Microsoft's Audio update causes crashes on new Lumias

Microsoft has rolled out an update for the Audio settings part of Windows 10 Mobile. This latest release improves the user interface of the settings area, enabling you to manage your sound output and equalizer options in a more unified experience.

Microsoft 3D audio tech makes virtual sounds sound real

Microsoft's research into 3D audio could become a big boon to virtual and augmented reality applications like the Oculus Rift and Valve's 3D glasses. Essentially, the technology turns simple headphones into ones that can mirror where the sound is supposed to be coming from to create an even more immersive environment in applications like gaming.

Nokia tweaks Audio settings in latest Lumia update

Nokia has pushed out (what we think is a small) update for their Audio settings app. The app is found in the Nokia Collection, though searching for it often reveals nothing. Today, version has gone live to the Store and users can either force check the update if on Windows Phone 8.1 (Store > Settings > Check for updates) or you can just follow our link below.

Nokia Audio gets a rare update, though changes remain a mystery

Besides PhotoBeamer, Nokia is also pushing out an update out for Audio today with a minor version change. For those who aren’t familiar, Nokia Audio is a sound settings app that gives access to the 7-band equalizer with 20 presets in addition to Dolby Headphone, Audio Leveling and now Flip to Silence in Amber devices (for phone calls). In short, it’s a pretty serious app if you listen to music on your Lumia (and after the update for Nokia Music yesterday, who isn’t these days?).

Bing Audio music matching expands to 14 new countries - get your groove on

Last week we reported that unconfirmed rumors on Reddit had hinted that Microsoft might be expanding it's Bing Audio music matching service. Today, the company announced that it would in fact be expanding the service into 14 new countries around the world. The music matching service is a great alternative to applications like Shazam, as it comes pre-bundled into the Windows Phone operating system.

No time to read? Check out SoundGecko version 2.0, which is now live in the Windows Phone Store

We’ve covered SoundGecko before, the media project that Long Zheng is a part of and veteran Windows Phone users will familiar with. The app and service allows users to “flag” articles to be converted into audio format, perfect for those of you who want to “read” while driving or who’s eyes are just too tired. What’s more, the service in its basic form is free (though there is a paid option with more features) and it launched with a fancy Windows Phone app.

Now we’re excited to announce that version 2.0 is live in the Store. So what’s new? The app now features “stations” for easier content discovery. Basically, you can now follow specific topics of your choosing or even specific brands and websites (or a combo).

SoundGecko updated to correct bug caused by the Windows Phone Store

SoundGecko has received an update that fixes a major usability issue with the initial release. However, unlike most patches, the cause wasn’t with the developer, but instead with the Windows Phone Store. When you release an app for all three major smartphone platforms and achieve feature parity across the board, you expect all users to have a similar experience. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for SoundGecko when it launched for Windows Phone back in September. 

Nokia’s custom audio equalizer gets pictured for Windows Phone 8

Nokia's custom audio equaizer for the Lumia 820

Just this morning we reported on Nokia’s exclusive Dolby Headphone system coming to their new Lumia Windows Phone 8 lineup. The technology would be used to augmented and enhance the native Windows Phone capabilities, giving users a great music experience.

As it turns out, video of the app already exists and was demonstrated in New York. We snapped a few screencaps of the app in action and here is what we can tell you..

HTC to release Bluetooth headphones device for Windows Phones?

Bluetooth accessory for HTC Windows Phone owners?

HTC could be building a portfolio of official accessories for its Windows Phone 8 family of smartphones if a recently published video is anything to go by. Nokia has unveiled a number of extras that future customers can purchase to further enrich the Lumia Windows Phone experience. Through the inclusion of wireless charging and NFC, the company can offer a collection of products that stand out.

It looks as though the Taiwanese manufacturer is deciding to go down a similar route in attempt to increase profit margins on the platform. With the Beats Audio for marketing, HTC can make use of the popular brand to push forward media accessories, including Bluetooth devices and headphones.

Quick demo of the HTC 8X with audio amplifier

As you may have noticed, the new HTC 8X for Windows Phone 8 features a nice little hardware amplifier (2.55v) to boost audio output.

We got to sample it today in New York and you’ll see as I try to narrate over the audio, I simply cannot compete. While it’s hard to get the “real feel” via video, from our limited experience we can say it does indeed make a difference. Audio is noticeably louder and just as sharp without distortion. Running a line-out to some speakers or other media device should ensure some pumping tunes, perfect for the media-savvy consumer out there.

While boosted audio is not everyone’s selling point for a new phone, we can certainly see many folks considering this the icing on the cake for the stellar looking 8X.

SoundGecko comes to Windows Phone, converts online articles into audible MP3s

Update (1pm ET): The Windows Phone Store link is now active

For those of you who commute or find yourself traveling a lot, you’ll soon be able to make your life a lot more interesting as 121Cast's SoundGecko app has finally landed for Windows Phone. We wrote on SoundGecko earlier in anticipation of the app and that day is just about upon us.

The app has passed Windows Phone certification and is just waiting to be “pushed” to the Store. Windows Phone Central managed to get our hands on it slightly early and we’re more than glad to give you the tour in the video above.

The service, found at, is free for the basic level and it allows you to convert 30 articles a month into audio format. The service works by finding a web link of a story you want to listen to later and sending it to SoundGecko (you can even use the nifty Chrome plugin to automate the process).

Microsoft, VideoSurf and the Windows Phone 8 connection to Bing

Is VideoSurf's technology used in Windows Phone 8?

With today’s leak of supposed Windows Phone 7.8 features (that list is reportedly not complete either) perhaps the most interesting aspect was the new Windows Phone 8 feature with TV support via Bing Audio.

We speculated that this was an IntoNow-like service whereby you can ID television shows by letting your phone sample audio from whatever you are watching. This is analogous to the Bing Audio music ID feature introduced in Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. The question is how would Microsoft do this? Did they just invent their own video-audio ID service?

The answer may be found with an acquisition by Microsoft late last year of a company called VideoSurf (; press release).

Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak chooses the Lumia 900 over Android, calls Windows Phone "intuitive and beautiful"

Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, calls Windows Phone "Intuitive and beautiful"

We reported recently that co-founder of Apple and all around cool geek Steve Wozniak was looking to purchase a Nokia Lumia 900 (WPCentral review) The info came via his Twitter feed where he posted from Foursquare. At the time, he was waiting for the AT&T store to open to check out the flagship Windows Phone.

Since then, we haven't heard much. In fact, there was no confirmation that he had even purchased the device but as it turns out, he did and what's more, he loves it. Over at, Dan Patterson, Todd Moore and Gina Smith not only caught up with "the Woz" but got him on tape talking about his experience with Windows Phone and the Lumia 900.

The Report: Tech News and Geek Culture, EP 002 - Steve Wozniak Interview by KoPoint

As it turns out, he carries around multiple Android phones and a couple of iPhones too and while he still ultimately prefers the iPhone (due to all the apps), he had nothing but praise for the Windows Phone OS and the Lumia 900. Here are a few choice quotes:

"Just for looks and beauty I definitely favor the Windows Phone over Android"

"....I'm just shocked, I haven't seen anything yet that isn't more beautiful than the other platforms"

"Intuitive and beautiful"

"it's makes me feel 'Oh my gosh, I'm with a friend not a tool'" (In regards to the animations and graphics)

"I just really like the experience and will be carrying the Windows Phone everywhere"

He also notes how apps look just "more beautiful than on Android or iPhone"

In short, the Woz is really enamored with the esthetics of the phone, the ease of use and just how the OS pops and slides everywhere. It's a strong endorsement although he does have the usual complaints including how you can't do speech-to-text everywhere like on iPhone or Android or the lack of a Siri-like tool for asking questions (although we have AskZiggy).

The Woz also still defaults to his iPhone but as you can hear in the audio above, the Lumia 900 will be going everywhere with him, which is more than he can say for Android.

It sounds like Microsoft and Nokia may have just received their next big endorsement. While there is still much work to do for the OS and on our hardware, we may have just scored one of the most symbolic victories in quite some time.

Update: Steve Wozniak responded in comments on aNewDomain to clarify a few things. It's a little hilarious too.

"Wrong. iPhone is my favorite phone. I did give my opinion that the Windows 7 phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn’t yet have the breadth of apps. I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things."

Source: The Report at; Thanks, jedi12, for the tip and Vygantas, for the new quote

Windows Phone App Review: TWiT (Updated) is a network of technology shows ranging from Windows Weekly to TWiT Photo to Tech News Today. TWiT, the Windows Phone app, brings all the goodness of to your Windows Phone.

TWiT, the appis well laid out and covers twenty nine network shows. And each of those shows have dozens of episodes. All of which means that TWiT has plenty of tech talk to satisfy the geekiest of appetites.

HTC Sound Enhancer pulled from Marketplace, causing Music Player crash in Mango?

Looks like HTC may have a little problem on their hands. We've heard numerous complaints that the Music player in Mango is crashing for people. Its an odd claim seeing as we've had no issues with ours whatsoever (Focus, Dell Venue Pro) though in fairness, we've neglected our HTC phones.

Turns out, at least HD7 users are complaining of such crashes and the culprit many believe is the optional Sound Enhancer app (which went Mango recently). Now, HTC has pulled the app from the Marketplace (verified) which somewhat confirms people's suspicions on the matter.

So our recommendation: If your HTC Windows Phone is crashing while playing music, disable the HTC Sound Enhancer app and wait for a new, updated version. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks, Christian L., for the tip!

HTC working on a Beats Windows Phone

The HTC and Beats Audio partnership has already produced the HTC Sensation XE, an android phone with Beats Audio. We are now learning that a Beats Audio Windows Phone is in the works.

To quickly get a Beats Audio phone on the market HTC took the HTC Sensation, added Beats Audio software, a high-end set of headphones (complete with the Beats trademark red cord), added a few cosmetic changes and added the XE suffix.

Could HTC do something similar with the HTC Radar or Titan? Or are we in store for a few more Windows Phones from HTC later this year?

source: slashgear

Leave your mark on MP3s with AudioBookMark

One thing that seems to be missing from all of the audiobook apps in the Marketplace is the ability to easily bookmark your spot in an MP3 and return to it. 

XDA member, dbroome, has developed AudioBookMark, which as the name implies, does just that.  AudioBookMark not only remembers which MP3 file you are listening to, but where in that file as well.  And in case you are someone who likes to skip from title to title, you can select from a list of your books and dive right in where you left off on each.  You can use the built-in transport keys to speed to a certain point of an MP3, or manually enter HH:MM:SS to jump directly to the juiciest parts.

You can download it here for $.99.

Source: XDA

Samsung kills audio hack for Windows Phone 7 via update

Update: False alarm. It appears Samsung didn't disable it, they just changed the code.: *#0002*28345# Now instead of a '6' a the end, use '5'. Thanks, malteahrens, for the info

Looks like Samsung does not want you messing with your audio settings as they have disabled access in their latest Diagnosis app for our phones.

Late last night, the Marketplace pushed an update for Samsung's Diagnostics app bumping it to version 1122 (see above pic). While not mandatory, we took this risk to see what would happen and while most menu items are still accessible, we can confirm that the audio settings used to boost sound (covered here) are now disabled.  Typing in the code results in nothing, no error, no message, just nothing.

On top of that, there seems to be no benefit to the update so if you have yet to install it, we suggest you don't.


Windows Phone 7 audio & media codecs

File this under "old, but we missed it" and since s2gordon asked about them in comments yesterday, figured we'd answer...

We're going to leave this to you folks to determine if this list of officially supported audio and video codecs in Windows Phone 7 is a good thing/bad thing, since to be honest we're not aficionados in that area.

Our off-the-cuff first take? It's basic and expected. Nothing extraordinary. 

Full list of WP7 codecs after the break.

Review: HTC Audio Cable

As much as HTC has been esteemed over the years for the innovation and consistent excellence in their products, there have been a few bumps in their road to becoming one of the top hardware manufacturers in the mobile space. The one standard in HTC’s diverse designs over the years has traditionally been the presence of the ExtUSB port and the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Numerous methods of working around this limitation have been detailed over the years. Bluetooth Headphones are one option; though HTC themselves offer several options that are typically less expensive. HTC’s Multifunction Audio Adapter offers an assortment of connectivity options while the HTC Stereo Headphones may be used for both music and phone calls. A third option from HTC is their Audio cable, which features a male 3.5mm audio plug, which is perfect for playing audio from your HTC phone through a home or car stereo.

The full review is after the jump.


Simple way to output your music
Pricey. Not the best option for headphones.