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Archive for Gadgets and gizmos

May
21

Using The WordPress iPhone app To Post

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Today I downloaded the  iPhone and iPod Touch app and decided to try it out. I know I'm a little late to the blogging from my IPod party, but better late than never!   The app is  pretty basic, but it allows you to post quickly and easily on the go. If you usually use special plugins, like All-In-One SEO or to add affiliate links, you would still have to log in later and do all the odds and ends.  This app does  have something going for it, it let's you take pictures and videos and post them right after you shoot them, without uploading first.  Not that I take a lot of pictures, but if I wanted to, now I could..as long as I can get a wifi connection.   I have the Tumblr app  downloaded already, and I only use it once in a while.  I think Tumblr is much more conducive to IPhone blogging than WordPress, for me at least, as I tend to post quick, funny little blurbs and pictures and stuff to Tumblr, I don't really “blog” there.  Anyway, this is another option..and options are always good.   One pretty cool thing is you can check and respond to comments and check your stats with the WordPress app on your phone or your IPod.  That could come in handy ..for those people who actually get comments.

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I have been using Dropbox for a few months now, and have wanted to do a review to tell people how fabulously useful and convenient it is, and I finally found the time to do it. So, here goes!

Even though Dropbox has been around for a while now, I just discovered it a couple months ago, and I’m really happy I did.  If you don’t know what it is exactly that Dropbox is and what it does, it is a file syncing/sharing application that once you sign up for a free account, you can download on any computer and most mobile devices you own, Mac, PC, or Linux, IPod Touch, IPhone, Android phone, IPad..I even have it on my Nook Color (rooted, of course). Even between different platforms, if you have, say a Mac and a PC running Windows or whatever, you can easily share files between them with no issues.

Having Dropbox installed on all of my devices allows me to work on a document, or read a PDF, or have access on the go to almost anything I am working with on my computer. I just drop it into my Dropbox folder (I keep mine on my desktop for convenience), and I’m good to go! You not only can share documents between your devices, you can share photos, music, applications, software, files. I’ve used mine to move pictures, music, and software applications from my laptop to my computer, without having to use a jump drive or saving it to my external and then switching it over, and to move e-books and PDFs and music onto my Nook Color to read there. It makes it super simple to share just about anything and never be without a file or document you need. As long as you remember to put it into your Dropbox before you leave the house, of course, but other than that it’s just seriously convenient to use.

Of course, not only can you share files between your own devices for your own use, you can use it to share files with other people, either for a project that several people need to work on together, or if you have documents you need to be able to update and share easily with multiple people within your organization, or even if you just have a file that’s too large to email, you can put it in your Dropbox into your Public Folder and share the file with anyone you like. Any file you put into your public folder gets its own internet link, so you just have to put the file into your public folder, right click on it, choose Dropbox, then Copy Public Link, and send the link to whoever you want to share it with.

How to send public link for Dropbox files

One great thing about Dropbox, is it also saves all files you put into it online in your account, and also saves the previous versions of files if you make changes. If somehow something you needed gets deleted, or someone working on a file messes it up, you have a backup copy. Just log into your account on Dropbox.com, and it’s all there.

The Photo Folder on Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the best ways to share and manage your photos between your devices and with your friends and family. With the gallery tool inside your Photos Folder, once you drag any folders containing photos into the folder marked “Photos,” when you refresh your photo gallery Dropbox makes a photo album inside your folder with the same name. Each folder, or album, has it’s own URL link that can be shared with others. You can put all your new pictures into your folder, and just send the URL to share them with gramma , instead of uploading them to somewhere or having to put them individually into an email or zip them and send them. The files can be downloaded and you can view them as a slideshow. Easy!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Once you sign up on Dropbox.com for an account and download and install the program, Dropbox will install a folder on your computer.  You can choose where you want it to go, I have mine on my desktop.

My Dropbox folder on my desktop

 

Inside the folder are 3 separate folders, Public, Photos, and Temp (your private folder), and instructions on how to use them.

screen capture of Dropbox folders

Then  you just install the program on any other devices you want to use for syncing, and anything you put into your Dropbox from any of your devices, and anytime changes are made to your files, they will be updated and synced to be accessible anywhere and any time you need them.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The big question.  I know this the part you really want to know, how much is all this awesomeness and convenience gonna cost me? The answer is ..nothing, nada, zip, zilch..it’s FREE. Every account gets a free 2 GB of space! That’s more than enough for the average user, unless you’re wanting to use it as a backup program for your whole computer, or you regularly work with very large files. If 2 GB isn’t enough, you can upgrade and to either a 50 GB account for 9.99 a month, or a 100 GB account for $19.99 a month. Or you can earn extra space by referring people. For every person you refer, you both get an extra 250 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 8 GB)! Go download Dropbox now!

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Mar
12

YouTube Music Player Firefox Add-On

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This weekend I discovered a new (to me) add-on for Firefox that I absolutely love!  I know there are a ton of ways to get your stream on when it comes to music online these days..sites like Last.fm, Tunewiki, Blip.fm, Grooveshark,  and all offer a way to find the music you love for free online and play it.  They also offer you the social aspect of being able to save your faves, create playlists, and share them with your friends, and that's awesome.   I love the scrobbling feature of Last.fm and having all the stuff I listen to on Last.fm and on ITunes and other players on my computer or my Ipod all added automatically to my playlist.  I love Grooveshark for the ease of discovering new music and sharing it, and Tunewiki lets me listen to songs online or on my Ipod and have the lyrics provided so I can sing along.

What the YouTube Music player offers is it lets you search YouTube, which is where sites like Last.fm and Tunewiki pull most of their stuff from anyway, right from the browser without having to actually go to YouTube or any site and find music you want to listen to.  You can then add it to a playlist that will pop up on the side of your browser. Which means you don't have to open ITunes or any other separate player.  If you go to the YouTube site and find a song you like, you can right click and choose to save it to your playlist, or you can choose to play it in the YouTube Music player and a little player will pop out so that you can watch it or diminish it to sit on your taskbar, or open it up to watch the video full screen.

When you install the player, it adds a link in your browser bar to access your player, and so you can set your preferences whether you want it to play your songs in order, randomly or repeat over and over.  Whenever you want to listen to something in your playlist, you can just click on the link and it opens up the playlist and there you have all your favs ready to play.  If you're listening to a song and decide you want to listen to something else or watch another video on YouTube, you can click and play the other song, and when it's done, the YTMP will resume the previous song where it left off.

Even though there are tons of other options, one of the things I love about this player is I can find the songs on YouTube I love that have the lyrics included, or find karaoke versions of songs I love and save them to the player, which makes it really easy when I want to bust out a song to just open the player, pull em up and start singing along to my favorite songs, without having to go to a website, like Tunewiki or search for them from a lyrics site.

youtube music player firefox add-on

The player window has controls to let  you pause, play, go back to the previous song or skip forward to the next, volume controls and the option to make it full screen and the player also places these controls right on your taskbar, so you can control your music experience right from there.  You can create and save multiple playlists and it even supports scrobbling, so you can choose to scrobble your songs to your Last.fm playlist.   Can't beat that!

Features:
– Movies are preloaded in the background –> constant music experience
– Random mode, Repeat current song over and over
– Search
– with Preview (appears when moving mousepointer over a title in the search)
– Very quick adding because of Title/Interpret recognition
– Multiple playlists:
– Drag and Drop any Youtube Link into your playlist
– Buttons for volume control, next song, previous song, pause and full screen
– Add a youtube link with right click -> Add to Youtube Player

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