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Phorus App Allows Users to Stream Their iOS Device to the New Phorus Speaker and Receiver For In-Home Audio Control
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 27th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Phorus has become available on the App Store, allowing users to stream audio from their iOS devices to the new Phorus PS1 speaker and PR1 receiver. This provides them with easy access and full control to a perfectly synced whole-home listening experience through the use of their iOS device.
“We are honored to be selected by RadioShack to help them further build out their wireless audio category, especially given the focus on audio in RadioShack’s new store formats,” said Dannie Lau, general manager at Phorus, in a press release. “The PS1 Speaker and PR1 Receiver are the perfect solution for RadioShack customers looking for an unmatched whole-home listening experience at an affordable price point, especially going into the holiday season.”
Most digital music nowadays sounds slightly worse than it does on CD, thanks to audio compression. This is great for quickly downloading music, but not best for audio quality. If you want to listen to music on your iOS device without that pesky compression, and are willing to give up some additional storage space to do so, we have just the guide to do so.
The easiest way to listen to lossless audio on your iOS device is to use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec. ALAC files can be played by the built-in Music app, providing the best support, and the format can be handled by iTunes.
Now, FLAC exists as another alternative. It’s the most popular lossless music distribution format on the internet largely thanks to its open source nature, though ALAC is now open source as well. Bandcamp artists frequently offer music in FLAC format, though ALAC is also an option.
Converters exist for going from FLAC to ALAC – as both codecs are lossless, there’s no degradation in quality in converting, but for using FLAC, a third-party app with iTunes file transfer must be used. The only real difference between the two is at a technical level. I’ll let the audiophile super-nerds fight this one out, but for iOS users’ convenience, ALAC is the better choice here.
Now, you’re going to want to start with your music in a lossless format. This means ripping from a CD, or finding FLAC/ALAC files. Converting from a compressed format to lossless is just pointless.
If you already have ALAC files, then just drop them in iTunes, and put them on your device. ALAC is natively supported.
If you have a CD (they still make those) that you want to make into ALAC files, just load the CD onto your computer and open it up in iTunes. Go to Preferences, and Import Settings on that first page. Set the Import Using dropdown to Apple Lossless Encoder. Now import the CD. It will be added to your library, which you can then add to your iOS device the same way that any other lossless audio file can be added.
If you have FLAC files that you want converted to ALAC, there are plenty of conversion software titles out there. Consider XLD for Mac, which has a drag-and-drop interface, and the cross-platform fre:ac.
If you just want to play the FLAC files on your device directly (such as if you have a large collection you don’t want to convert), then there are plenty of apps that will play FLAC files. Some free options: FLAC Player+, TuneShell, and MoliPlayer.
You should now be on your way to enjoying your music exactly how the creators intended it to be heard!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
THX tune-up is a new app from the folks behind modern-day cinematic sound, THX, which hopes to help you calibrate your HDTV to its best visual and aural settings. Connect your iPhone 4 or iPad 2 and up to your TV with an HDMI cable or AppleTV/AirPlay and point the camera at your screen to have THX tune-up help you get the best of each.
THX tune-up features custom video test patterns, carefully selected photos and tutorials to help you adjust and confirm the best picture settings on your display based on your room lighting. Using special test sounds, THX tune-up also lets you check your external speakers to make sure they are working in phase and are connected properly for 2-channel stereo or 5.1 surround sound systems.
THX tune-up is completely interactive and you will be able to go through it at your own pace and in any order. Use your iPad 2 (or later) or iPhone 4 (or later) to connect to your display or sound system with an AppleTM Digital AV Adapter and HDMI cable or through a wireless Apple TV.
It’s quite frustrating to be the owner of older generations of iOS devices. iPhone 3G and 3GS (and sometimes even 4!) owners or original iPad or iPad 2 owners are often kept from using certain apps (mainly games) that require more powerful devices. But now, for some users that were upset that they couldn’t play the 3D audio adventure, BlindSide, that’s no longer a problem. BlindSide now supports older devices for their game.
The game used to only be playable on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and the third-gen iPad (this left quite a few iPhone users out). The game has now added the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch (fourth generation) to its list of supported devices. Though, epicycle still highly suggests using one of the original three supported devices for the game as the two new devices are supported using a lower quality mode. So for optimal performance, use a new device.
BlindSide is a 3D audio adventure from epicycle. Players never actually see the world that they explore. The game requires uses to put headphones on and navigate around in the darkness based on what they hear. BlindSide detects where players are in the world based on their movements using the device’s gyroscope.
BlindSide is available for $2.99. Check out the new trailer for the game below.
With all of Apple’s relatively recent success in the smartphone and tablet market, we can forget sometimes that what kicked off their modern dominance was a device that simply played music. BICOM, Inc. has been recognizing how important music is to the company with their playGo series of iOS receiver systems. The newest model, the playGo AP1, is their biggest leap forward yet.
Previous playGo models used USB interfaces but the playGo AP1 instead streams audio wirelessly using Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Apple’s own AirPlay functionality. Music from iOS devices, iTunes and other services like Pandora, Rhapsody, and Spotify are wirelessly pushed to speakers with their high-fidelity audio intact. The playGO AP1 also retains built in USB for compatibility with older devices.
Unfortunately, the project is still in need of funding. However, interested buyers can check out the playGo AP1 Kickstarter page and purchase one early for $199. The funding deadline in July 5th and if it’s a success, expect to see the playGo AP1 released shortly thereafter.
Bubbly, a popular micro-blogging service in Asia, is now a global service and was released in the U.S. App Store on April 11th. Unlike Twitter and its 140 character limit, Bubbly users have the option of posting audio or text updates. The service includes “like” and commenting features similar to Facebook.
Voice posts are the driving feature of Bubbly. Users are encouraged to use the audio option when posting to convey the emotion and feeling behind what they’d like to say. I’ve grown particularly accustomed to the fact that sarcasm and irony aren’t always apparent in a text-only platform. Something like Bubbly remedies that confusion.
The service has a strange in-app purchase option. To unlock access to celebrity Bubbly-ers (Bubblers?…Bubbly users), users must pay $2.99 as an in-app purchase. I’m not sure any other service has ever done something like this. I’m trying to imagine Twitter being free, but needing to pay for popular users.
Bubbly has reached 16 million users (1 million just in the last month). On average, users post three times per day and 75% of that content are audio posts. Bubbly is a free service (except for the in-app purchase for premium user access) and the app is available to download for free.
A new tool for musicians is slated to be released by Alesis. The Alesis iO Mix is a mixer/recorder accessory for the iPad.
The Alesis iO Mix lets musicians mix and record four channels of audio into GarageBand (all Core Audio apps are compatible). Alesis previously released the iO Dock, which made the iPad compatible with studio equipment. But with the iO Mix, the iPad basically becomes the studio.
The iO Mix has four input channels (combo XLR-1/4”) and stereo outputs (1/4”). It even has video output for live show videos. It has a guitar-direct (DI) switch for recording a guitar without an amp. And an Alesis Module Mount (sold separately) can mount the iOS Mix to a mic stand.
The iPad is enclosed securely and the power supply keeps the iPad charged during recording.
The Alesis iO Mix currently has no release date or pricing available.
One of the most common laments of audiophiles is how badly iTunes compresses music files. While the average listener may not notice the drop in quality, to those who appreciate music in its most pristine form it’s like listening to nails on a chalkboard. The good news is that now not only can fidelity be restored, but users can make their music sound even better thanks to the newly-launched MyTunes Pro.
The app comes from the crew at SRS Labs and builds on the company’s already-existant MyTunes app. Not only does MyTunes Pro clean up audio and restore it to near-studio quality, but those with a true ear for sound can further tinker with tracks, adjusting the balance, bass, tone and more until they get their music sounding just right. There are other bells and whistles as well, including Party Mode and Workout Mode, each of which adjust the tempo of your music without warping the audio.
The app is free to download for the basic version, with in-app purchases available for users who want to try out the more advanced features. Why listen to music at an inferior quality ever again?
The built in Voice Memos app does its best to help those who need a voice recording app. It is pretty limited in its execution, however, and frequently lacks functionality that would make it essential for the likes of journalists and voiceover artists in need of recording an audition. This is precisely where iAudition springs into action.
As the name suggests, iAudition enables users to record and edit audio files wherever they are. One of the neatest functions is the ability to send completed files as MP3s directly to anyone via email or FTP site. Such functionality immediately makes iAudition a much faster app than those that rely on a PC connection to convert and send files.
Controls are simple yet effective with the ability to record multiple takes and cut and paste segments together. It all works just right, removing all the effort for the user. There’s even the ability to perform background recording sessions so that the user can read something from the iOS device while recording at the same time.
iAudition is out now priced at $5.99.
A voice recording app that constantly throws away recorded audio doesn’t immdiately strike me as the most useful of apps. Fortunately, there’s a very important reason as to why Shiftcorder does precisely that. It’s an app that, much like fast recording camera apps, focuses on capturing moments in time.
We’ve all been there, especially those with children. An amazing thing is uttered but it’s too late, fumbling to turn the stock app on and the moment is gone. In Shiftcorder‘s case, the app constantly records audio while not taking up any of the iOS device’s storage space. Once something worthy of being kept is uttered, users can then just hit the save button and the last 30 seconds of audio can be saved. It’s as simple as that.
Configurable options are available with audio quality adjustable as well as shifting times of 30 or 60 seconds available. Wi-Fi sharing is particularly handy as it means users can download their recordings using an internet browser, making things very simple indeed.
Priced at $0.99, Shiftcorder sounds like an inexpensive way of capturing some memorable audio bites to me!
It’s difficult to overstate just how important our eyesight is to every day activities. While the likes of iOS devices will be incredibly restrictive to those who are blind, apps like Voice Reader Web ensures that the partially sighted have a much needed tool to help them read web sites.
Voice Reader Web is a regular web browser with a very important feature: it can read all text displayed aloud in up to 21 languages with 32 different voices. It means that users can understand what’s on a website without reading it themselves, making it incredibly useful for the partially sighted as well as those who just want to listen in rather than read.
An added benefit comes from Voice Reader Web‘s ability to save sites for offline viewing/listening at a touch of a button. As part of the browser’s text mode, images and advertising can be faded out to ensure the focus is on the text helping those trying to read the information displayed.
As a disability aid, Voice Reader Web looks to be fantastically useful. There are other benefits to for the likes of car drivers or people who just want to relax and listen to a website rather than read huge amounts of text. Audio segments can be saved in a variety of different formats too for later consultation. It’s an all round useful app indeed.
Voice Reader Web is out now priced at $1.99. In-app purchases are available for those wanting to buy different voices. Each is priced at $0.99 per voice.
Wi-Fi has given technology buffs a huge amount of freedom. It’s not that long ago that we were all constricted by cables making the likes of video streaming possible but a little awkward and requiring plenty of forward planning. Now we’ve got the wonders of Wi-Fi and apps like Air Playit.
Air Playit is an app that enables its users to stream any video or audio files that are stored on their PC straight to their iOS device. Video conversion tools mean that video libraries can be converted instantly to a format that iOS devices can read. Users aren’t restricted to being on the same Wi-Fi network either with it being possible to set up the server to work across the internet too.
The app also supports Apple TV-Out so that users can stream content to their TV via their iOS device. Options to customize output quality and audio parameters are also available. It’s a pretty comprehensive app indeed and one that offers tons of convenience.
Air Playit is out now in iPhone and iPad varieties. Both are free.
Released: 2011-07-15 :: Category: Entertainment