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Category Archives: Portable Audio

MicroMemo Turns iPod Into, Well, A Mic

micromemoBy David Ponce

We’re big fans of elegant design around here. You might have heard. And while the MicroMemo from Japanese Marubeni Infotech doesn’t do anything revolutionary, we like the way it transforms the iPod into something else entirely. See, the MicroMemo is a simple microphone. It attaches to the bottom of a second generation nano, and can record in stereo. What we like is the way that a simple digital music player suddenly becomes a handheld mic, suitable for conducting interviews or whatnot. Files can be saved as both high (44.1kHz/1,411kbps) and low (22.05kHz/352kbps) quality WAV files. Although this can use up a lot of space, you can record up to 51 hours of audio on the low setting on a 8GB Nano.

Yeah, it’s not even the only such device on the market, but we like the way this one looks, so that’s that. It’s 8,480 yen, or $70, though we’re not sure if they’ll deliver across the pond.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Plasticbamboo ]

MyBlu Device Adds Bluetooth Functionality To Your iPod, Makes iPhone Obsolete

myblu

By David Ponce

The MyBlu from Mavizen is a product that actually sounds like a good idea; technically it pretty much defeats the purpose of owning an iPhone altogether. What you do is plug the device between the iPod and the headphones (never mind that it already looks like an iPod Shuffle; that, apparently, has nothing to do with anything) and just like that, your iPod becomes Bluetooth capable. When you get a call, the caller information is displayed on the iPod’s screen, and the device itself acts as a handsfree kit; you can then just leave your mobile in your pocket/purse/murse/whatever.

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the iPhone too, at $77, and is just the kind of gadget we like to get our hands on: simple but useful as hell. Oh, and did we mention that it also confers FM radio functionality upon your radio-less iPod?

[ MyBlu ] VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Clone Someone’s Product, Then Sue Them For $100 Million

luxpro's shuffle

By David Ponce

It’s pretty clear to anyone with eyes that Taiwain-based Luxpro’s Super Shuffle (pictured above) is a direct rip of Apple’s 1st generation Shuffle’s design. I mean, hey, even the product name has the word “shuffle” in it. But that hasn’t stopped Luxpro from being able to file a $100 million suit against Apple. Here’s the story.

Some time in 2005, Apple decided to sue Luxpro over the blatant copy of its design. They managed to get an injunction halting the sales of the product, and forcing it off the shelves until the suit was settled. Well, it’s a little over a year later, and the court in Taiwain decided that the Super Shuffle didn’t rip anyone off, as the devices “have FM radio functionality, feature OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels and have a distinct Luxpro logo, unlike the Apple product.” And, well, since the Super Shuffle was forced off the shelves all this time, Luxpro’s going for $100 million in damages.

The lesson? Copy anyone’s product, slap an ugly logo on it and add a couple extra vanilla features for good measure. Sit back, and enjoy soaring sales off the back of someone else’s marketing efforts. What fun.

[ Newlaunches ] VIA [ Digitimes

The SOYO Freestyler HS11 Bluetooth Headphones – Small(ish), Ugly and Multi-Functional

freestyle hs11By David Ponce

Bluetooth headphones aren’t exactly groundbreaking news, so we won’t dwell on this for too long. The SOYO Freestyler HS11 Kit consists of a small transmitter piece that plugs into any audio source via standard 3.5mm jack, and Bluetooth-ly connected headphones. Once paired, you’re able to listen to music wirelessly (obviously). However, you’re also able to take phone calls (music gets muted and un-muted when necessary), talk on Skype and even use the headphones as a remote control for whatever device is streaming your music, so long as it’s AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) enabled. As a matter of fact, other profiles featured include A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), HSP (Headset Profile) and HFP (Hands-free Profile), making this $170 relatively useful.

The earpieces aren’t too heavy, at 37.5g, or roughly half a bag of chips. Playback battery life, however, seems to top out at 6 hours, and that may be a deal killer for some.

It’ll be available soon.

[Product Page] VIA [MobileWhack]

iBreath iPod Accessory Combines Alcohol Breathalyzer and FM Tuner

ibreath ipod breathalyzerBy David Ponce

You might want to buy this for yourself before the Holidays begin. It’s yet another iPod add-on, though this one sports a feature that could come in quite handy in the potentially inebriated weeks ahead. It’s called the iBreath and, as you’ve probably guessed, measures the level of alcohol in your breath. Simply blow for 5 seconds into its fold-out pipe and 5 seconds later, the device will give you an accurate reading. If you find out you’re wasted and in no shape to drive, you can set a timer between 1 minute and 4 hours to remind you to take the test again.

Additionally, the device plugs into the bottom of your iPod, and doubles as an FM transmitter. It’s $80.

[iBreath iPod Add-on] VIA [Xataka]

The iPod Digital Drumsticks

ipod digital drumstickBy David Ponce

Here’s a potentially cool little device for all you closet-drummers out there. The iPod Digital Drumsticks allow you to add your own drum track to whatever music comes out of your music player, be it an iPod or whatever else.

The control module clips to a belt and has a cable for your iPod and another audio output for connecting to a stereo system or headphones for silent play. Both sticks have buttons that allow you to play combinations of different drum or cymbal effects, including a snare drum, bass drum, tom, floor tom, hi-hat, and crash cymbal. Can also be played without musical accompaniment by using one of the six included background rhythms.

Given that you’ll probably grow bored in about three weeks, the device is reasonably priced at $30.

[iPod Digital Drumstick] VIA [Gizmologia]

The ReGen, A Self-Charging Yo-Yo MP3 Player

regen mp3 player

By David Ponce

Some time ago, Popular Science, in collaboration with Core77 organized a design competition called Human Powered, which sought to design products which harnessed human energy to power themselves. The winners were Chris Aimone et Tomek Bartczak for their design of the ReGen, an MP3 player that doubles as an electricity-generating Yo-Yo. Simply toss the player 10 to 12 times every hour, and it’ll stay fully charged.

If ever developed, the designers envision it coming with 512MB of memory, as well as Bluetooth headsets so you won’t run into any tangle issues when “recharging” it. Song and artist information would be displayed on an LCD screen, on the face of the player.

The competition was for the development of a concept only, so there doesn’t seem to be any concrete plans to commercialize this device any time soon.

[ReGen Yo-Yo MP3 Player] VIA [TechEBlog]

Charmmy Kitty Digital Music Player

charmmy kitty player

By David Ponce

If you’re not a total Hello Kitty freak, two things will happen to you. First, you’ll rot in Hell. Then, you’re likely not to know that Hello Kitty… has a pet cat named Charmmy. Yeah, it’s kind of creepy. But that’s not the point. What’s important here is that KFE Japan just announced the F1500, a Charmmy themed digital audio player. The features suck, with 6 hours battery life and only 512MB of storage, but again, that’s not the point.

This is Hello Kitty’s pet cat music player. How cool is that?

[KFE Japan] VIA [Engadget]

The iGroove Panties Confuse Us

igroovie

By David Ponce

We’re not too certain about the practical use of the iGroove panty for the iPod nano. I mean, what’s supposed to happen here? Ladies, would you buy this for yourselves? I mean, would you actually wear your nano tucked into your G-String? Or, as the website suggests “Perfect for those of us who love to lounge around in sexy undies all day AND have our music!”

Right.

Or, if the guy buys this as a present for his lady, fully expecting to see her wearing it before performing their marital constitutional… then, what? The girl is going to, um, listen to some tunes while she gets undressed and in the mood? What’s the deal here?

To be honest, we posted about this only because we dig the picture. And, it’s $13, the item’s out of stock, and they expect the backorder to be filled by September.

[The iGroove Panty NSFW] VIA [Gizmologia]