The AudioFile: Audio Quality Cheapskates

Last week I got a 16GB Creative Zen V Plus, the first flash-based MP3 player to move past the 8GB mark (aside from players with microSD card slots). And we’ll be seeing a 16GB iPod nano before t

The AudioFile: Handcuffing Digital Music

Copy protection is leaking out of the digital music industry like water from a cracked snow-globe. The latest developments continue to point toward a DRM-free future in which you’ll buy music fr

The AudioFile: Can Apple Afford to Slacker?

Radio gives you two important things: It keeps you from getting in a musical rut, and you don’t have to make any decisions about what to listen to next. Now that customizable Internet radio services

The AudioFile: Bluetooth To Bite Less

Next year, portable wireless audio is finally going to stop sucking. With the advent of the next generation of Bluetooth and improvements in miniaturization techniques, not to mention ever-increasing

The AudioFile: The iPhone Is Eyeing Your Living Room

This week: Computers, set-top boxes (like AppleTV), and AV receivers are battling to be your household hub, streaming music and movies back and forth across your pad until you become sterile and glow

The AudioFile: Suspicious iPhone Activities

I was riding my bike the other day, when I got a call from Apple. I pulled over to the curb, and by the time the light on the corner changed, an iPhone was on its way to my apartment. I hadn’t e

The AudioFile: Radioactive Music Discovery

Satellite radio is in the toilet, and the government and the recording industry are trying to squeeze Internet radio for more dough — unsuccessfully for now, according to today’s news. Mea

The AudioFile: 10 Facts About Steve Jobs

The major labels are acting funny lately, and it’s beginning to smell fishy. Warner is once again trying to buy EMI,’s free streaming service (which offered mostly tracks from War

The AudioFile: Jacking Off the iPhone

The iPhone drops today. If you didn’t know, you’re probably dead and aren’t reading this anyway. If you did know, hopefully you’ve been reading our roundup of early reviews. On

The AudioFile: Fave Sub-$1K Audio Gear

Yeah, the holidays are nowhere in sight and neither is my Capricornian birthday, but I’ve got the summer shopping bug — y’know, Christmas in July and all that. I don’t pull dow

The AudioFile: Keep It Simple, Stupid

Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Few companies in the MP3 player business grasp this important principle, and it continues to bite them in

The AudioFile: Heavenly Audio Gear

In my Brooklyn neighborhood, I’m surrounded by Christians, Hasidic and non-Hasidic Jews, Rastafarians, Santeria initiates, and the occasional Sikh. The MP3 player market must have similar divers

The AudioFile: Is Apple's iTunes Plus a Minus?

Apple’s latest blow to other online music download services is iTunes Plus — tracks encoded at 256Kbps in AAC format with no copy protection restricting usage. Big deal? Maybe not as big a

The AudioFile: The Expandable Revolution

My favorite trend in MP3 players and music-phones is the inclusion of a slot for a ridiculously tiny microSD card. There’s just something really cool about taking a 2GB memory card out of my LG

The AudioFile: The Beat of a Different DRM

Is the recording industry officially losing control over digital music? And more importantly, what new restrictions will it use to combat the rampant piracy that’s sure to follow? Also: Digital

The AudioFile (Mothers Day Edition): Help Mom Rock Out

This Sunday is Mothers Day. (Sorry if I just made you snarf your coffee.) As usual, I’ve left it till the last minute to get my mom something. And naturally, now that she finally understands wha

The AudioFile: Ultimate Pocket-Size Hi-Fi Rig

As part of HiFi week here at the ol’ Crunch, I’m detailing my favorite mobile high-end audio rig. I’ve spent a lot of time finding the right balance among portability, sound quality,

The AudioFile: 2.4's a Crowd

With all the wireless technologies out there, the airwaves are getting about as crowded as a New York City street at rush hour. Most of the traffic is on the 2.4-GHz frequency band, including everythi

The AudioFile: Apple and the Long (Mc)Fly Ball

People have been clamoring for WiFi-enabled music players for a long time now. But current offerings from Archos, Microsoft, and SanDisk make it seem like they’re all just taking weak jabs at Ap

The AudioFile: The DRM Dam Cracks

If you saw my April Fool’s post about Apple getting rid of DRM in the iTunes Music Store, apparently the joke was on me. The very next day, Apple and EMI (one of the big five major labels) made
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