Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Zune Zone

Microsoft’s Zune media player is without question one of the most anticipated gadgets of this year. After many months of speculation, Microsoft finally released details about the Zune on September 15. For the most part, the features were predictable: a 30 GB hard-drive based player with a 3 inch screen, an FM tuner and video-playback capabilities. The Zune comes in three colours: white, black and brown.

However there were a couple of neat touches. The Zune will have wireless sharing features where you can wirelessly transfer songs from one Zune to another though the recipient has only three days to try out the song. You can customize the screen by using your personal photos as background like on your PC.

In addition to the player, Microsoft announced plans for its own online music store called Zune Marketplace. There will also be three accessory packs: the Car Pack, the Home A/V pack and the Travel pack. The Zune has its work cut out, in its battle against the iPod; Apple dropped prices and improved features just days before the Zune announcement. However there is no question that when the corporate titans battle it out, it’s the consumer who will benefit the most.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tuning in to the Nano

The iPod Nano, which replaced Apple’s hugely popular iPod Mini, is perhaps the most advanced and elegant flash audio player out there in the market. For one thing, along with the 1 and 2 GB models, the top model in the series comes with 4 GB of memory which is exceptional for flash players (each GB holds around 250 songs). For another the Nano comes with a colour screen which is capable of displaying your photos as well as album art.

The Nano has all the advantages of flash players. It’s very light and small and literally as thin as a pencil. Because flash players use no moving parts they are immune to skipping and more durable than hard-drive based players. Flash memory also consumes less energy than hard-drives and the Nano lets you play around 14 hours of music on a full charge.

Despite its smaller form the Nano has the elegant and user-friendly design associated with regular iPods including the famous touch-sensitive scroll wheel. It is compatible with a number of iPod accessories as well as iTunes. The Nano also comes with a calendar function, a stop watch and a clock with multiple time-zones.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Samsung YP-F1 Flash Payers

Because flash-based MP3 players are so tiny and light they are practically worn rather than carried and are fashion accessories as much as electronic devices. This is clearly seen in Samsung’s YP-F1 series of flash players which come in 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB models.

The first thing you notice about the series is the elegant, rounded design which stands in sharp contrast to the box-like shapes which are the norm. There are six colours to choose from and it’s possible to switch from one colour to another just by changing the face-plate. There is also a metal clip which lets you conveniently attach the player to your clothing.

The players aren’t just about looks though; they also have a full set of features. There is an FM player and FM recording as well as a voice recorder. The screen display has adjustable contrast levels and is packed with information including song title, battery life and playing time. The players come with a graphic equalizer with a number of presets as well as additional options like Trubass and WOW for improving sound quality. They also support a variety of audio formats including MP3 and WMA.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

iPod alternative? The Toshiba Gigabeat 40 gb

While Apple’s iPod maintains a tight grip on the hard-drive based MP3 player market, there is an increasing number of quality alternatives like the Toshiba Gigabeat audio player jumping in the fray.

The Gigabeat’s 40 GB can store around 10,000 songs; more than enough for the average collection. It provides 16 hours of battery life and can be recharged through your PC with a USB cable. It also comes with 28 equalizer settings which can be adjusted according to the type of music you are playing: jazz, rock, piano and so on.
The Gigabeat comes with a 2.2 inch screen with 65k colours and 240X320 resolution. You can download and view any still images from your PC and create a slideshow set to music. You can also download album covers and browse through your collection by cover.

Transferring your music collection from your CDs to your audio player is often a chore but the Gigabeat comes with a neat feature called CD RipRec. Place the CD in your PC and the Gigabeat in its dock-cradle and press the CD RipRec button. Without any further effort the contents of the CD will be transferred to the player.

Technorati Tags

Toshiba Gigabeat | MP3 Player | iPod

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bullet proof your iPod!

Remember the film Deewar. In that, Amitabh Bachchan is saved a countless number of times by his lucky badge from speeding bullets. This story reminds me of that film.

A US company is making new military grade iPod cases. Apparently, these new iPod cases that can stop a bullet for you.

Who needs a lucky badge now!

Technorati Tags
iPod case | MP3 Player | iPod

Friday, July 28, 2006

Zen Thing: Creative Zen Vision 30 GB MP3 Player

The Creative Zen Vision is not just an MP3 player; it’s a versatile multimedia device for storing music, photos and videos as well as recording audio.

The Vision’s 30 GB is enough to store thousands of photos, around 15 thousand songs or about 120 hours of video. To enjoy the video, the Vision comes with an excellent 3.8 inch screen with 262,000 colours and VGA resolution (640X480). You can also connect the device to a TV or projector and display the stored photos and video files. If your digital camera uses Compact Flash memory, the Vision has an inbuilt CF memory slot which means that you can directly transfer your memory card and its contents.

If you get tired of your music collection the Vision comes with an FM tuner with 32 station presets. There is also an audio recorder which can store hundreds of hours; highly useful for recording meetings or voice memos. It can also record FM allowing you to store your favourite FM shows and listen to them when you want. Finally there is also a personal organizer compatible with Microsoft Outlook which can store your contacts and appointments information.

Technorati Tags
Creative Zen Vision | MP3 Player

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The world of Podcasts

Podcasting refers to the broadcast of audio files via the Internet along with convenient ways of subscribing to regular feeds which can be updated automatically. Despite the name you don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts; any MP3 player will do and you can listen to them on your computer as well. Once you have downloaded the podcasts you can create in effect your personal radio station and listen to the programming that you want at a time and place of your choosing.

A good way of entering the world of podcasts is with Apple’s iTunes programme which is available for free on the Apple website. iTunes allows you to browse and search a large number of podcasts most of which can be subscribed for free.

The selection of podcasts is vast and like the Internet itself ranges from slick programmes by media giants like the BBC and CNN to amateur productions by individuals from all over the world. There are podcasts on politics, business, music, science and almost every conceivable topic under the sun. While the vast majority of podcasts are international, there are some Indian ones as well: on Bollywood, cricket, Indian music and so on.

Technorati Tags
Podcast | MP3 Player | iPod | Podcasting
Directory of Gadgets Blogs Blog Directory & Search engine Top Music Blogs Listed in LS Blogs Technorati Profile