Tagged With mp3 players

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Since the birth of the iPod in 2001, Apple has released generation after generation of new iPods packed with exciting feature updates. The problem is that your not-so-old iPod probably feels like it's drifted into obsolescence. Sure they both still play music, but take a look at a first gen iPod next to an iPod touch and it's not hard to understand where I'm coming from. Rather than pony up for a shiny new MP3 player, consider installing the open-source MP3 player firmware Rockbox on your current player first. Rockbox just hit a new release, and it's never been easier to supercharge your MP3 player, from iPods and irivers to Archos and SanDisk players.

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Windows/Mac/Linux: Open-source MP3 firmware Rockbox has released its first major update in three years, adding support and stability for more MP3 players and playback of more file types. Rockbox has long been the best tool to breath new life into an aging MP3 player, from first through 5.5 generation iPods to iRiver, Sandisk, and Archos players (see all the supported players here). Rockbox features include Last.fm support, album art, games, video playback, and tons more. Better yet, the new release comes with a streamlined installation tool called RockboxUtility that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux and makes installation simple. With the latest release, Rockbox easily earns its spot as one of the 20 best iPod utilities. If you're a Rockbox user, share your favourite features in the comments.

Rockbox

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Managing music between your iPod and your iTunes library can be cumbersome at times, if only because you can't actually do a lot of management on your actual iPod. To that end, a howto from DIY web site Instructables details how to automatically remove unwanted songs from your iPod using smart playlists and the star rating system built into your iPod and iTunes. The idea is simple enough, but if you find it difficult to remember songs you want to banish from your iPod once you're actually plugged into your computer, this setup will take care of those songs automatically. Got similar methods of your own? Let's hear about them in the comments.

Automatically remove unwanted songs from your iPod

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Web site Pediaphon turns any Wikipedia article into an MP3. The site plugs the article into a text-to-speech synthesis app, and while the synthesis isn't the best you've ever heard (what is this lif - eh - hacker, anyway?), it's very fast, meaning you could plug in an article and sync the MP3 to your MP3 player in about a minute before you head out the door. If you plan on putting Wikipedia to heavy use on your iPod, I'd recommend installing Wikipedia on your iPod or browsing iPodia on your iPod touch or iPhone.

Pediaphon

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Got (or soon to be getting) a gadget that needs mounting in your car? ProClip offers clips for nearly any portable device you can throw at it, then matches a vehicle mount to the make and model of your car. With the right device clip for your gadget and mount for your car, you can ensure that your gear is securely fastened and conveniently located so hopefully you're not fumbling to switch songs or answer a phone call while driving. Prices vary but they aren't exactly cheap, so if you've had luck with other, cheaper mounts, let's hear about them in the comments.

ProClip

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With a new generation of iPods on the market this holiday season, your reliable old iPod may not seem as shiny as it once did. But with the help of third party applications and utilities, you can unlock tonnes of useful functionality you never knew was there and revive that aging iPod so it doesn't look quite so bad next to its successors. Whether new or old, the following 20 iPod utilities can help you get the most from your iPod.

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Windows only: USB thumb drives, memory cards and MP3 players are easy to take with you—and easy to misplace. Portable application iHound aims to make it easy to locate your items and report their theft if they've fallen into the wrong hands. The program places a small "MyPasswords" file that looks like a text document in a device's root folder, and if that file is opened, the iHound website can report the approximate location, IP address, computer name, and more and print a formatted police report. iHound is a free download and free to use after sign-up, although its maker says he may begin charging $1/month for each device starting in February.

iHound Software

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newVideoPlayer("ipodwizard_gawker.flv", 475, 376); While Microsoft decided that old Zunes are getting all the feature updates of the new and improved Zune, Apple left iPod video owners out in the cold with the new iPod classic user interface. Why? Presumably your old money is getting dirty, and Apple would prefer to have your shinier, newer money. If you'd like the new iPod classic interface but you'd very much like to keep your new money, head over to DrivenDesign and download the modified iPod classic for iPod video firmware. The new firmware (obviously) isn't Apple-supported, and it's missing a feature here and there (namely Cover Flow), but it's getting frequent updates and looks promising. My latest classic-style iPod is an aged 3G, so I was unable to give this one a full test. If you try it out, let us know how it worked for you in the comments.

iPod Classic Comes to iPod Video