Cowon teases iAudio 9 overseas

For years, the Korean brand Cowon has steadily churned out some of the best sounding, most format-friendly media players on the planet. And if the latest round of iPod and Zune coverage had you asking "Where's the XviD support for all my torrents of 'Rock of Love'?" then Cowon may have a new player that's perfect for you (actually, it already does).

The Korean version of Cowon's Web site is showing some teaser images and specs for a new media player called the iAudio 9. Presumably a radical makeover of the iAudio 7 (winner of … Read more

Database for cataloging media

Want to manage your collection of DVDs, videos, laser disks or CDs but don't have the time or patience to master Access? This preformatted app is ready to use for entering data about your collection--either by entering information manually or importing it from online sources or other files.

Ant Movie Catalog launches a large window with several fields ready to receive info about the DVDs or CDs you want to inventory. The large number of fields may be intimidating at first, but because of the range of info you can enter into each record, both novices and completists will … Read more

DivX 7: H.264 w00tage and Blu-ray p0wnage

We'll admit it, we've got a soft spot for DivX. The much-used video codec started as a hack of Microsoft's proprietary MPEG-4 codec, and was born out of frustration with Microsoft's video-playback lameness. DivX quickly became an important ingredient of Internet video, but in an HD era, something with a little more power is needed. Oh look, here's DivX 7. Just the ticket.

Although the origins of DivX are as a codec, the future is likely to be very different, and revolves around device certification. For example, you might notice that virtually every DVD player … Read more

PlayStation 3 moves one step closer to becoming self-aware

So it looks like the PlayStation 3 is about a couple years away from becoming self-aware, taking over the world, and making us all its human slaves--if a few of us aren't already.

Sony announced that the v2.60 firmware update for the PS3, released Wednesday, will include many enhancements to the system's media capabilities.

The key feature, according to Sony, is the new photo gallery app, which allows your digital pictures to be organized by criteria including the camera used; event date and time; colors in the photos; and the number, ages, or facial expressions of the … Read more

Toshiba upgrades portable DVD player offerings with 9-inch screen

Toshiba just announced two new portable DVD players hitting this March. While we weren't thrilled with the SD-P71S, it seems the high-end SD-P93S has gotten quite a makeover.

The P93S will feature a 9-inch 180-degree swivel screen along with a pearl-white finish. In addition to MP3, JPEG, and DivX playback, the unit boasts a five hour battery life. We're also glad to see that Toshiba has added an SD card slot for even more playback options.

The P93S will retail for $180, while the smaller, step-down, seven-inch-screen model will go for $130. Both portables will be available in … Read more

DivX sues Yahoo over canceled ad deal

Yahoo is in yet another sticky situation as a result of a canceled advertising deal.

Digital media company DivX on Monday filed a lawsuit against Yahoo because the search company backed out of a two-year advertising agreement the companies reached in September of last year. DivX said the canceled deal will hurt its revenues.

Under the terms of the agreement, consumers who downloaded DivX video software tools were offered a co-branded version of the Yahoo toolbar as well as a version of Internet Explorer 7 with other Yahoo services. Before the Yahoo agreement was reached, DivX had a search tools … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 845: BOL the vote

Hey, here's a thought: a free, open-source video codec that could be universally portable and playable. I'd vote for that, wouldn't you? In other news of the day, Dash stops making hardware to focus on software, Apple brings in an IBM guy to run the iPod division (other than Steve Jobs), and BlackBerry sneaks the Bold into stores today. Yeah, today. There's got to be something wrong with that thing.

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Appleā€™s iPod chief to step down http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10082065-37.html

Dash Navigation pulls the plug … Read more

Review: Cowon O2 portable video player

Our official rated review for the Cowon O2 portable video player is now up on CNET Reviews, along with a full photo gallery and a First Look video.

We've been putting the O2 through its paces all week and it's held up remarkably well. It's still not the sexiest piece of tech we've laid eyes on, but it's got more muscle than any other portable video player in its price range.

Audio enthusiasts will also want to give the O2 a look, considering it supports desirable lossless music formats such as FLAC, Apple Lossless, and … Read more

Hands-on with the Cowon O2 PVP

It hasn't been a terribly exciting year for portable video players. Despite its relatively small screen, the iPod Touch is one of the few PVPs we've been giving an unqualified recommendation for in 2008. The Archos 5 is ambitious, but the battery life just isn't there; the Q5W is overpriced and bulky; and the A3 left us feeling kinda "meh." Thankfully, the Cowon O2 looks like it's going to close-out our year of PVP reviews on an upnote.

First off, let me mention the official U.S. MSRP for the O2, because I know there have been a few guesstimates floating around. The Cowon O2 will retail for $219 (8GB), $249 (16GB), and $299 (32GB), which you can pick up in either black or white. If 32GB isn't enough storage for you, keep in mind that the O2 includes a SDHC card slot for quickly swapping out content and increasing storage as you need it.

The second thing to notice about the O2 is its stupefying amount of file support. On the video end the O2 can play back AVI, WMV, ASF, MP4, MKV, OGM, DAT, MTV, DivX, XviD, MPEG-4, WMV 9/8/7, H.264, M-JPEG, and MPEG 1. The O2 is also agnostic when it comes to video resolution, accepting files all the way up to 1,280x720 at 30fps. For me, native format and resolution support is huge deal, because my home media collection is all over the place and few things test my patience more than re-encoding batches of video files.

Another huge deal for me is battery life, and Cowon is claiming that the O2 will get up to 8 hours of video playback (under "optimal" conditions) before surrendering. If Cowon's right, 8 hours of video playback would put the O2 far beyond the 4 hours of video life on the Archos 5, and ahead of the 6 hours of video on the iPod Touch and even the iPod Classic. Audio battery life isn't as impressive, with only 18 hours, but it's still ahead of the 12 hours of playback time on the Archos 5. Another thing to bear in mind is that all of the O2's competitors require a proprietary cable to recharge the battery, which can be a huge pain if you lose the cable while traveling. The O2 charges best when using the included AC adapter, but you can charge over its mini-USB connection, as well. … Read more

Review: JVC KW-NX7000 navigation receiver has us grinning all the way

The JVC KW-NX7000 isn't cleverly named like its sibling, the El Kameleon, but it is just as cleverly designed. With its smart features, such as the proximity-based interface or the flash-memory-based navigation data, we found the KW-NX7000 extremely easy to use. We didn't like the sluggish iPod navigation or the omission of Bluetooth technology. However, the solid performance and fun little touches, like the custom greeting messages, ultimately made us fall in love with this receiver.

Read the full JVC KW-NX7000 navigation/DVD receiver review.