Windows/Mac + iPhone/iPod touch: Not only do videos take up a ton of space on space-constrained devices, but converting videos for the iPhone gets painful quickly. Air Video streams videos straight to your iPhone, converting them on-the-fly if they’re incompatible.

The app is actually an iPhone app plus a PC/Mac app that acts as a server. You can use any videos on your computer, whether they are in iTunes or not—and, if you prefer, you can also add video playlists from iTunes to the list of sources. Once you get the server app running on your desktop, you can start streaming over your home network immediately. Streaming over the internet from outside your home, though, only takes a few more seconds—in the server app, go to the “Remote” tab and check Enable Access from Internet (see below). The app will give you a server PIN that you can type in when you go to add a source on your iPhone or iPod touch—note that your router at home needs a public IP address and support UPnP or NAT-PMP protocols, which shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

As if that weren’t cool (or easy) enough, if you have some videos that can’t be played directly on the iPhone, you can convert them using Air Video as you watch it (as long as you’re running firmware 3.0 and have a fairly powerful computer back at home). If you prefer, you can also convert the file offline and watch it later.

Air Video is a free download for the iPhone and iPod touch, although the free version only shows you a few videos at a time, at random, from your folders. If you have a large video library you want to share, or don’t feel like clicking on the folder multiple times waiting for the video you want to be on the list, there’s a $2.99 pro version available as well.






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Windows/Mac/Linux (Chrome): It’s okay to fit a little social networking and not-quite-job-related news reading into your day, but mental limits are hard to stick to. StayFocusd sets timers on the sites you know are addictive, then blocks them when time’s up.

Rather than set individual time limits for each site, StayFocusd asks for a total amount of time you want to let yourself spend on all your non-productive sites. Kind of a clever restriction to have, because you just know you’d be heading right over to Twitter once your Facebook timer ran out, and vice-versa. StayFocusd does get specific on site URLs, though. You can timer-block the entirety of Reddit, for example, but leave the link submission section open for use throughout the day.

StayFocusd is a free download, works wherever Chrome Extensions do. For a similar strategy of blocking and controlling time-sink sites on Firefox, check out our guide to saving yourself with LeechBlock.







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Windows/Mac (Chrome): If you want even earlier access to the latest Chrome development ideas than the developer/”Dev” updates provide, the Nightly Chrome Updater extension helps download the latest nightly builds, giving you the same browser Chrome’s developers are tinkering with.

Nightly Chrome Updater won’t automatically update your system, and it technically only grabs the latest build for Windows systems. But a commenter at the extension’s page suggests it only takes a little tweaking to make it a viable download for the nightly Mac builds:

If anyone uses a mac (or linux) and wants to make this work for their system (instead of downloading .exes), you can modify popup.html (in the extension dir. ~/Application Support/Chromium/{profile}/Extensions/{extensionid}/1.1/popup.html on OS X). All you need to do is replace chromium-rel-xp with chromium-rel-mac, and mini_installer.exe with chrome-mac.zip

You could, theoretically, pull off the same type of hack for nightly Linux builds but, then again, there are dedicated repositories that can automatically keep your browser up to date on the most unstable, buggy, don’t-call-us-when-everything-fails-to-work builds.

So you get the latest and greatest ideas in Chrome in your browser, like the extensions that arrived in the nightly builds long before they showed up in the betas. You also get builds that might have some broken aspects and, in some rare occasions, might fail to load on your system altogether—at least until the next build comes along.

Nightly Chrome Updater is a free download, works on Google Chrome only. If you’re a fan of using nightly builds over the standard distribution, tell us why in the comments.







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