Nestled amid the gentle rolling hills of my old stomping ground of Westlake Village sits Blue Microphones, little more than a half hour north of Los Angeles. There’re actually two lakes in the area: beautiful Lake Sherwood, and the grubby, man-made boating pond of Westlake Lake. Neither, to my recollection, has ever had a reported sighting of a monster.
Blue Microphones’s new USB mic is named “Nessie,” which I guess means now the area has at least one lake monster. Only in this case it’s the good, super-friendly kind of monster.
Apple finally announced its long-rumored iTunes Radio service yesterday at WWDC, and even though it doesn’t officially launch until this fall, we’ve been taking it for a spin in the iOS 7 beta. Initially, iTunes Radio has left us fairly impressed, except for one huge omission: all the curse words are missing.
When you stream music via iTunes Radio stations, all songs with profane lyrics are streamed in an edited edition, even on user-created stations. We’re not just talking about radio edits where more family appropriate lyrics are dubbed in. Nope, iTunes Radio just strips out the whole word so you’re left with awkward gaps in the song as your favorite artist chokes out a horrific blast of profanity.
During our time playing with iTunes Radio we haven’t come across a single explicit track that isn’t censored, so if you love to bath in the crass lyrics of hiphop’s greatest living legends, you’re out of luck.
It’s our own fault. We all asked Apple to dramatically change the look and feel of the iOS operating system, which, until yesterday, remained largely unchanged since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. And we all complained when it didn’t do that with iOS 6 this time last year.
But I can’t help but feel the Cupertino company is now punishing us for all those requests, and all that complaining we did before about its skeuomorphic designs.
When it comes to design, iOS 7 is vastly different to its predecessors. It still functions in much the same way — though there are some new features you’ll need to get used to — but it looks completely different. As soon as you power it up for the first time the minimalistic feel is staring back at you, but it isn’t until you’ve completed the setup process and arrived at your home screen that you want to vomit in your own lap.
Later.fm is like Instapaper for music. And like Instapaper, it is beginning its life as a web-only app, although it works so well in Mobile Safari that you won’t care about the lack of an actual iOS app right now.
Rdio just updated its music streaming app for iOS today to version 2.2. The new update includes a new ‘Find People’ feature that makes it easier for users to find their friends as well as providing recommendations of other artists to follow.
Also included in the update are some UI improvements, most noticeably to the menu on the left side of the app. The app comes with a new Labels feature too that lets you search for a record label to find top albums and artists.
This week on The CultCast: Google Maps gets prettier, smarter, and faster; Hangouts is a new chat app with some innovative features; Google Music is too late to party; Erfon eats H’orderves on a space jet with Tim Cook and Richard Branson; and Leander dons his powdered wig to judge an all new Faves ‘N Raves.
All that and more on this week’s CultCast! Stream or download new and past episodes on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing now on iTunes, or hit play below and let the good times roll.
Apple just released a new version of iTunes that comes with a couple of unexpected new features. The 11.0.3 update includes a new MiniPlayer, an improved songs view, and finally support for multi-disc albums along with some bug fixes.
It’s strange to think that, till now, as big a high-end audio player as Shure has had no answer to the extravagant, big-gun, flagship in-ear monitor models of its rivals — models like the Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom, or the JH Audio JH16 Pro.
But now they do — big time. The new SE846 extends Shure’s highly regarded SE line well beyond the SE535, previously their top, most expensive IEM.