Camfrog: First Look

If you're a social creature, Camfrog is a megapopular internationally-trafficked chat site that seamlessly integrates video and text chat, the Web 2.0 version of the old "party lines" that people used to call in to.

The schmoozing features include regular quizzes, as well as guitar instruction and deaf-specific chats, among others. Watch this First Look at Camfrog video to see if it's your kind of party. {clear: both;} ... Read More »

Tags: First Look , Chat

CrossLoop beta adds file transfers to its screen sharing

CrossLoop beta adds file transfers to its screen sharing

I've been a big fan of the free screen-sharing software CrossLoop ever since I originally tried it back in November 2006. Basically, CrossLoop lets any two users share a desktop. One PC "hosts" the CrossLoop session and the other "joins." The computer joined to the host can see and control everything on the host PC's desktop. CrossLoop is still in beta release, but I think it's an excellent no-hassle solution for low-budget tech support.

I recently gained access to a... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , file sharing

Become an MP3 master with Audacity

With professional music software selling for hundreds of dollars, finding a comparable freeware program is no small potatoes. Audacity is an impressive open-source audio editor that has upped its own ante in the new beta version, Audacity 1.3. If you're attuned to the basics of fading and trimming, this guide urges you on the next step of your journey, mastering MP3 files for Web publishing, cell phone ringtones, and podcasts. Here are a few pointers.

If you haven't yet, download the... Read More »

Tags: music , audio , editor

Audacity's new beta? Sounds good.

Audacity's follow-up to its cult-classic audio editor, Audacity 1.3, warrants the attention of amateur and "prosumer" music editors. Audacity 1.3 adds minor (though useful) editing effects, and greases the wheels with some time-saving functionality. Of Audacity's recently integrated features, the new repair tool, improved equalizer, and souped-up selection bar will have the biggest impact on track masters.

The repair effect bridges two sections of a track over a minor audio irregularity, such as a distortion spike. Docked at the bottom... Read More »

Search me

There are essentially two ways to look at Windows Desktop Search. On the optimistic side, it's Microsoft's attempt to port some of Vista's search functionality to older Windows XP and 2000 systems. If you're more of a glass-half-empty type, though, it's more like Microsoft's half-hearted attempt to compete with other indexing desktop-search programs.

You can opt out of indexing your hard drive during installation, a slow and tedious process best done while away from your machine, but why would you?... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Favorite stream rippers

Favorite stream rippers

When RealPlayer launched back in 1995, it was mostly used to provide consumers with streaming audio and video content without giving them a local copy. Its feature set has grown considerably in recent years, but it's still surprising to see a new RealPlayer 11 beta version that lets users record YouTube videos and Internet radio directly to their hard drives.

Recording streaming media is nothing new, of course. Open-source app Streamripper32 has been letting users record Shoutcast radio... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Azureus: First Look

From XML torrent options to IP filters, firewall tests to UPnP plug-ins, Azureus leads the way in making the torrent experience as customizable as possible. It's got enough flexibility to appeal to advanced users, but does it make it too hard for beginners to get in on the torrent action?

Watch this First Look at Azureus video to find out, and let us know your favorite torrent client in the comments below. {clear: both;} ... Read More »

Tags: First Look , Windows software , torrent , file sharing

Share and organize vacation photos in a snap

Each time I go shutter-happy, I'm reminded of digital photography's beautiful myth. Yes, impressive megapixel loads deliver in-your-face resolution that elevates photos from the usual point-and-shoot quality. However, there's that time-sucking task of cropping, editing, captioning, and distributing the sprawling photo collection, and those are things even the fanciest camera on the market won't do.

The time and effort it takes to process a large batch of photos can be off-putting, but here are a few media-organization tools from the CNET... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , Picasa

Stream video to your Vista desktop

AOL continues to try to add some new polish to its image with the Video Gadget for the Windows Vista sidebar, exclusively (well, for today) on CNET

The gadget is simple in concept and more elegant than I expected in execution. It streams video content directly to your desktop through the sidebar dock. A single click undocks it and blows it up to a more useful size. The layout is pleasantly intuitive and surprisingly uncluttered given how much the... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Gain perspective with mobile maps and GPS

Gain perspective with mobile maps and GPS

Getting lost isn't for everyone. While some people thrill from the challenge of navigating unknown geographies, the non-orienteering among us pout, or worse, panic. Vacations, with their endless opportunity to discover new territories, tend to spark the maddening frustration of getting, and staying, lost.

Take these mobile apps with you this extended Fourth of July weekend, or on any vacation, for seeking and finding your current location and future destination.

Loki for Firefox and Loki for Internet Explorer are browser... Read More »

Tags: Windows Mobile , mobile , Windows software , maps