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April 2015 Archives

April 5, 2015

Pinnacle Studio 18

Pinnacle Studio 18 is part of the latest wave of video editing tools that have stepped up to 64-bit processing, providing the performance and capacity to handle the demands of high-definition video editing on today's PCs. (Studio also still is available in a 32-bit version.)

This new version offers more power, precision, and creative control -- as well as mobile integration with the Pinnacle Studio app for iPad and iPhone.

For more power, Studio 18 supports 4K editing and smart encoding and XAVC 4K HD cameras, and is optimized for Intel Quick Sync hardware video encoding and decoding.

For more precision and control, Studio 18 adds interface enhancements including segment grouping and Close Gap to clean up in the timeline. There are also new tools like the Scorefitter music library for custom-fit soundtracks, plus additional creative assets including 17 royalty-free tracks from Triple Scoop Music.

Studio extends its range through three versions, increasing the timeline tracks, stepping up to 3D and then 4D editing and adding more effects, libraries and tools as the versions progress:

- The base Pinnacle Studio 18 for around $59 supports HD video editing with up to six timeline tracks and includes 1500 2D and 3D effects, titles and templates.

- Pinnacle Studio 18 Plus for around $69 supports up to 24 tracks and includes 1800 effects for more advanced editing. Plus, it adds Dolby 5.1 audio, stereoscopic 3D editing, live screen capture and the Scorefitter music library.

- Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate for around $119 steps up the power with unlimited timeline tracks, 2000 effects and additional NewBlue presets and plugins, plus 4K Ultra HD editing, Blu-ray authoring and XAVC S support. It also adds the iZotope Music & Speech Cleaner tool and additional Scorefitter libraries.

Studio 18 offers a nice graduated approach to the complexity and possibilities of video editing for new users who have ambitions to get serious. And it's a compelling upgrade for current users. There is no evaluation version of Studio 18 available, but you can check out the YouTube tutorials and download the User Guide from the Corel site to see how it fits for you.

See full review article for Videomaker magazine.

Find Pinnacle Studio 18 on Amazon.com

April 28, 2015

AFTERSHOKZ Bluez 2 Open Ear Wireless Headphones

You can have your music, and your situational awareness too.

Headphones and earphones are great for delivering your personal music, but they do cover over or plug up your ears -- which means you lose connection with what's happening around you. This can be a problem if you're jogging on the streets or trying to keep track of the kids around the house.

The alternative is to use bone conduction technology to listen without obstructing your ears, with headphones that rest on your cheekbones and transmit sound through vibrations directly to your inner ear.

Google used this approach in the Google Glass headwear and it's also available in wireless headphones like the AFTERSHOKZ Bluez 2.

The Bluez 2 headphones tuck over your ears, with the vibrating pads resting on your cheekbones in front of the ear. The band rests low behind your head, with an adjustable strap for a comfortable and secure fit.

They're relatively light at 1.45 oz (41g), and designed to be durable, withstanding sweat and moisture with a nanotechnology coating and watertight rubber gaskets.

The Bluez 2 use Bluetooth wireless to deliver music with no cables. They also have a mic for making phone calls. Actually, they have dual noise canceling microphones to reduce the surrounding noise and enhancing your speech.

The frame also includes a volume control and a multifunction button to play and pause music, skip songs, and take and end phone calls. The headphones also provide voice prompts to guide you through power, pair, play and talk.

The battery provides 6 hours playtime and can last 30 days in standby. It charges in 2 hours, and you can get a good boost in as little as 15 minutes.

These are really useful for still being aware while you enjoy music. Besides walking, running, or riding on busy streets, they also are great when you're working around the house while keeping track of the kids.

The Bluez 2 headphones also are being used with the exciting BlindSquare app for iPhone and iPad to communicate without blocking the ears. BlindSquare is an accessible GPS-app developed for the blind and visually impaired. It describes the environment as you travel, announcing points of interest and street intersections. With free, third-party navigation apps it provides information to help blind and visually impaired people travel independently.

The Bluez 2 headphones are available for around $99 in black, green, or red. AFTERSHOKZ also offers wired sport bone conduction headphones for $39, or $49 with mic and controls.

Find the AFTERSHOKZ Bluez 2 Headphones on Amazon.com

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About April 2015

Entries posted to Manifest Tech Blog in April 2015, listed from oldest to newest.

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