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Welcome to yet another of my Envato marketplace reviews. This time around, I focus on Themeforest, which is aimed at web developers and website designers.
If you have yet to read any of my previous reviews based around the Envato family of marketplaces, please feel free to browse through my older reviews first, in order to familiarize yourself with the Envato products and services. In brief, an Envato marketplace is one huge marketplace split up into smaller sister websites in order to help better categorize and archive aspects of their products. There is a sister website for almost every aspect of creative design, development and corporate promotion. Themeforest is the name of the marketplace section devoted to website designers and web developers who are looking to buy and sell website designs or entire fully operational HTML and PHP dynamic driven websites, along with professional e-commerce solutions.
Registration for any Envato website is free and all marketplaces are connected. This means, if you want to buy or sell project files on multiple Envato marketplaces, all you need is one account. Due to how the overall network of marketplaces are setup it has formed a very strong community of designers and developers, making the Envato product a very popular choice for both buying and selling for creative professionals and budding bedroom artists alike. If you have a creative bone in your body and are looking to cash in on your old work project files, or looking for a great way to make passive income take a look at this network of websites.
Payments are made to contributing designers and developers in multiple ways. If you sell your work on a number of websites already, you will earn 25% from the marketplace sale value of your files. If you decide to sell your work exclusively via Envato, then you unlock the possibilities of earning between 40-70% of the marketplace valuation of your files.
Here are just some of the types of files found on Themeforest, and a sample of what you can buy and sell:
HTML, WordPress, Joomla and PSD website template, for various projects such as creative portfolios, corporate, marketing, retail, fashion, technology, web services, mobile, ,blog, entertainment and personal.
Email templates are also available, along with Drupal, PhpBB, Tumblr, Shopify and various other formats.
Themeforest also offer a 'Free File' every month to registered members, which allows account holders to sample a fully working file to get you started and keep coming back for more.
Regardless of your creative skill level or experience, you will find a lot of potential over at Themeforest. You can use the website in a number of ways. If you are just starting out in the world of web design and development, you can use the free file of the month to get you started in learning how programming languages and graphic design integrates, along with picking up new skills and tricks. If you are a professional, you can use the site to speed up your creative process by purchasing time saving templates, or scripts without the need to hire an expensive sub-contractor. If this isn't enough to wet your appetite, you can always just use the site as a source of inspiration and a method of keeping up with the latest design trends and techniques.
Each proejct can be viewed live via full working versions or by screenshot presentations before buyers download them. All designers uploading their work, must include a full working version before project files go live. Designers must also supply a full help file, including screenshot documentation and after sales support. Themes and templates start at $1 each, but if you are wanting to buy, or sell, a fully working website you are looking at paying approximately $12-30 on average. Payment options are plentiful and if you deposit cash into your universal account, you can get discount on all downloadable files from across all of the entire Envato marketplaces.
If you are a creative web and graphic designer looking for a new resource site, inspiration, or a quality and friendly online community, you've found your new home.
Buy and sell commercially licensed sound files, audio loops, sound effects and entire songs and tracks in multiple formats.
Audiojungle is a sister site from the Envato family of creative online marketplaces. In other words, this marketplace is connected to an already well established online community of existing marketplaces full of regular users that buy and sell creative files. This website at the time of writing this review has over 16,000 sound files online for sale from various artists and sound engineers across the globe.
If you are unfamiliar in how an Envato marketplace works, please read my previous reviews of other websites in the Envato family for a better understanding. In brief, as an artist, engineer, or producer, you have two options to sell your work. You can sell your work on multiple websites and get 25% of the Envato marketplace value of your sound files, or you can exclusively sell your work only on the Envato marketplace and gain between 40-70% of the sale value. How this works is that the more you sell the more you earn in percentages.
Due to legal laws and copyright issues concerning online music sales and licenses a lot of musicians decide to sell on multiple websites, whereas sound engineers and some producers of sound effects and loops choose to sell exclusively. This is mainly due to musicians liking more control in how their work is distributed, as a lot of musicians collaborate with bands that require other peoples input on how the end result is promoted, distributed and administrated online. Not to mention if third parties are involved, mainly record labels and offline distributors.
The Envato marketplaces were originally setup for creative web, graphic and multimedia designers, which the system Envato have, benefits those more so than what it would a musician. In saying this, Audiojungle in theory is there for a number of reasons. It's main benefit, even though the site itself is still relatively new and still in its grass roots stage of development, is to think of 'not just uploading your files to Audiojungle', but 'uploading them to Envato'. Audiojungle on paper, is more than just 'a website' but a family of marketplace websites.
If your material is based around commercially developed and produced sound effects, or background, theatrical and corporate promotion and presentations, your work is at a greater advantage of making a larger number of sales than a rap artist or heavy metal group will have of making a sale. Due to Audiojungle being part of a huge family of already well established marketplaces already, your files are searchable and accessible by all Envato marketplaces. There are a large number of Flash and After Effects web and multimedia developers looking for sound effects for their presentations and applications, along with music loops and tracks for presentation on and offline corporate videos and interactive content.
As a buyer of sound files, Audiojungle is still growing, but already contains a great amount of high quality files and loops that will fit into most designer focused applications and projects. To buy files you have multiple options on payment and if you deposit cash into your account, you get discounts on all files within the entire Envato marketplaces combined.
Audiojungle also has a 'free file of the month', every month, for registered members to sample, download and use in your commercial and corporate projects.
This site is still developing, but it has the potential to be a major source for buying and selling sound files online in the future.
If you have zero tolerance for normality and thrive for the sickest and most brutal aspects of life this mini-magazine could be your unholy bible.
Zero Tolerance is a bi-monthly extreme metal and underground music 'zine setup by ex-members of Terrorizer and Metal Hammer publishing staff. Their goal was a simple one - create the most disgusting, intense, brutal and extreme loving magazine as possible!
Since the notable dip in what some readers claimed a loss of true quality, the Terrorizer (the current dominating number one extreme metal 'zine out there) machine became somewhat un-oiled and spawned the birth of a new era. That era is known as the take no trendy crap Zero Tolerance era. With Terrorizer magazine having no direct competition it was just a matter of time before there was some kind of revolt. Extreme music fans demand no more than extreme music and when a magazine 'devoted' to extreme music started to show signs of loosening the reins, some of the brutal offspring got restless, thus was born a place on the magazine shelves for Zero Tolerance. Upon the birth of ZT, it has created a massive rift in the heavy metal publishing industry and due to such movements, the overall quality from both Terrorizer and even the mighty Metal Hammer improved greatly. The formation of Zero Tolerance injected a new fresh energy onto the scene.
So what the hell is found within the pages of Zero Tolerance? This magazine is not all about bad attitudes, elitist views and opinions and scary music contained within its cover-mounted CD, it goes much deeper than that. You'll see all your regular big guns from such heavy metal sub-genres such as death, black, grind, thrash, power, sludge, doom, industrial etc, but you will encounter a more underground feel and a more personal insight on individual music scenes and cultures throughout the world.
In-touch with the underground, Zero Tolerance strive to dig that little bit deeper compared to the likes of Terrorizer, Metal Hammer and the mainstream loving Kerrang! Magazines. The brutal folks over at Zero Tolerance encourage the growth of diverse and unique music scenes such as noise, gore and anything obscure. This mini-mag is almost like your old skool fanzines in the late 90s in terms of attitude and in presentation aspects of no frills design and layouts. What you see is what you get. You don't get a cutting-edge and well presented and designed magazine, but what you do get is cutting-edge and well presented views and opinions of some of the most intense and cruel critics on planet metal.
Computer Arts is a monthly magazine aimed at graphic design and illustration students and freelancers worldwide. The publication offers a wide range of features, from the Exposure section covering new illustration trends, to design studio and industry reports thrown together with a bundle of up-to-date tutorials on current graphic and illustration styles and underground trend movements that are making it mainstream. Computer Arts try to pack in as much information and useful tips as possible in every issue and every designer out there, no matter their skill level and experience will always find something new and helpful inside the pages.
The magazine also comes with a free CD that usually contains all the tutorial files on disc, along with various free design resources and utilities, such as brushes, layer styles, textures, stock photos, trial and full software, along with open source projects, videos and book extracts.
If you're looking for a quick injection of an inspiration fix, you will often get inspired by Computer Arts if you find yourself hitting a creative block, so it is always best to keep various issues of Computer Arts at hand. The magazine will give you a new lease of life if you're stuck for ideas.
As an avid reader of Computer Arts for close to a decade you will notice, once you become a regular reader, the same topics are often covered and featured at least once year, but reworded and including a slightly more up-to-date version. These topics that are often covered multiple times and in some cases, a little too much, are the likes of 'How to create a portfolio', 'How to setup a design studio' and 'How to stay on top', type of articles, some readers consider too repetitive. But needless to say, new readers find these articles useful and the older readers need to skim through them in hope to find something extra that might be of use to them.
All-in-all, if you have never picked up a copy of Computer Arts, or its sister magazine, Computer Arts Projects, now is a great time to start, as if you are passionate about graphic design and illustration this is the mag for you.
A cold and chilling expansion to the ever insanely popular Blizzard game, World of Warcraft, continuing from the previously released Burning Crusade, welcome to the Wrath of the Lich King.
If you are new to World of Warcraft...what are you doing reading this review? Get off this review and search for my previous reviews for World of Warcraft and its first expansion The Burning Crusade! This review is not a review for newbies, noobs, nabs, nubs, or people who don't know what a Night Elf Mohawk is! Begone! Get out of my face, or prepare to have it melted!
Now that we have had a little 'disclaimer' I shall continue where the mighty Illidan Stormrage failed on epic scales of not being prepared!
First of all, if you're familiar with World of Warcraft, that shall now be referred to as 'WoW', you will be aware that this expansion came out in November of 2008! So what on earth am I doing reviewing it now? Simply because - when this expansion got released the evil presence behind the expansion couldn't be killed...until recently! Hell, the guy wasn't even an actual part of the game until recent months! So who am I referring to? The Lich King, of course! Now, the entire expansion and all its 'free content patches' containing multiple additional features and dungeons got added. Behold, dwellers of Azeroth - the Wrath of the Lich King is now complete and here for those who have yet to venture outside Outlands, and low and behold, those who have never gained a percent above level 60...your time is now!
Upon defeating Illidan Stormrage in Outland, a new-found enemy rises from the ashes. It is now time to rise up once more with your friends and challenge the all-powerful Lich King himself!
It is time to saddle up and venture into the all-new content of Northrend, where the Lich King currently resides, thus enabling the ability to level your characters to the end-game cap from 70 to 80. That's right! Ten more levels to gain strength and adventure into the strange new worlds of Northrend, located 'north' of both Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms in Azeroth. Within the provinces of Northrend, you will find eight new zones, that are aimed at characters above the level of 68. Both Horde and Alliance factions are able to access Northrend via their factions shipping ports and balloon towers once accounts have been upgraded with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion authenticated.
In the Lich King expansion, players who have a level 55+ character can now unlock the games very first hero class - the Death Knight. These plate wearing, ghoul summoning Tank and DPS classes start in an additional area added to Eastern Plaguelands in Azeroth and come kitted out with blue items that don't need to be upgraded until you set foot in Northrend! A class that has been under much speculation and intense nerfing throughout the first year of release - which can be created at level 55, saving the player time on having to start at level 1. You will be up against a tutorial based learning curve in the Death Knights starting area of Ebon Hold, where you must complete various quests before gaining access to your level 55 talent points, skills and very nice starting kit.
With the introduction to both the Death Knight class that can be played by all races, limiting players to one per domain, there is a huge 'Outland-sized' continent of Norththrend, plus, a new profession, known as Inscription, which requires the Herbalism gathering skill to supplement its growth. Inscription allows players to create Glyphs, which are similar to player-traded talent skill additions, which boost your classes skills and abilities that little bit more, which makes characters more unique and personalized.
Deep within Northrend, you will find a brand new 'Warhammer Online' style fortress, where players of both factions battle over every couple of hours known as Wintergrasp. The fortress includes a new aspect to player-v-player conflicts, as players can now operate siege vehicles, wall mounted cannons and destroy and defend a fortress, which comes complete with destructible walls and towers. The faction that controls Wintergrasp gain access to the dungeons within the fortress, thus encouraging players to compete in world PvP for PvE benefits and bonuses in the Northrend region.
If player-vs-player aspects of WoW excites you, then you'll be pleased to see additional battlegrounds that come complete with vehicle and strategic elements never before seen, along with various arena sets releases and honor reward, including daily and random PvP quests.
In addition, you'll find new features in cities such as hairdressers, which allow you to customise your characters hair style, colour and body piercing. Great if you're bored with how your character looks, or just fancy a change. The website also offers similar features such as race, sex and faction transfers, as well as your traditional server transfer, that most of you are familiar with.
Since Burning Crusade burned out a transition between the fall of Illidan and the fall of the Lich King sparked a lot of game-changing free content expansions and features that most game reviews leave out. Below are just of the major ones to note of how advanced the game has progressed and changed since Illidan's last stand in Black Temple and people went to the Sunwell instead of sunny Spain, for their summer vacation and holidays!
Random Dungeons - allows players to queue for dungeons best suited for their level that will be matched up against players on your server and other servers. This change is by far the most 'casual' and userfriendly gaming environment change in the history of WoW. No longer are players required and forced to find groups to go to instances of their choice, they can no join a queue sytem, that often takens about five minutes to allocate a group and teleport everyone inside. A very powerful addition for endgame players to farm items and badges, along with making new characters more appealing due to them being able to go to instances for their level on a regular basis, without leaving their current gaming location.
The Achievement System - this aspect of the game alone (even if it was somewhat sniped from Warhammer Online the Age of Reckoning) made World of Warcraft an entire different game. It allows players to track, record and boast their previous achievements gained in-game. Not only can you compare your character to others based on items alone, enter stage the achievement system, which can prove that a player has done what they claim to of done and are skilled in areas of interest.
Dual Specialization - if you ever got tired of resetting your talents on a regular basis, from DPS to Tank, or from Tank to Healer, or from Healer to DPS, this addition at only 1k gold allows you to have two sets of talents at once! All it takes is a simple click when out of combat to switch between two sets of talents allowing you to get the most out of your characters! An excellent addition for everyone! Switch from a Solo spec to PvP spec, or group spec to PvP, or raid spec to solo spec. The possibilities are endless!
Battleground Experience - as like World of Warcraft's biggest rival Warhammer Online's best 'selling point' was gaining experience points when in PvP battlegrounds. Now you can earn similar rewards in WoW - plus the option to turn on and off experience gain, allowing players who like to focus characters on 'twinks' extra possibilities.
Quest Interface Improvements - taking inspiration from Warhammer Online, again, World of Warcraft rob their closest rival of another of their most popular features of including in-game map highlights of quest locations and assistance to speed up the general questing process for new and existing players alike.
Player Calendar - allows players to see dungeon and raid lock-out times, when weekly events start and finish, along with Warcraft in-game seasonal events and battleground honor weekends. Not only this, but it allows guilds and groups of friends to plan their time on World of Warcraft much easier than ever before by enabling players to create their own raids, invite friends, and keep everyone up-to-date with 'their game'.
The Argent Tournament - this allows a fresh new challenge on horseback combat, with great rewards and access to multiple daily quests and a sign of how WoW is progressing as a whole, including the Crusaders' Coliseum and the introduction of the Monty Pyhton inspired Black Knight..
The Lich King - with all the installments unlocking all instances of the Icecrown Citadel, the King himself hasn't left the building...he's not long entered! It's been a long wait for Arthas to enter the gameplay. Now is your chance to end the Lich King once and for all!
With the third World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, just around the corner, due to arrive at some point late this year, or early next year if things go wrong - the World known as Warcraft is just going to get better and better, as it marks the return to Azeroth to protect what will be a changed and shattered homeland from Deathwing and his minions. With the inclusion of two additional player races -the Horde's Goblins and the Alliance Worgen's, there is plenty more gas left in the World of Warcraft tank to keep ticking away for at least another five long years!
If you are still stuck with your old school level 60, or still living in Outland pondering over the thought of renewing and killing some time with some old friends, now is the best time to do so.
Creative Review has been the inspirational bible for decades for everyone in the advertising and creative industries. The magazine has been there, done it and got the T-shirt. If you are a part of, or want to be inspired by the visual culture and collective art of communications all around us then this publication is one that shouldn't go amiss. With worldwide readership, this (not so) little monthly magazine will be your version of the News of the World!
If your cup of tea is creative advertising, modern graphic design trends and progressive illustration movements, mixed together with innovative photography and aspects of visionary digital media breakthroughs in the world today then you've come to the right place. Each issue is packed full of features and articles containing all of the latest creative talent and trends in the advertising and design industry, it will leave your inner creative angels and demons thirsty for more. With the magazine setup to focus on new talent, it doesn't disappoint to inspire its readers to push themselves that extra step further and to one day hope that they themselves will get covered in the future.
With the ever constant world, economic and technical changes, Creative Review is found in many design and advertising agencies throughout the world, proving that to be the best you need to keep up with the best. Every creative person in the industry today thrives to better themselves and be in contact with the creative progression made by others - this is the perfect imagination and information outlet on the news shelves today.
Are you a creative designer looking to make some additional passive income? Maybe you are a designer over-flown with work and need additional methods to get a project done on time without bringing in sub-contractors? Perhaps you are just learning your trade and need professional working templates right out of the box to help you learn new skills faster and easier than following a 6hr+ grass roots tutorial? Let me introduce to you what will be your next bookmarked website!
Flashden, now known as Activeden (from the creators of Freelance Switch) was Australian company, Envato's first marketplace website, that has been running for many long and successful years, which went on to spawn an entire family of marketplace websites for online creative designers. This is a community driven website which allows designers to buy and sell safely online, where they previously struggled to years ago. Activeden is based around Flash format templates and project files, created in Adobe Flash and uploaded by members of the community that consists of anything and everything Flash related and created.
So what is a marketplace website? A marketplace website allows users to register and upload their own work (which is quality checked) on the open marketplace that are for sale to the general public and fellow creatives worldwide on the Envato websites. Upon doing so, there is no setup fee, therefore registration costs nothing and in return members can sell their template based project files via the Activeden marketplace website. Sales of the files are split between the contributing designers and the website owners. The more items you sell, the larger the percentage you earn on your sales if you choose to sell exclusively via Activeden. Payment rates start off at earning 40% of your files listed price up to a staggering 70% profit. What determines the marketplace valuation of your uploaded work? Quality, originality, presentation and included help files. The more professional your work and easier it is presented and documented the higher your template files will be priced by the website administrative team, if you sell your work exclusively via Activeden. This means you can't sell the same file elsewhere. If you decide that you want to sell your work on your own website or other websites, then you will only earn 25% of the marketplace value of your work. Due to the size and popularity of Activeden it is recommended that you sell all of your files exclusively, unless you are a well established and recognised designer with a very strong online presence. If your work is of good quality and standard you will make a nice passive income from this site. Some members are making a very good living off this website and you can too, with time and effort. This site is perfect to put those unused or experimental project files to good use!
Due to Flash projects being vast and widespread the only limit on what you can upload depends on your own creativity and skill level. Here are some of the marketplace categories to get you started and on the same wavelength as to what is sold via the Activeden community.
Image Viewers (explorers, banners, galleries, carousels, transition slideshows)
Video & Music Players (galleries, stand-alone players, equalizers, instruments)
Website Templates (portfolio, entertainment, business, personal)
Utilities (charts, graphs, drawing tools, forms, maps, news readers, scrollbars, menus)
Animations (intros, transitions, cartoons, effects, text manipulation, ecards, preloaders)
Games (action, cards, puzzles, shooting)
Each file is archived in category and is easy to locate from the site search and comes with its own page where members can see working examples of the file before they buy it. The page also comes with information and a place for interested buyers and previous buyers to leave comments about the file.
Now that the basics are covered and you're left sitting there saying..."but I'm not a Flash designer, how is this site going to benefit me?"
Non-Flash designers are able to buy pre-made Flash files and fully working professional project files. This allows busy, or semi and unskilled web and graphic designers to now include modern Flash elements in current and future projects. For the average files ranging between $5 and $30 this enables you to add an extensive arsenal to your current skills to impress your potential clients at a very reasonable price.
What if you're a student, or just setting up as a self-employed designer and lack in funds to buy Flash project files? Have no fear - Activeden has you covered! The website offers a 'Free File' every month for registered members to download and use. This is a great introduction to Activeden and a perfect way to sample the content and quality of the marketplace project files.
Once you start to develop a love for Activeden the website offers multiple methods of payment, most notably the prepaid option. This option allows members to buy in bulk discounts, which is a great saving for regular users and abusers of Activeden.
One of my mottos is - stay ahead of the competition and always continue to learn new skills! It's a vicious world out there in the creative industry. It's time to get Active! What are you waiting for? Get yourselves over to Activeden right now! You won't regret it.
Creating your own music arrangements and producing your own tracks has never been easier. Since the eJay phenomenon hit the shop shelves in the late 90s, the in demand brand has gone on to create an abundance of genre specific releases and royalty free add-ons and collections. The award winning software title family boasts such electronic and urban genre variety such as Dance, Rave, Techno, House and Hip-Hop releases, with additional alternative rock samples thrown in for good measures.
The software itself features a basic 'drag-and-drop' music arrangement system, which allows inexperienced users who have never put together their own track before an extremely easy introduction to the music creation and production process. Each eJay title comes packed with pre-made samples and loops from a specific genre - all the end user is required to do is select the loops and samples they like and drag-and-drop them into the arrangement window and hit play. Granted, there is no skill required to play any musical instruments, as the samples are already provided, but the skill in music arrangement is to put together each music instrument layer and loop in an order that it sounds interesting.
Once the user has a basic understanding of how the program works, and they have arranged a few songs using the provided sound samples and loops, there are options to edit the sound files directly from the software itself. This allows you to take a pre-made sound file then create different tempos, alter the beats per minute, reverb and echo along with various other tweaks that are available, which will create your own unique version of the provided royalty free sounds.
If you follow the above process and learning curve, there is a sound generator aspect of the program, which lets you create your own sounds from scratch, for those feeling more confident and daring.
With each eJay release, you can save your mixes and sound generated loops and samples, while allowing you to export your end result to .wav and .mp3 formats which can be transferred to CD, or MP3 player.
The eJay simplicity, addictive presentation and user-friendly interface are the ultimate selling points and major reason why this program became such a huge hit where others failed. It even developed a cult following and still to this day is strong via its online presence.
When I picked up my first eJay title, which was 'Rave eJay', released in 1998. I already had band experience beforehand, playing bass, so I had understanding of music arrangements. As the eJay craze hit its peak in the late 90s I wanted to use the program to learn more about electronic samples and move onto computerized music creation, editing and production, so I snapped up a copy. It was very easy to get into and it allowed me to record my own samples, using an amplifier in/out via my soundcard to transfer bass lines to the software. At that time, there were very few cost effective software titles on general sale that allowed me to do this. After importing my own bass samples, I was able to edit them and create effects on top of them and allowed me to play around with distortions and feedback, while throwing together a basic arrangement to present to fellow band members in MP3 format, which cut down on studio costs writing and sharing ideas.
If you are a total novice to music creation and want an introduction to making your own music, or if you are an intermediate to advanced user wanting a cost effective way of importing your own work for arrangements and standard sample editing look no further!
The eJay titles can now be picked up for as little as £5 or in collection bundles of four packages for £10!
From the darkest depths of the underground music scene in 1993 erupted an evil sinister force soon to be reckoned with...its name was Terrorizer! With the simple goal of promoting the most brutal and extreme music onto the shelves of newsagents across the land. Terrorizer was established to dilute the alternative sounds found in the likes of Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazines and focus purely on the most intense and heavy sides of the heavy metal spectrum! With so many diverse sub-genres and massive cult followings across the world, unlike any other music genre in existence Terrorizer was able to capitalize upon the niche market by pushing the underground sounds onto the commercial mainstream industry publishing retailers.
The magazine itself is released every four weeks and covers various heavy metal and punk sub-genres such as Black, Death, Grind, Thrash, Hardcore, Metalcore, Doom, Sludge, Power and many more! In more recent years the introduction to some mainstream bands from the Nu-metal and the controversial Deathcore sub-genres were found getting featured, which sparked a Terrorizer competitor, known as Zero Tolerance, upon the elitist views and opinions from a percentage of the Terrorizer readership base that decided to revolt from the pact.
Due to Terrorizer having no direct competition in over ten years, the quality of the content slipped slightly, and was noted by their readers, but with an active competitor now on the scene, the Terrorizer magazine has started to get back on-track and the quality is improving once more. Needless to say, there is a place on the market for both Terrorizer and its understudy Zero Tolerance, as both contribute evenly in providing both with a competitive edge which ensures both sets of readers a fresher and more energetic indulgence of the extreme music they love.
Terrorizer also comes complete with its monthly 'Fear Candy' cover mounted CD full of rampant riffs and brutality in abundance from the latest screams from the extreme and underground music scenes. The magazine also supports strong unsigned features, including a twice yearly free compilation CD of the best up-and-coming unsigned talent.
The magazine itself has just under 100 pages of glossy gore, evil and twisted features, album and live reviews, along with interviews and special spotlight articles from all the bands you would expect to find in the above extreme heavy metal and punk sub-genres. The design and layout resembles the old school underground fanzine 'cut-and-paste' style format that was most popular amongst the extreme heavy metal and hardcore punk underground distribution movements of the 70s and 80s, while keeping the design modern and fresh to match the design trends of the death and black metal movements of the 1990s. Each feature and article is covered well and presented graphically appealing and easy to pick up, read and digest when compared to its competitor.
Terrorizer is currently priced at £3.99 and if you think you are extreme enough, go out and pick up your copy today!
Welcome to my world. In my world this is where ideas are formed and developed. From the basic collection of ideas through to the planning, layout mock-ups and the design theory process for all of my work. I take this everywhere I go and a pocket sized version for when ever I leave the house.
As a designer, artist, writer and creative person alike, a notepad is an important piece of kit in your arsenal. The Moleskine brand is fashion accessory to creatives, like Apple is to students. This is the original iPad!
So what makes the Moleskine notebook and sketchbooks so great? Simply put - they are elegant to write on and sketch in. With your most favourite pen in hand you can glide across the paper so gracefully, unlike any other paper and notebook on the market. For those who are exploding with new ideas on a regular basis, or those who like to 'feel' the quality when writing, the Moleskine Italian made brand is for you.
The books themselves are bound in a unique cardboard, with solid leather in appearance cover with rounded corners. Each book from the Moleskine range has an elastic strapping which safely fastens your book and keeps it intact when traveling. With the rounded corners, if dropped, no damage is taken due to how firm the closed book is once enwrapped with the elastic support band, which can also act as an additional bookmark when you are not taking this on a journey with you. Every Moleskine includes a smooth strong ribbon placeholder which adds to the look of the entire brand that makes it stand out from the crowd. At the reverse inner sleeve includes a note holder and open compartment for storing additional notes, cards, or loose pieces of paper, to keep all important external notes, or printed media at hand inside your Moleskine.
With 100 high-quality and acid-free pages bounded by thread this Italian designer notebook is all you need to impress your clients, protecting your work and ideas, while feeling great while you write or sketch inside.
Once you become a Moleskine owner, you join the ranks of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Oscar Wilde, who use similar versions of the Moleskine that was part of their creative process. This brand also boasts a huge online community of designers, writers and creatives who share their experiences when using their Moleskine creations and unique ways to get the most out of them.
With a Moleksine, you are not just purchasing a great notebook; you are purchases a piece of history and a major designer brand in creativity accessories.
If you shop around and look hard enough you can pick one of these up for £5-7 online, which often have a £15-20 recommended retail value.
Ever wanted to see your designs and artwork on clothing, merchandise and apparel? Well, now you can! Not only can you 'see' what your work looks like on products that are actually modeled containing your art & design, you can sell your work on the websites products too.
Imagine Dooyoo in artwork format and you will start to develop a vision of what Zazzle is all about. On Dooyoo members contribute articles, reviews and consumer opinions and earn Dooyoo miles, then later get paid per review and per read. At Zazzle, you earn a commission, which is set by you, for each product sold with your artwork on.
Once becoming a member of Zazzle, you get your own 'shop' page, which allows you to host your designs on products all in one place. You can also place your work on multiple products and create your own brand in various categories similar to an eBay store. This allows you to create a lot of products from a single design and increases the possibility of your work being sold. The products you can place your work on are vast in quantity, colour, size and format.
Here are just 'some' of the possibilities of displaying and selling your work on...
The list goes on and on. Zazzle are always adding new products to their ranges to keep things fresh and with modern trends and fashions. Each of the categories listed above contain sub-categories and modification possibilities. For example, Mens Shirts have multiple clothing brands to chose from, all come in various colours and allow for designs to be placed in various positions on products, including front and reverse. You basically have almost full control over what your end product will look like. All that is required from you is to upload your artwork, then place it on a product that takes your liking. The site also includes downloadable templates, so you always get your artwork to look professional to a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) standard.
What makes Zazzle extra special (if the above wasn't already!) is that it allows 'buyers' to modify and alter your products to suit their needs. For example, if you create a Greeting Card design, the buyer can modify the text, to include a person's name, or to add their own personal message on the design. If someone was to create a standard T-shirt, someone may like the design, but may want to add something more to it, the buyer is allowed to incorporate their own contribution to the end product if they so wish. This allows the sales of your products to go beyond 'just a design', but allowing the Zazzle marketplace (similar to the eBay version) unlimited possibilities.
When products are being created by the designer, Zazzle set a base cost you must charge your buyers in order to cover the costs of the product manufacturing process, which they later add delivery costs (varies per location) after an order has been placed. At this stage, before your product goes live, you add 'your' profit price percentage on top of the product manufacturing costs. This allows you to control how much you can earn on your products. Basically, if you wanted to sell your work yourself you would need to pay up front mass production product runs, then deal with sales, shipping and delivery administration on top. With Zazzle, it costs you nothing, meaning there is no risk from the designer selling their work. All that's needed is your artwork to be uploaded and you sit back and get paid when people modify and buy your products. To increase sales you can always advertise your Zazzle store to those who may be interested in the products you have for sale, but it is not required to make money from the site, if you have products that people find appealing. The more designs you have uploaded, the more product possibilities you can create and it wont be long before you have an entire shop of goodies online for sale.
I have been using Zazzle for a couple of years now. I have uploaded a bunch of my old left over designs from work to test it out, as I hate letting my work go to waste! Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed, as I am still constantly getting sales from my work years down the line! It is a nice little build up of cash generated from artwork created that may be unused, or just sitting around doing nothing. If you have it - use it on Zazzle. You have nothing to lose but the time spent uploading it.
The payment system is similar to Dooyoo in a sense where you get paid per month once you reach a certain profit amount generated. This all depends on your location, so to get an accurate understanding of when you get paid (which you do, I can vouch for that) I recommend you to check the site when you sign up.
Another aspect Zazzle has that stands out from the crowd is that is has a very active and strong community of both buyers and sellers. The site host regular daily awards and offer various opportunities on their sister sites which allow you to sell iphone case artwork and various other unique products.
What you get out of Zazzle is basically how much you put in. It is best to sell one good design on multiple products, that you think people will buy, then ten basic designs on hundreds of products for the sake of mass producing products. In some cases, the simple designs can sell, but you need to look for a niche and it pays to understand your target audience, if you plan to use Zazzle on a professional level. My store for example, I created a downloadable customizable interactive catalogue containing all my designs, which later turned into underground brands.
If you are looking for somewhere to express your artistic side, or are simply looking to buy unique products yourself, Zazzle is a worthy place to visit. You never know - it might pay off for you, as it did for me!
For those about to rock...step aside! It's all about the Metal, baby! If you like your music loud and in-your-face with mucho attitude - Metal Hammer is the rag for you.
Metal Hammer has been dominating the music shelves of your major news agents since the mid 80s and its future is bright enough to continue doing so for many decades to come. The 'Hammer is currently the biggest selling Heavy Metal magazine in the UK and has even dethroned the mighty Kerrang! Empire of late. This is due to the magazine featuring more classic metal bands, up-and-coming and cutting-edge talent from around the world while remaining true to its roots, bloody roots along the way. Unlike its competitors, the Hammer crew have avoided selling out to a more alternative culture and audience, which has proved the motto 'if it's not broken don't fix it' apply by taking a firm grasp of its current reign as God of the industry.
As a loyal reader of all three of the 'big hitters' controlling the news agent shelves - Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and Terrorizer, I am unbiased and appreciate each magazine for what each 'zine offers. With Metal Hammer what you see is what you get - a well balanced collection of pure unadulterated offerings of metal, in all its brutal and exciting glory.
For those who have been living under a rock (no pun intended) for the last twenty years, Metal Hammer is a monthly release and features approximately 140 full gloss pages and currently priced at £4.25. Each issue comes bundled together with at least one cover-mounted CD, a huge pull-out glossy poster and often additional freebies thrown in, such as badges, stickers and all that good stuff that you're usually expected to find thrown in to urge you to part with your well earned pounds and pennies.
So what the hell is inside the mag, brutha? Hold your horses, metal militia, I'm about to cover that right here, right now! Each issue has its regular band and artist interviews, album reviews, life stories, along with such features as the Spanish Inquisition and the Story Behind The Album, which portray bands and musicians like you'll never see them get interrogated before. Combined with various additional monthly features and unique interpretations of your peers you'll struggle to find a better balanced collection of articles and reviews on the news stands today!
If you're a fan of Metal in all its many vast and diverse, intense and electrifying sub-genres you'll be an emos uncle to miss out on your monthly doses of getting 'hammered!
Subscriptions are available for £11 for every 3 months...if you think you're metal enough! If you act fast, you may also be in time to take advantage of a free Marshall Mini amp offer. What are you waiting for?
Heavy Metal has a voice and it has spoken!
I originally got introduced to speech recognition software after writing and recording two albums for different music projects, in search of a way to add experimental effects to vocal layers back in the late 90s. In those days speech recognition software was basic and limited. In today's day and age and with the improvement in technology software has greatly developed also, mostly speech recognition. I now use this software to do various tasks - such as write this review! Why? This is because you can speak approximately 140-160 words per minute compared to the average typing output of 40 words per minute. This allows me to do three or four more reviews by talking than what it would for me to do one while typing. If you spend a lot of at the PC typing this is a good investment to make. It is also fun and easy to pick up for most people. It is also much healthier too and assists into avoiding issues such as RSI.
Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 is the latest release to date and comes packed with a lot of options. For those unfamiliar with such software I'll state that this program claims to deliver 99% accuracy with no spelling errors when translating your spoken word via PC microphone into a computerised text format. In the past, speech recognition software required the average user to spend hours reading documents back in order for the program to recognise your voice to a reasonable standard. Now, with Dragon Naturally Speaking 10, most users can get started converting their voice to text in a matter of minutes of installation.
The things you can do with this program is quite vast, depending on the version you have. If you are new to this type of software, then I recommend you begin by purchasing the Standard edition. It also comes with a free headset for those who don't already own one.
My daily work consists of graphic and web design. I need multiple computers setup to get a good workflow and things can get hectic fast. With this software it enables me to multi-task design projects with email, browsing and even instant messaging. With my hands free to design I can deal with emails on another PC by voice and 'naturally speaking' to aid in the multi-tasking process. Programs I use Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 with is Firefox/Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word and MSN.
With a basic desktop 'DragonBar' you can enable/disable and interact with multiple programs at the same time, allowing you to switch between keyboard and voice to suit your needs by allowing you to work or use the computer hands-free.
To simplify what you can do with this edition - Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard, here is what it allows you to do:
Create and edit documents
Reply to and compose emails
Surf the web
Input voice to text into almost all open windows applications
Other than a work based tool, you could use this if you are a busy house keeper, or parent interacting with the PC with your children, someone who suffers from RSI, or wants to protect against such PC related strains and injuries to even turning your voice to text in online games such as World of Warcraft. This program has the potential to do it all.
If this isn't enough, there are other advanced versions out there that allow you to interact and integrate with mobile and Bluetooth devices, or for turning text into speech. The latter option (not included in the Standard version) allows you to setup the software to read aloud in human-sounding speech your own documents, or turn website articles or even ebooks into spoken word sound files, which allow you to play them back on your PC, or mobile device such as a cellular phone, iPad, or MP3 player.
The requirements to run Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard are:
Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 1GHz
512MB RAM or 1GB RAM with Windows Vista
2GB free hard disk space
L2 Cache: 512KB
Windows Server 2000
Windows Server 2003
Win XP SP2 32bit Home & Professional
Win 2000 SP4
Windows Vista SP1, 32bit and 64bit
MS Internet Explorer 6
Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16bit recording soundcard
In regards to the many questions about 'how good is it?' You get a brief five minute tutorial, which collects and monitors your voice in the process before you begin. I can safely break this down for you in order to try explain how advanced this software is. Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard claims to be 99% accurate. This indeed is most probably the case, if not a little bit untrue for people with 'unusual' accents. For 'most' people I would say this is true, but I have a mixed accent, and a combination of a Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Yorkshire, Bradford accent combined with a Hampshire, Southampton accent, with a tendency to mumble certain words. This accent is quite unique when introduced to speech recognition software. It picked up most of my voice to text about 70-80% accuracy to begin with. After about half an hour extra invested in doing the tutorial some more, it became about 80-90% accurate. With a bit more time spent, working on the more complex commonly used words and names it hit around 95-99%!
The best thing from my experience with Dragon Naturally Speaking, is that 'you' can teach it how to understand 'you' better, with a little time and effort. If you say a unique name a lot, you can simply hit a button and type the name you want it to translate, then record yourself saying it, then hit save. After that it will produce 99% accuracy upon the next time you say that particular name or word.
All-in-all, this is a great piece of software to play around with and if you take your time at the PC, including your health seriously, this is well worth the time and money in doing so.
The price for this version was previously listed at around £80, but it is currently under £40 via Amazon. This is due to a new version being prepared and for less than £40 for what this program can do it is a great time to grab yourself a bargain.
If you've ever been to a major retail park or a city shopping centre you've encountered a Currys store at some point. I've been a regular visitor to Currys for quite some time now. What can I say? Boys and their electrical toys are a combination that will never die in any male impulse buyer who likes to upgrade with all things tech! Currys is a Toys R Us for men!
So let's get down to the hard facts. I go in there to check out new products, and I often get an assistant to give me a demo, let me play around with something, and ask for advice on in store items. I like to get their staff 'opinions' on products before I even consider parting with any cash. Their staff 'opinions', ranging from various stores I've shopped at differ in many ways. To be fair to some of them, they don't have much of an opinion, but more so, just read from a specification sheet and try to impress. If questioned, most staff members have to refer to their line manager, or supervisor for assistance, which often leads to a simple question taking much longer to get answered than what it would in other stores.
The product ranges are between entry level low to top end high range high street prices. They have multiple sales throughout the year, which are the best selling point for Currys, rather than their poor product knowledge base and are worth a visit every time you are planning a technical upgrade.
It pays to shop around and Currys is a good place to start. If you know what you want you can price match and even haggle lowest price deal comparisons with other high street retailers if you have the confidence.
A word of warning for those who prefer the 'buy now pay later' attractions. In recent months they have introduced an 'early payment' option, which includes an early payment settlement fee, so you can pay off your product without paying monthly interest charges. Be warned - read the small print! They charge you extra to pay off 'without interest' being added. A very sneaky tactic, which has caused a number of customers to shop elsewhere.
Dooyoo LOVEFILM? I do! I also like to watch films when I want, how I want. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? Most people would say yes. This lead me to give the Lovefilm trial a try. If you love films you would be silly to miss out on their trial.
To cut a long story short. There are a number of packages that allow you to pick a selection of movies on DVD or Bluray, which allow you to 'rent' them on a monthly subscription based on a watch and return basis. This means you can take your time to watch the movies you choose and keep them as long as you want when your subscription is active. For this service to be best used, and to be worthwhile on the pound-to-rental aspect - you must watch movies as soon as they arrive and send them back a day or two later.
The movie database is quite large, which allows for a vast selection of titles. However, you must select at least ten movies as recommended. Then they pick which ones to send you and when you get issued with your top selections.
To sum up my opinion - If you don't care about what movie you want to watch out of your selection Lovefilm is a good option for you. If you like to watch your top selections when you want (and not if/when they send you them) then avoid this site and go to your local movie rental store, as at least then you can rent the movies you want when you want.