Handbrake – Open Source DVD Ripping

29 07 2007

Its been a while since I’ve updated my blog. I’ve been busy with work and playing with the new Mac, but fear not, in the process I’ve discovered a great DVD ripping app called Handbrake. It can rip any DVD you throw at it regardless of protection/encryption or not. You want to preserve the chapters, original quality or export it to your iPod? It can do that too. If you’ve got a dual-core machine expect to rip a full DVD in 10 minutes or less =). As always its open-source and cross platform so you can run it on Windows, OS X or Linux.





Songbird – Music To My Ears

14 07 2007

I have recently just purchased a new Macbook. I have lost some friends in the switch, and will be forcing myself to try out OS X for a month so I can learn the system before I load up Ubuntu. Music is always a high priority for me, and iTunes’DRM-infested software just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I’ve dabbled with Songbird in the past when it was a very early beta but there have been lots of improvements since.

 

Songbird is the Firefox of media players. It runs on Mozilla’s platform so you can use it on any operating system, and allows extensions a la Firefox. Not to mention its also developed by the same boys who brought you the good ol’ Winamp. One of the features that sets Songbird apart from the rest is that it can detect songs on web-pages like MySpace and play the file like an mp3 that is local – so you can skip over it at your leisure. This makes listening to music on the web VERY powerful.

If you want to check out a hassle-free media player I suggest this because it can index your entire library, help you find new music, and of course as always is free like the air we breathe. Songbird is still a developers beta, but it is very stable, and very usable. The term “beta” is somewhat obsolete these days with Google keeping GMail in beta for what – a year? 😉