Tag Archives: ipod

[ENDED] WIN! £15 to spend on the iTunes store (UK)

Yes – it’s competition time again! This time, we’re giving away a £15 iTunes gift voucher for you to spend anywhere on the iTunes store. Whether you’re looking to stock up on some new music or just want to grab some cool apps for your iPhone, iPod or iPad – this is the competition for you.

As with the last competition – all you need to do to enter is simply like GEEK! on Facebook (go to the page and click ‘Like’) and then fill in the form underneath.

This competition has now ended. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Rewind: A look back at GEEK! so far

Well, GEEK! is just over three years old now; and during that time I’ve written over 400 posts. So, while I don’t really want to add anything too new to GEEK! while I get my backup system finalised, I thought now would be a good time to run over some of the posts have brought the most traffic to GEEK!.

By far and away, the most popular post on GEEK! is the “Get the old Windows Live Essentials back“. So many of you were fed up with the poor functionality of Essentials 2011 (including me), so I linked you up with a download and instructions to get the old 2009 version back.

Next up, it’s the tool I found that allowed you to find the biggest files on your hard drive. The tiny tool quickly locates the files that are occupying the most space on your drive, allowing you to delete anything you see as unnecessary.

My review of the Samsung N145P netbook brought the next largest amount of attention to GEEK!. A fully comprehensive review that details everything you needed to know.

Not too far behind, my finding of TVCatchup back in mid 2009 provided Freeview TV access over the internet (in the UK). I still use the site regularly when I’m on the go, as it provides live TV without a bombardment of adverts.

Last in the top five, it’s my iPod touch 4G review. Simple and sweet – it explains all the new features that were (and still are) great additions to the iPod range.

And that’s it – a round-up of the top five biggest posts on GEEK!. Normal service on GEEK! will resume soon, but I’m just optimising the backup process on my new VPS!

Are wireless headphones just over-hyped or are they worth the extra money?

This review is outdated and no longer valid. Please return to our homepage.

I was recently browsing through the Amazon store for a new pair of headphones. I have countless pairs of earphones – some of which have great sound quality – but they tend to break so easily and are only goody for light use.

However, whilst browsing, it crossed my mind to have a look at some wireless headphones. I’ve previously known them to be very expensive and many of them seem to have poor build and sound quality.

However, I stumbled across a £24 pair on Amazon that had good reviews and thought I didn’t have much to lose – so I bought a pair.

It’s fair to say – considering the price tag – they’re brilliant. They aren’t branded (so those of you who like to show off their brands – these aren’t for you!), but that never seems to bother me!

The sound quality is relatively good and I was pleasantly surprised. The headphones have decent bass and don’t seem to sound “tinny” in the slightest.

They will happily connect to any Bluetooth audio device in stereo and/or mono (eg PC, iPod touch 2G or above, iPhone, any smartphone, etc) and it’s really simple to get them going. Simply hold down the multifunction key for 7 seconds (when the blue and red LEDs flash) and connect to them as normal.

I was also really impressed by the battery life. I’ve had these headphones for several days now and have used them for hours on end – and they’ve still only been charged once! They usually outrun the battery life of my iPod by miles!!

My only minor complaint is the LEDs on the device. When you’re using the headphones, a blue LED flashes occasionally. Whilst this is fine in a well lit room or outside, it can be irritating if you’re trying to use them in the dark or at night.

Other than that, they’re a fantastic pair of budget wireless headphones and seem to outsmart many of their more expensive competitors. At £24 a pair, you really don’t have much to lose.

Fix USB devices not charging on laptops/netbooks (Windows 7)

Last night, I came across a minor issue on my netbook. I want to be able to charge some of my many USB devices (such as my phone, iPod, mifi) while on the go, but I couldn’t get them to charge properly.

For example, I tried to plug in my mifi to charge it up on my long trip home – the computer recognised it fine and it charged for a few seconds – but after a little while the device reported it wasn’t charging.

I’ve discovered the problem is caused by a little power saving feature in Windows 7. It has a feature built-in that automatically reduces the power supplied to a USB device if it is not in use. Whilst this is a handy idea, it’s pretty annoying when I want to charge gadgets.

If you’re having the same issue, here’s the fix.

Go to Control Panel (make sure you’re viewing all options – by selecting Large/Small Icons in the “View by” menu), click Power Options and then choose the power plan that you’re using most (in time you might want to go through all of them). For the power plan you’ve selected click “Change Plan Settings” and then “Change advanced power settings”.

Now you’ll need to navigate to the “USB settings” plus button. Click it, then the plus button of “USB selective suspend setting” and you should see the following.


They’re probably set to Enabled. If they are, here’s your problem. Set it to Disabled for both On Battery and Plugged In, click Apply, and that should solve your problem.

If you can’t modify the settings because the options are all greyed out, it’s because your computer’s manufacturer is using some form of power management software that doesn’t want you to change the settings. In the case of my Samsung netbook, it was “Fast Start”. Disable whatever crud it is that’s greying out the options and you’ll be able to modify the settings. 

iPod Touch 4G Review (8GB) – everything there is to know

If you’ve been a long term reader of GEEK!, you’ll probably know that for the last 18 months I’ve been the proud owner of an 8GB 2G iPod touch. Over it’s time it has served me very well and became one of those gadgets I can’t leave the house without. However, this week, I decided that the 128MB of RAM and 533Mhz processor just isn’t enough to cope with iOS4.

So, I ordered a brand new 4G iPod Touch. I decided to stick with the 8GB model as I don’t really listen to enough music to want much more – plus the lack of a 16GB model makes the jump to 32GB far too expensive.

Yesterday, I manned the front door waiting for my special delivery from the postman. It came, and I have to say – I adore it. It is such a huge improvement on the preceding iPod touch models.

I think the thing that takes my eye the most is the new retina display. When Apple announced this for the iPhone earlier this year, I was a bit sceptical. Having never been an iPhone owner, I wasn’t really ever given the chance to be proven wrong that the retina display was some over-hyped piece of technology made up by Apple. Oh how wrong I was. The retina display ups the resolution of iPod touch’s 3.2 inch display from 320×240 to 960×640 – at a whopping 326 pixels per inch. This is very noticeable and makes one heck of a difference when viewing web pages or simply looking at images on the screen. So that got an immediate thumbs-up from me.

The next thing that I noticed was the vast improvement in speed. The new iPod touch 4G comes with the same Apple A4 chip that’s in the iPhone, giving it 1Ghz of power* (up from 553Mhz on the 2nd gen). In addition, they’ve double the RAM from 128MB to 256MB which makes multitasking so quick and simple. They actually disabled multitasking for the 2G because there wasn’t enough RAM – and although I usually disagree with Apple’s choices, they were right in disabling it. Even if you jailbreak the 2G to enable multitasking, it doesn’t work very well and causes frequent crashes. On the new 4G, apps load up so much quicker! In general, switching from app to app is also much less time consuming.

Multitasking itself has also become a fantastic feature on the 4G – not only for games, but also for VoIP apps like Skype. I can now run a Skype call, minimize Skype, and continue writing my emails or browsing the net whilst the call remains active (although I myself am not very good at multitasking!!). Take a look at the screenshot (and yes, click it to admire the beautiful resolution of it!)…

The red bar at the top signals that the call is still active, so I can just carry on with what I’m doing! Win for multitasking!

The built in microphone is also a considerable advantage over older iPod touch models. I can now make Skype calls without the need for a headset and they sound crystal clear. Sadly I haven’t yet had the chance to give FaceTime a go.

However, this does bring me neatly onto the 2 cameras that Apple has fitted on the device. They aren’t particularly high resolution, but do the job fine for casual out-and-about shots. The rear camera can also shoot 720p video which is very cool and looks very decent.

When you’ve had enough of messing with the OS itself, you’ll notice that the device is also considerably thinner than it’s predecessor. They’ve made the back of the device flat which is extremely useful for typing as it doesn’t roll around on the desk any more – a very big problem with the older iPod touch models. They have also changed the design slightly. The built-in speaker is now on the exterior of the device (finally!) and not in the headphone jack. In addition, they’ve switched the positioning of the sleep button from left to right – something that will take a little getting used to.

So, as you can probably see, I love my upgrade. The rather expensive £189 price tag for the lowest model is quite a lot higher than previous models, but to be honest I do think it’s worth the extra few pounds.

The new 4G iPod touch has very similar specs to the iPad and the iPhone 4 – effectively making it an iPad with a smaller screen or an iPhone without the phone.

For a portable gadget without the hassle of a contract, it’s perfect. If you’ve got a 3rd generation iPod touch, this probably isn’t worth the upgrade. However, if you’re still on the 2nd generation, you should really be looking to upgrade. I managed to sell my old 8GB 2G for £65 on eBay, taking a fair chunk out of the price of a new 4G. If you’re a frequent iPod touch user, I advise you to upgrade (and I’m an Apple-basher, so this means a lot!).

Wow. That was a long review!

*Update 16/11/2010: It has come to my attention that this was never actually confirmed. Although the A4 chip is capable of 1Ghz clock speed, Apple never confirmed whether it was actually running at this speed in the iPhone and iPod touch.