On Thursday, Instagram released a what appeared to be a rather mundane update to its Android and iOS apps. Reading the release notes you'd think the update only addressed various bugs. The company later announced by a tweet from the Instagram account, it was revealed the update also included new controls for video playback in your timeline. While the update was announced for both Android and iOS at the same time, the Android update has yet to hit the Google Play Store.
Disco XT is an audio playback application for Windows. It's not a media player, though it can play, mix, and manage your music collection. It's not a recording tool, though it can record and export high-quality audio; nor is it a DJ console, though with five decks, mixing, effects, sampling, and more, it's ready for both the dance floor and studio. Disco XT is a bit of each, but unlike tools that try to be too many things at once, it succeeds. Disco XT is free to try, though the Demo stops audio playback every 30 minutes … Read more
You may have noticed that when you are playing a YouTube video, it buffers only so much ahead of your current position. And should you pause the video, buffering stops altogether. The reason behind this lackluster form of buffering? YouTube's embrace of Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (Dash), which breaks a video into segments, buffering each segment as you make your way through the video. In theory, Dash allows YouTube to adapt to changing network conditions without stalling out at times.
In the real world, Dash means you can't pause a video and come back to it later … Read more
If you watch commercial DVDs on your Mac, you may encounter a rare bug that causes the video to appear corrupted, with a blocklike pattern covering its output. This can occur regardless of whether you're using Apple's provided DVD Player application or a third-party player such as the popular cross-platform VLC media player.
When this bug occurs, even though you may hear audio and see movement, the garbled output makes the video for all intents and purposes unwatchable. Generally when such corruption occurs it indicates a problem with processing the data stream, which can indicate an issue with … Read more
You've always wanted to see an animated cat say things in a squeaky voice, haven't you? If so, then Talking Tom Cat is for you! Talking Tom Cat is a free app that shows a cartoon cat onscreen that repeats whatever you say into the device in a funny voice. Talking Tom Cat also responds to pokes and strokes of the screen.
Talking Tom Cat lets you say anything into your microphone, which it then repeats with sound modifications, as well as onscreen animation. You can pet the cat and hear him purr. You can pour him a … Read more
BS.Player is a free video and media player that's been around in several versions for some time. It's a capable tool with lots of options and some useful specializations, such as automatically scanning your system for missing codecs and downloading and installing them. It's got some clunkiness, though, and it displays a nag message overlay when you play videos. It's only on the screen for a few seconds (though it seems longer) but all it does is tell you that BS.Player is free for noncommercial use.
BS.Player's installer has several options, including … Read more
About the time my iTunes music library reached 5,000 tracks I knew it was time for a cleanup. While I was at it, I adjusted the volume on some tracks that I had converted from audio cassettes, made sure joined tracks play in sequence, set iTunes to fill my iPod automatically, and learned some handy playback-control keyboard shortcuts.
Now I'm spending more time listening to the tracks in my iTunes library and less time skipping, scrolling, and searching.
The semi-automatic way to remove duplicate media files iTunes provides two options for identifying duplicate files: one based on the … Read more
In an obvious effort to turn YouTube into more of a TV-like experience, Google has created the YouTube Remote app for Android devices. With this free download, you can pair your mobile device with a desktop computer or YouTube-ready television, and use Android to share control of your YouTube playlist.
As great as the concept is for YouTube Remote, in practice, I see some things that need to be ironed out. My biggest gripe is that the device pairing process is not as simple as it should be. You must first navigate to YouTube.com/leanback on your computer or … Read more
Once you get past its nightmare of an installation process, KMPlayer's sheer power and flexibility are impressive. It includes a vast array of video- and audio-capturing options, as well as skins, a plethora of playback controls and tweaks, and broad DVD support.
When installing KMPlayer, be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as the process is less than straightforward. It presents a number of different jargon-filled installation options ("Extender Plus External Codec?"), an offer for a bundled Ask.com toolbar, and inexplicably another offer for a "Clean Water Action Reminder." It's also worth noting … Read more
Netflix began rolling out a new fandangled video player for PCs today. Besides beefing up the playback with added options, information, and video accessibility, the video service also redesigned the control bar to be more user-friendly.
There are a handful of notable new features to the video playback. First, the control bar has different options that include access to subtitles, previews of the next episode, and previews to the whole season (if users are watching a TV show). If users click on the previews to the whole season, a box will pop-up that lets them watch previews from within the … Read more