Media Player Shootout

Written by James Kendall

Continued from page 1

Last (of yea, except for RealPlayer... ) Windows Media Player 10 is one of Microsoft's best pieces of software and is some much better thenrepparttar last generation of MS media players. The jukebox itself is stuffed with features such as its ability to monitor changes to your digital media files and update itself, simple sync and burn, ratings, andrepparttar 110023 auto tag features are all very nice.

One ofrepparttar 110024 changes in V.10 isrepparttar 110025 ability to rip files ifrepparttar 110026 format and with ( or without )repparttar 110027 DRM of your choice. You also getrepparttar 110028 ability to listen to Internet radio streams with WMP, and although they tend to be more corporate thenrepparttar 110029 hip shoutcast radio you can still find some good music. WMP also features a lossless ripping of CD's but I was less impressed withrepparttar 110030 results then I was with Apples Lossless.

And finally there is RealPlayer. The free RealPlayer 10 is better then previous version although that is not saying much imho. It still takes over your file formats by default, tries to force you register, runs inrepparttar 110031 background (phoning home ?) unless you can findrepparttar 110032 settings to tell it not to - all ofrepparttar 110033 problems that it has always have. I say stay as far away from Real as possible even if you can use "Harmony" to use your iPod withrepparttar 110034 Real store. While I may be being over critical of Real's jukebox - I do think that there are other alternatives that are less intrusive and have better feature sets.

All in all I think that either iTunes or WMP is a solid choice and far and awayrepparttar 110035 best media players available. Winamp is a okay too as long as you don't need to rip music or burn it back to a CD - but it is worthrepparttar 110036 download and install just to listen to Shoutcast stations from time to time. Personally I use WMP at work and iTunes are home, so take that for what it's worth. I think that I like WMP a little better, but not so much that I would takerepparttar 110037 time to switch my iTunes set up at home.

This article was originally posted on Online Music Blog and was written by James Kendall of Copacetix Digital Creation.

The Christmas Gift (A Short Story)

Written by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

Continued from page 1

Renee reluctantly began to walk away, but she stopped, "Pa, let me stay just a few more minutes. Maybe they'll leave and I can go and see her again?" she pleaded.

Pa answered, "okay - but just a few more minute, ya hear?" Pa walked back home. Renee waited about hour whenrepparttar men got into their trucks and drove away. Quietly, she walked over to Sady's pen. It seemed thatrepparttar 110022 pen had been ripped apart and there was no sight of Sady. "Oh no," she thought, "Sady - where are ya girl?" she called.

Inrepparttar 110023 corner ofrepparttar 110024 pen, Renee spotted a large, wooden crate. Carefully, she pulledrepparttar 110025 mesh aside and slowly crawled through to get insiderepparttar 110026 kennel. Looking from side to side, she made her way torepparttar 110027 crate. She could hear faint, muffled sounds but wasn't sure what to make of it. Oh so cautiously, she proceeded to peer insiderepparttar 110028 crate. What she would see would change her life forever. Pulling openrepparttar 110029 broken, but ajar top, she discovered a mound of tiny, four-legged fur balls. All of them looked like beautiful Sady. "Ah," she whispered, "that was your secret." But where was Sady?

Just then,repparttar 110030 man owner ran outrepparttar 110031 back door and hollered at Renee, "Wudya doin' here?!" Startled, Renee ran, tripping throughrepparttar 110032 wire fence to escaperepparttar 110033 harsh man. She ran so fast that she never looked back. Suddenly, Renee slipped on a slick, icy rock and plunged intorepparttar 110034 freezing ravine. One thing Renee never learned how to do was to swim.

As she struggled to keep her head aboverepparttar 110035 icy currents, she tried to scream, butrepparttar 110036 water was so cold that only muffled whispers came from her little voice. No one could hearrepparttar 110037 little girl's pleas as her head bobbed up and down beneathrepparttar 110038 torrent waters. But just as she was about to give up, someone did hear Renee's calls for help.

There, hiding betweenrepparttar 110039 blanketed holly berry bushes was Sady. She could seerepparttar 110040 little girl inrepparttar 110041 icy waters. Sady heard Renee's unheard cries for help. Without a minute to waste, Sady struggled to maneuver her way torepparttar 110042 frozen depths below. As soon as Sady got torepparttar 110043 riverbank, little Renee went underrepparttar 110044 water forrepparttar 110045 last time. Sady panicked and jumped in afterrepparttar 110046 small child. Disappearing intorepparttar 110047 murky, cold waters, Sady astonishingly re-emerged with Renee's lifeless body in tow. Carefully, she swam torepparttar 110048 riverside, pulling Renee fromrepparttar 110049 water.

Once atoprepparttar 110050 wet, snowy earth, Sady dug a large trench and pushedrepparttar 110051 little girl inside. Laying atop of her, Sady tried to warmrepparttar 110052 little girl's frozen body. About that time, Pa came running over torepparttar 110053 dog, "Get away, dawg!" he yelled at Sady, not knowing what had just happened.

But Sady just stayed there, covetingrepparttar 110054 little girl's limp body. Licking her face, Renee suddenly coughed up a mouthful of river water. Pa raced to Renee's side, pushingrepparttar 110055 big dog out ofrepparttar 110056 way, "Renee, pun'kin!" he hollered, "you okay?!" he added.

With that, Sady looked on with her big brown eyes. Renee opened her eyes and grabbed her Pa's neck, "Pa," she cried, "what happened?"

Pa looked at Sady and then back at Renee, "is thisrepparttar 110057 dawg you were talkin' about?"

Just then, Sady gently pawed Pa's arm and nudged her way over to Renee. Lying down beside Renee, Sady softly licked Renee's blued fingers and lovingly kissed her face too.

Right after Renee was able to regain her balance,repparttar 110058 man from Sady's kennel came up behind her and Pa with a shotgun in tow. "Get outta da way!"repparttar 110059 man hollered at Pa, "that dawg is worthless!"

Pa stood affront of Renee and Sady, and sternly peered back atrepparttar 110060 man, "Lemme' tell you something, Mr. I don't know who's dawg this is, but this dawg is NOT worthless and if it weren't for this dawg, my daughter would've surely drowned in that there river - so YOU get from here."

Shocked,repparttar 110061 man retorted, "but, but..." he stuttered, "she's left a mess of pups up atrepparttar 110062 house and I ain't gonna put up with all that whimperin' and whinin'."

Renee looked up at Pa, and her eyes pleaded with him. Pa looked down at Sady, who was shivering fromrepparttar 110063 wet and cold, "I'll tell ya what," Pa said torepparttar 110064 man, "I'd say I owe this dawg a lot for saving my little Renee," he paused and contemplated a thought, "I'll take this dawg and her pups."

"But she's my dawg," saidrepparttar 110065 man.

"You mean, she was your dawg," he took Sady firmly byrepparttar 110066 collar and pulled Renee next to his side, "now, we're gonna go up to yer house and we're gonna get those pups. And then we're gonna go to my house where Renee can raise `em up `till they're old enough to go to good, and loving homes."

"You can't do that!" said Sady's owner.

"Yes I can, and we will."

Pushing his way pastrepparttar 110067 man, Pa, Renee and Sady slowly walked torepparttar 110068 man's house, and just as easily as she had crawled in before, Renee went torepparttar 110069 crate and handedrepparttar 110070 pups, one by one to Pa throughrepparttar 110071 wire mesh. Placingrepparttar 110072 tiny dogs inside his inner coat poach, he, Renee and Sady all went home together.

When they got home, Pa had Renee to go and change out of her sopping-wet clothing and put on a warm, soothing fire inrepparttar 110073 wood stove. Lying besiderepparttar 110074 warmth, Renee put her arms around Sady as she nursed her pups.

Though Pa didn't have a gift to give Renee this Christmas, Sady was able to give both of themrepparttar 110075 best Christmas Gift ever. And to this day, Renee still seeks to help those animals in need thanks torepparttar 110076 love of a gentle giant.


The moral of this story is, that Christmas is not about packages, ribbons or any material things - Christmas is aboutrepparttar 110077 gift of loving, caring, compassion, understanding and most of all being able to give of ones self despite what life may bring. Christmas is, after all,repparttar 110078 season of brotherly love. Why not setrepparttar 110079 example today. Merry Christmas.


Read this and other shorts like this one at Holistic Junction today!

2004 The Christmas Gift by C. Bailey-Lloyd aka. LadyCamelot and special input from my daughter, Just Marie

[All work by author is copyright protected. If you would like to use this article, please contactrepparttar 110080 author for permission.]

C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot is the Public Relations' Director & Staff Writer for

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use