Reviews

VLC

VLC is a free and open sourced very versatile video player. I've used it ever since I can remember and I've never came across an audio or video file it hasn't been able to open and play (see the full list of supported files below). Aside from it's amazing playback capabilities, VLC can also be used as an encoder and a server to stream many codecs, file formats, as well as DVDs, VCDs and various streaming protocols. VLC, written by the VideoLAN project, is open source software licensed under a GNU General Public License, which means it is entirely free to download, use and share - even for commercial purposes. VLC is also one of the most platform-independent multimedia players - it is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus - and it has been translated to many different languages.

Ray Garrido – “Tropicotrip”

The Breathe compilations have become an anthology series that I look forward to with anticipation. However, the Breathe netlabel is also getting into single artist collections with this luscious album by Mexican multi-instrumentalist Ray Garrido. Tropicotrip is an exotic journey that is part hip-hop, part lounge, and very spacey.

“The Jazz Farm” – a alternative/improv album by Oprachina

The quartet Oprachina came to existence during recent editions of Along Came Jazz, Research In Italy organized in Tivoli and Rome. The group consists of Massimo Bognetti, guitarist; Errico De Fabritiis, saxophonist; Fabio Fochesato, bassist and drummer Adriano Galinari. The only aspect connecting the musician's repertoire is a touch of jazz in every track.

The Leftouts – “Last One Standing”

Lepork Records is a new net label specializing in South American punk artists. The small offering of online albums is interesting but I was especially drawn to The Leftouts and their free album titled Last One Standing. It is a raucous effort incorporating power pop with punk. I especially like the opening track, 19 Days and the tense title tune. This album, as well as the albums by other bands on this net label deserve a listen for their inexhaustible energy but also to show how global the punk genre has become.

Funk Man (the stimulus package) a solid free hip-hop album by Del The Funky Homosapien

Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones) is an alternative hip-hop artist from Oakland, California. This is his 7th album and the first one he's decided to give out free. His first two albums - "I Wish My Brother George Was Here" and "No Need for Alarm" together sold almost a half a million copies. Del The Funky Homosapien is currently touring the U.S. on this Funk Man tour.

“Superheroes Of Sea” from the Intercontinental Music Lab

The Intercontinental Music Lab (IML) is a world-wide music project whose aim is to promote musical collaboration. The core contributors, originally from Cambridge, England are now writing and recording music all over the planet - and new international collaborators are being enlisted every week. IML Collaborators submit backing-tracks to IML H.Q. where they are randomly redistributed to other collaborators who write lyrics and record vocals. The subject of IML's first album was "Superheroes of Science", second "Superheroes of Sea" and the third was "Superheroes of Space".

Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Quality Antivirus Software for Windows

Avira AntiVir Personal is a solid, reliable and free antivirus solution that constantly and rapidly scans your computer for malicious programs such as viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers etc. Monitors every action executed by the user or the operating system and reacts promptly when a malicious program is detected. This is a free software for personal use only with other paid versions available for more advanced and business/commercial use. As just the free version, the software has been highly reviewed by CNET and Softpedia and has received many positive user reviews.

Juanitos – “Best Of”

Juanitos is an exotic rock-n-roll band from France. The members include (if my translation from French is correct): Juan (vocals and organ), the Blob (surfing guitar), Dave (groovy bass), Chang (country guitar) and Jyle Malone (drums & bongos). On the "Best Of" you can hear a bit of reggae & soul with nu-Latin Brazilian beats, but the 50s "Beach Boys" feel of the album can be noticed in almost every track.