Posts Tagged: tumblrize

Text

As you can see, we are doing a bit of a companion review, one on Amazon Cloud player, and one on Google Music. Before we start, let me warn you that I mainly use Google Music on my Android phone, so most of the review is based on that. I have not used the computer version heavily since Google Music was still in beta. Also note that Google Music is now part of the “Play” suite that Google has changed everything to, but I will still refer to it as Google Music.

Now onto the review-

Similar to Amazon Cloud player, when you buy music in the Play store on an Android device, the music is automatically added to your Google Music library. You can then access it from your phone, tablet, or computer. You can also then go on to download your music onto your device for offline listening. This is a wonderful convenience for people like me who like to buy music and have everything done on the phone. There is currently a 20,000 song limit on your music library, with a maximum of 250 Mb per song.

For the computer version of Google Music, there is a program that will automatically update your Google Music library by syncing it with a specified folder or set of folders on your computer. The first time you sync, it will likely take hours, but after that, assuming you haven’t added large quantities of music, the syncing takes almost no time at all. The program also works in reverse, you can back up your entire Google Music library (including purchases) onto a computer.

The Android app is great, I actually prefer it over the standard music player in Android, though it does have some flaws. I honestly do not like the way the shuffle and queue features work. Basically when you tell a song to play, and then set it to shuffle, the app then arranges all the songs randomly into a queue, and the song you start off with often ends up being in the middle of the queue. Because of this, I have songs in my library that I don’t hear. Also if you decide to play the same song again, the queue is not cleared, so you just get the same songs, in the same order as before. There is a way to fix this, you press the “Settings” button on the phone and hit “Clear Queue”. This solves the problem, but I feel like a new queue should be generated each time a new song is played.

Overall, I love Google Music. It’s great for me because I go on the Play store, buy an album, and suddenly its available for me to listen and download! Its also great because sometimes they have ridiculous deals (example: I just bought 50 classical music songs for $2). Its pretty easy to use, though it does have its bugs. Its a great program, and I would recommend it to anyone with an Android device.

Though if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can look at the companion Amazon Cloud Player review.

Text

The Amazon Cloud Player is a online service by Amazon that allows you to upload music and store your purchased music from Amazon. This allows you to take your music on the go with their iOS app available for the iPhone

The Amazon Cloud Player has many features, but the best feature is that all of your music that you buy from Amazon will go into your Cloud Player, no matter how much space it takes up. You will also be able to download the songs from Amazon at any time, or you can download their app and use it on your mobile device.

With the Amazon Cloud Player iPhone app, you will be able to listen to your music on the go.  Unfortunately there is no iPad app at this time but the iPhone app can be scaled up so that it can be used with the iPad. The app will allow you to either stream your music over your phones data connection or you can download the songs for offline use.

The major pro for this product would have to be that whatever music that you buy though Amazon will go to your Amazon cloud player, but the major con of this product is that you only get 5GB of space that you can use to import your own music and any more space will cost you extra.

If you are looking for a place to store all of your Amazon music purchases and listen to them on the go I would recommend the Amazon Cloud Player, but if you are looking for a place to import your current music collection and make it mobile then Google Music is for you.

Text

In the most recent beta version of iOS 6, YouTube has been removed. This is the latest exile of Google related apps and services from the iOS platform. The YouTube app has been on the iPhone since 2oo7 and the license to include YouTube in iOS has ended.

Overall this is good since the YouTube app is not updated like the other iOS apps. Since it is a default iOS app and not one from the iTunes Store, the app does not get regular updates from the app store. By allowing Google to put a YouTube app on the store, they can have more regular updates. This will also improve the UI of the app and video quality over 3G. With the addition of Google + features in YouTube, and the end of the YouTube licensing of YouTube on iOS you should expect to have Google + features in the app.

This will also allow people who want a complete iOS experience to exclude the nonApple apps that they want, and not have to deal with outdated YouTube app on the iOS devices. Another great feature in having a Google built YouTube app is that they won’t be any limitations with licensing. Although there are many pros to having Google make their own YouTube app, the biggest downside would be a possible removal of the upload feature baked into the iOS sharing capibilites.

Text

It has been a week since Mountain Lion was released by Apple. Through out the week I tested and used Mountain Lion. While there are great features in Mountain Lion there are some some features that are dissapointing.

Likes

Dictation

This feature will allow you to use your microphone on your computer and Apple servers to dictate what you say in apps like Notepad and other similar apps. Although most people will not use this feature that much it is nice to have so you can just speak instead of typing.

Notification Center

Notification Center on Mountain Lion is just like the one from iOS. This feature is great because it allows you to have one place for all of your notification on your Mac, and lets you use Twitter and Facebook coming in the fall to send Status updates or tweets from your Mac.

Twitter Integration

Twitter Integration has finally come to the Mac. So now you can share in Safari and most of Apple’s apps. What I have used of the Twitter integration was seamless and a nice experience to use.

Unified Search in Safari

This feature has been one of my biggest complaints about the Safari browser. You can not search from the address bar,  you have to got to the google search bar to search for something. Now you can search in the address bar, and this is much more efficient. Which make it a all around better experience.

Dislikes

Game Center

Game Center on iOS was just another app that I rarely used and could not delete, Now it has come to the Mac and I rarely use it on iOS let alone Mac.

Messaging App

iMessage came to the iOS platform and it was not consistent across all of my devices. Sometimes you will get a message on your iPhone but not get the next 3 on your iPad. From what I have used of the messaging app on the Mac it really has not changed.

Have you liked Mountain Lion, and what was the best feature. List them in the comments below.

Text

Recently Apple released the latest version to the OS X 10 line, Mountain Lion. If you want to do a clean install of Mountain Lion, or just have a disc for safe measures it is easily done with the following steps.

[NOTE] You will need to have a dual layered DVD to do this or you can use a USB flash drive that is larger than 8 GB. If you do use the flash drive you will need to format the drive in the disk utilities. The steps to partition the drive are below.

16GB Flash Drive: SanDisk 16GB Cruzer USB Flash Drive

32GB Flash Drive: SanDisk Cruzer 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

1. Open disc utility  and select the drive in the sidebar. Once you have done this go to the partition tab and make it a one partition drive and Mac OS Extended Journaled as the format type.

2. Go to the options and select the GUID Partition Table. Which will completely erase the drive.

3. Click on the restore tab and select the dmg file as your source and the USB as your destination and click apply.

Bootable DVD

1. Go to the Mac App Store then download Mountain Lion , and let it download completely.

2. Once downloaded you will need to open the Mountain Lion install file in the application folder on your Mac. Right click on the on the installer file and go down to show packaged contents

3.  In the packaged content go to the content folder and look for the installer file named “InstallESD.dmg.”

4. In Spotlight search for the disk utility and open it. Once it is opened drag the InstallESD.dmg  into the sidebar on the left.

5. Insert the DVD into the disc drive and click on the InstallESD.dmg file in the sidebar and click burn.

6. To boot to the disc you will need to restart your computer and hold down the option button until you hear the chime.

Text

[gallery columns=”2”]

Overall I would have to say that this upgrade is a solid upgrade with a lot of features, but only time will tell if these features are worth the money of the upgrade.

Text

Windows 8 is set to be released soon, but I do not think that it will make it in the long run. The PC market has been dominated by desktops and laptops since the market was created, but in recent years the introduction of tablet computers has changed that. Tablets have made operating systems move towards a more touch-oriented interface instead of the mouse-oriented interfaces of the past. With Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to have one OS to bridge all of the PC market. This hybrid OS contains both touch-oriented and mouse-oriented parts, which will likely alienate some of the laptop/desktop part of the market, while gaining some holding in the tablet part of the market.

The tablet market has also proven to be very volatile in the non-Apple parts of the market. Most of the Android devices on the market have significant problems or underwhelming performance compared to Apple’s iPad. Microsoft is likely to have a hard time getting converts from Apple, especially considering the companies past failures in the mobile market. The Microsoft Surface will likely be a key player in winning converts from Android and Apple. Because of this, Microsoft should probably price their tablet between the Kindle Fire and the iPad to keep competitive with both Amazon and Apple.

To keep things simple, Microsoft should probably limit the versions of Windows 8 to 1 or 2 versions, similar to how they handled their operating systems before Windows Vista. This helps the consumer’s choice, as when there are 4-5 different versions, it is very difficult to decide which is right for you.

In my eyes, Microsoft will have a challenge getting Windows 8 to succeed in both the tablet and desktop markets.

Text

Over the years, streaming content from songs to movies has became a part of society. Two of the most common services are Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix is a monthly subscription service that streams video for $8 dollars a month plus another $8 to have DVD’s sent to you. Amazon is paid on a yearly basis at a cost of $80.

One of the most important things for any streaming service is to  frequently update with different titles. With Netflix you will have a large quantity of titles, but it is not updated frequently. For an added cost, you can have more titles sent to you with their DVD service. Amazon, however, updates their system more frequently than Netflix does, and seems to have a broader selection of titles.

With any subscription you will want to get some extras in return for your money. Netflix does not have any extra features that you will get when you buy a subscription. Now if you get Amazon Prime you will get free two day shipping and $4 one day shipping with any eligible item. Another extra you will get with Amazon Prime is having the ability to rent books on Amazon.

With anything you want portability so you can view it everywhere.  Both Netflix and Amazon have apps on all the major game systems. You will have an iOS  and Android app for your tablets and phone, but unfortunately you will not have an iOS or Android app for your tablets. The only way you will be able to view Amazon Prime on your tablet is having a flash enabled device that can access the internet.

Overall Amazon Prime would be a good streaming service for anyone that will use it on their TV though their gaming systems to view its content. Netflix, however, will be better for someone that wants complete portability and does not care that it is not updated with new content frequently.

Text

movie chairs
Image by gsloan

In what room of your house do you spend the most time? Outside of the bedroom, where most of us log in a solid eight hours per night, most people spend the majority of their waking hours in the living room. That’s problem where it got it’s names, because that’s where most of us are spending most of our time.

You might have a comfortable living room that you’ve worked hard to make just right for you and your family. You get the right kind of lighting, the right furniture and the kind of floor covering that you like best.

Of course, most American living rooms have a television in them, and that’s what attracts everyone in the family sooner or later. There might be a good game on TV, a program you watch weekly or maybe you like to watch movies that you get on cable, stream over the Internet or watch on disc or a DVD recorder.

Converting Your Living Room

For most families the living room is really the entertainment room, because everyone goes there for entertainment, and perhaps when friend visit you entertain them there. So the living room becomes sort of a multi-use family room and salon for company to enjoy as well.

If you’re truly a movie buff you might have contemplated turning your living room into your very own private screening room, complete with movie chairs, a big screen TV, a dynamic sound system with multiple speakers and maybe even your own private snack bar.

That would certainly be a surprise for your friends and relatives who come over to visit and find that instead of walking into your normal living room they suddenly been plunged into a real movie theater where they can have the ultimate film viewing experience. You might even want to buy a video projector to heighten the sense that you’re in a real movie theater.

You Will Need Specialized Furniture

You might want to start by checking out some EHTS theater furniture, which some home theater aficionados install in their home media room when they want to simulate the real feeling of being in a downtown theater, or even one at the mall.

You can find chairs upholstered in all kinds of fabrics and even leather and faux leather depending on what kind of surface you prefer. You’ll want to choose an upholstery that can be easily cleaned, because sooner of later someone’s going to spill a Coke on one of your chair – it happens naturally when people are eating and watching movies at the same time.

Look around at the different features available for home theater seating, and decide if you want chairs with foot rest, built in snack tables and cup holders, or any other features that will make you home viewing experience second to none. Dim the lights and enjoy.

Bobby Bala writes about home movie theaters and movie chairs that make the experience comfortable and at an optimal quality.

Text

UPDATE: This will work with the iPad now. Follow the same steps just on your iPad.

Something that has always bothered me about playing DVDs on my Xbox 360 is that the controller is just clunky for navigating menus and controlling playback. With the Xbox Companion Tool and the Xbox Live iPhone App, you can use your iPhone as a remote for your Xbox 360! Below are the steps you will need to take for this to work. Note to all- this will not work on the iPad or iPod Touch, only the iPhone.

First of all, be sure you have the following: Xbox game system (duh), the Xbox Live iPhone app, and an iPhone (double-duh). Your iPhone and Xbox 360 must be on the same network.

1.You will need to download the official Microsoft Xbox Live App from the App store.

The Microsoft App page should look like the page above.

2. While the Xbox Live App is downloading you will need to go into your Xbox’s System settings and then go to Console Settings and make Xbox Companion available, and then make sure that your Xbox and iPhone are on the same wifi network.

3. Once you have completed the above task open the app when downloaded. Got to the third tab in the app which will look like this

Click on the green box that says “Connect to Xbox”. This will connect the iPhone to the Xbox and shortly after you will see a message on the Xbox that you have successfully connected.

4. Once you have successfully connected to your Xbox, you will want to click the black bar at the bottom of the app. When this pops up you will see a menu like the one below.

Now click on the controller button, and a phone version of the Xbox controller will pop up like below.

Now you don’t have to deal with the clunky controller anymore! This works very well if you are like me and use your Xbox partly as a media center as well as a gaming device. The Xbox controller is great for games, not so much for DVDs. Enjoy!