Music System

Another clone from Meizu?

We all know Meizu for their phone that they admit was greatly influenced by the iPhone. They've got another product coming out that bears a strong resemblance to an Apple product. Look familiar?

The M3 Music Card looks an awful lot like the 1st generation iPod nano. The main difference in looks is the touchstrip in place of the scrollwheel.

Reportedly it will support a wider variety of formats than the nano. Some of these include FLAC, OGG and XviD AVI files. Expect to see these for approximately $65 in China around the 20th of this Month.

iPod Nano clone confirmed [via looprumors]

Portable recording studio for the musician in your life

My dad and brother are both musicians so I am no stranger to music devices. (Though I couldn't carry a tune to save my life.) So I enjoy taking a look at what the music industry has to offer artists that want to take their music to the next level.

A steaming cup of iPod, please

A well-designed dock can make the difference between your DAP having a fulsome life at home pumping out jaunty entertainment or sitting by the front door waiting for you to go jogging again.  Some companies go the high-tech route, packing in tube-amps, displays or, um, toilet-roll holders, while others rely on quirky design to catch your attention (and your credit card).

I.D.E.A. have obviously taken the second route.  I can't imagine the single speaker at the base of this ceramic MusicMug qualifies as "high fidelity" but I suppose if you're going to leave your mp3 player somewhere you might as well sit it in a cup.

Available now for $40

I.D.E.A. [via technabob]

Laser Turntable drops sub-$10k; any takers?

Seriously, I remember this slab of tech from, like, twenty years ago on Tomorrow's World.  It's a laser turntable for your vinyl, you sexy bearded classic audiophile - don't put up with wretched scratching on your favourite Val Doonican LP, allow the five carefully focused lasers to caress the grooves and extract every last sod of music.

Careful tracking means the music isn't affected by twists or warps, and since it apparently reads at a tiny 10 microns from the top of each groove it's actually aimed at areas of vinyl untouched by needle.

Review: TerraTec NOXON iRadio

I confess, I'm preaching the dream but up until a month ago I wasn't living it. The dream is, of course, distributed audio: I'm a huge fan of keeping all your music digitally on some server in your house, and streaming it wirelessly to whichever room you're sitting in, but I've never had the money or time to set up such a system myself. Of course, for many DIY installers the flagship is Sonos' incredible Digital Music System (reviewed by SlashGear last November), but there are other - cheaper - ways to enjoy your favourite albums while cooking, ironing or pooping.

TerraTec's NOXON iRadio is one such way. A compact, 215x120x110mm box weighing just 1kg, it not only streams your digital music collection but can access thousands of internet radio stations, all played through the built-in speaker. An 802.11g WiFi adaptor takes care of wireless connectivity, as well as a standard ethernet port for network traditionalists, with control managed either by front-panel buttons or IR remote.

The force is not strong with this one

I have something to admit to all of you. I'm a Star Wars geek. There, I said it. Now that I've gotten that off of my chest I've finally found an excuse to walk around all day with a lightsaber attached to my belt all day. I'm talking about a combination lightsaber and mp3 player. Ok, maybe it would be just a little much even for me to walk around with this on my hip all day.

At the time of writing, I'm not sure that this is an actual product. But the prospect of such a product was too good not to write about. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if George Lucas were to put his stamp of approval on it. Seriously, the man thought Jar Jar Binks was a great idea.

MP3 Lishtsaber Should Stay at Home [via Crave]

Ravezooka plays music from your victims

If it's a toss-up between making music or love instead of war, most people will go for love; however, if pressed I guess they'll make music.  That's the target audience for the ravezooka, a mashup of the household bazooka and the deadly electric guitar - an ultrasonic range detector adjusts the frequency range of the sound it plays, while a movable trigger handle changes the distortion of the sound.  Volume is managed by a simple knob on the side.

An LED on the front gives a rough idea of who you're targeting, while the sounds themselves are triggered on an attached computer by MIDI data from the ultrasonics.  If you're having trouble visualising it, there are videos of it in action on the project page (linked to below).

iPod portable recording/karaoke studio

More and more people are recognising that the iPod is not just an iconic, slightly-passé DAP but an ideal way to record your weekend band.  The MusicJam holds an iPod and simultaneously plays music and records through the XLR socket (they even include a microphone), adding digital effects should that be your bag.

 

There's also free software which turns your iPod into a tiny karaoke machine, displaying lyrics and recording your wretched warblings so that you can upload them to the interweb and get featured on the next series of American Idol.  Priced at $229, it comes with the iPod connector cable, RCA cables, AC adaptor, and music stand clamp and promises studio quality sound.

Product Page [via Krunker]

Multi-room audio gets cheaper

I was planning on writing the Eos Wireless iPod Speaker System off as another wannabe Sonos clone, until I saw the price.  At $299 for the base station kit, which includes one wireless speaker, and $129 for additional speakers, makes this pretty good value if you're an iPod owner wanting to stream your music around the house.  There's also a weatherproof outdoor amp option, for swish garden parties and those times you're locked out of the house due to a bust-up with your loved-ones.

Particularly clever is Eos' mounting system for the speakers - the power-supply is integrated, meaning the unit can mount directly on a wall-outlet without needing brackets, nails or ridiculously strong glue.  The wireless technology is apparently "WiFi friendly", by which I assume that it's something proprietary that won't interfere with your network, and you can have up to four speaker units registered to each base-station. 

Budget Mixing Decks add annoying “scratch” sounds

For $39.95 these iPod DJ breasts Mixing Decks will add a variety of craptastic "digital mixing effects" to any music you pump through it - obviously they'd prefer you to use your iPod, but since other music sources do exist I guess you can route them through what is, I imagine, a perfectly standard 3.5mm stereo jack too.  Then, you budding FatTong Tiestos, you'll be able to rub and scratch the discs to play up to six (read it and weep, Technics) backing rhythms and fill-in sounds, three drum-fills and three voice effects. 

Independent source and effect volume controls let you minimise your wretched efforts at creativity to a bare whisper, while Hammacher Schlemmer (oh yes, you knew it) also highlight that it's Mac and PC compatible via the "appropriate audio connector"... surely not another stereo cable going to your computer's microphone input?

It runs on 4 AA batteries and hopefully drains them so quickly that you'll only get a few minutes of annoyance.

Hammacher Schlemmer [via bookofjoe]

Top Notch, Halcro’s SSP-100 Full Audio Video HDMI Processor

Top Notch, Halcro’s SSP-100 Full Audio Video HDMI Processor

Perhaps the baddest and most expensive audio video preamp-processors on the face of the planet.  The Halcro SSP-100 is a full audio and video processor with a video scaler.  If you are not familiar with Halcro, don't fret.  Halcro is an Australian company known worldwide for their amplifiers, digital circuitry, and sound innovation.  For starters, the unit is huge, thick, with a satin-finished aluminum panel but weight doesn't matter when it comes to high-quality sound.  The large LCD screen located in the front is not joke.  It's a monitor that supports 480i sources so video is a snap.  The unit features USB, RS-232 connections, 10 sources (six audio/video, four video).  It also includes HDMI, component, six S-video, six composite and it goes on and on with connections.

The picture above is the exact model.  As you can see Finding Nemo is playing on the processor's front display.  The unit is professional grade so it comes rack mountable or free standing with a programmable touchscreen remote (seen below).  As far as audio it features 7.1 channel balanced inputs and outputs, 4 programmable output channels which means you can literally play everything on the fly at any time.  The audio features continue with the patented High Dynamic Bass (HDB) for superior, deep lows.  I almost forgot it supports calibration, DTS, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic standards, THX, and it passed various tests to gain certifications.

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RF iPod remote with screen allows multi-room control

Here's a dinky little curio bound to appeal to at least some of the distributed audio and Apple fans in the audience.  Keyspan have launched their TuneView system, a dock and remote combo that allows you to control your iPod when it's connected to a hi-fi or multi-room setup.  Rather than currently available remotes that offer basic transport controls and demand that you're either happy with the current playlist or can navigate without seeing the iPod's screen, the TuneView remote has a colour LCD display so that you can use it as if you were holding the DAP in your hands.

Multiple dock inserts allow the use of various iPod models, and outputs for stereo audio, video and USB mean that not only can you listen to and view all of your content but also sync with iTunes on a PC or Mac too.  Most surprisingly, however, is the price: just $179.

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