Jeff, Justin and Wilson start the show off right today with a SNL Christopher Walken reference. Always a great way to start the day. Getting into actual stories, we chat about ways to actually sleep. Tip #1: Sleep when you are tired. iTunes launches an indie music store. Gore Verbinski decides to make a video game based on Clue. And yes, people stalk their exes online.EPISODE 287 Download today's podcast… Read more
Jeff, Justin, and Wilson start the show off right today with a SNL Christopher Walken reference. Always a great way to start the day. Getting into actual stories, we chat about ways to actually sleep. Tip No. 1: Sleep when you are tired. iTunes launches an indie music store. Gore Verbinski decides to make a video game based on "Clue." And yes, people stalk their exes online.EPISODE 287 Download today's podcast… Read more
If CDs really are on their way out, Sony is ready with their replacement: Blu-spec CDs.
"The Blu-spec CD format boasts a new approach to the faithful reproduction of music by utilizing the leading-edge blue laser diode technologies optimized for the manufacturing of Blu-ray," according to CDJapan. The new discs' polycarbonate plastic, optimized for Blu-ray discs, is used "to ensure accurate reading of the data."
Sony doesn't … Read more
Creating ISO images has never been so easy, thanks to Free ISO Creator's basic, functional user interface. We just wish it had included a Help file for novice users.
The user interface is pretty plain, but extremely easy to figure out because it walks you through the ISO creation process. You'll see a tree-style menu file list, and commands for adding files and folders to that list. There are also commands for renaming files and deleting them. Each time you add a file or folder to the list, a size-limit bar at the bottom updates to let you … Read more
Cheap tools to help independent musicians sell their music online are proliferating like mushrooms after a rainstorm: last month I wrote about Audiolife, which gives bands an online store to sell CDs and merchandise with absolutely no up-front costs (they take a cut of sales as you make them). Since then, Audiolife was kind enough to send me a sample CD and t-shirts, and they look and sound adequately professional--certainly fine for independent musicians on a limited budget, although nobody's going to confuse them with the deluxe version of the latest U2 album.
But Audiolife's download store is … Read more
Truth be told, sound bar speakers don't sound very good.
That hasn't stopped them from selling like gangbusters. People happily buy the fantasy of single-speaker surround sound, mostly because they don't want to deal with all the wires and hassles of a bona fide 5.1-channel home theater.
I don't blame them. Even stereo, HT 2.0 systems are too intrusive for some buyers. Enter Canton's nifty CD 90 SB sound bar, it looks and sounds terrific.
I have to admit sound bars can look pretty slick mounted under a flat screen display, but there is the tricky matter of mounting the thing and running wires through walls. I suppose that's why most sound bars wind up sitting on a shelf under the display.
My real beef with sound bars is they don't sound all that good. The worst offenders are the ones that try to do some sort of fake surround sound. True, the better ones spread the sound well out to the sides of the room. Some project sound forward, towards the listener. But it's never as good as real 5.1.
Most sound bars' "surround" is only heard when you're sitting directly centered relative to the display and speaker; once you're over to the left or right the surround effect fades away. Worse yet, the sound quality of these things is iffy: it's either harsh or dull (most sound bars don't have tweeters). Mind you, sound bars aren't cheap: the better ones sell for between $1,000 and $1,800. For that much dough you could buy a really decent 5.1 speaker/subwoofer package with way better sound.
Granted, sound bar sound is passable when you're watching a movie, but try listening to music, and you'll realize just how lame the sound is. … Read more
You could down a $5 Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino in ten minutes, and it's gone forever. How many Cafe Mochas do you buy in a week? Tasty as these frothy concoctions can be, it's a fleeting satisfaction, isn't it? An album's worth of music is a repeatable pleasure, something you may enjoy dozens of times over the years. A CD is still a lot cheaper than a week's worth of Starbucks.
Sure, it's a matter of how you want to spend your disposable income, and whatever puts a smile on your face. But when I … Read more
Typically, the pitch behind single-speaker sound bars is that they'll recreate the immersive experience of a true 5.1 home theater system, but without all the wires and hassle associated with such a system.
The Canton CD 90 SB is decidedly different than the average sound bar: it doesn't do surround sound, it requires an AV receiver, and you'll still have to run three sets of speaker wire to the unit. The upside is that it's one of the best-sounding speaker bars we've heard, especially when it comes to music.
With a $650 suggested retail … Read more
Update, Thursday 1/30: Today, I received a followup e-mail from Audiolife CEO and co-founder Brandon Hance. Audiolife has changed its cut on digital album downloads from $3.50 to $3.00, and on digital singles from $0.35 to $0.30. The company has also posted a detailed price list, including prices for different configurations of t-shirts. I've modified the original post accordingly.I stumbled across a new service on Wednesday that, at first glance, seems to trump CD Baby for selling CDs online.