Lacquer Docking Station

A great way to keep all those ugly cords under-wraps.

A space-saving way station for cell phones, digital cameras, blackberrys, mp3 players and their charging kits. Wood construction with a glossy lacquered finish. Hinged back holds a surge protector, cords and plugs; rear cutout feeds cords to an outlet. Large drawer stores notes, pens and more.

Link. Via Swissmiss.

Hand-crafted sound system for iPod

This looks like a real space saver for those of us worried about clutter in our work and home spaces. The Vers 2x is one of the first compact sound systems for iPod which is priced within my meagre monetary means [$149.00US] and doesn’t look like it belongs in the Bed Supper Club. Sorry Apple but this looks better than your effort. The Vers 2x is made with hand-crafted cherry veneer – displacing 80% of what would have been plastic – and requires over a week to build. Obviously you need more than a great cabinet to create wonderful sounding speakers and to this end this system uses a clean class D amplifier driving 2 3″ 15 watt speakers which feature a dual port design for richer bass. This Vers 2x includes a 14 function remote with 25′ range, compatibility with most iPods, and a 3.5mm stereo input which allows compatibility with other mp3 players.
More information here. Purchase it here. More pictures after the jump.

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iPod Touch apps

Forgetting for a moment that I really have no pressing need for an iPod touch I feel that I finally have a replacement for the Palm Pilot that has been collecting dust since shortly after the day I bought it. Syncing with my Mac was hardly possible and was a hack at best. With the addition of the mail, notes, weather, and map apps. this magical little device has just been put on my shopping list – albeit as an expensive toy not a tool. An absolute gem of a device for traveling. I won’t mind paying the extra $20 at all.

iriver spin

The iriver spin looks promising – attractive. They seem to be marketing the use of mechanical (aka analogue) controls as “warm”. Good spin. Unfortunately the “cold” finish of the form doesn’t support the hype.
The iriver spin does all you would expect from a media player (photos, music, 30 fps video) plus adds recording capability, FM tuner, and a Dictionary. The Spinn will come in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB versions and features a 3.2-inch TFT-LCD Screen.
Press release

A new class of portable computer

Yes I definitely see one of these in my near future. The iPod touch will be for those of us in Asia the closest we will likely ever get to owning an iPhone and really I’m not entirely convinced that the iPhone would be the most obvious choice a for pocket sized mobile. I keep my phone in my pocket or at hand and detest those buckle holsters. But what will be interesting about ths device is whether it will find a use for people like me. People who have long since given up on pdas.
But is this a pda? The most significant aspect of the iPod touch introduction is that it marks the emergence of a class of portable computer that can surf the Web, listen to music and watch video, all from a server. This plus a bevy of media and productivity apps that are extremely easy and delightful to use. Not entirely new but done far better than anything before. If we can get Skype, Mail, an Ebook reader, and the ability to take extended notes then I can imagine seldom needing another device on the road. The laptop would stay home. I’m sure all this along with increased disk space and reduced pricing will happen in time. I know I will be buying one as soon as they are introduced here in Taiwan. So is this an introduction of a portable hand held device that we will actually want to use?

Creative ZEN Stone Plus

With all the attention that the iPod and iPhone receives that there are other decent audio players out there. A flyer in the Saturday Guardian (I miss those sales flyers here in Asia) revealed this cute player from Creative. The ZEN Stone Plus holds 500 songs (2 GB), has an FM radio, with 32 station presets, and a built-in stopwatch, countdown timer, voice recorder and clock. The downside is that the included software is Windows only so if you use a Mac and have a large library of music it can be a pain getting the music onto the player – you have to drag and drop. The cool bit is that unlike the iPod shuffle you actually get a small menu display.
Available at Amazon for $70.00US.
The keychain case might be a welcome addition.

Second Generation iPod Shuffle Shipping

Just in time to meet their self imposed October ship deadline, some iPod shuffles have been trickling out of the factory into the hands of their new owners.
The new aluminum shuffle is only half the size of it’s white predecessor yet still is able to hold 1GB of storage. Unfortunately Apple seems to have given up trying to design the Shuffle to plug directly into the usb port instead opting for a dock to allow you to sync. The size of the first generation Shuffle prohibited me from ever conveniently popping it into an available usb port as it was just a smidgin too wide. Expect a Taiwanese or Chinese knock-off within 6 months. Via TUAW

The Sakura Open Source DIY MP3 player

If you are tired of paying exorbitant prices for mp3 players with cheap tech. then (albeit with beautiful form factors) why not build your own with the ultimate in geekcore, the Sakura open source MP3 player kit.

For around $30 in parts and a good amount of patience, you can have a completely open source and hackable mp3 player ready to go. It can be modified to accept serial commands, be embedded in an art project, used as the voice of your next smart talking robo-sidekick, or filled with music and used as is. Put in whatever size card you want, up to the theoretical limit of the MMC format! All the source and schematics are here for free as part of the Creative Commons. I have kits available if you don’t feel like scavenging for the parts yourself.

The Sakura: The World’s Simplest Open Source DIY MP3 player!

Waterproof MP3 Player with Pedometer

Apple’s iPod might have a complete stranglehold on portable music but that doesn’t stop others from trying to fill some niche that sets them apart. Most haven’t learned from the iPods example and tend to cram in as much features as possible. Oregon Scientific’s follows this trend with their MP121. The MP121 is a 1GB Waterproof MP3 Player with FM Radio & Built-in Pedometer. It’s not a bad concept really – the iPod Nano is not the most robust player – but their execution seems to come up short. Available for $189.00US.