(doodled by mike.)
i find that life could be monotonous without a spice of art, in this case – tech-related topic. so it is tech.get aim to break those boring times with an occasional techART or techTOON, as some would refer it as. and here’s the very first.
this week it’s ‘changing times’. remember the 80s? shoulder pads, permed hair, fluorescent colors fashion, break dances (my personal favorite) and of course, the D-size batteries-operated boom boxes that you carry it anywhere. fast forward to today. you can still do the same but with a sleeker boom box in the form of portable iPod speaker dock. basically, we never changed. only difference is, technology changes.
(photo source: revo.co.uk)
we just can’t get enough of modern vintage look and here’s the prove: we love the Revo Heritage Renaissance Radio. it has the modern tech livery and an exterior designed around classic European table radio designs from the 1960s. constructed out of aluminum and real walnut veneer, this multi-format digital radio provides coverage of DAB, DAB+, FM and Wi-Fi internet radio and offers wireless audio streaming and docking for iPod. a custom-designed 3” neodymium speaker driver delivers the audio, driven by a superb high fidelity 7W amplifier.
there is also a large graphical OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display and a innovative joystick control system for maximum ease of operation. other connectivity includes 3.5mm auxiliary cable jack, USB port and composite video out. i just don’t understand. why Revo always something that i wanted so bad? for £229.95 (US$360), you can have a piece of this modern vintage.
visit REVO website.
(image source: whatspp.com / winamp.com)
it’s official: Whatsapp is now available on Android Market – not beta anymore. so friends out there who are using Android devices, can now text me via Whatsapp. saves us some money. great.
remember Winamp? to me Winamp is to MP3 as iPod is to portable music player. that was the first player that i used when i first discovers the wholesome goodness of MP3 music. i sure did have a lot fun with Winamp for desktop back then. you know adding plugins and changing the skins… now Winamp Beta is now available for Android (OS 2.1 & above) users. it will not be just another music player, but it will be a complete media management for Android and syncs seamlessly between your Winamp desktop library, wirelessly or wired via USB cable. the Winamp Beta features persistent player controls, play queue management, widget players & shortcuts and displays song info, album art et cetera.
the BOSE lifestyle T20 5.1 home theater system is features an easy set-up system named Unify™ intelligent integration system which uses on-screen navigation to simply the system setup. you know what they, a picture speaks louder than words. nothing beats a visual guide on how to setup the system. there’s an ADPATiQ® audio calibration system which analyzes the room’s dimensions and other variables, then automatically adjusts the sound to the room’s acoustics. Continue reading Bose Lifestyle T20 home theater system
(image credit: ETON) ETON Soulra | US$tbc | etoncorp.com
if you are a green gadget fan, you probably would be excited that you can now enjoy amplified music from your iPhone or iPod in a green way. this radiator like item charges with the sun light and disperse your music via it’s 11w full-range drivers speakers. in case you are out of juice, it has an AC power input. clad in a ruggedized casing, the Eton Soulra is splash proof, perfect for outdoor adventures. just be mindful that your iPhone/iPod isn’t splash proof. Continue reading Eton Soulra solar-powered iphone/ipod speaker dock
(photo source: jbl.com)
the new JBL On Stage certainly looks like an art sculpture which challenged the conventional speakers design (i.e. round or oblong in shape). termed as the Dynamic JBL Weave design. this could be a conversation piece in your home, an art piece which don’t have to spend top dollars to acquire. available in 2 sizes, the larger of the two is the On Stage IV features 4 x 1-inch (25mm) JBL Odyssey transducers, USB jack that syncs your iPhone/iPod with iTunes when connected to your computer, charges your iPhone/iPod while docked and an infra-red remote control. the smaller model, named, On Stage Micro III, has pretty much the same as the On Stage IV except for being smaller physically, and the Micro comes with two x 1-inch (25mm) JBL Odyssey transducers, instead. the JBL On Stage IV and the Micro III retails at US$149.95 and US99.95 respectively (correct at the time of publishing).
visit JBL website.
just when the world is still gasping over the new iPhone (both the pros and cons about it), Apple introduces the new generation iPod touch (read touch, not itouch) and the iPod nano (i’ve lost count on which generation of nano is at now). the new iPod touch now comes with the goodness carried over from the new iPhone 4, i.e. Retina display, HD video recording, FaceTime et cetera and there’s a new thing called Game Center (which is one of the feature of the iOS 4.1 software update). it also runs on the new A4 processor. which is nice and good news for iPod touch gamers.
along with touch, there’s a newly designed ipod nano. there are so many generations that i’d lost count. this time the nano comes with Multi-Touch. yeah, you know Multi-Touch? the usual swipe to browse, touch to play stuff and now there’s a home screen with icons in it, which like the Touch and iPhone, you can rearrange them. it is even smaller (width 40.9mm; height 37.5mm; depth 8.78mm) & lighter now, as if it wasn’t already small & light enough, and you can clip nano to your belt now, as in directly with the nano, without any other add-on or cases. oh, there’s accelerometer built into it too. sweet.
when i bought the ONKYO TX-SR507 AV receiver and i knew i would need an iPod dock, if they have any. i chanced upon this sweet little dock on the Official ONKYO website and have been trying to get my hands on it. months later, i found out its availability in Singapore and i wasted no time in getting it. got it from Harvey Norman Singapore @ Funan Digital Lifestyle Mall for less than 100 bucks. i hardly want to talk about build quality but it is good. the unit comes in shiny piano black. frankly, that’s a potential fingerprints magnet but then again, we hardly neat to touch the unit after setting it out. the unit connects to the ONKYO AV receiver via 1.5m long cable with a universal port connector. the dock itself has a little round ‘button’ where you can adjust to suit the different iPods or iPhone you are going to dock with. nice touch.
this unit does support visual interface & supports video playback up to 1080i (known as the extended mode) and photo slides but only on higher series of ONKYO AV receiver, therefore, i can’t comment on the user interface. the beauty of this unit is that it allows user to do basic music control of their iPod/iPhone via the stock ONKYO remote. functions such as scrolling through the albums, forward, next, play et cetera. the lack of interface support for lower end AV receiver can be a minus point. from a far, without visual, users can’t see the songs when scrolling though the menus and songs list. we all know how tiny the iPod screen can be. for those who has the ONKYO SR507 AV receiver might want to reconsider this option, if you desperately need to have a interface. i ended up squatting in front of the unit to do the selection. so much for remote control, huh?
this unit is compatible with most iPod models except for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations iPods. there’s not much installation to talk about. ‘installation’ is basically plugging in the universal connector to the universal port at the rear of the compatible ONKYO AV receiver – so there you go, the true meaning of ‘plug & play’. usage is simple. just dock your iPod or iPhone and switch your AV receiver to ‘Port’ and you are ready to savor those music jammed in your iPod or iPhone. when docked, the cradle also charges your iPod or iPhone. neat huh? this plug-play-charge at the same time is already kind of a must-have feature in all dock/cradle. As mentioned earlier, this dock does not work with all ONKYO AV receivers. The manual indicated TX-SR507, TX-SR577, TX-SR607 or later models. so those hunting for one of these do take note, and remember if you are those who cannot live with visual, then i would suggest you give this a miss.
JBL Radial – ipod speaker
i have just acquired a iPod speaker, the JBL radial (white). first off, i need to clarify, this piece of gadget is without doubt an ‘extra’ in my life. i mean, i hardly listen to music unless i m glued to the comp. anyway, i thought i did gave it a try. upon opening the package, my first impression was the quality is top notch but ain’t perfect. on the physical aspect, the Radial is round and when it had a ‘radial’ shape grill, it ain’t going to be perfect. trust me. under the shade of the light, you can actually detect some ‘wave’ here & there over the speaker grill but i certainly don’t have an issue with that. how often do i stare at it? i bet i will be listening more than appreciating its physical beauty. i wasn’t intending to get a white-colour set but i guess i have too much of black amongst my gadgets & furniture. you know, black HD-DVD player, black PS3, black CPU, dark wood cabinet et cetera. also considering the fact that i will be placing the Radial on a dark wood bench, i thought white was the way to go. well what can i say, as far as colour goes, no regrets. partly due to the fact my Ipod Classic is silver in colour, kinda of matched up between the two of them.
(photo source: mikeshouts.com)
the package comes with the speaker cum docking station which charges your iPod as well. i think most of us knew that part already. now comes the thought part: the package comes with several iPod dock adapters to cater for the different iPods and it came with 2 sets of wire, one with 2 pin plug and another 3 pin plug. though its a small detail, but hey, at least you got a choice. isn’t it? setting up was pretty straight forward and could be easily done in a couple of minutes. once set up, i proceed to dock my iPod Classic onto the JBL Radial and fired up the Radial. I tested with music from SHINE – The Complete Classics. Its a classical collections with mixed of classic opera vocals. i am no audiophile freak, and i don’t have superhuman ears either but frankly speaking, what comes out from the under that curved grill, was music to my ears. the music was clear and wide, easily filling up my 25 square.metre living room with well-balanced classical music. i guess it could be better, in terms of placement of the Radial. i placed my Radial on a dark wood overhanging beach, bench material is laminated wood chipboards. the Radial is placed approximately 100mm to 120mm away from the concrete wall. No corners except for the length where the bench hangs on the wall. i had the Radial tilted about 20DEG clockwise, facing the sofa where i would normally sit when i read, and of course now, savouring the music churned out by my lovely iPod via the Radial.
(photo source: mikeshouts.com)
did i forgot to mention that it came with a 2-way remote? its just a simple 6-buttons remote and of the 6 button, in which 4 of the buttons are dual functions, depending on what mode the remote is on. the mode-button switch the volume and skip-track buttons to menu mode where you can scroll through your iPod menu and make the desired selection. i m not sure of remote range, but good range is only good for volume control, or maybe skipping of tracks. if you are thinking of scrolling thru the menu from a distance, sure no probs… just make sure you can see what you are scrolling from a distance. ok, i admit, not only do i not have superhuman ears, i don’t have bionic eyes either. the Radial is about 5 feet away from where i sitted and i can’t see what’s on the screen on the iPod when i attempt to scroll to the playlist. but of course that’s not a big issue either, but just some observation.
(photo source: mikeshouts.com)
i am satisfied with my new acquisition, no regrets. in fact, the JBL Radial didn’t came up as my first choice for iPod speaker. it was the BOSE Sounddock Digital Music System but after doing some ‘research’ i decided to go for the Radial. it may not appeal to audiophile buff, but for something with such a tiny footprint, and size for that matter, it has more than proven itself to me. price aside. this is definitely worth considering if you are out looking for an iPod speaker.