Get more than a media player with RealPlayer

We have to admit that it had been years since we used RealPlayer, and we weren't quite sure what to expect from this version. Nor were we particularly excited about trying it out; we have a media player already, thank you, and what could RealPlayer possibly do that we hadn't already seen before? Quite a lot, it turns out. In addition to managing and playing your media, it can also download and convert videos, keep certain content private, and more.

RealPlayer has a sleek and intuitive interface that opened with a page touting its latest features. After a … Read more

Three-deal Thursday: 25-cent Android apps, any song for a nickel, and a free defragger

Being a cheapskate can get expensive. If you're anything like me, you're intimately acquainted with the phrase, "too good a deal to pass up." And so you end up spending a lot in order to save a lot. Oh, the cruel irony.

Today, I'm going help you get a lot without spending a lot. I've rounded up three pretty sweet deals, and the most you'll pay for any of them is two bits. (That's 25 cents for those of you not familiar with old-timey vernacular.)

1. 25-cent Android apps.

To help celebrate … Read more

Transfer music from your iPod to your computer

Imagine you just got a shiny new Mac computer, and you'd like to transfer all your music from your MP3 player to it. Unfortunately, iTunes can't do that, but that is where Senuti comes into the picture. The application's simple interface will handle the process and copy your files within minutes.

While Senuti's basic interface is easy enough to follow, it's a good idea to take a few minutes to read the online Getting Started guide to make sure you don't inadvertently erase your iPod's library. For the record, selecting "Prevent auto-syncing … Read more

iPod Touch vs. iPod Nano: Apple's 2012 iPods compared

Like clockwork, Apple never fails to refresh its iPod lineup every fall. In recent years, though, one can't help but notice that the ritualized iPod unveiling has lost some of its gusto compared with the fanfare surrounding the iPhone and iPad.

Still, Apple remains the top manufacturer of portable media players. Those of us old enough to remember the "iPod wars" that occurred nearly a decade ago can attest to the fact that Apple's tenacity in making the world's most popular MP3 player laid the groundwork for the success of the iPhone (pour one out for the Zune, friends). Apple may have moved on to bigger, better products, but maintaining its dominance in the diminishing world of MP3 players is just good housekeeping.

And so, the 2012 Apple iPod lineup offers a mix of new and old.… Read more

Download and convert YouTube videos with Solid YouTube Downloader

Solid YouTube Downloader differs from nearly every YouTube downloader we've tried in one significant way: you have to pay for it. Actually, two ways: almost all the others are free, and frankly it shows. Solid proved superior in performance and looks compared to the vast majority of free YouTube downloaders, which are usually little more than glorified ad pop-ups with some simple embedded code. With batch downloading and converting, including videos from your files and DVDs, Solid can make your life easier. You can try it and see for yourself for 30 days, though the free trial version limits … Read more

What the iPhone 5 event means for iPod

I think it's fair to say that the iPod is the most important product Apple ever made. It marked the tipping point between Apple's history as a computer manufacturer and its shift toward mobile consumer electronics. Without it, there would be no iTunes, no iPhone, no iPad -- none of the things people think of when they think of Apple today.

Which is not to say that the iPod is still an important part of Apple's bottom line. It could ax the iPod's whole division and still make more money from the iPhone and iPad than … Read more

Schedule your time easily

The Cool Timer is free alarm clock software that allows you to set up a countdown timer on your desktop down to the minute and second you want. It is an easy and cool way to keep track of your tasks and scheduling.

The interface is very easy to understand and definitely user friendly. There are only a few feature buttons like Start Timer, Pause Timer and Stop Timer, which are all you really need to get started. There doesn't seem to be any limit on how many hours you can set the timer for. Our testing didn't … Read more

Get a $5 Amazon MP3 credit for free

What price freedom -- I mean, freebie?

Suppose, for example, I told you you get could five bucks' worth of music free of charge, but you'd have to fork over a bit of time and personal info. Sound like a fair trade?

Here's the deal: Scott Products (makers of Scott paper towels, toilet paper, and whatnot) is offering a $5 Amazon MP3 credit when you sign up for Scott Shared Values, which is basically the company's coupon/reward service.

As these things go, it's actually pretty innocuous. Just supply your name, date of birth, gender, ZIP … Read more

How to ensure tracks play in sequence in iTunes

A previous post, Six tips for managing your iTunes library, described how to use iTunes' "Part of a gapless album" option to ensure related tracks that iTunes treats as separate files always play in their intended sequence.

As several commenters pointed out, the tip doesn't work as I described. The gapless option functions only when the two sequential album tracks are played in the order they were imported to iTunes.

The fact is, once album tracks are added to your iTunes library as separate files, it's easy for them to lose their association as contiguous album … Read more

Free your music with All2MP3 for Mac

All2MP3 is a free application for Mac computers, with a simplistic interface, designed to do one thing: convert your audio files into MP3 files. It doesn't require a help file -- All2MP3 is ready to use from the moment you launch the app, but we did find that it wouldn't convert all file types.

The application's interface is as simple as its installation: just a simple drag-and-drop window, and an Add button that can be used to browse files. All2MP3 supports a wide variety of audio formats, such as MPC, APE, WV, Flac, OGG, WMA, AIFF, WAV, … Read more