On today's show, Brian Tong's secret sources seem to indicate that the iPad 2 might be hitting stores sooner than expected ... we'll see. The announcement is March 2! Also, the FTC looks into kids buying all those Smurf Berries in game on their iPhones, and radiation from cell phones does actually make things happen in your brain, we just don't know what it means. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
If you've ever sat around with friends and mourned the death of the mixtape, you'll certainly appreciate the first half of today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast. While Jeff was at home for the break, he stumbled upon a a collection of old cassette tapes including the Cool Side/Awesome Side mix you see up there. It's got a solid collection of '90s hits including "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows, Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," and, of course, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
I spy "Crazy" and something that starts with "Livin...," which I can only assume to be Britney Spears and Ricky Martin. Just kidding, Jeff, but seriously--we've all pulled some pretty embarrassing stunts in a pathetic attempt to win a girl's heart, so stick around to witness the humiliation.
Speaking of death, we're (kind of) sad to see the demise of the CrunchPad. The brainchild of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and Fusion Garage, the CrunchPad was supposed to be an aluminum tablet computer with a 12-inch LCD screen running Ubuntu Linux and Webkit browser. Unfortunately, Arrington reported today that the CrunchPad project is officially dead. We're disappointed that we'll never be able to test the product ourselves, but we're sure that Arrington has something else up his sleeve.
We imagine that a lot of you guys will be traveling by plane for the holiday season, but what if you were forced to hand over your iPod to security agents to check it for pirated music at the airport? Sounds like a nightmare, but Wilson tells us that the Australian government is apparently proposing a plan to search iPods and other MP3 players for illegally downloaded songs, punishable by heavy fines or even jail time!
From a technological stand point, we're not even sure how the government plans on checking for purchased vs. bootlegged music. At the end of the day, it's always comforting to know that you'll NEVER get busted for listening to The 404, and isn't that the most important thing?EPISODE 477 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Today's show covers Wilson's ever-growing locks of hair and Google ads catering to stupid people. We also take a look back at the original Sony Walkman and examine the best-selling video games of the '90s. Finally, stick around for our weekly Audio Draft Pick sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.fm!
The first segment of the show is dedicated to Wilson's beautiful head of hair. I think I met Wilson's hair long before I ever met the man, and while I've always loved its golden highlights and butter-soft touch, I can't help but think of the Herculean Kevin Sorbo every time I glance in its general direction. Maybe it should start introducing itself with us at the beginning of the show.
Lots of nostalgia on today's show! After a long examination of the way Google is marketing ads to stupid people, we run down the top 50 best-selling video games of the '90s. Most of the picks are no-brainers, but there are a few surprises in there, including Frogger for PS1 coming in at No. 46. Did people really pay money to buy FROGGER on a DISC?! Scary to think about now.
Next, we launch into a story about 13-year old Scott Campbell swapping his Apple iPod for the original Sony Walkman. Fresh on the heels of the gadget's 30-year anniversary, this leads us to reminisce about the influence of the Walkman on all subsequent mobile audio products. We all had them (at least those of us born prior to 1990) and absolutely loved making mixtapes and mixtape art for our friends and significant loved ones. Unfortunately, we get so nostalgic that both Jeff and I reveal humiliating stories that you won't want to miss.
Long live the Sony Walkman! You were there with us through good and bad times, my friend--we'll never forget you.
We're also very psyched today, not only because the date is 7/8/9, but also for the Weekly Audio Draft, brought to you by Beck's Beer and Last.fm! Also, big thanks to Dylan Swart for sending in a poster for the segment. It's my pleasure to introduce today's band, Matt Pond PA.
Like everyone, the transition from middle school to high school wasn't easy for me, but music like this, among others, helped me push through it and I'm proud of these guys for continuing to put out such heartfelt records after 12 years of lineup changes, relocation, and subtle changes to their sound.
The sample song on today's show is called Several Arrows Later from the album "Several Arrows Later." The music combines smooth, gentle vocals with beautiful instrumentation for a unique sound that refuses to be pigeonholed into today's genres. The word "emo," although thrown around a lot in describing Matt Pond PA, is a cringing understatement for this band. Granted, all of the band's music is emotional by nature, but what I like the best about Matt Pond PA is that each of its songs strikes a different chord--each one means something different to the listener. Check out Matt Pond PA and get hooked!
(Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News and Reviews.)EPISODE 377 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Making a cassette mixtape in the 1970s was a labor-intensive effort.
Cueing up a LP or 45 single, dropping the needle and releasing the recorder's "pause" button required a deft touch. If you didn't get it just right, you'd either have too much lead-in groove time before the tune started, or start too late and cut off the first second of the next song.
Mess up, and you have to stop, back up the tape, recue and start the process over again. Oh, and you'd have to carefully match the record volume level of each new tune, or suffer the consequences of a too loud/too soft varying volume mixtape. The horror!
Sometimes in the middle of a mixtape session I'd stop and review what I had so far. That could be scary, especially when I discovered the fourth song of the eight I laid down interrupted the flow. I'd have to go back and start again after the third song. It could easily take seven or eight hours to make a 90-minute tape. … Read more
The new version of the service, which does not allow users to upload music from their hard drives, instead relies on bands to submit their own tracks for listeners to play on Muxtape--and Muxtape only.
There are a dozen bands to start with, all of which have been hand-picked by the service's creators. Bands that are interested in getting their music … Read more
Starting December 27, the site will no longer serve up streaming music tracks, with embedded mixes--like the one at the end of this post.
The company made the announcement last week, but just began to send out notices to registered users. Normally a week or so is cutting it close in the world of site closures, but in Mixwit's case there's very little in the way of user data besides playlists.
Mixwit is the latest Web mixtape service to … Read more
After reading to the end of this Boston Globe article about this weekend's Million DJ March in Washington D.C., I was confused. What are DJs protesting?
One DJ interviewed in the article mentions that he had to fight with a club owner to get paid, and that DJs aren't required to fill out W-2 tax forms. I've got news for him: unless you're a union musician with an airtight contract, being ripped off is an unfortunately frequent part of the performing experience. It's supply and demand--there are more musicians and DJs willing to perform … Read more
Free music mixtape service Muxtape has temporarily been shut down due to pressure from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). There's not much more information about downtime besides a small note on the front page of Muxtape.com saying that "Muxtape will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA."
Presumably the RIAA had gotten wise to the considerable amount of music that was being hosted and played on the service, bringing it into the same tier as some of the streaming radio services that have had to pay … Read more
Announced back in May of 2007, we were beginning to wonder if the Tonium Pacemaker pocket DJ system would ever actually roll off the assembly line. Lo and behold, the fickle DJ gods have smiled, and the Tonium Pacemaker arrived on my desk just days ago.
Following their efforts creating the Pacemaker online mix community and their free Mac and PC DJ editing software, the folks at Tonium have done well to lay a solid foundation under their first product. At a cost of about $800, however, the Pacemaker is not for everyone.
To find out if it's right … Read more
Rafe and I enjoyed playing around with Muxtape yesterday (review), but were turned off by the uploader and potential limited life span of the service due to its lenient position on copyrights. If you're looking for a slightly more flashy experience, and one that works without having to upload 50MB of music from your hard drive, check out Mixwit. It lets you create gorgeous-looking Web mix tapes to share with others and pulls in media from various streaming services such as Seeqpod and SkreemR.
Maybe its greatest asset is that the players look like real compact cassette tapes, with … Read more