This iPod dock makes your iPod appear to magically float

via DVICE Atom Feed by Adam Frucci on 8/3/10

This iPod dock makes your iPod appear to magically float

The Wireless Streaming Music Centre is like many iPod docks: it lets you plug your portable media player into it and acts as a large speaker for it. But its design sets it apart from the rest.

First Look at New iPod Nano Interface?

via Gizmodo by Jesus Diaz on 9/9/08

We have received these two images of the iPod nano showing a new interface. They look like Apple’s own product illustrations and the iPod itself looks like the unconfirmed leaked picture, but of course we don’t know if they are real or not. They are so polished and we like them so much that we hope they are real, but for now, they are just a couple of images out of nowhere. Check the playback screen after the jump and tell us what you think


We will see what happens in a few hours. Remember our first rules about rumors and leaks: never trust them, even when they seem like the real McCoy.

[Thanks tipster!]


Zune Gets a Heart; Still Seeking Backbone

Just so everyone knows. I am kinda sick of my iPod dying around 2 years after buying it. The worst part is that several of my friends iPods died at the same time. All of course were purchase around the same time.

So i can say that i decided to switch, and for my b-day, which just two day after Valentines and got a Red Zune.

Lets hope it does not die in 2 years… But do i really need 80 GB?

via The Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 1/18/08

AT&T’s LG Shine isn’t the only thing going red for Valentine’s Day this year. Microsoft’s recent Apple rip-off TV commercials seemed to be a bit of a Band-Aid approach to marketing its Zune PMP. Pehaps this is part of the Washington wonder’s game plan however, as they announced earlier this week that the 80GB Zune would be available in a lovely shade of red for Valentine’s Day. Available for a limited time through Microsoft’s Zune Originals website, the red Zune’s price tag remains unaffected at $250. Zune Originals also allows buyers to choose from 20 new VDay-related designs that can be laser-etched onto the back of the player. Customers can even download a variety of lovey-dovey tracks that can be shared Zune to Zune or via the Zune SoNet. Microsoft has put a lot of effort into their Valentine’s Day offering this year and hopefully by taking advantage of it, you’ll be one step closer to getting exactly what you want for Vday.

[Via Newlaunches]

iPod Nano Spy Shots Confirmed as Real by Apple Legal

Apple Legal has asked Gizmodo to take down the iPod nano spy shots from earlier today because they are their “intellectual property.” Out of respect for The Steve, they complied. This pretty much confirms they belong to Apple, whether they are final or a prototype.

20 strange iPod stories

The Armor stopped the bullet. Kevin didn't know he was shot. The iPod was how he found out.

Here’s a bunch of strange and weird iPod stories. The most recent ones (pictured above) is the one about a soldier in Iraq who got shot (saved by the vest) but didn’t know about it – the iPod is how he found out that he actually got shot.

20 Strange or Unique iPod Stories []
via [digg]

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Simply Brilliant: iPod dock in car cassette deck


Not often do we come across a piece of gear that makes us wish we’d thought of it. But when we saw this in-dash iPod dock (more of a slot, really) adapted from a car cassette deck, we dusted off the award statuette. With a Kenwood head unit, you can select the iPod as a source so song information and playlists are visible on the stereo’s LCD readout — good to have, since your iPod’s clickwheel and screen will be a little obstructed. And that Apple button is a nice touch.

Tragically, the highly evolved dock is a one-shot mod of a dashboard cassette player done by user JPPadula, and it’s doubtful he’s taking orders. We hope that some smart manufacturers are paying attention, but in the meantime, Alpine’s iDA-X001 can stand in as the next best thing.

Jalopnik, via Coolest Gadgets

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Apple’s Steve Jobs Calls for End of DRM

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made a surprise call for the end of digital rights management technology, which is designed to stop copyrighted music from being shared illicitly. Jobs says Apple would sell only DRM-free music on iTunes if it could.

The revelation came in an open letter published on Apple’s Web site, which largely responds to concerns over DRM that have come from European countries such as Norway and France. Jobs offers three possible outcomes for the future, but highlights the abandonment of DRM by record companies as the best possible solution for consumers.

Because Apple leads the digital music market by a huge margin in both song downloads and hardware players with the iPod, legislators have told the company it needs to make iTunes compatible with competitors. Norway went so far as to declare the iPod illegal last month, as it locks users into buying music only from iTunes.

Jobs explains in the letter that Apple has determined it cannot open up its FairPlay DRM technology to others, because doing so would open the door for hackers. When negotiating terms with record labels, Jobs says, Apple was forced to stipulate that FairPlay would remain secure or the labels could pull their music from iTunes immediately.

The FairPlay DRM has been cracked in the past, but Apple has been quick to issue updates that close any loophole. “There is no theory of protecting content other than keeping secrets. In other words, even if one uses the most sophisticated cryptographic locks to protect the actual music, one must still “hide” the keys which unlock the music on the user’s computer or portable music player. No one has ever implemented a DRM system that does not depend on such secrets for its operation,” Jobs writes.

If Apple were to open FairPlay to third party manufacturers and music stores, controlling those secrets would be impossible, he adds. Referring to the Zune, Jobs adds, “Perhaps this same conclusion contributed to Microsoft’s recent decision to switch their emphasis from an “open” model of licensing their DRM to others to a “closed” model of offering a proprietary music store, proprietary jukebox software and proprietary players.”

Another solution moving forward is to continue on the same path, where companies sell music designed for specific players and protected by closed DRM systems. Microsoft, Sony and Apple all do this Jobs notes. He downplays “lock-in” concerns by explaining that only 22 songs are purchased from iTunes for every iPod sold, which indicates that the vast majority of iPods are filled with non-DRM music.

But the most controversial idea for the future is one Jobs says would create the best environment for both the marketplace and consumers alike: “abolish DRMs entirely.”

“Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat,” Jobs writes. “If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store.”

He explains that most music is still sold on CDs, which have no built-in DRM technologies and can be freely copied and shared over the Internet. “So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.”

Jobs concludes his letter with a swipe at European regulators, noting that two and a half of the big four music labels are located in Europe, and says, “those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free…Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.”

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Apple TV deletes DMA deficiencies

When Apple first released details about what is now called Apple TV, I wrote that it would create a DVR dilemma for the Cupertino company, one that it decided by bypassing DVR functionality (at least for now). The result will be a product that avoids many setup foibles and complexities of digital video recorders while allowing use of the increasingly versatile streamlined Apple Remote. There are three main reasons why Apple’s digital media adapter will trump its predecessors, but it may not yet be enough to catapult digital content into the living room the way the iPod did into our pockets.

First from a technology perspective, Apple TV is one of the first digital media adapters to support the draft 802.11n standard. If the PCs from which it is obtaining media also have this fast a connection, Apple TV should be able to obtain digital content much faster than previous products. 802.11n should certainly be fast enough for standard-definition compressed video and reliable enough to carry movie trailers from Apple’s Web site without stuttering.

However, as good as 802.11n is, few if any unlicensed wireless technologies are completely immune to interference and range limitations, which is why the inclusion of a hard drive is a great boon for this device class. As I wrote when I looked at Brookstone’s hard disk-based SongCube last fall, there are many advantages to using a “sync and store” scenario for digital content devices on a home network. These address the reliability and performance of local storage while eliminating the need to manually update a device with the latest content. Managing this cache, however, can require a bit of configuration; Apple will need to make some tradeoffs here.

The second advantage Apple TV will have over other digital media adapters is commercial video content, or at least easy access to it. Because Apple has become the leading seller of Hollywood TV shows (followed by the recently launched Xbox Live video service), consumers can queue up TV shows or movie purchases and have them delivered to the big screen. Apple is clearly hoping to jump-start a virtuous circle here, in which the availability of a clear path to the television spurs demand for digital content, which spurs demand for AppleTV units.

It’s a more direct relationship than Apple has enjoyed with the iPod, which didn’t rely on the iTunes store for its meteoric rise. The Walkman provided a clear model for the success of the iPod. There is no such precedent for Apple TV and consumers have yet to express the collective need to move PC-based content into their living rooms. In fact, in some ways the Apple TV model reverses that of the iPod, and is one in which digital content purchases will have more weight in spurring device sales than vice versa.

Third, AppleTV will enjoy distribution in Apple’s phenomenally successful retail stores. Previous DMAs have proved flummoxing to retailers that wrestle with whether to put them in the networking or AV departments. Demonstrating AppleTV effectively may not be simple even for Apple, but its retail stores’ simpler focus and knack for attracting those interested in the digital lifestyle should help AppleTV’s entry in the fledgling category.

Unlike the iPod (but like the iPhone), Apple TV will be cross-platform from its first day on the market, continuing Apple’s embrace of the tremendous base of Windows users. But there will be other requirements that the first iPod didn’t have — broadband and a home network, the latter of which exists in about a third or fewer American households. In suck homes, AppleTV will test whether the challenge to bridge the PC and TV has been due to lack of design, lack of content, lack of appropriate shelf space or, in Apple’s worst case, lack of interest.

Top 10 Gadgets for the Filthy Rich


Image by Matt Krueger

Do you travel in private jets? Decorate your foyer with real Renoirs? Use the word “foyer”? Then there’s no way you’re going to get your gadget fix from anything you can get at Best Buy. You crave the most exclusive, the top of the line, the most unusual, and the most attention-grabbing technology, and price is no object. But there are expensive gadgets, and then there are expensive gadgets. We aren’t talking PlayStation 3 expensive — we’re talking gear so expensive you’ll have your butlers pick them up in your gold-plated helicopter. There are plenty of cool toys out there for you and your mansion, and we’ve compiled a list — the list — of the 10 best tech toys for the überdiscriminating connoisseur. And if you’re still working on that Park Avenue address, don’t fret; drop by tomorrow for our Top 10 Gadgets You Can Actually Afford. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with ogling. So click on the jump, enjoy the list, and to you millionaires out there: don’t listen to those people laughing at you for wasting your money. They’re just jealous.


10. LG 71-inch plasma TV
Sure, you could get a 50-inch TV. That’d be nice, I guess… but any rube can waltz into Circuit City and pick one up, which makes it lose its charm. Plus, only 50 inches? You’re loaded; you can do better than that. The 71-inch LG MW-71PY10 plasma TV should satisfy your big-screen desires nicely. This thing is a behemoth, so you’ll need a gigantic wall and a couple of hired goons to install it, but once it’s up on your wall you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a movie theater. Come to think of it, you’ll need a room about as big as a movie theater to put it in, but if you can afford a $70,000 TV, that’s likely not a problem.


9. Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 5 speakers
No matter how good big, rectangular speakers sound, they definitely do not have style. For a pair of great-sounding speakers that also scream chic, cast your eyes on these Bang & Olufsen babies, the BeoLab 5. They look like UFOs docked to big cones, and reviewers say they sound like audiophile heaven. With each speaker running on 2,500 watts of power, they can go loud — very loud — while retaining a clean, crisp sound. B&O also boasts that the speakers sound great no matter where you stand, bringing you stereo sound even if you’re standing right in front of just one of them. Speakers of such beauty and power of course have a price to match, and a pair of BeoLab 5’s will set you back about $16,000.


8. Voodoo Elemental Omen PC
If you’re a serious gamer you can easily justify spending three or four thousand bucks on a gaming PC. After all, there’s a serious difference between 128-MB and 512-MB graphics cards, performance-wise. But what about $24,000? Could you justify that? Voodoo hopes so, as that’s the price tag on the company’s Elemental Omen PC. While the gold case qualifies as perhaps the dorkiest piece of bling ever, it’s what’s inside the case that counts. Featuring two 512-MB ATI Radeon X1900XTX graphics cards, 4 gigs of RAM, and 2 terabytes of hard-drive space spread across four 500-GB drives, this thing screams “overkill.” But don’t forget a monitor: the Omen comes with a 46-inch Samsung “gaming LCD,” but let’s be honest, at 46 inches it’s not a monitor — it’s a big-screen TV. It’s a pretty impressive package, but don’t worry about shipping; the magnanimous folks at Voodoo will hook you up with that for free.


7. Denon super receiver
This here is the mother of all recievers. The Denon AVR-5805MK2 is a 1,700-watt-pushing, multi-room-serving, $7,000 powerhouse that’s designed to control whatever home theater components and speakers you throw at it. Ready and able to handle multiple streams of high-def video, the latest tech (including Blu-ray or HD DVD), it also comes with an Ethernet port to stream music from computers around the house. We could go on for pages and still not even scratch the surface of the spec sheet, but suffice it to say if you can think of something you want from your home theater, this bad boy can provide it. Just try to resist the urge to run it at full tilt — it might reach escape velocity.


6. Sony high-def camcorder
Kids grow up so fast, and before you know it you’ll have nothing to remember their adorable younger years except the acne-marked, angst-ridden teenager fighting with you over whatever body part is hip to get pierced these days. You’re going to want those memories to be extra clear to keep you balanced, so why scrimp on a video camera? The $3,700 HDR-FX1 HDV Handycam from Sony gives you the crispest HD shooting you can get in a consumer camcorder with all the bells and whistles you could ask for. Featuring a giant 3.5-inch LCD screen, a 12X optical zoom lens, and 3-chip CCD imaging for crisp, clean shots, you’ll be able to relive those first steps like you’re really there. Which you may wish you were, but sadly a camera can only do so much.


5. Triode-tube iPod speakers
If you thought the Bose Sound Dock, costing as much as an iPod itself, was an overpriced iPod accessory, check out these guys. The Triode-tube iPod speakers will set you back a cool $4,000, enough for you to buy ten 60-GB video iPods. What makes this speaker set worth so much? Vacuum tubes. Tube amplifiers are loved by audiophiles everywhere for their warm, organic sound, and these speakers claim to “soften” the digital distortion you sometimes hear with compressed music formats like MP3 and AAC. Of course, if you love warm analog sound you could always spend that $4,000 on a whole lot of records, or if you don’t like digital distortion you could encode your music to a lossless format such as FLAC, but then again why rock the boat when you can pay the waves to go away?


4. Kaleidescape movie server
If you’re sick of all the clutter from your huge DVD collection, maybe it’s time to convert all those discs to nice, space-saving digital form. The Kaleidescape system, starting at about $27,000, is a multimedia server that stores all of your movies (music too!), letting you to access them from any number of players that you can set up around your house. All you need to do is get a base server or two (depending on the size of your collection), a loader to digitize all your flicks, and however many players you want to scatter about your connected mansion. Even if you don’t have a huge DVD collection, Kaleidescape’s got you covered: you can order your server preloaded with select collections of movies. Humble little sets, like all 278 films from the Criterion Collection, or the 470 films mentioned in The New York Times Best DVDs You’ve Never Seen, Just Missed or Almost Forgotten book are available for a not-so-small fee.


3. Pioneer digital sound projector
Most surround sound speaker systems have five to seven speakers scattered throughout the room. There are a few cheap single-speaker options out there, but for people willing to pay, surely there’s some way to get home theater sound from a single spot without compromising on performance — or appearance? Mr. Rockefeller, Pioneer’s got your number: 254, which is the number of speaker drivers in its PDSP-1 Digital Sound Projector, a 500-watt panel that can fill your entire living room with crisp, clear surround sound. The PDSP-1 is the shape and size of a flat-panel TV, so you just hang the it underneath your (presumably 71-inch) plasma screen, and the speakers will bounce sound off the walls and ceiling, creating a surround sound environment without cluttering up your Greco-Roman décor with a bunch of speakers and wires. The price of paneled convenience? $40,000 — but the satisfaction of knowing that you have 50 times the number of speakers hooked up to your TV as anyone else is totally worth it.


2. Armedchair
The Armedchair looks like a regular recliner, but under its plush and unassuming surface rests enough horsepower to give you whiplash. Designed to move in sync with specially made DVDs, the Armedchair acts like a theme-park ride, moving up to 600 pounds at 2 Gs — enough to make even Stealth seem like a good action movie. Of course, sticking an engine into a recliner is going to boost the cost from your average Barcalounger, so be prepared to shell out at least $12,000 for one of these things, plus a few thousand more for the motion controller, which seems pretty necessary if you want to use the Armedchair to it’s fullest potential. They’re also kind enough to offer to bring it in and install it for you, but that’ll add about $1,300 to the tab, so think long and hard about how lazy you are before checking that box on the order form.


1. GoldVish cell phone
Nobody’s impressed that you have a RAZR anymore. What used to be an exclusive and expensive gadget has become as ubiquitous as the iPod, so what’s a status-conscious oil baron to do? The GoldVish “Le Million de la Nuit” is without a doubt the most exclusive cell phone ever made, as there’s only one in existence. There may be only one, but that still might be one more than there are people willing to pay, since it has a million dollar price tag. Encrusted with tiny diamonds and featuring a secret compartment, the phone comes equipped with 2 GB of memory, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB connection to hook it up to your computer. It does not, however, do your taxes or give backrubs, so the price tag seems a little steep.

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