Alex Kahney, author at Cult of Mac

Figure Music Making App Brings Out The Unknown Composer Within [Review]


Making music with Figure

Note: Since posting this article we received the following sound advice from app designer Propellerhead regarding the issue of latency we experienced with this app: “Try re-booting your iPad!” And it worked! The time delay reported herein seemed like a fun dimension intrinsic to the app, but this is not the case. My bad.

Figure is a new music-making app for iOS that allows users with a few minutes to spare to come up with electro / synth-pop grooves quickly while on the go. It’s a load of fun and sounds great, and you will never know what you are going to create next… really.

Big Blue’s Bluetooth Speakers Take Your Tunes Back to Mono [Review]


Big Blue : Live

Everyone knows the iPad’s speaker is, well, weedy. To compensate, Big Blue Audio has just released two new Bluetooth speakers to give a lift to music, movies and game-playing on your iPad.

Available from Brookstone, the Big Blue and Big Blue Live resemble kitschy white kitchen appliances. The $149.99 Big Blue packs 30-watts of aural pleasure for music lovers, while the speaker’s little sis, the $99.99 battery-powered Big Blue Live, is designed more as a portable companion for amplifying phone calls and apps. These new speakers are introduced to compete favorably both bang wise and buck wise versus other popular wireless speakers of similar specs / dimensions, for example the Logitech Boombox and the Jawbone Jambox, respectively.

With their sci-fi looks and packaging, they are certainly noticeable — but do they sound good too? Read on….

Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe iPad App Is Just Heavenly [Review]



Celebrity physicist Brian Cox is famous in the U.K. for making physics accessible to the public through bestselling books and several popular TV series. Now he brings elements of both to a gorgeous new iPad app: Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe ($6.99).

Featuring amazing animations and lush, high-production video, the app will sweep you back in time to witness the Big Bang, and then look ahead to the universe’s end, when the last black dwarfs will fizzle away to entropy.

As Prof. Cox points out: while the universe evolves momentarily from order to chaos, now is a precious window of time when life is briefly possible, for us to be able to contemplate the universe…

Update Takes iPad GarageBand From Bread and Butter To Jam [Review]


The instruments browser offers a range of keyboards, guitars, basses, amps and effects, and a sampler.

The recently-updated version of GarageBand — Apple’s popular music-making app for the iPad — finally turns it into a serious tool for bands rather than something limited to solo artists and their session collaborators. With a shared connection, up to four band members can play or jam to a piece of music, be it a pop song or a classical overture. For the first time, it brings live performance to the iPad app.

George Harrison’s Guitars App For iPad Is A Fish On The Sand [Review]


The Guitar Collection: George Harrison, is a multimedia tour of the former Beatles' iconic guitars

A new app for the iPad, The Guitar Collection: George Harrison, is rather like a little pocket book of the former Beatles’ most famous axes. It features the history, pics, guitar model specifications, and historic photographic images of the iconic instruments.

But unlike a book, it’s a multimedia feast full of 3D models, music clips, and videos of George and his pals talking rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a rich potpourri of sounds and visuals for Beatlemaniacs. Trouble is, there’s so much missing.

The 2012 Apple TV Is More Than Just A Speed Bump [Review]



Apple has come under fire for shipping two new products that aren’t revolutionary breakthroughs, but incremental improvements on what came before.

The new iPad and Apple TV have been called underwhelming because they don’t clean your floor while also making a cappuccino. But in both cases, they are significant improvements on what came before.

The new Apple TV, now in its third generation, adds a faster A5 processor and can now stream high-def video at 1080p.

Is it worth the upgrade?

Looking For a New Stereo? We Found A Phenomenal One [Review]


Kanto AV's Yaro digital audio system is a perfect home theater companion for the Apple TV

On first sight, the Yaro digital audio system looks unpromising. It’s an amplifier/speaker set from Kanto AV Systems that’s small, black and looks like something Spinal Tap might use on a farewell tour.

The 2-channel 100W RMS packs a powerful barrage of sound

But it turned out to be about the loudest, most responsive, richest, most faithful sound-media player I’ve heard.