Add some sick modular hardware controls to your Mac for $99 (Kickstarter project)

Trackpads and keyboards are great for many things, but there are some tasks where there’s no substitute for a physical dial, slider or button. In video editing, for example, there’s a reason that professional kit uses a rotary dial to move forward or backward through the video clip. Photo editing and audio work are also far easier with physical dials and sliders.

While there’s a whole world of dedicated hardware controllers out there, the Palette project on Kickstarter takes a particularly neat approach: a modular system that you can design to your own requirements. There’s a power block, button, rotary dial and slider, and you can mix-and-match them in any layout you like, and they can be made to work with any software …  Read more

Review: Underwater Audio turns your iPod shuffle into a waterproof music player

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For the past few months, I’ve been testing Underwater Audio’s waterproofing service for Apple’s iPod shuffle. As the name implies, Underwater Audio is a company that created a technique to waterproof the iPod shuffle without changing the design, form-factor, size, overall weight and thinness of the wearable, lowest-cost iPod…

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Ultracompact universal audio/MIDI interface announced for recording on Macs & iOS devices

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IK Multimedia has announced what it claims is “the most versatile compact audio interface on the market”. iRig is a small battery-powered box that allows musicians to connect microphones, guitars, line instruments or MIDI devices to a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

iRig PRO is designed to give mobile musicians and songwriters an interface that can handle the widest variety of audio input signals, so they can create music and audio on the go anywhere, any time.

It accepts virtually every type of audio and MIDI input. Users can plug in a dynamic or condenser microphone; a guitar, bass or other Hi-Z instrument; or any line-level source.

Additionally, iRig PRO is equipped with a MIDI input for keyboards, pads and controllers, making it a truly universal compact interface for recording and composing on the go or in the studio. Its audio and MIDI inputs can be used simultaneously, for example, to control guitar or vocal software with MIDI foot controllers or pedals, for switching presets or controlling effects levels …  Read more

Review: Belkin Thunderstorm iPad case brings home theater quality sound to the iPad

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With its Retina display, unmatched ecosystem of HD video content, and AirPlay streaming capabilities, the iPad is undeniably one of the best experiences for watching video on a mobile device. The one glaring omission from Apple’s recipe for the perfect mobile video experience, however, is the absence of quality, front-facing speakers. The result is a sound experience that doesn’t quite live up to HD content on the iPad’s best in class Retina display. With several newer devices (see: Galaxy Tab 2, HTC One) adding front-facing, stereo speakers, audio performance is clearly one area Apple is falling behind, and its competitors have certainly taken note.

At CES we first got a look at Belkin’s solution to the problem: A $199 iPad case with integrated front-facing ported speakers that aims to offer a home theatre-like experience right in your hands. Belkin is about to release a new Lightning version of the ‘Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater’, so we thought the time was right to give you the full run down on how the product performs… Read more

Apple to live webcast Tim Cook’s Goldman Sachs technology conference presentation Feb. 12

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Apple announced today on its Investor News page that CEO Tim Cook, like in previous years, is scheduled once again to speak at the upcoming Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. Apple will make a live webcast available for anyone who wants to listen to live-streaming audio from the conference call. Cook’s talk is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. PST on Feb. 12 and will be available to stream from Apple’s website.

If you miss the live broadcast, Apple will most likely post audio of Cook’s full talk after the event as it did last year. You can listen to Cook’s presentation from the 2012 Goldman Sachs conference here.

Apple’s new iPod ‘Bounce’ ad ready to watch online; first real bounce test too

Shown during its media event last month, Apple posted a new iPod advertisement online. It has also been appearing on television. The ad, titled “Bounce”, highlights the various new designs in Apple’s iPod lineup and the choice of colors it now offers.

In case you are wondering how these iPods really bounce, we have the first iPod touch drop test below:

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