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The music industry is going through a serious transformation and resurgence these days. Part of the reason for this is the popularity of portable digital music players, such as the Apple iPod and the Rio Carbon. In fact, a recent study found that the global market for mp3 players will generate $58 billion by 2008. You have to wonder, what is it that makes digital audio so enticing in the first place? Today Gear Live takes a look at the allure and the functionality of the MP3 world, so that we could all understand what the fuss is all about.

Click to continue reading The Joys of Digital Audio


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Concert Tape Trading Free Dave MatthewsSo we are now in the maturation phase of the online music world, past the infancy when there was a mad rush to Napster, Kazaa and their brethren. Although those P2P options still exist, there are now legal download options such as iTunes, legal Napster and several others. Even audiobooks have gone MP3, with sites like Audible.com offering the newest novels in formats ready for MP3 players. But I want to look at a niche that has been flourishing since the beginning of the web, and still is an incredible, legal and mostly free option when you want to hear some great music. I am talking about downloading the concerts of bands that are "taper-friendly", which means the band allows fans to record concerts and distribute them freely. So we'll take a look at the history of this concept, what it looks like today, and how to get your hands on some great shows.

Click to continue reading Legal Concert Downloads: A Look at the Tech


Gear Live Playlist Music ReviewsPlaylist takes a look at the world of male singer-songwriters this week, a tradition going back to Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan, and continuing today with a whole list of gifted musicians. New releases by two American newcomers, and some recent releases and a collection essential from their British counterparts. Enjoy the world where all you need is an acoustic guitar and a lyric sheet.

Click to continue reading Gear Live Playlist: Ray Lamontagne, Citizen Cope, Jamie Cullem, Damien Rice, Nick Drake


Gear Live Playlist Music ReviewsApparently we are flying the Union Jack in this edition of Gear Live Playlist. Four of the five artists are UK acts, including a few rock bands and a couple of British rappers. Yes, I said British rappers, no longer an oxymoron. Both Dizzee Rascal and The Streets are considered rappers, but both artists bend the definition of that word to its limits. The Libertines and Muse both have released solid efforts, and finally, Johnny Cash's "At San Quentin" is a record that everyone needs to own. So, enjoy our trip that begins in the British Isles and ends in maximum security prison, here's Playlist.

Click to continue reading Gear Live Playlist: Libertines, Dizzee Rascal, Muse, The Streets, Johnny Cash


JetAudio Cowon iAudio 4 Color MP3 Player Review



With the portable MP3 player market being virtually flooded with choices, many stick to the brands they know (naturally). Sometimes, however, it can pay to venture out into new territory. You may be pleasantly surprised. We recently tested the JetAudio iAudio 4 Color MP3 Player and came away impressed. If you are looking for a solid flash-based drive, this may be the one. Click below for the full review.

Click to continue reading JetAudio Cowon iAudio 4 Color MP3 Player


Rio Carbon 5GB Player

Leave it up to Rio to make a product so hot that you can't find it anywhere, except in the back closets of your local Best Buy. There weren't any on display, but you see, it always pays to ask. Even the limited edition, with a run of only 500, was sold out in a matter of a couple days! Gear Live finally has its hands on Apple iPod Mini's direct competitor, the Rio Carbon 5 GB digital audio player. This little number sports an extra gig of space than the Mini, offers 20 hours of life on a Lithium-Ion power supply, and is supposed to have one of the best desktop software systems available.

Click here to discuss the Rio Carbon on the Gear Live Boards

Click below to read our latest review!


Click to continue reading Rio Carbon Review


Gear Live Playlist Lloyd Banks Chronic Future Jeff Buckley Jolie HollandThis week Playlist takes a look at a couple of the albums that everyone seems to be adding to their collections in Lloyd Banks "Hunger For More" along with "Lines In My Face" from Chronic Future. In addition, we give you our next pick Collection Essential pick - be sure to pick this one up!

Click to continue reading Gear Live Playlist: Chronic Future, Lloyd Banks, Keane, Jolie Holland, and Jeff Buckley


What Makes a Great Videogame

As Gear Live braces itself for the onslaught of games approaching us this Fall, we thought it would be a good thing for to reflect on what is it that makes a videogame great? What things do we look for in our reviews, before making a recommendation? What factors are more important than others? Interested to know? Click on the link find out!

Click to continue reading Editorial: What Makes a Great Videogame?


Madden 2005 vs. versus ESPN NFL 2K5With the recent release of the latest iterations of two great football games, many a gamer has pondered which offered the better play experience. Of course, Madden is the old time favorite having been around for over a decade - however, Sega (now using the ESPN brand) has released a superb game at a value price. Which is better? Gear Live contributing reporter Edwin Soto takes both games for a spin to provide some insight.

Click to continue reading Head to Head: Madden 2005 vs. ESPN NFL 2K5


The Cure Review Gear Live Music Columnist Greg Norton brings us his newly formatted weekly article, which will now be titled Gear Live Playlist. Within, Greg takes a look at the latest releases as well as the essentials you need to have in your music collection. This week he looks at The Hives, The Cure, and the good rambler himself, Bob Dylan.

Click to continue reading Gear Live Playlist


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