Here's a cool little product that I can't wait to try out: The Pogoplug. It's a simple and releatively cheap box that plugs into an external hard drive (or flash drive) via USB, and also into you home's Internet connection. Then it puts the hard drive on the Web as well as on your local network. Any computer in your home can access it as a shared drive, and people outside can also connect to it over the Web. It sounds like a very quick and simple way to put a whole bunch of files online … Read more
An iPhone is many things, but a massage therapist it is not.
However, if you're in a pinch, the lightweight application Massager may soothe you until your next appointment.
The application takes advantage of the iPhone's vibrating motor to create four patterns based on Swedish, Shiatsu, deep muscle, and relaxation massage. Starting and stopping the massage are easy enough to accomplish by tapping and untapping the corresponding button.
While you can manually increase the intensity of the vibes by putting some muscle behind the iPhone's flat face, it still won't come close to what a pronged … Read more
Anthony Gallo Acoustics never made box speakers.
No, Gallo speakers, from the company's earliest days in 1994, were always designed around spherical cabinets. Yes, others have followed suit, but Gallo was the first to perfect round sound.
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, which opens Thursday in Las Vegas, Gallo will premiere its latest speaker: the double-balled Strada ($1,000 MSRP each). Measuring a compact 6.5 inches tall by 12.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches deep, the Strada is jam-packed with unique technology.
Round speakers are no cosmetic gimmick; round speakers get around the inherent … Read more
In 2008, LG's BD300 set itself apart from other Blu-ray players by becoming the first one to include compatibility with the Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the feature was short-lived: within weeks, Netflix support was added to the Xbox 360, TiVo HD DVRs, and a pair of rival Blu-ray decks from Samsung. Now, LG's back with its second take on the Blu-ray/Netflix player, the BD370, which will also include the ability to stream online content from CinemaNow (pay-per-view) and YouTube (free).
Aside from those two new online content providers, the … Read more
The Macworld show floor can induce deja vu for habitual attendees. From a hardware perspective, often it's the same vendors offering the same products, with slight variations from year to year. Despite the gloomy economic outlook, however, I found a surprising amount of new products on the show floor (or, at least new to me). Here are the highlights.
In marketing materials for its new $150 in-ear headphones, Monster headlines its package with the question, "The world's best-sounding earphones?" I'm not sure if we should take this as a declaration or an actual question, but so far the answer from Amazon reviewers and some blogs is a pretty stiff "no."
To be fair, some blogs have reviewed the Turbines favorably. It's also worth noting that Amazon reviews can be written by anyone, including PR reps from other manufacturers (not that we're accusing anybody of anything). But it's rare that you … Read more
As I said in my 2008 sum-up, people tend to overestimate the amount of change that will happen in one year--which means my best bet for 2009 would be to simply reiterate my almost-there predictions from 2008, like the death of DRM and the decline of the concert industry.
But that would be boring. Thus, behold my all-new-and-improved predictions for music and technology in 2009:
Zune phone--sort of. 2009 will finally be the year that Microsoft takes the wraps off its mobile-entertainment strategy, and the Zune brand will be prominently featured. Perhaps as early as next week at CES, Microsoft … Read more
Hewlett-Packard announced Monday that it is upgrading its MediaSmart server lineup with new, more powerful hardware and, more importantly, with software support for Macs and improved over-the-Net streaming of users' media files. (A software update will allow users of existing MediaSmart boxes to access some of the new features.) Also Monday, 9to5Mac speculated that one of the Macworld announcements in January will be an expanded Time Capsule product with similar features.
Currently, HP's MediaSmart servers, running Microsoft's Windows Home Server software, cannot serve as backup platforms for Macs running the Time Machine backup software, and data stored on … Read more
I've reviewed a gazillion speakers, and I can't remember more than a few dozen of them. They're just a string of big and little boxes; some sounded really nice, most were merely OK, and surprisingly few were truly awful.
Magnepan's speakers stand out from the crowd first because they're so thin, the MG 3.6/R is 1.5 inches thick, and standing 71 inches high, it's really tall. But it was the sound that blew me away. It's an incredibly clear, high-resolution sound, and sounds decidedly unspeakerlike. That's why it's the Audiophiliac's Speaker of the Year.
As I said in my Home Entertainment magazine review "That's why the MG 3.6/R will sound like a revelation to first-time listeners; the gap between the sound of real, live music and recorded music feels a whole lot smaller. The speaker projects a more full-bodied, three-dimensional soundstage than any box can; correction, the MG 3.6/R's sound was bigger and deeper than I've ever heard from a speaker retailing for less than $50,000. With the MG 3.6/R instruments and voices emerge closer to their real-life scale and size. Clearly, Magnepan engineers changed the way speakers move air."
Instead of the usual woofer and tweeter, the MG 3.6/R uses three "planar-magnetic" drivers: a 55-inch tall aluminum foil "ribbon" tweeter; a 199-square-inch 0.5-mil-thick Mylar midrange diaphragm; and a 500 square inch Mylar woofer. The speaker is essentially a panel that moves air, and projects sound from its front and rear surfaces. The drivers are Magnepan patented designs, all manufactured at the company's factory in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. American hi-fi at its best.… Read more
These days, looking for budget-friendly tech is more imperative than ever. It's surprisingly easy to break the bank on headphones--this seemingly innocuous gadget is often more expensive than the MP3 player you're pairing it with. Comfort, sound, and style are all important considerations when picking out new 'phones, but you needn't spend an arm and a leg. In fact, headphones are one of the few pieces of technology that are relatively timeless, meaning an older model can save you dough while still providing an excellent listening experience.
To help you sort through the seemingly endless array of … Read more