'Star Wars' AT-AT walkers invade Sochi Olympics

Finding the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics rather dull? Add some AT-AT walkers from "Star Wars" shooting lasers at downhill skiers and you have a sport worth watching.

This "Star Wars" - Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics mashup video aired on TV2 Denmark's show "Natholdet med Anders Breinholt" (Night Shift with Anders Breinholt), with humorous results. You don't need to speak the language to appreciate AT-AT's attacking unsuspecting Olympic athletes. … Read more

Review: MixPad Professional is feature loaded but suffers from a lack of direction

MixPad Professional offers a number of powerful tools for creating audio files on your Mac, but it lacks the design and organization that would make it more streamlined. The result is a tool that, for those who master it, offers a solid range of options; but that will be frustrating and messy for most casual users or those who are not used to this type of software.

When you open MixPad Professional, you can start editing tracks immediately. Almost everything you need is onscreen at the start, which is both useful and a bit overwhelming. Dragging and dropping tracks, loading … 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

Get global bragging rights in Getty's mashup contest

Mashup artists love to make and spread videos based on other people's content. But how many of those artists have explicit permission to use source material from archives like the video libraries of Universal Studios and Warner Brothers Film, and the image and music collections of Getty?

From now until February 29, as part of Getty's Mishmash remix competition, anyone can use those content riches to create a mashup and try to win the contest's $5,000 first prize, as well as get the work in front of a group of influential judges.

"Short story, video … Read more

Djay for iPad fulfills your mixmaster fantasies

I'm not a musician, nor am I a DJ. I do fantasize about it, though, hence my obsession with DJ Hero, and my amateur songcrafting in GarageBand. I'd never buy a full-fledged turntable, nor would I know what to do with it. However, I'm a big fan of what's been accomplished on Djay, a new turntable app for the iPad.

Algoriddim's Djay app isn't cheap--at $20, it's in the high end of the App Store economy--but what it does matches what you'd expect from a regular PC/Mac application. In fact, it'… Read more

Mashup mocks SXSWi's 'geo' obsession, gender imbalance

AUSTIN, Texas--It would be very clear to an uninitiated bystander at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) this week that the annual nerdstravaganza is full of people talking about a zillion location-based social-networking applications.

There are the various campaigns and tie-ins for rival check-in services Foursquare and Gowalla, the local-deals promo from iPhone app Whrrl, and the litany of "where is everyone?" mash-ups perhaps best personified by, an uber-aggregator of Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins from Austin as well as just about every other sort of social-media updates coming out of SXSWi. Developed by SimpleGeo, another … Read more

Hands-on with DJ Hero

As the music games genre overflows with add-on packs for Guitar Hero and Rock Band (and too many plastic guitar variations to count), consumers might be feeling a little gun-shy about adding a turntable to the mix. Smartly, however, Activision has countered the skepticism by adding what might be the best video game soundtrack of all time to DJ Hero.

Ninety-three tracks (double the amount on The Beatles: Rock Band) of unique mashups and remixes from some of the world's most renowned DJs are not only great listening, but each one takes two excellent source songs to make music with. That's actually 186 songs floating around somewhere in this game.

Scott: The turntable in DJ Hero almost feels like an afterthought compared with the track selection, but it's solid and thankfully compact, with a free-spinning platter that's extremely smooth. The plastic buttons, crossfader, and other knobs feel a little jiggly, but the rubber feet beneath will make sure the controller stays put on a table.

To make music in DJ Hero, a very similar-looking "notes approaching" interface is repurposed to resemble a spinning record. Three different note-tracks are controlled by pressing colored buttons on the plastic turntable, just like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. You can also scratch the notes by pressing and turning at the same time.

On the left side of the controller, the crossfader is activated during certain zig-zaggy cues in the track, and alternates the two tracks. Above that is a "euphoria" button that is DJ Hero's version of "star power." Beside that is also a knob that either controls pitch effects during some sections, or selects sound effects in another portion of gameplay. As you can imagine, it starts to get complicated. DJ Hero might have one knob too many, but it adds to the feel of deck manipulation, and keeps your hands pretty busy. The end result--awesome hip-hop--is worth the effort.

Months ago, we were skeptical about DJ Hero--we worried that it was shameless music game exploitation. We were wrong. The effort has been exceptional, and that level of incredible musical talent should earn DJ Hero serious consideration this fall, perhaps even over the latest Rock Band and Guitar Hero entries.

Jeff: The real star of DJ Hero is without a doubt the music. The game boasts 93 mashup tracks that are sure to appeal to music tastes of all kinds with some of the most renowned DJs in the business lending their talents to the game.

So how does it play? DJ Hero is an interesting beast as its wireless turntable controller must be played on flat surface. We found success laying it on an ottoman while sitting on a couch behind it. For the most part, the tapping, crossfading, and scratching works, but you may have a problem with the button closest to the center of the faux record. Since it's anchored so closely to the center, it's tougher to scratch than the outer buttons. Regardless of how you orientate the controller, that last button may give you a problem.

The crossfader is also tough to master as its center position is not as easy to detect as you might think. During songs you'll have to switch it left and right, but we wish the center was more noticeable just by feeling its position--a definitive notch here would have helped.

DJ Hero may have less of an appeal to the more mainstream Guitar Hero franchise fan; it's a different demographic that this game is trying to reach. That combined with the intimidation of finding room for yet another plastic accessory and its $120 price tag may turn off prospective buyers.

Dan: We've spoken before about the threat of guitar game fatigue, with semiannual installments of music games vying for consumer's increasingly stretched dollars. Successfully injecting a little new life into the genre, DJ Hero is the biggest sea change in music games since the addition of drum kits. … Read more

The 404 428: Where we prune the hedges of many small villages

What happens when one extremely popular tech TV show with an attractive female host blatantly takes the slogan of a much lesser known Internet radio show with three mildly humorous, if not a bit awkward, post-pubescent manboys? You're about to find out on today's episode of The 404, where Attack of the Show's GadgetPr0n stole our tagline, "High Tech, Low Brow." Now, I'm a little unwilling to compromise my relationship with Olivia Munn, the , but Jeff and Wilson are heated and propose an all-out battle for the right to the slogan!

The new simulated reality video game DJ Hero keeps on adding musicians to the growing list of special guests- this time, they just recently announced a collaboration with Daft Punk. The game will come out on October 30th, but we're pretty psyched to mash-up tracks from those French Robots. Well, Jeff and I are- Wilson is still confused about how the game works and why people listen to music in the first place.

Which brings us to a huge Calls From the Public- we got so many voicemails over our three-day weekend that we have to take the entire second half of the show just to play them all. Of course, we have to re-visit the dreadful washing machine/computer hypothetical that got drummed up on Thursday's show. In a world where humans are enslaved by free-thinking computers, the man atop the washing machine reigns supreme King. This fall, look out for Wilson G. Tang break-out role in...THE CLEANER.

EPISODE 428 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Flickr trends highlighted via Google-based app

What do you do when you can use the Internet to data-mine a collection of billions of photos?

Find out whether cats are more popular than dogs, of course. Or whether good outdoes evil. Or the Yankees beat the Mets.

The FlickrTrends application takes advantage first of the API (application programming interface) at Yahoo's photo-sharing site, Flickr, which can show how many photos have been tagged with a particular word over a period of time. Second, it uses Google App Engine to present the relative popularity of two tags in chart form to show what's waxing and waning. … Read more

Princess Zelda spits hot fire in debut album, 'Ocarina of Rhyme'

If you enjoyed Eric Franklin's post on 8-bit NES-style hip-hop, you'll definitely enjoy Team Teamwork's "The Ocarina of Rhyme." It's a mix tape of mashups that combines hip-hop tracks with the score to the Zelda game Ocarina of Time.

Team Teamwork produced the mix, which features unique tracks by Spank Rock, Common, Aesop Rock, Clipse, and my personal pick: MF Doom. Most of the songs fit well with the background score; for example, in "Fumbling Over Words," artist Edan Portnoy's intensity melds seamlessly into the rumblings of the "Battle" … Read more