Review: Ted Baker Six Pack

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:25
Category: Review

By Robert Kaneko
Today’s mobile community is in desperate need of portable power. As our iPods and iPhones gain functionality, they also eat through their built-in batteries. My 8GB first-generation iPod touch will last for a full day if I’m just using it to listen to music. However, if I start playing games, surfing the Internet, checking email, watching video and doing all the other things I bought the Touch for, my battery life plummets. It’s not a big stretch for me to use up the internal battery within two or three hours. Enter the Ted Baker Six Pack.
Contrary to what the name might imply, the Ted Baker Six Pack is not a strange new beverage. It is a portable external battery that will power and charge just about any small mobile device you can think of. In fact, if you are familiar with the Proporta Mobile Device Charger, the Ted Baker Six Pack is the same product in prettier packaging.

Apple Releases iTunes 8.1 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:07
Category: Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released iTunes 8.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 63.4 megabyte download, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

  • Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation).
  • Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ.
  • Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows.
  • Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs.
  • Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods.
  • Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus.
  • Includes many accessibility improvements.
  • Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.
  • iTunes 8.1 is available for free, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be snagged using Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, positive or negative, let us know over in the comments or forums.


    Apple Releases Third-Generation iPod Shuffle

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 09:32
    Category: iPod shuffle

    Apple on Wednesday introduced the third generation of its iPod shuffle music player, the smallest of its iPod line and now nearly half the size of the previous generation.
    According to Macworld, the new Shuffle boasts a feature called VoiceOver, which enables the uniot to speak your song titles, artists and playlist names. The shuffle can speak 14 languages including English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
    The new unit’s controls are now located entirely on the earphone cord and allow users to play, pause, adjust volume, switch playlists and hear the name of the song and artist. The iPod can also provide information regarding battery life on the fly.
    According to Apple, the third generation iPod shuffle is significantly smaller than a AA battery and holds up to 1,000 songs.
    The new iPod shuffle is available in silver or black and features a built-in stainless steel clip. The unit is available immediately and retails for US$79.
    If you happen to grab one today, let us know what you think about it by dropping an e-mail to chris @


    Japanese Developing Headphones Which Could Allow iPod to be Controlled by Facial Movements

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, 08:58
    Category: iPod

    iPod users may soon be able to adjust the volume of a song or flip between tracks via a motion of their head according to Macworld UK.
    Per the article, Japanese researchers have developed a pair of headphones that use infrared sensors to interpret facial movements as a way of controlling a digital audio player.
    “An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue out, like in the famous Einstein picture.
    If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back,” Kazuhiro Taniguchi from Osaka University’s Graduate School of Engineering Science told news agency AFP.
    The headphones might be able to monitor the user’s mood and play a track to correspond with how the user is feeling at any given moment.
    “It monitors natural movements of the face in everyday life and accumulates data. If it judges that you aren’t smiling enough, it may play a cheerful song.”
    It is thought the headphones will be patented in Japan before being made available to the public in the next few years.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


    Regarding Yesterday

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:51
    Category: Opinion

    As you may have noticed, there was no news yesterday.
    Not that there wasn’t news, per se. Things happened, software was updated and announcements were made and covered.
    From my end, I spent a fair amount of the day at a local glass repair location since someone had decided to put a rock through my front passenger window, then bounce the same rock off my front windshield, starring about 40% of it.
    I mean, how best to celebrate the six month anniversary of my car not being broken into than by breaking into my car?
    The good news is this brought me over my $500 deductible, so you can’t argue with that. Plus, they left the rock…so I have a bonus rock if I need it.
    The bad news is they snagged my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit and my Griffin FM radio transmitter for my iPod (which were actually stowed away in the middle console and out of sight).
    The stuff’s mostly been replaced, no one was hurt and the police have yet to assign someone from Loose Cannon Division to the case. Still, there was zero coverage yesterday and I apologize. You guys come to the page every day and this is appreciated.
    On that note, I’ve invested in a trustworthy new anti-theft device to follow my Honda Civic around town. There have been rumors that its performance and track record is a bit spotty, but it’s running Windows Vista and nothing could possibly go wrong…


    Rumor: Apple Executives Rethinking iPhone Pricing for 2009

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 13:54
    Category: iPhone

    With a new generation of iPhones all but certain this year, a discussion between analysts and Apple’s top brass has also dropped clues that the iPhone’s pricing may not be static this year.
    According to AppleInsider, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research mentions in a research note that a discussion with Apple COO Tim Cook, CFO Petter Oppenheimer and worldwide marketing senior VP Phil Schiller point both to an upgrade to the touchscreen device as well as to the possibility of “different pricing/price points” this year, with Cook “examining iPhone’s business model” for possible changes.
    Apple execs Cook and Schiller have dropped teasers regarding 2009 as being “very exciting” year for the company’s handset.
    With no concrete details emerging, Sacconaghi was quick to dampen rumors of an iPhone nano or a similar low-budget cellphone. Without naming a source, he gathers from his investigations that the company isn’t presently chasing such a concept.
    Any future iPhone, Mr. Sacconaghi said, will probably have at least a web browser and access to the App Store, the latter of which has Cook, Oppenheimer and Schiller particularly “bullish” about the iPhone’s success as it gives Apple an advantage over rival smartphone makers.
    One detail which remained static was Cook and Schiller’s continued insistence that the iPhone wouldn’t come with a hardware keyboard. The duo seemed to inflect that a fixed set of keys made it harder to implement different keyboards, especially where different languages were concerned and would also make it harder for third-party developers hoping to use their own custom control schemes. Using the touchscreen as the primary input improves Apple’s bottom line by letting it ship what’s essentially the same phone across many different regions, the executives say.
    Were a price shakeup to occur, it wouldn’t be out of character for Apple. Each year of the iPhone’s existence has had at least one major price shakeup: the iPhone’s maximum price fell from US$599 to US$399 in 2007, while the iPhone 3G in 2008 not only reduced this top price to US$299 but switched the behind-the-scenes profit model from revenue sharing with carriers to a heavy device subsidy.
    While Sacconaghi doesn’t make many predictions in his report, he repeats frequent expectations of an iPhone in summer and also believes Apple may update the iMac in March.
    If you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.


    Canadian iPod Tax Approved, Computers And Phones Likely

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2007, 10:05
    Category: iPhone

    canitax.jpgiPod users may be paying a little more for their tunes in the near future, but this could be a good thing. In a ruling released by the Copyright Board of Canada, they have decided that iPods and digital media devices could easily be held under the private copying levy that currently stands on the sale of CDs and DVDs, as well as other recording mediums.
    This levy was set in place in 1996 to bring funding back to the artists who may lose money through private copying, which millions of Canadians do every day. The decision was in line with the Copyright board’s previous rulings, which set a precedent for Canadians being legally allowed to not just copy files to their digital media devices, but essentially be in the clear when it came to downloading content online through peer to peer software, says Michael Geist, Canadian copyright law expert.
    “Moreover, given the Board’s view that the levy potentially applies to any device, including personal computers, it also provides further confirmation that peer-to-peer downloading is covered by the private copying levy,” says Geist on his website. (Thanks Michel M.)

    CityNews: iPod Taxes Approved, Computers And Phones Likely

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    REVIEW: Future Sonics Atrio Earphones

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 11:02
    Category: Review

    Like you, I’m an iPod lover.
    I find that there are two main applications where I use my iPod with earphones: doing yard work or while working out at the gym. When I’m in my vehicle, I connect my iPod to an Alpine iDA-X001 head unit via a docking cable in the center console. When I’m at home my iPod is usually attached to one of a few speaker systems that I use.
    That being said, I’ve been testing Atrio series (US$199) headphones from the gang at Future Sonics. You’ll recall that I’ve been a huge fan of their FS1s and especially their SoftWear custom fit sleeves, so expectations for the new ‘phones are high.
    More than three years of R&D went into developing the Atrio and it shows in the sound quality. The tag line for the Atrios is “bigger sound at lower volume” and it’s true. The benefit with higher quality earphones is that they sound better at a lower volume than a cheaper earphone at a higher volume, which saves your hearing. You shouldn’t have to crank the volume all the way up to enjoy your music. It’s better to invest in a quality pair of earphones and listen to your music at a lower volume.
    More after the jump…


    Speck’s new iPod nano cases

    Posted by:
    Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 2007, 11:27
    Category: Cases

    Speck Products has released a three new cases for the iPod nano second generation (aluminum).
    ToughSkin 2Tough (US$25) features a DropGuard shock absorbing system. It has a one-piece design with a snap-fit enclosure and comes with built-in screen protection and a belt clip.


    ActiveSport Lite (US$30) is an armband case with a sewn-in screen protector. In the gym it fits pythons from 8-23 inches and can be removed from the armband.
    SeeThru Lucid (US$25) is for the person that likes to preserve their iPod’s look and feel and protect it at the same time. It’s a hard lucite-like shell case that includes a snap-in swiveling belt clip.
    Two more pix after the jump…


    XtremeMac Tango: iPod Speaker System

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 08:26
    Category: Accessory


    I’ve been using the XtremeMac Tango speaker system for the iPod (US$199) for about a week and it’s fantastic. Over the holiday it was really nice to be able to plug in my iPod and crank the Christmas tunes (Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocks, btw.) Then when it’s time to get down with some, you know boogie music, you can switch playlists and rock out.
    Tango is technically 2.1 speaker system featuring two forward facing 1-inch tweeters, two 2.5-inch mid-range speakers and a 4-inch downward-firing subwoofer. All of the five speakers have high quality neodymium-magnet drivers. Tango’s sound quality is excellent, vocals are clear and crisp and the subwoofer provides enough bass to rock most house parties. Stabilizer feet grip on most surfaces so that bass vibrations do not cause the unit to shift.
    My favorite feature, not found in other iPod speakers I have tested, is the wireless remote control. The remote allows you to adjust track, volume, bass and treble controls. The other nice feature in the Tango are the 3.5mm audio/video line in and out jacks. Many iPod speaker systems have an audio input, but not many have an output.
    Tango works with all dock connector iPod models and charges iPod while docked. It comes with three universal dock well inserts to accommodate the various iPod footprints and five international plug adapters (US, UK, EU, AUS, KOR/PPK).
    Speakers are a subjective thing and vary a lot depending on the type of music that you listen to. I recommend bringing your iPod into an Apple retail store and trying the Tango out for yourself. I think that you’ll be impressed.