Review: Cambridge Audio Minx Go

Cambridge Audio | Bluetooth Speaker | $ 149.00

While all the wireless speaker creators are out creating rugged, water resistant speakers to tout durability, Cambridge Audio decides to go a different route.  Create a design that looks great indoors, on a desk, but also small enough to be portable on the go.  This is definitely a good change from the rugged designs that have almost become cliché.  (more…)

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Speaker Review: NuForce Cube

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NuForce | Portable Speaker / Digital to Analog Converter | $ 99

We first met NuForce when I did a review on their NE700M headphones, at that time, I was impressed with their 70 dollar offering. Then came the 770, which I wasn’t too fond of. This roller coaster ride has lead me to the Cube, not a headphone from NuForce, rather a speaker.  Read on for the full review: (more…)

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Noteworthy Kickstarter Projects for iOS Devices

Kickstarter is a website founded in April 2009 that allows everyday people to fund creative projects. There’s all sorts of potential start-ups on the website ranging from indie bands to technological inventions. By making a pledge, you’re not only supporting a project, but there’s usually perks involved too—free pins, t-shirts, and sometimes even a free lunch—as a way for the person who started the project to show his or her gratitude towards your donation. The website is a great funding platform for everyday people that want to pursue their innovative ideas but need some financial assistance in the process.

Among the projects found on Kickstarter are a number of noteworthy concepts for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. For starters, there is the Red Pop physical camera button for the iPhone 4. The button, designed by Beep Industries, is part of an attachment that slides onto the end of the iPhone and connects via the 30-pin dock connector. When it is connected, the Red Pop application, which will be free on the App Store, will open automatically to allow for quick snapping of photos. The shots that you take will automatically save to your iPhone’s camera roll. The company is anticipating the release of a next-generation iPhone and will adjust its Red Pop button accordingly if necessary. The project has been highly successful, bringing in nearly double its goal of $20,000 in pledges. The retail price of the Red Pop has yet to be announced, but you can secure yourself a pre-order with a $75 pledge.

Another interesting and equally successful project is The Paradox, a premium stainless steel watch kit for your sixth-generation iPod nano. The watch, designed by the 21-year-old founder of All Geek Everything, is engineered from high-grade stainless steel that completely encloses the iPod nano in industrial-design fashion. It is embedded with external buttons that are very functional, features interchangeable straps, and comes in either a stainless steel or black stainless steel finish. The kit will retail for $79 with custom engraving available.

A few more awesome ideas can be found after the break!

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CES Announces Its 2011 Innovation Honorees

This week the Consumer Electronics Association announced its CES 2011 Design and Engineering Innovations Honorees.

The awards program recognizes innovations in over 30 consumer electronics categories. In the realm of portable multimedia accessories, 15 products received honors and will be showcased along with the other recognized products at a special display at the 2011 International CES show to be held in Las Vegas January 6th-9th. Five of these items are iPad stands and/or docks.  Read on to see the full list of iDevice accessory honorees.

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Apple Updates Remote.app, Finally.

The Remote app for the iPhone is one of the most useful applications on the App Store for aspiring living-room DJs, but has gone un-updated for nearly a year – strange, considering it is a first party application. As the name implies, the app allows users to control their iTunes library over WiFi, directly from their iOS device.

At long last, Apple has updated the Remote to 2.0, bringing with it support for the iPad, Retina display, and Apple TV.

What’s New In Version 2.0

  • Designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Optimized for Retina displays and large screen real estate on iPad
  • Support for Shared Libraries on iTunes and new Apple TV
  • Bug fixes and compatibility with iTunes 10 and the new Apple TV

Features

  • Control iTunes and Apple TV, from anywhere in your home
  • Pause, rewind, fast forward, shuffle, and adjust the volume from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
  • View album, movie, and TV show artwork
  • Create and update Genius playlists
  • Create and edit playlists in iTunes
  • Search your entire iTunes library
  • Control iTunes to send music to AirPlay speakers
  • Control the volume on each speaker independently
  • Control Apple TV with simple finger gestures
  • Enter text with the keyboard
  • Even control Shared Libraries on iTunes and the new Apple TV

[iTunes]

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Size Matters

We tested how much space could be saved if higher bit rate songs were converted to 128 kbps. Quite a bit of space was saved, but you should know that this severely degrades the quality of your music. If you’re using expensive earphones or actually care about the quality of your music, this tip is absolutely not for you. Nonetheless, your grandparents might use this tip if they need to put the Ray Anthony catalogue on their iPods and don’t really care about sound quality.

Before:

Before

After:

After

(click images for larger)

Disclaimer: going through the comments, a lot of people are complaining about “128kbps sounds rubbish on my $600 Sennheiser headphones!!!” and of course it will. The point of this is for people who are using the Apple headphones or listen to it directly out of the speaker. Most of you won’t be able to tell the difference anyway, you just think you’re some kind of God-like audiophile.

For example, try this website http://mp3ornot.com/ (courtesy of ThaCrossroads) and see if you can work out which is the 320kbps and which is the 128kbps. I couldn’t listening to it out of my Macbook’s speakers. But try with the Apple earphones and then try with your incredibly-expensive headphones and see. The difference is MINIMAL is anything.

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iPod Nano Hands On

Apple announced the 5th Generation Nano on the 9th at the “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” event. The new device was given an anodised outer coating, and equipped with a video camera, speaker, FM radio, pedometer, larger screen, and a few more goodies. I’ve managed to get mine in the post from Apple (only 5 days after the event… not bad for European postal service) and I’ve taken some pictures and done a quick write up about it for you guys on iPod Touch Fans. If you want to see any picture in a bigger size, clicking on them will open the full sized image in a new window! So let’s begin:

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iPod touch warranty near expiry

original ipod touchWhen you purchase an iPod, Apple always provides a 1-year limited warranty. And unfortunately, it is nearing 1 year since Apple discontinued the original iPod touch. On September 9th, 2009, all 1st-gen iPod touchs (aside from those covered by AppleCare) will be out of warranty. Many original iPod touchs have been out of warranty for months, however the last batch (those purchased in September 2008) are next in line to be out of warranty.

With all original iPod touchs set to be out of warranty, one may wonder if this is the end of the line for the iPod touch that started it all. The 2nd gen iPod touch is already approaching its 1-year anniversary, and a rumored 3rd gen model — if true — is just around the corner.

Apple may discontinue firmware updates to the original iPod touch, but that is something only time can tell. On the other hand, they may continue pushing out firmware updates to the original iPod touch, but slimmed down to accommodate for the missing features of the device (ie. a speaker).

Regardless of what happens, on September 9th, I will not be worried about warranty expiring but, instead, how far the iPod touch has advanced in the nearly 2 years it has been released.

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Homemade accessories

Over the months, many of our users have designed homemade accessories for the iPod touch and iPhone. Some are sophisticated while others are simple, but they all have their own homemade creativity that no company could possibly match. Below is a look back at some of the more interesting accessories designed by our community – with an opportunity to create your own.

LEGO iPod dockdesigned by crimsondynamo329

Front

Making use of his old LEGO blocks, crimsondynamo329 designed a free iPod dock made (almost) entirely of these tiny blocks.

The dock features an internal speaker with an on/off switch (a lego block). When you turn the speaker on, a green LED light lights up to indicate it is turned on. Vice versa, it is unlit when the speaker is off.

An iPod touch, 1st or 2nd gen, fits firmly on the dock. It sits on a dock connector on the end of a regular iPod sync cable. The sync cable runs through the dock and out the back – where it can be plugged into a MacBook or other USB port. Next to the dock connector, a headphone connector is provided to plug into a 3.5mm headphone jack (on the iPod). This utilizes the internal speaker inside of the LEGO dock!

A 9V battery, located inside the dock, is the power source for the LED light.

A full set of pictures is provided in the original thread, where you can view the inside and outside of the dock.

Homemade Stylusdesigned by Ghosn

stylusAn effective, good looking stylus for your iPod touch or iPhone that is simple to make. Starting with a pencil, it is covered in 1 or 2 coats of aluminum foil – tightly wrapped around the pencil with any excess removed. The stylus is then covered in electrical tape to ensure that the aluminum foil remains on the pencil. As simple as it sounds, those are the only steps required to create your very own stylus.

Since your skin is conductive with the aluminum foil, the stylus is able to work with the iPod’s screen. To prevent scratching your screen it is recommended that you take a high grit sandpaper and sand down the aluminum ends of the stylus. iPod touch Fans will take no responsibility for damage to your device as a result of this information. The stylus shown above is the V2 model.

You can view both versions of the stylus and full pictures in the original thread.

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Accessory Review: Proporta Perfora

Hello Everyone! This is a review on the Proporta Perfora for the iPhone 3G. This review is going to be very short, since it is a basic accessory, but will still include everything you need to know.

The Perfora comes in a nice box, but unfortunately includes nothing inside other than the case. The case is a type of slide it in and fold it, and has magnetic latches. That is what frightened me, I had very bad experiences when magnets when I was small, and I don’t really want them to be near any electronic device. It has a very nice clip on the back, which is non removable but it is actually very sturdy. The whole case is made from 100% green leather, and it smells like real leather as well. The case is actually a very high quality, but has some downsides. It will not fit a case, and is not very resistant to cold weather. I found that after it was in the cold for some time the leather stiffened up and stop stretching, but you probably wont store your iPhone in such cold temperatures anyway.

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