multimedia

VLC Media Player review

VLC Media Player is an open-source program that enables you to play all kinds of media files on your Windows computer. Its intuitive interface provides access for users of all experience levels to a whole host of features, and it even includes a nice set of editing tools.

Pros

Versatility and accessibility: You'll quickly find what you're looking for when you first open this program. Many file types are supported, and you can find all kinds of tips and insight provided by other users in the Help forums. Beginners will have no trouble accessing the basic features of … Read more

Evernote review

Evernote is a powerful note-taking program that lets you sync information across all of your devices, so you can take a note on the go and access it anywhere. You can add all kinds of notes, images, and just about anything else you want to save, and then share it with friends or refer back to it later.

Pros

Great interface: Whether you're updating your shopping list or setting a reminder about a meeting, you'll find your way smoothly through this app's intuitive interface. Everything is exactly where you expect it to be, and you can also … Read more

Realtek High Definition Audio Codec review

Realtek's free High Definition Audio Codec pack enables stereo digital audio at resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio. Though it's essentially a package of drivers, it installs like a Windows program and may require a reboot. Realtek HD Audio Codec is available in separate downloads for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Vista, 7, and 8 systems with Realtek controllers.

Pros

Audiophile-quality digital audio: No matter the source, you'll get super-high-quality digital audio. We streamed audio at up to 320kbs from Spotify and other sources. Even MP3s sounded better.

Dolby HT4: Dolby … Read more

JVC announces app mirroring receivers for iPhone 5, MHL-based Androids

Today, JVC Mobile Entertainment released a slew of in-dash multimedia receivers to its car audio product line-up, two of which will support display mirroring for both iPhone 5 and MHL-based Android smartphones.

MHL (or Mobile High Definition Link) allows users of 7-inch KW-V50BT and the 6.1-inch KW-V30BT multimedia receivers to connect one of more than 120 compatible Android smartphones and devices to mirror and control apps on the dashboard via these receivers' HDMI connections. Likewise, users of Apple's iPhone 5 can also mirror and control their apps via the Apple Lightning Digital AV adapter (which you'll have … Read more

Storify is fittingly acquired by Livefyre social curation platform

Livefyre's acquisition of Storify seems to make sense -- it's the marriage of a social storytelling tool to a social curation platform. The two companies announced their union on Monday.

Although not a household name, Livefyre lets millions of users share, tweet, and post news stories they see on the Web. The company's more than 400 customers include CNET's parent company, CBS, and dozens of other news sites such as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Fox News. Brands including American Idol, Sony PlayStation, and Nascar use the service.

Storify is a tool … Read more

Review: Edit and manage large photo collections with ACDSee 16

ACDSee 16 is the latest version of this pro-class photo editor and collection manager. It's compatible with previous ACD Systems releases and comes with a database upgrade wizard. ACDSee 16 continues to emphasize ease of use and customer service. It still makes it easy to post and share images online, but it adds new features like the Info Palette, which collects and displays image data in one convenient spot; the Reverse Geocode feature for adding geotags; the Lens Blur tool for creating realistic bokeh effects; and Tilt-Shift for transforming images into simulated miniature scale models. Extras include slideshow, wallpaper, … Read more

Review: Extract your files with MultiExtractor

If MultiExtractor's file-extracting capabilities (and stiff price) are more than the average user needs, it could be the answer to many pro user's needs. MultiExtractor extracts icon, image, audio, video, texture, and similar files, including zipped, hidden, and encrypted files, from deep inside a wide range of programs, drivers, and other software resources. You merely need to choose a file or directory and let MultiExtractor comb it for each type of file you're after. MultiExtractor displays results in a variety of customizable views so you can be sure you've hit the target. It also decompresses files … Read more

Review: SMPlayer mixes style with robust features and plenty of format support

SMPlayer gives you all of the playback support of more popular downloads with an extra touch of style. It has a sleek menu that's loaded with features and some really cool playback options. Setup isn't the easiest thing in the world, but the robust download is worth the time you have to put into it.

As you might expect, this is a bigger download that will take a minute or two on slower connections. The app's installation will try to swap your home page and search through Bing if you're not careful, too. Once you've … Read more

Get Wondershare DVD Slideshow Builder (Win) for free

This is an update of a deal I wrote about last year.

Mother's Day is about six weeks away, leaving you ample time to do something really special. Forget the flowers, the chocolates, and all the usual stuff; this time, give her something personal, something unique, something homemade.

For example, you know all those photos in Mom's phone, the ones she's been collecting for years but never bothers to download or print? Why not turn them into a slideshow, one you can burn to a DVD and show during the Mother's Day festivities?

Ah, right, you … Read more

Sling Media sues Belkin, Monsoon for patent infringement

LAS VEGAS--A new front opened Monday in the fight to own place-shifting devices when Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, filed a lawsuit against two of its rivals that accuses them of patent infringement.

Sling, maker of the Slingbox devices that allows users to watch and control their home television from anywhere, filed suit against competitors Belkin International and Monsoon Multimedia. Both are California companies that make devices that compete with the Slingbox at lower prices -- Belkin's @TV and Monsoon's Vulkano.

The announcement comes on the same day Dish Network, a key technology partner of EchoStar, announced an expanded versionRead more