Great Applications to Create Short Animated Movies

Xtranormal, a professional-grade “make your own” movie maker was a strong online tool for creating short animation movies. It offered a wide range of templates for characters, background scene, background music, and even their gestures for freely manipulation, allowing users to tell their own stories conveniently. As the first program to offer text-to-movie animation and text-to-speech voices for the creations, it is quite easy to operate Xtranormal. All you should do is to type the Dialogues in the box provided and your selected character will be speaking it out creating a good-looking movie.

However, July 31, 2013 was doomed to be a sad for most of Xtranormal users since this easy online animation tool has decided to close its virtual door. Bidding a farewell to this fellow innovator Xtranormal is really hard for us, but now it’s time to find other alternatives to help us create animated movies or enhance presentation, etc. Thankfully, there are a few Web applications that meet our demands.

1. Voki

Voki is a FREE avatar speaking service that allows users to do the following jobs, such as, create customized avatars, add voice to Voki avatars, Post your Voki to any blog, website, or profile and more.

2. Powtoon

Powtoon is a great animation tool to help users create their own professional-looking animated explainer videos and animated presentations. With its drag and drop function and detailed guidelines, it’s surprisingly simple to result in eye-catching videos that will hook the audience without fail.

3. ToonDoo

ToonDoo enables users to create comic strips and cartoons easily with just a few clicks. It is not free but allows users to purchase and earn tokens used to create and publish their cartoons.

4. GoAnimate

GoAnimate is a cloud-based platform for creating and distributing animated videos. As of the end of 2012, more than five million individuals, businesses and schools were using GoAnimate to create videos. GoAnimate provides thousands of characters, backgrounds, props, music tracks and sound effects for choices. It is also a simple program with drag-and-drop tools provided. Creating animated movie is as easy as eating a pie while publishing the videos is a snap as well. The process goes like this: share the link, copy and paste the embedded codes or download the video file as an mp4. Videos can be exported in 720p HD. And GoPremium, the top-level business account, allows export in 1080p Full HD.

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3 Best Ways to Prevent Files from Being Deleting

I have some files that have been encrypted so they cannot be read but wondered if there was a way to protect them from being deleted.–Yorkie from bleepingcomputer.com

I think this is a common question that lots of people concerned about. You know, we will store various personal data files in the computer. As for the businessmen, they would even have the important files. In light of this, it is quite essential to protect the files from being deleted by someone else by mistake or ignorance. So, is there any workable way to do it? To tell you the truth, there is no way for us to prevent the case happening, but we can make it more secured and difficult to be deleted. The following ways might be of great help to you.

1.Create a Guest Account. By creating a separate account, you can limit the random access to the files. Even if the person who’s using your computer has changed some settings, your data files will be kept away from affecting. To create a separate account, you can follow the steps shown here: 1. click the Start button of the computer and type the word “computer” into the searching box. 2. Click the “Computer Management item”. 3. Navigate the directory on the left of the panel to the “Users Folder” under “Local Users and Groups”, then, use your mouse to double click the “Guest entry”. 4. On the next configuration screen, uncheck the Account Is Disabled box to enable guest accounts. 5. Establish a password for the guest account.

2.Hide Your Files. There is possibility that others can still access the Disk partitions where you data might have got potential risk of being deleted. In this case, you can try this way—hiding the files temporarily. Let me show you the step by taking an example. Now, we have got a file with the name “a happy trip” on the desktop. Firstly, we should select the file, and then right click on the mouse. Secondly, mouse to the “Properties”, choose “Hidden” from the “Attributes”. Thirdly, click the “OK” button. After clicking, a small window will show up, you need to choose “Apply changes to the files and subfolders in the folder”.

3.Backup the File Online. Yes, you can have your important files saved online by the awesome Cloud Computing for more security. Believe it or not, cloud storage of files is increasingly becoming a necessity for more and more consumers. Currently, there are not many famous services, of which the Drop box, Google Docs, Google Drive and SkyDrive are the top ones, allowing users to save unlimited data to the cloud. Last but not least, remember to hide the file/folder location of the services, so as to save it from getting deleted.

If you have any other good ways to keep the files away from deleting by others, it would be very nice of you to let us know.

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4 Great Tools to Create GIF Images

Capable of containing a maximum of 256 colors, GIF file format is commonly used for graphics presented on websites. One of the most highlights of GIF file is that the image quality will not be sacrificed as file size reduces. Besides, GIF files also support transparent backgrounds, making it possible to blend with website background colors.

Currently, the GIF images are commonly seen on many websites or web forums. If you often hang out the Social Networking Sites (SNS) such as Google Plus/Tumblr and other web forums, you will come across many .gif images which are funny as hell. Actually, chances are good that you can make the funny, creative and exciting GIF images with the help of some useful tools, so that you can share your master piece online as you wish. For reference, we specially sort out some great tools that help you to create .gif images at ease.

1.GifSoup

It is a free GIF making software. It allows you to make stylish & creative gif images from YouTube videos. The operation is simple and straightforward; you only need to enter the YouTube URL from which you would like to create your GIF. It is a pity that it supports YouTube videos only. If you want to generate GIFs out of the source videos from other websites, you should refer to other software instead.

2.Imgflip

Imgflip is a good Gif maker, allowing users to create unique animated GIFs online from source videos or images. You can directly copy-n-paste the video’s URL from video-sharing websites like YouTube or upload the source videos and then generate.gif file. This software can support lots of popular videos such as flv, avi, mov, mp4, mpg, mpeg, wmv, 3gp, asf, ogg, h264, rm, etc. The operation is quite simple with 3 steps required–add source media, customize the options such as image dimension, quality, etc, and then start to generate GIF images. Tips: if you want to import SWF Flash videos to the program and create GIFs, it is recommend to try the all-in-one SWF Video Converter which can fast extract images from SWF and save as .gif, .jpg, .png, bmp format without damaging the image quality.

3.VidGIF

VidGIF is a great tool for making animation GIFs out of the source video files. It is able to support a large number of video formats including VI, WMV, MOV, MPEG, FLV, etc. With the help of VidGIF, you can create cool avatars, animated logos easily, besides, it also allows you to customize the width, height and FPS of the GIF animations as you wish.

4.Make A Gif

It provides a free and easy way for you to make your own GIF images online. There are three ways by which you can create a gif easily. The first one is to use your webcam to take pictures or record a video and then load them into the software. The second one, create a GIF from a YouTube URL and the third way is to upload your favorite videos as the source material. The usage of this “Make A Gif” is also very simple since there are clear instructions provided to help you.

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4 Best Desktop Music Players

Are you fond of listening to music? What music player do you use? Regardless of what you use the player for–whether it is to syncs with the smart phones, organize the playlist or make music collection, it is always good to have a favorite desktop music player. However, for most Windows users who use the default media player—Window Media Player, they seem to have very few options. As a matter of fact, there are tons of music players for choices, but only a few of them stand above the rest. Let’s have a quick look at them one by one as below.

1.Winamp

As a media player for Windows based PCs and Android devices, Winamp was very popular in 90s. It can also be run on Mac platform well. Besides, it was one of the first common music players on Windows to support playback of Ogg Vorbis by default. Apart from supporting the playback of lots of file types, Winamp can also do many jobs such as ripping CDs, syncing with mobile devices either via USB and so forth. To sum up, it is a straightforward, easy-to-use, and solid app with many lovable features including skins, themes, visualizations, etc.

2.MusicBee

Many people love its adorable name very much. It is a completely free digital media player capable of supporting many major music formats such as MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, M4V, WMA, WV, APE, etc. Different from the most music players, MusicBee doesn’t have many options, tweaks or toggles, but it can still do many tasks include but not limited to rip CD, handle large library, create playlist, sync to mobile devices, tag songs or even download additional data about the tracks. Additionally, it is good at arranging music. User can have the music listed by genre, artist and album. Other small panes can be used to show the current play list, song details, artwork and lyrics. There is also a search tool helping to locate the specific artist or track quickly.

3.Zune Music

You may be puzzled. Zune, is a long gone device, but Zune Music—a kind of music service which is also known as the Xbox Music, is still very popular. Have to mention that, Zune Music desktop player is a great player being able to support a ton of file types and fast handle large libraries. Most people are attracted by its remarkable features such as gorgeous interface with special look, downloading options, auto-generated backgrounds, custom playlists and more.

4.Media Monkey

As creative as its name, Media Monkey has got strong capability to handle piles of music files(MP3, AAC, FLAC, OGG, etc) without any problems. Users can also use it to play tunes, rip CDs , download podcasts, organize playlists, and sync with mobile devices such as iPhone 5S/5/4S, iPod, etc and other MP3 players freely. Besides, it can help to automatically update your library based on changes to your library folders with its auto mode. Remarkably, its layout and UI are customizable, while it is very quick in the playback even under the load of a song library with thousands of songs.

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Final Cut Pro X FAQs

Speaking of professional editing system, the first one that comes to our mind is Apple’ Final Cut Pro, following whom comes the Avid, Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas Pro and more. A research conducted in 2012 showed that FCP had gained over 56% of the video-editing market, proving itself as the “King of Editing Software”.

As a professional video editor, Final Cut Pro represents an ideal post-production workflow, helping all users to polish various videos, be it downloaded from the websites or shot by digital camcorders, etc. Actually, Apple Inc has been making great effort in providing users with more creative editing features. In the latest version 10.0.8(FCP X), a sizable updates were made. A few of them include: 1. Native support for RED, AVCHD, H.264, MXF and more. 2. Support for Sony PMW-F5/F55 XAVC up to 4K resolution. 3. Work with MXF video files by using third-party plug-ins 4. Work perfectly on Mac Book Pro with the Retina display. 5. Faster multichannel audio editing. Besides, it came with a price tag of $299.99, a reasonable price for most users. Looking back to the past few years, to make the video editing required at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. Luckily, gone are those days.

Lots of users have updated to get the newest experience. It seems that everything goes smoothly like magic after the update. Most users are happy with FCP X, while on the other hand, there are a lot of questions that demand for the answers. Listed in the following are a few of them.

1. Is it possible to cut or paste clips between the events?

No. not allowed. But drag the video clips from one event to another is OK.

2. How to insert a gap with the magnetic timeline?

There are two ways to manage this. The first one is to use the Position tool, drag the video clips into the timeline. The other is to use the “Edit > Insert Gap” command, a 3-second Gap clip will be inserted.

3.How to switch from Project Library to the Timeline during the process?

To change between Project Library and Timeline, you can either use the key combination of “Command + 0” or press the “Show Project Library” icon.

4.How to save my own effect and title setups?

FCP X allows you to copy and paste the effects, but the customized filter which has been tweaked to apply again? Sorry, NO! In the meanwhile, you can save the Title setups as Motion templates, but this is not the case if the title is created in FCPX.

5. How to handle multiple sources of audio?

You can first keyword every audio as per its specific type and then create corresponding Smart Collections for each of them.

6. Can I set the destination track?

No. FCPX timeline doesn’t provide extract tracks. However, you can edit the audio or video into the timeline alternatively.

Obviously, there are still some minor glitches of FCP X that require fixing. But, we do believe that Apple will do their part in devoting more perfect editing tool for every user.

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How to Handle the AVI Video Files Easily

So far, there are hundreds of different video/audio formats available. I’m afraid that it will take a very long time to list them all. Undeniably, handling so many formats is really a tough and complicated thing. For example, lots of people will always be driven crazy by the AVI playback issue. Now, let’s focus on this point and check out the workable solutions.

Like any other video formats, playing an AVI file demands for the proper media player with the correct codec. Before we are probing further, it is necessary to say something about the “codec”. To make it easier to understand, you can image a codec (Coder/Decoder) as a lock, which’s used in the video to “lock” or “code” the video, if you need to “open” or “decode” the video, you have to get the right “key”/”codec”. In light of this, before opening or playing the AVI, we need to figure out how the video was “coded”, so that we can find the proper codec to “open “the file. This explains why our computers can play the AVI file smoothly, but fails to accept it sometimes. In this case, a new correct codec should be installed to support the playback freely.

”how can I find out the appropriate codec since there are hundreds or thousands of codecs out there?” Yes, it is really a taxing task. Luckily, we have got some easy ways to get it through.

1. The universal VLC Player

It is a software package with video player and around 95% codecs wrapped.( if you find that the codec used in the source video file is not included in the VLC, you need to try something else.). As to the operation of this player, it is quite easy. After downloading, installing and running the package, choose the “File” > “Browse” to select the target AVI file and load it into the program. Then, click the “OK” button, VLC will start playing the AVI video file automatically.

2. The codec packs

It is used by some people especially the non-technical ones. As the name implies, a codec pack includes a large number of different codecs, when you install the pack, you will virtually install all of those codecs to the computer operating system, so that don’t need to look for the codec all by yourself. However, there are also some downsides to the method. For example, it is a waste of resource to install so many codecs since some of them are rarely used. Besides, the computer system will be less stable with too many “things” installed. Additionally, it is hard to figure out whether all the codecs in the “pack” are the latest versions. Nevertheless, using a “codec pack” would help to get the codec to be used quickly and allow you to play the AVI files on your favorite video player software if you don’t like using the VLC or other all-in-one software. Recommended “codec pack” resource: XP Codec Pack v2.5.6 and X Codec Pack v3.0.0.4, you can search the internet and download the pack if needed. Last but not least, it is also very easy to use the “codec pack”—pretty much the way as that of FFCSHOW—you download the codec pack resource, install it into your computer, then run your desired video player software and open the .avi file, it will start to play automatically.

3. AVI Converter

A professional AVI converter can not only play the AVI video files smoothly, but help to convert AVI to any other popular video formats/applications/ portable mobile devices easily.

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How to Print Files from Android Devices Directly

In many cases, we need to print something such as document, memo, photos and more. Actually, printing those files can be very easy and simple, provided that we have got the necessary tools and are able to navigate the program using. Besies, the steps are particularly straightforward: run the printer, import the source file, change necessary details and then click print. Sometimes, when we want to print the materials like photos kept in the Android devices such as mobile phones or tablets, we will need to transfer the data to the computer before printing. Actually, things can be much easier if we are using the third-party software called Cloud Print.

It was the first app supporting Google Cloud print service in 2011. Perfectly working with a reliable printer called Cloud Ready Printers, it allows users to print files from mobile phones directly without connecting to the computer. In order to make the best use of this great service, there are several things that should be kept in mind before starting the printing: 1. Make sure that you are using Google Chrome. 2. Keep your computer connected with the printer since configuration is needed. 3. Download and install the Cloud Print app.

Step 1. Configure Google Chrome to Add Printer.

Open Google Chrome on your computer, press the menu bar, select the “Settings” and you will be guided into a new window, scroll the page down and click “Show advanced settings”, then scroll down to the “Google Cloud Print” section. Click the ‘Add printers’ button. Notes: keep in mind that you need to log into Google account before adding a printer. After adding, you can press the “Manage your printers” button to check whether the desired printer has been added or not.

Step 2. Configure Android Devices.

First you need to download the free copy of Google Print, install and run it. Then, you need to grant permission for the Google Print app to access your account by clicking “Allow access”. After that, you will see a list with the printer installed on your computer. Choose the “Cloud Print” as the default printer. Afterwards, you can print a test page to check if it works well.

Step 3. Print Material from Android Device.

Now that Google Cloud Print has been added onto the Android Device, you can directly go to the Local section, choose an individual file that you would like to print and click the “Page setup” menu bar to customize the basic settings, after all have been done, press the “Click here to Print” button, you can get your desired files soon. Or, you can open the file that you want to print in Android devices, click the “Share” option, and then you can see a menu, simply pick the “Cloud Print”, the program will transfer the material to Google Cloud Print for printing immediately.

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Microsoft Xbox One Latest News

The next generation is coming…so, are you ready to welcome the forthcoming Xbox One? Upon its first announcement, it got a big kicking from many gamers who were not contented with some unpopular features. The strong reaction from the disgruntled gamers obliged Microsoft to scrap those features and re-spec the Xbox One. Spontaneously, the on sale date of Xbox One will be postponed until November this year.

According to the latest news, Xbox One will be likely released on Friday, November 29(maybe a few days earlier)–about two weeks before the release date of PS4—which’s rumored to be on sale on December 13. Besides, it will come with a price tag of $499 in the US, £429 in the UK and $599 in Australia—it is probably the most expensive Microsoft consoles ever. Described by Microsoft as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system”, the Xbox One is shipped with many stunning features. First comes its new-look design. It will be in black color, but many gamers find there’s nothing special but just a black box. Actually, as Microsoft told that they have adopted a “new approach to design”, making the Xbox One completely different to the Xbox 360.

Next comes the Xbox One specs. Without any surprises, the Xbox One will be packed an x64 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Besides, there are both an HDMI-in port and HDMI-out in the Xbox One, so that users can integrate the gadget with their TV-watching experience. As to the Xbox One controller, many gamers are eager to figure out whether there will be great changes to the controller. Here is what Xbox told us: “The best gaming controller just got better with over 40 technology innovations. New Impulse Triggers deliver precise fingertip feedback for more realistic experiences. We have streamlined the thumbsticks, D-pad, and contours for improved precision and comfort in your hands. Simply put, it is the best controller we’ve ever made.”. The key features of Xbox One include the following:

1. CPU: low power x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores, APU

2.GPU: AMD Radeon APU, 1.23TFLOPS

3.Memory: 8GB DDR3 (5GB available to games)

4.Storage: 500GB HDD

5.Optical Drive (Read only): Blu-ray

6.I/O: 3x USB 3.0 ports

7.Communication: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

8.Output: HDMI, Optical audio

There are also other new features sported on the new Xbox One. For example, users can play the game as soon as it has been installed, which helps to save their time. They don’t have to wait for long before activating the console from Sleep or Hibernate modes. Besides, they are allowed to split the screen to chat with friends on Skype as well as playing games at the same time. Furthermore, this new gadget can jump back and forth between games, music, apps or TV shows quickly and flexibly, so that users don’t have to back out of the current playback before they are jumping into another one.

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Microsoft Will Gift Its Employees the White Xbox One for Free

For some gamers, time seems to move at a snail’s pace since they cannot wait to see the stunning Xbox One which’s rumored to come out in November this year(an exact date hasn’t been set yet). Undeniably, Microsoft has placed a bigger importance on this entertainment gadget than ever before. It is a small black shiny box using voice recognition to control live TV and switch between apps or games. Perhaps it is not the most stunning console we have ever seen, but it has got great improvements from Xbox 360—the design and the feature functions, etc.

According to the latest news from Reddit, Microsoft is building a free white-and-silver Xbox One game console for its employees. The post on Reddit also includes a graphic of the gadget– a white controller, black Kinect sensor. Interestingly, there is very cool engraving states “I made this” on the front of the console. It is said that those full-time employees in the Interactive Entertainment Business group will be gifted a free Xbox One, one year of Xbox Live, games, and a special achievement all on Xbox One’s launch day.

This exciting news attracted great attention from lots of fans who made plenty of requests for Microsoft to market this version of the upcoming gadget. Many users wrote that “Gotta say, that looks really slick. Will there be one that we can buy eventually?” “Will there ever be a white one sold to the public?” “I hope they re-release this white version at some future time. It looks sexy!” Redditor CoconutStorm said. In reply to the question of whether the white Xbox One will be available to the general public, Microsoft spokesman gave a short but official answer, “we have no comment”. In fact, this is not the first time Microsoft has offered its employees with the new products free of charge. For instance, in 2010, the free Windows Phone 7 smartphones was given to Microsoft employees. Some people cannot help but think Microsoft is missing a great sales opportunity. Have to say that the lighter colored Xbox One looks really nice. There is no wonder some users saying “I wouldn’t mind owning one more over the black version.” As to the serious question asked on Reddit—will the white Xbox One be available to the public, “maybe waaaay in the future.”, said the Xbox community celeb Major Nelson with smile.

On the other hand, PlayStation4 is scheduled to come out in November, pretty much the same time as Xbox One. It will be an interesting thing to see what their (Sony and Microsoft) plans are, how the competition will be like as well as the condition of initial sales going into the holiday shopping season. Please cross your fingers, gentle readers.

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Top 4 Media Players

We can easily find many media players in the market place. But which one is good and capable of doing a beautiful job for you? Why not spend a little time looking through the passage and figure out what we are specially introducing to you.

1. VLC, which is short for VLC media player, is a versatile cross-platform media player. It is powerful enough to support almost all video/audio compression file formats, such as MPEG, Divx, WMV, DV, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, DVD-Video, video CD and streaming protocols, etc. A majority of VLC’s codecs are provided by the libavcodec library from the FFmpeg project, but it uses mainly its own muxer and demuxers and its own protocols. Thanks to its friendly interface, it is quite easy to use this well designed player, even a 7-year-old child can make it easily.

2. Windows Media Player. It is a digital media player specially developed by Microsoft. Its earlier editions were available for PC which runs a variety of operating systems, including Windows Mobile. Using WMA, WMV and ASF file formats, Windows Media Player is able to decode a variety of video/audio files, whether they are downloaded from the Internet or ripped from compact discs or other storage media. Some people may find it not as powerful as expected, since there is no DVD disc playback support on Windows Media Player with the releasing of Windows 8.

3. RealPlayer. Many people are familiar with this cross-platform media player created by Real Networks. It can support the playback of many multimedia formats such as MP3, Windows Media, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and multiple versions of proprietary RealAudio and RealVideo formats. Primarily used for the playing of recorded media, RealPlayer can be well run on many popular operating systems including OS, UNIX, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, etc. Its other great features include but not limited to: record audio via a sound card, allows web browsing during media playback, supports “drag and drop” and playlist randomize, etc.

4. KMplayer. Also known as K-Multimedia Player, it is a versatile multi media player covering lots of different formats such as VCD, DVD, AVI, MKV, OGG, MP3, WAV, APE, OGM, 3GP, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, Real Media, FLV and QuickTime. It can play any media files with its own internal Codec. Besides, it allows users to capture audio, video, and screenshots in various ways. Interestingly, users can make some customizations to the player freely, for example, adjust the screen size, activate the noise reduction plug-in or change the brightness, etc.

Last but not least, although these four media players can do a pretty good playback job, they have got the drawback as well—they are incapable of playing all popular media formats. In that case, you can do the necessary conversion by using Doremisoft Video Converter, an all-in-one tool to convert all videos to any other video formats, allowing you to play them on the desired applications/software/devices freely.

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