Windows 10 Media Controls for Desktop Apps

Music Tile

In Windows 10, Microsoft seems to be extending the modern media playback controls to desktop apps. In Windows 8, if you changed your PC’s volume using a hardware volume button on you device or on the keyboard, you got an on-screen volume control display. If you had a modern (Windows Store) application playing a media file, you got an on-screen playback controls in addition to the volume control. This feature was mostly aimed at touch tablet devices running Windows. It is also similar to how Windows Phone behaves. With Windows 10, this functionality seems to be extended to desktop applications as well. Continue reading

VLC Media Player for Windows 8.1 Release Imminent

VLC Passed Windows Store Cert

The Modern (aka Metro) version of VLC Media Player has passed the Windows Store certification! VLC Media Player is a very popular media player, known for its ability to play a large number of video and audio format without needing to install additional codecs. Essentially, if you can’t play a video or audio on your PC for any reason, installing VLC media player and opening the media using it will possibly allow you to play it. Continue reading

Introducing New Kid on the Block: Recording Studio App

Screen shot 1


Recording Studio is a multitouch sequencer for Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. Designed for quick and simple operation, Recording Studio makes recording, editing and mixing a breeze. Recording Studio is the perfect way to create great sounding music productions. With this free version you can record up to 2 tracks (24 tracks with the Pro version) by choosing between audio recordings or by using the virtual instrument ‘Grand Piano’ (in the Pro vesion there are 7 other virtual instruments: drums, classical guitar, rock organ, pipe organ, bass, strings, harpsichord). The virtual instrument tracks can be recorded using the multitouch keyboards optimized for high performance and responsive touch or using the computer keyboard and mouse. The audio tracks can be recorded using the built-in microphone, by connecting an external microphone or using a USB audio interface. After recording your tracks, you may want to edit them in the integrated sample editor (copy/paste, split, loop, fader, reverb).


  • Up to 2 tracks (24 tracks with the Pro version) choosing between audio recordings or the virtual instrument ‘Grand Piano’
  • In this free version you can use without limitation the sounds of virtual instrument ‘Grand Piano’ (in the Pro vesion there are 7 other virtual instruments: drums, classical guitar, rock organ, pipe o
  • Mixer with built-in realistic reverb effect (with independent settings on each track)
  • Key Editor (delete, copy/paste each single note)
  • Sample editor: copy/paste, split, loop, fade-in/fade-out each audio recording session
  • Stereo VU displays for all channels
  • 96 keys and 8 selectable octaves
  • Multi-touch, keyboard, and mouse support
  • Two sets of keyboards (display 1 or 2 keyboards)
  • Keyboard mappings (two ways of displaying key value)
  • Ability to scroll the keyboards in the scrollbar area or with arrow buttons to see different sets of keys
  • Custom scale keyboards
  • Configurable metronome. Tempo: 30 – 260 BPM. Time Signatures: 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 7/4, 8/4
  • Undo/redo feature
  • Supports sound cards with the following features: 16-bit mono and stereo, 48.0 kHz

Download via the Source link here below.

Source: Windows Store

MediaMonkey Greets Windows 8 and RT Users!

Folks at IntoWindows have spotted a new, awesome, addition to the Windows Store. The popular, advanced, desktop media manager suite makes its appearance as a metro app on the Windows Store for Windows 8 and RT. MediaMonkey allows you to manage a large collection of multimedia in an efficient manner. Now with a metro version of the app, you can use it more easily on touch devices, like tablets and on PCs running Windows RT.


MediaMonkey is an advanced media player that lets you navigate and manage large music collections on Windows 8 devices. Designed for serious collectors, it supports a variety of file formats, and lets you access your library content via Windows networking, over UPnP/DLNA, and/or via synchronization with MediaMonkey desktops.

Wi-Fi Sync is available as an in-app purchase, allowing you to sync with MediaMonkey desktops wirelessly.


  • Manage Music, Audiobooks, Podcasts, and Videos.
  • Navigate by Artist, Album, Genre, Playlist.
  • Play mp3, m4a, ogg, flac, wma etc. with volume leveling and equalizer.
  • Edit tags and playlists.
  • Access content via UPnP/DLNA.
  • Support for MediaMonkey Sync keeps tracks, metadata, play history, & bookmarks in sync with your desktop.

Download from Windows Store: MediaMonkey Continue reading

Audiobooks 8 – Listen to Thousands of Free Audio Books on Windows 8

Audiobooks 8 is an application for Windows 8 that allows you to download and listen to thousands of free audio books that are in the public domain. There are books in a variety of categories and languages. The readers have done a fantastic job in reading them well. Best of all, any and all books are for you to listen to for free. You can even distribute and share them with anyone.


Listen to audiobooks on a fast, easy-to-use Windows 8 application. You’ll have access to an expanding multilingual collection that contains over 6000 free audiobooks categorized by genre and language.

Audiobooks 8 allows the user to download and play audiobooks or to stream them without download.


    • Search audiobooks
    • Download and play audiobooks
    • Stream audiobooks without download
    • Share audiobooks with other applications
    • Pin audiobooks to the start screen
    • Listen to audiobooks while the application is in the background
    • Use system media controls to control the audio playback
    • Get information about the currently played audiobook via Live tile

Download it here: Audiobooks 8

Multimedia8 – the Best Media Player for Windows 8 to Date

Happy new year, everyone! I want to start off the year with a very useful Windows 8 app. VideoLAN has recently been successful in their Kickstarter campaign to bring VLC to Windows 8. VLC for Windows 8 is still a few months away, and, so, I want to present you with an excellent alternative media player, called Multimedia8. It is an all in one multimedia app that lets you play audio and video.

What I like about Multimedia8 is that it fills some gaps the new Music and Video apps in Windows 8 failed to fill. The new Xbox Music and Video apps has many features missing from the Windows Media Player desktop app, like opening media from a web URL. Multimedia8 does this job very well, and a few others. It supports a variety of formats and it’s significantly faster and snappier than the Xbox Music and Video apps. As always, you can follow @Mcakins and me, @NazmusLabs, to stay updated!


Unleash the power of Windows 8 with Multimedia 8, a free media application that allows you to access network media, load subtitles, convert media files, play 3D video, capture from external devices and much more!

Read Features

  • Play media from your libraries and Media Servers
  • SRT and WebVTT subtitles
  • 3D video
  • Multilanguage media
  • Create, manage and shuffle playlists
  • Convert and trim media to MP4 and WMV
  • PlayTo your DLNA TV
  • PlayTo from other devices, such as Windows Phone, to Multimedia 8
  • Search your libraries and Media Servers
  • Video Stabilization
  • Capture audio and video

Download now: Multimedia 8

Windows 8 Audible App Released Plus a Free Life of Pi Audio Book!

Audible is a fantastic, Amazon, service that lets you purchase and listen to audio books, with their vast audio book library. They have apps for Android, iOS, Windows Desktop, and, now, for Windows 8! As an added perk, Amazon is giving away a free Audio Book, Life of Pi, if you use the Windows 8 app and sign up for the free trial through the Windows 8 app. We thank for the information. The free trial also gives you a credit that you can use to get any book from their vast library for free. So, in essence, by using the Windows 8 app, you get two free books! Continue reading

Shazam for Windows 8 is now in the Store


Shazam for Windows 8 is here! Unfortunately, those of you with ARM devices will have to miss it for now as it is only for Intel platform on this first iteration.


Shazam is the quickest and easiest way to discover more about music, TV and ads. Hold your phone up to the music or TV to identify a track, buy it, share it, watch the video, get the lyrics and more!
“This is the best thing EVER!”  Hoda Kotb of NBC’s Today Show

Buy tracks easily
Watch music videos and concerts from YouTube
Share tags on Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter & more
Learn the lyrics you thought you knew
Read album reviews and artist biographies
Use Shazam in Snap View while browsing the web or using another application

Recommended hardware

Supported processors
x86, x64

Supported languages
English (United States)

This app has permission to use
Your microphone, including recording audio
Your Internet connection


Download the app now from the source.

Source: Windows Store

Thanks @Windows4Live

The First Sound Recording App is in the Store – Audio Recorder App


Captain’s Log, Stardate….

Lady’s and Gentlemen, we have the first Sound Recorder App in the Store. Actually, the app has been in the Store for 3 days, only I’ve been swamped with work to blog it. Seeing zero rating on it, I guess it’s not yet known to a lot of you. The App is a simple sound recorder that does what its advertised to do, record sound via you built-in or external audio sources. You can elect to save you recordings locally, or have it uploaded to SkyDrive. You add notes to your recordings. Here is the Full Description from the Store:

Record audio notes with your microphone

Load audio files from your local file system or your SkyDrive account

Replay the recorded files

Record audio notes with your microphone

Audio Recorder enables you to record and replay audio notes easily. Files are optionally stored in your SkyDrive account so that you can switch between devices seamlessly: Record an interview by using your tablet, transcribe it by using your desktop pc – and don’t worry about the file transfer from one device to the other.

Record audio notes with your microphone
Store the recorded files in your local file system or upload them to your SkyDrive account
Replay the recorded files, jump to specific positions or loop parts of the file

Now, if you are feeling like the next StarTrek Captain, go get this app for Free, and start practicing for your Starship Enterprise. Download via the following link:

Source: Windows 8 Store

[If you like the Windows 8 Store news on this blog, you might want to follow my normal Twitter stream for interim Store and Apps news: @McAkins]

Tweaker App, your Tweets Announcer is in the Store


How about this for a concept: You are in the office, and for once in your life, you are forced to really work instead of surfing the net the whole day. Now you don’t have time to read you favorite tweets, now you have to listen to those boring office radio broadcasts while working on that monstrous worksheet. Why not bridge the gap and bring your tweets to your ears. Yes, have your favorite tweets read to you by a sexy computer voice: “Captain we’ve got a tweet inbound! You just won a million dollars!” Yeah, some in that trend, you get the joke.

That is all what the Tweaker app is all about. Have your tweets read aloud as they come in, now you can just plugin your earphones, drown-out the office noise and hear what is going on on the Internetz while busy. This is a awesome concept, worthy of all geeks award. What’s more, this paid app allows you to try it out first and convince yourself before buying it at $1.99 which is a steal for what the app does. Here is Software Developer’s description of the app directly from the store:

Tweaker speaks tweets to you and displays them on animated tiles along with images from Twitter.

There are six categories of tweets available and the option for a custom category.

Voice settings, About, Privacy policy available via Settings Charm, DLNA Audio sharing via Devices Charm

Tweaker speaks tweets to you and displays them on animated tiles along with images from Twitter.

Tweaker the Tweet Speaker allows you to passively listen to and watch tweet and photo activity from Twitter. While the “Tweaker” speaks Twitter activity it displays text and image content on lively animated tiles. Tweaker speaks Twitter activity from around the world right to your ears. Trial version is fully functional with reminders to purchase intermingled among the tweets.

6 Categories of Twitter Activity plus available custom category
Stream Audio to any DLNA device on your network with the PlayTo Contract
9 different Voice Accent Settings available
Support for Landscape, Portrait, Fill, and Snapped Views

So your workdays don’t have to be boring anymore, go download it before decides the app should be banned for its awesomeness. Hit the following link:

[Stay on top of latest Windows 8 Store and Apps news, following me on twitter: @McAkins]

WOT #001: Use Format Factory to Convert Multimedia in Any Format

Welcome to my “What’s on My Taskbar” (WOT) series. In this series, I will pick on of my favorite Windows desktop apps and tell you why I think you might find it awesome! I will have another version of this series called “What’s on My Start Screen” (WOSC). That series will be about Windows 8 Metro Style apps.

Today, I want to talk about an app I really rely on when working with multimedia (audio, video, and images). This app is a must have app if you are dealing with any kind of multimedia on your PC or mobile devices. The app, ladies and gentlemen, is called Format Factory.

Continue reading

iPhone 3GS Review from the beaches of Destin, FL

Earlier Wednesday, I had the chance to complete my iPhone 3GS Review from Destin, FL. This would be the first time Techtronica had any event recorded beach-side. Play the video to see the full review.