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iTunes 7: They did it!


Last week Apple released iTunes 7 and it features not one but TWO enhancements previously described on "They should do that," needless to say I'm delighted. The first, and more hyped new addition is browsing by album artwork. The second new feature, which hasn't gotten as much attention, is that iTunes purchased music can now be transfered from an iPod to a computer. This means that if your computer hard drive dies, but you had all your purchased music on your iPod you haven't lost it. Woo hoo!
Apple iTunes Album View and Cover Flow View
Apple iTunes Sync both Ways

Gizmodo Touchscreen Round-Up

I think there's some kind of touchscreen fever going around, as a spate of touchscreen related entries has appeared on Gizmodo.com in last few weeks.  Below are some highlights:


Sony DSC-N2 Cyber-shot With 3-Inch Touch Screen

Digital camera interfaces are notoriously tricky to use, hopefully employing a touchscreen will make navigating those menus and changing picture mode settings just a little bit easier.


HiPDA Combines Tablet PC with TV and HSDPA

The title pretty much says it all, it's built around a 10.4" screen and unfortunately it doesn't look like it has a built-in DVD drive.  To me this makes for a great kitchen computer, as I could use it to look up a recipe and then go back to watching "Project Runway."  Wait did I say recipe and Project Runway? What I meant to say was porn and NASCAR, yes that is definitely what I meant...

Toshiba Dual-Screen UMPC PDA E-Book Doohickey

While I definitely agree that this will flop, the idea has potential.  Given how much hype the Optimus keyboard generated, this product proposes just doing away with 100+ OLED keys and just using a touchscreen.  Of course, if it can't do multi-touch don't ask me what they'll come up with to do Capitalization, Ctrl-C or any other keyboard chords ...

Philips In Touch Message Board Concept

Another concept touchscreen device from Philips Research, this device amounts to a very high tech message board which allows members of a household to record messages and send SMS messages to each other using this slick touchscreen interface.  It's an interesting concept, but seems like it might be better served as a computer application than an expensive single-purpose device.

Philips Entertaible: 45 Point Gaming Touchscreen


Wow, big shout out to my buddy John, for showing me this.  Philips Research has developed a multipoint gaming touchscreen that can detect 45 touch points simultaneously that works with fingers as well as game pieces.  Perhaps the most impressive part is that it's all built around a 32 inch LCD screen, so the whole thing is only around 10cm (4 inches) tall.  Another interesting detail of the Entertaible is the technology used to determine touch locations, as it doesn't use any of the 3 most common methods.

The Philips Entertaible, however, is based on a series of infrared LEDs and photodiodes discretely mounted around the perimeter of an LCD screen.
Source: Philips Research Press Releases

Basically this thing detects finger placement like those obnoxious electronic door chimes they somtimes use in stores.  I wonder what kind of accuracy they can get out of that? 

One Minute IFA Preview: Philips Entertaible [techdigest.tv]
Philips Research:  Entertaible concept: combination of electronic gaming and traditional board games