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Archive for Digital Audio

Legal Music Downloads Without DRM?

Posted in Digital Audio,News by Chris Weber on January 24th, 2007

Major Record Labels may allow music downloads with DRM copy protection schemesThe recording industry may do something it vowed to never do. No, there are no new Michael Jackson albums coming your way, instead the recording industry may allow music downloads without DRM restrictions to combat piracy. You read that correctly, to decrease piracy, record labels may remove copy restrictions on downloaded songs.

In fact, one of the four major recording labels may make the move within the next few months. Most independent labels already sell music in an easy to copy format, usually MP3s, that contain no copy protection schemes. They believe that allowing fans to distribute legally purchased music increases the market for the music instead of decreasing demand.

The major labels are taking a hint from the independents and hope by removing copy protection they can revive slumping …

SOAP MP4 player from Brando looks familiar

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

SOAP MP4 Player from BrandoBrando has a new 2GB MP4 player that it lists as a “novel and fashionable design”. We would have to agree with the fashionable part, but the rest we’re not so sure.

The 2GB flash memory based SOAP MP4 player supports MP3, WMA, WMV, ASF and WAV files, has a voice recorder that can record up to 8 hours in an MP3 format, and has a built-in FM tuner. It connects via USB 2.0 and has a preset equalizer with seven settings.

Not a bad DAP for a price tag of $99 but none of these features stand out as spectacular, which is quite possibly what they were thinking when they designed the SOAP MP4 player. The part that does stand out to us in this gadget is the fact that it comes in colors of black and white, has white earbuds …

Transcend T.sonic 820 series MP3 player

Posted in Digital Audio,Karaoke,MP3 by Chetz on January 17th, 2007

Transcend 4GB T.sonic 820 MP3 playerTranscend has a new MP3 player with a few extra twists to the common feature list of the average DAP, including variable speed play, E-books and help with karaoke.

The T.sonic 820 series MP3 player has the ability to transfer and play music files like most other digital audio players, formats including MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM10 and WAV. When listening to music the navigation allows you to control the playback speed and an A-B repeat function enables continuous repeating of a section of a track. There may not be a lot of applications for this other than maybe making your own personal one-time remix or as Transcend suggests this feature may be helpful in listening to a language learning track.

The T-sonic supports reading text (.txt) files and therefore displays the text to read E-books right on the 1.5 inch OLED display. Due to …

AOL and Haier Build Smartscreen Media Device

Posted in AOL,Digital Audio,Digital Video,Haier by Darrin Olson on January 11th, 2007

AOL and Haier Smartscreen Media DeviceAOL and Haier displayed a hard-drive based music and video player to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

The device, wittingly named the “Smartscreens Media Device”, plays music as well as WMV and MPEG4 videos and works with music stores supporting Windows Media, but the real kicker is that this player supports WiFi and Bluetooth connections. The WiFi enables it to directly download music from an open WiFi network through the Linux OS that it runs on, as well as streaming internet radio. Audio can be then listened to through wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The Linux OS framework that runs this audio and video gadget was designed with the intent of letting individual software developers as well as companies wishing to partner, to be able to write and add their own applications to run …

MobiBlu Boxon Audio/Video Player

Posted in Digital Audio,Digital Video,MobiBlu,VoIP by Chetz on January 11th, 2007

MobiBlue Boxon Audio and Video PlayerThe new Boxon video and audio player from MobiBlu looks a little like a small, old-school pager in this photo, but its capabilities are far greater.

This little 1 ounce device is surprisingly loaded with features that a person might not expect from such a small device. Of course it can play music and MPEG4 video, as well as view still photos and stores them on flash memory in sizes of 1GB and 2GB.

The Boxon can also receive FM radio, and record it direct to the device into MP3 files, along with voice and any in-line recording. It also features a sleep mode to promote battery life and fade-in music to keep from scaring listeners when the audio starts.

The device from MobiBlu connects via USB, so it can also be used to store your files as a mass storage device, and …

SanDisk Releases Sansa Connect MP3 Player

Posted in Digital Audio,News,SanDisk,Sansa by Chetz on January 9th, 2007

SanDisk Releases Sansa Connect MP3 PlayerSanDisk has released another new MP3 player to their Sansa line of devices. The Sansa Connect is a 4GB MP3 player with WiFi connectivity and a 2.2″ TFT display screen.

The Connect allows the user to play music and share it with a built-in speaker as well as view photos. Internet radio can also be streamed through the WiFi connection along with downloading music through any open WiFi network and with Microsoft PlayForSure. There is also an SD card slot to transfer and store additional files beyond the internal 4GB capacity.

“It’s about accessing music of your choice wherever you are. If you’re listening to new songs from a music service and find ones you want to keep, you can bring them into your library and don’t have to wait until you get back to your PC. If you want to tell …

Samsung K3 Music Player Is Skinny Sibling of the K5

Posted in Digital Audio,Samsung by Chetz on January 8th, 2007

Samsung YP-K3 Music Player Like K5 without the speakersSamsung has come out officially with the YP-K3 MP3 player at CES in Las Vegas this week.

The player is the younger sibling to the Samsung K5 player without the speaker attached to its back. This little MP3 player is a mere .27 inches thick with the same features as the K5, along with a battery that lets it run for 20 hours. That’s a little less than the 30 hours of music that comes with the K5, but the speaker brought it down to only 6. The new K3 also has a carrying case accessory available with a speaker built in if you still feel the need to share your music with others and drain your battery.

The YP-K3 supports JPEG’s which are viewable through the 1.8″ OLED display, and plays MP3 and WMA files with support for …

Belkin iPod Audio Mixer

Posted in Belkin,Digital Audio,iPod by Chetz on January 7th, 2007

Belkin TuneStudio Audio Mixer for iPodThis audio mixer coming from Belkin kicks the crap out of the last mixer targeted for the iPod that we looked at. The TuneStudio is a four-channel mixer designed to use with the 5G iPods, complete with built-in docking station, LED level indicators and XLR connectors.

This appears to be a relatively small, portable recording studio with each of the 4 channels having it’s own 3 band equalizer with pan and level controls. A USB port facilitates transferring data between a computer and the player when docked. The TuneStudio Mixer is expected to be available in the US this summer, followed by Asia, Europe and Australia, retailing for about $180 USD.

Source [CrunchGear]

iPod Shower Docking Station

Posted in Digital Audio,iPod,Shower,Waterproof by Chetz on January 6th, 2007

Shower iPod DockThis is yet another iPod accessory that could really work with any MP3 player, but has been branded, colored and pictured with an iPod to latch on to the Apple gravy train. Nevertheless, this is a nice looking little waterproof stereo that lets you play your tunes and sing along to your own songs in the shower.

The music output is really the only integration this iPod shower dock has to the iPod player, or any MP3 player for that matter. The clear dome opens to allow the safe keeping of the player without getting wet. The Shower iPod / MP3 player lets users adjust the volume, radio stations and a digital clock, but does not provide control of the iPod through the Shower dock as we had hoped.

It’s still not a bad way to bring your favorite tunes into the shower, though. …

Siren Screamer Bridges PC and Stereo

Posted in Accessories,Digital Audio,Home Theater by Chetz on January 4th, 2007

Siren ScreamerA common problem with digital music is that it sits on your PC. Sure you can listen to it with headphones or transfer it to DAP, but what if you want to play it on that kick-butt stereo system that you have?

Well, your in luck. There are a number of ways you can get your digital music to come through your stereo, but the Siren Screamer may be one of the easier and more convenient ones. Connect on component to your stereo, and the other to the USB port of your PC. The music is transmitted wirelessly from your PC to your stereo, and you can control it with a handy remote, to boot.

The remote has an LCD display and can run Windows Media Player and iTunes to control the playback, all without wires. The receiving unit connected to the stereo uses has …

Apple iTV May Be Coming Soon

Posted in Apple,Digital Audio,Digital Video,News by Darrin Olson on January 2nd, 2007

Apple iTV Coming SoonAccording to rumors on AppleInsider.com, the Apple iTV (or whatever the name ends up to be) may start shipping as soon as late January or early Feburary, but detailed information about the iTV and it’s release does not sound like it will make the MacWorld Expo next week in San Francisco.

What we have heard so far is that the iTV is intended to “bridge the gap” between the PC and the living room and standard television by delivering content streamed from a PC with iTunes to the television, such as movies, music and pictures. The multimedia device is also expected to have a host of connection interfaces to support WiFi, ethernet, USB, HDMI and standard component video and audio jacks.

An additional “small hard drive” is also rumored to accompany the Mac OS in the iTV according to quotes from Robert Iger, Walt …

MP3 Player the Size of a Credit Card

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

Wallatex MP3 Player is as small as a credit cardWalletex has taken their credit card sized flash memory card to another level with the Wallatex MP3 player. Using the same flash memory technology to store between 128MB and 2GB of data, they are developing an MP3 player that has the same dimensions as a credit card, according to Krunker.
The player has a very simple user interface of buttons to control playing MP3 files and the volume, and it has a single USB interface which is used to charge the player, transfer data and connect headphones. Krunker, who obtained these early photos of this Walletex MP3 player, also stated that the player has a large double-sided area for printing, which may imply that this device may have plans to be inexpensive enough to use as a promotional item and allow companies to apply their own branding to …

iLoad iPod CD Loader

Posted in Digital Audio by Paul Patterson on January 2nd, 2007

iLoad iPod CD LoaderiLoad copies your music CDs directly onto your iPod without a computer or Internet connection. Measuring 8″ x 7.25″ x 3.35″ and weighing 4 pounds, iLoad is convenient and portable and is targeted towards consumers who have a massive CD collection or those people who prefer to buy music CDs to its digital counterpart.

iLoad records at a default bit rate of 128K and can transfer a CD to an iPod in about 8 minutes depending upon the length and condition of the CD. Clean CDs will transfer faster than scratched CDs, so your well-used copy of Van Halen 1984 may take a bit longer to copy.

iLoad will also load all of the track information from your CDs. The iLoad database contains information on more than 1.8 million songs. To keep this database current you will need to get periodic updates through …

i-Station Mini DX

Posted in Digital Audio,Digital Video by Darrin Olson on January 1st, 2007

i-Station Mini DXThe i-Station Mini DX is a cool little gadget that plays digital audio and video, as well as supports viewing still pictures. It can also pick up FM radio and DMB television in Korea, which is probably part of the reason why this gadget isn’t available in the US.

THe Mini DX weighs only 80 grams and measures about 86x54x16mm. It has a 2.4 inch TFT LCD display and comes with internal memory of 1GB, 2GB and a 4GB version in the works with an SD slot to add some more.

The player also supports MP3 encoding which is a nice feature for any device that receives external audio such as a mic in or FM stereo. This allows the user to record incoming audio and converts it directly to MP3 files, which in this case can be listened to later or transferred to a …

NOVOMAX Joypot C210 Could Threaten Shuffle

Posted in Card Readers,Digital Audio,MP3 by Chetz on January 1st, 2007

Novomax JP-C210The NOVOMAX Joypot C210 is a little digital audio player that could give the iPod Shuffle a run for it’s money, depending on the money of course. There isn’t word as to the price of this little interface-free player, but it may provide some competition due to it’s similar size, capacity and increased functionality.

This digital audio player will be available with internal memory capacities from 1GB down to no memory whatsoever. You can then add external memory in the form of an SD or MMC card.

Since the Joypot C210 connects to a PC via USB 2.0 and it takes external memory it can double as a card reader to transfer any data from a the memory card to a PC. Charging the JP C210 will not happen the the USB cable however; it runs of a single AAA battery.

A full battery will give the …