Happy Holidays from Mac Edition Radio!

 

It's the Holiday Season, so here are my Top Ten Holiday items of digital hardware and software that I either added to my toolkit this year or relied on heavily and will add cheer to your digital holidays! From Logitech to Sabrent, from BlueAnt to ioSafe, from Polaroid to FileMaker Pro, and Calibre to Macility, here are a few of my favorite things!

A.D. Coleman, Posted 12/18/2014

In the era of big screens and phablets, phones seem to be getting bigger and bigger. The all-new Desire 816 from HTC has the largest screen Virgin Mobile can offer yet. But does bigger necessarily mean better? Worried about keeping up with the Joneses? Virgin Mobile also offers the Samsung Galaxy S5 4G LTE. Read our review to find out which is right for you!

Thomas Fogel & Nancy Burlan, Posted 11/28/2014

Distance learning has become a staple of 21st-century education. Teaching online requires hardware that combines functionality with comfort. A. D. Coleman tests a Logitech HD Pro C920 webcam and headset in his seminars, connecting them through a Sabrent USB 3 hub and charging them via a Sabrent charging unit

A.D. Coleman, Posted 11/19/2014

With the ever-increasing availability of high-resolution downloadable music from labels large and small, listeners who want to get the most out of their music should start with a great, affordable DAC to use with their headphones. We tested the Audioengine D3 24-bit DAC/Headphone amp, and we give it high marks. Audioengine has built a reputation based on affordable, good sounding audio gear, powered speakers, and DAC’s and the D3 is their first entry into the portable USB DAC market. With the help of high-resolution audio releases from HD Tracks, including the latest Led Zeppelin titles, we put this pocket sized DAC to the test. For the full story, read our full review!

Harris Fogel, posted 11/13/2014

A few months ago we wrote that, “In recent years we have seen the rise in popularity of a headphone that use a plastic film usually with metallic traces on it surrounded by powerful magnets, a design known as a planar magnetic. Most planar headphones are inefficient, heavy, large, and expensive, but known for their excellent sound quality.” Oppo Digital, the respected manufacturer of Blu-ray decks, entered the fray with a new line of personal audio products, and recently introduced the PM-2 Planar Magnetic Headphones, a lower-cost follow-up to their ultra-luxurious and critically acclaimed PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones. The first mention of the PM-1 set the audiophile world aflutter, even amongst the fan boys at head-fi.org, but with the PM-2 available at half the cost, should you be considering them? How good are these newly affordable models? To find out we put them to the test with the aid of recent releases from HD Tracks. Read our review to find out how the PM-2's performed!

Harris Fogel, with editorial assistance from Nancy Burlan, posted 10/22/2014

Without sounding like a broken record (if anyone still gets that reference), one undeniable fact is that our data storage needs are on a constant growth pattern, which means hard drives must be updated on a constant basis. For most consumers, this means ordering a consumer-grade drive that is large enough to hold them for the foreseeable future. In this article, part two of a multi-part story on storage, we test a pair of Seagate’s new 6TB Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 hard drives driven as a mirror by the recently upgraded and venerable SoftRaid 5 software. Should the word “enterprise” scare you? We don’t think so; in fact we think "enterprise" is the creative individual's best friend! Read on to find out the results of our tests.

Harris Fogel, with additional research by Frank Schramm, Ken Kramar, and John Mulhern III, posted 9/13/2014

Lost in the various product and service introductions at Apple's very significant September 9th event was a big and expensive strategy change for Apple – they are no longer a "one size fits all" company. Consider: from the first iPhone to the iPhone 5S, there was always just one top-of-the line iPhone. Now, there are two top-of-the line iPhones – and their biggest difference is their size. Morever, this new strategy isn't just in evidence with the iPhone.

John Mulhern III, Posted 9/17/2014

Last December at the Pepcom Digital Experience show held in New York, one vendor’s table stood out. Instead of the usual plethora of black boxes, cables, headphones, computers, memory chips, or software, this table had glowing gardens of vegetables, flowers, and herbs - a beautiful refuge from the chill of winter. The source of all that greenery was a selection of small tabletop hydroponic gardens from AeroGrow, a Boulder, Colorado based company that has a strategic partnership with Scotts Miracle-GroIs an AeroGarden destined for your home or office? Read our full review to find out!

Nancy Burlan and Harris Fogel, Posted 9/14/2014

Lately, it has become quite easy to improve upon your computer's Digital Audio Converter (DAC) with a slew of units from incredibly affordable to stratospherically priced. Now that high-resolution downloads becoming more common, inexpensive USB DACs promise audiophile sound on a budget, especially when combined with some good player software and headphones. Of the two formats for digital audio recordings, the most popular is Pulse Code Modulation (PCM), followed by Direct Stream Digital (DSD) pioneered by Sony. Most of the time when you play a DSD file through a DAC, it is actually converted to PCM. Enter the Korg DS-DAC-100M 1Bit USB Mobile DAC, offering native DSD support, as well as PCM, and a promise to make MP3 files sound better as well. Coupled with a new version of Korg's AudioGate 3 software, Korg is making DSD available for everyone. Read more to learn our experiences!

Harris Fogel, Posted 8/31/2014

This will be a very busy fall for Apple. Starting on September 9th, they will be introducing the iPhone 6, with releases of iOS 8 and OS X version 10.10 Yosemite coming later. Mac Edition Radio would also not be at all surprised to see new iPads (perhaps in new configurations) and the fabled iWatch. John Mulhern III discusses everything that we expect to see from Apple this fall.

John Mulhern III, Posted 8/27/14

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