Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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MP3 Players & Digital Audio

Wireless Zune on the Way

September 11, 2008

New iPod touch supports VoIP

September 11, 2008

The Cult of Mac claims that the new iPod touch is VoIP-capable on the hardware side:
With 5 wires connected to the Touch headphone jack (instead of 4 on the previous model), the device now supports the external microphone included with some headsets, according to Kyle Wiens of iFixit, who fully dismantled an iPod Touch on Wednesday.
So who needs an AT&T-restricted iPhone? Course, you'll need to be in range of a Wi-Fi network to use VoIP on the iPod touch.

It is worth pointing out that this is not the first time someone has run VoIP on the iPod touch. Touchmods added a microphone hack to the older iPod touch version. Another group enabled a SIP softphone client for the iPod touch to use with the "hacked-in" microphone.

With the new iPod touch - no hacking required.

Apple Looks to Rock with New Prods Next Week

September 2, 2008

Apple has sent out invitations for a music-related event next week, and the smart money is on new iPods.

The invitation, titled "Let's Rock," went out this morning inviting media to the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco next Tuesday at 10 a.m. PDT.

Rumors have been building for weeks that Apple is set to introduce new iPods at what will be its fourth September iPod event in as many years.

Many have been expecting Apple to hold a September iPod-related event since March, when audio chipmaker Wolfson informed its shareholders that it had been shut out of the design of next-generation media players from "a major Tier 1 customer" who planned a third-quarter launch.

Launching in September gives Apple plenty of time to build distribution and marketing for new iPods ahead of the , when the company sells the bulk of its iPods for the year. 

Read a lot more on CNet here.

What's in Your Back-to-School Pack?

August 27, 2008

Is every kid in America (at least at a certain age bracket) heading back to High School (or even Middle School) this week with a cell phone and iPod?

I'm sure there a many other variations of gadgetry in the average back-to-school back pack (or other notebook, pencil, paper, lunch carrying device), but that's got to be the one.

Wait ... Maybe it's just the iPhone without anything else, but that would seem to be more appropriate for a higher demo that what I'm given to thinking. 

Or maybe the real debate is the iPod and a specific model of cell phone in tandem?

Anyway, before I get myself all confused over this burning issue, what do you think? Anybody out there got anything to contribute?

Everything in the World's Going Wireless

August 27, 2008

In Singapore, the Dutch consumer electronics maker Philips is designing a multimedia server to stream audio and video through the air, from the Internet to any device in the home.

In Munich, a former unit of Siemens envisions a cordless phone that would double as a music player, wirelessly drawing music from home computers.

In Japan, members of Sony's global "digital home team" are redesigning 90% of the company's home electronics components to connect wirelessly to the Internet by 2011.

Across the consumer electronics industry, the leading players are revamping their audio and video equipment for a future centered around the Internet, a world in which televisions, stereos, computers -- even kitchen appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators -- can communicate with each other over a wireless home network.

Some industry executives say the new focus on Internet content and wireless networks reflects a fundamental shift in home entertainment. 

Expanded lines of "networked entertainment equipment" took center stage this week at the Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin, the largest consumer electronics convention in Europe, with 1,200 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors.

Sony is introducing plug-in adapters to enable some of its Bravia television sets to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Philips is demonstrating a line of hard-disc stereo systems that can wirelessly read and play music stored on personal computers or laptops in other rooms, streaming music selectively through the house.

Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp are presenting flat-panel TVs that hook up to the Internet, some with wires, some without. Hewlett Packard's MediaSmart LCD TV will wirelessly stream high-definition video. 

More at the International Herald Tribune.

Woz: The Engineer Behind the Apple

August 26, 2008

At the 2008 Intel Developer Forum, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (right in photo) took the main stage to talk about his love of engineering and science, the process behind developing the Apple II personal computer, and what it's like to be "Employee No. 1" at Apple.

Wozniak also spoke of the impact Steve Jobs (left in photo) still has on Apple and its slew of successful products, from the iPod to the iPhone.

If he had his wish, he would have remained an engineer for life at Hewlett-Packard.

Instead, Steve Jobs encouraged Wozniak to leave the safe confines of HP and venture out into a new company -- Apple -- where the two would work to bring the Apple II personal computer into every household, school and business.

With some reluctance, Wozniak left HP and became--and still remains--"Employee No. 1" at Apple. In his partnership with Jobs, Wozniak would remain the engineer, and Jobs would sell what Wozniak would invent.

"A lot of times you become what you want to be in life, and I wanted to be an engineer," said Wozniak at the conclusion of the Forum.

"I never wanted to run a company. I didn't want to worry about money. I didn't want to move up the management chain," Wozniak said.

Opentape Picks Up Where Muxtape Left Off

August 26, 2008

Microsoft Debuts Its Surface 30" Interactive Screen at Sheraton

August 20, 2008

Muxtape: The Day the Music Died (Again)

August 19, 2008

The music has stopped at, the free, online music site that allows users to create a playlist or mixtape of up to 12 songs and share the list with friends. It was temporarily shutdown as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) flexed its copyright protecting musclea.

The Manhattan-based startup has informed users that it "will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA."

The RIAA has been cracking down on illegal sharing of copyrighted music on the Web for the past few years. Muxtape has previously said that it does not violate any copyright infringement laws because it is not an online service that allows consumers to illegally download music. It only allows users to listen to songs on the site.

AC/DC & Wal-Mart? Go Figure ...

August 19, 2008

Who would have figured that Wal-Mart would have become the exclusive retailer for classic rock bands coming back to life?

In the latest news in this area, the king of retailers revealed that the new AC/DC album, Black Ice, will be sold exclusively in Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores starting in late October.

The deal is part of a wider strategy for the world's biggest retailer to get exclusive deals to sell CDs. It is the latest album to be sold under such an arrangement, as Wal-Mart got exclusive rights to sell albums by the Eagles and Journey in recent months.

(And don't forget that AC/DC has one of the all-time top selling albums -- can you believe it? Back in Black sold more than 22 million copies!)

The AC/DC deal was made in conjunction with Columbia Records.

The album is the band's first containing all-new material in eight years. It will cost $11.88. The CD will also be available online at the Sam's Club and AC/DC Web sites. 

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