The best ever iPod (for sound quality) was the 5th generation ‘Enhanced’ version. But it has the same Apple model number as the 5th generation (A1136) . Here’s how to tell a 5th Gen ‘Enhanced’ iPod apart from a standard 5th generation iPod. Continue reading »
This little beauty is called an airport express. You can buy it from Apple for $99 (USA) or $119 (Australia). It plugs into your home ethernet network (or straight into your ADSL modem) via that little Ethernet connection on the left next to the power cord. Then it shares your internet connection with all your iOS devices via wi-fi. But it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. Continue reading »
To connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your home stereo you just need an Apple iPod dock and a 3.5mm to RCA cable like this cable above. The RCA cable plugs into the rear of your stereo and the 3.5mm plugs into your iPhone dock. Continue reading »
Good external microphones for the iPhone/iPad are expensive – not the kind of thing you want to buy and find out they are no good! Here’s a comparison of three external iPhone microphones: The Apogee MiC, Fostex AR-4i and Tascam iM2.
They were all tested on my iPhone 4s by recording into the FiRE iPhone recording app at full quality. On the microphones that had a volume adjustment, I adjusted it to be at the top of the green range in FiRE, quite conservative, no chance of clipping. I had the mic placed approx 20cm in front of my guitar sound-hole at the same height in all the tests. The Tascam doesn’t give any indication of levels, the Fostex has 4 LEDs on top to show the levels and the Apogee has a single LED on the front. The single LED on the Apogee seemed to give a better indication of input level than the three LED’s on the FOSTEX because the difference in brightness was easier to discern on the Apogee LED.
Importing songs into iTunes is easy – you just INSERT the CD, SELECT it in iTunes, and press the ‘Import’ button!
But… the default setting on iTunes is not the best setting to use when importing songs. It’s far better to use the ‘Apple Lossless’ setting which will keep your music at CD quality. If you must compress the music (e.g. you want to fit it on your iPod or a laptop) then use the bitrate of 320kbps rather than the default 128kbps of iTunes.
This article describes how to import songs into iTunes with the better quality bitrate.
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VOIP is where you make phone calls over your Internet connection. VOIP can be good as it is a lot cheaper especially for STD and International calls. The problem is it can be hard to get VOIP working properly. If you are on the phone and the person at the other end is ‘chopping’ in and out, it may be that you or they have a bad VOIP connection. An added problem is that with a mobile phone it drops the call if the quality gets too bad but with a VOIP connection it tries to keep going – so the person at the other end may be talking away, blissfully unaware that you cannot hear them.
Even though I am fairly good with audio and computers I have gone back to having a regular phone line simply because even at best quality VOIP calls on a broadband connection don’t match the quality of a land-line phone or even a mobile phone, at least in Australia.
If you do have a VOIP connection, here are some tips.
In this article I talked about the best import settings for iTunes. Since then with the increase in Hard Disk space I now think it’s best to import all your songs using the apple lossless encoder. This still compresses the files by about 1/3 but there is no loss of audio quality at all. With AAC and MP3 files, not matter how high you set the quality, there is ALWAYS some loss of quality. Apple Lossless audio is exactly the same quality as what’s on your CD. Here’s how to import into iTunes using the Apple lossless encoder.
Continue reading »