Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Headphones have blown away several of our long-held beliefs: First, they’ve demonstrated that circumaural muffs aren’t the only means of isolating outside noise and preventing sound leakage in a traditional headphone design; second, they’ve proven that large drivers aren’t a requirement for fantastic bass response; and third, they've revealed that we’re not immune to the charms of fashion.
It's back! I've covered Songbird before, but that's only because it's one of the best open-source alternatives to Apple's iTunes. Well, Songbird just got bumped up to version 1.4.2--a brief fix for a UI glitch that was affecting its December 21 release of version 1.4.1. The latter is really the meat and potatoes of Songbird's latest update, representing as good a time as any to try out this unique and easy-to-use application!
Why Songbird? Well, you won't be locked into using Apple's proprietary iTunes platform... sort-of. For while Songbird supports device synchronization for the app's music files and playlists, users of those i-named Apple devices will still have to use Songbird's clever iTunes export workaround to sync music to their devices. Beside that, Songbird offers a comprehensive amount of media sorting, organizing, and tagging--including playlists that automatically update with new pictures, videos, and tour dates for bands of-interest.
In fact, this is one of Songbird's strongest features. Its built-in Internet-based enhancements deliver a wealth of additional information and functionality beyond what you'd expect to find in iTunes and it's... well, it's single connection to Apple's own Music Store. Shoot, you can even purchase concert tickets through Songbird, not to mention pack a bundle of additional add-ons and customizations to truly trick out your media player/organizer as you see fit.
So what's new with this super-handy music app? Click the jump to see all the big 1.4.1 changes!
When can a file encapsulate more than one type of data? When it’s a metafile, wrapper, or container file. You might think of a container file as a package or envelope in which other files are housed. Zip files, which can contain documents, photos, videos, software programs, and many other types of files, are one type of container that you encounter frequently.
We’ll limit our discussion here to media container formats. A pure container file specifies how the data is stored, but it doesn’t necessarily know how it was compressed or encoded or even what is required to play back those files. This can lead to confusion when dealing with container files wrapped around media because there’s a chance that the media player you’re using is capable of opening the container but not equipped with the algorithm required to decode the files inside. Although a container can theoretically hold any type of data, most are optimized during development to wrap around particular data groups, e.g., digital audio for music; static images for digital photographs; or digital video interleaved with digital audio, plus subtitles, closed-caption information, and chapter data for movies. Container formats that support video also include the information required to synchronize the various data streams in the file during playback.
If you’re willing to look beyond everyone’s favorite fruit company when you shop for a digital media player, you’ll encounter some wildly underrated alternatives. Cowon manufactures more than a few, including the nearly divine A3.
In fact, there’s just one feature that kills our enthusiasm for this chunky player: The joystick you must use to navigate the device’s user interface (among other things). You’ll find our full review after the jump.
iRiver’s new E100 digital media player offers a several terrific
features, including a MicroSD memory slot, FLAC and OGG support, and
the ability to record audio (there’s a built-in mic and a line-level input). Unfortunately, all that goodness is undermined by the device’s many flaws.