Review: Mix, record, and broadcast like a pro with Virtual DJ Free

Atomix Productions' Virtual DJ Free not only mixes and mashes beats from a classic two-deck console, but also it serves as audio central for your system since it also records audio and video, burns discs, and even broadcasts online using a radio server or your own PC as a client-limited server. A survivor, Virtual DJ has been making music for millions of users for more than a decade. The latest version adds new controllers and full compatibility with Windows 8 multitouch surfaces. And it's still free.

Like similar tools, Virtual DJ takes its functional and style cues from the … Read more

Hit all the right notes with Virtual DJ

Gone are the days when you had to haul expensive, large equipment to a wedding or party to crank out the tunes. Now that music has gone digital, you just need your computer and an expansive MP3 playlist. And with Virtual DJ, you can mix and scratch your tunes like a professional to be the life of the party.

Now, we don't have a lot of experience with DJ software, but we think it speaks to Virtual DJ's smart design that we were able to immediately drag and drop a track to play. The program immediately pulled our … Read more

Count your beats with BPM Counter

DJs have always used "digital technology" to time the beats per minute (BPM) of a song; they tapped it out with their fingers on the desktop while timing the beat with a stopwatch or wristwatch or by saying, "One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand." Was there a better way? Sure, but it cost thousands of dollars. Today, better tools are available, and they're free. One such tool is AbyssMedia's BPM Counter. It detects, counts, and displays the beats per minute of your MP3s and WAVs. It can analyze single tunes or … Read more

Mash up video clips with effects and music

VJay, from the makers of DJay for iPhone, is mixing software for videos much like a DJ setup, but instead you'll record, mix, and add audio and effects to create cool-looking video mashups.

The interface is sleek-looking and fairly easy to use with a little bit of digging around. It is set up with video screens on the bottom on both sides, then the main viewing window up top. On each side you can touch a button to add a video source and work with playback and loop controls. You also have a button that brings up tools for … Read more

Open-source BPM startup BonitaSoft raises $11 million

A recent Gartner survey found that business process management spending will increase significantly this year, with 54 percent of medium and large companies planning a 5 percent increase or more in their BPM spending this year and 20 percent of companies planning to up their BPM spending by at least 10 percent.

This week, venture-backed startup BonitaSoft announced a new $11 million round of financing to take advantage of the growth in the market.

Gartner explained the market growth by pointing to increased interest in software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, which offer a cheaper entry point, and a shift toward funding BPM … Read more

Auto-match beats in your mixes

Minimash is a DJ app that automatically matches beats from songs in your iTunes library, but it doesn't always produce great results. Immediately upon launching Minimash, you'll notice a unique artistic style to the interface. The hand-drawn-looking controls and bright colors are easy on the eyes, but it's difficult to know immediately what each control does. Fortunately, you can touch an information button that explains how to use each control and get your music up and running quickly.

The app has you start by "Preparing" your tracks--Minimash runs an analysis algorithm to scan each track'… Read more

Midsize firms easing through economic downturn

A recently released report from IBM (PDF) shows that midsize businesses (100-1,000 employees) are taking advantage of technology better than both their larger and smaller peers to grow during lean economic times.

According to the report, as economies around the world continue their recovery, midsize companies have been the engines driving economic growth--reacting to a "new normal" in terms of spending and growth.

In previous periods of global economic difficulty midsize companies have struggled, often because they have had less capital available to invest in new products and also because big businesses have tended to exploit their … Read more

French start-up bringing open-source BPM to U.S.

A relatively new French open-source start-up is set to soon make landfall in the U.S.--BonitaSoft, a maker of open-source business process management (BPM) software. BonitaSoft aims to provide an open-source alternative to proprietary suites from the likes of IBM, Oracle, and SAP that dominate the BPM market. (Other French open-source start-ups in the U.S. market include Talend and eXo.)

The company is built around the open-source Bonita project, first developed in 2001 at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA). The development team was then hired by French software giant Bull … Read more

IBM closes lackluster M&A year with buying spree

IBM decided to close 2009 with a bang by acquiring Lombardi, a privately held provider of business process management (BPM) software. Big Blue racked up a number of acquisitions this year including: data discovery software firm Exeros, database security firm Guardium, security provider Ounce Labs, and analytics provider SPSS.

Lombardi marks IBM's 90th acquisition since 2003. That's a lot of companies to digest.

With Lombardi, IBM strengthens its presence in BPM by effectively capturing the customers it doesn't already have. IBM currently has more than 5,000 BPM customers in about 30 countries and growing.

According to Lombardi CEO Rod Favaron, the company has about 300 enterprise-level customers with a high percentage shared with IBM. Lombardi has a shockingly impressive customer list, including Allianz Group, Aflac, Barlays Global Investors, Dell, FETAC, Ford Motor, Hasbro, ING Direct, Intel, Maritz Travel, National, Bank of Canada, National Institute of Health, Safety-Kleen, T-Mobile, UCLH, and several governmental agencies.

It's generally been a quiet year for technology merger and acquisition deals with the 2009 value total for tech M&A activity reaching $142 billion, according to recent data from technology investment research firm The 451 Group. To provide context, the second quarter of 2008 alone saw $173 billion in tech M&A deals. The median deal size in 2009 was $40 million, contrasted with a median of $43 million in 2008 and $100 million in 2007.

From January to November 2009 there were only 31 technology transactions valued at $1 billion or more, and The 451 Group reports that all of the high-multiple deals took place in the second half of 2009, resulting in M&A spending running 50 percent higher than in the first two quarters. Notable deals include Dell's purchase of Perot Systems and Cisco Systems' pair of $3 billion acquisitions in October. … Read more

IBM to buy enterprise software maker Lombardi

IBM is making yet another acquisition, this one a leading provider of business process management software.

Big Blue announced on Wednesday its intention to purchase Lombardi, a privately-held firm that sells business process management (BPM) software and services. BPM is designed to help companies cut costs and improve efficiency by automating and integrating key business processes. This encompasses such areas as product planning, supply chain, product procurement, human resources, and IT services.

Market research firm IDC forecasts that the market for BPM software will reach $3 billion by 2013, up from $1.7 billion this year--a compounded annual growth rate … Read more