digital

Acorn for Mac review

A powerful image editing application, Acorn for Mac can serve as an inexpensive but decent replacement for Adobe Photoshop, if you don't need highly advanced tools and features.

Pros

Has the basics of Photoshop: While at $50 you can't expect Acorn to rival Photoshop, it does support layers, masks, and gradients. It also features vector, text, drawing, erasing, and shape tools, level and curve adjustments, midtone or gamma tweaking, and custom brushes, as well as a built-in brush designer.

Versatile user interface: Similar to Photoshop and Paint.net, the UI can be rearranged and resized to suit your … Read more

Get Pixar's rendering software behind 'Toy Story' absolutely free

Pixar's award-winning, in-house rendering software, RenderMan, will be free starting in August. All you have to do is sign up. The Emeryville studio has announced that it will offer the $500 rendering software for free, provided it is used for noncommercial purposes. The animation giant has also stated that the "free non-commercial RenderMan is exactly the same as the commercial version." This is pretty awesome news for aspiring digital artists.

The free version of RenderMan will be released with its commercial counterpart sometime in August. You can sign up here to get notified once it goes live. … Read more

Get Zoner Photo Studio for free

Update May 16, 2014: This offer has been extended until Sunday, May 18, 2014, thanks to the folks over at Zoner!

For the next48 hours, you can grab a copy of Zoner Photo Studio 15 PRO for free. A popular full-featured suite, Photo Studio is a regular favorite with our editors and audience. Both professional and amateur photographers can greatly benefit from this easy-to-learn image manager and editor. With a plethora of tools, settings, and customizability, Photo Studio is a great alternative to Lightroom. Read more here.

Features:

Advanced photo manager supports searches & sorting for keywords, GPS, and more. … Read more

Sony Sound Forge Pro 11 review

As the latest version of one of the world's leading professional audio solutions, Sound Forge Pro 11 brings workflow enhancements and tweaks, new signal effects plug-ins, one-touch recording, new display options, and restore and repair tools. It's a great piece of software, though somewhat costly.

Pros

Reliable, professional solution: At this level of complexity, Sony Sound Forge Pro 11 looks and feels like a mature product. Its power and stability ensure that all your audio needs will be satisfied to the last detail.

Audio for video: With videography in mind, the new version supports popular video formats like … Read more

Superman + drone + GoPro = awesome POV footage

While we're all waiting around for Superman to hook up with Batman in 2016, we'll have to get our Man of Steel fix elsewhere. So let's saunter over to YouTube and join a couple million other people in watching a low-budget Superman POV adventure cleverly filmed with a drone and a GoPro.

The video features a guy in a classic spandex Superman outfit, complete with tightie reddies, flying through a city to return a lost GoPro camera to its owner. Naturally, it's not that simple. There are bad guys with guns, a cop who is also a fan, a building on fire, and a thrilling mid-air rescue of a damsel in distress.… Read more

Nook Press self-publishing tool expands to global markets

Barnes & Noble's Nook Press, a self-publishing tool for aspiring authors, has expanded its footprint in international markets.

Nook Press is now available in authors and publishers in the UK, France, and Germany, among other European countries, Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday. Nook authors can upload their titles for sale on Nook devices and through Barnes & Noble's e-reader apps. Authors share the revenue with Barnes & Noble, with royalty rates based on list price. All authors are paid in their local currency.

Barnes & Noble launched its self-publishing tool last year to compete with Amazon and … Read more

Google, Viacom settle outmoded YouTube copyright suit

Google and Viacom have settled their seven-year copyright lawsuit, a nearly forgotten fight in which the central conflict has largely become an anachronism.

Viacom, the parent company of such television networks as MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, sued Google shortly after the search giant's acquisition of YouTube. It claimed the sharing platform for user-generated videos hosted thousands of unauthorized clips.

Google and Viacom putting the conflict to rest reflects how much the attitude toward online video has changed for traditional content companies, from one of protective wariness to one of essential opportunity. It also reflects how YouTube, over the … Read more

Poll: What's your favorite audio format?

A couple of weeks ago I asked Audiophiliac readers to vote in my "What's the worst audio format?" poll, so now let's find out what you guys think is the best audio format. As in that poll, sound quality isn't the only criteria -- how you use the format and other factors may come into play.

I love vinyl but play more CDs, mostly because the selection of contemporary music is vastly greater on CD than it is on LP. I listen to Apple Lossless files on my iPod Classic when I'm on the … Read more

Neil Young's PonoMusic hits $2M on Kickstarter in one day

Well, that didn't take long. Less than 24 hours after legendary rocker Neil Young launched a Kickstarter page for his long-talked-about Pono music service, the campaign surpassed its goal of $800,000.

As of this writing, the PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign has more than $2 million in pledges from more than 6,200 backers.

One of the reasons this Kickstarter campaign blew through the roof is that music fans and sound aficionados are eagerly looking to get their hands on the Pono music player, or PonoPlayer. The player has been in development for years and will use the Free Lossless … Read more

Web collects 650K clues in satellite-image search for missing plane

More than 2 million people are searching for clues in satellite imagery that could point to the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the jetliner that disappeared Saturday with 239 people aboard while en route to Beijing.

The digital search effort is taking place on Tomnod, a crowdsourcing platform from DigitalGlobe, which operates five high-resolution commercial satellites and provides imagery to companies like Google. On Monday, Tomnod and DigitalGlobe kicked off a campaign and invited people to volunteer their time to comb through images for signs of the missing Boeing 777 jetliner.

Since then, people have collectively responded to the callRead more