How to Convert MP4 to MP3

The way content is generated, distributed and promoted has changed in the last few years. With the plethora of information available, new storage formats have been developed to cater to the constant incoming supply the market. One such format is the MP4 format which is a popular choice in the world of content storage. It is mostly perceived as a video storing file format yet has the ability to host any type of data including audio, images and even subtitles.

Whereas, an MP3 file format can only store audio records. This standard technology can compress a sound sequence into one twelfth the size of the original file. The best thing about this type of file format is that while being extra storage friendly, there is no compromise on the standard of quality.

Fortunately, there are plenty of methods by which you can convert MP4 files to MP3 formats such as http://www.freemake.com/how_to/how_to_convert_mp4_to_mp3.

There are also several tools that can be downloaded free of cost on your desktop or be used directly within your browser.

Following are the three most feasible file converters from our list, along with the instructions for converting MP4 to MP3.

Freemake Video Converter

This software lets you extract the audio from your favorite video in a user-friendly manner. It also enables you to convert tons of MP4 files to MP3 at once without any limitations.

You only have to follow a few easy steps that are mentioned below.

STEP 1: Install the software

There are two versions available for installation. One is for online usage and the other is for offline consumption. The offline version can be downloaded from the website and installed on the computer.

You will have to follow the installation steps. The software will start after you’ve clicked the finish button.

STEP 2: Add MP4 video

There will be a “+ video” button available on the top right corner. You have to click that button in order to add your clips for conversion. Make sure your videos don’t have any sort of protection because the Freemake software doesn’t support protected media.

STEP 3:  Select to MP3 format

Now you will have to find the required format and select the ‘to MP3’ from the buttons. You can also add this format to your favorites by clicking the star sign right next to it.

STEP 4: Make final changes

You will be provided with a quality choice list (320kbps, 256kbps, etc.) after you’ve clicked the format button. Choose the required quality and proceed to the next step.

STEP 5: Converting the files

You will have to select a folder for your media file. You can also use the “export to iTunes” option to add your track to iTunes media library.

Now you just have to click the “convert” button and it will do the task for you.

Any Video Converter

This software will enable you to convert your videos into audios with bolting speed for free. The quality of the resulting audio will not disappoint you. Following are the steps you will have to follow in order to convert your videos using this software.

STEP 1: Install

You can download the software from the AVC website and then follow the installation steps for it to run on your computer. You should choose to “customize” your installation as there is bloatware included as well. Make sure to uncheck any unnecessary boxes.

STEP 2: Start the software

After installation, the software will be available in the Start menu on a indows computer. If you are using Mac, you can search for the program in spotlight or access it through the Application Menu.

STEP 3: Adding Videos

Click the “Add video(s)” button on the top left corner of the program. A pop-up window will appear where you will have to browse the clips you want to convert. You can also add multiple videos at the same time.

STEP 4: Selecting the format

Click the drop-down menu on the top right corner. A list of options will appear. Select the “common audio format” with a black music note symbol. Then select Mp3 audio and save your desired location for the resulting audio. Also set the audio bitrate from “audio options” in the bottom right corner.

Unfortunately, the freemium MacBook version does not allow audio output customization like it does for windows. However, to convert the MP4 files to MP3 click the profile option on the top right corner, choose the headphones icon and then select “MP3 audio” from the list.

STEP 5: Converting from MP4 to MP3

A “convert now” button will be present on the top right corner, adjacent to the presets option. Simply click that.

On a Mac, the same button will be present at the bottom right corner. All the clips that you’ve inserted will be then converted to an MP3 file format.

Cloud Convert

Cloud convert is a cloud-based service that will require you to make a free account online. Along with MP4 to MP3, Cloud convert provides conversion between a 100 file formats. It is completely web-based.

With a free account you are limited to upload files that are less than 1 GB in size, with maximum 25 conversion minutes per day and 5 concurrent conversions. A paid account definitely more advantages, but if you want few and smaller files converted per day, you’ll be fine with the free account

STEP 1: Selecting Files

Head to the cloud convert website. There will be a “select files” option in the center of the page. Click that. A pop-up window will show up. Search the videos you want to convert from your computer. You can also select the desired video from your Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or your Box account.

STEP 2: Selecting Format

After adding the MP4 videos, click the “select format” button. After that a drop down list will appear. Select “audio” and then “MP3” from the list. A wrench icon is located right beside the file. Click that icon if you want to adjust the audio bitrate, frequency, normalization or channels. You can also trim any undesired audio from the file.

STEP 3: Download Options

With Cloud Convert, you can either download the resulting audio or have it sent directly to your Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or Box account. For the latter, you will have to check the top box.

STEP 4: Converting from MP4 to MP3

After completing the above steps, click the red “start conversion” button on the right side of the page. There will be two bars, yellow and gray, which will notify you about the conversion status of the files. There will also be an option to cancel the ongoing conversion.

STEP 5: Completion

It will take some time for the conversion to be completed depending on the size of the files. After the successful completion, click the green “download” button and save the resulting audio in your desired location on computer.

 

A Geeks Guide To Buying Bitcoin

The following is a basic introduction into what bitcoins are and how you’d go about buying them.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was introduced as a brand new digital currency in 2009. It is produced by a mathematical formula that is run on specially built computers using a specifically written piece of software. In effect this software solves a maths problem which in turn creates ‘bitcoins’, a digital currency that are then used to trade for services and products in much the same way as a normal fiat currency (i.e.: US dollars, Euros, Pounds Stirling etc.). This is known as bitcoin mining and the coins created, which only exist in the digital realm, are added to an open ledger where all bitcoins are registered. This open ledger is called the blockchain.

The clever thing about Bitcoin

The way traditional currency (money) works is that from time to time in its physical format money can be damaged, lost or destroyed. This means that the government has to regularly produce more bank notes and coins to replace them. The more money that is printed means that each unit, each pound, Euro or dollar, becomes devalued. To balance this drop in value the government has to introduce inflation onto the cost of properties and services. If the value of money never dropped inflation would cease to exist. Because the maximum amount of bitcoins to be created would only ever be 21 million then this means that bitcoin is immune to inflation, and that’s what makes bitcoin such a special currency.

The blockchain

When bitcoins are created or when they are moved from person to person, each transaction or movement is registered on a cryptographic open ledger that anybody can access. Using strict security encryptions to prevent hacking and fraudulent changes every bitcoin transaction is added so that at any one time traders can see where the bitcoin is currently registered and where it has been.

This works just like a bank’s ledger, only without any staff needed to regulate it or carry out the payments. This means payments are faster, cheaper and much safer than with regular money.

How to buy bitcoin

To buy bitcoin you will need to know a few basics to get you started. You will need another currency to pay for the bitcoin, a wallet to store it in, and an exchange to make your bitcoin purchase from.

Bitcoin wallets

A bitcoin wallet is a piece of software on your computer or mobile device where you store your bitcoins – much like you’d store actual money in an actual wallet.

Without a wallet you can’t buy bitcoins because, quite simply, you’d have nowhere to put them. You can download a wallet to your mobile phone, tablet or install one on a PC, either on a network or offline. Wallets connected to the internet are considered ‘hot wallets’ because there is always a very small risk they could be hacked, so it is generally considered wise to only hold the amount of bitcoin in one that you would need for your daily spend – just as you would your real wallet. Any hackers who would try and steal your bitcoins are the equivalent to a mugger or a pickpocket who would steal your wallet from you in person.

A ‘cold wallet’ is one where you would keep the bulk, or the remainder of your bitcoins. This wallet shouldn’t be on a network or connected to the Internet. It’s like having a bank without any doors. If no one can get in then they can’t steal your money. That’s as safe as it gets. However, if you lose your wallet, for example by changing hard drives or losing a USB stick where your wallet is stored, then you are in danger of losing your bitcoins too if you don’t have a backup or the means to restore that wallet to another location.

There are also online wallets where your bitcoins are stored by a web-based service, and also multisig wallets that require more than one person’s permission to validate a transaction – much like a business or a joint bank account.

Cryptocurrency exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchanges are websites that you can visit to buy bitcoin and then transfer to your wallet. You can buy bitcoin using fiat currency (existing government based currencies, i.e.: US dollars, Euro, Pounds Stirling) or exchange them for other types of cryptocurrency, also known as altcoins.

Not all exchanges deal in fiat currencies. Others will trade bitcoin only for other cryptocurrencies. If an exchange deals in trades using fiat currencies they choose the methods that are preferable to them and also at a rate they believe fair for the service; they can offer to using various payment options from credit or debit cards, bank transfers, to PayPal and more.

Some exchanges will sell you bitcoin direct and act as a broker, deciding for themself the price of the bitcoin and its exchange rate, where others will offer a system where traders can buy and sell from each other through a peer-to-peer system.

Many exchanges will require you to verify who you are and your account before allowing you to trade with them. Some do not require verification but will only allow you to trade a minimum amount each day. Security for cryptocurrency exchanges is paramount so always seek out a renowned and reputable exchange before taking any risks with your money.

Because the exchange rates will change from website to website it’s always worth researching which exchange to trade with to get the best value for your money. As well as the exchange rate you will also want to research any additional fees incurred during the transaction. Some exchanges will charge you to deposit your fiat currency or existing bitcoins into your account where others will charge you purely on your trading transaction for more information we suggest you also look at these cryptocurrency exchange reviews.

In the same way you can buy your bitcoin from a cryptocurrency exchange you can also sell them. Again, the exchange will have its own rates for buying bitcoin as it will for selling them. There may also be associated fees for transferring the money back to your bank account.

Another way of buying bitcoins that is gaining in popularity is via a Bitcoin ATM. You deposit the required amount of cash into the Bitcoin ATM and it scans the QR code created by your mobile wallet app to transfer the bitcoin into your account. At present Bitcoin ATMs rates are higher than the rates offered by the more popular and well used online exchanges.

Finally…

This is a very basic introduction into buying bitcoin and how the process works. For those interested in making their first purchase in the bitcoin market your next step should be to research wallet systems and which cryptocurrency exchanges are right for you. There are many to choose from and all will have their own advantages and disadvantages. You may also want to research the many different cryptocurrencies, the pros and cons of investing in each of them and their market values.

Whatever you decide, cryptocurrencies are going to be making a bigger impact on how we buy and sell both online and in the outside world. They have expanded into a billion dollar business since their introduction less than ten years ago and stand to become more and more popular with both traders and vendors alike in the future.

How Tech Can Help Students With Dyslexia

 

Dyslexia is a very misunderstood learning disability, many people think that dyslexia solely affects people’s ability to read and write. And that is true to a point but in many ways, it is an over-simplification. Dyslexia also effects phonological awareness, verbal memory, and a person’s verbal processing speed.

It’s a complicated learning disability that is often over-simplified and misunderstood which can make it very difficult for people to get the support and guidance they need. While many businesses may have things in place to help support dyslexic employees many are letting the new and improved technology that could help go by the wayside.

This is a real shame but one particular area that is struggling is schools, colleges, and universities these three establishments support a wide range of students and many of them will suffer from dyslexia and are seeking further help through a number of means, including dyslexia courses. It’s important that students of any age (but especially those that are younger) get the help and support they need to ensure they get a high-standard of learning despite the challenges dyslexia brings.

Technology can help you achieve this in many ways and there is a great array of resources that schools can use. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how you can help students with dyslexia in more detail using the great technological resources available.

Text To Speech Tools 

Have you ever watched a science-fiction movie or TV series and noticed how many of the characters just talk to the computer to get things done? Thanks to recent advancements like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana the future seems a lot closer now, doesn’t it?

While these are virtual assistants and not text to speech tools in the traditional sense they do show the versatility and flexibility of text to speech. Text to speech programs might not be the most prevalent software programs but they are seeing an increase in popularity.

You’ll find many free text to speech programs online and plenty of smartphone and tablet apps, but the free price does come with a few issues. While they definitely range in quality some are probably not going to be all that helpful, however, there is some professional text to speech programs available.

Dragon speech recognition from Nuance is one of the leading names in text to speech software and will be a big help to any dyslexic individuals. With text to speech programs reading and writing is going to be a lot easier for people who suffer from dyslexia and they can ensure much more accuracy.

With text to speech programs dyslexic individuals will be hearing information instead of reading it, this will make it much easier for them. They can also use text to speech software in a wide variety of different tasks which will make studying much easier as well.

Built-In Accessibility

Computers today and indeed even in older models have a wide range of built-in accessibility options that will make a big difference for people who suffer from dyslexia. Many people don’t realise that these accessibility options even exist which is a shame because with just a few clicks of your mouse you can much using a computer much simpler and easier from someone who suffers from dyslexia.

There are a lot of different ways you can use these built-in accessibility options to help make using a computer easier for dyslexic people and it will differ from person to person, so before you do anything make sure ask the student if it helps or not. But some common accessibility tips are laid out below.

    Tinting the screen.

    Making text bigger.

    Changing the text style or colour.

    Increasing visual aids and much more.

A lot of research suggests that dyslexic people are sensitive to the glare of a white or block coloured screen, which is why many of these tips involve adding more colour and reducing screen glare. It might seem strange that a simple thing like changing the screen or text colour can have such a big impact but when it comes to dyslexia even small things can make a big difference.

One tip to ask dyslexic students is whether the screen looks like its flickering or if the text looks like it’s moving slightly. If they say yes, then changing the text style and adding a splash of soft colour can make a big difference.

Digital Textbooks

One easy thing any school, college or university can do to help their dyslexic students is to provide digital textbooks. With a digital textbook, students can change the text size, font and in some cases even the colour. This can be a huge help to dyslexic students because many of them will find reading a traditional textbook difficult.

If you can also make these materials available to students on a virtual learning platform it will also give students more customisation options. With a digital textbook you can do things that would be impossible on a traditional paper alternative, so try to get your students access to digital alternatives whenever possible.

Use Built-In Templates

Not all the ways you can help dyslexic students require you to buy new software or to be blunt mean extra expense, there are many tools available on a number of standard software programs. Take Microsoft Word, for example, there are dozens of built-in templates dyslexic students can use which will make it easier for them to carry out their work.

Microsoft Office programs in particular offer a great variety of templates that are perfect for dyslexic students, but whatever software program you use you’ll often find templates available.

These will provide a great shortcut for dyslexic students and make carrying out work a lot easier for them. Even simple touches like setting up a bigger font size by default can make work easier for dyslexic students.

Dyslexic students face a lot of challenges at all levels of their education, but you can do a lot to help them along the way. Technology has had a huge effect on the way students can learn and study and it has made it much easier for dyslexic students.

Top Tips On How To Clean Your PC

While it might not look like it is harbouring serious volumes of dust, dirt and debris; if you do not keep on have computer cleaning regularly scheduled, a whole lot of disgusting and gross stuff can build up.  Not only is this unappealing to look at, it is also damaging and could even completely destroy parts of your computer. 

Where do you begin and what do you actually do when computer cleaning?  If you are unsure, don’t worry as we have a list of top tips for cleaning everything, including the mouse and monitor.

Keyboard Cleaning Tips

All manner of liquid, food and dust can get lodged underneath and in-between the keys on the keyboard, which can stop it functioning properly.  The following cleaning tips will help keep your keyboard clean and in good working order.

  • Unplug your keyboard from either the PS/2 or USB port.  You will need to completely shut down your PC, if the keyboard is connected to the PS/2 port, before unplugging it.
  • Flip the keyboard upside down and give it a good but gentle shake to loosen and remove any dust and dirt.
  • Use compressed air to clean between and underneath the keys and remove other trapped debris
  • take a paper towel or cotton cloth and moisten it with rubbing alcohol.  Use this to clean the key tops.  Never pour alcohol or other cleaning solutions directly onto the keyboard.
  • Plug the keyboard back in once it is completely dry.  If you are plugging it into the PS/2, you will need to connect it first, then turn on the computer.

Handling Spillages

When a liquid has been spilled onto your keyboard, shut the computer down immediately and unplug the keyboard.  Flip the keyboard upside down and let the liquid drain away.

For sticky liquid spillages, you need to hold your keyboard on the side under a running tap to rinse away the liquid.  Then flip it upside down and leave it to drain somewhere safe for two days to ensure it is properly dry before reconnecting it to your computer.  Although this is the best solution, it could be that the keyboard is unfixable.

As a preventative measure in future, it is advised that you keep all drinks away from your computer.

Mouse Cleaning

There are two basic types of mouse: mechanical and optical. 
While each can be cleaned in essentially the same way, a mechanical mouse is a lot more fiddly.

Mechanical mice are particularly bad for harbouring accumulated dust and other particles and these can get caught in the inner parts and affect how well they work.  If you find that your mouse pointer is not moving as smoothly as it usually does, this could be a sign that it needs to be cleaned.

Optical mice on the other hand, do not need any internal cleaning as they have no moving parts.  They can however, get very sticky and yucky as dust builds up around the light emitter.  This can stop the cursor from moving smoothly or the mouse from working correctly altogether.

Below are some great tips for cleaning your mouse quickly and effectively.

  • Start by unplugging your mouse, from either the PS/2 or USB port.  Remember, if you have it connected to the PS/2 port you will have to switch off your computer first, then remove it.
  • Take a cotton cloth and moisten it with alcohol.  Use this to clean the bottom and top of the mouse. 
  • If you own a mechanical mouse, flip the mouse upside down and turn the ball cover anti-clockwise to remove the tracking ball.  Use the cotton cloth to clean the inside of the mouse and the tracking ball.
  • Allow all individual parts to dry completely before you reassemble your mouse and reconnect it to your PC.

If you are only looking to give your mouse a quick clean-up, take a clean piece of paper and run the mouse backwards and forwards over it.  This should dislodge and remove some of the dust and other debris onto the sheet of paper.

Monitor Cleaning

Dust, fingerprints and dust can all make their way onto the computer screen and make it difficult to read and enjoy the experience of using your computer.  However, it is very easy to clean your monitor screen. 

While there are some monitor-cleaning kits available out there, if you use the wrong one for your particular type of monitor, it could damage it.  The safest way to clean your monitor is using a soft cloth and some water.  Or a solution made of equal parts water and white vinegar.

Important note:  Never use glass cleaner to clean your monitor.  As many monitor screens have a special anti-glare coating, this can be damaged and peel away if you use glass cleaner.

  • Start by switching your computer off and unplug the monitor. 
  • Use a soft clean cloth moistened with either water or a solution of water and white vinegar, wiping in a circular motion to avoid streaks. 
  • Be careful not to spray or apply liquids directly to the screen as these can leak into it and damage its internal components.

Tips For Cleaning Other Computer Surfaces

You should also regularly clean your computer casing as well as the back and sides of your monitor to prevent dirt and dust building up.  Below are some great tips to do this.

  • Dust is one of the biggest problems.  When cleaning the computer casing, use an anti-static cloth and avoid using strong solvents or furniture cleaners.
  • Use compressed air to blow away any debris and dust trapped in the air intake vents.
  • When cleaning computer surfaces – the milder solution, the better.  Ammonia diluted with water, or a glass cleaner that is mostly made up of water and ammonia is acceptable.    
  • Clean the monitor casing and housing with a safe cleaning solution by spraying it onto an anti-static cloth or paper towel and wiping it down from top to bottom.

Keep Your Computer Cool

Prevent airflow around your computer becoming restricted.  As computers generate a considerable amount of heat, the casing includes fans that prevent it from overheating.  Therefore, avoid stacking items such as books, papers and anything else around your computer that could block the fans and vents.

If your computer desk has an enclosed section for the computer casing, consider placing this in a position that means it is not against the back of the desk.  If it has a door, consider leaving this open or removing it to allow for better airflow.