17 posts • joined Thursday 7th February 2008 13:23 GMT
A poor solution
Seems like a poor solution to me.
I just bought a "Y" iPhone cable that connects to the dock port and then splits in two - one being a 3.5mm audio connector, the other being a standard USB lead,
I've added in a Belkin USB cigar lighter attachment so that I can use the USB end of the iPhone lead to charge it (or any other USB device) when needed.
Both together cost about £15 and work seamlessly.
Oh and the item you reviewed doesn't convert the sound I bet - the dock port outputs a line-level audio feed, all this device does is pass it on to either the FM transmitter or the 3.5mm jack.
Actually, the Y lead and USB/cigar thing were < £10 together:
Y Lead: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004KIYHRK
USB/cigar thing: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002C3AFHG
No need for any software or crappy FM transmitter and the Y lead can be used in loads of other situations too...
A tiny fraction is still a tiny fraction, even if you scale it up...
"Apparently if all the 70-odd million chargers in use worldwide were swapped out for Green Zeros it would save 47 million tons of carbon dioxide a year."
I'm guessing that as a percentage of my total energy usage, the bit that's wasted by my phone charger is almost unmeasurable.
Let's be nice though and say that it's 0.01% of my annual energy usage.
So, if everyone in the world used one of these devices, we'd save 0.01% of global energy use.
I.E. it's pointless to worry about how much your phone charger uses when you compare it to say central heating, ovens, cars etc. Make changes where they'll have a measurable effect - if you want to make a change.
Oh and with reference to the quote (above) - how much CO2 would be produced making and distributing (and disposing of) 70 million of these chargers?!
Still a long way to go...
Pay MORE for a download of something I can get a hard copy of - that I own, can lend/sell etc?
Where's the incentive?
As for formats, I use FLAC for everything - and it's "standard" as in - pretty much the most popular lossless format, maybe "default" would be a better word than "standard".
Personally, I just wish Apple would buy the WavPack codec - yes, yes, bare with me. The only way any new format will get a chance is if has the backing of the biggest online music retailer (iTunes) and their supported devices.
It matters not what other players adopt any other formats IMO - it's nice to see FLAC getting a toe-hold, but until it's supported by iDevices, it'll never be anything other than "niche" (even if it's a sizable one).
WavPack offers a great solution - one rip, that creates two files per track - one lossy file (that's small like MP3) and gets used on your portable device (to save space where outright quality isn't an issue) and a "delta" that lives on your home HDD and enables lossless playback from there.
It's genius IMO - but barely supported.
Yet. (well I can dream)
Pointless with compressed music...
Expensive headphones, hi-fi and docking station things (like the Zeppelin) seem really odd to me when most of them are fed with compressed music, typically from an iDevice.
Not only do you have the "is it really worth running MP3s through a £1000 amp", you also have the effect (as the reviewer mentions) that the better the equipment, the more likely it'll be able to show all the floors in the source material - and therefore actually end up being detrimental to the listening experience.
I buy hundreds and hundreds of CDs and rip them all to FLAC and for anyone who'd actually site down and listen (rather than just letting the music wash over them) the benefits of a lossless format become clear on even modest equipment.
IMO, MP3 has become the new cassette tape. It's an old, outmoded format who's raison-detre no longer really exists - we all have fast broadband and copious storage, both at home and when mobile. But it has become ubiquitous, in the same way cassette did - it's "lowest common denominator" now.
People's "dedication" to MP3 is also at odds with them all seeming to have HD TV, Blu-Ray etc - visually people are all about high def. When it comes to audio it seems they're not at all bothered...
Oh and my 2p for good value headphone - Sony MDR-V6, they're about £60, bomb-proof and sound superb (another set of "monitoring" headphones with a really flat response). I've got a couple of pairs, one is used all day, every day and still look and sound great.
"if you can live without support for FLAC or Ogg Vorbis"
Thanks for putting that statement in the first sentence.
Saved me the bother of wasting time reading the rest of the article only to find out it doesn't support some of the most popular and open-source codecs.
No FLAC = FAIL
Apple = special case?
Can we have a story every time Dell, HP, Sony et al update their websites for new product releases too?
Or maybe they're all capable of site updates without having to take the site down in the first place?
Or maybe they've not yet realised that taking the site down generates media coverage and therefore free PR?
Or maybe it's just that Apple is special and every time they release ANYTHING, even a product update rather than launch, it's worthy of coverage...?
Pulling content OFF the box
Anyone know if I can connect one of these via a USB/ethernet and pull recordings from the box?
If so, does anyone also know what format these would be?
Simple Transport Streams (TS) is my guess...
answering my own question
"What's more the FetchTV SmartBox's unique design allows you to export and store anything you have recorded on TV so you never have to delete a recording, even if the hard drive is full. Simply export it to a USB drive and you can play it back again and again on your TV or your PC. ."
Now, I wonder if it can auto-pad recordings so you don't miss the start/end?
Questions, questions... :)
An "edge case" though....?
This is all well and good, however both WSJ and FT are more "trade papers" than "news papers" IMO - the people reading them do so for commercial (i.e. employment) reasons. The news they gather from these sources, the effectively make money from in their jobs.
Also, the news on this type of publication may not be available elsewhere.
So, what you have is an audience consuming industry news, that they then use to inform their working decisions and that they may not be able to get from other sources.
None of these things apply to "general news" though - this can be read from any one of a number of sources - either electronic or paper-based.
I wonder too about electronic news subscriptions? Do many people subscribe to news papers anymore (as a total of readership)? Or do they pick and choose what titles they buy and when?
For example, I'll likely pick up a red-top for a commute as it's small, cheap and provides brain-out entertainment. But at the weekend, I'll pick up a broadsheet - expensive and much more in-depth. It's the distinction between news as entertainment (Metro) and to be better informed (The Times).
I'd not subscribe to either though as I buy papers quite rarely - and I suspect that to most people "subscription" equals "lack of free choice" - why shackle yourself financially to one provider when you can act on a whim at the news-stand?
Finally, when I'm done with my paper I can pass it on to a friend or colleague or leave a magazine on a train for others, or donate it to a doctor's surgery etc. None of these things will be possible on devices like iPads....
How ya like me now?!
Home taping is killing music?
Wait till they get a load of me!
(To para-phrase Batman I think)
Is it just me?
Long time reader, first time poster etc....
Whenever I read things about "40% of the population approve of ID cards" I always wonder - "Is that 40% of people who know and understand what the scheme involves, the govn' history on IT projects, the costs vs benefits (real, claimed) etc etc"
I can't believe that if you asked clued up, knowlegeable people the stats would be the same?
Certainly the only people I've ever met who DID approve of ID cards were very quickly and easily turned once a few basic arguments were made....
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