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Zune 2

While Microsoft’s first generation hardly put up a fight against Apple’s juggernaut the soon to be released Zune 2 seems to have a much better chance of gaining a foothold in the market. Last 100 has posted their take on the top 5 things the new Zune got right - we agree with them for the most part, although they do seem to underscore the challenge Microsoft faces with the iPod Touch, iPhone, and the rest of the iPhone line.

The new flash based Zunes do help widen their appeal, but Apple has anDAP available in $50 price increments from $79 all the way up to $400 - something to fit everyone’s budget and needs. Apple has also beat Microsoft to the punch on mobile song purchase, but the new improvements to the Zune store shows that Microsoft is gaining momentum to catch them on features.

All in all, the Zune 2 has a chance with it’s bevy of new features. With the goal of helping the brand Microsoft is also smartly planning to release a firmware update for the 1st generation Zune that will include all of the new features. Now might be a good time to pick up a Zune on the cheap if you don’t mind slightly older hardware but are interested in the new store or social networking features.

Read More | Last 100

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Mac nano

We’ve been hearing rumors of doing away with the Mac mini for quite a while now, and we were even surprised when the line received a refresh a couple of months ago. Now rumors are churning again that Apple might finally kill off the Mac mini, in favor of a new, slim Mac nano. As you can see in the image above, the Mac looks similar to an Apple TV, and includes an IR receiver. The question is - is this the Mac nano? As we all know, launches at the end of this month. We are expecting a few Apple announcements surrounding that - possibly an updated Apple TV, HD movies in iTunes, and some changes in the Mac line.

[Thanks, Jake!]

Read More | XYHD

Skitch Splash Screen

We just wanted to throw out a friendly reminder for all of our readers using . We are running a contest where we will be giving away two invitations to the amazingly fantastic Beta. If you missed it, check out our Skitch review to see what all the fuss is about, and hit our Skitch discussion thread to make your entry. All we want to know is what you’d Skitch. The contest ends on October 10th, so get in quick!

Read More | Skitch Giveaway Contest

iTunes Wifi Music Store

After a couple of frustrating days fighting with a flaw in password entry fields in the newly released iPhone software version 1.1.1, Gear Live has finally gotten the chance to probe the inner depths of the iTunes WiFi Music Store. The new WiFi Music Store brings mobile media impulse buys to the millions of iPhone users all packaged up in the typical Apple fashion: sexy, easy to use, and slick as glass. While my experiences with the WiFi Music Store were not 100% positive it’s definitely off to a stunning start and has great potential. Click through the jump to continue reading the review to learn more about the plusses and minuses of our adventuresome journey through ‘s mobile media e-commerce wonder.

Click to continue reading The definitive iTunes WiFi Music Store review


Skitch

The concept of screen capture has been around almost as long as the graphical user interface, but only recently has it truly evolved. has featured the Grab utility for a while which made capturing a screenshot, selection, or single window easy, but once you have the capture, what do you do with it? Plasq solves this problem with , the evolution (or perhaps revolution) of screen capture to the Mac. The program blew us away when we first got our hands on it, we even wrote a quick post of our Skitch impressions after five minutes of use. Now we have an in-depth review of the Skitch beta, and a chance for you to win one of two Skitch beta invites Gear Live has to offer.

Click to continue reading Skitch: review of OS X’s hottest new information sharing tool

Read More | Skitch by Plasq

V-Moda Vibe DuoWe recently reviewed the V-Moda Vibe Duo headset for the Apple’s iPhone and were quite impressed. Aside from a faulty pair of earbuds our biggest complaint was the lack of a button on the microphone to enable answering of calls and pausing of music. It sounds like V-Moda has listened and they just announced the 2nd generation Vibe Duo which will feature the same button as Apple’s stock iPhone earbuds. The 2nd generation Vibe Duos promise the same spectacular sound quality, luxurious cloth wrapped cables, and comfortable design.

It looks like the new version will drop at the same $99 price tag. If you have been considering a pair of these fabulous earbuds it might be worth it to wait a few weeks for the new ones to show up in stores.

Read More | V-Moda press release

iTunes Starbucks Music Store

As promised and Starbucks started their rollout of the Starbucks WiFi Music Store in select cities. Gear Live is lucky enough to be in Seattle, the first city to get the special version of the iTunes Music Store in our Starbucks. The service allows laptops, iPhones, and the iPod Touch users to connect for free to the iTunes store while sipping lattes without having to pay for for a T-Mobile Hotspot account. Click through for our full impressions on Apple’s new partnership with the coffee mega-store Starbucks.

Click to continue reading The Starbucks iTunes WiFi music store reviewed


BevyProtect your iPod shuffle with this original Bevy case that also allows you to wrap up your earbuds, carry your keys and, after removal of your PMP, pop the top off a brew. The Bevy was awarded the 2007 MacWorld design contest, leading us to believe that Mac people cannot do without their Heinekens (just kidding.) The gadget is temporarily out of stock, but you can pre-order for the next batch at Firebox at a price of $14.95.

(Thanks, Jennifer)

Read More | Firebox

iTunes Wifi Music Store Bug

In a previous post, Gear Live discovered that the new iTunes WiFi Music Store has a few bugs here and there. The bug I encountered prevents some users from authenticating easily to purchase tracks. With a little sleuth work I managed to track down the problem: the password fields in the new iPhone software version 1.1.1 don’t work well with capitol letters in passwords. Click through for a full run down of the problem, and how to fix it if it affects you.

Click to continue reading iPhone password entry in software version 1.1.1: seriously flawed


45 nano case

We love it when retro tech collides with new school gadgetry, such as the Boombox Bag. Now comes the “45 nano” from Contexture. Despite its name, an audio cassette (not a “45” vinyl single) is hallowed out on one side and fitted with plastic casing, with openings for the click wheel, headphones and AC adapter/charging dock. The other side still looks like an audio tape. Currently, the 45 nano is for 1st and 2nd Gen nanos, but Contexture is currently working on a version for the newest 3rd gen iPod nano. Available for $45 USD.

Read More | 45 iPod Cases via Retro to Go


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