VideoLAN has released VLC 2.0 (nicknamed Twoflower), a major release for the free, open-source multimedia framework and player that offers wide support for various video formats. At the user interface level, the new release moves to a completely overhauled single-window design. Under the hood, the update provides faster decoding on multi-core processors, improved decoding for MKV and MOV formats, additional codec compatibility (including ProRes and AVC/Intra), and improved subtitle rendering to better fit the displayed window. It also offers support for Blu-ray playback (though this is noted as “experimental”). View a lengthy list of features and format compatibility on VideoLAN’s Web site. (Free, 24 MB)
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and