Parallels Desktop 10 – Review

On July 2, 2015, in Review, by Vicki Stokes

Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac
Parallels Inc.
$79.99/Upgrade $49.99
Screen-Shot-2015-07-01-at-22.51

 

Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac is hardware virtualization software for Macintosh computers with Intel processors. It utilizes hypervisor technology. This software technology maps the host computer’s hardware resources directly to the virtual machine’s resources allowing the virtual machine to operate like a standalone computer.

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About Vicki Stokes

Vicki is a IT professional working in the Silicon Valley. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co-hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Elisa Pacelli.

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Backing Up Your Mac – Book Review

On June 30, 2015, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Backing Up Your Mac
Author: Joe Kissell

Publisher: Joe On Tech
Price: $9.99 Ebook, $14.99 paperback
202 pages

cover

You’ve heard it time and time again: backup, backup, backup. Updating software? Backup first. Installing a new hard drive? Backup first. Sounds simply enough, but how many of us are really doing it, or if we are backing up, how many of us are doing it correctly? Never fear, Joe Kissell is here to help us with his latest book, Backing Up Your Mac.

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About Elisa Pacelli

Elisa is a wife, mother to 3 boys, "creative genius", and all-around techno geek. She enjoys reading, quilting, knitting, cruising to Caribbean beaches, and learning new things in the technology world. In the evenings Elisa can be found knitting while listening to podcasts or watching Netflix on her iPad. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Vicki Stokes.

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Capture One Pro 8 – Review, Part II

On June 29, 2015, in Photography, Review, by Mark Sealey

Capture One Pro 8 logo

 

Capture One Pro 8: $299 (or $15 per month subscription)

Phase One USA

Last time, Phase One’s Capture One Pro 8 (version 8.3) was introduced as an alternative to Apple’s outgoing Digital Asset Management (DAM) and photo editing software, Aperture. Capture One Pro 8’s functionality was described and some equivalents with Apple’s effectively discontinued and potentially defunct software touched upon.

Now – to conclude – the actual process of transitioning from Aperture to Capture One Pro is considered; photo adjustments in Capture One Pro are described; and an overall evaluation of the product is offered.

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About Mark Sealey

Mark Sealey is a British expatriate working and living in Southern California with his artist/writer wife, Roberta Lannes-Sealey, whom he met in 1996, when the web, she and he were much younger. Mark's interest in computers began in the the early ‘80s when his father suggested that, If we don’t understand how to control them, they’ll creep up behind us and make life unbearable. Have they? Using the venerable Acorn system until his move to the US, Mark wrote extensively about the BBC and RISC machines. He concentrated chiefly on education, music and productivity/system software; at the time Micronet and Prestel led the way for wide area networking… he published over 2,000 articles for these outlets. After graduating with a humanities degree, Mark was a teacher for 20 years until 1994 - first in Italy then the UK. Becaming increasingly attracted to the world of information technology as a major contributor to children’s learning and development, he eventually moved to editing the UK’s chief journals in the educational computing. He has always enjoyed freelance reviewing, consulting, editing and writing. When he moved to the US, he was fortunate enough to find full time employment at a major arts non-profit as a software engineer; though it’s doubtful if there’s a single skill which he was originally hired to use that’s still in daily use. Mark is also a composer of chamber and orchestral music, music critic, a published poet, photographer and environmentalist with an enthusiasm for fitness, vegan nutrition and long distance running. He is now convinced that only humans’ humility can save our planet.

Capture One Pro 8 – Review, Part I

On June 26, 2015, in Photography, Review, by Mark Sealey

Phase One

Capture One Pro 8: $299 (or $15 per month subscription)

Phase One USA 

Apple’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) and photo editing software, Aperture, was released in 2005 priced $499. Three years later, Aperture 2 came out at $199; and in 2010 Aperture 3 appeared with the price reduced yet again – to $79. Last year (2014) Apple announced that Aperture 3 would be the last version; and that the company would no longer be updating the product. Apple’s support for Aperture will also eventually end. A final maintenance release (3.6) appeared in October 2014 for compatibility with Yosemite (10.10), the last OS with which Aperture is guaranteed to work. Users are on borrowed time, which is a pity because Aperture is an excellent product and has a mature and dedicated support structure.

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About Mark Sealey

Mark Sealey is a British expatriate working and living in Southern California with his artist/writer wife, Roberta Lannes-Sealey, whom he met in 1996, when the web, she and he were much younger. Mark's interest in computers began in the the early ‘80s when his father suggested that, If we don’t understand how to control them, they’ll creep up behind us and make life unbearable. Have they? Using the venerable Acorn system until his move to the US, Mark wrote extensively about the BBC and RISC machines. He concentrated chiefly on education, music and productivity/system software; at the time Micronet and Prestel led the way for wide area networking… he published over 2,000 articles for these outlets. After graduating with a humanities degree, Mark was a teacher for 20 years until 1994 - first in Italy then the UK. Becaming increasingly attracted to the world of information technology as a major contributor to children’s learning and development, he eventually moved to editing the UK’s chief journals in the educational computing. He has always enjoyed freelance reviewing, consulting, editing and writing. When he moved to the US, he was fortunate enough to find full time employment at a major arts non-profit as a software engineer; though it’s doubtful if there’s a single skill which he was originally hired to use that’s still in daily use. Mark is also a composer of chamber and orchestral music, music critic, a published poet, photographer and environmentalist with an enthusiasm for fitness, vegan nutrition and long distance running. He is now convinced that only humans’ humility can save our planet.

Otterbox Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 6
Company: Otterbox
Price: $99.95 USD

Package

Apple’s iPhone 6 is a definite improvement over the iPhone 5, especially when it comes to battery life. Yet, no matter how great something may be, there are always those times that seem to pop up and make one wish for a product that just has a bit more staying power.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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SmartScore NoteReader – Review

On January 29, 2015, in iPhone, Review, by Mark Sealey

SmartScore NoteReader
Company: Musitek
Price: Free (in-app purchase) 

box

Optical Character Reading (OCR) software is tricky. Although it’s come a long way from the unreliable and inaccurate offerings of the 1980s (when it first became available for personal computers) if it doesn’t present you with a usable digital representation of your (scanned) hard copy which is also 99% accurate, it really has little more than curiosity value.

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About Mark Sealey

Mark Sealey is a British expatriate working and living in Southern California with his artist/writer wife, Roberta Lannes-Sealey, whom he met in 1996, when the web, she and he were much younger. Mark's interest in computers began in the the early ‘80s when his father suggested that, If we don’t understand how to control them, they’ll creep up behind us and make life unbearable. Have they? Using the venerable Acorn system until his move to the US, Mark wrote extensively about the BBC and RISC machines. He concentrated chiefly on education, music and productivity/system software; at the time Micronet and Prestel led the way for wide area networking… he published over 2,000 articles for these outlets. After graduating with a humanities degree, Mark was a teacher for 20 years until 1994 - first in Italy then the UK. Becaming increasingly attracted to the world of information technology as a major contributor to children’s learning and development, he eventually moved to editing the UK’s chief journals in the educational computing. He has always enjoyed freelance reviewing, consulting, editing and writing. When he moved to the US, he was fortunate enough to find full time employment at a major arts non-profit as a software engineer; though it’s doubtful if there’s a single skill which he was originally hired to use that’s still in daily use. Mark is also a composer of chamber and orchestral music, music critic, a published poet, photographer and environmentalist with an enthusiasm for fitness, vegan nutrition and long distance running. He is now convinced that only humans’ humility can save our planet.

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VisionTek High Power Seven Port USB Charging Hub
Company: VisionTek
Price: $49.99 US

 

vthero
The VisionTek High Power Seven Port USB Charging Hub (which I will hereafter refer to as the “VisionTek Charging Hub” for brevity) is a small 0.9” x 1.8” x 4.3”  silver anodized aluminium rectangular hub with a press on/off power switch, a sensibly diffused orange LED on indicator and seven powered USB charging ports. It is built solely for the purpose of plugging in your USB chargeable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, music players, Bluetooth earpieces/headphones, satellite/GPS navigators and any other USB chargeable items you may have. If you prefer a “sync and charge” hub then VisionTek have that covered too with their VisionTek Charge & Sync USB 3.0 Seven Port Hub

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About Simon Parnell

I am British, and now the "wrong" side of 50 years old, married and have 3 children. I started working in a design studio in the early 80's back in the days of Cow Gum, Rotring Pens and Scalpels. I moved on to using Macs in about 1989 (way back when 40MB Hard Drives were BIG and 8MB RAM was a top end spec, System 6.0.3 was the cutting edge and the IIcx I worked on set me back about £5000... eek!). Since then I have worked on pretty much every generation of Macintosh and every Mac OS Apple have released. I have done design and prepress work a wide variety of "DTP" applications old, new, well known and obscure. I have a fascination with finding cheaper alternatives to the "big guns" so DTP can be accessible to everybody! For the last 15 years I have worked in a small print works close to my home doing design and pre-press work.

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Alpha Glass Privacy Screen Protector – Review

On January 20, 2015, in iPhone, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Alpha Glass Privacy Screen Protector for iPhone 6
Company: Otterbox
Price: $34.95 USD

Alpha Glass Privacy

Apple’s iPhone 6 is a beautiful engineered and designed communication and entertainment device. Users want to protect it so they take the time to purchase cases to protect their investment. The one thing that worries a lot of iPhone users is the durability of the iPhone’s screen. How strong is it and how resistant to everyday wear and tear?

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad -Review

On December 3, 2014, in iMac, Review, by Donny Yankellow

NewerTech Wireless Aluminum Keypad
Company: Newertech
Price: $54.95

keypad_us_hero_white

When I first got an iMac with an Apple Bluetooth keyboard I instantly loved the keyboard. I preferred the size and I appreciated not having the wires. The one thing I missed was the number pad from my old USB keyboard. I used that number pad a lot. I am not a number cruncher, but the number pad made entering numbers into the computer a lot easier and faster.

I haven’t had a number pad for years, but I still missed it, until I was given the opportunity to try out NewerTech’s Wireless Aluminum Keypad. It gave me back my number pad and it matches my Apple keyboard perfectly. It has the white keys and an aluminum finish (also available with black keys). In fact, it looks like something Apple would have made.

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About Donny Yankellow

In addition to writing for MyMac.com since the Fall of 2005 he is an art teacher, freelance artist/illustrator, and is a father of one son. Donny is also the author/illustrator of several children's ebooks. Donny's degree is in Visual Communications and he hold certification in K-12 Art Education. His hobbies (besides Mac and Apple stuff) include soccer, animation, and reading anything written by Stephen King.

Think Tank Photo
Price: $129.75 US,  £99.00 UK

My-2nd-Brain-Briefcase-13-Black-5
Think Tank My 2nd Brain Briefcase 13
is unashamedly a briefcase and designed as a working bag. Whether you are a dedicated “road warrior” or just someone like me who feels they need to carry more than just their laptop and charger, consider it seriously. Think Tank Photo describes it as a mobile office for Apple power users. It is manufactured in good quality, water resistant, rip-stop type nylon, padded with a good closed cell foam, and lined with heavy duty silver toned nylon.

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About Simon Parnell

I am British, and now the "wrong" side of 50 years old, married and have 3 children. I started working in a design studio in the early 80's back in the days of Cow Gum, Rotring Pens and Scalpels. I moved on to using Macs in about 1989 (way back when 40MB Hard Drives were BIG and 8MB RAM was a top end spec, System 6.0.3 was the cutting edge and the IIcx I worked on set me back about £5000... eek!). Since then I have worked on pretty much every generation of Macintosh and every Mac OS Apple have released. I have done design and prepress work a wide variety of "DTP" applications old, new, well known and obscure. I have a fascination with finding cheaper alternatives to the "big guns" so DTP can be accessible to everybody! For the last 15 years I have worked in a small print works close to my home doing design and pre-press work.

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Commuter Series Wallet Case for iPhone 6 – Review

On November 3, 2014, in Features, iPhone, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Commuter Series Wallet Case for iPhone 6
Company: Otterbox
Price: $39.90 – $49.90 USD

Wallet

Having just evaluated and reviewed Otterbox’s Commuter series case for the iPhone 6, it’s also time to take a look at the Wallet case for the iPhone 6. Similar in design and build as the Commuter case, there is one striking difference. The Commuter Wallet series case is designed to be your all-you’ll-ever need iPhone case.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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Binary Formations Home Inventory – Review

On October 28, 2014, in Apps, iOS, iTunes, Macintosh, Review, by Vicki Stokes

Home Inventory
Company: Binary Formations
Price: $19.99

HomeInventoryIcon

Home Inventory for the Mac keeps an inventory of your valuables, storing important information about each item and making it easy to provide documentation for insurance claims in the event of loss or property damage. The app allows the addition of photos and receipts to identify, assess value, and provide proof of ownership.

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About Vicki Stokes

Vicki is a IT professional working in the Silicon Valley. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co-hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Elisa Pacelli.

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Commuter Series Case for iPhone 6 – Review

On October 13, 2014, in Cases, Features, iPhone Cases, by Russ Walkowich

Commuter Series Case for iPhone 6
Company: Otterbox
Price: $39.90 – $44.90 USD

Commuter

Apple’s iPhone 6 is a beautiful piece of design and function. Thinner than previous iPhone models, larger in size, it just seems to fit one’s hand perfectly. However, that thinness and the iPhone’s material seem to make it something that does seem to move by itself at times, especially out of the users’ hand if they forget that they’re carrying it around. Add to that the tendency of most people to simply slide it into one’s pants pocket and you might have a recipe for messing up one’s brand new iPhone.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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iMovie The Missing Manual – Review

On September 26, 2014, in Apps, Audio, Book Review, iMovie, iOS, iWork, Review, Video, by Mark Sealey

iMovie The Missing Manual
Author: David Pogue
O’Reilly Press
ISBN-10: 1491947322
ISBN-13: 978-1491947326
Price: Ebook: $33.99
Print: $39.99
Print and Ebook: $43.99

10- 1491947322
The “Missing Manual” series, of course, aims to fill gaps that many pieces of software (may) leave by having no – or an inadequate – manual. iMovie The Missing Manual (O’Reilly) looks at Apple’s venerable movie editing software.

The status (in and out of the iLife suite), pricing, versioning, naming, scope, purpose and popularity of Apple’s own iMovie have all varied significantly since the software’s introduction in 1999.

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About Mark Sealey

Mark Sealey is a British expatriate working and living in Southern California with his artist/writer wife, Roberta Lannes-Sealey, whom he met in 1996, when the web, she and he were much younger. Mark's interest in computers began in the the early ‘80s when his father suggested that, If we don’t understand how to control them, they’ll creep up behind us and make life unbearable. Have they? Using the venerable Acorn system until his move to the US, Mark wrote extensively about the BBC and RISC machines. He concentrated chiefly on education, music and productivity/system software; at the time Micronet and Prestel led the way for wide area networking… he published over 2,000 articles for these outlets. After graduating with a humanities degree, Mark was a teacher for 20 years until 1994 - first in Italy then the UK. Becaming increasingly attracted to the world of information technology as a major contributor to children’s learning and development, he eventually moved to editing the UK’s chief journals in the educational computing. He has always enjoyed freelance reviewing, consulting, editing and writing. When he moved to the US, he was fortunate enough to find full time employment at a major arts non-profit as a software engineer; though it’s doubtful if there’s a single skill which he was originally hired to use that’s still in daily use. Mark is also a composer of chamber and orchestral music, music critic, a published poet, photographer and environmentalist with an enthusiasm for fitness, vegan nutrition and long distance running. He is now convinced that only humans’ humility can save our planet.

BlueAnt PUMP HD Sportsbuds – Review

On September 8, 2014, in Audio, Bluetooth, Headphones, by Russ Walkowich

PUMP HD Sportbuds Waterproof/Bluetooth Headphones
Company: BlueAnt
Price: $129.95 MSRP

PUMP_hero_blk_noshadow

I have been running and working out for many years now and since the advent of portable electronic devices, the one pet peeve that I’ve had is that I have never really found a set of headphones that will work properly once I’ve started to sweat during the workout. Apple’s earbuds or any major brand in-ear headphones always seem to have the same issue; sooner or later my sweat will cause one side or the other of the in-ear headphone to stop working properly until I’ve dried it out. So when BlueAnt said that they had a waterproof bluetooth headphone, I knew that I had to give them a try.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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Sibelius 7.5 – Review

On August 21, 2014, in Audio, Mac, Macintosh, Music, Review, by Mark Sealey

 

Sibelius 7.5
Company: Avid

Price: $599.95 ($49.95/$89.95 upgrade)

sin75
Avid has received a lot of criticism from Sibelius users of late. Two years ago the Finsbury Park, London, HQ of the Sibelius development team was closed, many developers laid off, and the suite’s coding and maintenance operation relocated to the Ukraine. Rumors of serious financial trouble circulated and the company’s Vice President, CFO and CTO resigned. Yet the market-leading score-writing software did not disappear as some both predicted and feared. In fact, a new version has recently been released; here Sibelius 7.5.1 (a significant further milestone release for bug fixes and maintenance) is examined. It’s found to be as good as ever.

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About Mark Sealey

Mark Sealey is a British expatriate working and living in Southern California with his artist/writer wife, Roberta Lannes-Sealey, whom he met in 1996, when the web, she and he were much younger. Mark's interest in computers began in the the early ‘80s when his father suggested that, If we don’t understand how to control them, they’ll creep up behind us and make life unbearable. Have they? Using the venerable Acorn system until his move to the US, Mark wrote extensively about the BBC and RISC machines. He concentrated chiefly on education, music and productivity/system software; at the time Micronet and Prestel led the way for wide area networking… he published over 2,000 articles for these outlets. After graduating with a humanities degree, Mark was a teacher for 20 years until 1994 - first in Italy then the UK. Becaming increasingly attracted to the world of information technology as a major contributor to children’s learning and development, he eventually moved to editing the UK’s chief journals in the educational computing. He has always enjoyed freelance reviewing, consulting, editing and writing. When he moved to the US, he was fortunate enough to find full time employment at a major arts non-profit as a software engineer; though it’s doubtful if there’s a single skill which he was originally hired to use that’s still in daily use. Mark is also a composer of chamber and orchestral music, music critic, a published poet, photographer and environmentalist with an enthusiasm for fitness, vegan nutrition and long distance running. He is now convinced that only humans’ humility can save our planet.

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iHome Lightning Clock Radio for iPhone and iPod
Company: iHome
Price: $69.99

The iHome Lightning Clock Radio features an FM clock radio with six preset channels, and a Lightning dock connector for iPhone/iPod allowing you to charge and play. You can wake up to FM radio or music from your iPhone playlist. The small footprint (4.81” W x 5.12” H x 5.12” D) of the unit makes this ideal for the bedroom nightstand or an office desk.

 

iPL22G_A.jpg.450x400_q85

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About Vicki Stokes

Vicki is a IT professional working in the Silicon Valley. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co-hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Elisa Pacelli.

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STM Drifter Medium Laptop Backpack
Company: STM
Price: $139.95 MSRP

Drifter

It seems that the backpack is now becoming the favorite means of carrying one’s laptop and other electronic devices around, be it to work or while traveling. Once you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Besides carrying your laptop, you still have enough room to carry any documents that you may need, power supply and cables, water bottle, and dependent upon your state of physical fitness, running shoes and gear.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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Brydge + Keyboard with Speakers – Review

On July 22, 2014, in iPad, iPad Keyboard, Review, by Russ Walkowich

Brydge + Keyboard with speakers for iPad 2, 3, 4
Company: Brydge
Price: $99.00 MSRP

photo 1

 

The Brydge keyboard series has an interesting background. Begun over two years ago with a KickStarter campaign, the Brydge keyboard initially received favorable reviews by both consumers and reviewers. However, supply problems arose with the company and things faltered. Fast forward to this year and change came to the Brydge. New ownership took over and looked at what was good and made some changes to update the product line to keep up with the iPad and to provide much improved customer service.

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About Russ Walkowich

Russ Walkowich is the longest contributing member of MyMac, starting back in 1995. He has served as writer, author, editor, and spiritual guide to a tribe of MyMac Founders in all that time.

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CrazyTalk7 – Review

On June 9, 2014, in Cartoon, Features, by Vicki Stokes

CrazyTalk7 Standard
Company: Reallusion
Price: $29.99

CrazyTalk7 Standard

Have you seen videos of animals talking like humans? Have you ever wondered how that is done? Reallusion has created a family of animation products, CrazyTalk, for beginners and pro animators that makes creating a video of your dog speaking like Hannibal Lecter an easy process. Crazy Talk7 is used to create audio-driven facial animation. CrazyTalk Animator 2 is a complete 2D animation product. At this year’s 2014 Macworld Expo, I had the opportunity to meet one of the CrazyTalk developers and see a demo of the CrazyTalk7 Standard product. I was given a copy to evaluate and it was an absolute pleasure.

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About Vicki Stokes

Vicki is a IT professional working in the Silicon Valley. Listen to her podcast, 3 Geeky Ladies, co-hosted with Suzé Gilbert and Elisa Pacelli.

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