For most video-watching aficionados, VLC is an essential piece of software. The open-source app is well known for being a fantastic movie and music player, but there are a few clever tricks that can help you get a lot more out of the media player. We gathered seven fun and useful VLC features, that will help you get the most out of the media player.
Don't turn out the lights, the party might not be over
If you've been crying crocodile tears over the impending demise of Winamp, you can put that box of tissues back in the bathroom, the popular media player form yesteryear may not be getting unplugged after all. AOL is reportedly close to finalizing a package deal involving both Winamp and Shoutcast, and if completed, both would continue to exist under new ownership.
This may come as a shock to the system, but effective December 20, 2013, Winamp will become a ghost of the Internet's past. AOL, which bought Winamp in 1999 for $80 million, has decided to shut down the popular media player service just five days before Christmas, officially ending a better than 15-year run as one of the most well regarded media players among power users.
Attention, would-be cord cutters: If you’re going to tell the cable man to shove it, you’re going to want a full-featured media center app to make browsing your digital movies, music, and pictures as pretty and painless as possible. Two of the top no-cost contenders are the open-source XBMC and Plex, a partly proprietary fork of XBMC that focuses on streaming media to multiple devices. Which is the blockbuster and which is the dud? Let’s find out.
Note: This article first appeared in the December issue of the magazine.
The biggest thing about Zotac’s new ZBox Nano XS AD11 Plus may in fact be its name. This new mini PC is so small, it makes the diminutive ZBox Nano AD10 look positively fat in comparison.
Hell, the only commercial mini PC we’ve seen that’s smaller is the Apple TV, which is about the same width and depth but a quarter-inch thinner. The Apple TV is ARM-based, though, and more in the class of a typical HTPC streaming device. The AD11, with its AMD E-450 APU and 64GB SSD is a full-on PC. While streaming boxes such as WD’s Live have come a long way in capability, it’s tough to beat a PC’s ability to go anywhere you want. From streaming sites that are restricted by cable providers to not-safe-for-work content, an HTPC streaming PC trumps all others if you’re willing to live with a mouse and keyboard controls.
Zotac’s ZBox Nano XS AD11 Plus is the smallest commercial PC we’ve ever tested.
It was a close call, but rather than leave the 5.8-inch market untouched, Samsung has come out with a media player that fills the void. The 5.8-inch category, if we can call it that, is one of the few screen sizes Samsung had been ignoring, a situation it addressed by announcing its new Galaxy Player 5.8 -- phew! It's the largest size Galaxy Player yet and is sure to test the elasticity of your pants pocket.
Windows Media Center may not make it into default Windows 8 installs, but the team of crack programmers behind the highly excellent XBMC media player is working hard to dull the pain. The newest addition to the open source software completely revamps XBMC's audio code and brings support for 7.1 HD audio formats, along with a lot of other goodies.
Companies trying to make a splash as CES typically do one of two things. They either release the biggest whatever in the world -- usually a television of some sort -- or, in this case, the smallest pocket media player Earthlings have ever seen. HSTi is set to unveil Moboplay, a 63mm x 60mm x 13mm media player that weighs just 50 grams and fits in the palm of your hand, at the convention in Las Vegas.
Go ahead and scrap your plans to attend the Zune HD's funeral, the device isn't dead after all. We think it isn't, anyway. Actually, we don't know what's going on with the Zune HD, and it seems neither does Microsoft. News spread of the Zune HD's demise when an official support page went live saying Microsoft planned to discontinue the hardware, though it would still offer support. The message? If you're interested in the Zune, go buy a Windows Phone 7 device instead. Not even a day later, Microsoft has pulled the website and is backtracking on its obituary.
Sometime yesterday Microsoft started yanking references to its Zune HD player from its Zune website. WinRumors picked up on it and surmised Microsoft was getting ready to axe its media player, an assumption the Redmond software giant denied while chalking up the incident as "a mistake." That was yesterday. And today? The Zune is officially dead, folks.