What happens when you install the new Logitech Squeezebox Remote app from the Android Marketplace and proceed to play around with the interface from a remote location? You scare the pants off anybody who’s still at home and wondering why the little radio box is suddenly playing music all by itself*. That’s what happened this afternoon when I decided to test out the new Android app despite not being anywhere near my Squeezebox. The app loaded beautifully, and apparently it had no trouble communicating with my player. Here’s the text message I received from home shortly afterward: “Your squeezebox just came on by itself. #afraidtogodownstairs”
Author Archive | Mari Silbey
Comcast launched the Xfinity TV app to much fanfare this week, and though we knew it was coming, we didn’t know all the nitty gritty details until we got our own hands on. After a test run on the iPad, here’s my take on the good, the bad, and the future of the Xfinity app.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced just over a week ago that it would begin certifying products under the new Wi-Fi Direct standard. Now, according to the organization’s own certification list, the first smartphone has qualified for new point-to-point Wi-Fi communications. The Samsung GT-I9000, aka the Galaxy S, received Wi-Fi Direct certification on November 1st. It’s eighth in a list of certified devices, but the first smartphone to make the cut. As a reminder, Wi-Fi Direct facilitates device-to-device wireless 802.11 communication without requiring a wireless access point or going out to the web. Best of all, only one device has to be Wi-Fi Direct certified to enable wireless networking with any other Wi-Fi gadget. That means Galaxy S owners will, in theory, be able to share photos, music, video, and other files over a localized network. It’s like Bluetooth, only you probably have a few more Wi-Fi devices lying around.
(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)
Tonight at the annual Pepcom holiday event in New York, Slacker will preview its new on-demand music service, a major upgrade to the existing application available on the Web, and on Android, Blackberry, and iOS phones. As long-time Slacker fans here at ZNF, we couldn’t be more excited about the launch. In addition to caching stations and enabling downloads of favorite tracks (available with today’s Slacker premium service), the new on-demand service will let users call up and play specific artists and songs at will. The new genre stations, pre-programmed by Slacker DJs, will provide details on the top station artists and songs, with an option to jump around to those tracks and others at any time. The search function will also provide more information on artists and songs, including what stations they’re programmed on, associated albums, etc. You’ll also be able to sort and play favorites easily, and there will be significantly more functionality for programming your own custom stations from any mobile interface.
You don’t have to go far to have a little fun with your Android phone photos. There are plenty of free apps for editing pics on the fly, with features like cropping, colorizing, graphic overlays, and word bubbles. Amazingly, this was novel stuff just a few short years ago. In the fall of 2006 I contracted briefly with a start-up company that had developed an application for adding funny sayings to your cell phone photos. You would take a picture, text it with a particular code, and watch it return a short while later with a designated caption. Sounds downright archaic in 2010.
I got pretty excited about the Kodak Pulse digital picture frame back at CES, but didn’t have a chance for any one-on-one time with the product until last weekend. Who needs a review unit when your parents buy the gadget outright? And that in itself says a lot. After years of searching, we finally have an Internet-connected digital frame that’s parent and grandparent friendly. It has built-in memory, takes a USB stick, and best of all, accepts photos that are emailed from approved accounts.
The Kodak Pulse only comes in a seven-inch version, which is retailing for $119 at Amazon now. (Perhaps a ten-inch version for this year’s holiday shopping season?) It’s small, but sharp and bright. The controls are simple. You touch the screen to bring up the menu with options to select image source, single-photo or mosaic view, and slideshow settings. There’s also direct integration with Facebook photos and online Kodak galleries. Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to say. There are nowidgets, and there’s no integration with other photo services like Snapfish or Flickr, but it doesn’t matter. If you want the grandparents to be able to plug in a digital frame and forget about it, the Kodak Pulse is a clear winner.
- 7-inch display with 800×600 resolution
- 512MB internal memory
- 1 USB port
- 2 card slots – Secure Digital (SD), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Multimedia Card (MMC), MEMORY STICK (MS), MS PRO/MS PRO DUO, XD-Picture Card (xD)
(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)
With a Sony Style store around the corner, I headed out on Thursday for a peek at the Masters Tournament in 3D. It was just me, one avid golf fan, and a Sony Style staffer. In other words, the viewing event clearly wasn’t a big draw for the store. Nonetheless, Sony sucked me in, and I have to say I came away more impressed by the demo than I expected.
Sure it’s 2010 and you can now get your Olympics fix online (albeit with some headaches), but if you’re home in front of the big living-room screen, why not take advantage of the all-HD experience? NBC Universal is offering coverage on NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, and Universal HD, and, as in years past, the broadcast company has made deals left and right with pay-TV operators to provide on-demand content.
Continue Reading →
Dave broke the news back in August that Comcast would be coming out with a new remote DVR scheduling feature in the near future. Since then, I’ve kept an eye on the myDVR page in hopes I’d get a heads-up on regional availability. Today, after reading about guide updates over on the Comcast blog, I revisited the bookmarked URL and hit the jackpot. I can now manage all of my DVR recordings online. It appears that I’m in one of the early market rollouts, but the rest of Comcast’s digital subscribers with a Motorola set-top should get the upgrade over the next several months.
In addition to letting me manage recordings, the new myDVR Manager site includes decent search functionality with content filters (HD, sports, movies, etc.) and keyword results that incorporate both live broadcasts and on-demand offerings. The UI is easy to use and even anticipates what I might need next. A search on Duke, for example, let me quickly isolate just the Duke college basketball games.
The series recording options are also much easier to manage than they are on the traditional guide. See further pics after the jump for a look at menus and options.
(This post is republished from Zatz Not Funny.)
My favorite digital photo sites have some new surprises for 2009, and I’ve checked out a couple of new-to-me sites with holiday goodies too. If you’ve stocked up on digital photos all year, here are five gift ideas that take advantage of your personal image archive.