Ah, the digital age. It's brought us so much, and without it, I'd be jobless. So for obvious reasons, I'm very appreciative of the existence of digital music. One of its perhaps lesser-known benefits is that with it, any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a sense of rhythm can be a musician. And that's not a bad thing, although certain traditional musicians may beg to differ. Personally, I think anything that adds variety to the creative landscape is positive, although there are certainly exceptions (William Hung? Seriously?) Anyway, if tinkering with audio and making your own … Read more
What do you get when you take the ex-CEOs of Musicmatch, Rio, and iRiver America and lock them in a room with a stack of data about the digital-music landscape? How about a revolutionary new music service and a portable device to go along with it?
Enter Slacker, a company chock full of digital music experts (mostly transplants from Musicmatch and Rio), and its two babies: Slacker.com (an online music service) and the Slacker portable device. That's quite a few Slackers, and it's also the point. As it turns out, about 70 percent of music enthusiasts don't want to spend hours creating the perfect playlists, which means most of you are slackers just like me. (Ha!) To break it down even further, 51 percent of MP3 player users update their content only once a month or less, and 46 percent don't update more often because they don't have time. Several services have aimed to address this issue, such as MTV Urge with its Auto-Mix feature and Rhapsody with Channels. … Read more
Toshio Iwai, the designer of beloved Nintendo DS music game Electroplankton, has been showing a prototype of his jaw-dropping Tenori-On instrument since 2005. Last week, Yamaha announced plans to turn this Star Trek-worthy digital sound toy into an actual shipping product, retailing with an estimated price tag of around $1,000. For most consumers, that is an insane price for a beautiful sound toy, but electronic musicians and artists are falling all over themselves for this thing. The Tenori-On is a touch screen grid of white LEDs that allows you to compose music by activating little squares that trigger built-in … Read more
Hmm. Is there something wrong with this picture? Is this really where the foremost music and media extravaganza takes place? Yes, this was the view I was treated to as I cabbed away from the airport in Austin, and as the meter ticked up in a never-ending fashion, I thought surely I had made some grave error and booked a hotel 50 miles away from downtown instead of five. But no, the compact city of Austin rises rather like an oasis in the middle of flat and relatively empty Texan plains. I am a mere five miles away, and yet … Read more
The radio revolution we've been harping about has officially gone global.
The "DRM Radio" from Scottish electronics maker Morphy Richards supports the new Digital Radio Mondiale standard (a different kind of DRM, not digital rights management). That, according to Electronista, means that "short-, middle-, and long-wave radio transmissions from around the world are translated into digital broadcasts, producing FM-quality audio streams regardless of where the listener happens to be."
If you can't find anything worth listening to on those frequencies, you can always use it to get local broadcasts in digital and analog form. … Read more
Each week, Crave tracks the most popular ringtones.
You may not know who Afroman is, but you're sure to remember his only hit song "Because I Got High." The song, released back in the summer of 2000, is actually a cautionary tale about how marijuana can ruin someone's life. For some reason, I doubt the song cracked Billboard's top-five ringtone chart because of its antidrug message.
In an effort to address your asymmetrical puffy pocket syndrome, Creative has slimmed down its popular, yet inordinately thick, 60GB Zen Vision W and Zen Vision M players to match the thickness of their skinnier 30GB players. Presumably this is a result of slimmer hard drive technology, although the specific hard drive used is unknown. Other newsworthy specs on the player seem unchanged at first glance. Screen size, battery life, storage capacity, and operating system features are all untouched, but the thickness of the Zen Vision W drops from 26.4mm to 22mm and the Zen Vision M shrinks from … Read more
If Samsung knows anything, it's marketing. It's a key reason that the South Korean company has gone from being known as a lower-end electronics brand to an international powerhouse in what seems like just a few years. The latest evidence: Beyonce.
GeekSugar, our favorite techno-celeb watcher, reports that the mega-star has been spotted filming her first commercial in downtown Manhattan under a new deal to represent Samsung Electronics. Perhaps this latest career move was influenced by the marketing genius of Jay-Z, who reportedly has made many more millions from his clothing lines and other businesses than he did … Read more
We're not quite sure why anyone would want something so cumbersome (and vulnerable to theft) as a CD system for a scooter. But we're not sure why anyone would want to risk their lives on a scooter in Tokyo traffic either. Nevertheless, Clarion has provided just such a product for the Japanese market to be mounted on the handlebar, which Akihabara News calls a "Drip-Proof" CD player--presumably meaning waterproof (we hope).
Needless to say, we're fairly sick of all the alarm clocks that continue to flood the market, regardless of how sycophantic they may be. So we thought that we'd perhaps feel differently about a clock that lets us compose our own music to awaken us. We were wrong.
Hammacher Schlemmer's "Desktop Music Composer" has seven plastic modules of varying colors and shapes that provide sounds of different instruments depending where they're placed--up to 1,159 variations, to be exact. But as Ubergizmo says, "It will probably take a lifetime to find a tune … Read more