Our wrap-up from last year's CES was relatively optimistic. "All things considered, this year's CES had a surprising amount of innovative--or at least interesting--tech for cameras and camcorders, beyond the usual bigger/faster/cheaper we've come to expect from the show." Some of the more notable innovations included Sony's back-illuminated sensor, GPS-enabled camcorders, some of which turned out to be pretty good (if pricey); the new SDXC even-higher-capacity card specification; Samsung's odd tilted-lens camcorders; Casio's superburst shooting compacts; and Eye-Fi adding wireless upload support for video to its cards. But while the … Read more
Brace yourselves. Less than two weeks after you open your gifts on Christmas morning, the consumer electronics industry will be reminding you that all those new gadgets--touted as lustworthy just days earlier--are already obsolete.
OK, maybe that's a tad cynical. But it's certainly true that the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 5-10) codifies the trends and sets the bar for what you can expect to see on store shelves for the following 12 months. That's especially true in the home theater category. But before we look forward to the upcoming show, let's take a … Read more
I know this is a post about tech's big annual Consumer Electronics Showcase, but for a minute, let's talk about the annual Macworld Expo. Rather, let's talk about what Apple's backing out of the Macworld Expo means to CES and the category I cover (portable audio and video).
In years past, my January's involved a dizzying dash between San Francisco's Moscone Center and the Las Vegas Convention Center, as I strained to cover Apple's Macwold keynote and a week's worth of CES announcements in the same breath. But without Apple's presence, this year's Macworld (now in February) is far less significant, and I suspect that the iPod-centric vendors who were previously split by the two events will now come home to roost at CES. In short--iPod accessory announcements will likely play a larger role at CES this time around.
The flip side of this observation is that iPod competitors will probably have a harder time being heard. That's of course assuming there are any substantial iPod competitors left, beyond Microsoft.
Last year, Sony made a big stir with their OLED touch screen X-Series Walkman. Today, that same Walkman is being passed over in the discount bin and Sony's latest Walkman models aren't even slated to come to the U.S. We were also excited to see an affordable iPod Touch alternative in the Samsung P3, but by the time the promised 32GB model finally became available, many had already begun pinning their hopes on the Zune HD (and appropriately so). Creative can't even seem to be bothered to ship us their latest player, possibly because they're too busy cooking up smartphones. SanDisk came out with their SlotRadio player, and the world promptly yawned.
The takeaway from all of this is that I suspect we're going to see fewer manufacturers launching iPod contenders at CES just to watch them fail, and more companies exploring the iPod/iPhone accessory space.
Specifically, from the e-mails I'm already getting, I'm going to be up to my neck in… Read more
3GP Player is a basic program that lets users play 3GP videos and other video formats on their computers. Although the program works, we didn't find much about it that was very impressive.
The program's interface is sparse and takes up a lot of space relative to the features it offers. A large rectangular screen contains three widely-space icons; one to load videos, one for Help, and one with 3GP links. A significant chunk of the bottom of the interface is devoted to advertising. The program is fairly simple to use, and we found it easy to open … Read more
Apple quietly launched a new preview service this week that makes it easier for users to view its iTunes music library from the browser.
Dubbed iTunes Preview, the new feature allows visitors to view iTunes content from their browser without being forced to launch iTunes. Previously, when a Web user received an iTunes link, they needed to open iTunes to view its content.
As part of the launch, Apple has updated links in iTunes to redirect to iTunes Preview. When a user copies a link in the software and pastes it into the browser, they will be brought to the … Read more
We all know the mathematical adage detailing how many words a picture is worth. The principal applies equally to search results. Search for anything in Google, Bing, and Yahoo and see how long it takes your eyes and brain to max out on all the written input. (The concept of text fatigue also applies to blog posts, which is why we've included a nice, large picture near the top of ours.)
There is a small bug in Snow Leopard's Preview application that has to do with the search features of the program when finding text in PDF documents. When you look for a specific dollar amount in the PDF document, it will not only locate the search query but will also find irrelevant search results.… Read more
A couple of users on the Apple discussion boards have described a small problem some folks may have with Preview not loading pictures in its main window under Snow Leopard. When images are double-clicked, the program will open and they will show in the sidebar, but the main viewer remains blank.… Read more