Substitute the Internet for Your TV

Written by Daniel Punch

I have fond memories of waking up early on Saturday mornings and softly tiptoeing out torepparttar family room to watch early morning cartoons when I was in elementary school. Then in high school I became more interested inrepparttar 110024 action-oriented TV shows inrepparttar 110025 evening. A little while later, I found that I just didn't haverepparttar 110026 time to dedicate an hour or so a day to sitting and watching mindless entertainment at a given time slot, and so I no longer watched TV at all. Gone are my days of watching those humorous cartoons and ridiculous heroes every week.

I recently discoveredrepparttar 110027 online film scene, though, and it's fantastic. Short films, up to about 20mins in length, just posted online for all to download. Many of them are better thanrepparttar 110028 professionally produced, high-budget TV shows that stream so liberally to your TV box. Every one is a labor of love, so even whenrepparttar 110029 production values aren't high you know that someone has poured themselves intorepparttar 110030 product, which brings satisfaction beyond that of watching some stale TV show now into it's 19th series and just churning outrepparttar 110031 money makers.

Cartoons were my first port of call. It's been a long time since I've been awake and free early enough inrepparttar 110032 morning to watch some animated entertainment (and besides that,repparttar 110033 cartoons on TV now are largely trash). A friend introduced me to my first online cartoon,repparttar 110034 enormously popular and hilarious Homestar Runner ( This site is fantastic. There are longish cartoons and games, with new ones being added every now and then, butrepparttar 110035 main reason to visit and continue to return is a lovably vicious character named Strong Bad. The creators ofrepparttar 110036 web site answer roughly one email a week using this character that basically insults people inrepparttar 110037 most hilarious ways possible. It's all quite family-friendly and is more than worth a bookmark.

More animated wonders and filmed entertainment can be found at Atom Films (, which has become a free service recently. Also worth a look is Ifilm ( that offersrepparttar 110038 lower-bandwidth streams of films for free. Be slightly wary here though as there is an uncensored section and occasionally some videos will show up onrepparttar 110039 main page that aren't entirely family-friendly. These two sites showcase hundreds of short films, from animated to live action, from musical to martial arts. They host music clips and film festival winners as well as some non-professional but often still high quality work.

Media Player Shootout

Written by James Kendall

Whether you call them media players, jukeboxes, mp3 apps, music managers, or whatever - we all need a proggy to listen to our digital music with sowe decided that it was time to publishrepparttar Online Music Blog Media Player Shootout. Forrepparttar 110023 sake of this article I am only going to discuss players you can get for free and I am not going to go into p2p apps.

So with that, lets dive right in. For my money there are are only 3 choices - Winamp, iTunes, or Windows Media Players - but I'll talk a little about RealPlayer 10 as well. All of these applications share baseline features - playing various media files, cataloging digital media, etc. We'll focus on things about them that are different.

Back inrepparttar 110024 day, we had Winamp, and it was good. Unfortunately the original Nullsoft team has all moved on and instead ofrepparttar 110025 hacker cred that Winamp used to have back when Justin Frankel et all were onrepparttar 110026 job it is now just another corporate media player with a hazy future.

Winamp lost a lot of momentum that it had when it released a ( very ) bad Winamp3 - but withrepparttar 110027 release of Winamp5 they seem to be back on track - it is useable, responsive, and has a lot of plugins and skins created for it.

The major problem is that for all of it's features it is not much, if any, better thenrepparttar 110028 two dominant media players that are tied to successful music stores iTunes and WMP. Additionally you have to pay $14.95 to getrepparttar 110029 pro version that add features that iTunes and WMP include for free. One ofrepparttar 110030 bonuses of using Winamp isrepparttar 110031 ability to tune into all ofrepparttar 110032 cool shoutcast radio stations.

iTunes is, of course, isrepparttar 110033 digital jukebox front end forrepparttar 110034 iPod andrepparttar 110035 iTunes music store from apple computer. The iTunes music store wasrepparttar 110036 first to get pay for digital music downloads right and it still hasrepparttar 110037 largest legal downloadable catalog onrepparttar 110038 net givingrepparttar 110039 iTunes jukebox a hefty advantage.

If you are using a Mac then it is a no brainer - you should be using iTunes as you media player, but even if you are using Windows iTunes provides an attractive alternative. The iTunes store is superior ( imho ) torepparttar 110040 Windows Media based stores such as Napster and withrepparttar 110041 legendary Apple ease of use in full effect iTunes makes a great Windows based Jukebox. Noteworthy isrepparttar 110042 Apple Lossless codec that allows one to rip CD's torepparttar 110043 ACC format that sound as good asrepparttar 110044 CD itself to our ears. Onrepparttar 110045 negative side,repparttar 110046 iTunes jukebox feels heavy on moderately powered PC's compared to Winamp or WMP. It runs a little slower, seems to use more resources, etc.

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