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Goondu review: Klipsch R6i earphones

Goondu review: Klipsch R6i earphones

18 Jul
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At S$169, the R6i commands a premium over many in-ear headphones available in the market today. Small wonder when you realise this is a Klipsch product, a company known mostly for producing premium gear for audiophiles.

Tagged in: Audio-visual, Geek Buys, Music, Peripherals, audio-visual, earphones, Klipsch, Music, R6i,  

Listen to new music with adaptive lossless streaming

16 Apr


Music lovers can now check out new artistes with downloadable mobile music albums that stream the music to them smoothly by adapting the quality to either online or offline use.

Called Orastream, the technology was first tested by Techgoondu back in December 2011. It will play back at a lossless CD-like quality if a track is streamed, say, over Wi-Fi at home, but it will switch to a less demanding compressed quality if the user decides to stream the tracks over a cellphone network while on the move, for example.

Three artistes, including award-winning composer pianist Tze from Singapore, have now signed on to release their music on these mobile albums, which come in the form of downloadable iOS apps. The Singapore firm behind the technology, MP4SLS, calls these albums or apps digital catalog LPs (DLPs), in a tribute to the old record format.

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, cloud, Internet, MP3 player, Music, Singapore, Wi-Fi, A*Star, adaptive streaming, iOS, MP4SLS, Music, Orastream,  

Streaming music service Rara.com launches in Singapore

5 Feb

Rara.com, yet another streaming music service, was officially launched in Singapore just about two weeks back.

The music service offers ad-free access to more than 10 million tracks, and will initially be offered at a rate of S$0.99 (for web) and S$1.99 (for web and mobile on the Android platform) per month in Singapore.

After three months, the price point will jump to S$4.99 per month for web and S$9.99 per month for web and mobile respectively.

Take a look:

My initial reaction was: meh. I’m not really impressed after I visited the site.

Tagged in: android, Cellphones, Music, Singapore, android, DRM, Music,  

Notes from unConference 2009

17 May

Unconference 2009

Techgoondu had the chance to be at unConference 2009 held yesterday at the Biopolis, thanks to the kind folks at e27 who had put together an excellent program that brought together some of the top forward-thinkers in the region. Here’s a recap of what I felt were the highlights of the event:

Panel discussion: Innovation in Asia and where is it heading?

Tagged in: Web 2.0, advertising, browser, facebook, Gmail, Google, innovation, Internet, Mac, Music, PC, security, Singapore, start-ups, techgoondu,  

World Builder goes viral

16 Mar
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Machinima. Virtual worlds. Next generation human computer interfaces.

Bruce Branit’s nine minute World Builder short film is poignant, brilliant and beautiful. A work of art that fires on all cylinders — concept, storytelling, music.

If you’re a sci-fi fan or computer geek, it’s definitely worth a look. Super cool.

The story of how World Builder became a viral internet video is also pretty interesting. According to this excellent story on NewTeeVee by Wagner James Au, Bruce sent out his video last year to various film festival circuits, but it drew little attention.

Dejected, he put it up on the internet as a portfolio, and a high quality video was put on both Vimeo and YouTube about a month ago. Within days it became a viral hit and spread via word-of-mouth and blogs (like this one here!). It is still drawing traction, as the Viral Video Charts can attest.

Tagged in: Internet, Uncategorized, art, Internet, Music,  

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with free music

27 Feb

Gin already wrote a post on Nokia’s “Comes with Music” launch in Singapore today, but I’ve a few additional pictures and prices for readers.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
Estimated retail price: S$798
Availability: From 28th Feb 2009, Saturday (tomorrow)
Colors: red and blue, with silver-black from mid-March
Specs and features: Pretty standard for a mid-range touch phone. 3.2 megapixel camera. 3G, HSDPA and Wi-Fi. Comes with built-in A-GPS. Free 8GB micro-SD card. For all the specifics, go to Nokia’s product pagehere.

But I totally agree with Gin and Alf that the key differentiator is the “Comes with Music” service by Nokia. Brilliant tactical move by the handset giant. Basically, it allows users unlimited downloads of tracks from Nokia’s music store for one year. According to Nokia, they have about four million tunes in the store. Operator charges are of course separate. Singapore is the first country in Asia to run this service; it was first launched in UK last October.

Tagged in: Cellphones, Music, Music, Nokia, Singapore,  

How to convert YouTube music to mp3

30 Jan

A friend asked me about this, so I thought it’s good to share in a post.

You’ll need an audio editor/recorder. One that I highly recommend is the open source software Audacity, available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

It’s pretty easy to use. Open a new project. Just click the record button when the music is playing, and stop the record when the music ends. If you want higher quality, just increase the sampling rate (default is 44.1Mhz). Export to Wav, mp3 or org vorbis when done.

Two tips that might help:

  • Make sure that your line in settings are turned on and not muted. For Windows, this option can be found under My Computer->Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Device->Device Volume. Otherwise you might be wondering why there is no line input.
  • To record in stereo (mono is default in Audacity), go to Edit->Preferences. Change the channels from 1(mono) to 2(stereo). For an FAQ for Audacity, you can find it here.

Besides YouTube, audio recorders like Audacity are useful for recording snippets from podcasts and streamed internet radio, especially for niche indie content.

In fact, I find myself sampling and converting to mp3 a lot more indie stuff nowadays as the internet makes it so easy to find great and unique music. Here’s a sample:

  • Things so Singaporean, by Judith d’Silva and Ann Hussein (YouTube)
  • Love Song for Singapore, by Mr Brown and folks (Mr Brown Show)
  • Closer, by EN-X, Singapore band (MySpace)
  • Miss Sunshine, by Postbox, Singapore band (MySpace)
  • Code Monkey, by Jonathan Coulton, WoW machinima by Spiffworld (YouTube)
  • Mario Kart Love Song, by BlinkTwice4y (YouTube)

I’m curious. What are you readers listening to out there? How do you find music?

Tagged in: Internet, Music, Internet, Music, Singapore,  

Five free music sites on the web

13 Jan

I’ll stick my neck out and make a prediction: in the future we won’t need to own digital copies of mp3s, let alone CDs.

Not when we can pull music off the virtual cloud that is the Internet.

Music is one big area that is exploding in the new social Web 2.0. You can discover, search, and share playlists on many music websites out there, and never have to own a single copy of any song.

It feels like Napster days all over again. But far more than filesharing platforms or basic internet streamed radio, these Web 2.0 sites – and there are many of them out there – allow you interesting ways to find and play music.

I hardly listen to my own mp3s nowadays except when I’m on the move. When I’m home doing work, I’m typically listening to one of these sites below:

Tagged in: Internet, Music, Web 2.0, Internet, Music,  

Best selling Amazon 2008 album is free

6 Jan

Giving away your content free doesn’t mean you can’t make a living as a writer, musician or artist.

Just ask Nine Inch Nails. Their Ghosts I-IV album, which was released free under the Creative Commons license, was rated the bestselling Amazon mp3 Album of 2008.

Take a moment to think about the significance: NIN’s Ghost I-IV is given away for free, but it sold the most albums online at Amazon.

Taken from this Creative Commons blog posting:

NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked.

The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.

Tagged in: Media, Music, creative commons, Music,  

A Techgoondu Christmas gift guide

24 Dec

What’s a geek to do before Christmas? Buy a Techgoondu-approved gift to make others – and ourselves – happy of course. Granted, this year-end is shaping up to be more austere than the past few with the financial downturn already upon us. But austerity driving shouldn’t mean no giving for Christmas, right? So here’s a list of diverse geek gifts mooted by us, and we promise it is a cool one:

Tagged in: Cellphones, CPU, Gaming, Geek Buys, laptops, Music, Christmas, Gaming, Music, techgoondu,