Before the iPod and iTunes supposedly changed everything, we listened to records, CDs, tapes, and radio in our cars, on the street and in mass transit. Music was nearly as portable as it is now, but iPods and other MP3 players radically increased the quantity of music you could take with you. Looking back to the dawn of the iPod/MP3 era, sound-quality improvements weren't part of the agenda, just the quantity of music that was transportable. Apple's early ads touted the advantages of having "1,000 songs in your pocket," which struck me as an … Read more
I know a little about under-dash record players from the late 1960s, but I was totally clueless about 1950s car turntables, until I heard writer Paul Collins talking about them on WNYC's "Soundcheck" radio show a few weeks ago. I chatted with Collins to learn more about these groovy hi-fis.
Columbia Records developed the proprietary Highway Hi-Fi format: a thick 7-inch, 16 2/3rpm record that had up to one hour playing time per side. Chrysler executives jumped on the idea, and offered the turntable as an option in their 1956 models, and were hoping one out … Read more
Apple today released, as promised, an iOS update addressing location-tracking behavior, and the security of that information on its portable devices.
iOS 4.3.3, which is a free update delivered through Apple's iTunes software, reduces the size of the "crowdsourced" location cache, no longer backs up the cache to iTunes in the form of a device recovery image, and deletes the cache when a user turns Location Services off.
Two of those issues--the size of the database, and the failure to delete the cache from the device--Apple had called "bugs" when addressing the issue … Read more
The Eight Track Museum opens on Monday in the Deep Ellum arts district of Dallas. If you're under 40 you may have never seen or heard an 8-track audio tape. The 5.25x4x.8 inch plastic tape cartridge was big and bulky, but it became wildly popular in cars in the 1960s. An 8-track cartridge contains a continuous loop of quarter-inch tape. The ends of the tape are linked by a metal foil splice, and the tape is divided along its length into 8 channels, or tracks (hence the name).
Bucks Burnett, 52, is the force behind the creation … Read more
From what I recall, Ford in 1971 offered "his and hers" Thunderbirds in The Christmas Book from Neiman Marcus. Retailing at $25,000 for the pair, the T-Birds were outfitted with the latest connectivity of the day. I have no idea how many of these special-edition T-Birds sold, but the built-in telephones and tape recorders must have seemed like spy tech to the drivers.
Then again, in 1971, there were about one-third the cars that are on the road today, and passengers serving as navigators would direct drivers to their destinations using complex and hefty Thomas Guide map … Read more
Remember that crazy little thing called 8-track? We didn't know you could still order albums in the format, but apparently you still can--at least when it comes to Cheap Trick's latest, which also happens to be called The Latest.
Going retro will cost you, however. The 8-track tape version costs $30 (it's available for pre-order) while the CD is going for $12.99 on Amazon. The record is $20 and the digital download is $8.99.
When I was growing up, the closest thing we had to artificial intelligence was something called 2-XL (if you're younger than 30, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about). We've always had trivia games--what made this one interesting, especially to a generation that's just seen Star Wars, was that these trivia questions were asked by a plastic robot.
In 1978, when I got my hands on 2-XL, I was ecstatic. It was the it toy back then. 2-XL was a trivia robot created by Michael J. Freeman, an inventor with an interest to educate … Read more
Maybe it's the holidays, but we've been reminiscing a lot lately here at Crave. And we would like to thank everyone for indulging us--but first, one last trip down memory lane (until the next one).
The latest item to trigger memories of our misspent youth is the "Plus Deck Cassette Converter" offered on Firebox.com, which calls it a "full logic, front-loading cassette deck that can convert, edit and play tapes on your PC" by converting them into MP3 files. But Gearlog said it best, explaining eloquently how this gadget can help you relive your glory days … Read more
Intempo Digital's Stereo Tower does just that, in grand style. Despite its sleek modern design, this MP3 stereo is actually a throwback to the days of enormous music systems, with speakers the size of the Sears Tower. Tech Digest even describes it in '70s-era terms, as a "surround-sound Hi-Fi system."