Author Archives: Alan Cross

Aftermarket Car Audio Makers Keep Trying

December 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't want to be in the aftermarket car audio business right now.  So much cool stuff--not to mention good-sounding gear--is now available directly from the factory.  The thought of tearing open the dash to insert something alien doesn't sit well with me.

But Pioneer knows there are still those who wish to do a little customizing, so they need to keep ahead of the curve.  Their latest offering is something called MIXTRAX, which they say is like having your onboard DJ.

I dunno about this, but some people might dig it.  Get a a review here. Video demos after the jump.


Storage Gone Wild

December 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I bought my first computer almost twenty years ago.  It came with four megabites of RAM and 40 megabites (yes, megabites) of HDD storage.  When I doubled the RAM, it cost me $800.  Think how much computing power you can buy for that kind of coin at an ordinary Best Buy today.

Times have certainly changed.  I have several machines at my house.  My standard work PC has 12 GM of RAM and 4TB's worth of drives in a RAID. All my music is on an iMac with a 1TB drive backed up to a 1TB Time Capsule.  For Boxing Day, I'm going to treat myself to a Drobo NAS with at leat 10TB of storage so I can continue to digitally archive my stupidly huge CD collection.


The New Hip Hop War: Headphones

December 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Hip hop has always had its rivalries and wars dating back to even before the whole East Coast/West Coast thing. Today, the biggest battle is in the marketplace.  Who's got the best headphones?

Dr. Dre started it with his line of Beats 'phones, the most ubiquitous iPod accessory since the original white ear buds.  And Dre has done well; earlier this year, he and partner Jimmy Iovine (the Interscope Records boss) sold a share of the company for $350 million.  No wonder everyone else wants in on the action.


This Week on the Secret History of Rock: Episode 9

December 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The new show is in the can and is ready to be aired on the mightly SHoR Network (check the stations list in the left-hand column for cities and showtimes.)  

If you can't hear it on the radio, we'll have it posted for you for on-demand listening in the player in the right-hand column by earlier next week.

Here's the topic list for Episode 9:


Bon Iver’s Workout Video

December 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

First, he’s nominated for a bunch of Grammys.  Now Justin “Bon Iver” Vernon–one of Wisconsin’s most melancholy citizens–has put together


Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels Covers Bryan Ferry

December 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

In addition to composing the original score of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Atticus Ross, they, along with Trent's wife, Mariqueen, have covered "Is Your Love Strong Enough" for the soundtrack.  

How to Destroy Angels--the non-NIN band consisting of the three of them--had promised an album this year, but it looks like this is all we're going to get.

 It's available now if you buy the digital download.  If you want to wait until December 27, you can get the full CD set.

Here's the link to the song.  Good luck connecting, though.  I've had all kinds of problems, but perhaps you'll do better.


I Like This: Vintage Kicks

December 10th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Love the lyrics from this Philly-via-Jersey five-piece.  Wonderfully honest.  Thanks to Shawn for the recommendation. KING GEEK by Vintage Kicks


More on the Connected Car

December 9th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you've been into a dealership showroom lately, you'll know that we're in the midst of a revolution in automobile electronics.  Sales people tell me that the question is moving from "What's under the hood?" to "What's in the dash?"

Vehicular gadgetry is moving inventory, which means that this revolution is only going to pick up speed. And it's leading to some very interesting innovations.  From the New York Times:

On Wednesday, Broadcom announced a series of products that will bring the same kind of communications connectivity seen in home appliances and large data centers to cars.



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