This year was different. Every year we come back from CES and people ask what exciting new toys we got to play with. This time, instead of just talking about new chips and technologies, Sandy cut short the chip interviews to play with new portable media and IP voice toys. It was fun, but expensive.
Last month we described Get Digital's service converting CD collections to compressed digital audio formats. This month we report on how it works in practice. We found the "metadata" to be the most important part of their service, and they did very well indeed.
Digital media adapters, MP3 players and portable music jukeboxes all start from the assumption that your music is conveniently ready for transfer from the hard drive of your PC. But most people's music is currently only on their CDs -- not in their computers. The "do-it-yourself" route is one solution. For those whose time is in short supply, a company named Get Digital provides an alternate approach.
Intel has announced a new initiative to connect existing audio and video equipment to PC-based MP3s and photos. They're providing a reference design based on UPnP and Linux, and are aiming to get these technologies embedded in consumer electronics equipment.
Compelling Broadband Applications -- Listen.com's Rhapsody service (BBHR 7/31/2002)
There's a growing debate about why broadband adoption isn't growing more quickly -- is it caused by availability, price, or the lack of compelling applications and content. We think the answer is a combination of these factors, but there are still few applications to differentiate broadband from dial-up. We share some thoughts on one we really like and ask you, our reader, to tell us what applications YOU find most compelling right now.
We're testing the Turtle Beach AudioTron networked digital music player and its associated AudioStation PC software. It's both a great gadget and a clear demonstration of how the consumer electronics and computer worlds are converging fast.