Right, the name attracts a certain amount of attention, but Schiit is no joke. The California-based company made its name with the very first product, the little Asgard headphone amp, which I enthusiastically reviewed on this blog back in 2010. Since then more Schiit headphone amps and digital converters won raves from me. This time out we're back to the Asgard, in its revised Asgard 2 format. The price is still $249.
Music videos are no small potatoes for YouTube, and Google's looking at making them bigger in Google Search results -- literally.
As part of Google's quest to more tightly integrate its different services, the company appears to be experimenting with how music videos appear in Google Search results, according to the blog Google Operating System. The top search result for a music video would be a significantly larger preview of the video itself, in the style of a Google Now card, with additional information such as the artist name, song title, album name, and year released.
It's … Read more
Ever been to a symphony and imagined standing in front of the orchestra waving your arms around in that mysterious way conductors do?
The Computer Orchestra lets you do that -- if you don't mind your musicians having a motherboard and a battery instead of a head and arms.
The crowdsourced project by three media and interaction design students from Ecal University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland, lets users create and conduct their own orchestra by choosing an array of digital music samples and then assigning them to computers situated in a specific formation. … Read more
Congrats to a very lucky Stace B. of Tempe, Ariz., for winning a 50-inch Seiki 4K/Ultra High Definition TV in last week's giveaway. We'll all be meeting at Stace's place Monday night to root for Bill Nye on "Dancing with the Stars," OK? If you'd rather tune that ruckus out, you can do so using this week's prize.
We're giving away a pair of full-size over-ear HE-400 headphones from HiFiMan. While most headphones of this sort have drivers that work like miniature cone or dome speaker drivers, the HE-400s use thin-film, flat "planar magnetic" drivers that produce clearer and more dynamically alive sound. Those drivers do add a bit of weight to the headphones, making them better-suited for at-home use with a receiver or headphone amplifier than for portable music players or phones. … Read more
For US users, Yahoo has introduced the ability to save content for later, Fernando Delgado, Yahoo senior director of product management, mobile, and emerging products, said in a blog post. Users simply tap a button and come back later to "My Saves." That feature will make its way to the desktop version of Yahoo in the coming days so users can save something on their computers and read it later on their phones.
Yahoo … Read more
Onkyo has a long history of making high-performance, budget-priced speakers. Even their home theater in a box speakers were a cut above the speakers Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Yamaha, and so on were making, back when I was reviewing scads of HTIBs years ago. Then again, the Onkyo speakers were usually a good deal larger than the competition's, and it didn't hurt that most Onkyo speakers were made of wood instead of plastic, and had larger woofers and better-quality tweeters than most HTIB speaker systems. No wonder Onkyo HTIBs were, year after year, the best-sounding HTIBs. So when I … Read more
Pandora has emerged a partial winner in a legal case that pitted it against the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.
A federal court in New York has ruled in favor of Pandora's motion that it can play all of the songs covered in the ASCAP library, the online music service announced Wednesday. Pandora had argued that a consent decree with ASCAP gave it a blanket license to play all such music despite attempts by some publishers to negotiate their own separate deals.
The case arose when ASCAP members EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Universal … Read more
Pandora's iPad app on Wednesday got its biggest revamp since the Apple tablet came into being.
The same day that Apple is slated to roll out iTunes Radio in the US, Pandora added elements like social sharing to its tablet app in the first major changes to the application since debuting on the device when it was introduced in April 2010.
The Pandora iPad update allows users to learn more about artists and share via Facebook and Twitter. A music feed provides a timeline of your music preferences, such as stations created.
At the same time, Pandora updated the … Read more
Michael Bublé might be one of the most charming singers in the music industry -- and footage of him taking a fan's smartphone and recording himself at a recent concert probably won't hurt that perception.
A brief video clip that quietly emerged last week shows the moment from the perspective of the unidentified smartphone-carrying fan at a concert attended by thousands.
Bublé, walking nearby and singing "To Love Somebody," unexpectedly (but politely) grabs the young woman's smartphone and -- without missing a beat -- continues to sing while recording himself. Bublé looks directly into the camera and sings a few lines, then passes the phone back to its rightful owner. As expected, the young woman's priceless expression conveys an extreme level of excitement over the surprising act. … Read more