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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Satellite radio has me spoiled. I can’t remember the last time I listened to normal terrestrial radio and I have no intentions of going back. However, there are those of you who still partake of FM broadcasts, and for that there’s the Acrilan Radio. The Acrilan is a 4 inch diameter piece of acrylic whose outer body controls the volume, and pop-up center button handles power and volume. Not much going on in the color choice department with only white and silver up for grabs but that’s a minor quibble. A mono speaker and blue LED lighting round out the package. Only one major problem - since it’s made for the Japanese market the frequency range (76.1 - 96.3 MHz) doesn’t match up with that of the U.S.
Sony has a Media Center PC available called the VGX-XL1 Digital Living System - quite a mouthful for what is essentially a run-of-the-mill Media Center PC. Sure, it has some additional bells and whistles, one of which is a 200-disc CD/DVD changer. At first glance, a 200-disc changer is nothing terribly new, but this one has the ability to sequentially rip 200 CD’s without having to be “babysat” during the process. Of course, when you’re not ripping CD’s you can use it to store your DVD’s for immediate access via your Media Center PC.
Right now the only way to get the changer is to buy the whole XL1 package which goes for a tidy $2,299.99 MSRP. In the rumor department though, there’s this one guy who talked to his friend’s mother who knows this janitor who cleans the Marketing Dept. at Sony who overheard…okay, it’s not quite that bad. However, rumor has it that Sony will be offering the changer as a standalone model when their new XL2 PC launches (no ETA on that yet). The changer connects via Firewire, so as long as your MCE has that (and what self-respecting MCE doesn’t?), you’ll be good to go.
Read More | eHomeUpgrade
We love insanely odd gadgets from the Orient. Today, Sega’s iFish has caught our attention. The iFish is basically a toy fish that “swims” across your desk on two wheels. It plays 50 “healing” sounds (read: nature, oceans) and reacts to movement with light effects built into it’s head. Hook it up to a music source, and the iFish will move and groove to the beat, similar to the way the iDog does it’s thing. If you want to import, check out Brando where you can pick one up for $64.90 USD. The iFish hits stores in Japan later this month.
Read More | iFish Product Page (Japanese)
Sonos, Inc., the developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the digital home, has just introduced a new ZonePlayer to complement their original music system. The Sonos ZonePlayer ZP80 allows you play all your digital music, all over your house, on all of your favorite audio equipment – a home theater system, powered speakers, a premium table top radio, etc. By connecting a ZP80 to any amplified audio device via the analog or digital outputs, that device instantly and seamlessly becomes part of a wireless, multi-room digital music system. This provides the consumer with the power to use the full-color Sonos
remote control to manage all of their music, in all of their rooms. “We created the ZP80 because many of the rooms where consumers want to listen to digital music already have an amplifier,” said John MacFarlane, chief executive officer, Sonos, Inc. “Our goal is to provide digital music lovers with a range of products for building a wireless digital music system throughout their homes.” These will be available in Spring 2006 at $349 USD a pop.
Read More | Sonos
Look out y’all, yet another digital audio download service is on the horizon, this it is a result of a joint venture between Microsoft and MTV. The service, dubbed “Urge,” will likely be integrated into the next release of Windows Media Player, and will offer over 2 million songs from major and independent artists, as well as original MTV content in both audio and video form. No word on pricing just yet.
Read More | Reuters
Any Xbox fanatic knows of Major Nelson (also known as the mild mannered Larry Hryb,) the cool Xbox Live employee who manages a blog and
blogcast show. Recently, he let everyone know that we shouldn’t expect Divx support from the Xbox 360 using the Media Center Extender function - ever. Why? Well, he eludes to the fact that there has not yet been one commercial DVD release in Divx format, and therefore, there is no reason to support it on the Xbox 360. He went on to say that Divx is primarily used as a method to “back up” DVDs, and Microsoft doesn’t want to get into any hot water on that front.
We have a much different stance on this issue…
We just got this video from Napster, which we would have normally ignored. However, after watching it, we thought it would be worth sharing, as it gave us a chuckle at the end. It plays off of the whole concept of iTunes hitting you with a 30-second preview, while Napster gives you the whole deal. The video is playable right in this post, no need for a download.
Plantronics has made it known that their Pulsar 590 stereo headphones are now available. Looking at the image, you can see that there isn’t much to them, which is a good thing in this situation. As far as functionality goes, you are able to switch from listening to your entertainment to taking a phone call with the push of a button. There is an omni-directional mic for voice optimization as well, and the unit includes an AC adapter/charger, USB charger, charging stand, travel case, and an in-flight cable. Look for this one to retail at $149.
Read More | BIOS Magazine
Michigan based Visteon is working with US automobile makers to incorporate the USB interface in their new vehicles. This will allow users to plug in a USB flash-drive from which they will be able to play music files. The apparent aim is to replace the CD player’s role in US automobiles. The first of these USB enhanced vehicles will hit the production line in early February, fitted with not only USB but also an interface for the Apple iPod. What we are wondering about, as I’m sure many others are, is whether or not an adapter of sorts will soon follow, allowing vehicle owners with CD-changers to take advantage of the USB interface. I would love to replace my scratched collection of CDs in my car with a flash-drive dedicated to music.
Read More | Just-auto.com
So just about everyone who could afford it picked up the new 5th generation iPod with video support, and it seems that it is a hit. Adding to the myriad of reviews out there, we figured we would do a no-nonsense “quick review” of the device. Not sure what that means? Well, after writing the full review twice and having it turn up as garbled text both times, we have shortened it to hit the keys point to save from further frustration that would result in throwing an iMac through the window.
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