Author: James

Windows 10 does away with bloatware. Sort of.

Windows 10

We are also redesigning Windows’ Refresh and Reset functionalities to no longer use a separate recovery image (often preinstalled by manufacturers today) in order to bring Windows devices back to a pristine state.

What Microsoft is trying to say here is that while they will still allow manufacturers like Dell and HP to pre-install a pile of crappy bloat/ad/malware, they will finally give you the ability to do a clean recovery of only Windows 10. As an added bonus, you can apparently create your own recovery partition with updates already applied. Nice!

I’ll not be switching to Windows any time soon, but this was one major reason I wouldn’t even consider it. Unfortunately, even when Microsoft does something really great, they manage to screw it up.

I realize that MS makes its money licensing copies of Windows to OEMs, and they are the ones that screw the users directly But it ultimately hurts MS more than anyone, because the remedy is not buy another PC manufacturer’s piece of hardware, but using another OS entirely. It screws the user because in order to have a great Windows experience, you first have to have a horrible one.

Microsoft has done a lot of things to copy Apple over the years, but putting the user first has never been one of those things.

30% discount on Elmedia Player 5

Elmedia Player (EP) is an all-in-one media player and manager for Mac OS X. Unlike Quicktime and iTunes, EP allows you to discover, download, organize, play, and manage movies and music in a ton of formats, including: FLV, SWF, XAP, AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, DIVX, DAT, and more.

I’ve reviewed Elmedia Player in the past, and while not a whole lot has changed over the years, some of the improvements are welcomed.

Elmedia Player app

The latest version adds support for the Apple Remote, the built-in media keys on an Apple keyboard, playlist search, a 10-band equalizer, video tuner, and a host of other video playback controls.

As I wrote in my previous review, the free version of EP does an awful lot. But users who wish to add the ability to download regular and streaming RTMP videos and Flash animations, as well as download external resources used by SWF animations will need the Pro version. You’ll also need to upgrade to Pro if you want to download YouTube videos, extract audio from those videos, make screenshots of videos, or convert entire movies into images.

What I love about EP Pro is that it pretty much rids you of the need for any other apps for managing and playing videos. Because EP plays so many formats, there’s little need for converting videos. Also gone is the need to have a browser window open along with your media player, since EP has a browser built-in—which allows you to discover and watch videos without dealing with ad-infested pages. This means downloading videos from Metacafe, Vimeo, Facebook and Yahoo is just easier.

Elmedia Player Pro is available for $19.95. Use the coupon code THGM-DSC at checkout to receive 30% off. If you already own a previous version, you can upgrade for 50% off the purchase price.

Rant: Shut the f#ck up about iOS widgets already, and everything else, too!

I don’t think I’ve posted a rant here at The Graphic Mac in a long time, but this past week I was reading a few iOS-related articles, and the subsequent comments by readers, and was carpet bombed with stupid frigging comments that have forced me to go off.

The one thing in common with most articles and their comments are the basement-dwelling booger eaters that feel compelled to compare the lack of [insert some stupid god damn feature here] on iOS that has been available on Android for years.

iOS Notification widgets

One of the topics always seems to be Apple and its ‘walled-garden’ approach to not allowing you to cure freaking cancer and run Adobe Photoshop in the Notification Center with a widget. Apparently, Android users simply must have the god damn train schedule for every subway system in the country show up in Notification Center or they’ll simply get lost going from the basement of mom’s house to the bagel shop 3-door down on the right. Heard enough? Too bad, here’s more (more…)

30% discount on Airy 2.0 upgrade

Airy 2

I’ve written about Airy in the past. Eltima Software has upgraded their awesome little YouTube video downloader to 2.0, and brought with it a few handy features.

Airy 2.0 continues to make downloading YouTube videos even easier by adding the ability to download an entire YouTube playlist with a single click. I was able to download several playlists of music videos numbering from 15 to 40 videos with no problem at all. Downloading is the same as previous versions: you paste a YouTube video address into the Airy app URL bar, or use the included browser bookmarklet (my preferred method).

Airy 2 Playlist

The update also adds the ability to pause downloads, so the next time you open Airy, the downloads resume automatically. Given that Airy downloads videos so quickly, this may seem unnecessary, but when you consider downloading a playlist with dozens upon dozens of videos, it can come in handy.

Airy hasn’t added any new formats that I can see. But you can already save videos as MP4, FLV and 3GP formats, as well as save only the audio as an MP3, so I see little room for improvement here anyway.

Airy 2.0 is a little faster, and a little more stable—though I never had problems with the older version to begin with. This is one of those little gems that I’m glad I have around. For years there have been plenty of YouTube video downloaders that were a pain to use, and usually stopped working after a few months. Airy has been around for a while, is not free, and is provided by a stable developer. That means it’s likely to be supported for the foreseeable future.

The latest upgrade runs on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. Previous Airy users can upgrade to the new version for 50% off, and new users can use the coupon code THGM-DSC at checkout time to receive 30% off the regular $19.95 price.