiates off the tweeter's backside. The diamond tweeter doesn't look like a diamond at all, it's a dull gray dome, so it wasn't just used for show. B&W favored aluminum tweeters for its top models for years, but now uses diamond domes because of their higher stiffness-to-density ratio. According to B&W, diamond gets closest to the sound of a hypothetically perfect tweeter.
I've heard my share of high-end speakers, but the thing that struck me first about the 802 Diamond's sound was its purity. It's the second-generation diamond model, the original version was the 802 D--the company changes it models every five to seven years. B&W offers a complete range of 800 Diamond Series speakers for hi-fi and home theater systems. … Read more