Aside from his storied history of mastering downloadable software and ensnaring cyber-ne'er-do-wells around the globe, Power Downloader is also a longtime music collector. Since the very first 78rpm record he received as a young boy on Christmas Day untold years ago, Power has combed the stacks of record stores everywhere he travels. From Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles, and the Stooges to Arcade Fire, R. Kelly, and The White Stripes, Power Downloader has acquired a gigantic music collection that now also lives on his PC, portable MP3 player, and via software, any connected computer, or iPhone in the world.… Read more
If you've never heard of Dropio, it's worth checking out. The service provides temporary storage for your files--an online dropbox, so to speak--complete with a unique Web address you can share or keep to yourself.
Of course, lots of services offer this capability, but Dropio just added an entirely original feature: MP3 audio recording. Now, when you create a "drop," you get a phone number and special extension. Just dial in from your cell phone (or any phone), enter the extension, and start talking. When you're done, Dropio turns the recording into an MP3 you … Read more
You won't find a more institutionally conservative category in the consumer electronics space than home audio. More than any other industry segment, audio is one where technological advances tend to be lamented rather than celebrated, viewed with suspicion rather than embraced. And that's understandable: Subpar speakers are now passed off as good enough and used to listen to digital music, which is often highly compressed compared with CD or (even better) LP equivalents. And the music itself is coming from a dying recording industry, struggling to stay alive in the digital age, and often relegated to background music--fewer … Read more
This is one case when a line of audio equipment should be seen, as well as heard. Cresyn, which normally toils behind the scenes while making components for products marketed by other companies, is apparently tiring of the anonymity and is breaking out with a brand of its own called Phiaton--and it's eye candy at its best.
Even without playing a single note, the "Moderna" series of iPod docks, headphones, and other gear is most notable for a unique design that features hand-stitched leather and a red-and-black color scheme, according to Mobile Magazine. If these products … Read more
Stereophile magazine's excellent coverage of the high-end audio scene at CES '08 at the Venetian Hotel has kept me on the edge of my seat since Monday. So many great new products, from old and new companies say a lot about the thriving, worldwide audiophile market. I've picked five products to show you, but Stereophile's site has dozens of really cool sightings.
And with all the competition in car stereos, Pyle Audio has taken its business to the water with its technology-packed "Seadoo" ocean cruiser. Despite its unfortunate name, the four-passenger Seadoo is a definitely a force: Powered by two head units, this floating media center has a 17-inch LCD (rear), 13-inch LCD (front), DVD player, 10 speakers, 3 amplifiers, and 3 subwoofers, according to BornRich.
Pyle, by the way, … Read more
A source within Qualcomm has confirmed that the company quietly acquired Open Interface North America in December of 2007. Founded in 2000, Open Interface North America (OINA) is an embedded Bluetooth software developer that has provided Bluetooth software for companies such as Sharp, Sprint, Motorola, and LG. One of OINA's most recent accomplishments was a new Bluetooth streaming audio codec named Soundabout Lossless, which promised a dramatic improvement over the prevalent A2DP Bluetooth audio standard.
While the mid-fi brands scramble to load on the latest techno gizmos and race to the bottom with ever cheaper prices and quality, high-end audio brands shoot for the moon. Take Loiminchay Audio, manufacturers of limited-edition speakers for well-heeled audiophiles are introducing their wares at CES in Las Vegas today.
The Loiminchay Audio speakers are artisan-crafted from sensually shaped layers of solid Birch MultiPly. The interior space of each speaker is machined out, the driver holes opened, and substantial bracing added, resulting in a tremendously non-resonant driver support structure. The speaker is then finished with sixteen coats of lacquer--Loiminchay's … Read more
Anytime the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray is discussed on the Internet, there's always a commenter that chimes in to say that digital downloads are going to beat them both. While we've seen some successful products using the digital distribution model, such as Vudu, we've always been skeptical about true high-def digital distribution taking off in the near future, mostly because high-bandwidth Internet access just isn't cheap enough.
Instead of waiting for cheap, super-fast internet connections, XStreamHD is looking to an older technology to provide the extra bandwidth--a satellite dish. The XStreamHD system consists … Read more
Polk Audio has officially unveiled its first single-speaker all-in-one home theater system, the SurroundBar 360. The system is comprised of just two components--a single elongated speaker (44 inches wide) designed to sit beneath your flat-panel TV, and a DVD player/amplifier head unit that houses the electronics. While the SurroundBar concept isn't new for Polk (the speaker-only 2005 version was designed to be paired with an AV receiver), the latest iteration utilizes a new active (powered) design that's said to maximize the speaker's eight drivers. In addition to the disc player and AM/FM radio, the head unit offers all of the standard DVD player outputs (including HDMI). Input capabilities fall short of HD switching, but the 360's analog composite and S-Video inputs will be upconverted via the HDMI output. A USB input is also available for digital photo playback and music players.
We had the opportunity to hear an early version of the SurroundBar 360 put through its paces by company founder Matthew Polk himself.… Read more