Maybe it's our midlife crisis taking over again, but we have a serious crush on Amadana, the Japanese company that created the bamboo-clad DVD player and other gorgeous products that reflect its zen-like design philosophy. If Amadana had a retail outlet, we imagine it would look like a cross between an Apple store and a Buddhist monastery. (We just wish the company would change its logo, which looks way to much like Amana's.)
This piece of digital furniture also has brains to match the beauty of its Austin Powers-era design. Uber-Review says its insulation reserves the soundwaves for the person sitting in it, without disturbing others nearby: "The speakers are encased in a carefully crafted body that creates sufficient volume for powerful bass tones, while two body-focused sound generators, in the seat and the backrest, further augment the lower … Read more
Wacky rumor or legitimate buzz? CrunchGear is reporting that a well-connected tipster has informed them that Microsoft is developing a "Zune phone." Allegedly, it'll be able to sync with other Microsoft devices, like the Xbox 360 and its movie download service. And it probably won't run Windows Mobile--it'll have a Zune-branded interface instead.
CrunchGear is reporting a possible December release date. It's a long way off, and any "tipsters" should be taken with a grain of salt. (Especially when dealing with Microsoft and its penchant for changing release dates around multiple times.)… Read more
Like so many mobile trends, GetaBuz has its genesis in the creativity of teenagers.
GetaBuz licenses hit songs from major record labels and allows users to record personalized voice mail greetings and messages over the song, which cost $1 to $3 each.
It's a smoother way of doing what teens had already figured out--they wanted to send clips of songs to their friends from their mobile phones, Buz Interactive Co-founder Steve Ehrlich told me.
I got a quick demo, and the interface is pretty smooth. Just choose a song and record a message--up to 30 seconds--with any microphone. No … Read more
The Walkman isn't dead, contrary to popular belief, at least in the world of anime. Sony is selling a special green edition of its once-royal brand that features a sleepy-eyed Japanese character of the same color (not Kermit). Other than its "Gachapin" theme, the Walkman E series is a standard MP3 player of modest capacity (512 and 1GB storage for $113 and $137, respectively). For those prices, we think the least they could have done is make the earphones green too. But you do get a super-kawaii felt case and carrier.
Ford works hard to show that its new Ford Edge crossover is hip and cool by offering music video playlists each month from its Web site. Its initial offering includes: "Lived in Bars" by Cat Power, "Gold Lion" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Woman" by Wolfmother, and "How We Operate" by Gomez. That's a better playlist than anything I've seen on MTV in a long time, and there are no commercials (besides the Ford sponsorship intro). And I'm pleased at the decent selection of bands, which shows that Ford … Read more
Earlier today, Engadget posted this story, which posits an interesting--though unsubstantiated--claim that a Microsoft call center has lately been receiving a large number of complaints about Zune screen crackage. Their source supposes that the damage, which is discovered after the unit has been left charging all night, could be caused by an overheating and expanding battery, which is located behind the screen. (Hmm, this story sounds familiar.) Various Zune users have replied to the thread, mostly stating that they have never experienced such issues, despite leaving their players on the charger for eight hours or more. For my part, I … Read more
In brief: The Belkin TuneCast 3 is a simple, attractive FM transmitter that may be suitable for rural users and long, desolate road trips, but it just doesn't quite cut it in a big city.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed. In general, I shun the use of FM transmitters: The audio quality is not up to par with direct line-in or cassette adapters, and searching for an open signal is often a crap shoot. I was one of the fortunate MP3-player users to have both a CD changer and an "… Read more
If you've ever wasted away the weekend playing Guitar Hero II, there's nothing to feel guilty about. Feel proud. Feel like a rock star. Feel these things because you're probably better at Guitar Hero II than actual guitarist Scott Ian of Anthrax.
And he even gets to play his own song.
As this fascinating video on Kotaku.com shows (WARNING: Swear words are all over the place), Ian had a bit of trouble performing his own song on Guitar Hero II. During his first attempt, he fails 31 percent of the way through the song.
And if … Read more
The headline on this item posted by Gizmodo says it all: the "opposite of a chick magnet." No offense to Star Wars loyalists (OK, a little), but this has got to be one of the nerdier ideas we've seen in awhile--and, trust us, that's saying a lot. Do you really want to be known as the guy/gal who has a Lightsaber MP3 player?