Chromecast Media Servers: Plex vs. Emby

The Chromecast has changed how many of us consume media. People who have amassed a large media library can seamlessly cast their movies and TV shows with the help of the device. It's not just people with large media libraries that benefit from the Chromecast. A smartphone and a Netflix subscription work great with the Chromecast and there are many other apps that have grown in popularity simply because they support this device. Plex is a very famous app that has become a must-have for anyone with a Chromecast. It's a media server app that supports Chromecast in a market where very few others do. In fact, we could only find one other Plex alternative that worked as a media server and let you cast to the Chromecast; Emby. With only two apps filling this particular niche, we decided a comparison of the two was in order to help you decide which one is better. Read More

How To Activate A Clean Install Of Windows 10 With A Windows 7 or 8 License Key

Windows 10 is free for Windows 7/8 users and the upgrade process is incredibly smooth. You need only download the right files and chances are they're already there. Create the media tool of your choice and you're good to go. The Windows 10 upgrade process will let you keep your apps and files intact and if you were running a genuine version of Windows 7/8, you won't have to enter a license key for the new OS. Now imagine you did all that but later decided to do a clean install of Windows 10. Where does the license key come from now? According to Microsoft, you're Windows 7/8 key should do the trick but there's one small trick to getting it to work. Read More

How To Set Up Plex To Cast Movies & TV Shows Over Chromecast [Guide]

Plex is an app that is exceptionally popular for streaming movies and TV shows. It's become a must-have app for anyone with a Chromecast. The app plays media in exceptional quality and you can add your media library to it making it super easy to access and play. It supports a large number of media formats and is built to recognize episode and seasons of TV shows. The only tricky part is setting it up. If you've been wanting to try Plex out on your computer but aren't quite clear on how to get it to read your library, here's a quick guide to help you do just that and start casting to your TV. Read More

How To Fix Out Of Sync Subtitles In VLC Player

People watch movies and TV shows with subtitles for a variety of reasons. You can get subtitles as a stand-alone file that you later load in your media player, or you can get hard-coded subtitles that are part of the media file. Needless to say if you have a media file with hardcoded subtitles any errors you might get with them are not errors that are going to go away. If however you have subtitles in a stand alone SRT file, you can fix a lot of problems that may occur such as subtitles being out of sync. Subtitles being out of sync means that the subtitles are showing dialogue that has already been spoken on-screen, or that has yet to be spoken. If you use VLC player to watch movies, there is a built-in fix for out of sync subtitles. Read More

Ten Best Windows Apps Of 2015

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2015 was a year that revolved, for better or for worse, around Windows 10. The new OS took center stage with few notable apps coming out, and even fewer being reviewed here. That said, there were still a few great apps that we reviewed last year for the Windows platform. Here are the ten best Windows apps we reviewed last year. Read More

How To Stop Windows 10 Randomly Waking From Sleep

Windows 10 is plagued by the oddest of bugs. One recurring problem that many users face is when they put their systems to sleep. The system will seemingly wake up at random times. It might stay awake or return shortly to its sleep state without any reason for it coming out of it. Turns out, there might be a legit reason it's happening; you're allowing it to (though perhaps you don't know it). Windows has for a long time, at least as far back as Windows 7, allowed 'wake timers' to wake up your system from sleep. By default, they are disabled but Windows 10 might have enabled them for particular power plans, hence your system is waking up for no apparent reason. Here's how to turn it off. Read More

What Is The Difference Between Portable & Installable Apps?

When downloading apps, you might have been presented with the option to download the install or portable version of the same app. If it's the first time you're hearing of apps being 'portable' you might wonder if there's a catch to it. You might also question why all apps aren't developed to be portable since it is very obviously possible. We're addressing the pros and cons of using a portable vs. installable version of the same app and why some apps simply do not have a portable version when others do. Read More

Disable The Adobe Reader Splash Screen & Go Straight To Your File

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Adobe's applications, Reader, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc., all have a splash or start-up screen. With heavier apps like Illustrator and Photoshop, the splash screens serve as a reassurance that the app has launched and is readying for use. Often, if you've opened a file with either of these two apps, the splash screen remains visible while the file and app loads. With Adobe Reader, the splash screen has little role to play especially if you're using the app to open a local PDF file. PDF files may be large in size but they aren't really considered 'heavy' files like PSDs are. If you find the splash screen that Adobe Reader shows to be pointless, you can easily disable it. Read More

How To Cast Your Desktop Audio To Chromecast

Windows 10 has native support for the Chromecast and it's terrible. More often than not, the OS simply fails to find the Chromecast device even though apps and browser extensions installed on the system can find it just fine. If you're using any version of Windows that isn't Windows 10, you have to rely on your audio or video app of choice to support Chromecast. Audio Caster is a free app available for both Windows and OS X that lets you cast all audio from your computer to your Chromecast. You need only launch the app and select your device to begin casting the audio. Read More

25 Useful Tips All Windows 10 Users Should Know About

2015 was a great year for anyone awaiting the arrival of Windows 10. Windows 10 promised to cure everything wrong with Windows 8 and it didn't disappoint us. We covered the new operating system extensively with posts on how to deal with the little bugs that plague it, and hacks for getting it to work better and more to your liking. Windows 10 had a lot for us to explore so here's a list of the 25  best Windows 10 tips and tricks we covered in 2015. Read More

How To Set Time Limit For Local Accounts In Windows 10

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Parental controls in Windows 10 have changed so that they are tied to your Microsoft account. QUite a few features in the new operating system are dependant on a Microsoft account. You can use a local account on your computer but by doing so you lose out on some features, parental controls being one of them. At present, if you want to use parental controls, you need to connect your Microsoft account to the main administrator account and then add child accounts to it. If you'd rather use a local account, setting restrictions can be tricky. There is no GUI to add them but you can use the command line instead. Here's how to set up log in time restrictions for local accounts on Windows 10. Read More

How To Queue YouTube Videos To Play On Chromecast

If you have a Chromecast connected to the same network as your computer, the player on YouTube will show a cast button so you can easily cast the video to your TV. YouTube on the web, and the YouTube apps connect very intelligently with Chromecast and they go so far as to allow you to queue up videos to watch. Once you've cast one video to your TV, you are free to browse YouTube and queue more videos that you find interesting to play. Here's how. Read More

How To Load External Subtitles When Playing A Movie On Chromecast

VLC player has yet to add support for Chromecast. VLC player can play just about any sort of file and it has some great features that are otherwise lacking in the default media players that come with our operating systems. People use it over their default players simply because it is so amazing and the lack of support for the Chromecast is a problem. One awesome VLC feature is the ability to load external subtitles. Windows Media Player simply won't let you do this and with VLC not yet supporting Chromecast, we don't have that many options in terms of media players that will do this for us. That doesn't mean we have no options though. Here are two ways to stream a video/movie to the Chromecast and load external subtitles from your Mac or PC. Read More

How To Format A USB Or External HDD So It Works On Both Windows & OS X

Windows and OS X are two very different operating systems. Each has its own set of features that make it unique and when a user of either one switches to the other platform, there are many a growing pains to be felt followed by attempts to mould one OS to function as much like the other one as possible. If you use both a Mac and a Windows PC though you're mostly trying to set things up so that the two very different operating systems play nice with each. One of the first things to tackle if you use both these operating systems is an easy way to transfer files and share storage devices and that's where the difference between the two is underlined. Windows reads drives on the NTFS file system whereas OS X does so with the HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) file system. These two do not play nice with each other but here's how you can get a USB, external HDD, or other storage device, to be readable and writeable on both operating systems. Read More

How To Change The Time On Your Chromecast Device

Google normally makes it mandatory for users to link their Google accounts with any of its devices or services that they want to use. With Chromecast, there is no such restriction/compulsion and you can install it without ever having to sign in using any sort of online ID. That said, when you don't connect devices to online services, you miss out on certain customization features. When you install Chromecast, it will automatically pick up the default time (based on timezone) set for the device. Here's how you can change the time for your Chromecast device. Read More

How To Cast Your Desktop To Your TV Using Chromecast

Chromecast is an amazing device and for what it costs, you can't exactly go wrong. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to using the device but there are also a few very basic tasks such as casting your desktop to your TV (or a monitor) that you might want to use it for. Support for the device has been growing but apps like VLC still do not support it and Windows 10 native support for the app is a lot like Windows 10; buggy. It might seem like casting your desktop to your TV is something that you'll be able to do in the future but Google actually has you covered there so you can do it now. The official Chromecast extension for the Chrome browser has an experimental feature for sharing your entire screen and you will be surprised just how great it works. Here's how to use it to cast your desktop to a TV using Chromecast. Read More

How To Disable Automatic Updates In Windows 10

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Windows 10 comes with a lot of fantastic new features and Microsoft has been diligent in listening to its users feedback when building it. Almost everything you hated in Windows 8/8.1 has either been removed of fixed in Windows 10 but that doesn't mean the OS doesn't come with its own set of problems. Windows 10, when released in July, was soon labelled a work in progress. It was so rife with bugs that users were surprised it was marketed as a stable OS. In addition to the bugs, Windows 10 has made it so that you can no longer stop the OS from automatically installing updates and these updates are more problems in progress. The November update has caused new problems as well and most people were helpless to stop it. Win Updates Disabler  is a free Windows app that will stop Windows 10 from downloading any and all updates. Read More

Quickly Switch Power Plans In Windows 10 With Command Line Shortcuts

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Windows power plans allow users to create different profiles that can consume as much or as little battery/power as is suitable at a given time. When on battery, users opt for lower display brightness and a shorter time out period for the system to go to sleep. Likewise you can configure a power plan to up the brightness on your display and keep your system awake longer if you're connected to a power outlet. These two power plans trigger automatically when they detect a change in the power source but to switch to a different power plan, one that isn't triggered by you plugging your laptop in/out, you have to go through the whole 'Power options' window. You can instead create command line shortcuts which when executed will switch to the power plan they were created for. Here's how. Read More

How To Fix The ‘Scratch Disk Is Full’ Error In Photoshop

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Photoshop is an awesome, albeit complex, application to learn. The tools themselves take time to learn and after that you need practice. Where learning to use all the tools is time consuming enough, dealing with any errors that Photoshop throws at you is an altogether different task. When anyone installs Photoshop on their system it's assumed that the system is capable of handling the app in terms of RAM and processor abilities. That said, even if your system should be able to handle Photoshop, you might repeatedly receive the 'Scratch disk is full' error which prevents you from continuing to work on a file. Here's how to get rid of it and what causes it to appear in the first place. Read More

Invert Colors In A PDF File For Better Night-Time Reading

PDF is a file format that was designed with one purpose; to ensure a document never lost its formatting when it was read on a different system than the one it originated from and when it was printed. Editing a PDF is almost impossible unless you have the Adobe Acrobat DC, or some such similar app. Most of us have the free Adobe Reader which is very basic in what it lets you do to a PDF file and editing text is definitely not in the feature list. The reader is still equipped with enough features to make for a decent PDF reader so if you're ever reading at night, or you received a document with a color scheme that makes text hard to read, you can change how the text appears from Adobe Reader's preferences. Here's how. Read More