Perfect drug for perfect pitch? New study tests valproate

You're only as young as you think you are. But what if you could re-train your brain to absorb information as easily as a child can?

That's exactly what scientists testing the FDA-approved drug called valproate investigated in study of adults who had little or no musical training yet demonstrated some degree of absolute pitch, an ability to identify or produce the pitch of a musical sound without any reference point.

Absolute pitch, the scientists say, can only be acquired early in life.

Valproate is currently used to treat epileptic seizures, migraines, and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. But scientists wanted to see if the drug had other neurological benefits. … Read more

Winamp survives to play for new owner

Reports of Winamp's death were greatly exggerated.

Once scheduled to kick the bucket last month, the software has found new life with new parent Radionomy, an online radio station aggregator. On Tuesday, Radionomy announced that it purchased both Winamp and streaming music site Shoutcast from former owner AOL. Terms of the deal were not revealed, though a Belgian news site says that AOL bought a partial stake in Radionomy as part of a recent round of funding.

Will Winamp change under its new management? Yes, but for the better, according to Radionomy. The program will add access to more … Read more

How to wake up to your favorite Pandora station on Android

More and more people are relying on mobile phone alarm clock apps to wake them up in the morning. To wake up to your favorite music, you can load up your own songs, but that takes time and planning. Chances are, you'll also get tired of waking up to the same songs over and over again.

Instead of waking up to ringtones or your own music, you can now wake up to your favorite Pandora stations on Android. Previously only available on iOS, Android users can now join in on the fun.

To use the alarm clock, first make … Read more

JamStik wireless fretboard turns you into a guitar hero

LAS VEGAS -- Want to learn to play the guitar? I speak from personal experience when I say it's tough, especially if you rely on apps or videos that merely show you what to do without providing any feedback.

The JamStik teaches you guitar by way of a wireless fretboard, real strings, and a couple innovative iPad apps. I just got a demo here at CES and came away impressed.

To look at the JamStik is to see a six-string, 15-inch fretboard that requires no tuning, instead relying on infrared sensors that track your finger placement and a Wi-Fi-powered … Read more

iRing controls iPhone, iPad music apps via hand gestures

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners who use music apps can control them now through a ring on their finger.

Launching this quarter at a price of $25, the iRing responds to the gestures of your hand to perform specific tasks on an iOS device. Nestled on your finger, the double-sided ring talks to your device's camera, which reads your various gestures. You simply move your hand up and down, left and right, or twist it around to control the action.

Created by IK Multimedia, the iRing supports the company's music apps, including GrooveMaker and VocaLive. As such, … Read more

Review: Get your music under control with Toones Music Player

Toones Music Player is an audio player that makes it easy to control your music using gestures. If you find the native iOS music app to be kind of clumsy to use, Toones Music Player is a nice alternative.

Toones has an attractive interface, though we weren't a fan of the black text against the dark gray background that's used to display the artists' names. That was our only real complaint, though. Buttons across the top let users view their music sorted by track name, album, artist, or playlist. What really sets Toones apart is its controls: tap … Read more

HiFiMan's advanced headphone tech at CES 2014 improves sound quality

HiFiMan is premiering two new models of audiophile headphones at CES 2014. At first glance the new models resemble HiFiMan's HE-400 and HE-500 full-size planar magnetic headphones, but closer inspection reveals an entirely new headband design, and these two models are considerably lighter and more comfortable than the headphones they replace.

Catch CNET's complete coverage of CES 2014

I was treated to an advance preview in NYC and auditioned the headphones at home. The sound is more open and clearer than ever before. Some experienced audiophiles may think these two new HiFiMans' sound is close to what you … Read more

Google opens Glass purchase to All Access music users

Google is letting Google Music All Access users purchase a Google Glass Explorers device now.

The company is notifying users of its All Access music streaming service through e-mail, Gizmodo reported Tuesday. Google Glass Explorers is Google's test program for its wearable computing device.

It's been an exclusive group so far, with Google only allowing certain developers, contest winners and VIP users to purchase the device for $1,500. The company quietly put up a waiting list for the general public a couple months ago.

But, All Access users can buy Glass now. Google added the All Access integrationRead more

Get a pair of Sennheiser HD 439 headphones for $39.99

My New Year's resolution for 2014 is the same as it was for 2013, and for every year before that: Don't make any New Year's resolutions. And I'm batting a thousand!

That said, next year I plan to continue my quest to reduce stress, and I find that listening to music for 15 to 20 minutes (while doing absolutely nothing else) is a great way to relax.

Of course, music is best enjoyed through a good pair of headphones. Like these: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the Sennheiser HD 439 over-the-ear headphones for $39.99, … Read more

Will streaming music services ever make money? 2014 may tell

You'd be forgiven if you thought streaming music was the hottest business to be in right now.

At every turn in 2013, tech companies big and small were pouring into online music services. Longtime players like Spotify and Slacker launched new features or shook things up with updates. Giants like Apple and Google shoved their way to the front of the race with new services like iTunes Radio and All Access, ventures they believe will help sell phones and other products. Google can't seem to get enough, and is said to be rolling out another subscription service through YouTubeRead more