More information on upcoming iPod touch, Nano leaked?

More information on upcoming iPod touch, Nano leaked?

By on August 27, 2010 at 12:27 PM.

According to an iLounge source, the upcoming fourth generation iPod touch will be changing shapes once again. If true, it is said to be more flat than curved, with a flat surface and curved edges; much like the top of your MacBook Pro. Additionally, the back is rumored to not be modeled after the iPhone 4′s all glass surface; so we’re guessing stainless steel or aluminum. There is that much-awaited rear camera, though what’s not clear at this point is a LED flash next to it or a second microphone for audio capture while shooting video. Lastly, that tiny, tiny Apple-branded touch screen display we saw? Well, according to iLounge, it is indeed a new iPod nano, and won’t have anything to do with an iPod shuffle. September 1st is close enough, friends. More →

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Throwback Thursday: MiniDiscs

Throwback Thursday: MiniDiscs

By on August 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re going to dive into the audio realm with the technology that was MiniDiscs. Remember back when exercising with a portable CD player was out of the question? First, you had to have the stamina to carry the hefty device around while shaking your bon-bon (click on link to get Ricky-rolled). Second, anything you were listening to on your CD Walkman was bound to end up sounding like a bad remix after the anti-skip protection (typically 10, 20, 45, or 60 seconds) ran out. Then, in 1992, in came the MiniDisc.

Reminiscent of CD-ROM cartridges found on the Apple Performa series of computers, the MiniDisc promised CD-quality audio, with skipping under only the most extreme conditions, in a compact package. MiniDisc players were smaller, sleeker, and definitely more attractive than the CD and cassette-based Walkman units available at the time. At its inception MiniDiscs could accommodate 74 or 80 minutes of music. In 2000, Sony added a technology to its devices dubbed MiniDisc Long Play (MDLP) which allowed the throttling of audio quality and storage of up to 320 minutes of audio on one 80 minute MiniDisc. The MiniDisc’s Achilles heel came in the fact that the format only supported minute-based, CD-style audio recordings. Support for MP3 storage and playback was not added until the mid-2000′s; by then the era of the hard drive and flash-based MP3 player had begun.

Unfortunately, this was a technology we invested in and we owned several portable MiniDisc players (even a MiniDisc deck). We are also conjuring up faint memories of high school friends bragging about bootlegging Dave Matthews Band concerts with portable MiniDisc recorders and high-quality microphones. How about you? Any MiniDisc memories, or did you manage to avoid the fad?

BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

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Roku and MP3tunes ink deal to stream iTunes library to your TV

Roku and MP3tunes ink deal to stream iTunes library to your TV

By on July 20, 2010 at 1:35 PM.

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Today, Roku and MP3tunes announced a partnership that will bring your iTunes music library to your television. MP3tunes, for those not familiar, is a company that provides “secure online music space” and features “unlimited listening.” The company’s website boasts, “With just a couple clicks, Locker users can sync their personal digital music and video up to ‘the cloud’ for enjoying from any web browser and a wide variety of mobile and home entertainment devices.” And starting today, you can add the Roku to that list. MP3 offers 10GB of storage for free — ad supported of course — with paid options all the way up to 200 GB. Hit the jump for the full press release.  More →

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Throwback Thursday: Winamp

Throwback Thursday: Winamp

By on July 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM.

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Remember when you could download all of the MP3s you wanted from peer-to-peer site Napster and not get sued by the RIAA? Remember trying to find an audio player that would play all of those pesky MP3s? Remember Winamp?!? Initially monikered WinAMP, the audio player was first released on April 21, 1997. Winamp gained popularity among audiophiles for being feature-rich, small, free, and compatible. Winamp also won fans over with its skinable interface, allowing you to inflict your personal steez on your media player. Winamp was developed by Nullsoft, a company who was known for their llama logo and humorous opening sound clip: “Winamp, it really whips the llama’s ass!” Winamp is still very much alive, and very much available; although it is now owned by AOL. Hit up their website and take a trip down memory lane.

BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets — and in this case software — of yesterday and yesteryea

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Do you want us to do a weekly podcast?

Do you want us to do a weekly podcast?

By on June 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM.

We’ve sort of done some light podcasting, a couple radio-themed segments, and all, but we’re interested to know if you want a weekly no bull news recap / opinion-influenced podcast with the BGR staff. If you do, we’ll do it. See how much power you have right there with that computer mouse?

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Sonos Controller gets iPad upgrade

Sonos Controller gets iPad upgrade

By on June 22, 2010 at 12:58 PM.

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The good folks at Sonos just stopped by our office to give us a preview of their brand new Controller application for the Apple iPad, and boy is it sexy. If you’re a Sonos fan (you know we are) and you have an iPad, this will be a no-brainer when it’s released within the next two months in the App Store for free. For starters, just by taking advantage of the extra screen real estate, the software guys at Sonos have masterfully developed a three column view that just looks incredibly slick and functions even better. We’re talking a completely new spin on the Sonos remote control experience, and we can easily see these things taking over living rooms, kitchen tables, and practically anywhere else music is listened to. More →

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Apple to announce iTunes.com, new Macs at WWDC?

Apple to announce iTunes.com, new Macs at WWDC?

By on May 28, 2010 at 1:37 PM.

Apple Logo-Black + White

It’s no secret that the star of this year’s WWDC keynote will be the next-gen iPhone, but what else could it potentially bring to the table? According to a note issued to investors by Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, the answer is iTunes.com, a cloud-based music service, and a refresh of the Mac Pro and MacBook Air. Apple has long been rumored to want in on the cloud-based music business, and its purchase of Lala in December of 2009 only served to add fuel to the fire. Add to this the fact that Apple has ordered Lala be shut down on May 31st and it seems there is quite a bit of evidence to support these claims. Turning our attention to the Mac Pro, the scuttlebutt is that it will pack a pair of 12 core Westmere-based processors from Intel’s Xeon 5600 series. As for the MacBook Air, rumors of a refresh have been fairly consistent over the past few months. The most recent came a few weeks ago and claimed that the travel-friendly notebook would be equipped with a Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM (although back in January the word was it would be getting a Core i5 processor). Would this be enough to satiate your need for shiny, new Apple gear? More →

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Nokia launches DRM-free Comes With Music in China

Nokia launches DRM-free Comes With Music in China

By on April 10, 2010 at 4:13 PM.

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Some pretty big news out of China recently as Nokia has announced the launch of its Comes With Music service in the world’s second largest consumer market. To be known locally as Yue Sui Xiang and included for free with the purchase of select Nokia handsets (in China’s case, the X6 16GB, X6 32GB, 5230, 5330, 5800w, 6700s, E52 and E72i), the service allows for the downloading of an unlimited amount of à la carte tracks over a period of 12 to 24 months. Even better, all of the music — which includes catalogs from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music, Huayi Brothers Media Group, Taihe Rye and more — is DRM-free and allows subscription holders to keep everything they’ve downloaded after their subscription runs out. Hats off to Nokia for giving a pretty censored country a little bit of freedom. Now… When is the this DRM free business coming to the democratic world? We’re pretty tired of stripping away the DRM ourselves. More →

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Sonos Multi-room Music System Review: S5, ZoneBridge, Controller 200

Sonos Multi-room Music System Review: S5, ZoneBridge, Controller 200

By on February 17, 2010 at 1:59 PM.

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It’s pretty incomprehensible that until about two weeks ago, I had never used a piece of Sonos equipment. Heard about it, and read about it? Sure, but never used it. What MP3s did for personal audio enjoyment 5 years ago, Sonos does for your home, office, or wherever you want today, ingeniously creating a seamless and practically unlimited expandable system. Sonos is literally one of the coolest things I’ve seen in years; not because they reinvented the wheel (even though they kind of did in some places), but because it works. More →

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Oxford University gets quiet as students are banned from using Spotify

Oxford University gets quiet as students are banned from using Spotify

By on January 19, 2010 at 7:37 AM.

There’s nothing like ruining your ears by blasting your favorite tunes while studying up on photochemistry and reaction dynamics, but Oxford students will have to find somewhere else to go deaf. The prestigious university offers free Internet access for its students, but Spotify, the wildly popular music streaming service, has been grinding the network to a halt. That pretty much makes life more difficult for the students accessing the network to, you know, learn stuff. But some of the students who use Spotify daily calls it “discrimination,” with one student saying, “I use it loads. It’s the most comprehensive collection of classical music in one place.” To the students’ dismay, the university retorts, “The university provides free internet access for students because it’s an educational resource. If they want to use it recreationally as well that’s no problem unless it uses so much bandwidth that it slows the network down.”

We don’t feel too bad for the Oxford students. Call it schadenfreude since we don’t get that music streaming service in the U.S. yet. More →

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CES 2010 Wrap Up Podcast!

CES 2010 Wrap Up Podcast!

By on January 12, 2010 at 9:05 AM.

CESbye

We wanted to do something special for the end of CES 2010, so we’ve recorded a nice little wrap up of most of the mobile content we saw as well as some other good stuff like home entertainment, TV’s, etc. Check out our wrap up podcast below!

Special shout out to Sprint for sponsoring our CES content.

Download:

Download MP3

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Apple acquires streaming music company Lala

Apple acquires streaming music company Lala

By on December 5, 2009 at 12:47 PM.

lala_home_logoCirculating reports suggest that Apple has purchased online streaming music company Lala. Lala offers a service that allows users to stream music from Lala’s massive online music catalog without any advertisements. It also provides users free streaming of a track once, with unlimited streams costing a mere 10 cents per track. Users can easily build up an online catalog of music that they can access anytime, anywhere they have access to a web browser. Think of Lala as an iTunes in the cloud, which most likely is the reason Apple bought the startup, but whether we’re looking at an actual new service coming or Apple’s interest in music licenses remains to be seen. More →

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