Despite the proliferation of affordable iPod-friendly car stereos, iPod FM transmitters are still a popular accessory. Nearly every iPod accessory manufacturer has their own take on the product--Belkin has their Tunebase, Griffin has the iTrip, Monster has the iCarPlay, XtremeMac has the AirPlay, Kensington has Liquid FM, and Harman Kardon has the dazzling Drive + Play 2. Digital Life Outfitters (DLO) also makes an exceptional iPod FM transmitter; unfortunately, it's not the TuneStik. (Read the full review)
When I first read about Jango in an alumni update from my alma mater (go Ephs), my first thought was "how many more streaming online music services does the world need?" We've already got Last.fm, Pandora, Slacker, iLike, Imeem, Ezmo...can I stop now?
But Jango offers a refreshingly clear and simple take on the theme. As with many of these services, you start by entering a favorite artist's name...and a song starts playing. You don't need to sign in, download any software, invite friends, choose other favorite artists, or let anything connect … Read more
One of our favorite in-car iPod FM transmitters just got better. The DLO TransDock Deluxe ($129) improves on last year's TransPod by adding video output, a USB charging port, a remote control, and a more attractive design.
Make no mistake, the DLO TransDock Deluxe is not your typical puny iPod FM transmitter. Instead, the TransDock is an unapologetically big, beautiful in-car iPoddock that comes in four pieces: a dock, a stand, an extender, and a remote control. Once assembled and connected to your car's cigarette lighter, the TransDock stands out, both physically and aesthetically from your car's … Read more
DLO's TuneStik handily combines an FM transmitter with an RF remote for the iPod, and now that remote will feature an LCD screen for displaying the FM frequency. In addition to allowing users to adjust the FM band, the remote controls basic playback functions of the iPod, offers a 25-foot range, and comes with a clip for attaching to a steering wheel. The transmitter portion, which connects to the bottom of any docking iPod (including the newest models), is a low-profile black rectangle that is suitable for both in-car and at-home use. It includes a pass-through dock for attaching … Read more
There are plenty of options for connecting an iPod to a car stereo--increasingly, car makers themselves are offering full iPod control as an aftermarket add-on. But if you're like me and own multiple MP3 players, most of which won't work with the specialized iPod connectors, the solution's different: get an aftermarket stereo with a built-in auxiliary input or (better yet) a USB connection.
Subaru must have thought its customers didn't care about audio. The 2005 and 2006 Outbacks and Forresters came with decent-sounding stock stereo systems, complete with 6 CD changer. But for some unfathomable reason (… Read more
The launch of Google's OpenSocial platform earlier this month might have been more PR than anything, as many of the third-party partners implementing the new developer standard won't be releasing anything for months.
Instead, OpenSocial-related announcements have been rolling out slowly: one of the latest is that social music site Last.fm has created OpenSocial widgets designed for use on Ning, a site that allows any person or business to create a specialized social network. (According to Ning, more than 123,000 networks have been created so far.)
Ning network creators and members can now install the Last.… Read more
Social.fm (formerly Mercora) has a new music sharing widget for social networking users that's got a few tricks up its sleeve. For one thing, it'll scour your profile (on the Facebook version) to figure out your musical tastes, and then do its best to serve up a playlist of those same artists, or others that have been clumped in the same playlists by Social.FM's DJs. The great hope is that the player will adapt to your changing tastes.
Like Qloud's solution, which I took a look at earlier this month, the widget goes hand-in-hand with a desktop application that will link up to your library and do the same thing with your entire music collection. The weakness therein is the widget's UI, which borrows from Apple's CoverFlow sans actual player controls save a large stop button. While this works okay for a few songs, like the inherent weakness of CoverFlow as a navigation medium, the system falls apart if you're actually trying to browse a large music collection or use the right side of your brain for finding artists, albums, or genres.
One thing Social.FM does really well (as it should) is serve up good music. There are some high-quality tracks on here, and a lot of it is surprisingly not just run-of-the-mill studio cuts, but radio appearances or professionally recorded live performances. One of my big beefs with Qloud was that the entirety of the content was coming from YouTube, and there was no way to really dig in to try to get better versions of a song. Facebook users get the added benefit of being able to share their listening habits with others, as listening to a track will publish to your mini feed, and music your friends are listening to will show up in the main news feed if they've got the app installed.
Social.FM is serving up two versions of the widget, one that's a Facebook app, and another that you can plug into any social networking service or site that can handle Adobe Flash embeds, like MySpace, Friendster, and Xanga. You can also stick it on your blog or Web site, which I've done after the break. The company tells me they're working on integrating better with Google's OpenSocial initiative to make their non-Facebook version a little more robust. They're also working on adding a recommendation feature that will let you share a song you're listening to with any user, similar to what some of the other Facebook music apps have done.
A new social-networking DIY Internet radio site called Jango went into public beta on Monday.
Jango, which Webware reviewed while it was still in private testing, offers many of the common features other leading music sites offer, but embeds the controls right within the main play bar.
The site concentrates on improving the usability and interface for DIY music sites that can sometime be daunting. Things like weighting the worth of a song, scrolling your own and others' playlists, finding band information, and managing music is all one click, mouse movement, or thumbnail away from the main play bar.
What … Read more
This is the lowest price we've ever seen for this doodad that allows you to play your MP3 files through any radio. If you're a first-time Google Checkout user, you can bring the price down to 99 cents, and who can beat that? Advanced electronics for a buck! Not bad.
Webware is always happy to see new competitors challenge the status quo.
Jango attempts to combine Pandora's simple interface, Finetune's control over playlists, Facebook's ease with profiles, and the music community of Last.fm.
While this latest DIY Internet radio Web site doesn't open to public beta until November 12, we're sharing it with you now. It adds nice social-networking features in a simplistic way that others just don't have yet. (We've also managed to get some early invites to Jango for CNET readers before the site officially goes public.)
"What we … Read more