Vinyl and Cassette Tape Ripper Through USB

ADS Technology has released their Instant Music ripping system to easily convert old vinyl and cassette media to MP3 files.  The Instant Music will convert any analog audio signal into any number of popular digital formats such as MP3, WMA or OGG.

mp3 conversion

Instant Music connects via USB and ships with Acoustics Spin It Again software to set sample bit rates, configure audio formats you plan to convert from analog to digital and more advanced features such as ID3 tagging. I don’t think it’s as slick looking as the Ion Audio unit but then again we see a big price difference between the two ($49 verse $150) and the Instant Music will convert any analog signal, not just those old vinyl records. Continue Reading

Targus Folding Speaker System for iPod

Targus launched this ultra portable, yet powerful iPod speaker system, AEM0702AP, for music on the go.  The speaker system can be powered by a handful of AAA batteries or via USB power.

targus ipod speaker

Why Targus hired a marketing firm who places their speakers in a pile of rocks with weeds sticking out is a complet mystery.  If these folks are trying to send the message of a lovely afternoon at the park, then grass, picnic basket and a couple glasses of wine should have been the props here. Maybe they are trying to convey the portable iPod speaker system will get you to “rock out.”  Doubt that. In either event, the Targus speakers will run you about $45 bucks plus a plane ticket to Korea. Source: AvingUSA. Continue Reading

Not A Hack: ProTracker Turns Your iPod Into Pro Audio Recorder

Alesis ProTrack is a buddy device for the iPod turning it into a Pro Audio digital recorder.  Not that many of use would need up to 160GBs of high quality audio recording, but it’s out there if you need it.  The Alesis ProTrack includes 2 combo XLR input jacks for in line mic recording [or other line recording] that will digitally record those spoken word masterpieces at 16-bit, 22kHz or 44.1kHz stereo. The ProTrack offers up 1/8 output stereo connection along with limiter and volume control.

alesis protracker

Designed for any on-spot location the ProTrack will run solid for five hours with just four trip-A batteries.  The little guy is also threaded for tripod mounting to set it & forget it.
ProTrack is ideal for capturing sound effects, recitals, jam sessions, speeches, interviews, rehearsals, performances, meetings, lectures, notes-to-self, or any other audio material directly to iPod. It will be available from pro audio dealers Q3-2008.
The ProTrack is due out in 30-45 days (although Alesis is notories for pushing back release dates) with an undisclosed price tag [damn]. Source:  Engadget via Brad Linder’s Blog. Continue Reading

Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes

iTunes is much more than a digital music jukebox. It’s capable of handling many different tasks involving digital media. Some of iTunes’ most popular features include buying music and videos online, burning CDs, and syncing files with your iPod or iPhone. But one of the lesser known functions hidden within iTunes is the ability to convert audio files. Why would you need to convert an audio file? Converting audio file types can be useful in many different situations. Here are a few examples:
  • You have an AAC file in iTunes that’s not compatible with your Zune that can play MP3 and not AAC files.
  • A WAV file needs to be emailed to a client for approval but it’s too big. You need to convert the file to an AAC so it’s small enough to easily send via email.
  • You are making a music video and want to use a song you got online as the soundtrack. However, the editing program won’t import the song because it doesn’t support MP3 or AAC.
  • You need to remove the DRM (Digital Rights Management) from an AAC song you purchased from the iTunes Store (see step #7).
Many programs that convert audio files into different formats are pretty complicated and usually cost money. But not iTunes. iTunes is simple, fast and best of all… free. Tutorial: Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes methodshop Continue Reading

USB Flex Speaker Looks Interesting But Little Value

Urban Outfitters has a nice looking USB flex speaker which attaches to your PC or laptop via USB.  Looks odd, yet cool but I doubt it’s contribution to quality audio or enhancing the standard laptop speakers you probably already have.

usb flex speaker

At just over 3″ in width and 1.25″ in height the goose neck speaker does give you the freedom for directional audio but if you are using a laptop aren’t you generally right in front of the computer anyway, just crank up the sound. Regardless of my petty opinion, Urban Outfitters feels different.  They offer the USB flex speaker at Continue Reading

USB Sound Blaster Card From Creative – Laptop Enthusiast Rejoice

Creative Labs just came out with a hot little box for 5.1 digital surround sound for any laptop or PC.  What Creative did with this new Sound Blaster is rather than make a card out of it, the Sound Blaster is a USB based external device.  The X-Fi, as they call it, operates over a USB interface and will provide full cinematic digital surround sound in hi-fidelity with a 1 second connection.

USB sound blaster, creative x-fi

Two Creative technologies are embedded into the USB Sound Blaster which are X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D.  I’ve talked about these technologies before which are the key components to Creative’s solution. Not to leave any stone unturned, here are the list of features for the USB Sound Blaster:
  • Supports USB 2.0 for high quality 5.1 audio
  • USB bus-powered
  • Gold plated RCA front outputs and mini-jack surround outputs for maximum fidelity
  • Optical Output for connectivity to surround sound systems
  • 24-bit Playback and Recording ADC, DAC
  • X-Fi audio enhancement technology
  • Easily accessible Headphone out and Mic In for connecting headsets
  • Convenient Volume Control with push to mute feature
  • Line-in monitoring
  • Host-based EAX advanced HD 4.0 and OpenAL support
  • Creative Alchemy software that restores DS3D Games’ 3D audio in Windows Vista
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround Sound 5.1 system will retail for $60 – a great price for the package (available now). Continue Reading

Imation Disc Stakka Management Tool

The Imation Disc Stakka is a management tool for keeping those messy CDs organized and accessible.  Granted your music is probably on your iPod and if it isn’t then you should contact a CD Ripper Service…but even with all your music on that MP3 player you can still find a use for the Disc Stakka.

disc stakka

I’ve got at least 3 dozen installation CDs, software CDs, and utility CDs that I like to have in storage.  Problem is the over flow of putting those CDs into a leather case – now I’ve got two cases.  Rather then spending more mone on another bulky leather CD/DVD case, I’m looking at this Disc Stakka. The Stakka is an automated carousel that stores and protects your CDs and DVDs.  It does the painfully obvious as well, retrieves them.  The Stakka holds Continue Reading

Become A Star – Alesis USB Podcasting Kit

..or at least a professional sounding podcaster.  I’ve considering doing the podcasting, but I want to build up my reader subscription a bit more.  The Alesis USB podcasting kit doesn’t care who you are, it’ll work on Mac or PC computers.  The kit is designed for the novice user with features an advanced technical geek would enjoy.

alesis usb podcasting mic

Stream from 16 bit, 44.1-48kHz directly from your computer and use the high-quality headphones for monitoring your session.  The USB podcasting microphone makes it a snap to get connected and get going. One of the best applications for this type of product, other than being self-absorbed and loving the sound of your voice on the net, would be setting up a portable studio for trade-show interviews with customers, clients and critics.  With the ease of setup from the Alesis system, your booth could have a podcasting station for in depth interviews, tutorials on products or guest speakers you could immediately deliver to the world via podcasting and the internet.  After all, the classic 10×20 booth with some posters and fliers is so old-school. The Alesis USB podcasting kit is priced at just $99 bucks.  A drop in the bucket for anyone reading this post. Continue Reading

microSD Cards Flood Billboard Latin Music Conference

I’ve written about USB albums many times before and even a microSD music disk from Ricky Martin, but I thought he was going out on a limb.  Apparently not. microsd music, sandiskSanDisk just announced a sponsorship in association with the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards from April 6-10 in Hollywood, Florida.  I guess the sponsorship is a reflection on SanDisk’s marketing campaign to “Wake Up Your Phone” by providing pre-loaded entertainment on microSD cards.  “Wake Up Your Phone” is focused on informing mobile phone users how they can capture their experiences and take their music with them by expanding the storage capacity of their mobile phones – or between the lines – “hey consumers, don’t forget to stuff your memory slot with a microSD card for $30.” The Billboard Latin Music Conference will also offer attendees the ability to download additional multimedia entertainment to the microSD cards, such as photos and video, in the attempt to show there is more to do that just microSD music cards.
“This year’s Billboard Latin Music Conference is all about exploring the new way of doing business, so it is extremely fitting that SanDisk Corporation is an in association sponsor of the event,” said Leila Cobo, Billboard’s Executive Director of Content & Programming for Latin Music & Entertainment. “From ringtones to video, understanding and utilizing mobile technology is crucial for any artist or company that wants to succeed in the Latin music business, and we’re thrilled that SanDisk will be giving our attendees the opportunity to experience the true power of mobile entertainment through its microSD cards.”
To increase awareness for how microSD cards can be used SanDisk launched this very entertertaining website Continue Reading

AVerMedia Launches Volar USB TV Tuner Stick

AVerTV Hybrid Volar MAX is a long name to describe the multitude of functions the USB TV tuner does. The USB based TV tuner stick has the ability to receive HDTV, Analog TV and FM radio on any Windows XP or Vista computer or laptop.

avermedia usb tv

Unless you need specific subscription channels, you no longer have to put up with cable or satellite costs to get the High Definition TV everyone is craving for. The AverTV Hybrid Volar MAX does it all. For video quality, playback and speed consider this:
“The AVer MeidaCenter provides users more joy from Clear QAM digital cable TV. Advanced real-time H.264 recording compression significantly reduces CPU loading and the amount of hard disk space needed for recording. The optional 320×240 resolution enables users to save and playback video on an iPod.”
Don’t hold doubt either, the AVerTV Hybrid Volar MAX can truly present the details of HDTV in 720p/1080i resolution. With an exclusive Vista MCE Video Gaming Plug-in, the AverTV Hybrid Volar MAX resolves the Continue Reading

Laser Beam Music System – USB Powered

The Sharper Image does seem to come out with some cool stuff.  Example, they announced a laser beam music system powered by USB.  The music system is shaped like a big “W” with laser beams spanning each post.  Using your fingers or hands, breaking the laser beams produces pre-authored sounds.

laser beam music system

Although it appears simplistic with only 6 laser strings, the pre-authored pulses allow you to play pulses, streams, riffs and loops from a variety of instrument selections.  Configure the laser beam music system to play strings, keyboards, winds and percussion instruments. The laser beam music system from Sharper Image includes 30 original songs in 19 different music genres.  Genres include Jazz, bluegrass, classical, hip-hop, reggae, heavy metal and more. Continue Reading

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