Tag: iPodsView All Tags
The London Guarantee Building is the tour’s starting point.
In this craptastic economy, you may not have the extra bucks to buy one of those expensive tours where a guide shows you the ins and outs of a city. So we decided to try out a recession-friendly, iPod self-walking "Loop to Loop" tour of Chicago. And it's totally FREE.
Just visit the Chicago Loop Alliance's website and decide whether you want to take a theater, an art or a landmarks tour; we opted for the latter, which takes you throughout the Loop. Download the appropriate tour and add it to your iPod. But for a seamless experience you will have to do some work. The site provides you with a map of all of the landmarks, but it just lists the names of the buildings. We recommend writing down all of addresses so that you know where the heck you’re going. Click on all 23 landmark points on the website to get the addresses.
You win some, you lose some. And that's how the week looks for Singapore Airlines. The win is in cool technology, and the loss is all about major cuts in flights, so looks like we have to take the good with the bad.
In tech news, Singapore Airlines are saying it's a world first for passengers on their A330s to be able to plug in their iPod and iPhone directly into the inflight entertainment system. iPod capabilities will roll out on Australia to Singapore flights first and gradually, well, take over the world. Nice.
The down side is that there are a lot less fewer flights to book with Singapore these days. They've announced the deletion of over 200 flights to Australia, China, Europe and India because the numbers of passengers have been falling so much. Seems to us they should have thrown the iPod connectivity in earlier and they might have least kept geek passenger numbers high.
Laptops / iPods / Cell Phones / Travel Tech / Travel Gear / → All Tags
It's hard to believe that something like this hasn't come along before. The Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger is one of the most ideal travel accessories we've seen for people who travel with gizmos. If only it had a catchier name!
The charger is simple enough, turning one plug into three while protecting your devices with a built-in surge protector. (So while you're charging at the airport during that heavy lightning delay, there's no reason to worry!) It also offers two USB ports so you can charge your cell phone, iPod or anything else that uses a USB connection.
Best of all, the charger starts at only $25 and is available directly through the company's website.
Languages / Phrasebooks / iPods / → All Tags
Back in high school German classes, we were handed a weighty dictionary and a grammar-heavy textbook and left to fend for ourselves. Trust us, it didn't help when we finally got to Germany. If only we'd had iPods back then, we could have downloaded the new iPod phrasebooks from Collins publishers.
The new "digital phrasebooks" come in all the main western European languages, plus Polish and Mandarin, and come July, they'll add Japanese, Turkish and Finnish to the mix. For less than $10, you can see and hear 500 useful phrases that really are useful: from "Where can I charge my cell phone?" to "Is there a danger of avalanche?"
If you're not convinced, they even let you start off with a free demo--we checked the German one and it had basic phrases all the way up to "This is my partner." Seems they've got everything covered.
True, podcasts and narrated tours have been on the travel radar for awhile now. But it would take more patience than we have on an average vacation to listen to all of them, good and bad. Fortunately, New York Times writer Seth Kugel digs up gems for a living and found some of the best podcast tours of the Big Apple.
He's particularly fond of a series called Soundwalk, with its multiple tours of the city's neighborhoods. The Chinatown walking tour is particularly cool:
Jami Gong, activist, comedian and Chinatown native, leads you on a refreshingly disorienting jaunt to semihidden shops, into alleys and through Doyers Street, a jagged block no Chinatown visitor should miss but most do.
He'll guide you into a teahouse and tell you to look for the owner, Mr. Wong, reading the newspaper. "He's been sitting there and reading the newspaper forever," Mr. Gong says into your ear. And there's Mr. Wong reading the newspaper in front of your eyes.
We also have to mention the MoMA Audio Guides that Seth name checks, too. Created by college students tired of wonky art museum audio guides, you'll be chuckling while learning about modern art with these tours. And iPod's a lot easier to listen to in the museum than your cell phone.
If you're not lucky enough to be flying the limited route network of Volaris Airlines, you won't just get iPods handed to you mid-flight. If you're unlucky enough to be flying an airline with a truly crap entertainment system, bringing an iPod along for video an music could be pretty important for avoiding insanity. Those tiny screens drive us nuts, but if you can deal with 'em, you still need to worry about how to keep them powered. SeatGuru helps you figure out where to sit in steerage if you want in-seat power, but one can't always get the seat one wants. The Volta will charge your video iPod with enough juice to take it from here to Fiji with as many tiny episodes of the Real World as you can stomach. Go ahead, if you must.
· Volta Charges Up Your iPod [TravelGearBlog]
Airlines / iPods / → All Tags
Time for the Mac people to celebrate and the Mac haters to mourn. iPods are infiltrating the skies just a bit more every day. Volaris, a Mexican budget airline, has started renting out iPods loaded with Mexican television shows and music for about $4.50 per person per flight. The airline plans to add U.S. content as well.
Gizmodo has also pointed out that a small airplane manufacturer is planning to start using iPods as black box recorders, to which commenter oilcanboyd responds: "flight data recorder? my iPod didnt survive a three foot drop to the floor. Think it could survive a plane crash? In the words of Shao Khan, 'Dont make me laugh!'"
· Mexican airline rents iPods [Reuters]
· iPods To Be Used As Aeroplane Flight Data Recorders [Gizmodo]
Downloadable walking tours are the best, we love having hands free to do other things while also feeling like pseudo-intellectuals able to spew a variety of facts regarding any locale after completing a tour.
Check out Sounds for Sights - they sell downloadable tours direct to consumers, and they're just $5 each. Started by a tech-savvy pair of New Yorkers they currently have many NY-themed tours and are in the works to develop a bunch for other cities too.
To get you in the Xmas spirit, they're offering a discount on their Rockefeller Center/Diamond District tour, enter 50offrockcenter to get your discount when you check out.
Happy walking, er, and listening!
We swear someone leans over Steve Jobs' head at night and whispers, "Make it smaller. Make it in color. Make it hold photos. Make it able to play video..." He just lays back on his mattress of gold and smiles.
The newest iPod came out yesterday. It's got ability to play videos, which you can now also download from Apple for $1.99 a piece. It's also smaller and still holds 15,000 songs and 25,000 photos. And has longer battery life.
The 30G is $299 and the 60G is $399. iPod mini production is dunzo now that the Nano is out. So if you have one, you hold a true relic. (They also introduced a new iMac yesterday that can double as a desktop and a media center).
iPods / Gadgets / Maps / → All Tags
We have found our new navigational savior. This magic site will help the directionally impaired and musically inclined for years to come.
You have to check out iPodiWay pronto. A combination of iPod and Yahoo Directions maps, it allows you to type in driving directions from Point A to Point B (yes, just like on Yahoo maps) and then download them in a handy little ZIP file to your IPod photo folder and be on your way.
The best part of it all? Free, free, free people.