View and play all of your media with AK Player

Playing media where and when you want it isn’t always easy, especially with today’s complex ecosystems and new compression algorithms. Playing Flash content while disconnected is also a problem. Adobe doesn’t make an offline player. This is why I like AK Player. It’s a cool media Player for Windows.

AK Player allows you to watch videos from your favorite internet sites, even when you aren’t connected.  This free media player can download content from your favorite media website, like YouTube, and then play it while you’re offline.  One of the reasons why it does this and does this so well is due to its dual media player engines. It plays just about everything.

The app is almost compatible with any and every file format out there.  This is important since there are so many different audio and video formats.  With AK Player all you really need is its one, dual engine player.  However, I did have trouble getting it to play iTunes compatible media, as well as DRM’ed files, although that last one wasn’t surprising.

AK-Player can play multiple files at the same time, something which really sets it apart from virtually every other media player out there. Even better is the fact that you can control the volume or mute or unmute the audio in each individual window that you have open. It has a global volume control, too. When you double click on a new media file, it will automatically open in a new window without closing down the currently open file. It plays multiple files simultaneously and organize it in a smart playlist.

AK Player is a cool app. There’s a lot to like here, especially if you like playing Flash based movies, and aren’t always connected to the internet.  The app allows you to play, as well as organize and search your hard drive for files you’ve got stored. The one thing that annoyed me a little was the fact that it wouldn’t play *.m4a files, DRM’ed or not.  However, despite that, AK Player is a decent Windows media player and is a lot of fun to use.

download AK Player

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Transfer music and video files from iPod and iPhone with Ease

Have you had a problem with your computer or hard drive, lost all your music, then connected your iPod to your computer, hoping you could do a two-way transfer? Unfortunately, when you do that iTunes won’t let you copy your previous music library to your computer. That’s where Sharepod comes in. With Sharepod, you can copy music you have stored on your iPod to your computer with a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can arrange by track, by album or by playlist.

Sharepod is a simple, single-executable application that doesn’t need installing. So whether you are at home or a friend’s, it is easy to download, open and have your iPod connected within seconds. As well as iPod to PC sharing, Sharepod allows you to copy music from your PC to iPod without the need for iTunes. This is a great if you have multiple computers and want to use your iPod with all of them, instead of connecting your mp3 player to just one device.

Sharepod is a great freeware application for transferring music from your iPod to other computers and back again. If you have multiple computers in your home network or want to share music with friends, there is no simpler way to do it than with Sharepod. Sharepod fixes the universal problem iPod users have when trying to connect their device to secondary computers.

Download Sharepod

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Take control of your music library with DSSDJ

The one big problem with parties is that I never know how I want to manage my playlists for them. Having iTunes or other digital music manager is fine, but when I want to get things mixed together for dancing or just as background music for a dinner party, its nice to have an application like DSS DJ. It’s a digital DJ for Windows.

Beginner DJ’s will feel right at home.  DSS DJ is great for both the experienced and inexperienced digital DJ.  It can help you pull it all together, while simulating the same tasks as the hardware equipment you’re familiar seeing as part of your standard DJ rig.  DSS DJ is much more than an audio player. It’s professional, live mixing software especially developed to use and experiment with DJ techniques without turntables, a dual CD player or other DJ equipment.

DSS DJ has advanced preview functions. When a song is playing through your speakers, you can listen to the next song or any other one through your headphones.  You can tweak the playback before sending it through your audio output device or speakers. You can also listen to the current song and the next one in the playlist in perfect synchronization, to see how the two songs overlap.

A three channel equalizer allows you to modify the track in each audio deck. The equalizers also have kill functions to eliminate the bass, middle and high frequencies. You can keep the rhythm you want with just a mouse click. With powerful real time effect blocking, you can easily apply desired effects to your tracks. The playback speed can be changed using the pitch slider in each deck, the pitch reset and bend functions in each audio deck. All program modules run in real time and their settings are automatically loaded and saved.

read full review | download DSS DJ

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AIMP 3 comes with its own sound engine

While others were starting to celebrate the New Year’s Eve, the team behind the AIMP project released the third stable version of this popular music player.

Starting back in 2006, AIMP became the Russian response to Winamp. Since then the player suffered three major changes, that brought the player to its actual stable state: a comprehensive music player that is 100% free and features a plethora of audio formats: CDA, .AAC, .AC3, .APE, .DTS, .FLAC, .IT, .MIDI, .MO3, .MOD, .M4A, .M4B, .MP1, .MP2, .MP3, .MPC, .MTM, .OFR, .OGG, .RMI, .S3M, .SPX, .TAK, .TTA, .UMX, .WAV, .WMA, .WV, .XM.

The most important think about AIMP 3 is the fact that the player comes with its own sound engine, which means that you can now control the audio output through ASIO, WASAPI or DirectSound. With its new engine, you can also take advantage of your surround system either 5.1 or 7.1. Let’s not forget to mention the redesigned Audio Library, the extended playlist functionality and dozens of bug fixes and tweaks.

Unfortunately, AIMP 3 inherited the same crowded interface with lots of buttons on each window. It may look like a demanding application to control, but I assure you that each button has its own role in the whole functionality of the system. But in order to learn it, you have to rely only on the tooltips, that are spread everywhere on the interface. Being a Russian product, lots of useful things about this product are not translated, and even if you can choose the English language on the homepage of aimp.ru you will still get a lot of info in Russian.

If you are into music, and want to try a free player, apart from Winamp, I encourage you to try out AIMP.

download AIMP 3

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10 esential media players to choose from

Giving the fact that most of us are listening to music or watching videos on a daily basis, I thought that it might be useful to write a short guide presenting you 10 essential media players from which you can choose the one that is suitable. Starting in a randomly order:

Nullsoft Winamp

One of the oldest media players on the market supported by a huge community. You can choose to use its free version which is suitable for listening to music and to online radio and gives you unlimited access to custom playlists. For the payed version you will get access to a video player module and a comprehensive list of audio and graphical plug-ins.

iTunes

Mostly known for its online market and exclusive sync feature with iPod players, iTunes is nothing else but a huge music library. It can scan your computer for audio files and arrange them in order based on defined filters. It will automatically download for free covers for any music album and additional information from the iTunes marketplace.

Windows Media Player

Any Windows user knows this media player. It exists since the dawn of computers and along with Winamp makes the oldest couple in the media players market. It’s free and integrated in any Windows operating system and has video and audio functions. In terms of video playback, the player comes with native wma support. Any other codecs need to be installed in order to run specific video files. The audio section is much better represented with lots of options to organize your music collection. Version 12 (available only in Windows 7) can also be used as Media Center for third party consoles such as XBOX 360 and PS3.

VLC for Windows | VLC for MAC

The one that you need. It’s free and ready to play any video format including MKV, XVID, DIVX, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc. VLC is an open source project that earned its popularity because of its own engine that requires no additional codecs to be installed. Any type of video or audio file can be played with no problems. The only drawback is that from version to version, VLC becomes bigger and bigger.

BSPlayer

One of the most popular free video players. BSPlayer has been focused from the beginning on delivering the best video experience for the user requiring very low CPU and RAM usage while running. It also features a wide variety of display modes (all types of aspect ratios and uncommon resolutions) and subtitle options which enable the users to watch video files in many of the world’s languages.

Quicktime

Quicktime is included by default in any Mac operating system and delivered for free for other operating systems. In general you will find it in bundle with iTunes. While iTunes is strictly for music, Quicktime is strictly for videos. It suffers from the same lack of options like Windows Media Player when coming to special video formats or subtitles support, but delivers an incredible image quality when playing high definition videos.

ALLPlayer

Developed by Arthur Majtczak, AllPlayer is probably the most popular program for watching movies on the Polish market. With full subtitles support it plays all known media formats, and furthermore has an implemented LiveUpdate function to update the latest codecs if there is a problem with opening a movie file. The program also searches for matching subtitles in all languages automatically.
Unlike most players, ALLPlayer is not merely an overlay for MediaPlayer, and it uses DirectX, which makes it possible to play any movie. The program is also integrated with a speech synthesizer application, allowing you to watch movies with subtitles with a reader (dubbing).
GOM Player

GOM Player ranks among the most popular media players in Asia. It’s a video/audio player with additional multimedia functions. GOM uses low CPU utilization while giving you the best possible image and subtitle quality. It can also play incomplete files (with missing indexes) without buffering. Similar to VLC, GOM can play any media files due to its built-in codecs library. In addition, Codec Finder service helps codec installation; this service will tell you exactly which codec you should install and where you can download the codec. This service is powerful, easy to use, and highly interactive. With it’s help, you can watch any media files of various formats.

RealPlayer

Very popular in its former days on the US market, RealPlayer is more of a social multimedia player suited for online services and mobile devices. You can download videos from tens of thousands of websites with the click of a button and easily transfer them to your phone or mobile device. RealPlayer comes also with social network support. You can pick a downloaded video from your library and click on the icon for the social network you want to share it on (or the envelope icon if you just want to e-mail it). Voila! Your desired video from your local collection is uploaded.

Media Player Classic

If you want to return to the pure simplicity, then you need to take a look at Media Player Classic. It’s really the easiest way to play video on your PC. Started as a free project by Gabest, Media Player Classic is an enhanced version of Windows Media Player 6.4. This program can play DVDs with the help of external decoders like WinDVD and it can also play RealMedia files, if RealPlayer One is installed. It requires additional codecs installation for specific video files.

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YouTube will get a new look

As part of their major changes in terms of usability and look for all their products, Google launched a new public project. Cosmic Panda is their new vision of YouTube’s interface, a design that gives a much clearer perspective of its content.

Being based on video content, YouTube service will receive a much more fluid and visually detailed design including enlarged video thumbnails with 16:9 aspect ration. The content of your channel or the related playlist will feature larger pictures for any video compared to the tiny thumbnails present now, and the comments field can be hidden and replaced anytime by the suggested list of videos.

A welcome change will be also made for the background color. Instead of the polar white that works but somehow forces your eye especially when you watch darker video clips, you will get a dark grey background that will reduce the eye strain. Another important change will be the fact that you can change the dimension of the screen by browsing different size boxes. It’s a very intuitive way of controlling your watching experience.

Playlists will become an important feature of the service, achieving their goal of being more social. You will get a visual representation for each of your playlist and a timeline where you can order or re-order its content and even the option to loop them if you want.

Overall the new design for YouTube service is already welcomed by many users and in the end it seems the final version will be mostly unchanged to what now the project Cosmic Panda has to offer.

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