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  • Remotely Schedule and Stream Recorded TV in Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Have you ever been away from home and suddenly realized you forgot to record your favorite program? Now Windows 7 Media Center, users can schedule recordings remotely from their phones or mobile devices with Remote Potato. How it Works Remote Potato installs server software on the host computer running Windows 7 Media Center. Once the software is installed, we’ll need to do some port forwarding on the router and setup an optional dynamic DNS address. When setup is completed, we will access the application through a web based interface. Silverlight is required for Streaming recorded TV, but scheduling recordings can be done through an HTML interface. Installing Remote Potato Download and install Remote Potato on the Media Center PC. (See download link below) If you plan to stream any Recorded TV, you’ll also want to install the streaming pack located on the same page. It isn’t required to stream all shows, only shows that require the AC3 audio codec. Click Yes to allow Remote Potato to add rules to the Windows Firewall for remote access. You’ll likely need to accept a few UAC prompts. When notified that the rules were added, click OK. Remote Potato will then prompt you to allow administrator privileges to reserve a URL for it’s web server. Click Yes. Remote Potato server will start. Click on the configuration button at the right to to reveal the settings tabs.   One the General tab, you’ll have the option to run Remote Potato on startup and minimized in the System Tray. If you’re running Media Center on a dedicated HTPC, you’ll probably want to enable both startup options. Forwarding Ports on Your Router You’ll need to forward a couple ports on your router. By default, these will be ports 9080 and 9081. In this example we’re using a Linksys WRT54GL router, however, the steps for port forwarding will vary from router to router. On the Linksys configuration page, click on the Applications & Gaming Tab, and then the Port Range Forward tab. Under Application, type in a name of your choosing. In both the Start and End boxes, type the port number 9080. Enter the local IP address of your Media Center computer in the IP address column. Click the check box under Enable. Repeat the process on the next line, but this time use port 9081. When finished, click the Save Settings button. Note: It’s highly recommended that you configure the home computer running Media Center & Remote Potato with a static IP address.   Find your IP Address You’ll need to find the IP address assigned to your router from your ISP. There are many ways to do this but a quick and easy way is to visit a site like checkip.dyndns.org (link available below) The current external IP address of your router will be displayed in the browser.   Dynamic DNS This is an optional step, but  it’s highly recommended. Many routers, such as the Linksys WRT54GL we are using, support Dynamic DNS (DDNS). What Dynamic DNS allows you to do is affiliate your home router’s external IP address to a domain name. Every time your home router is assigned a a new IP address by your ISP, the domain name is updated to point to your new IP address. Remote Potato’s user interface is accessed over the Internet is by connecting to your router’s IP address followed by a colon and the port number. (Ex: XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:9080) Instead of constantly having to look up and remember an IP address, you can use DDNS along with a 3rd party provider like DynDNS.com, to sign up for a free domain name and configure it to be updated each time your router is assigned a new IP address. Go to the DynDNS.com website (See link at the end of the article) and sign up for a free Domain name. You’ll need to register and confirm by email.   Once you’ve signed in and selected your domain name click Activate Services. You’ll get a confirmation message that your domain name has been activated.    On the Linksys WRT54GL click on the Setup tab an then DDNS. Select DynDNS.org, or TZO.com if you prefer to use their service, from the drop down list.   With DynDNS, you’ll need to fill in your username and password you signed up with at the DynDNS website and the hostname you chose. Note: You can connect over your local network with the IP Address of the computer running Remote Potato followed by a colon and the port number. Ex: 192.168.1.2:9080 Logging in Remote Potato and Recording a Show Once you connect, you’ll see the start page. To view the TV listings, click on TV Guide. You’ll then see your guide listings. There are a few ways to navigate the listings. At the top left, you can click on any of the preset time buttons to jump to  the listings at that time of the day.  Click on the arrows to the right and left of the day and date at the top center to proceed to the previous or next day. Or, jump to a specific day with the date and date buttons at the top right.   To setup a recording, click on a program.   You can choose to record the individual show or the entire series by clicking on Record Show or Record Series.   Remote Potato on Mobile Devices Perhaps the coolest feature of Remote Potato is the ability to schedule recording from your phone or mobile device. Note: For any devices or computers without Silverlight, you will be prompted to view the HTML page. Select Browse Listings. Select your program to record. In the Program Details, select Record Show to record the single episode or Record Series to record all instances of the series. You will then see a red dot on the program listing to indicate that the show is scheduled for recording.   Streaming Recorded TV Click on Recorded TV from the home screen to access your previously recorded TV programs. Click on the selection you wish to stream. Click on Play. If you receive this error message, you’ll need to install the streaming pack for Remote Potato. This is found on the same download page as installation files. (See link below) The Begin from slider allows you to start playback from the start (by default) or a different time of the program by moving the slider. The Quality (bitrate) setting  allows you to choose the quality of the playback. We found the video quality on the Normal setting to be pretty lousy, and Low was just pointless. High was the best overall viewing experience as it provided smooth quality video playback. We experienced significant stuttering during playback using the Ultra High setting.   Click Start when you are ready to begin. When playback begins you’ll see a slider at the top right.   Move the slider left or right to increase or decrease the size of the video. There’s also a button to switch to full screen.   Media Center users who travel frequently or are always on the go will likely find Remote Potato to be a blessing. Since being released earlier this year, updates for Remote Potato have come fast and furious. The latest beta release includes support for streaming music and photos. If you like those nice network TV logos, check out our article on adding TV channel logos to Windows Media Center. Downloads and Links Download Remote Potato and Streaming Pack Find your IP address Sign Up for a Domain Name at DynDNS.com Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Schedule Updates for Windows Media CenterUsing Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Add a Sleep Timer to Windows 7 Media CenterStartup Customizations for Media Center in Windows 7Enable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media Player TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 FoxClocks adds World Times in your Statusbar (Firefox) Have Fun Editing Photo Editing with Citrify Outlook Connector Upgrade Error Gadfly is a cool Twitter/Silverlight app Enable DreamScene in Windows 7 Microsoft’s “How Do I ?” Videos

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  • How to Create Auto Playlists in Windows Media Player 12

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you getting tired of the same old playlists in Windows Media Player? Today we’ll show you how to create dynamic auto playlists based on criteria you choose in WMP 12 in Windows 7. Auto Playlists In Library view, click on Create playlist dropdown arrow and select Create auto playlist. On the New Auto Playlist window type in a name for the playlist in the text box. Now we need to choose our criteria by which to filter your playlist. Select Click here to add criteria. For our example, we will create a playlist of songs that were added to the library in the last week from the Alternative genre. So, we will first select Date Added from the dropdown list. Many criteria will have addition options to configure. In the example below you will see that we have a few options to fine tune.   We will filter all the songs added to the library in the last 7 days. We will select Is After from the first dropdown list. Then select Last 7 Days from the second dropdown list. You can add multiple criteria to further filter your playlist. If you can’t find the criteria you are looking for, select “More” at the bottom of the dropdown list.   This will pull up a filter window with all the criteria. Select a filter and then click OK when finished.   From the Genre dropdown, we will select Alternative. If you’d like to add Pictures, Videos, or TV Shows to your auto playlists you can do so by selecting them from the dropdown list under And also include. You will then be able to select criteria for your pictures, videos, or TV shows from the dropdown list.   Finally, you can also add restrictions to your music such as the number of items, duration, or total size. We will limit the duration of our playlist to one hour by selecting Limit Total Duration To… Then type in 1 hour…Click OK.   Our library is automatically filtered and a playlist is created based on the criteria we selected. When additional songs are added to the Windows Media Player library, any of new songs that fit the criteria will automatically be added to the New Songs playlist. You can also save a copy of an auto playlist as a regular playlist. Switch to Playlists view by clicking Playlists from either the top menu or the navigation bar. Select the Play tab and then click Clear list to remove any tracks from the list pane.   Right-click on the playlist you want to save, select Add to, and then Play list. The songs from your auto playlist will appear as an Unsaved list on the list pane. Click Save list. Type in a name for your playlist. Your auto playlist will continue to change as you add or remove items from your Media Player library that meet the criteria you established. The new saved playlist we just created will stay as it is currently. Editing a Auto playlist is easy. Right-click on the playlist and select Edit. Now you are ready to enjoy your playlist. Conclusion Auto playlists are great way to keep your playlists fresh in Windows Media Player 12. Users can get creative and experiment with the wide variety of criteria to customize their listening experience. If you are new to playlists in Windows Media Player, you may want to check our our previous post on how to create custom playlists in Windows Media Player 12. Are you looking to get better sound from WMP 12? Take a look at how to improve playback using enhancements in Windows Media Player 12. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Create Custom Playlists in Windows Media Player 12Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesInstall and Use the VLC Media Player on Ubuntu LinuxMake Windows Media Player Automatically Open in Mini Player ModeMake VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 10 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Error Goblin Explains Windows Error Codes Twelve must-have Google Chrome plugins Cool Looking Skins for Windows Media Player 12 Move the Mouse Pointer With Your Face Movement Using eViacam Boot Windows Faster With Boot Performance Diagnostics Create Ringtones For Your Android Phone With RingDroid

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  • Turn Photos and Home Videos into Movies with Windows Live Movie Maker

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you looking for an easy way to take your digital photos and videos and turn them into a movie or slideshow? Today we’ll take a detailed look at how to do use Windows Live Movie Maker. Installation Windows Live Movie Maker comes bundled as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite (link below). However, you don’t have to install any of the programs you may not want. Take notice of the You’re almost done screen. Before clicking Continue, be sure to uncheck the boxes to set your search provider and homepage. Adding Pictures and Videos Open Windows Live Movie Maker. You can add videos or photos by simply dragging and dropping them onto the storyboard area. You can also click on the storyboard area or on the Add videos and photos button on the Home tab to browse for videos and photos. Windows Live Movie Maker supports most video, image, and audio file types. Select your files and add click Open to add them to Windows Live Movie Maker. By default WLMM doesn’t allow you to add files from network locations…so check out our article on how to add network support to Windows Live MovieMaker if the files you want to add are on a network drive. Layout All of your added clips will appear in the storyboard area on the right, while the currently selected clip will appear in the preview window on the left. You can adjust the size of the two areas by clicking and dragging the dividing line in the middle.    Make the clips on the storyboard bigger or smaller by clicking on the thumbnail size icon. The slider at the lower right adjusts the zoom time scale.   Previewing your Movie At any time, you can playback your movie and preview how it will look in the Preview window by clicking the space bar, or by pushing the play button under the preview window. You can also manually move the preview bar slider across the storyboard to view the clips as the video progresses. Adjusting Clips on the Storyboard You can click and drag clips on the storyboard to change the order in which the photos and videos appear.   Adding Music Nothing brings a movie to life quite like music. Selecting Add music will add your music to the beginning of the movie. Select Add music at the current point to include it in the movie to the current location of your preview bar slider, then browse for your music clip. WLMM supports many common audio files such as WAV, MP3, M4A, WMA, AIFF, and ASF. The music clip will appear above the video / photos clips on the storyboard.   You can change the location of music clips by clicking and dragging them to a different location on the storyboard. Add Titles, Captions, and Credits To add a Title screen to your movie, click the Title button on the Home tab. Type your title directly into the text box on the preview screen. The title will be placed at the location of the preview slider on the storyboard. However, you can change the location by clicking and dragging title to other areas of the storyboard. On the Format tab, there are a handful of text settings. You can change the font, color, size, alignment,  and transparency. The Adjust group allows you to change the background color, edit the text, and set the length of time the Title will appear in the movie.   The Effects group on the Format tab allows you to select an effect for your title screen. By hovering your cursor over each option, you will get a live preview of how each effect will appear in the preview window. Click to apply any of the effects. For captions, select where you want your caption to appear with the preview slider on the storyboard, then click the captions button on the Home tab. Just like the title, you type your caption directly into the text box on the preview screen, and you can make any adjustments by using the Font and Paragraph, Adjust, and Effects groups above. Credits are done the same as titles and captions, except they are automatically placed at the end of the movie.   Transitions Go to the Animation tab on the ribbon to apply transitions. Select a clip from the storyboard and hover over one of the transition to see it in the preview window. Click on the transition to apply it to the clip. You can apply transitions separately to clips or hold down Ctrl button while clicking to select multiple clips to which to apply the same transition. Pan and zoom effects are also located on the Animations tab, but can be applied to photos only. Like transition, you can apply them individually to a clip or hold down Ctrl button while clicking to select multiple clips to which to apply the same pan and zoom effect. Once applied, you can adjust the duration of the transitions and pan and zoom effects. You can also click the dropdown for additional transitions or effects. Visual Effects Similar to Pan and Zoom and Transitions, you can apply a variety of Visual Effects to individual or multiple clips. Editing Video and Music Note: This does not actually edit the original video you imported into your Windows Live Movie Maker project, only how it appears in your WLMM project. There are some very basic editing tools located on the Home tab. The Rotate left and Rotate right button will adjust any clip that may be oriented incorrectly. The Fit to music button will automatically adjust the duration of the photos (if you have any in your project) to fit the length of the music in your movie. Audio mix allows you to change the volume level   You can also do some slightly more advanced editing from the Edit tab. Select the video clip on the storyboard and click the Trim tool to edit or remove portions of a video clip. Next, click and drag the sliders in the preview windows to select the are you wish to keep. For example, the area outside the sliders is the area trimmed from the movie. The area inside is the section that is kept in the movie. You can also adjust the Start and End points manually on the ribbon.   When you are finished, click Save trim. You can also split your video clips. Move the preview slider to the location in the video clip where you’d like to split it, and select Split. Your video will be split into separate sections. Now you can apply different effects or move them to different locations on the storyboard. Editing Music Clips Select the music clip on the storyboard and then the Options tab on the ribbon. You can adjust the music volume by moving the slider right and left.   You can also choose to have your music clip fade in or out at the beginning and end of your movie. From the Fade in and Fade out dropdowns, select None, Slow, Medium, or Fast. To adjust the sound of your audio clips, click on the Edit tab, select the Video volume button, and adjust the slider. Move it all the way to the left to mute any background noise in your video clips.   AutoMovie As you have seen, Windows Live Movie Maker allows you to add effects, transitions, titles, and more. If you don’t want to do any of that stuff yourself, AutoMovie will automatically add title, credits, cross fade transitions between items, pan and zoom effects to photos, and fit your project to the music. Just select the AutoMovie button on the Home tab. You can go from zero to movie in literally a couple minutes.   Uploading to YouTube You can share your video on YouTube directly from Windows Live Movie Maker. Click on the YouTube icon in the Sharing group on the Home tab. You’ll be prompted for your YouTube username and password. Fill in the details about your movie and click Publish. The movie will be converted to WMV before being uploaded to YouTube. As soon as the YouTube conversion is complete, you’re new movie is live and ready to be viewed. Saving your Movie as a Video File Select the icon at the top left, then select Save movie. As you hover your mouse over each of the options, you will see the output display size, aspect ratio, and estimated file size per minute of video. All of these settings will output your movie as a WMV file. (Unfortunately, the only option is to save a movie as a WMV file.) The only difference is how they are encoded based on preset common settings. The Burn to DVD option also outputs a WMV file, but then opens Windows DVD Maker and walks you through the process of creating and burning a DVD.   If you choose the Burn to DVD option, close this window when the WMV file conversion is complete and the Windows DVD Maker will prompt you to begin. When your movie is finished, it’s time to relax and enjoy.   Conclusion Windows Live Movie Maker makes it easy for the average person to quickly churn out nice looking movies and slideshows from there own pictures and videos. However, long time users of previous editions (formerly called Windows Movie Maker) will likely be disappointed by some features missing in Windows Live Movie Maker that existed in earlier editions. Looking for details on burning your new project to DVD, check out our article on how to create and author DVDs with Windows DVD Maker. Download Windows Live Movie Maker Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Family Fun: Share Photos with Photo Gallery and Windows Live SpacesCreate and Author DVDs in Windows 7Rotate a Video 90 degrees with VLC or Windows Live Movie MakerInstall Windows Live Essentials In Windows 7How to Make/Edit a movie with Windows Movie Maker in Windows Vista TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup Windows Firewall with Advanced Security – How To Guides Sculptris 1.0, 3D Drawing app AceStock, a Tiny Desktop Quote Monitor Gmail Button Addon (Firefox) Hyperwords addon (Firefox) Backup Outlook 2010

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  • Add Zune Desktop Player to Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you a Zune owner who prefers the Zune player for media playback? Today we’ll show you how to integrate the Zune player with WMC using Media Center Studio. You’ll need to download Media Center Studio and the Zune Desktop player software. (See download links below) Also, make sure you have Media Center closed. Some of the actions in Media Center Studio cannot be performed while WMC is open. Open Media Center Studio and click on the Start Menu tab at the top of the application.   Click the Application button. Here we will create an Entry Point for the Zune player so that we can add it to Media Center. Type in a name for your entry point in the title text box. This is the name that will appear under the tile when added to the Media Center start menu. Next, type in the path to the Zune player. By default this should be C:\Program Files\Zune\Zune.exe. Note: Be sure to use the original path, not a link to the desktop icon.   The Active image is the image that will appear on the tile in Media Center. If you wish to change the default image, click the Browse button and select a different image. Select Stop the currently playing media from the When launched do the following: dropdown list.  Otherwise, if you open Zune player from WMC while playing another form of media, that media will continue to play in the background.   Now we will choose a keystroke to use to exit the Zune player software and return to Media Center. Click on the the green plus (+) button. When prompted, press a key to use to the close the Zune player. Note: This may also work with your Media Center remote. You may want to set a keyboard keystroke as well as a button on your remote to close the program. You may not be able to set certain remote buttons to close the application. We found that the back arrow button worked well. You can also choose a keystroke to kill the program if desired. Be sure to save your work before exiting by clicking the Save button on the Home tab.   Next, select the Start Menu tab and click on the next to Entry points to reveal the available entry points. Find the Zune player tile in the Entry points area. We want to drag the tile out onto one of the menu strips on the start menu. We will drag ours onto the Extras Library strip. When you begin to drag the tile, green plus (+) signs will appear in between the tiles. When you’ve dragged the tile over any of the green plus signs, the  red “Move” label will turn to a blue “Move to” label. Now you can drop the tile into position. Save your changes and then close Media Center Studio. When you open Media Center, you should see your Zune tile on the start menu. When you select the Zune tile in WMC, Media Center will be minimized and Zune player will be launched. Now you can enjoy your media through the Zune player. When you close Zune player with the previously assigned keystroke or by clicking the “X” at the top right, Windows Media Center will be re-opened. Conclusion We found the Zune player worked with two different Media Center remotes that we tested. It was a times a little tricky at times to tell where you were when navigating through the Zune software with a remote, but it did work. In addition to managing your music, the Zune player is a nice way to add podcasts to your Media Center setup. We should also mention that you don’t need to actually own a Zune to install and use the Zune player software. Media Center Studio works on both Vista and Windows 7. We covered Media Center Studio a bit more in depth in a previous post on customizing the Windows Media Center start menu. Are you new to Zune player? Familiarize yourself a bit more by checking out some of our earlier posts like how to update your Zune player, and experiencing your music a whole new way with Zune for PC.   Downloads Zune Desktop Player download Media Center Studio download Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips How To Rip a Music CD in Windows 7 Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesBuilt-in Quick Launch Hotkeys in Windows Vista TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Bypass Waiting Time On Customer Service Calls With Lucyphone MELTUP – "The Beginning Of US Currency Crisis And Hyperinflation" Enable or Disable the Task Manager Using TaskMgrED Explorer++ is a Worthy Windows Explorer Alternative Error Goblin Explains Windows Error Codes Twelve must-have Google Chrome plugins

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  • How to Animate Text and Objects in PowerPoint 2010

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you looking for an eye catching way to keep your audience interested in your PowerPoint presentations? Today we’ll take a look at how to add animation effects to objects in PowerPoint 2010. Select the object you wish to animate and then click the More button in the Animation group of the Animation tab.   Animations are grouped into four categories. Entrance effects, Exit effects, Emphasis effects, and Motion Paths. You can get a Live Preview of how the animation will look by hovering your mouse over an animation effect.   When you select a Motion Path, your object will move along the dashed path line as shown on the screen. (This path is not displayed in the final output) Certain aspects of the Motion Path effects are editable. When you apply a Motion Path animation to an object, you can select the path and drag the end to change the length or size of the path. The green marker along the motion path marks the beginning of the  path and the red marks the end. The effects can be rotated by clicking and the bar near the center of the effect.   You can display additional effects by choosing one of the options at the bottom. This will pop up a Change Effect window. If you have Preview Effect checked at the lower left you can preview the effects by single clicking.   Apply Multiple Animations to an Object Select the object and then click the Add Animation button to display the animation effects. Just as we did with the first effect, you can hover over to get a live preview. Click to apply the effect. The animation effects will happen in the order they are applied. Animation Pane You can view a list of the animations applied to a slide by opening the Animation Pane. Select the Animation Pane button from the Advanced Animation group to display the Animation Pane on the right. You’ll see that each animation effect in the animation pane has an assigned number to the left.    Timing Animation Effects You can change when your animation starts to play. By default it is On Click. To change it, select the effect in the Animation Pane and then choose one of the options from the Start dropdown list. With Previous starts at the same time as the previous animation and After Previous starts after the last animation. You can also edit the duration that the animations plays and also set a delay.   You can change the order in which the animation effects are applied by selecting the effect in the animation pane and clicking Move Earlier or Move Later from the Timing group on the Animation tab. Effect Options If the Effect Options button is available when your animation is selected, then that particular animation has some additional effect settings that can be configured. You can access the Effect Option by right-clicking on the the animation in the Animation Pane, or by selecting Effect Options on the ribbon.   The available options will vary by effect and not all animation effects will have Effect Options settings. In the example below, you can change the amount of spinning and whether the object will spin clockwise or counterclockwise.   Under Enhancements, you can add sound effects to your animation. When you’re finished click OK.   Animating Text Animating Text works the same as animating an object. Simply select your text box and choose an animation. Text does have some different Effect Options. By selecting a sequence, you decide whether the text appears as one object, all at once, or by paragraph. As is the case with objects, there will be different available Effect Options depending on the animation you choose. Some animations, such as the Fly In animation, will have directional options.   Testing Your Animations Click on the Preview button at any time to test how your animations look. You can also select the Play button on the Animation Pane. Conclusion Animation effects are a great way to focus audience attention on important points and hold viewers interest in your PowerPoint presentations. Another cool way to spice up your PPT 2010 presentations is to add video from the web. What tips do you guys have for making your PowerPoint presentations more interesting? Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Center Pictures and Other Objects in Office 2007 & 2010Preview Before You Paste with Live Preview in Office 2010Embed True Type Fonts in Word and PowerPoint 2007 DocumentsHow to Add Video from the Web in PowerPoint 2010Add Artistic Effects to Your Pictures in Office 2010 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 24 Million Sites Windows Media Player Glass Icons (icons we like) How to Forecast Weather, without Gadgets Outlook Tools, one stop tweaking for any Outlook version Zoofs, find the most popular tweeted YouTube videos Video preview of new Windows Live Essentials

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  • Getting Started with Boxee

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Boxee is a free Media PC application that runs on Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu Linux. With Boxee, you can integrate online video, music and pictures, with your own local media and social networking. Today we are going to take a closer look at Boxee and some of it’s features. Note: We used Windows 7 for this tutorial. Your experience on a Mac or Ubuntu Linux build may vary slightly. Hardware Requirements x86 (Intel/AMD processor) based system running at 1.0GHz or greater 512MB system memory (RAM) or more Video card capable of OpenGL 1.4, Direct X 9.0 Software Requirements Mac OS X 10.4+ (Intel based processor) Ubuntu Linux 9.04+ x86 only Windows XP / Vista / 7 (64 bit in Vista or 7) Installing Boxee Before downloading and installing Boxee, you’ll need to register for a free account. (See link below) Once your account is registered and verified, you’ll be able to log in and download the application. Installation is pretty straightforward…just take the defaults. Boxee will open in full screen mode and you’ll be prompted to login with your username and password. Before you login, you may want to take a moment to click on the “Guide” icon and learn a bit about navigating in Boxee. Some basic keyboard navigation is as follows. Move right, left, up, & down with the arrow keys. Hit “Enter” to make a selection, the forward slash key “\” to toggle between full screen and windowed mode, and “Esc” to go back to the previous screen. For Playback, the volume is controlled by plus & minus (+/-) keys, you can Play / Pause using the spacebar, and skip using the arrow keys. Boxee will also work with any infrared remote. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can download software to enable them as a Boxee remote. If you’re using a mouse and keyboard, hover over the username and password boxes to enter your login credentials. If using a a remote, click your OK button and enter credentials with the on screen keyboard. Click “Done” when finished.   When you are ready to login, enter your credentials and click “Login.” On first login, you’ll be prompted to calibrate your screen. If you choose “Skip” you can always calibrate your screen later under Settings > Appearance > Screen. When Boxee opens, you’ll be greeted by the Home screen. To the left will be your Feeds. This will be any recommended content from friends on Boxee, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Although, when you first login, it will mainly be info from the Boxee staff. You’ll have “Featured” content in the center and your Queue on the right. You’ll also have the Menu along the top.   Pop Up Menu The Pop Menu can be accessed by hitting the “Esc” key, or back on your remote. Depending on where you are located in Boxee, you may have to hit it a few time to “back out” to the Pop Up menu. From the Pop Up Menu, you can easily access any of the resources, settings, and favorites. Queue The Queue is your playlist of TV shows, movies, or Internet videos you wish to watch. When you find an offering you’d like to watch, select it and then click “Add to Queue.” The selected item will be added to your Queue and can be accessed at any time from the Menu. TV Show Library The TV Show library can contain files from your local hard drive or streaming content from the Web. Boxee pulls content from a variety of online locations such as Hulu and TV network sites. Click on the show to see which specific episodes are currently available. To search for your favorite shows, click on the yellow arrow to the left, or navigate to the left with your keyboard or remote. Enter your selection into the search box. My Apps By default, the “My Apps” section includes a list of the most popular apps, such as Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and others. You can remove Apps from “My Apps,” or add new Apps from the Apps Library.   To access all the available Apps, click on the left arrow button, or click on the yellow arrow at the left, then select “App Library.” Choose an App from the Library and click it to open… … and then select “Add to My Apps.” Or, you can click start to play the App if you don’t wish to Add it to your “My Apps.”   Music, Pictures, and Movies Boxee will scan your PC for movies, pictures, and music. You can choose to scan specific folders by clicking on “Scan Media Folders…” … or from the Pop Up Menu, selecting Settings > Media, and then browsing for your media.   Conclusion Boxee to be a great way to integrate your local media with online streaming content. It can be run as an application on your home PC, or as a stand alone media PC. It should also be noted, however, that your access to online content will vary depending on your country. If you are a Windows Media Center user and and want to add the additional features of Boxee, check out our article on integrating Boxee with Windows 7 Media Center. Download Boxee Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Integrate Boxee with Media Center in Windows 7Disable Fast User Switching on Windows XPOops! Sorry About the Feed ErrorsDisplay a list of Started Services from the Command Line (Windows)Feedburner to Google: Worst Transition Ever. TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Discover New Bundled Feeds in Google Reader Play Music in Chrome by Simply Dragging a File 15 Great Illustrations by Chow Hon Lam Easily Sync Files & Folders with Friends & Family Amazon Free Kindle for PC Download Stretch popurls.com with a Stylish Script (Firefox)

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  • Add New Features to WMP with Windows Media Player Plus

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Do you use Windows Media Player 11 or 12 as your default media player? Today, we’re going to show you how to add some handy new features and enhancements with the Windows Media Player Plus third party plug-in. Installation and Setup Download and install Media Player Plus! (link below). You’ll need to close out of Windows Media Player before you begin or you’ll receive the message below. The next time you open Media Player you’ll be presented with the Media Player Plus settings window. Some of the settings will be enabled by default, such as the Find as you type feature. Using Media Player Plus! Find as you type allows you to start typing a search term from anywhere in Media Player without having to be in the Search box. The search term will automatically fill in the search box and display the results.   You’ll also see Disable group headers in the Library Pane.   This setting will display library items in a continuous list similar to the functionality of Windows Media Player 10. Under User Interface you can enable displaying the currently playing artist and title in the title bar. This is enabled by default.   The Context Menu page allows you to enable context menu enhancements. The File menu enhancement allows you to add the Windows Context menu to Media Player on the library pane, list pane, or both. Right click on a Title, select File, and you’ll see the Windows Context Menu. Right-click on a title and select Tag Editor Plus. Tag Editor Plus allows you to quickly edit media tags.   The Advanced tab displays a number of tags that Media Player usually doesn’t show. Only the tags with the notepad and pencil icon are editable.   The Restore Plug-ins page allows you to configure which plug-ins should be automatically restored after a Media Player crash. The Restore Media at Startup page allows you to configure Media Player to resume playing the last playlist, track, and even whether it was playing or paused at the time the application was closed. So, if you close out in the middle of a song, it will begin playing from that point the next time you open Media Player. You can also set Media Player to rewind a certain number of seconds from where you left off. This is especially useful if you are in the middle of watching a movie. There’s also the option to have your currently playing song sent to Windows Live Messenger. You can access the settings at any time by going to Tools, Plug-in properties, and selecting Windows Media Player Plus. Windows Media Plus is a nice little free plug-in for WMP 11 and 12 that brings a lot of additional functionality to Windows Media Player. If you use Media Player 11 or WMP 12 in Windows 7 as your main player, you might want to give this a try. Download Windows Media Player Plus! Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Install and Use the VLC Media Player on Ubuntu LinuxFixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesMake VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 10Make VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 11Make Windows Media Player Automatically Open in Mini Player Mode TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 Easily Create More Bookmark Toolbars in Firefox Filevo is a Cool File Hosting & Sharing Site Get a free copy of WinUtilities Pro 2010 World Cup Schedule Boot Snooze – Reboot and then Standby or Hibernate Customize Everything Related to Dates, Times, Currency and Measurement in Windows 7

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  • How to Manage Your Movies in Boxee

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Boxee is a free cross platform HTPC application that plays media locally and via the Internet. Today we’ll take a look at how to manage your local movie collection in Boxee. Note: We are using the most recent version of Boxee running on Windows 7. Your experience on an earlier version or a Mac or Linux build may vary slightly. If you are using an earlier version of Boxee, we recommend you update to the current version (0.9.21.11487). The latest update features significant improvements in file and media identification. Naming your Movie Files Proper file naming is important for Boxee to correctly identify your movie files. Before you get started you may want to take some time to name your files properly. Boxee supports the following naming conventions: Lawrence of Arabia.avi Lawrence.of.Arabia.avi Lawrence of Arabia (1962).avi Lawrence.of.Arabia(1962).avi For multi-part movies, you can use .part or .cd to identify first and second parts of the movie. Gettysburg.part1.avi Gettysburg.part2.avi If you are unsure of the correct title of the movie, check with IMDB.com. Supported File Types Boxee supports the following video file types and codecs: AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMVB, 3gp, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, and DVR-MS (beta support) CDs, DVDs, VCD/SVCD MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (SP and ASP, including DivX, XviD, 3ivx, DV, H.263), MPEG-4 AVC (aka H.264), HuffYUV, Indeo, MJPEG, RealVideo, QuickTime, Sorenson, WMV, Cinepak Adding Movie Files to Boxee Boxee will automatically scan your default media folders and add any movie files to My Movies. Boxee will attempt to identify the media and check sources on the web to get data like cover art and other metadata. You can add as many sources to Boxee as you like from your local hard drive, external hard drives or from your network. You will need to make sure you have access to shared folders on the networked computer hosting the media you want to share. You can browse for other folders to scan by selecting Scan Media Folders.   You can also add media files by selecting Settings from the Home screen… Then select Media… and then selecting Add Sources. Browse for your directory and select Add source. Next, you’ll need to select the media type and the type of scanning. You can also change the share name if you’d like. When finished, select Add. You should see a quick notification at the top of the screen that the source was added.   Select Scan source to have Boxee to begin scanning your media files and attempt to properly identify them. Your movies may not show up instantly in My Movies. It will take Boxee some time to fully scan your sources, especially if you have a large collection. Eventually you should see My Movies begin to populate with cover art and metadata.   You can see the progress and find unidentified files by clicking on the yellow arrow to the left, or navigating to the left with your keyboard or remote and selecting Manage Sources.   Here you can see how many files (if any) Boxee failed to identify. To see which titles are unresolved, select Unidentified Files.   Here you’ll find your unresolved files. Select one of the unidentified files to search for the proper movie information. Next, select the Indentify Video icon. Boxee will fill in the title of the file or you edit the title yourself in the text box. Click Search. The results of your search will be displayed. Scroll through and select the title that fits your movie. Check the details of the film to make sure you have the correct title and select Done.   Fixing Incorrectly Indentified Files If you find a movie has been incorrectly identified you can correct it manually. Select the movie. Then search for the correct movie title from the list and select it. When you’re sure you found the correct movie, click Done. Filtering your Movies You can filter your movie collection by genre, or by whether it has been marked as watched or unwatched. When you’ve finished watching a movie, Boxee will mark it as watched.   You can also manually mark a title as watched.   Boxee also features a wide variety of genres by which you can filter the titles in your library. Playing your Movie When you’re ready to start watching a movie, simply select your title.   From here, you can select the “i” icon to read more information about the movie, add it to your queue, or add a shortcut. Click Local File to begin playing.   Now you’re ready to enjoy your movie. If you don’t have a large movie collection or just need more selection, you may want to check out the Netflix App for Boxee. Looking for a Boxee remote? Check out the iPhone App for Boxee. Links Download Boxee IMDB.com Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Watch Netflix Instant Movies in BoxeeIntegrate Boxee with Media Center in Windows 7Customize the Background in BoxeeUse your iPhone or iPod Touch as a Boxee RemoteGetting Started with Boxee TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server What is HTML5? Default Programs Editor – One great tool for Setting Defaults Convert BMP, TIFF, PCX to Vector files with RasterVect Free Identify Fonts using WhatFontis.com Windows 7’s WordPad is Actually Good Greate Image Viewing and Management with Zoner Photo Studio Free

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  • Add Background Images and Themes to Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you tired of the same Windows Media Center look and feel? Today we’ll show you how change the background and apply themes to WMC. Changing the Basic Color Scheme in WMC There are a couple of very basic color scheme options built in to Windows 7 Media Center. From the WMC Start Menu, select Settings on the Tasks strip and then select General. On the General settings screen select Visual and Sound Effects.   Under Color scheme you’ll find options for Windows Media Center standard, High contrast white, and High contrast black. Simply select a color scheme and click Save before exiting.   If you have used Media Center before you are familiar with the standard blue default theme. There is also the high contrast white. And, the high contrast black. Changing the Background Image with Media Center Studio Themes and custom backgrounds need to be added with the third-party software, Media Center Studio. You can find the download link at the end of this article. You can use your own high resolution photo, or download one from the Internet. For best results, you’ll want to find an image that meets or exceeds the resolution of your monitor. Also, using a darker colored background image is ideal as it should contrast better with the lighter colored text of the start menu. Once you’ve downloaded and installed Media Center Studio (link below), open the application select the Home tab on the ribbon and make sure you are on the Themes tab below. Click New. Select Biography from the left pane and type in a name for your new theme.   Next, click on the triangle next to Images to expand the list below. You’ll want to browse to Images > Common > Background. You should see a list of PNG image files located below Background. We will want to swap out the COMMON.ANIMATED.BACKGROUND.PNG and the COMMON.BACKGROUND.PNG images. Select COMMON.ANIMATED.BACKGROUND.PNG and click on the Browse button on the right.   Browse for your photo and click Open. Your selected image will appear on the left pane. Now, do the same for the COMMON.BACKGROUND.PNG. When finished, select the Home tab on the ribbon at the top and click Save.   Now switch to the Themes tab on the ribbon and the Themes tab below. (There are two Themes tabs which can be a bit confusing). Select your theme on the right pane and click Apply. Note: You won’t see the image backgrounds displayed. Your theme will be applied to Media Center. Close out of Media Center Studio and open Windows Media Center to check out your new background.   You can load multiple backgrounds images and switch them periodically as your mood changes. You might like to find a nice background featuring your favorite movie or TV show.   Perhaps you can even find a background of your favorite sports team.   Installing Themes with Media Center Studio Theme7MC has made available a small group of Media Center Studio Theme packs that are simple to download and install. You can find the download link below. Note: Before installing a theme, turn off any extenders and close Windows Media Center. Download any (or all) of the Theme7MC theme packages to your Media Center PC. Open Media Center Studio, select the Themes tab (the one at the top) and click Import Theme.   Browse for the theme you wish to import and click Open. Select your theme from the themes pane and click Apply. Media Center Studio will proceed to apply your theme. You should then see your new theme appear under Current theme on the left theme pane. Close out of Media Center Studio. Open Media Center and enjoy your new theme. Conclusion Media Center Studio runs on Windows 7 or Vista and gives users a solution for personalizing their Media Center backgrounds. It is a Beta application, however, so it still has a few bugs. Currently, there are only a handful of themes available at Themes7MC, but what they have is pretty slick. If you’d like to further customize the look of Media Center, check out our previous article on how to customize the Media Center start menu with Media Center Studio. Downloads Media Center Studio Theme7MC Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)How To Rip a Music CD in Windows 7 Media CenterAutomatically Mount and View ISO files in Windows 7 Media CenterSchedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup AceStock, a Tiny Desktop Quote Monitor Gmail Button Addon (Firefox) Hyperwords addon (Firefox) Backup Outlook 2010 Daily Motivator (Firefox) FetchMp3 Can Download Videos & Convert Them to Mp3

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  • Convert YouTube Videos to MP3 with YouTube Downloader

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you looking for a way to take the music videos you watch on YouTube and convert them to MP3? Today we take a look at an easy way to convert those YouTube videos to MP3 for free with YouTube Downloader. The YouTube Downloader functions in two steps. First, it downloads the video from YouTube in MP4 format, and then allows you to convert that MP4 file to MP3. Note: It also supports conversion conversion to some other formats such as AVI video, MOV, iPhone, PSP, 3GP, and WMV.   Installation and usage Download and Install YouTube Downloader. (See download link below) Open the YouTube Downloader by clicking on the desktop icon. Find a YouTube video you’d like to convert to MP3 and copy the URL. Paste the URL into the “Enter video URL” text box in YouTube Downloader. When you hover your mouse over the text box, the text box will auto-fill with the URL from your clipboard. Select the “Download video from YouTube” radio button and click “Ok.” Choose a folder to location to download your YouTube video and click “Save.” The video is downloaded in MP4 format. Now wait while the video is downloaded to your hard drive.   Select the “Convert video (previously downloaded) from file” radio button. Click the (…) button to the right of the “Select video file” text box to browse for and select the MP4 file you just downloaded. Then select “MPEG Audio Layer (MP3) from the “Convert to” drop down list. Select “OK” to begin the conversion. Choose the conversion quality by moving the slider to the right or left. The options are: Low (96kbps bite rate), Medium (128kbps bit rate), Optimal (192kbps bit rate), and High 256kbps bit rate). Here you can select the output volume as well. Click “OK” when finished. If there is a portion of the beginning or end of the video that you wish to cut out of the MP3, select the “Cut video” check box and choose a Start and End time. Click “OK” when finished. Note: The start and end time represent the audio portion of the MP3 you wish to keep. All portions before and after these times will be cut.   The conversion process will begin and should only take a few moments. Times will vary depending on the size of the video you’re converting. Conversion was successful! The MP3 you converted will be in the same directory you downloaded the video to. Now you’re ready to listen to your MP3 or import it to your Zune, iTunes, or music library. You may also want to delete the MP4 files after the conversion if you will no longer need them. Conclusion YouTube Downloader features a very simple interface that’s user friendly and easy to use. It comes in handy when you watch videos that look horrible, but the sound quality is good. Or if you just need to hear the audio of something posted and don’t need the video. It also allows you to download from Google Video, MySpace, and others. Download YouTube Downloader Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Download YouTube Videos with Cheetah YouTube DownloaderWatch YouTube Videos in Cinema Style in FirefoxStop YouTube Videos from Automatically Playing in FirefoxRemove Unsuitable Comments from YouTubeImprove YouTube Video Viewing in Google Chrome TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Windows Media Player 12: Tweak Video & Sound with Playback Enhancements Own a cell phone, or does a cell phone own you? Make your Joomla & Drupal Sites Mobile with OSMOBI Integrate Twitter and Delicious and Make Life Easier Design Your Web Pages Using the Golden Ratio Worldwide Growth of the Internet

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  • Convert Video and Remove Commercials in Windows 7 Media Center with MCEBuddy 1.1

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Today look at MCEBuddy for Windows 7 Media Center. This handy app automatically takes your recorded TV files and converts them to MP4, AVI, WMV, or MPEG format. It even has the option to cut out those annoying commercials during the conversion process. Installation and Configuration Download and extract MCE Buddy. (Download link below) Run the setup.exe file and take all the default settings.   Open MCEBuddy Configuration by going to Start > All Programs > MCEBuddy > MCEBuddy Configuration.   Video Paths The MCEBuddy application is comprised of a single window. The first step you’ll want to take is to define your Source and Destination paths. The “Source” will most likely be your Recorded TV directory. The Destination should NOT be the same as the Source folder. Note: The Recorded TV directory in Windows 7 Media Center will only display and play WTV & DVR-MS files. To watch the converted MP4, AVI, WMV, or MPEG files in Windows Media Center you’ll need to add them to your Video Library or Movie Library. Video Conversion Next, choose your preferred format for conversion from the “Convert to” drop down list. The default is MP4 with the H.264 codec. You’ll find a wide variety of formats. The first set of conversion options in the drop down list will resize the video to 720 pixels wide. The next two sections maintain the original size, and the final section is for a variety of portable devices.   Next, you’ll see a group of check boxes below the “Convert to” drop down list. The Commercial Skipping option will cut the commercials while converting the file. Sort By Series will create a sub-folder in your Destination folder for each TV show. Delete Original will delete the WTV file after conversion is complete. (This option is not recommended unless you are sure your files are converting properly and you no longer need the WTV file.) Start Minimized is ideal if you want to run MCEBuddy on Windows startup. Note: MCEBuddy installs and uses Comskip for commercial cutting by default. However, if you have ShowAnalyzer installed, it will use that application instead. Advanced Options To choose a specific time of day to perform the conversions, click the checkbox under the “Advanced Options,” and select the starting and ending times for conversion. For example, convert between 2 hours and 5 hours would be between 2 am and 5am. If you want MCEBuddy to constantly look for and immediately convert new recordings, leave the box unchecked.   The “Video age” option lets you choose a specific number of days to wait before performing the conversion. This can be useful if you want to watch the recordings first and delete those you don’t wish to convert. You can also choose the “Sub Directories” if you’d like MCEBuddy to convert files that are in a sub-folder in your “Source” directory. Second Conversion As you might expect, this option allows MCEBuddy to perform a second conversion of your file. This can be useful if you want to use your first conversion to create a higher quality MP4 or AVI file for playback on a larger screen, and a second one for a portable device such as Zune or iPhone. The same options from the first conversion are also available for the second. You’ll want to choose a separate Destination folder for the second conversion.   Start and Monitor Progress To start converting your video files, simply press the “Start” button at the bottom. You’ll be able to follow the progress in the “Current Activity” section. When all the video files have finished converting, or there are no current files to convert, MCEBuddy will display a “Started – Idle” status. Click “Stop” if you don’t want MCEBuddy to continue scanning for new files.   Conclusion MCEBuddy 1.1 will convert all WTV files in it’s source folder. If you want to pick and choose which recordings to convert, you may want to define a source folder different than the Recorded TV folder and then just copy or move the files you wish to convert into the new source folder. The conversion process does take a good bit of time. If you choose the commercial skipping and second conversion options it can take several hours to fully convert one TV recording. Overall, MCEBuddy makes a nice Media Center addition for those that want to save some space with smaller size files, convert Recorded TV files for their portable device, or automatically remove commercials. If you’re looking for a different method to skip commercials check out our post on how to skip commercials in Windows 7 Media Center. Download MCEBuddy 1.1 Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)How To Skip Commercials in Windows 7 Media CenterHow To Convert Video Files to MP3 with VLCStartup Customizations for Media Center in Windows 7Add Folders to the Movie Library in Windows 7 Media Center TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional The Ultimate Excel Cheatsheet Convert the Quick Launch Bar into a Super Application Launcher Automate Tasks in Linux with Crontab Discover New Bundled Feeds in Google Reader Play Music in Chrome by Simply Dragging a File 15 Great Illustrations by Chow Hon Lam

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  • Stream Music and Video Over the Internet with Windows Media Player 12

    - by DigitalGeekery
    A new feature in Windows Media Player 12, which is included with Windows 7, is being able to stream media over the web to other Windows 7 computers.  Today we will take a look at how to set it up and what you need to begin. Note: You will need to perform this process on each computer that you want to use. What You’ll Need Two computers running Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate. The host, or home computer that you will be streaming the media from, cannot be on a public network or part of domain. Windows Live ID UPnP or Port Forwarding enabled on your home router Media files added to your Windows Media Player library Windows Live ID Sign up online for a Windows Live ID if you do not already have one. See the link below for a link to Windows Live.   Configuring the Windows 7 Computers Open Windows Media Player and go to the library section. Click on Stream and then “Allow Internet access to home media.”   The Internet Home Media Access pop up window will prompt you to link your Windows Live ID to a user account. Click “Link an online ID.” If you haven’t already installed the Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant, you will be taken to Microsoft’s website and prompted to download it. Once you have completed the Windows Live download assistant install, you will see Windows Live ID online provider appear in the “Link Online IDs” window. Click on “Link Online ID.” Next, you’ll be prompted for a Windows Live ID and password. Enter your Windows Live ID and password and click “Sign In.” A pop up window will notify you that you have successfully allowed Internet access to home media. Now, you will have to repeat the exact same configuration on the 2nd Windows 7 computer. Once you have completed the same configuration on your 2nd computer, you might also need to configure your home router for port forwarding. If your router supports UPnP, you may not need to manually forward any ports on your router. So, this would be a good time to test your connection. Go to a nearby hotspot, or perhaps a neighbor’s house, and test to see if you can stream your media. If not, you’ll need to manually forward the ports. You can always choose to forward the ports anyway, just in case. Note: We tested on a Linksys WRT54GL router, which supports UPnP, and found we still needed to manually forward the ports. Finding the ports to forward on the router Open Windows Media Player and make sure you are in Library view. Click on “Stream” on the top menu, and select “Allow Internet access to home media.”   On the “Internet Home Media Access” window, click on “Diagnose connections.” The “Internet Streaming Diagnostic Tool” will pop up. Click on “Port forwarding information” near the bottom.   On the “Port Forwarding Information” window you will find both the Internal and External Port numbers you will need to forward on your router. The Internal port number should always be 10245. The external number will be different depending on your computer. Microsoft also recommends forwarding port 443. Configuring the Router Next, you’ll need to configure Port Forwarding on your home router. We will show you the steps for a Linksys WRT54GL router, however, the steps for port forwarding will vary from router to router. On the Linksys configuration page, click on the Administration Tab along the top, click the “Applications & Gaming Tab, and then the “Port Range Forward” tab below it. Under “Application,” type in a name. It can be any name you choose. In both the “Start” and “End” boxes, type the port number. Enter the IP address of your home computer in the IP address column. Click the check box under “Enable.” Do this for both the internal and external port numbers and port 443. When finished, click the “Save Settings” button. Note: It’s highly recommended that you configure your home computer with a static IP address When you’re ready to play your media over the Internet, open up Windows Media Player and look for your host computer and username listed under “Other Libraries.” Click on it expand the list to see your media libraries. Choose a library and a file to play. Now you can enjoy your streaming media over the Internet. Conclusion We found media streaming over the Internet to work fairly well. However, we did see a loss of quality with streaming video. Also, Recorded TV .wtv and dvr-ms files did not play at all. Check out our previous article to see how to stream media share and stream media between Windows 7 computers on your home network. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Enable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media PlayerFixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesShare Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7Share and Stream Digital Media Between Windows 7 Machines On Your Home NetworkLearning Windows 7: Manage Your Music with Windows Media Player TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Stormpulse provides slick, real time weather data Geek Parents – Did you try Parental Controls in Windows 7? 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  • Getting Started with Media Browser for Windows Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    If you are a Windows Media Center user, you’ll really want to check out Media Browser. The Media Browser plug-in for Windows Media Center takes your digital media files and displays them in a visually appealing, user friendly interface, complete with images and metadata. Requirements Windows 7 or Vista Microsoft .Net 3.5 Framework  Preparing your Media Files For Media Browser to be able to automatically download images and metadata for your media libraries, your files will have to be correctly named. For example, if you have an mp4 file of the movie Batman Begins, it needs to be named Batman Begins.mp4. It cannot be Batmanbegins.mp4 or Batman-begins.mp4. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that Media Browser will display images and metadata. If you find some of your files aren’t pulling cover art or metadata, double-check the official title of the media on a site like IMBD.com. TV Show files TV show files are handled a bit differently. Every TV series in your collection must have a main folder with the show’s name and individual subfolders for each season. Here is an example of folder structure and supported naming conventions. TV Shows\South Park\Season 1\s01e01 – episode 1.mp4 TV Shows\South Park\Season 1\South Park 1×01 – episode 1.mp4 TV Shows\South Park\Season 1\101 – episode 1.mp4  Note: You need to always have a Season 1 folder even if the show only has only one season. If you have several seasons of a particular show, but don’t happen to have Season 1, simply create a blank season 1 folder. Without a season 1 folder, other seasons will not display properly. Installation and Configuration Download and run the latest Media Browser .msi file by taking the defaults. (Download link below) When you reach the final window, leave the “Configure initial settings” box checked, and click “Finish.” You may get a pop up window informing you that folder permissions are not set correctly for Media Browser. Click “Yes.” Adding Your Media The Browser Configuration Tool should have opened automatically. If not, you can open it by going to Start > All Programs > Media Browser > Media Browser Configuration Wizard. To begin adding media files, click “Add.” Browse for a folder that contains media files and click “OK.” Here we are adding a folder with a group of movie files. You can add multiple folders to each media library. For example, if you have movie files stored in 4 or 5 different folders, you can add them all under a single library in Media Browser.  To add additional folders, click the “Add” button on the right side under your currently added folder. The “Add” button to the left will add an additional Media Library, such as one for TV Shows. When you are finished, close out of the Media Browser Configuration Tool. Open Windows Media Center. You will see Media Browser tile on the main interface. Click to open it. When you initially open Media Browser, you will be prompted to run the initial configuration. Click “OK.” You will see a few general configuration options. The important option is the Metadata. Leave this option checked (it is by default) if you wish to pull images & other metadata for your media. When finished, click “Continue,” and then “OK” to restart Media Browser. When you re-enter Media Browser you’ll see your Media Categories listed below, and recently added files in the main display. Click on a Media Library to view the files.   Click “View” at the top to check out some of the different display options to choose from. Below you see can “Detail.” This presents your videos in a list to the left. When you hover over a title, the synopsis and cover art is displayed to the right. “Cover Flow” displays your titles in a right to left format with mirror cover art. “Thumb Strip” displays your titles in a strip along the bottom with a synopsis, image, and movie data above. Configurations Settings and options can be changed through the Media Browser Configuration Tool, or directly in Media Browser by clicking on the “Wrench” at the bottom right of the main Media Browser page. Certain settings may only be available in one location or the other. Some will be available in both places.   Plug-ins and Themes Media Browser features a variety of Plug-ins and Themes that can add optional customization and slick visual appeal. To install plug-ins or themes, open the Media Browser Configuration Tool. Click on the “plug-ins” tab, and then the “More Plug-ins…” button. Note: Clicking on “Advanced” at the top will reveal several additional configuration tabs. Browse the list of plug-ins on the left. When you find want you like, select it and then click “Install.” When the install is complete, you’ll see them listed under “Installed Plug-ins.” To activate any installed theme, click on the “Display” tab. Select it from the Visual Theme drop down list. Close out of the Media Browser Configuration Tool when finished. Some themes, such as the “Diamond” theme shown below, include optional views and settings which can be accessed through a configuration button at the top of the screen. Clicking on the movie gives you additional images and information such as a synopsis, runtime, IMDB rating…   … and even actors and character names.   All that’s left is to hit “Play” when you’re ready to watch.   Conclusion Media Browser is a fantastic plug-in that brings an entirely different level of media management and aesthetics to Windows Media Center. There are numerous additional customizations and configurations we have not covered here such as adding film trailers, music support, and integrating Recorded TV. Media Browser will run on both Windows 7 and Vista. Extenders are also supported but may require additional configuration. Download Media Browser Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Schedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7Add Color Coding to Windows 7 Media Center Program GuideIntegrate Boxee with Media Center in Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 If it were only this easy SyncToy syncs Files and Folders across Computers on a Network (or partitions on the same drive) Classic Cinema Online offers 100’s of OnDemand Movies OutSync will Sync Photos of your Friends on Facebook and Outlook Windows 7 Easter Theme YoWindoW, a real time weather screensaver

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  • How To Rip a Music CD in Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    If you’re a Media Center user, you already know that it can play and manage your digital music collection. But, did you know you can also rip a music CD in Windows 7 Media Center and have it automatically added to your music library? Rip a CD in Windows 7 Media Center Place your CD into your optical drive. From within Windows Media Center, open the Music Library and select the CD. If you haven’t previously ripped a CD in Windows 7 with either Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player, you’ll be prompted to select whether or not you’d like to add copy protection. Click Next. By default, your CD will be ripped to .WMA format. The rip settings for Windows Media Center are pulled from Windows Media Player. So to change the rip settings, we’ll need to do so in Media Player. Click Finish. From within Windows Media Player, click on Tools from Menu bar, and select Options. If you are new to Windows Media Player 12, check out our beginner’s guide on how to manage your music with WMP 12. Select the Rip Music tab and choose your output format from the Format drop down list. You can also select the Audio quality (bit rate) by moving the slider bar under Audio quality. Click OK when you are finished.   Now, you are ready to rip your CD. Click on Rip CD. Click Yes to confirm you want to rip the CD. You can follow the progress as each track is being converted.    When the CD is finished you’re ready to start enjoying your music any time you wish in Windows 7 Media Center. Looking for some more tasks you can perform in Media Center with just a remote? Check out our earlier post on how to crop, edit, and print photos in Windows Media Center. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesStartup Customizations for Media Center in Windows 7Schedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall Office 2010 reviewed in depth by Ed Bott FoxClocks adds World Times in your Statusbar (Firefox) Have Fun Editing Photo Editing with Citrify Outlook Connector Upgrade Error

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  • How To Skip Commercials in Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    If you use Windows 7 Media Center to record live TV, you’re probably interested in skipping through commercials. After all, a big reason to record programs is to avoid commercials, right? Today we focus on a fairly simple and free way to get you skipping commercials in no time. In Windows 7, the .wtv file format has replaced the dvr-ms file format used in previous versions of Media Center for Recorded TV. The .wtv file format, however, does not work very well with commercial skipping applications.  The Process Our first step will be to convert the recorded .wtv files to the previously used dvr-ms file format. This conversion will be done automatically by WtvWatcher. It’s important to note that this process deletes the original .wtv file after successfully converting to .dvr-ms. Next, we will use DVRMSToolBox with the DTB Addin to handle commercials skipping. This process does not “cut” or remove the commercials from the file. It merely skips the commercials during playback. WtvWatcher Download and install the WTVWatcher (link below). To install WtvWatcher, you’ll need to have Windows Installer 3.1 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. If you get the Publisher cannot be verified warning you can go ahead and click Install. We’ve completely tested this app and it contains no malware and runs successfully.   After installing, the WtvWatcher will pop up in the lower right corner of your screen. You will need to set the path to your Recorded TV directory. Click on the button for “Click here to set your recorded TV path…”   The WtvWatcher Preferences window will open…   …and you’ll be prompted to browse for your Recorded TV folder. If you did not change the default location at setup, it will be found at C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV. Click “OK” when finished. Click the “X” to close the Preferences screen. You should now see WtvWatcher begin to convert any existing WTV files.   The process should only take a few minutes per file. Note: If WtvWatcher detects an error during the conversion process, it will not delete the original WTV file.    You will probably want to run WtvWatcher on startup. This will allow WtvWatcher too constantly scan for new .wtv files to convert. There is no setting in the application to run on startup, so you’ll need to copy the WTV icon from your desktop into your Windows start menu “Startup” directory. To do so, click on Start > All Programs, right-click on Startup and click on Open all users. Drag and drop, or cut and paste, the WtvWatcher desktop shortcut into the Startup folder. DVRMSToolBox and DTBAddIn Next, we need to download and install the DVRMSToolBox and the DTBAddIn. These two pieces of software will do the actual commercial skipping. After downloading the DVRMSToolBox zip file, extract it and double-click the setup.exe file.  Click “Next” to begin the installation.   Unless DVRMSToolBox will only be used by Administrator accounts, check the “Modify File Permissions” box. Click “Next.” When you get to the Optional Components window, uncheck Download/Install ShowAnalyzer. We will not be using that application. When the installation is complete, click “Close.”    Next we need to install the DTBAddin. Unzip the download folder and run the appropriate .msi file for your system. It is available in 32 & 64 bit versions. Just double click on the file and take the default options. Click “Finish” when the install is completed. You will then be prompted to restart your computer. After your computer has restarted, open DVRMSToolBox settings by going to Start > All Programs, DVRMSToolBox, and click on DVRMStoMPEGSettings. On the MC Addin tab, make sure that Skip Commercials is checked. It should be by default.   On the Commercial Skip tab, make sure the Auto Skip option is selected. Click “Save.”   If you try to watch recorded TV before the file conversion and commercial indexing process is complete you’ll get the following message pop up in Media Center. If you click Yes, it will start indexing the commercials if WtvWatcher has already converted it to dvr-ms. Now you’re ready to kick back and watch your recorded tv without having to wait through those long commercial breaks. Conclusion The DVRMSToolBox is a powerful and complex application with a multitude of features and utilities. We’ve showed you a quick and easy way to get your Windows Media Center setup to skip commercials. This setup, like virtually all commercial skipping setups, is not perfect. You will occasionally find a commercial that doesn’t get skipped. Need help getting your Windows 7 PC configured for TV? Check out our previous tutorial on setting up live TV in Windows Media Center. Links Download WTV Watcher Download DVRMSToolBox Download DTBAddin Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Increase Skip and Replay Intervals in Windows 7 Media CenterSchedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7Add Color Coding to Windows 7 Media Center Program Guide TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Make your Joomla & Drupal Sites Mobile with OSMOBI Integrate Twitter and Delicious and Make Life Easier Design Your Web Pages Using the Golden Ratio Worldwide Growth of the Internet How to Find Your Mac Address Use My TextTools to Edit and Organize Text

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  • Find More Streaming TV Online with Clicker.tv

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Looking for a way to access more of your favorite TV Shows and other online entertainment? Today we’ll take a look at Clicker.tv which offers an awesome way to find tons of TV programs and movies. Clicker.tv Clicker.tv is an HTML5 web application that indexes both free and premium content from sources like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and more. Some movies or episodes, such as those from Netflix and Amazon.com’s Video on Demand, will require viewers to have a membership, or pay a fee to access content. There is also a Clicker.tv app for Boxee.   Navigation Navigating in Clicker.tv is rather easy with your keyboard. Directional Keys: navigate up, down, left, and right. Enter: make a selection Backspace: return to previous screen Escape: return to the Clicker.tv home screen. Note: You can also navigate through Clicker.tv with your PC remote. Recommended Browsers Firefox 3.6 + Safari 4.0 + Internet Explorer 8 + Google Chrome Note: You’ll need the latest version of Flash installed to play the majority of content. Earlier versions of the above browsers may work, but for full keyboard functionality, stick with the recommendations. Using Clicker.tv The first time you go to Clicker.tv, (link below) you’ll be met with a welcome screen and some helpful hints. Click Enter when finished.   The Home screen feature Headliners, Trending Shows, and Trending Episodes. You can scroll through the different options and category links along the left side.   The Search link pulls up an onscreen keyboard so you can enter search terms with a remote as well as a keyboard. Type in your search terms and matching items are displayed on the screen.   You can also browse by a wide variety of categories. Select TV to browse only available TV programs. Or, browse only Movies in the movie category. There are also links for Web content and Music.   Creating an Account You can access all Clicker.tv content without an account, but a Clicker account allows users to create playlists and subscribe to shows and have them automatically added to their playlist. You’ll need to go to Clicker.com and create an account. You’ll find the link at the upper right of the page. Enter a username, password and email address. There also an option to link with Facebook, or you can simply Skip this step.   Go to Clicker.tv and sign in. You can manually type in your credentials or use the onscreen keyboard with your remote.   Settings If you’d prefer not to display content from premium sites or Netflix, you can remove them through the Settings. Toggle Amazon, iTunes and Netflix on or off.   Watching Episodes To watch an episode, select the image to begin playing from the default source, or select one of the other options. You can see in the example below that you can choose to watch the episode from Fox, Hulu, or Amazon Video on Demand.   Your episode will then launch and begin playing from your chosen source. If you choose a premium content source such as iTunes or Amazon’s VOD, you’ll be taken to the Amazon’s website or iTunes and prompted to purchase the content.   Playlists Once you’ve created an account and signed in, you can begin adding Shows to your playlist. Choose a series and select Add to Playlist.   You’ll see in the example below that Family Guy has been Added and the number 142 is shown next to the playlist icon to indicate that 142 episodes has been added to your playlist. Underneath the listings for each episode in your playlist you can mark as Watched, or Remove individual episodes.   You can also view the playlist or make any changes from the Clicker.com website. Click on “Playlist” on the top right of the Clicker.com site to access your playlists. You can select individual episodes from your playlists, remove them, or mark them as watched or unwatched. Clicker.TV and Boxee Boxee offers a Clicker.TV app that features a limited amount of the Clicker.TV content. You’ll find Clicker.TV located in the Boxee Apps Library. Select the Clicker App and then choose Start. From the Clicker App interface you can search or browse for available content. Select an episode you’d like to view… Then select play in the pop up window. You can also add it to your Boxee queue, share it, or add a shortcut, just as you can from other Boxee apps. When you click play your episode will launch and begin playing in Boxee. Conclusion Clicker.TV is currently still in Beta and has some limitations. Typical remotes won’t work completely in all external websites. So, you’ll still need a keyboard to be able to perform some operations such as switching to full screen mode. The Boxee app offers a more fully remote friendly environment, but unfortunately lacks a good portion of the Clicker.tv content. As with many content sites, availability of certain programming may be limited by your geographic location. Want to add Clicker.TV functionality to Windows Media Center? You can do so through the Boxee Integration for Windows 7 Media Center plug-in. Clicker.tv Clicker.com Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Share Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7Stream Music and Video Over the Internet with Windows Media Player 12Listen to Online Radio with AntennaEnable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media PlayerNorton Internet Security 2010 [Review] TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Nice Websites To Watch TV Shows Online 24 Million Sites Windows Media Player Glass Icons (icons we like) How to Forecast Weather, without Gadgets Outlook Tools, one stop tweaking for any Outlook version Zoofs, find the most popular tweeted YouTube videos

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  • Update Metadata and Cover Art in Windows Media Player 12

    - by DigitalGeekery
    If you use Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7, you may notice some of your media is missing information when displayed in the library. Today we look at how to edit and update metadata and cover art in WMP 12. By default, Windows Media Player will pull metadata, such as the title, artist, album, and cover art from the Internet. If you did not accept that default option during setup, we’ll need to turn the feature on first. Select Tools > Options from the top Menu bar. On the Library tab, ensure that Retrieve additional information form the Internet is checked. Click OK. Editing Metadata Now we’re ready to update some files. Find a media file with incorrect details or cover art. Right-click on the title and select Find album info. This will bring up the Find album information window. Here you’ll see the existing information that Windows Media Player interpreted as correct on the left side. The results of  WMP’s search for the media information are on the right. Click on Artists,  Albums , or Tracks to scroll through the search results and try to find a match. You can also type in new keywords in the Search box and hit enter (or click the Search button) to perform a new search.   If you find a correct match for your media file, click to select it and click Next. You’ll be prompted to confirm your selection, then click Finish. You should now see your media file displayed properly in Windows Media Player. Manually Entering Metadata If your search for the correct media information comes up empty, you can always manually enter the information yourself. On the Find album information window, click Edit under Existing Information. You can edit the existing information in the text boxes or the Genre dropdown box. There are a couple hidden text boxes below. Click next to Contributing Artist or Composer to enter that information.   Choosing Your Own Cover Art If your media file doesn’t pull the proper cover art, or if you simply wish to find a different image, you can add your own. Search online for a suitable image. An ideal size would be around 300 x 300 pixels, give or take. Right-click on the image copy the image. You’ll need to switch to Expanded title (if you haven’t already) to paste the image.   Paste your new image by right-clicking on the current image and select Paste album art. Note: If the image is not suitable size or type, the Paste album art option will not be available. Your new cover art will appear in Windows Media Player.   Even though it is pulled from the Internet, cover art is cached on your computer and will still be available when you are disconnected from the Internet. Are you new to Windows Media Player? If so, check out our article on how to Manage your music with Windows Media Player. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Make VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 11Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesMake VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 10Add Images and Metadata to Windows 7 Media Center Movie LibraryMake VLC Player Look like Winamp 5 (Kinda) TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Awe inspiring, inter-galactic theme (Win 7) Case Study – How to Optimize Popular Wordpress Sites Restore Hidden Updates in Windows 7 & Vista Iceland an Insurance Job? Find Downloads and Add-ins for Outlook Recycle !

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  • Stream Media from Windows 7 to XP with VLC Media Player

    - by DigitalGeekery
    So you’ve got yourself a new computer with Windows 7 and you’re itching to take advantage of it’s ability to stream media across your home network. But, the rest of the family is still on Windows XP and you’re not quite ready to shell out the cash for the upgrades. Well, today we’ll show you how to easily stream media from Windows 7 to Windows XP with VLC Media Player. On the host computer running Windows 7, you’ll need to have an account set up with both a username and password. A blank password will not work. The media files will need to be located in a shared folder. Note: If the media files are located within the Public directory, or within the profile of the user account you use to log into the Windows 7 computer, they will be shared automatically. Sharing your Media Folders On your Windows 7 computer, right-click on the folder containing the files you’d like to stream and choose Properties.     On the Sharing Tab of the folder properties, click the Share button. Click OK.   Type or select from the drop down the user account you’ll use to log in, or select “Everyone” to share with all users. Then click Add. You may change the permission level, but only Read permission is required to play the media. Repeat this process for any additional folders you wish to share.    The Windows XP Client Computer Now that we’ve shared our media folders from the Windows 7 computer, we’re ready to play our files on the Windows XP computer. Download and install the VLC Media Player. (See link below) Then open VLC. Click on Media from the and select Open File… Browse your network for the shared folder that contains your media.   You’ll be prompted to log in to the host computer. Provide the credentials for a user on the Windows 7 computer. Click OK.   Select your media file and click Open.    Your media playback will begin momentarily.   This is a nice and easy way to stream media across your home network without upgrading multiple computers to Windows 7.  Plus, VLC is certainly no slouch as a Media Player. It’ll play virtually any video or audio file you can throw at it. Have you already upgraded all your home PCs to Windows 7? Check out our previous article on streaming media between Windows 7 computers on your home network. Download VLC Media Player Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesShare Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7Enable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media PlayerInstall and Use the VLC Media Player on Ubuntu LinuxInstalling Windows Media Player Plugin for Firefox TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Need Help with Your Home Network? Awesome Lyrics Finder for Winamp & Windows Media Player Download Videos from Hulu Pixels invade Manhattan Convert PDF files to ePub to read on your iPad Hide Your Confidential Files Inside Images

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  • Customize the Windows Media Center Start Menu with Media Center Studio

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Do you ever wish you could change the WMC start menu? Maybe move some of the tiles and strips around to different locations, add new ones, or eliminate some altogether? Today we look at how to do it using Media Center Studio. Download and install Media Center Studio. (Download link below) You’ll also want to make sure you have Windows Media Center closed before running Media Center Studio. Many of the actions cannot be performed with Media Center open. Once installed, you can open Media Center Studio from the Windows Start Menu. When you first open Media Center Studio you’ll be on the Themes tab. Click on the Start Menu tab. It should be noted that Media Center Studio is a Beta application, and it did crash on us a few times, so it’s a good idea to save your work frequently. You can save your changes by selecting Save on the Home tab, or by clicking the small disk icon at the top left. We also found that that trying to launch Media Center from the Start Media Center button on the application ribbon typically didn’t work. Opening Windows Media Center from the Windows Start Menu is preferred.   When you’re on the Start Menu tab you will see the Windows Media Center menu strips and tiles. Click the arrows located at the right, left, top, and bottom of the screen to scroll through the various menu strips.   Hiding and Removing Tiles and Menu Strips. If there is an entire menu strip that you never use and would like to remove from Media Center, simply uncheck the box to the left of the the title above that menu strip. If you’d like to hide individual tiles, uncheck the box next to the name of the individual tile. Renaming Tiles and Strips To rename a tile or menu strip, click on the small notepad icon next to the title. Note: If you do not see a small notepad icon next to the title, then the title is not editable. This applies to many of the “Promo” tiles. The title will turn into a text input box so that you can edit the name. Click away from the text box when finished. Here we will change the title of the default Movie strip to “Flicks.” Change the Default Tile and Menu Strip The Default menu strip is the strip that is highlighted, or on focus, when you open Media Center.   To change the default strip, simply click once on another strip to highlight it, and then save your work. In our example, I’m going to make our newly renamed “Flicks” strip the default.   Each menu strip has a default tile. This is the tile that is active, or on focus, when you select the menu strip. To change the default tile on a strip, click once on the tile. You will see it outlined in light blue. Now just simply save your changes. In our example below, we’ve changed the default tile on the TV strip to “guide.”   Moving Tiles and Menu Strips You can move an entire Menu Strip up or down on the screen. When you hover your mouse over the a menu strip, you will see up and down arrows appear to the right and left of the title. Click on the arrows to move the strip up or down.   You will see the menu strip appear in it’s new position.   To move a tile to a new menu strip, click and drag the tile you’d like to move. When you begin to drag the tile, green plus (+) signs will appear in between the tiles. Drag and drop the tile onto to any of these green plus signs to move it to that location. When you’ve dragged the tile over an acceptable position, you’ll see the  red “Move” label next to your cursor turn to a blue “Move to” label. Now you can drop the tile into position. You’ll see the tile located in it’s new position.   Adding a New Custom Menu Strip Click on the Start Menu tab and then select the Menu Strip button.   You will see a new Custom Menu strip appear on your Start Menu with the default name of Custom menu. You can change the name by clicking on the notepad icon just as we did earlier. For our example, we’ll change the name of the new strip to Add-ins. To add a new tile, click on Entry Points at the lower left of the application window. This will reveal all of your available Entry Points that can be added to the Media Center Menu. You should see the built-in Media Center Games and any Media Center Plug-ins you have added to your system. You can then drag and drop any of the Entry Points onto any of the Menu Strips. Below we’ve added Media Browser to our custom Add-ins menu strip. You can also add additional applications to launch directly from Media Center. Click on the Application button on the Start Menu tab. Note: Many applications may not work with your remote, but with keyboard and mouse only.    Type in a title which will appear under the tile in Media Center, and then type the path to the application. In our example, we will add Internet Explorer 8. Note: Be sure to add the actual path to the application and not just a link on the desktop. Click any of the check boxes to select any options under Required Capabilities. You can also browse to choose an image if you don’t care for the image that appears automatically.   Next, you can select keyboard strokes to press to exit the application and return to Media Center. Click the green plus (+) button. When prompted, press a key you’ll use to close the program. Repeat the process if you’d also like to select a keystroke to kill the program.   You’ll see your button programs listed below. When you’re finished, save your work and close out of Media Center Studio.   Now your new program entry point will appear in the Entry Points section. Drag the icon to the desired position on the Start Menu and save again before exiting Media Center Studio. When you open Media Center you will see your new application on the start menu. Click the tile to open the application just as you would any other tile. The application will open and minimize Media Center. When you press the key you choose to close the program, Windows Media Center will automatically be restored. Note: You can also exit the application through normal methods by clicking the red “X” or File > Exit. Conclusion Media Center Studio is a Beta application which the developer freely admits still has some bugs. Despite it’s flaws Media Center Studio is a powerful tool, and when it comes to customizing your Media Center start menu, it’s pretty much the only game in town. It works with both Vista and Windows 7, and according to the developer, has not been officially tested with extenders. Media Center Studio can also be used to add custom themes to Windows 7 Media Center and we’ll be covering that in a future article. Looking for more ways to customize your Media Center experience? Be sure to check out our earlier posts on Media Browser, as well as how to add Hulu, Boxee, and weather conditions your Windows 7 Media Center. Download Media Center Studio Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)How To Rip a Music CD in Windows 7 Media CenterSchedule Updates for Windows Media CenterStartup Customizations for Media Center in Windows 7Automatically Start Windows 7 Media Center in Live TV Mode TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows Video Toolbox is a Superb Online Video Editor Fun with 47 charts and graphs Tomorrow is Mother’s Day Check the Average Speed of YouTube Videos You’ve Watched OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall

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  • Stream Media and Live TV Across the Internet with Orb

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Looking for a way to stream your media collection across the Internet? Or perhaps watch and record TV remotely? Today we are going to look at how to do all that and more with Orb. Requirements Windows XP / Vista / 7 or Intel based Mac w/ OS X 10.5 or later. 1 GB RAM or more Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or higher / AMD Athlon 3200+ Broadband connections TV Tuner for streaming and recording live TV (optional) Note: Slower internet connections may result in stuttering during playback. Installation and Setup Download and install Orb on your home computer. (Download link below) You’ll want to take the defaults for the initial portion of the install. When we get to the Orb Account setup portion of the install is when we will have to enter information and make some decisions. Choose your language and click Next. We’ll need to create and user account and password. A valid email address is required as we’ll need to confirm the account later. Click Next.   Now you’ll want to choose your media sources. Orb will automatically look for folders that may contain media files. You can add or remove folders click on the (+) or (-) buttons. To remove a folder, click on it once to select it from the list and then click the minus (-) button. To add a folder, click the plus (+) button and browse for the folder. You can add local folders as well as shared folders from networked computers and USB attached storage. Note: Both the host computer running Orb and the networked computer will need to be running to access shared network folders remotely. When you’ve selected all your media files, click Next. Orb will proceed to index your media files… When the indexing is complete, click Next. Orb TV Setup Note: Streaming Live TV to Macs is not currently supported. If you have a TV tuner card connected to your PC, you can opt to configure Orb to stream live or recorded TV. Click Next  to configure TV. Or, choose Skip if you don’t wish to configure Orb for TV.   If you have a Digital tuner card, type in your Zip Code and click Get List to pull your channel listings. Select a TV provider from the list and click Next. If not, click Skip.   You can select or deselect any channels by checking or un-checking the box to each channel. Select Auto Scan to let Orb find more channels or disable the ones with no reception. Click Next when finished.   Next choose an analog provider, if necessary, and click Next.   Select “Yes” or “No” for a set top box and click Next. Just as we did with the Digital tuner, select or deselect any channels by checking or un-checking the box to each channel. Select Auto Scan to let Orb find more channels or disable the ones with no reception. Click Next when finished.   Now we’re finished with the setup. Click Close. Accessing your Media Remotely Media files are accessed through a web-based interface. Before we go any further, however, we’ll need to confirm our username and password. Check your inbox for an email from Orb Networks. Click the enclosed confirmation link. You’ll be prompted to enter the username and password you selected in your browser then click Next.   Your account will be confirmed. Now, we’re ready to enjoy our media remotely. To get started, point your browser to the MyCast website from your remote computer. (See link below) Enter your credentials and click Log In. Once logged in, you’ll be presented with the MyCast Home screen. By default you’ll see a handful of “channels” such as a TV program guide, random audio and photos, video favorites, and weather. You can add, remove, or customize channels. To add additional channels, click on Add Channels at the top right…   …and select from the dropdown list. To access your full media libraries, click Open Application at the top left and select from one of the options. Live and Recorded TV If you have a TV tuner card you configured for Orb, you’ll see your program guide on the TV / Webcams screen. To watch or record a show, click on the program listing to bring up a detail box. Then click the red button to record, or the green button to play. When recording a show, you’ll see a pulsating red icon at the top right of the listing in the program guide. If you want to watch Live TV, you may be prompted to choose your media player, depending on your browser and settings. Playback should begin shortly.   Note for Windows Media Center Users If you try to stream live TV in Orb while Windows Media Center is running on your PC, you’ll get an error message. Click the Stop MediaCenter button and then try again.   Audio On the Audio screen, you’ll find your music files indexed by genre, artist, and album. You can play a selection by clicking once and then clicking the green play button, or by simply double-clicking.   Playback will begin in the default media player for the streaming format.   Video Video works essentially the same as audio. Click on a selection and press the green play button, or double-click on the video title. Video playback will begin in the default media player for the streaming format.   Streaming Formats You can change the default streaming format in the control panel settings. To access the Control Panel, click on Open Applications  and select Control Panel. You can also click Settings at the top right.   Select General from the drop down list and then click on the Streaming Formats tab. You are provided four options. Flash, Windows Media, .SDP, and .PLS.   Creating Playlists To create playlists, drag and drop your media title to the playlist work area on the right, or click Add to playlist on the top menu. Click Save when finished.    Sharing your Media Orb allows you to share media playlists across the Internet with friends and family. There are a few ways to accomplish this. We’ll start by click the Share button at the bottom of the playlist work area after you’ve compiled your playlist. You’ll be prompted to choose a method by which to share your playlist. You’ll have the option to share your playlist publicly or privately. You can share publically through links, blogs, or on your Orb public profile.  By choosing the Public Profile option, Orb will automatically create a profile page for you with a URL like http://public.orb.com/username that anyone can easily access on the Internet. The private sharing option allows you to invite friends by email and requires recipients to register with Orb. You can also give your playlist a custom name, or accept the auto-generated title. Click OK when finished. Users who visit your public profile will be able to view and stream any of your shared playlists to their computer or supported device.   Portable Media Devices and Smartphones Orb can stream media to many portable devices and 3G phones. Streaming audio is supported on the iPhone and iPod Touch through the Safari browser. However, video and live TV streaming requires the Orb Live iPhone App.  Orb Live is available in the App store for $9.99. To stream media to your portable device, go to the MyCast website in your mobile browser and login. Browse for your media or playlist. Make a selection and play the media. Playback will begin. We found streaming music to both the Droid and the iPhone to work quite nicely. Video playback on the Droid, however, left a bit to be desired. The video looked good, but the audio tended to be out of sync. System Tray Control Panel By default Orb runs in the system tray on start up. To access the System Tray Control Panel, right-click on the Orb icon in the system tray and select Control Panel. Login with your Orb username and  password and click OK.   From here you can add or remove media sources, add manage accounts, change your password, and more. If you’d rather not run Orb on Startup, click the General icon.   Unselect the checkbox next to Start Orb when the system starts. Conclusion It may seem like a lot of steps, but getting Orb up and running isn’t terribly difficult. Orb is available for both Windows and Intel based Macs. It also supports streaming to many Game Consoles such as the Wii, PS3, and XBox 360. If you are running Windows 7 on multiple computers, you may want to check out our write-up on how to stream music and video over the Internet with Windows Media Player 12. Downloads Download Orb Logon to MyCast Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Stream Music and Video Over the Internet with Windows Media Player 12Enable Media Streaming in Windows Home Server to Windows Media PlayerStream Media from Windows 7 to XP with VLC Media PlayerShare Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7Automatically Start Windows 7 Media Center in Live TV Mode TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Looking for Good Windows Media Player 12 Plug-ins? Find Out the Celebrity You Resemble With FaceDouble Whoa ! Use Printflush to Solve Printing Problems Icelandic Volcano Webcams Open Multiple Links At One Go

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  • Crop, Edit, and Print Photos in Windows 7 Media Center

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Windows Media Center is a nice application for managing and displaying your personal photos, but you may occasionally need to make some basic edits to your pictures. Today we’ll take a look at how to crop, edit, and print photos right from Windows 7 Media Center. From within the Picture Library in Windows Media Center, choose a photo to work with, right-click and select Picture Details. You can also access this option with a Media Center remote by clicking the “i” button. Note: You’ll notice you have the option to rotate the picture from this menu. It is also available on the next screen.  Rotate a picture Now you’ll see more options on the Picture Details screen. From here you can rotate, Print, or Touch Up, Delete, or Burn a CD/DVD. To rotate the picture, simple select Rotate. Note: If you want your photo saved with the new orientation, you’ll need to select Save from the Touch Up screen that we will look at later in the article.   Each click will rotate the picture 90 degrees clockwise. You’ll see the new orientation of the picture displayed on the Picture Details screen after you have clicked Rotate. Print a picture From the Picture Details screen, select Print. Click Print again. Media Center automatically prints to your default printer, so make sure your desired target printer is set as default. Crop and Edit Photos To edit or crop your photo, select Touch Up. Touch Up options includes, Crop, Contrast, and Red Eye removal. First, we’ll select the Crop button to crop our photo.   You will see a cropping area overlay appear on your photo. Select one of the buttons below to adjust the location, size, and orientation of the area to be cropped. When you’re happy with your selection, click Save. You’ll be prompted to confirm your save. Click Yes to permanently save your edits. You can also apply Contrast or Red Eye adjustments to your photos. There aren’t any advanced settings for these options. You merely toggle the Contrast or Red Eye on or off by selecting the option. Be sure to click Save before exiting to if you’ve made any changes you wish to permanently apply to the photos. This includes rotating the images. While this method is not likely to be replace your favorite image editing software, it does give you the ability to make basic edits and print photos directly from Windows Media Center. With a Media Center remote, you can even do all your edits from the comfort of your recliner. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Using Netflix Watchnow in Windows Vista Media Center (Gmedia)Schedule Updates for Windows Media CenterIntegrate Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center in Windows 7Add Color Coding to Windows 7 Media Center Program GuideIntegrate Boxee with Media Center in Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Outlook Connector Upgrade Error Gadfly is a cool Twitter/Silverlight app Enable DreamScene in Windows 7 Microsoft’s “How Do I ?” Videos Home Networks – How do they look like & the problems they cause Check Your IMAP Mail Offline In Thunderbird

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  • Compress Large Video Files with DivX / Xvid and AutoGK

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Have you ever recorded home video on a camcorder only to find the video size is enormous? What if you wanted to share a video clip on YouTube or another video sharing site, but the file size was bigger than the maximum upload size? Today we’ll look at a way to compress certain video files, such as MPEG and AVI, with Auto Gordian Knot (AutoGK). AutoGK is a free application that runs on Windows. It supports Mpeg1, Mpeg2, Transport Streams, Vobs, and virtually any codec used for an .AVI file. AutoGK will accept as input the following file types: MPG, MPEG, VOB, VRO, M2V, DAT, IFO, TS, TP, TRP, M2T, and AVI. Files are output as .AVI files and are converted using the DivX or XviD codecs. Installing and Using AutoGK Download and install AutoGK (link below) Open the AutoGK. You’ll need to navigate a few wizard screens, but you can just accept the defaults.   Choose your video file by clicking on the folder to the right of the Input file text box.   Browse for and select your video file and click “Open.”   For this example, we’ll be working with an .AVI file that’s 167MB in size.   The output file is copied into the same directory as the input file by default, but you can change this if you choose. If the input file is also .AVI, AutoGK will append an _agk to the output file so that the original is not overwritten. Next, you’ll see any audio tracks listed. You can unselect the check box if you’d like to remove the audio track. You can choose one of the Predefined size options… Or, select a Custom size in MB or Target Quality in percentage. For our example, we’ll be compressing our 167MB file to 35MB. Click on Advanced Settings. Here you can choose your codec, if you have a preference, as well as output resolution and output audio. If you’d like to use the DivX codec, you’ll need to download and install it separately. (See link below) Typically you’ll want to keep the defaults. Click “OK.” Now you’re ready to add your file conversion job to the Job queue. Click Add Job to add it to the queue. You can add multiple files conversions to the job queue and  convert them in one batch. Click Start to begin the conversion process. The process will begin. You’ll be able to see the progress in the Log window on the bottom left. When the conversion is complete you’ll see a “Job finished” and the total time in the log window.   Check your output file to see it’s compressed size. Test your video just to make sure the output quality is satisfactory.   Note:  Conversion times can vary greatly depending on the size of the file and your computer hardware. Files that are several GBs in size may take several hours to compress. AutoGK is no longer being actively developed but is still a wonderful DivX/XviD conversion tool. It can also be used to compress and convert non-copy protected DVDs. Downloads AutoGordianKnot DivX (optional) Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Use Your Mac Mini as a Media Server Part 2Make Disk Cleanup Compress Older(or Newer) Files on XPMysticgeek Blog: Exclusive Look Inside Vreel – Including Interview With Vreel Founder!Friday Fun: Watch HD Video Content with MeevidConvert a DVD Movie Directly to AVI with FairUse Wizard 2.9 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Penolo Lets You Share Sketches On Twitter Visit Woolyss.com for Old School Games, Music and Videos Add a Custom Title in IE using Spybot or Spyware Blaster When You Need to Hail a Taxi in NYC Live Map of Marine Traffic NoSquint Remembers Site Specific Zoom Levels (Firefox)

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  • Apply Skins to Add Some Flair to Windows Media Player 12

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Tired of the same look and feel of Windows Media Player in Windows 7? We’ll show you how to inject new life into your media experience by applying skins in WMP 12. Adding Skins In Library view, click on View from the Menu and select Skin Chooser. By default, WMP 12 comes with only a couple of modest skins. When you select a skin from the left pane, a preview will be displayed to the right. To apply one of the skins, simply select it from the pane on the left and click Apply Skin.   You can also switch to the currently selected skin in the Skin chooser by selecting Skin from the View menu, or by pressing Crtl + 2. Media Player will open in Now Playing mode. Click on the Switch to Library button at the top left to return to Library view.     Ok, so the included skins are a little boring. You can find additional skins by selecting Tools > Download > Skins.   Or, by clicking on More Skins from within the Skin chooser.   You will be taken the the Microsoft website where you can choose from dozens of skins to download and install. Select a skin you’d like to try and click the link to download.   If prompted with a warning message about files containing scripts that access your library, click Yes. Note: These warning boxes may look a bit different depending on your browser. We are using Chrome for this example.   Click on View Now.   Your new skin will be on display. To get back to the Library mode, find and click the Return to Full Mode button.    Some skins may launch video in a separate window.   If you want to delete one of the skins, select it from the list within the Skin chooser and click the red “X.” You can also press the delete key on your keyboard.   Then click Yes to confirm.   Conclusion Using skins is a quick and easy way to add some style to Windows Media Player and switching back and forth between skins is a breeze. Regardless of your interests, you are sure to find a skin that fits your tastes. You may find WMP skins on other sites, but sticking with Microsoft’s website will ensure maximum compatibility. Skins for Windows Media Player Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Make VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 10Make VLC Player Look like Windows Media Player 11Make VLC Player Look like Winamp 5 (Kinda)Fixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesInstall and Use the VLC Media Player on Ubuntu Linux TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Use Flixtime To Create Video Slideshows Creating a Password Reset Disk in Windows Bypass Waiting Time On Customer Service Calls With Lucyphone MELTUP – "The Beginning Of US Currency Crisis And Hyperinflation" Enable or Disable the Task Manager Using TaskMgrED Explorer++ is a Worthy Windows Explorer Alternative

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  • Convert a DVD Movie Directly to AVI with FairUse Wizard 2.9

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Are you looking for a way to backup your DVD movie collection to AVI?  Today we’ll show you how to rip a DVD movie directly to AVI with FairUse Wizard. About FairUse Wizard FairUse Wizard 2.9 uses the DivX, Xvid, or h.264 codec to convert DVD to an AVI file. It comes in both a free version and commercial version. The free, or “Light” version, can create files up 700MB while the commercial version can output a 1400MB file. This will allow you to back up your movies to CD, or even multiple movies on a single DVD. FairUse Wizard states that it does not work on copy protected discs, but we’ve seen it work on all but some of the most recent copy protection. For this tutorial we’re using the free Light Edition to convert a DVD to AVI. They also offer a commercial version that you can get for $29.99 and it offers even more encoding possibilities for converting video to you portable digital devices. Installation and Configuration Download and install FairUse Wizard. (Download link below). Once the install is complete, open FairUse Wizard by going to Start > All Programs >  FairUse Wizard 2 >  FairUse Wizard 2.   FairUse Wizard will open on the new project screen. Select “Create a new project” and type a project name into the text box. This will be used as the file output name.  Ex: A project name of Simpsons Movie will give you an output file of Simpsons Movie.avi.   Next, browse for a destination folder for the output file and temp files. Note that you will need a minimum of 6 GB of free disk space for the conversion process. Note: Much of that 6 GB will be used for temporary files that we will delete after the conversion process.   Click on the Options button at the bottom.   Under Preferences, choose your preferred video codec and file output size. XviD and x264 are installed by default. If you prefer to use DivX, you will have to install it separately. Also note the “Two pass” option. Checking the “Two pass” box will encode your video twice for higher quality, but will take more time. Un-checking the box will speed up the conversion process.   Under Audio track, note that English subtitles are enabled by default, so to remove the subtitles, you will need to change the dropdown list so it shows only a dash (-). You can also select “Use TV Mode” if your primary playback will be on a 4:3 TV screen. Click “Next.” Full Auto Mode vs. Manual Mode You should now be back to the initial screen. Next, we’ll need to determine whether or not we can use “Full Auto Mode” to convert the movie. The difference is that “Full Auto Mode” will automatically perform a few steps that you will otherwise have to do manually. If you choose the “Full Auto Mode” option, FairUse Wizard will look for the video on the DVD with the longest duration and assume it is the chain that it should convert to AVI. It’s possible, however, your disc may contain a few chains of similar size, such as a theatrical cut and director’s cut, and the longest chain may not be the one you wish to convert. Make sure that “Full auto mode” is not checked yet, and click “Next.”   FairUse Wizard will parse the IFO files and display all video chains longer than 60  seconds. In most cases, you will only find that the largest chain is the one closely matching the duration of the movie. In these instances, you can use “Full Auto Mode.” If you find more than one chain that are close in duration to the length of the movie, consult the literature on the DVD case, or search online, to find the actual running time of the movie. If the proper file chain is not the longest chain, you won’t be able to use “Full Auto Mode.”   Full Auto Mode To use “Full Auto Mode,” simply click the “Back” button to return to the initial screen Now, place a check in the “Full auto mode” check box. Click “Next.” You will then be prompted to chose your DVD drive, then click “OK.” FairUse Wizard will parse the IFO files… … and then prompt you to Select your drive that contains the DVD one more time before beginning the conversion process. Click “OK.”   Manual Mode If you cannot (or don’t wish to) use Full Auto Mode, choose the appropriate video chain and click “Next.” FairUse Wizard will first go through the process of indexing the video. Note: If you get a runtime error during this portion of the process, it likely means that FairUse Wizard cannot handle the copy protection, and thus cannot convert the DVD. FairUse Wizard will automatically detect a cropping region. If necessary, you can edit the cropping region by adjusting the cropping region settings to the left. Click “Next.” Next, click “Auto Detect” to choose the proper field combination. Click “OK” on the pop up window that displays your Field Mode. Then click “Next.” This next screen is mainly comprised of settings from the Options screen. You can make changes at this point such as codec or output size. Click “Next” when ready.   Video Conversion Now the video conversion process will begin. This may take a few hours depending on your system’s hardware. Note: There is a check box to “Shutdown computer when done” if you choose to run the conversion overnight or before leaving for work. The first phase will be video encoding… Then the audio… If you chose the “Two Pass” option, your video video will be encoded again on 2nd pass. Then you’re finished. Unfortunately, FairUse Wizard doesn’t clean up after itself very well. After the process is complete, you’ll want to browse to your output directory and delete all the temporary files as they take up a considerable amount of hard drive space. Now you’re ready to enjoy your movie. Conclusion FairUse Wizard is a nice way to backup your DVD movies to good quality .avi files. You can store them on your hard drive, watch them on a media PC, or burn them to disc. Many DVD players even allow for playback of DivX or XviD encoded video from a CD or DVD. For those of you with children, you can burn that AVI file to CD for your kids, and keep your original DVDs stored safely out of harms way. Download Download FairUse Wizard 2.9 LE Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Kantaris is a Unique Media Player Based on VLCHow to Make/Edit a movie with Windows Movie Maker in Windows VistaAutomatically Mount and View ISO files in Windows 7 Media CenterTune Your ClearType Font Settings in Windows VistaAdd Images and Metadata to Windows 7 Media Center Movie Library TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Make your Joomla & Drupal Sites Mobile with OSMOBI Integrate Twitter and Delicious and Make Life Easier Design Your Web Pages Using the Golden Ratio Worldwide Growth of the Internet How to Find Your Mac Address Use My TextTools to Edit and Organize Text

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  • Display Song Lyrics in Windows Media Player with Lyrics Plugin

    - by DigitalGeekery
    Looking for a way to display song lyrics in Windows Media Player? Today we look at a very simple method to accomplish this with Lyrics Plugin for Windows Media Player. Download and run the Lyrics Plugin install. (See download link below) When the installation is finished you’ll be prompted to run Windows Media Player. Click Yes. Begin playing your song or playlist then switch to Now Playing mode.   You should now see the full song lyrics of the currently playing track. To toggle the lyrics on and off, select Tools from the Menu in Library view, choose Plug-ins, and click Lyrics Plugin. If you don’t see the Menu bar, you can enable it by going to Organize, Layout, and Show Menu Bar. When Lyrics Plugin is turned off, Windows Media Player will switch back to it’s default visualization.   Whether you just want to know the lyrics or you’d like to hone your karaoke chops, Lyrics Plugin makes a nice addition to Windows Media Player 12. Download Lyrics Plugin for Windows Media Player 12. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Install and Use the VLC Media Player on Ubuntu LinuxInstalling Windows Media Player Plugin for FirefoxFixing When Windows Media Player Library Won’t Let You Add FilesQuickly Preview Songs in Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7Foobar2000 is a Fully Customizable Music Player TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Microsoft’s “How Do I ?” Videos Home Networks – How do they look like & the problems they cause Check Your IMAP Mail Offline In Thunderbird Follow Finder Finds You Twitter Users To Follow Combine MP3 Files Easily QuicklyCode Provides Cheatsheets & Other Programming Stuff

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