Imagine earning your B.A. degree just by creating a prototype. That is almost what German designer Joonas Saaranen did by combining music with mobility. His Reppo II is a hardshell backpack that would be great on camping trips, bicycling, and even exercising. Inside are speakers and an amplifier. It took him about 8 months to build and his focus group seemed to think he had a dynamic idea. We do, too and hope he moves it along to reality.
Read More | ubergizmo
Brando is always coming up with the latest in USB gadgets and has just acquired two mini-speakers. Both work with all electronics that have a 3.5mm stereo audio connector such as a cell phone, MP3 player, or CD player. They also have a 2W output, rechargeable Li-ion batteries, and on/off and volume switches. You can even wear them with included neck straps. Both come with audio and USB cable. Select from the Mini Lips or Mini Mouse with flashing eyes at a price of $14.00 each.
Read More | Brando
Update: Turns out, Apple is saying this is an unsubstantiated rumor.
“This is not news nor is it a scoop,” says an Apple Inc. spokesman, declining further comment.
In a USA Today interview, Steve Jobs said that:
It will happen — I hope by the first half of next year. As soon as they’re ready, we’re ready.
The original story:
Get ready to welcome Sgt. Pepper to your iPod. Sir Paul has finally reached an agreement with Apple and the iTunes store. For $400 million, they will receive the Beatles’ back catalog. Proceeds will be divided between McCartney, Ringo Starr, the families of John Lennon and George Harrison, and no doubt will trickle down to Heather Mills. Michael Jackson, EMI, and Sony, who also own part of the Beatles music, will also receive stipends as part of the deal.
Read More | Crave
Whether you have your own band or want to start a mini-music production company, Ripfactory has unveiled its NAS with integrated CD ripping engine. Plug the Ripserver into a network connection via USB and it will hold up to 1TB of music files. Insert a CD into the loading drive slot and it will be converted in a matter of minutes, adds it to your library with its UPnP media server, and spits it back out. No keyboard or monitor is needed. Ripserver runs on Linux and needs minimal setup. Select from 500 or 1TB capacity, black or white, for £599 (~$1,200.00) or £699 (~$1,400.00.)
Read More | Ripfactory
Pitchfork Media is launching an online music TV channel April 7. Think of it as “YouTunes.” The site will feature mini-documentaries, music sessions, concerts, interviews, and music videos. They will also offer films, concerts, and music DVDs at no charge. With full creative control, the original site already has events, reviews, and news tidbits, and is simply moving up the technological ladder with Pitchfork.tv.
Pitchfork promises a hi-res display and will be adding personal playlists so you can save your faves. Let’s hope that the company sticks to its standards and offers music other than a monotonous Billboard Top Ten.
Read More | Pitchfork Media
Want to see what algorithms look like when translated into music? That is exactly what WolframTones is all about. It takes programs from Stephen Wolfram’s computations and turns them into tunes. No matter how many times you select a type of music, you will get a new permutation and mini-light show. Create rock/pop, jazz, classical, piano and other compositions and adjust pitch, time, and instrumentation. If you would like to play or find out how the phenomenon was created, check out his site.
Read More | WolframTones
Sprint has joined some of the other major mobile companies in offering a $99.99 unlimited calling plan. Referred to as “Simply Everything,” it not only includes talk, but gives you Web browsing, Sprint TV and Music, GPS navigation, text, video, and picture messaging, and push-to-talk. Existing customers can switch without a fee charge and newbies can sign up for the rate with a two year contract. While we are in no hurry to run to the company to get in on the hot deal, we hope their competitors will find this a fine time to vie for our dollars.
Read More | Sprint
In our quest for the most nauseatingly cute musical accessories, this one comes pretty close. The Speaker Monkey is a 7-inch full range stereo speaker that runs on USB or batteries. It is compatible with PCs, Macs, iPods, CD and DVD players or any other gadget that has a standard audio jack. If the Monkey isn’t your style, we suspect that you can choose a Penguin or Turtle to appease your inner animal needs. Each one comes at a price of $6.88.
Read More | Spilsbury
We have had a lot of musical gadgets on Gear Live recently, but leave it to Tomy to come up with something that almost looks like what it is supposed to be. The Guitar Rockstar, at a size of 250 x 210 x 70mm, has numerous buttons to make music. There are all the basic chords, as well as those sharp, flat, major, and 7th. With both strum and free-play, would that a real guitar could be this easy for those of us that just don’t have the fingers for it. The musical toy will be available in randomly chosen black, blue, and red in June and needs 3 AAA batteries (not included) at a price of £14.99 (~$30.00.)
Read More | Drinkstuff
Apple must be positively giddy at hearing the news that the iTunes Store is now the #2 retailer of music, second only to Wally World. The company claims that it sold 20 million tunes on Christmas Day alone. Based on an NPD Group survey, the top four also included Best Buy and Target. The study also concluded that about 29 million consumers, ages 36 to 50, acquired music legally. They were those that had recently purchased (or received) MP3 players. That was an increase of 5 mill over the year before. That’s a lot of assuaged guilt.
Read More | NPD Group