Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
The Macalope was certain that the whining would be swift and furious over Apple charging $20 for the same software features iPhone users get for free. As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes so brilliantly puts it:
Come on Steve, give your biggest fans a break.
$20 is awfully steep to add a little functionality to the iPod touch - functionality that already exists for the iPhone.
... I feel that this is going too far.
Yeah! Unlike all the other times Adrian writes about Apple!
Well, dear reader, if you're experiencing a bit of deja vu over this, … Read more
Among the new product announcements at the Macworld 2008 keynote, iTunes received a brand new feature: movie rentals! With the latest version of iTunes for both Windows and Mac, you will be able to rent movies from all the major studios including Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Apple was able to strike a deal with studios which allowed iTunes to receive new releases 30 days after the DVD release. The first wave of movie rentals will launch by the end of February with over 1,000 titles.
Once you find a movie … Read more
I've heard 'em all and I'm here to tell you there's a hierarchy of fidelity. The pipsqueak iPod speakers (pretty much everything under $100) sound tinny, screechy, with zero bass and can't play at all loud. They're all different shades of awful. Sure, some $300 iPod speakers are way better, more or less on par with a decent sounding table radio, I'm thinking here of my favorite Boston Acoustics Receptor, Tivoli, and Cambridge SoundWorks models. Then again, the better radios and iPod speakers are priced upwards of $500 or more, and for that kind … Read more
At first glance these "Budclicks" might just seem like the latest gimmick to customize your earbuds, an accessory to an accessory. But lest you write them off, consider the history of the "Jibbitz," the wildly popular doodads that kids love to stick on their Crocs.
That idea was started by a stay-at-home mom, who created the decorations with her three children in the basement of their Colorado house--before selling her business to Crocs Inc. for $10 million. Budclicks, as far as we can tell, is essentially the same thing for earphones, at $10 to $15 a … Read more
One thing iPhone and iPod Touch users have been enjoying over the past year has been a finger optimized version of YouTube that pulls in videos on demand. However, users of older video-enabled iPods have been left to fend for themselves using a bevy of services to pull down videos from popular hosting sites and reformat them to fit using third-party conversion apps. A new service called Tooble (download) that aims to streamline this process is showing off its wares on the Macworld Expo show floor tomorrow. We thought it would be a good idea to give it a spin, … Read more
It's MacWorld week, which means that the faithful parishioners of the Church of Jobs are required to make the pilgrimage to San Francisco to see the latest and greatest of all things Mac and iPod. In addition to Apple's own revelations due from Steve Jobs' eagerly anticipated keynote address, the show also gives an opportunity to the increasingly massive army of iPod accessory makers to highlight their latest announcements, as well. And that's exactly what Chestnut Hill Sound is doing by revealing some refinements to its George iPod speaker system (pictured). The device, which includes a unique wireless remote that mirrors the iPod's display, will soon be getting a trio of enhancements, courtesy of a Version 3.0 firmware upgrade: … Read more
Audiophiles never gave up on vinyl, but now kids are driving a current LP boom.
Kristina Dell's feature article in Time magazine looks at the trend of people, including teens, turning to vinyl to escape the awful digital grime of downloads and MP3s.
"Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl," one teen says. Another teenage vinyl devotee tells Time, "Most things sound better on vinyl, even with the crackles and pops and hisses."
And when you figure that LPs usually cost a little more … Read more
It may not seem like it in the middle of January, but you won't always need to protect yourself from the elements with heavy-duty MP3 outerwear. Before you know it, mini-skirt weather will be right around the corner.
But music-playing suspenders? That, at least, is what the wrongly named "MP3 Smart Jacket" appears to be. Like other holsters of its kind, it has compartments for various gadgets that can be controlled by sewn-in buttons, according to Gadgetell, but it also has its own built-in speakers. Even so, this thing makes the gadget vest look like haute couture.… Read more
You won't find a more institutionally conservative category in the consumer electronics space than home audio. More than any other industry segment, audio is one where technological advances tend to be lamented rather than celebrated, viewed with suspicion rather than embraced. And that's understandable: Subpar speakers are now passed off as good enough and used to listen to digital music, which is often highly compressed compared with CD or (even better) LP equivalents. And the music itself is coming from a dying recording industry, struggling to stay alive in the digital age, and often relegated to background music--fewer … Read more