Sega Rumors Fly

Some very big rumors about Sega have been circulating on the Internet over the past few days. Most of those rumors have centered around the idea that Sega will be developing and releasing a handheld gaming device next year, attempting to rival the Sony PSP. Gizmodo even took the bait and ran with it. There was, apparently, even a shoddily produced video supposedly showing the new “Vision” in action. The video has since been removed from YouTube.

However, from what I’ve been able to ascertain, most of those rumors are false and have been blown way out of proportion. CrunchGear ran a couple of articles trying to get to the bottom of the situation. In the end, Unofficial RPG posted seemingly official quotes from Sega officials confirming the existence of the Vision handheld, but stating that it was simply going to be a portable media player rather than a new handheld game console.

As of yet, there is still no official word on Sega’s Web site, so it is very difficult to ascertain how much fact and how much fiction are involved in this story. I, for one, will be one waiting with baited breath to see if Sega really does dip its toes back into the hardware game.

Free YouTube to iPod Converter

I came across a cool, free utility the other day while I was searching for ways to get video prepared for my Zune (which I’ll review at a later date). The utility is simply called “Free YouTube to iPod Converter”. The utility was developed by DVDVideoSoft and it is extremely useful.

Free YouTube to iPod Converter

Basically, the software was designed with one purpose in mind, and it does that very well. It converts Flash Video files to video that’s compatible with your mobile devices. It’s main purpose is to convert YouTube videos to the iPod mp4 video format, but it does do a few other things, too.

First of all, not only can it convert FLV files from your hard drive into mp4 video files, it is also capable of extracting an FLV directly from YouTube. All you do is plug in the URL for the video you want to convert, and the utility accesses YouTube automatically, finds the video file embedded in the page, and extracts it for conversion. Unfortunately, it seem to only work on YouTube; it doesn’t seem to be capable of extracting FLV files from other video sites.

In addition to being able to convert FLV files to iPod video (giving you four options for the quality of the output video), it can also convert your FLV files to three quality levels of PSP video, three quality levels of mobile phone-compatible mp4 video and four different quality levels of mp3 audio.

The only issue I’ve come across in the software so far (and some people may consider this a pro for the software as opposed to a con), is that it doesn’t throw any errors out if it it fails to download the entire FLV file from YouTube. Instead, the progress indicator jumps from wherever it encountered the problem straight to 100%, and the utility tells you that it’s done converting the video. Sometimes you get the whole video, other times you only end up with a few seconds of video before it cuts off.

You can download the utility for free and view a tutorial explaining how to use the software from the main project Web site. If you have a digital media player, a PSP or a video-capable mobile phone, you should definitely get ahold of this application.