I was going through my feeds and came across the post “Killer Vista app demoed“. The post talks about apps being developed using .NET 3.0 and web services – specifically ones by thirteen23. I checked out the nostalgia prototype which is a browser for the flickr service.The interface looks quite nice, and allows you to login using your flickr id. If you choose to login, then the app downloads all your photos, and saves them locally (which is pretty useful in itself, though the resolution is quite low). It also allows you to launch photo editors, organize, tag and search photos. Not bad for a prototype.
There are also a few other prototypes available, which make use of other APIs, like cine.view for netflix. Some are available as downloads (like nostalgia) while others have to be launched directly from the browser.
A few interesting photo galleries I came across on techrepublic:
I had written about the usefulness of dynamic playlists, ratings and tagging for organizing music on my iPod last year. Since then, I have loaded more music onto my iPod, and I was looking for ways to play the recently loaded music. In addition, I also found that just relying on the genre and ratings of songs to create dynamic playlists (the option can be found under the file menu) is not sufficient.
Looking at the play count of the files in iTunes, I found that over 2500 songs have never been played. So, I went about creating some more dynamic playlists. One had to be for songs that I have not yet listened to, while another for recently loaded songs. So, now I have the following dynamic playlists on my iPod:
- Top rated songs – for songs with a rating of 5 stars
- 4 stars – for the next best songs
- Recently added – for songs added in the last 60 days (this filter can be set in different ways)
- Low play count and unrated – for songs having play count of less than 2 (unrated songs is mainly to decrease the size of the playlist as high rated songs will feature in other lists) – useful for rating songs too
- Top rated Hindi songs – for songs having “Hindi” in the genre tag and rating >= 4
- Top rated Bengali songs – for songs having “Bengali” in the genre and rating >= 4
- Top rated Western – songs not having “Hindi” and “Bengali” in their genre and rating >=4
Now I find that the music is fairly well organized and I can listen to the types I want quite easily. Also for those looking to backup the contents of the iPod, there are some free alternatives like iDump. Also, the new versions of Winamp (5.3 onwards) also include plugins for backing up music from the iPod.
I was checking out the Crystal Space 3D site (the engine behind Planeshift, an MMORPG) and projects using the Crystal Space engine. I came across a project named Festonia which aims at creating a world wide 3d web. The project has released the first 0.01 alpha version of the 3d browser, and as per the site is supposed to be in testing (didn’t find it for download though). The project seems to be aimed towards providing ways to setup 3D web servers for 3D websites. This probably makes it somewhat different from Secondlife, though a 3D web could very well take the form of Secondlife which has facility for content creation, ownership and its own economy.
I was having a look at some beautiful fractal flames on the Techrepulic gallery. The gallery mentioned an open source fractal flame editor – Apophysis – which I checked out. The software seems to be quite interesting and allows you to generate random fractal flames or create/edit some of your own. It also includes a scripting engine similar to Pascal which allows you to create/edit/animate the fractals among other features. It can make for quite some interesting viewings. The animations of the fractals is something similar to the visualizations available with various audio players (iTunes, Winamp etc). There is also screen saver called electric sheep which lets you generate & view fractal flames.
FreeMind is a mind mapping software, i.e., it can be used to put down your thoughts in an organised manner. As a mind mapping software, it allows you to branch out your thoughts & connect them in a manner which seems fit to you. It also lets you to associate images & links with different items. Basically, it enables you to lay down your thought in a manner which seems fit to you – pictorial/written/mixed.
Stellarium along with Celestia is one of the most interesting piece of software for those interested in Astronomy. Those who like to visit the planetarium will possibly love this program, especially given the fact that it is free (licensed under GPL). It brings the power of a panetarium (minus the viewing area) to your computer. Given the kind of light pollution at night in urban areas, Stellarium serves as an exploration tool for Astronomy enthusiasts.
Celestia is a software which explore the universe in 3D, & it is free just like Stellarium. It takes you a step further than a planetarium like software, by not confining you to Earth. For Astronomy enthusiasts or for anyone for that matter, this can provide an out of this world experience. Like, for example, viewing the entire solar system, & watching the planets go round the sun, or following Halley’s comet as it orbits the sun.