Getting your MIDI keyboard connected to your iPad or Mac can be a frustrating experience. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right wires that connect to your output device of choice, and then you’ve got to make sure you never ever lose them.
PUC by Zivix LLC Category: Music & MIDI Works With: iOS, OS X Price: $129
Hopping onstage for a gig at the local brewpub can be a frightening experience if you’ve lost that one special cord that goes from your keys to your Ableton Live setup on your Mac, and missing out on a recording session because you can’t find that special 30-pin adaptor for your iPad is just a pain in the butt.
The folks behind the excellent JamStick, Zivix, have your answer, then, with a cool-looking little round gadget called a PUC that connects any MIDI keyboard or other capable device to your iPad, your Mac, your iPhone, your PC — you name it, if it’s got Wi-Fi and can run a MIDI app, you can use the PUC to send your MIDI performance to it.
Not everyone has a fancy computer backpack or messenger bag. Some folks just have non-techie backpacks, bags, or luggage, and they’re perfectly fine with that.
13-inch Macbook Sleeve by Mujjo Category: Macbook Cases Works With: Macbook Pro, Macbook Air 13-inch Price: $69
However, most of those folks would benefit from a sleeve or two to cover and protect their precious technology. And, if you’re going to go that route, you might as well go all the way and get something that’s special.
The Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve is angling for just that “all the way” look and feel.
Sometimes you just want an iPhone case that protects that beloved all-encompassing communications and gaming device from the vagaries of your crazy life, for sure.
Voyager by Pelican ProGear Category: iPhone Cases Works With: iPhone 5/5s Price: $50
There are numerous options for those of us who tend to the “drop our gear constantly” school of gadget ownership, but most of them end up being incredibly bulky and difficult to use. Some even provide a screen guard that is less than touchable, as it were.
The Voyager series for the iPhone 5 and 5s, however, aims to provide similar drop, screen, and debris protection as many of these other cases, all for a more affordable price.
I took the case out for a spin to see if it could, in fact, protect my iPhone 5 without trouble, and whether the added bulk is worth the trade off in protection.
Thule’s Gauntlet case for the iPhone 5s is a slim, stylish snap-on cover that offers plenty of protection. Just like its big brother, a thin folio that will effectively protect an iPad Air, the Gauntlet employs a molded texture for grip and durability.
Gauntlet by Thule Category: Cases Works With: iPhone 5 & iPhone 5s Price: $27
The iPhone case provides plenty of access to all buttons, ports and cameras. It comes in black, turquoise or pink, and it will protect your device without making it too big and bulky.
One of the Gauntlet’s best features, however, is its slender price tag. Available from MyBanana, it costs less than £16 ($27) — and it’s worth every penny.
Yes, we’re reviewing a paper notebook. The thing is – spoiler – this one is awesome. Forget Moleskine, which is nice marketing wrapped in faux leather wrapped around thin, porous, easy-bleeding pages. The Baron Fig Confidant is what you want.
The Confidant by Baron Fig Category: Notebooks Works With: Pen or pencil Price: $16
It’s packed with clever “features,” and yet you don’t notice the book at all when you’re using it. Does any of that sound familiar to you Apple users?
Python Mirrorless byBooq Category: Bags Works With: Cameras, iPad mini Price: $80
I have a kind of standing checklist of things I like and things that annoy me in bag design. Booq’s Python Mirrorless Bag flags just one of my “annoyances,” and that’s a purely aesthetic matter. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty damn good at what it does.
Tiny portable bluetooth speakers are all the rage these days, and we’ve seen our fair share of them.
Music Cup by Music Cup Category: Bluetooth Speakers Works With: iPhone, iPad, any audio Price: $39.99
Trouble is, the smaller the speaker, the worse it sounds. Honestly, if your bluetooth speaker sounds worse than the built-in speakers on your iPhone, you’ll likely not want to go through the trouble of even pairing the thing up.
The Music Cup bluetooth speaker is small, shaped like a mug, and it sounds pretty darn good.
Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless by Filco Category: Keyboards Works With:Anything Price: $140+
I’m typing this review on the Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless keyboard. It has blue Cherry MX switches, and a standard ISO layout with UK English markings. It is the best keyboard I’ve used, but despite that this won’t be a regular review – a million people have already written about this keyboard.
Instead, I’ll tell you what I like and then tell you how I made this Windows keyboard play well with my Mac. Warning: includes nerdy hacks.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never had a problem with storage on my iPhone. I run a middle-of-the-road iPhone 5 with 32 Gb of space on it, I load a ton of games and take a lot of pictures with the thing, and I rarely worry about running out of space.
Space Pack by Mophie Category: Battery Pack, File Storage Works With: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s Price: $149.95
I do, however, continually run out of battery life. The Mophie Space Pack has both issues (or non-issue plus issue, it gets confusing) covered with both a kick-ass extra battery power feature and a extra 32 Gb of space feature. The Space Pack works with a neat little app called, appropriately, Space, which definitely gets the job done.
As laptop speakers go, those built into Apple’s MacBooks aren’t bad — particularly if you have a MacBook Pro. But they can be so much better. Plug Twelve South’s BassJump 2 into one of your USB ports and you have a mini sound-system that dramatically improves your MacBook’s audio performance.
BassJump 2 by Twelve South Category: Audio Works With: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Price: $69.99
Whether you’re listening to music, watching a movie, or just enjoying a podcast, the BassJump 2 subwoofer gives you significantly richer and fuller sound that you won’t believe is coming from your MacBook. There’s no need for expensive external speakers that take up too much room in your bag, or headphones that limit the experience to just one person.
The BassJump 2 is priced at $69.99, and Twelve South calls it “an essential road tool for listening to and editing tracks on the tour bus, hotel room or anyplace else your music takes you.” Now, I’m no musician or music producer — but I definitely agree.