Multimedia Archive


Confirmed: Windows 10 will have native FLAC support



In a tweet from Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul, Microsoft is throwing out spoilers again.  This time they showed a screenshot showcasing Windows Media Player in Windows 10 playing music with the FLAC audio format.

Keen eyed will notice something cool about this pic. Something to look forward to in the new year!

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Amazon ebooks are now giftable…finally

I’m not sure what took so long, but Amazon today finally announced the ability to gift Kindle ebooks to anyone — just as you would any other product or service from Amazon’s online store.

The company says that the Kindle is “the most gifted item in the history of” but is still mum on specific sales numbers. While this announcement may help Amazon sell even more Kindles, the company stresses that no Kindle is required to enjoy its ebooks. If anything, the feature is a reminder to consumers that they can read Kindle Books on a variety of platforms — including the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry phones, as well as on Macs and Windows PCs.

To gift a Kindle Book, you simply need to choose the “Give as a Gift” option for any book in the Kindle Store, and then send the gift to anyone with an email address.

It’s unclear what’s kept Amazon from launching this ebook giving feature for so long. The company has sold boatloads of Kindles since it announced cheaper models in July, which makes me think the ebook gifting feature would have been wildly successful had it launched earlier.

For now, the news will serve as a way to remind people that Kindle ebooks (and Kindle devices) make great gifts — and it may deflect attention away from Barnes and Noble’s recently announced Nook Color. Amazon also recently announced that it will be offering 14-day ebook lending to Kindle users.


The Best Web TV Device: Comparison of Google TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Boxee Box

Google officially introduced its Google TV to the general public recently, launching its Google TV website and revealing a little more about apps and content available on the Google TV devices that will go on sale by the end of this month.

The company has struck a number of alliances with cable networks like TNT as well as online services like Twitter and Pandora to make Google TV more attractive and beat the competition from Apple, Roku and Boxee. But with all those choices, it’s easy to get confused by which content is available on which device — so we decided to come up with a handy scorecard that shows you exactly which apps will be available where.

Google TV Apple TV Roku Boxee Box
Netflix X X X X
Amazon VOD X X
iTunes Store X
Hulu Plus X
YouTube X X X X X
NBA Game Time X X X X X
Pandora X X X
Napster X X
Twitter X Third party app
Flickr X X X

Please note: Both Google TV and Boxee come with integrated browsers, and it might be possible to access some of the content or services listed as not available through this browser. Also, Netflix is currently available via the Boxee PC app, and a company spokesperson told me that they’re aiming to have everything currently available through that application also available on the box.

Finally, this is just a list of apps available today, which will substantially change when Google will introduce Android market access for Google TV, as well as Apple launches apps for Apple TV.

More info on the Apple TV

More info on the Boxee Box

More info on Roku




What would you pay for Hulu Plus?

So, Hulu Plus is coming out of beta today. The Internet TV viewing subscription service will be $7.99 a month down from the $9.99 monthly charge during the beta period. With many saying that cable cutting services like Hulu being the wave of the future, they will all come with a price tag of some sort. That’s not a problem, in my view, unless you think of adding them on top of your existing cable monthly bill and then things start to add up.

I know of several cable cutting pioneers who are willing to just make the snip away from cable and some already have. But I’m guessing the folks at Hulu (and others) are trying to find a price point that allows those not so willing to pull the plug to add their streaming service on top of existing coverage and not feel the hit at first.

These services are making it onto all sorts of new boxes and we’ll see more of this once the content providers figure out how to deal with the disruption. Apps are proliferating across mobile platforms and Hulu promises its Apps will be updated very soon.

While the services are the disrupters, so are you, dear consumer. So, here’s a couple of questions. Are you in the mind frame of cutting your cable TV tether? If so, what’s the monthly freight you’re comfortable paying for these type of services? Are you moving towards Roku, Apple TV, Google TV? Or is it too early to tell where this is going?

Let us know in comments.


Dirt cheap organization trick to reduce cable clutter on your desk

If you have USB cables, cell phone chargers and other connecters lying all around your desk, just get a couple of Binder Clips Large 12/Pack from your nearest stationery store and fix them to one edge of your table as shown.

De-clutter your Desk

The wire arms (or the handles) of the binder clip can act as “holders” to not only give you quick access to your most frequently used cables but they’ll also prevent the wires from falling off your computer table.

Binder Clips are available in many different sizes so if you are working on a thick desk, you may want to buy a larger version of the clip.



FileToFolder Review: Create and move files into their own folders

Do you ever want to have a bunch of files moved into their own folders?  I have this need for a lot of media files such as movies, TV Shows, and music.  Usually it’s a tedious, manual process to go through all of the file creations and cut & pastes.

With a tool that I found called FileToFolder, we can automate a bit of the tedious work.  This free app does one simple thing: it processes files to create a folder for each and move each file into its own folder. The folder will have the same name as the original file. Pretty straightforward and simple, yet potentially very useful. FileToFolder can be used from it’s main GUI interface or optionally via the Windows explorer context menu. See image below for an illustration of how it works.

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Google TV launched, some questions are answered

Google TV is coming — and judging by the new Google TV website, it’s coming soon.

Via the medium of shiny, black, stylish imagery, the site goes a long way to answering any and all questions you might have about the service. For sitting-in-the-living-room TV watchers it soundsreally cool. If you sit at your computer all day, however, the feature list feels a little mundane.

Incidentally, if you’re poking around the Google TV site, there’s a link to a ‘Google TV blog‘ at the bottom of the page — but it’s invite-only… just a temporary issue, I’m sure!

[via TheNextWeb]


Review: Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ – Home Network Attached Storage

A couple of weeks ago we put the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo through its paces. We were a little disappointed in its performance, and now the ReadyNAS NV+ has shown up to try to defend the honour of the ReadyNAS family. Will it succeed or will it fall to the incessant pounding of our network stress tests?

The 4 disk ReadyNAS NV+ has arrived to wreak vengeance for the disappointing ratings we delivered to its little brother, the ReadyNAS Duo. The ReadyNAS NV+ sports 4 disks instead of 2, and this should allow the ReadyNAS NV+ to work in multiple RAID modes instead of just RAID 1 and 0.

Netgear position the ReadyNAS NV+ as “A high capacity, reliable solution for home storage”:

  • Serves files easily
  • Backs up data effortlessly
  • Streams music and video quickly
  • Shares printers with ease
  • Works with Windows®, Mac®, and Linux®

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Amarok 2.3.2 “Moonshine” released, many improvements

Amarok 2.3.2 “Moonshine” is slowly but surely becoming a great media player.  The latest release is a big leap forward in that.


The Amarok Team is happy to announce the release of Amarok 2.3.2.

This release brings with it much requested bugfixes for some long-standing bugs. Specifically, Dynamic Collection has received fixes and should now work better with external hard drives and USB mass storage devices (Collection directories on these media will need to be rescanned for the changes to take effect). The Collection Browser now refreshes properly after a full rescan, fixing a bug where it would show incorrectly cached entries until Amarok was restarted.

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Combine two video files into one with mencoder

I don’t really understand why folks are still breaking video files into separate parts, as if people still are still burning SVCDs.  It gets extremely annoying to have to switch to another file half way through the video.  I needed to find an easy way to combine them seamlessly into a single video file.  That’s where mencoder fixes this little problem.

Installing Mencoder on windows

You can get it as a part of the MPlayer package.

Installing Mencoder on Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install mencoder

Command Line Usage

mencoder -forceidx -oac copy -ovc copy -o “Combined Video File.avi” “video part 1.avi” “video part 2.avi”

Combined Video File.avi is obviously the target combined file that you’re going to create, followed by each of the parts.

Alternatively, there is a GUI option of mencoder in the works that appears promising.