Several CES booths had the telltale orange and black HD Radio sign, designating that they were selling at least one device with an HD Radio receiver in it. There was also some buzz over a new feature that lets you flag a song for later purchase on iTunes (this works only on models with an iPod dock). I stopped by iBiquity's booth--they're the developers of HD Radio technology--to get an overview of all the supported devices out there, and it's a pretty impressive list, including home radios from Creative, JBL, and Sony, plus automotive radios from many … Read more
As Greg Sandoval pointed out over at News.com, Apple may be close to winning over even more movie studios to make iTunes rentals a reality. And while I'll be the first to admit that this is a major victory for Apple, considering the possibility of its service being relegated to irrelevance in the video space, how big of a victory is it for Steve Jobs?
As one BusinessWeek column points out, Steve Jobs was only able to win the studios over by increasing the amount he's willing to pay for films. According to the report, Jobs had once capped the amount he would pay for each movie sold at $14, but has agreed to the $17 fee larger retailers like Wal-Mart are currently paying.
To make matters worse, the music industry has stood up to Jobs for the first time and has offered DRM-free music to Amazon even though Jobs and Company have been asking for such a deal for quite some time.
So what's really going on? Has Steve Jobs -- one of the world's most powerful CEOs -- lost his power? You better believe it.… Read more
Creative has announced plans to release the Xdock HD, an HD-quality iPod video dock. The Xdock HD is due for a spring release with a retail price of $399. Four bills might seem like a steep price for an iPod dock, but the Xdock HD has some serious technology under the hood.
First and foremost, the Xdock HD provides a means to play iPod video content at 720p or 1080i resolution. This feat is accomplished by Creative's own video upsampling technology, which transforms your puny iPod videos into HD-worthy gems.
The second great asset of the Creative Xdock HD is its ability… Read more
Apparently, Apple is willing to make concessions to the film industry to bolster iTunes' lackluster movie offerings.
BusinessWeek is reporting that Apple is close to signing distribution deals with most of the top movie studios that would give Apple access to newly released films.
The Financial Times reported last month that Apple has already signed an agreement with Twentieth Century Fox. BusinessWeek now says the company is nearing deals with Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Lionsgate. The magazine suggested that some of the deals may be announced at the Macworld conference, which starts January 14.
While Apple has dominated music, … Read more
Clearly, the Apple iPod offers a reasonable array of attractive features--a slick interface, excellent podcast support, video capability--but recording ability has never made the list. The value of this feature may be questionable for some, but for others, it's a desirable extra. Luckily for audio note takers and aspiring podcasters, several third-party vendors have come to the rescue. The latest is Belkin with its fabulously portable Podcast Studio, which cradles the iPod while turning it into an on-the-go recording machine. The Podcast Studio, which is expected to launch in June 2008 at a price of $99.99, runs off … Read more
Philips' Bluetooth Wireless Entertainment System, the BTM630, may not be among the "future" products Philips announced at CES, but it's making its official debut at the show, so we're going to write it up.
Along with Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music from Bluetooth-equipped cell phones and PCs, the BTM630 features an iPod dock, a slim-slot CD loading system, a USB port, and the ability to playback MP3 or WMA music from a SD or MMC card. With a built-in mic, the system also doubles as speakerphone for cell phone calls (you can switch between calls and … Read more
There are plenty of docks and cables designed to let you play back your iPod videos on your TV, but JVC's new P-Series cuts out the middleman by integrating the iPod dock directly into the TV. The four LCD flat-panels--LT-32P679 (32-inch 1366x768 screen), LT-42P789 (42-inch 1080p), LT-47P789 (47-inch 1080p), and LT-52P789 (52-inch 1080p)--each feature a flip-down iPod dock built into the bezel directly below the screen's center. And while I was ready to dismiss the whole thing as a gimmick along the lines of ViewSonic's ill-conceived VX2245wm monitor, JVC seems to have included some well-thought-out features to maximize the iPod experience. To quote the press release: … Read more
When it comes to iPod speakers, we thought we'd seen it all--models with vacuum tubes, 2.1 systems, ones that are totally tubular, and others that are as big as a microwave oven. But JVC's NX-PN7 is the first one we've seen with docks for two iPods. Despite doubling down on the music players, the unit is just 13 inches wide. In addition to being able to toggle between "iPod A" and "iPod B," the NX-PN7 features a clock, an auxiliary line-in, and a horizontal light beneath each iPod dock that can be … Read more
Debuting at CES is the iLuv i399, the successor to the i199, which we enjoyed for its array of features and affordable price. iLuv has completely redesigned the audio system into a much more compact unit.
Most of the features from the i199 look to be intact, although we're not sure the CD player survived the upgrade. What we do know is that the i399 has a built in subwoofer, support for iPod audio playback, an FM tuner, digital clock display, an auxiliary port, and features the next iteration of the company's "BluePin" Bluetooth dongle, called … Read more