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Category Archives for "Audio"

Review: Sonicum Iconic Speaker Set

ThinkGeek has always been a reliable source for your dose of geek. I ordered these speakers from them, and 3 days later they arrived on my door step. I was unsure of what to expect, as I had never heard of the company (Sonicum).  However, I had heard of the designer (Art Lebedev) who is well known for his work on the  Optimus Maximus Keyboard. After about 3 weeks of using these speakers, I am amazed.

Appeal

These are some of the best designed 2.1 speakers out there. They have their own look and feel unlike the majority of other speakers on the market. Their shape is meant to mimic the standard audio-volume symbol icons, hence the “Iconic” name. The two satellites and subwoofer are made of plastic, but they have a nice soft black rubber coating to them. The speakers are very small at 10.5 x 10 x 8 cm and the subwoofer is average sized at 24 x 21.5 x 12cm.

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The Not So Immortal iPod?

Is the iPod coming to an end?

Back in 2001 during a press event held on Apple’s campus, a new product was introduced – the iPod. On that October day, the iPod gained alot of positive press, as well as negative press. Some reporters even went as far as to saying the iPod would be a bigger failure than the Newton introduced several years prior. But only months away from its seventh birthday, we can all see what a success the iPod really was. As of March 2008, Apple had shipped 180 million of the popular music player.

However, there has been concern that iPod sales are going to be slowing with rapid rate. I’m sure you are aware that Apple recently launched its newest phone, the iPhone 3G, and they sold one million phones within a three day period. That number is incredible compared to how long it took Apple to sell its first million iPods. In my opinion, its only a matter of time before the iPhone starts to outsell the iPod. Every iPhone requires a minimum price of $70 a month. Oh, you want texting? Make that $90. So every iPhone costs $1880 over a two year period.  Compared to a bunch of other phones with a two-year contract, its a deal.

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Good Notebook Speakers

As you may know, speakers inside of laptops are usually quite badly made. It is very hard to make speakers small while retaining sound quality.  When travelling around speakers need to be small, rechargeable or battery powered, and have good sound. I am going to recommend 3 different speakers that I have used. They all have their own strong and weak points.

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Review: Remote Rocks And Rolls

With the release of the iPhone 2.0 software on July 11th, the doors have opened for many creative and useful applications to change the way we use our iPhones (or iPod touch).

First out of the gate to show how to do a revolutionary application is Apple with their iTunes control software, Remote.

Remote turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless controller for your computer. It works with v7.7 of iTunes on both Windows and OS X, and requires that iTunes be running.  However, it does not require that you share your library. I imagine using Remote while having your computer connected to a TV or speaker system, and controlling the music selection from the iPod. The system also has a “check this out” factor, as it is kind of weird changing the song from anywhere in the house.

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The Importance Of Marketing: Microsoft’s Zune

Introduction

Marketing is a vital element to the business world and is essential for any company to grow successfully. To endure a prolonged existence, a business has to successfully reach their target demographic by creating awareness of their good or service using such elements as advertising, promotion, and public relations. Consumers purchase a good or service because they have a need or benefit for that product. The marketer’s job is to discover those wants and needs, and provide a good or service that meets or exceeds the consumer’s expectations. By providing the right goods or services to the right people at the right time, place, and price, using the right promotion techniques, you ensure higher sales, amplified revenue, product growth and company growth. Without proper marketing, a company can suffer significantly, which is why so much money, resources, and man-power in a company are devoted to marketing.

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A Cover Story

Please take a moment and take a good look at CoverSutra and Cover Stream, two full-blown, all-out iTunes controllers.

CoverSutra 2.1.2: Integrates a customizable album artwork display, a floating control window, a pop-up notification system for song/album changes, and a spotlight-esque search bar into one application.

Cover Stream 2.0: A CoverFlow browsing window makes it easy to find what you want to listen to. Has a quick search feature, a resizable album art display, and a notification pop-up for song changes.

You Can’t Judge an App by It’s Cover

On an initial superficial glance, these two iTunes controllers may look like long lost brothers, seperated at coding:

They both use HUDs¹, they both display album artwork on your desktop… even the preferences icons have similarities if you look close enough.

There’s a good explanation for this: CoverSutra and Cover Stream were primarily designed by the same person: Laurent Baumann, an undeniably talented graphic designer from France.

There’s a good story to this, really there is. Something we don’t often hear in Mac software articles is the story. How was this software created? Everything has a story. It’s only on rare occasions that someone asks just what it us.

The characters in this story are Cover Stream developer Fabian Kowalski and CoverSutra developer Sophia Teutschler, as well as Laurent Baumann. I contacted each of them for their insights, and, of course, for their story.

(In fact, my contact with Laurent inspired his personal blog post on this subject, which is very similar to what he corresponded to me. I will link to it later².)

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