Our recent Editors' Choice MP3 player might be getting a significant boost in storage capacity. A press release on Cowon's Korean Web site lays out the details for a 16GB version of the iAudio 7, as well as a version of the Cowon D2 that's been beefed up to 8GB and is capable of using 8GB SD expansion cards. No word yet on pricing or availability in the United States. Along with Creative's announcement of its 16GB Zen V Plus last week, there's a good chance that 16GB players will be filling the shelves for the … Read more
San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joel Selvin mourns the loss of audio quality in our iPod-obsessed culture.
He's right: MP3 files and other forms of data-compressed audio, such as AAC (used by Apple's iTunes) and Windows Media Audio, don't contain as much audio data as an uncompressed song on a CD. For long-time music listeners such as Selvin, the difference is striking. (Note that he's talking about data compression, not the audio compression that's misused to "punch up" many modern recordings.)
The first time I heard a CD full of burned MP3 files … Read more
Ezra Dyer's Ferrari F430 road test in the July 1 "Automobiles" section of the Sunday New York Times had me drooling. The lucky bastard didn't just get to tool around in the dream machine, there was something about the way he gushed about the 479 horsepower V-8's "high-pitched, hard edged wail that's unlike anything else you'll hear from a car with license plates," and later on rhapsodized about the car's ability to deliver a "supersonic whip crack from the exhaust that prompts you to look in the mirror to … Read more
We're not judgmental sorts at Crave, as we believe fully that people should have the right to have whatever gadgets they want behind closed doors. Still, we can't help but wonder what's behind a trend we've detected lately: speakers that are into leather.
They're certainly not the only items to drape themselves in animal hide, of course, but we're curious if there's a particular reason to use leather on speakers--on second thought, perhaps we don't really want to know. In any case, the latest example comes in the form of Audio Pro'… Read more
Boston Acoustics today launched a new series of home audio products for the fall, along with a new logo and slogan ("Play Smart") designed to reinvigorate the storied brand. The trio of new product announcements are as follows:
TVee Model Two (September 2007, $400): Add Boston to the parade of brands offering a single-speaker audio solution. Instead of a virtual surround solution offered by the likes of more expensive models from Yamaha, Philips, Nirotek, and Polk Audio, the modestly priced TVee (Television Entertainment Enhancement System, pictured above) is more in line with that of earlier Zvox and SoundMatters … Read more
Dell said it would be doing some interesting things this year, and lo, it has: the company announced Monday it will purchase Zing Systems, maker of streaming audio technology.
Zing currently licenses its technology to SanDisk, for the Sansa Connect, and Sirius, for its Stiletto 100 product. Privately held Zing Systems is based in Mountain View, Calif., and all 120 of its employees are expected to be retained by Dell, said David Frink, a spokesman for Dell. Other details of the transaction were not released.
After almost 20 years of very few acquisitions, Dell's latest streak of buying three … Read more
When a trio of new HD DVD players popped up on Amazon.com last week, the question wasn't so much, "Are they real?" as "How are they different from the existing models?" Toshiba clarified the issue today by officially announcing the three new models in a press release that trumpeted a handful of new features that will appeal to enthusiasts. But some key questions about those step-up features remain unanswered.
First, the basics. All three of the new models boast new, slim cases that are only 59.5mm high (less than 2.5 inches). And unlike many Blu-ray players--including models that cost hundreds more--the new HD DVD players each include active Ethernet ports and upgradeable firmware, so they can take advantage of the growing number of HD DVD titles that make use of interactive online features. The new lineup breaks down as follows:HD-A3 ($300, October 2007): With its output resolution limited to 1080i, the primary appeal of the entry-level model is its affordable price tag. Except for the slimmer case, this looks to be nearly a clone of the current HD-A2, which is currently selling online for as little as $200.
HD-A30 ($400, September 2007): An extra $100 buys you 1080p output, HDMI CEC compatibility (which allows for control between other CEC-enabled AV products when connected via HDMI and using a single remote control), and 24-frame video support (1080p/24).
HD-A35 ($500, October 2007): In addition to the same features as the HD-A30, the top-end model in the fall 2007 lineup adds 5.1-channel analog audio outs, support for Deep Color video and HDMI passthrough audio.
Sounds great. Of course, there's a secret about those cutting-edge features that all those other blogs aren't telling you. … Read more
Classics buffs will remember RealPlayer as the first major digital-media player to sweep the MP3 world. RealPlayer 10 (for Mac and Windows ) sees the legacy of managing your digital library and playing tunes, and ups the ante with added features for optimizing tunes and video. Yet information-choked tabs and constant promotions for premium service get real old, real fast--especially when other (truly) free services out there offer most of RealPlayer's features, minus the open, expectant palm.
Nero has been hooking multimedia hounds for years with its powerful suite of audio and video tools. With a skinnable, intuitive interface, easily accessible user manuals, and a full-featured menu, Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced is big, but doesn't disappoint. Take a peep at Nero's latest audio/video toolkit in the First Look video below.
As an "investment" video sucks. Before you plunk down big bucks on today's cutting edge video just ponder for a second that what you buy today will be tomorrow's landfill.
Pick up a good set of speakers and they'll stick around for a long, long time. Anybody who dropped $15K on an early generation plasma display has surely replaced it years ago, and is probably on their second or third set by now. So their total investment may be approaching twenty Gs! Remember too that early plasmas were standard definition sets and their picture quality … Read more