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In this episode, we catch up with Ken Castle of SanDisk, and he gives us a rundown of all of the features of the new Sansa e260. If you are looking for something that will provide you a lot more features than the iPod nano - at a cheaper price - the Sansa e260 looks to be it. Ken tells us why you should own one. Look for our review in a future episode.


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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

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Bose SoundDock

Bose has recently updated their SoundDock iPod accessory, finally making the product available in black to go along with the new 5th generation iPods with video. Some say that the SoundDock produces better sound than the iPod HiFi while remaining $50 cheaper than the official Apple product. You can pick up a Bose SoundDock in either black or white for $299 USD.


Read More | SoundDock Product Page


RIAAThe RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is at it again, but this time, instead of suing consumers, they’re waging war against XM Radio.  The lawsuit centers on the XM Inno, a portable satellite receiver with the ability to record songs.  The RIAA is seeking $150,000 in damages for each song that XM users record on their devices.  This of course is in addition to the royalty fees that XM already pays out for the “privilege” of broadcasting music.

Sirius Satellite Radio is being excluded from the lawsuit, even though their S50 device offers similar features, because they reached an agreement with the RIAA last month.  In other words, Sirius already bowed to the RIAA’s demands and coughed up whatever additional fees they were demanding.

David Butler, from XM Radio, said, “The music labels are trying to stifle innovation, limit consumer choice, and roll back consumers’ rights to record content for their personal use.”  So, what David is saying is that everything is pretty much status quo.


Read More | Top Tech News


Pandora MCE Plugin

We’ve talked about Pandora before, a music service which recommends new music for you based upon your favorite artists.  A plugin has surfaced to merge the power of Pandora with Microsoft’s Media Center 2005, and while the installation process isn’t idiot-proof, it’s still easy enough for all but the most computer illiterate among us. 

Since “simple” is often times the best, the plugin sticks to that ideal with usage that couldn’t be easier.  Browse through your collection of artists to find one you like, stab the “info” button on your remote, and choose “More…” to let Pandora do its thing.  The only downsides so far seem to be a formatting issue (since Flash-based Pandora was never intended for the “big screen”), and some minor performance issues with the author’s website (the plugin runs a web application on said site).  To help ease the first a tad, and eliminate the second, a refined plugin has been created that runs off of a mirror site.  The links to both versions of the plugin can be found below.


Read More | Colin’s Blog via eirikso
Read More | Refined Pandora MCE Plugin


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeIn this show we review the iTrip Auto, go over Boot Camp, detroy technology, and more:

THE WIRE
PowerMax DA4000 MR Mobile Repeater
Apple’s Boot Camp
Ultimate iPod Case

GIZMATIC
iTrip Auto Review
Walit Review

INTERVIEW
Phil Bogle, Jobster

BREAKIN’ STUFF
Audiovox 2-Way Radio
U.S. Robotics Fax Modem

Here’s how to get the show:
Subscribe: iTunes iPod / H.264 | iTunes MPEG-4 | RSS iPod Feed | RSS MPEG-4 Feed

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Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4

Gear Live Bleeding EdgeThis week we talk with Sonos, show off Nyko’s Xbox 360 Faceplate Maker, announce our second Xbox 360 giveaway, and more:

THE WIRE
YouTube’s 10-minute Upload Cap
iPod Volume Limit Update
Sony Style Seattle Grand Opening

HIGH SCORE
Nyko Xbox 360 Faceplate Maker

SOFTWARE
MoRU Review

GIZMATIC
Sonos Interview

GIVEAWAYS
Make My Day DVD Winners Announced
Another Xbox 360 Giveaway: Yes - another one!

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Length: 33:34


Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
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Google is preparing to launch a music download service, according to research firm Caris & Company.  It is rumored that Google has been meeting with leading music executives for “networking opportunities.”  The new site is expected to gain support from the music industry, as iTunes does not offer flexible pricing or a subscription service.  Rumors were also confirmed at a recent analyst meeting where Google highlighted plans to expand into downloadable media.


Read More | Forbes


iTunes Ever wonder how it is exactly that iTunes works?  Well, we have your hookup — no need to wonder any longer.  HowStuffWorks has published a complete, exhaustive, in-depth article explaining in detail how iTunes actually works.

The iTunes Music Store is composed of XML-based pages, lots of them encrypted using 128-bit AES in CBC mode. AES-CBC is a type of symmetric-key encryption. AES (“advanced encryption standard”) basically takes a 128-bit block of code and reorganizes it into a 128-bit block of “ciphertext” using a particular key (an encryption algorithm). CBC mode (“cipher block chaining”) is a method of disguising any encryption patterns that might reveal the key.

It’s really quite an interesting read, covering all the aspects of what iTunes does, how it works, and why.  Great for the inquisitive mind, the Apple geek, or anybody with an inquisitive nature.


Read More | HowStuffWorks


Shakira V-CASTAs it turns out, Shakira’s new music video and single Hips Don’t Lie (which we can actually vouch for - we have yet to be lied to by any pair of hips) will be debuting exclusively on Verizon’s V-CAST network. This will give V-CAST subscribers the jump on viewing the new video, even before any television distribution outlet gets the chance. The package also includes behind-the-scenes footage, ringtones, and the like. The video will be made available to traditional channels at a later date. We expect to see mainstream entertainment hit mobile devices in limited-exclusivity fashion more and more, especially as ultra-portable devices become the norm.


Read More | TV Envy


iPod Hi-Fi

The biggest of the “fun new” Apple products of the day turns out to be the iPod HiFi Boombox. Calling the new accessory “Home Stereo. Reinvented,” the product shares some of the features of the iPod, but with the quality of a home stereo device. The boombox is a three-driver system enclosed in one unit, featuring an iPod dock right at the top. If you have an iPod shuffle, you can use the auxiliary inputs in the back to connect the device. The nice thing about the dock is that it will fit any of the dockable iPod models using inserts. The iPod Hi-Fi has built-in handles on both sides, making it portable. The power supply is built into the unit, so no need to lug around a bulky power brick. Even better, though, is that is can run on six D batteries. Nice for when you forget to bring your electricity generator with you to the beach.

Behind the black grating lie two 80 millimeter mid-range driver with sealed acoustic suspension, along with a 130 millimeter dual-voice coil woofer. In order to enjoy the iPod Hi-Fi to the fullest, you will need to download an iPod update that will be made available shortly. This will add a new “Speaker” menu item to the iPod menu interface, giving you control over tone, backlight, and album art settings. The iPod Hi-Fi can be controlled with the Apple Remote, which comes bundled with the unit. It can also accept audio input through an auxiliary jack and SPDIF optical audio input, which means it can be used with non-iPod audio players. Our only concern is the lack of an FM tuner. I mean, would that have been so hard? You can pick up an iPod Hi-Fi starting today for $349 USD.


Read More | iPod Hi-Fi Product Page


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