To promote five years of App Store goodness, Apple is giving away for free the top apps and games. I’m not sure how long this promotion will run, so you might want to take advantage of it while you can.
So Apple stock is down today, and everyone is acting like the world is ending. Frankly I think everyone is going through a “Chicken Little” syndrome and running around shouting “The sky is falling”. Apple’s stock dropped ten percent, but it is still a thousand times better than it was 20 years ago. And while Apple is selling less computers, they are selling a ton of phones, tablets, and other devices. And yes Samsung is taking a bite out of Apple’s cell phone market share, but it doesn’t mark the beginning of the end for Apple.
I’m not an Apple fan-boy by any means but the fact is they do make a superior product that exemplifies good design, easy of use, and seamless compatibility with all Apple products. So before everyone freaks out and sends Apple to it’s premature grave, take a look at 15 years of Apple home pages, and take note of all the killer products they have released in that time.
<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/choehn/15-years-of-applecom-15990876″ title=”15 Years of Apple's Homepage” target=”_blank”>15 Years of Apple's Homepage</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/choehn” target=”_blank”>Charlie Hoehn</a></strong> </div>
I’ve always been fascinated with old school stereo console units. Especially mid-century ones that had a sleek modern look to them. There is something about the self-contained entertainment console with sturdy wood construction that appeals to me. It probably has something to do with my obsession about not seeing any cords, or wires.
Symbol Audio is resurrecting the stereo console in a very upscale and stylish way with units like the Modern Record Console which pays homage to all in one console hifi systems of the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Modern Record Console is a hand-built stereo designed by Blake Tovin and Matt Richmond. It features things like a custom designed hand-wired tube amplifier, wireless connectivity, a carbon fiber tonearm fitted with a Sumiko Blue Point #2 cartridge for playing vinyl and two 6.5” full range speakers. All of this is stored inside of a steel and wood cabinet that looks absolutely fantastic with clean lines and a deep walnut finish.
Like the flagship Modern Record Console, Symbol Audio also produces a table top stereo and a record cabinet for holding your vinyl, and CD collections. Both units are equally well designed and built. You can see the entire collection here.
My friend Stephan sent me an email last night about a number of iPhone accessories that he thought I should own, and out of all of them there is one I was really impressed with.
The Finite Elemente Horizontal 51 is a floating wall mounted shelf that contains an amplifier, iPhone/iPod dock, USB connector, and composite video output to connect to your TV, and a remote control port on the face so you can control your iPhone. This thing would be perfect if it had HDMI output for HD streaming to your flat screen TV set. The shelf contains two speakers with woofers on the underside of the shelf.
The speakers are powered by two 50 watt amps with built in power overload protection. Those amps drive two speakers with a dynamic range of 50 – 25.000 Hz (-6 dB). Not huge specs, but good enough for light music listening in an office or small room environment.
Winner of a prestigious Red Dot best of the Best award for 2011, the Finite Elemente Horizontal 51, is well deserving. A simple, clean, elegant solution that lets you fill your house with portable music. The shelf itself can hold up to 55 pounds which is more than enough to hold all your nicknacks and or home theater AV gear.
While this isn’t a perfect solution, it’s a great start. I’d love to see built in WiFi with support for Airplay, HDMI input/outputs, with support for other devices. There is plenty of room on the back of this shelf to allow it to act like a home theater bridge between your iDevice, cable box, Google TV or Apple TV and so much more.
When I first saw images of this I thought to myself, “there should be a little guy in lederhosen blowing in the end of this thing, while another little lederhosen guy shouts out Ricola”. (my mind is filled with cold meds that are having an impact on my imagination)
OK enough of that nonsense. When it comes to passive amplifiers for the iPod or iPhone, this new release from en&is is pretty damn sexy.
The Megaphone amplifier for the iphone is made from porcelain and designed to amplify the audio produced by the built in speaker on your phone. The amplifier sits on a thin wooden frame so the amplifier rests in a cradle that almost feels like an old school pipe stand. The stand has a very functional design purpose though. It helps to increase audio vibration and optimize sound output. I couldn’t find any specs on this. That statement is based on the designers website. I have no idea what this actually sounds like but it sure looks amazing.
MegaPhone Satellite 2011 is designed for the iPhone is perfect for listening music without headphones, for audio conference to hear the person on the phone as live voice.
Jawbone, the makers of the oh so sexy Aliph Bluetooth headsets, have released a new wireless speaker called Jambox. The Jambox speaker is small, compact, and stylish with the ability to crank out 85Db of sound. Jambox is powered by a pair of proprietary acoustic drivers, unmatched in their ability to produce extreme high and low frequencies from a single, ultra-small dome speaker. They work in concert with an innovative moving-wall passive bass radiator and airtight enclosure to deliver shimmering highs and thumping lows with a Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz. While these aren’t exactly reference monitors, they do have pretty good specs for something this small.
Designed to function as a companion speaker for your computer/iPhone/iPod this is a rugged stylish solution. The Jambox is sturdy, and can be tossed in a backpack without worry, it runs up to 10 hours off of batteries, so no outlet is needed to power it. Jambox dumps the requisite iPod or mini stereo input for Bluetooth wireless, so you can roam the room with your music player, without physically tethering yourself to the speaker. Another bonus of the Jambox Bluetooth speaker is that it works as a travel-friendly substitute for a laptop, iPad’s, iPhone’s lame speakers, and if you need a speakerphone it is a definite plus over the iPhones speaker mode.
At 200 bucks the price might be a bit high for some, but I could see using this on a fairly regular basis.
A couple of years back I was on a 14 day trip in South Africa, and while we weren’t in extremely primitive conditions, there were times when you wished you had a way to amplify your iPod with out the need of powered speakers. Obviously the two Australian brothers behind Tembo Trunks™ had the same issue. Unlike myself they have done something about it with these powerless speakers. Made from collapsible silicone, these rugged speaker can amplify the output from your ear buds to 80dB. This isn’t ear-splitting volume, but it is loud enough to fill a room with background music, or share your tunes at the beach or camp site. Right now they have a kickstarter site and are trying to raise $10,000 to get this off the ground. If you pledge 39 bucks you get a set of the speakers, and the knowledge that you helped launch a great little product. To donate and learn more about the speakers, click here.