Plex – Awesome Home Media Solution

Although there are some alternatives on the market, my favourite is still Plex. I have been using it at home for a few years now.

The solution includes:

  • A Mac mini server with 6TB of external storage (to hold my movies and TV shows).  The Mac mini runsthe Plex media server.  This handles the streaming of all content to other devices in my home.

  

  • An Apple TV as a Plex media client.  After jail-breaking my Apple TV 2, I could get SSH access and then install the Plex client.  Although a Mac mini would do the job (I actually started off with a Mac mini connected to a 42-inch Samsung TV), I have found the Apple TV far more convenient as an “appliance” (and the £99 price helped as well ;)

  

  • The final piece of the puzzle was the Plex app for iOS.  The iPhone and iPad apps can connect to the Plex server (after forwarding the necessary TCP ports) and play the media anywhere with an Internet connection.  The apps have a really nice user interface.  It even streams over 3G (although the monthly quotas could pose a problem).

  
Having everything connect back to the central Plex media server means that the status of any media files are updated seamlessly across all devices, including watched / unwatched status and even the last point I reached in a film.  This means that I can stop a film on my Apple TV at home, pick up the iPad and be asked if I would like to start the movie from the beginning or carry on where I left off!

Bring your meetings to life with SoundNote

A large part of my job is visiting clients onsite for face to face meetings to discuss support options or consultancy work we can provide. As anybody knows with any meeting, note taking is paramount to ensure when you leave, specific details are not forgotten when putting together follow up emails later in the day, or the day after. From speaking to those who have been doing this longer than I, there seemed to be two schools of thought, written notes or dictaphone. Each camp has compelling arguments, but being the 21st century, why should we need to argue at all?

The answer is, you don’t.

SoundNote for the iPad brings together both worlds under one single App in a way that is so simple, and yet until the introduction of smart devices, impossible. SoundNote allows me to press record, and type notes at the same time, in the knowledge that specifics are being captured by the iPads in built microphone.

“So what?” I hear you say, “We could just use a Dictaphone and a notepad, it would be the same.”

No, with the iPad’s touch screen technology, once you have finished your meeting and stopped therecording, you can press any word of the notes you have typed and the recording will automatically move to the time of the meeting you typed it. So if my client starts talking about the programs they wish to run on their systems, all I need type is ‘Programs’, safe in the knowledge that later I can touch the word and the client’s voice will tell me exactly what they want.

 

For me, SoundNote has been invaluable and aside from the  above, it allows me to attend meetings in my colleagues stead, yet send them the full recording and notes via the export function in built so they are also up to speed.

 

A great App for any manager, director or PA, well worth the £2.99 price tag.

Available on iTunes

SoundHound launches free music search and discovery App for iOs and Android!

SoundHound launches free music search and discovery App for iOs and Android!

SoundHound, the revolutionary sound search company, announced the launch of a new, free version of its popular mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The SoundHound App can identify recorded music as well as songs users sing or hum.

Description

SoundHound is instant music search and discovery:

♪ The world’s FASTEST music recognition: name tunes playing from a speaker in as little as four seconds

♪ The world’s only viable singing and humming recognition

♪ LiveLyrics (in the U.S. and Canada): see Lyrics in time with the music for music recognition and your iPod songs: you can even double tap a line of lyrics to play it!

♪ An included iPad app with beautiful, full-size lyrics and YouTube pages

♪ The ultimate SoundHound experience, ad-free with premium features including exclusive Recommended Songs!

NEW: Real-time Facebook and Twitter Updates from Artists: tap a band’s name to instantly see its latest social news!

Best App – If you use a bus!

OK. Scenario: You are standing at the bus stop (one without the digital sign to say coming). It says on the little sign that the bus is due every 5 – 7 mins. It has been 20. What do you do? Start walking? Find the nearest tube? Get a Boris bike?

Well there is a great app to find out when London buses will be arriving, stores favourite stops, and checks any routes that you may travel. Bus Checker is an absolute must for any bus people. It tells (with live TFL updates) when your bus is going to eventually pitch up, it lets you save favourite stops, and allows you to search what routes are available to your destination.

What more could you want?

So, if you are looking for an app to help you get from A-Z (on a bus), this is for you. Plus it is hilarious to use Apple’s Find Friends app to track how close someone is to arriving. (Note: I will be there in 5, just on the bus…)

By Adam Davies

First Microsoft App for iPad

Microsoft has released an iPad version of OneNote, you can create searchable notes with text, pictures and bullets.

Get the free app here from the iTunes store.

 

Remove apps from purchase history in the Mac App Store

By Richard Mallion

With the Lion 10.7.2 update you can  now remove purchases from your Purchased history in the Mac App Store. Click the Purchased button at the top of the store then move your cursor over an app from your purchase list. You’ll see a small X appear at the far right. Click it to delete the app from your purchase history. Deleting a currently-installed app from your purchase history won’t delete it from your computer.