Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Problem playing music in a Picasa slideshow?

I am a big fan of Google Picasa for the simplicity and features offered. I am quite confident using Adobe Photoshop, but still I find doing minor adjustments such as basic levels corrections and Color correction much more easier, and in a non-destructive way.

Having used Picasa for sometime now, I have started using some of the extra bells and whistles it offers, such as the "Play music during slideshow" feature. I discovered that you can make Picasa play your favorite mp3 music by going to File > Options > Slideshow. Once here, just enable the checkbox for "Play MP3 tracks during slideshow", and give the folder path on your hard disk. Next time when you start a slideshow, Picasa should play music in the background, with nice fades and all....or so I thought.

For me, somehow Picasa never actually played music, even though I checked and double checked my settings, and ensured that I have the latest versions of Picasa and Windows Media Player on my Vista machine.

It was then I discovered what the problem was. For some reason, Picasa does not play music, if the folder you specify has subfolders! What a bad bug! I hope this is soon fixed, but in the meanwhile, point your Picasa music folder, to a folder, which does not have any sub-folders.

Additionally, neither can Picasa any playlists in the folder, nor can it randomize the songs. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Do comment if this helped you, and if you feel the actual problem lies somewhere else, you can write back in the comments to this post.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Apple iPhone: Cause for mass hysteria?

I must admit that I have always drooled over Apple design and simplicity, but have always been stuck to the IBM PC. I never used to keep track of what exactly is the Apple G5 or the minibook, but then came the effort called Apple Boot camp, which would allow the latest Intel based Mac to run Microsoft Windows too. This made me stop and turn. Should my next laptop be a Mac? That is about when Apple announced it's iPhone too.

I was planning to purchase a new mobile anyway, but this has made me delay my purchase. I am almost completely determined to see how the iPhone would evolve in competitive markets other than the United States, like India.

Ofcource, the iPhone being a branded Apple product, cannot be dismissed for another run of the mill mobile. We can easily see that the Apple engineers have been at work, watching sci-fi movies, and going through future models :)

The iPhone has some interesting features, to die for:
  • If you are a sci-fi movie buff, then you must watched Minority Report where Tom Cruise is able to slide live video and photographs by hand on a virtual display. He zooms by almost pinching out etc. To quote a cliche, The future is now. IPhone is loaded with intelligent sensors such as the touch sensor, proximity sensor and accelerometer will really make you love your iPhone.
  • The iPhone is a GSM phone, a full fledged ipod, can connect to wifi hotspots, show full featured websites(except flash and Java content), act as an excellent calender, do full blown email stuff, show movie and pictures and more! Well, at 135 grams, i'd say that this is not bad :)
  • If you are listening to music and a call come, you just need to pinch the cord, and the music fades in and you can attend the call.
  • While seeing a photo gallery, just slide your finger left or right to move in the gallery.
  • While seeing a photograph, with two fingers slide out/pinch out to zoom the snap, and then freely use your finger to pan across.
  • The display is large, but still while viewing a website, the text might be small, but with just a tap, the area under consideration zooms up. Neat!
Unfortunately at around $499 I do not own an iPhone yet to post any photographs, but then the internet is already choke full of them

Hmm, this reminds me of Microsoft "Surface" :)

Anyway, check out an excellent video review by our friend David Pogue at the New York Times.