Tag Archives: gizmodo


Gizmodo loves Vinyl

For some reason or another, in the last couple of weeks, Gizmodo has had a lot of posts dealing with vinyl and the gadgets that work with it.  I thought I’d do one big post with all of this stuff to help condense it all, and hopefully you find it a little interesting.

Make your own Vinyl


If you’re looking for the chance to make some low-fi records at home, then this may be the product for you.  It’s cheap, too.  Only $170 + vinyl.  Giz says that “To record your own records, sing into the horn and the bamboo needle cuts the grooves into a new piece of vinyl.”  Not exactly rocket science, but something that’s not really in the reach of most bedroom emcees.

The product, by a company called Gakken, seems somewhat legit.  Obviously I haven’t tried it yet but it may be worth exploring if you’ve got some money burning a hole in your pocket.

REALLY portable record player


This, while just a concept, is extremely badass.  Once you’ve used the Gakken press to make a couple of albums, say you want to bring them along to your buddy’s house to show them off.  Only your buddy doesn’t have a turntable.  Have no fear!  Pyott Design has your back.  The player, as you can see above, is not huge and folds up quite nicely.  Plugs into your USB for power and for audio playback.

Just the type of thing, strapped to a netbook, that you could probably use to test some albums while you’re out digging.

Turntable for those who don’t really want turntables


This is a nifty idea for those who want to keep the romance of vinyl but whose records have slowly gotten unplayable, or for those who simply want to create the illusion of being a vinyl lover.  Now, it’s not something I endorse by any means.  If you’re a digital music person, there’s no shame in admitting that and in setting up your system to reflect that.

Gizmodo explains it:

Inside the fake player he placed an RFID reader, which gets the information from the RFID-tagged record. Once it detects it—and the user moves the tonearm into position—the record player starts reproducing a playlists.

It’s quite the idea, and would probably be fun for a minute or two.  Regardless, I just think it’s an interesting way to blend old and new technology in an unexpected way.

Awareness Geek

How to calibrate a record player

Gizmodo, the venerable tech blog, ran its “Listening Test” series last week.  This was a series of posts designed to focus on everything audio, from tech stuff, to nerdy posts on the first records they ever bought.

This piece, however, may be of some use to the semi-audiophiles among you.

Basically, they gave you step-by-step instructions on how to calibrate your turntable with only a few simple tools:

  • A 2mm Allen/Hex wrench for the cartridge screws
  • A ruler
  • Magnifying glass and flashlight
  • Needle-nose pliers or tweezers
  • A printout of a standard cartridge alignment ruler (available at vinylengine.com for free)

It’s detailed and focused, and really appeals to the OCD in me.  Go check it out if you feel like you’re not quite getting the most of your system.


Easy way to combine mp3s

If you’re looking for the world’s fastest method of combining mp3s into one file, this is it.

Gizmodo reports on a post by gHacks that says all you have to do is put the mp3s you want to combine into a file folder, then run the command line (go to start –> run –> then type “cmd”)

Make sure you navigate to the directory your files are in, and type the following:

copy /b *.mp3 c:\new.mp3

Replace “new.mp3” with whatever you want to call it: “Twices mp3 mixtown madness funstop with pancakes.mp3” or whatever you want.


Tiny tiny decks

Apparently someone out there has come up with a genius idea.  Tiny little turntables you can keep in your pocket that are the size of credit cards.

Now obviously this isn’t a fully functioning deck, but is instead a tiny device you can toy around with for some on-the-go scratching.

According to Giz, you’re supposed to be able to buy them (the device is called Plastinkus) from Art Lebedev’s (he creator) website.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the page is in Cyrillic, and therefore I don’t know how to do it.

But they’re cheap! Retailing for around $4 US, so I’m thinking that if you can find some, that’s a pretty killer stocking stuffer this year.

[Source: Gizmodo]


Someone still loves audio tapes

Surprisingly, there’s still a big market for old school audio tapes.  According to Gizmodo and the New York Times, prisons in America are huge consumers of old-school audio tapes.  Apparently it’s because CD’s are too easy to make into shivs, whereas the tapes are not.

And yes, somewhere out there someone is still making tapes of new music.  It’s not something that would have ever occured to me.

I guess this guy has been trying to save up all the cassettes he can find over the last few years, and apparently he’s even able to order some of the newer titles from some manufacturer that still makes tapes!

The last quote of his is pretty epic, ““I have dodged every conventional bullet that has hit most music retailers,” Paris says. “I don’t have to worry about downloading, legal or illegally. The beauty of it is that prisoners don’t have Internet access and never will.”

At least there’s one music seller out there who seems to be doing well.  And considering America has one of the highest prison populations, he’s got quite the market to chase.

[Source: Gizmodo, NYT]