Since launching in 2005, Sonos has pretty much dominated the multi-room wireless speaker scene. But it may surprise you to learn that Yamaha customers could stream music around their homes at least a couple of years earlier courtesy of the company's MusicCAST network audio system. Originally comprising a CD ripper/hard drive server and receiver stations, Yamaha revamped the digital audio streaming platform in 2009 and included a touchscreen remote controller, the ability to connect to a portable music player over Bluetooth and support for streaming music services and internet radio. Now, MusicCast has been updated again, with Yamaha promising a range of more than 20 enabled products by the end of 2015.
Not so long ago, music on vinyl looked set to go the way of the audio cassette tape. But, despite an overall dip in first half year physical album sales in the US, the latest figures show that vinyl is bouncing back. Unsigned artists, part-time musicians or karaoke champions wanting to ride the new vinyl wave could invest in a desktop cutter like the crowdfunded (but yet-to-be-shipped) DRC for limited production runs, but a new service launched in the Netherlands earlier this year caters for custom groove creations instore. Now Vinylify has launched a streamlined web portal and opened its doors to international orders.
Back in May, British headphone maker Reid Heath Audio (RHA) announced a new pair of in-ear headphones that debuted something called DualCoil dynamic driver technology. The company had managed to install two independently-powered dynamic voice coils on a micro ring magnet, one to handle lower audio frequencies and the other to take care of the higher end. The T20s promised a true-to-life reproduction and support for high resolution audio. We got to plug in for some hi-res, and lo-res, listening.
Originally crowd-funded as the YRG-Pro Midi Guitar on Kickstarter back in 2012, Inspired Instruments' flagship MIDI guitar has been reborn with a new name and improved functionality. Now called the Lineage, the device boasts full-scale strat-like look and feel, an onboard LCD GUI and a 10-hour battery life.
After a long wait, Apple Music is finally here (as soon as you download the new iOS 8.4 update for your iDevice). The new service comes with new apps (for mobile and desktop) and a stack of improved features, so it's not immediately obvious what's what – let us guide you through the Apple Music maze and help you get the most out of the service.
It's a growing problem: a dizzying number of songs get released to online music stores and streaming services or uploaded to archives around the world each day, and those songs need to be categorized. But how? Play the same song to 10 people and they might each put it into a different genre or subgenre. An automated genre identification system developed by researchers in India, which they claim is the best yet, could be the answer.
Thanks to a combination of vision, savvy deal-making and the dawn of music piracy, Apple changed the music industry with iPod and the iTunes Store. Can it follow its own footsteps with a new service that, with a few exceptions, looks a lot like many that already exist?
A company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has spent the last 3 years designing, developing, tweaking and building what's described as a new breed of musical instruments. Just when the sonic scientists at Omnipresent World of Wizkids (OWOW) had reached a point where the five "smartly built, but stupidly simple to use" MIDI devices were ready for the production line, they ran out of money. So they've turned to Kickstarter to get the wob, wiggle, drum, pads and scan into the hands of players.
Is it a UFO? Is it some kind of butt-massaging meditation stool? Is it a wok with a damaged lid? No, it's the Oval digital handpan. The light, portable and durable instrument has been designed to have the ergonomics and playability of a hang drum, but with access to a world of almost limitless sonic possibilities.
Hong Kong-based Zorloo headed to Indiegogo earlier this year to crowdfund some next generation earphones that integrated a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amp into the inline controller. By the time the campaign closed on February 22, the campaign had attracted over US$85,000, nearly four times the funding goal. Now, after a slight production delay, backers are starting to receive their Z:ero in-ear headphones and the company's Andy Ho sent Gizmag some to try out.