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TAG | media player

VLC Beta (NEON version)

VLC the  media player has been around as a desktop version for over 10 years. It was the go-to application to play most any format or codec know to mankind for both video or music. Some even joked it would even open word docs. Finally VLC has hit the world of android…. this is not before time!!.

VLC Android media player

There have been VLC remotes and streaming apps available to android for some time but this is the first time the actual VLC media player is available on the platform. Bear in mind the version currently on Google Play (VLC Beta (NEON version)) is a beta version hence the name! and as the developers mention in their description “It might kill your kitten, destroy your house and start the mayan apocalypse. Use it at your own risk.”

Well I’ve taken the leap and installed this baby on my machine and it is good… real good!

Granted it is beta and there are a few bits missing from the full version but you do have the ability to play audio and video files aswell as network streaming like in the full desktop version. It has a built in media library to browse your files and a widget for audio control among other bits and pieces.

Android VLC beta

The interface overall is great with nice sliding transitions when you click an album name for example the button will glow orange and slide to the next screen.

At times though you do get the feeling its a little unfinished, but there again comes your warning!! it’s in beta so read the description on Google Play before you download!

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Android does book reading

Many people think that reading books is something unfashionable, something that young people don’t do or do it by necessity and that soon no one will be reading books. But on the other hand, book-reading devices, using either full color displays or E-Ink, are getting more and more popular and many people own such device and which is more important – use it on a daily basis. With the growing popularity of book readers, manufacturers try to make new and interesting devices, implementing many new features that the users might like. Barnes & Noble decided to take part in the game with their NOOKcolor eReader.

It just got its official video commercial for the Holidays. But the most interesting thing about it is that it is running on Android, but no word on the version number. NOOKcolor features a 7-inch touchscreen IPS display running at resolution of 1024×600 pixels, 8GB internal memory (which is enough for about 6000 eBooks), support for 802.11 b/g/n networks and up to 8 hours battery life (this is far behind the E-ink competitors, but here you have a 16mil. Color display). It also has all the standard features of Android like media player for mp4, mp3 and AAC file formats, 3.5mm audio jack, personalization of wallpaper and many other things, galleries. An interesting addition is the presence of Pandora internet radio, built-in Chess and Sudoku games and Crossword puzzles – in case you’re not in a mood for reading and would like to train your brain. The supported file formats are EPUB (including Non or Adobe DRM), PDF  as well as other documents like: XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX. While reading, you can customize almost everything you can think of – font size,  font styles, background colors, line and margin spacing and many others.

You can buy NOOKcolor for 249$ at most retailer stores or via Barnes & Noble’s website.

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Creative goes Android too

Today there is plenty of news coming from the famous audio-oriented manufacturer Creative. We all know their sound cards for computers, portable media players and headphones. But today they have surprised us, presenting two new devices – one is an Android powered PMP (looks like Philips is not the only one who will launch such device) and … Android powered series of tablets, called Ziio.

But let’s begin with the portable media player, called Zen Touch 2. The first noticeable think when one looks at its computer generated pictures is that the icons on the buttons are facing left, suggesting that the device is intended to be used in landscape mode. As for the rest of the hardware, Zen Touch 2 hides in itself 3.2-inch screen, Bluetooth 2.1 support, 802.11 b/g/n (nice to see a support of “n” networks), 2MP camera (not much but.. hey guys, this is media player, not a camera), GPS, FM radio and all of this powered by Android 2.1. Sounds pretty good? Yeah, until you see that it will have a resistive touchscreen display. The player is expected to be released soon in 2 versions – one with 8GB memory and one with 16GB with prices starting from 279$.

Talking about the upcoming Ziio tablets, there will be 2 devices – one 7 and one 10 inch. Both will be running Android 2.1 (it seems that Creative are not keen on FroYo J ) and will be available in different memory configurations. They will also have a front facing camera on board, built in microphone, an accelerometer, microSD card slot, GPS, FM radio and a composite video-out connection. I guess that you expect some fancy audio equipment on board and sound optimizations and you are right – Creative will be using their X factor – named X-Fi Crystalizer which restores the lost data from CD ripping, and X-Fi Expand. Again a drawback is the resistive touchscreen, but the custom UI of Creative makes the navigation a bit easier. Both devices will be available from December for 199.99 pounds for the 7-inch, 8GB going up to 369.99 pounds for the 10-inch 16GB model.

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