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Ping Recommends (tech):After covering a few Android apps in the past two issues of Ping! Recommends, this issue covers a few useful and handy PC software.1. Media Monkey:A media manager on the lines of iTunes, Media Monkey does a whole lot more while occupying a lot less space than iTunes (not surprising really). The user interface will look familiar to anyone accustomed to iTunes, with the playlists and libraries on the left, the details of the current library in the centre and the current playlist info on the right. Media Monkey has a really strong focus on sorting based on the id3 tags, a good thing if your library is organized but not necessarily a negative if it isn’t. Also, editing the id3 tags is very comprehensive and intuitive. Another major feature of the software is that it allows users to compile and run scripts to determine it’s running, a feature which is also included in Data Crow (a more geeky but rather unintuitive data manager). A bonus with this software is that it supports media syncing on any device, be it your i-pod or your mobile phone or even a pen drive. It does have a few niggles, but overall this media manager stands head and shoulders above any other similar ones.

2. BenVista photozoom:

This software, as the name suggests, enlarges images. However the way it goes about doing it without pixelating them is simply astonishing. It’s image enlargement technique yields better results than doing the same thing in Photoshop. BenVista’s unique S-Spline technology manages to enhance the resolution up to 1million by 1million pixels. I have managed to enlarge/enhance images by almost 60 times (5MB to 300MB)! This software works as a standalone application and also as a plug-in for Photoshop, integrating well with the layer, mask and various other functions of Photoshop.

The free version available however watermarks the image, an issue that can be either resolved by spending some time on Photoshop or by purchasing the full version (available for 79 Euros).

Ping Recommends (Music):

There are certain albums which light in you that fire of optimism, certain albums that make you go all mushy and melt you into a vulnerable sucker-for-love, certain albums that rekindle faith in you and a few which leave you gawking at the improbable-yet-true existence of its awesomeness. But there are even fewer that manage to do all of this and some more. Hum Dono is one such album.

Hum Dono, originally a black-and-white movie released in 1961 (recently re-launched in colour on its 50th anniversary), starring Dev Anand, Nanda and Sadhana, has Jaidev as its music director and Sahir Ludhianvi as the lyricist. The album packs in it more flavours than an Indian cuisine, ranging from sweet love to bitter introspection.

First up is ‘Abhi Na Jao Chodh Kar’, the eternal romantic duet has Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle at the helm of the affairs. The hero in Rafi saab’s alluring voice implores his love to stay to which Ashaji, in her playful tone, so correctly replies, ‘Agar main ruk gayi abhi / To jaa na paungi kabhi / Yahi Kahoge tum sada / Ki dil abhi nahi bhara’. Just like the protagonist, you end up wishing that you could continue to hear Ashaji’s melodic voice. But, alas, she must leave, she says. Well… in that case, the replay button would have to do.

Jaidev, Mohammad Rafi and Sahir Ludhianvi seem to have unleashed their entire prowess in the making of this next gem-of-a-song, ‘Main Zindagi ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya’. Brilliant music, unparalleled singing and awe-inspiring lyrics make this song an unforgettable experience. Particularly notable is how Rafi saab finishes the line ‘Har fikr ko dhuye me udaaa…’- Splendid! You need to listen to it to know what I mean. The song makes you optimistic and teaches you to take the lows in your life in a spirited manner.

Next up is the evocative bhajan ‘Allah tero naam, Ishwar tero naam’. Lata Ji’s soulful singing lends a magically peaceful aura to the song. There is another bhajan ‘Prabho Tero Naam’, again beautifully rendered by Lataji, present in the album. ‘Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aaya’ on the surface may appear to be one of those self-indulgent sad songs but it is so much more than that. Sahir Ludhianvi, through his mesmerising poetry, brings out the pain very effectively. Rafi saab is once again impeccable in his performance of this introspective song. With so many excellent songs, you might almost feel overdosed. But when the dope is such awesome music, you should definitely take all the pills.

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