Posts Tagged ‘ streaming audio ’

5 Great Gadgets for Dads this Father’s Day

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Father’s Day is next Sunday and if you’re at a loss as to what to get your gadget loving guy, here are 5 suggestions that are cool, yet practical, and are sure to delight Dad on his special day.

Eye-Fi Mobile X2Go wireless when it comes to photos with the newest Eye-Fi card, the Mobile X2. The Mobile X2 automatically and wirelessly transfers photos directly from your camera to the device of your choice, such as your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. It takes mere minutes to set up Mobile X2 to work with your home wireless connection and upload pictures.  The Endless Memory feature is a welcome addition for anyone who loves to take photos but frequently fills up their memory cards.  Endless Memory automatically creates space for new images so you never have to see the memory full message or scroll through previous shots, deleting ones as you go in order to create more room.

Dyson DC-41For a guy who helps out with housework and appreciates innovative engineering and great design, Dyson is the way to go. Despite its intimidating appearance, it’s actually quite light and easy to maneuver.  The DC-41 is made of materials that are used for strength and durability while the Ball that is a prominent design feature, makes it easy to maneuver around furniture and corners. Engineer-types will also appreciate that the Ball is also the place where the motor, ducting, valves and the stand are located. Designed for hard wood floors and also carpeted surfaces, the DC-41 has an adjustable head that actually creates a seal to provide the highest suction power through the Radical Root Cyclone™.  Long bristles penetrate deep into carpet to remove ground-in dirt and pet hair while shorter bristles sweep the carpet top to remove surface dust. Allergy sufferers who are sensitive to microscopic particles of dust, pollen, and mold will appreciate that the design includes a mesh shroud that helps separate large debris. The inner cyclones generate powerful centrifugal forces to extract and capture particles while purifying the air.

Leather Bluetooth iPad 2 or 3 Case from Hammerhead— Hammerhead cases are made of soft pebbled leather (red or black), feature a Bluetooth keyboard, and come with a stylus. The beauty of the Hammerhead case is the removable keyboard. Most cases with keyboards have fixed keyboards but the Hammerhead keyboard can be removed and reattached thanks to Velcro on the back side, providing the ability to use it inside or outside of the case at a range of 30 feet. Velcro also allows the iPad to be positioned at multiple angles, allowing for the most comfortable viewing of the screen. Pairing the keyboard to your iPad is easy. The lithium ion battery provides 6-8 hours of keyboard usability and recharges via included USB cable.

Sonos Play 3 The streaming audio player gives you instant access to your digital music library and streaming internet audio settings from anywhere in your house. It plays music from your home PCs and Macs, and also has the ability to stream internet radio and music from many of the popular online music services, including  Last.fm, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, Spotify, iheartradio, and more. The Play 3 connects to your home internet connection via Ethernet, or an optional wireless bridge. Once you have one Sonos unit in the house, they have the ability to communicate between themselves and form a wireless mesh network, extending their range. If you have multiple units, you can play the same music around your entire home. The Sonos streaming music player provides high quality speakers and a great user interface for listening to your digital music collection or tapping into the Internet’s vast assortment of streaming audio.

BlackBerry PlayBook — Die hard Blackberry users will appreciate the 7” PlayBook running the new 2.0 OS with either 16 GB or 32 GB of storage.  The interface allows BlackBerry devices to connect seamlessly thanks to the BlackBerry Bridge.  Using your BlackBerry ID, information stored on your smartphone immediately synchs with your PlayBook and vice versa. The design of the tablet is sleek, with more square sides than other tablets on the market, and features a crisp screen, two HD 1080p video cameras (for front and rear facing picture taking capabilities), and 1GB of RAM.

Happy family with big gift box via Shutterstock

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Listening to Music the Tech Savvy Way

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Gone are the days of just listening to the radio. Mix tapes, burning CDs, and taking music from Napster are so old school compared to the various ways we can listen to content.  Here are 5 free and low cost services that can do anything from helping you find new music to love, sharing your tunes with friends, and allowing you to listen to your favorite tunes on multiple devices so you’re never without music in your life.

Last.fm is a free service that allows you to discover more music based on the songs you play.  Users sign up and download The Scrobbler for free. The Scrobbler works on your computer or on iOS and Android platforms and uses the music that you already listen to in order to help you find new tunes you’ll love.  Think of it like your best friend combined with a personal DJ.

Pandora contains a vast library of music that includes a wide variety of songs, artists, and genres.  Pandora analyzes what you listen to in order to find songs that are musically similar to what you love and then allows you to create up to 100 channels.  Think of it like your own personal radio station where you can flip the station to find the music you love based on your mood or to fit certain settings.

Rhapsody is a subscription music service that costs $10/month to access 14 million  songs to create your own personal jukebox where you can listen to “whatever you want, whenever you want, on whatever gadget you choose.”  Rhapsody makes it easy to listen to your music all the time thanks to the ability to play it on your computer, smartphone, various electronic devices like tablets, internet connected stereo systems, TVs, DVRs, and your favorite portable music player. Think of Rhapsody of the music that plays in your head.  It’s always with you wherever you go.

Spotify is the smart and cheaper version of all of your music library that once consisted of tapes and CDs that were purchased in past eras.  Listen to music on your PC, Mac, home audio systems, and smartphones. The beauty of Spotify is social sharing and allowing your friends to listen to what you’re listening to.  Post what you’re listening to on Facebook and a friend can click to listen to the same song, post the track on other social networks, or send it to a friend.  Think of it as a better version of a mix tape that you give to your BFF but never has to be wound with a pencil.

iHeartRadio is your ticket to becoming the radio DJ you always wanted to be thanks to the ability to create, tinker with, and share your own commercial free custom stations that consist of your favorite songs and artists.  You can also listen to live broadcasts of radio stations across the nation so you’re never homesick for your favorite DJ or hometown station.  Think of it as your way to embrace your inner DJ.

What’s your favorite way to listen to music these days? Do you love your satellite radio or stick to the AM/FM? Do you plug in your iPod while in the car or does it connect via Bluetooth?

Girl listening to music at the park with headphones via Shutterstock

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