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Beatles catalog coming to iTunes yet this year?

Posted in music by Darrin Olson on March 9th, 2008

Beatles catalog rumored to be available for download online and on iTunes on the coming monthsAccording to a number of UK-based online sources, Paul McCartney has officially worked out a deal to bring the Beatles back-catalog to multiple music download sites including a $400 million agreement with iTunes to offer the tracks. All of the Beatles currently have works available for download through iTunes, but the likely most popular tunes have thus far eluded the mammoth music download service.

According to reports, albums including Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Help and the White Album could be available from iTunes on possibly other online services “within months”. Now that the deal has been worked out, officials for the Beatles are reportedly in the process of creating digital versions of the songs to be available for download.

Eco-Speakers made from recycled materials

Posted in Speakers by Conner Flynn on March 8th, 2008

Eco-Speakers
Here’s a line of speakers for all you tree-hugging nature lovers. The Fashionation company has a line of small cube and pyramid shaped 3.25-inch speakers that are made from recycled materials and they don’t even need batteries to run. Great sound, and they help save the environment. Another cool aspect is that the speakers fold flat for storage and portability.

Did I mention that they are inexpensive? At $14.95, these won’t ravage your wallet while helping the planet and they can be had in a wide range of color options as shown above. They look like a party ready to happen. Though I do wonder how long they would last. They don’t look very durable.

iTunes moves to No. 2 largest U.S. music retailer

Posted in iTunes by Darrin Olson on February 26th, 2008

Apple iTunes moves into second place for largest music retailer in the U.S.Apple’s iTunes online music download service has moved into the number 2 position as the second largest U.S. music retailer, beaten out this time only by Wal-Mart. We had seen just last July that iTunes had moved into the number 3 spot, beating out Amazon and following both Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and the trend so far is continuing in Apple’s favor.

Sony offers vinyl to MP3 converting solution

Posted in Turntables by Darrin Olson on February 26th, 2008

Sony PS-LX300USB turntable converts vinyl records to MP3 through a USB connectionSony today launched a solution for easily converting all of those classic vinyl records to MP3s with this PS-LX300USB turntable. The turntable connects to a computer through USB and comes with Sound Forge Audio Studio software for editing the tracks and saving them as MP3s to play on your PMP.

Sony’s record player spins at 33 and a third and 45 rpm’s with a quite belt drive system. It also has a built-in pre-amp that makes it directly compatible with A/V receivers to listen to that nostalgic static between tracks direct from the record. Now you can finally get those old obscure songs from the Animals plus your original Grease soundtrack onto your iPod without having to pay to download.

Lego MP3 players are true bricks

Posted in MP3 by Conner Flynn on February 25th, 2008

Lego MP3 player
Here at the Brick we’ve reported on our share of MP3 players, but these plastic and unofficial Lego-like bricks are one of the coolest/lamest, depending on your perspective. Of course we’re partial to all things brick. The controls are concealed as the raised bumps, and they sport a six-hour Li-ion battery. However, you do need your own microSD card for storage.

The players come in the same primary colors that you are used to seeing with Lego blocks, and just like the real thing they are made mostly from plastic. You can get one for $46, but don’t expect to build anything. I’m guessing that if you want a cheaper version, you’ll have to hold out for the crappy Duplo version, which you’ll want to hide in order to avoid ridicule.

Sony series A Bluetooth Enabled PMPs

Posted in Sony by Conner Flynn on February 20th, 2008

Sony series A Bluetooth Enabled PMPs
Sony announced two series A, Bluetooth enabled Personal Media Players: the NW-A820 and NW-A829 in Japan today. Both include a 2.4 inch 320 x 240 LCD display and can playback MP3, WMA, ATRAC,ATRAC Advanced Lossless, Sony PCM, and AAC and HE-AAC audio file formats but doesn’t support DRM on WMA and AAC. They also support video file format in MPEG4, AVHC, H.264 and provide seamless wireless audio video playback to Bluetooth headphones using Bluetooth version 2.0 A2DP/AVRCP.

If you like, you can also get an optional VRC-NW10 dock that has the ability to schedule, record and store TV programs using EPG broadcast television or radio programs. The A820 has 8GB flash storage while the A829 comes with 16GB. Expect to see these around March in Japan. The NW-A820 is priced at 28,000 Yen ($260), NW-A829 at 38,000 Yen ($353) and the optional cradle at 20,000 yen ($186).

MP3 player for babies: the SweetPea3

Posted in MP3 by Conner Flynn on February 20th, 2008

MP3 player for babies
Funny thing is, these MP3 players for infants actually look like teethers. I have one question. If you aren’t supposed to shake a baby due to it’s delicate brain, how is it good to crank up the tunes and give them their own MP3 player?

The SweetPea3 has 256MB of memory and is made for kids ages 0 to 8 years. They are calling it a “robust” music player that comes in pink or blue rubber. It lasts for about 40 hours on one AA battery. It also comes with music and stories from Susie Tallman and Jim Weiss. I don’t know who the hell that pair is, but now’s your chance to find out what their voices sound like mixed with potent baby saliva.

Kenwood AS-IP300 iPod dock

Posted in iPod Accessories by Conner Flynn on February 18th, 2008

Kenwood AS-IP300
Kenwood’s AS-IP300 iPod dock looks like it just came from Area 51, which is cool. Unfortunately, it also looks like it could be mounted on the wall and used as a clothes hanger. You can get a black version if you really want it to look like the Stealth bomber.

No word yet on when these will be in the states. The price is about $140. Dimensions are: 380x157x221mm at 1 kg (1.2) for this iPod dock and it comes equipped with a couple 1.9W speakers. I’m a little unsure about this one. On one hand, it’s cool, on the other it looks like it might have been put here to brainwash me and then fly up in the sky to meet it’s cohorts. Is that odd?

Activision to launch Aerosmith Guitar Hero

Posted in Activision by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2008

Activision to launch Aerosmith Guitar Hero
This news should make both Guitar Hero fans and Aerosmith fans very happy. Activision announced plans to base an installment in the Guitar Hero series around America’s best selling hard rock band Aerosmith. The new title is scheduled for a June release and will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and PS2.

Players will be able to play as the band’s guitarists Joe Perry, Brad Whitford and bassist Tom Hamilton. Just like other versions of the hit game, players will progress from an unknown band to rock legends, this time following the story of the band, with some Aerosmith concerts and venues. Interestingly, Activision has promised Aerosmith’s extensive back catalog, as well as other songs from other artists that inspired the group.

Cube3 TV/DVD entertainment center

Posted in DVD by Conner Flynn on February 17th, 2008

Cube3 TV/DVD entertainment centerCube3 is a 7 Inch DVD/TV Entertainment Center combo. Super nice looking and flexible. It will play your DVDs and even has one of those clever USB slots in front so you can hook up your MP3 player. It will even rip your CDs to the USB stick which is a nice feature. It can get quite loud for it’s size as well with the 60W RMS speakers.

The cube3 integrates those other features together with a digital TV. But it doesn’t have to be all about movies. Use it to view your photos and pictures on-screen like a digital photo frame. Playback compressed DivX or MPG4 videos from an external hard drive or USB flash drive. For it’s size that’s several great features that you want in a Hi-Fi system.

iAno app turns Your iPhone into a piano

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2008

iAno app turns Your iPhone into a piano
First there was the pocket guitar app that turned your iPhone into a guitar, now the iAno iPhone app that turns your cellphone into a piano. It won’t be long before iPhone users will be able to meet up in their mother’s basements and play an actual gig. Check out the video after the jump..

iAno will install on Jailbroken iPhones and basically gives you a fully functioning multitouch piano in the form of a four-octave keyboard. The arrow keys at the top are used to navigate. It was developed by one Mr Aardvark, who gave it polyphonic sound that allows five key presses to be heard simultaneously. He plans on updating iAno with a complete 88-key keyboard, and other cool features. So whether you want to be the next Elton John or Barry Manillow, carry your piano with you.

mpion: the MP3 player that fights acne

Posted in MP3 by Conner Flynn on February 14th, 2008

mpion: the MP3 player that fights acne
Sure, the world has seen it’s share of goofy MP3 players, but this one really takes the cake. The saying goes “There’s a sucker born every minute…”, but they should have added, “…And some will rub an MP3 player on their face like a Norelco razor”.

The mpion actually claims to fight acne by releasing positively and negatively charged ions, which supposedly neutralize breakouts. It will cost you $184 and only holds 128 megabytes of music, so I’m thinking this is a last resort for the seriously desperate, angst ridden type, who has a terminal case of crater-face. Keep rubbing my friend. Who says wishes can’t come true, if you just believe. I can’t figure out why a young and thin Rosanne Barr is pictured using this.

Sony CFD-W77 double tape deck

Posted in Sony by Conner Flynn on February 14th, 2008

Sony CFD-W77 double tape deck
That’s right, it’s 2008 and Sony is releasing a tape deck. Wtf you say? Me too. I’m not sure what they are thinking here, but I’m betting an 8-Track deck is around the corner. This dual tape recorder has a nice modern look, at least. It also features a CD player and a FM/AM Radio Tuner. It comes in two shades of gray and is available only in Japan for around $145.

There must be a surplus of tapes in Japan that I had not heard of. Either that or they just collectively discovered the magic of the garage sale cassette. Seriously, alot of people still use tapes. Mostly because they are cheap. The tapes, not the people. OK, them too. Still, I would be curious to find out how many of these units Sony is able to move.

iPod electric guitar: play along with your favorites

Posted in iPod Accessories by Conner Flynn on February 14th, 2008

iPod electric guitar
When Guitar Hero and Rockband aren’t enough to satisfy your poser urges to emulate rock stars, this guitar will fill some sort of void in your life. It’s a 3/4-scale electric guitar that connects to your iPod or other MP3 players, allowing you to play along to the music thanks to the built-in 4-inch amplifier/speaker.

The guitar has a solid basswood body, maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. A truss rod allows you to adjust string action for easier chording. It also has precision machine heads and a single-coil pickup, volume control knob, and a standard 1/4″ output so it can be plugged into a standard amplifier if you like. For $199.95 you get a guitar strap, digital tuner, cables, plectrum, and carrying case. Includes a 9-volt battery that supposedly gives you six hours of operation.

Rock Band: EA confirms that Wii will rock you

Posted in Wii by Conner Flynn on January 31st, 2008

Wii will rock you
As we speculated earlier this week, EA’s CEO John Riccitiello finally confirmed today that Rock Band will be coming to the Wii. This is no doubt great news for millions of would be rock stars who happen to own a Wii and were feeling just a little left out.

He mentioned this at the end of the question and answer session, when Riccitiello referred off hand to the “coming launch” of a Wii version of the popular game. No word yet on exactly when or a price, but you can now rest easy knowing that it is on the way.