I’ve been working on a personal website for quite some time. I’m using iWeb because it’s pretty simple. However, my uploaded audio files (entirely ethnic songs) from iTunes can only be accessed by Macs or the very latest PCs. Since this personal website caters to my friends, most of them in different parts of the world, very few use Macs and most are using older PCs. When I asked a friend overseas to test my website, he didn’t see any of the audio files at all.
There are thousands of applications out there that let you record audio. Some are swell for podcasting. Others can rip the audio right out of a YouTube video or suck the sound out of a Skype conversation so that you can listen to it at a later date. You could use any number of one-trick ponies to take care of the various audio chores in your life; or, if you're a savvy Mac user, you could whittle that number down to just one.
Apple’s iMovie and Final Cut give Mac users intuitive tools for editing their home movies from dry, amateurish “Wave to the camera, kids” productions into something that’s actually worth watching. But if you start with cruddy footage, there’s only so much you can do in post-production to improve it. Two of the biggest problems that can’t really be fixed later on are poor sound quality and a jittery camera. So when you’re ready to take your backyard epics to the next level, we offer the following improvements to your movie-making setup. They won’t break the bank, but they’ll definitely improve your work. Next stop, Sundance?
The iPhone’s iPod functions replaced an actual iPod in my pocket long ago. But as great as it is to have one device I can use to tweet, listen to music, check my calendar, and make the occasional voice call, for me, the iPhone is a less than perfect music player. Without hard buttons for navigation, I can’t skip to my favorite tracks without having to look at the device. Luckily, Etymotic’s new hf3 headset has an inline remote for playback control (and taking calls), and this time around, they’ve added volume buttons as well for the ultimate in control.
Bigfoot may get the majority of the media’s attention, especially after his stint on The Six Million Dollar Man. But the real star in the half-man/half-bear/monkey/gorilla arena is the Yeti. While Bigfoot is out stomping his footprint into mud, the Blue Microphone Yeti (shown left at very close to its actual size) is doing a bang-up job recording your podcasts, band practices, and events. Pretty good for a mythical creature--er, an affordably priced USB mic.
Why doesn’t this great audio receiver include great audio/video streaming tools? The NetBoxx R-904N sounds good, but its streaming is more annoying than awesome. You have to dig up your own Mac software, you’ll fight the weak interface, and you’ll be rewarded with video-resolution issues. We’d hoped that this one box could rule our A/V needs, but you’re much better off buying a standard audio receiver and an Apple TV.
There was a time when listening to music meant sitting in front of a stereo and popping in your favorite CD--or maybe even an actual vinyl record. But these days, we do most of our listening via iPods or from our Mac at our desk. Which is fine, except for the fact that most computer speakers suck. But these speakers from Bowers & Wilkins are so good, you should just stop reading this review now and start earning some of the 500 bucks you’ll need to pay for them.
Internet trolls and obnoxious PC owners know that the quickest way to annoy a Mac user is to claim that the only reason people buy Apple stuff is because they “want to look cool.” And smart Mac fans dismiss this criticism as quickly as it comes, easily recognizing it as little more than baiting. We love our Apple gear for tons of reasons, most having to do with functionality and ease of use. But it’s true that Apple designs great-looking devices, and that’s certainly part of the appeal--it’s not our fault that the other guys insist on making such ugly stuff. So it’s no wonder that we often gravitate toward equally good-looking accessories.
Created by San Francisco–based designer Joey Roth, the simply named Ceramic Speakers are exactly that: speakers built from handmade ceramic enclosures, cork, and wood.
Your MacBook’s built-in speakers are fine for the odd YouTube clip of dogs jumping in slow motion or for listening to NPR streams. But when it comes to bringing the rock to your desktop, they’re pretty weak sauce. Twelvesouth aims to improve your audio situation with its BassJump, a USB subwoofer built to boost the beats coming out of your MacBook.