Biggest tips guide ever! (Part
PHOTOS, MUSIC, VIDEO; PC SETUP
and edit photos for free with Google Picasa
and edit photos for free
Picasa is a great free photo editor and
manager. Get it from picasa.google.com and let it manage your images and display
item in groups automatically organized by date. It supports tagging and faces
recognition, and offers some simple non-destructive edits.
a custom screensaver with Google Picasa
Google Photos Screensaver (get it free
from tinytjrl.com/2vrwuz) is another freebie based on Picasa. Launch Picasa, click
the Tools, Configure Screensaver option and select a source from those listed in
the Settings menu. RSS feeds, Flickr photostreams and your own photo library are
all options. Pan, zoom and panorama are all supported.
Use Windows' photo-printing tools
Windows may offer little more than Paint
in terms of photo-editing tools, but its Fax and Photo print driver is rather
clever. It can auto-arrange photos on a page, stretch or resize them, and help you
choose the most appropriate paper type and resolution.
Create a musical slideshow in Windows
Windows Media Center usually offers up
some exploding fractal graphics to accompany your choice of music. Head to the Tasks,
Settings menu and add some photos to your Favorites menu - tagging any you wish
with star ratings. Click Save, then go to the Music Library, select an album
and press Play, Choose Play pictures from the far left to start the slideshow,
your preferred Sound Output is selected as the default device
Windows audio can sometimes cause music
playback to stop. If this happens go to Control Panel, Sound. Select the Playback
tab and check your preferred sound output is selected as the default device. If
it isn't, highlight the preferred option and click Set Default.
updating the drivers for the internal sound
card or for any external speakers often clears a playback issue. Check the Sound,
Properties, Advanced tab, and try adjusting the playback quality settings and clicking
on Test to see if something else is interfering.
Play more video formats than just
QuickTime and Mpeg4 movies are actually
a collection of video codecs, but they are fairly widely supported, if your tablet,
PC or laptop won’t play a clip that you want to watch, try either VLC Media Player
(videolan.org), which can handle most video files without additional software, or
download the Combined Community Codec Pack for Windows Media Player
Safari's iTunes safe browser
Whenever we plug an iPhone into a Windows
laptop, iTunes seems to spend ages thinking about synching our music, and so
on. We've noticed it's checking with Safari about safe browsing. There's no real
need, so just click cancel to go straight to your iTunes library.
Add album art
Missing album artwork in Windows can be
tracked down by right-clicking on the album cover and choosing 'Update Album Art'.
In iTunes you need to choose 'Enable Automatic Downloading' for your cover art.
To track down any that ITunes has missed, try the collection maintained by Amazon,
which is also available as a widget from Apple's downloads site at tinyurl.com/6etnS5.
You can instantly change the look of
your Windows PC by changing the desktop background to something other than the
images that came with Windows. Right-click anywhere on the desktop, choose Personalize
and then select a new wallpaper.
Warm to your Windows Theme
A theme is a combination of pictures,
colors and sounds that give Windows PCs a particular look and feel. You can change
the default one by right-clicking the desktop and choosing Theme, then
selecting from those on offer. Alternatively, download one from
Just because your display is capable
of supporting HD resolutions. It doesn't mean you should set it to do so all the
time. Cramming more pixels into a smaller space results in a smaller onscreen image
– so you're more likely to squint. Right-click or the desktop, choose Screen resolution
and select a slightly lower setting.
Beware screen fatigue
Of course, we all love our PCs, laptops,
tablets and smartphones, but you can have too much of a good thing. Give your
eyes a break from that backlit screen. If you're forgetful, use a pop-up reminder
app. The likes of AntiRSI can also be useful to stop you ending up with aching limbs.
Get a second screen
If you mainly use your laptop at the
same desk or table, consider using an external LCD. You'll enjoy a larger
screen and will be sitting further back from the screen itself, making for a more
comfortable viewing experience.