Minidisc Australia

Why would anyone buy an MP3 player in 2016? Very much YES.

Author: Henry  //  Category: MP3 INFO, MP3 PRICES, MP3 SALES, VIDEOS MOVIES

After using a variety of MP3 players for the past month, I learned that there’s still a place for dedicated music players, and if they’d just embrace the streaming music wave, that place would in my pocket

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved listening to music, especially in the anti-social form of wearing headphones. A big fan of tuning out of my surroundings and tuning into my self-curated soundtrack, my fancy for portable music players started when I permanently borrowed my mother’s cassette player as a child. Eventually I moved onto CD players, and then blossomed into an iPod-codependent teenager.

Now, I’ve grown up to be the type of person who subscribes to more than one streaming music service. (I subscribe to Spotify, but I wasn’t going to NOT sign up for Tidal when Beyonce’s Lemonade dropped.) Needless to say, I listen to a lot of music. This is why I’ve spent the past month using a variety of MP3 players. (Also, my bosses told me to.) Editor’s’ note from one of them who definitely didn’t force me to include this: “It was definitely more of an ask.”

But it’s 2016 — why would anyone want an MP3 player today? Great question! In fact, it’s one I often thought about while I was using one — especially when I wanted to listen to a song I didn’t own, or when I had to juggle between my MP3 player du jour and personal phone. My regressive stint with the Apple iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle and SanDisk Clip Jam helped me appreciate the unique usefulness of an MP3 player in the era of the smartphone. A time and a place for a dedicated music player still exists — it’s called the gym.

Great for exercising

There’s nothing that powers me through the last mile of a run more than the perfect Kendrick Lamar track. Similarly, there’s nothing more deflating and humiliating than that song suddenly stopping because my tired, flailing limbs got caught on my headphone cords and sent my phone (and momentum) flying off of the treadmill. In these all too often occasions, I’d sweatily slither off the treadmill to locate my phone while silently praying for its safety. Fortunately, the only thing ever damaged was my pride. (Can’t say the same about the fateful bus trip described below.)

MP3 players like the iPod Shuffle and SanDisk Clip Jam have built-in clips so you can attach it to your shirt or pants, and position it in a way where your headphones won’t get in the way. Unfortunately, Bluetooth did not, like the iPod Nano, so you can’t enjoy wireless Bluetooth headphones with them. Since I still use wired headphones for working out (I haven’t invested in a good pair of sporty Bluetooth headphones yet), I don’t find it detrimental to their appeal.

The iPod Nano costs the same amount of money as getting my iPhone screen repaired. 

Low-cost, low risk investment

A supplemental MP3 players eliminates the anxiety of dropping and breaking your phone while on a run or at the gym, but also times when you’re simply using your phone in the wild, like while walking down the street or during your commute.

True story: I was listening to music on the bus on my way to work when I took my phone out of my pocket to skip to the next song. Of course, that’s when the bus made a hard stop and — in the blink of an eye — my phone flew out of my hand and onto the floor. Of course, it landed screen first. Shattered — both my screen and heart.

If I left my phone tucked away safely in my bag and was using an MP3 player instead, I wouldn’t be sitting here with a broken phone. It still would’ve been subjected to the same laws of gravity and fallen on the floor, but it probably would’ve just endured a few scratches or dents. For the $150 it will cost me to replace my shattered screen, I could buy an iPod Nano (or a few SanDisk Clip Jams) and never worry about this happening again.

No subscription music support

None of the MP3 players I reviewed are compatible with streaming music services. This, ultimately, is a dealbreaker for me. As a heavy music-listener, a monthly streaming music subscription is like an all-you-can-eat ticket to a candy store. Why should I buy one pound of candy (an album) when I can try all of the candy everywhere, for about the same price? It’s simply a better deal for me.

Devices like the Apple Watch and the Pebble Core have embraced the streaming wave with Apple Music and Spotify integration respectively, yet basic MP3 players have yet to catch on. If manufacturers care enough to keep MP3 players around, and they want consumers to care about them again, they’ll have to embrace the shift soon.

A built-in clip, seen here on the SanDisk Clip Jam, is a small MP3 player’s best friend. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Should you buy an MP3 player?

How do you listen to music? Do you still download singles and albums from iTunes? Or are you a streaming music convert (like me)? The answer to this question determines if an MP3 player is right for you.

If you still download music, the world of MP3 players is your oyster. However, if you want to use your streaming music service, you have slim pickings. Expensive models, like the Apple iPod Touchor the high-end Sony Walkman NWZ-ZX2 will work, but if you just want something cheap to throw in your gym bag, you’re out of luck. I don’t know if MP3 players like the Shuffle or SanDisk Clip Jam will eventually evolve to embrace streaming music, but if they do, I know I’ll be ready for them.


Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia


Author: Henry  //  Category: Uncategorized

Fantasy Footwear

Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia




When you conjure up the word “Walkman” you probably envision an 80s and 90s-era cassette player with AM/FM stereo and headphones. It’s a far cry from Sony’s Walkman B170 line which features small (only 28g or 1oz) colorful, and sound-rich MP3 players bearing the Walkman logo.

This latest update to the product line promises rich and vibrant sound with a bass boost button to shore up the low-end that is often lacking in portable devices. While the bass boost is enabled, the Walkman displays a color-matched LED on the front which pulses in time with the music.

Another feature worth mentioning is something Sony calls “ZAPPIN” which scans your library and plays previews of each track. When you find a song you want to listen to you press the “ZAP” button to hear the song in its entirety.

Battery life is certainly an asset for the B170. Sony claims that three minutes charging time is all it takes for 90 minutes playback. So even if you are always forgetting to charge your MP3 player before hitting the gym – like me – its nice to know that a three minute quick charge will give you enough battery life to make it through your workout. Once you get to the gym, clip it onto your clothing with the included clip, power it on and you are ready to go. A fully charged Walkman gets approximately 18 hours of battery life.

Sony is offering a 2GB and 4GB version with the 2GB holding approximately 440 songs and the 4GB 990. The new Walkman B170 connects your computer via and in-built USB connector (as long as you’re running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7). Transferring music from your PC to your Walkman is done via a drag-and-drop process with no need to install additional software.

The update is expected to hit stores at the end of this month and pricing will likely be in the GBP30-35 range

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia



Sandisk reveals world’s fastest 128GB SDXC Card

About eighteen months ago, SanDisk revealed the world’s fastest 32GB SDHC media card, pushing the format’s data transfer speeds up to a rather lively 30 megabytes per second (MB/s). Since then, the SDXC standard has been let loose on the world, with the promise of theoretical capacities of anything up to 2TB and file transfer rates up to 104 MB/s for the UHS-I flavor and 312MB/s for UHS-II. While we’re not quite there yet, SanDisk is again claiming the “world’s fastest” crown with its new 128GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I card, which boasts read/write speeds of up to 45 MB/s.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Minidisc Australia



Nextpeer can add multiplayer to any iOS game
A new service called Nextpeer has just become available for any iOS developer wishing to add multiplayer features to their single player game. Typically, when a mobile game developer wants social or multiplayer elements in its games – leaderboards, achievements, tournaments, etc. – it has to build them itself. Nextpeer eliminates this hassle by offering a free SDK that can bring these features and more into any game that uses it.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia


Author: Henry  //  Category: INTERNET EXPLORER


If you use Internet Explorer 6 your IQ is about 80, a new study claims.

This post was originally published on

A recent study links intelligence test results with browser usage – and the results don’t look good for users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, especially its older versions.

The study, titled Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage by Canadian company AptiQuant, compiled IQ test scores of 101,326 individuals older than 16 and divided them into groups according to the browser they use.

The results are fascinating. Users of Internet Explorer 6 have an average IQ score barely more than 80; Firefox and Chrome users fare much better, with average IQ scores of about 110, while Opera and Camino users have an average IQ score more than 120.

It’s also interesting to note that average IQ scores of IE6 users were significantly higher in 2006, and that the IQ scores get better with newer versions of IE.

Internet Explorer 6 has long been a thorn in the side of developers who hated it for its non-compliance with web standards, while users struggled with its many security flaws. This new study will probably induce more mockery of the ancient (but still sometimes found on older computers) browser and its users, but it’s probably not telling us that much about the browser itself – it’s about unwillingness to upgrade to a new version of any software.

The study concludes that “individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers”.

It’s only logical that users with a higher IQ are more likely to experiment, choose a different software version or variant (notice that users of IE with Chrome frame score very highly on IQ tests) or listen to upgrade suggestions and security advice.

In March, Microsoft started a campaign to get users to stop using Internet Explorer 6. But did it take into account the fact that many IE6 users tend to have lower than average IQ scores? Maybe that’s the key to finally getting rid of the world’s most hated web browser.

“Individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers … Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance,” the study concludes. is the world’s largest blog focused exclusively on social media news

Sourced &  published by Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia



Luna combines MP3 player and pico-projector

By Bridget Borgobello

19:15 March 23, 2011

Luna projector/MP3 player 

Luna projector/MP3 player

Automated retracting projection Screens. Australian warranty motors

Would you like a pico-projector with that? We’ve seen them in camcordersstill cameras and mobile phones, now Sceptre is attempting to give a new lease of life to the dedicated MP3 player with the Luna projector/MP3 player combo.

  • Luna projector/MP3 player
  • The US$169.99 Luna projector/MP3 player uses a micro SD card to project photos and movies whilst listening to music. With a brightness of 5 lumens (the latestMicrovision standalone pico-projector puts out 15 lumens by way of comparison), the Luna 100W can project up to 99-inches (250cm) with a width of up to 50inches (12.7- 127cm) in a darkened room.

The unit measures in at less than 1-inch (2.5cm) thick, weighs 2.6 ounces (74gm)and comes with standard functions like a calendar, slideshow, video, MP3 and supports a range of music, video and picture files. It comes with a 2GB Micro SD Card that can be expanded to 32GB.

LUNA 100W Specifications

  • Maximum Resolution: 640×480
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Focus Lens: Manual
  • Brightness: 5 Lumens
  • Light Source: LED (White)
  • Projection Distance: Up to 99″ (250cm)
  • Image Size: 5″ – 50″ (12.7- 127cm)
  • Estimate Life: Over 20,000 Hours
  • Battery Life: MP3 – 5 Hours, Projection – 1 Hour
  • Interface: Micro USB / Micro SD
  • Output: 3.5mm Earphone Jack
  • Memory Capacity (Micro SD): 512 MB – 32 GB
  • Video Compatibility: AVI, MOV, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4
  • Audio Compatibility: MP3, WMA, WAV
  • Image Compatibility: JPEG, BMP
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha
Minidisc Australia


Author: Henry  //  Category: CRIME, U TUBE

Worse than jail:

sentenced to life on YouTube

Ben Grubb

March 25, 2011 – 12:30PM

Thumbnail image for video asset.

Laptop thief dance dilemma

Should the embarrassing online video of this thief be removed by the victim?

In the digital age, there’s a new controversial punishment for crime – sentenced to a lifetime of embarrassment on YouTube.

Our story yesterday about the laptop thief who returned it and apologised after an embarrassing clip of him dancing was posted on YouTube by the computer’s owner, who had installed online backup software that the thief was unaware existed, has stirred an ethics debate.

The Facebook message sent to Mark.The Facebook message sent to Mark. 

The crook pleaded for the clip to be removed immediately, saying his reputation was being trashed. The laptop’s owner is undecided, though our readers in a poll yesterday were overwhelmingly in favour of the video being uploaded, with 84 per cent of 14,653 voting in favour of the online shaming.

Asked this morning if he had any second thoughts about leaving the video up on the video sharing website YouTube, the 18-year-old computer owner, Mark Bao, told Fairfax he did.

“Yeah, I mean, essentially it’s a good idea to [remove the video],” Bao said in a telephone interview. “But I don’t know. It’s still something that’ll be on my mind for the coming week at least. I could [remove the video]. I’m leaning towards maybe doing it. Yesterday I was set on pretty much not doing it. But today it’s a little changed.”

Mark Bao.Mark Bao. Photo: Supplied 

Yesterday afternoon the video had attracted more than 500,000 views. By late this morning it had reached more than 750,000.

An Australian ethicist, Dr Robert Sparrow, said Bao was “probably within his rights to upload the video” but questioned whether he should leave the footage on YouTube.

“I do think that there is a real question nowadays about the impact that posting anything to the internet can have on people’s lives and that’s something you would want to keep in mind,” Sparrow said.

He said posting the video might have “dramatic consequences” for the person that had now returned it.

“Maybe the first thing that people think of when they think of him may be something that takes years to recover from,” he said. “It depends a bit on how widely it’s circulated and how recognisable he is for those that know him … Maybe this is just a kind of drunken lapse from someone who is otherwise very upstanding. We just don’t know.”

He also said it “might reduce his opportunities for employment”.

A spokeswoman for Bao’s Bentley University, Michele Walsh, said campus police would not be providing comment but said that they were “considering charges of trespassing and larceny” against the thief who stole Bao’s laptop and were in discussion with their county’s District Attorney’s office and “reviewing evidence with them”.

“No decision has been made yet,” Walsh said.

Asked if any action would be taken against Bao for the video being uploaded to YouTube, Walsh said: “I will confirm with our police in the morning but since the video file was on his laptop – which was his personal property – I don’t believe so.”

Sparrow said it was a question of “what kind of character” Mr Bao wanted to demonstrate when asked if the video should now be removed.

“He has had his laptop returned, he’s received an apology … I note his remarks that were quoted where he wasn’t convinced of the sincerity of the apology because the spelling was poor. I’m not sure that I would choose to judge whether or not someone was sincere in their apology by looking at their spelling or grammar because some people have difficulties with those things.

“So I guess the issue here is: does Mr Bao want to be sort of forgiving and charitable on these virtues and [is he] aware that something like this can have a dramatic impact on another person’s life and maybe more dramatic than had it gone through the court system? Or does he wish to seek vengeance? I think that’s a question for him.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia


Author: Henry  //  Category: APPLE PRODUCTS, NEW PRODUCTS

iPad 2 review: critics weigh in

Asher Moses

March 3, 2011 – 10:20AM

iPad 2 debuts in San Francisco

Tablet editor Stephen Hutcheon takes a look at Apple’s latest iPad, which boasts a thinner body, front and rear-facing cameras and is twice as fast.

It may look like iPad 1.5 rather than iPad 2, but critics have so far lavished praise on Apple’s new wundertablet, which is thinner, lighter and faster than the first iPad.

Analysts say the incremental update will be enough to cement Apple’s technical superiority in the tablet space, which has seen a raft of new competitors in recent months. Apple already controls 90 per cent of the tablet market, so competing models based on Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows platforms face an uphill battle.

Steve Jobs, on medical leave, demonstrates the Mobile MIM application for iPad2.Steve Jobs, on medical leave, demonstrates the Mobile MIM application for iPad2.Photo: AP

The new iPad 2 is lighter (590 grams versus 680 grams) and thinner (from 13.4mm to 8.8mm) than its predecessor and boasts significant upgrades such as a new A5 dual-core processor, more internal memory, faster graphics and dual front and rear-facing cameras.

It ships in Australia on March 25 but prices have yet to be announced. Telstra has already said it will carry it.

Engadget’s hands-on test found the iPad 2 to be “insanely fast” and praised the “sleek, super thin” design.

Tablets for 2011

The extremely thin iPad 2. Photo: Stephen Hutcheon

CNET liked the addition of FaceTime video chat and the new GarageBand and iMovie apps, while Gizmodo fawned over the iPad 2’s new Smart Covers, which use magnets to attach to the device and allow it to automatically wake up from sleep mode.

“You peel the plastic (or leather) screen-casing off bit by bit, until you can fold it over and use it to prop up the iPad for some browsing, typing or viewing. It’s origami!,” gushed Gizmodo.

PC Magazine concluded: ” It’s slick, and it’s thin. Really thin, and lighter too; it’s much easier to hold than the original iPad. And it’s fast, thanks to a dual-core A5 processor.”

Foad Fadaghi, telco analyst at Telsyte, said although several competitors were on the horizon, the iPad 2 may have swung the pendulum back in favour of Apple.

“The iPad 2 re-affirms Apple’s place as the leader in media tablet devices. We continue to believe the iPad 2 will be the number one selling tablet in Australia in 2011,” he said.

Anthony Agius, founder the Australian Apple community site, MacTalk, said the iPad 2 was a “nice update to a legendary product that is miles ahead of the currently available competition and even better than planned products from competitors”.

But longtime Apple watcher and founder of MacTheMag, Matthew Powell, said in many ways the iPad 2 was not the radical step that many people were expecting.

“The screen resolution [1024×768] is the same as the original, there’s no Thunderbolt or other additional ports – but the point, from Apple’s perspective, is that it didn’t need to be,” said Powell.

“Apple leads this space by a very long margin, and by adding features like front- and rear-facing cameras and a dual-core CPU it extends that lead. Add in the reduced thickness and weight, and it’s pretty cool from a hardware perspective.”

But Powell pointed out that competitor tablets from LG and BlackBerry-maker RIM also include a fast dual-core processor and cameras.

Mark Novosel, telecommunications analyst at research firm IDC, said he had expected the iPad 2 to have dual cameras and be thinner and lighter, so he wasn’t surprised. But he said he was disappointed that Apple didn’t increase the resolution of the display.

“It would have been nice to see a Retina-type display with a much higher pixel density comparable to the iPhone 4’s industry leading display,” said Novosel.

“It would have also been nice if Apple included a micro HDMI port on the iPad 2 rather than requiring users to pay extra for a HDMI output dongle that connects through Apple’s dock connector.”

Novosel also expected the iPad 2 to be even lighter than it is, as it’s still heavier than the 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. He also queried the meager 0.7-megapixel camera on the back, which doesn’t offer the resolution of the 5-8 megapixel cameras on competing models.

“Overall the iPad 2 is an incremental update rather than a revolutionary new device,” said Novosel.

“It will be enough to tempt more users to get an iPad, however, it is unlikely to entice many current owners to upgrade.”

iPad 2 key specifications

9.7-inch display (1024×768)

1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor

16GB/32GB/64GB storage

Front VGA and rear 720p camera

8.8mm thick and weighs 590 grams

Available in black or white

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Minidisc Australia



Noise-canceling device

plugs into your MP3 player,

removes sound of dental drill

By Karen Sprey

07:41 January 14, 2011

A device has been developed that cancels out the noise of the dental drill, and allows you...

A device has been developed that cancels out the noise of the dental drill, and allows you to listen to music on your own MP3 player while still being able to talk with the dental team

Hands up, who doesn’t get just the teensiest bit nervous about going to the dentist? Not many of you, I’ll wager. Dentophobia – fear of dentists and dental care – is one of the most common phobias, and it’s the high-pitched whine of the dentist’s drill that causes most anxiety. If this applies to you, take heart. You may soon be able to relax (or at least tune out the sound of the drill) and listen to music on your own MP3 player, connected to a noise-canceling device developed by Kings College London in conjunction with Brunel University and London South Bank University.

The prototype device works in a similar way to noise-canceling headphones. It contains a microphone and a chip that analyzes the incoming sound wave, and produces an inverted wave that cancels out unwanted noise. Designed to deal with the very high pitch of the dental drill, it also uses adaptive filtering, where electronic filters lock onto sound waves and remove them, even if the amplitude and frequency change as the drill is being used.

Patients would plug the device into their MP3 player or mobile phone, and then plug their headphones into the device, allowing them to listen to Mozart, Metallica or M.I.A. instead of the drill and suction equipment. They would still be able to converse with the dentist or dental nurse.

Professor Brian Millar of King’s College London’s Dental Institute was inspired by carmaker Lotus’ efforts to develop a system that removed unpleasant road noise, while still allowing drivers to hear emergency sirens. He has spent 10 years working with research engineers at Brunel University and London South Bank University to bring it to its current prototype stage.

Kings College is now looking for an investor to help take the device to market.

“Many people put off going to the dentist because of anxiety associated with the noise of the dentist’s drill. But this device has the potential to make fear of the drill a thing of the past,” said Professor Millar.

“The beauty of this gadget is that it would be fairly cost-effective for dentists to buy, and any patient with an MP3 player would be able to benefit from it, at no extra cost. What we need now is an investor to develop the product further, to enable us to bring this device to as many dental surgeries as possible, and help people whose fear of visiting the dentist stops them from seeking the oral healthcare they need.”

Now, if only someone could invent a device to help us deal with fear of injections at the dentist.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha