They haven't quite gotten as minuscule as SNL's fabled "Invisa," but MP3 players are clearly getting smaller all the time. And if the "Kana" from Japan's Green-House is any indication, their prices may begin to match the size. This 1GB player measures a little over 1 by 3 inches and weighs less than an ounce, selling for about $52, according to Akihabara News. For now, though, it's not invisible.
Judging by a lot of home entertainment products on the market today, you'd think we all listened to music every waking moment (and sleeping ones too). After all, we've already built our music directly into creature comforts ranging from easy chairs to lounging mats.
But one company has figured out another activity for music multitasking that makes perfect sense: massage. It may not be a full-on Swedish rubdown, but the "iCush" chair pad does promise to vibrate along with your music or game soundtracks while you damage your eardrums with its built-in speakers placed right at … Read more
Welcome to the social? Not exactly.
I spent a week trekking around San Francisco, Zune in tow, hoping to find more of the players to share music with. I nearly gave up in failure but finally found one other Zune on my downtown expedition.
It's early on, of course--the Zune has only been available for around a month. Still, one of the main reasons Microsoft is hoping that consumers will opt for the Zune over the iPod is the MP3 player's wireless sharing feature. And, as I found out, it's not much use if there is no … Read more
The new iRiver MP3 player coming to market in South Korea looks like something you'd see for sale at a Starbuck's counter while waiting for your chai latte. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, either. As mass-market media players rapidly descend into commodity status, companies must do more to separate themselves from the pack through design and distribution.
Note to industry: If you must make tons of remote controls for MP3 players, please don't make them as complicated as the six or seven we need to watch our TV right now.
We haven't yet laid hands on Keyspan's "TuneView for iPod" but fear that it may be going down this treacherous road. There's one obvious reason: Its manufacturer claims to have introduced a bevy of features that'll all make life simpler. Where have we heard that before?
The product language scares us already: "TuneView for iPod consists of a 2-way … Read more
We've been accused of having a gold fetish, something that we resoundingly deny. It's mere coincidence that we've recently had occasion to mention gold phones, cameras, watches, printers, USB keys and, most recently, styluses (styli?).
Crave covers items made with all minerals, precious or otherwise. So it's simply out of obligation that we must now write about Samsung's special auction to mark the millionth sale of its "Z5" MP3 player. Up for sale: 10 of the players with 18k gold casings, each with a signature of designer Paul Mercer (of iPod fame) etched … Read more
As the retail industry learned long ago, it's never too early to start targeting products at consumers--and that means kindergarten or younger. So which brand do you turn to? The gold standard, of course: Disney.
Following the Mix Max, mobile phones, DVD players and countless other products, the OTO music player from Japan's Run-At is targeted at the youngest of consumers with the Disney imprimatur. Newlaunches says the square-shaped MP3 device has no built-in memory and works only with Windows software. But it costs only $25 and bears the images of Minnie Mouse and Stitch in pink and … Read more
MP3 players have already become fashion items and, as they've shrunk to Lilliputian size, we were wondering how long it would take for them to be designed as jewelry. After all, why take pains to sew them into clothing when you can make a statement right on your body?
That's apparently the thinking behind the limited-edition MusiQ from BenQ, an aluminum-magnesium music player that doubles as a dog tag, complete with a metal earphone chain. Anything But iPod says a 512MB version of the player will be available in December for about $88, but pricing for a 1GB … Read more
It wasn't that long ago that mobile devices were pretty easy to distinguish from one another: A phone looked like a phone, a PDA looked like a PDA, etc. Today, everything could be anything, at least at first glance.
When we first saw this MP3 player from Germany-based Maxfield, for example, it could have been any number of gadgets or combinations thereof but--gasp--it just plays music. The "MAX-IVY" does display pictures on its 1.8-inch screen but has no video, camera or phone, according to Tech Digest. So why do we like it? Two reasons: It has … Read more
This whole wireless thing has had a good run, but it's getting old. The really hot networking trend of the future is the human body.
We've already seen how Korean researchers are turning flesh and bones into a "body area network." Now, New Scientist reports that Sony researchers can send audio signals from headphones or media players directly through the body of the listener, essentially using it as a living capacitator.
"A music or video player sends a fluctuating signal to a conductive cloth pad--such as a wrist band--and this slightly charges the wearer's … Read more