Music Technology

New Android Hifi Music Player

The Hiditz AP200 is an Android powered high fidelity music player that is available through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

This Bluetooth and wi-fi compatible device plays most Hi-res lossless formats (32 bit/384 kHz), can play for over ten hours and is cheaper than most hi-fi devices that are currently on the market.

The 32 GB version comes in an aluminum body with three color options (Black, Blue, and Silver) and 64 GB version comes in stainless steel body with three options for the back panel (Rosewood, Pure Glass, and Carbon Fiber Glass).

Click here for additional details on this device.

Walt Disney Collectibles and Gifts, Disney Figurin

Levitating Turntable

A levitating turntable is now available via Kickstarter.

The Mag-Lev Audio turntable will play your 33 rpm LPs and 45 rpm singles, the latter with an adapter that is included with the purchase of the turntable. And the actual turntable is available in several finishes, as described on this Kickstarter page.


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Netflix/Disney News

Netflix has hiked their monthly subscription fees in Canada for new members, to $8.99 for Basic (standard definition playback on one screen/device), $10.99 for Standard (high definition playback on up to two screens/devices) and $13.99 for Premium (ultra high definition playback on up to four screens/devices).

Current members will not be subject to this hike for some time but will notice fewer Disney and possibly Marvel titles in the new year as Disney establishes their own streaming service in 2019.


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Still Waiting…

I had hoped for details on any change to the intellectual property provisions of NAFTA by the first of August but it appears too early, even for speculation.

A new council had been created earlier this month and there are concerns about privacy. But nothing yet as too what else the United Stated will want changed.

Unfortunately, our government has extended our copyright term from 50 to 70 years due to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement so now we’ve got to wait twenty more years for copyrighted works to enter the public domain, regardless of the fact that the United States has withdrawn from the agreement.

I certainly hope they will not go after our ability to make private copies of recordings for personal use or attempt to resurrect proposals to tax hard drives and flash media. But I am hoping they will negotiate higher exemptions for personal importations by mail.

As it stands most imported parcels valued under $20 are exempt from duties and taxes, as stipulated on the Canadian Border Services Agency web site. And I think this amount is way too low.

eBay had proposed a higher de minimis threshold for Canadians since July 2016 and had created an official Parlimentary petition that year and a petition for its users earlier this year.

They published a study (PDF) by the C.D Howe Institute and I’m guessing from eBay’s response to the renewed NAFTA negotiations that they will petition the government again on this issue.

According to a 2016 Nanos Research poll, 76% of Canadian respondents want a $200 exemption and over 15,000 Canadians had signed the official Parlimentary petition that year, so i’m guessing eBay will bring attention to this issue again durring the negotiations.

I will, of course, keep an eye out for new information and will update this site a.s.a.p.

New Kickstarter

The ZEROi is a Bluetooth enabled hat that uses bone conduction technology to enable its wearer to listen to music and to pay attention to the sounds in their environment. Click here for additional details on this product’s Kickstarter campaign.

Net Neutrality Simplified

Imagine this situation – You want to rent a blockbuster and your internet provider’s film rental site offers this film for $6.99 in HD whilst another film rental site offers it for $4.99, also in HD. And thinking that because they’re both listed as HD you rent from your internet provider’s competitor only to notice pixelization caused by slow download speeds.

Now imagine you’re completely fine paying more to rent films and one day hear about this great flick that everyone’s raving about on the internet. But you can’t find it on your internet provider’s film rental site and have no choice but rent it from one of your internet provider’s competitors, subjecting yourself to the aforementioned issues.

This would be the norm if net neutrality was abolished.

Internet providers with a larger market share would use this status to demand payment for access to their customers and would shut out film rental companies that didn’t pay up, including the companies set up by their competing internet providers.

You’d be at the mercy of media conglomerates fighting each other, as they hinder the speeds of each other’s services and fight for the exclusive rights to certain films, music, and services.

You’d have dropouts whilst streaming and slow transfer issues accessing your own files on cloud services because these services didn’t pay up or is owned by the competitors of those that did. And this would only get worse when you’re on the go and use wi-fi services from different providers at your favorite hotspots.

Seriously, travelers would also see their speeds drop if they happen to choose an American hotel whose internet is throttled, especially when they throttle sites on which operating system and security software updates are hosted.

They’re not lowering their prices, they’re making it harder for people to access services that do and making content providers pay to access their share of the market, in many cases resulting in a reduction of royalties for artists, composers, writers, etc. And who knows if publicly funded internet like those at public libraries will be subject to internet traffic management practices?

How exactly is this progress?

As it stands, Net Neutrality in Canada is supported by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, several last mile internet providers and three political parties, the Liberals, NDP and Green Party. And both Rogers and Bell made statements that they would end throttling in late 2011 and early 2012.

Netflix is currently keeping track of the speed of our internet providers accessing their services and publishing their results on their Netflix ISP Speed Index site and I’m guessing if push comes to shove more of those sites will appear.

Hopefully, the internet providers in the states will figure out this is all counterproductive because people that eventually find out that they’re being throttled needlessly get more demanding and all it takes for their competition to nab their customers are anti-throttling policies.

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