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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Top 5 Home Audio Mistakes

Would you rather entertain loved ones or just look like an idiot in front of them? The choice, really, is yours. You may have the big picture and sweet sound of your dreams or you may blow your investment in any of the following ways...

For more information on setting-up and getting the most from your home audio/video system, check out the following books:
Sometimes even the most "simple" systems have some idiosyncricies that cause frustration for the most seasoned professional. Regardless of your purchase and where you're placing it in your home, these books can makes things easier and sound better.

read more | digg story

Monday, April 24, 2006

Heaven in Your Head

Stereophile covers the recent, first ever national meet of the internet headphone community, These are not your daddy's white earbuds .

Wow! Talk about enthusiasts...there's a pair of headphones pictured in this article for $15K. Yes, that's $15,000. If you're looking for the absolute authority on headphones, how to test, where to buy, these guys should be the first stop while researching your headphone purchase.

A Few Treblemaker Recommendations
Here's a sample from the article: "As we walked the perimeter of the room scanning the manufacturer's tables, we spied a gent with bright green goo packed into his ears. Ultimate Ears had brought an audiologist with them to produce custom molds for their $900 UE-10 in-ear monitors (which JA will be reviewing shortly). "Here," said Mike Dias, "try these with the temporary foam inserts and tell me what you think." Minutes later, I was grooving to Gorillaz, experiencing intensely physical bass and phenomenal clarity. When I resurfaced, dazed and confused, Dias sat me down in the chair, and the next thing I knew, the audiologist was stuffing foam into my ear canal so he could take a custom mold of my ear."
read more | digg story

Monday, April 17, 2006

Remembering the Apple PowerCD

Before the iPod and the iPod Hi-Fi, there was the 1993 Apple PowerCD.

The Apple PowerCD was a short-lived "portable" disc unit that could function as a stand-alone CD player, a 1X (150K/sec) SCSI CD-ROM drive, or a Kodak Picture CD player that could be attached to a television. It came with a 12v AC adapter and remote control.

Chances are you've never even heard of this obscure Apple product. The PowerCD didn't last very long and was discontinued after only a couple years. The PowerCD and the Apple Pippin are probably the rarest Apple products ever released. Even finding one of them on eBay is extremely difficult.

/>The Apple PowerCD was billed as a "portable" media center, but it required 6 AA batteries, external speakers, lots of cables and a small backpack to carry it all. In reality, the Apple PowerCD was completely impractical for portable use, unless you had a sherpa to lug it around for you.

Beyond its portability problems, several factors led to the failure of the PowerCD.
  • The 1X drive speed was very slow. Other CD-ROM devices released during 1993 were capable of 4x speeds.
  • Sure the PowerCD had some great features, but it originally sold for $499 in 1993. That's still expensive today. Just imagine trying to cough up almost $500 16-years ago.
  • Depending on which model Mac you had, a specific device driver was required and many users found connecting the PowerCD to their Macs to be rather tricky.

Was the PowerCD ahead of its time? If Apple released an external DVD player that you could hook into your TV and computer at the same time would you get it?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Beatles to Appear in iTMS

According to Starpulse, The Beatles' entire back catalog is being remastered and will be distributed in the iTunes Music Store. The information was revealed in court by Apple Corps Records CEO, Neil Aspinall.
"We're remastering the whole Beatles catalog, just to make it sound brighter and better and getting proper booklets to go with each of the packages. I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters. It would be better to wait and try to do them both simultaneously so that you then get the publicity of the new masters and the downloading, rather than just doing it ad hoc."
Normally when an artist gets added to the iTunes Music Store it isn't a newsworthy event. However, Apple Computer and Apple Corps have been in legal battles since the 1980s. Apple Corps believes that there is consumer confusion if both "Apple" companies are engaged in audio or music related business.

When you hear the name Apple, who do you think of... iPods or The Beatles?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Vinyl Junkies Help Rescue Music

In the age of the iTunes Music Store and iPods, why should we even care about vinyl records? In fact, many kids under 20 haven't even seen a turntable before. The truth is there's a lot of music that doesn't exist in digital form or even on CD.

The people who collect records don't just buy music, they rescue it from obscurity. These vinyl junkies go 'elbow deep' into discount bins and scour garage sales for rare record finds. It may be unintentional on their part, but their efforts to spin the black circle are keeping discontinued recordings from becoming extinct.

Guardian reporter Dorian Lynskey delves into the dusty underground world of the 'vinyl diggers.'


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