Monday, January 28, 2008
Rock Band Downloads
How did I miss this last week?
I was halfway out the door when the power came back on at the office… (1)
Woo! More Billy Joel tour dates added. Saturday, 2/23/08, Anaheim. (0)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Review: iPod mini-speaker
One of my few complaints (serious complaints; there are a million minor things that I could bitch about forever, but don’t really matter) about the iPod Touch is that it lacks a speaker. I don’t care about a high quality speaker for music, but it would be nice to be able to play videos or Youtube clips for other people on it, without needing headphones.
I was searching around for something and came across this: Mini Speaker For Apple iPod, iPhone. My first thought: That thing is probably a piece of shit. My second thought: it’s only $19. So I bought it.
It arrived this week, and is pretty much exactly what it claims to be. The color is more appropriate for an older iPod, and certainly not the Touch or iPhone. Even the iPod classics won’t really even match it anymore, but what it looks like wasn’t really a huge concern for me. On the other hand, I didn’t want it to be off-centered when attached like a lot of other mini-speakers, since the headphone jack isn’t centered on the Touch, so the dock connected instead of headset connector is nice. Of course, that means it’s iPod only and won’t work with other devices, but that’s what I wanted. This way it also uses the line out instead of headphone out.
Now, on the the sound quality. It’s surprisingly good. Obviously, it’s not going to blow you away with amazing sound, but at one step below the maximum volume, music sounds pretty adequate. Since it uses line out, volume is controlled on the speaker, not the iPod. It has two simple up and down buttons. There’s some distortion, and I wouldn’t want to listen to music on it all the time, but for what it is, it works well. It is a stereo speaker, but since it attaches to the bottom of the Touch, which gets turned on its side for video, the sound ends up only coming from one side. Not really a big deal.
The mini-speaker width is the same as the iPod Touch, but it is significantly thicker. I haven’t opened it up to see if it can be crammed into a smaller case, but I might at some point. It’s not a huge issue for me.
And now, a video! This was shot with a point and shoot camera which doesn’t have a great mic, and the sound is coming from the mini-speaker. Fairly impressive, given the equipment involved.
All things considered, I’m happy with the purchase. If I had paid the “regular price” of $60, I probably wouldn’t be, but I don’t think that’s a real price. The “clearance sale” end date seems to just always list today’s date. For $20, the iPod mini-speaker is exactly what I wanted.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
for the people who are still alive
I want one of these…
Unfortunately, the chances of it ever being made are pretty much as close to zero as you can get.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
USS Ronald Reagan
The aircraft carrier is currently in the Santa Barbara harbor. I went out and did some photography today. I got a few nice shots, but I wasn’t really happy with the results. I might have to go back out tomorrow and try again. It leaves Monday morning.
279 last night. 10 pin in the 10th frame. It was a much better shot than my previous two. Grr. (0)
Monday, January 7, 2008
How is this not clear enough?
Dammit. Reminds me of this other post I made a long time ago…
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Review: Woodrock Pedal
My foot pedal from the Rock Band drum kit broke in less than a month. EA has a fairly good system setup to get a replacement, but the pedal is just cheap plastic and I’m sure will break again. The first one broke long before I even got to any songs that used the pedal a whole lot. I ordered a pedal from WoodRock Pedals to hopefully make sure it doesn’t break again.
Ordering on the website was nice and easy, assuming you have Paypal all set up. It shipped fast, during the holidays, and arrived over a week before my replacement pedal from EA. I went with the basic model, instead of the painted one, because I didn’t need to spend an extra $3, and actually like the way the basic one looks.
Installing the new pedal wasn’t too hard, following their instructions, but there are a few things to mention about it.
First, taking the original apart: Getting the glued-in rubber bumpers out of my original pedal was much more difficult than I was expecting. It took a lot of prying it with a screwdriver, and pulling really hard with pliers. They didn’t end up in great shape, but still good enough to work on the wooden pedal. Also, the magnet on my pedal was glued in; I had to push it out by pushing a screwdriver through the top of the plastic pedal.
Second, putting it back together: The hole for the magnet is a little big. The plastic piece that gets screwed on keeps it in place, but it banged against it from time to time. I will probably eventually glue it in place, but for now I’ve put a small piece of tape over the hole. The screws (from the original pedal) to reattach the retainer to the pedal wouldn’t work for me at all. The holes in the wood were way too small, and they’re not wood screws. I had some appropriately sized wood screws lying around at home, and used those instead. My suggestion would be to do that, and I feel like the WoodRock Pedal should have come with them. UPDATE: I got an email from Chris at Woodrock letting me know that screws are now being included with the pedals they’re sending out. Nice!
So it wasn’t too bad to take the original apart, and put the new one back together. The real test is playing it, and it seems to be holding up very well. It’s also much easier to use, at least for me. It feels much more solid, instead of just some cheap plastic. Overall, I’m very pleased with the purchase and would make it again.
Now, a video, because I felt like using my new toys (camera) and starting to figure out how to do some simple video editing in Linux. 🙂