The Age of the Tablet is Also Age of the HD Tablet

Look – normal ports! Asus’ EeePad isn’t exactly beautiful, but having HDMI and USB could be a sight for sore eyes. Photo courtesy Asustek. We’ve been talking about this so long, you’d be forgiven for missing the moment when it actually happens. But the time is now: the promised future of inexpensive, HD-capable tablets has arrived. Advances in low-power processors and touch-sensitive displays indicated early on that a wave of tablets was coming. Apple deserves credit for being first to market with a credible, elegantly-designed tablet in the iPad. Now, at last, the iPad isn’t alone. If the 2010 iPad …

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Here Come the Tablets; Which to Watch, How Digital Musicians Will Use Them

Motorola’s new flagship tablet. Photo courtesy Motorola. The iPad has a massive head start in software and a clear lead in design elegance, but in the tablet market, it’s no longer alone. As expected, this week’s Consumer Electronics Show brings a slew of tablets. Don’t call them iPad rip-offs, either. Given product development cycles, many of these products were likely in the pipeline before competitors saw the iPad. (There’s no doubt in the intervening time the iPad has made its mark, both as a benchmark of what to be and how rivals might differentiate themselves.) Browsing, e-books, and games lead …

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Ion Makes a Music Keyboard Dock for the iPhone; Would You Want One?

A 25-key MIDI keyboard? Really? You’re telling me you did that before making a nice Accordion Dock? Missed opportunity, if you ask me. Apple added the ability to connect custom hardware to its iPhone and iPod touch platform last year, so it was only a matter of time before someone made a music hardware interface. Ion Audio, the budget brand of Numark/Alesis/Akai, gets there first, with the Ion iDISCOVER Keyboard. It docks your Apple mobile into a case with a 25-key MIDI keyboard, pitch and mod wheels, and preset buttons for patch and octave changes. http://www.ionaudio.com/idiscoverkeyboard It’s just what many …

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Tablets, Slates, Multi-touch Everywhere, But Details Scant; Round Up of New Offerings

Could your next music controller be a tablet or slate? Dell’s “concept” points the way to what that might look like, but the wait continues for more shipping products. Photo: Dell. For all the focus on clever little music apps on your phone, it’s the slate/tablet form factor that seems to hold the greatest promise for live performance. Thanks to a larger screen area, these devices look far more usable for control – equipped with multi-touch, they could be reasonable substitutes for hardware control surfaces, a la the Lemur.And with greater horsepower under the hood, you might not need to …

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Gizmodo Uses TV-B-Gone Screen Killer for Evil

In case you haven’t seen it, several readers wrote in to tell us about how the “journalists” at Gizmodo went around CES disabling video screens. The invention used to do it — the TV-B-Gone — is capable of far more worthy goals, like disabling the invasive crap on Fox News at an airport. (Addendum: unless anyone mistakes me as someone brave enough to operate a TV-B-Gone, see comments. I’m not. I’m a wimp. But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume this could be used for good.) Here, Gizmodo simply tortures presenters at press events they were invited to. …

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CES: Intel Embraces Mobile Linux Audio Production

Quick: you’ve got to sell UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC’s) to a mass market! How to do it? Well, Intel decided to show off pro audio and music production on the Linux-based Transmission, from Trinity Audio, as we saw earlier this week. I’m not entirely sure what got Intel thinking our geeky way, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. And in all seriousness, Linux really an ideal OS choice here, because of its ability to be customized to the application. The other flipside: low-power is the future. Computers now suck up 15% of the electricity in the US …

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CES: Pacemaker DJ Mobile Gear to Cost $700?!

Darth Vader, your garage door opener has arrived. We first took a look at the Pacemaker DJ when it was announced in May. The idea is interesting: it’s a mobile 120GB hard drive with touch controls for internal mixing/cross-fading, effects, a separate cueing output, and pitch control, along with rich format support (even OGG, FLAC, AAC). That’s all well and good, but the device will apparently cost US$700. Barb Dybwad at Engadget optimistically offers that “it’s a relatively low-cost convenient practice setup for DJs on the road or an attractive option for aspiring amateurs.” Hmmm … I normally agree with …

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CDM Welcomes Bill Gates to Digital Music Creation!

If you missed Bill Gates’s keynote from CES, you didn’t miss much — aside from an uncomfortably-close-to-Terminator image recognition demo, technology Microsoft says they won’t productize. (That’s good, because otherwise a robot from the future might have killed all the presenters on the spot.) But Microsoft did stage an Oscar-style spoof video, complete with celebrities, demonstrating what Gates might do after retirement from his full-time Chairman position later this year. The overwhelming trend: get into music making. Guitar Hero and Rock Band seem to be doing fine jobs of convincing people to make more music. I had Chairman Bill running …

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Gallo’s 5LS Prototype: Gorgeous, 78-inch Tall Giant Speakers

While on the subject of Gallo Speakers, here’s about as far as you can get from the baby-sized A’Diva satellites: speakers that tower 78″ tall, pack some 12 4″ aluminum woofers each, and deliver nearly omni-directional sound. Micro speakers (5″ each), yes, but in a slender but tall enclosure. The Reference 5LS speakers, due third quarter 2007 but shown recently at CES in prototype form, alternate mid-range spheres with tweeter cylinders vertically. The idea is to deal with phase and dispersion issues in a nearly (though not quite) omni-directional speaker. Gallo also showed off a reference amp that would couple …

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