Sometimes, you just don't need the whole enchilada. Freeware video players like The KMPlayer, GOM Player, VLC Player, and others are excellent at what they do and are generally lightweight, but they look like top-heavy refrigerators compared with these nimble and zippy yet similarly named Flash players. But are Free FLV Player, FLV Player, Riva FLV Player, and BitComet FLV Player all the same, or does one pull ahead of the pack?
I was surfing the Web flipping through my bookmarks Sunday afternoon when I found a great screensaver for both Windows and Mac. SurveillanceSaver cycles through more than 400 surveillance cameras from around the world. Before you begin fashioning a hat from tinfoil and closing all your blinds, I should note these cameras are mostly wide-sweeping live shots from various countries.
SurveillanceSaver cycles randomly through each camera giving you about 2 minutes to take in the surroundings before switching to a new camera. You'll get live streams of a blizzard in Helsingborg, Sweden, followed by a shot of a lonely … Read more
Because it's Monday, I figure you could all use a little amusement. Here's a blurry camera-phone video shot at Friday night's launch party for New York dot-com Dropio at the West Village nightclub Le Royale, in which the dance floor got a little bit rowdy.
Watch British import Pete Cashmore, founder of social-networking blog Mashable, bounce around like Silly Putty. (He's the guy in the Mashable T-shirt.) With him is entrepreneur and dance-floor buddy Michael Gruen (guy in the argyle sweater).
One of the best choices for online telephony for Mac just got better. The latest Skype update pushes the program to version 2.7.257 adding support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and higher-resolution video for face-to-face video calls. The new default resolution is 640x480 pixels at 25 frames per second. You are only limited by your Webcam, so get out there and upgrade so that your friends and family can have a bigger, crisper view of your smiling mug on their desktop.
Skype has always been one of my favorite applications for its familiar chat-like interface, and … Read more
The very popular Videora iPod Converter is one case in which an app shouldn't be too hastily judged by its name. This video-converting freebie transforms files for the range of Apple's ilk--three types of iPods and the iPhone to boot. Videora iPod Converter can grab and convert YouTube videos through an in-app browser (this is good for owners of the classic iPods), and will also work over files stored on your desktop (this is good for everyone).
However, Videora iPod Converter isn't the only free converter in town, and it has some notable drawbacks. Decide if it'… Read more
If IMing friends from mobile to mobile is faster and cheaper than sending SMS messages, then IMing photos, videos, and music clips is even better.Fring announced this week an update to its Symbian 9.1 and Symbian 9.2 offerings (sorry, Windows Mobile) that lets registered members swap files. This is the first I've heard of file-sharing from any mobile IM service, though saving the best perks for members is common to others, like EQO, that have far grander ambitions than simple all-in-one chat.
Much like file-sharing from desktop chat apps, fring (it really is lower-case) files ride … Read more
Drum roll, please. America's most intriguing and addictive collaborations to emerge in the last 2 years is back. And, just when we thought we had finally got rid of the song "Crazy" from the brain, now we got "Run" to worry about. The track sounds straight out of the swingin' 60s -- bearing the same kind of excitement as early James Brown or like the peak song in a great musical. Theatrical as it may be, it's still contemporary (yet addicting) thanks to Cee-lo's hefty soul shouts and Danger Mouse forward thinking production style.
Gnarls Barkley new album suitably entitled, The Odd Couple is set for release in April. Check out the new single "Run" plus the classics and mind tripping videos that made this odd couple so hip and love able. … Read more
The field of freeware media players that claim support for most or all playback formats out there is growing. GOM, VLC, and KMPlayer tend to top people's lists. KMPlayer is perhaps the least known of the three, but if you haven't toyed around with the level of customization that it offers, you're missing out.
If you've ever wanted to run a bunch of video widgets on your desktop, there's a new service for you called uvLayer. It's a tiny Adobe AIR application that lets you search, view, and organize Web video clips on your desktop and share them with others. The videos come courtesy of YouTube and Truveo--the AOL-owned video search tool.
What sets uvLayer appart from basic Web video browsing are its sharing features which are robust. The application lets you cobble together a instant-messanger-like friends list and drag and drop any video you think they would enjoy. If they're using the application, your shared video will simply show up on their desktop like a new e-mail would in your in-box. Likewise, you can simply hop over to see what they're watching if they're online.
For bookmarking addicts, uvLayer also lets you share entire sets full of Web videos via URL. If your recipient has the application installed, their screen will simply fill up with your video picks, complete with your original groupings. You can then syndicate these Webtops to both your uvLayer buddies, and your Facebook friends who will be able to view it right in the Facebook application.
The entire uvLayer experience is very reminiscent of OS X's Dashboard for widgets, as you can flip each item around and get access to some of the metadata like the rating and any user comments. It's very flashy. In fact, if you're running the latest version of OS X, then uvLayer might not be that interesting considering you can rip out nearly any Web video and put it on your Dashboard using Safari's Web clips feature.
I'm not sold on the value of watching videos in a virtual desktop environment. While convenient, I think there's a ton of added value to the community of users where the video's hosted. Admittedly when a video hits the front page of Digg or Fark, the user comments from those sites are usually much more entertaining, but the same can't be said when you're passing it along to a just handful of people.
I've embedded a live version of uvLayer after the break (taken from Ryan Stewart's first look over at his blog on ZDNet). Be sure to check out its stacking feature, which lets you group together several videos at once by drawing a box around them with your mouse.… Read more
Doritos parent company Frito-Lay has been a proponent of the user-generated TV ad for some time now. Last year, it kicked off its "Crash the Super Bowl" advertising campaign, in which ordinary people (OK, ordinary people with nice cameras and video-editing skills) created ads for the cheesy chips and submitted them to the company, where they were promptly posted on YouTube.
For Super Bowl XLII, in which many of the game's high-profile ads turned out to be disappointing or downright stupid (at least in my opinion--but the Budweiser ads were pretty good this year), the second annual &… Read more