I spent last week in the Bellevue / Redmond area for the Microsoft MVP Summit. For those unfamiliar with the Summit, it is a chance for me to represent your voice in front of the Zune product teams. It is similar to what goes on behind the scenes with most of the other brands here on ABI tied in with CES- it’s just specific to Zune.
You won’t see much posted here about the Summit since what we discussed is covered under a non-disclosure agreement including the Zune HD Facebook app we are currently testing. However, I can tell you that it was a very productive week in conveying the concerns, opinions, and ideas of Zune users on Anythingbutipod and ZuneBoards.
One of the days at summit we got the privilege of joining Jessica and Matt on the ZuneInsider podcast #56. While there is nothing revealing about the future of Zune, we do have a fun discussion about the MVP program, our sites, and our music guilty indulgencies. I also make a slight gaff and talked about Matt’s 6 inch… (tune in for the rest – Subscribe | Stream | Direct MP3 Download).
As a huge podcast fan I find Revision 3 to be God’s gift to podcast users. For those that don’t know, Revision 3 is basically a TV channel based on podcasts, with weekly high quality video podcasts covering a lot of things. Tekzilla is the most known one for tech users such as ourselves, but they also have several other shows – including Systm.
Systm is a show that covers DIY. They’ve had episodes on everything from waterproofing thumbdrives with epoxy to scanning objects in 3D with a laser pointer. The newest episode however features something much closer to home for us on ABi – how to build a CMOY amp. CMOYs are basically the cheapest, easiest DIY headphone amps you can make and for those of you in a country with radio shack stores it should be a very nice first project for anyone that wants to go into DIY. Hit the link below to watch it being done on Systm.
[Systm Episode 81 - Soldering Your Own Headphone Amp]
I’m now 5 weeks into my summer job and being in a job that allows for using an MP3 player I have been searching around for stuff to listen to the last few weeks. Music is all good and well, but when it’s 6 hours a day 6 days a week you do get tired of your “favorites” playlist rather quickly.
My way of thinking has always been to happily pay for something as long as it’s a reasonable fee for something I can actually use. 10 years after the first MP3 players reeked havoc in the music industry one would think that there’s been some steps made in the right direction when it comes to legal content for our beloved players, but has it really or are we still more or less left to illegal downloading if we want the good stuff? Read on for a look at what’s available in the realms of legal content now in 2008.
Podcasts are available in ridiculous quantities around the net ranging from tech news to transsexual talk shows and everything in between. Podcast downloaders have been around for a while in software form like iTunes and Juice, but the first one requires actually using iTunes and the second failed rather epically when I tried it as it didn’t even detect any MP3 files in the RSS feed I gave it. Software downloaders of course also reuires the computer to be on and the player to be connected and it’s not really that automatic if you still need to fulfill those criteria.
The CastGrabber is the first standalone podcast downloader for pretty much any MP3 player on the market and it might just make it that much simpler to get updated podcasts automatically. Its basically a box where you plug in an Ethernet cable and the USB cable of your MP3 player and it will do it’s thing without further hassle after the initial setup along with charging the player. It’s all very easy and according to the website you manage everything online with no complicated processes whatsoever. It all sounds well and good, but there is very crucial (for many, including me) feature missing – WiFi. Since you can only connect with an Ethernet cable, that means that it simply won’t work unless you place it directly beside your router. I’d imagine a lot of people would use this at work, on the nightstand or similar places and that’s not exactly the most common place to put a router. Either way, nice piece of hardware that might just be worth the $120.
[CastGrabber Home Page]
Having used a Cowon D2 for over a year I must admit that I was losing hope in the manufacturers’ ability to make useful firmware updates that actually fix stuff and add useful features instead of breaking what’s already there and adding “scicntific” calculators. Luckily it’s not just Samsung that knows how to do firmware and the latest update to the Sansa Clip shows that there is still hope if a player doesn’t have everything you want at release. Read on to find out what’s new in 1.01.29
I ran into this podcast today called “What You Ought To Know” that features an video short of a particular topic. In the latest episode on MP3 player abi>> gets a really nice nod. What You Ought To Know Guy (sorry I didn’t get your name) says, “So if you want to get your hands on your own MP3 player we recommend searching two sites… ‘cause you really only have two choices: apple.com/ipod or anythingbutipod.com. That pretty much covers all the bases.”
Watching a few of the other episodes I do detect a little iPod/Mac bias, but you can’t ignore the fact that it is a great podcast- informative and witty. One complaint though guys. I went to add your podcast feed to my Zune but it is not compatible. Could you maybe make a feed for the “everything else” crowd? No, you don’t necessarily have to cross over and go WMV (although that would be great and cover more of the “everything else”), but how about doing three qualities of QuickTime like Diggnation does? The 320×180 m4v would be drag and drop compatible with Sony Walkman/PSP and Zune Players. So what do you say? Can the 20% of us get your quick witted tidbits of knowledge?
[What You Ought To Know on MP3 Players]
Update: Zune compatibility added [1-click].