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Soundcloud for the Desktop via Soundnode

Soundcloud for the Desktop via Soundnode

If your a fan of the Soundcloud music service be it for mainstream music or the underground scene & want access to it outside the website environment then Soundnode may be for you. Personally I’ve always preferred a desktop app experience & soundnode brings that cross platform to your Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Currently the app allows you to login & display Top 50, Stream, Likes, Tracks, and Playlists. Overall the app offers a clean & minimal user interface for Soundcloud lovers.

Download the app today for more information!

Younity Overview: Stream, Access, & Share All Your Files from your Computer on iOS

Younity Overview: Stream, Access, & Share All Your Files from your Computer on iOS

My thanks to the folks at Younity for making this video & content possible. Head over to their website for more information.

Younity is a free & easy to setup application that allows you to stream all of your files for easy access across your iOS devices (Android support is in the works). Stream your video/movies, photos, and documents from a Mac or PC & get access on your mobile device anytime & anywhere instantly. Best of all Younity is completely free & unlike other services there are no plans or restrictions. Unlimited storage & streaming of your files while still providing top notch security & convenience. No more having to store gigabytes of files locally on your iOS device when it can all be accessed via Younity.

Video Overview:

Setting Up Younity:

Younity requires an installation on your desktop to act as the server of your files. This can be a Mac running OS X or a Windows based PC. Install the Younity server software here. After the software is installed you’ll need to run through the settings in order to determine your files you’d like streamed via Younity.

The first thing to take note of is the location settings in Younity. This determines the files which will be streamed from your server to your respective devices. This can be your whole drive or specific folders such as photos, music, and movies. Additionally Younity has support for iPhoto/Photos or Lightroom libraries.

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The more files you have the longer the scan process will take. The next tab houses your settings, from here you can tweak certain options such as whether or not the app boots with your computer which I personally recommend that way you never have to worry whether or not Younity is running.

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The next step is to install Younity across your mobile devices in this case my iPhone. After signing in & registering your device you’ll now have access to your files via the simple app interface.

 

Younity Mobile App:

IMG_0528The app will showcase any current playing media alongside four categories music, videos, photos, and files (documents). For the most part the Younity app was able handle every file I threw at it. Be it .jpg, .mp4, .rtf & so on. However there are some restrictions like iTunes DRM based content can’t be played back, though that isn’t the fault of the app itself. The app did a great job of pulling in all the meta data related to files I streamed across. You can now view movies on the go that are hosted via your computer or listen to music from your iTunes library. Certain files like photos for example can be downloaded locally to your Younity app to help save load times. It goes a step further with extra features such as AirPlay support, ability to directly send photos from Younity to apps like Instagram. This is useful for taking those DSLR or other pictures from your desktop & easily uploading them via Instagram without having to manually transfer the photo over.

The app also features a search to make it easy to comb through your folder of files & a filter option to make it easy to find specific files such as ones you’ve downloaded locally, alphabetic order, and so on. The app’s settings allow for further customization & security enhancements such as the ability to set a pin code on the app itself for an extra layer of protection.

These are just some use cases of course. This is a solution that can come in handy be it for professional or personal usage. Another great aspect is the sharing feature. Sharing allows you to share certain files to friends easily & securely. All transfers are encrypted & your data is never viewed by Younity itself as they never store it, it’s all streamed. Shared files have an expiration time as well which help serve as a peace of mind.

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All in all Younity is a great solution to a lot of problems. Be it for saving storage space on your iPhone, having access to your files from anywhere in the world, the convenience of streaming your photo, video, or music library. Take your pick. One thing I want to also emphasize is the speed at which files are streamed while maintaining the quality, whether it was a picture or video. You get access to all your files at your fingertips & never have to worry about manually syncing anything you may need access to again. That’s where it came in handy for me personally. I always run into cases where I’m out & need access to a work document I forgot to sync somewhere or e-mail to myself. Younity eliminated that problem entirely as long as it’s in one of my designated location folders I don’t have to think twice about getting access to it.  Best of all there’s not much at stake, cost of entry is 100% free & there are no limitations as to how many files you can stream over or access. If your looking for a simple to setup but highly effective file streaming solution look no further then Younity.

 

Scrivener Basics: Interface

Scrivener Basics: Interface

Scrivener is an amazing all in one writing tool that can be used in a multitude of ways. The great thing about the app is its designed to work the way you work not the other way around. I wanted to put together a series of basic tutorials going over the application in-depth. Starting off with the much requested interface overview, a look at the basics of scrivener & how to navigate around the app.

Scrivener is available for both OS X & Windows, you can try out a fully featured free trial today!

Video:

 

Scrivener can be overwhelming at first the interface is packed with multiple buttons & can be used in all sorts of methods. Navigating it requires getting a grasp of the basic buttons & how to navigate around. From there the rest is up to you. Think of it as canvas to do your writing work be it for a book, e-book, script and so on. Write, organize, revise all in Scriveners powerful interface.

Here’s a further look at what lies in Scriveners interface.

Binder-

Think of the binder as you would a physical one. The digital binder houses all your work for your current project. This means drafts, folders, and other material.

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Work Area-

The center consists of your main work area. Where all your work will lie. This can be adjusted in multiple views depending on your preference. Single, split, outline, or cork board view. This also includes the text tool bar where you can adjust font, text size, alignment, etc.

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Nav Bar-

The main navigation bar houses the main tools you’ll be using. This consists of the of the following (order from left to right)

  1. Binder View Toggle
  2. Collections View Toggle
  3. Add New Document
  4. Move to Trash
  5. Fullscreen Mode
  6. Keyword Panel
  7. Quick Reference Panel
  8. Comment/Annotate Text
  9. Single Page View
  10. Compile/Export
  11. Scrivenings (Document) view
  12. Corkboard View
  13. Outliner View
  14. Synopsis Finder
  15. Search Box
  16. Inspector View Toggle

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Inspector View-

The inspector view allows you toggle a right hand window that gives you access to certain elements of your project. Here you can view comments/annotations or footnotes, document references, keywords, meta-data, and snapshots. These are highly useful tools some of which go into the advance workflows of Scrivener but definitely useful to toggle if you’ll be referencing any of the above tools while you work.

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All in all Scrivener is an amazing writing tool thats flexible to be used in a variety of situations. There’s a reason it’s favorited by writers, authors, etc. You can write in the app how you please & organize on the go or after the fact. Be it for big or small projects Scrivener has you covered. This is a series of tutorials we’ve ran on Scrivener with plans to examine more features of the app in detail.

Check out our previous content below:

How To: Create & Publish an E-book

Import/Export Content between Scivener & Scapple

How To: Improve your writing workflow

Happy writing!

iOS 9 Battery Saving Tips

iOS 9 Battery Saving Tips

Battery life nowadays is pretty decent. However for those who are constantly on their phone, tablet or iPod, your constantly seeking how to get more life out of your iDevice. iOS introduced a lot of new features so lets take a look at how you can tweak some settings to get more usage out of your iDevice throughout the day.

While no one tweak will magically save you loads of battery a combination of all together do amount to minutes or even hours of extra usage.

Video:

Brightness-

A common thing to adjust on your iDevice is screen brightness, with displays getting bigger & better our iDevices backlights can put a strain on our battery if constantly set to max level. Adjusting it manually allows you set it as you please depending on your environment additionally it may be worth turning off the “Auto-Brightness” setting within iOS settings as this constantly uses a sensor to detect lighting conditions.

Animations-

iOS 9 brings all sorts of animations some of which while you may prefer at a personal level can eat up battery quite a bit. Disabling or not constantly using such things like Dynamic wallpapers can make all the difference. Additionally digging into Setting-General-Accessibility-Reduce Motion & toggle that as you please.

Low Power Mode-

iOS 9 also brought a mode that pretty much toggles a lot of these settings for you whenever you need it. Low Power Mode is accessible via the Battery menu in your settings & toggles automatically things like Hey Siri, Mail Fetch, Background App Refresh, and more.

Side note while in the battery menu it’s worth noting the apps that are taking up a lot of your usage in the first place. Being aware of apps that constantly take up battery helps you avoid killing your device faster. Sometimes apps may even leak energy such as the recent Facebook app update that had to be pushed in order to fix such issues.

Disable Radios –

Another common thing but disabling any unused radios can really save you some battery life. Things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Cellular when not in use is highly useful in getting that extra juice out of your battery.

Hey Siri-

If you have the “Hey Siri” feature enabled this will constantly be listening for the phrase to trigger it. So if your not using it as often or currently then feel free to turn it off to save some battery life.

Location Services-

Last but not least is location services. Many apps & services nowadays use location services be it GPS or Wi-Fi to triangulate our location for certain features. You can manually decide which apps do this & iOS has improved in that some apps only track when your actually in the app itself & not running the background. However if you don’t use this at all & don’t like your location being tracked then disabling it is another radio that contributes to more use out of your device throughout the day.

 

Of course there are multiple other things you can do like invest in a battery pack accessory for your device or carry portable chargers. However these are some tips that require no extra investment rather a couple tweaks within your iOS.

Import/Export between Scrivener & Scapple

Import/Export between Scrivener & Scapple

My thanks to Literature & Latte for making this content possible. They’re the makers behind the amazing writing tool that is Scrivener & idea organizational tool Scapple.

Scrivener & Scapple are amazing standalone apps. However using them in tandem is just as easy & beneficial. Scrivener an essential writing tool that I’ve covered multiple times is a great writing studio app for a variety of needs that allows you to gather & produce all your work in one place. While Scapple is an amazing visual tool that allows you to take ideas & organize them in anyway you please.

Importing & exporting data between the two has never been simpler & theres multiple ways to do so.

Video:

 

As showcased in the video above there are multiple ways to import & export content between the app. Let’s break down a few.

Drag & Drop

The simplest of methods is dragging & dropping certain elements to import between the two applications.

You can easily drag Scrapple notes into your Scrivener binder or take scrivener text highlighted & convert them into Scapple notes.

Export as .OPML

If you’ve created a chart via Scapple that’d you like to export into notes into scrivener than simply export the Scapple document as a .OPML file & use the Import files feature via Scrivener to get them all synced into your binder. This allows you add further context & notes to your imported outline.

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Of course you could also export as text formats if thats what you prefer.

Export Entire Chart

If you’d prefer to just export out the whole Scapple chart you’ve created into Scrivener then they’ve made that just as easy. No need to lineup & use a screenshot tool when you can simply export out as .PNG using the same export & import menu.

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Once imported you can easily adjust image size & organize it wherever you please inside your Scrivener project.

These methods of import & export are highly useful in multiple scenarios. Let’s say your workflow revolves around you brainstorming ideas within Scapple. You can takes notes, make charts, and setup a visual aid for your story or whatever you may be aiming to create. From there you can export out elements or the chart entirely into Scrivener for organizational & reference purpose. You can now work in Scrivener with all your research & notes in one place. Making it easy & efficient to work between the apps. At the end of the day what makes these apps so powerful is that you can use them in any way you please. I’ve seen multiple workflows from authors, screen play writers, project management and more.

While Scrivener serves as an all in one writing tool, Scapple is the visual board for getting that idea out of your head & onto your mac or pc.

Looking for some more content around Scrivener or Scapple check out our posts below!

Quickly Record Ideas w/Scapple

Create an E-Book w/Scrivener

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