I think it's about time I write my comparison post. I've had the Pre a while now and I've officially said goodbye to the Instinct. I could call it a bunch of bad names now and not have to worry about it throwing a fit and refusing to work...
Not that it ever needed any encouragement.
The past year of my life has been filled with ups and downs in our relationship. For the first month or two I loved the Instinct. Coming from a flip-phone that had very basic capabilities, I felt empowered with the Instinct. … Read more
We'll admit that we were very intrigued by this free Firefox add-on, which promises a way to see and compare results from multiple search engines. But after we put it to the test, we found some of its features vague and its user interface awkward to navigate.
Right off the bat, we found several issues with SearchAll's user interface. A single search field and a single button are introduced in a completely new toolbar that seemed to take up more space than it needed. A three-panel display is used to show search results, but there wasn't enough … Read more
Tools that let you edit photos in the Web browser have come a long way in the last few years. We wanted to take a moment to do a feature comparison with a grouping of editors--big and small, to see what each one is capable of.
Most of the services on this list take advantage of Adobe's ever-developing Flash platform, which in its latest iteration got a huge boost with support for the large images coming out of today's high-megapixel cameras. On the flip side of that, several of the non-Flash-based editors use AJAX to make the changes happen without reloading the page. The benefit here is that you can run these on machines without the latest versions of Flash installed.
While not an exhaustive list of features, we wanted to focus on some of the ones that really mattered, like how much each service costs to use, how large of a photo you can upload, and what makes each one special. Here are the results:Service Flash/HTML Max. size Max. resolution Cost Layers Effects Killer feature Flauntr Flash 10MB 2850x1599 Free No Yes Part of a larger suite of editing products. You can take your file to another tool without losing changes. Fotoflexer Flash No limit 4500x4500 Free Yes Yes Handles multiple layers with grace. Includes advanced features like curve tweaks and intelligent lassoing for free. Lunapic HTML 4MB 1330x1330 Free No Yes Can run on machines without Flash installed. Really inventive special effects--especially reflective water that ripples. Phixr HTML No limit 1440x1080 Free No Yes Can run on machines without Flash installed. Does not save your photos on its servers for very long, so you can edit sensitive images and nobody will see them. Phoenix Flash No limit 2800x2800 Free Yes Yes Great layer masking, community support, and tutorials. Work from Phoenix can be sent to another editing tool in the Aviary Web suite. Photoshop.com Flash 10MB 6000x6000 Free No Yes Editing features get previewed in real time. Also runs on Adobe's latest and greatest Flash technology. Picnik free Flash 16MB 4000x4000 Free Yes Yes Default photo editor for Flickr, very slick interface. Picnik premium Flash 16MB 4000x4000 $24.95/year Yes Yes Bigger uploads and more effects filters. App also remembers what you were doing the last time you were using it. Picture2Life HTML 5MB 1600x1600 Free Yes Yes Can run on machines without Flash installed. Floating windows workspace, similar to desktop apps. Pixenate HTML 10MB 1600x1200 Free No Yes Can run on machines without Flash installed. Tooth whitening tool perfects yellow smiles with two clicks. Pixer.us Flash 10MB 6000x6000 Free No Yes Remembers the last photo you were working on and has a wide range of filters and effects. Pixlr Flash No limit 2880x2880 (Flash 9 users) 4096x4096 (Flash 10 users) Free Yes Yes Feels a lot like a desktop application, complete with a workspace which you can rearrange and customize to your liking. Snipshot HTML 10MB 5000x5000 Free No Yes Can run on machines without Flash installed. Can import the first page of a PDF file for editing. Snipshot Pro HTML 10MB 5000x5000 $7/month No Yes Effects filters, face detection, support for RAW camera files. Splashup Flash ~6.25MB 1250x1250 Free Yes Yes Really great handling of layers. Photoshop users will feel right at home with some of the user interface.
Two small caveats about size: In most cases, any difference in the maximum photo resolution is a result of which version of Flash the tool--or the user--is running. In Aviary's case, its Phoenix photo editor uses the Flash 9 spec, thus only supporting images up to 2800x2800 in size. Its next release, due later this year, will nearly double that resolution.
Also, the maximum resolution doesn't necessarily mean if your original photo is bigger, it won't take it. Instead, what many of these services will do is simply scale it down to something that's more manageable both for your machine and its servers. Photos with odd aspect ratios are often constrained within the proportion of pixels any given editing app can render within its available workspace.So which one is the best?
That's a difficult question. It depends on what you're trying to do. If you want to add glitter graphics to a picture to put on your MySpace profile, you should go with Lunapic. If you're trying to edit the RAW photos you just took on your new SLR, you're only going to be able to do it on Snipshot's paid pro service.… Read more
Around this time last year we put together a comparison of various video sites to determine which ones had the best overall quality and user experience. Since then, high-definition-capable digital cameras and camcorders have taken off, and several major video hosts have rolled out official support for wide-screen, super high-quality Flash video in response. So we think the time has come to take another look at what these sites are offering now and crown a new leader in the realm of HD video.
What's being tested
Quality. For our tests, we looked at detail on two levels--both still and in motion. For the still, we used a shot of our corner Italian restaurant. From our test footage you should be able to read everything on the front awning.
For the motion element, there were plenty of cars and pedestrians outside our offices that would have made good test subjects. In this case, we went with a bicycle since it falls somewhere in between the two.
In last year's tests, we were able to do a neat mouseover trick to show you each site's original quality from the same part of a clip. We've done that again this time, but since the videos are too wide for this page, we're only doing it with a portion of the clip. While the player size on each service was different, we viewed each video at the maximum full-screen resolution (1280 pixels wide), in order to preserve the original quality.
Value. Some of these services aren't free. So what we wanted to find out is: for those that cost money, is the charge worth it?What's NOT being tested
Unlike the last time we did this, we're not taking upload times into account, since everyone's connection is a little different. Likewise, we're not quantifying processing times, since the clip you're uploading at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday night will probably get processed faster than the same clip at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. We have, however, noted the respective size limits at each site, which can be incredibly important. HD video files are big, even if you're talking about a relatively short clip.
All the services we used processed our videos within about 10 minutes. The one exception was Vimeo, which took nearly three hours from the time it finished uploading to show up live on the site. This could have just been a bad time to upload, and keep in mind that paying users of Vimeo's Plus service get their videos sent to the front of the queue.
About the test footage
To get a decent test shot, we went with a consumer-friendly, pocket-sized capture device. In this case it's the recently released Flip Mino HD (CNET review). It captures really good-looking video in 1280x720 resolution at 30 frames per second. It doesn't shoot in 1900x1080, also known as "full HD," but we're assuming that most folks are going to be using devices that shoot 720p anyway.
The footage is just a hair over three minutes long, which is about the standard for Web video, and has not been changed from its original camera formatting. It encompasses fast motion (the cars whizzing by), fine detail (local restaurant signage), and plenty of ambient sound.
Yahoo, which acquired Kelkoo for approximately 475 million euros ($579 million) four years ago, reportedly sold its wholly owned subsidiary for less than 100 million euros to U.K. private-equity firm Jamplant this holiday shopping season.
In a copy of an e-mail obtained by TechCrunch, Glen Drury, Kelkoo's managing director for the United Kingdom, had this to say about the organization's sale and rumors about its future. The "Toby" he mentions is apparently Toby Coppel, who heads up Europe for … Read more
Stateless Systems, the creators of BugMeNot, PDFMeNot, and RetailMeNot have a new site called Beat My Price that helps you find the lowest price for online goods. You simply plug in the link to something you want to buy, and it will compare that to prices it, and other users have found.
All the while, the system takes advantage of companion site RetailMeNot. This lets you see if you can save even more with the use of online coupons. These coupons don't change a product's total price listing, but you can quickly eyeball ones that might save you … Read more
Say you're shopping for laptops online and you're trying to figure out how big one is just by its product photo and measurements. It's not easy is it?
If you can't make it to a retailer to get your grubby mitts on it, there's a new solution called Pective. Like Sizeasy, which I checked out last year, the site is set up to help consumers find out the general size of something based on its measurements. In Pective's case, the tool goes one step further by using product photos and scaling them to match … Read more
Man, it sure would be nice if we could do this comparison here at CNET.
The first third-party side-by-side comparison we've seen between Mitsubishi's LaserVue rear-projection TV and Pioneer's Elite Kuro plasma appeared at TheTechlounge Friday, and according to its authors, the LaserVue more than held its own against what's widely regarded as the best TV on the market.
Author Cameron Baker and editor Kurtis Kronk sat down before a 60-inch Kuro and a 65-inch LaserVue at a San Antonio, Texas, HDTV retailer and watched a pair of Blu-ray movies: Ice Age: The Meltdown and Iron Man, along with Pioneer's Kuro test disc. They were unable to get their hands on a distribution amplifier for true side-by-side comparisons, apparently, so they based their observations on watching "the scenes back-to-back on each display a few times, juggling HDMI connections," and on still photos.… Read more