iTunes wants to be your be-all, end-all media player, handling videos, podcasts, music, and even Internet radio. But it's overkill—using iTunes to play an Internet radio stream is like using a bazooka to kill a mosquito, and it's of almost no help in searching for new streams, either. Radium 3 is a cool music utility that lives in your menu bar and offers quick access to thousands of streaming radio stations and services.
GarageBand puts its ringtone-creation feature front and center on the welcome screen, but using its complex interface can seem like overkill when all you want to do is trim a song to ringtone length and export it to iTunes. iToner does the same thing, with a simple, almost spartan interface. It even bundles a few premade ringtones, but they may be there solely to convince you that you can do a better job yourself.
If you do much multiplayer gaming, a good headset with microphone is pretty much a must. And if that gaming consists of shooters of the Call of Duty variety, a surround-sound headset can make the difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of being dominated by a hyperaggressive 12-year-old, thanks to the ability to pinpoint the direction of important sounds—sounds like, you know, shooting.
If your digital music and videos just aren't loud enough, Boom is a handy Mac app that can crank up the volume—and even nondestructively alter the files, so they'll play louder on your iOS device and Apple TV, too.
Hopefully by now you have a solid grasp of Smart Instruments, and if you don't fret not! We've got instructions for that, too. But if you do and are aching to get your own song out to the masses (or just send it around to your family and friends), read on and we'll show you everything you need to know about making sweet, sweet music with your iPad.
Travel speakers aren’t just for traveling, or at least not for going too far. The thoughtful design of iHome’s iDM11 makes it great for road warriors, but also for rocking out in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage, or anywhere that isn’t already wired for sound.