Month: April 2012

Review: Zoom H4n audio recorder

The proliferation of Nikon, Canon and Sony dSLRs with video recording capabilities has lowered the technical requirements for creating footage. However, no matter how expensive the dSLR, sound stays a weak proposition. Tin can audio is the rule rather than the exception, unless you are using a field audio recorder. One of the all time favourites seems to be the Zoom H4n, a feature crammed handheld audio recording device.

Review: the Plantronics Savi W740A DECT headset

Plantronics have a reputation when it comes to headsets with a sound clarity that is unique. They now also have a reputation as a supplier of headsets that can be integrated with Unified Communications platforms. The Savi 740 is one of these. Unified Communications (UC) is a technology that promises to increase the efficiency of communications, no matter how these happen — by phone, mobile, VoIP, or email. UC relies on software to integrate all these forms of communication, but also on hardware. The hardware must be suitable to integrate with the software so that you can switch between mobile calls and VoIp without losing either, for example. Plantronics has a range of products for this purpose. IT Enquirer rating 10/10 URL: plantronics.com Pros design sound quality battery stamina flexibility software Cons Mac software would be nice Price (approx.): €400 The Plantronics UC products come with software that enables you to control the hardware. The hardware itself is made to integrate with either Microsoft’s Lync platform or with a whole range of platforms, including those …

Review: Timeline 3D

Creating a timeline with three dimensional “fan-out” is easy with Timeline 3D. The export facilities are excellent — Bee Docs has video as well as Keynote covered. In two dimensions a timeline can only show you as many events as the “window” through which you are viewing is large. If you “skew” the timeline so that you’re looking at it from the side, and you fan out the events, you can more or less travel through time. That is what the 3D view of Timeline 3D is about. It’s a simple concept, and it’s well designed and worked out by Bee Docs. The attention to detail is high, but Bee Docs didn’t stop at 3D. Instead, Adam Behringer, the brains behind Timeline and Timeline 3D decided to go an extra mile. The result is that Timeline 3D exports to Keynote, video (iPhone, iPod and Apple TV, and a number of other formats through the menu), and to e-mail. On the import side, Timeline has gained Aperture import capabilities as well as RSS capabilities. The latter …

Review: Zevrix LinkOptimizer

LinkOptimizer is an InDesign plug-in meant to reduce the size of linked images in InDesign. The magic lies in the elimination of excessive image data.LinkOptimizer is a plug-in that immediately launches Photoshop when activated. The first — and sometimes the only — thing you’ll do is enter a number for the output resolution of your images. Then click the “Analyze Links” button and the plug-in will list all images that have a resolution higher than the one you entered. Those images can be optimized. LinkOptimizer has a clear-cut interface. There’s little to do or select, so little can go wrong. The most important part of the plug-in, however, is not immediately obvious. It’s the Settings dialogue, which has three tabs: the Backup, Advanced, and Processing tab. The Processing tab is where you will tell LinkOptimizer what it should do when you want it to rocess files that can be optimized. Choices include layer merging (a space saver if ever there was one), colour space conversion, and hidden layer removal. In the Advanced tab you can …

Review: DrawIt 3

DrawIt is a vector and bitmap program that relies heavily on Mac OS X’s built-in effects and graphic capabilities. For a moment, I thought DrawIt would be a perfect replacement for Adobe Illustrator, but after having reviewed the product, I don’t think you should throw away your copy of Illustrator just yet. Having said that, DrawIt has a couple of nice touches. It must be awfully difficult to create an illustration program in a world dominated by Adobe. Illustrator CS3 especially offers so many features that blur the line between vector and bitmap program. Think about Live Paint or the capability to embed Photoshop images into Illustrator. The DrawIt developers have one advantage: Mac OS X comes with a whole set of effects and graphic capabilities ready for the taking. It’s those capabilities that you will find back in DrawIt. For example, the Gloom effect is built-in into Mac OS X. The way DrawIt uses these effects and capabilities is innovative. The application can handle images and vector art. Every element you put on the …

Review: Coda

When Panic Software released Coda, most reactions were mildly to enthusiastically positive. Here and there were some points of criticism, but most of the comments were that Panic’s Cabel Sasser has made the web site editing application everybody has been waiting for. After he had ironed out the first-version wrinkles, I asked Cabel for a review copy, and used Coda for a couple of weeks to see what all the fuss is about. Coda is a hybrid between Dreamweaver and TextMate or BBEdit. And it has a couple of unique features that set it apart from the crowd. Coda is not a WYSIWYG web design application such as Freeway or Dreamweaver. Instead, it relies on your coding skills and offers a complete and pampering environment for those who write their web pages in HTML, Javascript, and PHP, using CSS in the process. Coda comes with auto-completion, a unified window approach, a lickable GUI-based CSS editing panel, a built-in Terminal, a built-in and blazingly fast FTP client, access control, and last but not least, a set …

Review: FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced

FileMaker upgraded its database application once again, and version 12 is a hit in terms of design capabilities. There are seven new scripts, new chart types and a an easier way to create reports with charts and the Advanced version can now handle custom menus as well as different window types.