Moving forward from the earliest days of Edison cylinders in the late 1880s, there is a long list of consumer audio formats that garnered popular support, while many others disappeared without a trace. The 78 RPM record, 45 single, and LP all enjoyed mass acceptance. Reel-to reel tape never took off, but 4- and 8-track cartridges had a good run, then the cassette hit the big time. A higher-quality analog cassette format, the Elcasette, arrived with much fanfare yet never caught on. Later, the two consumer digital tape formats, DAT and DCC, fizzled. The CD almost killed the LP in … Read more
MP4 to MP3 Converter is fine when it works; that just doesn't happen nearly as often as you'd like. The program falls victim to random crashes more often than it actually converts your files to a new format. That, the limited file support, and the frequent add-ons during the install make this program a tough sell.
This program takes MP4 video files and turns them into listenable MP3 audio files. That is, when it works. The program crashed more than half of the times we tested it, usually any time we tried to use a file that was … Read more
McAfee Site Advisor is a rare helpful browser add-on that will tell you exactly what to expect from a Web site. It fits in seamlessly with most browsers and is constantly updated with new information on top Web sites. While it may make you second guess some of your browsing behavior, it's still a worthwhile add-on to have.
This program puts a small icon in your browser's URL bar that will help you gauge whether or not a site can be trusted. The icon changes colors -- green, yellow, and red -- based on how much of your … Read more
Free YouTube to MP3 Converter Studio is a quick music downloader with just enough features to make the grade. It will let you easily fill your hard drive with tunes you find on YouTube, but it would be nice if it let you grab the video with the audio. If you don't need that from your YouTube downloader, this app will fit most needs.
This program lets you grab videos right from YouTube and download them to your computer. Since it only grabs the audio from the videos, it works remarkably quickly; no download took more than a minute … Read more
Free WMA to MP3 is a fine converter, if all you need is to change over your WMA files. Sadly, most people will want a converter with more format support, and those aren't terribly difficult to find. This app does make up for that obvious lack of support with quality performance, though.
This app takes WMAs -- and only WMAs -- and turns them into MP3s or WAV files. You can't input any other file type, meaning you have to keep the original handy if you ever want the file to go back to its original format. There … Read more
SMemo is a multifunctional calendar that lets you enter important appointments and set reminders for them. You can enter descriptions and customize alerts so that you never miss another important meeting or anniversary, and you'll always know what's on tap.
When you install SMemo, you'll be greeted with the app's intuitive interface in the form of a small calendar with the current date circled. Clicking any day will bring up a view showing any scheduled events or anniversaries and giving you the option to add a new one. When you add an event, a new window … Read more
Megaman 1-6 is an incredibly valuable, fun collection of the first six games in this influential series. All of the games are exactly as they were when you first played them, even down to the iconic music and difficultly. It's hard to deny the hours upon hours of entertainment value you get here, even if it's covered in ads.
This emulator combines the first six U.S. Megaman games into one package. You can choose any game from the emulator's drop-down menu that almost looks like it might let you add new games if you had the … Read more
Text Tones for iOS 7 Free provides dozens of new ringtones that you can add to your phone and then set as your default for any alerts. This app gives you the tools to get new ringtones onto your phone via syncing with iTunes so you can have ringtones that set you apart from all the other iPhone users out there.
Opening Text Tones for iOS 7 Free takes you to a list of recommended ringtones. You can also switch to the list of all ringtones by touching the tab at the top of the screen. No matter which list … Read more
It's been a few months since Motorola announced its modular smartphone idea called Project Ara. Since then, Google has sold the phone maker to Lenovo and it's been unclear what would happen with the project. But now, new details are emerging.
It turns out Google held onto Motorola's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group where Project Ara was housed. Run by Regina Dugan, the former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ATAP is now under Google's Android umbrella.
The project, which aims to help smartphone users build customizable handsets, is expected to have a … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain -- As a devout user of Futuremark's mobile 3D benchmark, 3DMark, it brought a smile to my face to see two new benchmark demoed at Mobile World Congress 2014. Each are coming later this year to Android, iOS, and Windows RT.
The first is a new workload for 3DMark, the company's mobile benchmark for testing a device's 3D graphics prowess. The second is a version of PCMark for mobile. Which is more of an overall system test.
The new 3DMark workload is coming in April, while the PCMark is currently slated to hit in June … Read more