February 20, 2008

Crazy Pod Chair Makes You Think You Are In The Movie Sleeper

If you ever wanted to feel completely dorky and listen to music at the same time AND you are a big Woody Allen fan then we have something for you. Dubbed the "Armchair Paradise" this crazy chair completely envelopes you to let you rest your weary bones after a long day and listen to some tunes in complete isolation. The makers claim that it holds an advanced sound system in there so you can relax to your favorite tunes streamed into the chair ball while you relax. While this isn't our typical story to cover we just couldn't resist. While we have been envisioning a future where all of our media is digital and can be accessed anywhere and shared with everyone, others are finding ways to isolate us from others and make us look nuts. :) If you haven't seen the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper" you really should as it is a pretty funny depiction of our life in the not to distant future. This chair just reminds us of too many of the silly contraptions that Woody predicts will be in our lives. Are we really that stressed out that we need a chair that covers us up and soothes us with happy music. We'll see, but we can tell you this, if anyone ever buys one of these your friends will never let you hear the end of it.

via engadget
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 19, 2008

High-End Multi-room Entertainment Centers to Double in Five Years

We all saw this one coming, but it is nice to see it in print. Parks Associates' has a report out that says the adoption of high end entertainment systems is on the rise and we should see a big change in the types of systems that are deployed. In the past installers were only doing installations in new homes because of the wiring requirements, but now with wireless and powerline technology growing at such a rapid pace things are changing. People with old homes that would otherwise not be able to either afford it or it would take to much retro-fitting to make it worth their while are able to enjoy these multi-room media streaming systems.

So while today these types of systems are out of the reach of most of us, it looks like installers are coming up to speed on using all this new technology and will be able to install these systems in all types of houses much easier. We look forward to the next 5-10 years when going into someone's house and enjoying their whole home media setup will be no big deal, as common as DVD players are now. A beautiful future if you ask us. Check after the jump for the full press release.

via ehomeupgrade

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 11, 2008

Squeezebox Duet: More Then Meets the Eye

duet.jpg Well it looks like there is more to the sweet new Squeezebox Duet then was originally let on. Seems like beyond what is already a very exciting little product, the Duet has some cool hidden features in its remote. Some of the obvious features are a small speaker on the back of the remote, an IR transmitter( the remote use WiFi to communicate to the base station ) and a headphone jack. To top it off there is a SD card slot in the battery compartment and even a 3-axis accelerometer built in. Looks like they are really giving this little product some legs, letting it grow into itself instead of making it so rigid like some other products out there. Check out this picture of the SD card slot:

squeezebox-duet-hidden.jpg Stuff like this makes us all the more excited to get out hands on this and check it out. We can't wait to see what the SD card slot can be used for and what are the possibilities for the accelerometer. Can I change the song by moving the remote or is it purely to know when it is laying down or something so it can go to sleep. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

via engadget
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 9, 2008

Sony is Getting in the Networked Audio Video World

sony_hifi_wifi.jpg We had made some predictions earlier this year saying that 2008 would be the year that streaming media around the house breaks out of things that tech savvy people do and into what everyone does. Well if CES 2008 being chalk full of media streamers wasn't clue enough it now looks like Sony is jumping head first into the market. Over at Engadget they have some leaked shots of Sony's upcoming lineup of receivers. A lot of these new systems have us in mind as they are setup to be network streamers. Whether it is the 80GB hard drive or acting as a music server to other connected devices, Sony realizes that this is the direction the market will be going and they are looking to make their presence known. If we hear anything about release date and or price we will let you know.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 7, 2008

Squeezebox Duet: Pre-Orders Now Open!

duet.jpg The day has arrived everyone, the Squeezebox Duet is finally available for pre-order. We have been waiting for the next product to be released by Slim Devices for a long time now. We have been loving our Squeezebox for a few years and we were curious to see what direction the next product was going to take. Well it looks like they have taken direct aim at the Sonos people in that this unit has a fully functioning remote with a sweet little display that shows album art and your music library. The Duet remote is much smaller then the one from Sonos and looks better in our opinion. One issue we had with the Sonos was that while the remote is pretty cool in that it displays so much info it was big and out of place among the rest of your entertainment equipment. This remote just looks like another remote, albeit with a kick ass high color screen on the top. The Duet packs all the high end audio innards that you would expect from a Squeezebox, but in a much slimmer package. And just like the Squeezebox you can hook up multiple Duets throughout your home that can link together or remain separate.

They are expected to start shipments at the end of this month so if you want to be the first person on your block to own the coolest audio streamer of 2008 go pre-order NOW.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 6, 2008

Happy One Year Birthday to Networking Audio Video

Well we realized this morning that it has officially been one year since we started this blog. We got into this because we realized there was no place on the net to just get info on networked media players. There are a ton of gadget sites on the web that cover everything under the sun, but when we went looking for info on different streamers we had a hard time finding someplace that just focused on streaming media. So here we are, one year later, having found out way more about media streamers then we thought possible. In the beginning we didn't think we would find more then 30 articles to write. Well as we approach our 300th we have come to realize that everyone and their grandmother is making some soft of networked media streamer these days.

So after one year we have a question to everyone. We would like to hear from you about what you want to hear in the coming year. Is there an area or product we haven't covered that you would like to see? Are there products or areas you would rather not read about here? We honestly are writing this blog to help out as many people as we can find the right streaming product, so let us know what you want to read about.

Thank you everyone for checking us out this past 12 months and get ready for an even better next 12. We have some exciting posts/contests coming up soon so come on back now ya hear.
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 5, 2008

Media Maestro Mini Turns Your PSP into a Remote Control


So we just came across something pretty cool over at one of our favorite sites, ehomeupgrade, the ability to turn your PSP into a remote control for your Windows Media player or Apple iTunes. Lately the PSP has been getting some really cool press for adding Skype support to their hand held and now it looks like there is yet another compelling reason to pick up a PSP.

Now with Media Maestro Mini you have the ability to control your digital entertainment from your PSP. Sit back on the couch and dial up some tunes with ease and style. We love that people are finding new and different ways to interact with their media. This seems like something that could really take off. One of the biggest things about the Sonos that makes it so great is the really sweet remote that comes with it. Being able to hold something that shows you all the music you have with cover art and whatnot really adds something to the experience.

This is a free download so get out there, install this and start controlling what you hear from the PSP. Let us know what you think, we love getting user feedback on stuff like this.

via ehomeupgrade
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 30, 2008

AppleTV Take 2: Pushed back a few weeks


Well it looks like the folks over in Coopertino couldn't get the final polish on the new movie rental software that is the key part of the the new AppleTV update. Seems like they are pushing it back a week or two so that they can iron out any last kinks. This is a free download for all current AppleTV owners and should come pre-installed with any new AppleTV purchased after the release date. We were very interested to test this out and see how well the movie rental system works. We have tried this out on the Xbox360 and the download speed was so 1996. Hopefully Apple did a better job making sure you can download the whole movie before your rental window expires. As always we will have an update once they actually release it.

via appleinsider
David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 16, 2008

AppleTV Take 2: Maybe the Second Time Apple Gets it Right


We reported about the AppleTV last year and we had mixed feelings about it. We loved the ease of use and the fact that unlike so many other devices on the market it just worked. One of our biggest pet peeves is that for this sector to take off devices need to just work. Not everyone likes to hack up little scripts to get their device to auto NFS mount their media server. Most people just want to plug the device in and start using it. This is were the AppleTV has crushed everyone else. We have not see a simpler setup and an easier way to get a device to find all your media then the way Apple has done it. It is in this ease that our main complaint lies.

We are not fans of being forced to use iTunes for all of our media. Call us commitment phobic, but we don't like being tied down to one technology. We have a large collection of DVDs ripped to .ISO as well as a bunch of other random formats. Having to use iTunes means that we need to covert all of our media to fit the model that Apple wants us to follow. This is probably fine for like 90 percent of the users, it just bothers us.

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David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2008

Drobo Share: Finally Network Connectivity for the Drobo


We had reviewed the Drobo NAS device awhile ago and found that while it was a pretty cool device, the fact that there was no network hookup was very disappointing. Well now they have released the Drobo Share, a base unit for your Drobo that will allow it to become a true NAS server. This base unit plugs into any existing Drobo unit and will add the ability to plug a network cable in and share it to anyone on your network. One of the cool things that this offers is that you can switch between using it as network attached storage and directly connecting it to your computer via USB. No extra steps are required, just unplug the ethernet cable and plug it into your computer via USB and it will adjust.

While the DroboShare is only $199 the actual Drobo unit itself is $499 without discs so this isn't a cheap solution, but the system truly makes backing up your data and keeping it safe about as simple as you can imagine. There are countless people on the web saying how amazing these devices are and if we hadn't already plunked down a bunch of cash on our existing backup strategy we would surely be picking this unit up. Check after the break for the full press release.
ArrowContinue reading: "Drobo Share: Finally Network Connectivity for the Drobo"

David Ficocello at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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