And then there were four: quadruplet Sony HD camcorders, that is. When they ship on June 27, the $1,200 Memory Stick Duo-based Handycam HDR-CX7 and $1,400 hard-disk-based HDR-SR7 will join the tape-based HDR-HC7 and DVD-based HDR-UX7 to provide consumers with an almost bewildering array of HD options.
They differ primarily by storage media. All use the same 1/2.9-inch, 3.2-megapixel ClearVid CMOS sensor, recording video at 2.3-megapixel (HD) or 1.7-megapixel (SD) resolution before downsampling and encoding to 1080i HD (1,920x540) or SD (720x480), respectively. They also shoot photos at native 2.3-megapixel (16:… Read more
It's no secret the Nintendo Wii has been doing extremely well as a gaming platform. One of the best things to do out of the box is play around with the Mii channel, a personal avatar creation tool for tailoring every aspect of your virtual persona. It didn't take long for an enterprising developer from Adobe to re-create the same experience online, which has resulted in the Mii Editor.
Mii Editor is a near-perfect recreation of the Nintendo Mii creation tool, right down to the interface. Users can change face shape, hair, eyebrows, eyes, and small details like glasses and facial hair. The entire setup runs in Adobe Flash, so there's no load time or need to refresh when making changes.
When you're done, there are several export options, including social-network friendly JPEG files and a URL permalink to send to friends. While some of the Wii magic is lost doing this with a mouse and a computer screen, making these things is a blast.
Related: Crave: Let it Bii
In the last two weeks we've gotten a large number of reports of choppy video on CNET TV. The symptoms were so odd that I had to reproduce them myself before our engineers would believe them. Users have reported that they hear the audio on CNET TV just fine, but to get the video to play smoothly, users reported, "I have to move my mouse in circles."
The good news is we have narrowed this down to a bug that occurs in earlier versions of the Flash Player when running Windows Vista, with IE 7 in Protected … Read more
Toshiba announced today that it has created a 16GB flash memory chip intended for consumer products such as cell phones and MP3 players. This is the highest capacity NAND flash memory chip to date, doubling the existing ceiling of 8GB. The 16GB chip is set to ship in the fall, just in time to make Apple's flash memory-based 8GB iPhone seem cramped.
The chip is designed around eight 2GB elements and boasts a copy speed of 6MB per second, with a 15MB per second read speed. Expect a wave of tiny 16GB flash MP3 players for the holidays.
Via … Read more
Now's the time for early adopters who can afford Adobe Creative Suite 3 to break out their credit cards. The professional interactive design software is officially for sale online. If you can't plunk down upwards of $1,000 for a suite (more in Europe--or buy a plane ticket from there to the States if you want to spend less), then check out some freebie Web-based and downloadable alternatives.
Thanks to Adobe's work to incorporate its staple software with its Macromedia acquisitions from 2005, integration throughout the applications is the biggest news to report with this upgrade. There … Read more
Christmas came early today for the folks at Zune Scene--at least, if their story is true. According to the blog, a chance meeting between the undercover blogger and a Microsoft employee yielded some golden nuggets of Zune news:
Zune 2.0 coming this year. The hard drive player will be thinner with more capacity, but still with the double-shot finish (probably in a number of colors). Parts will be made at a new plant in China, implying that Microsoft won't be buying the player from Toshiba this time around.
Flash Zune coming, too. According to the report, the … Read more
Here's a new Web app that will knock you flat: Scrapblog. In development since last year, the site finally went public on Monday, April 2. It's a service for creating online multimedia packages, in particular, collections of photos and videos. As you might gather from the name, its designers want to deliver a level of flexibility that's similar to what you get when you're building a real-world scrapbook.
With Scrapblog, it's easy to place photos anywhere on a page, rotate them, crop them, and so on. The same for videos--but so far, you can get … Read more
Want an iPod Nano, but stuck with a fourth-generation player? One DIYer has figured out a way to remove his iPod's hard drive and replace it with with an adapter that can accommodate plug-in flash memory cards.
Make Magazine spotted the most recent efforts of Mark Hoekestra, who posted his tips on Geektechnique.org. He took two iPods, a 40GB photo model and a 20GB regular model, and replaced the hard drives with a homemade adapter. After getting well-acquainted with his soldering iron, he produced a working iPod capable of storing songs on flash memory.
(Read about other alternatives for Adobe Creative Suite in the first part of Roll your own Adobe CS3 for free.)
Okay, so you can get the basic functionalities of Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Dreamweaver without the gut-punch to your wallet. What's that you say? How about Flash?
Synfig Studio is a great answer to the replace-Flash question. Like Flash, it's a 2D vector-based animation tool, and it's one of several programs I found that tries to conquer that particular programming mountain, and does an admirable job of it--especially for freeware.
Synfig takes a bit of effort, but if you're reading this blog post then you can probably handle it. There are four install files that need to be installed in order: Gtkmm, Gtk+, Synfig Core and Synfig Studio. (Apparently, I can't handle it, since it took me two tries to get a successful installation.) There's also what seems like several metric tons of documentation and tutorials on the Synfig wiki, which is befitting for any app with Linux roots that has been ported to Windows.
Neither Flash nor Synfig make for quick studies without a guide, but both are learnable. Whether Synfig is truly capable of competing with Flash for complex multimedia animations remains to be seen. Is anyone out there giving it a try?… Read more