VLC Media Player review

VLC Media Player is an open-source application that gives you the ability to play media from your computer or a disk, or to stream it from the Web. Have your favorite videos playing in a snap through this app's intuitive interface.


Wiki help: For just about any process you want to carry out with this software, you'll find a detailed Wiki with step-by-step instructions. All of these documents have been created and edited by other users, so they're surprisingly detailed and complete.

Intuitive controls: For all basic functions, this medial player is accessible to users of … Read more

Poll: What's the worst audio format?

Moving forward from the earliest days of Edison cylinders in the late 1880s, there is a long list of consumer audio formats that garnered popular support, while many others disappeared without a trace. The 78 RPM record, 45 single, and LP all enjoyed mass acceptance. Reel-to reel tape never took off, but 4- and 8-track cartridges had a good run, then the cassette hit the big time. A higher-quality analog cassette format, the Elcasette, arrived with much fanfare yet never caught on. Later, the two consumer digital tape formats, DAT and DCC, fizzled. The CD almost killed the LP in … Read more

MP4 to MP3 Converter review

MP4 to MP3 Converter is fine when it works; that just doesn't happen nearly as often as you'd like. The program falls victim to random crashes more often than it actually converts your files to a new format. That, the limited file support, and the frequent add-ons during the install make this program a tough sell.

This program takes MP4 video files and turns them into listenable MP3 audio files. That is, when it works. The program crashed more than half of the times we tested it, usually any time we tried to use a file that was … Read more

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter Studio review

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter Studio is a quick music downloader with just enough features to make the grade. It will let you easily fill your hard drive with tunes you find on YouTube, but it would be nice if it let you grab the video with the audio. If you don't need that from your YouTube downloader, this app will fit most needs.

This program lets you grab videos right from YouTube and download them to your computer. Since it only grabs the audio from the videos, it works remarkably quickly; no download took more than a minute … Read more

Free WMA to MP3 review

Free WMA to MP3 is a fine converter, if all you need is to change over your WMA files. Sadly, most people will want a converter with more format support, and those aren't terribly difficult to find. This app does make up for that obvious lack of support with quality performance, though.

This app takes WMAs -- and only WMAs -- and turns them into MP3s or WAV files. You can't input any other file type, meaning you have to keep the original handy if you ever want the file to go back to its original format. There … Read more

An e-cigarette packed with Bluetooth? Talk to the hand

The scenario is all too typical -- you're walking down the street puffing on an e-cigarette, just wishing you could use the little metal nicotine stick to make a phone call... How handy would that be?

Well, dreams can come true.

A company called Supersmoker has come up with an e-cigarette it claims is the world's first to double as a Bluetooth headset and device that streams MP3s from a smartphone. That's right, a musical cell phone cigarette.

"Never seen before! An electronic cigarette with Bluetooth functionality," the company writes on its Web site. "… Read more

The surprising story of Sony's first Walkman

The Walkman is -- quite rightly -- held up as one of history's most groundbreaking gadgets. But did you know that Sony's greatest invention was actually a barely-modified version of an existing product?

You do now! Hit play to see "Adventures in Tech" explain the exciting and surprising origins of the chunky Walkman, with the aid of the original TPS-L2, the sequel WM2 and the Pressman prequel that started it all.

An '80s icon, the Walkman made Sony the undisputed king of portable music (well, until someone had to come along and ruin everything). It's … Read more

Review: MP3 Trimmer for Mac allows you to edit and cut your MP3 files quickly

MP3 Trimmer for Mac allows you to make substantial edits to an MP3 file without the need for re-encoding, all in a single, easy-to-use interface. The result is a useful app for anyone that frequently edits, cuts, or snips sections from MP3 tracks for video or audio production. While the interface is minimal, the app runs smoothly and provides a full trial experience. It offers numerous tools that are easily accessible and we found it to be fast and effective.

After installation of the app, you'll be forced to wait for a few seconds for it to load to … Read more

Review: Convert YouTube to MP3 is the name and the game of this freeware

Convert YouTube to MP3 applies to the developer, this freeware, and its function; namely, to convert audio tracks from YouTube videos into MP3s you can play anywhere. It can process batches and save files in several high-quality formats like AAC and Ogg Vorbis. It's easy to use, but it proved a little clunky, too, and its installer includes a few too many "extras." Although you can decline them, these optional downloads might trigger your security software, as happened with ours.

After several attempts, we were able to install Convert YouTube to MP3. The program's user interface … Read more

Winamp look lives on in Spotify's Spotiamp tribute app

The Winamp media player is facing extinction -- or maybe not -- but the software's style lives on at least for now in a tribute app from Spotify called Spotiamp

Version 0.1 of the software brings what is now a retro look to Spotify's music-streaming service, at least for Windows users who have a premium Spotify account. According to the company:

Spotiamp is a Windows program that lets you login to your Spotify account and play your playlists. You can also search for tracks to play, and there's a radio feature. Spotiamp borrows the design of … Read more