It’s rare that things like this get covered in print before they do online, but XM‘s upcoming XMp3 device is one of the exceptions. Appearing in the latest issue of Popular Science, the XMp3 has yet to receive an official release date or price. What we do know is that it can decode, and record, up to five XM stations at one time. That’s kind of cool, we guess, although radio recording isn’t really our thing (although, some of that O&A stuff can get pretty hilarious.) Once we know more, you’ll know more. For now, just know it’s on its way.
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For those who bought a (RED) iPod, there will now be a new music service which will donate half of its profits to fighting AIDS in Africa. Set to launch in September, a subscription will cost $5.00 a month. Similar to a newsletter, members get an e-mail weekly that has an exclusive song from well known artists as well as one from an emerging one. The subscribers will also get a bonus “Crackerjack Surprise,” such as a video and an update about Project Red. All songs are DRM-free so even non-iPodders can take part.
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If you are the type that wears a cap just to look cool, the iLogic Sound Hat will certainly add to your sophistication level. Plug in your iPod or MP3 player through its 3.5mm jack and listen to your tunes via the integral speakers located inside the cap. Made from polyester with a fleece lining, it is washable once you remove the speakers and is suggested for those over 8 years old. At the very least it is a lot more comfortable than earbuds and one less cord to tangle. The Sound Hat is available for £14.99 (~$30.00.)
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In this episode of Unboxing Live, we open up the Microsoft Zune 80 and Zune 8. These are both from the Zune 2 line, which features the Zune Pad - a touch-sensitive pad that also functions as a button.
The Zune 80 features an 80GB internal hard drive, matching it up with the current entry-level iPod classic at $249 USD, while the Zune 8 has 8GB of flash storage available in its smaller frame, which sells for $199 USD. Of course, you can find both products for less than their MSRP if you do a little looking around. We also give you a look at the included accessories with each in this episode.
Klipsch says that they now have the planet’s smallest and most lightweight earbuds for iPhones, iPods, or any device with a head phone jack. Their Image earphones weigh only about 10g and are smaller than an average human’s fingernail. The phones come with a set of silicon Contour Ear Gels which the company claim are anatomically designed to fit the human ear canal and are not only comfortable, but provide an excellent seal for isolating sound. The earphones come with a case, 1/4-inch and airline adaptors, and gel cleaning tool for $349.00.
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We have written about USB aromatherapy before, but Brando has outdone themselves with this dispenser that also has an AM/FM tuner, speakers and an in-line for an MP3 player. The gadget should do something for your mood visually as it changes between 7 different shades. At a size of 88 x 88 x 116 mm and a weight of 124 g, the device comes with a USB cord and needs batteries to keep the music, odors, and colors going. Find it for $30.00.
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Sandisk never fails to impress with their MP3 players. At CES they were showing off the Sansa View and the Sansa Clip. These new players show up Apple’s current lineup not only in features, but as well as in price. The view’s new hotness: available in capacities up to 32GB (flash based, not hard drive). The clip trounces the iPod shuffle by offering not only 4GB for the price of 1, but also throwing in a screen, FM tuner/recorder, voice recorder, and an equalizer. Both players are available now for half the price (and twice the features) that their Apple made counterparts command - perfect for the thrifty music lover in your life.
Now that you have a whole slew of new gadgets to play with, you are going to need something to hold them on your desk or in your car besides your pockets. The Bendable Buddy can hold cell phones, MP3 players, mini-cams, even glasses and cans. Peel and stick tape allows it to stick to any surface that may not be totally stable, such as a dashboard. The Buddy is only $4.98 and the company offers discounts if you want to buy some for the entire office.
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If your children are anything like my three-year old son, then chances are that they are just as familiar with your gadgets as you are. They want to hold them, use them, mimicking you every step of the way. The thing is, gadgets aren’t the most affordable things in the world, and children don’t seem to understand that. This is where the SanDisk Sansa Shaker comes in - it’s a fully-functional flash MP3 player that is meant for little kids. SanDisk did a good job with this one too - just holding it you can tell it’s durable. It has two built-in headphone jacks for tandem enjoyment, as well as a speaker if you prefer your children not put on headphones. It’s called the Shaker because, when you sake it, you advance it to another track, shuffle-style. It is shaped perfectly for little hands, and has a couple of job wheels for volume and track selection. The device runs on one AAA battery, which will last for about 8 hours of playback. You can pick one up for $30, which holds 512 MB of content (about 120 songs) or opt for the $40 1 GB player, which will hold about 240 tracks. They are available in pink and blue.
Read More | SanDisk Sansa Shaker on Amazon
Many were anticipating that the short and stubby iPod nano would be a disappointment when the rumors of the device were running rampant. Once Steve Jobs introduced it, all fears were quelled. Just get one into your hands, and you will no longer be a skeptic. The 2-inch screen obviously isn’t the best for watching full-length movies, but for music videos and the like, it’s worthy. If you are all about the audio, the nano holds up to 8 GB worth of data. It’s thin (0.3 inches), the screen is fantastic, and the battery lasts for 26 hours. Just stay away from Cover Flow on this one - it’s sluggish.
Read More | Apple iPod nano