Portable Audio

Sirius Stiletto on Hold
September 18, 2006

The Sirius Stiletto portable receiver, which features Wi-Fi and 2GB of memory, has been taken down from Sirius authorized retailer TSS Radio’s Web site and has disappeared completely from Crutchfield’s site. A note on the TSS site says that Sirius has asked its retailers to suspend pre-orders of the device, though TSS expects availability by the end of this month or the beginning of next. Theories about the reason for the delay have been buzzing about the Net and include such possibilities as interference from the RIAA or pending certification from the FCC.

Zune, Zune, Zune -- Microsoft Profiles Would-Be iPod Killer
September 15, 2006

In the wake of a slew of iPod releases Tuesday, Microsoft announced details Thursday of its foray into the music player wars, the Zune. The first product to be released under the brand, the Zune player boasts a 30GB hard drive, its own online music service (Zune Marketplace), a 3-inch screen (a half inch larger than the iPod screen) and, perhaps its two biggest edges, Wi-Fi capability and an FM tuner. Not to be outdone in the diversity department, the player comes in black, white and brown. The player takes advantage of its wireless capability via Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing, which allows

Christmas in September for the Apple Faithful
September 13, 2006

At Apple’s invitation-only “It’s Showtime!” conference on Tuesday in San Francisco, the company unveiled numerous new product enhancements, including new iPods, a new iTunes and a sneak peek at a major new home networking initiative to be launched early next year. Apple CEO Steve Jobs began by introducing updates to the iPod, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. The new video-compatible iPod has a 60 percent brighter screen, comes in 30GB and 80GB models which can last for 3.5 hours and 6.5 hours respectively (an improvement over the 2 hour limit of the previous generation). The new iPod also features gapless playback

Because MP3 Players Aren’t in Enough CE Products Already
September 7, 2006

Maisto International and Audiobahn have teamed up to create a toy that has an MP3 player hook-up built in. The new 1:10 scale Radio-Controlled Volkswagen Bus can be hooked up to any MP3 player and driven around while the tunes blast away. Since this is a collaboration with Audiobahn, they are providing one of their sound systems for the bus, albeit in a scaled-down version. Other features include working headlights, taillights, glowing engine and an actual working suspension system. The unit will be available exclusively at Target stores this holiday season.

SanDisk Gets in on Memory Card Recorder Game
September 6, 2006

Earlier this year, Neuros released a recording device that captures video from multiple sources onto a variety of memory card formats. Now SanDisk, no stranger to the memory card business, has announced their own device, the V-Mate, at the IFA show in Berlin. The V-Mate records video from such sources as broadcast television, cable, satellite, DVD, DVR and VHS onto SanDisk flash memory cards for playback on such devices as cell phones, PDAs, portable gaming devices, video music players or laptops. The device fits three-and-a-half hours of high quality video on each gigabyte of a variety of memory card formats, including

XM Fat Pulled from Fire in Time for Holidays
August 28, 2006

In May, XM pulled three receivers from the marketplace when it was discovered that their FM modulators might not be in compliance with FCC regulations. On Friday, the FCC announced that the modulators were, in fact, in compliance with their standards and could be sold, issuing new grants of authority for each radio. XM will now resume production on the Audiovox Xpress, Delphi Roady XT and XM Sportscaster with an eye towards availability this holiday season.

SanDisk Releases World’s Largest Capacity Flash Memory MP3 Player
August 22, 2006

SanDisk announced Monday the availability of the 8GB Sansa e280, the world’s largest capacity flash memory MP3 player. With a 2GB extension via SD memory card, the device can hold 10GB of music (roughly 2500 songs), the most storage currently available for this type of device. Simultaneously, SanDisk is lowering the price of its other e200 series players, making the price of their 2GB Sansa e250 model as low as $139.99. Eric Bone, director of audio/video product marketing at SanDisk, explains, “The most costly ingredient in a flash-based MP3 player is the flash memory. Since we make the flash memory, we

Download-to-Burn and PMPs to Drive Online Video, Says ABI
August 17, 2006

ABI’s latest report forecasts a slightly brighter future for online-delivered video thanks to such venues as portable media players. Says principal analyst Michael Wolf, “The percentage of Internet-delivered video viewed on a portable device will go from just 3% today to 16% by 2011.” Wolf explains the mechanism behind this growth, “As portable media hardware vendors such as Apple and Microsoft add networking connectivity to their products, and Sony moves away from UMD toward network-based video delivery for the PSP, more content will become portable as it becomes less dependant on the PC.” ABI also predicts an a rise in the

Tweeter Makes “The Great iPod Exchange” Incarnate
August 17, 2006

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has become the first U.S. retailer to offer an iPod trade-in program by teaming with NextWorth Solutions, creators of the online “Great iPod Exchange.” Customers can now trade in their used iPods at Tweeter for a store credit to be based on the music player’s model and condition. Explains Jonathan Magasanik, vice president and general merchandise manager for Tweeter, “We accept a customer’s iPod in just about any condition, inspect it and award the customer credit on the spot.” To evaluate the iPod, Tweeter sales associates will use NextWorth’s iPod calculator, which also exists online at NextWorth’s

Sony Announces New Pocket-Sized Communicator
August 9, 2006

Sony took their first step into handheld WiFi Wednesday with the unveiling of the mylo, a “personal communicator” that works off of 802.11b networks. The device, whose moniker abbreviates “my life online,” is specially designed for functions that take advantage of a wireless network such as instant messaging, VoIP and Internet browsing. It comes preloaded with Google Talk, Skype and Yahoo! Messenger. It also uses an embedded HTML browser (instead of WAP) to optimize Web site display. All of this comes without a monthly charge. The drawback to not being on a service is relying on available WiFi to get a