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Review: Convert media files faster with Media Buddy's GPU acceleration

Ramka's Media Buddy offers several advantages over freeware media converters, especially if your PC has a CUDA-capable NVIDIA graphics card. Media Buddy can utilize your GPU's processing power for super-fast file conversion, especially with large files and high-quality formats. But ATi isn't left out of the mix, either: Media Buddy is also optimized to take advantage of your ATi card's codes, or your Intel CPU's built-in graphics' processing power. Media Buddy handles a wide range of audio and video formats, including HD formats. It also burns CDs and DVDs. Media Buddy is free to try, … Read more

How to improve sound quality in iTunes

While there are a number of media players and audio programs that can be used to play music through your Mac, iTunes being a library and content manager as well as a player that comes preinstalled on Mac systems makes it the most popular option out there. The program offers simple controls for sorting through music, generating playlists, and playing your music, but in addition there are some settings that can be used to greatly improve sound quality during playback.

The first of these is the Sound Enhancer setting in the iTunes preferences, which is activated by going to the … Read more

The 404 1,139: Where we nap our way to the top (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Neil Young introduces his own Pono audio system, could rival Apple.

- Stop showing me your stupid Internet face.

- Top face pullers gurning for the UK title.

- Life-sized pictures of Google Street View screenshots printed and wheatpasted IRL.

- Nerdy art uses computer messages to poke fun.

- If you have time tomorrow, check out Field Trip Day for Android users across the country.

- Connect with Ty Pendlebury on Twitter.

Bathroom break video: People acting irrationally to a telephone.… 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

How to make iTunes sound better

Apple's iTunes software takes a lot of criticism from CNET readers. It's a gigantic memory hog of a program that attempts to do everything from downloading iBooks (e-books) to synchronizing apps with your iPad. For a piece of software named for its music playback capability, that feature seems to be a diminishing part of iTunes' appeal.

But groan all you want, iTunes is still one of the most popular ways to play music on your computer.

If you're one of the millions who get your daily music fix through Apple's ubiquitous software, here are a few … Read more

iTunes Match vs. Amazon Cloud Player: What's the better option?

With Amazon's recently updated Cloud Player service, music fans now have one more way to store and stream their tunes from the cloud. It bears many similarities to Apple's iTunes Match, but after playing around with both services I can attest to some clear differences, as well. If you're looking for some guidance on which service is a better fit for your music collection, you've come to the right place.

iTunes Match Cloud Player Free option n/a 250 songs, scan & match, purchases do not count against total Paid option $24.99/yr, scan & … Read more

Apple reportedly cooking up new audio file format

Apple may be tuning up a new streaming-audio format that handle varying degrees of quality.

Citing an anonymous source, U.K. news site The Guardian reported yesterday that the format would offer "adaptive streaming" to iCloud users, automatically choosing between low-quality and high-quality sound based on the bandwidth and amount of local storage.

Users with lots of bandwidth could listen to a studio-quality recording, while those with minimal bandwidth would get more standard digital quality.

The source reportedly told The Guardian that Apple has reached out to a music studio in London to create audio files to tap … Read more

Leaner, less power-hungry PS3 debuts in Japan

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan today revealed a lighter, more power-efficient PlayStation 3 set for release later this month. The updated 320GB PS3 console, CECH-3000B (34,980 yen, $436), features several improvements over its predecessor CECH-2500B.

Sony has tweaked the refreshed version of the PS3 to be a little more "green;" power consumption is now rated at 200W, which is a 30W reduction from the previous model. For reference, previous configurations of the PS3 slim used up to 80W at peak load and 67W when idle.

Nearly a pound has been shed in this hardware revision, as the CECH-3000B is 5.7 pounds compared to the 6.6 pound CECH-2500B. Some minor visual changes have also been made to the power and eject buttons, according to Joystiq. All of the standard included accessories remain the same in this new package, which includes a Dualshock 3 controller, USB cable, AV cable, and power cord. Height, width, and depth are unchanged. … Read more

Your dad wants to fight for the right to paaaarty!

Forget the tools and ties for dear old Dad this Father's Day. What he really wants is the Beastie Boys' new tunes on vinyl--or so the message goes from a new video uploaded to YouTube by the band on June 15.

Because of an Internet leak of the Beastie Boys' "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two" album, the band was forced to stream the entire thing (the explicit version), on its Web site before the actual June release date. By the end of April, the CDs and digital downloads of the album were (and are) made available on iTunes, Amazon, and Best Buy.

The focus for this new video, however, is on the sale of the vinyl format, which Mike D. says "...will be slightly different than the other formats. But please know that our corps of engineers and experts have been on this, making sure the wait is worth it and that I can personally tell you that in my humble opinion, the test pressing of the vinyl sounded banging on my home hi fi." … Read more

Surround sound on the iPhone

3D Music Player Pro gives you some interesting options for enriching the sound of your music, and it does a pretty good job with only a few flaws. Upon launch, use the plus-sign button in the upper left to add a couple of songs from your music library and test the various effects. Once they're queued up, you can play a song and then touch the 3D Sound button to hear the basic audio enhancements in the app. We noticed a difference immediately in our testing, with the app adding a much fuller and warmer sound to our music.… Read more