After leaving the line stagnant for two years, Apple has just announced the new 5th generation iPod touch. What's changed? A whole lot. The new iPod touch picks up the same 1136 x 640 4-inch display that the iPhone 5 has. Both cameras see upgrades as well, with the rear camera being bumped up to 5-megapixels with LED flash, and the front camera now supporting FaceTime HD at 720p. Bluetooth 4.0, AirPlay mirroring, and 802.11a/b/g/n support are included as well. The 5th generation iPod touch is also the thinnest, coming in at an incredible 6.1mm thin, and weighing in at 8 grams, and sees a processor upgrade with the Apple A5, and picks up the new Lightning connector.
Dear Microsoft: Manage your message or someone will do it for you. Case in point: the recent, none-too-surprising news that the lovely Zune HD will meet a timely death. Within minutes of the news breaking, stories and tweets flooded the Internet declaring, "The Zune is Dead." This was followed by people asking if everything "Zune" was gone or just the hardware. I assured people that the obvious answer was the hardware only, but is it that obvious? And why wasn't Microsoft out in front of this information?
Yes, the fact that Microsoft is giving up on music player hardware is bad news for Microsoft and good news for Apple, but it's up to Microsoft to stand up and explain its decision and strategy. In the absence of clear information from Microsoft, everyone else can and will shape the message. So now, even though most within the industry are quite sure that the Zune software and service, which lives on in phones and PCs, is in no danger, average consumers are no longer certain. They could at this very minute be making plans to switch to Apple, iPods and iTunes.
If I were Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, I would have stepped forward and explained the shift away from music-only hardware (leaving aside the fact that most music players do a whole lot more). Then, while wiping away one single tear, I would have quickly shifted gears to a clear strategy, which isn't even new: "For mobile devices, we're focusing our attention on Windows Phone, which already has Zune and Xbox Live functionality." Then I'd add, "This, friends, is not a loss. Lessons we learned from Zune hardware's five-year life have given us invaluable insight and made it possible for use to deliver the Windows Phone platform and some truly stellar partner-driven hardware to wrap around it."
In addition to all the other news coming out of Apple’s fall music event, the company announced a complete redesign of the iPod nano. The click-wheel is gone, as is a lot of the display size, as Apple instead focused on making this thing more like an iPod shuffle with a multitouch display. The new nano is 46% smaller and 42% lighter than the previous model, and while it gains multitouch and what appears to be a modified version of iOS, it loses the video camera (of course, if you want an iPod with a video camera, the new iPod touch meets that need.) Apple says the battery on the nano will provide 24 continuous hours of audio playback, and the device is available in seven colors. You can get the 8GB model for $149, or the 16GB nano for $179. Pre-orders are live now, and they ship in a week.
Read More | iPod nano
Sony has recently release the NWZ-W252 W-Series Walkman MP3 player, a fully wearable unit tailored for those that like to listen to their power song while sweating it out at the gym or on a run. The device is water resistant and lightweight, so it should obviously do well in situations where you are moving and have the potential to get wet, or rained on. We were able to get our hands on the Sony W-Series NWZ-W252 Walkman, and we put it through its paces as best we could. How does the device stack up? Read on, and we’ll tell you.
The GoGear Muse from Philips has some very interesting features including a 3-inch display, plus 16GB of internal storage space. Its battery is good for about 25 hours worth of audio playing, and five hours of video playback. As far as formats are concerned, the GoGear Muse can handle MP3, BMP, GIF, PNG, OGG, as well as Real Video and Real Audio formats. Cutting edge, we know. The GoGear Muse is planned to come to Singapore first for $244, after which point we’d hope to see it hit the States, although that is unlikely.
Read More | Hardware Zone
SanDisk, maker of everyone’s favorite microSDs, released the Clip a while ago, hoping that people would warm up to playing MP3s off of their specially made music cards instead of going to iTunes. It didn’t exactly revolutionize the digital music industry, but the company is obviously still high on the idea, what with the release of the Sansa Clip +.
The Clip + is supposedly “one of the best sounding MP3 players on the market,” and it features the microSD slot, a one-inch OLED display visible under sunlight, an FM tuner with 40 preset stations, and even a microphone for voice recording. You should be able to get the Sansa Clip + now in 2GB ($39.99), 4GB ($49.99), and 8GB ($69.99) models in red, blue, or black. Amazon is selling them at a 13% discount.
Read More | Press Release
Following up on the minimalist MP3 player market, like we’ve done recently with the Archos Clipper, and it would appear that iMuz is coming out with a model of their own with the MX1. It has a 1.5 inch 262K TFT LCD display, five preset EQ sounds, AVI video and photo playback, a voice recorder, e-book reader, and integrated FM radio. They are available in six different colors including mint white, pink white, orange black, red black, lovely pink, and green black. Pricing details have yet to be announced.
Read More | AVING USA
Sure, Apple has the iPod shuffle, Creative has the Zen Stone, Sansa has the Clip, and it appears that Archos has entered this mini-MP3 Player market with the Clipper.
There is not much that can be said about this particular MP3 Player except what we have seen before in similar minimalist Portable Media Players (PMPs). That is, a simple downloading of audio files via USB, and minimal buttons for less complications. As usual, the memory is about 2GB, and the price is low at $30.
Read More | Anything But iPod
Sure, MP3 Players are a dime a dozen (in variety, not price). And sure, they usually have the same features such as loading tunes via USB, the FM Tuner, and small ones usually hold about 2GB worth of memory.
In fact, the only thing that makes the Haier America Trainer stand out is the fact that it has a built-in clip, a heart-rate monitor, a pedometer, plus a stop watch. So for those who are interested in taking tunes with their workout, you might want to give this one a try. It is available now for a price range of about $55-65.
Read More | CNET Reviews
Elecom’s Xcalgo Series headphones handily fold up when not in use and its cord retracts to keep it from tangling by the push of a button. Available in 3 colors or the pirate design, they have an impedance of 32 ohms, frequency range of 20 Hz to 20kHz, pressure response of 101dB/1mW and a cord length of 0.8m. Add to that the EHP-OH-900’s soft earpads to keep comfortable while eliminating extraneous noise. The Xcalgos are available for $75.99.
Read More | Audio Cubes
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