Posts Tagged

media

I love iTunes. As Apple’s native music player and iOS powerhouse command station, it is unlikely that anything will ever wholly replace iTunes for me. It’s an integrated hub for surfing the iTunes music store, buying iOS apps, making playlists, the Ping network (even though it’s somewhat barren), managing the media and content on my iPhone and iPad, and more. But in spite of my love for iTunes, I will be the first to admit that with a music library the size of mine, it can be a bit slow, unwieldy, and bloated when all I want to do is play some tunes.

When I began reading up on Sonora, a beta-phase app coded by Indragie Karunaratne and designed by Tyler Murphy, I was impressed with the obvious target niche that Sonora was appealing to. At the risk of sounding “scoff-y”, independently developed music players rarely appeal to me because they so often claim to be an iTunes replacement–which, for the reasons listed in the above paragraph, is unlikely for me. Sonora, on the other hand, markets itself as a companion player, humbly leaving the heavy lifting of music purchases and iOS management to iTunes and providing a lightweight player for the express purpose of playing music. Hit the jump to read more about Sonora.

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At AppStorm, I’ve reviewed all kinds of media players and managers for Mac, from the great (Plex), to the not-so-great (Songbird). I’ve always been looking for something that has wonderful management features, but is also a pleasure to actually consume media with. While I use and love Plex, it still hasn’t satisfied all of my media needs – There’s definitely a gap for something incredible.

Elmedia Player is a media player for Mac, which boasts a huge range of codecs, including support for SWF Flash files, and it also has support for downloading movies. Let’s take a look at how it compares, and if it’s the media player of my dreams.

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iTunes. You can’t live with it, and yet you can’t live without it. Sure, it does its job, but there are a whole lot of features which are unnecessary, and necessary features which haven’t been implemented. It has Ping, a social network used by about 7 people, but no support for AVI videos, a video format loved by millions. Unfortunately for us, there aren’t many decent alternatives.

Miro 4 was released recently, and although Miro was always an iTunes competitor, version 4 has really brought it into its own. The 100% free and open source media library does all of the things you want iTunes to do, and more. But is it worth abandoning iTunes for? Read on to find out.

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OS X comes with CD and DVD burning capabilities built-in, so you might have managed so far without needing to install a separate app. When I reinstalled Snow Leopard a few months back, I decided to keep my system as lean as possible, since my old Core Duo MacBook has been showing its age. I only installed applications as a real need for them arose.

As it happens, one of the very first apps I added was for burning discs, since I found the native OS X burning seemed to be slower, and certainly gave me less control of how discs are burned.

I had previously had an earlier version of Toast installed, but I decided not to return to that outdated software, and instead went with a free burner app that had good reviews on MacUpdate. Recently, Roxio released the newest version of Toast, and I’m very glad to have updated.

Though there are lightweight apps that can do some of the things Toast does, and there are many cheaper, and even free, programs available, I believe Toast remains best-in-class. And if you go for the Pro version, it’s actually very good value – but more on that later.

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Mac OS X ships with QuickTime X, a powerful media player that most people will find fits their needs pretty well. However, there is an abundance of media players, managers and encoders available on the Mac App Store if you want a taste of something different.

MPlayerX is a multi-format, multi-touch, multi-monitor multimedia player. MPlayerX plugs it’s application as a powerful media player that fuses the power of ffmpeg and mplayer, allowing for faster decoding of almost any file format. And clearly, MPlayerX was heavily inspired by Apple’s moves both in software and technology.

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iDive, which is produced by French video tool specialist Aquafadas Software, sets out to give you a way to ‘create and organize your digital video catalog’.

If you have a large collection of video files, you might want to consider additional software alongside your editing tools to organise and search your collection. There a few options to choose from, and you’ll be familiar with the concept if you have any experience with photo cataloging apps such as iPhoto or Picasa.

Read on to find out how well iDrive meets that need, and whether it deserves a place in your Applications folder!

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Think about the sheer amount of media content you have stored on your Mac and any backup drives you have. Chances are, the combination of video, music and photos in your personal collection is staggering, but the real problem is sharing it with friends and family.

In an effort to offer a solution that can work on a variety of different Web-connected devices, an Israeli developer came up with Libox as a simpler method to uploading and sharing content without any storage limitations. The coolest part of the app is that it can do this easily with high-definition files as well. Let’s see how it all plays out.

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Have you recently bought a book, DVD or a CD you already own, but had forgotten about? No? But you do know every single book, DVD, game, CD, gadget or toy you own?

If you just screwed up you forehead trying hard to think of everything, maybe Delicious Library is something for you. It will help you keep track of all those items by just holding them in front of your Mac’s in-built camera. Intrigued? Read on!

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This week, we have a series of articles that offer step-by-step guides for setting up your own Mac media centre. The ability to access all your video and media from the comfort of a sofa is something of “holy grail”, and a system fairly difficult to implement well. Our guide will be split into three parts:

Whilst AppStorm is (as the name suggests) primarily an application-focused blog, today we’ll be venturing a little deeper into the hardware involved in a Mac media centre. We shall compare the relative benefits of an Apple TV, Mac Mini or MacBook, and offer some advice on how to connect everything together.

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Tivo revolutionized television watching, bringing in the flood of Digital Video Recorders that allowed TV enthusiasts to skip commercials at lightning speed, pause and rewind live TV as well as controlling when they watched their favorite shows.

Now there is another revolution stirring: online television. We all remember having to either purchase TV shows through iTunes or, if we wanted to watch them for free, we were sent on a wild goose chase through various network websites.

This is where Hulu steps in. Hulu’s new Mac desktop offers a simple way to stream television shows online. This review will take an in-depth look at Hulu Desktop, investigating whether it sets a new standard in TV streaming, or whether we’ll still be turning to Boxee for the best desktop experience.

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