Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

By Anthony Aguirre, Ariel Conn and Max Tegmark

Should artificial intelligence be regulated? Can it be regulated? And if so, what should those regulations look like?

These are difficult questions to answer for any technology still in development stages ― regulations, like those on the food, pharmaceutical, automobile and airline industries, are typically applied after something bad has happened, not in anticipation of a technology becoming dangerous. But AI has been evolving so quickly, and the impact of AI technology has the potential to be so great that many prefer not to wait and learn from mistakes, but to plan ahead and regulate proactively.

In the near term, issues concerning job losses, autonomous vehicles, AI- and algorithmic-decision making, and “bots” driving social media require attention by policymakers, just as many new technologies do. In the longer term, though, possible AI impacts span the full spectrum of benefits and risks to humanity ― from the possible development of a more utopic society to the potential extinction of human civilization. As such, it represents an especially challenging situation for would-be regulators.

Regulations, like those on the food and pharmaceutical industries, are typically applied after something bad has happened, not in anticipation of a technology becoming dangerous.

Already, many in the AI field are working to ensure that AI is developed beneficially, without unnecessary constraints on AI researchers and developers. In January of this year, some of the top minds in AI met at a conference in Asilomar, Calif. A product of this meeting was the set of Asilomar AI Principles. These 23 principles represent a partial guide, its drafters hope, to help ensure that AI is developed beneficially for all. To date, over 1,200 AI researchers and over 2,300 others have signed on to these principles.

Yet aspirational principles alone are not enough, if they are not put into practice, and a question remains: is government regulation and oversight necessary to guarantee that AI scientists and companies follow these principles and others like them?

Among the signatories of the Asilomar Principles is Elon Musk, who recently drew attention for his comments at a meeting of the National Governors Association, where he called for a regulatory body to oversee AI development. In response, news organizations focused on his concerns that AI represents an existential threat. And his suggestion raised concerns with some AI researchers who worry that regulations would, at best, be unhelpful and misguided, and at worst, stifle innovation and give an advantage to companies overseas.

But an important and overlooked comment by Musk related specifically to what this regulatory body should actually do. He said:

The right order of business would be to set up a regulatory agency – initial goal: gain insight into the status of AI activity, make sure the situation is understood, and once it is, put regulations in place to ensure public safety. That’s it. … I’m talking about making sure there’s awareness at the government level.

There is disagreement among AI researchers about what the risk of AI may be, when that risk could arise, and whether AI could pose an existential risk, but few researchers would suggest that AI poses no risk. Even today, we’re seeing signs of narrow AI exacerbating problems of discrimination and job loss, and if we don’t take proper precautions, we can expect problems to worsen, affecting more people as AI grows smarter and more complex.

The number of AI researchers who signed the Asilomar Principles ― as well as the open letters regarding developing beneficial AI and opposing lethal autonomous weapons ― shows that there is strong consensus among researchers that we need to do more to understand and address the known and potential risks of AI.

Some of the principles that AI researchers signed directly relate to Musk’s statements, including:

3) Science Policy Link: There should be constructive and healthy exchange between AI researchers and policy-makers.

4) Research Culture: A culture of cooperation, trust and transparency should be fostered among researchers and developers of AI.

5) Race Avoidance: Teams developing AI systems should actively cooperate to avoid corner-cutting on safety standards.

20) Importance: Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources.

21) Risks: Risks posed by AI systems, especially catastrophic or existential risks, must be subject to planning and mitigation efforts commensurate with their expected impact.

The right policy and governance solutions could help align AI development with these principles, as well as encourage interdisciplinary dialogue on how that may be achieved.

The recently founded Partnership on AI, which includes the leading AI industry players, similarly endorses the idea of principled AI development ― their founding document states that “where AI tools are used to supplement or replace human decision-making, we must be sure that they are safe, trustworthy and aligned with the ethics and preferences of people who are influenced by their actions.” 

Government officials need to learn about and understand how AI could impact their constituents.

And as Musk suggests, the very first step needs to be increasing awareness about AI’s implications among government officials. Automated vehicles, for example, are expected to eliminate millions of jobs, which will affect nearly every governor who attended the talk (assuming they’re still in office), yet the topic rarely comes up in political discussion.

AI researchers are excited ― and rightly so ― about the incredible potential of AI to improve our health and well-being: it’s why most of them joined the field in the first place. But there are legitimate concerns about the possible misuse and/or poor design of AI, especially as we move toward advanced and more general AI.

Because these problems threaten society as a whole, they can’t be left to a small group of researchers to address. At the very least, government officials need to learn about and understand how AI could impact their constituents, as well as how more AI safety research could help us solve these problems before they arise.

Instead of focusing on whether regulations would be good or bad, we should lay the foundations for constructive regulation in the future by helping our policy-makers understand the realities and implications of AI progress. Let’s ask ourselves: how can we ensure that AI remains beneficial for all, and who needs to be involved in that effort?

Top 10 Most Common WordPress Terms You Must Aware Before Starting A WordPress Blog // WordPress Glossary 2018

Top 10 Most Common WordPress Terms You Must Aware Before Starting A WordPress Blog // WordPress Glossary 2018

In the last article, I was talking Why WordPress CMS Is The Best Blogging Platform than Blogger. No doubt, the WordPress is one of the most accepted and widely used blogging platform & website development tool. WordPress started as a blogging platform and proved to be just right & most popular CMS for all the bloggers. The ease with which it enabled all the new bloggers to publish their WordPress blog became the reason for its dominance.

WordPress Terminology for Beginners

People used to search; What are the most common WordPress terms to know about WordPress? Checking common WordPress terms before starting A WordPress blog? How to get familiar with some of the common terms of WordPress? And so on…

The WordPress is really easy and secure platform for creating websites or starting a WP blog. That’s why more than 32% of all of the websites on this web world is powered by WordPress, and still more users are starting as well as moving blogger blog to WordPress to develop their own website to market their merchandise. So, if you are one of those who is looking to publish a blog with WordPress CMS, then this post will be of great interest to you. It is one of the best pages on PBB wrote to help WordPress beginners to start and familiarize themselves with the common WordPress terms and acronyms.

However, before starting a blog, there are few important WordPress terms that you must be aware of. These WordPress definition & the most commonly used terms in WordPress tutorials will allow you in getting started with WordPress. Having a brief knowledge of the terms is really important as they are commonly used in web development. For a tech-savvy person, these most standard WordPress terms are just part of everyday routine work, but on the other hand, it becomes harder to understand those WordPress terms quickly particularly if it’s your first time owning a website. Curiously, quite a lot of users should not be familiar with the most common WordPress phrases and unaware of what they stand for. It is the reason I have outlined the leading WordPress phrases that you should understand & then I described short dictionary of commonly used WordPress terms & expressions below that you need to know while blogging. If you want to start a brand new WordPress blog, you’ll want to be familiar with WordPress terminologies and still have a basic understating of the features they offer. Understanding of basic terms of WordPress is surely going to help the novice to learn more about WordPress functionality. Here’s I have listed the most common 10 WordPress key terms & definition that every site owner should know.

WordPress Terminology for Beginners - Most Common WordPress Terms You Need To Know Before Starting A WordPress Blog
WordPress Terminology – Most Common WordPress Terms You Must Know

In the previous post, I was talking about; 5 Google Adsense Terms & Policies Every Blogger Must Aware 2018 | Beginners Guide and today I’m here to talk about WordPress terms and basic definitions that every blogger must know.

Having information is the must for getting started with anything. So let’s start to know most common WordPress terms that will encounter in your WordPress blogging journey.

WordPress Terminology: Top 10 of The Most Common WordPress Terms You Need To Know

Now WordPress is very easy and secure blogging platform for building websites. But when you work on WordPress content management it is necessary to remember some common topics. Here are some of the most often used phrases and terms you will hear when talking about WordPress.

Even though, you are not yet started using WordPress on your blog; I suggest you know about these WP terms and that’ll assist you in the future. These are the common terms that most of the web designers & developers are used to describe the clients while building the website. So its required you should get familiar with common WordPress phrases.

Let’s have a look at 10 of the most common WordPress terms that you need to know before starting a WordPress blog:

1. WordPress Themes

Themes are one of the most popular terms that are used in the WordPress world. They play a major role in designing the functionalities and visual appeal of your blog. Themes will enable you to increase the speed of your blog and creating an amazing layout for it. These are also referred to as templates or skins.

WordPress will give you the option to choose from the free or the paid versions. Most of the beginners will utilize the free themes; however, those who are willing to spend will choose the paid ones. All the WordPress themes are regularly updated for fixing any security issues, taking care of bugs and enhance the user experience.

You may like to know Top 30 Best-Selling WordPress Themes | Most Popular Premium Website Templates

2. Backend/Frontend

The part of the WordPress interface that is hidden from the visitors and readers is called the backend. This is the purpose why they are not able to see it. A WordPress administrator will only have access to it. It is commonly known as the WordPress dashboard. The backend will enable you to schedule and edit the blog posts, add advertisements, create pages, customize themes, install or disabling themes and plugins, etc.

The interface of the blog that is available for the visitors is termed as frontend. It includes all the things like the layout of the blog, color, design, sidebars, navigation bar, active banners, published posts, etc. The WordPress themes customization at the backend will give a different look to your blog at frontend. Along with the themes, there are some plugins that will assist you in making changes from the frontend.

You must aware about 8 Best Blogging Safety Tips to Make Your Blog Safe & Secure

3. WordPress Plugins

Along with themes, plugins will enable you to add some extra features to your blogs. WordPress offers you a wide range of plugins that you can choose from. A WordPress user that has used the backend area will be very familiar with a plugin.

A plugin will be very useful for your blog as it will improve the speed of your blog, enhance its security, create a backup for your website, add opt-in forms, monetize the blog, share the posts on social media, reduce the size of images, improve the SEO, etc.

While choosing plugins you must aware about 5 Reasons Why Visitors Bounce From Your Business Blog

4. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

Once you are done with the initial setup, FTP doesn’t require much work to be done on it. This is because this is taken care by the user-friendly WordPress hosting services. But it still is important for each and every WordPress user to have knowledge about FTP. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a data transfer protocol that will allow the independent exchange of files between different servers or computers.

FTP will allow to quickly move a file from the computer to the server of your website without going through the cPanel. You can also use FTP to transfer a backed up file from the server to your computer. On setting it up successfully, by providing the username hostname, password, and port by can log in easily.

Recommended to read the Beginners Guide: 7 Ways To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

5. WordPress Widgets

Widgets are the individual elements that can be included directly into the header, footer or the sidebar of your blog. These are added from the backend for improving the layout of your blog, creating extra areas for displaying some specific features and managing the advertisements.

The popular widgets include features like displaying the post categories, newest posts, and latest comments, social media sharing buttons, and autoresponder opt-in forms.

Most important you need to know 8 Serious WordPress Mistakes To Avoid While Creating a Website Beginner Make // Fix WordPress

6. MySQL

WordPress blogs have a major dependency on MySQL for all the information that is related to the blog. Most of the WordPress hosting services companies provide MySQL as the database server. It can be accessed easily in the cPanel that has been provided by the hosting company. By accessing MySQL database, you will be able to do the following things.

  • Optimizing the WordPress Database
  • Taking backup of Database
  • Dropping a Table

All the tasks that are related to MySQL Database are administered by the plugins. So, don’t have to worry about it.

Check out; Free VS Premium WordPress Themes: Pay Or Not | Which is Best? | Pros and Cons | Comparison 2018

7. Permalinks

These are the permanent addresses or URLs for every post, page, download links, categories and all the other things on the website. Permalinks is an URL in the address bar that is sent to people for making them visit a specific page on your website.

WordPress gives you the option to choose different permalink structures for your website. You can select any of those that best suits your website. Some of the webmasters like to add a category while others choose to leave it without adding. It will all grow up to what you prefer and the SEO practices you follow.

You may also like to check; Top 15 Biggest Blogging Mistakes To Avoid 2018

8. Web Host

A web host provides hosting – it is a company that will give you services & hosting space used for storing the applications and files for your blogging website. The web hosting provider will offer you the access to the small piece of the web.

There are a lot of websites consisting of different domain names. All these websites are the part of the web hosting account. The setting up and managing of the necessary software and the web servers is done by the web hosts. All these will enable you to build a blogging website online without facing any hassles.

Quickly read: Top 5 Key Factors To Choose The Best Web-Hosting For Your Website | Quick Guide

9. Permissions

WordPress needs a set level of permissions for performing some specific tasks. One of the best methods to avoid any of the security issues is to only allow a minimum of what is required.

WordPress has certain default permissions for the files and folders. These can be adjusted depending on the configurations of the server. It is totally up to you about the level of security that you want to maintain for your files.

10. Malware

Malware is a chunk of code that will act in a manner in which it is not recommended to. It will try to break the things or even access the information that should be kept secure. This is similar to a virus that infects our personal computers but in a more worse manner.

Your blog will be accessible to the public on the Internet. It could infect a lot of users that come across your blog. This could in return result in spreading the malware to many other users on the web.

Bottom Line

The above-mentioned WordPress terms will be very beneficial for you especially if you are new to the blogging platform. These terms will basically guide you on how to start a WordPress blog. Even if you are an established WordPress blogger, the above terms must be well known to you.

Please let me know your views about the article in the comments section below.

Article By Alana Berge – is a Web Developer by profession and Writer by hobby. She is associated with Awebstar, WordPress Website Development Company Singapore. She likes to stay updated with the latest tech advancements and also loves to contribute to the same.

20 Smart Ways To Get More Subscribers on YouTube in 2017

20 Smart Ways To Get More Subscribers on YouTube in 2017

Video content is leading the way in the content marketing scene (as of 2017). YouTube is currently the leading platform for video blogging (vlogging), video sharing, and video marketing. It is a free platform offered by Google, and many (including me) love it.

Facebook and Twitter have recently stepped into the video marketing game, but they still fall way short of having the kind of impact that YouTube has.

If you currently have a YouTube channel, you must be wondering how you can get more YouTube subscribers, and how you can increase the reach of your YouTube videos.

With over a billion unique YouTube visitors per month, there is a large potential audience for every uploaded video. Whether it’s a video of someone performing a prank or a video of a fashionista’s summerwear review, YouTube is the go-to platform for video consumption.

With a whole new lot of YouTube stars on the rise, it is definitely a platform to be considered by everyone looking for some online marketing and publicity.

YouTube is a great platform for bloggers to broaden their internet reach by making a personal connection with their followers.

The possibility for a blogger to leverage this social media giant and drive huge traffic from YouTube is high. To do that, one first needs to get more subscribers.

Note: This detailed guide to getting YouTube subscribers is long. Make sure you have enough time now to read it, or you can always bookmark it and read it later! 

20 Smart Ways To Get More YouTube Subscribers in 2017

Another year has gone by and your resolution to re-build that YouTube channel of yours has not been accomplished.

If you are thinking about revamping your YouTube channel, here are 20 smart ways to gain more YouTube subscribers in 2017.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a YouTube fan-fest with a VIP invitee (thanks to my wonderful acquaintances), and a little interaction with them will shed some light on how these things work out.

I have another associate (a student of mine) who saw a tremendous amount of growth in his YouTube subscribers and viewers within a span of two years. Although his numbers might not be outrageous, they total well above a million views, which more than justifies his efforts.

All that said, correctly implementing these techniques will surely help you achieve your goals.

1. Create a plan (and script) for your videos.

Drawing board

He who fails to plan is planning to fail.

– Sir Winston Churchill

The first step in getting started on your YouTube journey is to plan what your channel is going to be all about.

Then you need to plan the structure of the videos.

Decide what it is that you love creating and focus on developing related skills. Do not mimic trending YouTube channels. Doing what you love is more important for success on YouTube (and in life).

Videos tend to perform better if you write a script because scripts help you in organizing your videos efficiently and keeping you on track. By sticking to a script, you’ll be able to stay on track without veering off to an unrelated topic. This script will also ensure a perfect flow of events resulting in a well-focused video.

Include as many details as possible into your video script:

  • The exact words you are going to say.
  • The actions you will be taking in the video.
  • The main points you need to stress.
  • Any necessary calls to action (click on this link, subscribe to my channel, etc.)

Also, identify your target audience and write your script based off of their understanding.

Are they technically savvy? Are they non-native English speakers? Are they smart or dumb? What are their levels of expertise in relation to yours? Do they want something funny or informative?

Identify who your audience is and use appropriate language.

2. Produce highly engaging content (obviously).

quality-is-not-an-act-it-is-a-habit

It should go without saying, but you need to create content that is engaging, informative, and entertaining. Make sure it stays that way for the entire duration of the video. Losing the hook in the middle will cost you a lot of viewers.

Content that works the best is content that is either entertaining or informative. The content that really works the best is content that is entertaining AND informative. This is pretty standard with any kind of content marketing, but in particular, videos that inform and entertain are usually the most successful.

Specifically, you should be uploading a combination of burst and evergreen videos. Burst videos will be all the rage for a limited time, getting you instant hits, but will fade away as time passes by.

Evergreen videos are the ones that will get you archived views and will remain relevant irrespective of time. Ideally, if possible, you should try to create mostly evergreen content.

If you fear the wrath of the camera, you can try publishing ‘Screencasts‘. You can still make screencasts entertaining and informative.

Whatever you do, before you hit the publish button, make sure your videos are highly engaging and will be of value to your audience.

3. Increase your uploading frequency.

you-have-to-love-what-you-do-to-want-to-do-it-everyday

Now this is easier said than done, but you cannot ignore its validity. The main reason someone subscribes to a channel is because they love the work of the publisher and wants to see more of their videos.

YouTube subscribers usually do not like channels that don’t produce regular content. Especially in today’s digital age, consumers want continually more and more entertainment. You need to be able to keep up with your subscribers’ demands.

Consistency is the key to developing a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.

Release your videos in a timely, recurring, and structured fashion. Try to publish one video per week… or at least one or two per month.

Stick to your schedule and do not upload videos off of this schedule. This will hurt your reputation. It’s like watching your favorite TV series; a new episode comes out according to a regular schedule. This consistency helps you stay engaged as a viewer.

4. Learn how to optimize your titles.

Being distinguishable is the most important aspect of YouTube success.

One great way to do this is to give your videos offbeat names. This way, you’re going to be getting a lot of people coming to your channel based on curiosity alone.

Having quirky titles will play a major role in getting the views that your channel needs to benefit from the social proof factor.

But to get a maximum amount of views, you will also need to dive into the SEO part of YouTube marketing.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your YouTube titles for greater reach:

  • Use the keyword in the title. This had a larger impact on SEO in the past, but it still has a pretty large effect on video. Google crawlers don’t watch videos the way they read blog posts, so putting the keyword in the title will let Google bots know what your video is all about.
  • Use Google Adwords to identify what people are searching for on the web. Try to tackle videos with a perfect blend of high volume searches and low competition.
  • Don’t make the title too long. Google truncates the length of the video down to 66 characters and adds ‘YouTube |’ before the video (taking an extra 10 characters). Your ideal video title should be no more than 50 characters.
  • Make the title descriptive. Give the audience a sneak peek as to what the video will be about.
  • Make the title engaging. Like I said above, having a quirky title will get more people to click. The more clicks you have, the higher it will rank.
  • Don’t use the word “video” in the title. This will only take up space and won’t help you rank higher on YouTube’s search engine (though it may have an effect on normal search engines).

In short, learn how to write catchy, relevant, and optimized titles.

5. Make the most of channel customizations.

youtube channel customization
If you are going to get visitors to trust your brand on YouTube, you have to make the most of the customization options that YouTube has to offer.

Make yourself appear professional, and viewers will be sure to respect and trust you.

If you already run a blog with a bit of a following, make use of similar branding elements for your YouTube channel. This will make you easily recognizable across all platforms.

Having some well-crafted, custom channel art for YouTube will help you establish yourself as a brand. You can use this pretty cheap (Only $19) YouTube channel art service which lets you create your own optimized YouTube channel art.

Use a custom background header that includes some design elements from your blog.

Make the most of the YouTube channel bio and custom URL to finish up your channel customizations. Keep the bio short and to the point. You can always link to your blog’s URL in the video description for a more detailed bio.

6. Personalize video thumbnails.

Custom YouTube tumbnails

Here is something many YouTube creators agree upon.

Create a custom video thumbnail for each video instead of letting one be randomly generated. This only makes sense.

Using annotations and relevant images as custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos will increase your videos’ CTR (click through rate). A custom video thumbnail with a minor annotation will tell your users what your video is all about.

YouTube currently offers a selection of thumbnails from three intervals – at the 1/4th mark, at 1/2 mark, and at the 3/4th mark. Choose the one that best illustrates what your video is about.

7. Create an engaging channel trailer.

 

YouTube offers a great feature called channel trailers that lets you automatically play a video upon the opening of a YouTube channel.

Your channel trailer is something you must carefully work on and constantly improve to keep visitors engaged.

This is the moment where you need to catch your audience’s attention within a few seconds. The perfect channel trailer is somewhere between 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

Here you will need to provide a reason to your potential subscribers as to why they must stay on your channel, and what it is that you have to offer them.

If you are good in front of the camera, give a quick, informative, and engaging introduction (with a well-structured script).

In your YouTube’s Channel Reports, check the viewer retention rates to see if you are killing off potential subscribers with a boring or lengthy channel trailer.

Tweak it until it’s perfect.

8. Make use of ‘Call to Action’ annotations.

Call-to-action

‘Call to action’ annotations are those annoying popups in the video (which can be a blessing for the YouTube creators). If used in a proper way, you can get more subscribers by making your visitors click them during the video.

Many YouTubers have reported increased channel subscriptions with these annotations added to their videos.

A simple link created for subscribing to the channel can be placed as a call to action in your video.

If you’re using a graphic to add a call to action, you can liven it up with a call to action annotation.

If done in an unobtrusive way, you will see your channel subscriptions grow. 

But again, the key here is not to be annoying. Users will not subscribe if your only reason for making videos is to get more people to subscribe.

Do it smartly, and it will pay off.

9. Use the right tools.

Tubebuddy Youtube Publisher tool

There are a lot of great tools out there. From tools to help you make videos to tools to help you promote your videos, using the right tools will help you increase your organic viewership.

And the more organic views you have, the more potential subscribers you can get.

For me, I have been using TubeBuddy for a while & I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about YouTube marketing.

TubeBuddy will help you find more viewers, make more money, and automate your entire YouTube process. Definitely check it out.

 

Check out this video on how TubeBuddy can help:

 

More YouTube tools:

10. Let people find you.

YouTube-Subscribe-Button

YouTube provides an option to link to your official web page, and if you’ve got one, make sure you do it.

This makes sense, and there’s no reason for you not doing it.

The efforts you put into getting visitors for your YouTube channel can be capitalized on when you direct your most curious visitors to your website. Moreover, your channel will also become verified as an authentic representation of your brand on YouTube.

Under the channel settings of your YouTube page, add your website/blog URL to your channel.

You may also consider adding your website/blog URL in the channel description itself.

Similarly, add a ‘Subscribe’ button somewhere on your blog to drive more subscribers to your YouTube channel.

Read: How To Add YouTube Subscribe Button On Your Blog

11. Limit the videos to under 5 minutes.

Ideal video length

Although YouTube is home to many detailed, in-depth reviews and other such lengthy content, the high converting videos are the ones which are optimized for less than 5 minutes in length.

Comscore reported in January 2014 that the average length of most YouTube videos was around 4.4 minutes. For content creators who are getting started, this is the golden number.

Follow this number until a following is built.

Once you have a good following, you can experiment with video length and see what your audience’s reaction is.

Keep it short, simple, informative, entertaining, and under 5 minutes.

It is a tough challenge, but it’s worth your efforts.

12. Use A YouTube Intro & Outro.

Your YouTube intro and outro not only helps in branding, it will make your video more entertaining.

Having an intro and outro will serve your brand and offer your video a sense of professionalism. It’s like the opening theme song of a TV show.

Moreover, an attractive intro will ensure that your viewers stay glued to the rest of the video.

Here is an example from my channel:

 

Check out how you can get one of these for your YouTube channel.

13. Edit your videos ruthlessly.

Im-a-big-fan-of-editing

Thomas Hawk, a well-renowned photographer, claims that for every single photograph that he publishes, he has ten rejected shots. The same goes with any type of editing.

Ruthlessly edit your YouTube videos and make sure only your best ones get published.

If you make haste about strictly adhering to your schedule and publish haphazardly, it will only hurt you and your brand as a whole. Make a lot of recordings while you are shooting a video, and make sure only the best parts get selected.

Take multiple shots if you don’t feel confident about a certain take.

Although I haven’t done much video editing on a Macintosh, Adobe Premier will work perfectly if you are based on Windows. Get the right editing tools to assist you in this (often) painstaking process.

If are willing to invest more time and effort to understanding cinematography, I recommend you check out The Five C’s of Cinematography: Essential tips for film making. It has some great cutting-edge techniques for both the novice and the seasoned cinematographer.

14. Optimize your video descriptions.

video-descriptions

Coming back to the SEO aspect of YouTube videos, the video description is not to be neglected.

The description will not only let your videos be found in search engines, they’ll also give potential viewers an idea of what your video is about.

But don’t overdo it. Having a very detailed description makes no sense because only the first few lines of your description show up when the video is initially loaded.

Again, like the title, you should use your keyword in the description, and again, don’t overdo it. Don’t think you’re outsmarting the search engine by adding in your keyword 17 times. Doing this will actually hurt your chances of showing up in searches.

Keep it natural and authentic.

Hint: You can try linking people to a ‘squeeze page’ in your video description.

15. Make the most of meta tags.

meta-tags

Make use of the Google Keyword Planner for getting ideas on relevant keywords for your YouTube videos. Add all of those relevant keywords to your videos. This will help you become more discoverable in both Google and YouTube search engines.

Overdoing keywords will not help (it will actually hurt), but a few well-researched and well-placed keywords can do wonders for your rankings.

A low video count may not always be only about poor content; it could also indicate poor discoverability

Metadata is something that plays a major role in getting your videos displayed in search results. You can browse some well-converting videos and see what meta tags they are using to give you some ideas. But don’t just copy and paste meta tags; this won’t help your cause.

Here’s a video guide to help you out:

 

16. End your videos on a high note.

Whatever the nature of your videos, make sure you end your videos on a high note.

Just like the last dialogue before the curtain falls, make sure you end your videos in a memorable fashion.

Ask your audience for a subscription and a like if they liked the video. Tell them to check out your website. Give them your phone number and ask them to call you (…I wouldn’t recommend that one).

Whatever you do, remember:

  • If you never ask, the answer will always be no.

End your videos on a note of confidence and let your audience know that you appreciate their viewership.

Create a tail slate, or a brand-like outro with a standard banner and “subscribe” annotations across all of your videos.

End your videos with a smile and keep your visitors eager for more.

17. Consider collaborating with fellow YouTubers.

YouTube collaboration

Collaborating on YouTube has become pretty common recently among top content creators.

Why?

  • Because collaboration benefits everyone.

It’ll be good for you, for your collaborators, and for the audience.

The creative process is a constructive one, and seeing other YouTubers as your competitors will only impede your progress, leaving you languishing and loathing others’ successes.

Try to reach out to similar users in your field and ask them out for an opportunity to work together on something interesting.

You’ll be able to connect to a new audience, your collaborator will be able to connect to a new audience, and your viewers will love all of this extra value they’re getting.

It’s a win-win-win.

18. Interact with your loyal fan base.

Social media is built upon this intangible thread of connecting and interacting with fellow people.

  • It is all about how much you care.

When your fans know that you care about them, they will care about you.

Interact with your audience, and listen to their requests in the comments section of your videos. It is true that you may face certain backlashes and anger in your comments section, but brush it off with elegance and listen to your loyal fan base.

Reply to the comments under your videos, and make your viewers feel connected all the time. This will build trust, and they will respect you for caring about them.

19. Consider giveaways and video challenges.

HNHH YouTube Giveaway

Who doesn’t love giveaways?

Offer your audience something in return for all of their engagement on your YouTube channel.

A free giveaway or video contest will reward your current followers, and will help lure in new followers.

You can give away anything you want:

  • A new tech gadget.
  • A branded t-shirt.
  • A hosting subscription.
  • A new car…!

Whatever it is, your audience will love the chance of getting something for free, and they will tell all of their friends about it (especially if the prize is really good). This is not only free promotion, it’s free viral promotion.

For a really big giveaway, many YouTube hosts require users to follow all of their social media profiles to enter into the contest. I recommend this approach.

It’s best if the thing you’re giving away is related to your niche, but even if it’s not, your audience will still love getting something for free.

20. Cross-platform promotion is a necessity.

social-media-cross-promotion

In this age of social media, being present and active on multiple social platforms is a pre-requisite for being alive.

If you’re trying to build a brand, being discoverable is a must. You need to be active on many major social media platforms.

You should at least have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. But you can always opt for other ones like Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, and all of the others… If being on too many social media platforms sounds like a logistical nightmare, you can use an auto-scheduling app like Buffer to help you stay organized and on a regular posting schedule.

You can also try Facebook Ads and Google Ads to promote yourself further on the web (I’d recommend trying Facebook Ads before Google Ads). You can also try tools like Pay with a tweet that lets users pay for a product with a tweet.

This is how successful brands are built. By being visible on many places around the web, you set yourself up as an omniscient presence.

Bonus Tip: Hustle for your first 1000 YouTube subscribers.

Whatever you do, have an aggressive strategy to get out there and get your first 1000 subscribers as quickly as possible.

The ‘build it, they’ll come’ attitude won’t work on social media. You will need to promote your channel to your maximum abilities. A channel that’s quickly gaining buzz will also help you stay motivated to work even harder and create better videos for your audience.

Share with your friends what you’ve been working on, and ask for a subscription if they are interested. Remember, don’t keep pestering friends; they are not obliged to do anything.

Get out there on other social media platforms with some personal connections and let them know about your undertakings. Ask them for likes and subscriptions (if they’re interested).

Again, don’t pester anyone!

Conclusion: Keep experimenting and exploring

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”

— M. C. Escher

What worked for someone else might not turn out to work for you. So, keep experimenting and stick to the methods that work… for you.

Keep experimenting with camera angles, backgrounds, video thumbnails, and all of the techniques in this article. Keep tracking your changes and the way they are affecting your audience’s behavior.

Stay true to your brand.

Building something of value on YouTube takes a lot of effort, time, perseverance, and a long-term commitment. But eventually, with patience, you can reap its benefits.

What are some other strategies you think should be mentioned here? Shout out your thoughts on how to build YouTube subscribers in the comments below.

Like this post? Share it with your friends!

 


Best Free JavaScript Modal Window Plugins

Best Free JavaScript Modal Window Plugins

You can find plenty of pure CSS modals but these don’t offer the same control as JavaScript. With a JavaScript modal, you can add custom animations, UI inputs, and really enhance the user experience.

But, why design something from scratch when you can use a JS library? I have collected the best free JavaScript-powered modal scripts here for you to peruse and single out your favorites.

All of these are completely free and open-source, so you can edit the code and restyle them to fit your site as needed.

1. Tingle

Tingle.js plugin

One of my favorite free modal scripts is Tingle.js. It’s built on vanilla JavaScript with no dependencies, so you don’t need any jQuery or Zepto libraries.

Plus, it’s a fairly small library, although it does have a lot of options for customization. You can change the CSS transitions, the JavaScript modal animations, and the whole user experience with just a few settings.

Tingle.js is designed to be fully accessible and responsive, so it works on mobile devices and supports older browsers, too.

You can see all the documentation on GitHub, along with the free source code. They also have a demo link, so you can check out Tingle in action to see if it could fit on your website.

2. Vanilla Modal

Vanilla Modal JavaScript plugin

Here’s a modal I just found recently and it’s a whole lot simpler than most. Vanilla Modal stands true to its name with a pure vanilla script powering the modal, along with CSS transitions.

This thing is pretty small and super flexible, with custom CSS to restyle the windows. It also has quite a few options you can alter with JavaScript, making it perfect for running DOM functions or even callback functions.

Take a peek at the demo page to see the default style. It’s a really basic design, so it’ll require customizations to use it on a production site. But this also cuts down on the total code requirements, so it’s one of the slimmest JavaScript modal libraries.

3. SweetAlert2

Sweetalert2 modal

I loathe default JavaScript alerts because they’re just annoying and obtrusive. In this era of web design, we simply don’t need default browser alerts, especially with scripts like SweetAlert2.

This free JavaScript library comes with zero dependencies and works just like a modal window. However, it supports OK/Cancel inputs from the user, so you can design these and use them like alert boxes, too.

You won’t need any other scripts, so SweetAlert2 runs pretty light. Take a look at the demos to see how the modals look like in a real web page. SweetAlert2 is a perfect solution for stylish modal alert boxes.

4. plainModal

plainModal JavaScript plugin

If you want a really simple script I highly recommend plainModal. It is built on jQuery, but it’s one of the smallest modal scripts available.

It does not use any external CSS or image files. Just one single JS script is all you need.

Once the plainModal script is added to your page, you just target the modal button and you’re good to go. This grants you control over the display and how much you want to alter the modal interface.

Plus, you can set up the modal with one line of JavaScript keeping with the minimalist theme of this plugin.

5. Modaal

Modaal plugin

There’s no denying accessibility is huge on the web. Every designer’s goal should be a more inclusive experience for people around the world on various devices & with possible limitations.

With Modaal, you get that perfect experience which passes the WCAG 2.0 test with a solid AA accessibility rating. You can see a fantastic example on the main page, along with some code documentation.

Overall, I recommend this vanilla JavaScript plugin for anyone who really cares about accessibility. The AA rating can be required on some web projects, so Modaal is a really handy script to keep bookmarked.

6. Scotch JS Modal

Custom JavaScript Scotch.io tutorial

The development team at Scotch.io publish tutorials and guides for coders. Their work is incredible and it really shows in this JavaScript modal script, hosted on the Scotch GitHub.

The modal was developed by Ken Wheeler and this script even has a full tutorial if you want to learn how it works. However, the free code should be enough for most developers since this is super lightweight and easy to set up. No dependencies, and even a sample demo on CodePen.

7. Bootbox.js

Bootbox.js plugin

The fastest way to launch a new web project is through Bootstrap. It’s a powerful frontend framework that encourages developers to create their own add-ons to the library.

One such example is Bootbox.js, a small JavaScript library, designed solely for modal windows in Bootstrap. It actually works on dialog boxes where the user can click OK or cancel, based on your request.

Typical JavaScript dialogs are awful, just like alert boxes. The Bootbox script offers a solid alternative for anyone working in the BS3/BS4 ecosystem.

Again, it’s totally free and open-source, along with a lengthy documentation page to get you up & running fast.

8. iziModal.js

iziModal.js plugin

If you need a solution a little more customized check out iziModal.js. This tool is fully responsive and designed to work in all modern browsers perfectly.

I’ve yet to find another modal script that offers such an aesthetically pleasing design. It comes out the gate with a gorgeous UI that can blend into practically any website. However, you can also restyle the design to suit your needs.

Just note this plugin does run on jQuery, so it’s one of the few here that has a dependency. But, if you want the iziModal styles it’s a small price to pay for such sleek popover windows.

9. jQuery Modal

jQuery modal

The jQuery Modal plugin is perhaps the simplest modal script on jQuery you’ll ever find.

It can be programmed to automatically bind with certain HTML elements based on various attributes. It also supports keyboard shortcuts such as ESC for closing the window.

In total, this plugin measures less than 1KB and it works in every possible browser you can imagine. jQuery developers should keep this plugin saved for quick access to a simple modal script without the extra frills.

10. PicoModal

PicoModal plugin

Getting back towards vanilla JavaScript, we have the PicoModal library. This is probably one of the smallest scripts you’ll find and it’s designed to run perfectly on a vanilla JavaScript backbone.

It supports all modern browsers, including mobile browsers for Android and Mobile Safari for iOS. It even supports older IE browsers, dating back to IE7!

PicoModal’s developer created a small JSfiddle script to demonstrate how it works. This is a very small example and it’s not tied to a click event or anything else, but it’s not hard to script in a few toggle buttons to run this modal window properly.

11. Avgrund

Avgrund plugin

Avgrund is probably one of the most unique modals in this list. It uses a custom page fading effect, along with a shrinking animation to bring the modal right into view.

Not everyone will appreciate this animation, so I can’t say this script would fit every website. But, it is a pure vanilla modal and it’s super easy to set up, with just a CSS and a JavaScript file.

Take a look at the demo page to see how it runs. It’s certainly got a unique style and is bound to grab attention with the custom animations that just work.

Final words

No matter what you’re looking for, I’ll bet there’s something in this list to suit your needs. But, if you’re still not satisfied browse through GitHub for related modal scripts and see what else you can find.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC

How to Build a Great Media Center PC

This guide will take you through the various available options for a home media center (also known as Home Theatre Personal Computers or HTPCs). More and more people are changing to the cord cutting lifestyle


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, eschewing traditional television networks for streaming services and alternative methods of viewing live television.

From simple, pre-made solutions through to home built dedicated media machines and the software required for them, this guide should help you replace your out of date set top boxes, and add functionality to your television — smart or otherwise!

Before we get started, what exactly is a media center?

Why Have a Home Media Center?

A good home media center is an extension of the television, but provides much greater functionality. They can:

Exactly how much of the above functionality you end up with depends on how much you are willing to spend, and what level of complexity in the setup you are willing to deal with. Whatever your budget or tolerance for tinkering with things, there are options.

What You Need

Before going into detail over the options, it is worth considering what you actually need in a media center. Do you mostly just want to watch Netflix, TV and the occasional DVD? Have you bought into the Ultra HD Blu-ray


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hype? Are you looking for the latest in 4K HDR for the crispest picture possible?

Do you already use Apple products and want to keep your tech in one wheelhouse? Are you itching to build something totally custom from scratch? The answer to each one of these questions can help you decide between one of these options:

  • Smart TV: Televisions have got a lot smarter since the advent of media serving machines, and many provide the basics of an HTPC all in one box. If you are simply looking for a good picture and access to on demand services like Netflix then this is the option for you.
  • Wireless Media Device: These come in many forms, but the most commonplace are the Roku box/dongle, the Amazon Fire TV stick, and the Chromecast. All of these options work with all the major streaming services, and also with the Plex media server. In almost all cases, any of these will suit your needs for less money than a dedicated media center. As most of these devices now support 4K, it’s worth reading up on these services before committing to building a HTPC to see if you can save yourself some money!
  • Apple TV: Apple TV is a separate box which attaches to your already purchased television via HDMI, and connects to Apple streaming services via your home network. There are alternatives to the Apple TV such as the Amazon Fire TV stick which provide a similar service. If you are an Apple lover through and through, you’d be hard pushed to find a better solution than the Apple TV for your needs.
  • Media Center Extender: While these devices are much less common these days, they bridge the gap between your PC and your already existing television. This allows playback of media from your computer such as downloaded videos and music. While the standalone solutions are all but gone, the Xbox One and PS4 can provide the same service.
  • Build a Custom HTPC: This option is the most flexible, and the most complex. By building a custom PC for your media needs you can have it set up exactly as you like, and even add your game library to your living room. It is the most flexible way to go in terms of budget, with modern lower range PCs being more than capable of HD playback. The more you are willing to spend, the more the functionality expands, with the option of integrating 4K HDR to your setup. There are also many options in terms of onboard software to give you a truly custom experience.
  • Repurpose an old computer: Finally, reusing an old computer can be the perfect way to retire an old work horse and put it to good use. With a few modifications most older computers will be able to provide many of the features of a modern media center, and unless you have a huge 4K ready television to plug it into, the quality shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Of course, all of this depends on the specs of your old machine.

Apple TV

The Apple TV has developed significantly since its introduction in 2007. What started as a box to sync files between your computer and television has blossomed into a fully functional media system


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.

Apple TV fully integrates with all other Apple products — although it will also play nice with PCs to share media through iTunes. Users of HomeKit


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can control their smart home using the Apple TV box too, and with the new edition of the Apple TV 4k, it’s able to deliver the highest quality media with the minimum fuss.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC Apple Tv 670

The benefit of this setup for Apple users is obvious; all of your iTunes purchases are available from the cloud, with local storage available too in case of internet outages. All of your Apple devices are compatible also, making it simple to pass media between your television, your iPhone and iPad.

With the addition of Channels, it is possible to watch live television using a pay as you go on demand approach. This bridges the gap between a purely on demand service and live television that many people find on demand services lacking.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC channels 2 0 apple tv 925mac 670
Image Credit: 9to5mac.com

One place Apple TV is lacking is any way to play DVDs or Blu-ray disks. As most media is now on demand or purchased digitally this may not be a problem for you, but if you already have a large collection of physical media this might not be the answer for you.

Plex users are also able to access their library using the Plex app available from the App Store, although Plex does not yet support full 4K HDR functionality. Apple have also pushed into the realm of gaming recently with many games available to play on the device including Minecraft


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— though these games are App store exclusives or updates of games available for Apple handheld devices.

If you’re already familiar with Kodi, you’ll be pleased to hear that it is possible to use it with the Apple TV


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as well. We’ll be going over both Kodi and Plex later in this guide.

For films, television and shows on demand, the Apple TV covers all bases, especially if you are already an Apple lover. There are large range of devices which function in a similar way these days, from the Amazon Fire TV stick, to the hugely popular Chromecast, and the Nvidia Shield. If you come from a console gaming background however, there is an alternative!

Xbox One X/PS4 Pro

Are you a console gamer? Then you probably already have a fully functional media device! Using a games console as a media center is a concept that has been around for a long time. Recently both the Xbox One X


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and the PS4 Pro


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have expanded this concept to include almost every streaming service.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC XboxOneX2

If you primarily want to watch streaming services, or watch DVD and Blu-ray content, then it is hard to beat the Xbox One X, with its support for full HDR at 4K. The PS4 Pro provides almost the same service, however it is lacking a HD Blu-ray capable drive, leaving it slightly behind its Microsoft counterpart.

Also, if you have a large collection of films and music on your computer you can access them from either console. We have discussed the merits of both platforms


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in detail previously, and have a simple to follow guide for connecting your Xbox to your computer


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.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC XB1Netflix 670
Image Credit: support.xbox.com

At present, the Nintendo Switch


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has no support for streaming video services. Nintendo do plan on incorporating the service in the future though. With the flow between Switch tablet and television, it could bring a very unique experience to Nintendo users, but for now the Switch is purely a gaming device!

Build Your Own

The real holy grail of media systems is to build your own from scratch. This gives you full control over the quality and the way the media is served. It also allows you to future proof your setup to an extent, saving costly upgrades whenever the technology leaps forward.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC home media center 670
Image Credit: forum.kodi.tv

A good media center replaces your set top box, cable box, DVD/Blu-ray player, and in some cases even your television, with some people electing to use a 4K capable computer monitor in the place of a traditional television.

Exactly how much to spend on a rig depends entirely on what you wish to use it for, and a well built computer can always be upgraded


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at a later date.

If you are mostly interested in watching television shows and films then there are budget builds which will more than suffice, whereas if you are looking for an all in one gaming and video experience, it’s worth looking into higher end components capable of handling the demand of modern day games.

In this guide, we will price out a budget build, aimed at watching shows and movies, which is both compact and quiet.

Case: SilverStone Sugo Series SG09B

We’ll be using a microATX case for this build — while there are smaller cases available, this case runs fairly quiet and allows space for upgrades in the future. It also lacks some of the more flamboyant LED effects and moulded plastic of its gaming counterparts, so should fit nicely into any living room! The Silverstone Sugo Series SG09B is widely regarded to be a great case for the price.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC case 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1200

For our processor we’ll use the AMD Ryzen 3 1200. Since its release, these processors have been widely regarded as amazing value, and are routinely cited as being incredibly high performance for their place in the market. For this type of build the stock Wraith Stealth cooler is quiet, keeps our processor cool, and is included with the processor.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC ryzen 3 1200 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

Motherboard: ASRock AB350M Pro4 AM4

This motherboard plays nicely with our chosen processor, and contains all of the functionality needed for a machine of this kind. The motherboard outputs 4K at 24Hz, though this can be extended by the addition of a graphics card. While this board isn’t up there with the high end products you’ll see on purely gaming rigs, it’s hard to beat the quality it offers at this price.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC motherboard 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB

One thing that it is never worth skimping on is RAM. These matched 8GB sticks offer excellent performance, and should see your system through to the future without any need for change. Get good RAM now, avoid headaches later!

How to Build a Great Media Center PC RAM 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

PSU: CORSAIR SF Series SF450 450W

Power supplies are another part which is prone to failure, so it is important to pick the right one and get something trusted from the get go. Corsair are a highly regarded brand for PSUs, and this supply for microATX systems is well reviewed from novice and professional reviewers alike.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC PSU 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

Hard Drive: Seagate ST3000DM003 3TB

For a HTPC, storage is important. You want somewhere you can store all of your films, serials, music, and other media, without constantly worrying about running out of space. To begin with, a single 3TB drive should suffice, and you can always buy a secondary drive in time if you fill this one up completely.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC HDD 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

With the above parts you should have a fully functional media machine! There are a few optional components to consider however, which can upgrade your experience


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depending on what your requirements are.

SSD: SAMSUNG 850 EVO 250GB

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are widespread in computing now, and it’s easy to see why. An SSD speeds up your computer so much that it can breathe life into old machines. While there are some considerations


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to take in when upgrading, as a general rule any SSD is going to give greater performance over a standard HDD. The real trick when it comes to storage, is to keep your operating system on an SSD


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, while storing your files on a much larger HDD.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC SSD 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

Blu-ray Drive: Pioneer 4K UHD Blu-ray Burner

If Blu-ray is your thing, make sure to get yourself a fully up to date drive. This drive is capable of reading and writing full HD Blu-ray, and should keep your DVD/Blu-ray collection alive for the foreseeable future!

How to Build a Great Media Center PC bluray 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

A graphics card (GPU) can add a huge amount to your system, but they always come at a price. The GTX 1070 Ti is a well known and trusted card for gamers and cryptocurrency miners alike. This card gives full 4K HDR output, and will allow your system to play most games, but at its current price it shoots the budget of this build up quite significantly. Luckily, a card can always be added to your system at a later date.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC GPU 670
Image Credit: newegg.com

While this system will take care of the needs of most people, building computers is always fraught with differences in opinion, and widely different results at different price points. If at any point you are not sure about how much to spend, or what to get, spend some time reading reviews of any part you wish to get and looking into alternatives. Special offers on parts or lucking out and finding a fairly new part second hand can save a decent amount of money!

Media Center Software

Now that you have your hardware setup, you need a software solution to give you access to your streaming services and locally stored files. Even an older computer and laptop can have a new lease of life as a media server, and while you may not be able to enjoy full 4k quality with it, the right software can make that dusty old computer useful again!

Windows used to have its own software for this called the Windows Media Center


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, but the service was discontinued and is not compatible with Windows 10. Today, Kodi and Plex are widely regarded as the best pieces of software for HTPCs, and many systems use a combination of the two.

The software is similar in functionality, with the big difference being Kodi is designed to store and present media on the same device, whereas plex is designed to be a cloud service, streaming video from a server to a device.

Kodi

Kodi started life as the Xbox Media Center in 2002, but over the years has been developed as an open source media solution which will run on almost any platform. For the purposes of this guide we will assume your HTPC will be running Windows 10, though it is widely used on Mac and Linux systems, and can even run on a Raspberry Pi


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!

How to Build a Great Media Center PC kodi

Kodi will play almost any file you throw at it, and is a great way to keep your media library organised on one device. Kodi can be customised


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with different skins and backgrounds to suit almost anyone’s sense of aesthetics.

Different profiles are also available meaning that your shows can be kept separate from other people you share the television with. Kodi can be controlled remotely using Kore, the official app for Kodi. Since this remote works over your home network, any smartphone or tablet can now be used as a remote.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC Kore 2 670
Image Credit: stadt-bremerhaven.de

Kodi also has a collection of user created add-ons


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giving access to a huge amount on online content. Users are advised to use a VPN


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when accessing these services, and people have received copyright notices in the past for illegally streaming in their region.

Make sure you understand what is legal


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and what isn’t before making a start here! Unfortunately, even with legitimate Netflix or Amazon Prime accounts, Kodi no longer supports these streaming services, though they are available through a web browser or Windows app.

Kodi is the undisputed king of single point media centers. Given that it is free and open source, and with the level of customisation available, it’s no surprise that Kodi is the most popular front end software for custom media centers.

Plex

Plex is similar to Kodi in many ways, though there are several important distinctions. While Kodi is an enclosed system designed to serve media on one device, Plex operates like a media server which transcodes video before delivering it to one or more devices.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC plex channels 1

Another important distinction to make with Plex is its price. Plex has a free option which functions in a similar way to Kodi, though many Plex apps require a Plex subscription to use. These apps include multiple device functionality, and the ability to watch and record live television broadcasts. Plex subscriptions are cheap, with monthly and yearly subscriptions costing only $4.99 and $39.99 respectively.

How to Build a Great Media Center PC plexprices 670

Unfortunately, Plex also suffers from a lack of Netflix. Many users report that the original Netflix for Plex app stopped working in 2015, and it doesn’t look like any solution is near due to Netflix changing the way their service is distributed.

With Plex’s intuitive design allowing anyone to create their own cloud media system, and Kodi’s great design and user experience, it’s no surprise they are frequently used together. Luckily, both services make it easy to combine the two, and the Plex for Kodi addon makes it easy to access your Plex server from within the Kodi app.

Finishing Off

Building a custom media center on a budget is a great way to get away from the standard television networks. Whether your media is stored digitally or in the cloud


Network Storage Solutions Explained: Cloud vs. NAS vs. SAN vs. DAS




Network Storage Solutions Explained: Cloud vs. NAS vs. SAN vs. DAS

We are a civilization of data creators. However, storage runs out. Networked-storage solutions are extremely useful, but what type is right for you? If you’re unsure, we’ve explained the four main types.
Read More

, a single point of access gives you a great sense of control over your own media.

While there are plenty of other options


The 8 Best Devices for Streaming Movies to Your TV




The 8 Best Devices for Streaming Movies to Your TV

There are several ways to stream media to your TV, and deciding which way is right for you can be overwhelming. Let us help you explore what’s currently available.
Read More

for streaming media to your television, a PC in the living room is the ultimate in geeky entertainment systems. There are benefits to replacing your old TV set top box with a computer that reach beyond simply enjoying your favourite shows. A HTPC can also bring all of the functionality of a computer to your living room.

Do you use a HTPC? What functionality have you added to it to give it the edge over other home media systems? Let us know about your builds and plans in the comment section below!


6 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Bluetooth Keyboard

How to Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

How to Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos
Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Now you can Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos using the apps that will help you to add your favorite tracks to any video that you upload. So have a look at complete guide discussed below to proceed.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms that is used by millions of the users every day. It is the best available app by the Facebook developers that gained its popularity due to the feature that it makes it immensely easier to share the videos as well as the images to others those who are connected. Sharing of the videos is one of the best options that this social media has to offer to the users. While the users have the option available to edit the videos and the images too before sharing on their timeline. Most of the users won’t be knowing about the exact way to edit the media files before editing so that it looks aesthetically great over the screen. By this, we would be talking about the videos especially because for image editing purposes nobody would get any issues. Now one of the most required things that the users always seek is the possibility to add the music to the Instagram videos. It is hard to find the options for the same and to edit the videos from the original state to established ones. For the user’s convenience, we have written this article where we have described the whole method of editing and hence adding the music to the Instagram Videos. If anyone of you is interested to know about the same they shall keep on reading this whole post until the end, they would get to know about the full information.

Also Read: 5 Useful Instagram Tips to Get that Picture Perfect Post

How to Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Here in this article, we would be telling you about some of the best apps that could be used to add the music to the Instagram Videos. If you are interested in getting this functionality then please prefer to use the below apps for your device

Also Read: How to Uninstall Tweaks from Your Jailbroken iPhone

#1 VidLab

Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos
Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

A Pro-level tool for those who are interested to induce or add the Music to the Instagram videos. The only thing is that you will need to download the music file before using this tool as this tool could access the storage music files in addition to the Instagram videos. This tool is only available on the iOS so the Android users not be able to get the benefits of it.

#2 Videoshop

Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos
Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Available for around 2 dollars the users could use this tool to get the same facility to add the music to the Instagram videos through using the smartphone device only. This tool is available for both Android as well as iOS and it is to be noted that both of the device users can get the benefits of numerous video filters that could be added to the Instagram videos.

#3 InstaVideo

Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos
Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Gorgeous looking interface and the less tech-savvy options providing the direct output could be the way for those seeking this kind of app. Now the addition of music is one of the options for this video editor, not basically video editor as it lacks advanced options. Users just try it and you will find it to be the best app for the purpose of adding music to the Instagram videos!

#4 Background Music For Video

Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos
Easily Add Music to Instagram Videos

Another good app for the smartphone users that could be used to grab the options of availing the feature to add music to the Instagram Videos. Here you have got many options for the apps but we should say that you might love to use this different app. Try it and you will not leave it anyways.

Also Read: How To Add Picture Zoom Feature On Instagram

At the last of this post, the users who have read the full article would have got to know about the easy method to add music to the Instagram videos. We have tried to write in such a way that every user reading this post would be able to get the total knowledge about the method or the way embedded here in this article. Now we just hope that all of the users might have liked this post and the information provided here if it is so then please try to share it with others so that most of the people could get to know about the same. Comment below regarding this post and provide us with your valuable suggestions and the opinions such that we could imply these in our next posts!

AUTHOR

Every Business Needs a Digital Marketing Agency – Here’s Why

Every Business Needs a Digital Marketing Agency – Here’s Why

In this day in age, any brand looking to be successful needs to have a digital presence. A website and social media platforms are a benchmark and need to have time and money invested in them. Any business looking to grow has the face up to the fact that being online is the key to that growth. However, to get the most out of the money you spend, you are going to need a digital marketing agency. Here’s why:

Rich Content

A marketing agency will ensure the content is resourceful, it is understandable, and it fits the target audience. Some of the things they do to ensure you have the rich content are by placing it where it should and by use of the right words. When all this is combined with professional marketing, your website becomes credible which translates into success. 

Ensures Social Media Presence

You can all attest that social media presence is one effective way of marketing in today’s world. To know which content should be placed where, where that link will work and what is trending, a social media agency will ensure this works toward your best. The digital marketing experts consider the Internet their best friend, and by ensuring social media presence, your website reaches the global audience which translates to more business.

They are Better Versed with Keywords

Keywords play a big role in the ranking of your website. Using the right keywords or phrases and placing them strategically means a lot. You may have an idea of which keyword would work, but this is not enough. You need an expert who does not only understand the basics of SEO, but they are well versed and are aware of the latest trends in the market. Due to the importance of keywords and phrases, you should hire a digital marketing expert.

They Provide Reliable Analytics

A good digital marketing agency an all-rounder. Throughout your marketing campaign, you need reliable analytics that helps in determining the profit ratio and boosts your website’s ranking through keywords and content. With such professional analytics and by use of the right tools, your website will rank higher.

The Help in Making Your Website More Appealing

Just by looking at your website, a random visitor can become a long-time client, or you may turn a potential customer away. This should not be happening in the era where you can hire a knowledgeable expert. They ensure they are up to date with the latest design and color schemes to make your website more appealing.

Making your online business successful requires more than an excellent service or products. No matter how good the products that you are selling are, you need to create awareness amongst the potential clients. The best way to reach these clients is through a digital marketing agency considering that many people round the globe can access the internet. One advantage of such an agency is that you do not have to break the bank to maximise on your profits.

This article has been written by Bravr Digital Marketing, an agency specialising in helping brands develop and grow an online presence.

 

The Top 5 Must Have Browser Extensions for Marketers

The Top 5 Must Have Browser Extensions for Marketers

For digital marketers, you are usually using a web browser throughout the day. You should take advantage of resources available that can make your browsing experience easier and more efficient, including utilizing the right browser extensions.

You’re most likely already using a variety of tools for measuring marketing metrics like SEO, social media impact, website loading speed, ad reach, and much more. Most of these types of tools are focused online, but you may need to open up a new tab to keep them running. Extensions make all your regular tools more efficient and put them within your reach every moment you’re using your browser.

best-browser-exetnsions

There are a lot of great browser extensions out there, but what are the top 5 must haves for Marketers?

  1. LastPass

There’s a lot of debate about which password manager is the best out there. To be fair, there are a lot of different password managers to choose from! But, LastPass offers a great mix of features and affordability that’s got an edge on some of the competing programs. You can take advantage of the free version if you just want something for a small operation with a limited number of devices, or pay $24 per year for the full features on unlimited devices.

LastPass is great when you have a lot of different logins for your own digital marketing company and brands you’re working with. It keeps you from using the same passwords over and over by generating new long passwords for everything. All you have to do to log in is click on the extension and select the right account. You can also auto-login if you prefer. A lot of different secure login options are supported, like fingerprint scanning and two-factor authentication.

  1. Nimbus Screenshot

Nimbus is the best screenshot extension around.  You can capture partial or full-page screen shots that you can edit and mark up.  The extension also allows you to capture video – yes, video! – from your screen for free.  The support is fantastic and they seem to be updating the extension regularly.

  1. Pocket

You don’t always have time to read everything you come across, so pocket helps you save the most interesting stuff for later.  Pocket allows you to save URL’s you want to check out at a later time. You can save links with categorized tags and even open them again on a separate device. When I have some downtime, I take out the pocket iPhone or iPad app to review the pages I saved.  This is a great extension for any marketer, and it’s free!

must-have-extensions-marketers

  1. Mozbar

Here’s a convenient extension to help you get instant access to important SEO metrics on sites around the web. You can get a ton of different information like domain authority, page authority, link analysis, and more. It’s really useful when you want to compare your site to a competitor or if you want to link back to authoritative sites. All this SEO info is easily available and makes your job a little simpler.

One of the elements that make this extension really useful is the ability to check difficulty for ranking for certain keywords. That’s something that can shorten your research time by a lot and help you get keyword research done more easily.

  1. Image Compressor

As a digital marketer, you know it’s key to have all of images compressed before adding them to any website. It’s a slick, easy to use extension that can compress to any percentage you need. Its default is 30%, which does the trick most of the time.

I use all of these extensions at least every other day. There are 10 or 15 more that I use regular as well, but these are the ones I can’t live without.

Article by Nishant Prajapati

Nishant is a Digital Marketing Specialist and Parttime Blogger, having more than 3 year experience in this field. My focus is mainly on SEO and Technology updates, but I’m also well-versed in all aspects of Web Development and Designing, Mobile Apps, Etc. If you like this post, share this post and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Will The New Maruti Celerio X Compete Against The Mahindra KUV100

Will The New Maruti Celerio X Compete Against The Mahindra KUV100

The new Maruti Suzuki Celerio X is the latest mini-crossover from the auto-giant, Maruti Suzuki. Its design has been inspired by the company’s entry-level hatchback, Celerio and is most likely to go up against the big hatchback, Mahindra KUV100 from the home-grown auto manufacturer.
Maruti Celero x vs Mahindra KUV100 | IMFROSTY

We have witnessed a change in the customer preferences over the years towards compact cars, which gives the compact SUVs an edge over other cars. However, the crossover segment cars are yet to witness the same success in the Indian market. Keeping that in mind, Maruti Suzuki has introduced the Celerio X in a pseudo-crossover design that looks similar to compact SUVs.

Let’s see whether the latest crossover from Maruti Suzuki will be able to take on the established Tallboy hatch, Mahindra KUV100 or not.

Exterior styling

The pseudo crossover-ish design of the Maruti Celerio X is bound to attract the buyers. It is sturdily built and comes with premium touches every here and there along with black finish at the right places. It has received a new grille design, dual-tone front bumper with black trim and LED headlights with DRLs. In addition to the above changes from the company’s hatchback model, it also gets black ORVMs with turn indicators. The rear looks formidable, while the car sports 14-inch alloy wheels.
In terms of design, the Mahindra KUV100 clearly has the SUV stance with a higher ground clearance. It looks far better than the Mahindra’s Celerio X crossover with a more aggressively built front, curves around the body and equally praiseworthy rear. Moreover, the 14-inch alloy wheels are sportier in nature.

Interior delight

Maruti Celerio X Interior | IMFROSTY

The interior design of the Mahindra Celerio X has also received certain positive changes over the hatchback. It sports fabric wrapped seats with orange accents and a completely new dashboard. It receives an audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Moreover, it gets a multi-functional steering wheel. As far as the safety is concerned, the driver gets an airbag as standard, while the passenger airbag and ABS system is restricted only to the top-end trims.

Mahindra KUV 100 Interior | IMFROSTY

The cabin of the Mahindra KUV100 is more spacious with comfortable seats for the occupants. On the center console, there is a 3.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity options. All the variants get an ABS with EBD as standard safety equipment, while the dual airbags are offered as optional in the lower trims.

Power Mechanism

Under the hood, the Celerio X derives its power from the same engine that drives the company’s hatchback, Celerio. It features the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that is capable enough to produce a maximum power output of 67 bhp against a peak torque of 90 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

But if you look at the Mahindra KUV100, it is powered by both diesel and petrol engine. The 1.2-litre mFalcon petrol engine delivers a maximum power output of 82 bhp and a peak torque of 114 Nm, while the 1.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces a maximum power output of 77 bhp against a peak torque of 190 Nm. Both the engines get a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The Verdict

The Maruti Celerio X crossover is expected to be priced within the range of Rs 4.75 lakh and Rs 5.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the prices of the different variants can be easily fetched from the Autoportal.com. On the other hand, prices of the petrol models of KUV100 starts at Rs 4.58 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and goes up to Rs 6.36 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the diesel variants are priced between Rs 5.60 lakh and Rs 7.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

The Mahindra KUV100 has got the upper hand over the latest Maruti Suzuki crossover in all aspect, starting from styling to powertrain. Mahindra KUV100 looks to be a premium model comparatively and is most likely to be a threat for the Maruti Celerio X in the Indian market.

PPC Advertising Is The New Norm Of The Day!

PPC Advertising Is The New Norm Of The Day!

We thrive in the world of digital marketing and technology. Today, branding and marketing go absolutely hand in hand. It does not take anyone by surprise that to survive in this world of intense cut throat competition, it is important that one ups his game and makes sure that he stands out from the rest of the crowd in the corporate sector. We already know how digital marketing is one of those tools that can lead one’s company to taste the fruits of success. Content creation, SEO and PPC Essex are a few of the things required to ensure one’s survival in the world marked by rivalries and overtakings.

While Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising web pages such that they rank top in the order of priority and need in commonly used search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, there are others techniques applied too to ensure that the web pages are directed towards the target audience. This is done by SEO professionals who make sure that your web page ranks higher as per the search word insertion. This helps you maximise your business, attract more attention and thus help you gain more profits.

Thousands and thousands of people all across the world use search engines and get their desired result. PPC Essex companies to do exactly this. Pay Per Click (PPC) experts are in control of executing real time, measurable and highly controlled results on search engines through the process of paid search. They make sure that your website get the most number of clicks at a reasonable amount of money. The advent of Google Adwords will lead to uncountable clicks on your web page such that the traffic you get is impressive and praiseworthy. This is done at a competitive and reasonable price without the need to invest lots of money. PPC Essex are experts at this. There are different packages that are there for you to choose from.

PPC Essex work with you side by side to understand your business better and bring in focus all that is required to bring to attention of the target audience. They will optimise your websites and make sure the best results possible. A number of techniques, algorithms and variables are used to do this. And only they are capable of doing this. They will make sure that you are in sync with all latest happenings including continuous reports on both ranking and building better links. This will help you monitor your priorities better and then make a judgment on the basis of how much of contribution they have made to your organisation. The website will also be developed in the best manner possible with the best visual appeal to engage netizens and at the same time to net robots who will make sure your web page ranks on top and is relevant to the search term, phrase or keyword used. This will help you grow your business better and taste success at the earliest.