A great-sounding recording will sound its best only when it's properly mastered to LP, SACD, DVD-Audio, or a high-resolution file. Those formats will reveal the full glory of the music in ways that lower-resolution formats like MP3 or analog cassette always miss. But if you didn't have access to the high-resolution file to compare it with, a great recording will still sound pretty terrific as an AAC, M4A, or 320kbps MP3 file, because the recording's innate quality would shine through. On the other hand, a heavily compressed, processed and crude recording will always sound heavily compressed, processed … Read more
PARIS -- SmartThings, a startup that wants to bring remote control to everything from lights to liquor cabinets via the Internet, announced it's raised $3 million in first-round funding.
At the LeWeb conference here, SmartThings founder and Chief Technology Officer Jeff Hagins said investors included First Round Capital, which led the round, along with SVangel, Lerer Ventures, A-Grade Investments, CrunchFund, Start Fund, Max Levchin, David Tisch, and LeWeb founder Loic Le Meur. The company already raised pledges of $1.2 million through its Kickstarter project.
"The entire world is becoming programmable," Hagins said, and consequently, events in … Read more
PARIS -- SoundCloud, a site for sharing songs and audio clips online, launched a redesign that lets people discover new audio, spotlights what's going on with an "activity" stream, and links users' activity with social networks.
The new SoundCloud version has been in closed testing but now is available for all users, said company founder and Chief Executive Alexander Ljung in a speech here at the LeWeb conference.
A new discovery section will help people find new material, he said. It's one reason users of the new site are 30 percent more active on the site … Read more
People love sound bars for a lot of good reasons: they eliminate most of the wiring and setup hassles associated with traditional 5.1-channel home theaters, they don't take up a lot of space, they are less expensive than subwoofer/satellite packages, and since most sound bars are self-powered, you don't need to buy an AV receiver. A skinny sound bar positioned under a sleek display is certainly a more appealing solution than a 5.1 or even stereo pair of speakers. There's just one problem: sound bars can't fill a room with sound nearly as well as separate speakers can.… Read more
This is an update of a deal I posted earlier this year. The first time around, it sold out very quickly, but this time I'm assured the vendor has some 5,000 units in stock.
Not wild about the audio coming from your laptop? No surprise there -- it's fairly miraculous that manufacturers manage to squeeze in speakers at all.
And yet many folks use their laptops as media centers in dens, offices, and bedrooms. So how can you get more aural enjoyment from your games, movies, and music?
Simple: add a sound bar. Even an inexpensive one … Read more
SoundCloud is meant to allow people who work with audio files a lot to manage their workloads and their libraries. The idea is to use SoundCloud to listen to sound files from others and to share your own. To do so, you need to set up a SoundCloud account. SoundCloud installs easily on Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
The SoundCloud interface is similar to iTunes: there's a list of folders and playlists on the left, a middle pane that lists music files, and a panel on the right with more information about a selected file. There's … Read more
I remember just before the CD was introduced 30 years ago thinking that digital audio would be a giant leap forward in fidelity, but as soon as I heard a few CDs I knew digital wouldn't do a thing to make music sound more realistic. The CD was vastly better than LPs and cassettes in terms of noise and distortion, but voices still didn't sound like they do in real life, and pianos didn't sound as big and powerful as they do in Carnegie Hall. That mystified me; those early digital recordings were compression-free, and I was … Read more