It’s not everyday that we write about hardware on 148Apps. So when we do, you know it’s about something awesome.
Today, Sonos, one our favorite iOS friendly audio hardware makers have released a new, smaller device, the Play3. It’s the little brother to the fantastic S5, now called the Play5 that we reviewed last year. This smaller version has 3 speakers instead of the 5 found in the Play5. It still maintains the features of the Play5 in that it connects with your home network to stream music from iTunes and a huge variety of online services like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc.
I had a chance to test out the new Play3 for a few minutes earlier this week. And I’m impressed. It does a great job, in a smaller package, of still sounding great. You can use this in addition to a Play5, on it’s own, or create a stereo pair between two like devices. The Play5 is a great machine that I’ve grown to love. The Play3 will be a great first device for new Sonos users considering it’s retail price of $299. It will also make a good second device to extend your Sonos range into another room.
We hope to be able to bring you a full review of the Play3 in the next couple weeks.
When devices that supported AirPlay started showing up at CES this year it left Sonos at a bit of a disadvantage. Airplay requires special hardware for it to be supported in a consumer device and the Sonos devices didn’t have that chip. But that’s not the end of the story.
The engineers at Sonos put their heads together to find a way to make AirPlay work on Sonos devices like the S5 which we looked and loved at last year. It’s a bit of software and a bit of hardware. But if you have an Apple AirPort the you have all the hardware you need.
To make AirPlay work on the Sonos, you connect an AirPort Express directly to your Sonos S5, both the Ethernet and audio cable. Once connected and configured properly, when you play something on the AirPort via AirPlay, the Sonos will pick it up and switch to play the audio from that device automatically. Boom, instant AirPlay.
Ok, it’s a bit of a kludge, but damn, it works great.
At Macworld this year, I got a chance to try out the new SRS iWow 3D. It’s an interesting little dongle that fits on your iPhone, iPad, or any iPod, including the touch, that has the 30 pin connector. When you connect it, plug in your headphones to it, and click the on button, it enhances the sound coming from your device in some interesting ways.
I have no idea what’s behind the magic that this little device does. What I do know is that it seems to enhance the sound impressively. The stereo separation seems much greater. The highs brighter, and the bass deeper. Works great with music, but the enhancement when playing videos was even more dramatic.
SRS has also created an iWow 3D app that lets you tailor the sound to your preferences. You can set the output for different devices such as headphone or speakers, and you can increase the treble and base to your preferences.
If the sound is important to you, it may be worth carrying around an extra piece to you. You can pre-order the SRS iWow 3D now from SRS directly.
Recording audio is great, except when you play it back and realize, with some frustration, that you can’t see what’s being talked about—whether it’s a reference to diagrams on a blackboard, a lecture slide, or even a person. As for video, well, it requires a lot more storage space, as well as a steady hand.
Eidetiq aims to combine the best of both worlds with their new iPhone app. The name “Eidetiq” is a play on the real term, “eidetic memory,” or what pop culture calls a photographic memory. Loosely termed a “note-taking” application, Eidetiq allows you to record audio as well as snapping pictures. Turn the app on, and then take pictures when necessary. The app then plays back the recording with the pictures synchronized in time to the audio. A free piece of desktop software allows you to sync those recordings to your Windows or Mac machine as well.
The developers have plenty of suggestions for how to use Eidetiq. These range from the standard lecture recording—record audio, plus pictures of relevant diagrams or problems—to medical applications, such as a doctor recording a patient’s description of their symptoms along with photos of the injury. Despite its “note-taker” moniker, the developers intend for Eidetiq to be much more.
“Never ask again – what did the teacher just say?” said Jason Novak, CEO, Chubby Weasel Technologies…”The app allows you to focus on what you’re listening to in the moment, and then go back and document the highlights.”
Eidetiq is now available on the App Store for $4.99.
Now this is what apps are for. Have you ever been in need of a particular sound byte, only to give up after trying to putz around in Garageband for 20 minutes? No? Well, darn. I thought I really had something there.
However, if you’ve ever tried to put together a podcast, run a radio show (web or otherwise), or just needed a few clips for a presentation, you know how much of a hassle it is to extract clips from audio tracks. Many programs can accomplish the task, but none are iPad apps expressly designed for making this happen, and happen easily. Snipster for the iPad is just the app, one that will easily snip up audio tracks into bite sized bits, which is perfect for any sort of presentation. All you have to do is set start and end points for every file and violá, your clip is made. If only making the rest of the podcast or radio show was that easy.
Snipster can handle up to 480 audio files at a time, and has a slew of features that will make your snipping life so much simpler. Clips fan be faded, looped, moved, searched through, and played back at a moments notice. The clips can even be organized into named blocks, so you could prepare a package of clips for all sorts of events. For example, if you were running a podcast with four guests, you could assemble a clip package for each individual guest, allowing for a level of ease and customization not provided by some of the larger apps that can snip audio files (i.e. Garageband).
Snipster obviously isn’t for everyone, nor is it on the low-end of the App Store price wise, but if you are in need of a pro-level audio snipper be sure to check out Snipster for the iPad. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run.
“Come out to the MONSTER JAM this sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY to see some RIP ROARING ACTION and EXTREME CRASHES!”
I love monster truck commercials, and now I can make my own. Monster Truck Commercial Generator (I got carpal tunnel writing the name) “uses hundreds of little bits of speech to make random monster truck rally commercials.” You can use all of the professional clips and play your own iTunes music (or the pre-made tunes) to make over “one TRILLION possible commercials”.
We recently got our hands on iSaidWhat?!, a smart new audio tool by Tapparatus. The app lets you record what your friends are saying, and then rearrange it for your amusement. Billed as a way to embarrass your buddies, iSaidWhat?! works surprisingly well when put to the test.
The first thing you’ll notice about iSaidWhat?! is the overall polish and cleanliness of design. It is an expertly crafted front-end. You can easily record anything and save it within the app. iSaidWhat?! shows you the waveform of what you’ve recorded, and you can then zoom to and cut select pieces using a very simple interface.
Once you’ve extracted and compiled a variety of snippets, iSaidWhat has an arrange mode where you can choose from words or phrases within any of your recordings in order to construct a new saying. The goal is to string together funny new sentences at your friend’s expense, although you can use it to combine any sounds you’d like. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you can then share it via a variety of ways, including Twitter and Facebook. There is also a script mode that lets you type up a message beforehand that you’d like someone to read while you record.
iSaidWhat?! operates rather seamlessly from recording to sharing. It is a tad too easy to accidentally lose a recorded message at first, but you soon get the hang of saving your sound bites immediately upon taking. For my testing purposes, I recorded some bits of an interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and pretty effortlessly rearranged them to have him proclaiming his love for Apple. Childish for sure, but fun nonetheless!
While iSaidWhat?! may be somewhat of a novelty tool, it delivers on everything it promises with a high level of quality. You can see it in action via the screenshots and demo video below…
Radio Flare is a musical side-scrolling shooter with a soundtrack that dynamically morphs as you play, responding to your actions. While I love the audio and believe that its spot as an IGF finalist in Audio Achievement is definitely deserved, the core gameplay ultimately failed to hook me.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted January 22nd, 2009 by Perrin Stewart Our Rating: :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Every once in a while you run into an application on the iPhone that appears to have been designed by Apple themselves and included with the OS. Voxie is an audio recording application that leverages Bottle Rocket's design ethic with fantastic results.