Don't Sell Your Old iPhone -- Use It To Create A Music System!

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I recently succumbed to the marketing and got an iPhone 4S, despite the fact that my iPhone 3G still works fine. I considered selling the 3G on Ebay, but instead I used it to create a very cool stand-alone music system in the "no television allowed" living room of our Santa Fe home. I put the iPhone in a little $30 docking station and connected it to a ZVOX 580 surround sound speaker system. The result is fantastic!  I've got hundreds of songs on the iPhone, plus it uses my wifi network to access Pandora. The iPod dock's remote control let's me skip around without getting out of my chair. And the thing sounds incredible. And because the 580 sound bar has such a low profile, most people don't even notice the system -- event though it has five speakers and two powered subwoofers.
Some recycling projects are more fun than others.

Bing Goes Digital

Posted by Kate , Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My brother lives in Japan and gets especially homesick and nostalgic around the holidays. He recently posted a link to my Facebook wall of Bing Crosby singing “Christmas in Kilarney”, which conjured up memories of listening to our parents’ Bing Crosby Christmas album around this time of year. Which, in turn, conjured up memories of albums…

I eventually bought the same compilation on CD for myself, but even that is about 10 years old and the cover is all cracked and falling off. A couple years ago I put all my Christmas CDs into iTunes and created a “XMAS” playlist that I put on my iPod for the holidays. My how the times have changed.

It’s interesting to think about how much technology has changed in the 25-ish years since we sat around listening to Bing on our old red and white Realistic record player. But, no matter how they make it to our ears, the songs are still the same and filled with great memories of Christmases past. I wonder what Christmas song memories my kids will have, how they will be listening, and how “archaic” the iPod might seem to them in 20 years.

Happy Holidays!

Kate, ZVOX

The Anti-Cable TV Rebellion

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Thursday, December 1, 2011

There's a rebellion going on. After years of talking about it, people are giving up on TV -- or at least "TV in the conventional sense." It seems like every week or two I run across another person who has cancelled their cable or satellite TV service because the monthly rates are brutally high. Most of these people have simply switched to the internet.
- They get their news online as MSN.com, nytimes.com, bloomberg.com and hundreds of other sources.
- They get their movies -- and a lot more -- from a Netflix streaming account for under ten bucks a month.
- They get their TV shows from Huluplus for under ten bucks a month.
- They find clever ways to watch sporting events on line.
- And they can do most, if not all, of this from their living room TVs with a Roku streamer or an Apple TV.
My wife and I just spent two months away from our primary home, with just a 27" monitor/TV, a Roku streaming box and a ZVOX 555 sound bar home theater. We did not miss conventional TV even a little bit. In fact, not having local newscasters trying to frighten us every night was very peaceful.
This is a trend with some staying power....cable companies don't seem to be showing any signs of reducing their rates in a meaningful way.   The result of course is less advertising revenue to local TV stations.  Just like what started happening to local newspapers ten years ago.
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