U.K. newspaper the Telegraph has been giving lots of coverage to Radiohead's recent decision to offer its next album on a bid-for-download basis, with lots of breathless headlines. Some of the paper's analysis seems overly simplistic to me--the labels were in trouble before Radiohead's move, and younger kids buy plenty of CDs and downloads, just not from flavor-of-the-minute pop artists like they did five years ago. But the coverage emphasizes how much Radiohead's move is shaking up the music industry.
If programs were people, the sleeker, trimmer-looking Camtasia Studio 5 would be the guy or gal who, after emerging from a months-long stint with a personal trainer, has now stretched out on the sand to enjoy the response.
Behind the scenes, TechSmith's Camtasia team has been pumping serious iron into a handful of new features for each of Camtasia's major recording, editing, producing, and playback functionalities. The final result is a more robust screen recording and producing app that's gained significant muscle without added fat. While there are still some flaws to work out, Camtasia Studio 5 offers streamlined performance for the same price as its predecessor--$299 new; $149 to upgrade.
Here's a look at the new and enhanced features in order of appearance.… Read more
Wow. When we first saw this photo on Akihabara News, it felt as if we'd fallen into a time machine. This system looks exactly like a Panasonic stereo we had in 1985.
Yet the "Faltima 010" is indeed a new product, though it does have a distinctly retro-looking built-in turntable on top of the stack. But unlike the all-in-one compact units of the past, this one is self-contained to make it easier to convert tunes from vinyl to CDs, MP3s or pretty much any digital format you wish. (Sorry, there's no 8-track slot so far as … Read more
Growing up, my musician brother started out experimenting with music using a four-track tape recorder that he used to blend together guitars, keyboards, and vocals--something that normally requires an entire band, or some advanced audio-mixing equipment. Tjoon is an interesting new Web service, aimed mostly at musicians, that attempts to do the same thing using Webcams. It splits up a video workspace into four quadrants, and lets you, or others, come together to record four 30 second clips, all within the same shot. Instead of trying to do this simultaneously, like eJamming (coverage), Tjoon is completely asynchronous, meaning you can … Read more
When a friend turned me onto Zoom's H2 stereo/four channel digital recorder ($200), my first impression was that it looked like a man's electric shaver. It's not just for musicians, students can record seminars and conferences. I think it'll come in handy when I'm doing interviews.
The H2's selectable recording quality runs from 64-320 Kbps MP3 up to much better than CD quality, 24 bit/96 KHz linear PCM (WAV files). Four-channel, 360-degree surround recordings can be made in 24 bit/48 kHz format with the H2's two sets of built-in microphones--or … Read more
DVD-recorders with hard drives may be old technology, but they're commanding astronomical prices on the free market these days. Case in point: We reviewed the Panasonic DMR-EH75V about a year and half ago when it had a list price of $500. If you search for the DMR-EH75H on Amazon, you'll see three resellers (all with reputable ratings) selling them for insane prices:
New DMR-EH75V: $1,895 New DMR-EH75V: $1,899 Used DMR-EH75V: $1,498
Is it just a glitch with Amazon? You might think so, but that's pretty clearly not the case. Jumping over to eBay, we found some recent auctions for the same product.
Sure, that's less than half of the Amazon prices, but they're still very high. How often does the price of electronics increase after being used for a few years? What's going on here?
The answer is pretty simple--if you know the gritty details of consumer electronics and a little economics.… Read more
We have been hearing news about the upcoming HD recorders, and now it seems that Sharp has jumped the gun with not one but nine Blu-ray models, though only for Japan. The lineup includes a top-of-the-line 1TB hard drive model and an assortment of disc-only equivalents in contrasting hues.
Collectively branded under its Aquos family, the BD-HDW20, BD-HDW15, BD-AV1 and BD-AV10 all feature dual HD tuners, DVD/CD backward-compatibility and the new Aquos Fami-Link or HDMI-CEC.
The hard drive-enabled HDW-series also supports film-centric 1080p24 HDMI for judder-free movie playback. However, this lacks 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray support, relying on the onboard … Read more
I admit it, I don't know the meaning of the word fishizzle.
I know it's popular with the hip-hop generation, a group that a new community site called Global Grind is pursuing. Plenty of people complain how young urban hipsters degrade the English language with their patois. I would suggest that the new venture is better off with words like fishizzle than by polluting the mother tongue with phrases like the following:
"Global Grind is a next generation start page solution that gives users the ability to aggregate content, wrap community around that content, utilize a proprietary … Read more
Warped LPs are the bane of vinyl loving audiophiles. Non-flat platters play havoc with phono cartridges' ability to accurately track grooves and worse yet, the warps make demands on power amplifiers as they try to reproduce wavy records' very low frequency undulations. Woobly LPs sometimes make your speakers' woofers pump in and out. In other words, flat records just plain sound better than warped ones.
Furutech's DFV-1 Record Flattener uses heat and compression to "iron" warps smooth and flat. The device clamps the record, slowly applies heat and gentle pressure, and finally cools the record. The automated … Read more
With luxury turntables reaching prices well into six figures, a salient question arises: What about the quality of the albums themselves? Even the most ardent vinyl collector has lost a few records to warping over the years.
That's where the "DFV-1 Record Flattener" will prove its worth as long as it stays true to its name. The device, made by Tokyo-based Furutech, claims to be a "one-stop, one-button solution" that uses a "carefully controlled heating and cooling cycle it flatten all your warped records, even those with only slight irregularities that still unsettle your … Read more