Articles in the Digital Media Lab Category
Digital Media Lab, Kids Tech, Technology »
Digital Media Lab, Technology »
Windows just released it’s first major update to Windows 8. In the post I will go over some of the new features of Windows 8.1!
Updating to Windows 8.1 | Before updating be sure to back up your files. Even though the files will be transferred automatically, it’s a good idea to make sure they are backed up. Just in case. Once you’re ready to update go to the Start screen and click the ‘Store’ tile. In the Store click Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 RT update. Click download.
The New Features….
Better Organization and Customization | The Start screen has a few improvements. There are new sizes for the tiles so users are able to configure the start screen more similar to the Windows Phone 8. You’re also able to select and group specific tiles. Also, now you are able to view the apps by category, most used and by date installed as opposed to only alphabetically as before.
The Start Button | The Start button is back. However, it wont’t show you the Start menu as it did in previous versions but it will bring up the Start screen. Not a huge change but a convenient one for those who miss clicking the button in the bottom left corner.
SkyDrive Integration | Good news for SkyDrive users. Now you can save your files to SkyDrive by default and keep them in sync. It is also integrated with File Explorer (formerly known as Windows Explorer). You’ll see a SkyDrive option in the left sidebar. This doesn’t automatically store all your SkyDrive files locally—instead, you can open any SkyDrive-stored file right from this section when you’re online, or right-click to save an offline version.
Tutorials | One of the biggest issues with Windows 8 was the completely redesigned interface with no explanation. Not anymore! When you log in for the first time, huge pop ups will explain the basic importatant features of Windows 8.1. Microsoft has also added a Helps & Tips app that teaches the user about the new features in a straight forward way.
Design, Digital Media Lab, dvd burning, imovie, Technology, Video, video editing »
Since Apple discontinued iDVD, a separate program is needed to burn your completed iMovie project to disc. These are the steps for burning a DVD in Toast 11 Titanium (which we have on DML computers 1, 3, and 4).
Have your exported iMovie video file ready. Open Toast Titanium and click the Video tab.
Select DVD-Video (unless you are burning a Blu-ray disc, then select that specific option).
Drag and drop your video file into the open area.
Most of the default settings can be left alone. You can fill in a title in the field at the top (Fantastic Elk Movie). If you want to add chapter markers to your movie, click on the Edit button next to your movie.
Then click the Chapters tab, select Automatic and click on the drop down menu to select how often chapter markers will be placed, then click ok.
You can also adjust some of the settings such as Quality, Auto-play etc. if you want. When you are done, click the red Burn button. You’ll be prompted to insert a DVD.
The Jumbie Jam is an authentic steel drum that is fun to play and easy to learn. Versatile is the best way to describe the Jumbie Jam; a blend of simple design, durability, and ease of learning/teaching makes it a fantastic instrument for all ages and musical abilities. This item circulates for 7 days with a valid adult Skokie Public Library card from the Technology Help Desk.
Digital Media Lab »
If you’re an avid Mac user, you’re aware than Apple recently released a new operating system for its laptops and desktop computers. It’s called Mavericks.
In this blog post I will introduce you to some of the new features in Apple OS X Mavericks.
In the past, the desktop could easily become cluttered with multiple Finder windows, but Mavericks finally fixes that problem. Each tab can have a different view—list, icon, column—and you can drag and drop files between tabs. A new full-screen view for Finder makes all these tabs even more useful and easier to manage.
Maps and iBooks
Mavericks includes 2 new applications.
Maps | If you use Apple’s Maps app on an iPhone or iPad, you’ll be familiar with this app. You can find directions, and 3D images of any part of the world. Since this isn’t a new concept and many people already use Google Maps, Apple has incorporated its Maps data into other applications such as Calendar and Mail, making it easier for you to quickly view a location.
iBooks | Despite the fact that it’s more convenient to read e-Books on a Kindle, Nook or an iPad this app is convenient for students writing papers. Instead of having to constantly refer to a textbook you can have the textbook on the screen, side by side with a word processing program. iBooks can also catalog PDF files.
Safari has been redesigned with some great new features. The big new feature in the new Safari is a sidebar that’s designed to hold everything: bookmarks, Reading List, and links you’ve shared on other social networks.
The Bliptronic 5000 is coming soon!
We have two of these super addicting LED 8-bit musical synthesizers. With one or two of these anybody can create music. They are perfect for get-togethers, children, musicians, classes, etc.
It will soon be available at the Tech. Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Library for 7 day checkouts. Please share your electronic blip masterpieces with us!
In the next week or two the Library will begin to allow you to check out some more cool things. I will be blogging about them as they become available.
One of the most exciting items is a a Hapi Mini Drum in C Major. This beautifully designed metal drum is small, light, and creates a very interesting sound (see the video below).
It will soon be available at the Tech. Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Library for 7 day checkouts. Enjoy!
Design, Digital Media Lab, Technology »
Good news Chrome users!
Did you know you could download a free photo editing app from the Chrome store to use right in your browser? One such app is called Pixlr Editor. Its a full featured photo editor and best of all — its free!
Some of the tools included are, red eye reduction, spot heal tool, drawing tools, clone tools, sharpen and blur tools and many more! One of the best features is that you can actually open PSD files, which is the format of Adobe Photoshop files.
In my opinion, it’s a pretty good program that is so easily available. If you use Google Chrome you can download Pixlr Editor here.
Digital Media Lab, Music, Technology, Video »
Are you looking for music for your latest video editing project? Well YouTube might be able to help you out with that. They have just launched an audio library. The audio library contains more than 150 royalty free tracks and the best part is that you can download and use them for free! You can use them for whatever you’d like – not just YouTube videos.
The search option for tracks offers multiple filters making it super easy to find just what you are looking for. You can search for tracks by:
- Genre – choose from ambient, classical, hip hop & rap, etc.
- Mood – moods range from angry to sad to dramatic.
- Instrument – choose from drums, piano, trumpet, etc.
- Duration – anywhere from 1 minute to 25 minutes.
Get started using this new tool here.
Digital Media Lab, Digitization, Music »
If you work a lot with editing music you are probably aware that Apple recently released a brand new, and redesigned Logic Pro X. Let’s look at some of the new features of this powerful software.
The New Look. The first thing you will notice is the brand new design of Logic’s interface. The new interface does an excellent job of making new, slightly larger toolbar icons and white text easily view-able. Apple has also streamlined the interface by bringing the Transport bar to the top of the screen, and integrating it into the new “Control Bar,” while making the old toolbar collapsible.
Track Stacks. You can now organize your sessions by consolidating multiple related tracks — for example, all the drums or vocals — into a new track format called a Track Stack. In other words, you can group tracks into one easily controllable ‘mix’ track so that individual parameters can be used on all of the tracks at once.
Flex Pitch. No more need for a 3rd party application. With flex pitch you can roll over any note you want to edit and all of the Flex Pitch parameters show up, ready to adjust. You can fine-tune pitch, smooth out, add, or increase vibrato. You can even create or remove pitch slides between notes. It’s now easier than ever to fine tune your tracks.
Drummer. Want a drum track but don’t have a drummer? This virtual drummer delivers impeccably performed, natural-sounding drums. It can listen to any selected track and come up with the perfect complementary groove. And it takes your direction.
Check out this comprehensive video tutorial: