Posts Categorized: Cool Products

The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Checklist

Looking for something to give life to your summer vacation? Getting a group of friends together, packing up your bags, picking a destination, and hitting the road is one of the best ways to enjoy the season. Nothing is more bonding than spending hours with your best pals, significant other, or close family members, and nothing feels more rewarding than when your feet touch the ground when you finally get there. If your upcoming summer plans include a road trip, we’ve got the perfect list of must-pack items, car preparation tips, and ideas for recording your favorite entertainment to help you plan the best trip ever.

Pack Only the Essentials

Whether you’re just headed into the city or have a full cross-country drive, if your main living space is your vehicle, every bit of space counts. No matter how long your road trip may be, packing into a single carry-on or medium-sized suitcase, as much as you possible will help you save a lot of valuable space. With more space, you’ll have more room for the most essential things, like snacks, drinks, games, and most importantly, legroom.

Prep a Basic Emergency Kit

Nothing ruins a trip quite like being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no basic resources. If AAA has you on hold or you have no cell signal,, having an emergency kit prepared and easily accessible could be a lifesaver. While there are pre-made emergency backpacks that exist for purchase, none will have every necessity, so we recommend DIY’ing it.

These are some basic items to be sure you include, like:

  • Emergency food & water
  • Thermal blankets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency cash
  • Roadmap
  • Car charger for your cell phone
  • Jumper cables

Plan Healthy Foods and Snacks

There’s nothing worse than feeling sick or sluggish when you’re on a road trip. That’s why it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and bring healthier snacks and foods to munch on along the way. Rather than relying on fast food, jerky, chips, and other gas station snacks, having some of these essentials will keep your energy up in the best way:

Cut vegetables like celery, bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and broccoli are all packed with nutrients and stay fresh for a long trip.

Fresh berries and fruits like grapes, oranges, apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, and plums are delicious, vitamin-packed snacks.

Dry items like trail mix, pita chips, dried fruit, protein bars, granola, and pretzels are all great snacks to have on you at all times.

Storable meats and cheeses are a great way to throw together a quick sandwich on the road, or just take a quick piece for some fast protein.

Pro tip: line your cooler with insulation to keep food fresher longer, and only keep it open as long as you absolutely need to when getting something out – how you pack up your cooler each day makes a difference!

Take a Look Under the Hood

You should treat your car like your own body on a road trip. It needs occasional pampering, a little TLC, and regular check-ups for maximum performance, especially before you put it to work. When the check engine light suddenly pops on or you start feeling a rattling under the hood, it can make any pleasant road trip stressful.

To avoid this, we recommend you take your car into your local mechanic for a regular checkup a few days before taking off, along with prepping a few other things. Here are a few things you should take care of:

  • An oil change, basic tire check, and rotation if needed.
  • Making sure you have wiper fluid all filled up to the brim, and that your wipers are still functional.
  • Putting a recent copy of your insurance information and registration straight into your glovebox for easy access.
  • Cleaning the car inside and out, and making a plan for garbage disposal so things don’t get too messy.

Download the Best Entertainment

When you’re on your trip and have played all the road trip games you can think of, what could be better than turning to your favorite music, show, movie or podcast? Unfortunately for media lovers out there, WiFi isn’t exactly readily available out on the open road and data runs out quickly.  With media-recording software in the Replay Capture Suite, you can download, record, and save all types of online media to enjoy anywhere, anytime.

Record Music: In order to achieve road trip success you must have one essential thing: a playlist. With Replay Music you can easily record any music or entire playlists from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Apple Music, and any other online music site or service that you listen to music on – if you can stream it online, you can capture it forever! With this tool, you’ll never run out of music again. Here’s a playlist that’s full of songs to get your car singing:

Download Podcasts: Replay Radio allows you to download any podcast to listen to any time. Whether you are new to the scene, or those who are seasoned listeners, it’s (luckily) simple enough to download and archive podcasts to listen to anywhere, on any device. And there are a variety of different topics to choose from. Check out some options here

Save Movies and Shows: Replay Video Capture allows you to take any online or streaming video and save it to your own collection! After recording, you can save as just about any file format and access anytime, anywhere. You could record the World Cup match for your favorite team, an oldie but goodie movie, or even the entire season of a binge-worthy show. (Hint: follow the link for suggestions)

Grab YouTube Videos: Want to watch your favorite YouTuber’s videos, a YouTube original series, and exclusive music videos on-the-go, but don’t to use up all your data? No worries. Replay Media Catcher downloads streaming video and audio files from millions of sites, including YouTube. It allows you to save the downloads to your computer and access them at any time, WITHOUT having to use your data.

Have your destination picked out yet? If not, grab a map, some tape, and a dart, close your eyes and throw. Now you’re almost ready. Next step, follow this preparation list and you’ll be on your way. Don’t forget to download your entertainment with all the great tools in the Replay Capture Suite, or you could wind up playing iSpy for the next 10 hours.

 

Try Replay Capture Suite Today

 

Have any other essential items or tips for a good road trip? Let us know in the comments below!

Our New Favorite Photo Editing Software: InPixio Photo Clip 7.0

Not everyone is a professional designer or photography expert, but with expert-level tools, anyone can produce amazing photos to enjoy. Whether you’ve recently gone on an amazing vacation, visited friends and family, or went on a good long hike, chances are you’ve got a camera roll full of future awesome photos that are in need of some sprucing up.

InPixio Photo Clip 7.0 is a powerful photo editing tool built with simplicity in mind. With a full roster of features that help to edit, enhance and assemble photographs, we’re loving all the benefits it has to offer:

  • Produce professional quality photos
  • Easily change the focus and size of images
  • Quickly fix over or under-saturation of colors
  • Enhance and improve any photo, and remove errors
  • Put together photo montages and add creative effects
  • Share with friends and family on social media

For just a few extra bucks, you can also upgrade to the Pro version of the software that boasts some incredible textures, formats, frames, filters and other cool effects to make your photo project pop; a great deal for unlimited editing access.

Ready to get started? Click below for the most comprehensive, easy-to-use photo editing software out there!

 

Get InPixio & Start Editing!

From Our Desk to Yours: How We Like to Get It Done

Organization tips and more for working remotely.

As a company with multiple products, and leadership located all across the US, we’re committed to being a business that is not only in touch with our customers but with each other. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work, right?

A successful software company doesn’t always need to operate out of an office, and for us to have the talent that makes Applian what it is today, we can’t possibly have everyone in the same place at the same time every day. That being said, there are some tricks we’ve learned to make sure that our team stays productive, no matter where they have a desk.

Email. Email. Email.

Obviously, this is the main form of communication in any office — remote or cubicle — everyone needs an effective email client. Aside from that, we also have developed some tricks to get the most out of constructing and composing our inbox.

  • Voice recognition is great for any (ahem) “slow-typers” or for those moments when you, say, slip off your bike and break a wrist? Yeah, ouch. We like Windows 7 Voice Recognition software on PC.
  • Don’t underestimate bolding, bullet-ing, and highlighting. When you are dealing with a large quantity of email every day, it is important to compose email structure with intention. If you can’t make it short, then space it all out. And don’t be afraid to highlight call-to-action for those who need to know the important stuff. Email-skimming is real, people.

Virtual filing cabinets and whiteboards.

Organizing tasks and records is just as important in a virtual office environment as it is for a physical one. Not only is it helpful to be able to reach back and find past work or finances, but it’s important that everyone else who needs to can. Thank the stars for the cloud!

  • Everyone needs a basic, overall file storing space, and as a company we like the Dropbox experience as it can sync to desktop.
  • Basecamp works great for tracking and squishing bugs, especially so the whole Customer Service Team is on the same page and our Leadership Team can follow along and get super-impressed with their awesomeness.

Talk through it.

We’re huge fans of chatting it up. Whether it’s business-related or not (okay, so usually it is). There’s a ton of tools out there to get your whole team in on the conversation, literally.

  • Skype. Of course. Most of our calls are Video. Mostly so that we can all make fun of whatever might be happening in the background. Typically, we like to record the super-important meetings with our very own Replay Telecorder or Replay Video Capture to get all the good stuff and have it on file if we need to go back to important deliverables.
  • On occasion GoToMeeting is helpful for client or business development calls. It’s just healthy to simply get up and give someone a call on the phone… talking in-person really does get things done faster and will always have a more personal touch.
  • Keep outlets open for old school! We use Onebox for those now-and-then customers who want to call in and leave a message, and (believe it or not) we even get faxes sometimes, so we take advantage of eFax for those rare cases.

Real face time.

One of the most important factors is blocking out time to have work retreats and connect with our team one-on-one. These excursions provide the necessary blend of relaxation and company-bonding to make sure everyone feels a part of Applian as a whole. Being behind a computer screen can make you forget the big picture.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

We try to recognize that everyone has their own schedule. Some of us stay up late and code, others need a more 9 to 5 routine, and sometimes, our meetings might interfere with the whole life-work balance. It’s not too unusual for us to have a long Skype session with people dropping in and out to make an errand, attend an appointment, and (most likely) enjoy a good glass of wine. In fact, the latter tends to help when everything gets stressful and miscommunication is likely. On that note, we recommend Black Box Wines / BevMo as an alternative productivity resource and attitude refinement tool.

Whether you work from home, out of a coffee shop, or have your own corporate environment to adapt to, we know it can get tough to stay connected, productive, and inspired. Hopefully, some of those resources can help.

Have some we should know about it? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to find out!

The iPhone – Great for Mobile Media Lovers

I’ve always been a gadget hound. So, no surprise that I waited in line all day to be one of the first to grab an iPhone. The Apple iPhone is the ultimate convergence device. Sure, it’s pricey, but I’m loving the fact that I have a phone, iPod , camera and email/internet device that fits nicely in my pocket. Plus, it is without a doubt the most beautiful device I’ve ever owned.

Replay AV, Replay Media Catcher and Replay Converter make great companions for the iPhone. Use Replay AV or Replay Media Catcher to capture online media. Use Replay Converter to convert your audio or video to a format suitable for playing on your iPhone. It’s really easy. Replay AV will even transfer your newly recorded and converted media to iTunes automatically. Next time you sync the iPhone your recordings will be there ready for you to enjoy or show off to others.

Video that can be played in iTunes will sync with the iPhone. Use Replay Converter to convert your home movies to iPod video format and take them with you on your iPhone.

For me, the iPhone was worth the wait. It’s functional and beautiful. This morning I heard that the Apple store I had camped out at still has a few in stock. My first thought was Ugh! You mean I stood in line all those hours for no reason??!! But actually, I’m glad I had the experience. It really was fun and exciting to be 9th in line. I proudly earned my geek badge on iPhone launch day.

More cool stuff – Veoh Player

Today just seems to be the day of neat discoveries. Have a look at the Veoh player – it can download videos from a variety of places, it lets you subscribe to RSS Video feeds, and it even has a “10 foot” TV mode so you can sit back and enjoy your videos. And Replay Converter works with the video downloads. Pretty cool stuff.
Check it out at veoh.com.

Recaptcha.net

This has little to do with the media business, but it’s so cool that it’s worth sharing. Check out http://recaptcha.net.
This service supplies free captchas – those squiggly words supposedly readable only by humans and not computers, used to prevent automated submissions of forms. The captchas are taken from scanning books where the OCR software fails. After enough humans verify a captcha, the word is corrected as a part of the book scan.

This solves two real world problems at once – supplying unique captchas to Web sites, and deciphering unreadable words using human power. Brilliant!

(Read more from the site to see how the software knows that a captcha is correct before it’s actually verified.)