Sunday, June 1, 2008

iPod. The Next Generation Walkman Replacement

An iPod is a portable digital media player designed and marketed in 2001 by Apple Computers. Currently, it is the best selling audio player with over 50 million sold and 1 billion legal downloads sold through its online music store, iTunes.

The popularity of the iPod became Apple's first and successful attempt to branch out from its iMac products and a reputation of being just a computer company. It's easy to see why the iPod dominates the market, with Apple's ingenious marketing strategies, great features, and appealing look of their products, it is destined to dominate the mp3 market for some time to come.

We need to understand that it is an mp3 audio player that has models incorporating video capabilities. The ability to have a large memory capacity enables the user to store thousands of songs for music and thousands of photos and videos. This makes the iPod such a desirable product, especially to the youth market. The newer models boast a memory of up to 80 gigs. This can be comparable to a hard drive in a home computer. Many people use their unit as an external hard drive to store data off of their computers.

There are many models to choose from as well as upgrades from previous versions. Each new version brings it's own unique features and accessories that can be added on. These accessories contribute immensely as revenue generators for Apple and keeps the public interested in spending more money to get the latest add on features.

You would be hard pressed if you couldn't find an electronics store that doesn't have a section devoted totally to iPods and the adapters and gadgets to dress it up.

Some of the extras presently available to consumers include camera connectors, power adapters, auto charger, car holder, external microphone, external speakers and many more. If you want to expand the fun aspect of these versatile devices, get yourself a karaoke attachment and sing along with your favorite tunes.

With the iPod being focused on music and convenience, it stands to reason that they would find their way into the automobile market. In the US, 70% of the 2007 models will offer iPod integration.

If you're looking at portability as an option, which is the most popular way they're used, lithium, rechargeable lithium-ion and lithium polymer rechargeable type batteries can be used. Most lithium-ion batteries use a fast charge to charge your batteries quickly up to 80% capacity, then they will switch to trickle charging for the remaining 20%.

Docking units that use AC and DC power are also available to keep a full charge handy when the iPod is stored for a period of time.

Audio and video cables are available for these units to plug into your home stereo, or watch a video on your home theater that's stored on the iPod. There's even a remote control accessory to scroll through various functions and play lists.

There are a few companies releasing their own version of the iPod and accessories because they know that the market is very lucrative. Apple's version will probably reign supreme for a while yet especially with the new models and upgrades they constantly put out in the marketplace. They have also branded a name themselves and other companies wanting to get into this elite mp3 market, will have to contend with people calling their unit an iPod as a generality instead of the given product name.

In conclusion, with the great versatility of music, photo and video, coupled with fast transfer speeds, the iPod makes a great choice for those who love having a portable and personal multi-media device.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Video Games: from Cheats and Tricks to Reviews

You know, nobody likes a cheater. But when it comes to discovering video game cheats, "cheating" isn't what you're doing. I prefer to think of it as "discovering shortcuts, tips and tricks," or video game hints.

Video games have gotten so complex, since the days of Pong and PacMan, that the game authors have purposely thrown in some back doors and other shortcuts to aid the weary player. The problem is, most of these back doors are so well hidden that these same authors have to leak the game cheats or no one would ever find them on their own.

And it's not only the blood and guts video games that offer cheats. Take the perfectly bloodless "Finding Nemo" for the GameBoy Advanced. Who'd ever guess that there were at least six video game cheat codes hidden there?

Don't make the mistake of thinking that it's just the handhelds either. If you play a video game online, like XBox Live, for example, there are a whole slew of video game hints available.

Of course, video game cheat codes and game hints are sort of useless if you don't own any video games. And that's where video game web sites come in...

Any web site worth visiting will not only have video game reviews and cheats for you to peruse, but they will also have game walkthroughs. Video game walkthroughs differ from cheats in that they actually "walk you through" the process of achieving some goal. Video game cheats, on the other hand, are often cryptic one or two liners like "Enter xx312 in the password field."

There are different types of video game reviews. Each have their good and bad points. Professional video game reviews are typically written by paid reviewers who work for video game magazines. These are generally well-written, in depth, and definitely worth reading. The other most common writer of video game reviews are the actual end users. While an end user will generally have spent a great deal more time actually playing the various video games on the most popular video game systems, you'll often find that they are men and women of little words. It's not unusual to see a review that says "Wow! Kick Bu** man. I love it!" Now, that's probably actually saying quite a bit about a particular video game, but -- your mileage may vary.

The key point to remember is that you don't want to invest in a video game until at least a couple of people have taken the time to write a review of the game. Of course, if everyone took this advice then there wouldn't be any video game review on any game web sites, because everyone would be waiting for someone else to write the review.

Right up there with video game reviews are video game previews. A video game preview is a lot like a movie trailer. They bundle all of the really exciting parts together and give you a fast and furious glimpse hoping that you'll believe that the entire video game is actually as cool as the 90 seconds of video game previews that they let you get a peek at.

The video game industry is at a crossroads. With more and more people clicking the play game online switch, and video game systems like XBox Live and all of the XBox video games out there, it is quite possible that the days of jamming your joystick alone in your room are slated to become "back in the day." As more and more video game systems opt for Internet connectivity, you're likely to find that you never have to play video games alone again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Matrix: Path of NEO - Game Review from a Fan Perspective

After the disappointment of Enter The Matrix, Shiny takes a shot at The Matrix: Path of Neo. It is currently taking a beating by gamer magazines and online reviews while fans are still buying and appreciating the continuation of the franchise.

True gamers will hate it. True fans will love it. If you are both, then you will have mixed feeling.

It is only 8-10 hours of game play. A decent gamer might be able to beat the game in a day and a half depending on the level of difficulty that they start off with. Level of difficulty is determined by a dream sequence that NEO has. The dream begins with relatively easy to beat security guards trickling into the lobby scene and continues to crank out harder and harder opponents. Ten measly hours of game play is a major let down for the hardcore gamer who wants to get fully immersed in a game.

It is hard to complain about the fighting in the game as it is very cool. As in Enter the Matrix, the player can use focus to enter "bullet time" and do amazing super-human feats. Neo eventually learns to hurl objects using his mind. THERE IS NO SPOON. He can also reflect bullets back at shooters. Give Neo a katana and he gets feudal on your buttox using deadly Japanese sword fighting techniques. Code vision is another cool power.

Fans will appreciate the additional story that features Neo saving people that are targeted by the Matrix. Neo's zen like silence to other characters banter in Path is true to his on going enlightenment. Although fans will enjoy interacting with their favorite scenes in the movie, they may find the mixed up edits from each movie in need of structure.

Some of the graphics do not do the game justice as the rendering seems like it is from the late nineties. The gun control is also somewhat wacky. Although the overall game play is much better than Enter the Matrix, the graphics do take a little from the game.

The final scene is a great surprise for fans as it is different from the actual movie.

Despite the terrible reviews it has received, a true fan will appreciate The Matrix: Path of Neo even if it is too short to buy.

True gamers will do better to let this one be a mystery as they will fine no depth on par with 21st century gaming.

Hopefully, the next game will be the one that can go toe to toe with games like Metal Gear Solid or Halo.