Liisten

Tyler is a music and technology enthusiast, so this is a collection of items related to music and technology.

Read this first

Meural Review: Forget What You Knew About Digital Frames

It’s not the same kind of exhilaration you feel while speeding down the highway at high speeds, but having a wall frame that instantly shows new art on a whim is definitely exciting and kind of addicting.

Meural’s digital canvas is a digital frame, but there are a few things that separate it from others. First it’s pretty big, with a 27-inch anti-glare display and second, it’s framed and made to look like realistic art, hung and displayed on a wall.

In my mind, and probably others as well, digital frames have this bad rap from the last decade of cheap 7-inch frames which were low resolution and hard to use. These were the commoditized ones trying to capitalize on holiday shoppers and the random gift idea. Meural is bucking those stereotypes.

IMG_2509.JPG

 Set up

From opening the box to getting a selected image on the screen, it was about 20 minutes, half of which was due to hidden and slightly...

Continue reading →


Here’s Why HomePod Is Amazing

The smart/connected home speaker war is underway. While eventually some of these companies battling might have to concede, consumers are currently the ones winning with a swath of fantastic choices for home audio.

IMG_0063.JPG

 If you’re interested, you can read about how the Google Home Max and Sonos Play:5 compare to each other.

In terms of the HomePod, consensus from early reviews is that it sounds good, but Siri is lacking. In practice I think the reviews are over thinking this home audio space a little bit. After trying nearly every Sonos speaker, Google Home Max, Echo, and now a HomePod, I think Apple has a one of the most compelling offerings.

Big Picture

  • HomePod is compact, but has really loud, amazing sounding audio quality
  • Siri covers all the basics for people getting into voice assistants

The HomePod doesn’t look like a speaker in the way Home Max and Play:5 do, giving it more...

Continue reading →


Tesla Model 3 Wireless Charging

Tesla’s new Model 3 may not come with a wireless Qi charger that new phones like iPhone 8 and iPhone X can utilize, but there will soon be a way to add one.

Tesla Wireless Pad is a rubber mat, made to fit in the existing phone section of the Model 3, where currently Tesla provides two charging connectors. (There should be a Model S version of the Tesla Wireless Pad coming as well.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 2.57.25 PM.png

While the Tesla Wireless Pad looks fantastic and price shouldn’t be an issue for Model 3 owners, one of the biggest questions is how effective any Qi charger will be. The USB ports for the rear seats in the Model 3 appear to be 2.4A, while the front media console USB ports appear to only output 1A, which will limit the speed of charging–likely to 5W. (Translation: slow.)

Still, if you’re looking for an easy way to throw your capable phone down, have it charge some, this is a good looking option. You can...

Continue reading →


Google Home Max vs. Sonos Play:5

These two speakers aren’t going to cannibalize each other at this point in time, but the realities are, anyone looking at a Google Home Max wants to know how it compares to Sonos Play:5 and vice versa. They are too similar in form, price, and function, not to be an obvious choice for someone who wants this type of speaker.

IMG_4531.JPG

On their own, each is an awesome home stereo system replacement, capable of annoying next door neighbors. Directly compared, however, neither one is the clear cut winner on all aspects—sound and capabilities.

 Sound

Both of these speakers sound great. The main differentiation for most people likely won’t be the sound, but the capabilities and how each functions as an internet connected speaker.

In broad strokes, the Google Play Max has more distinct bass and present treble out of the box. It makes an impact to play a song, slide the volume up as loud as your ears...

Continue reading →


The Best Music, TV Shows, and Movies of 2017

What were the best songs, albums, and shows? Here’s my take on dissecting 2017’s media and ranking this year’s best. Hopefully you’ll discover something new.

 Albums

10 - Mutemath - Play Dead
An album which marks a continued evolution of the band’s sound, but might turn out to be their last.

9 - John Mark McMillan - Mercury & Lightning
A slightly unexpected release which authentically connects through McMillan’s own flavor of pop.

8 - The War On Drug - A Deeper Understanding
Rock ’n roll circa 2017

7 - The Lighthouse And The Whaler - Paths
Spunky and raw, The Lighthouse And The Whaler walk a fine line that continues to work beautifully.

6 - Phoenix - Ti Amo
After hearing the first single, I was hoping Phoenix would put out a summer album and they did. It is perfectly breezy.

5 - Haim - Something To Tell You
Nearly every song has incredibly tight hooks which makes them hard not...

Continue reading →


Gift Guide - Music, Tech, EDC

This actually isn’t so much a “gift guide” as it is a list of items that I’ve enjoyed, products that are interesting, and ideas for the hard to shop for person who’s into tech, media, and EDC.

  • Baron Fig - Squire $55 Once you hold this pen in your hand, the fuss about it begins to make more sense. It feels great and writes well.

squire_gallery_02.jpg

  • Moviepass $9.99/month or $89/year

If you were going to go to a movie every couple of months anyway, this makes a lot of financial sense, but it’s really awesome to be able to take a chance on a new movie without feeling disappointed when it turns out to be a dud.

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 2.50.45 PM.png

  • Aer - Flightpack $150

This will not be the last backpack I own or try, but I am a fan of the 3-way style (backpack and messenger) and this one does both really well.

1500013386199.jpeg

  • Allbirds - Loungers $95

I like the standard Allbirds, but didn’t love the style. I really like the slip-ons.

Allbirds_M_Wool_Lounger_BLACK_ANGLE.png

  • A...

Continue reading →


Here Are The Next Animojis Apple Should Add

Animoji, iPhone X’s face-detecting emoji, were a question mark in people’s mind until #AnimojiKaraoke hit and everything made sense.

If you look through the current 12 options for Animoji currently, each has its strengths and weaknesses, in terms of facial expressions–for example the robot displays the least emotion.

Which emoji should Apple let people animate with their faces? Here are my picks.

Lion, Chick, Creepy Clown, Ghost, Fish, and Whale.

Obviously there are some choices which seem more likely, like the Koala, or Bear, but those feel really close to other cute, furry creatures. I think ones like the Lion, Clown, Ghost, and Fish, are some of the most popular emojis, and add some diversity in situations Animoji might be sent.

IMG_0028.PNG

IMG_0029.PNG

IMG_0027 2.PNG

Continue reading →


The Best Streaming Music Service Is Apple Music

It’s late 2017, you want to recommend a streaming music service, which one do you pick?

Over at The Sweet Setup I wrote about the best streaming music service in 2014, I updated it in 2015, and now we’ve just updated it again. A lot has changed over those few year, including the recommendation. It’s no longer Spotify, It’s now Apple Music.

1BC35BEA-6945-411C-802B-61300BE604C2.jpeg

You can read the nearly 4,000 words as to why I think Apple Music is the best pick for most people, but I did want to add just a little more commentary to the decision.

Read The Sweet Setup’s pick for best streaming music service

First, Spotify is great and just because I think Apple Music is the best service to recommend to a majority of people, doesn’t take anything away from that company or service.

Second, it really is Apple Music and Spotify as the two leaders in the streaming music space. A few years ago it was unclear how many streaming...

Continue reading →


Convert Your DVDs To Digital Movies

DVDs and Blu-rays feel like a waste of space now with streaming video services and the ability to buy movies digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, and Google Play.

Not just space, but connected set-top boxes also make it way more convenient to find and watch a movie across multiple devices.

So, how do you take your DVDs and Blur-rays and convert them to digital copies you can access from your phone, tablet, or TV? Here’s a little hack that makes it easy:

Walmart owned Vudu introduced a feature a while back called Disc To Digital which went a little under the radar. When it launched you could scan a barcode, select SD or HD and then pay a small fee to convert them to digital.

IMG_4310.PNG

It was something people had been wanting, but Vudu didn’t have an Apple TV app at the time and it didn’t make that much sense to revolve your digital movie library around a service that was the most likely to be...

Continue reading →


I Made A You A Mix, Vol 1

You need something to listen to, so listen to these new songs.

Mansions - “Heel Theme”

Tourist - “We Stayed Up All Night”

The Lighthouse and The Whaler - “Paths”

Madi Diaz - “The One You Want”

Jaja Bu - “Caroline”

Continue reading →