Plug-in-style MP3 players--that is, those with the USB interface built right in--have been enjoying a bit of a renaissance lately, as evidenced by the recent release of the SanDisk Sansa Express. RCA has now joined the trend with the Pearl, one of three players in the company's new Gem line. Like the Express, the Pearl is also aimed squarely at the budget-conscious, with 1GB and 2GB versions retailing for $39 and $48, respectively. Click the pic to see the Pearl in glorious detail, or head over to CNET to read the review.
During CNET's review of the Apple iPhone I found a surprising omission from the iPhone's device tab in iTunes. It seems that there's no way to manually move content between iTunes and the iPhone. Instead, content management relies entirely on automatic syncing preferences. As someone who uses their iPod on multiple computers, I rely on the 'Manage music and videos manually' check box that appears in the device manager tab when I connect my iPod to iTunes. Without it, each time I sync my iPod to a different computer I run the risk of having content overwritten. … Read more
Not that we at Download Music have actually acquired an iPhone yet, but we have been nagging our friends of friends of Apple to score us a freebie. In the meantime, we've been digging through our free MP3 collection to figure out which tracks would, in the event one does land on our desk, get iPhone honors first. We put together playlists which feature a mix of our favorite up-and-coming and popular artists such as Death Cab for Cutie, Jill Scott, Spoon, Daft Punk and many more. Stream now (while you work), then visit the artist pages to download … Read more
Until we saw this watch, we were almost convinced that all personal timepieces were headed toward the infuriating trend of unreadability. But Chip Chick has restored our faith in human nature by posting an item on a new OLED watch that not only has an analog-style face (gasp) but even some high-tech features to boot.
Made by Vavolo, a Chinese company that has shown a penchant for products with multiple uses, this timepiece can also show video, play MP3s and even display e-book pages, though the last feature may be a bit tricky on its 1.5-inch screen. It can … Read more
Never in my career have I been so happy that I write about MP3 players rather than cell phones, but--sadly--the existence of the iPhone will not shelter me from Apple news mania forever. According to Endgaget, during the same meeting where Steve Jobs announced that all Apple employees would be receiving a free iPhone, he also mentioned that new, "OSX-based" iPods are in development. I am sensing a holiday release, but I'm no psychic--has anyone figured out an equation yet for impending Apple release versus effect on hot new Apple product sales?
As far as what the … Read more
A few months ago, JimmyR-dot-com (aka Jimmy Ruska) posted a YouTube video that showed users how to conduct a Google search for free, unprotected music files. Essentially, by modifying search terms with a few extra key words, a user can limit results to underlying directory pages rather than user-facing Web pages. The video proved quite popular, garnering more than 300,000 views.
Recently, he went one step further and created a Web page that modifies the search for you--all you have to do is enter the song title, and you'll receive a Google search page with links to directories … Read more
Cowon just keeps showering us with good news. Earlier I reported on the U.S. release of the Cowon iAudio 7, and now I've got photos of the latest red version of the Cowon D2. The red D2 was given a very soft launch here in the United States and appears to have been available directly and through a few online retailers for the past several weeks. To sweeten the deal, Cowon has dropped prices on some models of the D2, U3, F2, and A2 by around $10 to $20.
The cherry on top is a new firmware upgrade … Read more
We reported earlier on Cowon's announcement of their flash-based iAudio 7 MP3 player, and now we have the photos to prove it exists. We've heard directly from Cowon that the iAudio 7 will be available for purchase in the U.S. the first week of July. The product we received is still not the finished version, so we can't subject it to a real review yet. So far, it looks and behaves nearly identical to its microdrive predecessor, the iAudio 6. That's not such a bad thing, given what an outstanding player the iAudio 6 was. … Read more
I'm a big fan of Creative MP3 players--no surprise there. The Zen line offers cute and colorful designs, customizable user interfaces that are also a snap to navigate, and--my no. 1 requirement--stellar audio quality. For all of these reasons, I have chosen to use Creative's devices for my personal listening the majority of the time. As such, I've spent a lot of hours listening to music on a variety of Zens and there is one thing that remains pretty constant: the shuffle feature on these players sucks (for lack of a better word). And this … Read more
I've been threatening to make my own MP3 player for a few months now, but after meeting with a group called Teuthis at this year's Maker Faire, I finally caved in and bought the Daisy DIY MP3 player kit. I mean, how am I supposed to objectively rate MP3 players for CNET if I haven't made one myself?
So here's a 16-slide photo gallery of the whole construction--starting with the bare board and ending with the final product. There's also a little time-lapse video footage of the construction in this week's Crave vodcast.
The … Read more