Portable Audio

Back to School CE Spending to Top $3 Billion
August 7, 2006

According to a new study by CEA, titled “Back to School CE Spending,” 72 percent of teenagers plan on receiving a new CE product before they head back to school this fall. $3.1 billion is the figure CEA calculates parents and teens will spend on CE in that time frame. They estimate that 67 percent of parents will spend $100 to $500 on CE, most of which will be calculators and computers. Teens, too, will be chipping in, spending an estimated $600 million total on CE, adding MP3 players to the mix. Says Steve Koenig, CEA’s senior manager of industry

Audistry: Dolby’s package plan for personal audio processing
July 31, 2006

Dolby Laboratories, since the day it introduced its revolutionary noise-reduction technology for tape, has promoted the faithful reproduction of audio recordings. Its newest product suite, Audistry by Dolby, takes the leap from “faithful” to “personal,” explains Chris Bennett, vice president and general manager for Dolby in Australia, where its recently acquired Audistry division is based. The first product with Audistry by Dolby, Sharp’s 1-bit SD-SP10 surround/subwoofer system ($350), has already debuted, and Dolby is touting the technology among other potential licensees for product categories where size may otherwise limit sonic performance -- namely, MP3 audio players, mobile phones, 2.1- or 3.1-channel home A/V

Digital Foci Ships Digital Photo Album/Personal Media Player
July 27, 2006

Digital Foci announced yesterday shipment of its 40GB and 80GB Picture Porter Elite digital photo album. This handheld device stores photos on a built-in harddrive and displays them on a 3.6-inch LCD screen. It also acts as a digital backup for photos taken on a digital camera. Simply take the full memory card out of the camera, place it in the Porter and download the pictures to make room for more shooting. The Porter connects to peripheral devices, including televisions, computers and printers, allowing for PC-free printing of photos (granted that you have a PictBridge compliant printer). The Porter

Digi Clothes Worth a Look
July 25, 2006

We’ve seen several clothing manufacturers entering the Technology-Enabled Clothing (TEC) market and some of the stuff we’ve eyed recently makes a lot of sense. Many of the traditional clothing manufacturers are adding special jackets and/or vests to their lines that allow consumers to easily store and access products like tiny digicams or iPods and the like. A company called Scottvest/SeV has actually come to market with an entire line of such clothing recently releasing the SeV Performance T-Shirt line. The T-shirts allow users to transport their digital music player, digital camera or cell phone hands-free, while providing easy access to the device or its headphones

Microsoft Confirms Launch of Zune Brand
July 25, 2006

Last Friday, Microsoft announced it will try its hand at the digital music market and launch the brand Zune. The brand looks to challenge Apple’s signature iPod and iTunes and will offer its own music players and services. Microsoft plans to use a hard drive for music storage and implement Wi-Fi in the device. The wireless technology involved would allow users to share playlists and recommend music between devices. The company hopes to eventually include computers, phones and even the Xbox 360 into the music sharing and listening mania. To date, details on the wireless technology are not determined as Microsoft is still exploring

New Bluetooth Dash Kit from Scosche
July 18, 2006

The BTDIN, a new Bluetooth DIN Kit from Scoche’s BlueLife wireless accessory line, is now shipping. BTDIN aids in real time streaming of digital audio via Bluetooth. The installation kit is designed to allow for the mounting of BlueLife’s receiver, part of the BlueLife IUBCKH interface, in the head-unit location of a vehicle. The customer can then use the interface to wirelessly stream the output of an MP3 player to the vehicle’s audio system. The BTDIN fits any OEM or aftermarket DIN radio space. Two tinted face plates are included for covert install. Available for $20.50, the

Nintendo DS Top-Selling Gaming System in U.S.
July 17, 2006

Sales numbers released recently by NPD Group reveal that in June, the Nintendo DS portable outsold all other gaming systems of any type in the U.S. With sales boosted by the DS Lite, total sales for the system account for more than a third of June’s purchases in that category, nearly 600,000 units. One of the system’s titles, “New Super Mario Bros.” achieved top-selling game status for the second month in a row with 450,000 units sold. The adoption rate for the DS’s exclusive wireless gaming network, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, is also at an industry-best, topping that of any other system

No UMD’s Found in Target
July 14, 2006

The blogosphere is abuzz with reports of the disappearance of all films in the proprietary UMD format for Sony PSP from the shelves of Target stores around the country. Though no official word has come down from Target executives, a Target customer service representative confirmed to GamePro.com on Wednesday that, in fact, Target was discontinuing the item. The discs, which are not compatible with any other player, can still be found on Target’s website. Back in February, several studios, including Sony, began cutting back on titles released in the format. Some studios have now stopped altogether, citing disappointing sales.

MyerEmco Teams with Riptopia to Digitize Music Collections
July 12, 2006

MyerEmco will use Riptopia’s technology to digitize entire CD collections for its customers. The end result will be a digital music library playable on products sold at MyerEmco, such as media centers, music servers and iPods. The libraries will be organized alphabetically by artist, album, song and genre with a 48 hour turn-around on conversion orders of up to 1,000 CD’s. Riptopia has partnered with Gracenote and Muze to provide metadata such as album art for the collections. The service is available now at all MyerEmco locations.

MTI Releases New Display Product for Handheld Devices
July 12, 2006

MTI announced on Tuesday the latest in their Freedom line of merchandising systems, the Freedom LP. The display is designed specifically for such devices as MP3 players, PDA’s and cell phones. Ultimate Electronics has been announced as being among the first to install these displays, which they will use to merchandise iPods, among other products. The system comes bundled with a universal power feature and smart power cables which automatically deliver the appropriate voltage to whatever devices are plugged in to the display. This feature, along with the modular design, is geared toward making the swapping out of individual