Posts tagged iPod
Tape Dock lets you digitize your cassettes just by sliding in your iPhone or iPod. Break out those old mix tapes and parachute pants, and party. I love old analog media. I’m holding in my hot little paws a stereo 8-track of a 1973 recording byHiroshi Itsuki, a Japanese enka singer. It’s several times larger than my iPod Touch but contains only 12 songs. Sadly, this fabu converter from Ion doesn’t take anything that ancient, but it will magically change your dusty old cassettes into MP3 files for your iPod or iPhone. The Tape Dock is similar to Ion’s Tape 2 Go but can house an iPod or iPhone on one side and a cassette on the other.
If you prefer to rock it retro style, you can simply use the cassette deck as a tape player and actually push buttons to “rewind” songs to listen to them again. How quaint. It works with the EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter app and software so it’s compatible with Windows, iOS, and OS X. It also has headphone and audio out jacks. The Tape Dock hasn’t been released yet, and Ion didn’t immediately respond to queries about when it will come out, but B&H Photo is offering it for $69.99. All you have to do is find your old ’80s mix tapes.
Whether you think they’re infamous or merely a signature piece of Apple design, there’s no doubt most of us have been exposed the company’s iconic white earbuds. Along with the latest batch of iPods and the iPhone 5, Apple announced the replacement for those dreaded earphones, a pair of buds called EarPods. Given that these are bundled with new iDevices and also sold as a standalone for RM 109, it’s hard not to think that the folks at Cupertino are drinking some sort of spiked Kool-Aid, claiming these rival headphones that cost hundreds more. While reviewing the likes of the iPhone 5, we also gave the EarPods a listen to find out whether or not they’re just an over-engineered set of ‘buds. You’ll find our detailed verdict after the break.
Apple EarPods: Design
The first thing that you’ll notice about the EarPods is that they look notably different to Apple’s previous earphones. Rather than the usual circular design of earbuds, these have been designed to fit “the geometry of the ear”. The friendly, rounded design gives them a bit of a spaceage look, while Apple has retained its trademark white finish.
Apple EarPods: Comfort
There’s no denying that the EarPods feel more stable than the old earphones, but they still don’t feel as snug as in-ear buds such as those that come with theSamsung Galaxy Note. While we were wearing them, we constantly felt as though they could fall out at any moment. To their credit, they didn’t actually fall out, but we still couldn’t shake the feeling that a sudden head movement would’ve dislodged them. While they may feel a little unstable, they’re certainly not uncomfortable.
Apple EarPods: Durability
The carry case is a nice thought, but one that’s likely to be abandoned the first time you try and get the little blighters back into the box. It’s a fiddly process and one that we suspect will be swiftly ditched by those without the dexterity of a brain surgeon. Without the protective case, the EarPods will probably last about as long as any other similarly priced earbuds when they’ve been wrapped around your iDevice and stuffed into your bag (which is to say, not very long).
Apple EarPods: Sound quality
According to Apple: “The audio quality is so superior, they rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of pounds more”. Hmmm, we reckon that might be stretching it a bit but they’re certainly a massive improvement. Apple has clearly taken a few tips from the likes of Beats by Dre when it comes to the low end response, with the EarPods offering up a far meatier bass performance than their predecessors. Overall sounds quality is just about as good as the earphones that come with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and far better than the tinny earphones that come with some of HTC’s phones. However, the EarPods simply can’t compete when set against rivals of the same price. That’s one area where Apple has made big improvements. While it was possible to hear exactly what someone was listening to at a distance of 50 paces with the old earphones (we exaggerate, of course), the EarPods channel far more of the sound towards your ears. Which is nice. Especially for your fellow commuters.
Apple EarPods: Verdict
As far as Apple audio goes, the EarPods are certainly a welcome improvement. There’s no way that we would’ve recommended using the Cupertino brand’s previous earbuds, but the EarPods do the trick if you don’t want to splash out on a new pair, having just spent all your wedge on a shiny new iPhone 5. However, if you’re considering buying the EarPods as a standalone product, they’re hard to recommend at 25 notes – we reckon your money is probably better spent elsewhere.
As improved as the audio quality is, they still sound like earbuds. There is a certain level of life likeness that you’ll find on more expensive headphones that isn’t here. Especially in louder environments, the fuller sound is harder to discern. All that said, the treble doesn’t become overly abrasive or distorted as you raise the volume to compensate for noisier surroundings. We especially found that cymbal hits lack the crispy bite that better headphones can produce. Outside of an extremely quiet room it becomes hard to appreciate how much better the sound is with this set. What we’re left with are headphones that largely sound better than the last-gen buds (and even the bloated-sounding in-ears that come with Samsung devices). Apple’s made huge strides with the EarPods, which inch closer toward more premium offerings, and we hope certain aspects of the design might someday make their way. Of course, that leaves the onboard microphone. We’re pleased to say the microphone quality is on par with the older ‘buds, which we’ve never had much of an issue with for voice calls. Don’t take our word for it, however, check out the direct recording of each in the sound bite below to hear for yourself. Apple EarPods are Awesome! You should try it out.
Apple iOS 5.1 is out today, available to download and install on the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. It’s the latest version of Apple’s mobile device OS, but it’s a rather minor update only. The biggest boon to owners of Apple’s glossy gadgets is the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream. Photo Stream is the iCloud service that saves your photos online, and pushes them to other iOS devices registered to you. but until now there’s been no way to delete piccies from Photo Stream. Apple’s fixed this now, but it’s worth noting that deleting a Photo Stream photo only removes the snap from that device. So an embarrassing drunken pic you foolishly took on a night out could easily make its way onto your iPad back home one that you share with family members.
Other tweaks include a persistent camera shortcut on the lock screen for the iPhone 4S, 4 and3GS, as well as the fourth-generation iPod touch (swipe upward on the icon to start the camera), and the iPad camera app has been redesigned. iOS 5.1 also brings Japanese language support to Siri. Most owners will be most intrigued by Apple’s claims to have addressed bugs affecting battery life on its gadgets. If you’ve found this update altering your own device’s battery (for better or worse), let me know in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall. While updates are always welcome, I’ve used this one and I think it’s unlikely it’ll affect day-to-day use that much. But it’ll arrive on the new iPad Apple unveiled last night — a modest upgrade to the iPad 2, bringing a retina display and improvements to the camera and processor.