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Archive for Digital Audio

iRiver U20 Clix 2

Posted in Digital Audio,Digital Video,iRiver by Darrin Olson on February 27th, 2007

iRiver Clix2 U20iRiver has a new version of the Clix player available in Korea which will be also coming to the US in the coming months.

The new iRiver U20, which looks like it will end up as the ‘clix2′ similarly to how the iRiver U10 became the ‘clix’ in the US, is slightly faster with more frames per second and is slightly thinner by about a 10th of an inch. The new media player appears very similar to the original version, although it has a much needed increase in capacity. The flash based player has increased its storage to a 4GB and 8GB version coming to the US in March and April, respectively, which is a nice increase from the former 2GB maximum.

The clix2 has the same 2.2″ viewing screen and about the same overall dimensions, sporting the D-Click interface and supporting Macromedia Flash …

Siren DP100

Posted in Digital Audio,MP3,music by Darrin Olson on February 24th, 2007

Siren DP100 MP3 playerSiren of Japan has new MP3 player called the DP100, designed in a compact frame for personal audio on the go. The player comes with a lanyard that fits through a loop hole built into the frame of the player so it’s easy and secure to carry around.

The Siren DP100 comes in 3 capacities of 512MB, 1GB and 2GB and has an internal rechargeable battery that allows up to 18 hours of continuous playback. A USB connection allows the transfer of music files, and the DP100 can double as a mass storage device to hold files of any type through a simple drag and drop from Windows. That same USB connection charges the battery, and an AC adapter is included for a straight AC charge if needed.

The OLED display looks to be nothing fancy, showing active file information and the remaining charge on …

iRiver X20 Media Player

Posted in Digital Audio,Digital Video,iRiver by Darrin Olson on February 18th, 2007

iRiver X20 Media PlayeriRiver has a new PMP that will be available in Japan in a few weeks called the iRiver X20, which is another nice product from iRiver, but with no features that really that stand out as exceptional from the rest.

The X20 has all the features you would expect in an audio and video playing portable device, including playback of music, MPEG4 and WMV video, and still pictures. The device also has an FM tuner which is almost becoming standard in these types of players, and it has direct recording.

The recording function is always a welcome function for me. It has the ability to record radio through the FM tuner and encode it straight to MP3 files, and it can also record voice with a built in microphone or from a line into the device. Data can be transferred via a USB port, and iRiver …

Warner CEO Defends Music DRM Plan

Posted in Digital Audio,music,News by Darrin Olson on February 14th, 2007

Warner CEO defends Music DRMIn a speech at the 3GSM World Conference in Barcelona on Wednesday, Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group, spoke out in support of a digital music DRM (digital rights management), most likely in counter attack to the open letter from Steve Jobs of Apple regarding their DRM.

“DRM and interoperability are not the same thing,” said Bronfman. “We believe in interoperability…Consumers want it and should have it. We at Warner, and I hope the rest of the music and content industry, will make it as easy as possible to achieve interoperability.”

Apple has been under some ridicule lately for its music DRM which restricts music downloaded from Apple to be used only on iPods, as well as restricts the number of computers and iPods that the music files can be transferred to.

Some argue that this system is unfair and …

Rumors of New Sony Walkman to Challenge iPod nano

Posted in Digital Audio,Sony by Darrin Olson on February 11th, 2007

Sony Walkman challenger to iPod and SansaAccording to some anonymous credible sources, Sony has a new DAP up its sleeve in their Walkman line of MP3 players which may be a viable challenger in the iPod/Sansa type audio player market.

Pictured here is an NW-A3000 from Sony which reportedly is similar to the look of the new player but slightly flatter and more rectangular. The new Walkman is a video player coming in sizes of 2, 4 and 8GB with 8 to 10 hours of video playback. A larger screen than the iPod nano with horizontal viewing is expected with the player being on 6.5mm thick in total.

The new rumored player from Sony is said to come in colors of violet, black, blue and pink and will be officially announced in early March with pricing slightly higher than the nano. The fact that there are no …

Helio Launches Music Service

Posted in Digital Audio,Helio,News by Paul Patterson on February 11th, 2007

Helio Launches Music ServiceHelio has added a music service to its ever-expanding line of custom-built 3G services. With Helio Music, the company now has a full mobile over-the-air music download service with some innovative sharing features that every music lover should appreciate.

Helio members can find their favorite music in the library by searching for artist, album, or song. Members looking for something new can get recommendations for a particular category or preview Featured Songs, Top Music, and New Releases. Members can also read artist bios, browse images, preview songs, get recommendations, and of course download tracks.

With Artist Alerts, Helio members can be notified when a new song from their favorite band enters the library via text message. Helio members can also find Rings, music videos, and VideoRings for their favorite artists.

Helio members can share music by allowing to “Gift & Beg” full-track downloads. A member can “gift” …

Drop your air guitar and learn for real

Posted in Digital Audio,MP3,music by Darrin Olson on February 10th, 2007

TASCAM MP3 player for guitar play alongThis MP3 player from TASCCAM is designed with the guitar player in mind, housing many features which make it easier for the up and coming talent to jam along with the player.

The MP-GT1 model from TASCAM is an MP3 player small enough to fit into your pocket but large enough to run for 9 hours on one set of batteries and hold 240 songs. Music files can be loaded through a USB connection from your computer straight to the player.

Features of this specialized musicians MP3 player include the ability to slow down the playback without changing pitch, looping playback to hear a particular “riff” repeatedly, and the ability to manually change the pitch of a song to match that of your guitar. Having no ear for pitch whatsoever, I have to assume this is a good feature.

The player also has a …

A DRM-Free World For Online Music

Posted in Apple,Digital Audio,News by Darrin Olson on February 10th, 2007

Jobs talks about DRM free music in open letterEarlier in the week Steve Jobs released an open letter via the Apple website addressing some “rubs” against Apple for having a digital rights management (DRM) that restricts iTunes music downloads to be played on only iPods.

In the letter Jobs describes how the DRM came to be through restrictions from the larger music companies who were concerned about users pirating music through the iTunes website. The DRM was made to protect downloaded music from being copied freely across the internet and in turn gain the approval of the music companies which would then allow Apple to sell their music online.

Jobs also points out that Apple is not the only company with a DRM that restricts downloaded music to a device. “Music purchased from Microsoft’s Zune store will only play on Zune players; music purchased from Sony’s Connect store …

Home Stereo with HDD, Ethernet, USB and AnyMusic

Posted in Digital Audio,Home Theater by Darrin Olson on February 9th, 2007

Onkyo Home stereo with anymusicOnkyo has released a new compact home stereo system that’s designed to integrate nicely with your digital music collection. The Onkyo BR-NX10 also has Sony’s AnyMusic service built in.

The Onkyo home stereo holds an 80GB hard drive to store digital music, and with the CD player it allows playing or ripping of the audio disks to the hard drive. This device also has a USB port to transfer files from a PC and an Ethernet port to connect to the internet. Once connected users can browse, purchase and download songs from Sony’s AnyMusic.

An FM Stereo tuner to allow recording the radio would be a nice feature in this package, however we didn’t notice any controls or features for FM radio. The BR-NX10 from Onkyo is expected to retail for about €600 (~$780 USD).

Onkyo via Akihabara News

FCC Reveals Archos 704 WiFi

Posted in Archos,Digital Audio,Digital Video by Darrin Olson on February 8th, 2007

Archos 704 WiFiArchos is making a name for itself, and although for some it might not be the best name they are definitely not quitters. We actually kinda’ liked the Archos 604 video player for it’s sharp look and decent screen size. We liked it even more when the added WiFi to it and we noticed some of the cool accessories, like the helmet cam.

Today pictures of a new version of the player called the Archos 704 WiFi was revealed via the FCC and we couldn’t help but notice the words “MOBILE DVR” stamped on the front.

The actual functionality details are a little gray at this point, but it does seem to have the same sharp look, possibly a little bigger screen and maybe a bigger hard drive for storing and playing more movies. Common DVR functions are a strong possibility which would …

Senator to Ban iPods in NY Crosswalks

Posted in Digital Audio,Mobile Phones,News by Darrin Olson on February 7th, 2007

NY Lawmaker hopes to ban iPod and phone use when crossing the streetNew York State Senator Carl Kruger is looking at banning the use of electronic devices such as mobile phones and digital audio players like the iPod, when crossing streets in New York.

Citing that a number of fatalities in the city have been attributed to people not paying attention to crossing traffic due to personal phones or audio players, the Senator hopes to ban the use of these types of gadgets in city crosswalks in an effort to “look out for the people”.

“While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they’re tuning out the world around them,” said Kruger. “Tuned out to the world around them. They’re walking into speeding cars. They’re walking into buses. They’re walking into one another and it’s creating a number of fatalities that have been documented right here …

Sony Ericsson W610 Walkman Announced

Posted in Digital Audio,Mobile Phones,Smart Devices,Sony Ericsson by Darrin Olson on February 6th, 2007

Walkman W610 from Sony EricssonSony Ericsson has announced a number of new mobile phone releases today, one of which that stands out to US customers is the W610 Walkman.

This new mobile music phone doesn’t quite have the thin design of the W880 Walkman, but that doesn’t mean its without appealing features. The first of these features is the quad-band with EDGE making the smartphone compatible with carriers in the US. It also comes with the Disc2Phone and Walkman Player 2.0 software package to manage and play music, and has 25 hours of music playback (7 hours of talk time and 350 hours of standby). Along with this software, we can’t forget the TrackID application that will come with this device. TrackID is a music recognition application that allows users to record a clip of music with the W610 and receive an instant response …

Sony Ericsson Releases Walkman W880/W888

Posted in Digital Audio,Mobile Phones,Sony Ericsson by Darrin Olson on February 6th, 2007

Sony Ericsson W880/W888 Walkman Phone ReleasedSony Ericsson today has announced the release of the new Walkman W880 model to their line up of Walkman phones available.

The W880 is the slimmest phone yet from Sony Ericsson, measuring only 9.4 mm thick (about the thickness of a CD case) housing a 1.8″ TFT display and 2 megapixel camera. This music phone also comes with a 1GB Memory Stick Micro included in the package to dispel concerns about enough internal storage space.

The mobile music phone comes with pre-packaged software for managing your audio media, including Walkman Player 2.0 and Disc2Phone to manage the transfer of music to the mobile device, as well as the playback on the gadget itself. The W880 also supports Bluetooth for streaming the playback to a wireless Bluetooth headset or stereo.

“Our Walkman phones have proven to be phenomenally attractive to our consumers – we have …

Qoolqee X MP3 Player

Posted in Digital Audio,MP3 by Darrin Olson on February 2nd, 2007

Qoolqee X MP3 PlayerThis MP3 player from Qoolqee does have a funny name, but we won’t hold that against it. The Qoolqee X Sports player is a slim, simple, easy to use digital audio player designed with the athlete in mind.

The Qoolqee X is not really loaded with features, and the price is fairly reflective. This MP3 player does have a couple of features that help it find its place in the personal audio player market, however. One of these features is the fact that the Qoolqee X is water resistant. Having the player clipped on your body while you sweat up a storm won’t shut it down or ruin its appearance.

Another design aspect that caters this gadget to the work out fanatic is the big “blister” buttons. The buttons make it easy to switch tracks and volume by touch, avoiding the need to stop your …

Tomato U20 Digital Media Player

Posted in Digital Audio,Digital Video by Darrin Olson on January 31st, 2007

Tomato U20 Digital Media PlayerThis little digital media player from a Korean company called Tomato has an interesting camera-like look to it with a brushed metal case, shiny buttons, a two inch view screen and a retro on/off switch.

The other side of the U20 from Tomato has no lens, but this media player does support the playback of MP3, MP4, WMV and ASF file formats. The video and JPEG photos can be viewed with the two inch 260,000 color TFT LCD screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The U20 also has a built in speaker and microphone as well as an FM tuner to pick up your favorite radio stations, which implies that the gadget can direct record voice along with the radio, most likely to MP3 format.

Capacities come in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB, which all are a little small for an significant number of video …