2012/11/26

Tips for Best Christmas Gifts for Christmas 2012-Tablets

Are you busy preparing Christmas gifts these days as Christmas 2012 is drawing near? Well, you are not alone in the battle of selecting an awesome present. What amazing gifts to get for this year?

As over half Americans are going to purchase a tablet for Christmas present according to a recent survey by Vuclip, 57 percent of the 20,000 participated people decided to buy a tablet for themselves. So, I suppose you may get your family one in this trend? That’ll be fantastic!

Then how to pick up a tablet you want? Several points should be taken into consideration.
1. Your needs come first. Do you just want a device for watching movies during your traveling? Will you need constant network access? Your needs largely determine the size; the processor; battery duration; and others.
2. Your budget. How much you’d like to pay for it ultimately decides what you’ll get. Mention that not all expensive ones are in great quality while cheap ones worthless of buying.
3. Your preferential brand. With your needs and budget fulfilled, brand comes as another decisive factor to many people. The results of Vuclip survey show that 25% people will choose by brand, which reaches to an amount of 30% of whom picked iPad.

Consider at least the 3 factors above before making a wise choice of getting a cool tablet. Below are some of the hottest ones in 2012.Seize the Cyber Monday week opportunity and get one.


As Christmas gifts for teens or adults: 

4th generation iPad

 
The newest iPad is equipped with a faster A6X processor, adding extra system speed and graphics power. Improved worldwide cellular compatibility makes the LTE model a more appealing proposition. Besides, there are numerous selections of apps in the iOS App Store.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 
 
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has zippier navigation than its 7-inch counterpart, a beautiful high-definition screen, incredibly fast 4G LTE speeds, seamless streaming performance, and access to one of the best media eco systems available. The new Fire HD interface feels better suited on the 8.9-inch screen.

iPad Mini
The ultrathin and light design is far more intimate and booklike than the larger iPad. The iPad Mini's cameras, storage capacities, optional LTE antenna, and general functionality offer a full iPad experience. The screen's dimensions elegantly display larger-format magazines and apps.

Samsung Nexus 10

It’s Google’s first full-size tablet. The Nexus 10 has a beautifully sharp screen, which is the only tablet from any manufacturer that beats the screen resolution of the iPad. It's light, durable, and has the fastest processor of any Android tablet. Photo Sphere is an incredibly cool concept. Google's content ecosystem is only getting better. Plenty of apps provided on Google play to extend your enjoyment.

Microsoft Surface RT
This may even break people’s stereotyped expectations; the Microsoft Surface's Metro interface is innovative, elegant, powerful, and versatile. You can experience this tablet as a PC. The tablet feels strong and well-built, runs Office 2013, and includes rich video and music services. With it you can take your writing on the go. Its keyboard cover accessories are the best ways to type on a tablet, at present. Well, it needs some time before more apps are available on app store. Besides, Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro is coming soon.

The above tablets are perfect for your personal entertainment and for work. You can, for example, watch movies with your iPad during the journey. Blu-ray movies can also be played on these tablets as well to enhance your enjoyment.

Tablets as Christmas gifts for small kids:

Archos ChildPad
Archos ChildPad is a perfect 7-inch capacitive touchscreen Android tablet for child. The 800 x 480-pixel display enables surfing the internet just as on a PC or view HD videos. Pre-installed applications for kids and large choices from the AppsLib application store make it so much of fun.

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Learning Tablet
Specially designed for kids, the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is a touchscreen tablet with a range of educational titles; and a camera, video camera as well as a tilt sensor is offered. LeapPad2 comes with 5 apps: Pet Pad, Learning Songs, Art Studio, 1 app of your choice and Cartoon Director app, which lets you create your own movies!

Oregon Scientific MEEP! Tablet for Kids
The MEEP is a tablet for kids that runs the android operating system and offers parental controls. It is mainly designed for children at the age of 6 and over, with education content and entertaining content music, movies, e-books, and apps from leading developers, under the supervision of parents.

With so many optional choices on the list, you can make your decision according to your needs, your budget and maybe brand issue. Meanwhile, there are many others on sale for Cyber Monday; a nice tablet will absolutely become the best Christmas gift this winter!

2012/11/25

Websites for Lastest/Cheapest DVD/Blu-ray Movies

As online movie rental has become a trend of watching movies these years, do you know where you can get the latest news about the hottest movies on DVD and Blu-ray? To keep step with the newest movie information of DVD and Blu-ray, the websites listed below may be helpful.

Best Buy DVD/Blu-ray Movies

1. Blu-ray.com
Well, I suppose this website as something like official website for Blu-ray as its name suggests. There is freshest news of Blu-rays, DVDs, movies reviews, etc. From the “news” part, you can know what movies are going to be released on Blu-ray. There are lists of “top rated”, “top fans”, etc. which could be regarded as useful reference before you decide you gain one.
In addition, Blu-ray deals are always available on this website.

2. Amazon.com
Also a big online giant, which offers movie on DVD and Blu-ray at reasonable prices, Amazon.com seems much a professional place to get the latest trends of Blu-ray movies. You can try to find your favorite movies through format, genre, series, actors or directors.

3. Walmart.com
People around the world will not be unfamiliar with shopping on Walmart.com. Here you can always get some wonderful Blu-ray movies at a best price. There is an option of “$ 10 Blu-rays” selling Blu-rays under 10 dollars. Maybe you can check this out regularly to see if your favorite movies are on sale or not!

4. BestBuy.com
I bet you may find some of the best buys of DVD/Blu-ray movies here. Select “movies and TV shows”, then you’re lead to 3 sections: Blu-ray movies, TV shows, DVD movies, each of which provides price levels for your choices: $3.99 to 7.99, or $9.99 to 19.99, as well as 29.99 to 129.99. The left “Price Range” will be a bit more accurate. “Genre” divides movies into 12 themes like Comedy, Horror, and so on. You can browser by “Studio”.

5. Ebay.com
Choose “DVDs & Movies” beside the search bar, and then movies on DVDs and Blu-rays are shown in several categories: Best-selling movies & TV, best-selling comedy, Best-selling animation, etc. You can choose accordingly. Besides, on the top left, there are format selections: Blu-ray Disc, DVD, HD DVD and other formats.

6. Google shopping
Well, you can have a try of this function of Google shopping in Google. The outstanding feature is that it even offer “compare prices” options. Web search DVD movies/Blu-ray movies you want and then choose according to your preference.

7. Deepdiscount.com
A website provides discounted items of books, music and movies on DVD and Blu-ray. On the homepage, there is “daily deep deals” on the top left. And you can get some best deals from the left navigator bar “Today’s deals”-deals.

8. Target.com
You can search DVD or Blu-ray movies, and then similarly, you can find all sorts of movies listed according to different standards. Pick up some you like. Also, you can browser them in “new”, “best order”, “pre-order” and so forth.

9. Play.com
This is specially for UK, a UK online Blu-ray movies store which provides discounts for many DVDs and Blu-rays.

Actually, you can also get useful information from other websites like sonypictures.com, highdefdigest.com, and redbox.com, and so on. You can always try to compare prices among these website provide before purchasing some best Blu-ray movies and enjoy yourself.

2012/11/22

Holiday Movie Times:Brave, Twilight, Life of Pi and More

It’s the end of the year 2012, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas comes one after another. At this period of each year, busy people would like to slow down and spend some quality time with their family. Check out some of the latest wonderful movies for your weekend movie times with your family.

Latest on DVD Movies perfect for kids

Red Dog (2011)
DVD release: Tuesday November 6, 2012

Red Dog

This story is based on the legendary true story of the lovable red dog who roamed the outback in searching for his original master. During such period, this little creature finds his way into the hearts of everyone he meets, bringing people and communities together, some who find love, and others who find themselves.

Arthur Christmas (2011)
DVD release: Tuesday November 6, 2012

Arthur Christmas

When as a child, have you ever wondered how Santa Clause distributed so many gifts over one single night in Christmas time? Santa's exhilarating; ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole and his elves will be the answer to this query. As Santa Clause’s youngest son, Arthur tries to deliver the last present before the dawn comes on Christmas morning.

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2012)
DVD release: Tuesday November 20, 2012

Santa Paws 2

This is a Disney holiday production of the cutest talking pups ever. Hope, Jingle, Charity, and Noble, are all the themes the movie is about, suitable for the whole family.

Brave
DVD release: Tuesday November 13, 2012

Brave

Set in highlands of Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, "Brave" features princess Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. She must rely on her bravery and archery skills to defend his homeland against a beastly curse.

Latest in theaters for teens and adults

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
Theater date: November 16, 2012

The Twilight Saga

The last part of the Twilight series, the birth of Bella’s daughter, who is believed to be the dangerous “immortal child”, brings up new threat to their peace. The Cullens gather other vampire clans for protecting the kid. Bella becomes a vampire as well, see how she changed stronger.

Skyfall (2012)
Theater date: November 9, 2012

Skyfall

The latest James Bond movie, 007’s another blockbuster, Skyfall is about Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Life of Pi
Theater date: November 21, 2012 (USA)

Life of Pi

It’s a surreal tale of a boy’s disaster-propelled journey to adulthood.
Adapted from the best-selling novel by Yann Martel about Pi Patel, and directed with one of the most excellent Chinese director-An Li, it's a story about the son of a zookeeper, Pi, who survives the ship wreck found himself accompanied with a fearsome Bengal tiger. In the pacific ocean, on a 26-foot lifeboat, the Indian boy Pi together with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger-Richard Parker, is all fighting for survival.
It is regarded as a competitive Oscar chaser! Also an inspiring 3D art.

Well, there are many more on DVD or in the theaters, pick up some for your weekend movie times-whether at home for DVD movies or hit the theaters for the latest!

2012/11/20

Best (Free) HTML5 Video Players

HTML5 video may have been the new standard way to show video on the web without plugins, simply by embedding to web browsers. As HTML5 being increasingly popular and compatible with various devices, HTML5 video player enables your blog or website page launching with videos. Let’s see a collection of some best free ones available.

HTML5 video player

1. Flowplayer
It is an Open Source video player for your website. There are at least 3 skins for your options to beautify and diversify your websites. You can embed it to your website without an IFRAME. HTML5 comes first while Flash second. Very well documented, clean look and easy to implement. Great playlist feature and lots of active development are all displayed in this HTML5 video player.

2. JW Player
With HTML5 and Flash Dual Mode JW Player, you’d never worry about your video be the wrong formats. Beautiful skins, live and on-demand adaptive streaming support, single-click sharing to Facebook and Twitter, all these features forms this nice HTML5 video player.

3. MediaElement.js
There are also 3 different skins for your choice. It can be perfectly used as Plugins for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, jQuery, and BlogEngine.NET, ruby gem, plone. It allows HTML5 audio and video players in pure HTML and CSS.

4. Projekktor
It is a free, open source (GPL) HTML5 based video player written in Javascript. It solves cross browser and compatibility issues, adds eye candy and provides extremely powerful nonstandard features. It supports full screen, playlists, Flash fallback and pre/post roll ads to generate revenue from your videos.

5. Daily Motion HTML5 Video Player
The HTML5 video player from world’s second largest video sharing website, HTML5 makes all sorts nifty effects and gadgets possible. Firefox, Chrome, IE 9, Opera, Safari, all modern browsers are supported by it.

6. YouTube HTML5 Video Player
From world’s largest video sharing website, this is an opt-in trial of HTML5 video on YouTube. If you are using a supported browser, you can choose to use the HTML5 player instead of the Flash player for most videos. It supports various browsers.

7. Viemo HTML5 Video Player
Well, this HTML3 video player comes from another video sharing website. It comes as a beta test version actually. To enable the HTML5 player, click the "Switch to HTML5 player" link below any video.

8. OSM Player
Open Standard Media Player is an all-in-one media player for the web display video of any type of web media, including HTML5, Flash and third party media solutions of YouTube and Vimeo. There is playlist for your player and for YouTube.

9. FlareVideo HTML5 Player
It is completely open source and free for commercial use. This HTML5 video player supports HTML5 video with Flash fallback. It is featured of easy CSS/HTML/JS customization and theming; full screen support. There are 3 optional themes for your reference.

2012/11/18

Is Free VLC Back for i-Devices to Hit App Store?

Are you still missing the missing VLC media player for iPhone, iPad and iPod since it has been pulled down from the app store due to licensing issues?

VLC for iPhone-VLC App
Roughly two years ago, shortly after its release on App Store, Apple decided to remove it from the store. If you are not lucky enough to get VLC downloaded before it was pulled then good news is that this most welcomed free media players nowadays, with its abundant video formats supporting, awesome editing features and more updatings, is announcing its back to app store! Will it finally be shown on App Store once again?

Considering of the previous issue encounted, as the developers have changed the majority of software modules using software licenses, thus the media player is now switched to be licensed under LGPL (Lesser General Public License). LGPL which is unlike that of the GPL (General Public License), LGPL (Lesser General Public License) allows the application to be linked to the code that is not itself under the LGPL. As the president of VideoLan and lead developer, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, told the French PC Inpact: VLC is now legal to be put back on app store.

VLC Media Player, free, multi-platform, multifunctional, could play almost any video formats you throw at it. With it, you can watch movies on TV shows on your iPhone, iPad, or ipod ignoring the limitations of video formats your i-Devices support. That certainly would be a great improvement from the QuickTime!

Articles about VLC:

Free VLC Player: Why do We Choose VLC?
How to Enable Blu-ray Playback in VLC Player ?

2012/11/15

Best Free Movie Apps/ Media Players for Android

Larger screen, lengthened battery duration time and speedy Wi-Fi network, all these factors contribute to your keen enjoyment of movies on your mobile phone, especially during your travels. Yet, to improve your viewing experience, good movie apps are indispensable. Let’s check out some of the best free movies apps for Android phones or viewed as media players.

No. 1, 2  and 5 provide full-length movies while the other provide mostly clips/trailers, and images/information.

1. Crackle – Movies & TV

  Crackle-Free Android Moive App

With Crackle app, you can watch full-length Hollywood blockbusters or TV shows on your mobile phone without signing-up and payment. You can catch up with the latest videos since sources are upgraded monthly!
3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi, with either network connection, you can enjoy FREE movies of high quality on your Android phone & tablet!
App works in US, Canada, UK and Australia.

2012/11/12

Best DVDs/BDs on Sale for Black Friday and Christmas Gifts

Are you still not sure about what Christmas gifts to get for your families and friends? As the Black Friday is coming, there are many goods on sale online. How about picking up some inexpensive yet awesome presents there? Well, some DVD movies would be one nice optional choice. Let’s check out the Black Friday shopping!

Black Friday 2012-On Sale

Where can you get best DVD movies on sale? I think you can always find news about discount from Black Friday.com , Wlmart.com, and  Amazon.com, Blu-ray.com and many deals websites also provide best buy.

2012/11/11

HTML5 Player: Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia!

As the world’s largest online encyclopedia, free Wikipedia has been working hard to bring registered users new features of videos uploading. This could almost be true now, due the cooperation of Wikipedia, Google and Kaltura. Wikipedia video has taken years to realize this  with  the launch of TimeMediaHandler.

In 2010, a campaign called “Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia” launched by the Open Video Alliance aiming to encourage users uploading relevant educational video content to Wikimedia Commons.

Wikipedia-Wikipedia Video-HTML 5

Earlier in 2008, Wikipedia began the partnership with open source video platform provider Kaltura for getting Wikipedia video-supportive. Actually, Wikipedia Theora Player has been put in to application since 2007; however, till now only about 15500 videos shown on Wikipedia, it still remains largely text-based.

2012/11/09

Top 10 Free Websites to Watch NBA 2012 Online (Live)

What's the hottest news for 2012 NBA SEASON lately?  Have you seen Kobe Bryant's DEATH STARE on yestoday's NBA game? Where to watch the NBA Games Live online to catch such special moment?

Kobe Bryant-Death Stare-Lakers-NBA

Well, as the regular season has kicked off for a while, are you still struggling searching for a good online video player/website for better viewing? This period will last long enough as it usually does, during which time over 1,000 games will be put on show. These websites below will allow you enjoying the big NBA season and then the playoff, the finals! NBA fans, cheers!

NBA-Best Websites for NBA Live Online


Some Official Websites for NBA Games:

1. NBA TNT Overtime

This website is provided by Cable network TNT; yet, this time you can watch NBA streaming without cable subscription, only broadband connection is required.
This online streaming NBA differs from TV as the games are broadcasted on an interactive 4-screen interface, with each of the 4 providing a different camera angle.

2. YouTube NBA Channel

This could be another option for NBA games. But there is in great need of more uploads of latest videos.

3. NBA.com

It's updated official website for NBA Games of regular season, playoffs and the finals. Or change for the old video player for NBA games since the new updating seems to be less than satisfactory.

4. ESPN NBA

ESPN shows a live NBA every Wednesday night and a double-header every Friday night. WatchESPN.com is free to viewers who log in with an active and paid-up cable TV subscription. NBA games on WatchESPN are available to re-watch on demand for 24 hours after the game has ended.

Some other Websites for NBA Games:

5. Wiziwig.tv

Wiziwig is a site specialized in schedules for all kind of Sports. You can watch Live Sports by using the schedules. It is fully free. You only need some clients to download and then you're ready to go. Prepare to watch a lot of Football, MLB, NHL, NBA, Cricket, Tennis and many more.

6. Frombar
It shares videos of many sports: football,hockey,baseball,golf,basketball-NBA, etc. The only thing you have to tolorate is the ads.

7. Streambeam

It is similar with Frombar, also provides different sports videos, NBA live online streaming videos included.

8. NBA Live Online
NBA Live Streaming, it shares great similarities with the previous two ones. Enjoy basketball in this website.

Some NBA Apps for Mobile

9.Desktop app: vipboxsports

10. Mobile App

WatchESPN:  for iOS system from app store; while for Android system, on Google Play: NBA Game Time 2012-13



2012/11/07

How to Enable More Video Formats Playback on iPhone?

Won’t it be a mood-killer when you are planning to watch some videos on your iPhone and suddenly realize that it only supports that few video formats while travelling on the train or bus? That’s no big deal; you can get rid of such awkward moments either by downloading some universal media player, or by converting the formats.

How to enable your iPhone play more videos of various formats? There are several solutions to get this solved.

1. Free video players:

FlexPlayer

FlexPlayer-iPhone Video Player
FlexPlayer is free media player for iPhone and iPod Touch as well as iPad.
Video formats it supports: AVI, MPEG, VOB, MKV, MP4 and MOV, FLV DivX, Xvid, and even Webm, etc. Playback of HD videos for QuickTime formats up to 1280x720 is available.
It possesses a user-friendly interface without ads. But it lacks of multiple audio track support and only hard subtitles allowed. Actually, you may encounter WMV video format, which may be a big flaw for it.


AcePlayer

AcePlayer-iPhone Video Player
Aceplayer is compatible with iPhone/iPod/iPad. Just transfer the media files to your i-devices by iTunes File Sharing or through Wi-Fi, video will be played.
Video formats it supports: WMV, AVI, RMVB, RM, MP4, 3GP, XVID, MPG, etc.
Audio formats supported: MP3, RM, ACC, FLV, RM, etc.
Subtitles: .smi, .srt, ssa, .ass, .sub txt.
But from its website, it seems it is not always free.


2012/11/05

Classic Movies and New Movies for Christmas 2012

There are 48 days left before Christmas 2012 arrives. When talking about Christmas movies, I would always think about comedy movies while Home Alone series (I prefer only 1 and 2)are definitely the top classic Christmas choices.

Classic Christmas Movies:

1. Home Alone (1990)
DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
Run Time: 103 minutes

Home Alone-Classic Christmas Movie

As the youngest kid of the family, the 8-year-old little boy Kevin often feels like being the subject of ridicule from his siblings and cousins. He wishes "his family would disappear" and  he is mistakenly left at home while his big family heading to Paris for Christmas holiday. Home alone with little money and food, he has to fight against two idiotic burglars. With the help of the neighbor “murdererish” old man, the recidivists got caught.

It makes the Christmas Eve full of joy and laughs.There is a happy ending: family gathering and family reunion, both for Kevin and for the old man. Merry Christmas!

2012/11/04

Great Videos for 2012 Thanksgiving Day

2012 Thanksgiving Day  is just around the corner. As is generally known as a day for celebrating the big harvest of the year, it is a time for family gathering together for a big dinner of turkey and pumpkin pie, which could be regarded as the symbols of Thanksgiving Day. Besides, you can also join the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC or in Detroit, or Philadelphia.

Thanksgiving Day:
What and when is Thanksgiving Day?

Happy Thanksgiving Day-Thanksgiving 2012


Thanksgiving began as a tradition of celebrating the harvest of the year. It is celebrated primarily in America and Canada. In Canada, it is always taken place on the second Monday of October, while in the US; it is held on the fourth Thursday of each November. Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition.

History of Thanksgiving Day


Besides the feast, there are movies about Thanksgiving Days and songs about it.

Turkey Catchers (1999)


Disney classic. Mickey, Donald and Goofy open a turkey catching business and their first customer is a pompous pilgrim. The three friends come up with the perfect plan, but when they finally catch their game, will they let their new-found friend become the main course? (from YouTube)

Thanksgiving song


From Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas" album. I really love the beatiful song and the musci video. May we always be grateful.

In spite of US and Canada, there are many other countries celebrate such special times of the year. They are named in different names and held in different forms while they share similar meanings: celebrating the harvest and being grateful.

A day of Thanksgiving 


Here is a list of Thanksgiving in some other countries:

China: Mid-autumn Day Moon Cake Day on August 15th of lunar calendar. Mainly celebrates the harvest and family gathering.
Germany: early October festival, Erntedankfest.
Grenada: national holiday of Thanksgiving Day on October 25th.
Japan: Labor Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday.
Liberia: the first Thursday of Nov. is Thanksgiving Day.

Well, right after Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping tide is coming as millions of goods on sale for your best deals. 

2012/11/01

Family Movies 2012 on DVD for Family Weekend Night

Nowadays, people are always on the go, busy with never-ending work, even after work or on the weekends. How long has it been the last time you have some quality time with your family members? Well, you can try some warmhearted family movies with your family members. Below are some family movies 2012 released on DVD, get some and enjoy yourselves.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Theatrical Release Date: 06/08/2012
DVD Release Date: 10/16/2012
Run Time: 85min.

Madagascar 3- Family movie 2012-DVD

This 3D computer-animated comedy movie by DreamWorks is still about the story of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe, who are still fighting to get back home- Big Apple. A lion, zebra, hippo, giraffe, four penguins, two monkeys, three lemurs certainly would make the journey full of fun, and make your weekend night enjoyable.

2012/10/30

Windows 7 to Windows 8:No DVD Playback and More

Windows 8 finally came to face the world on October 26th, with its several forms: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT, and Windows 8 Enterprise.

Are you going to update your Windows system from Win 7 to Win 8? If you are not decided yet, let’s check out how Windows 8 has changed compared with its previous version.

Windows 7 to Windows 8

1. The “Start” button is removed. As an initial option for all its previous versions, this menu has been there since Windows 95. So is the “Start” menu. This is designed to fully support the “start screen” full-screen menu, which changes from still to dynamic icon.

2. Windows Aero is killed. The Aero Glass - the graphical centerpiece of Windows Vista and Windows 7 disappears in Win 8 as to support Metro start screen.

3. Flip 3D is replaced by Modern UI app. All those animations and transparent glass effects are gone as well as the disappearance of Flip 3D. For Windows 7 or Vista, (key) Windows + Tab allow you to view Flip 3D.

4. Windows update desktop notifications won’t appear on the desktop. All notifications about Windows updates will be shown on the login and lock screens.

5. Some desktop apps will not be available on the desktop. Or will only be seen on the Windows 8 “start screen”.

6. Windows backup and restore is also no longer possible in Windows 8.
 
7. Windows Media Center and DVD playback
As Windows Media Center won’t be pre-installed as a default program, Windows Media Player is not available as well. If you do not install Windows Media Center and purchase Media Center upgrade, no DVD playback is allowed. Even if you download the feature packs will you only be able to play DVD in Media Center, not in WMP. To play DVD in Windows Media Player, an add-on for DVD support from Windows Store is necessary. But for free option, you can try VLC Media Player, or some other video players for DVD playback. Besides, Windows DVD Maker remains no more.

The reason for this is mainly because of the rise on streaming online videos and the decline in DVD and other traditional/physical discs.

Well, there is some kind of tricks we can solve some of the dislikes in Windows 8. After all, it provides many more promising new features. It's technology, people move on! What do you say?

Related Articles:

DVD Playback is not Supported in Windows 8 Without Built-in WMC
Best Free Options for DVD Playback in Windows 8
Best Free Video Player Software for DVD Playback 

2012/10/29

Free Media Players for Background Playback on Your Mobile Phone

As has been discussed previously, sometimes we just want the audios while watching videos. Or, you'd like run another app while watching videos/listening music. On such situations, we need video players that enable video playback on the background, when you close the screen or while running other apps. Here are some more video players allow background playback for your reference.

BS Player-Background video player1. BS Player
BS Player(Ad-supported video player) is really a powerful video player, it allows DVD Playback as has been mentioned in my discussion before.
It is featured as the best hardware accelerated video player for Android smartphones and tablet PCs.
Besides, it supports background playback in popup window for both video and audio.


Uz Media Player-Background video player
2. Uz Media Player(Beta, Video)
Well, this is a video player to use with other apps at the same time, which means it supports background video playback. Even if you hide your player screen, it will still run the video/music you are just playing.
It is just a beta version, and only supports some of the popular formats that are commonly-used, and only be compatible with several models. Hope it will be improved soon.


Act 1 Video Player-Background video player
3. Act 1 Video Player Trial
It is a trail version of video player, which mainly used for video media on your SD card. It’s really annoying that the trail version (free) only allows video playback limited to 2 minutes.
That’s really terrible, the only reason I list it here is for its background playback function while playing other apps or when you turn off the screen. If someone would be interested in it, you can have a try.


Bag Player-Background video player
4. Background Video Player
Well, as can be told from its name, it certainly should fulfill the needs for background playback. This is a quite newly-released video player on Google Play. As a media player, it supports video playback in the background with random functionality. Maybe you can regard it as a useful in-car music player.



No Video Player-Background video player
5. No Video Player
Though named somehow a little weird, as a video player, No Video Player does play videos while you can also shift to background playback mode with only audio playing. Just turn off the screen and listen to the audio part of your videos, this would certainly save battery.

6. MX Player
(as have been introduced before)
Well, there are many limitations, hope they would be removed as they improve.

No matter for what reasons you’d like video playback on the background available, you can have a try with these free apps I’ve searched and collected. For different purposes, you may pick up one right for that.

2012/10/25

Upcoming Action Movie DVD Releases on Nov. 2012

This week, several wonderful movies like Magic Mike, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking a Friend for the End of The World, etc. are available on DVDs. Next month (Nov. 2012), there will be several great ones on DVDs, as an action movie fan; I would like to collect some of the best action movies on DVDs.
Action Movies-Movie Weekend

The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13)

Publisher: Columbia Pictures
Release date: November 9

The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler. It is a reboot of the Spider-Man film series, portraying the character's origin story and his development into a superhero while a high school student.


The Expendables 2 (R)

Publisher: Lionsgate
Release date: November 20

The Expendables are back and this time it's personal. It is a sequel to the 2010 action film The Expendables. It is actually Action movie stars’ gathering: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Men in Black 3 (PG-13)

Publisher: Columbia
Release date: November 30

It is the third installment in the Men in Black film series. In Men in Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back. Agent J travels in time to MIB's early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history.

Principal photography began in 2010, taking place ten years after its predecessor Men in Black II. And in fact, it is fifteen years after the original Men in Black. What also attracts people’s attention is that Barry Sonnenfeld returned as director while Steven Spielberg executive producer.


There must be some interesting extras unveiling the background stories which are my favorite parts of DVDs. Let’s wait and see.

2012/10/24

Video to Music: Android MX Player Background Playback

From the downloads and rates in Google Play, MX Player for Android Smartphones definitely is on the top of the most popular players for Android phones. As a free media player (well, it is ad-sponsored – ads appear while pausing or so; for ad-free version, it costs $5.37), it supports almost every video file with subtitles.

MX Player - Background Playback

The recent massive updates in Google Play Store of version 1.7 have largely enhanced this app in many aspects: it packs a new H/W+ decoder, support for Tegra 3-powered devices, Vietnamese language translations and especially the realization of background playback function.

The background playback feature enables users to enjoy the audio of the video file as it plays in background mode- it means that users do not have to pause or turn off the video while you hit the home button as is always the case with most video players. This is how it is done: (in full screen) Menu – Play – Background play; Or Menu – Settings – Player – Background play, thus playback will be continued in the background even after screen closed.

To return video mode, just hit the tidy widget MX Player installs to your Android’s notification panel with basic playback controls and playback duration counter just like most music players do.

In fact, there are occasions when we prefer audios only rather than videos: a speech which you only want the sounds or music videos while you are traveling on the train and trying to get some rest by listening to music. It may save battery power consuming. You can probably try this feature. You can download it from Google Play for free(supports Android 2.1 or higher).  If there are other video players with background playback feature, please leave a comment.

Related Article:

Free Media Players for Background Playback on Your Mobile Phone

2012/10/23

Movies Viewing: DVD/BD or Online Streaming?

How many movies do you averagely watch in a month? And how do you watch them: DVD, Blu-ray or online streaming?

Before that, let’s check out some figures from comScore (comScore is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics.): 18.1 million American internet users viewed 37 billion movies for April, 2012, which suggests that 84.5 percent American internet users spent about 21.8 hours on online movies each person per month. Among the online streaming websites, YouTube top the list of viewers’ number.

Well, these figures is not surprising to me as I seldom purchase physical disks like DVDs or Blu-rays for movies unless for my favorite collector’s edition (e.g. E.T., Titanic, etc.). I always choose watch the latest movies online, regarding it as the most convenient one for me.

Streaming vs DVD

According to a new research from Mintel (Mintel Group Ltd is a privately owned, London-based market research firm.), digital download, subscription streaming and video-on-demand sales of movies will rocket tenfold from 2007 to 2017. The fact is that figures during the period of 2007 to 2012 have already quadrupled from $1.3 billion to 5.5 billion.

As physical disks such as CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays are dropping, they still remain as the major forms of movie viewing- movie rental. Steaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video are gaining in popularity these days. At the same time, an increasing number of people prefer Video on Demand.

Undoubtedly, there are still large numbers of DVD lovers who cherish the nostalgic feelings, the physical belonging knot, and the background extras, as well as sharing goods with others. But in the mainstream, the general trend is leading to the leaving of traditional physical media, maybe not in 5 years, as Mintel indicated.

So, how about you? Do you watch through DVDs, Video on Demand, or streaming online? Well, personally, I’d rather a single clicking for my movie viewing online, probably YouTube, Hulu, Dailymotion, Yahoo or Vevo. Besides, I can always download them for later viewing. 

2012/10/22

Best Free Video Player Software for DVD Playback

Although DVD has lost its past popularity as Blu-ray and online streaming boomed and have rapidly developed these years, many movies lovers, DVD collectors would still like to extend their DVD movies collection. For the sake of these guys, the free DVD players for DVD playback (for Windows) listed below would be useful, I hope.

1. Windows Media Player
If you are not using Windows 8, you may easily get DVD played on your computer. This default Windows Media Player developed by Software enables DVD playback. In Windows Media Player, you can play audio CDs, data CDs, and data DVDs that contain music or video files. If you have a DVD drive and a compatible DVD decoder installed on your computer, you can use Windows Media Player to play a DVD-Video disc.

2. Free Version BS Player
BS Player supports more than 90 languages and plays high definition videos in formats of DivX, HD and AVC video, movie, audio, DVD, etc. You can enjoy the playback of HD DVD and AVCHD movies of the highest quality with minimal system requirements by using BS Player.

BS Player works nice for DVD files on Android Smartphones and tablet PCs as well.

3. VLC Media Player
Needless to mention about its high reputation or powerful functions, this wonderful free video player VLC Media Player enables DVD playback. Generally speaking, almost any videos can be viewed through it. Besides, Windows 8 DVD playback is also available with it.

4. UM Player
UM Player is also free and open source video player software. It plays everything as displayed in its website. This media player features as advanced yet simple to use, cross-platform supportive, etc. Media formats such as AAC, AC3, ASF, AVI, DIVX, FLV, H.263, Matroska, MOV, MP3, MP4, MPEG, OGG, QT, RealMedia, VOB, Vorbis, WAV, WMA, WMV, XVID and many more, are all can be played with UM Player.

5. Real Player
Real Player, the product by a giant media enterprise Real Networks, plays more audio and video files than most media players. It allows video downloading from websites with a single click and then you can transfer them to mobile or other portable devices. Converting and editing also can be fulfilled with Real Player.

There should be more amazing video player software out there, if you guys have some recommendations, please feel free to leave a message for me to  enlarge my collections.

2012/10/21

Top Video Players for iPhone 5 Full Screen Playback

Quick time is pretty good to use in your Mac devices, however, you can still have some other options for better video viewing experience for there are many formats Quick won’t support. Especially for the 4-inch iPhone 5, a full screen video player will enhance your enjoyment for sure. So below are some top full screen video players for iPhone 5.

1. RockPlayer2 (free)

This great app supports plenty much of video formats such as MKV, AVI, WEBM, FLAC, etc. a universal video player.

RockPlayer2 contains many useful features: RockShare, FreeSeek, Custonizable play control bar, Gesture control, Media file management and even TV Support. It is highly compatible with iOS6 and iPhone 5 while 4 inch full screen playback of videos is possible.


2. Azul Media Player ($0.99)

It is a video and music player and downloader for your iPhone 5! It plays almost any video (3gp, sf, avi, divx, dv, flv, gxf, m2p, m2ts, m2v, m4v, mkv(non-hd), moov, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpeg1, mpeg2, mpeg4, mpg, mpv, mt2s, mts, mxf, ogm, ogv, ps, qt, ts, vob, webm, wm, wmv.) and audio format while in the built-in downloader you can download movies for free.

Video attachments through email can also be played by using it. Other features like TV out, passcode lock, download video/music, iTunes file sharing, custom tutorials, video tutorials, and much more!

3. Video Stream ($2.99)

HD Retina quality (up to 1080P) video playback of videos, movies or TV shows is one of its amazing features. Video streams smoothly and formats like XVID, AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc. are all supported with other app or tool.

Several accounts are allowed. The UI and video will now use the full resolution of the new iPhone 5 in v1.42.
You can just purchase it once and applies it to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.

And JASMINE is a youtube player that play full screen on iPhone 5.

Besides, some people suggested that Rushplayer would also support full screen of iPhone video playback. Goodplayer, anyplayer and some other ones are also recommended by some internet users.Maybe check them out later.

You can try these cool players to find the best one for yourself. With it you can enjoy full screen video playback better on you iPhone 5.

Related Article:

How to Enable More Video Formats Playback on iPhone? 


 

2012/10/15

How to Enable Blu-ray Playback in VLC Player ?



VLC Player- Blu-ray and VLCAs one of the most favored open-sourced and free media player of versatile functions, VLC media player enjoyed high reputation for its powerful playback feature. Just like what you’ve heard about VLC, it supports almost any video formats you got. Then how about Blu-ray?

How to enable Encrypted Blu-ray playback in VLC player? Below are some tips for your reference.

1. Free method
With some tricks, the latest VLC 2.0.x media player would be able to enable Blu-ray playback for most of them released before 2012. While BD+ is not supported.

To get Blu-ray to work in VLC run these commands:
Code: [Select All]
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:n-muench/vlc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libaacs0 libbluray-bdj libbluray1
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Now we need to make an aacs folder and download the keys:
Code: [Select All]
cd ~/
mkdir -p ~/.config/aacs/
cd ~/.config/aacs/ && wget http://vlc-bluray.whoknowsmy.name/files/KEYDB.cfg

(This method is from pinguy, for more information you can refer to Blu-Ray Encrypted/Retail Playback & Ripping in VLC)

2. Official Method
You'll need two files: keys database and AACS dynamic library. For more related information check this forum out.
After some search and trail I’d also recommend you this video from YouTube to get Blu-ray discs played in VLC media player.


3. Easy method
If you do not want bother to make such complicated settings and adjustments, you may just try some useful tool to get the encrypted Blu-ray videos out and then play on VLC player. Well, this may cost some while saves trouble. The professional ripping tool I came across from this software from Cnet download site would definitely perfect your video viewing experience.

2012/10/11

Top Horror Movies for Halloween 2012-Turn off the Light to Enjoy the Night (Updated)

It’s the October again with the arrival of Halloween in about 3 weeks. Speak of Halloween; creepy things always pop up in our minds. Are you ready for the night? With these best Halloween movies, you can just turn off your light and enjoy the night!(These movies are already available on DVDs) (sources from YouTube, IMDb)


1. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
This movie is about a young couple move into a New York apartment expecting their first child. The husband a poor actor makes a pact with the devil in hoping of the success in his career. They find themselves surrounded by peculiar neighbors, who are after the baby as a sacrifice to the devil.

2. The Exorcist (1973)
Being regarded as the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com, it tells a story about a girl who is possessed by demon and her mother tries to save her soul by asking for two priests’ help.
The film earned ten Academy Award nominations — winning two (Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay), and losing Best Picture to The Sting.

3. Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)
The movies is also named as Night of the Dark Full Moon and re-released in the 1981 horror boom as Death House.
A man inherits an isolated mansion, which once was a mental home. He visits the place and begins to investigate some crimes that happened in old times, scaring the people living in the region.

4. The Omen (1976)
An American ambassador Robert learns that his son (which is really not his but one he picked up at the hospital: When Katharine has a stillborn child, a priest at the hospital suggests Robert taking a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees) is the literal antichrist. Naturally, grisly deaths occur. He is an evil incarnate.
Two endings were filmed. Besides, the remake of the movie was released on 06/06/06.

5. Halloween (1978)
The Halloween classic, as the name itself shows, shocked audience in 1978.
The year is 1963, the night: Halloween. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Ln. only to discover that 15 year old Judith Myers has been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother, Michael. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out on the night before Halloween.
Good news, HALLOWEEN the classic will hit theaters from 25 to 30 this month. Michael Myer is back before Halloween!

6. The Amityville Horror (1979)
Buying the house for a steal in the fall of 1975 because of a multiple murder barely a year before, they move in to experience a series of increasingly disturbing paranormal events, this movie is adapted from the true story of George Lee and Kathy Lutz, it’s about their miserable staying at the house in Amityville. They flee, finally.

7. Friday the 13th (1980)
Well, this may somehow be close to our life, like similar experience we’ve went through. This movie is about a group of young counselors who are working to get Camp Crystal Lake up and running for the summer. But someone isn’t too happy with the camp and one by one they are knocked off in dramatic gory ways.
Related Articles:
Halloween 2012: Best DVD Movies for Kids
Best Halloween Movies for the Night and on DVD/BD


2012/10/10

Experience the First-generation iPod on the Website

You may start to use iPod for enjoying music since years ago, and probably your iPod players have been updated many times as Apple continually launched new surprises for Apple fans during the decade. So, do you still remember the first generation of iPod?

Well, iPod classic is the first generation of the line of portable media players created by Apple, with the later products of iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod mini and iPod shuffle. Each contains several models over the past years.

As regarded as the classic version, in remembrance of Steven Jobs, Apple released a video in which Jobs displayed the initial generation iPod player. Besides, Besides, Web design company Inventika Solutions has created a virtual iPod classic which you can fiddle with in your web browser. It’s got some preloaded songs, and comes accompanied by nice graphics, which is made in the memory of Steve Jobs (October 5th.). It works exactly how you would expect - you can drag the click wheel, the center button, and the menu/control buttons. You can even play the preloaded songs. Maybe you can get some nostalgic fun from this website.


With 160GB of storage capacity, iPod classic makes it possible for you to store up to 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video, 25,000 photos, or any combination. And the long-run 36 hours of battery life, enables you to keep on rocking for quite a long time enjoyment.

During these years development, it’s easy to notice how iPod changes in appearance, capability and functions, etc. There are more colors for your options, and more memory volume to choose from. The size is becoming larger and larger as a trend in portable media players. Functions are enhanced as well, all the way from audio, video, TV shows, photos to radio, web browser, games, etc. iPod is always surprising us.

Other information: iPod can play several audio file formats includes MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless.

2012/10/09

Free Video Websites for HD Videos Enjoyment

Watching videos of high definition online is becoming an irreversible trend these days. For many people would like to watch videos through internet, the free video websites for HD videos below certainly could be their favorites.


1. YouTube HD

Free Video Website-YouTubeNo need to mention that it is the leader of video sharing websites worldwide, YouTube offers impressive improvements during the years, including HD videos. Earlier this year in April, YouTube launched the trail function of 1080P video 3D mode selection function. It’s of no need to introduce more about this I believe as most of us have used it already.You can change quality of 720P or 1080P by simple clicking the "Change quality " button.

2. The Akamai The HD Web

Free Video Website-The HD WebThe Akamai The HD Web features HD videos from several networks such as BBC, MTV, CBS Gannett, NBA, Cnet, etc. There are two viewing options: 720 or 1080P. But if your network condition is not well enough say below 7.5Mbps of available bandwidth, the Bandwidth Check would remind you that you may meet difficulty in viewing HD videos. Files of no larger than 120MB will be downloaded to your computer and can be viewed through Quicktime or Windows Media.

3. versuz.org

Free Video Website-VersuzHere, it seems all kind of TV series can be available, and most in high quality. The most popular ones like The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Gossip Girl, etc. are all shown in the list. Well, it’s no need to register or pay, just click the videos you want to watch and answer the question of common sense knowledge. It also allows video downloading. BTW, ads always come out.

4. Monetize Media

Free Video Website-Monetize MediaMonetize Media is a white-label online video platform for LIVE and ON-DEMAND video streaming. Users can upload, share and monetize contents, and also create their own channels, much like YouTube. You can find HD videos from there.

5. Vimeo

Free Video Website-VimeoAs a rapidly-growing online videos sharing hub, Vimeo possesses a HD video channel where it provides videos sharing of 720P resolution. Comparing to the standard 320*240 resolutions, 1280*720 is way better (12 times better) with 24 frames per second.

6. For music videos
Rocknrollview
This is mostly for music video shows for those music lovers. HD videos of music can be found here.
Highdefinitionmusicvideos
It also provides music videos of high quality. Well, these videos from two websites seem to originally come from YouTube.

There are, of course, many more wonderful free websites for video viewing, of which some provides high definition videos. If you know some cool ones or better ones, you can share in the comment box. And, for high quality videos, it calls for smooth network connection.

Related Article:

5 Video Sites that can Replace YouTube
Top 10 Free Options to Watch NBA 2012 Online(Live) 
Best Free Movie Apps/ Media Players for Android 

2012/10/08

DVD Release of The Dark Knight Rises: What to Expect for?

While as one of the most popular summer blockbuster in 2012, many batman fans would have already watched the epic movie of The Dark Knight Rises in the theaters. Now it is preparing for DVD and Blu-ray release on December 4th according Warner Bros’ statement through Entertainment Weekly.

The film will be offered in a Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack, and digital download on Dec. 4th. Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain the featurette of The Journey of Bruce Wayne where filmmakers will reveal the bold creative choices that led to the stunning conclusion of Bruce Wayne’s story. Trailers and art galleries are also available.

limited edition blu-ray combo pack-the dark knight rises

The Blu-ray combo pack includes many extras- a Documentary of Batmobile (witness all five Batmobiles together for the first time ever); the 17 featurettes of Ending the Knight reveals how Christopher Nolan and his production team made these batman movies; Batman vs. Bane to completely destroy a city street, etc.

Will some of the Deleted Scenes appear in the BD/DVD combo pack? In the official list of extras mentioned above, nothing as deleted scenes is included. Ending the Knight could be considered as the make-up when fans wonder if there were deleted scenes containing in some of the seventeen featurettes? 

The suggested prices are as follows: a Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99, a Single disc Amaray for $28.98, a Bat Cowl package Blu-ray Combo Pack for $39.99, The Dark Knight Trilogy Blu-ray for $52.99, and The Dark Knight Trilogy DVD for $38.99.

limited edition blu-ray combo pack-the dark knight rises

In addition, Warner Bros is planning to release The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset, in which all 3 batman movies will be in one collection: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, in 2013. Will deleted scenes show up in this collection then?

The seventeen featurettes include: The Prologue: High-Altitude Hijacking, Return to the Batcave, Beneath Gotham, The Bat, Batman vs Bane, Armory Accepted, Gameday Destruction, Demolishing a City Street, The Pit, The Chant, The War on Wall Street, Race to the Reactor, The Journey of Bruce Wayne, Gotham’s Reckoning, A Girls Gotta Eat, Shadows & Light in Large Format, and The End of A Legend.

2012/10/07

Halloween 2012: Best DVD Movies for Kids

Halloween 2012 is drawing near as Halloween ideas rise like mushrooms after rain. The classic movie of 1978 HALLOWEEN will re-release during the period of October 25 to 30. That would be great for many people, but not suitable for kids somehow. So below I’ll recommend some nice Halloween movies for kids.

Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus-Halloween 2012-Halloween movies for kids

Released by Disney in 1993 and on DVD in 2002, Hocus Pocus is a Halloween movie (2 wins and 9 nominations awards) about a Halloween-hating teenager (Max). After 300 years, the 3 Sanderson sister witches are resurrected by Max accidently. To protect his sister, Max together with a classmate crush, a zombie, and an immortal black cat. They have to end the witches’ terror.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown-Halloween 2012-Halloween movies for kids

“It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was released in 1966 and on DVD in 2008. It’s a story about Peanuts gang who prepared for Halloween. They celebrate Halloween while Linus hopes that he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, and Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween Party as he dresses up as a ghost with more eyeholes than needed. All funs of Halloween to be found here!

Halloweentown II - Kalabar's Revenge

Halloweentown II - Kalabar's Revenge-Halloween 2012-Halloween movies for kids
 
Halloweentown II - Kalabar's Revenge is the second in the Halloween series released for the Holy nights by Disney Channel Original movies in 2001, and the DVD came out in 2005. It’s about Cromwell clan and their grandma who lives in Halloween town and the son of Kalabar-Cromwell’s enemy. It begins in a mortal neighborhood Halloween party.

Besides, there are many other wonderful movies released on DVD for the holy night enjoyment such as Nicktoons - Halloween - Tales of Fright (2003), Madeline's Halloween and Other Spooky Tales, etc. Next time, I will collect some horror movies for you.