Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making Money Online From Home, Can It Really Be Done?

I am embarking on a new chapter in my life. Like most of us, my family is in financial trouble. We live paycheck to paycheck and wonder if there will be enough money left for food after the essentials are paid. Keeping a roof over our heads and the electricity on is an essential. So, how about holidays, birthdays and any other things that come up like medical bills? I am going the route that many before me have tried for a second income. I am going to work from home (as a second job to start with). There is no way I will run out and quit the job that keeps food on our table and you shouldn't either. I know that there are a lot of scams out there, so can you really make money online? Well, I am going to find out.
I have signed on with Anthony Morrison and PMI. There is a lot of information out there about Anthony and his heart warming "rags to riches" story. But I know he is not alone. Online money making is HUGE. There are literally thousands of e-books and programs out there. Beginners like me can feel very overwhelmed. I just maxed out my last credit card signing up for this program. It has now become do or die for me. I have the ambition and the enthusiasm to get my foot in the door, but I still need a little (OK a lot) of help getting started. There also seems to be a lot of "hidden fees" things like web hosting and domain name purchases. These have to be expected. Even if you are a huge corporation or a small local business, if you want an online presence, you have to set up a website and pay for the hosting. That I can understand. I have jumped in with both feet and purchased the Fast Cash Commissions software and been assigned a mentor to help me get started. So far I have watched a ton of videos and downloaded a lot of software. It looks really neat, but I still need to apply the work. Understanding is the first step. I can go ahead and slap up any old website, but who will visit it and why? This is where I need the research and the tools to learn more about how to attract visitors. PMI is helping me along the way. I have to admit that so far they have been easy to get a hold of by phone and my e-mails have been answered by my coach.
Are you willing to take the plunge with me? Lets learn together and see where it takes us. The sky is literally the limit. I am only limited by my own self doubts and laziness. Nothing will happen if I do nothing. Let them help you the way they are helping me. Take a look at the program for yourself. Do your own research. Get ready to be completely dedicated and serious about changing your life. Roll over every obstacle and keep trying. Let's do this!
Click Here!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Send Your Media to the Coby MP3 Player

I have to admit, I just love this little MP3 player. My 6 year old son is the primary user for this little device. It is very compact and really easy to use. Transferring just about any file to it has been the easiest so far. When you plug this player into your USB port on your computer, the program pops right up. From the program choose the type of file you want to transfer. It offers choices like Music, Pictures and Videos.
First, lets try some music. Open the file containing your music in mp3 format. (See my post on how to download mp3's from youtube.) Then you just "drag and drop" your music file into the Coby program. It will pop up a box that asks if you want to add this to your library. Click Yes. Then the file shows up on the right side of the Coby program. Right click on the line with the music and choose Synchronize. A green status bar shows the progress at the bottom of the program window. Your tune is now added to your player! That's it.
Next, let's do some pictures. Open the file containing your picture. They are usually stored in a format like JPEG. Then just do the same thing you did with the music. Choose the Photo line on the Coby program. Then just "drag and drop" your pictures into the program. A box pops up asking you if you want to add to library, choose Yes. Once you see the title of your picture, right click on it and choose Synchronize. You are done.
Now for the videos. The hardest step in adding videos to this player is putting them in the correct format to begin with. In my post about how to download and keep youtube videos, I mention the program, Youtubedownloaderhd. The beauty of this program is right when you download your video, it offers the option to convert the file to .avi format. The work is done for you in one step. This awesome little player recognizes this format. Open the folder containing your video, and "drag and drop" the file to the Coby program. Click Yes when it asks to add to library. Once you see your video listed, right click on it and choose Synchronize. Now, if you have a video in another format that you want to add to this player, it is still possible. Use a program like Prism Video File Converter, and convert your video or movie to .avi format. Then add it to your Coby program just as described above.
Enjoy all your favorite files on your Coby player on the go!

How to Send eBooks to your MP3/MP4 Player

Taking your music, pictures and videos with you is awesome. But, how about taking your eBooks with you? A lot of mp3 players now have the ability to store eBooks on them. They are great for taking books with you without having to keep track of an actual book. The first thing I figured out when trying to transfer an eBook to my son's mp4 player was that it didn't support the .pdf format. The .pdf format is the most common format for most documents and eBooks. You can download some great eBooks to your computer and read them there in the .pdf format with programs like Adobe Reader. MP3/4 players are a little different. You need to convert your .pdf document or book to a .txt format. There are a few free programs available to do this for you. The one I am using is called A-PDF Text Extractor. You simply open your A-PDF Text Extractor program, and from the toolbar, choose Open. Then locate the file your .pdf document or book is stored in. Then choose to change to .txt, and click Extract Text. When the program is done, it will open your document or book in WordPad. I would take a moment to review your file at this point. Sometimes unusual symbols show up between lines and sentences. If they are visible in the WordPad file, they will show up on your player. This is distracting to try to read around. You may try another program if this happens repeatedly. You should also check at this point to make sure that the entire document or book was converted. Sometimes just one page is converted. You want to read the whole thing, not just part of it. Once your document or book looks the way you want it to in WordPad, you are ready to send it to your player. Open your Removable Drive folder that your USB cord from your player is plugged into on your computer. Then open the folder with the converted .txt file in it. Then just "drag and drop" or "copy and paste" your book to your player. Once the book is on your player, disconnect the USB cord and open the book on your player. Enjoy your book!

Disney Mix Max Player - How to Add Movies and Videos

Adding music and pictures to the Disney Mix Max is pretty simple. Adding videos is another story. Through many trials and errors, I finally found out what works. Keep in mind, Disney wants you to pay for the videos you add to the player, so this may account for the difficulty in transferring ones you already own. Also, DVD's are not meant to be copied in any way. Don't despair, you can still add them to your player. It's hard, but keep with it, you will get it.
Let's start with DVD's. There is a wonderful program called Magic DVD Ripper that is the simplest way to add just about any DVD to your player. You have to purchase and download the program, so it will cost you. There are a few youtube videos out there that give away the username and password to register the program, but they may or may not work. To use this program, you simply load your DVD into your computer and open the program. Next to the Output file, there is a blank box and a small box with an icon on it. You have to click on the icon box and where it says WMV output profile, you need to choose Disney Mix Max as the option. This will convert your DVD to the format required by the device. When you first download the program, the Disney Mix Max option is not listed as an available output choice, you must pick it for the conversion to work properly. Then you just convert the DVD. It takes a really long time to perform the conversion. The longer your original DVD, the longer the conversion time. But, this is the simplest method and it really works in one step.

Now for the hard part. What about videos that aren't DVD's, or what if you don't want to buy the Magic DVD Ripper program. There is a way to send these to your player. It is long and involved, but it does get simpler to do the more you use it. You must follow these instructions EXACTLY. It will not work if you don't. This process involves 2 conversions to get your videos to play on the Mix Max. See my post on downloading and keeping youtube videos if you want to get a video from there to your Mix Max. I think that testing the process with a short youtube video is the best way to start. Ok, so you have your video. It's probably in the .flv or .avi format depending on where it came from. It's ok, it doesn't really matter what format the video starts in, you still have to convert it twice.
The first program you need is Prism Video File Converter. You can download it for free from a few different websites. There are other conversion programs that will work as well, but I recommend Prism. I have had no trouble with it, and I know it offers the .wmp format you need for the first conversion step.
The second program you need is Windows Media Encoder. This is not optional. The second conversion step requires you to convert your video to a .wmp9 format, and this is the only program I have found that will do this. You can download it from a few websites for free as well.
Now let's get started.

First Conversion
Step 1
Open Prism Video File Converter

Step 2
Add your video. You can either choose the "add" icon with the plus sign, or open your source file and "drag and drop" it into Prism.

Choose .wmp as the file you want to convert your video to and choose your destination folder.

Step 4
Click Convert. Prism does the rest for you. It will make a sound when the conversion is complete. Then you want to open the folder you stored your conversion in. Don't worry about playing your video at this point. However, I would keep this conversion step stored just in case you run into problems with the second conversion. You now have the first conversion stored, and can try again with the second conversion if it doesn't work on the first try.

Second Conversion

Step 1
Open Windows Media Encoder.
Choose "new session"
Then click on "convert a file" from the icon box that pops up.
Now you want to choose a source file - this is the file that you converted in the first step
You also want to choose a destination file. I would make a new folder to store this step in. You don't want both conversions stored in the same file.

Step 2
From the pop up box, choose "Pocket PC"
Then click the next box at the bottom.
Keep choosing next until it's not an option (3 or 4 times). Don't worry about what the pop up boxes say at this point. When next is no longer an option. Choose Finish.

Step 3
The converter will now start playing. From the toolbar, click Stop.
A pop up box will appear, choose Close.
Then from the toolbar choose Properties.

This must be followed EXACTLY. It really will work, just enter all the following values.
After you choose Properties, click on the tab that says Compression.
You then see in a white box "Pocket PC." To the right of this box, choose the "Edit" button.
You then see 2 tab options.

In the tab labeled "General"
Make sure both the "video" and "audio" boxes have check marks in front of them.
From the Audio drop down box, choose "Audio CBR 9.2"
From the Video drop down box, choose "Video CBR 9" (no other option, not 9.2 or anything else)

Now toggle to the tab labeled "259kbps"
Enter these values EXACTLY
Audio Format: 128 kbps, 48KHz Stereo CBR (do not choose 128kbps, 44KHz Stereo CBR)
Video Size: 220 x 176
Frame Rate: 30
Key Frame Interval: 2 (some say 5 is ok to choose, I used 2)
Video Bit Rate 384K (Make sure it says this EXACTLY -don't forget the capitol K)
Buffer Size: 5 sec
Video Smoothness: 0 (zero)
Decoder Complexity: Simple -this is a drop down box - choose simple

The total should now be: 521.02
If this doesn't match, recheck your values now.

Click OK

Step 5
Click Apply.
Wait a few seconds. It will say "Encoder Ready" at the bottom of the window now.
Click Start Encoding.
There will be a pop up box that says something like the existing file will be overwritten. Choose OK.
The Encoder will now do a 2 pass encoding. It will run your video twice.

Step 6
An Encoding Results box will pop up.
Choose Close.

You have now completed the second conversion. Don't try to play your video now. I never have gotten them to play on the computer in this format. Don't be discouraged if you do try to play it and it doesn't work.
Now you're ready to send your video to the Mix Max. Open your Removable Drive folder that your Mix Max is plugged in to with the USB cable. Open the file you stored your twice converted video in, and just "drag and drop" your video to the Mix Max folder. You should see a window pop up with the green status bar. Then your video appears in the Mix Max Removable Drive folder. Unplug your USB from your computer now. From the Mix Max main menu, choose the reel of film icon. You should see your video listed there. Scroll down to it and hit the center button on Mickey's face. Your video should play now. Make sure the earbuds are plugged in so you can hear the audio. If you get an error message that says "file not supported," the conversion didn't work. Don't despair, just delete the video from the Mix Max and try again. I recommend that if it didn't work on the Mix Max, you delete the second conversion file from your computer and try it again. Use the first conversion file that you stored from the Prism conversion step and follow the second conversion steps above. This is most likely where you ran into problems. You can start the whole process from the start as well. Double check that the file from the first conversion step is in .wmp format, and not any other (like .avi or mp4). This is really complicated, and trial and error is the way to get it right.
Enjoy your videos and movies on your Disney Mix Max Player.

Disney Mix Max MP3 Player - How to Send Music and Pictures

Everyone recognizes the name Disney. Just add Disney to any product, and get instant sales. My youngest son got a Disney Mix Max MP3 player for Christmas. He absolutely loves it. It's my job to add all his cool music and pictures to it so he can enjoy it anywhere. My son is 4, so the music he likes are tunes like: The ABC song, Counting songs, This Old Man and many more. Of course we have to throw in a few songs that his older brothers encourage him to like as well. We also have some great pictures of family vacations that he wants to look at too. To send them to his Mix Max, is really pretty simple.
You can send mp3 formatted songs and pictures in two ways.
1. Open Windows Media Player and Sync the device.
2. Open the Removable Drive folder on your computer and "drag and drop" or "copy and paste" your files this way.
The Mix Max player comes with a cd that says you should use Windows XP operating system to set up some playlists for the device. This is optional. I use Windows Vista, and the cd does not work with it. I was still able to send all the music and pictures the device holds without this step. You also have the option to make a playlist right on the player. You will need at least 25 songs loaded to do this, but it's straightforward on the screen. Have your young one enjoy all of his great music and pictures anytime.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to Send Videos to Your Cell Phone

Want to send some of your favorite videos to your cell phone? It's not as hard as you may think, once you know what to do. First, check and see if you can find what kind of format your phone supports. Videos come in a few formats, and just sending any format to your phone may not work. For example, most youtube videos are in .flv format. Most phones don't support this. You will get an error like "file format not supported." My particular phone is LG ENV touch with keyboard. When I looked up what video format is supported for this phone, the suggestions were .3gp or .wmp. WMP is Windows Media Player. That sounded like the easiest to use, so I tried it first. Total bust! I didn't work at all. I suggest converting your videos to the 3gp format. To do this, you need a converter program. Don't buy one. The one I recommend is Prism. There are a few free websites to download this program. Here are three I found: 1., 2., 3. I wouldn't use a site like cnet or a few others that offer free downloads, but you have to be a member and pay a membership fee to get their "free downloads."
After you download the converter, the rest is easy. See my post on how to download and keep youtube videos if this is where you want your video to come from.

Step 1
Once you have the video or even a full length movie loaded on your computer, all you have to do is open your Prism Video Converter. You can open the source file that your video is in and "drag and drop" it into Prism, or you can use the option from Prism's tool bar "add file." It has a big plus sign icon. Now you should see your file listed in some spreadsheet looking boxes.

Step 2
Underneath this is a box that says "save to folder." Choose what folder you want your converted file to go to. I recommend it is not the same folder as the original video. It may overwrite and replace your original video file.

Step 3
Underneath the "save to folder" box are some more boxes. The first words are "output format." Click on the first box. You will see several options to convert your video to here. Choose 3gp.

Step 4
Then just click "convert." The program even makes a noise to let you know it's done converting your file.

Step 5
Next, go to the folder you chose to save the converted video in. Right click on the file and choose "properties." You should see that the file is now saved with the title of the file and .3gp.

Step 6
Now you are ready to send your video to your phone.

I don't recommend you try to sync your video to your phone through Windows Media Player. Since .3gp is not a WMP supported format, you will get "error" when you try to sync the file. If you use a USB cable, I would try to open your "removable drive" folder and send your newly converted file there - by either "drag and drop" or "copy and paste" methods, whatever usually works best on your computer. I prefer to use Bluetooth. I plug in my Dongle Bluetooth adapter to the USB port, and turn on your Bluetooth on your phone. Open your "file transfer service" and "copy and paste" your converted file there. Your phone then shows the message, "receiving file." You can also use the "send to" option if your computer recognizes your Bluetooth adapter through Windows (usually XP). Now check your file on your phone and make sure that your video plays. If it doesn't play, delete it off your phone and try again. You may need to try the conversion again. Enjoy your videos on the go.

iPod or MP3?

If you are like me, you love the idea of an iPod, but the price scares you off. Some of the older iPods are a little more affordable, like the shuffle, but all you get is music on it. I wanted all or most of the features the new iPods carry, but without the hefty price tag (around $200). Check out my most favorite and reliable website I spent hours looking at all of the mp3/mp4 players they have available. Some call them iPod knock-offs. I don't care what you call it, as long as it works. So, with so many options, what do you choose? Read the reviews. If it says "be the first to write a review" steer clear. What you end up buying will depend on the age of the recipient. My boys are 11, 6 and 4. First of all, none of the devices are indestructible. Just forget that right off the bat. Also, almost all players come with mixed reviews. Read some positive and some negative to get a feel for what people like and don't like about the players they've already purchased. It will give you an idea of what you want and don't want in your player, and what is most important for yours to have and what you can live without. The more features you want on your device, the more you are going to pay. If you want it all, just go ahead and pay for the iPod. It really is the most reliable and has the most features. It has the best support as well. You really do get what you pay for.
So, what did I choose? Not iPods.
For my 4 year old, I went with the Disney Mix Max. I chose the blue one since he's a boy. It has a really cute design and it is simple to use. It had to be charged, but so far so good. I've had no problems sending any tunes or pictures over to it. I have Windows Vista operating system, and the instructions say something about working in Windows XP. I was able to use Windows Media Player and sync everything right over. It comes with earbuds, and they must be used to listen to the player. The videos are a different story. I will post about them later. I sat my son down and explained that he had to be a "big boy" and take good care of his mp3 player. He is doing a good job so far. It really makes him feel like he's just as big as his older brothers. The price tag -about $25. Worth it so far.
For my 6 year old, I went with a Coby. I really didn't need all the bells and whistles, but I wanted it to play music, store pictures and play videos. It can also read ebooks. It has a small, about 2 inch screen, and very few buttons to push. It has a pretty simple design and it's really small. It also comes with earbuds, and they too must be used to listen to the player. It came charged and ready to use. All I had to do was plug in the USB, and the program installed itself. It opens and you just "drag and drop" your files into the box. You have to right click and choose "synchronize." and you're done. Of the three players, it really is the most reliable and easiest to use. It requires the least effort to convert files as well. More on this later as well. The price tag - about $20. Well worth it so far and the one I recommend the most.
For my 11 year old, who is very mature and computer savvy, I thought he would really want all the features I could afford. He's been begging for his own cell phone for some time now. I went with the Pyrus mp4 player for him. It has the touch screen, and plays music, videos, stores and takes pictures, records sound and video, and ebooks as well. I was the most skeptical buying this one. It had the most mixed reviews. It seemed that the player either worked right out of the package or it didn't work at all. I crossed my fingers and hoped. So far, it works. One of the drawbacks is that it comes with a stylus, but no where to store the stylus on the device. I did read this going in, so I was prepared for it. It has also been the most difficult to transfer files, especially videos and ebooks. I'll do another post about how to convert these. We have had good luck with the device so far. It is the only one that comes with earbuds, but they are not required to listen to your files. The sound isn't very loud without them though. The price tag -about $55. I still have my fingers crossed on this one. I am curious to see how long it will last. I know my oldest will take good care of it.