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Sound bite: Despite Pono's promise, experts pan HD audio

Pono Music's roaring success on Kickstarter, raising $4.3 million so far, shows that thousands of people believe better audio quality is worth paying for.

The company -- backed by star musician Neil Young and selling a $400 digital audio player along with accompanying music -- promises people will hear a difference between Pono Music and ordinary music that's "surprising and dramatic." The company's promise is based in part on music files that can contain more data than not only conventional MP3 files, but also compact discs.

There's no doubt that highly compressed music … Read more

Ultra HD 4K TV Cheat Sheet

Ultra HD, colloquially known as "4K," is the latest buzzword, and the latest push from TV manufacturers.

While your next TV might not be Ultra HD, the one after probably will be.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about this latest advancement in TV technology.… Read more

MP4 HD FLV Video Player review

MP4 HD FLV Video Player offers enough quality to be worth using, but it could use a few advanced features. Its bare-bones player won't win many fans when there are a lot of video players that do everything but sit up and beg. Still, if you just want something that will play your videos without much effort, you've found a good app.

This app is a video player that prides itself on its format support. Sure enough, we couldn't find a format that this app didn't play. The player, itself, just played the video, though, meaning … Read more

Smart Writing Tool - 7notes HD review

Smart Writing Tool - 7notes HD gives you the tools to take notes in a variety of ways and include them all in one document. You can type on a virtual keyboard, write things out longhand with your finger or a stylus, or draw a diagram to ensure your instructions or reminders are clear. You can then quickly send them off in an e-mail or post them to Twitter, Facebook, and more.

This app has an intuitive and accessible interface, and the tutorial that opens the first time you use the app clearly explains how to take advantage of all … Read more

The new PUMP Bluetooth HD Sportbuds promise beefed up audio (hands-on)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Bluetooth specialist Blueant hopes to tempt the fitness-minded with its new PUMP Bluetooth HD Sportbuds. Priced at $129, this rugged stereo audio device is both water-resistant and pliable to withstand the rigors of intense workouts.

I was able to see the HD Sportsbuds in person at MWC 2014. The product consists of two main earloop-style earbuds linked by a flat cord designed to be tangle-free. The entire gizmo is coated in a rubbery material which Blueant says will protect the headset against liquid spills, sweat, and the odd drop onto hard surfaces.

Though a flat wire connects … Read more

Slideshow Studio HD 3 review

Ashampoo's Slideshow Studio HD 3 can take a collection of still pictures and sound clips and turn it into a basic slideshow or a public television-style documentary with music, narration, onscreen text, and special effects. It saves projects as video clips in popular formats that will play on all your devices, plus you can share them with others or post them online. Slideshow Studio HD 3 is freeware that you can try for 40 days without registering. Registration, which is also free, enables support.

At first glance, Slideshow Studio's user interface presents a busy appearance, though it's … Read more

Review: PixelPoint HD is a photo editor with plenty of effects for your iPad

PixelPoint is a powerful photo editing tool for your iPad that lets you adjust your images to perfection and add filters to finish them off. There are many tools available through this app's intuitive and functional interface, and once you've got your photo just the way you want it, it's easy to share it on Facebook or Twitter or save it to your camera roll.

When you open PixelPoint for the first time, you're given the option of connecting with Facebook or just continuing on to edit your photos. You can go back and connect at … Read more

Samsung already looking beyond 2K display for smartphones?

According to recent chatter, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is rumored to debut with a 2,560x1,440-pixel AMOLED display.

At a upward of 560 pixels per inch, this "2K" resolution is unlike anything we've seen from Samsung. But as terrific as this sounds on paper, it pales in comparison to what's around the corner. Strap in, kids, Samsung's already working on an AMOLED UHD display capable of 3,480x2,160 pixels. In other words: 4K smartphones.

Samsung this week revealed (translate) at the Semiconductor and Display Technology Roadmap Seminar 2014 that these 4K smartphones with … Read more

Review: Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn HD - A Hidden Object Adventure is a spooky puzzler

Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn HD - A Hidden Object Adventure takes you into a spooky countryside to investigate the disappearance of your brother. Once you get to his last known location, it's your job to follow the clues and accumulate objects that will be useful later on. You'll encounter a variety of obstacles to overcome, puzzles to solve, and other characters on your quest, and they can all help you attain your ultimate goal if you can figure out how to use them appropriately.

This app opens quickly and runs well. It lets you select the level … Read more

Review: Weird Park: Scary Tales HD - A Hidden Object Adventure is a spooky game

Weird Park: Scary Tales HD is a hidden object game in which you search for clues to find out what happened to some missing children. This is the second Weird Park app released by Big Fish Games, and it begins with your character driving down a dark road, only to have the ghost of a child appear in the passenger's seat for a moment and then disappear again. This causes you to crash your car, and when you wake up, you begin to search for clues and a way home.

The interface and graphics of this app are streamlined … Read more