Friday, July 29, 2011

Video-Sharing from Software to Site

Where do you share videos?

Upload videos to video-sharing sites from your softwareIt should come as no surprise to anyone that the use of video-sharing sites is on the rise, which is why we are working on making it as easy as possible to share your finished video projects from our video software, including VideoPad video editor and PhotoStage. Most recently we added direct uploading to Facebook and Flickr in addition to YouTube to the export options in VideoPad. All you have to do is set up your account information the first time, and VideoPad will do the rest. By automating the uploading process, we allow you to post more videos online.

But are there any other video-sharing sites that should be added? You tell us. We want to make sure that our software is as easy to use as possible. Post a comment to this post and we’ll take your suggestions to the developers. Thanks for the feedback!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stop Motion Animation with Slideshow Software

Make stop motion viedos string sequential still photos together with photostage slideshow softwareI recently stumbled across another great use for PhotoStage Slideshow Software, combining sequential still photos into a stop motion video animation. That is exactly what a class of students did in the Napa Valley in a CyberMill Technology Center summer program as reported on by Howard Yune of the Napa Valley Register.

CyberMill is a Napa Valley nonprofit technology center, affiliated with the national Computers for Youth nonprofit organization. The CFY Network is committed to improving the home learning environment of low-income families by providing home computers and educational resources, helping students learn the technology skills they need to compete and thrive in the 21st Century. In this particular summer program Yune explains that

"For nearly four hours a day over five days, children at the animation camp work through all the phases of building a short video. Digital point-and-shoot cameras snap numerous photos — as many as 465 for each short — of box-size backdrops built by the children themselves, guided by scripts based on poems of their creation or choosing.

Instructors also guide students in using Photostage software to merge the stills into short movies, adding electronic titles and recording dialogue in an audio studio set inside a walk-in closet."

Ever wanted to make a movie about a goldfish?

We were excited to learn about this project of making stop motion animated shorts with PhotoStage and applaud the programs of the CyberMill Technology Center for bringing technology to those who might not have as much exposure to this important piece of our world today, while keeping it fun at the same time.

Monday, July 25, 2011

From Vinyl to MP3 and iTunes

As we were reminded by Jesse Emspak of TechNewsDaily on Friday with her article Move Your Vinyl to CDs and iTunes, if you're looking for a way to not only digitize your vinyl records for iTunes but clean-up by removing the pops and clicks that are inherently a part of those well loved favorites, you should take a look at Golden Records Vinyl Converter for converting your albums to CDs, or MP3s for your iPod or other portable media player.

Vinyl to MP3 or iTunes Digitizing Software

With Golden Records you can convert, restore and protect your old vinyl LP records and cassette tapes with an easy-to-use interface and simple hardware connection wizard to guide you through the process.

Keep your old favorites sounding their best using the included audio restoration tools. Remove the pops, clicks and hissing that can be common on old tapes or scratched records, normalize the volume of recordings, and use other included tools to help you clean up damaged audio.

But maybe vinyl isn’t your problem, and you have other less common audio file formats? You can convert virtually any audio file to an MP3 file with Switch MP3 Converter Software.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pixillion Mac Image Converter Software

image converter software for Mac and Windows PCOne of the things NCH is best known for is our converting software. Take virtually any audio file and make it an mp3 for your iPod with Switch MP3 Converter, and not being able to watch a video on your computer is never a problem when you have Prism Video Converter. Video files in particular used to plague me at home on my Mac because of platform compatibility issues. Now Mac users can add another converter to their arsenal with Pixillion Image Converter which recently had its first Mac release.

What makes Pixillion great is that it isn't just another conversion program, additional options allow you crop, resize, rotate and compress your digital photos during conversion. And for any photographers out there not only can you batch convert but you can add watermarks to protect your images as well. So if you have photos, and we know you do, take a look at Pixillion Image Converter to help you reformat your pictures.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Express Scribe Gets DS2 Support

Express Scribe Transcription Software DS2 SupportExpress Scribe users rejoice! One of your most requested features has arrived: support for .ds2 (DSS Pro Voice) audio dictation files. Express Scribe Transcription Software Version 5.30 for Windows is the first version to include support for both dss and ds2 dictation file formats, so the time of workarounds and training your clients to back-save is now a thing of the past. And ds2 support for the Mac version of Express Scribe will be on the way soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

VideoPad Video Editing Tips & Tricks

VideoPad Video Editing Software Tips and TricksSome of our most popular blog entries have been the posts about speed changing feature to VideoPad and how to stabilize video. Not surprising since changing video speed was such a long-awaited video editing feature for the popular video editing software. To expand on the topic of helpful video editing effects and features here are several Tips and Tricks for how to edit video with VideoPad. If you have any tips of your own please comment and add them to our list. You can also get started with video editing by watching the the VideoPad video tutorials.

Title Screen and Ending Credits
Add a blank slide to the beginning or end of the timeline. Add text to the slideslide by clicking the green plus button on the Overlay Track, and a fade transition to create a dramatic opening or closing effect to your movie. For ending credits, select the vertical scrolling option and adjust the clip duration to control the scrolling speed.

Text Overlays
Adding captions, title screens and credits is a cinch. See our post on Adding text to your videos for some tips to help you get started using the Overlay Track to add text to video clips.

Video Subtitles
Subtitles are another way of adding text to your video projects. See our post on adding subtitles to your video for a quick overview on importing or creating an .ssa subtitle file in VideoPad, or for more detailed instructions go to our video subtitles tutorial.

Image Overlays
To create a watermark effect or add images to your video for presentations, use image overlays. Click the green plus button on the Overlay Track, select the Image or Video radio button, browse for a file and apply it to the sequence. Once it’s on the sequence, you can select it and edit its size, opacity, positioning and more.

Control Effect Duration
To apply an effect to only part of a clip, try slicing the clip in two. Apply an effect to only one slice, and place a cross-fade between the slices for a seamless transition.

Change Video Speed
Speed up or slow down video clips by selecting a clip and selecting the Speed effect from the Effects tab, then use the slider to select the new speed for the video clip, (i.e. 50% for half speed, 200% for double). You can also choose to play the clip backward.

Video Stabilization
One possible problem you may have with videos you have recorded on your camcorder is video clips that are shaky or unsteady. This is a common problem when you film without a tripod to keep the camcorder still no matter how steady you think your hands are. The video stabilization feature is an easy solution to eliminating camera jitter in your videos, giving you a final video that won't make you seasick to watch.

Upload Videos to YouTube
VideoPad has a wide range of output options for saving your final video, and if you are creating your video for YouTube you can even skip a step and upload to YouTube from VideoPad by entering your YouTube account information and other details, which is just one of the many choices available when saving your finished movie. VideoPad also has automated upload options for Facebook and Flickr.

Sound Effects
VideoPad comes with a Sound Effect Library. You can preview and download sounds from the Sound Effects Library by going to Edit -> Sound -> NCH Sound Effect Library. And since VideoPad has unlimited audio tracks, you have plenty of room to add and mix in the sound effect to your movie soundtrack.

Greenscreen Video Editing
For shooting those scenes you can’t do on location, use the chroma-key feature to transport yourself to another locale. To use chroma-key, click the green plus button on the Overlay Track, select the Image or Video radio button, click the Record button, click the Remove Background button, and follow the onscreen instructions. Also see out post on Easy Chroma Key Overlays.

VirtualDub Video Plugins
For even more effects, VideoPad supports VirtualDub plugins. You can add new plugins by selecting Load/Unload Plugins on the Effects Tab, and loading your saved .vdf format VirtaulDub plugin filter.

And for improving the audio or working on a soundtrack for your movie you may want to start by checking out the WavePad audio editing tips and tricks to help get you started with audio editing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Telephony Software at NCH

Axon Windows PBX and other NCH Telephony SoftwareHi! My name is Dustin and I am the new lead developer for NCH Software’s Telephony products. Previously, I’ve been working on our company’s Utility products such as FileFort backup software, Verity child monitoring software and Orion file recovery software. I am excited about this new opportunity and I hope I can make our Telephony products even better!

One new feature coming soon to our Axon virtual PBX is the ability to access your web interface from any internet connection without the need for complicated router configuration. This is accomplished by connecting to an NCH Software server using a simple internet address like http://sampleaddress.users.nchuser.com which relays to your Axon server. Pages can even be viewed over a secure (HTTPS) connection to guarantee that transmitted information is safe. This feature is ad supported so there is no extra cost to you. You will still be able to view the web interface without ads the same way you always have but with this feature we hope Axon will be even easier to use remotely.

So be on the lookout for this new feature in Axon and more feature and usability improvements to come to our telephony software:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WavePad Makes Doing Radio Fun Again

Guest post by Paulette MacQuarrie of Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio

Back in 2002 I was introduced to audio editing software, when the AM station broadcasting my weekly radio show finally went digital and got rid of its reel-to-reel tapes.

It was the end of a romantic era, and I was not enamoured of the change. (Can anyone say "buggy whip"?) But I eventually realized it had ushered in an exciting new era of its own.

The things I could do now! No more razor blades, guesswork, or scrubbing tapes. No more recording shows onto cassette — they could now be archived on a microchip! And on a website for listeners who missed the radio broadcast. (This was before the term "podcast" was invented.)
Best of all, I could record in my own home studio. No more traffic!

I was well aware that as time marched along, my software was becoming dated. Still, it was comfortably familiar. I had become reasonably competent with it, and I hated learning new software on my own. It was hard enough with help!

When the time came to upgrade my computer, however, upgrading my audio software was no longer optional. I discovered to my horror that it was not compatible with Windows7.

audio softwareOne day while in an office supply store in Bellingham, WA I found myself in their software section. A nice-looking box labelled Audio Essentials by NCH Software caught my eye.

The description sounded good and the price was way less than an upgrade for my existing program. And, I recognized the name WavePad as one that a colleague has for years been ranting and raving about, and bugging me to try. So I bought it and once it was installed, it was pretty much love at first sight.

I don’t usually go crazy over software but WavePad cut my production time in half just on my first try. So what’s not to go crazy about?

Working with my old program involved selecting and arranging regions, then doing a mix-down to a Wave file. This resulted in a studio mix that, after all my finicky editing, was considerably more slick than what I had produced on reel-to-reel. And gradually I forgot how much I enjoyed the "performance high" from recording "live to tape" in my pre-digital days.

WavePad has rekindled that excitement while providing more efficient tools for the studio work.

Probably the most useful is "Insert file" (under Edit menu). I can add ready-to-air files (commercials, interviews, etc.), rip tracks off CDs in seconds and copy them in, as well as record my intros and extros right into the file. No mixing down and converting … just save file as an mp3 and I’m done.

Now the fun is back again!

I love the click-saving icons for basics like adjusting volume (Amplify), fading and cross-fading, mixing and pasting files, noise reduction, etc. I especially love how you can zoom in and out with the scroll of a mouse wheel!

WavePad has handy time markers along the bottom of the page and an indicator showing the length of the entire file and selections. That keeps me on track so I have less editing and adjusting to do later.

I still like to work in WAV because it’s uncompressed. The Batch Converter allows me to convert the show and several components to mp3s in a flash, to post on my program website. Skookum!

WavePad has to be one of the most user-friendly programs I’ve ever encountered. The interface is uber-easy and user-friendly. The brief video tutorials are helpful, and the manual is excellent. The support staff are prompt, friendly and helpful. Definitely real people!

Now I’m starting to experiment with MixPad and am finding it a similarly pleasant experience. It’s almost a surprise how fast and easy it is! I’m looking forward to using the other NCH products that came in the package.

My only regret is waiting so long to make the switch!

Author bio: Paulette MacQuarrie lives on Vancouver Island, Canada where she produces and hosts a syndicated one-hour weekly variety show called Nash Holos Ukrainian Roots Radio in (mostly) English. More details at the show’s website www.nashholos.com and blog nashholos.blogspot.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Localization Efforts Pay Off in NCH International Offerings

It has been about a year and a half since NCH Software put in place a localization initiative in order to offer our most popular software applications in French, German, Japanese and Spanish. The challenges have been many but we now provide numerous applications, including WavePad Sound Editor, VideoPad Video Editor, Prism Video Converter, and several more, in the 4 languages mentioned.

Working in cooperation with NCH developers, the localization specialists at NCH translate the general user interface (GUI), test functionality for country-specific appropriateness, suggest changes to implement to better adapt NCH applications to non-English speaking markets. They also translate a significant number of web-based material to make sure that French, German, Japanese or Spanish-speaking Internet users can find relevant information, download and purchase products securely in their own languages.
Logiciels en Français
Deutsche Programme
日本のソフトウェア
Software en Español

Bucking the current trend of outsourcing translation and localization and relying instead on "in-house" linguists allows NCH to leverage a valuable internal product knowledge and capitalize on direct interdepartmental relationships to produce more accurate translations, faster.

Please click on the language of your choice to find out more about NCH Software's localized software applications.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mac Business Software

More Business Software for Mac
If you're a "Mac" and a business owner you've probably been excited to see us expanding our range of business software for the Mac with the recent Mac releases of Copper Point of Sale Software and Inventoria Inventory Management Software. Our business team has been busy porting our popular business software to the Mac so that businesses have more quality and economical software solutions available to them no matter which operating system they choose to use.

The really great news is that there is more to come. We are continuing to work on Mac versions of our business products that don't have them yet, so be sure to take a look at our full range of business software to see how you can design a system to best suit the needs of your business, and keep your eyes peeled for still more Mac programs in the future.

And for more advice on business software solutions that could help your business see:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Software For A Deserted Island

computer software on a deserted islandIf you were on a deserted island what would you want to have with you? One technology writer in Missouri recently asked this question and his software catalog of choice was NCH Software. As you can imagine we were tickled pink to hear it. One of the things that quickly makes us a top runner is our wide range of software products with applications for business, dictation, transcription, utilities, music and more. Also, "unlike many publishers that charge high prices for all-in-one suites that do more than you probably need, NCH Software takes a modular approach, designing smaller apps that do specific tasks, usually for a lot less money. It’s simply a smarter way to work."

To read about some of Scott May's favorite NCH programs, see his complete article, NCH Software offers fantastic, affordable apps published in the June 28, 2011 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune. Then make NCH Software your first stop the next time you are looking for a software utility whether you are editing audio at home, or setting up a webcam broadcast of the view on your deserted island.
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