Within Temptation – The Heart of Everything

Within Temptation - The Heart of Everything (Front cover)
Sweet, you can get Within Temptation’s new album here:
I’m not going to say anymore in this post, except go get it and listen to it yourself – it’s a rather good album.

Important software update: Google Desktop

I know this post is a bit late, but for those of you who haven’t yet done so, you might want to update your version of Google Desktop to the latest version.  Why?  Well, there is a XSS (Cross Site Scripting) security vulnerability in Google Desktop where it potentially allows remote injection of Java Script by using the "under:" search filter parameter.
Anyway, you can download the latest version of Google Desktop (5.0.0701.30540 – at time of posting) from the URI below
For more information on the XSS vulnerability, take a look at the PDF / Flash demo below:

Software recommendation: MediaCoder

MediaCoder icon - Click to go to author's website
It’d been a while since my last post and a lot of things have happened since then – systems have been exploited and (should be) patched, Vista, Office 2007 have being released, I aged 2 more months…
Anyway, enough crap from me.
For those of you who are looking for a good application to meet your transcoding needs, here’s one I found that does the job very well.
It’s called MediaCoder and it’s an open source application that allows you to do batch transcoding of video / audio files – it supports a good line-up of of codecs and it’s rather easy to use.  You can visit the author(s)’ website here:
The GUI is designed to allow codecs’ settings be easily adjusted and it is of a "no nonsense" style (unlike some of the commercial transcoding applications… – though for those of you who actually likes skins it also supports that).  However, all the options for the codecs in the GUI could be a bit daunting at first, but once you’ve played around with it for a while you’ll realize you only need to adjust 3 / 4 tabs (each tab containing a codec’s settings) to get transcoding.  Oh, yeah, and it also support profiles! – which is wonderful if you use a portable device (like a PDA) and would like to optimize the output of each type of content.
However, there is one small thing I don’t like about the program – it runs Firefox (and a HTTP server) in the background to render the advanced configuration pages, which obviously takes up some RAM (about 23.2 MB on my machine).  Don’t get me wrong, I love Firefox but I just don’t get why it’s necessary to use it at all for the configuration pages…  The good news here is that it only launches Firefox if you decides to view those configuration pages.
Of course, this application is designed for batch transcoding and if you want to do a one-off encoding, I still prefer using something like VirtualDubMod (link) to squeeze the most out of the file.
Anyway, enough said, go check it out!