I leave in a sunny country in Europe and my house has a big backyard where I, my wife and two kids spend a lot of time outside almost any season of the year. We are also music lovers and we have tons of CDs and MP3s stored on my computer. I was looking for a solution to somehow broadcast music to the backyard of my house from my music library. We all know the difficulties to stream audio and music from an electronic source (PC with MP3s for example) to an analog receiver (FM Radio for example). This is not a problem at all if you look at the Whole House FM Transmitter which can receive audio from almost any audio source and transmit it to any FM receiver.
At the beginning I was a little skeptical about getting an FM Transmitter for broadcasting music in my house and backyard. The reason was that most FM Transmitters are relatively weak in terms of coverage and they are mainly for use in your car. After testing the Whole House FM Transmitter 2.0 I was relieved to find out that their claims of 150 feet (50 meters) radius coverage are actually true.
Before continuing with my review for the Whole House FM Transmitter 2.0, let us see some of the specs of this device below:
Use it anywhere you want (Home, Back Yard, Car, Office, Garage, Boat, exercise room, pool side etc).
Covers the entire FM Band Range from 88.1 to 107.9 MHz in steps of 0.1 MHz. This means that you can easily find any unoccupied frequency to transmit your signal.
Receives as input any audio source (MP3 players, iPod, Home Stereo, TV, DVD, DVR, Satellite Radio, Computers PC or MAC, Microphone etc).
Transmits to any FM Receiver.
Covers 150 feet distance but still satisfies the FCC part 15 regulations.
Compact Size and light weight (a little bit larger than the size of a deck of playing cards).
The new Whole House FM Transmitter version 2.0 is built from the ground up with better features, versatility and reliability.
Four ways to power the device (AC Outlet, 3 “AA” Batteries, Computer USB Port and 12V Car Adapter).
30-Day Money Back Guarantee.
It includes all necessary cables and adaptors to start using it immediately (AC adapter, 1/8” (3.5mm) stereo audio cable, USB power cable, 12V DC car power adapter, stereo Y cable, RCA Jack Stereo audio cable).
If you purchase, you will get also 4 Free Bonuses such as Lavalier Microphone, Free USPS Shipping within USA, 1 Year Warranty and Lifetime customer support.
In the box you will find the following items:
Whole House FM Transmitter 2.0
110/220V AC Wall Outlet Adapter
12V DC Car Adapter
1/83 (3.5mm) Stereo Audio Cable
RCA Jack Stereo Audio Adapter
Stereo Audio “Y” Cable
Computer USB Power Adapter
Testing done on Coverage
My first test on how long the unit can transmit was pretty simple. I just connected a CD player with the FM transmitter using the 1/8” stereo audio cable and selected an unused FM frequency in my area. Power for the transmitter was from the AC outlet. Now, because I live in Europe, we use the even numbered frequencies so I selected 104.6 MHz on my FM radio receiver. After setting up the same frequency on the FM Transmitter, I was able to receive the audio strong and clear on my radio from the living room of my house to the far side of my backyard (around 120 feet away).
My second testing was a little more demanding, but I will reveal this test on my website.
The reviewed Whole House FM Transmitter really stands up to its name as a “Whole House” coverage system. If you are in the same situation as me, that is you like to listen to streaming music from a CD player or from your laptop without being bound by distance from the music source, then the Whole House FM system is a great device to broadcast your music on any FM receiver within your home vicinity. Its price tag has also dropped considerably, so why don’t you take a look at the official website of the product to see if it fits your needs. And don’t forget the free shipping within USA and the 30-Day money back guarantee.
TuneUp Fine Tunes Your Music Collection
For those with wildly epic and long MP3 music lists, trying to organize all the songs and artists in a way that makes even a bit of sense can be an unruly chore. A new MP3 software product called TuneUp from Tune Up Media, offers a compelling and inexpensive new plug-in for iTunes and Windows Media Player to clean up, analyze and add some pretty cool features – tailored to your music taste – to any jumbled song index.
TuneUp is a fairly intuitive product that is easy to master. The software has four main features to help you get your music database in order: Clean, Cover Art, Tuniverse and Concerts.
The Clean feature analyzes your music collection and if you have multiple spellings of artists, or tracks that are labeled “unknown artist,” TuneUp will literally clean up and fill in missing data such as the artist and year the album was released. The process here is simple – all you have to do is click and drag your songs from your music database to TuneUp and the software will automatically tap into its own immense database to identify, tag and fix your tracks so you have a seamless song list that is organized and complete.
Not only will all of your songs have the correct artist, title and tracks, your list will be arranged by genre such as “urban” or “disco.” Once this process is complete, it will be easy to pull up your songs from the list without the arduous task of searching for “Stairway to Heaven” that may be spelled out in multiple ways (i.e. “stairway to heaven,” or “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN,” etc.). If you are a little worried about the software messing with your music list, don’t, you will have the opportunity to review the changes before TuneUp implements your cleaned-up database.
Anyone who has owned a record album or CD collection knows the joy of reading the album labels. You get interesting tidbits about the artists and the songs – and insight about the recording of the album that you might not otherwise know. Most people with a size-able music database often have several gray images in place of the actual cover art. Therefore, Cover Art will literally search its multiple databases to fill in your missing cover art. Similarly to the Clean feature, Cover Art allows you to review all the new changes before new cover art is implemented.
The TuneUp folks recommend that for Cover Art to really work well, you should first have your song list “cleaned up” by the Clean feature, making it easier for the software to identify the right album covers.
TuneUp is much more than a song list organization tool – it helps you enjoy your music across mediums. For example, if you are listening to Not Afraid by Eminem, the Tuniverse feature will locate the accompanying video from YouTube, as well as scour the Internet for live performances and other related videos such as artist interviews so that you can satiate your Eminem fix in multiple modes.
The Concerts feature should be a favorite of all music lovers who suddenly realize that their favorite artist is playing in their city, but it’s too late to buy tickets because the concert just sold out. Concerts will provide up-to-date information about concerts in your area – giving you plenty of time to buy tickets. This feature also provides links to all the major ticketing vendors so you can just click on the icon and have your tickets in minutes. According to the TuneUp Web site, coming soon, this Concerts will also provide email alerts through your calendar about upcoming concerts of your favorite artists.
Specifications for TuneUp:
For both Mac and PC
• No proxy or firewalls
• DSL or Internet connection
• Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7
• 20MB of available hardware space and 2 GB of RAM
• iTunes or 7.4 or Windows Media Player
• Digital music in MP3, M4A or WMA format
• Intel machine running 10.4 or later
• iTunes 7.4 or greater
• 1GB RAM
• Digital music in MP3 or M4A format
Okkervil River is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1998, the band takes its name from a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. Okkervil River consist of Scott Brackett (Trumpet/ Keyboards), Brian Cassidy (Vocals, Electric Guitar, Mandolin), Travis Nelsen (Drums), Patrick Pestorius (Bass), Will Sheff (Vocals/Guitar), Justin Sherburn (New Member) and Lauren Gurgiolo (New Member). Former member, Jonathan Meiburg (Vocals, Keyboards, Accordion) left the band to pursue as a singer and songwriter in his new band, Shearwater. The band has garnered positive critical reception, especially noted are each song’s lyrics, intricate instrumentation, and thematic albums. Okkervil River play songs that are heart-felt and all songs written by them are actually beautiful poems that ought to be remembered for a long long time. Clever lyrics combined with music that are full of emotions and touch everyone’s heart upon listen. They are as big as the Amazon River.
The Stand Ins is such a matured album that even Adult and Elderly People will fall in love with it. It’s definitely a perfect album for my parents’ wedding anniversary. It has 3 tracks which are pure instrumentals.
“Stand Ins, One” is just 48 seconds long and is the intro to The Stand Ins. It started off slowly and gradually picked up and got louder. Accordian can be heard throughout this song and at times, it sounded creepy to me. Nonetheless, this track will get you ready and build up the tempo and excitement in you for the next track.
What i love about “Lost Coastlines” apart from the awesome lyrics is its music. Patrick Pestorius’ playing of bass gets my head nodding each time i listen to this track. Not only that, the mandolin and trumpet also created an atmosphere as if i’m watching a big group of orchestra performance. As Will sings, “But we find the maps he sent to us don’t mention lost coastlines…”. He knows that they are lost on the shoreline.. And when it comes to the end, it will not be long when you finally find yourself singing along with Okkervil River.. “La, la, la…”
The beginning of “Singer Songwriter” resembles “Ain’t No Easy Way” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club”, and it tells the story about a girl who has everything that she could ever ask for.. But due to this very same fact, she failed in everything she chose to do.. And nothing’s gonna change her world.. It’s also one of the loudest track on The Stand Ins where various guitar playings can be heard throughout this track. Beautiful country rock song where you can imagine a group of elderly people enjoying and dancing to this power-pop country rock track. Love it!
“Starry Stairs” should have been the last track on this album. It just has the quality to end an album. Will sings as if he is sad.. “If you don’t love me, i’m sorry”. It’s the most memorable moment on this track. As he goes on, he sings about how a girl that he loves, lied to him. He has no choice but to say goodbye.. All the Starry Stairs seem to be falling apart as he climbs.. Definitely a track to look out for on The Stand-Ins! Play this song if you found out that your girlfriend is lying to you or hiding something from you! Make her know that you’re saying goodbye..
Clocking in at over 6 minutes long is “Blue Tulip”. The longest song on this album. Blue Tulip, again sings about a girl who lies.. “Hats off to my distant hope, a little lie, a puff of smoke…”, sings Will, and as he sings, i feel the pain he’s in. I feel sorry for him. Such a sad song that it’s impossible to ignore this powerful ballad which sings the way to your heart. And it’s one of the reasons Okkervil River is famous for!
“Stand Ins, Two” is another instrumental. A slow guitar plucking and piano playing. As if Okkervil River is taking a brief break from this album.
As its title suggests, “Pop Lie” is about lies. A story about a man who lies in his pop songs. Thus, Pop Lie. Damn, Okkervil River is good at it! They write songs that’s so complicated until i have to listen countlessly to Pop Lie before i could figure out the real meaning behind this song. A man who has so many fans, from kids to adults, lies whenever he sings. Is this the real world out there? You be the judge. Anyway, it’s a guitar-power-packed song that is so radio friendly! Cheers to Okkervil River!
“On Tour with Zykos” is specially written for Okkervil River’s past member, Jonathan Meiburg. Will wishes him all the best on his future undertaking… “Roll your crew on down the road, to the next sold out show… ” I really love the piano playing of this song. I can feel the friendship shared between Okkervil River and Jonathan. And it reminds me of the friendship shared between Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. Incredible farewell song to Jonathan!
“Calling and Not Calling My Ex” is a very radio-friendly track. At first listen, i already knew i would like this song. The beat and tempo of this song is just perfect that it’ll make you go on remembering this song, especially the beginning of this song. “God knows i’m feeling really stupid now, forever having said goodbye…” is the phrase that i always recall whenever i listen to this song. And another praise for the piano of this song. I just find it very appealing and infectious..
“Stand Ins, Three”, another instrumental. Violin can be heard throughout this track until it subsides where it jump to another track… More or less, it’s the prelude to the next song…
“Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 19793 is the track that closes The Stand Ins. Before ending The Stand Ins, Okkervil River managed to close this album on thematic and anthemic note. This song is a slow ballad that Will sings, “Pull down the shades, let’s kill the morning…”, as if he’s disappointed and despair in love. But like most closing song, it ended on a high note, high spirit, trumpet, guitar and drums all came in together to make this a memorable one. Okkervil River have done it again!
Rating: I’m speechless… I’m totally impressed with the lyrics written by Okkervil River. The have this ability to write songs with lyrics that are so cryptic that we have to think through the words in order to understand the real meaning behind those lyrics. Not only that, their music landscape and genre is so focused that they are becoming the pioneer in what they are doing. Beautiful and heart-felt songs all in The Stand Ins, i honestly give it 7.5 out of 10. Cheers!