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All posts tagged "mp3 player"

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Look Ma, No Hands! The PodFlexPro Reviewed

Posted by Matthew Shanks in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Travelling light is a challenge for many people. Travelling light if you're a technology buff is next to impossible. Between laptops, netbooks, cameras, phones, iPods, iPads, cords and chargers, many travellers now carry a bag filled with just their grown-up toys. Add a toddler into the mix and you have a recipe for carry-on luggage trouble. I found myself in this situation not too long ago travelling on vacation with my wife and daughter on a long flight (just shy of seven hours). I knew keeping an 18 month old toddler amused (not to mention myself) on such a lengthy flight would be a challenge, so I stuffed my gadget bag and off we went. Read more...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pose Your Gadgets with the Friendly Neighborhood Spiderpodium

Posted by Anjuan Simmons in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Gadgets are usually in one of two places: a hand or a storage location (pocket, carrying case, purse, etc.). However, there are many times when a gadgets needs to be in a "third place". For example, a digital camera may need to be put on a table to take a time delayed picture of a group of people. Or, a smartphone with GPS capability may need to be positioned on a bicycle handle in order to measure speed, pace, and distance along a trail. The Spiderpodium ($19.99 direct) by Breffo seeks to be the accessory that you reach for during these "third place” moments. Read more...

Friday, December 18, 2009

XO Skins For All of Your Coverage Needs

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:30 PM

Figure 1: First impressions? Nice packaging!

I've used several protective covers for my various iPhones since my first one back in 2007, so I'd say I have quite a bit of experience with them. Last week I was sent one to try out on my iPhone 3GS from XO Skins and I was pleasantly surprised by a few things. Just what exactly you may ask? Read on!.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

iPhone Can Now Stream Zune Music (Sort of)

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 09:00 AM

"This is for all of you out there that enjoy using your iPhone as a music player. Well, you need to have a Zune pass too, but we’ll get to that. While this obviously is not an official way of doing things, the good people over at Gear Live have found a workaround that lets music from Zune stream on your iPhone. All you need is an application called Orb and a computer and you’re set."

There you have it. If for some reason you have the Zune software and an iPhone, you can use Orb to get your music on your iPhone. Not a bad idea if you have both, but who really does? Chances are if you're committed to Apple's platform you're probably not dabbling in the Zune.

That notwithstanding, this is kinda neat if you are.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New iPod Touch To Do Video, Also?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:00 AM

"Like most people who’ve had an iPhone 3GS in their hands, we’ve been extremely impressed with the video capabilities of this little device. Not only Does it take near-HD video, it has excellent basic editing software and video can be uploaded to YouTube over Wifi or the cell networks. Among other things, it is the most useful video camera in the world today. No wonder the video camera market is shaking in its collective boots. Thank God those iPhones are so expensive, and Apple will only sell 20 million or so of them in 2009. If Apple added cameras to its line of iPods, there would be another 3+million of them hitting the market per month, and the low end of the digital video camera market could be crushed. Uh oh."

The photo above is the one Mike Arrington refers to in his article (from Macrumors). If this is true, it will turn the mini-vidcam market on its ear for some people. There are still going to be some who appreciate the ease of use of the Flip and its many variants, but it's hard to argue that having a camera on your device that shoots good stills and reasonably good video with on-device editing won't at least take a small chunk out of that market.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sandisk CEO Admits What We Already Knew

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 11:00 AM

"SanDisk CEO Eli Harari once plotted to dethrone the iPod with a series of “iDon’t” ads a marketing campaign that cast Apple iPod users as fad-driven sheep, and promoted his company’s Sansa media players as the smart alternative. Some fads, however, don’t pass. And in his sunny Silicon Valley conference room one recent morning, the founder and CEO of SanDisk admits what many music lovers have known for a long time: the iPod wars are over, and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) won. “You can’t out-iPod the iPod,” Harari now admits."

It's all well and good to be number two, but when you're number two and number one has 85% of a market, you're a failure. For years, Sandisk tried to distinguish the Sansa by positioning it as an alternative to the iPod and pretty much nothing else. It made it big with the "anything but the iPod" crowd to the tune of a slightly less than minute market share, but the rest of the world mostly ignored it.

Sandisk should stick to what they kick butt at: flash memory. No one does that better. Hell, some people even think SD Card means SanDisk Card.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Palm Pre Still Syncs With iTunes After 8.2 Update

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

"An anonymous tipster just confirmed to us that the Pre iTunes sync continues to work with iTunes 8.2 (as it did with iTunes 8.2 beta for the iPhone 3.0 beta). The reader says that there's no worry (yet) that Apple's locking out the phone, and that iTunes continues to recognize the Pre as an iPod."

I gratuitously swiped the graphic from Gizmodo because it cracked me up! Anyway, I have to wonder how long Apple is going to allow this, if they're never going to stop it, or if it's just going to be the kind of cat and mouse game we saw with Sony and the PSP hackers. Personally, I think Apple should just leave it alone and make a huge deal out of how of all the things the Pre could sync with, they did some slick trickery to make it work with iTunes. Says a lot for who the standard bearer for people's music collection is, love it or hate it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Microsoft Announces Zune HD*

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 09:00 AM

"Microsoft Corp. today announced the evolution of Zune, the company’s end-to-end music and entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser. “The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. “Delivering on Microsoft’s connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world.”"

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's not to worry too much about specs and wait until the device is in hand to test it out. Microsoft releasing their iPod Touch competitor (finally, after almost three years) doesn't impress me. Microsoft's labelling of it as "HD" doesn't impress me because there's nothing "HD" about it. The resolution on the screen isn't HD (Not even close), and for the most part, if radio stations are multicasting their "HD" station, the quality is nearly indistinquishable from standard FM radio. The only thing HD about the Zune HD is when you hook it up to a dock to play your HD content on an HD TV.

Oh yeah, and buying one locks you into one OS and, in the case of the marketplace, a very limited number of countries. In the year 2009. How quaint.

I'll wait until I see one in person because specs are specs and rarely translate into anything meaningful in the real world. I'm just disappointed that Microsoft went the "HD" route with it because the Zune HD has as much relevance to HD as the Radio Flyer has to radio.

Of course, if you're a fan or think you might be, our sister site Zune Thoughts will be providing exhaustive coverage so head over and check them out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cameras in the Next iPods?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 09:00 AM

"We guess this has been a long time in coming - iPods of the next generation could possibly make do with a built-in camera if Apple knows what's good for them. After all, since the device already holds a veritable tome of information, why not make it able to capture images on-the-fly?"

On one hand, I can't think of a good reason to have cameras on an MP3 player, but on the other hand I also live by the axiom that the best camera on the market is the one you carry with you. Seeing as a lot of people are perpetually plugged into their iPhone, this would put a camera within reach at all times.

Not the greatest of ideas, but not a terrible one either. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Microsoft Lobs Out Latest Red Herring: $30,000 to Fill an iPod

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 09:00 AM

"Microsoft has put Wes Moss, Certified Financial Planner, to work in telling everyone why the Zune Pass makes more sense than purchases from the iTunes store."

Yep... Keep pimping those recurring bills in the down economy, Microsoft. I'm sure lots of people are looking to shell out another $15 a month for something they can't own. I don't know why I'm even bothering addressing this, though. Lots of defunct or little-used services have tried the rental model over the past few years and none of them have really caught on with customers. While I do think they have their place (please, spare me the crap in the comments; I'm really not interested in yet another lecture on why renting your music is such a great engine for discovery of blah blah blah), a vast majority of people want to actually own their music as evidenced by the fact that none of the rental services has been more than a niche blip on the MP3 market.

Oh yeah; did I mention that you're pretty much locked in to a Zune or Windows-based PC when you rent your music for $15 a month?

How quaint.

Friday, May 1, 2009

MP3 Player Connectivity Very Important to New Car Buyers

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 02:00 PM

"Adding iPod connectivity as standard equipment on their vehicles could save American automobile manufacturers from extinction, according to recent research by Jacobs Media. [...] The study asked prospective vehicle purchasers to rate the most desired features and options relating to entertainment, music, and information. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents said iPod and other MP3 player connectivity was “very important” to them, ranking above satellite radio, GPS, DVD player, and HD Radio."

Interesting, isn't it? I just bought a new truck, and I wasn't really looking for a lot of things when I was in the market, but two must have features for me were satellite radio (no way in hell you'll catch me on the FM band, and rarely on the AM band) and a 1/8" jack for my iPhone. My Chevy Traverse had both and I'm not going to lie; that was a major selling point for me. In fact, almost all GM cars have both as standard equipment now.

Once you have the convenience of a connector for your iPod / iPhone, everything else (particularly those damn "I only work in the sticks FM Transmitters") seems like an exercise in frustration.

Tags: auto, mp3 player

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prince iPod For Die Hard Fans

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 10:00 AM

"Do you like Prince? Like, a lot? If so, then you may be the prime candidate for this limited edition iPod comemmorating the iconic musician. The hardware in question-the Prince Opus iPod-is a purple iPod touch, just 950 of which were made."

At $2,100.00 USD, you would have to really be a fan to want this thing. More along the lines of "fanatic" I'd say. But it comes with exclusive photo's and videos and testimonials from fellow artists, doesn't that make it worth it? Hmmmm..I'd say no but I'm not that big a fan of anything other than a new MacBook Pro, I'd spend $2100.00 USD for that! If you are still interested in being one of the 950 owners of this Prince iPod (assuming they sell all 950) and you don't have the cash, have no fear, they are offering a finance option.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Shuffle's Cost? $21.77

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 01:00 PM

"iSuppli did its thing to the new buttonless iPod Shuffle, tearing the device down an evaluating the price of its components. According to the company, the manufacturing price for the diminutive MP3 player is roughly $21.77, including the device itself, headphones, and package."

And there you have it. Apple is turning a profit on every Shuffle. Contain your shock. Cue anti-Apple zealots complaining about how they make "too much" profits in 3... 2... 1...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Woot: 8 Gig 4th Gen Nanos = $99.99

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 05:30 AM

"But now I come back from a measly six-week getaway to my private island in the Bahamas and what do I find? We’re selling the latest iPod Nano? Seriously? Not the second generation? Not an off-brand copycat mp3 player? What’s wrong with you all? You should have seen the fit I threw in the executive spa. Lotions and balms were flying everywhere. I’m pretty sure I cracked a couple 17th-Century Delftware tiles. You know how Poppa gets when he’s upset. One of my personal assistants—the short one who wears the funky glasses, I forget names—finally calmed me down a little by assuring me that AT LEAST these Nanos are refurbished. But what meager comfort that is! I mean—Crom on a crutch, people, look at these things! They’re really nice."

Not a bad deal, really. If you've been holding off on getting one, you might as well save a few bucks. It's nice to see Woot offering something that's relatively new from Apple, rather than their typically "few years old" iPod rehashes and knockoffs.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shuffle USB Adapter Cleans Things Up

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 09:00 AM

"We've already seen the first Apple-developed accessory for the third-generation iPod shuffle; now Dexim has the first third-party accessory, Shu-Lip ($16). Designed as an alternative to Apple's iPod shuffle USB Cable, Shu-Lip is an aluminum USB dock for the shuffle with a standard full-sized USB plug on one end, and a shuffle-specific headphone port power and sync adapter on the other."

I love my 3G Shuffle, and I think this adapter is one of those things that Apple should've tossed in the box instead of the stupid little pigtail thing they did. It's nicely made and iLounge has a lot more in the way of photos from various angles. If you didn't know Apple didn't make it, you'd never guess it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shuffle Sales Surged 50%

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 08:00 AM

"Sales of Apple's most affordable iPod shot up more than 50 percent a week after the company unveiled new, more compact models that shift the push controls from the player itself to the included pair of earphones. Barclay's analyst Ben Reitzes relayed via a report earlier this week data from market research firm NPD showing that sales of iPod shuffles grew 51 percent the week of March 21st, the first full week the third-generation players were on the market. Sales continued to gain momentum the following week, rising another 10 percent."

Sounds like they have a winner on their hands, and from what our very own Vincent has to say, I'd think he would agree. Combined sales for all ipod models were a different story, showing a 38% decline from the same time last year, which is right along with the industry average for all digital media players. So while some of the decline could be due to the new shuffle, it is more likely due to the economic factors. One caveat, however, is that these figures don't include sales from Apple's online store or distribution centers outside the U.S.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Apple Uses "DRM" In Headphones For New Shuffle

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 10:00 AM

"Sigh, it looks like Apple's habit of squeezing iPod accessory manufacturers for license fees has now extended to freaking headphones -- iLounge is reporting that the new iPod shuffle can only be controlled by headphones with a special hardware authentication chip. That means that third parties will have to pay Apple for the privilege of making shuffle-compatible accessories, and you can bet they'll just pass that cost right on to consumers -- we wouldn't expect any cheap headphone adapters or inexpensive replacement headphones for this thing."

I'm so tired of the idiots making this uproar. Really. There's no requirement to buy a new Shuffle. If your old one works, fine. Enjoy it. If it doesn't, but an old one if you simply must use your $4,000 custom moulded headphones on a $79 music player. As usual, the "everything must be free" people forget to examine the obvious: these aren't regular headphones. They're the remote control for the player unit that sits in your pocket. They do more than just put the music into that cavernous void you call a skull; they actually are the controls for the device, so of course they aren't going to be standard buds, and of course Apple is going to put a chip in there to do its thing.

Has Apple "locked out" third parties? Nope. The same ones who proudly stamped that "Made for iPod" logo on their stuff can still make Shuffle headphones or adapters if they so choose. If you weren't in that program and just producing plain vanilla headphones, then your buds ain't gonna work here. Sorry.

Am I happy that Apple took the controls off the Shuffle itself? Not terribly, but the frothing seething outrage over this stupid little chip and the association of it with the most famous boogeyman of the modern era, DRM, is laughable to say the least. Get over it people and tell the guy next to you with a gun at your temple that you're an independent enough thinker to not buy a device you don't like.

End rant.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scosche Likely to be First With Headphone Adapter

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 11:00 AM

"Scosche Industries (, an award-winning innovator of mobile electronics and iPod accessories, today announced that it is developing breakthrough earphones with integrated controls for the new third generation iPod shuffle with Apple's new VoiceOver feature. The new IDR (Increased Dynamic Range) noise isolating earphones will give users the ability to play, pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, navigate playlists and hear the name of the song and artist with the press of a button. Scosche is also developing an inline control adapter kit that allows consumers to use any standard set of headphones and enjoy all of the advanced features of the third generation iPod shuffle. The inline control also allows users to plug their shuffle into any vehicles auxiliary input and maintain full control of the iPod."

As someone mentioned in the forums on announcement day, it was only a matter of time before an adapter popped up for the new Shuffle. Not a bad idea, honestly. It's obvious that having to use Apple's headphones is going to be the biggest gripe with the new shuffle (which, incidentally, I'll have on Tuesday). Did anyone else order one, or am I alone?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apple Unleashes New Talking 4 Gig Shuffles

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 06:03 AM

"The new iPod shuffle is jaw-droppingly small. It's half the size of the previous generation. Yet there's room for so much more. With 4GB of storage, it now holds up to 1,000 songs,1 and lets you enjoy multiple playlists, too. Introducing VoiceOver,2 the feature that gives iPod shuffle a voice. With the press of a button, it tells you what song is playing and who's performing it. It can even tell you the names of your playlists, giving you a new way to navigate your music."

Okay, first of all that thing looks smaller than the battery holder on the Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones (like the PXC 250's). Secondly, the voice feature, if it works as advertised, is undeniably cool. I also like that they've taken all the buttons off the device itself. Everything is built into the headphones, which makes more sense to me. A lot of people are going to balk at the idea of using only Apple's buds, but that's the tradeoff for a device this small and slick.

I've already ordered one and should have it somewhere around the 18th for review. Keep your eyes peeled here for the full skinny (pun intended) once I get my hands on it.

Anyone else getting one?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Apple Products Banned From Gates Household

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 01:00 PM

"When the topic of their children comes up, Mrs. Gates admits that world richest parents have banned iPods from their home, giving this irresistible quote: "There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household. But iPods and iPhones are two things we don’t get for our kids." When pressed on the topic Mrs. Gates admits that she’s been tempted by the iPhone, saying: "Every now and then I look at my friends and say ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone’."

I guess I wouldn't want a competitor's massive success rubbed in my face either. This shouldn't be too surprising, though. Remember the iPod Amnesty Bin that was stationed inside Zune HQ?

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