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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    Clickfree Transformer for iPod – Launches today, August 10th! 

    Monday, August 10th, 2009


    We’ve done many Clickfree devices on the Daily Giz Wiz. This company is like SanDisk, constantly coming up with clever new gizmos. The latest is the Clickfree Transformer for iPod. It's a Transformer that lets you backup computer files to unused storage space on your iPod or iPhone. And Clickfree makes it clear it's just for backing up files. It’s not for backing up programs or any part of your operating system. When I plugged my little transformer into a USB port on my computer and then connected my iPod to device, a message popped up to say: "your iPod is set to read only. Please download iTunes.” Since I have a tiny 1GB Shuffle, I decided not to move forward since there would be very little space to save anything on my Shuffle. But today’s iPods and iPhones have far more robust memory capacities. You most likely have iTunes on your iPod/iPhone and plenty of spare memory. Clickfree will use that spare memory as a place to backup files that you select via on an on-screen Clickfree menu. That’s great for folks always on the road because you'll have your music, contacts, and your backed up files. Then there's something Clickfree called a "bonus feature” which is very useful. It sort of works in reverse of the first operation discussed here. Instead of copying from your computer to the iPod/iPhone, Clickfree lets you copy music from your iPod to your computer. Works on Vista, Win XP & Win 2000. Price is $49.95. I did a web search & although several websites said you can “pre-order” today (8/11) is official on sale date.




    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw891


    And the Beat Didn’t Go On! Another inventive gadget from Wild Planet.

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse, Friday, August 7th, 2009 Netcast 890


    Beat Blenders were a very high tech musical gadget for kids; actually anyone who liked music and gadgets! It lived for just one year. It came out in fall 2004; won all sorts of awards, but didn’t survive. Wild Planet’s Eric Shank, the guy behind Skeleflex and Spy Gear stuff created it. Beat Blenders were an easy-to-use hand-held music system that let you create songs by layering and looping pre-recorded tracks. After mastering one Beat Blender, you could showcase your skills by linking additional Beat Blender units together to make your songs longer. A cable from one Beat Blender just plugged into the next one and they automatically played in sequence. Beat Blenders sold for as little as $9.99 each! You could collect and connect all six Beat Blender genres for a full and strange musical experience. Each unit was a mini studio with multiple drum, bass and guitar measures. You scrolled through the sounds and created your own favorite combinations. Then you adjusted the tempo, selected the drum, rhythm and lead components for each measure. Then the Beat Blender would play your picks consecutively and repeatedly, allowing you to add and edit. Beat Blenders launched six models - two licensed units, Hot Hits featuring music from recording artists Smash Mouth, Lil’ Romeo, North Mississippi Allstars and Vengaboys; and sounds from Shrek 2; as well as genre-specific music in the categories of Hip Hop, Techno, Alternative Rock, and Power Rock. (However no Giz Wiz theme were composed on a Beat Blender because they were ahead of their time!)


    More on inventor Eric Shank:  http://www.wizardworld.com/ericshank.html


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw890


    Here’s one of the first fully digital portable TV’s. 


    Thursday, August 6th, 2009, Netcast 889


    Early June 2009 that old clunky analog portable TV of yours became a large paperweight as digital TV took over completely. Now the new Haier HLT10 portable LCD TV gives you the ability to enjoy your favorite television programs anywhere again. This handy little portable TV has a 10.2-inch LCD high-resolution display that switches between a 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio. It has a built-in ATSC/NTSC tuner and built in stereo speakers. It also offers audio & video in, so you can take it on a trip and watch video you’ve shot by hooking the output from your camcorder to the HLT10 A/V in. Leo plans on using one for a monitor on the road when they’re shooting video for TWiT. Watch TV late at night with headphones plugged right into the HLT10. The rechargeable battery (included) offers up to 2.5-hours of life between charges. The TV comes with two stands, one of which is removable. One holds the TV a few inches off the desk or counter. The other is a stand that folds out from behind the set if you prefer it to take up less room. The HLT10 includes an AC power adapter, a car adapter and a remote control. It also includes a single rod antenna which offered only very limited reception when I tried it. Once I hooked it up to plain old rabbit ears on my boat, I received 10 HD channels. The picture quality is very good. You can also hook this unit to cable, satellite, or an external outdoor antenna, even watch videos stored on your iPod. $179.95. The photo shown is the new model with the removable stand. There are photos of the first prototype floating around that look a bit different. But this is the production model.



    This is the lowest price I could find - $159. (But I never bought anything here.)  


     Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw889


    SanDisk Invents another new MP3 category, The Sansa slotRadio.

    Wednesday, August 5th, 2009, Netcast 888


    The Sansa slotRadio is a strange concept, that you just might like. It’s an MP3 player that ships preloaded with 1,000 songs! And there’s an onboard radio, all housed in a tiny techie clip-on package. This could be just the thing for the person who is too lazy to upload new music, or doesn’t have the time to download music to their computer & then upload it to their player. Or maybe they don’t know how. Or how about, they don’t even have a computer! Well adding new music to slotRadio couldn’t be easier. Take out one micro SD card and put in another, and you’ve added 1,000 new songs! Of course this sometimes takes a bit of time because those micro SD cards are ridiculously small, so don't lose it! One 1,000 song slotRadio cards (about 50 hours of music) comes with the player. New slotRadio cards are $40 each for 1,000 songs. Right now there’s a small selection, but SanDisk says more albums are on the way. Categories include Rock, Hip-Hop, Country, 80s/90s music, etc. Something else you should know. SlotRadio cards have their own proprietary digital rights management system which means you can’t copy them. If you lose the slotRadio music card, you won’t have a back up. But again, look at the per-song cost. 1,000 songs $40 – that’s 4 cents a song! Other things to be aware of. You can’t go back to repeat a song. You have to wait until it comes around again 999 songs later! You can however, skip forward. The title shows on the player’s screen, along with the title of the next song in the cue. I found the headphones had pretty good sound considering they’re included in the price. Also some of the older songs sounded a bit distorted if you crank up the volume, but hey they weren’t made in the digital age. If you like the 1,000 songs for $40 idea and you own a Sansa Fuze, you’re in luck! If you download the latest software at the SanDisk website, your Fuze will be able to play slotRadio cards. So you won’t have to buy the $99.99 slotRadio to be able to buy and play those 4 cents a song albums.




    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw888


    Leo finds a “whole house” way to listen to his iPod.

    Turn The Tables Tuesday, August 4th, 2009, Netcast 887


    Leo bought and loves his Eos Multi-room home audio system. It offers iPod owners a way to hear their music wherever they are. With Eos Wireless iPod speakers you can broadcast your music up to 150 feet away, inside or out. It’s all-digital, proprietary system that means no static or interference. Put your music in any room where you want -- bedroom, backyard, kitchen, bathroom, etc. You can also plug your Eos iPod speakers into your computer and wirelessly stream Pandora, Rhapsody, Last FM or thousands of Internet radio stations to your Eos wireless speakers. With iTunes and your iPhone or iPod Touch (and Apple's free Remote Application) you can browse and play your entire music library, summon up playlists and even use search to find your favorite songs and artists...all from the palm of your hand. Since Eos requires no wireless network connection you can take your Eos system everywhere you go -- even on vacation. The Eos Core System includes the base station transmitter and one satellite speaker. The base station boasts a great sounding 2.1 stereo speaker system, with two tweeters, a ported down firing subwoofer and SRS WOW! sound enhancement technology. Leo said the sound was good for the size of the speakers, but you probably wouldn’t use this as your main sound system for serious listening. $249.95

    Additional Remote Satellite Speakers are $129.95 and you can use up to four Satellite Speakers with a base unit. At the company website they offer free ground shipping & a 30 day Money Back Guarantee.




    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw887