Sonos PLAYBAR Review

The Boy Genius Report: Sonos’ PLAYBAR takes over the living room

The Boy Genius Report: Sonos’ PLAYBAR takes over the living room

By on March 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM.

I’ve been using Sonos’ brand new PLAYBAR for over a week, but it was apparent that the product is a hit even after just a few hours of use. The Sonos PLAYBAR is a sound bar, a high quality bar-shaped speaker enclosure that can be mounted below your television on the wall, or placed on your entertainment console to combine three front speakers into one. What makes the Sonos PLAYBAR so amazing is that it finally tackles a space that was so confusing, so commercialized, and so devoid of any innovation whatsoever. More →

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Ford Sync Spotify Integration

Ford Sync’s new Spotify integration signals further decline of traditional radio

By on February 26, 2013 at 10:15 PM.

Ford Sync’s new Spotify integration signals further decline of traditional radio

We had the opportunity to tour the Ford booth on Tuesday at Mobile World Congress, and were treated to a first-hand walk-through of the newest version of the company’s Sync in-car media and voice command technology. Chief among the new features is Spotify integration, giving subscribers ubiquitous access to the streaming music service by way of a few simple voice commands. More →

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Mobile Audio Study

Hearing is believing: People don’t realize how important great sound is until they experience it

Hearing is believing: People don’t realize how important great sound is until they experience it

By on February 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM.

Sound quality is a hugely important part of the multimedia experience on mobile devices that often gets overlooked. It’s not easy to convey how big the impact of good sound quality is on the overall experience, but a new Parks Associates study commissioned by Dolby set out to do just that. The study’s findings, set to be published later today by Dolby, show that the majority of smartphone owners consider sound quality to some degree when choosing a smartphone or tablet. After hearing an audio demonstration from a device that features enhanced sound, however, the overwhelming majority of users acknowledge that audio quality is an important feature on mobile devices. More →

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Sonos PLAYBAR Release Date

Sonos steps into the home theater space with the PLAYBAR

By on February 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM.

Sonos steps into the home theater space with the PLAYBAR

Sonos has long been the best modular audio system you could put into your home for unlimited music in every room, but now the company is changing the game. With the introduction of the Sonos PLAYBAR, a sound bar for your television and home theater set up, you’re now able to use Sonos’ existing speakers and subwoofer along with the PLAYBAR to provide wireless, high-definition audio for your movie and TV-watching experience. More →

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Microsoft takes aim at Pandora and Spotify with launch of streaming Xbox Music service [video]

Microsoft takes aim at Pandora and Spotify with launch of streaming Xbox Music service [video]

By on October 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM.

Microsoft Xbox Music Release Date

Microsoft’s (MSFT) long-awaited Xbox Music service officially goes live for the Xbox 360 on October 16th. Stacked with 30 million songs, Xbox Music “combines the best aspects of free-streaming radio, music subscription services and music purchasing options,” says Yusuf Medhi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business Marketing and Strategy. Xbox Music isn’t gunning only for iTunes, it’s hoping to be the consumer’s one-stop shop for all their music needs. Simply put: Xbox Music wants to kill Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and any other music service in its quest to stop “service hopping.”

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Apple’s colorful new iPod touch expected to launch in three weeks

Apple’s colorful new iPod touch expected to launch in three weeks

By on October 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM.

Apple iPod Touch Release Date

Apple (AAPL) announced the fifth-generation iPod touch alongside the iPhone 5 last month, but it only vaguely said it would ship sometime in October. Although the U.S. Apple online store still shows a ship date of “October,” Today’s iPhone claims the Australian Apple online store website temporarily listed the 32GB (PRODUCT) RED model of the iPod touch as shipping in three weeks.  More →

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Libratone Zipp is the first and only AirPlay speaker that doesn’t need a Wi-Fi network

Libratone Zipp is the first and only AirPlay speaker that doesn’t need a Wi-Fi network

By on September 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM.

Zipp AirPlay Speaker

Apple’s (AAPL) wireless AirPlay technology beats Bluetooth for two reasons. First, it can stream audio in uncompressed CD-quality. And second, unlike Bluetooth speakers that only work within 30 feet of a paired device, AirPlay speakers work over Wi-Fi, so distance is not a problem. But what happens when a Wi-Fi network is not available? Libratone’s 10.2-inch tall and 4.8-inch wide (diameter) battery-powered Zipp AirPlay speaker is here to solve the problem. Instead of using a router-based Wi-Fi network, it connects to any iOS device, Mac or PC by creating a direct Wi-Fi network using Libratone’s PlayDirect technology. What about sound quality? The Zipp’s 360-degree cylindrical design is supposed to”disperse sound in all directions.” The only kicker is that the Zipp weighs four pounds and costs $399 and additional colored felt-sleeves will cost extra. Look for the Zipp in Apple Stores beginning this October. Libratone’s full press release follows below.

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Apple unveils new iPod nano with home button

Apple unveils new iPod nano with home button

By on September 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM.

Apple New iPod Nano 2012

The torrent of Apple (AAPL) news just won’t stop. As expected, the Cupertino-based company just unveiled a redesigned iPod nano. The iPod nano has ditched its clip-on design for an razor thin 5.4 millimeter elongated design with a 2.5 inch multitouch display and home button. It’s 38% thinner than the previous iPod nano and will come in seven colors. Even with its thin design, Apple still managed to squeeze in an FM radio, new Lightning connector, Bluetooth, pedometer and 30 hours of battery life for music playback — the longest battery life Apple’s ever had in a nano. Video also makes a return on the iPod nano now that it has regained its widescreen. The new iPod nano will be available in October in only one capacity: 16GB for $149.

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Leaked cases reveal new iPod nano and iPod touch designs

Leaked cases reveal new iPod nano and iPod touch designs

By on September 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM.

Apple iPod Nano Touch Case Leak Rumor

So, new iPods are probably coming soon, and they could be announced at Apple’s (AAPLSeptember 12th iPhone 5 event next week. What will the new iPod touch and iPod nano look like? MacRumors published images of leaked cases that are purported to be for the new iPod nano and iPod touch. As the images show, the new iPod nano looks to ditch the small clip-on design for a look that more closely resembles the second-generation aluminum iPod nano. Observant readers will notice that the case shows cut-outs for what are presumed to be volume controls and two smaller holes on the bottom for an unknown feature. More →

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Review
srs-iwow-u-3

How to add a $300 million feature to any smartphone

By on July 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

How to add a $300 million feature to any smartphone

HTC’s $300 million investment in Beats Electronics last summer was one of the more questionable moves the struggling vendor has made in recent history. News of the deal came in August 2011, and HTC was a few weeks away from reporting its fifth consecutive month of record revenue. That run would extend to a sixth month in September before coming to a screeching halt in October as Apple launched the iPhone 4S. Things have been rocky for HTC since then — the company’s profit declined 70% in the first quarter and 58% in the second quarter as Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the smartphone industry.

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iTunes Match launches in 19 additional countries

iTunes Match launches in 19 additional countries

By on January 17, 2012 at 7:55 PM.

Apple has updated the company’s iTunes Match service to include 19 additional countries. The list includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, bringing iTunes Match availability to 37 markets in total. Apple debuted the iTunes Match service late last year. For an annual charge, customers can scan and match tracks from their iTunes libraries and replace them with tracks in the iTunes Store and store them in iCloud. Apple lets customers download up to 25,000 tracks without DRM restrictions, with the ability to match any track in a supported audio file format. More →

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iTunes Match now available for developers

iTunes Match now available for developers

By on August 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM.

Apple’s iTunes Match service, which lets you store your entire music collection, including music you have ripped from a CD, or purchased or downloaded elsewhere, is now available for developers for testing. Apple’s iTunes Match service automatically scans your music library and checks your digital music files against Apple’s 18 million plus music library. If Apple has the song, you’re able to play it back at full quality, effectively transforming your library into an iTunes-approved one for only $25/year. Apple is giving developers a three-month extension on the normal 12-month subscription package for their troubles.

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