Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
I know, I know, my song writing is brilliant. But it’s easy when your muse is new iPods and Apple TVs. It’s been nearly a week since Steve Jobs’ keynote speech, but let’s take a gander back at the new toys. Let’s start smaller. Tiny in fact. With the only iPod that Apple actually made bigger than its predecessor, but for good reason. The Fourth Generation iPod Shuffle (NOW WITH BUTTONS!) is a vast improvement over the Third Generation, and only a slight improvement over the Second. In fact, it’s basically the Second Generation again, with about an eighth of an inch shaved off and a playlist feature, plus it went back to the $49 price point. So woo hoo, the Shuffle is good again. Next, the iPod Nano, which is a completely different Nano altogether. Basically a smaller iPod Touch, the Multi-Touch capable Nano is certainly the best Nano yet; smaller, but with a larger screen and more storage, hooray. Now we’re just waiting to overhear people calling it the iTouch Nano.
And speaking of the iTouch, er, iPod Touch, it keeps getting better. Retina display, FaceTime, and 3G capability? It’s basically an iPhone. As long as you don’t mind using Skype to make all your calls. With a free iBooks download and the new performance improvements, it’s hard to believe the 64GB is only $399 (especially because I paid $499 for my 32GB Gen 1 just a few years ago. Phooey). That’s the way of technology I suppose.
Now the biggest overhaul yet comes in the form of the Apple TV. This time around Apple actually made a device that you’ll want to use, instead just an expensive external drive for your iTunes and iPhoto Media. For just $99 you have 802.11n streaming of every video you could possibly want to download from the interweb. And it fits in the palm of your hand. Unless you have an abnormally small hand.
So that’s the news. In other news, the NFL is on for real starting this Thursday with one of the most anticipated season openers in recent memory. Saints vs. Vikings in the rematch of last year’s NFC Championship. Then there’s Packers vs. Eagles this weekend and Jets vs. Ravens and our beloved Chiefs vs. Chargers Monday night. What a weekend, huh? Well good luck, football fans. I hope all your teams win. Except you, San Diego.
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Well posted, Nate. The new 3rd Generation Shuffle, while incorporating cool new features and getting yet impossibly smaller, has its drawbacks to be sure. In brief, there’s no 1GB $49 version, which may be unsettling to those who just want 240 songs to work out to and don’t want to spend $79. Also the Voiceover feature is an interesting concept for an MP3 player with no screen, but you’d think someone would create an automated voice feature that doesn’t sound so robotic. On the bright side, every time you click the song ID button it’s almost like you’re listening to Radiohead’s Fitter Happier. Lastly- and this is perhaps the one that will most likely dissuade potential buyers -the device won’t work without the specially designed headphones. Ouch. If you’re anything like me and you go through headphones at a rate of about a pair per month, you’re not going to be happy about paying $29 every time you need a replacement. Poppycock, if you ask me.
But alas! Good news for those of you who have any other iPod and dislike the ubiquitous white ear buds. Don’t get me wrong- they’re a huge improvement over the early iPod buds and they sound pretty good for their size, but they never seem to fit quite right in my ears. Well, now there’s something to get excited about. I’m talking about Skull Candy. Let me explain; I’ve been using expensive professional in-ear monitors for playing live music for about two years now, and no matter what I use I can’t seem to get a good balance of sound from every member of a band without cranking the gain and blowing out either my ears or the speakers. About a month ago my bassist friend Tyler started endorsing a $10 pair of buds called Skull Candy, made by Ink’d. I bought a pair last week and I can’t stop recommending them. Full, rich lows and clear highs and they come with three different sizes of rubber buds to fit any ear. You can find them by the register of your local discount merch store (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross), and they beat the heck out of buds that go for over $100. So go get some and try them on your iPod. I’ll bet you didn’t even know your music sounded that good. Later everybody.
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