The Download Blog

Star Apps: Daniel Ash

Star Apps: Daniel Ash

Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Tones on Tail) prefers not to revisit his band years, but that doesn't mean he's no longer in love with much of the material he and his bandmates produced. So much so that for his new album, "Stripped," he reimagines 12 of his favorite classic tracks in a contemporary context. I chatted with Ash about why he prefers disco to goth when DJing, CDs to Serato, and YouTube to Facebook.

How long have you been DJing? I've been doing it for about 20 years. I started off in a … Read more

5 frightening indie games

5 frightening indie games

This has been a banner year for big-budget horror games: Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima's widely acclaimed Silent Hills P.T. Demo, Resident Evil veteran Shinji Mikami's The Evil Within, Ridley Scott's Alien: Isolation. But indie shops are on the scream team, too -- check out our picks for the top 5 most terrifying of 2014.

Lurking ( WindowsMac)

In Lurking, you must escape an asylum and avoid capture by the twisted residents, using only your hearing and wits. You must rely on echolocation, each sound you make revealing more of the world you're … Read more

Star Apps: Yelle

Star Apps: Yelle

Yelle singer Julie Budet calls the production of the band's third album completely crazy, from changes in musical direction and recording studios to getting to work with producer Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, and Britney Spears). There was so much crazy that Yelle decided to title its third album "Complètement Fou." The French-language release is best appreciated with the Yelle Translator app, which toggles between French and English lyrics. I chatted with Julie Budet about the musically diverse album and the tour, working with Dr. Luke, being buried in blue popcorn, whether she'll … Read more

Star Apps: The Madden Brothers

Star Apps: The Madden Brothers

Maryland-born brothers Benji and Joel Madden always dreamed of making it in California. After 14 years of pop-punk success in Good Charlotte and 10 years as California residents, the two are now performing as The Madden Brothers, and they're sending fans a postcard that reads "We made it!" in the form of new album "Greetings From California." I chatted with Benji Madden, who will soon tour with his brother.

You shocked a lot of people recently when you pulled the plug on Good Charlotte. It freaked a lot of people out when we said we … Read more

9 apps that enhance iOS 8's camera

9 apps that enhance iOS 8's camera

iOS 8 gave the iPhone's camera app a major upgrade: automatic straightening and cropping, one-touch light and color adjustments, built-in filters and editing tools, time-lapse videos, and the iCloud Photo Library, among other improvements. But for iPhotographers who want more manual control over their photos, sharing options, and storage, here are our nine picks for photo apps that play well with iOS 8.

More features for control freaks

VSCO Cam

When you're out and about, you don't want miss an important shot because you're searching through a cluttered app. VSCO Cam has a streamlined, minimal interface … Read more

Star Apps: Women of 'The Wonder Years'

Star Apps: Women of 'The Wonder Years'

In the late '80s, "The Wonder Years" broke ground as a single-camera comedy with no laugh track, but the show endures because of its warm, human storylines. Fans can now rewatch the series in "The Wonder Years: Complete Series" box set, a metal locker that includes bonus DVD features and a yearbook with behind-the-scenes photos signed by the cast. I chatted with Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper), Olivia d'Abo (Karen Arnold), and Alley Mills (Norma Arnold) about why the iconic series still instills wonder.

Alley, since the series was set in the '60s, when you were … Read more

7 must-have apps for iPad

7 must-have apps for iPad

Just one month after announcing new iPhones and watches, Apple will unveil another set of new products on Thursday. While nothing is official yet, we're anticipating next-generation iPads and Macs, the final release of Yosemite OS, and perhaps an Apple TV update. For the iPad, there are rumors of fingerprint sensors and a new color. Whether or not you're ready for a tablet upgrade, our seven app picks will enhance your iPad experience.

Snapseed

This award-winning iPad app is both feature-packed and free. Great for amateur photographers on the go, Snapseed lets you autocorrect photos in a snap. … Read more

Star Apps: Callan McAuliffe

Star Apps: Callan McAuliffe

"Kite" is an anime turned live-action movie about Sawa (India Eisley), a young prostitute who becomes an assassin to avenge her parents' murders. You might think it's another formulaic vigilante movie. However, bolstered by an engrossing revenge story, an expert performance by lead actor Callan McAuliffe ("The Great Gatsby," "I Am Number Four") as Sawa's sidekick, Oburi, and thrilling action sequences, "Kite" soars.

Have you seen the original Japanese film? Yes, I saw it shortly after being cast in the film. It's supremely violent and very, very sexual, and … Read more

Star Apps: Michael Cuesta

Star Apps: Michael Cuesta

When Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E.," "12 and Holding," "Homeland") signed on as director of "Kill the Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, he was already familiar with Webb's controversial story. What he didn't yet know was how much he had in common with the late investigative reporter, who exposed the CIA for engaging in cocaine smuggling to fund Nicaraguan Contra militias. "Gary Webb wasn't what people imagine journalists to be, like snobby intellectuals," he said. "He loved … Read more

Star Apps: Paul Budnitz

Star Apps: Paul Budnitz

A year ago, Ello founder Paul Budnitz was frustrated with all the ad-driven, privacy-compromising social networks, so the established entrepreneur (Budnitz Bicycles, Kidrobot) decided to form his own. For a year, the site was limited to Budnitz and his 100 closest friends, but as demand to join increased, he opened it up to the public. Initially Ello saw a healthy 10 to 15 percent growth rate -- until a combination of dissatisfaction with Facebook's name policy, media attention, and word of mouth thrust Ello into the spotlight. I chatted with Paul Budnitz about Ello's explosive growth, what it … Read more