Today, I played around with Apple's latest sixth-gen iPod Nano. Maybe I need some time to let it grow on me, but at first blush, I don't think I'm in love.
True to its name the sixth-generation Nano is Apple's smallest yet, measuring an inch and a half square, and 0.35 inch thick. There's a clip on the back (borrowed from the iPod Shuffle), a variety of seven colors (silver, gray, blue, orange, pink, green, and red), and two capacities, 8GB ($149) and 16GB ($179). Battery life is rated at 24 hours of music … Read more
Along with a refresh to most of its iPod line, Apple's annual digital media event included a refresh to iTunes. The music and video management software revved to version 10 and is supposed to be available today for both Windows and Mac users. I followed CNET's live coverage of the event as the announcement unfolded, including participating in a chat room loaded with Buzz Out Loud viewers, and the response to the refresh was a pretty much universal "meh."
I can't help but say that I agree with that general consensus. Version 10 of iTunes … Read more
In typical fashion, Apple trotted out its new iPods in San Francisco today, just barely inching into its usual fall announcement schedule. CNET got one of a few coveted invites to the event at Yerba Buena Center and managed to snap some photos of the new devices. We've posted our shots here, and will continue to add to the gallery as Apple adds its high-res product shots to its own site. Plus, we'll have some up-close-and-personal hands-on pics as the day goes on. Stay tuned!
After two years on the market, SanDisk is refreshing its design for the Sansa Fuze--the crown jewel of low-cost portable media players. Priced at $79 (4GB), $89 (8GB), and $119 (16GB), the Sansa Fuze+ is available immediately from SanDisk's Web site, and is rolling out to major retailers in the coming weeks.
For all the the "+" in the name might imply, the Fuze doesn't provide frills, such as a video camera, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. This is a died-in-the-wool portable media player that delivers a thorough set of features at an outstanding price. You get a 2.… Read more
Long before the iPhone, the iPod was the device that helped transform Apple from computer company into a consumer electronics company.
But today, the ubiquitous music player has become less relevant to the company that essentially owns that product category. Apple still sells three-fourths of all MP3 players sold, but multifunction gadgets like the iPhone and iPad are getting the most attention from Apple customers, not to mention the rest of the electronics industry, and bringing in more revenue than iPods these days.
Record-breaking heat in San Francisco earlier this week got me thinking about the effect of temperature and other external conditions on portable electronics. Most gadgets weren't designed to withstand extreme heat or cold, or to fend off excessive moisture (with somenotableexceptions). With that in mind, I've compiled the following tips to help you keep your tech in good working order.
It may already be nearing the end of August, but many of us still have several warm, sunny weeks left. During that time, DON'T leave your cell phone, MP3 player, or other portable device in your car all day long--especially in direct sunlight. (In this city, doing that is just begging to have your car window smashed in, as well.) Gadgets, like prescription meds, are best kept at room temperature. Exposing them to extremes can damage the internal hardware, causing system malfunctions and general user unhappiness.
If you're wondering about the limitations of your device, DO check out the packaging; most electronics call out an appropriate temperature range in the specs. For example, the iPod Touch is guaranteed operational between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, the upper end of that range is not all that high. From what I've been told, many parts of the country also dip well below freezing some months of the year, so heed this advice in the winter as well. (Or just spend November through March in California--it's totally affordable, I swear.)… Read more
In response to a recent Gizmodo article that called out the scam of cheap earbuds, V-moda is launching something called the Earbud Upgrade Program. The aim is to get consumers to trade in competitors' products for a chance to try out V-moda's earphones. Music fans who send in any other brand of earbuds will receive a $35 voucher toward the purchase of any Vibe, Vibe duo, Vibe ii, Remix Audio, Remix Remote, or Crossfade LP.
V-moda backs up its headphones with either a one- or two-year warranty, and as further proof that the company stands behind the quality of … Read more
Editors' note: Since this post was published, a representative for Pandora has informed us that the new feature will not be available until Wednesday. At that time, users will be able to fully explore the functionality at the service's genre page, which is currently under construction.
Tuesday morning, Pandora introduced a handy new feature for its online streaming service: genre-based station creation. Before now, users could use only artists, songs, or composers as "seeds," which are the basis for the mixes that are then provided via the Music Genome Project. The new capability offers listeners a way … Read more
Jukeboxes have populated local watering holes for decades, providing countless hours of entertainment for patrons. Now that nearly every place has a network connection--and just about any song you'd ever want to hear is available online--the digital jukebox is slowly replacing the traditional vinyl-spinning models (for better or worse).
One of the largest providers for pay-to-play music via digital jukeboxes is TouchTunes, which offers both the hardware and the music to go with it. Now, the company is expanding its purview to include a Web-based service called MyTouchTunes, which lets users create playlists at home and then access them later at nearly any location with a TouchTunes jukebox.
The service is straightforward enough in concept if not quite in site design. The interface isn't terrible, but it could use a little tweaking. For example, you have to search for music to add to a playlist--not the worst, but it would be nice to be able to click an add button from the playlist itself, and then be presented with a search option on just that page. Navigating is easy enough, with the myMusic button in the left nav and the location search in the right column being the most immediately useful options. There's also a Create a Playlist box on the right shoulder, and this could stand to be more prominent (I'd also like to see it integrated directly into the myMusic space).… Read more
As of this morning, I had reached a point of stoic reserve about covering the whole ditching your MP3 player issue, a topic that I've been avoiding like the plague since it makes me depressed and nostalgic. Happily, I was saved at the last minute by an article about increased hearing loss in adolescents that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) posted yesterday.
As more and more people listen to music on the go, whether through their cell phones or dedicated MP3 players, innumerable ears are exposed an assault of audio through headphones. These listening implements aren't inherently bad, but they can contribute to hearing issues over time if certain precautions aren't taken. The following advice can help to ensure that you continue to hear all sound as nature intended it.
I feel that this should be an obvious point, but it always bears repeating: DON'T listen to your music at ear-splitting levels. The quickest and easiest way to damage your hearing is to expose your ears to overly-loud sounds, music or otherwise; this is the reason that people who work at factories (and some other loud locations) are often required to wear earplugs under local health and safety laws.
So how loud is too loud? Anything over 75 decibels, according to one study. Of course, it's tough for most consumers to accurately measure this; when in doubt, DO employ the volume limiting feature on your listening device. Apple's various iPods and most of Sony's Walkman players include this functionality. Alternatively, you can even pick up a pair of earbuds that ensure safe listening levels, such as the Ultimate Ears Loud Enough earphones.… Read more