Opinion Reviews

Bose’s Quiet Comfort Line

My thoughts:

The Bose QuietComfort line has been around since 2000. Since then it has evolved greatly into the QuietComfort 3, and QuietComfort 15. I had bought a pair of the QuietComfort 3 headphones back when they first came out in 2006, and have used them moderately for 6 years. At the time they sounded better, and had better noise cancelling technology than the QC2’s and I personally found them more comfortable. As the years went by (5 years), the ear cushions started to lose their comfort and the battery started to lose it’s ability to retain a charge as well. This was not a deal breaker, because both the ear cushions and battery is replaceable replaceable, but the headphones started to emit a high frequency sound whenever the ear cushions were to be compressed, so that I had to shelve them. These headphones are great from the short term to the mid term (1-4 years), but beyond that, the quality of the sound becomes strained and purchase of a new pair is advisable.


iOS > Mac OS X

The iOS platform has grown much since its launch back in 2007. The Mac OS was introduced in 1987, and improved greatly over the years. From the 28 years that Apple has sold Macs, the earnings of 2011 iOS devices sold greatly surpassed that, specifically the iPhone. The iOS platform has evolved exponentially due to revolutions such as the App Store. The App Store is the face of the iOS. According to ASYMCO, 316 billion iOS units have been sold in 2011 versus the 122 billion Macs that have been sold in the past 28 years.

Average Joe's Tips

How to use Apple’s AirPlay Feature

What is AirPlay?

AirPlay is a great way to stream your music through a set of speakers or through a home stereo, and in some cases, stream a video from your iOS device, Mac or PC. Apple currently sells two products that support this feature, the Apple TV & Airport Express. Apple does license the feature so that third-party developers may support products with it and I will briefly mention it, but today we are going to cover the apple products.

AirPort Express

The AirPort Express is known as a wireless router. It is nice and compact, perfect for apartments, dorms, or just extending part of a room in your home. It works seamlessly with the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule as an extension, but you should have no problems with other routers. Depending on your setup, you would probably not want to use this as your main router in your home. Reason being it has one Ethernet port. You will only be able to put a line in from you ISP and broadcast wirelessly, but if you are running a home network and have devices that you would want to plug in with Ethernet, tough luck. However, the express is equipped with 5.0 GHz wireless N that is capable up to 300 Mbps, although this will not work with your iPhone or iPad, if you only have wireless N devices in your home, it is an ideal solution. The last limitation to this is it only allows up to 10 devices to be connected to it. The AirPort express features a USB port that is not capable of sharing a USB drive rather a USB printer. If you have a Mac, adding the printer is a breeze. For Windows users, you will have to install the Bonjour software off the Apple website, or with the included CD (download the Latest off apple’s website). But, once Bonjour is installed, it’s a piece of cake.

How does this fit with AirPlay? The AirPort express uses a 3.5 mm aux jack to output audio into a receiver, or just a simple speaker. Once your device is plugged in, connected to your network, and setup properly, you are ready to begin streaming your music to your device. With the Apple AirPort Express, you can even turn your home into a wireless audio system. See our article on how AirPlay an AirPort Express to beat Sonos.

Apple TV

The Apple TV is a set top that must be set up with a TV. It features and aux port through the red and white analog ports, although if you are planning on using this system, you will probably want to use the HDMI out port. Another feature is the ability to beam a streaming video in some applications on your iOS device, directly to the Apple TV, and watch them on the big screen. For more details on the Apple TV, check out our full article about it covering it’s high’s and low’s.

Apple Remote

Apple does a great job with integrating their products together. From the App Store, download the Apple Remote app and you will be able to control your iTunes Library to blast the music to your speakers.

Third Party Products

Briefly, Apple currently only allows AirPlay audio streaming to companies to use for their products, such as DENON. Certain network receivers from Denon can be upgraded for $50 over the Ethernet port, to allow AirPlay to be enabled. This will allow you to stream directly to your receiver, without the need for any other products.

After the integration of the AirPlay API in the iOS SDK, developers from Pandora and Rdio are able to let users use their app and play music directly to Airport devices around the house.

Bowers & Wilkins and JBL are also creating products that are built for AirPlay. Soon for a pretty penny, you can purchase devices that will already have the built in functionality of receiving music.

If you are interested to stream with AirPlay, the AirPort Express is your best deal. For it’s price and functionality, it works more than a simple AirPlay streaming device, and is a worthy companion to any home network.



iPhone 5Gs?

With WWDC 2011 around the corner, and the anniversary of the apple iPad announcement, we wonder what new and improved gadgets apple will bring to the table. Apple usually is always one step ahead of the competition, with “revolutions”. Last summer Apple’s greatest threat was the HTC Evo 4G. And till today, it is one of the most featured phones on the market. So what can we expect from apple this summer?

For starters, perhaps a white iPhone that is released ON TIME. Many of us think, what can apple possibly lack? Well there are probably gonna need a better camera. Many of the competitors have 8+ mega pixel camera’s. Apple told us that they were keeping the pixels the same size, capturing photons with a backside illuminated sensor. The pictures are quite well for a smart phone of it’s size, but an 8 mega-pixel or something close, is coming next. They have finally included a LED flash, but how about a Dual LED flash, with a dedicated flashlight app. Along with pictures comes video. Apple brought 720p to their phone, if they want to be on top of the game, how about some 1080p.

Now speaking of some great entertainment, I cannot see apple using a kickstand in their design, for they are all about flawless looks. Obviously we see it with the glass covering the front and back of the phone and it is a great protector for most scenarios. One of the newest things out there is gorilla glass, and with that on the iPhone, it will be very durable without any case. Next up could be a bigger screen. Now I’m not sure how they will do it, but rumors are going around about removing the home button… They say that the next iOS update will be able to return to the home screen, by bringing 5 fingers together. Currently that would be tricky but perhaps with a bigger screen it might be possible. But just where could they expand it? My guess is vertically to fill up some extra space, because they wouldn’t be able to grow horizontally, frankly because, no one wants a huge phone. The iPhone is a great sized phone on the market today, and I’m sure all of us wouldn’t want it any other way. Also with a bigger screen, apps would need to be modified, and a inch would probably optimize the whole OS.

Finally, by the far the biggest jump apple needs to make, is the switch to 4G. I have no doubt in my mind that the next iPhone will be “the biggest revolution in iPhone history” coming into the 4G market. With 4G in the picture, we will probably be able to FaceTime without Wi-Fi. And perhaps this is the fix to Verizon’s voice and data problem. Obviously these are just rumors and thoughts, because we all know that apple is very secret with their products. But our conclusions here at The Real Mac Genius is that the next iPhone will be known as the iPhone 4G.
Bottom Line New Features:

    • More mega-pixels in camera
    • Dual LED flash
    • new design
    • Bigger screen
    • 4G!

    Apple TV. Worth it? I think Not!

    Apple TV (Fall 2010)

    Now that the 2010 Apple TV, is released we think to ourselves, are we ready to yet another device that does most of the stuff that all our latest devices already do. For example, Blu-ray is now becoming the hottest thing on the market, so all of us are rushing to run out and getting a fancy Blu-Ray player to set in our living room so we can see that full 1080P High Definition. Yet Apple TV’s largest resolution is 720P and no Blu-Ray. Now a days most of us have DVR’s from our TV service providers, or we invest in TiVo, and if your too lazy to hit record on your DVR, and record in full 1080i and skip through commercials, then go ahead and pay $1 to buy the full show for 24 Hours, or record it, watch whenever, and delete whenever for the our favorite price, free. Also check to see if you have a device that already does what Apple TV offers. For example, most of us have a ps3 or Sony Blu-Ray player, and both have many streaming choices such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Flicker and many more.

    I have been going on a while on what why we shouldn’t buy it, but there are some pretty cool features about it such as airplay, and the sharing your iTunes library through your home network. They changed the name from air tunes, to air play, strictly because the iPad update 4.2 is coming out in November and will be able to stream video directly to play off Apple TV and on your TV. Although this is a cool feature if you could mirror your image on your iPad to your Apple TV, we would have liked to see the ability to mirror an image from your computer, like Intel is with their wireless display technology. The second thing is we have is the fact you can see other computers running iTunes in Apple TV. This is great if your iTunes library is organized and you have a party and can click a playlist and boom all the right songs are playing at the right moment. But most of us don’t have the time to sort through all the music that we have collected over the years, and if we have guests in our house, we don’t want to have to go to our computer and open iTunes just to listen to music. I mention this because Windows has media servers which run in the background and are accessible on just about every device, from receivers, to ps3. So before you pre-order Apple’s latest gadget, check to see if you really need it and think you will be the coolest kid on the block, when you could save $100 towards a Netflix subscription or Hulu Plus.