For several years now, the music industry has had quite a scam going.
No, we’re not talking about the insane price of physical CDs. And no,
we’re not talking about the fact that major label artists--the folks
who actually did the work--make pennies on the dollar for the sale of
those CDs. We’re talking about ringtones. iPhone users are luckier than
most--iTunes will let you buy a ringtone for a mere 99 cents. Other
cell carriers and plans can charge up to several dollars more. If
you’re big into custom tones, that can add up fast. Ringer can help you
quickly create your own iPhone ringtones from your existing media. No
longer are you subject to iTunes’ sometimes spotty ringtone
In the pantheon of music-creation software, Live has always presented
an original and truly innovative approach to making music in the studio
and onstage. In this latest release, Ableton has delivered a very
strong balance of new features and interface tweaks, which will
definitely please existing Ableton fans and likely turn the heads of
folks more accustomed to using audio software like Apple’s Logic and
Digidesign’s Pro Tools.
Pixelmator offers a Photoshop-esque experience for those who don’t know
the ins and outs of Photoshop. While it lacks the depth of niche
features that distinguish Adobe’s offering, it matches, and often
beats, Photoshop when it comes to interface, usability, and speed,
offering an extensive feature list of its own.
We’re amazed how many iPod speaker docks these days still won’t play
nicely with the iPhone--it’s been two-and-a-half years, people! Which
is one of the reasons we’re so excited about iHome’s iP1. Besides being
iPhone-friendly, it also looks great, a piece we wouldn’t mind having
in our living room. The sound is a step up as well, which is fitting
since the iP1 is the first in iHome’s new Studio Series line. And
here’s the kicker--the iP1 features some high-tech circuitry that makes
it rock even harder at the touch of a button: the Bongiovi button (more
on that in a bit).
When you’re shopping for an external hard drive, you could go the
conventional route and use a drive that comes in a sealed, tomblike
enclosure, or, for more flexibility, you could consider using a drive
dock, which will allow you to quickly swap raw SATA hard drives in and
out, as if they were CDs or floppy disks. Not only are raw SATA drives
cheaper than external models, they also can save space: Set a
drive-swapping enclosure on your desk and then keep the SATA drives
themselves on a shelf, like old-school VHS tapes (you can find
protective drive cases online for a few bucks each). If you frequently
move large amounts of data around, it’s far more efficient than a desk
full of bulky, conventional drives, each with its own cables and power
The great thing about independent programmers is that they do what they
do for the sheer love of it. Jamie Woodhouse’s Qwak is a great
example--it’s certainly a labor of love, given that he’s been
developing it, adjusting it, honing it, and polishing it till it shines
for nearly 20 years.
Back in the day, people listened to the radio all the time, and
families would gather ’round it in the evenings, and it was all a very
big deal--um, so we’re told. Today it’s easy to look at radio as a last
resort, the old standby when you forget your iPod or there’s no
computer around for firing up Pandora. Fans of radio will appreciate
the Aluratek WiFi Internet Radio, Home Theater Edition, aka the
AIREC01F (another tech product whose name just rolls off the tongue).
Ultimate Ears has been making in-ear monitors for professional
musicians for nearly 15 years. The company was founded by Alex Van
Halen and Jerry Harvey, a sound engineer for the band--a couple of dudes
who know what they’re talking about when it comes to audio. Musicians
rely on UE’s monitors during performances, and now you can bring that
pro-level tech home in the form of earbuds. Even if you’re just
listening to “Panama” while you’re walking the dog, rather than
pounding it out on the skins in a packed arena, Ultimate Ears can make
your iPod rock that much harder.
iPods are great, and we’re rarely without one. But sometimes a pair of
earbuds just isn’t enough--especially when you want some tunes for a
backyard BBQ or basement dance party, or perhaps your favorite
Lemonheads record just doesn’t sound right unless you crank it up.
Either way, Ion Audio’s Tailgater can help you rock with friends,
indoors or out.
The wide open road. The windows down on a warm spring day. The wind
whips through your car and tosses your hair about. The lo-fi tunes
strain to be heard from your car speakers because you’re using a
tape-deck adapter to listen to your iPhone or iPod. If you’re looking
to upgrade your system from its roots in the 1990s, Sony’s CDX-GT730UI
Xplod GT Series CD Receiver (longest name ever) is a low-cost solution
for getting your car to play nice with your iPod or iPhone.