I am not a professional guitarist. Like many of you, I can fake my way through a few chords and song melodies, but I couldn't play you any "tasty licks" or shred your face with my epic guitar wankery. I'm a hack, and I'm comfortable with that.
Humble skills aside, I do enjoy picking up the guitar at least a few times a week--just for fun and to keep up what few chops I have. My big problem is finding a way to play guitar without aggravating my wife, or waking my kid. I have … Read more
In the nearly two years that Apple has been selling apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, I've accumulated pages and pages of them. I try to keep them organized, grouping games and similar apps together on separate pages--but it still involves a lot of flipping and searching to get where I want to go.
Apple's new Folders feature in iOS 4 offers a new approach to managing an ever-growing collection of apps, allowing you to group apps together under custom headings. Not only do folders cut down on the number of icons sprawling across your home screens, … Read more
Skullcandy has made quite a name for itself in the headphone world, thanks largely to its focus on funky fashion and its aggressive marketing tactics aimed at tweens, teens, and young adults. However, the latest Skullcandy earphones to come down the pipe are perhaps the most adult-oriented we've seen from the company.
The 50/50 earbuds, which are moderately priced at $49.95, come in an array of relatively muted color options and feature inline controls for the iPhone and iPod, as well as a striking low-end response. The audio clarity isn't the best and they feel a … Read more
Recording with your iPhone's built-in microphone is a quick and easy way for musicians to sketch out song ideas. But if you're really bent on transforming your iPhone or iPod Touch into a mobile, multitrack recording studio, you'll need to drop some money on a quality recording app, and some kind of adapter for connecting instruments or mixers.
Professional, affordable apps such as FourTrack and FiRe recorder solve the first half of the equation, but shrinking a professional audio interface down to a pocketable iPhone adapter is a tall order.
Fortunately, the folks at Sonoma Wire Works are working on one of the best solutions we've seen yet. The GuitarJack ($199) is due out this fall, and offers a 1/4-inch instrument input, stereo line input, and headphone output, all in an adapter that fits in you palm. More importantly, the line and instrument inputs offer selectable gain pads, 60dB of continuous analog level control, and can be separately assigned for simultaneous dual-mono recording.… Read more
V-Moda has gained quite a reputation for its stylish, low-profile earbuds, so it's not terribly surprising that the company has decided to dip its toes into the full-size headphone waters. As would be expected, V-Moda's entry into the space is every bit as stylish as its ultraportable siblings.
The Crossfade LP headphones run about $250 and feature top-notch construction, plenty of features, and a comfy fit. Unfortunately, sound quality is not on par with the price point, so if that's your chief concern, these aren't the best option.
Peruse any electronics store, whether virtual or brick-and-mortar, and you'll be overwhelmed by the breadth of choices offered in the iPod speaker category. As such, it is of the utmost importance that manufacturers of such goods make their products not just stand but jump out from the crowd. Taking an otherwise fairly standard iPod-ready AM/FM radio alarm clock and slapping a $250 price tag on it is surely one way of doing this; we're just not sure it's the right way. This is what JBL has done with the latest addition to its On Time speaker … Read more
When Harman Kardon told me it was launching a smaller version of the excellent Go + Play iPod boom box, I was expecting something, well...small. Even the name sounds cute: the Go + Play Micro.
But when the product arrived on my desk, I thought the company sent the wrong product. I reviewed the original Go + Play only a year ago, and this thing looked nearly identical--a futuristic bowling bag of sound rendered in brushed aluminum and black plastic. Sure, it lost about an inch on the back and sides, but it was in no way micro.
The Dual XGPS300 GPS Navigation & Battery Cradle is a double-purpose iPod Touch accessory, but its dual nature doesn't stop with its functionalities. For every pro that we found with the device, there was an equal and opposite con. Like flipping a coin, we kept coming up 50/50.
We liked that the XGPS300 increases the functionality of the iPod Touch by adding GPS and battery extender capabilities, but we weren't fans of the fact that the device makes users manually switch between those modes. We also liked that its battery extender makes the device useful even when … Read more
Version 9.1 of Apple's iTunes software is now available for download, bringing a handful of improvements and iPad compatibility.
Without an iPad to connect, there aren't a whole lot of visible changes for users to notice. The Audiobook library category has been renamed "Books" and broadened to include all book-related content, including audiobooks and back-ups of e-books purchased using the iPad's iBooks app. Although the feature isn't advertised, we found that free EPUB books from Project Guttenberg or Google Books can be imported via drag and drop. Unfortunately, without the option to view … Read more
If you're in the market for a new pair of headphones, Rockford Fosgate is probably not a company that springs to mind, what with the fact that it is almost exclusively a manufacturer of car audio. Indeed, aside from a few boat-friendly products and a set of DJ-friendly speakers, the only nonautomobile gadget Rockford Fosgate makes is a new pair of in-ear headphones, the PP15mm Punch Plugs. This $99 pair of earphones features a stylish design and plenty of low-end oomph, though the sound distortions present during some tracks will likely scare away audio purists.