Feb 252011
 

iSkysoft

Update: iSkysoft has kindly offered 5 licenses of iTube Studio for Mac, each valued at $29. Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy!

iSkysoft FLV Converter is an easy to use and now free video converter which works to convert from and to many common video formats such as AVI, MOV, MPEG, WMV and others and not only FLV videos as its name may suggest. The FLV format is of course the flash video format made by Adobe and seen on video sites like YouTube.

iSkysoft FLV Converter can work with one or several videos at a time, either by clicking the add video button or by adding a video or folder of videos using the File menu. After a video loads clicking the Edit button (or using the Edit menu) one can start working on a video.

The edit feature includes crop. Here a video can be resized to predefined and other flexible sizes and the sizes can be offset from any starting x and y coordinates. Effects such as old film, emboss and negative can be used along with adjustments to contrast, brightness and saturation. Watermark can also be added whether it be an image or text with control over the watermark’s position on the video. iSkysoft FLV Converter also includes support for subtitles. Additionally it is possible to rotate and flip a video vertically or horizontally.

The clip button lets the user shorten a video by defining a new starting and/or ending point either using a slider or manually entering start or end times.

iSkysoft FLV Converter makes it easy to work on videos by always showing an instant preview of all changes made when in its edit or clip modes. It is also worth mentioning that the program’s main interface includes a Snapshot button (to take JPG or BMP still shots)

After finishing all modifications but before clicking the Start button to convert video(s) use the profile drop down menu to choose the output format and then change its various settings using the Settings button to the right of the menu and if desired change the output folder as well.

iSkysoft FLV Converter runs on Windows NT and newer versions and requires at least a 1GHz CPU processor.

iSkysoft’s many other video tools include the iTube Studio for Mac which supports (HD) video downloads and conversions for devices such the iPhone, iPod and iPad.

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Feb 172011
 

Capture View is a capture or screenshot taking program that looks slightly different than others of its kind. When opened the program looks like a transparent window opening to whatever is behind it, be it the desktop wallpaper or other open window. Capture View has several capture settings or methods and one of those is what is seen through the aforementioned interface. By moving or stretching Capture View’s own window the screenshot area can be adjusted.

To take other kinds of screenshots like the usual whole screen, individual window or others Capture View’s Type menu must be used. The same menu includes settings for automatically adding transparency, backgrounds, color invert and other effects to the captured screenshot. Delayed captures are also configurable here. The Alt+Q keys or the Capture button are two methods to take the screenshot itself.

Any thing captured, even if not yet saved, can be viewed using the Thumb Strip (accessed via the icon to the right of the small red square). Screenshots must be saved before the program is closed because captures are initially stored in a temp folder and are not automatically saved. The default image format can be changed from *.png to *.jpg, *.tiff or others. After a screenshot is captured one can resize it to preset sizes like wallpaper or any other arbitrary size – using the what the program calls a box to hover over the capture and keep only what the box sees – by right clicking on it inside the Capture View window or using the Crop menu.

Capture View does not have the most intuitive of work flows but does the job and with a few extras. The Description page on the program author’s site has a lengthy explanation of the more unusual features of Capture View.

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Feb 132011
 

Shotty strives to be an all in one screenshots program. It takes screenshots of whole screens, specified regions and windows. It has basic features to edit the captured shots and a few options for places to upload them too.

Left clicking the tray icon of Shotty presents you with capture options for the whole screen, region or specific window (for Windows Vista and 7 a high quality, aero enhanced option is given as well). After the capture a basic editor with a Microsoft paint like interface features things like cropping and adding text, highlights and shapes. A blur or diffuser can hide sensitive parts of the screenshot as well.

Further efficiency can be gained by using the default, but configurable, Ctrl + PrintScreen hotkeys in place of clicking the tray icon for the capture.

Finally the image can be saved or uploaded to one of the chosen locations online, Shotty in turn provides a window with the address of the uploaded image.

Right clicking Shotty’s tray icon exposes its other features:

The upload location can be chosen from one of Images.Devs-On.net (Shotty’s own hosting), ImageShack.us, DirectUpload.net, Imgur.com and UploadScreenshot.com.

The aforementioned hotkeys can be configured and assigned to save, copy or instant upload instead of the opening the capture or image editor.

A history of screenshots taken using Shotty can also be seen.

The optional delay – to take the screenshot – can be changed here as well.

Shotty requires the .Net Framework 2.0 and should run on Windows 2000 and newer versions.

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Feb 032011
 

Snap DB is one of the 2011 entries in Donationcoder’s N.A.N.Y. (New Apps For The New Year) challenge. It is a simple database program that holds and organizes lists and information in a text like or flat structure. It is minimalist by design.

The uses for Snap DB are pretty much infinite. Keep a list of albums, software or books or anything else all with many a column to hold information about them. Open the program right click on the columns to rename them and to add additional columns as necessary. Then double click on a row and start entering the information. Import a Comma Separated Values (CSV) or tab delimited file to use with Snap DB or export the data to a CSV file. Activate the Filter mode (View—>Filter Mode) to search the data and get results as you type.

Snap DB has a few built in shortcuts to make entering information easier. For example use F2 to edit a record or F5 to duplicate a record. The usual Ctrl-C Windows copy key combination will copy whole row(s) of data in SnapDB ready to be pasted anywhere with each column separated by a tab. Conversely copying some tab delimited text and using Ctrl-V in SnapDB pastes them into columns. Also notice that when adding or inserting data there is Run button, that button will execute if the corresponding field has a URL, mailto or path to a file or folder in it.

Snap DB is freeware, portable, no install and is less than 700KB unzipped. Watch the screencast on the program’s site to see it in action and follow the thread and suggest other features in its DonactionCoder forums thread (linked above).

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