The new iRiver MP3 player coming to market in South Korea looks like something you'd see for sale at a Starbuck's counter while waiting for your chai latte. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, either. As mass-market media players rapidly descend into commodity status, companies must do more to separate themselves from the pack through design and distribution.
Someone should tell the creators of all these media- and playlist-swapping social networking services that, you know, just because you like the same music as someone doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get along. Because, let's face it. There are way too many of these sites and Web apps that try to connect people based on what music they like. There's Last.fm, and Pandora, and Imeem, and...okay, I could go on and on.
I know how it is: It gets harder every year to select the perfect present for that eco-friendly farmhand/truck driver in your life. Luckily, Passchal's got you covered this time.
The Virginia-based handbag maker is selling iPod and DVD cases hewn from old truck and tractor tires. The people at Passchal handmake them after picking through discarded inner tubes and soaking them in "an environmentally friendly solution" for three days.
Each case retains the original tire markings for that authentic, nouveaux vintage look. Recycling is so very now, isn't it?
Though $55 is a bit … Read more
As the retail industry learned long ago, it's never too early to start targeting products at consumers--and that means kindergarten or younger. So which brand do you turn to? The gold standard, of course: Disney.
Following the Mix Max, mobile phones, DVD players and countless other products, the OTO music player from Japan's Run-At is targeted at the youngest of consumers with the Disney imprimatur. Newlaunches says the square-shaped MP3 device has no built-in memory and works only with Windows software. But it costs only $25 and bears the images of Minnie Mouse and Stitch in pink and … Read more
MP3 players have already become fashion items and, as they've shrunk to Lilliputian size, we were wondering how long it would take for them to be designed as jewelry. After all, why take pains to sew them into clothing when you can make a statement right on your body?
That's apparently the thinking behind the limited-edition MusiQ from BenQ, an aluminum-magnesium music player that doubles as a dog tag, complete with a metal earphone chain. Anything But iPod says a 512MB version of the player will be available in December for about $88, but pricing for a 1GB … Read more
It wasn't that long ago that mobile devices were pretty easy to distinguish from one another: A phone looked like a phone, a PDA looked like a PDA, etc. Today, everything could be anything, at least at first glance.
When we first saw this MP3 player from Germany-based Maxfield, for example, it could have been any number of gadgets or combinations thereof but--gasp--it just plays music. The "MAX-IVY" does display pictures on its 1.8-inch screen but has no video, camera or phone, according to Tech Digest. So why do we like it? Two reasons: It has … Read more
OK, so it's not exactly "my" Zune accessory. More like CNET's first Zune accessory. Or at least the first one that seems pretty decent. (I'm sorry, but the cases I've seen so far seem to do nothing but add bulk to the already bulky Zune.) When first asked if I'd like to write up something on some Zune speakers, I was skeptical. After all, while I haven't been as vocal about this yet as with my aversion to the iPod, I don't like the Zune...not that I've given it … Read more
They say diversity is the spice of life, but a new music app claims you can add flavor to your listening routine by networking with those who have the exact same tastes as you.
A group called Emergent Music today launched Goombah, a community-driven, music discovery site and desktop application. Goombah offers its members "taste-targeted free music" through patent-pending technology that claims to analyze users' iTunes collections and listening behavior and connect them to people and music that "precisely match their taste."
It's not rocket science to conclude that people with similar music collections are … Read more
Bose seems to have a monopoly on noise-cancellation headphones for first- and business-class travelers, but JVC is trying to bring a little sophistication to its new headphones for those of us traveling in coach. The affordably priced ($60 list) HA-NC80 headphones, expected to be available soon, feature something called "dual-mode, noise-canceling circuitry" for environment-specific situations.
According to JVC's press release, a "wide" mode targets a wider frequency range and cancels the type of noise typically found in a commercial jet cabin. Meanwhile, the "low" mode cancels a slightly narrower and lower frequency range, … Read more
With plasma screens getting bigger all the time, it might be time to start a new trend and go in the opposite direction (and save a few thousand bucks at the same time). Try the "Pocket Plasma" on for size. At 3 inches in diameter, it may not be as small as phone, camera or media player LCDs, but this mini-screen can do something that the others definitely can't: You can wear it on your clothes. As Red Ferret notes, the $45 "sound-sensitive" Pocket Plasma will light up io voices and music. For more discreet … Read more