Spotify Updates Social Network Integration, But What Now For mflow?

spotify-logoWe’ve already covered the new, but now delayed updated Spotify features on Zath, and we like what we see. But, these new features, aren’t they, well, stealing the thunder of mflow a little?

Indeed, the new Spotify features have been so well received that the Swedish streamers decided to pull back their open download of the updates, choosing instead to automatigically update users’ interfaces over the next few weeks.

For anyone unacquainted with the service, mflow is billed as ‘the social music store'; it’s an app that lets you stream music (for a fee) and share it with your friends via social networks and through the service itself. Not only that, but it empowers you to share your favourite music because if one of your friends buys something you’ve recommended to them, you get a 20% cut.
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New Spotify Update – Song & Playlist Sharing On Facebook

spotify-logoSpotify announced big changes to their service this morning with v0.4.3 in a move to integrate social networking sites in to their desktop software application, describing it as an “evolution of its service”. With the integration of social networking, users can share music tracks that they’re listening to with each other, and see what their friends are listening to as well.

Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify, said “We’re marrying the best bits of Facebook and we’re marrying the best bits of iTunes and we’ve moved them in to Spotify.”

Using the new version, users can not only pull their friends from Facebook and import their information, but you can also import songs from iTunes, giving you one place for all of the music tracks that you want to listen to, including those residing on your hard drive.
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The Apple iPad Finally Arrives, But How Will It Be Used?

apple-ipad-home-screen-smallAs we all know, the iPad debuts across America this Saturday, and the buzz surrounding the release is on par with the iPhone release back in 2007. In fact, demand for iPad pre-orders have matched up with the iPhone’s, and may even be greater when the device becomes available at the weekend.

Why, then, has it divided many opinions of analysts and consumers alike? As with any Apple product release, an unprecedented amount of hype surrounded the iPad, stretching back to the mid-noughties when we first heard of Apple’s plans to release a tablet. Immense speculation built up in the weeks and months before the actual iPad announcement as to the functionality and design of the product, with the design being leaked on the net days before Apple’s keynote.

Why, therefore, has it divided so many opinions and made so many people question; do we need an Apple iPad or any tablet device? I believe that a lot of people expected Apple’s tablet to be have iPod like functionality, but to resemble the iPhone so closely and run the iPhone OS was a little too predictable for me. To me, there was no ‘one more thing’ feature that made the product unique. Yes, the iPad’s a great device and offers a lot of things to many consumers, but the shock element wasn’t there, either because we’d already heard so much about it or simply because it was too predictable.
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Daniusoft Video Converter Free Review

daniusoft-media-converter-free-box-coverDaniusoft has now released a free version of their video converter, perhaps unsurprisingly named Daniusoft Video Converter Free that promises an intuitive interface that’s easy to use and that it can handle an abundance of formats and take care of all your converting needs!

If you saw our coverage of Daniusoft’s Media Converter Ultimate a few months back, you may be familiar with the interface and the plethora of output formats it offered too. The interface of their free video converter is just as easy to use as the paid version, and a lot of great features are offered at no cost at all.

Using the converter, you can convert your files in to AVI, WMV, MPEG, MOV, FLV and MP4 videos for use with various devices you may own. Once you’ve chosen the output profile that you want to use, you can also further tweak the settings of your conversion, with options allowing you to change the resolution, encoder, bit rate and change audio settings too. It even gives you the choice of splitting the video, which is a great option if you’re going to then burn the file to a CD or DVD after the conversion and need to make sure it fits on!
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Apple iPad Bargain! – The Real Launch Cost Of Apple Products

apple-ipad-home-screen-smallDuring the Apple iPad launch announcement, Steve Jobs claimed it had an ‘unbelievable price’ attached. With the basic model starting at $500, I’m pretty much undecided whether I agree. But what if you look back down the years at the long line of mesmerising products which have graced our shelves.

The first Apple iPod, the first ever Macintosh Portable, even the Apple Lisa. How much would they have cost today? A recent study was carried out to find out exactly this. Accounting for inflation how much would we be paying in today’s money, what so many people did back then. The results are actually quite astonishing.

One of the biggest arguments against Apple is their pricing and it seems it always has been. For example, perhaps the most incredible result of all that emerged from these tests was the Apple Lisa. The first commercially sold personal computer to have a graphical user interface would have set you back a whopping $21,745 in today’s money.
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iTunes 9.1 Update Released – Now iPad Ready!

apple-itunes-9-logoThose of you in the States with an Apple iPad on pre-order for delivery on Saturday (yes, it’s that close!) will be glad to know that Apple released iTunes 9.1 a few hours ago, bringing a few changes.

The first of which is the ability for iTunes to sync with iPad’s, so you’ll be able to get all of your content loaded on there without any problems! This brings me to the second change, which allows you to sync not only your media content, but also your iBooks collection. If you’re planning on using your iPad as an e-book reader it looks like you’re all set and ready to go from day one!
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iConcertCal Android App Review

iconcertcal-android-app-logoIf you’ve never heard of it, iConcertCal is an iTunes plugin available for Windows and Mac OS X, an iPhone app and now a Google Android OS app. It takes a look at your music library and tells you of upcoming gigs and albums based on the bands you listen to, giving you a personalised calendar of events of things happening in your location.

The application is split into several categories. ‘My Shows’ allows you to look at concerts and upcoming album releases of bands in your library in your city. If you want to look at all the concerts happening where you are, you can view the ‘All Shows’ list which will give you a list of every concert where you are.

If you find a concert that you want to see, every concert listing includes links that allow you to pre-order tickets for the event to make sure you don’t miss out, and even offer a built-in map to the venue of the concert, giving you directions if you aren’t sure where to go! Similarly, you can also purchase and pre-order listed albums too. You can change the order of the lists, and arrange the listings displayed by venue, or even how far away they are from your current location, which is a neat integration of GPS in the app, offering a great service if you want to see what’s available around you at the time of searching.
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How to Restore / Reset Your iPhone 3G/3GS/4

iphone-3gs-front-back-242In the past I’ve written about my experiences of Apple’s big iPhone 3.0 software update in which I’ve had my doubts over useful the update itself was and found that after two months I had to try to restore my (then) iPhone 3G PAYG as I suspected (or hoped) the problems I had were due to some corrupted files and not a hardware fault.

Now as much as I like to do my fair share of Apple-bashing like any decent PC user and coupled with the highly annoying iTunes sluggishness we experience in Windows, I have to admit that they have made managing your iPhone day-to-day in terms of synchronising, backing up and restoring it when needed very simple and effective.

Unfortunately, iPhones are not without their faults, issues and problems like any other mobile phone or mini-computer, the worst one I’ve experienced a few times now is everytime you try to start an app, it would then immediately crash! Handy eh? Suffice to say, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to become familiar with restoring and resetting the two iPhones that I’ve owned so far.
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Altec Lansing VS2620 Desktop Speakers Review

altec-lansing-vs26200-desktop-speakers-smallAfter deciding to use my laptop has a pretty much permanent home media set up, I decided that I would move my desktop speakers to provide better sound quality than the standard built in speakers when watching movies and TV shows. This left me short on audio in my Mac Mini (Other than the pretty much useless built in speakers). Therefore I went out on the lookout for some low budget desktop speakers.

After recently receiving some Altec Lansing iPod speakers and being sufficiently impressed, I must say I now have great loyalty to the brand. So you can imagine my delight at coming across a pair of desktop speakers that fit the bill perfectly, from the same company. Having looked around at alternatives from other well known brands such as Logitech, the difference in price was minimal, but the deciding factor in opting for the Altec Lansing VS2620 Desktop Speakers, was as much the aesthetic appeal as anything else.
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Linux Training Week: Software Availability

One of the biggest issues when moving away from Windows is software availability; what we do on a computer isn’t defined by the operating system, but the third party software we use on that operating system. Because most of the software written for Linux operating systems is open source, it may be difficult to find a replacement for the everyday software that you use on Windows or Mac OS X.

Web Browsers and Email

Everybody has their favourite browser, and you’ll find many available for Linux. I chose to use Firefox (which is installed on Ubuntu by default), Google Chrome (my browser of preference on Windows and OS X) and Opera 10 Browser in addition to this.

When testing each browser, I found them to be on par with each other, although Opera was definitely slower than Firefox and Chrome. I found Chrome to be extremely fast and lightweight in comparison to Firefox, and it remains my browser of choice on Linux. If you make the switch, or already use Ubuntu, I definitely recommend checking Chrome out. Enabling Flash was also an easy process – I simply downloaded the plugin on first use and everything worked great.
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