Geek Reviews: Music Player AIMP 2

I love trying out cool music players.  I have already written about several players and no doubt will continue that trend.  Today I will cover the sleek, free, and powerful AIMP2.    AIMP2 could probably be best described as a Winamp alternative of sorts.  The cool thing about AIMP is they do not hold out features only available in a “pro” version.  AIMP2 is very light on system resources and can play basically any media file under the sun.

Open Source iTunes Alternative – aTunes

Yesterday a friend pointed out that about every 3 months I go on a quest to find a new music player.   When I think I have found “the perfect one” I end up repeating the same quest.  Those who are regular readers of this blog know I have covered several music players over the past 18 months.  I think my indecisiveness started back when I went on my iTunes rant.  Since then I am still looking for the crown jewel of players.  Well, for now I think it is aTunes which is an Open Source Java based music player.

Easily Burn And Create ISO Images In Vista

Being able to burn an ISO image should not be as difficult as it sometimes is.  Being able to burn them should actually just be a standard feature in Windows.  Of course there are hundreds of things a person could list that should be included.  We can get this feature by adding a the free 3rd party application ISO Recorder V3.  This handy utility is developed by Alex Feinman and he will gladly accept donations on his site. 

Turn A Gamepad Into A Midi Controller To Use With Audio Software

As a home musician typically you’re going to have programs such as Fruity Loops or other VST (Virtual Studio Technology) instruments within your favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).  If you are on a budget these programs are expensive enough, let alone purchasing the hardware.  A common device for home musicians is a MIDI keyboard.  You can buy a decent one for under $100 or with this tutorial, if you already have a game controller … Free!  Because there are so many possible configurations with different audio software this how-to is meant to get you started.  Once you have these basics you can play around and find the right combination of settings for you.  I am using a USB Logitech controller a couple years ago and Fruity Loops Studio 8.

Cool Vista Sidebar Gadgets For Music Fans

Personally I have never been a huge fan of the default gadgets in Windows Vista.  Since Vista has been out for well over a year now, I have come across some pretty cool ones.  Being a huge music fan I figured I would start with music gadgets.

Jet Audio Player

For regular readers of my blog, you know that I am almost fanatic about the audio players I use on my PC as is evident with my iTunes rant.  I have covered several different players, and currently my player of choice is J River Media Jukebox.  Today I am going to cover another audio player I have been trying out the past few weeks, COWAN America’s Jet Audio Player.

Home Recording: A Basic Track With Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 3

I got positive feedback when asking members of our forum if I should write articles related to home recording and production and I thought I would start writing different articles on some of the techniques I use.  I am by no means a professional with any of this what so ever.  I am just a musician and geek who loves to play with tech.  I have covered some home recording in previous posts and today I thought I would show you how to record a guitar track with Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 3.  I rarely recommend commercial software, but this utility shouldn’t break the bank and it’s my favorite.  In this article I am going to assume you already have or are familiar with Cakewalk.  For a great overview of Guitar Tracks 3 you can check out the Cakewalk Site.

GOM Media Player

As many of you know, after my iTunes rant, I have been trying out all sorts of new media players.  I guess I still have not found an “ultimate player” that I am completely satisfied with yet.  Each player seems to have its positive and negative points for me.  The trusty standby has been VLC although Spider Player and Foobar2000 come in close for my audio only needs.

WINAMP 10th Anniversary Edition

After a buddy of mine pestered me enough about Winamp I finally decided to take the 10th Anniversary Edition for a test run. Previous versions of Winamp never impressed me much. I hate having to configure tons of worthless features in a player. Also, I have never liked inviting intrusive advertisements on my computer. Today I have put my preconceived biases aside and have started to really dig into what all the hype is about.

Music: Anywhere FM Beta

Many of you know I am a musician and huge music fan.  I am always trying out new music players, different compression formats, home recording software, etc.  I have used Last.FM but quickly grew tired of it.  However I have found one cool web based player that really rocks.  Anywhere FM which is currently in beta allows you to listen to your music collection anywhere you have a web connection.  Creating an account is extremely easy and once you have done that begin uploading your tunes to the player.

Use dBpoweramp to Convert Audio Files

dBpoweramp is my favorite music file conversion utilities.  You can convert virtually every known audio file type.  Staying in the theme of home recording, this utility is essential.  When you originally record your music it is in WAV format.  As you can guess these files grow extremely large quickly.  Using dBpoweramp allows you to convert your musical creations to compressed mp3 files.  You get a 30 day free trial so nothing to lose there.  It is not often I recommend “pay for” software but this is definitely worth it!

Change the Online Store Window Media Player

You do not have to settle for MTV’s Urge music store when using Windows Media Player 11.  In fact you have a several stores you can choose from.  The list of stores include Napster, emusic, puretracks and others.  You also can use video download stores also such as MovieLink. 

Fix AVI Playback Bug in QuickTime 7.2 on MacOS X

Apple recently released a new version of QuickTime (v. 7.2) sporting a number of new features and enhancements.  Among the many enhancements – which include (finally) full screen support in the unregistered version – Apple added generic AVI playback, supporting codecs like Xvid, DivX and an enhanced H.264.

Use Your Mac Mini as a Media Server Part 2

In the first part, I ran through the basics on how to connect and configure your Mac Mini as the heart of your entertainment center. In this next article in the series, I had been planning on going into detail on how to store your media files on a remote NFS share. However, one of the comments on the first article got my attention and it occurred to me that I didn’t really cover alternate video codecs at all. So, rather than launch into some fascinating list of iptables rules and Apple alias quirks, let’s look at third-party codecs.