Timbre music app, by Intrepid Pursuits LLC
Free at the iPhone App Store
I need to get out more, and this impressive new app is a pretty good excuse. Timbre helps you find live music at venues all over the United States and gives you free samples of what you’ll hear.
After installing Timbre, just type in your ZIP code or city name. Up pops an elegant listing of the acts playing nearby. Touch the name for more details. You get information on how to buy tickets, as well as the ability to post messages on Twitter or Facebook.
Coolest of all, Timbre automatically plays a selection from the performer. Maybe you’ve heard good things about a band, but would like to sample the merchandise first. Timbre makes it happen. It even provides a link to iTunes, where you can purchase the song if it appeals to you.
I’m not much for nightlife, but I still enjoy stumbling across new music, and Timbre makes it exceptionally easy.
Droid Razr M Android smartphone, by Motorola Mobility LLC
$99.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service contract with Verizon Wireless
The original Droid Razr was as sharp as its name, a remarkably thin Android phone marred by feeble battery life. Later versions featured beefier batteries and cases, making this line of phones look more like cleavers than razors. But the latest in the series is still a sleek and classy piece of gear.
The Razr M is slightly larger than an iPhone, with an elegant white aluminum case clamped together with visible screws. As with other Razrs, the back is made of Kevlar; not to stop bullets, but to give the phone a brick-solid feel in the hand. Motorola says it’s covered the phone with water resistant nanocoating inside and out, even the circuit boards. So it should survive a brief dunking, though I couldn’t bear to take the risk.
With a dual-core processor, a slot for adding up to 32 gigabytes of flash memory, and support for Verizon 4G LTE wireless broadband, the Razr M is definitely a high performer. And its organic liquid crystal display screen is lovely to look at.
For $199.99, the Droid Razr M would be a good deal. At $99.99, it’s outstanding.
Audio Warning Camera, by Swann Communications USA
$48.50 at Amazon.com
Smart security cameras just keep getting smarter and cheaper. This new item from Swann is a good example, well suited for home or small business use.
Unlike other smart cameras, this one isn’t Internet-capable; you can’t view its images on your smartphone or office computer. Instead, you plug it into a TV set or video recorder.
The camera produces a sharp black-and-white image. You get a remote control unit that lets you adjust image brightness and control the camera’s flashing lights and audio warning.
You see, this camera tries to scare off intruders by yelling at them. It has a built-in motion sensor.
Move into range, and the camera plays a stern warning that your activities are being videotaped.
In addition, red and blue lights flash in a menacing sort of way. The overall effect would be quite enough to end my criminal career.
Swann should bring out an Internet-enabled version of this camera, for attachment to a home PC. That would make this impressive gadget even more appealing.