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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Battlestar Galactica The Story So Far

With the premiere of season 3 of Battlestar Galactica just two weeks away (October 6th), the Sci Fi Channel (US) has released a free retrospective episode of the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica on iTunes. They hope to entice new viewers to the show, as well as remind current fans just where the series left off.

I found this official press release on
SCI FI Channel and its sister NBC Universal networks will air a one-hour recap special of the original series Battlestar Galactica in advance of the show's October third-season premiere. Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far will incorporate footage from the original SCI FI miniseries and the previous two seasons of the Peabody Award-winning series. The special will be narrated from the point of view of Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), the resistance leader on Cylon-occupied New Caprica.

Throughout September, The Story So Far will also be made available for download via iTunes and XBox Live and will be distributed at Best Buy as a bonus DVD with the Battlestar Galactica season 2.5 DVD set and other genre titles from Universal Home Video. The DVD will also be distributed to visitors to the Universal Studios theme parks, and snippets of the special will be available on, Google Video and other video portal sites.

Here's the iTunes link for: Battlestar Galactica: The Story So Far

Why not? It's a great show and the price is right (free).

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mercedes with Backseat iMac

Perhaps there should be a German version of the popular MTV show Pimp My Ride. German car customizer Mattes Interieurtechnik built a Mercedes CLS with an integrated backseat iMac. Mattes even carefully covered the outer edge of the iMac in leather to help it blend in with the cream colored interior.

Where are the cables? Mattes didn't want any wires to clutter up his masterpiece, so he made sure to get a wireless mouse and Bluetooth keyboard. I wonder if he integrated the iMac into the speaker system so his passengers can be backseat DJs.

You can check out some more pictures here.

digg story | methodshop

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yamaha YDS-10 Universal iPod Dock

When music is compressed to fit your iPod, it can lose a bit of its soul. But connect your iPod to a Yamaha RX-V659 Receiver with a Yamaha YDS-10 Universal iPod Dock, and your music will spring back to life.

  • Universal iPod docking station custom designed for select Yamaha home theater receivers
  • Plays your iPod's music and video clips through home theater speakers and attached monitor
  • Uses receiver's remote control to operate iPod; charges your iPod while in the base
  • Works with Yamaha HTR-5960, HTR-5950, RX-V659, and RX-V559 A/V receivers
  • Compatible with 4th and 5th generation iPods, iPod minis, and iPod nanos

Yamaha's proprietary Compressed Music Enhancer will bring your stored music close to its original sound quality. And now that XM HD Surround is available on XM Satellite Radio, broadcast music will bring new dimension to your listening. Yamaha's powerful multi-channel surround sound for movies and unique YPAO system calibration means your home theatre will perform like never before. Set your sound free.

Conclusion: YDS-10 Advantages

  • Easy connection by one cable
  • No need for an additional adaptor
  • Looking good and matching for either white and black iPod
read more | digg story |

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Broken iPod Reborn as iPod Dock

Got a broken iPod? If you can't fix it yourself or don't have the money to get it repaired by iPodMods, then you can always rip it apart and make an iPod dock like Andrew Monks. This photo montage on flickr shows how he teared apart his existing iPod dock and jammed it through the screen of his broken 3G iPod.

It's a very clever way to make something useful out of a busted iPod. The folks at Engadget think this might be the "start of a very wonderful, very cannibalistic trend in consumer electronics." It's always nice to breathe new life into an old gadget that you blew a couple hundred bucks on right?

digg story | methodshop

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Polk Audio SurroundBar Review

The Polk Audio SurroundBar uses a patented combination of signal processing and sound-effect geometry to produce surround sound without rear-mounted speakers or special room requirements. In other words, it's not necessary to bounce sound off the walls or re-arrange the furniture in order to get an immersive experience from the SurroundBar.

Unfortunately we don't have one of these YET...but we did have an opportunity to try one out with the following tunes:
The new Pearl Jam album just came out - premiering it on this awesome speaker was fun. U2 rocks no matter what and listneing to a live performance that was actually recorded outdoors really let the Polk Audio SurroundBar show off a little.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Home Audio Revolution

This new technology, the Sonos Zoneplayer 80, reads music on a computer's hard-drive and broadcasts it in various rooms in the house. This will surely start a precedent in home audio technology.

"I was thoroughly impressed with its performance and usability. This is a terrific example of how far music can go once it's digitized."

Ken C. Pohlmann
Sound and Vision Magazine

"5 out of 5 Stars. Sonos stands out from the vast landscape of digital music systems for good reason. Its uniqueness and attention to detail earns it a place at what should be the top of everyone's shopping list."
Clint DeBoer, Audioholics.Com

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 14, 2006

iTunes 7 Interface Changes

iTunes 7.0
Originally uploaded by mike3k.
After you download and install iTunes 7, you may be a little surprised at the new user interface. It doesn't even remotely resemble the standard Mac OS X Aqua theme set. iTunes 7 has a much flatter and darker appearance like a Windows or Java application.

The reaction to the new iTunes 7 interface is mixed at best. Most people feel iTunes 6 was prettier with its bright glossy controls gone. True. But the smoother and darker interface of iTunes 7 at least cleanly packs more features into the familiar iTunes interface. As a result, the new iTunes 7 interface makes it much easier to sort movies and TV shows from your music. Also iTunes now plays back video much better than it did before. Probably a good idea since they are selling movies now.

So why would Apple make such a drastic interface design change? Could this be a taste of things to come in Apple's next operating system - Leopard? Has Aqua been replaced by a flat, smooth, darker appearance? If you think hard enough, you might remember that iTunes got the new improved Aqua interface before the rest of the iLife 06 apps.

digg story | methodshop

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Toast To Bob Dylan - And Digital Music

By Media Post's Cory Treffiletti

Remember last year when the video iPod was announced? I do. It was Oct. 5, 2005. That day was extremely important in my mind because it signaled the fruition of so many things we all expected and were waiting for. The world of on-demand entertainment had been hinted at for years, and video on-demand was starting to come into its own, but the video iPod signaled the first true time shift device as well as a location shift device for mass media entertainment (beyond pure music) that would be accessible by the masses. I personally found it to be quite exciting.

Well, now it's Sept. 13 and the world has come full circle because if you've seen the new iPod commercials you've seen that the one and only Bob Dylan is singing in an iPod commercial. This is a relatively momentous occasion, if you really sit and think about it. I mean, the only time Bob has ever shown up in on the commercial airwaves was in a lingerie ad. In 2004 Bobby lent his image and name to a commercial for Victoria's Secret, so it would appear that the closest thing to the love of a good woman to Bob is... an iPod!

But seriously--Bob's new album is actually REALLY good and the fact that he is using Apple to sling it is very telling for the future of music. U2 started the trend of partnering with iPod, but they are more contemporary than Bob Dylan. Bob is a symbol of so many things in the past. He is a symbol of pure poetry in music, which is something we just don't see too much of anymore. U2 speaks to a much larger audience than Bob Dylan does these days, but Bob is respected by so many luminaries and people outside of the core target audience for Apple that I wonder if they're using him as much as he's using them. It's obvious that his label wanted to do the deal to expose his music as "hip" to a younger audience, but is it also possible that his implied approval of the iPod will help it break into new audiences who might not have joined the ranks of the initiated? Is it possible that Bobby will help Apple sell more iPods?

The name of Bob's new album is "Modern Times." I find it ironic that these modern times of digital music are tapping into the past and one of the most amazing artists of our lifetime. I find it exciting and I find it extremely logical.

In a recent article in Rolling Stone, Bob was quoted as saying (and I paraphrase) that he felt Napster was OK, because it was giving away music and he didn't feel there was much good music out there at the time and that it SHOULD have been given away.

Well, with digital media picking up more speed every day and the accessibility of new music expanding all the time from community to community, I can only hope that Bob feels things are getting just a little bit better. I know that without digital music I would never have found half the artists and songs I listen to now!

Here's to Bob and digital media!

read more | digg story |

New iPods, iTunes and iTV

Apple saved the music business with the iPod. Can they do the same for Hollywood?

In the five years since the iPod's rollout, Apple has locked down the online music business. 1 in 5 Americans owns or has owned an iPod and consumers have downloaded more than 1 billion songs from Apple's iTunes music store. Riding on the heels of that success, yesterday, Apple founder Steve Jobs fired his first shots in the battle to revolutionize the movie industry. In a special event called "It's Showtime," Apple unloaded new gadgets like it was Christmas morning.

In this single event, Steve Jobs announced the following new products and preannounced a new wireless video router called the iTV:
The new version of iTunes (iTunes 7) sells more than just music and TV shows. iTunes now sells movies and games. The movies are priced starting at $9.99 and include new releases such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, as well as older classics. If you were disappointed at the quality of some of the iTunes videos you've downloaded in the past, then you will be happy to know that the video quality has also gotten an upgrade. Any movie you buy is at "near" DVD-quality, 640-by-480-pixel video, and in Dolby Surround sound.

WARNING: While I was writing this blog post, 4 readers reported that iTunes 7 erased their iPod. So you might want to wait and backup your iPod before you upgrade to iTunes 7.

When you're not watching movies on your iPod, you can always check out some of the new games Apple is selling in iTunes 7. Each game is in full color and uses the Click Wheel as a controller. The selection of games include addictive classics from Tetris and PAC-MAN to a few newer games like Vortex and Texas Hold'Em.

Games, movies and new iPods are nice, but what is going on with the iTV? In a major break in Apple tradition, Steve Jobs only preannounced a new wireless router product called iTV (screenshots). Apple usually likes to have products ready to buy the day they announce them, so this preannouncement caught everyone off guard. According to CBS MarketWatch, the iTV can attach to a television and wirelessly receive and play digital content from any computer (Mac or PC) running iTunes software. The iTV will also feature a HDMI port for high-definition digital televisions. You can expect to see the iTV sometime during the first quarter of 2007 for around US$299.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

To Those Whose Lives Were Taken

It feels odd being at work today, it should be a day to pay tribute to those whose lives were so tragically lost. That's hard to do sitting behind a desk. Although I'm attending a vigil in Wagner Park this evening.

We couldn’t leave our building between 4:00 and 5:30 w/o being questioned by NYPD or the Secret Service yesterday; we live near the WTC site.

On the one hand it makes me feel safe. But on the other if there's that much money being spent and emphasis on security it's almost impossible to have complete confidence that we're safe.

It's such a personal thing; I suppose everyone will find their own way to express how they feel and how it affected them.

Friday, September 08, 2006

LCD TV Makers See Price Cut In 2007

LG Electronics and Sharp Corp. said they expected prices of flat LCD television sets to drop by 20-30 percent or more in 2007 amid overproduction and cost reductions.

That's basically it - cheaper Plasma TVs. It's a good thing.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Paradigm Cinema 330 Home Theater Speaker System


We had an opportunity to hear this speaker system at our favorite mid-town home-audio store. This system is a powerhouse at a reasonable price and I ran home ready to write a review...but I found this review on Sound and Vision and decided to leave this one up to the experts. Aesthetically it's awesome looking and given its "big" performance can even fit comfortably in a Manhattan apartment. The only complaint Mr. Pohlmann had was a slight vocal distortion with the center speaker.

Click on the title for the entire review.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Touch Sensitive iPod Patent Pictures

Here's a few patent pictures Apple submitted to the US trademark website.

Is the touch sensitive iPod going to be a reality? You be the judge. After seeing these images, I must say it looks like an iPod to me. And with the increasing popularity of tablet PCs, a touch sensitive iPod would be something that would be very plausible. Most people believe that Apple will strategically release a touch-screen 6G iPod at the same time as Microsoft's new Zune player.

However, it is still unclear if we are going to see an Apple tablet, full screen iPod or a combination of both. Nonetheless the multi point touch screen is a major revolution.

Check out the following video to see the possibilities:

Also here's a link to Apple's Patent Application on the US trademark website:
Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices

digg story | methodshop


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