Handy for location recordings such as podcast interviews. If you need to record pro-quality audio with minimal fuss, M-Audio’s MicroTrack 24/96 is a self-contained wonder, smaller than anything else that can do this kind of stuff. Pity it’s not built as well as we’d like.
It'll look cool in your home entertainment center or with a set of powered speakers. When you attach the Squeezebox 3 to your stereo or powered speakers and use the remote control to connect to your Ethernet or Wi-Fi network, you can play the music from your Mac to wherever your Squeezebox 3 is located. When we reviewed the Squeezebox 2 , we dinged it for its complicated setup and high price compared to its main competitor, the Roku SoundBridge. These complaints are still true of the Squeezebox 3, so what makes it better than its predecessor? Two things: It has a better design and it does more.
This pint-sized cutie has impressive sound but disappointing FM performance. Complete with legs, eyes, and a mouth, the iWoofer will brighten your day with its cheerful, animal-like visage. It features two small front speakers and a woofer on its cute little bottom, encircled by four blue LEDs that light up when powered via AC or 4 AA batteries - the lights can be toggled by a button on the iWoofer's side. Three sound sources are supported: your iPod, a built-in FM radio, or an auxiliary input. With a set of supplied holders, the iWoofer handles and charges (over AC or USB) any iPod from the second generation forward except the nano - a separate iWoofer nano is also available.
Was your iPod nano meant to be seen and heard? That's your call. Macally's mTune-N headphones have a slot for your iPod nano, so instead of hiding in your pocket, it's out and about for everyone to see - on your head. Accessing the nano's controls is a little tricky if you decide to leave the mTune-N on. The headphones have a 3.5-millimeter jack, so you can connect a male-to-male cable (included) between the headphones and the headphone jack of an iPod or Mac.
The TransPod is the iPod car adapter we've been looking for all our lives. Well, at least since late 2001. The TransPod might be the perfect iPod car adapter. It's well constructed, uses any FM frequency, allows FM presets, is compatible with any dockable iPod, and charges your 'Pod battery. Plus, the signal it transmits to your car radio is solid - we were able to use more than a dozen FM frequencies, all with excellent clarity.
The Symphony offers a nice way to integrate digital music into your home entertainment center, if you'd rather leave your Mac out of the picture. Olive Media Products calls its Symphony a "wireless music center." It's a single device that handles pretty much every listening-to-digital-music function you can think of: It rips, mixes, and burns music to CD; plays music; streams tunes to your Mac; and uploads songs to an iPod. It's great - unless you have a Mac, which already does most of what the Symphony can.
Here's an artsy - and fine-sounding - alarm clock. The iPod is no ordinary digital music player, so it's fitting that the JBL On Time looks far from ordinary. This alarm clock can play music from your iPod, and it looks good on your nightstand - assuming you've filled your room with modern Scandinavian furniture. If you're more of a traditional, Thomasville-type person, then the On Time (available in white or black) may clash with your style
The Hi-Fi looks cool without its black-mesh covering. If you want a good-sounding iPod speaker system, you can spend as little as $149.99 for the Logitech mm50 (www.logitech.com) or as much as $399.99 for the Klipsch iFi (www.klipsch.com). The iPod Hi-Fi nestles into the upper end of that range at $349. Its sound quality goes a long way toward justifying its price tag, but we can't help wishing for more from the company that invented the iPod itself.
1. PODCAST TRACK: Manage an enhanced podcast's artwork and Web links here.2. LOOP LIBRARY: Click the eye icon to load your loops.3. TRACK EDITOR: Flips into Chapter Manager mode when the Podcast Track is present.4. ART-ANNOTATED CHAPTER MARKERS: Spice up your audio podcast.5. MUSICAL TYPING: Play your Mac's keyboard like a piano.6. MEDIA BROWSER: All of your other iLife stuff is right here.7. DUCKING CONTROLS: Twiddle the arrows to set which tracks cause others to duck in volume.