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Archive for February, 2009

Download YouTube videos to iPod

February 28th, 2009

I got an iPod nano chromatic recently and I needed to load it with videos desperately.

Apple has a great iTunes store, but you have to buy music, videos, and movies there.

Too bad in this part of the world, people tend to be more stingy than everybody else. Or is it just me? πŸ˜›

Luckily I managed to find a way to enjoy videos from YouTube with the nano.

YouTube is a wonderful library for videos, you can get movie trailers, Jacky Cheung music videos or karaoke, some official music videos, or videos of people trying to be the next American Idol.

You can easily download videos from YouTube but unfortunately, it is in FLV format. You can use FLV player or flv supported media player to play them but iPod or others cannot do that.

You will need a FLV file to MP4 converter.

I found two great ways to accomplish that.

1) Online converter

You can search for online converters which could convert FLV files to MP4. These online converters will perform the conversion at their end and then stream the output for you to download. Technically, this should be the best approach for you, as it does not require any installation of programs and it does not use any of your computer’s processing power except to just download it.

I tried vixy.net and it does the job well. Do make sure you supply a valid YouTube link and it will show you the progress of conversion and then prompt you for the download. One drawback here, is that the file name is a random name and you will need to rename it.

2) YouTube Downloader App

This is a download client program which you will need to install on your computer. The YouTube Downloader App come as an optional package with the Videora iPod Converter.

It integrates seamlessly with your iTunes and it will start iTunes after you have completed your video download.

The YouTube Downloader App has an internal internet browser in the application, and when you watch a video that is available for download, the bottom bar will have the video url highlighted in green. That indicates the video can be downloaded. Click on the Download button to add it into your download list.

You can download multiple videos simultaneously, and as contrary to the online download, this application saves the video name as your file name. It even supports UTF-8 characters. πŸ™‚

I personally liked the YouTube Downloader App as it makes converting your YouTube video files so easy, from browsing or searching the video that you like and transparently send it to your iTunes library.

How about you? What applications do you use to load your iPod or MP4 players?

Movies, Music, Software , , , , ,

Review: Home Delivery Photo Printing from eoe Online

February 27th, 2009

This is the second part of the blogger review program for my experience with eoe Online.

In the first part of my review previously, I had hope it will arrive to my mailbox safe and sound, nice and neat.

Well, it didn’t.

It didn’t reach my mailbox at all. It reached my doorstep instead, with me having to sign the receipt of photos I ordered online, just like ordering McDonalds or a Dell laptop.

I never had thought the online photo printing service includes home delivery. πŸ™‚ But there’s no complaints at all, unless there isn’t anyone at home to sign it and will need to head to the post office for pickup.

The package was delivered through Skynet courier service and it took less than 3 working days for it to arrive. (It might depends on your location I think, but in my area of Selangor, it seems quick!)

The photos are printed in Kodak papers.

As I printed 50 pieces of photos, they come in two photo albums contained in a cardboard and then wrapped with the Skynet bag. Nice and neat πŸ™‚

Although this is a review post and my personal take to its online photo printing (including home delivery) is “above-average satisfaction”, I think at least few might not be be convinced to its online service just from reading these reviews.

So I guess it doesn’t really do justice to eoe Online if I am not able to get my readers at least a visit to its website or give it a thought on printing their photos online.

Hence, let me go into the details of my online photo printing experience.

For a start, head to EOE Online at http://www.eoe.com.my/

1) Go to E-Print

Select ‘e-print‘ under Shopping menu.

There are two options for photo upload : File Upload and Easy Upload.

I would recommend Easy Upload as it will enable you to select and upload multiple files easier. Do note that this option is only available for Internet Explorer browser. For non-IE users, you will have to use the normal File Upload.

2) Select Easy Upload

After selecting Easy Upload, it will prompt for the installation of an Active-X control to your browser.

Click on the top bar to continue installation.

3) Install Active X

Internet Explorer will prompt a typical Active X installation dialog as following:

Click on the Install button to continue.

4) Select photos to print

After the installation completes, you will be able to browse for your photos in your computer in the web page just like a Windows Explorer.

Select the photos you want to print, or right click on the photos for other available options.

5) Click Upload button and wait until all photos uploaded

Once you have completed your selection of photos to be printed, continue with the “upload” button and the Active X will display a Upload progress display and you will have to wait until all the photos are uploaded to the system.

6) Select print size and quantity

When you have finished the photo upload, then you are given the choices of print size and quantity.

Let’s say if you would like to have a piece of 4R for every photos, key in 1 into the 4R and the select “apply to all”.

One cool feature of this EasyUpload or the online printing system is that it will alert you if your photos resolution is not good enough for the print size you have selected.

7) Check pricing

The view pricing link on the right displays the pricing for your prints and also the minimum resolution for the photo size.

The number of photos you selected for printing multiplied by the weight will give you a rough estimation of the delivery charges.

8 ) Check delivery

The delivery rate link on the right displays the charges for the photos shipment and delivery.

9) Confirmation

When you’re done with your printing options, click on the “purchase” button to confirm. You will be able to view the summary of your prints.

You still have the option to return to the previous options to change or continue to add the prints to cart. You can also continue to add photos until you decide to make the purchase.

10) View Cart

Your shopping cart will list the printings you have selected and getting you ready to make payment and complete your online printing.

Prior to check-out however, you will need to do a quick registration with the system and provide the delivery address.

11) Checkout

When you proceed to check out, the total charges will be display. Total of your prints with the delivery charges is then known here.

There are three payment options and this way it allows more choices for users to shop, allowing students without credit card to use bank-in, or those who does not have credit card or do not like to pay with credit card online to use Maybank2u.com. The credit card payment option supports Visa and MasterCard which are the major credit card merchants available.

12) Payment Confirmation

Complete your payment with the options you are most comfortable with.

For instance, if you have selected Bank-in payment option, the confirmation display the further action you will need to take.

13) Order invoice

The order invoice is also display at the end of the order submission.

You may choose to print the invoice for easy reference. πŸ™‚

If you have made payment, all you need to do is just wait for delivery!

All in all, it was quite easy if you are computer literate.

In other words, if you’re using computer to do other online transactions or visiting websites, getting your photo printed via eoe Online is as easy as ABC. You do not need to be a programmer or a hacker to figure your way out.

Even if you have trouble with the online printing, I found that they have a Live Support system to help online users. Another plus point for good customer service.

During my trial of the Live Support system, it was way past midnight. I have waited for a few minutes and there was no response, so I decided to abandon the chat. I hope there are dedicated support staff for this feature, else it will be a waste or just to act as aesthetics to a very well developed online printing system. This Live Support might be the only drawback of the Eoe Online printing system if it is not being handled professionally. However, customers still have the alternative to contact via the Online Contact Form.

I do have some tips for the photo upload though. Try resize the photos you would like to print before uploading and it should save you a lot of time. If the ActiveX could resize it before upload, that would’ve been the best. Do note that there are minimum resolution for the photos if you perform a manual resize, like what I have mentioned in Step 6) above. Check out the details from this page.

Price wise, its promotional period which runs until 31st March 2009 for 4R and 5R prints are a good deal. In my opinion or experience, usual print shops charges between 0.50 cents and 0.60 cents for each 4R photo. Even with shops which offer a percentage of discounts like 10% or 20% with membership cards for photo printing, the 0.30 cents 4R by eoe is still a comparable deal. I’d still hope the price is a permanent online pricing and not a limited promotion sort of thing. So if you’re printing after 31st March 2009, try sort it out yourself if you could get a better deal elsewhere.

In my humble opinion, eoe Online could be the very first Malaysian website of a digital print/services chain store to offer online photo printing other than its offline services from their retail stores.

East Ocean e-Imaging (M) Sdn. Bhd. is a wholesale/retail chain fully owned by Pisces Trading that provides photo printing and imaging services to end consumers. East Ocean e-Imaging’s services include analogue and digital printing, customising, and retouching of photos.

Eoe could be among the early initiators in Malaysia’s online printing service arena, but its parent company Pisces Trading has a longer history.

Since inception in 1976, Pisces Trading (M) Sdn. Bhd. has grown to become a leading local company specialising in the distribution of a comprehensive range of photographic equipments and accessories for the Malaysian market, ranging from films to batteries, analogue cameras to digital cameras, and memory cards to digital storage solutions of various major brands.

Checking out the details of East Ocean e-Imaging and Pisces Trading eventually led me to know eoe Online is not just a fly-by-night website. It could be a well thought idea from businessmen who knows internet is another source of income for business already running offline and it does not risk itself from being outdated by the global advancement in technology.

Being a web developer myself, I think Eoe online printing system could be in-house developed or a purchased system. It is definitely a well designed and developed system, and it does the job well for the customers who would like the convenience of doing things online, just like banking and shopping.

My hats off to EOE. πŸ™‚

Malaysia, Photography, Review , ,

An iPod nano from Exabytes

February 26th, 2009

In December 2008, I posted an article about Exabytes Switchhhh Program.

Check out more!

The sole reason for me in posting that was because I am really satisfied with hosting with Exabytes. During conversations with friends, discussions about web hosting providers sometimes came up and everyone has their own opinion. When I came upon an email about Exabytes’s Santa Ca$h Frenzy promotion, I figured it was a good oppurtunity for me to blog about it then. Furthermore, it promised a RM20 cash per post, I’d thought it will build up a bit my referral account, but turned out it is a cheque sent directly to me.

Anyway, I was really surprised to get an email recently informing that I am the winner with the most creative review. You’re asking what? Yes, I’m thinking so too, that my review is anything except creative. πŸ˜›

It was purely my humble and honest opinion. I think another point is proven, when lately circuit faults slow down Internet. I’m very certain I would be very worried and frustrated if I’m not able to access my website located in foreign countries just for the sake of cheaper rates.

Enough of promoting Exabytes, I’m not their ambassador. πŸ˜‰

So, let me present the prizes of the Exabyte’s Santa Ca$h Frenzy most creative review:

Other than the RM 20 cheque, they sent me a goodie bag consisting of the “green” bag in blue colour, a notepad, 2 calendars (that has my face in it :-)) and a highlighter. The main happiness here is of course the 8GB black colour Apple Ipod Nano!!

Exabytes team is very efficient, I’ve received the prizes via courier on 24th Feb 09 when I was only notified on 19th Feb 09. Only three working days in between!

Thanks Exabytes and TW Ku. πŸ™‚

By the way, Eric, I hope this reassured you of picking Exabytes for your web hosting.

Expect more of Ipod nano related posts soon. πŸ™‚

Internet, Internet Marketing, Malaysia , , ,