Cosmos for OSX version 2.3.0 out now


Cosmos version 2.3.0 is out now on the Mac App Store and Shedworx.com.

We've been working hard on the iOS and Mac versions of Cosmos over the past couple of months and this update is a big step towards the final product.

We have one more update to both Cosmos for Mac and Cosmos for iOS on the way. These two final updates (for now) will complete the transformation of Cosmos into a fully fledged photo sharing service for you and your friends!

This upgrade focuses on adding full CloudSync support to Cosmos for Mac. We've also re-worked the entire CloudSync function in Cosmos making it more reliable and easier to use.

Cosmos for Mac 2.3.0 includes the following changes:

  • Major upgrade to the Cosmos CloudSync engine.
  • Ability to connect to an existing Cosmos CloudSync account.
  • Ability to create a CloudSync account directly from Cosmos for Mac.
  • Multiple minor bug fixes.

If you've been using Cosmos on your iPhone or iPad, this update is for you! You can now fully manage all the photos you take on your iPhone using Cosmos, back on your Mac.

Music Converter Pro 1.3 out now on the Mac App Store

Music Converter Pro Icon

Music Converter and Music Converter Pro version 1.3 are now out on the Mac App Store and Shedworx.com.

This is a bug fix update mainly focused on preserving track numbers when converting from MP3 and FLAC to AAC. This will help everyone using Music Converter to import libraries of music into iTunes.

The other new feature that we've added to Music Converter Pro is support for converting to the True Audio codec. True Audio is an open source lossless audio codec which supports the encoding of raw audio into a lossless but highly compressed format.

Music Converter Pro 1.2 out now

Music Converter Pro Icon
Music Converter and Music Converter Pro version 1.2.0 are available now on the Mac App Store.

This release is for the audiophiles, and anyone who wants the best quality music out of their iPod and iPhone!

Music Converter and Music Converter Pro now support conversions to AAC and MP3 up to 320k bit rate.

This means that Music Converter and Music Converter Pro now support audio conversions up to the maximum quality playable by Apple devices.

We hope you like it!

The Full Story

We received a LOT of feedback about the quality settings that we had chosen for our audio conversions.

We initially designed Music Converter and Music Converter Pro to convert for iTunes (and MP3) at the relatively low bit rate of 192k. This was also the maximum that we allowed for custom conversions in Music Converter Pro.

Whats the bit rate? This is simply the quality of the audio file.

192k is what iTunes used to use for music that you purchased. They have since bumped up to 256k.

iPods, iPhones and iPads can play music at up to 320k.

It turns out that there are a lot of you out there who have high quality original music files that you want to convert onto your iPods and iPhones. The default conversion of Music Converter at 192k just didn't cut it.

You spoke, we listened.

Based on your feedback, we decided to completely redevelop the conversion process for AAC audio in order to support 320k bit rate output. This will result in better music quality all round.

We've also increased the output bit rate for MP3, now going up to 320k also.

Finally, we also fixed a few minor bugs, including preservation of metadata for FLAC files.

As always, Music Converter and Music Converter Pro share the same conversion engine. The basic iTunes, AAC and MP3 conversions in Music Converter are full quality.

Music Converter available now on the Mac App Store

Music Converter Icon
After much arguing about colours, user interface design and the size of the Shedworx speakers, Music Converter is now live on the Mac App Store.

And it's FREE.

Music Converter gives you all this for FREE:

  • Simple to use - drag, drop and click convert - Music Converter Pro looks after the rest.
  • Supports 100's of media formats and converts for all your favourite devices and file types.
  • Convert from - MP3, FLAC, WAV, WMA, M4A, AIFF, FLV and many more.
  • Convert to - MP3, AAC, M4A (Apple Lossless), M4R (iPhone Ringtone), FLAC, WAV and more.
  • Video Support - convert your video soundtracks.
  • Ringtones - create iPhone ringtones from your favourite music.
  • Track Information Editing - edit album, artist and track information.
  • iTunes Savvy - auto imports your converted music to iTunes.

Music Converter is following in the footsteps of the super-successful Smart Converter, giving people a top quality free converter with the ability to upgrade to the Pro version for extra features.

Music Converter has already broken into the Top Ten list for free Music apps all over the world, so we're off to a good start.

So do yourself a favour and install Music Converter now!

iCloud Questions and Answers

iCloud Questions and Answers

As far as buzz words go, they don't come much more fashionable then the "Cloud", then along came Apple and upped the anti by throwing their customary little i prefix and voila we have a new winner. iCloud is coming, and Apple have started spruiking it already. So here at Shedworx, we thought we'd ask some of the basic questions and see what answers we could come up with.

iMovie on the iPhone4 in Action

Since the introduction of iLife for Mac OS, iMovie has made video editing easy for all users of modern Apple computers.

In mid-2010 Apple made video editing mobile bringing iMovie to iOS, taking advantage of a faster iPhone 4 and updated iOS 4 software. Recent updates brought a more polished UI, new themes (audio, transitions and titles) and the availability of iMovie to the iPad.

In this post I'll be using iMovie 1.2.1 on my iPhone 4. A recent trip to a friends farm provided some content and an excuse to give iMovie on the iPhone a try.

Content Needs to be on the Phone

Before you begin make sure all your media you want to use is on the phone. If like me you sync all your photos and video taken with your phone with iPhoto and delete the originals, then sync them back to your phone with iTunes. If you have any photos taken from another camera, sync those to your phone with iTunes as well. iMovie also lets you record voiceovers, video and photos from within the app.

Portrait video, can't be zoomed!

Video from the iPhone, a Tip...

Something i discovered using iMovie on the iPhone - you cant zoom video! Unlike pictures which can be zoomed and Ken Burns-ified, video can only be rotated (oddly, images cannot). Keep that in mind when shooting for your next iMovie for iOS project, use all landscape or all portrait. Considering output from iMovie is 16:9, shooting in landscape is preferable.

It's all about Gestures

iMovie excels at using gestures in an intuitive way; there is no mouse cursor or timecodes here to set in and out points for video! In the editing view, pinch/zoom is primarily for scaling your view of the timeline. Undo is available via the familiar shake of the phone. Dragging clips around to organise your timeline works surprisingly well.

Hi-ResVideo Preview

One of the more useful gestures is the tap and hold when adding videos. This gesture shows you a better quality preview of your clip allowing you to set in and out points before you insert the clip in the timeline.

As the timeline gets crowded (iMovie allows 4 audio tracks along with the video!) this is something I quickly learned to do. One gesture that didn't seem to translate well was the slicing of video, that is to cut a length of video in two. In my project slicing seem to work randomly depending on each clip.

A list of gestures can be found in the Projects screen (bottom left, ? icon). Incidentally, renaming your project, albeit not obvious, can be done in the Projects screen as well.

iMovie Projects screen

The End of Boring Home Videos

iMovie ships with themes to easily style your movie, and I'm sure we'll start to see a slew of YouTube videos that look great thanks to Apple.

Clip Settings to apply Themes

A theme provides music and titles (read: graphics) that can be applied, and reapplied at any stage to your project, although its not overly obvious how to fully implement themes to your timeline after you have selected one the 8 themes available in the project settings. Double-tap a clip in the timeline, and tap "Title Style" to add either Opening, Middle or Ending graphics to your clip.

Exporting is great, AppleTV is better

Once you have finished editing, iMovie for iOS lets you export you clip to numerous sources including iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. But for me, the highlight is playing to a AppleTV (second generation, AKA the black one). Watching your masterpiece is as simple as playing the finished movie in iMovie on your phone and then pressing the AirPlay button in the video controls to send it to an AppleTV connected on the same network. Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 4.3 and your AppleTV is up-to-date for this feature to work. Read more about AirPlay on Apple's site.

Here is the final movie!

In my next post I will look at editing videos from multiple sources, including AVCHD, using iMovie on an iPad 2.

iMovie is available from the App Store for $4.99 US

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