Posts Tagged ‘ipod’

Will My Old Apple Device Run iOS 7?

Apples new mobile operating system iOS 7 will be available this fall as a free update for Apple mobile devices. Of course, not all older Apple devices will be able to use iOS 7, but most of the newer ones will. Here is a list of the iOS 7 compatible devices. You will see that I’ve listed model numbers after the versions. If you don’t know what version of a product you have, just grab a magnifying glass and look at the back of the device for the model number.

  • iPhone 4, 4S, 5 or later. (A1349, A1332, A1387, A1428 and A1429).
  • iPad 2, iPad Retina or later, and all iPad Mini devices (A1395, A1396, A1397, A1416, A1430, A1403, A1458, A1459, A1432, A1454, A1455, and A1460).
  • iPod Touch 5th generation devices (A1421)

 

Acoustibud Earphone Adapters

I don’t know about you, but I hate the hard flat-faced earbuds that come with today’s iPods and most other MP3 players. Not only don’t they stay in my ears, but they hurt!!

Acoustibuds
Acoustibuds
Acoustibuds

I just found an great solution. Someone at a company called Burton Technologies came up with the brilliant idea of creating a soft in-ear

flexible overlay for the hard ear buds. They are called Acoustibuds. You simply pull them on over the hard earbud. They are flexible and can be angled so they can be adjusted to fit the shape of your ear canal.

Acoustibuds on iPod Earbuds
Acoustibuds on iPod Earbuds

Acoustibuds on iPod Earbuds

It took me about two minutes to angle them properly for my ear and I immediately found them to be comfortable and to have a very secure fit. In fact, I even wore them while I worked up a good sweat on a treadmill and they still stayed in place.

I was also amazed by the fact that the music sounded better, although after I thought about it, that might have been expected. Since the Acoustibuds fit better in the ear, the sound obviously goes into the ear better. Also, they block out outside sounds better.

These would be perfect with the iPod Shuffle since you must use the hard Apple earbuds with the Shuffle. I also found that I can use them with my Jawbone and other Bluetooth headphones.

For $19.99 you get two different sizes in the box. One fit my ears, the other fit my husband’s, so they were perfect for us.

At last, a simple idea that works!

The Talking iPod

It’s not a gimmick — the new iPod shuffle will actually talk to you. It will announce the name of the song and the artist, but even more importantly, it will announce and let you choose playlists. This is a wonderful feature for this least expensive iPod. Because the shuffles don’t have a screen, up until now, all you could do is “shuffle” your music. That is, have the music tracks played in random order.

Talking iPod Shuffle
Talking iPod Shuffle

Talking iPod Shuffle Next to Lighter

However, this new shuffle lets you choose to play a playlist. That means you can put together lists of certain types of music in iTunes and choose which list you will play on your shuffle. You can make a collection of music for exercise, for walking, for relaxing, or for just about anything you choose. This makes the shuffle ultimately more usable.

I took an in-depth look at the shuffle. My full review with photos is posted on Hardware Secrets. For those of you who may not want to do all that reading, I’ll give you a quick summary here.

The new talking shuffle is very, very small. No bigger than a pair of nail nippers, a Bic lighter, or a AAA battery. It’s great for those who don’t want a lot of bulk, but may be problematic for those who lose small items easily.

For such a small device, the sound quality is amazing as is the 4GB storage size. The biggest drawback is that because the controls are on the cable of the ear buds, you must use the hard round Apple ear buds that come with the shuffle. Many of us find these very uncomfortable.

The retail price of the shuffle is $79. The capacity, the sound, and the ability to choose the music you play make it worthwhile. If you want an inexpensive digital music player, and you don’t mind the ear buds, this may be the one for you!

Griffin iTrip Auto Universal Plus

FM transmitters that let you play the audio from your digital music player in the car are nothing new. I have been using one for years. You hook your music player to the transmitter and plug it into the cigarette lighter in your car. (You younger folks may call call the cigarette lighter, the 12 volt accessory outlet.) Then you tune the transmitter and the car radio to the same frequency and voila! You hear the digital music through your car speakers.

Up until now, you the FM transmitters were device specific. So you had to use one made for an iPod with an iPod, or made for a Sansa with a Sansa. If you and your husband had different players, you needed two different transmitters. If you decided to move from an iPod to a Zune, you had to purchase a new transmitter.

iTrip Universal
iTrip Universal
iTrip Universal

This new device by Griffin, has made everything much easier. It is called the iTrip Universal because you can use it with just about any MP3, CD, or cassette player. This magic is made possible because instead of using the proprietary charging port on the device, the iTrip hooks up to the headphone jack. On most devices the headphone jack is a standard 1/8″ , so the iTrip can be used with many different audio devices.

I use both an iPod and a Zune. When I travel i usually listed to the podcasts on my iPod, but occasionally I like to listen to the music on my Zune. So this little device is a godsend for me…. allowing me to use the same FM transmitter for both devices.

This little iTrip device also has what they call SmartScan. You simply press a button and the iTrip will find an open FM frequency to use. Then you tune your car radio to that frequency to hear the audio from you handheld music device.  It works like a charm. I used it recently on a 12 hour car trip. When I lost one frequency, I simply pressed the SmartScan button and then set the car radio to the frequency that it found and displayed on the screen. i was able to do this while driving without much distraction at all.

The iTrip has one other nice feature. There is a built-in USB port that you can use to charge your device while it is attached to the iTrip. Again, this worked seamlessly with both my devices. The only drawback is that you have two wires running between the car outlet and the device…one for the iTrip and the other, the charging cable that came with your device. This looks a little messy, but it allowed me to play my music and podcasts for the entire trip.

One of the best things about this iTrip is that if you or someone in your family gets a different type of MP3 player in the future, it will most probably still work with your iTrip. At $49.99, it is competatively prices, and more useful than most transmitters of this type.

Griffin Technology. Solutions & essentials for iPod, iPhone, and much more.
Griffin Technology. Solutions & essentials for iPod, iPhone, and much more.

Good iPod Alternative

Sansa Fuze
Sansa Fuze

Sansa Fuze

Although the iPod is the most popular portable digital music player, there are cheaper alternatives that also give you added features. The Sansa Fuze is one such player. In size, it is similar to the iPod nano.

The Fuze, however, does a few things that the iPod cannot do. It has a great FM radio, a voice recorder, and excellent battery life. The Fuze also supports a wider range of music formats than any other player I’ve looked at. You can increase your storage with a MicroSD card and the music on the card is fully integrated with the music on the player.

I got to review the cool-looking red one! Check out my full review at Hardware Secrets.


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