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Jewish World Review
April 20, 2007
/ 2 Iyar, 5767
Getting More From Your iPod
When even the competition's cheerleaders endorse you, it's a good sign:
the editors of "Maximum PC" magazine, one of the more passionate of
Windows PC journals, voted in favor of Apple, Inc.'s iTunes music
service over Microsoft Corp.'s Zune Live service, even though they
said the music quality of both firm's recordings was a tad lacking.
But for iTunes music to be truly portable, you need an Apple, Inc. iPod
, which is five and one-half years old and which, as of last week,
has sold 100 million units. Not bad for any consumer device, and certainly
not bad in such a relatively short period of time.
How can users get more from their iPods? A couple of add-on devices from a
Miami, Florida, firm, Xtreme Accessories , online at
www.xtrememac.com, can help.
One of the most sensible is the Airplay Boost , a $39.95 device for
the newest iPod Nano devices, which transmits audio via FM to your
car stereo. Two features distinguish the Airplay Boost from similar units:
an "external" antenna, which increases transmission strength and audio
quality, and no power adapter: it runs on the iPod's power, though you can
add an optional, sold-separately $19.95 car power adapter if desired.
The Airplay Boost has built-in software that displays setup options on the
iPod's screen; installation is quick and easy. I like both the concept and
the execution. A version for the larger, video iPods is available for $10
more. Either is an excellent choice.
More valuable, to me at least, is the $59.95 MicroMemo , a plug-in
voice recorder for the iPod. Clip it to your iPod (my test unit was a 2
Gigabyte Nano), and you're ready to record memos, lectures or interviews.
At the "low," or default, level setting, you can supposedly get 12 hours
of recording from an iPod such as the one I used; go up to a 60 Gigabyte
iPod with Video and that jumps to 348 hours. Use the software to record at
"high" quality and you drop down to 3 hours on the Nano and 98 hours on
the larger iPod.
However you decide to record, the sound quality is very, very good. I went
through a couple of interviews using the MicroMemo, and the sound was good
enough, in my opinion, to qualify for use in an audio podcast , even
at the "low" setting. Purists may scoff - or suggest that an optional
wired microphone be attached - but I was mightily impressed with the sound
quality. Working from the iPod to transcribe my notes wasn't difficult;
the iPod's "jog wheel" control made incremental "rewinds" easy.
I can't recommend the MicroMemo highly enough. Oh, and you can keep the
sound base attached to the iPod and switch out the microphone for
headphones, if you desire; just flip a switch on the bottom of the
ONE LAST SHOUT-OUT TO APPLE: I had an experience with a Mac last week
unlike anything I've experienced in roughly a quarter-century of
microcomputer use. For reasons unknown, my copy of Apple's Safari Web
browser vanished from the iMac I'm using. After a mild panic -
Safari is part of the Mac OS X operating system and not available as a
separate download - I merely reinstalled the OS, and Safari returned, WITH
my settings and Web site "bookmarks" in place. The reinstallation made a
backup of the old OS, which I could easily discard once all was back to
This is about as close to a "self-healing" operating system as I've seen.
Would that other OSes were as forgiving.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com