These are the best music memo apps for iPhone


alternative to voice memos
We've come a long way.
Photo: YunHo LEE/Flickr Public Domain

If you like to pretend you’re in a private detective movie, recording yourself with voice-memos as you go about your everyday business, then your app choice is obvious: Voice Memos from Apple. It’s built into your iPhone, it’s simple, quick to use, and rock solid. But if you’re a musician, and you want to quickly capture ideas, the choice is more complicated. Let’s take a look at the best iOS apps for recording music memos.

Peek inside the lab that perfected HomePod audio


It took Apple six years to create the HomePod.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s quest to build the perfect sounding speaker could also give a huge boost to audio quality on future iPhones, iPads and Macs.

To promote the launch of its new HomePod speaker, Apple gave journalists a behind-the-scenes look inside the custom audio lab it built to fine-tune every aspect of HomePod’s sound. Not only did Apple one of the best audio teams in the world, but it also gave them tools no company in the world can match.

Why Apple’s HomePod is poised to bomb


Will Apple's HomePod smart speaker be DOA?

Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

HomePod, the first new Apple product of 2018, is about to arrive. And as a huge Apple fanboy, I couldn’t care less.

Apple’s been hyping its smart speaker ever since unveiling the device last June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. And yet HomePod has failed to really excite fans (except through leaks that gave us early details about the iPhone X). Apple bills HomePod as a powerful speaker that packs Siri to take your listening experience to an all-new level. But with its Feb. 9 release just weeks away, HomePod is looking more like Apple’s next big bomb.

How to hook up a USB audio device to your Mac


Mackie's Blackjack works equally well with iOS and Mac.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you want to listen to music on your Mac, you either suffer its built-in speakers, or you plug a speaker into the headphone jack. But what if you want to get sound into you Mac? Or you have some fancy speakers hooked up to a fancy mixer, and the little headphone output doesn’t cut it, quality-wise? Then you should switch to USB. And don’t worry — you won’t have to install drivers, or any of the other crap that makes PC use so painful. In fact, using a USB audio interface is as easy as plugging in a pair of headphones, only better.

Roland’s new audio recorder works with iPhone and Apple Watch


roland r-07
Tiny, and made to work with the iPhone and the Apple Watch.
Photo: Roland

CES 2018 bugYou iPhone is pretty handy for making quick audio recordings. Many musicians use the Voice Memos app, and some have upgraded to Music Memos. Unfortunately, the quality of the recordings from those apps isn’t good enough for actual music making.

For a start, it’s not stereo. Second, the iPhone’s mics are fine, but nowhere near as good as even a cheap external microphone. But using your iPhone to record is so convenient. Roland’s R-07 is a pocket audio recorder that works either alone or in tandem with your iPhone. It gives you the quality of a proper recorder with stereo mics — and the convenience of an iPhone app.

Boss’ smart wireless guitar amp is designed to work with your iPhone


Boss katana air
Look ma, no wires.
Photo: Boss

CES 2018 bugThe Boss Katana Air looks like the ultimate living room amp for guitar players. It looks cool, it runs off mains power or AA batteries, and it features a wireless dongle that plugs into your guitar and means you never need to trail a cable across the room ever again. It even has a companion iOS app so you can tweak all the settings not available from the knobs and buttons on top of the amp.

DropStream: Drag-and-drop movie streaming for Apple TV


Apple TV Siri Remote
DropStream streams any video or audio straight to Apple TV.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

You can snap photos of your iPhone, edit them on your iPad, and view them on your giant-screen iMac, with everything almost instantaneously in sync. But what if you have a video clip that you want to watch on your Apple TV? Oh man, maybe it’s best not to even ask. Now, though, there’s an app that lets you do just that: DropStream.

DropStream’s function is right there in its name. You drop a movie onto its Mac window, and the movie starts playing on your Apple TV (or Chromecast). You don’t have to convert it to the right format, or add it to iTunes, or anything like that. It just, as they say, works.

Awesome Mac apps for photo editors, coders and more [Deals]


This Mac App roundup covers photo masking, web design, and lots more.
This Mac App roundup covers photo masking, web design, and lots more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Your Mac is a powerful machine, but it’s only as useful as the apps you put on it. This roundup of apps is a mixed bag of top shelf goodies for photo editors and web designers. There are also useful tools for just people who work with Wi-Fi and different a variety of media files. Additionally, everything is discounted by half or more. Read on for more details: