With Apple not leaking a whisper of evidence as to whether it plans to bring any sort of music subscription service to iTunes, iPhone and iPod Touch owners have had to rely on third-party apps to fulfill their dreams of unlimited, on-demand tunes. However, there has been one big caveat: the available services relied solely on streaming, which means mobile Touch users and airborne (or underground) iPhone users were out of luck. Until now.
Rhapsody's iPhone and iPod Touch app is fresh out of beta, and version 2.0 of the software comes with at least one key advantage … Read more
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this column lead to content with adult language.
Thanks to the digital age, nothing is sacred anymore. If you need some proof for this statement, just consider Facebook. The social networking site is a veritable cesspool of vulgar content, unintelligible pseudo English, and TMI. That's not to say the site doesn't have value, because it most certainly does. It's great for reconnecting with old friends, planning gatherings, and sharing amusing media bits from around the Web, among other things.
But as a tool in matters of the heart, Facebook decidedly falls into the gray area between super useful and downright shady. With that in mind, I've put together some tips to navigate the choppy waters of romantic relationships via social networking.
Part I: Finding love First things first: DO look for love on Facebook. Why not, really? For one thing, it works. I have two close friends who met significant others through the site, and one is now engaged as a result. For many people, it's easier than asking someone out in person, whether for reasons of shyness or propriety. Further, it's not much different than meeting through a dedicated dating site such as Match.com or OKCupid--in fact, some might be even more comfortable admitting to meeting through Facebook since it's not a dedicated dating site. … Read more
Swedish headphone maker Jays isn't exactly a newcomer to the market, but the company's products had yet to make their way to the CNET Reviews desk until recently. The first pair to earn the privilege is a sleek, $98 on-ear model with a superlightweight and compact design dubbed the V-Jays. These headphones offer reasonably balanced sound and an understated style that will surely appeal to the eye of many an earbud hater, but flimsy elements and an anemic low-end response will turn some potential buyers off.
With its fingers in nearly every aspect of the audio economy, Sony's no stranger to the music market. The company has been churning out headphones of all types and sizes for many years now, and it can no doubt count itself as a top seller in this category, which means it must be doing something right.
However, though Sony headphones are patently "not ugly," I don't think it's a brand most people would consider when on the hunt for a superstylish audio set. Certainly, the company's earphones tend to lean more toward understated than … Read more
We've all seen their handy work. Some of us have even had nasty personal encounters with them. And a handful of us have turned into one at one time or another. This not-so-mythical creature to which I refer is the dreaded Web troll.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a troll, in Internet speak, is a person who posts "inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community." Such individuals are generally rude, unpleasant, and highly irrational. What follows are some guidelines that will help you avoid troll-like behavior, as well as some pointers on what to do if you find yourself drawn into a skirmish with one of these hideous beasts, though the short answer is DON'T bother.
As always, I like to start with the obvious: when you're commenting on an online article or participating in a Web forum, DO remember to stick to the topic at hand. Readers of a blog dedicated to cute puppies probably have no interest in a rodomontade about your Norwegian Forest Cat, and commenting on a writer's physical appearance on a blog about tech/food/news/cars is probably not the most appropriate course of action either (not that we don't appreciate the compliments). Also, DO be sure to read the entire article (or all of the available information) before offering an opinion or critique. If not, you risk coming across as confused, ignorant, and possibly slightly illiterate.… Read more
A couple years back, iTunes faithful were rewarded with TuneUp Companion, a handy plug-in that makes filling in, cleaning up, and correcting ID3 tags for tracks in one's music library a cinch. Now, those who prefer Windows Media Player for their music management and playback have been invited to the party. As of today, users will be able to download a version of the software for WMP from the TuneUp Web site. Even better, the first 50 CNET readers to e-mail TuneUp will receive a code to activate a Gold account, which regularly costs $29.95.
GPS devices, cell phones, and MP3 players have been coexisting with cars for years, so one might think that people would know by now how to use car tech without irritating and endangering the lives of others. One would be wrong. To that end, several states (six for handheld calling and 22 for texting, to be exact) have passed laws banning various types of cell phone activity while driving.
But tech in the car isn't all bad. Gadgets can provide much-needed directions for exploring a new city or hours of entertainment on lengthy road trips. Sometimes it's hard to imagine how we ever lived without such niceties in our vehicles, though I'm sure many of you remember it as clearly as I do (I went on a lot of road trips when I was young...and played a lot of I SPY*). I would never suggest we ditch car tech, but I can provide tips to keep yourself safe, sane, and entertained on the road.
First, let's get a no-brainer out of the way: DON'T text while driving! No matter what the law in your state says, it's never a good idea to text and drive. In fact, one Car & Driver study found that it's safer to drive drunk, not that I recommend that, either. If you must check a text from someone or shoot off a note of your own, either pull over or wait until you're at a red light. And speaking of obvious: how about you put down that hamburger/cigarette/mascara/infant (!!!) and focus on the freakin' road already.
Also, DO consider purchasing a Bluetooth headset for talking while driving, though I'm not convinced that this necessarily safer than talking on the handset. However, it is the legal route in some states (including CNET's home state), and--hey--at least it comes in handy for other situations, such as yammering on the phone while you prepare dinner or fold the laundry. And while we're still on the topic of cell phones, DO make sure you brush up on the laws of whatever state you're driving in so that you'll avoid tickets--and the unnecessary delays and humiliation caused by local police pulling you over and doling out a lecture.
Of course, phones aren't the only things that can distract you while behind the wheel. Make sure you DON'T input GPS coordinates while driving; instead, have a passenger do it, or program destinations before your trip or while stopped. Also, make sure the GPS is mounted on the windshield or dash at eye-level or, when prohibited, set loud enough that you can hear audio directions. In other words, limit taking your eyes off the road as much as possible.… Read more
If you're going to get one accessory to go with your MP3 player, make it a decent pair of headphones. This may seem counterintuitive when you consider that all such devices come with a pair of earbuds in the package, but trust us when we tell you this stock set isn't doing you any favors in the sound or comfort department.
The majority of MP3 players include a pair of hard, plastic earphones with subpar sonic capabilities. Of course, they get the job done, so we can understand not wanting to drop a grip of cash on a … Read more
There's more than one way to skin a cat make a wireless MP3 player, and building it right into a set of water-resistant headphones is an excellent way to do that and ensure that it's ready to hit the gym right out of the box. This is the route Sony took with its original W-Series Walkman back in 2009, and the company is continuing the tradition with the latest iteration of the device. The fitness-friendly player still features an ample 2GB of internal memory, and Sony has knocked $10 off the MSRP, bringing the W-Series down to an … Read more
I know what you're thinking: another iPad article, Jasmine? Really? Must you? The answer is: "Yes, I must." Clearly, it is necessary for me to cash in on the buzz, too--I'm not letting Donald have all the fun! Honestly, though, if you think you're sick of hearing about Apple's latest wonder gadget, take a moment to consider how those in the tech media field must feel.
However, far be it from me to overlook the advantages of my position. Namely, I've already had my hands all over an iPad and I didn't have to shell out a cent for the privilege. This combined with easy access to dozens of people who've had personal time with the device has provided rich fodder for addressing the question on everyone's mind: what--and who--on earth is such a unique gadget good for? As it turns out, I do have a few thoughts on the matter.
First of all, the iPad is really much more suitable for the living room or bedroom than for true on-the-go use, so DON'T bother shelling out for the 3G version. Not only will you have to plunk down an additional $130 for the integrated tech, you'll also be bleeding $30 per month for unlimited data. For the majority of users, this is not going to be a day-to-day multimedia device that you cart around on your person. In the event that you travel with it--because let's face it, flying with this thing is a huge DO--you wouldn't be able to use the cell service in the air anyway, and most likely, your hotel (or someplace nearby) will have some Wi-Fi for you to hop onto. Heck, even planes have Wi-Fi now. Just make sure you pick up some headphones, since none come with the iPad.
Before we stray too far from the topic of using the iPad as an in-home entertainment device, DON'T underestimate the will of third-party accessory manufacturers. Currently, you can turn the iPad into an mini entertainment system by picking up the Apple dock for $29 and connecting some speakers to the back, or get a kickstand for around $50 and stream wirelessly to a set of Bluetooth speakers. But my money's on a speaker dock that seamlessly integrates the iPad and turns it into a totable AV system--surely that's in the near future. (Although the built-in speakers get plenty loud, it would be nice to have an all-in-one solution that props the player up and improves the sound.) And with apps for Netflix, ABC, and more already available, who even needs a regular old TV in the bedroom anymore?… Read more