TuxGuitar – a nice little tool for guitar players and other musicians

This free, open-source piece of music transcription software is certainly a useful tool for beginners and accomplished musicians alike. It has a host of features to make transcription easy including the ability to view musical scores and guitar tabs at the same time, and even the option to lift your notes directly off a guitar fret-board. There is also a range of guitar-specific effects such as slides and bends.

It’s easy to use and the help manual is simple and to the point. Tempo control allows for more complicated pieces to be played at a slower speed with a single click – great for beginners and those attempting high-level compositions.

Many free or shareware software options do not allow for the creation or saving of edited files, but TuxGuitar operates as a complete system – at zero cost. The ability to open a variety of different file types such as TablEdite and GuitarPro is a boon, as are the various options for export.

The one downside is that the instrument sounds are not as realistic as they could be. If you are using it as a composition tool you could find the inaccuracies somewhat frustrating, but for anything less than a full orchestral piece it is perfectly serviceable.

Read full review | Download TuxGuitar

Related Posts:

Bring out the best in your digital photographs with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

There are a lot of digital darkrooms and photo organizing apps out there with a number of different and overlapping features. If you serious about photography and want to take serious control of your shots, then you really need the right tool for the job. This is one of the reasons why I like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It’s a multiplatform tool with the tools that professionals and prosumers need.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software helps you bring out the best in your photographs, whether you’re perfecting one image, searching for ten, processing hundreds, or organizing thousands.  With it you can create incredible, moving images. One of the best things about it is that you can fearlessly experiment with state-of-the-art, nondestructive, editing tools. If you make a mistake, it’s easy to revert to an unmodified image, or undo the changes.

Lightroom allows you to easily manage all your images, and showcase your work in elegant print layouts, slide shows, and web galleries. You can also upload them to popular, online, photo-sharing sites.  It’s easy to do all of this directly from within this one, fast, intuitive application.

If you’re an advanced amateur or professional photographer, you need a wide range of tools to keep your digital projects creative and organized. Lightroom provides all your essentials in one intuitive package.  It has a wide range of new features and enhanced capabilities, including faster performance, new world-class noise reduction, lens correction, support for DSLR video files, a process to create easy-to-share slide show videos with music, and much more.

In some cases, light, or the lack of it, can create unwanted noise in your photos, even if you know what you’re doing and you meter and light everything as well as you can.  With Lightroom, you can get just the look you want from every shot with state-of-the art image processing tools that let you easily alter contrast, tune color, convert to black-and-white, add grain, reduce noise, adjust sharpness, and more.  Tools of this quality are important, especially if you’re going to go the extra mile and have the photos professionally printed.

read full review | download Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Related Posts:

Get access to all of your files on all of your computing devices with Dropbox

The Cloud.  If you don’t have a piece of it, you’re behind the times and you may be in a serious predicament.  Getting your own private piece of the cloud is so important that I co-wrote and edited an important piece on it for Information Week last summer. The gist of the article was alternatives for what I consider to be one of the absolute BEST online backup and file access tool on the internet today, and really the application and service to copy or beat – Dropbox. It’s a multiplatform tool; and again, it’s a must have.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, documents, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all of your connected computers, phones as well as the Dropbox website. You’ll never be without the data you need, as long as you have an internet connection.

Dropbox makes sharing files easy.  You can invite your friends, family and teammates to any folder in your Dropbox, and it’ll be as if the data was saved right to their computers. You can send people links to specific files in your Dropbox if sharing an entire folder isn’t appropriate. This makes Dropbox perfect for team projects, sharing party photos with friends, or any number of file sharing needs.

If your computer has any kind of meltdown, and you lose EVERYTHING, don’t worry. Dropbox has you covered.  You can use Dropbox to restore all the data from your backup folders in a snap. It’s perfect for hard drive upgrades and computer rebuilds.

read full review | download Dropbox

Related Posts:

Adobe Illustrator – a great way to produce your own art

Creating computer wallpaper takes a special touch and a trained hand.  However, even the trained need a helping hand. This is one of the reasons whyI really like tooks like Adobe Illustrator CS5. It’s a multiplatform graphics editing tool, and its totally awesome.

With Adobe Illustrator, you can design vector graphics with precision and power. You can draw accurately in perspective, create variable-width strokes, paint with lifelike brushes, and let your creative juices flow.  You can create distinctive designs with precise shape-building tools, fluid and painterly brushes, and advanced path controls. You’ll have full control of variable-width strokes, arrowheads, dashes, and art brush scaling along a path.

You can use perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective, creating the look of realistic depth and distance.  You can paint with vectors that resemble real-world brush strokes; and can achieve the expressiveness of natural media with the scalability of a vector graphic tool.

You can also interact with gradients directly on your objects and control the transparency of individual colors in them as well as in gradient meshes. Adobe Illustrator lets you blend and morph one shape into another to create smooth shading, complex contours, and basic animations. Its Blob Brush allows you to sketch with a brush that generates a single clean vector shape, even when strokes overlap. You can draw naturally, using this unique tool together with the Eraser and Smooth tools.

Read full Review | Download Adobe Illustrator

Related Posts:

Remember things big and small from your everyday life with Evernote

One of the most important things that you can do with your mobile device, your computer or laptop is take notes. If you’re a student, educator, or business professional, then you know what I’m talking about. Keeping track of action items, assignments, lesson plans, etc., is something that everyone has an interest in. That’s one of the reasons why I like Evernote. This multifunction tool has specialized functionality in order to keep you organized.

Evernote makes it easy to remember big and small things from your everyday life, using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use, anytime, anywhere. All you need is a connected device and available bandwidth. Evernote does the rest.

With Evernote, you can remember the things that YOU like. You can instantly save everything cool and exciting you see online. You can snap a photo, record some audio and save it to a note and have that note, with that cool content sync to every one of your connected endpoints. As such, you can take notes anywhere. If you’re always on the move, your notes and important information should be too. With Evernote, those important items are on every computer, phone and device you use.

Since notebooks sync instantly, Evernote makes it easy to work with remote friends and colleagues. You can share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates regardless of their location, time zone, etc.  Evernote can be used to bring project information and teams together regardless of who is working on which parts, and can centralize all your information.

Read full Review | Download Evernote for WindowsDownload Evernote for Mac

Related Posts:

iPad 3 Rumors & Thoughts – Part 3: Release and Model Designation

Over that past couple blog entries, we’ve been looking at iPad 3 rumors. There’s been a lot of chatter, and we’ve looked at both hardware and software related gossip.  In this last iPad 3 hub-bub blog, let’s take a look at when, what, and which tablets will be available when.

 

Release Date
Last year, Apple’s iPad 2 was announced on 02, March.  Since Steve passed away, rumors have been mounting that the upgraded iPad 3 will be released on his birthday, or somewhere close.

It seems that this year’s announcement will be made at around the same timeframe as last year’s announcement.  Apple currently has an event scheduled for the first week of March. While the company hasn’t come out and either confirmed it or set the ACTUAL date, clearly point to an event in San Francisco at the beginning of next month. AllThingsD isn’t always correct, but they do seem to have the inside track on many things.  This rumor also seems to be accurate, as no one has come out to shoot it down.  Look for one or two more developments in this area – an actual event scheduling, or a “mea culpa” from ATD.

Device Designation – iPad 3, HD, or 2S
This and the last rumor I’ve heard and give credibility to are closely tied together.  The actual product name for the next generation iPad hasn’t been announced yet, and a credible, “it’s definitely gonna be called…” rumor has yet to hit the airwaves.

As far as my thoughts on this..? Again, that depends on one or two major marketing decisions. I’ve heard additional rumors that due to space considerations the A6 processor that is rumored to be used in the iPad 3 won’t be quad-core. A quad-core processor would be too big to fit in the body shapes that we’ve seen hitting rumors sites. As such, the A6 will be dual-core.

If the A6 is just a revamped or upgraded A5 dual-core processor, look for the next generation iPad to be called the iPad 2S. If iPad 3 gets the upgraded screen we’ve been talking about, even with the dual-core A6, look for the next generation iPad to be called the iPad HD or again, the 2S.

Apple seems in love with its “S” identifier for hardware models that offer differentiation, but not enough to warrant a new model designation. While the iPad HD designation really sounds sexy and may be favorably received, they’ve not used this type of designation on any other devices that sport HD screens (like their MacBook Pro’s that offer HD screens).  So, I really don’t see them using it for iPad. However, you can look for the iPad 3 designation to be used on a chassis/ device form factor redesign, like the one between the iPad and the iPad 2.

Available Models
Here’s where things get interesting… if the A6 dual-core rumors are true, I really do think that the iPad 3 will be released as the iPad 2S.  I also think at that point, that we’ll see a similar marketing move with it as we saw with the iPhone 4/4S – the older model will be reduced in price, will be made available in a single connectivity (Wi-Fi only) and storage size option (likely 16GB); and be sold alongside its newly introduced sibling.

The iPad 2 is a strong seller, and more importantly is a very capable tablet.  It seems logical that Apple would greatly reduce the price and capture even more of the tablet market with an iPad 2, priced at say, $299-$349.  If that happens, you’ll definitely see me pick up an iPad 2. If not, then I probably won’t, as my iPad 1 works just fine for what I do with it (eBooks and movies on the commute to and from work).

Wrapping it all up
Any way you slice it, Apple Watching is an interesting sport. It’s very difficult to channel their marketing people, and their intended direction.  The one thing that I can say with 100% certainty, however, is that 2012 plans to be a banner year for the most valuable company in the world. With the release of both the iPad 3/HD/2S and the iPhone 5 almost a certainty, Apple stock will continue its upward climb.  The company will capture more tablet, smartphone and enterprise market share, as consumers continue to fall in love with its products.

Related Posts:

iPad 3 Rumors & Thoughts – Part 2: iOS 6

With Steve Jobs gone and his legacy not completely publically known or understood, the iPad 3 is almost a complete unknown as well. Let’s take a look at some of the rumors and see what’s what.

I’ve been reading the authorized Steve Jobs biography, and quite honestly, I’ve been learning a great deal. Apple very much *IS* Steve Jobs, and vice-versa. It’s been an interesting read. Much of the design and thoughts for the iPad itself came before the iPhone. It was put on hold to address and release the need for the iPhone. However, the magic that is the iPhone will forever be beholden to the iPad. This was probably one of the most interesting revelations I’ve encountered in the book so far. But the iPad… that was Steve’s baby. He really wanted to do a tablet to counter the netbook surge and push, which is pretty much OVER at this point.

Apple has the tablet market pretty much sewn up. At this point, Android can try all it wants, but without the walled garden that Apple has cultivated and nurtured, it’s going to be hard for Google, any of their hardware partners, or ANYONE really, to catch up to them any time soon.

So, with all that, let’s take a quick gander at what is likely to come to iPad and iPhone fans alike with the next major release of iOS.

Siri Matures
I’ve been using my iPhone 4S for a couple of months, and I really like Siri; though at times, I think she thinks I have a speech impediment. I keep on asking her, “what’s my day like;” and she keeps telling me that she doesn’t understand, “what’s my daylight.” Awesome. Love that. I’ve also noticed that Siri on EDGE isn’t as accurate as Siri on 3G/4G (HSPA+); but that’s another matter entirely.

With the next MAJOR release of iOS, meaning iOS 6, we’re going to see a major bump in Siri’s maturity level. You’re going to be able to ask her to do a lot more and she’s going to be more integrated in how the device works. While she won’t be a complete consumer AI, she’s going to be the closest thing that John Q. Public will likely see for a while

Siri’s biggest problem, however, is not what she can’t do, or even that she may not listen very well. It’s that people don’t really know all of what she can and cannot do. My biggest problem with Siri is that I really don’t know what she’s capable of; and depending on what kind of cellular coverage you may have, if your inside or outside the Wi-Fi zone or perhaps having a bad hair day, Siri’s success in understanding what you want/need/mean when you speak may vary.

Apple needs to improve her listening skills and needs to insure that the local device does as much of the heavy lifting as it can. Voice recognition shouldn’t depend on your network connection speed. For example, when I ask Siri to call so and so, Siri seems to do a lot of thinking on my end. I know I have 1600+ contacts, but the response back from her should be almost instantaneous if I have so and so in my Contact List.

Support for Siri over LTE is also pretty much a no-brainer, given the inclusion of the mobile technology at a hardware level.

Improved Google Maps and Navigation Integration
There are two issues here – an improved Google Maps (just called Maps in iOS, but it’s the same thing) and integration with a navigation app. Its separate for a couple of reasons.

  • Google Maps for iOS is a mapping only app. There have been improvements made to Maps over the past few full revisions of iOS, but it’s not done anything more than provide map information and directions from A to B since its introduction.
  • Google has kept turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps for its own Android OS.

In the next major version of iOS, Apple needs to give you support for the following use case:

  • 1. User – Siri, where’s the nearest ?
  • 2. Siri – I have found the following near your location.
  • 3. Siri – Would you like to navigate/go to any of them.
  • 4. User – Yes
  • 5. Siri – Which ?
  • 6. User –
  • 7. Siri – Would you like to walk or drive there from your current location? (if walking is a reasonable option)
  • 8. User –
  • 9. Siri – Which navigation application would you like to use? You have the following navigation applications installed.

or,

  • You don’t have any navigation applications installed. Would you like to search for and purchase one from the App Store?

or,

  • You don’t have any navigation applications installed. Would you like to me to generate directions with Maps?
  • 10. User – Makes appropriate choice
  • 11. Siri – Provides directions or launches purchased navigation app, passing the appropriate origin and destination variables to the app.

This will require modification on the part of the navigation app so it can accept these variables from Siri, but that should be doable, especially if Apple provides the appropriate API’s. Apple also needs to grow Siri so that she can control hardware iPhone components (volume, screen brightness, Bluetooth radio (Siri, turn on Bluetooth and pair/connect with/to.)

At the end of the day, though, you can see that Apple needs to do something with the current version of Maps, because it’s just not cutting it. Maps is nice, but giving me directions and not turn by turn navigation is not what users want. Apple doesn’t control the version of Maps in iOS, and while they can augment it some with Siri, and perhaps provide an API so other navigation apps can fit in, there are rumors that a recent acquisition may be a more likely result than an API for other navigation apps or than expecting Google to bring its Navigation to the party.

Come back next time, and I’ll dive into when and how the iPad 3 will be released.

Related Posts:

NW Docx Converter the magic files reader

With so many different file formats available, it is great to have a utility that lets you open, read, and print PDF, Html, RTF, Docx, Sxw, Odt, pdb and prc files. These files can be opened independently of the Office or OpenOffice applications and the results can be saved in PDF format. Users can preview the extracted data, page by page, and choose to send it to print or save it in another format.

The program runs on both Windows and Linux (under WINE). It is a very small file and runs straight from an executable, so it does not require installation or changes to your registry. Conversions are very fast with minimal impact on memory and CPU. Works even if you have an outdated system or document program.

Microsoft´s Docx format has caused a lot of problems for users who can not open this type of file with their applications. Users are now able to access multi-format documents, with the use of one simple app, that does not require installation, or a drag on computer resources. The NW Docx Converter does much more than the name implies, and at only 2MB packs great functionality into such a small download.

Unfortunately conversions are not always perfect.

read full review | download NW Docx Converter

Related Posts:

Stay in touch with Soft32

Soft32.com is a software free download website that provides:

121.218 programs and games that were downloaded 237.780.356 times by 402.775 members in our Soft32.com Community!

Get the latest software updates directly to your inbox

Find us on Facebook