Monday, August 14, 2006

home stereo: Motorola iRadio(R) and Taldia Bring Hometown News to Your Mobile Phone

Monday August 14, 12:08 pm ET
Local, National, and International Audio News From Taldia Inc., Featuring Hometown Newspapers Now Available on Motorola iRadio Service

TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Motorola iRadio® listeners can now customize their news radio experience by choosing from a wide selection of local, national and international news reports. Available whenever and wherever listeners want to tune in, current news, business and lifestyle stories from local sources will be read by Taldia, Inc.'s voice over professionals and made available on the iRadio network.

The new channels will be powered by Taldia and Taldia's content partners, including local US newspapers and the Associated Press. The audio content will span business, sports, entertainment, top news, technology, health, U.S. and International events, politics, science and key stories of the day. Localized content will include news from large regional newspapers such as the Orange County Register, as well as from small community papers like The Eagle (Texas). The announcement adds to Motorola iRadio's growing collection of local and regional, providing subscribers with a diverse array of coverage and opinions.

"Over the years, terrestrial radio has lost much of its local connection and character as the radio industry has consolidated," said Dave Ulmer, senior director of marketing, Motorola Digital Media Services. "Motorola iRadio is bringing back local content and making it accessible whenever and wherever you want it, directly from the one device you are never without -- your mobile phone."

"We are excited to bring our client Newspapers and AP content to Motorola iRadio listeners who want their news up-to-date and on-the-go," said Rys Fairbrother, Taldia founder and president. "This agreement will provide added value for our clients with additional distribution and to iRadio subscribers, who treasure their news as much as their music, and will help iRadio extend the reach of print news into the growing realm of personalized digital audio content."

"Motorola iRadio is continually looking for new and innovative forms of 'long-tail' content to add to our service," said Jeff Stinson, Senior Director, Business Development, Motorola iRadio. "The services provided by companies like Taldia can help content that is not traditionally radio-friendly get heard on the iRadio network."

Motorola iRadio is the first digital music service to offer a truly seamless listening experience with audio that easily transitions from one location to the next-through the car stereo, home stereo and mobile phone. The service includes a growing library of over 600 channels of music and talk, best-selling audio book content, educational and language courses, self-help programs, local news and weather, classic radio shows, all alongside your personal digital music collection. Motorola iRadio is currently in consumer and partner trials in several major US cities.

About Taldia

Taldia, Inc. of Altadena, CA, realized early on that new mobile technology could support the potential of daily news content being converted from text to audio so people can listen to the news up-to-date and on-the-go. Through a content deals with print publishers and creating technology to manage the process, the daily news is available in categories such as Sports, Entertainment, Politics, Business and many more. News stories are recorded by Taldia's stable of professional voiceover talent with experience in radio, book narration and on-air announcing for such outlets as CNN.

Taldia's proprietary content management software and distribution platform enables other media companies to monetize their existing assets in this new space. Current content and technology partners include the Associated Press, Motorola iRadio, Media Bay and iLoop Mobile.

Taldia continues to actively pursue additional content agreements, as well as partnerships with media outlets that are looking to offer subscribers alternative means to access their content.

About Motorola

Motorola (NYSE: MOT - News) is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of Seamless Mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you get and stay connected simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment that you want and need. We do this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do" experiences and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $36.8 billion in 2005.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. iRadio is a trademark of Motorola, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

Source: Motorola, Inc.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

home stereo: Logitech offers new streaming music system

By Keith Shaw on Wed, 08/09/2006

If you've been aching for a digital music system that streams music from your PC's music collection to a stereo system or powered multimedia speakers but can't afford those giant home audio systems, Logitech is offering an alternative.

The company this week launched its Wireless DJ Music System ($249.99, available in late September), which connects a PC to a stereo system or speaker system through its Music Anywhere wireless technology. The system can play any PC audio file, including MP3, iTunes (AAC), Windows Media Audio, Internet radio and podcast files (listen to Twisted Pair on your home stereo!), Logitech says. An included remote control includes a display and scroll wheel that lets users change songs from anywhere within the house, and includes a "DJ List" option, which lets users add songs or albums to the queue without having to stop the music.

The system includes a transmitter that plugs in via USB on the computer, and a Music Receiver/Dock, which connects to a stereo system via RCA connections, or a powered speaker system through a 3.5mm headphone jack. The system can stream music at a range up to 150 feet (50 meters), and the remote control automatically connects to the PC and offers the same range, Logitech says. The system also includes Logitech's StreamPoint PC software, which compiles audio files, playlists and Internet radio stations from iTunes, Windows Media Player and Musicmatch Jukebox to create a unified music library, the company adds.

Additional Add-On Receivers will cost $79.99, which allows for additional systems to connect to the unit. Up to four additional receivers can be added to the system, creating a multi-room audio system.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

home stereo: Logitech Wireless DJ Music System to ship in September

Posted by: John P. Falcone

Logitech today announced the Wireless DJ Music System, a streaming audio device with a unique three-part design. The $250 system is anchored by a wireless remote control with a built-in LCD readout that allows you to access and navigate digital music files on your PC or the Internet and hear them on your home stereo.

Unlike competing audio devices that stream PC audio over a home network, the Logitech Wireless DJ broadcasts music from a small wireless transmitter that plugs into your PC's USB port. The audio is sent to a small receiver that can be placed more than 300 feet away (according to Logitech) and plugged into any stereo system with a free auxiliary input. The receiver doubles as a charger for the Wireless DJ's third and most important component, the wireless remote control. In addition to the familiar transport buttons (Play/Pause and Track Up/Down), the remote includes an LCD readout and an iPod-like scrollwheel, which gives you full access to your music files, playlists, and Internet radio stations.

The Wireless DJ Music System is essentially a step-up product from Logitech's previous streaming solution, the Wireless Music System for PC. But while the addition of the informative visual interface on the Wireless DJ's remote makes it a big step forward, it also retains two of the big advantages of last year's version: no network setup hassles and no DRM (digital rights management) restrictions. Installing Logitech's new StreamPoint software enables the Wireless DJ System to control a variety of leading audio software, including iTunes, Windows Media Player, Rhapsody, Yahoo Music Unlimited, and Musicmatch. Paid subscription content streams just as easily as any home-ripped music.

Logitech provided CNET with a brief hands-on preview of the Wireless DJ Music System a few weeks ago. Despite the fact that the hardware and software weren't yet finalized, the system performed smoothly, letting us easily choose songs, artists, albums, and playlists on a remote PC and hear them on the stereo attached to the DJ's receiver. If we had one complaint, it was that the remote's scrollwheel wasn't quite up to the tactile response we're used to on an iPod.

The Logitech Wireless DJ Music System is scheduled to ship in September, and we'll have a thorough hands-on review as soon as we receive our final review sample. But we're hoping the system will prove to live up to the positive first impression we experienced. If so, the Wireless DJ Music System may be the closest thing to a "poor man's Sonos" that we've seen yet.

Monday, August 07, 2006

home stereo: Griffin Ships RocketFM USB FM Transmitter for Desktop Computers

Griffin Technology has announced that they are shipping the RocketFM, a unique wireless solution for broadcasting Mac or PC audio applications to any FM radio.

RocketFM uses any available FM frequency to transmit music or audio through your home or office stereo system. Applications such as iTunes, GarageBand, video soundtracks and even streaming audio can be conveniently broadcast with RocketFM.

"Not only is RocketFM practical for playing your computer's audio over your home stereo, its stylish design makes it a great-looking desktop accessory," said Don Stratton, product manager for the RacketFM.

RocketFM includes software for Mac and PC that presents a familiar and easy-to-use interface for tuning to any desired station. Remove the RocketFM from its desktop stand and it's perfect for traveling, use your laptop in your car to broadcast your tunes to the car stereo, in a hotel room or DJ the next party.

Pricing & Availability

Price for the Griffin RocketFM is $39.99 USD. It is available at

Get Griffin at!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

home stereo: "Studio on Wheels": Infiniti Fights Competition With Super Sonic 2007 G35

Date posted: 08-05-2006

NEW YORK — The 2007 Infiniti G35 will debut this fall with an optional Bose stereo audio system designed by the two companies with the goal of outperforming every other factory-installed car audio system, found in any car at any price.

Named "Studio on Wheels," this new car audio system was modeled after a superlative two-channel home stereo system that cost more than $33,000 to assemble — as much as the entire car — using components such as "electrostatic tower" speakers priced at $10,000 a pair and a $4,000 CD player, said Thomas Crahan, regional product manager for the Infiniti G35 at Infiniti North America in Gardena, California.

Like this home system, Crahan says, the Studio on Wheels system is capable of reproducing sounds in a wider frequency range than most audio systems, and it is designed to "stage" the sound entirely from the front.

Crahan demonstrated the system last month at a cocktail reception for journalists in New York, hosted by Infiniti and Bose. A jazz quintet played live, and then the journalists were invited into the car to hear a recording of the same music played by the same band through the Studio on Wheels system.

The system incorporates audio components and architecture never before used in a car: a CD player with a 24-bit digital audio converter (DAC) chipset from Burr-Brown, a high-end audiophile brand; Burr-Brown op-amplifiers in the head unit; and, in each front door, a set of 3 speakers that includes a 10-inch woofer for bass as well as a tweeter and a midrange speaker.

"It's a very different approach" to car audio, Crahan says.

To date, Infiniti has not planned to offer the new sound system as a stand-alone option; it is expected to be offered only in an optional "premium package" in the 2007 G35. The price of this package has not been announced yet, but an Infiniti spokesperson says it is expected to be similar to the price of the premium package offered with the current G35 — which ranges from $3,150 to $3,500.

By comparison, in some competitively priced vehicles from other automakers, premium stereo audio systems are available either as stand-alone options or embedded in packages. For example, in the 2006 Chrysler 300, a premium Boston Acoustics stereo audio system is available as a $635 option or is standard in the Heritage model of the vehicle. Volvo charges $995 for the premium stereo audio system with Dolby Pro Logic II in the 2007 S60 T5 or includes it in the $1,595 "Sport Package" for the S60 2.5T and 2.5T AWD — down from $1,200 for the stand-alone option in all 2006 S60 models. Meanwhile, in the 2007 Audi A4, a premium Bose stereo audio system costs $1,000 in an "audio package" with Sirius satellite radio, or the same audio system can be bundled with a navigation system for a package price of $2,100.

The 2007 Volvo S60 and 2007 Audi A4 models are at dealerships now.

The 2007 Infiniti G35 is expected to be at dealerships in November.

What this means to you: Stereos are major selling points as cars turn into homes away from home. And it appears Infiniti is thinking it can win some people over with a truly high-end offering.

Friday, August 04, 2006

home stereo: Altec Lansing aims for the high end of the iPod speaker market with the M602, offering custom drivers, bass enhancement, and "universal"

It's not like the market is experiencing a dearth of speaker systems designed to convert Apple's iconic iPods into boomboxes and home stereo systems—heck, even Apple itself has gotten in on the act. Now, Altec Lansing (who itself is responsible for a good portion of the market's clutter) is aiming at the upper echelons of the home stereo market with its M602 high-end speaker system for iPods (and, coincidentally, for other portable music devices), promising crisp, clean sounds, deep bass, and an elegant look which will "add flare to any home or office décore."

The M602 is 14 inches wide, just under 5.5 inches deep, 8.2 inches high and weighs about five pounds, and was designed to deliver high-quality in-air audio using a 60 watt amp, custom-designed 3-inch drivers with 1-inch tweeters, and patented XdBTM bass enhancement technology pumps the low notes without a subwoofer. Altec Lansing says the unit will put out a plenty-loud 100db, and offers a system response of 60 Hz to 20Khz.

A universal iPod dock handles any third, fourth, and fifth generation iPod (that includes the mini and nano models, but omits the shuffle), charging the iPod while in use, and comes with a "universal" dock which enables uers to put non-Apple MP3 players "front and center" in the M602's staging area. The M602 is wall-mountable, but can also be lifted and easily moved from room to room, and the system features a wireless remote and built-in controls for managing iPod and speaker functions. There's even a composite video output for pushing video content on your iPod to a television (though you need to supply your own cabling).

The Altec Lansing M602 is available in the U.S. market now for a suggested price of $199.95.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

home stereo: Exile: Dirty Science

home stereo: Griffin Tune Center

Earlier this week I met some folks from Griffin and got a preview of their recently announced Tune Center iPod accessory. Further decentralizing your connectivity and entertainment content, the sleek little dock connects to your TV or TV and home stereo to provide a big screen, remote controlled experience for iPod based home music and video playback. The Tune Center can also connect to your home network (via ethernet or WiFi) to allow you to tune in to internet radio. Check out the screen shots below (click to zoom)—the interface is as straight-forward as it gets.

from Griffin.

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