First Look: Avanquest iPod Media Creation, Backup and Bible Software
This new collection of six different software titles from Avanquest Publishing includes some of the most popular potential tools we could imagine, ranging in price from $30 to $50. Other than the company's iPocketBible and PodPresenter, all of the programs are for Windows PC users only, and attempt to simplify various iPod content creation and management tasks for novice and intermediate users. The programs are sold in boxed or downloadable formats through the company's web site.
DVD2iPod (PC only, $30) promises 1 step DVD (MPEG-2) and video (AVI) conversion to the iPod (MPEG-4), with “highest picture and sound quality” and “seamless integration with iTunes.” Updated: During installation, DVD2iPod discloses that it cannot read or convert copy-protected DVDs (read: anything sold in stores) to iPod format. You’ll need an additional program - not provided by Avanquest and of varied legality depending on your country - to do that.
iPocketBible (PC/Mac, $40) includes a professionally narrated New Living Translation audio edition of the Bible, plus Notes-formatted text to read along.
WebPodStudio (PC only, $50) lets you create audio and video podcasts, create RSS feeds that are iTunes-compatible, and auto-announce new podcasts to blog news services - there’s even a built-in teleprompted for your audio. It’s similar in concept to Apple’s latest Podcast Studio-enabled version of GarageBand for Macs, but with a few twists.
PodMediaCreator (PC only, $30) helps you create iPod-compatible movie files, photo slideshows, and remixed MP3 audio files, with automatic conversion of video (MPEG4/AVI/DIVX/WMV), audio (MP3/WMA/WAV), and photo (JPEG/GIF/PNG) content into iPod-readable formats.
PodPresenter (PC/Mac, $30) allows you to easily transform PowerPoint presentations into iPod slideshows, preserving the presentations in PowerPoint- or PodPresenter-editable format so you can make changes (with any computer, even one lacking PowerPoint) on the road. Editing features, graphics, and templates are included in the package.
Memeo iExtend (PC only, $30) lets you back up files onto your iPod, turn RSS feeds, e-mail, appointments, contacts and tasks into iPod-readable text, and upload iPod photos to Shutterfly for online sharing.