Cases and skins with a hint of creativity

As is the case with any trade show, there were a plethora of cases and skins for the iPhone available. Personally the case I have from Casecrown works great for me and I’ve never felt the need to put a skin on anything, but some of the offerings this year from Uncommon caught my eye (above).

One company snagged my attention with the sheer unique nature and amazing creativity in its designs: GelaSkins. If I didn’t already have a case on my MacBook Pro, I would consider one of these awesome designs for my own machine.

Hey Mikey, I like it, but not at that price

Blue Microphones, maker of the same Snowball USB microphone we use at the Appeal-Democrat, has released a new microphone for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Mikey. It’s a strong, professional sounding microphone that is a great addition for a mobile recording setup. The microphone features a 1/8″ line-in jack to plug in a different microphone.

My only problem so far is the price. The Snowball for the desktop comes in at $99, while Mikey comes in only $20 less at $79. That’s almost the cost of a new iPhone 3G with a two-year contract. Still, if you do a lot of portable recording, this could be a good option to use in the field.

U-Socket brings simple idea to life

U-Socket was a Best of Show winner at Macworld for good reason. It’s a simple idea that I’m surprised hadn’t been developed before and at a great price. It’s an outlet that has the standard two plugs, plus two more for USB charging. It’s expected to ship in the first quarter of this year for $29.95, though is available now for preorder at $19.95.

It’s all about the apps this year

Quick thought after running through the Moscone Center today: It’s smaller in here, just like the products making up a boatload of the booths at Macworld 2010. I did stumble into a sign that at least says they’re planning on having it again next year, but I wonder if they’ll be at Moscone next year.

As it stands now, the North hall is probably about half full with booths. There’s plenty of open real estate on either side of the expo. Plenty of people packing the smaller space and plenty of products. Though there’s no Canon or Nikon, there is a booth offering electrical massages and two more for the New York Times. Though I suppose the Times is giving a different form of massage with its offerings. But more on that later.

Macworld: WE AREN’T OPEN YET!

It’s another quiet day today at Macworld as I type this on a wide-open Moscone Center floor. Well, on a couch, not the floor. But it’s still empty. That is of course because No. 1 I’m in the conference hall where only conference training is going on and No. 2, the actual expo hasn’t started yet.

I just got done talking with a spokesperson for Macworld who told me the biggest thing about today is letting the media members know that they might want to hold off on the “Macworld is down” story line until tomorrow.

For those of you not familiar, the event has two separate sections: The conference and the expo.

The conference kicked off yesterday with two-day training sessions in everything from video editing to Photoshop to network administration. It continues through the week with Users Conferences and Creative Safaris.

The expo is the event most people attend and was the one thought to be the most affected by Apple’s non-presence here. The show floor isn’t open until tomorrow and today is mainly people popping in either to register in person or picking up their badges early.

While IDG – the company responsible for putting on Macworld – is worried about word getting out calling this year’s event a disappointment before it’s even started, it should have had the foresight to do a better job of specifying the dates for the conference and the expo this year to avoid confusion. Not only did this year’s event move back a month on the calendar, it also moved back a day to take advantage of having the floor open on Saturday. While the conference can be a significant revenue generator, the expo is where you pick up the crowds and that’s what vendors are after. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Yes, I’m going to Macworld

In case you forgot or missed it when I mentioned it earlier, yes I am going to Macworld next week and you can come vicariously with me.

I’m hoping to highlight the best the floor has to offer when the expo starts on Thursday with a possible close encounter with an iPad on Saturday. If I don’t get the latter, I may take the Stephen Colbert approach and get my own cable TV show, get an established audience for a few years and then demand Apple give me one. Not sure that plan will work, but there’s only one way to find out.

Also early on in the week I’ll be getting valuable training with Final Cut Pro which I may be able to share bits and pieces with you about.

Make sure to tune in next week as there will be plenty of updates starting Wednesday.

February 2010 Appeal-Democrat pages

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