February 28, 2007

New Airport Extreme

Apple has released a successor to its very popular line of Base Stations the new Airport Extreme. This is everything you would want in a main router for the house. It has a very friendly configuration interface that makes it easy to setup and maintain your home network. We have been using the previous model in our house for over a year now and it has served us well, from having top notch security to making it easy to keeping our wireless devices connected. The wireless strength has been great even in our hold home which normally defeated all of our attempts to introduce a wireless network. With this new model Apple has stepped up to the plate and has seen the oncoming onslaught of HD and streaming HD so they have introduced the draft standard of 802.11n. This mammoth speed boost from what we all thought was super fast 802.11g is amazing. Basically we are talking somewhere in the range of 100-200Mbps!! Even on the low end that is some insane speed for your wireless network. ArrowContinue reading: "New Airport Extreme"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 28, 2007

How To Rip your music Part 1

There have been countless articles on the web about how to rip your music collection to your computer. It seems people are as passionate about this process as they are about politics or whether or not god exists. We're not saying our way is the right way, the best way, or any other way then our way, we just thought we would share our experiences with all of you.

The first decision you have to make is how are you planning on listening to your newly ripped music. Will it be played only via a MP3 player like an iPod, just over your computer speakers or will it played on your home stereo via a sweet networked music product :). Next you have to consider, how good are your ears. Do you fancy yourself a budding audiophile and believe you can hear the difference between a 192bit encoding vs a 256 bit encoding or is it all just the same noise to you?

ArrowContinue reading: "How To Rip your music Part 1"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 27, 2007

Apple TV - The next big thing?

Apple TV is Apples foray into more then just streaming music around the house, but rather streaming media of all kinds. With the ability to hook into your iTunes library this little device can stream all the HD content you have bought from the iTunes store and play it right on your HDTV as well as let you listen to all your music. With its small form factor( think about half as big as a Mac Mini ) it will be sure to fit nicely in your media cabinet and with the ability to use the new draft n standard of 802.11 for its wireless connection you should have no problem streaming HD over it. The AppleTV uses a modified version of FrontRow to display your music,video,photos,audio books, etc on a very simple menu system displayed on your TV. Using the supplied remote you just navigate the menu like you would an iPod and select what you want. This is one of those products that is going to help bridge the gap between geeks like us gushing over networked media and mom and pop realizing the beauty of digital storage of all of your media. Lets hope Apple can do it again and revolutionize yet another area of technology! ArrowContinue reading: "Apple TV - The next big thing?"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 27, 2007

Review of the Slimdevices SqueezeBox

Slimdevices latest consumer level network music device brings hi-fidelity to the masses. SlimDevices has been around for a number of years and has been one of the first companies to offer not just streaming music for the home, but hi quality streaming music. The company is founded by a group of audio enthusiasts that wanted nothing more than to be able to play music anywhere in their house and make it sound great. Their first line of products was the Squeezebox, a sub 300 dollar network attached music player that combinded hi quality audio with stylish design. What seperated this devices from others in the same space, was that the Squeezebox was one of the first to be aimed at the audiophile crowd with its hi end DAC processor. Now with version 3 they have stepped it up yet again. They redefined the look of the unit to something most people believe is stunning( us included ). They have further improved the internals making it the best sounding Squeezebox to date and they have updated the software that runs it. ArrowContinue reading: "Review of the Slimdevices SqueezeBox"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 27, 2007

Roku Soundbridge

Roku emerged awhile ago with the notion to change the face of the digital media landscape for consumers. It took until the release of the SoundBridge for their products to really reach mass appeal. The Soundbridge M1001 is their entry level networked audio device and it has been getting lauded with great reviews. C|net has a quick review of the M1001. With a sleek and low profile look this will be sure to make a great addition to your music cabinet. I know one of the concerns in my house is how all of this gear I keep adding to my collection will look. Some items I need to hide creatively, but by the looks of this( and with my wife's permission of course ) it would sit proudly on top of my entertainment center.

The display is not as sharp and crisp as the Squeezebox but it is still is good enough to see from far away.
It is also able to hook into iTunes so you can leverage the work you have already done setting up your iTunes library.

ArrowContinue reading: "Roku Soundbridge"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Philips WAS5/37 Wireless Music Station


Philips has entered the digital media world with their WAS5/37 Streamium product. This little device hooks right up to your stereo and connects to your computer via a wireless link. With this you can stream music to any sound system in your house and even connect multiple units together so you are never to far from your precious music.
Although the site isn't too clear on what it is, they are touting a feature called Music Follow Me, which seems to be a way to have the different music stations throughout your house play the music you want as you change rooms. We are not exactly how this works, but we promise that we will get to the bottom of this and report back our findings.

Here are some of the other features the WAS5/37 sports:

  • Music formats it plays: PCM, MP3, WMA
  • Hard Disk Playback Mode : Album, Genre, Playlist, All tracks, Same Artist, Same Genre
  • Hard Disk Streaming Mode : Wi-Fi streaming to 5 stations, "My Room, My Music", "Music Follows Me", "Music Broadcast"
  • Connects via 802.11g

This seems like a great little product and for the price it might be just the thing for people looking to simply stream music to their stereo. At this time it only seems to be available for purchase directly from Philips.

Check back as we reveal more information on this new networked music player.

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 26, 2007

Winamp Airport Express Plugin

We love the Airport Express here and we have been using it for quite some time. The thing we have always wished has been for other programs to use its ability to stream digital quality music to your stereo via this great little device. Well along comes our favorite audio player from years past, Winamp. Winamp has been around since...well just about the beginning of digital audio on computers. One of the features that has set Winamp apart from the field is that since their inception they have encouraged 3rd party plug-ins for their software. Over the years countless great plug-ins have been released upon the world. Well recently we found a plug-in for Winamp that allows it to utilize the connection that the Airport makes between your computer and your stereo. ArrowContinue reading: "Winamp Airport Express Plugin"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

The Linksys WMB54G music bridge

Here is a nice little device from linksys that streams music from your computer to your stereo, wirelessly. It uses 80211.g so it has the speed to stream any digital audio you can throw at it and its very small form factor allows it to be tucked away just about anywhere.

One of the things we like about this product right off the bat is that it lets you play anything and we mean anything, since it is just passing music along to your stereo it doesn't have to worry about DRM or any of that nonsense. It doesn't actually deal with the content itself it just sends it over the air. The one major downside of this product seems to be the setup.

ArrowContinue reading: "The Linksys WMB54G music bridge"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 25, 2007

First Thoughts on the Olive Musica

Another entry into this emerging market of networked music devices is a company called Olive. The Musica lets people enjoy their digital music from anywhere. They have taken a different approach then most of the other players in that they offer an internal drive for storage instead of relying on external computers or hard drives. The other thing that they differ from the rest of the field is that these devices are not cheap. Their products range from $900 to $4000. So this is most definitely aimed at the music enthusiast that has some extra cash burning a hole in their pocket. All in all it looks to be a great device. We don't have a hands on review of one yet, but the good people at playlistmag have a very detailed review of the Musica version. At Amazon
David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Sonos Digital Music System

The Sonos Digital Music System is another player in the networked audio world and they have come on strong. The have released not only a very full featured product but also a very stylish and well thought out device. They have gone for simplicity and and the idea that a product should just work out of the box.

You shouldn't need to leaf through the manual and search on the web for hours to get it working. They are aiming at the non geeks out there that just want a nice music player that allows them to play their music anywhere. Well from what we can tell so far they have hit it out of the park.

ArrowContinue reading: "Sonos Digital Music System"

David Ficocello Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 6, 2007

Listen to iTunes Music in other Rooms with Airport Express

We love our Airport Express and enjoy listening to iTunes around the house with it. How does it work? The Airport Express hooks up to your iTunes music library via wireless. You simply plug the Airport Express into an electrical outlet where you want to hook up external speakers or even headphones. After you plug it in the Airport Express acts like a "wireless speaker", then on your computer in another room, you select the songs you want to play and then select the out speaker to be the Airport Express. BAM! You can now listen to music streaming to your new Airport Express.

  • Enjoy your iTunes music library in virtually any room of your house
  • Share a single broadband Internet connection and USB printer without inconvenient and obtrusive cables
  • Create an instant wireless network on the go
  • Access an AirPort Express wireless network
  • Compatible with Windows XP or 2000; Mac OS X v10.2.7 or later

At Apple AirPort Express with Air Tunes

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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