Our buddies over at Sound+Vision just posted a review of a gadget we've been excited about: the NuForce Cube, an absolutely tiny (2.5 inches!) cube of audio power. They seem to really love it--it's a remarkably capable little speaker, with power similar to the larger (but still tiny) Jawbone Jambox, but it's also a headphone amplifier for phones and mp3 players, plus a USB digital-to-analog converter for running audio from a computer out to an external device. For all that, it performs really well--read the whole review at S+V.
Podcasts are undergoing a minor renaissance lately--every comedian has one, and every news publication has at least one--and, luckily for us, the explosion in quantity has also meant a ton of really amazing, high-quality stuff. In the last few years, writers, scientists, journalists, and all kinds of other interesting folks have taken to the microphone in new record numbers. Podcasts now have sold-out live tapings in front of rapturous audiences. They play at festivals like South by Southwest and Bonnaroo. They're downloaded millions upon millions of times. And there are hundreds of science podcasts out there, each with their own loyal audiences. But some are, of course, better than others. Here are the best of the best.
Technological advances have brought audio recording a long way over the past several decades, but, as with so many things, microphone recording is limited by the very technology that has pushed it forward. In this particular case, that limit is the diaphragm that converts sound into electrical signals by measuring vibrations made by incoming sound waves. Because each diaphragm has its own characteristics, all microphones are not created equal; and because the sound waves are converted by these diaphragms, there is always some degree of mechanical interference with the sound.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports today on an Aussie man who traveled all the way to Beverly Hills to receive bone-anchored hearing aids, which are implanted behind the ear and use conductive technology to transmit sound more effectively than regular in-ear aids. But here's the real bonus--these let you plug in your MP3 player or cellphone directly via a standard headphone jack.
With a DIY audio streamer, you can send your favorite tunes wirelessly from your computer to other rooms
By Dave ProchnowPosted 07.14.2008 at 11:45 am 18 Comments
Here’s the scenario: You have a thousand MP3 music files sitting on your home computer—which is great when you’re actually sitting at your computer but a lot less useful when you’re in the kitchen or living room. What you need is a dedicated device in another room that can pull songs wirelessly from your PC’s music library and play them through its own speakers. Several off-the-shelf products can handle this task, such as Logitech’s Squeezebox; unfortunately, they start at around $300.
The Finnish handset maker plans to roll out a range of new phones in the U.S.
By Gregory MonePosted 05.05.2008 at 9:00 am 2 Comments
Nokia indicated today that it intends to release a bunch of new phones through U.S. carriers in the next few months. The Finnish manufacturer sells 40 percent of the mobiles worldwide, but only accounts for about 10 percent of the U.S. market. But a daily paper in Finland quoted a Nokia chief designed as saying that the company plans to ramp up its U.S. presence.
A few tweaks can turn Microsoft's MP3 player into the device it was supposed to be
By John MahoneyPosted 03.27.2007 at 2:00 am 4 Comments
Until it went on sale last November, Microsoft's Zune was heralded as the first true iPod-killer. But with its overly aggressive copyright protection and the odd, self-imposed limits to its most innovative features (like built-in Wi-Fi), it has so far failed to make even a dent in the iPod's shiny white-and-chrome armor. It's likely the Zune will improve with version 2.0 and beyond, but until then, here are three easy Zune tune-ups to ease the pain of waiting for a better model.
Download five free original songs inspired by this issue, then burn them to a CD and cut out the CD-case cover art below
By John HodgmanPosted 08.01.2005 at 2:00 am 5 Comments
Last February, PopSci added a new name to its list of contributors: Jonathan Coulton, Contributing Troubadour. So who is this guy, and what is he doing to earn that unique title? With Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms, we are pleased to provide the answers to both of those questions, and many more.
It has long been a maxim that science is best explained in song (Nikola Tesla, you will recall, had a great music-hall hit with his "Principles of Alternating Current" and was himself a whiz on the zither).
Congress could soon end the five-year debate over digital music copyright.
By Steve MorgensternPosted 12.30.2002 at 6:37 pm 0 Comments
Files. That's what the mp3 format turned music into: digital files that are compressible, reproducible, sharable and, of course, stealable. The technology is no longer new—several generations of machines have yielded the nifty, powerful devices at right. But neither the music industry nor the government—whose copyright laws protected the industry through the analog age of cylinders, vinyl and tape—have adapted to the MP3 age. Now Congressional action looms.