If you're going to call something "iTunes Preview," it'd be nice to, you know, actually be able to preview songs, and now you finally can.
To get it to work, head over to iTunes Preview through Apple's iTunes Charts page. Once there, mash on any album or artist and then hover your mouse cursor over a track number. You'll now see a little play icon which, when clicked, results in a 30-second snippet.
There are some caveats. You'll to have iTunes installed, and you can't preview an entire album. Nor does iTunes Preview offer up samples of movies, TV shows, audio books, or anything other than music. Still, it's a start, and a badly needed feature if iTunes Preview was going to live up to its name.
“The vast majority of devices we launch after Hero will have a 3.5mm jack. Devices that we have already announced but that still come out after Hero will not necessarily be a part of this change,” HTC informed Mobile Crunch.
A Taiwanese based research group has developed a speaker technology that can be worked into paper allowing for ultra thin devices, or even talking posters. "A lot of companies are interested in this product," said Chen Ming-daw, a research director at ITRI. "We don't have enough people to handle all the attention right now."
The new technology is being called Flexspeaker because in addition to being paper thin, it can also be rolled up or folded. Right now the goal for minimum sheet size is around 23.6” by 17.3”, and would cost roughly $20 USD each. Unfortunately this is too large to be used in our magazine, but that doesn't stop us from dreaming of the day when our pages can sing “Still Subscribe” to our beloved readers.
According to the researchers, the paper is made by sandwiching thin electrodes that receive audio signals and a pre-polarized diaphragm into the paper structure. Right now an adapter is required between the sound source and the paper, but plans are in the works to allow any stereo source to connect directly to the paper or even wirelessly over bluetooth. The primary limitation of the speakers at this point, is that they have problems with sounds below 500hz. This means that the heavenly baritones of our very own Nathan Edwards would need to be augmented by adding a subwoofer.
It seems as though everyone is looking to put a twist on their netbook lineup as of late in order to stand out from the crowd. Dell tossed a TV tuner into its Inspiron Mini 10, OCZ unveiled a DIY netbook at CeBIT, and more recently, Asus announced its first optical drive-equipped Eee PC. Not to be left behind, Samsung's upcoming N120 netbook will come with integrated 2.1 speakers, and it's available for pre-order now.
Samsung still hasn't published an official product page for the N120, but that's okay, because a handful of merchants have coughed up the core configuration. And at this point, we have the basic netbook blueprint fairly well memorized. In addition to somehow managing to cram a subwoofer into a 10.1-inch netbook, Samsung's N120, available in either black or white, will come configured with Intel's Atom N270 (1.6GHz) processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP.
Pre-order pricing has so far hovered in the $450 range with at least one site showing an ETA of April 14.
While Emo Labs wasn’t a heavyweight at CES, they were able to garner some attention for their Edge Motion technology. A demo given to the crew of Technologizer gave plenty to be excited about, and for once the idea of an “invisible” speaker could be worth looking out for!
Evidently, the technology is similar to NXT’s SoundVu that had plenty of issues getting off the ground back in 2005. But, this new system uses “arrays of motors to wiggle the edges of a clear membrane” in order to produce audio, something that SoundVu didn’t do.
Emo Labs optimistically hope to have this concept integrated into the panels of TVs by the end of next year.
If you're trying to watch a YouTube video and can't get the sound to work, it could be by design. The Google-owned video sharing site has just implemented a new policy which won't remove a user's videos containing copyrighted audio, but it will mute the audio stream, allowing the offending video to play on sans sound.
The new policy comes as a result of YouTube's ongoing dispute with Warner Music Group. Last month, Warner forced YouTube to cut off access to videos containing copyrighted music, following a breakdown in talks over licensing agreements. The video sharing site appears to have found a workaround until those talks come to a conclusion.
"Music licensing can get very complicated, but we try to make your experience as simple as possible," YouTube wrote in a blog post. "We want you to have options when uploading videos with music in them. And if your video is subject to a copyright claim, you should have some choices too."
YouTube recommends that anyone whose videos have been flagged and muted to check out Audioswap, which is a library of pre-cleared music.
G2 Microsystems has pioneered a new technology that will allow devices like headphones, speakers and other WiFi devices to directly communicate with notebooks Intel Centrino 2 chips. The company’s WiFi networking module can be planted inside consumer devices to allow them to connect to Intel My WiFi-enabled computers without the use of access points.
The technology promises to make tasks “such as wireless printing and synchronization between a digital photo frame and your photo archives” less onerous, according to the company’s founder and CEO Geoff Smith.
With the advent of Intel My WiFi Personal Area Networks, made possible by G2 Microsystems, WiFi has sneaked into Bluetooth’s territory.
According to Chinese researchers, sheets made of carbon nanotubes will act like a loudspeaker when charged with a varying electric current. This discovery could lead to a new era of cheap, flat speakers.
Shoushan Fan of the Tsinghua University in Beijing and his team have been working alongside a team of researchers at Beijing Normal University (a name that truly inspires confidence), to create the first speaker sheet by aligning numerous 10-nanometer-diameter carbon nanotubes. When an audio frequency current was sent through the sheet they found that it acted as a loudspeaker. While the reaction causes the sheet to heat up to temperatures of 80°C, it’s expected that consumer use will only cause the sheet to rise slightly above room temperature.
According to Kaili Jiang, a member of Fan’s team, the speakers have a great deal of potential in them for uses that you wouldn’t see from a conventional speaker. The team has found that the flexible sheets can be stretched until they become transparent. They could then be attached to the front of an LCD screen to replace standard speakers. They even mentioned the possibility of singing and speaking jackets.