The iPhone: Cheap medical super microscope

Apple’s iPhone is getting an improved camera with the iPhone 4S, but a medical research team has gone a step further, turning the iPhone into a powerful, professional-caliber imaging and chemical detection device. This could be a big help to medical teams working in developing areas.

4 tips (and a hack) to make your iPad work-worthy

I have to admit, I’m still not convinced that the iPad will be my laptop replacement. However, with the help of the Apple wireless keyboard and some other peripherals and apps, it can come close. Here are some tips to make your iPad work-worthy:

iPod Nano Gains Camera, Microphone and Speaker, Larger Screen

ipod_nanoSo it seems like case manufacturers were only half right when it came to their designs for new iPods. The iPod touch didn’t get a camera at today’s special “Rock and Roll” Apple (s aapl) event, but the iPod nano did.

Not only that, but it also got a built-in mic and speaker, which makes sense when you consider that people will be using it to record video. Yes, the camera it received is not just for stills, and is intended to position Apple’s svelte media player as a direct competitor with the Flip portable video recorder. Read More about iPod Nano Gains Camera, Microphone and Speaker, Larger Screen

Rumor Has It: New iPod Touch With Camera/Mic Already in Production

ipodtouchcameraconcept

By now, we’re no stranger to rumors of a new iPod touch model complete with a built-in camera and microphone. Even without sources backing up these claims, it just seems like the logical next step for Apple (s aapl) to take with the device if it wants to keep providing consumers with an incentive to upgrade. The latest word is not only that these rumors are accurate, but that the device in question is already on the assembly line in China.

The source, a “well-connected” one talking to Wired.com, claims that circulating rumors about the camera and microphone are both spot on. They even confirm that the camera included in the new iPod touch (which was last updated at the beginning of September in 2008, making this the longest interval between model changes) will indeed be able to capture both images and video. And it will include an external mic, in addition to the external speaker and headset support included in the current iteration. Read More about Rumor Has It: New iPod Touch With Camera/Mic Already in Production

Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser microphone I had the first chance to use my new Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser microphone in anger for the first time the other day when recording piano and voice for a short film proposal.
Appearances matter, and the rigid shrink wrap style of blister packaging the Samson C01U had arrived in didn’t do it justice. It’s usually only cheap audio/video leads masquerading as expensive ones and factory made cheeses that find themselves in clear, bubble packages, not studio quality condenser microphones.
Once unwrapped however, the weight (nearly half a kilo), size and obvious quality of design and manufacture combined to negate this first appearance. It is a lovely looking, feel-good bit of kit.
There is a mic stand mount included, which is fairly sturdy looking and well designed but worryingly I’m pretty sure it’s made of plastic. This means taking it off the stand for safety before slinging the stand in the back of your car.
The only other useful item included in the bubble was a middling long usb cable which I have just measured at 2.9mts.
This is a little bit on the stingy side when supplying just 5mts would have given the maximum reach for a single high speed usb cable and I immediately found myself having to move my MacBook closer to the mic stand. The usb cable length can be seen in a slightly more reasonable light bearing in mind the very prominent sticker on the front of the C01U which reads ‘Ideal for PODCASTING’ (their capitals) and of course the name of the mic – Studio. I was on location and recording a piano.
Samson C01U USB Studio Condenser microphone It is entirely possible to use the C01U as it is with your Mac straight out of the box, I checked and it does work. But this would mean missing out on the added versatility of Samson’s SoftPre applet software which needs downloading for free from their site. SoftPre adds the possibility of an Input Level Meter, Volume control, High-pass filter and Phase Switch to the functionality of the C01U.
I struggled with getting this to work for a little while as it means reading the notes…but the order of service goes like this: connect usb cable to mic, plug in to any free usb port on your Mac, fire up Garageband (with Logic you need to alter settings in the system Audio/Midi but full instructions are available from Samson’s site), go to Preferences, Audio/Midi, Audio Input & choose the Samson. When prompted to change drivers click yes. The SoftPre gui can be made to float on top of everything else which helps when switching back and forth between it and Garageband.
I loved the quality of the recordings achieved with the C01U straight away. I’m no professional at this but their clarity and quality was instantly noticeable. The speed and ease of set-up was fantastic. It worked exactly as it should have and none of the other musicians present so much as commented on the presence of a usb cable or lack of an audio interface box. Recording with the Samson C01U was one of those computer experiences which stand-out by being almost completely transparent.
This is a very capable, easy to use, all round microphone which gives great results simply and easily and sits really comfortably next to your Mac in almost any situation. If you are into podcasting or need to record a piano, the Samson C01U will work for you.