Friday, December 28, 2007

Shiro readies trio of ho hum PMPs

We'll spare you the obvious here -- we're quite aware that Shiro's VJ (pictured) looks an awful lot like something else -- but nevertheless, the outfit is hoping that its forthcoming trio of portable media players can somehow get traction in the overly saturated market. The aforementioned VJ reportedly rocks a 2.4-inch 320 x 240 resolution display, up to 8GB of internal storage space, a microSD expansion slot, built-in microphone for voice recording, an FM radio, up to 20 hours of music playback (5 hours of video) and support for MP3, WMA, WAV, BMP and JPEG files. As for the MR, look for similar features in a smaller (2-inch display) package with a maximum capacity of 4GB, while the MD boasts an even tinier screen (1.8-inch) and a fair bit less battery life. Regrettably, no pricing details were mentioned, but we get the feeling Shiro will be saving those tidbits for CES.

Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Touch 16GB
Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Nano 8GB
Buy from Amazon - Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB
Buy from Amazon - Zune 80GB Black (2nd Generation)

Thursday, December 27, 2007


. On paper, it sounds O.K.: a little round hub with six short spokes, each of which can charge one of your mobile gadgets. That is, the Chargepod can charge a cellphone, iPod, Game Boy, Bluetooth earpiece, Palm organizer and BlackBerry simultaneously.

In practice, it’s even better. First, you don’t need a power strip to charge all your gadgets, just a single outlet. Second, you’ve eliminated six hideous, snarling black cables and transformers. Third, this thing is the size of a drink coaster; you can slip it into its carrying case and leave your six individual adapters at home.

The bad news: Since the electronics industry idiotically insists on inventing incompatible, noninterchangeable connectors for every new gadget, you have to order the appropriate Chargepod spokes (actually short black cables) individually, at $10 apiece. Callpod, the company that makes Chargepod, offers dozens of them for individual cellphone models, iPods and so on at Ten bucks each for four-inch cables is borderline outrageous; they’re not even labeled.

Still, though — you’ll use and get pleasure from this invention every single day.
by New York Times

Buy from Amazon - Chargepod

Software Vista converts videos into DVD for iPhone

The MadZ Software presented a new version of the program of conversion of the formats of video in DVD for iPhone and iPod Touch. The newness is the compatibility with the operative system Windows Vista.

This application goes to allow to owners of any one of the new devices of the Apple to transfer to video filing-cabinets gifts in DVDs to its computer, in such a way to convert them for the format used for iPhone as for iPod Touch and to send them for the respective device, where it could be seen without difficulties, discloses to the site eHome Upgrade.

Software allows to transfer to videos of practically almost all the types of DVD, since original records the copies or that they have unloaded contents of the InterNet.

Other characteristics of the converter include the possibility to choose the languages, headings and chapters or to personalize the task of conversion of the filing-cabinets to balance the size and the quality.

More information on software can be found in this link, where also download of a test version is possible to make one.

Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Touch 16GB
Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Nano 8GB
Buy from Amazon - Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB
Buy from Amazon - Zune 80GB Black (2nd Generation)

Boomwave's Earmungous iPod Cases Now Available for Nano

I had a third-gen Nano, this is what I would be dressing it in—face it, those ears are just perfect for getting those hard-to-reach boogers out of your nose. Made from silicon, it's available in four colors: Dogstarr, aka Black, Spitzer, err, White, Bichpoo (is that missing a t?) also known as Pink and Bludhound, or Red to you and me. Each one costs $15.99, comes with a screen protector and neck strap, and they're shipping now, so make someone a happy bunny for Xmas.
[The Boomwave]

Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Touch 16GB
Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Nano 8GB
Buy from Amazon - Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB
Buy from Amazon - Zune 80GB Black (2nd Generation)

iTunes movie rentals coming, Fox is only studio so far

The Financial Times is reporting that Apple and Twentieth Century Fox have reached a deal to provide movie rentals on the iTunes Store, likely to be announced at Macworld. While Disney sells a full line of films on iTunes and other studios provide catalog titles, this is the first rental arrangement to date. Movies are expected to be downloadable for a limited-play window. Equally important, the agreement is expected to include onboarding of iPod-compatible video files with Fox DVDs, so that iPod users can load and go when the DVD is purchased (rather than ripping the DVD into MP4 video).

More details as we get them.

Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Touch 16GB
Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Nano 8GB
Buy from Amazon - Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB
Buy from Amazon - Zune 80GB Black (2nd Generation)

Windows Mobile Internet Sharing Made Easy (3G iPhone!)

tooling around with getting internet sharing working on the Sprint Mogul for a bit, we discovered this small WMWifiRouter app by Jorrit Jongma. It's pretty much an install and run affair (save a bit of internet connection Wi-fi setup beforehand), but the only thing you have to watch out for is using a static IP address on the device you want to access it with (iPhone/laptop/whatever) because there's no DHCP server present. There's a good guide in the XDA Dev forum as well. The result? A 3G-ish iPhone. [WMWifiRouter]

Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Touch 16GB
Buy from Amazon - Apple Ipod Nano 8GB
Buy from Amazon - Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160 GB
Buy from Amazon - Zune 80GB Black (2nd Generation)

iPhone marriage proposal warms even the cynical heart

Maybe we just turn a bit sentimental during the holiday season, but damn it, we'll admit to getting a little choked up over reader Claude M's well-planned, uber-geeky proposal to his girlfriend -- even if his method of choice did happen to employ the totally overexposed iPhone. Being the romantic fellow that he is, Claude spent what must have been numerous hours producing a video proposal in the style of those ubiquitous commercials -- as you can see after the break -- and then screened it for his sweetheart (probably on his or her you-know-what) while they were strolling around the area where they'd first met in college. We'd like to congratulate the happy couple -- she said yes, duh -- and encourage them to race over to our Christmas contest post, where they have decent odds of scoring a pair of round trip tickets for the honeymoon.

Jaguar Creates iPhone and iPod Touch-only Broadband Magazine for New X

The car brand all about the cat scratch fever has partnered with the 29HD Network to develop what they're the calling the "industry's first broadband multimedia magazine specifically for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users" to "experience the new Jaguar XF like never before." And by never before they mean on a tiny screen where you don't have to see the Dodge Intrepid-like looks of the 2009 Jaguar XF. Or maybe it'll be the all-James May channel. Although we must say we've worked with the folks at 29HD Network in the past and we're interested in seeing how this one turns out. Full press release after the jump.

Jaguar Launches First Broadband Multimedia Magazine for Apple iPhone
Jaguar continues its trend of being a leader in innovative media technology as it launches the industry's first broadband multimedia magazine specifically for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users. The largest Broadband 2.0 Video Network, 29HD Network, developed this unique spin on the traditional website for Jaguar. By going to, iPhone and iPod Touch owners can experience the new Jaguar XF like never before. The broadband magazine features the XF in vibrant photos and dramatic videos, all cropped to perfectly fit the portable devices' displays and take full advantage of their widescreen format.

With just a tap of the screen, users can flip through the dynamic photos of the broadband magazine, each of which also features an accompanying video that can be viewed with just another tap. All content is editorial based and will be updated regularly as the XF's release date approaches.

The new 2009 Jaguar XF is the first production car that reflects the new design direction for the brand, and will go on sale in USA in March 2008 with a starting MSRP of $49,975 (includes destination and delivery charges).

About Jaguar

From its beginning as a manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars in 1922, Jaguar Cars has grown to become one of the world's premier manufacturers of luxury sedans and sports cars and with that, one of the most recognized commercial brands. The company's vision is simple: To produce beautiful fast cars that are desired the world over. The company operates two manufacturing plants in the United Kingdom and is fully engaged in environmental programs, community work and brand awareness exercises such as motorsports.

29 HD Network

29HD Network is the largest Broadband2.0 Video Network for Auto and Racing. With sites that have larger format streaming videos and RSS Video feeds, the network was created and run by a team that are pioneers in Broadband Editorial.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Microsoft Releases Official Tool to Diagnose Zune Sync Problems [Zune]

If your Zune's been behaving like it deserves coal in its sleeve for Christmas, Microsoft has released a diagnostic tool that bundles up data for tech support to pore over to help them get your wares in order if update 2.3 didn't do the trick. Basically, you download the tool, pop it open and try to sync up Zune while it's running. After the Zune acts like a spoiled brat and won't talk to your PC, disconnect it and voila, you have a report to send to support techs, which hopefully will help them get your Zune straightened up after a quick trip to reform school or whatever so it talks to your PC all politely.
by Microsoft via Zune Boards

iPhone GPS addon

This looks like a really interesting iPhone GPS addon!

The iphone locoGPS module allows jail broken iphones to finally have GPS functionality. This module is in development and will be shipping in February. All software is open source and more applications are being written every day. The locoGPS module gives you the ability to explore all the benefits of GPS from a device that is small enough to put on a keychain.iPhone GPS addon.

TUAW Hack: Mess with your iPhone Settings screens

A little while back, I posted about some undocumented SpringBoard settings on the iPhone. Many readers seemed to enjoy learning about these settings, but they wanted to avoid performing the esoteric property list edits needed to adjust them.

In response, I give you the following: controls that actually show up in your Settings application and allow direct manipulation. Here's what you need to do. You will need secure shell access to your iPhone's command line (ssh).

Step 1
Start by backing up your /Applications/ Settings-iPhone.plist file. Make sure you copy the file to a safe place so you can recover it if needed.

Step 2
Replace that file with Copy the entire property list from the field at the bottom of the screen and paste it into a new text file. Rename that file to Settings-iPhone.plist and place it in /Applications/

Step 3
Run settings, and voila! I divided the settings into two groups. The first group works instantly and you can immediately see their results. For the second group, you must restart SpringBoard (my restart utility may help) for the settings to take effect.

SAFA rolls out another forgettable PMP

Sure, SAFA's latest portable media player is impressively small (and thin), and at least it looks like it was engineered in more than five or six minutes, but it's still nothing to phone home over. The all-black (or red, or white) player features a 1.8-inch LCD and plays nice with MP3, WMA, WAV, APE and FLAC file formats, and apparently, it also comes with a few built-in games in case the jams get stale. Moreover, there's a voice recorder, image viewer and a rechargeable Li-ion good for up to eight hours of playback, but we still don't see this thing bringing us too much joy after dropping between ₩89,000 ($95) and ₩109,000 ($116), depending on capacity.

MP901 portable media player looks slapped together, probably is

Believe us, we've seen plenty of chintzy in our day, but Shenzhen Link-Create Technology's MP901 goes above and beyond the call of jankiness. This PMP -- which looks as if it were (and probably was) pieced together using whatever spare parts could be found around the plant -- sports a 2.4-inch LCD, a 1.3-megapixel camera, 128MB to 4GB of internal storage space, a T-Flash expansion slot, integrated microphone and an FM tuner. Additionally, you'll find a rechargeable Li-ion, support for NES emulation, built-in speaker and support for AVI, MPEG4, MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV file formats. Per usual, pricing remains a mystery, but considering that minimum order quantity of 500, we've no real interest in unearthing the truth.

[Via PMPToday]

Monday, December 24, 2007

Apple plans iPods with automatic volume control

Future versions of Apple’s MP3 player are to be adapted to prevent users from playing tracks at full blast through their earphones for too long. Amid growing fears that listeners could cause irreversible damage to their hearing - the highest setting is as loud as a chainsaw - Apple is developing an automatic volume control. A new patent reveals that the next iPods and iPhones could automatically calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume, before gradually reducing the sound level. The device will also calculate the amount of “quiet time” between when the iPod is turned off and when it is restarted, allowing the volume to be increased again to a safe level.

Listening to volumes below 70 decibels is considered safe. But iPods can currently reach volumes of over 100 decibels - the equivalent to standing 10ft from a pneumatic drill - and enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes. Some MP3 players can even exceed 120 decibels. In April, Apple revealed it had sold more than 100million iPods worldwide and was expecting, by the end of this year, to have sold more than 4.5million iPhones. Of those 200,000 will have been bought in Britain. Its patent application, however, is the first time Apple has acknowledged concerns over the risk the iPod poses to hearing and comes after a series of damning studies highlighted the potentially damaging effects. I appreciate the effort, but isn’t it little weird? I want to be master of my mp3 player and not to be annoyed by automatically decreased volume…
Source: Daily Mail

Buy from Amazon - Apple 160 GB iPod classic (Black)