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Archive for the ‘Multimedia’ Category



DVD Region Settings

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

DVD’s have different region codes. Region 0 play on all DVD players, Region 1 in USA and Canada, Region 2 is Japan & Europe, Region 4 covers South America—there are places online to find more detailed listings, but you get the point. A region 2 DVD will only play on a region 2 DVD player while a region 1 will not.

If you have a DVD player in your computer… Continue reading

Windows Sound Recorder

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Sound Recorder

Did you know that Windows has a sound recorder that allows you to record and listen to WAV files? The up side is that you can record voice messages and audio coming through your sound card. The down side is that it only records for 60 seconds at a time (but you can stitch them together). Great for clips and noises you want to use in… Continue reading

Audio CD’s: Data vs. Music CD-R’s

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Q:
I make music CD’s that I play on a regular CD player. Should I use regular data CD-R’s or should I use the kind specified for music?

A:
I’ve never had a problem using regular data CD-R’s to make music CD’s. Some brands work better than others and I have heard of people that can’t get them to play in their stereo.

As for your question, I… Continue reading

Download: CDex

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

I don’t know if this happens to any of you, but for me it seems like I need my music in a different format every now and then. For example, I was making some slide shows for my family with all the digital photos I took over the year. Everything was moving along at a steady clip until it came time to put some music in. The program I was… Continue reading

Multiple Downloads

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Ever wonder if you can do more than one download at a time? Well, you can! In fact, Firefox will allow multiple downloads “out of the box”.

Internet Explorer, on the other hand, will only allow two simultaneous downloads. What kind of geek downloads just two files at a time? Geeze! Sure it’s better than just one, but definitely a bummer if you’re on a high speed connection. Well, here’s… Continue reading

Speaker Arrangements

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Are you a sound fanatic? Do you have your computer hooked up for surround sound or at least have multiple speakers? Well, if you tell Windows about your sound configuration, you’ll probably enjoy your speakers even more. Here’s how:

1. Click the Start button, Control Panel , then open the Sounds & Audio Devices icon.

2. Under the Audio tab, click the Advanced button… Continue reading

Choosing Computer Speakers

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

It used to be that choosing speakers for your computer was an easy task because there weren’t really any options to choose from. Sound was typically an afterthought and most speakers made for computer use weren’t exactly what you would call “ear candy”.

That has all changed now. Many well-respected audio/video speaker manufacturers have gotten into the computer speaker game. It is

What are Easter Eggs

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Easter eggs are special little extra tidbits or surprises programmers put into their programs. It usually involves doing some strange things (usually hitting an odd key combination at a specific time) in a program to see a little bonus surprise. Recently, many movies on DVD and video games began including these bonus features. Just do a websearch for the name of your favorite recent movie or game and “Easter egg”… Continue reading

Sound(s) Fun!

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Sound(s) Fun!

Want to have a little fun with your sounds?!

XP users will once again go to Start , then Control Panel . Click on the Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices link.

On the next screen, you’ll see an icon for Sounds and Audio Devices under “or pick a Control Panel Icon”, click there.

A screen should pop up that lets you change your sound scheme or create… Continue reading

New Wave

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

New Wave

OK, you’ve downloaded some wave files and you would like to use them in your sound scheme. How do you do it? Well, it’s easy!

1. First, click your Start button, Settings , Control panel (XP users, hit the Start button, Control Panel ). You should see an icon for either Sounds or Sounds & Audio Devices . Double-click it.

2. A screen will be displayed that allows… Continue reading

Cranky CDs

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Have you ever been playing a game and it seems like your computer is having a hard time reading the CD? You can hear it speed up, slow down, speed up… you know what I mean.

This can be caused by several different problems.

First off, if it only does it with one CD, you may want to check

CD-ROM drives speeds

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
I see CD-ROM drives speeds listed at 24x, 32x, etc. What does that mean?

A:
It means that the CD-ROM drive is that many times faster than the original Proto-CD-ROM drive from caveman times. Just how fast was that? Well, the original CD drive transferred data at a rate of 153,600 bits per second (bps). If you have a CD-ROM drive that has a read speed of… Continue reading

Can’t hear sounds on some sites

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
I can hear instrumental music on websites, but on other sites that have sounds I don’t hear anything. Is there some way to fix this?

A:
Most instrumental music on web pages are MIDI files while other sounds like “You’ve got mail!” are usually WAV files. Rather than representing musical sound directly, MIDI files transmit information about how a song should sound that is then processed by… Continue reading

CD Burning 101

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Most CD writers come with some kind of CD writing software. Since this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, this is going to be a VERY basic lesson. It should help get you started though.

Not sure where your CD burning program is? It should be lurking somewhere under the Start menu, Programs (it’s not necessarily on your desktop or quick launch toolbar)

Record over a CD-RW

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
How do I record over a CD-RW? I tried to record over it, but that didn’t work it says to make it a blank CD first.

A:
We all know the difference between a CD-R and a CD-RW right? Once you fill up a CD-R, that’s it, but a CD-RW allows you to re-write data and use the disk over and over… Continue reading

Image File Guide

Friday, November 12th, 2004

I get questions about image formats all the time, so if you don’t know your JPEG’s from your GIF’s, this is for you. First, a little background on file compression.

There are basically two ways of saving images, lossy or lossless (no, I didn’t make those up). If an image is saved in a lossy image format, it means the format being

Just the Music

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Just the Music

Do you play music CDs in your computer? If so, don’t you hate it when you’re trying to listen to your CD and the computer is “beeping” in on top of it (you know, for error messages and such)? Here’s how to fix the problem:

1. Right-click the little yellow speaker in your system tray (the system tray is located opposite your start button). Select Open Volume… Continue reading

Print Screen Button and Screen Shots

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
How do I take a screen shot like the ones in your newsletter?

A:
I get email everyday asking that very question. So, here ya go!

You just tap the PrtScn (print screen) button. The real function of this key is to make a “snapshot” of your screen. If you have some imaging software like Adobe Photoshop (or a good word… Continue reading

The Perfect Burn

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

The Perfect Burn

CD burning is a popular past time for many people. Whether you are backing up your data, making compilations of pictures, or making a presentation for work, problems can sometimes come up in burning that are easily avoidable. Here are some tips, tricks, and tweaks to keep your burning experience painless.

System resources

While many cd burners have suitable buffer amounts that should allow you… Continue reading

Buffer Underrun Error

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
I was burning a CD-R the other day and got a “buffer underrun” error. The CD was useless and I had to start over. What causes that?

A:
The short version: Your computer didn’t send information to the CD-R fast enough.

The long version: CD-R drives put information from your hard drive into a ” buffer ” (i.e. memory area) before they write (copy) it… Continue reading

Scanning Resolution

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Scanning Resolution

So, you have a photo and want to scan it. Well, what resolution should you scan it at?

Depends.

If the photo is just for your computer, e-mail, or the web, then 72 DPI (Dots Per Inch) would be just fine. (72 DPI is kind of the “standard” resolution for computer images). If you scan it too high (say 600 DPI), you’ll end up having an image that’s… Continue reading

“Dad, what are these cardboard squares with the plastic circles inside?” my son asked while we cleaned out the basement.

“Those are called records. That’s how people listened to music before CDs.”

Puzzled, he inquired, “But how do you play them? They won’t fit into a CD player.”

“See that thing over there? That’s called a record player. It uses a needle to get the sounds off the records… Continue reading

Legal Online Music?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Legal Online Music?

Online music currently sails in turbulent water, but the ship has not sunk. In fact, the very cause of the storm can also be a safe harbor.

Huh?

Sorry, it’s an old poetry slam injury that flares up now and then. If you go to record company websites you can usually find free music—either as “streams” (you can hear it but not save it), samples (under one… Continue reading

How to download a wave file

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
How do I download Wave and MP3 sound files from the internet?

A:
Here’s the problem. You go to download a sound file, so you click the link to it. Then Windows automatically plays it, but doesn’t display a download screen (OK, this varies a bit depending on what flavor of Windows / Explorer you’re using). What can you do? Easy! Right-click… Continue reading

Where’s My Little Speaker?

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

For some reason, I get lots of e-mail from people telling me they’ve lost their little speaker icon (sound control) that usually lives in the system tray and now they want to get it back. Come to think of it, I also get lots of e-mail asking how to get it out of the system tray.

Well, the answer is the same

Headset microphone problems

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Q:
I could talk to my friends online using a headset microphone on my old computer but not on my new one. What can I do?

A:
First, make sure that your mic is plugged into the correct hole (it’s usually pink).

Next, make sure that your Microphone is not turned down or set to “Mute”.

To check this… Continue reading

Print a Photo Proof sheet

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Print a Photo Proof sheet

A proof sheet is a printout of picture thumbnails. Most photo organizing software allows you to print these out, but for XP users, it’s built into the Window’s Picture and Fax Viewer. Here’s how to do it…

Open the folder that your pictures are in and select “Thumbnail View”.

Hold down the Ctrl key and select the pictures you want on… Continue reading

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