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Does Apple own the rights to your user created iTunes content?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 13:23
Posted in category Apple, Audio, Tech Politics

Love the iTunes Music Store but hate iPods and iTunes itself? Don’t fret as their are many options for you such as GTK Pod or Amarok just to get the juices flowing. We all know Apple loves their walled garden approach to the products and is now getting yet another lawsuit because of it. This time it cetners around BlueWiki getting a DMCA violation claim from the almighty fruit stating that their site, which reverse engineers the iPod/iTunes code in order to develop 3rd party progams to sync you iPod with, is in direct violation of copyright clauses within the DMCA. Naturally Apple wants you to only use iTunes because it is the best. No software is ever the best at anything, merely a favorite or one that holds popular majority, but never “the best”. The fighting is about to get uglier as the EFF has sued Apple over their legal threats stating that they are operating well within the law and that Apple has no right to dictate how a person syncs his or her iPod, or even if reverse engineering is illegal. Care to explore? You know what to click.

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Let the inner kid inside of you free with the Lego mp3 player

Monday, April 20, 2009 10:32
Posted in category Audio, Cool Gadgets

Legos and kids go together like ghosts and the ever popular reference to Michael Jackson.  Any kid who has grown up with Legos knows just how many countless hours can be spent building something only to wreck it in a matter of seconds.  When I was a kid, I had a big 36 gallon tub full of hundreds of various lego kits all mixed together.  When the time came to rebuild a certain lego figure/object, because of the sheer number of lego pieces mixed together, I was often missing a piece or two from the finished product.  However the limitless freedom I had in creating my own objects was exciting to say the least.  Lego has recently begun releasing Lego themed toys and gadgets in hopes to rejuvenate sales and solidify Lego into the hearts of another generation of youngsters and parents alike.  What is the latest gadget Lego is bringing to the masses?  

 

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Bring down the house with the Baby Grand Master

Thursday, April 16, 2009 6:11
Posted in category Audio, Cool Stuff

If you are an all around music nut, composer, or artist, you will surely appreciate this.  Digital pianos bring a level of complexity and sound that no analog piano could ever keep with.  Sure the actual piano sound may sound better than the digital version, but this gap is quickly shrinking.  What digital pianos really shine at is making a one man band one man orchestra.  Now a single human being can sound like hundreds in a full symphony.  Taking the digital piano and evolving it further, the Baby Grand Master is a modern disc jokeys dream.  Why?  It takes the shell of a normal baby grand piano and stuffs it with enough digital audio/video electronics to make any electronic/music nut drool in utter wonderment.  Step inside for the full rundown.

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Make old cassettes new and digital

Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:58
Posted in category Audio, Cool Gadgets

If you grew up in the pre-CD era, chances are you have at least a couple of old cassettes laying around your humble abode collecting dust.  Back in the day they were the leading in technology - such a small format held so much…again back in the day.  The world has since progressed from these meager times to a much more versatile digital format.  While physical mediums, even the digital CD, are starting to travel down the path of dying tech, digital is merely progressing to a more “true” form.  A form in which it is virtually unbound by physical means.  What better way to take you old confined analog tunes and open them up, giving them a bit more freedom.  A Japanese company, Novac, has released a “Cassette to Digital” device that will do just that.

 

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“Zune HD” rumors/information heat up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 18:57
Posted in category Audio, Microsoft

zunehd

While the Zune has enjoyed so far a reign of mediocrity, Microsoft is looking to change things up a bit and bring the superbly average device up to 2007 specs.  While I have some pretty thick criticism flying forward from the start, I am pretty excited to see the Zune HD or whatever Microsoft decides to name this thing.  So far the funning list of more or less “known” facts according to Neowin looks like this:

  •  3.6″ (give or take a few tenths) OLED touchscreen
  • Nvidia Tegra inside
  • Flash versions in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB/Hard drive model coming in 120GB
  • mini-HDMI connection
  • web browser
  • WiFi w/ access to the Marketplace
  • early fall release date

While these specs are definitely pretty exciting, I can’t help but feel underwhelmed (though oddly still intrigued).  These are all (save for the OLED) things that have been around for almost 2 years now on several other players.  Hey Microsoft, heres an idea.  Instead of going the cheap/large storage idea, incorporate a 120GB flash storage model instead of the older style hard drive model.  While it would be pretty pricey, you would finally be the first to market with something in this area.  Ok twice to be first if the OLED pans out as well.  I would gladly save up an extra few weeks and donate an organ for a 120GB flash player.  Think about it M!  And for good measure and speculation is the image above which is supposedly what the new Zune is going to resemble pretty closely.  So whataya think?  Will it make you open up your wallet?

 

Source: Electronista, Neowin, WM Power User *post pic*

32GB S9 by Cowon looks slick, now lets you carry more tunes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:41
Posted in category Audio

It seems as if here in America we get the truly unique, innovative, and downright gorgeous looking tech last (or at least not first) all of the time.  Based on the intro sentense if you were figuring I was going to follow it with a more upbeat and inspiring sentence, I’m sorry to inform you this is not the case.  In the picture above we see a very slick looking PMP by Cowon, the S9, which the company has finally released in a 32GB version.  Said features a 3.3-inch AMOLED screen with firmware that supports multiple page widget screens ensuring the media hounds will get their fill.  With the new ceiling of 32 gigs, instead of having to pick and choose the tracks you want to carry just bring ‘em all with ya!  Yet again we stateside folks are leftl waiting in anticipation impatiently for the chance to get our hands and ears on this thing as those lucky Koreans get this new more capacious hotness first.  If you are in fact interested and know a little Korean, scrounge up $287 and hit up the product page link below.

 

Source: Engadget, PMP Today, DAP Review, [Product Page]

USB/Vinyl recorder blends old and new - compliments of Denon

Thursday, April 9, 2009 18:59
Posted in category Audio

There isn’t a group that at times could be any more vocal about their beliefs than the vinyl crowd. Vinyl they say, has a more lifelike, “warmer” sound - better than the cold, harsh, and analytical of compressed music that has made itself popular today. Denon, looking to end the dispute and bring both sides together in a technological harmonious event is releasing a functional and good looking Vinyl to USB recorder. Now the vinyl purist and digital savvy user don’t have to quarrel day in and day out, instead they can co-exist.

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Paper thin, flexible speakers coming to an ad near you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009 6:03
Posted in category Audio

Since the creation of the typical speaker cone, speaker technology really hasn’t evolved in any way or with any drastic changes.  Sure better materials, different manufacturing technologies, and slightly different shapes of speakers have come, but none of those have truly revolutionized the way we listen to and enjoy sound.  However, researhcers at Warwick University are working on a new type of material to be used as a speaker “cone” that is paper thin and flexible…

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Want to discover new music? Try Fizy

Friday, March 27, 2009 12:01
Posted in category Audio, Tech Politics

I consider myself a fairly musical person.  I constantly find myself searching (many times fruitlessly) for a new song or new band that somehow slipped by my radar as I get tired of the same thing too quick.  The drive to keep finding new material is what keep me going however.  If you yourself have this sort of problem as well, Fizy might be just the thing you’ve been searching for.

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Sennheisers Sports oriented “Sports II” headphones resist sweat, dirt, cold, and water.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 19:46
Posted in category Audio

If you find yourself constantly fiddling with your headphones, earbuds/in-ear phones in particular when you are doing the sportsy things that you love Sennheiser has a couple of solutions for you.  Gone are the times when you have to slow down or stop your activity just to adjust your music.  Sennheiser has something right up the sports enthusiasts alley designed to stand up to the wear and tear of high stress, these headphones are definitely worth a look.  Come inside to find out more on these extreme headphones as well as a few pictures of the different styles.

 

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MP3HD the successor to MP3?

Friday, March 20, 2009 8:29
Posted in category Audio, Audiophile, Featured

cd_image

What do you think of when you hear MP3?  For some, they think of portable music players, online music stores, and NOT CD’s.  For others, they think of crappy low quality over priced junk.  The bittersweet existence of MP3 constantly pulls at the heartstrings of the occupants of planet earth.  On one hand, it makes the .WAV files on CD’s much smaller meaning you can take a boat load with you on your MP3 player.  However, on the other hand, it strips away parts of your music, granted, depending on the quality of the encoder and bit rate the quality of the file will also change.  Still, even a high quality MP3 file is nothing like a full quality .WAV or lossless FLAC file.  Thomson, one of the original creators of the now common place MP3 format announced yesterday a new “next gen” format: MP3 HD.  What is MP3 HD?  Come inside for the sonic rundown.

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Kids of today: “mp3’s sound great!”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 11:57
Posted in category Audio, Audiophile

vinyl

I would consider myself an audiophile.  I love music, all kinds spanning across many genres and many languages.  Whenever I hear someone blare a song that is of horrible quality, it makes me wince and I find myself noting every flaw that I can hear.  When possible I try to get at least 256kbps mp3 or even better…AAC for my music downloads that go on my portable devices.  For desktop use I use flac as I have several terabytes of storage so I have more than enough room for the large file sizes.  However, I am apparently of a dying breed.  According to an article on Oreilly, the younger generation that is leading the digital music revolution could more or less care less about audio quality as they think mp3’s sound perfect.  Now granted, if you have a 320kbs mp3 file, I even have a hard time discerning it from a lossless file many times.  But it’s sad and shocking a the same time.  How can they think that a low quality mp3 file is good?  It’s nothing to lose sleep over really as long as when the music industry eventually moves to a more digital only method in the year 3011 that they don’t forget the loyal and vocal audiophile group out there.  But the article brings up an interesting point; do the “audiophiles” of a particular time period gravitate towards the method of transmission that was available at the time?  For the golden oldies it is vinyl and large file sizes.  For the new generation it is either flac, aac, or mp3 with an mp3 player of some sort.  Clearly very different formats each having their pros and cons.  What are your thoughts.  Do you think audiophiles are a bunch of quacks?  Or do their arguments have some merit?  What are you?  I highly encourage you to stop by Oreilly as the article is a very good read that will make you sit back and ponder about all things digital.

 

Source: Tech Dirt

How to charge your iPhone3G/iPod Touch 2G/Nano 4G on old iPod docks

Monday, February 23, 2009 17:54
Posted in category Apple, Audio

With new advancements in technology comes the possibility of incompatabilities.  In the case of Apple, any iPhone3G, Touch 2G, or Nano 4G users will notice that older iPod docks will not charge them.  The first reaction is anger as that $300 Bose Soundock you just bought last Christmas now is useless (for charging anyway) with your shiny new *insert device mentioned above*.  After the anger wears off, curiousness starts to build and you find yourself asking “Why?”.  The new design of iProducts brings with it a difference in the way the devices handle voltages.  Because of these voltage differences, old iPod docks will not charge new iProducts.  All is not lost however.  Coming to the rescue is Scosche with their passPORT Home Dock which aligns the voltage differences so that your *again enter device mentioned above* can now play music and charge your device.  The device will set you back $39.99.  Seems a bit pricey for a voltage changer if you ask me.  But hey, if it is really that important to you, price means nothing.  If you just gotta have one, stop by Scosche’s website and float a few dollars their way.

Source: Slashgear

Creative announces MovieWorks HD iPod dock

Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:35
Posted in category A/V, Audio

iPod docks are by now a dime a dozen in the overly saturated iPod add-on market.  It’s a tough market out there wit nearly 10 different versions of every type of iPod accessory you can think of.  Today, Cambridge Soundworks, a subsidiary of Creative hopes to break past the rest of the iPod dock  crowd with their MovieWorks HD iPod dock.  The MovieWorks dock will allow you to connect your iPod to your TV/audio receiver by way of HDMI where you can view your iPod content upscaled to 1080i coupled with 5.1 DTS surround sound.  Video output isn’t the only transmission method getting the attention here as all audio signals can be processed using Creative’s Xi-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, Crystallizer and CMSS-3D technology.  Crystallizer brings your compressed low quality music to life by subtly enhancing the frequencies lost during compression.  CMSS-3D will take care of converting the stereo signal into multi-channel surround sound as to envelop you in audio nirvana.  Everything above comes with a handy remote for making your way through your iPod’s menu system so you don’t have to get up every time you want to change a song, adjust volume, etc.  And for the people who just can’t stand the confinements of cords, an optional wireless receiver can be purchased that will allow you to beam your tunes throughout your abode ensuring that where ever you are, your music will be with you.  If you’re ready to party with $250, head on over to Cambridge Soundworks for the exchange.  If you’re the type of person that loves raw specs,you’re not alone…come inside!

 

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Liberty saves Sirius XM from certain death…for now

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:56
Posted in category Audio, Tech Politics

sirius_xm

Sirius XM satellite radio lovers will be pleased to know that you can go on listening to your mostly commerical free extraterrestrial tunes. Sirius XM has borrowed a rather considerable chunk of money to the tune of $530 million from Liberty Media in order to stay afloat in the days of dwindling subscribers and fleeting cash piles. It doesn’t come without a few stipulations however as when all is said and done, Liberty will own a whopping 40% of the satilite radio company. The load will come in the form of two bulk payments, the first is a $280 million that will allow Sirius to pay their current $172 million that they currently owe (ouch) while the second load will be a $150 million loan to XM. On top of that Liberty has already commited to buying up $100 million in XM’s debt…that’s mighty generous of them. After all of the cold hard cash is done exchanging hands and the two loan phases are completed, Sirius will give Liberty an aggregate 12.5 million shares of their preferred stock which will be able to be converted into the 40% stake in the company that was promised to them. All of this doesn’t come with the often mentioned “attached strings” as SiriusXM will have to deal with a pretty hefty 15% interest rate. The final stipulation will also include Liberty’s John Malone joining Sirius XM’s board. So satellite listeners, you can breather a sigh of relief for now and keep rockin’ out for a little while longer.

Source: Alley Insider, Digital Journal *pic*