Even with Justin gone for over a week, the show must go on. Caroline McCarthy once again takes the reigns, all while helping to diversify the show. First, we're treated to a mashup made in hell, Rick Astley vs. Nirvana in a little tune called "Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up". You've been warned. To make things worse, we hear William Shatner's beat-poetry version of Sarah Palin's resignation speech.Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
Will Apple drop the iPod Classic from production when the company introduces its next generation of MP3 players in the fall? That is the chief concern of the MP3 Insiders on this week's podcast. Also, Donald and Jasmine ramble on about the best non-iPod MP3 players for Macs and the best MP3 players for podcasts, and they weigh in on a fitness-friendly MP3 player from Haier and some stupendous portable headphones from Ultrasone. Finally, SweetFM and Spotify have got Donald all hot and bothered. Find out why.
It's Wilson's turn again to choose The 404 semi-weekly audio draft sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews 5000, so naturally we're a little skeptical (but not nearly as skeptical as we are about the moon landing), but Mr. Tang comes through again with the beautiful music of Priscilla Ahn, a young singer-songwriter with a light, ethereal voice that drifts through the layered atmosphere of her acoustic folk melodies.
Like many of the artists featured on our Draft Pick, Ms. Ahn also brings several instrumental talents to her songs, incorporating her harmonica and even a kazoo on top of the gentle plucks of an acoustic guitar.
Today's featured song, "Dream," was recently featured in an episode of "Grey's Anatomy," and with good reason: the layered harmonies make the perfect soundtrack to quiet, rolling landscapes...also, I think it's pretty cool that's she's on Blue Note Records, the jazz label responsible for putting out albums by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis.
She put out her first record last year called "A Good Day," and is currently touring Japan and Korea before heading back to Los Angeles on August 1 to play at the Troubadour. Give her a listen and let us know if you're in love with her as much as I am!
As usual, this episode is also jam-packed with current newz, including MCA's YouTube announcement (get better soon!), Facebook self-love (not like that, dummy), and another Facebook story about the most EPIC PARTY EVER!
One final note: does anyone have the original text/code for our Wikipedia page? I know it's been awhile, but somebody must have it, right? Our intentions are secret for now, but we definitely have a stew a-brewin', so hit us up at the404(at)cnet(dot)com if you have a copy of it!EPISODE 386 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
We have an especially fun episode for y'all today, with a comparison between Transformers 2 and GI Joe, a brief rundown of old video game movies, the decade's biggest tech flops, and OF COURSE: The 404 Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews 5000!
Man, the preshow this morning got HEATED! In a joking way, of course. You really have to be there for Friday morning preshows in the live chatroom. The buzz this morning was about Jeff seeing "Bruno," and actually LIKING IT! This is, of course, in contrast to Wilson totally despising the flick, blaming the overuse of phallic objects used only to make the audience feel uncomfortable. If you saw that movie and have an opinion, leave a comment on here and help us settle this argument!
That conversation in the preshow leads us to talk about the latest from AintitCool News, who claim that "GI Joe" is a better movie than "Transformers 2"! This is actually pretty surprising to us because we saw the trailer for "GI Joe," and it seriously looked awful, although it'd be hard to make a worse movie than "Transformers 2." I guess it's a "lesser of two evils" sort of thing. Early reviews coming in claim that the "GI Joe" movie should be taken with a large grain of salt, since the tone is similar to that of the original "Street Fighter" movie.
After talking about video game movies for awhile, we finally get to our favorite segment, the OFFICIAL 404 Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews 5000! Today's pick is Mayer Hawthorne, a 29-year-old music junkie from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who makes retro-sounding soul music in the vein of such artists as Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hudson, and Barry White. His music tips its hat to the old Motown days between 1966 and 1974, when scratchy instruments and smooth falsettos dominated the waves. Hawthorne definitely draws inspiration from those artists, but also layers his own style into the mix with breakbeat production and a gallery of horn instruments that every generation can get into. He's currently on the popular hip-hop label Stones Throw and has a few singles out, but his new album, "A Strange Arrangement," is due out in the fall. For now, check out his page and today's track, "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," and let us know what you think!EPISODE 384 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
We always try our best to keep a positive mental attitude on The 404, so it makes sense that we've chosen The Hold Steady's latest album, "Stay Positive," as today's Audio Draft Pick. We also run through the accidental video game archive, shame the Guinness World Records, and warn our listeners about open manholes, literally.
Today's "Best Web site you've never seen" award goes to Derek Yu's Accidental Video Game Porn Archive that showcases sexual innuendos found in your favorite video games. It's an easy way to waste a few hours at work. They're all hilarious, but this Menage a Kong has got to be one of my favorites, with this Star Fox violation in a close second. I also like that Derek and I share the same last name--this Web site is totally something a Yu would do. Nice job, cuz!
We don't wag our fingers as much, but we have to scold the Guinness World Records for this record-breaking fail. One of the entries on its Web site awards the "Most Individuals Killed in a Terrorist Act" to the terrorists behind the attack on the World Trade Center towers and even invites viewers to "break this record."
Instead of immediately taking down the award, Guinness World Records compounded the fail by threatening legal action on the ICanHaz network for posting a screengrab that features the Guinness World Record logo without proper authorization. If that isn't a case of corporate cowardly B.S., I don't know what is. Daps to Fail Blog for their hilarious response complete with a Rick Roll at the end!
Jeff's pick for today's "Audio Draft," sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, is Brooklyn local band The Hold Steady. In our own words, these guys sound like the aural lovechild of Bruce Springsteen, Social Distortion, Joe Strummer, and Billy Joel. The music combines various instruments (banjos, organ, piano, theremin) to produce a jamming rock theme, and then adds gruff vocals with epic storytelling lyrics to complete the circle.
The band's latest album, "Stay Positive," keeps the party going with a steady balance of hilarious stories from the road ("Sequestered in Memphis") and heartbreaking admissions of love lost, but not forgotten ("Lord, I'm Discouraged"). Check out the entire discography and let us know what you think in the comments!
(Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News and Reviews.)EPISODE 381 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
In a world teeming with increasingly similar tech products, Apple is one company that seems to have no problem churning out standout products. This might be attributed to sleek designs, fun features, and friendly interfaces--or maybe you want to chalk it up to good ol' marketing tactics. However, in the case of the iPhone and the iPod Touch, there's one attribute that undeniably separates these devices from the masses: the ever-expanding cadre of third-party applications. You can find everything from cookbooks and weight-loss trackers to games and productivity tools, but the area in which the iPhone and iPod Touch … Read more
Today's show covers Wilson's ever-growing locks of hair and Google ads catering to stupid people. We also take a look back at the original Sony Walkman and examine the best-selling video games of the '90s. Finally, stick around for our weekly Audio Draft Pick sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.fm!
The first segment of the show is dedicated to Wilson's beautiful head of hair. I think I met Wilson's hair long before I ever met the man, and while I've always loved its golden highlights and butter-soft touch, I can't help but think of the Herculean Kevin Sorbo every time I glance in its general direction. Maybe it should start introducing itself with us at the beginning of the show.
Lots of nostalgia on today's show! After a long examination of the way Google is marketing ads to stupid people, we run down the top 50 best-selling video games of the '90s. Most of the picks are no-brainers, but there are a few surprises in there, including Frogger for PS1 coming in at No. 46. Did people really pay money to buy FROGGER on a DISC?! Scary to think about now.
Next, we launch into a story about 13-year old Scott Campbell swapping his Apple iPod for the original Sony Walkman. Fresh on the heels of the gadget's 30-year anniversary, this leads us to reminisce about the influence of the Walkman on all subsequent mobile audio products. We all had them (at least those of us born prior to 1990) and absolutely loved making mixtapes and mixtape art for our friends and significant loved ones. Unfortunately, we get so nostalgic that both Jeff and I reveal humiliating stories that you won't want to miss.
Long live the Sony Walkman! You were there with us through good and bad times, my friend--we'll never forget you.
We're also very psyched today, not only because the date is 7/8/9, but also for the Weekly Audio Draft, brought to you by Beck's Beer and Last.fm! Also, big thanks to Dylan Swart for sending in a poster for the segment. It's my pleasure to introduce today's band, Matt Pond PA.
Like everyone, the transition from middle school to high school wasn't easy for me, but music like this, among others, helped me push through it and I'm proud of these guys for continuing to put out such heartfelt records after 12 years of lineup changes, relocation, and subtle changes to their sound.
The sample song on today's show is called Several Arrows Later from the album "Several Arrows Later." The music combines smooth, gentle vocals with beautiful instrumentation for a unique sound that refuses to be pigeonholed into today's genres. The word "emo," although thrown around a lot in describing Matt Pond PA, is a cringing understatement for this band. Granted, all of the band's music is emotional by nature, but what I like the best about Matt Pond PA is that each of its songs strikes a different chord--each one means something different to the listener. Check out Matt Pond PA and get hooked!
(Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News and Reviews.)EPISODE 377 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Digital music aficionados who are constantly behind the wheel are often faced with the dilemma of how to connect their MP3 players to their car stereos. The lucky ones have head units with direct line-in ports, and a few may even be driving around in vehicles old enough to sport the good-old cassette deck.
Either instance requires a simple wired attachment, but for those who aren't blessed with such accouterments, playing MP3 audio in the car is a little more challenging. Two options remain: custom install a hardwire connection or play music over often-spotty FM transmitters. Thankfully, there are … Read more
FM transmitters are the easiest solution for playing an MP3 player through an older car stereo, but most work terribly, especially in urban areas. But we've finally found one with a transmitter that cut through the air wave clutter of San Francisco. Better yet, the EzCube FM transmitter is tiny, easy to hide in a console or other storage compartment.
Browser and jukebox freeware mashup Songbird brings onstage four new features to help manage songs, communicate better with iTunes, customize volume, and expose more information from Last.fm.
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Songbird 1.2's biggest new feature is the ability to automatically organize files across multiple folders according to each track's metadata. This can be especially useful both if your music is scattered across disparate folders, as well as forcing naming conventions on inconsistent files.
There's also the ability to introduce iTunes library tracks and playlists into Songbird, and export tracks from Songbird to … Read more