Not all the Apple news is about sapphire screens and the pending iPhone 6. Apple is promoting their latest iTunes Festival, and this time it's based on London. You can win tickets to attend, or for the rest of us, stream the content using an iOS device, including Apple TV.
IK Multimedia is a company whose products I have been reviewing for several years, and they continue to impress me with their prodigious release of new hardware and software. Their latest batch consists of substantial revisions to their popular iKlip and iMic product lines. This review roundup takes a look at these to see if they are worthy of your purchase consideration.
With Beats becoming part of Apple, there's room for an independent high-end headphone vendor and SMS wants to earn that spot. I've reviewed their Star Wars licensed line by 50 Cent and been impressed. Now they are pivoting (pun intended) in another direction, namely athletic earbuds and on-ear headphones, with help from NBA star Carmelo Anthony.
The dust hasn't even settled on Apple's mega-acquisition of Beats by Dre and Beats Music. The subscription service has been regarded as a better interface than iTunes Radio, Apple's internally developed answer to Pandora and Spotify. Now, Amazon wants to get into the act. Not satisfied selling music, books and movies, they now offer a streaming service called Prime Music. The service has over one million songs, including popular Grammy winners, so this is not a rehash of your father's old playlist.
With the addition of Beats and Dr. Dre, Apple continues to push the idea that they know how to party. Music and musicians have always been a part of Apple, going back to Steve Jobs' love of the Beatles and Bob Dylan. It was a major dream come true for him to have them finally on iTunes, and featured in a number of Apple commercials. Jobs wasn't the only "Apple Steve" who was into music. Steve Wozniak started the unprofitable (by design) but impressive US Festival in 1982 and 1983, like Woodstock with (slightly) fewer drugs.
The worst-kept secret in Apple's recent history (post iPhone 4 leak) has been the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Beats by Dre. It finally was announced, yesterday, just days before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. This gave the newest Apple employees, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, a chance to participate in the Re/code conference. Iovine spoke with his new boss, Apple's Eddy Cue, on a range of topics.
I'm always on the lookout for quality headphones, and since I'm also a huge Star Wars fan, when I saw the SMS Street by 50 Star Wars line ($199.95) at the Consumer Electronics Show, I was very excited, and snapped a photo! 50 stands for 50 Cent, the rapper turned branding sensation, and he is apparently a Star Wars fan, too. At CES, he was paired up with a couple of Stormtroopers to announce these new headphones. The phones are available in Light or Dark Sides, with Vader, Stormtrooper, Rebel Alliance, or Boba Fett variations.
Lately I've been writing a lot about the rumored acquisition of Beats by Apple. In fact, I'm one of the few pundits who has focused specifically on the nature of Apple possibly joining forces with Dr. Dre. If Apple expected anything other than controversy from the good Doctor then I can only suggest that perhaps they did not fully vet their candidate for their executive board. In any case, Apple executives are said to be hot under the collar about Dr. Dre's release of a celebratory video in which he and actor Tyrese are toasting to the Apple acquisition and Dre's status as hip hop's first billionaire. This flies blatantly in the face of Apple's notoriously tight-lipped, and understandably controlling policies on disclosure. Now the same Internet that was all abuzz just days ago about the impending buyout, is all abuzz with rumors that the delay in an official announcement could signal that the deal (or at least Dre's part in it) is in serious jeopardy.
When it came to the iPod, I was an early adopter. And boy was it emancipating to no longer tote around CDs in my car or carry a Discman with me on the run. In fact, it was incredible.
At the time that the iPod emerged, smartphone apps were science fiction, like flux capacitors and hoverboards. But now, smartphones are not only ubiquitous, they are boasting more flexibility and nearly as much storage capacity as iPods. Could it mean the death of the iPod in the coming months and years? Maybe…