5 Tips for Amazing Speaker Sound at Home

As a kid, I used to watch my dad with fascination as he hopped from stool to cupboard to adjust a speaker’s position to get it just right. As his little helper, it was my job to sit in his chair and make sure I heard the music from the speakers loud and clear. But of course, not everyone has the option of having a little helper around.

Here are my top five tips to help you get self-started with your sound system at home.

1. Use the Primary Components of a Sound System

You should buy several speakers if you want a superior sound experience. A single pair of speakers works, but as the soundtrack feeds all its separate sounds (frequencies) into the same device, this results in some lost or blurry sounds. To listen to a crisp and clear soundtrack (where you can hear every instrument or voice in it), you need several speakers so that the different sound frequencies are routed to the appropriate speakers.

The primary components of a sound system are as follows:

Left and Right Front Speakers: A speaker is a device that converts analog audio signals into the equivalent air vibrations in order to make audible sound ( definition from pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term).   The front speakers should not point directly to each other. Rear speakers follow the same principles as the front speakers.

The following image shows you how to place your front speakers.

Have you ever wondered why we need two speakers instead of one?

The science behind it is because we have two ears.  Seriously. For example, if you hear a train chugging on your sound system, the sound may be first played on your left front speaker and then on your right front speaker. This gives you the illusion of a train moving from left to right.

Left and Right Surround Speakers: The surround speakers are placed besides or behind your main seat. They are pointed at ear level. The surround speakers face each other more directly than the front speakers.

The following image shows you how to place your surround speakers.

Central Speaker: The central speaker should be in front of you and should point directly to you at ear level. In my opinion, this is the most important speaker, though it likely to burn a pretty hole in your pocket.

Subwoofer:   A subwoofer is a sound system component that focuses on the very low bass frequencies of the soundtrack. It is usually placed in front you (its placement is flexible).

If you hear imperceptible sounds in a soundtrack faintly in the background (the lower frequencies), you need to check the bass. Generally, the bass is set as “low” on your front speakers, which is perfectly fine. A subwoofer is used to bring out the clarity of these background noises and make them actually sound like something. It adds the “punch” to the soundtrack, if I may say so.

You may have two, five, or more speakers plus a subwoofer for your home sound system. Dolby has instructions on the how-to in it’s Home Theater Speaker Guide. I have used some of their wonderful and simple diagrams in this post.

2. Beware of Speaker Sizes

You can have small, medium, or large speakers depending on your budget and your room size. Remember that large speakers are too overwhelming in a small room.

To simplify this, let me categorize speakers based on the following two sizes:

  • larger floor-standing speakers

Advantage: Power

  • smaller book-shelf speakers

Advantage: Easy to maneuver

It is a matter of personal opinion, but I believe that small speakers cannot function with the same intensity as large speakers do, irrespective of the technology used to squeeze out every last bit of sound from the small speakers. You are free to mix and match different speaker sizes to  create your perfect home sound system.

3. Check the Distance of the Speaker from the Seating Area

A simple method to obtain the correct co-ordinates to place your sound system, is to measure the room and locate its center. Use this central point as the primary reference to measure the distance (at appropriate angles) for the various speakers. Ensure that a set of similar speakers is equidistant from the center. The front of the speakers should ideally face you directly; this may result in some speakers being angled (they are not positioned in straight and parallel lines from each other).

The famous 38 percent Rule  says that the best seating position is theoretically 38 percent into the length of the room (from either the front or rear wall of the room). A useful tip if you go to book movie theater seats too.

You will most likely place the speakers near the wall; but take care to never touch the speakers to the wall.

4. Check the Height of the Speaker  from the Floor

The front speakers should be placed at your ear level. This is suggested because of the direction sound waves travel. The left- and right-front speakers should be aligned at an angle of 60 degrees from each other.

The rear/surround speakers should be placed two feet above your ear level.

The central speaker should be placed at your ear level.

The subwoofer may be placed on the floor.

5. Angle the Speakers Appropriately (from each other)

Have you ever wondered why we need two speakers facing each other at an angle? It is because our ears face in opposite directions. Over simplistic isn’t it?  The following figure explains the angular separation of the speakers from each other.


VLC Player 1.1 To Get Extensions Support

VLC the most popular Windows Media Player alternative is all set to get a new feature in VLC 1.1. Starting with VLC 1.1, users will be able to add extensions or add-ons to the media and audio player.

Starting with version 1.1, users will be able to write their own plugins for VLC, codenamed Extensions. The difference with other VLC modules consists in the language used to write these Extensions: Lua, a simple a lightweight scripting language, embbeded inside VLC media player.

Extensions in VLC can be written in the Lua, a lightweight, fast and embeddable scripting language. The new announcement was spotted on a VLC developers blog by our Linux Geek Sathya.

VLC IMDb Extensions

According to Jean-Philippe André, VLC Extensions idea came through because of the success of add-ons in Firefox and will allow users to have quick access to several features in a single click. For example, with the help of extensions users can quickly access subtitles for a movie, lyrics for a song or information about the current artist.

VLC Last.fm Extension

Jean also post some examples and screenshots of possible extensions that could be useful for users to use with VLC, they include:

  • Wikipedia: get information about the artist, the album or the movie from Wikipedia.
  • IMDb: read the plot summary, learn about the cast of a movie and get a direct link to the Internet Movie Database.
  • Last.fm: Read useful information fetched from the artist’s page on Last.fm.
  • Lyrics: Automatically get the lyrics of the current song.
  • Subtitles: Find and insert subtitles on top of the video in two clicks.
  • Concerts: Learn about the next concerts of this artist.

Users who want to try our extensions or create their own can download the latest nightly build of VLC from http://nightlies.videolan.org. For more information about extensions in VLC, visit this blog post.

TunesBag: Upload Music Online and Share With Your Friends

Want to store music online and share the songs with your friends? Tunesbag is just the tool you need. It acts as an online music library and lets you store audio up to 1 GB. You can listen to the songs, share them in various social networks and see what others are listening. Cool !

To get started with Tunesbag, you need to register here. You can create a fresh Tunesbag account with your email address or choose to login using Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or Msn.

After you login, you can start uploading audio songs from your computer. Here is how the Tunesbag dashboard looks after logging in:


Upload songs in your Tunesbag account: There are a lot of options to upload songs to your Tunesbag account. You can download their Adobe air app, use the browser uploader or email the songs as an attachment. You are given a private email address and sending the song as an attachment to this email address works fine. I used the browser uploader to add songs and it took only a couple of minutes to finish. While uploading a new song you can organize it into a custom playlist as well.


Listening to playlists: You can create playlists of songs that you have added in your TunesBag account. This helps in organizing the audio collections into selected groups. From the “Explore” tab you can see what your friends are up to, what they are listening and which artist is popular at the moment. The service also supports tagging the songs and creating sets.


Techie-Buzz Verdict

Tunesbag is very simple and minimalistic, which makes it any music lovers first choice. The service is free, and unlike other audio sharing services which let you share only a handful of songs, Tunesbag is a smart alternatve. The only downside: you can upload only mp3,m4a,wma or ogg formats.

Techie-Buzz rating: 4/5(very good).

4 Audio Editors For Blog Podcasting

Podcasts are everywhere and most of them are nothing more than sales talk. But, if your podcast has some meat, web users will listen. Sound professional and even more will listen.


To sound professional, you need an audio editor. Some are open source software, others stand-alone and some, like Sound Forge, are bundled (with Director, in this case).

Ready to get started? There’s plenty of software to edit and mix your audio files so you sound good.

Traverso DAW

Any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) needs lots of functionality. Who knows, you may be working with .aif files one day and .wav the next. Or you may be importing both for use in the same podcast. That’s why I like Traverso.

It’s totally x-platform, you can add or remove lots of plug-ins and edit on the fly, even as the audio is playing. You can drop in a music bed in real time to monitor your progress.

Also, Traverso enables you to open numerous .wav and .aif files simultaneously without blowing out your systems’ cache. Powerful utility and easy GUI makes this one of my top picks for professional editors and beginners. Try it. You’ll like it.


Wavepad is a feature deep audio editor that comes with a kit full of special FX. It’s easy cut-and-paste GUI simplifies editing chores, but WavePad goes far beyond simple editing.

This editor comes with a package of FX echo, controlled distortion, automatic room tone generator and a bunch of other features that even the expensive audio editors don’t have.

WavePad works with .wav files, mp3 files and other Microsoft-based formats, but wait, there’s more. This editor is x-platform so you can import sound files in just about any format including .aif (Mac’s format), .vox, .ogg, .au, real audio and other popular formats used by YouTube and other social media sites.

WavePad is a real workhorse, enabling you to open as many time lines as you need, And mixing from stereo to mono is as simple as one click. I highly recommend WavePad for beginners cause you’re going to like what this editor does for you.

Free Wave MP3 Sound Editor

Free Wave MP3 Sound Editor is simple to use. That’s why I like it. It’s a strictly Windows-based tool that lets you record your podcasts in MP3 format.

Free Wave comes with a few FX features echo, noise reduction and such, but if you want to keep things simple and you don’t want a long learning curve, this is the editor for you.

BTW, even though Free Wave is strictly Windows based, your podcasts will automatically be translated from MP3 or .wav format to Mac’s proprietary .aif format, which means Mac users will hear you loud and clear.

Simple. No learning curve. A couple of features. If that’s all you need, Free Wave is all you need.

Expstudio Audio Pro

Lots of features with this editor/mixer including voice conversion and manipulation, easy zooming on the GUI for those fine edits, mic in the sound or import it from a full slate of sources, visual editing simplified.

Also comes with the full package of features standard:

  • Room tone generator
  • Noise filters
  • File conversion (.wav to .aif, .aif to .wav, for example)
  • Multiple markers with complete labeling functionality
  • Compression to ADPCM, GSM, ALF2 and other industry-standard compression formats so your audio sounds good on any system using any browser. In other words, listeners hear you, not noise.

Got something to say? Got something worth hearing? Consider adding podcasts to your site and change them often.

Regular, updated podcasts create site stickiness. Give visitors a reason to come back with professional-sounding podcasts.

This is a guest post by Edward Khoo, a tech blogger based in Malaysia. Follow him on Twitter @squall768. Want to guest post for us? Visit the Guest Post information page to read how you can submit guest posts to us.

Automatic Video To MP3 Converter


Want to extract the music from a video file, but don’t want to install a huge software for it? Video 2 MP3 is a KISS tool, which will allow you to extract audio and store it as a MP3 file.

To extract audio from a video file, just drag and drop the file on the Video2MP3 interface and wait a while till it does its job. No pesky menus, no help files, just plain Jane Video to MP3 conversion.

Download Video2MP3 [via Donation Coder]

Handbrake 0.9.4 released With 64bit Support

Handbrake the multiplatform open source video transcoder for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux which was also mentioned in our 35+ Awesome and Free Software list, has just released version 0.9.4 after almost one year. The new version supports 64bit PCs and includes 1000s of bug fixes and enhancements.


The major change in the latest version includes a new build system which allows them to easily build 64bit versions of the software. They have also introduced a new soft subtitles system which can be turned on and off.

HandBrake 0.9.4 also includes a new feature called Live Preview which will allow you to encode smaller parts of the clips before you start the entire encoding. In addition to that, they also have better input support, for DVD and non-DVD sources alike and constant quality encoding.

Other than these there are more than 1000 changes done since the last version 0.9.3, you can read all of them here.

Download Handbrake 0.9.4 for your OS [via TUAW]

Download WinX DVD Ripper For Free

The WinX DVD Ripper team contacted us with an excellent offer that will allow you to download a excellent DVD Ripper costing $24.95 for absolutely free until September 30th 2009.


DVD Rippers basically allow you to save content from a DVD to your hard disk or portable drive.

WinX DVD Ripper Features

  1. Rip DVD to popular video formats as AVI, FLV, WMV, MPEG, MP4, etc.
  2. Rip DVD to popular portable devices including iPhone, iPod, PSP, PDA, Zune, Mobile phone, etc.
  3. Support automatically detecting, connecting and transferring converted videos to portable devices.
  4. Rip DVD audio into MP3 music file.
  5. Support grabbing screenshot from DVD video.
  6. Enable to remove or choose subtitles for output videos.
  7. All video/audio parameters adjustable for users optimizing video quality.
  8. Supper fast ripping speed, up to 300%-500% real time.
  9. Best video/audio quality.
  10. Easy to use and 100% stable.
  11. Multiple DVD source supported as normal DVD, CSS protected DVD, region 1-6, commercial DVD, Sony ArccOS DVDs.

Download WinX DVD Ripper For Free

Search And Download Over 15 Million Songs With Nexus Radio

You may have used thousands of programs to listen songs online, but today I’m going to introduce an exceptional freeware that will fulfill all your music needs.  Nexus Radio is an excellent all-in-one application that will help you to search and download over 15 million songs directly into your PC.

You can even listen and record more than 10,000 radio stations free of charge. You can play downloaded songs directly within Nexus Radio or transfer songs to your iPod/iPhone or any other multimedia device effortlessly.

Nexus Radio

You can easily create custom ringtones using the built in music trimmer. You can even use the Nexus Radio ID3 tag editor to tag your music files.


  • Over 15 million songs.
  • 10,000+ radio stations.
  • 38 music genres.
  • Full featured media player.
  • Audio editor.
  • One click recording.
  • Easy to use TiVo style recording.
  • Recording filters.
  • iPod & iPhone compatible.
  • File support: AAC, MP4, MP3, MP2, MP1, OGG, WAV & WMA.
  • Dynamic stream recorder with auto file naming features.
  • Automatic ID3 v1/v2 tag support.
  • ID3 v1/v2 tag editor.
  • 32 Bit Digital effects.
  • 5.1 Surround Sound.

Nexus Radio 2

Nexus Radio works on Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista. It requires 128MB RAM and 12MB free hard disk space.

[ Download Nexus Radio ]

Upload MP3 Files to YouTube

is a great place to upload and watch videos and listen to music, but by default YouTube does not allow you to upload MP3 files.


Like always there are workarounds for every problem in this case a new service called called MP3 2 Tube will allow you to upload MP3 files to YouTube.

Using this service you can upload any MP3 files to YouTube. You can also add a background image that will be displayed while playing the video.

The service allows you to upload videos directly to your account by using Google Sub Auth API to communicate with YouTube.

MP3 2 YouTube converts the MP3 files to FLV video so that it can upload it to YouTube.

MP3 2 Tube [via Web Upd8]

Manage Your Extensive Music Collections With Music Bee

If you are looking for an application geared toward managing extensive music collections, easy to use and with a comprehensive feature set, then your search is over. MusicBee is an easy to use program that can easily organize, find and play music files on your computer, on portable devices and on the web.


MusicBee plays MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, WMA files. It can even play and Sync iPods and other MP3 players. MusicBee can also edit the tags of all your music files. MusicBee has an excellent feature “Auto-DJ” which can create a playlist for you and discover new music tracks from the web.


  • Organize music files and edit tags in your library with a powerful and easy to use interface.
  • Have new music files automatically added to your library from monitored folders, with the option to tag the files from an Inbox beforehand.
  • Securely rip CD tracks as individual files or as a single album with embedded cuesheet, and with AccurateRip.com validation.
  • Automatically look up Album Art, Lyrics and tag other metadata from the web. Have a track identifed using its digital sound signature.
  • Play MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, WMA files and optionally have tracks scrobbled to Last.fm. Play the web – playlists are created from MP3 blogs you visit.
  • Play and Sync iPods and MP3 players, converting and levelling tracks on-the-fly.
  • Create dynamic playlists based on your own rules.
  • Have the Auto-DJ create a playlist for you and discover new music tracks from the web or old ones from your collection you have forgotten about!

[ Download MusicBee ]