Tag Archives: media player

Managing the Files on Your iPod: MediaMonkey – A Great Alternative to iTunes! Software & Sites 02 SEP 2013

I’ve said before that I’m not a particularly big fan of Apple’s bloated iTunes offering, and to be honest, that really hasn’t changed at all over the years. Of course owning an iPod means that I thus need to use some other 3rd party application to manage the music on my MP3 player, and pleasingly enough, I recently stumbled across one such application that has kind of quickly wormed its way into being my number one music player, music library, and iPod manager – all rolled into one silky smooth package!

MediaMonkey is a slick, feature-packed media player and media library written for the Windows operating system. Outside of actually playing back music from a variety of sources and formats, MediaMonkey has a ton of cool tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to auto tag your MP3s for you, identify tracks and manage music libraries, rip audio CDs, synch with various Apple iPods, iPads, Android devices, and general MP3 players, automatic volume leveling, and not to mention the ability to share Audio/Video files with TVs, BD Players, and other UPnP/DLNA devices.

Seriously, I like this one a lot.

mediamonkey ipod screenshot

Related Link: http://www.mediamonkey.com/

Review: Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2+ Hardware | My Reviews 25 AUG 2011

Billing itself as the smallest MKV media player in the world, the Sumvision Cyclone Micro 2+ HDMI high definition media player may very well live up to its tag – when I opened the box I couldn’t believe that the device lying inside was literally the same size of my credit card in terms of dimensions!

Anyway, what it is, is a simple high definition media player with upscaling abilities that doesn’t come with any built in storage but is more that capable of accepting anything you bring near it sporting a USB output or SD (plus derivatives) card, like your USB thumb drives, external hard drives or even camera memory cards.

Sporting HDMI output the Cyclone Micro 2+ (there were two versions before this one) is able to play back material in full high definition (720p, 1080i, or 1080p), and thanks to its digital coaxial port, it can push out full 5.1 cinematic digital audio as well when needed. Needless to say, it can also handle photos as well as do MP3 music playback, and as an added bonus, also in its box of tricks is the ability to handle subtitle files and even e-book files! (It also comes with a fall back standard AV output mode for those of you who might not have a HD television set).

In terms of supported video codecs and formats, it turns out that there is very little that this little media player monster can’t handle, with support for all the major video file formats of today, from H.264 through to XVID and even RMVB if for some reason you need it.

Build quality is sturdy enough on what is a pretty lightweight device, and everything clicks nicely into place when you plug it in. The single power state LED isn’t blindingly bright and the remote control works pretty well for the most part, though you do need a good line of sight and be on a close vertical and horizontal level to the device when using the remote.

The user interface is exceedingly simple, basically an initial menu to select source or change the device settings, and from there, just a basic file system browser which lists all your files in alphabetical order, with a small preview window for each file.

Playback options via the remote control includes all manner of nice things, like being able to set the video playback dimensions, the audio source, subtitles and even a nifty little goto function that lets you quickly select a point in time of a video that you want to skip directly to, in amongst all the standard functions like play, stop, pause and of course fast forward/rewind.

Finally, the winning factor of this little Chinese beauty – the price. At only R440 from www.takealot.com, this little HD media player is a steal, making it well worth the effort of grabbing if you don’t already have such a device. Sure it doesn’t have all the nice bells and whistles like built in storage and network streaming capabilities, but it does what it does VERY competently.

(Just a note. The box comes with the device, a power cord, an AV cable, an audio cable and the user manual on a disc. No HDMI cable included, so you’ll have to pick that up yourself. But they are pretty cheap these days, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.)

Specs grabbed from the official website: (http://www.sumvision.com.cn/searchResults.aspx?ptype=47)