Apple’s Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) was integrated into the company’s Mac OS X platform back in 2004, and made its way into QuickTime and iTunes software shortly afterwards. Today, Apple has released the audio codec as open source project.
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Here’s a fun little hack. It combines the convenience of digital music with the tactile pleasure of browsing through someone’s music collection and having something physical to pick up and look at. Flickr fella bertrandom put it together in his spare time.
Each plastic disk represents an album or a playlist. Inside each one there’s a RFID tag. To play it, put the disk on the cardboard box turntable, in which there’s an RFID reader connected to a computer. The music starts immediately.
Of course, you might argue that if you’re going to have a shelfload of plastic disks, you may as well just have a shelfload of CDs, which is perfectly retro enough for some people. But where would the fun be in that?
OPlayer, from olimsoft, is an iOS application for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad, that claims to boost your device’s media capabilities by allowing playback of a huge list of audio and video file formats.
The list of supported formats is pretty impressive, and will save you a great deal of effort if you often find yourself having to convert movies to watch on your device while you’re on the move. A fairly big video file can take a while to convert and it’s not the most exciting of tasks. But with OPlayer conversion isn’t needed – simply transfer your media to your device.
The full list of supported formats includes MP3, WMA, RM, AAC, WMV, AVI, MKV, RMVB, XVID, MP4, MOV, 3GP and MPG.
You can transfer files to your device using the File Sharing feature within iTunes or you can download them using the built-in browser from your computer, from the internet or from an FTP server. It’s also possible to stream media to your device over Wi-Fi and 3G.
The release of OPlayer, and of CineXPlayer last week, in to the App Store certainly suggests that Apple is relaxing some of its restrictions on app approvals, most likely in a bid to discourage users from jailbreaking their devices. Will this open the doors for other third-party media players?