I can't name one truly high-end preamp with tone controls, and that's because most audiophiles wouldn't dream of altering the signal in any way. Home theater buyers see things differently, so virtually all AV receivers have bass and treble controls and many employ auto setup programs that feature extensive speaker and room correction processing. Some say the processing improves the sound. Personally, I'm far from convinced these calibration systems really do that, they change the sound, but the results are too inconsistent to be counted on. If your receiver has auto setup, try turning it off, … Read more
I understand that one of the main joys of parenting a toddler involves keeping the little one amused.
Amused, as in quiet.
Ever since the iPad came along, with its bright colors and infinite range of games and pictures, it has seemed like an ideal tool to keep baby happy. This happiness, however, is one that baby does not want to ever, ever stop. So much so that some toddlers are now said to be iPad addicts.
This curiously adult affliction seems to involve baby undergoing seven aspects of demented ranting, should her iPad be taken away.… Read more
Last Wednesday, I went to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU to meet with Young Guru. He was in New York with The Recording Academy's Grammy U 13-city tour visiting colleges across the country. The tour started on April 8 in Philadelphia and concludes on April 28 in Memphis. Young Guru has collaborated with Beyonce, Drake, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg, among others.
I didn't know how much time I would have with the engineer/producer/DJ, so I went straight to the heart of the matter and asked him to define what good … Read more
There's something about the plastic nature of Samsung's phones that make them slightly less attractive.
To me, that is.
I know that there are millions to whom it doesn't make a difference. There are even many, no doubt, who believe -- in some idiosyncratic way -- that plastic says now, rather than, oh, six months ago.
Some of these people are 13 years old.
However, not all of these people work for Samsung. Indeed, the SamMobile blog last week revealed that it had heard whispers from South Korea that some at Samsung believe plastic isn't quite … Read more
The Wilson Alexia speakers and Dan D'Agostino electronics in the Innovative Audio room at the New York Audio Show stopped me in my tracks. I heard a lot of great gear at the show, but the sound in that room was closer -- a lot closer -- to the sound of the real thing than anything else. The system had a "this is happening now" quality that takes you back to the recording session, proof that cutting edge high-end gear is getting better all the time. Yes, ubergear prices are in the stratosphere, but there were plenty … Read more
Twitter #Music provides people with a striking, and follower-inspired way of listening to music, but don't be fooled by its true purpose. This isn't just about music.
Twitter #Music is about augmenting its follow graph, an important asset that sets Twitter apart from Facebook and others, with explicit data on what members care about.
Twitter's follow graph is a phrase the company uses to describe the map that plots who follows whom. It's a hybrid of a social graph, or a chart of how people relate to other people, and an interest graph, which diagrams how … Read more
With the weather warming up, there's a good chance you'll start spending more time at the pool, river, lake, or whatever body of water you like to head to for sun and fun when you're not indoors staging a Zerg rush. This week's prize would like to tag along.
Grace Digital's portable Ecoxbt stereo Bluetooth speaker is not just water resistant, but 100 percent waterproof. Not only that, it floats. Just jump right in and play your music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. You can also answer incoming calls over the built-in speakerphone.
Part of Grace Digital's Ecoxgear line of outdoor-friendly gadgets, the device measures 4 inches high by 9 inches wide by 2.8 inches deep and weighs 1.5 pounds. The rechargeable battery yields 10-plus hours of play or talk time, plenty for a good run in your kayak or canoe. (See a video of the speaker in action here, complete with sexy "From Here to Eternity"-style beach product shot.) … Read more
If you still buy music in a physical format, Record Store Day is for you. Stores stock special releases and have sales on LPs and CDs, so if you're lucky enough to live near a record shop, drop by on Saturday and see what's up. Check the RSD Web site to find participating stores, and touch some (physical) music.
Here in NYC, two of my favorite shops, Downtown Music Gallery and In Living Stereo, are pulling out all the stops. Downtown's Bruce Lee Gallanter and Manny Maris are two of the guys I count on for their … Read more
Some things I still can't come to terms with.
You know, like the members of Senate being all millionaires.
Then there are people who use their iPad as a camera. I know you can do that, but it doesn't mean you should, any more than you should drive your F-150 through the front door of a drive-through McDonald's.
The iPad as a camera feels like the shoulder pad as an expression of style.
It would be easy to think that no one, no one was buying BlackBerrys right now.
Somehow, the brand -- at least in the U.S. -- appears to be enduring a soporific phase. Why, only the other day, some highly unreliable research suggested that it was the phone that people least wanted to buy.
BlackBerry, though, believes bigger and brighter days are ahead. Recently, it hired Alicia Keys as its creative director.
Some pointed out, to BlackBerry's discomfort, that Keys was an iPhone user with an iOS app.
Just as that information reverberated, Keys was seen tweeting from … Read more