Thursday, April 28, 2011

PDF Tips, Apps, and Music

PDF Tips, Apps, and Music 

by Denis Sweeney. 4/27/2011

PDF Tips

I deal with Adobe Acrobat files a lot and recently found some tricks that I consider to be game changers. I haven't researched these features, but I do know they were new to me.


  • In Acrobat Professional, use Split Pages to convert a multi-page PDF into many, one-page PDFs. Or you can choose how many pages to have in each section of a split PDF. Picture a big PDF of a retail catalog. It can't be posted on the web, as is because it is huge. To split it into managable chunks, this feature can make your life a lot easier, by giving you automation tools.


Interesting Apps
Assemble a Book Together, Even If You're Miles Apart
Collaborate on a book project together with (unfortunately named) Keepsy. Lots of online tools to allow multiple people to add to the same project. Photos can be emailed to a custom email address so anyone can add images to the project.

I have nothing to do with the site, but like the collaborative effort. In real life, books are a collaborative effort.

For work, I've been looking into options to do digital asset management software to keep track of graphics and help me and the rest of my distributed team find the latest graphics. Both provide a visual thumbnail view of your images, and you can see some metadata, like file names and date modified. Plus you can add keywords that make sense to you/your company/your team. I looked at two apps so far:
Extensis Portfolio, which comes in 2 flavors; Stand-alone for about $200, or Server, for about $2000.00.
Razuna (open source). It's free, but requires a server and is harder to set up.
 Razuna.org. I'm inclined to try Razuna, but haven't decided for sure. If you have any experiences with Razuna or Extensis Portfolio Server, I'd love to hear them.

http://gdgt.com GDGT prompts you to enter your specific gadgets and save them, then you can watch forum discussions based on your exact model device(s). Interesting idea. I'm enjoying it so far.

Music

I'm using Pandora a lot these days. It works on my computer, my android phone, iphone and on Google TV. I got the membership and it is well worth it. I like Pandora better than iTunes because it constantly introduces new music.

I have been purchasing MP3 music on Amazon recently. The prices are a little cheaper than Apple and the files are DRM free. Better still, they download and are imported directly into iTunes. Once in iTunes, there are no silly restrictions saying "no, you can't burn that to a CD..." Pandora does a good job of providing links to purchase any/all music playing from either Amazon or iTunes.

I recently signed up to try Amazon Cloud Drive, and Amazon Cloud Player. The idea is that you get 5GB free to host your music, and then using the player, you can play your music on your PC/Phone/whatever. A friend of mine heard the description and he said that he'd stick to a thumb drive and/or a large mini-SD drive for the phone. -Just as much space and no bandwidth hogging, or servers down, or hidden fees (not that I have seen any.) I am interested to see their take on "The Cloud", but I have to agree with my friend. I'm not convinced I'd pay for it, only to be tied to bandwidth worries and having my music held for ransom. 


Converting iTunes purchased (M4a) music into a format that you can upload into the cloud (MP3) Free Audio Converter --Works great!
http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/products/dvd/Free-Audio-Converter.htm


What am I listening to these days?

I have been enjoying several artists I found through Pandora, and one who is an old friend: 
Janiva Magness 


JJ Grey and Mofro


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals


Sara Grace and the Suits





I'm going to close here before this blog layout gets too out of hand.
Until next time...
DMS

1 comment:

Denis M. Sweeney said...

Related article on MP3 music in the cloud: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/29/behind-the-scenes-record-labels-demands-from-amazon/