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Waiting for Pacemaker

I hope this MP3 player-meets-portable mixing deck is real, but missed deadlines and prepayment demands make me wonder.

Announced back in May, the Pacemaker sounds like an amazing gadget: a 120GB portable music player that functions like a portable DJ mixing table. Essentially, it plays two tracks at once and lets you crossfade between them, plus play with effects like looping and pitch bending. Check out the Flash demo here.

Coming in 2008? Tonium

There's also a software application, the Pacemaker Editor, that functions like a traditional music player and library manager (think iTunes, Windows Media Player, or WinAmp), only with support for creating mixes. It's coming out in December, according to the Web site.

Well, today's the last day of December, and the Pacemaker Editor page hasn't been updated since August 29. A message in the forums says it's available only to folks who registered on the site before December 16. The release date for the device itself has already been postponed from November to December to February. The only in-depth review I could find was of a prototype. But here's the really weird part: if you want to buy one, you can't just wait for a release date and go to a store or order it online. Instead, you have to pre-register. According to the auto-response I got, registrants can expect receive an e-mail some time in January asking for payment in full of 520 Euros (about $760). Then, they'll ship you one.

All this sets my phantom alert system a-tingling. But the demos look great, so if anybody's had a chance to test the software or a real device, I'd love to hear from you--e-mail me at mattrosoff (all one word) at hotmail dot com. And here's hoping Tonium follows through in 2008.