Pro-audio manufacturer AKG are looking to the podcasting crowd with their latest microphone, the Perception 120 USB, and hoping that the promise of studio-quality sound will lure them in. The Perception 120 USB hooks up - as you'd expect - via a single USB connection and contains a 24-bit, 128x oversampling analog to digital converter.
Apple have released firmware version 2.2 for the iPhone, bringing with it Google Street View, over-the-air podcast downloads (using both WiFi and cellular networks) and public transport/walking directions. The 246MB download also includes the ability to share your location via email, increases the stability and performance of Safari, and reduces errors in the Mail app.
If you like listening to podcasts while on the go or even while just lounging at home, a new device called the Castgrabber is geared toward making listening to podcasts a super easy experience that requires no PC computer to hook up to.
The Castgrabber Podcast Downloader connects itself to the Internet automatically in order to download your favorite podcasts onto your PMP. A connection to the Internet is all you need. This takes some of the complication out of the process with syncing and all. All you have to do is select what you want to listen to through iTunes or your web browser.
This device is rather amazing, it allows you to record your podcasts and interviews on the fly, directly to your iPod. Then it automatically syncs, and can even auto upload, that content the next time you sync your iPod.
Having not long set up push-email on the loaner Treo 750 I've got (look for a review soon on SlashGear!), I'm starting to understand how people can get addicted to their instantaneous mail delivery. And I also know the aching, crippling pain of sitting there waiting for mail to drop in. So impatient BlackBerry owners might be interested to hear that QuickPlay have launched a subscription-based streaming audio service of over 100 audiocasts (think: 5-7 minute podcasts).
For $7.96 a month (plus the necessary network data charges) you can choose from such providers as ABC News, AccuWeather.com, Clear Channel, Gaiam, MarketWatch.com, The Wall Street Journal and Westwood One. Content is updated daily, and the program will run on the BlackBerry 7130e and 8700 series as well as the Pearl.
There's a review here and another screen-shot after the cut...
Promising to "Play the web", Songbird is a new music programme that, amongst other things, can scrape a website or blog to gather up all the audio files. Based on the open-source code base that Firefox uses, not only will Songbird index all the music on your PC (making it an alternative to WMP or iTunes), but it can do the same for Wikipedia, Audioscrobbler and any url you choose to examine.
Once it has assessed a site, you can then instruct it to monitor for any new files added and automatically download them. Think of it as a combined audio player and podcasting manager, only you don't necessarily need to download a file to play it - Songbird can create m3u playlists on-the-fly to stream any number of audio files from a site.
We've so far resisted the urge to jump on the podcasting bandwagon here at SlashGear; the market is running close to saturation point with thousands of vocal opinion-junkies clamouring at the ears of the vaguely interested. It can be tricky sifting through the masses of mp3s to find something worth listening to, and the wildly varying recording standards don't do much to help matters. Perhaps most frustrating is when levels of volume don't match up - one pundit is far louder than another, maybe, or intermittent music booms out over everything else - meaning you're constantly twiddling the volume dial like a cheap DJ.
If you find a lot of music via Twitter, it can be a bit bothersome to have to migrate away from the app just to listen to a track. At least with the mobile version of Twitter, that’s about to change. Twitter is announcing a new feature named Audio Card, which lets you click on a shared track for playback right in their app. You can also continue browsing your stream while the track plays, as it docks to the bottom of your screen.
Your homescreen, desktop, or whatever you want to call it on your Xbox One is about to become a whole lot brighter. According to Xbox head Phil Spencer, Microsoft is working on allowing customizability in the user interface for Xbox One. This system would allow custom backgrounds, full themes, color changes, and more. While we’re not certain when this release will be, hearing it from Spencer himself leads us to believe that it’ll be a real-deal release in the near future.
The folks over at TiC Podcast spoke to Phil Spencer earlier today, and during the nearly 40 minute podcast they touched on a lot of topics, not the least of which is Xbox One custom backgrounds. During the talk, Spencer confirmed that such functionality will be coming to the console in due time, being joined by things like a screenshot feature and themes. When exactly they'll be arriving is still anyone's guess, but he confirmed that they are all in the works right now.