A Short Review on Windows Media Player

on Friday, April 30, 2010

Microsoft’s Windows Media Player (version 7 or newer) can play many common media formats. I like to abbreviate the program’s name WMP because, well, it’s easier to type than Windows Media Player. WMP comes pre-installed on computers that run Windows Me or Windows XP. Although the name says “Windows,” versions of WMP are also available for Macintosh computers that run OS 8 or higher.
Windows Media Player can play video in MPEG and AVI formats. Although Pinnacle Studio can output both of these formats, they’re not terribly useful for online applications because they create big files and have an appetite for resources. Windows Media Player can also play Windows Media Video (WMV) format, and Studio can output that as well (by using the Streaming option in the Make Movie window, I’ll show you how later in this chapter). I like the WMV format because it provides decent quality (for Web movies) with remarkably small file sizes.
What are the compelling reasons for choosing over other players? Choose Windows Media Player as your format if
  • Most or all of your audience members use Windows. Most Windows users already have WMP installed on their systems, so they won’t have to download or install new software before viewing your Windows Media-format movie.
  • You want the look, but not the expense and complexity, of streaming media. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up and maintaining a streaming-media server, Windows Media format files can provide a workable compromise. WMP does a decent simulation of streaming media with progressive downloadable video: When downloading files, WMP begins playing the movie as soon as enough of it is downloaded to ensure uninterrupted playback.
  • You’re distributing your movie online and extremely small file size is more important than quality. The Windows Media format can offer some very small file sizes, which is good if your audience will be downloading your movie over slow dial-up Internet connections. I recently placed a 3:23-long movie online in Windows Media format and the file size was only 5.5MB (megabytes). Of course, the movie was not broadcast quality, but because most of my friends and family still have slow dial-up modem connections to the Internet, they appreciated the relatively small download size.

A Short Review on RealPlayer


Another very popular media player is RealPlayer from RealNetworks.
RealPlayer is available for Macintosh, Windows, and even Unix-based systems. The free RealPlayer software is most often used for RealMedia streaming media over the Internet, though it can also play MPEG-format media as well. Pinnacle Studio allows you to export movies in the RealMedia format using the “Streaming” option in the Make Movie window. Although RealNetworks does offer a free version of the RealPlayer , you have to look at their Web site carefully for the “Free RealOne Player” link before you can download it. RealNetworks offers other programs as well — and though they’re not free, they offer additional features. RealNetworks has specialized in the delivery of streaming content, and they offer a variety of delivery options. You can use their software to run your own RealMedia streaming server, or you can outsource such “broadcast” duties to RealNetworks.
A complaint often heard about RealPlayer is that the software tends to be intrusive and resource-hungry once installed — and that the program itself collects information about your media-usage habits and sends that information to RealNetworks. Although RealPlayer is extremely popular, consider that some folks out there simply refuse to install RealNetworks software on their computers. RealMedia is an excellent format, but I recommend that you offer your audience a choice of formats if you plan to use it; include (for example) QuickTime or Windows Media Video.

A Short Review on QuickTime


Apple QuickTime is perhaps the most ubiquitous media player in the personal computer world today, which makes it a good overall choice for your audience. QuickTime is available for Macintosh and Windows systems and is included with Mac OS 9 and higher. QuickTime can play MPEG and QuickTime media. The QuickTime Player also supports progressive download, where files begin playing as soon as enough has been downloaded to allow continuous playback.
Apple also offers an upgraded version of QuickTime called QuickTime Pro.
QuickTime Pro costs about $30 (the regular QuickTime Player is free). Key
features of QuickTime Pro include
  • Full-screen playback
  • Additional media management features
  • Simple audio and video creation and export tools
  • Advanced import/export options If you already have iMovie (and therefore regular QuickTime), you don’t absolutely need the extra features of QuickTime Pro.
Your audience really doesn’t need QuickTime Pro either (unless of course they want to watch movies in full screen). The standard QuickTime Player should suffice in most cases. Apple iMovie exports QuickTime-format files. If you’re a Windows user, QuickTime Pro allows you to convert MPEG files to QuickTime format. Some advanced Windows editing programs (such as Adobe Premiere) can also export files in QuickTime format.

Easter Pictures

on Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter is one of the days, that every small kid enjoy searching for eggs or breaking the other eggs and be the winner. We collect our small collection of easter picturesm that you will surely enjoy.