One of our favorite MP3 players is getting an upgrade. Cowon announced the iAudio 7 today in Korea, updating their micro-drive iAudio 6 player to a lighter, leaner flash-based player. The update includes a significant jump in battery life, from 20 hours to a remarkable 60 hours. The iAudio 6 supports standard audio formats such as MP3, AAC, WMA, ASF, WAV, and even beloved (yet rarely supported) formats such as OGG and FLAC. It looks as though many of the great features of its predecessor have been maintained, including line-in recording, voice recording, video playback, BBE sound enhancer, and its … Read more
Pros: Records independently of app, tracks remaining storage, two recording input options, multiple ways to share Cons: No trigger hot key, two-second lapse with phone call recording
At a baseball game last summer, my friend recorded the incessant howls of a boisterous seatmate with his smart phone, replaying it in my ear with tinny imperfection. Too bad he didn't have a Palm device with CallRec tucked onto his memory card to forever capture the fan's clamorous "woo-woooos" with lifelike clarity.
CallRec is a midsize piece of commercial software (207KB on-phone storage; $30) that makes clear recordings of your notes-to-self and phone calls, and has enough options for tweaking the recording quality to cut out most background noise. The clean, understandable interface provides screen-touch buttons to start, stop, and replay recordings, though you can also initiate and end sessions by pressing the Treo's side button. CallRec names recordings with a time stamp, but it's easy to rename files, and to organize them by file name or duration. … Read more
Today, Sony announced two new HD radio products: one for the home and one for the car. Now, if you gave up on terrestrial radio ages ago--either for the iPod, Internet radio, and/or satellite radio--you're probably not all that concerned about new developments in that area. But for those who still enjoy AM/FM radio programming, HD Radio offers some compelling developments. Namely, it allows for a wider selection of channels via substations, and it provides better quality audio than standard AM/FM radio--"crystal-clear digital sound" by some accounts. We ain't talking CD-quality … Read more
For every person who loves the idea of 6-foot tower speakers at each corner of the room, there are 20 others who prefer their home theater to be heard but not seen. It's for that latter group that the Sony DAV-IS10 Micro Home Theater System was designed. The system crams an entire 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) down to Mini-Me proportions: the 2-way 100-watt subwoofer barely outsizes a couple of phone books, the DVD/CD player head unit is a bit larger than a Mac Mini, and the five satellite speakers are--as Sony's press kit helpfully points out--"about the size of a golf ball." Despite the minuscule size, the DAV-IS10 will include the much of the same impressive features found on Sony's trio of Bravia HTIBs: DVD upscaling to 720p and 1080i via the HDMI output, automated speaker setup (which Sony calls "Digital Cinema Auto Calibration," or DCAC), and HDMI-CEC capability (the ability to control compatible TVs via the IS10's remote when connected via HDMI--"Bravia Theater Sync," in Sony speak). The system also features a Digital Media Port, so it can interface with Sony's quartet of proprietary digital audio accessories--though that's less of an enticement, now that we've been underwhelmed by the first two we've reviewed, the TDM-IP1 iPod dock and the TDM-BT1 Bluetooth interface. … Read more
Bugatti is a name that would never be associated with "ordinary," so it makes perfect sense that the music system for its "Veyron" uber-car would be something special. And they certainly didn't disappoint anyone with the German-made Burmester system that was created specifically to meet the unique needs and design of the Veyron, one of the world's fastest street-legal cars.
Here's why an off-the-shelf stereo from Best Buy wouldn't have done the trick: The Burmeister CD player alone is constructed to operate without a single skip at 250 miles per hour. Sybarites … Read more
An eon ago, when Sony was at the top of the world, it attempted a strategy to lock up entertainment by owning the source--Hollywood studios, for example--and making all the products that played their movies and records. We all know what happened to that brilliant plan, but Sony's failed history apparently hasn't deterred another company from trying its own version of that studio-to-store strategy: 154-year-old Steinway & Sons.
In this case, the origin isn't the content itself but the instrument that's used to produce it, the legendary Steinway piano. On the other end of the chain … Read more
DLO has announced its new HomeDock Music Remote for the iPod. It's a wireless solution for controlling your iPod from anywhere in your house or apartment. Your iPod simply rests in a dock, which doubles as a charger, and is connected to your home stereo. With the included OLED remote, you can navigate through all of the artists on your iPod or even create a playlist of your own. Adding even more functionality to the dock, it's also equipped with a USB port, allowing you to sync your iPod with iTunes.
Last week, I had an opportunity to sit down with the developers of MXPlay, beta jukebox software that lets you mash up your music with streaming movies, letting you create your own virtual music videos.
More interesting than the mashup features, however, is MXPlay's unique playback interface. A graphical interface lets you control the location of the listening audience and the position and direction of your speakers. Letting you tweak your own "room" does create better-sounding tunes. The MXPlay folks were very happy to compare its playback sound to that of iTunes, and I must admit I … Read more
If there's one aspect of parenting that didn't change with the new millennium (and probably never will), it's the natural right to brag on one's children. But as any insufferable parent knows, most portable digital viewers are either too clunky or too small (horrors) to get a decent look at the rugrats.
So we thought Discovery had found the missing link with its "Mini Recording Frame Set," which had a full display (the device measure 4.75 by 2.25 inches and only a quarter-inch thick) while weighing only an ounce. It also joins … Read more
With so many wireless headphones available, one might wonder why anyone would want something like the "TV Hear" remote speaker. Basically, it's a wireless "personal" speaker with a 30-foot range that lets you listen to the telly without disturbing a sleeping spouse or anyone else within earshot of average volumes.
But some people still like to hear things in the open air, and Brookstone says there are other uses for this speaker, such as listening to the TV while you "bounce from room to room--trying to cook dinner, for example, while catching the evening … Read more