All posts by fiveringsproductions

Trouble Shooting Residential Tanning Beds

A tanning bed at home makes it more convenient for a person to get that wonderful tan. But a residential tanning bed also means additional responsibility for the owner. Technology is never perfect, like the humans who use them. Thus, the home tanning bed may be subject to several problems. Fortunately, the owner of such tanning bed need not call a technician every time something goes wrong with it. Here is a guide that will be useful for the owner of a residential tanning bed.

If the bed refuses to start or to turn on, there could be four possible reasons:

1. There is no power supplied to the bed

2. There is a bad relay

3. There is a loose at the relay

4. There is a loose wire at the dial timer

The owner must inspect the plug and the breaker to make sure that there is power going to the bed. If the relay is bad, then there is no other way to fix the bed but to replace the relay. As for loose wires, all the owner has to do is to tighten the loose connection.

If the lamps don’t light up, there are five possible causes:

1. Malfunctioning lamps

2. Malfunctioning ballast

3. Malfunctioning lamp holder

4. Malfunctioning starter

5. A loose wire at the ballast, or at the lamp holder or at the terminal.

For any malfunctioning part of the tanning bed, the owner will need to replace it. The owner should not attempt to fix it by himself. For the loose wire, the owner may just tighten the loose connection.

If the bench lamps will not light up, the cause could be any of these:

1. The bench is not plugged into the canopy

2. A loose wire in the connector between the bench and the canopy

3. The wire in the bench-to-canopy connector may be burnt

The owner must check if the bench is securely plugged into the canopy. If not, he should correct the situation. The loose wire needed only a tightening. But if the wire is burnt, the owner must retrieve some electrical tools so that he can strip the wire and replace the connector.

If the lamps do not work well but the fans are working fine, there are only two things to check:

1. The relay

2. The wire either at the terminal block or the relay

The owner must check whether the relay is malfunctioning or not. If it is not working properly, this relay should be replaced. Any loose wire at the terminal block or at the relay can be corrected by tightening the connection.

For other tanning bed troubles, it is best that the owner consults the technician of the tanning bed supplier.



Source by Grace Palce

What is the SDS System?

What does SDS mean?

This is a common question asked by a DIY novice. To make matters worse there are three types of these drills available: SDS Plus, SDS Top and SDS Max. This article provides a basic grounding in what the SDS system is, where it originated and what part of the system you might be interested in.

Origins of the SDS System

Bosch invented the SDS drill system in 1975. Bosch advertise SDS internationally as meaning Special Direct System, though in German speaking nations it is more usually known as Spannen Durch System(meaning “clamping system”).

Types of Chuck Available

There are three standards available:

  • SDS Plus is the smallest of the three and is a very common fitting for professional and DIY use. The tool’s shank is 10mm and inserts 40mm into the chuck. It is rated for hammers up to 4kg.
  • SDS Top is the least common of the three standards. It uses a 14mm fitting that inserts 70mm into the chuck. SDS Top is rated for hammers in the 2kg to 5kg range.
  • SDS Max is a very common industrial fitting. SDS Max employs an 18mm shank with three open grooves and a locking mechanism, instead of the two rolling balls employed in SDS Plus and SDS Top. The shank inserts 90mm into the chuck. Max is rated for hammers over 5kg and is a common fitting for light industrial use.

How Does SDS Work?

All SDS tools have a cylindrical shank with various grooves down the sides. On SDS Plus and SDS Top bits there are small grooves to provide rotary force and two closed channels for a ball roller to fit into. The ball roller allows the bit to move back and forwards freely whilst under hammer action. SDS Max employs three ball rollers.

SDS Plus tools are fitted by pressing the chuck backwards towards the body of the drill and inserting the bit. Removal is carried out in a similar fashion. SDS chucks are keyless.

Advantages of SDS

  • Quick exchange of tools
  • No chuck key required for tool exchange
  • Improved hammer action compared to normal varieties
  • Rotation Stop or Hammer Only action enables versatile use

Disadvantages of SDS

  • Cost of tools is higher than normal fittings
  • Chuck requires regular lubrication
  • Chuck must be kept clean internally else damage can ensue

In Conclusion

The SDS system gives modern power tools a versatile edge over older competitors. SDS tools are generally more powerful than their conventional cousins. Although bits used in the system are more expensive they are long lasting and durable, usually being tipped with tungsten carbide (TC) or similar material to give longer life.

SDS Plus is a very common fitting for power drills used by both professionals and serious DIY enthusiasts. SDS Top is an uncommon fitting and this may or may not be an issue to your purchase choice. SDS Max is usually a light industrial fitting only as it is used with hammers rated over 5kg. Hammers as this rating are usually used for light demolition work.



Source by Dave Felton

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Application Hosting

Many clients of mine asked me that what exactly hosting an application means. It has an easy concept, hosting an application or we can say application hosting is a web based solution that enables clients to run software applications via cloud on a recurring basis and is generally provided by an ASP I.e, Application Service Provider.

The requirement for ASPs has evolved from the increasing costs of specialized software that have far surpassed the price range of small to medium sized businesses. As well, the growing complexities of software have led to maximum costs in distributing the software to end-users. With the help of ASPs, the complexities and costs of such software can be cut down. In addition, the problems of upgrading have been eliminated from the end-firm by placing the onus on the ASP to maintain up-to-date services, 24 x 7 technical support, physical and electronic security and in-built support for business continuity and flexible working.

A hosted cloud system can be leased or rented on a monthly or annual basis, thus discarding the need to buy expensive equipments, the main reason is that most of the equipments are hosted by the service provider and all communication is routed through that provider to and from your company’s site or sites. Application hosted environment setup has an advantage in terms of cost of operation, and it is also easier to install, increases the flexibility and allows communicating from any part of the world with just an ease.

Hosted cloud solution is very inexpensive to operate, and as usage and number of user increases, the cost advantage of hosted application systems simply disappears

Now next question is what is Hosting means?

Hosting is a software application distribution system where clients application such as CRM, Location Intelligence or others, are maintained and managed by a qualified service provider and made available to clients, as a service over the WWW. Exactly, this means that an application exist on the provider’s servers instead of clients personnel in-house servers. The application software can be instantly accessed and shared by client sales/marketing, through a web browser.

Advantages of good hosting service solutions:

  • No loss of data security/control
  • Easy and quicker implementation and quicker ROI

  • No steep learning curves, and also provides ease of use to clients

  • Reduced Sales, Marketing and IT support every time

  • Cheaper software and hardware costs

  • 24×7 maintenance, support, and security

  • Automatic and frequent upgrades of the application software

  • Ability to implement improvements on an ongoing

The biggest advantage is that clients are sharing and accessing important information with all their sales and marketing teams, instead of it all residing on their separate desktops. In addition, clients should get: Sales & Marketing on the same page, sharing the similar information all the time Enhanced company image and customer loyalty Reduced costs and increased revenue and ROI.

Some inherent disadvantages areas follows:

  • The client must generally accept the application as provided since ASPs can only afford a customized solution for the largest clients

  • The client may rely on the provider to provide a critical business function, thus limiting their control of that function and instead relying on the provider

  • Changes in the ASP market may result in changes in the type or level of service available to clients

  • Integration with the client’s non-ASP systems may be problematic

Evaluating an Application Service Provider security when moving to an ASP infrastructure can come at a high cost, as such a firm must assess the level of risk associated with the ASP itself. Failure to properly account for such risk can lead to:

  • Loss of control of corporate data
  • Loss of control of corporate image
  • Insufficient ASP security to counter risks
  • Exposure of corporate data to other ASP customers
  • Compromise of corporate data



Source by Tina S Smith

A Perfect Day 1 in Paris: Arrive & Make It Yours

Imagine yourself on a great 5-day trip to Paris. How would you design your days to have the most engaging and captivating experience, while traveling independently and keeping to a budget of under $ 5000 for two? What will you do with your precious travel time? Why would you want to do these things and have these experiences? And how will you arrange them and accomplish them, with a maximum of enjoyment and a minimum of frustration or overload? What are the stories that bring to life the places you visit? How do you best immerse yourself so your experiences are absorbing and memorable?

Join us in your mind's eye on just such a remarkable 5-day trip to the "City of Lights." History to walk around in. Phenomenal food. Parks and cafés. People-watching opportunities. Eating outdoors, with views of cathedrals or rivers or palaces. Fountains and gardens, with benches for pausing. Outdoor markets. Charming shops. Unexpected encounters.

Start with a Perfect Day 1

Today you will arrive in Paris, after an overnight flight, in time to check in (or drop off your bags) and begin your walk-about before lunch. Your "home base" for the next five nights will be the Left Bank ("La Rive Gauche") of the Seine, historically known as the artistic part of the city. Your apartment or hotel will be located within a few blocks of the river on the Left Bank, or on Ile Saint-Louis, the smaller of the two islands in the middle of the river.

Learn Your Neighborhood

After checking in, take a walk-about to learn your new "neighborhood," locate your shops, and stock up on wine, cheese, bread and deli. Then head for the river and cross the bridge to Ile de la Cité ("Island of the City"). This larger island was the original seat of Paris, birthplace of Roman river commerce, and the location of the 4th-century cathedral that was replaced by the 12th-century Notre-Dame .

Pass in Front of Notre Dame on Ile de la Cité and Note the Statues of Kings

As you pass in front of Notre-Dame , pause before the entrance to absorb its grandeur and to study the statues of kings above the door. The heads of these sculptures are replacements. Tragically, the original heads were loped off during the Revolution by Parisian mobs that mistakenly took these to represent French monarchs, when actually they are the ancient kings of Judah and Israel.

Lunch with a View of the Notre Dame Buttresses

You will return later for a visit inside this magnificent cathedral. But, for the moment, walk on by on your way to lunch at an outdoor table at Brasserie Esmeralda, located at the end of the island, across from the cathedral buttresses. Since this will be your arrival lunch, make it a quake, and toast the start of your trip. From your table, look across to the smaller island, Ile Saint-Louis, to spot Le Flore en L'Ile, the restaurant where you will be having dinner later this evening.

Walk Around the Island

After lunch, take a walk around the island and orient yourself to the flow of the river. Stand with your back toward the smaller island. You are now facing downriver . From this vantage point, the Left Bank will be on your left and the Right Bank will be on your right.

Walk downriver , looking across the river towards the Right Bank ("La Rive Droite"). Take in the grand buildings across the river. The Right Bank is more tightly packed with impressive buildings than the left, including the City Hall (Hôtel de Ville), and, further downriver, the massive former palace that is now the Louvre, and the Grand Palais that was built as an exhibition hall for the Universal Exposition of 1900.

Wander Through the Flower Market

During your walk, watch for the Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs) on your left. Take a few minutes to wander through this colorful maze of flowers and garden shops. You may decide to return later to spend more time at this lovely market.

Round the Tip of the Island, Heading for Sainte Chapelle

When you reach the end of the island, with views downriver toward the Louvre, walk through the park and back up the other side toward the incomparable Sainte-Chapelle , built in the 13th century to house Louis IX's collection of relics of Christ. This small chapel is remarkable and unique, with its exquisite 49-foot tall 13th-century stained glass windows, at their loveliest in late afternoon. You may stop now to view the windows, or possibly return later for a memorable concert with the chapel as its setting (having purchased your tickets before your trip).

Pick up Your 4-Day Museum Pass to Skip the Lines

Stop to purchase your 4-day Museum Pass at the shop across the street from the Sainte-Chapelle entrance. This will save you from waiting in museum lines for the reminder of your stay in Paris.

Pass by Crypt Archéologique

When you complete your full circuit of the island, you will find yourself back in front of Notre Dame . As you cross the square, spot the entrance to the Crypt Archéologique , located benefit the area in front of the cathedral. You may want to return later to explore these ancient archaeological remains, dating back to the Romans in 52 BC, that were discovered here during excavations in 1965.

Enter Notre Dame and Find a Seat

This time, venture inside the cathedral. As you move through the doorway, look up! Study the pictographic images overhead. Also, take a closer look at the kings above the doorway. You will have a chance to see the "real" heads of these statues later in your trip when you visit the Cluny Museum. Once inside, find a seat and sit awhile to look up and around and take it all in. If, by good fortune, you to arrive while the magnificent organ is thundering, seize the opportunity to stay awhile and listen.

Possibly Climb the Cathedral Tower

Back outside, check on the slow-moving line of people patiently waiting to climb the cathedral tower. If you aspire to going up the tower yourself, decide if the line is short enough to join it now, and climb up to see the stunning views and to make an up-close visit to the gargoyles. If the line is too long, come back early tomorrow, before the crowds gather.

Dinner with a View, Followed by an Evening Cruise of the Seine

Take a deep breath, and settle in for a relaxed dinner at an outdoor table at Le Flore en L'Ile on the little island, Ile Saint-Louis . You have arrived! And here you are in Paris as evening falls. After dinner, board an evening cruise down the Seine, from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower and back, enjoying the spectacle of Paris aglow at night.



Source by Carolee Duckworth

Best Exercises for Cameramen

You can do simple workouts for your flexibility and strength, even in the smallest of hotel rooms. I do these every morning and do every exercise for thirty seconds, as I don’t have the patience to do them for longer. If you find that you are getting frequent stiffness, aches, and general discomfort in your back, shoulders, hips, or legs, try a series of deep tissue massages with a good physiotherapist who should be able to pinpoint the areas that need work. He will also correct any bad posture problems that you are developing from shooting. Tell him what you do and how you stand and work throughout the day. He will pinpoint the areas of your body that need work done to them. A key problem for cameramen is that they lean over the camera all day as well as supporting the camera on their shoulder for hand held work. It’s this combination that can affect your posture and lead to back problems.

Kneel on the floor with your arms supporting you and your back flat. Then simply push your back upward so there is an arch in your spine. Hold for 30 seconds.

A good one to help relieve a day of filming and any stiffness in your lower back. Lie on the floor and twist your left leg over to the right-hand side of your body while your left arm remains pointed out to the left side. Do the same for your other side; 30 seconds on each side should do it.

Stand upright with your legs slightly apart. Slide your left hand and arm down your left side to around the knee area, lifting your right arm up as you go. Hold for 20 seconds, then breathe out and push down a bit fur- there for the next 10 seconds. Repeat for the other side. This is very good to increase your flexibility.

Leaning over cameras all day combined with handheld shooting will do nothing for your posture. And bad posture can lead to back problems. This exercise helps correct round shoulders and pulls them back into line. Stand upright, place your hands on the back of your hips, and push your shoulder blades backward. Hold for 30 seconds.

Stand up straight, hand on right hip, and lean your neck across to the right. Hold for 30 seconds, come back to the upright position, and do the same for the other side.



Source by Oana Coroian

Film and Video Editing May Be the Most Important Part of Making Movies

To the novice, film and video editing sounds like one of those completely technical subjects, only possibly interesting to people with very logical and pragmatic minds, much like engineers. Visions of darkrooms and sterile-looking studios filled with all types of inexplicable mechanical equipment, where rolls of film negatives are poured over and scrutinized by serious-looking people, then diced, sliced and spliced back together, somewhat completes the overall mental picture. Clinical, stark, precise. But in actuality, film and video editing is much more than celluloid or electronic image surgery. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Think of it this way; someone shoots a video of your favorite cousin’s wedding. The end product is a nice, mostly continuous documentation of the event, with abrupt starts and stops here and there when the main activity changes or moves to a different area or location that necessitates a different “shot”. The end result is a compilation of pictures and sound that is considerably better and hopefully more memorable and satisfying than still photographs, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

However, if the same raw video was placed into the hands of a skilled editor, the end result would be quite different. The resulting piece would tell the story of the culmination of your cousin’s three-year romance, as narrated by several key family members. It would capture and convey to the viewing audience the couple’s wedding day emotions of love, and joy and appreciation for one another and family, anticipation of the new life the couple intends to create together, a bit of sadness for the life they are forever leaving behind, and so on. In other words, in the hands of a skilled editor, the video becomes a “story” with a beginning, middle and end; a cohesive synopsis of the couple’s romance. A day in the life…

What most people not in the film or video industry don’t realize is that film and video editing is an art form. Editing is arguably the most important element of film or video production. It is in the editing, the art of arranging pictures and dialog and sounds, that a finished film product is able to communicate a story first envisioned by its writer, and subsequently by a director and producer to its intended audience. Days, weeks even months of shots captured on film or video must be studied, interpreted analyzed and finally distilled into a story lasting a fraction of the time it took to capture it all.

People outside the film making industry have little or no idea about “post production” and the crucial part it plays in the production of a film or video work. It is because of the significant importance of this phase of film and video production that the process takes an extended amount of time to complete.

Much more that cutting and splicing pieces of cellophane together or merely arranging video sequence, editing is a wonderful blend of technical knowledge and skill combined with an artist’s creativity and craftsmanship. It is moving, adding, deleting, juxtaposing, scenes, sounds, and images to develop film shots and video clips into a certain context, create specific imagery and timing, evoke particular emotion, create specific imagery and mold them into a story.

Film editing as a craft began in the late 1890’s in the very earliest days of motion pictures. In the intervening years between then and now, anyone interested in learning about film or video editing, usually attended college courses or one of a number of reputable film schools to learn the craft.

In his book, “The Technique Of Film And Video Editing”, considered one of the best teaching and training tools for directors , Ken Dancyger highlights the history of film editing from its origins. He speaks specifically about the editing of great cinematographers such as Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, taking a detailed look at the fundamental principles of film and video editing. He discusses ideas, practices and styles and choices for editors in the context of theory, the history of film and video editing, and practice. He also discusses new technology and the impact it has in terms of the art of editing.

One of the greatest changes to film and video editing occurred with the introduction of computer editing. Hand cutting and splicing of film, as well as the more complicated, mechanical and “linear” process of video editing, became tedious and outdated with the advent of computer editing in the early 1990’s. Editing on computers gave rise to a whole new creativity prized by film editors, as well as lower costs and much more efficiency in terms of video editing.

Whether for film or video, the editing process occurs in three basic steps. These include capture, the editing process itself, and putting the product in a distributable form. During the capture phase, the actual “shots” or picture images are compiled into a format from which they can be edited. During the actual editing process, the collection of shots are organized in a desired sequence and sound is added through “sound mixing” until they form a comprehensive storyline. Once this has been accomplished, the film or video is finalized in the desired format whether film or high-quality video for distribution.

As technology continues to advance, the ways in which film and video are edited will continue to develop and progress. As it stands today, computers and user friend video editing software as well as the Internet have opened the doors to editing so that it is available to not only professional film and video editors. Now students of film and video and film making novices, as well as journalists, writers and the general public have unprecedented access to video editing tools. Several popular video editing programs make film and video editing possible for professionals as well as novice editors, including Avid Express Pro, Adobe Premier Pro, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro and Apple Final Cut Studio 2.

With today’s technology and the advantage of personal computers, digital camera equipment and the availability of knowledge from new and increasingly powerful software programs, almost anyone with the desire, can learn film and video editing, produce commercial products and even feature movies from their home or personal studio.



Source by Adam Fulford

Why To Convert Word To PDF – 10 Advantages Of PDF Files

Since Adobe Systems introduced the PDF format in 1993 it has rapidly become the number one universal document format on the internet. Not without any reasons, as there is a growing demand for such a universal format to allow people to share their ideas and work digitally on the internet. The number of different software programs keeps on growing and growing, from fantastic organizers, spreadsheet programs, to photo editing software: they all tend to make our lives easier, but often forget one major point: the ability to allow the user to share his/her work! The so called web 2.0 is already a fact, and the internet is becoming a place of creating and sharing your own ideas and work.

The popular PDF format solved this problem by introducing itself as a system-wide universal format: almost anyone on any computer system is able to open a PDF file these days. People have clearly discovered some advantages of PDF files, but yet only a few are actively creating PDF files themselves. So why should you consider creating your own PDF documents? I present you the top 10 advantages of this widely popular format:

  • 1. Compatible Across platforms
  • From Windows, Mac, Linux, to even modern mobile phones and PDA’s: PDF files can be opened on basically any system! You don’t have to worry about your co-workers, students, family, or whomever you’re sharing your work with, not being able to open your files.

  • 2. Compact & Small
  • When you convert an existing document to a PDF file, it will automatically be highly optimized making it much smaller in size without losing any quality. Note that you can often also combine and merge multiple documents into one single PDF: spreadsheets, word documents, photos, etc..: you can join them all together into a single PDF File!

  • 3. Can be created from any source document/application
  • The powerful technology behind the PDF format allows you to convert almost any document, from any application to a PDF file. With a decent PDF Creator your PDF file will just look like you printed your file on high quality paper.

  • 4. Securable, avoid people from modifying & redistributing your work
  • Protect your PDF File, and prevent users from printing, duplicating or even opening your work. The encrypted protection makes it possible to share your work, without having to worry about various doom scenarios.

  • 5. Secure, almost no chance of getting infected with viruses.
  • There’s almost no chance of a PDF file getting infected with something like a virus or trojan, which makes it a safe and trusted way of sharing your work.

  • 6. Easy and quick to create when using the right software
  • You’ll find a ton of different pdf conversion programs on the internet, one looking even more fancier than the other, with prices varying from $30 to $4000. Most of them are pretty easy to use though, and you’ll usually be able to convert your documents to PDF in a few simple clicks. Choosing a good software solution is another story, but you can find some advice at my other PDF Creator article.

  • 7. Software to view PDF Files is completely free
  • Software like Acrobat Reader to open PDF Files can be downloaded for free, and is already installed on most computers. Often it will be installed in combinations with other software you bought on CD-Rom. (A lot of companies deliver their documentation as PDF files.)

  • 8. Viewable within most web-browsers
  • You’re simply able to open and view PDF files in your favorite web-browser. You can simply click a link whenever someone links to a PDF file on a website, and the file will be opened automatically.

  • 9. PDF Files meet legal document requirements.
  • A document must be kept in a format that can’t be changed or altered without leaving any footprints, if you want it to be admissible in a court of law. A created PDF file can’t be altered, and usually meets these legal requirements. (Contact a legal advisor for more info.)

  • 10. Compatible with modern portable reader systems
  • This is a whole new but powerful phenomenon: various companies like Sony are working on digitally paper pads. These flat panels, not much larger than a regular book, allow you to upload your PDF files to the device, so you can read through the information like a normal book. Sounds like science fiction, but you can already buy these devices for +- $299. Prices are guaranteed to drop the coming years, and it’s a great way to save literally heaps of paper!



Source by Abby Randal

Advantages of Digital Media Player

As with any other new technological arrival, digital media player comes with features that perfectly go with the latest needs.

Digital media player stores picture, video, and music files. It offers all the options that you would love to see in such devices. It allows you to transfer these files from the computer to the player. It keeps large files in compressed form, at 10:1 rate, and store the information as flash memory.

If you are deciding to buy a digital media player, better do some study first to make sure that you are adding a worthy component to your entertainment system? If you are unable to decide, look at the following details to make sure you are getting the right thing.

Handling: You will find a digital media player the easiest to handle device. What you have to do is to transfer the digital file to the player; the rest will be very easy. Finding your files and other navigations are very simple and easy. A digital media player is a simple and fast-to- handle device, do not worry about it.

Files Storage Flexibility: You should know that if you add a online media player to your system, means you are adding lot of flexibility to it. Finding and switching between files are fast and simple. Its greater flexibility shows in terms of the physical layout of the system; all the files are stored on the media player and the player takes care of all the files in an easier and flexible way. Files like the ones of pictures, audio, and video will be conveniently stored in a logical order.

Convenience: You can search the movie or any other file with all the ease and convenience. You do not have to bother with the DVDs, searching for the movie or music you want to watch or listen. You will get the electronic directory with all the lists of stored files; just click on the desired one and it will go on. Moreover, you can watch the movie right on your TV screen. All such operations are very skillfully designed to offer the maximum convenience.

Safe and Secure: CDs or DVDs do not remain long in good condition. They can be damaged by any accident or mishandling, or may get lost, or the quality of movie print on CD or DVD deteriorates over time. No such problems ever exist in digital media player. Whatever is stored, will remain in perfect conditions for much longer period of time. Just store the files and forget about its safety or security.

If you frequently use your entertainment system to listen to music or watch movies, sure a digital media player will be of great use. Your task will become much easier and fast, and you do not have to worry about handling bundles of DVDs and CDs. The ease and convenience of use will offer you more comfortable enjoyment.



Source by Liza Mathers

Facts About Mp3 Player, Mp4 Player And Ipod

The invention of the MP3 player, with MP4 player and iPod following it, has revolutionized the music industry. These lightweight, reasonably priced, portable music gadgets are almost everywhere you look. Earlier they used to be the obsession of the geeks, nerds and the electronic enthusiasts but today these players are a must have consumer electronic item for almost everyone whether it is the stay at house mom, working business executive, fitness freak joggers, teenagers or even the bored granddad.

MP3 player has personalized music like never before. The MP3 craze has reached its peak with people wanting more and more features in their players. What they want is to download their complete collection of music in their player. You can download and store more than thousands of songs inexpensively into your device and listen to it whenever you want; whether at office or at home or tolerating a boring lecture or even struggling past a heavy traffic jam. A music player seems to be in every hand nowadays. These are wireless, portable, wonders of music and entertainment that can store, systematize and play music on demand.

The three main types of digital audio players are MP3 CD Players that can play both data CDs and audio CDs with MP3 format files, Flash-based Players that are solid state devices with internal media or memory cards type external media and Digital Jukeboxes like the apple iPod and Creative Zen which can read digital audio files from a hard drive. These types of players are the most advanced in technology and have high memory ranging from 1.5 GigaByte to 100 GigaByte.

There is a myth regarding MP3 and MP4 player as Mp4 being a successor of Mp3 player, but these two are different things. Fundamentally, Mp3 is a specific category of audio format while Mp4 is actually a container format. But an Mp4 player can also play Mp3 files besides MP4 format files with complete clarity just like the original player.

The iPod was introduced by Apple Inc. and was launched in October 2001. The varieties of iPod available today include video fifth generation iPod, the small iPod nano and the display free iPod shuffle. You can use Apple`s iTunes software to transfer music of your choice to the devices. An iPod supports and plays MP3, AAC, AIFF, Protected AAC, WAV and some other audio file formats. The Apple iPod also has some additional features like displaying text files, viewing contacts and synchronizing it with the host computer, gaming facilities like the Brick, solitaire, Parachute and Music Quiz. A lot of accessories have been made for the iPod such as sound recorders, wired remote control, FM radio tuners, and cables for enabling TV connections.

iPods have often been criticized due to their short life-span, delicate hard drives.There are also some health risks associated with frequent use of these players which can lead to loss in audio capacity and can also lead to absent mindedness.

All of these music players are portable and use either a semi-permanent rechargeable battery or conventional batteries that can be disposed or recharged. Some MP3 / MP4 players also have additional features like playing FM stations, games, microphone for voice recording, address storage book and etc.

The MP3 player have created a huge mass hysteria amongst some age groups leading to many companies joining the bandwagon to design and market different types of MP3, MP4 players and iPods. It has also given rise to an entirely new industry of downloading sites. This heavy competition has forced companies to find new and innovative use of these players like incorporating features like camera, mobile and etc.

This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author’s name and all the URLs (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.



Source by Roberto Sedycias

How to Become a Backline Technician

Depending on the size of a live concert tour, many people are employed behind the scenes to produce a successful show. Have you ever gone to a concert and wondered, “how do they get this whole stage set up, and torn down in one day?”

Typically, a live concert production arrives at the venue between 7 am and 12 noon and is ready for showtime at 7 pm. After the show, the entire production is loaded back into trucks and is headed off to another city by 2 am for another load-in the next morning. This incredible feat is made possible by the hard work of several small crews that travel with the tour, with the help of larger local crews. Touring crews are broken down into categories and can include production, audio, lighting, rigging, video, pyrotechnics and backline. Here we will discuss what a backline technician does, and how to become successful.

A backline technician is someone who travels with a band and sets up their guitars, drums, keyboards, and any other instruments or band gear being used. They are responsible for keeping everything in tune and working properly. At the end of the show, the backline technicians pack up the band gear and load the trailer or truck.

When you see a large concert in an arena or stadium you must realize that in most cases the band you are seeing started out touring in small clubs and theaters. Large touring acts will have huge crews traveling with them on multiple tour buses, and semi trailer trucks filled with sound and lights. Keep in mind they probably started out in one van pulling a small trailer with only their instruments and band gear. And their first crew members were probably a couple of inexperienced backline technicians!

So in order to figure out how one becomes a backline technician, lets break it right down and start at the beginning. Just like anything else in life, getting into this industry means starting at the bottom and working your way up. Let’s first discuss what skills you need to become backline technician. This is where you are going to begin, and this is what you are going to need to know!

A big misconception is that a backline technician must be a really good drummer or guitar player etc. This is simply not true. Being a good musician is definitely a huge asset, but it is not as crucial as you might think. That being said, you must have a fundamental understanding of these instruments. If you have never picked up a guitar, played a piano, or sat behind a drum kit, you have some work to do before even considering this line of work. If you are serious about becoming a backline technician I would recommend taking some guitar, drum and piano lessons in your spare time. Learn how to tune a guitar and play the basic chords. Learn how to play a drum beat and tune a drum. Learn how to play some scales on a piano. You don’t have to become a pro, just learn the basics. 4-8 weeks of half hour lessons can be done in your spare time. I have worked with many successful technicians on large scale tours who have very little playing ability. This hasn’t stopped them, so why should it stop you?

The next thing you are going to need to do is become educated on the maintenance of these instruments and gear. For this I would suggest contacting local musical instrument repair shops and asking if you could volunteer. Find out who the guitar and amp repair technicians are and try to meet them. Explain to them that you are interested in becoming a backline technician and would like to learn some basic skills of guitar setups, guitar repairs, amp repairs, and drum repairs etc. Ask if you could come in for a couple of hours and watch them work. Maybe offer to sweep the floors, or clean up the shop in exchange for lessons on instrument repairs. As long as you are courteous and show interest in their profession you might be surprised how eager these people will be to help you. You might even get a part time job and get paid to learn! You do not need to be a professional musical instrument repair person, but you need to have a good understanding how the instruments are set up and repaired. If you live in a larger city there might be backline companies that rent gear out to local venues for events. This would be a great place to volunteer and gain a better understanding of backline gear.

Once you have acquired some of the basic skills mentioned above you will be ready to start looking for some hands on experience. Living in a large city is going to make this part easier, but this can be done in smaller urban areas as well. Don’t think you have to live in New York or Los Angeles in order to get into the music industry. Successful bands come from all over the map and the goal here is only to get experience. Once you become an experienced backline technician it doesn’t matter where you live because you will be working all over the world, and never in your home town.

You will need to make some flyers to post on bulletin boards advertising that you are looking to volunteer as a guitar technician, drum technician or a general backline technician for local club and theater shows. Post your flyers with your contact information at local band rehearsal studios, music stores, recording studios, coffee shops, anywhere you think musicians might hang out. You can even put out ads on various free classified sites such as craigslist.com, or backpage.com. Most bands who are just starting out have very little money coming in, if any. They normally set up and tear down their own gear because they don’t even consider the idea of having technicians yet. You can capitalize on this fact by learning how to set up and tune all the instruments and help them during the show. Most musicians dream of someday being able to have someone set up their gear and you will certainly get some bites from your ad.

Since you are working for free, for someone who has probably never had a tech before, you will not be expected to be perfect. You will be making mistakes, but you will also be learning a very unique trade. Just being in this environment will put you in a position to learn valuable lessons from the people around you. Most likely some of these local bands will be on bills opening for national or regional touring acts coming through town. During the day you will be be setting up your band, and meeting the other headlining bands and their technicians. At this stage it is important to work very hard, offer to help everyone, and show that you are a great person to work with. Make sure you meet everyone, especially tour managers for the headlining acts. Make business cards to hand out to everyone and make sure they know that you are an “all around backline tech” that can do drums, guitars, bass and keyboards. Being able to wear several hats makes you very valuable to a tour with a limited budget. Getting on a tour with a small budget is your next step! You want to get gigs with several bands who perform local shows and get as much experience and exposure as possible. This is the type of hands on networking that is necessary in order to start getting paid to be a backline technician.

Once you have an offer to work your first gig, you are going to need to understand the procedure of setting up a band for a live performance.

When multiple bands are performing, the last band to perform is usually called the “headliner”. The headlining act normally sets up their gear first, and does a sound check. Then, the band that plays before the headliner sets up in front. This band is referred to as the “opener”. It is not uncommon to have multiple openers and depending on the size of the stage, the first band to perform sets up last, in front of each band playing after them. If the stage is too small to fit every bands’ gear, some of the middle openers will have to move their gear off stage. They will move it onstage right before their performance. This is called “striking”. For instance, if the second band’s gear is not able to fit on the stage, it must be striked. If any gear is set up during a sound check, and then striked, it is important to mark the exact spot that piece of gear goes when it is brought back onto the stage. this is usually done with small pieces of colored tape and is called “spiking”. It is rare that a headlining band will be expected strike any of their gear.

A well run show will have what is called a “day sheet” posted in multiple locations around the venue. This day sheet will outline the load-in times of each band, the sound check times, and show times for each act. It is important to pay close attention to the day sheet and make sure you are in the right place at the right time. Always be courteous to the stage manager and try to stay out of the way as much as possible.

Most likely you will start out working for an opening act and won’t get a sound check. You will have to test and tune your guitars, drums, and amps off stage and do a very fast check right before your band goes on stage. It is still a good idea to watch the headlining act do their line check and sound check to learn how this works.

Before the artists come in for a sound check, the backline technicians must perform what is called a “line check” with the audio crew. Each instrument is individually sent out to the speakers and monitors through lines. These are either microphone lines, or direct input lines also know as D.I. lines. Each line is sent to a channel on a mixing board where the audio crew will adjust levels and frequencies according to the acoustics of the room. If the band does not have any technicians they will have to do this themselves.

To fully understand what a line check is, one must realize there are two audio systems involved with a live music performance. The large speakers hanging from each side of the the stage pointing towards the audience are operated by a “front of house” engineer, often called FOH. There are also smaller speakers on the stage pointed towards each band member called “monitors” or “wedges” that are operated by a monitor engineer. Larger acts often use in-ear monitors connected to belt packs that transmit their mix wirelessly through headphones. This eliminates the need for wedges on stage and gives the artist a much more controlled and isolated mix. These systems are becoming more common and affordable, but you will most likely only encounter traditional monitors in small clubs and theaters.

While the large FOH speakers are a master mix of the entire band that the audience hears, the monitors on stage pointed at each artist are individually mixed according to what that artist needs to hear during the performance. The singer might want to hear his voice louder and have less bass, the bass player might want to hear more kick drum in his mix. The technician will know how each artist likes his monitors mixed. During a line check, the technicians will run through each instrument line, and work with the monitor engineer to make sure levels are correct. The technicians will also work with the FOH engineer making sure each line is getting to FOH properly. Once the line check is complete, the band can then come on stage for the final sound check to make sure they are comfortable and make any adjustments. The band will usually perform a few songs so the FOH engineer can make sure everything will sound good to the audience.

The most important part of being a backline technician is preparation. Make sure you have all the tools you need and always be thinking ahead! You need to be aware of how much time you have and then prioritize accordingly. Be aware that your main goal is to do everything in your power to make the artist comfortable onstage. They shouldn’t have to worry about anything but performing. Always make sure the gear is working properly first. It doesn’t matter if you changed strings on every guitar in the rack if the guitar amp doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter if you polished all the cymbals if the kick pedal is broken. Make a routine of always checking every battery, and that every jack is properly plugged in. Learn to anticipate problems. Tape cables to the floor so they don’t become unplugged when they are kicked. Then move on to less important tasks depending on how much time you have. Try to understand what is most important to each artist and make sure you perform those tasks first.

Before and after the sound check is your time to prepare. Always make time to get a bite to eat. You need to be thinking clearly. Working on an empty stomach is never a good idea. You will probably have to make set lists for the band. Set lists are a list of the songs the band plans to perform during the show. These can be written out with a sharpie pen, or typed and printed out. Guitarists and bassists often use different guitars for different songs, that are also in different tunings. It is a good idea to plan in advance to make sure all the guitars are tuned properly. You might also have to get water, other beverages, towels, and anything else the band members might need during the performance. You will also have to make sure the band has extra sticks, picks, strings and any other supplies you might need during the show.

Once you have done everything in your power to prepare for the show it is time for the band to hit the stage. Your most important task is to pay close attention to the band members at all times. If something goes wrong, try not to panic. Nine times out of ten the problem will be very simple to fix. If you loose your cool you will probably make it worse. Take a deep breath and analyze the situation. If a problem occurs, do your best to fix it. After the show explain what happened to the artist, apologize, and most importantly, learn from your mistakes. Suppose a guitar stops working during a show and it turned out it was because a power cable was knocked loose from a pedal. You should explain later why the problem happened, and accept responsibility. Then explain that from now on, you will secure that cable before every show, along with every other similar cable in the guitar rig. The artist should appreciate your honesty and be confident that problem will never happen again. Remember that you will be making many mistakes when you first start out. Only once you learn from these mistakes, will you become a valuable backline technician.

After the show it is absolutely imperative that you carefully pack up every piece of equipment that came into the venue, and make sure it all makes it back into the trailer or truck. Do not leave things laying around during the day as this will make it very difficult to find everything at the end of the night. Keep your work station tidy and organized and make sure you know where all of your gear is at all times. Make sure everything is labeled clearly. It is very common for gear to be stolen from venues so you must be aware at all times. When you load into a venue, count each piece that goes in. When you are loading the trailer make sure you have the same amount of pieces!



Source by Kris Dawson