Tag Archives: music

World Backup Day, and speakers from iothinks

In an effort to promote safe computing, March 31 is “World Backup Day”. You can get more information about it at http://www.worldbackupday.com

We play Name That Term…but this time, it’s the “networking” edition.

And we talk about iothinks.com which has developed speakers smart enough to stream music, read news, talk to other gadgets and more…automatically, when you want and need…based on your habits!

How to get the new U2 “Songs of Innocence” album {CONFIRMED!!!}

According to Apple, it was supposed to be too simple:

“Your album is already in your library, waiting for you to download. On your Mac or PC, open iTunes, then select the Albums tab. Select Songs of Innocence. Select a track to listen or click the iCloud icon to download.”

WRONG!!!  (Can you see the frustration in my text?…)

Another website gave information…that did not apply to me. My computers that have iTunes installed are using Windows 7 as the operating system. The instructions on http://radio.com/2014/09/10/how-to-download-delete-the-new-u2-album/ were incorrect for my configuration. In the comments section of that article, Nathan Bowhay (my new hero) is the person who provided the correct instructions that worked for me:

Click iTunes Store in the top right (not library)…
…click the house/home icon to the left of music…
…on the far right there is a QUICK LINKS section…click Purchased…
All your purchases including Songs of Innocence should be there and you can click the cloud on them to download them.

Thank you, Nathan!  Now maybe the throbbing that’s been in my head and neck the past few days will subside.

Acoustic guitar with USB port, and software for recording

Paring electronics with musical instruments has been going on for a long time.  But this was the first of its kind I’ve seen…

The Jammin Pro USB Acoustic 505 has built-in “toys” and features:  a chromatic tuner with LCD display, a pre-amplifier with a four-band equalizer, XLR out port, and a 1/4-inch jack out.

A 5-foot long USB cord is included.  A 9-volt battery must be inserted into the guitar for it to work with a computer…Windows recognized the guitar in the Recording section of the sound properties as a “Microphone – USB PnP Audio Device”.  I was able to record using Sound Recorder (in Windows)…

Initially, using the tuner, I was unable to correctly tune some of strings:  it indicated that the strings were tuned…but I wanted to check with another source (because it’s been months since I’ve tuned a guitar).  I used http://www.howtotuneaguitar.org to get into the general neighborhood of the tones/octaves.  When doing so, I feared I was tuning the strings much too tight…but after ignoring that feeling I found that once I was in the general area of proper tone, the tuner on the guitar helped to get the strings pitch-perfect.  (I’m just long out of practice…)

A copy of MAGIX Music Maker SE (http://www.magix.com/us/music-maker/) is also included for recording from the guitar.

I think this makes a great gift for someone who is interested in learning how to play the guitar, and those who are interested in creating music.

Jammin Pro has suggested that purchases be made from participating retailers (such as http://www.bhphotovideo.com, http://www.teptronics.com, and http://www.midtownsounds.com).


Philips and O’Neill “Stretch” headphones

A brown, plain box was delivered and then was handed to me.  Sometimes, you never know:  it could be a good thing, or…

It was the Philips | O’Neill Stretch SHO9561 headphones.  And they are a great thing.
Of their new line-up (see below), these are the toughest:  they’re impact, and stress/crack, resistant. “The headband is constructed with TR55 superstretch polymer…ensuring these headphones are extremely tough and flexible.”

Really?  I thought they were making it up.  Until I found:
Klegecell TR 55 High-performance Expanded Polymer Foam Core Material

OK.  It’s for real.  Durability:  “check”…

The Stretch headphones have an open acoustic system with 40 millimeters dynamic drivers to provide clear audio, and very deep bass.  The frequency response is 12 – 24 000 Hz.
The cord connected to the headphones is about 2 inches (50.8 mm) long.  It’s very convenient for when you need/want to disconnect from the source of the audio and move away for an extended distance:  you don’t need to take the headphones off, and take a long cable/cord with you.  A 4 foot (1.2 m) fabric cable is provided.

“Inspired by the latest in ski technology the cable quickly disconnects from the headband whenever the cable is caught”…the 3.5 mm stereo connectors on the cables are reinforced to prevent breakage.

The Stretch headphones have an auto-fit, stretchable, cushioned inner band.  The ear cushions are very soft, and isolate sound so noises outside of the headphones won’t interfere with what you’re trying to listen to.  I wore them for hours, and have no complaints.  I even wore them to dampen the noises that others were making around me…and in the hope that they would see the headphones and not try to talk to me (I wanted to ignore them, and for them to ignore me…it worked).

They are available in “Black Bordeauh” and “Powder White”.


The Snug model doesn’t have the suspension-type, cushioned, inner band.  And could be a better choice for some who tend to wear their hair in a very large “afro” style as I often do (see pictures on our website:  http://TechtalkRadio.com).

The Covert is an in-ear model with controls for iPhones, and The Specked has tough cords.

Before you go to their website, turn down the volume on your computer speakers.