Here’s a little secret for you: in most cases, we make music because we want to hear it. When using an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, this means being reined in by earbuds or tethered by a cable from the device’s headphone jack to a stereo or monitor system of some sort. But to experience your music without being tethered, why not go wireless? That’s just what the iLoud from IK Multimedia allows you to do.
Your iOS device connects to iLoud via Bluetooth, so no cables are required. It contains dual low- and high-frequency drivers, so you have full-range stereo in one box. With 40 watts of power on tap, the iLoud lives up to its name, delivering substantial volume without strain, with a lot more bass than you would expect from a speaker this size. Yet the iLoud is compact and light enough (less than two pounds) to drop in a bag and take on the go. The Bluetooth range extends out so that you can comfortably be out of the room and down the hall and still get reception from your iOS device.
If that was all the iLoud did, it would be cool enough. But, it also contains iRig circuitry, so you can plug your guitar in and take advantage of playing amp simulators like IK’s AmpliTube through the speakers.
If you’re looking to escape the tyranny of cables and earbuds, and want portable playback, check out the iLoud — it’s definitely doing the job for me.
I find myself using my iPad more and more. Here’s a perfect example: most products, whether software or hardware, don’t come with paper/printed manuals anymore. At most, you may get a small quick-start guide. Personally, I like to have access to my manuals when I am working in my studio; I might need to look up a DAW command, figure out how to create an effect, or just remember how to make some feature work on a box. But I hate having to search the web and look at manuals on my computer — I’m already using my computer for music; I don’t want to change screens or windows to look at a manual. Plus, I don’t want to carry paper manuals or a computer to live gigs, which is another place where I might want to look something up.
The solution for me was to load PDF versions of my gear manuals into iBooks. PDF manuals are available at virtually all manufacturer websites. What I do is find the manual on the web using my iPad, and when it is loaded into Safari, I tell the iPad to open it in iBooks. You can also use Dropbox or e-mail to get PDF manuals into your iPad. I created a “Collection” in iBooks for manuals, and now, I keep my trusty iPad beside me in the studio and with me at the gig (it was already riding along to display chord charts and lyric sheets anyway).
The bonus is I actually find myself flipping through manuals during down time (I’m a geek; I admit it), which has really paid off in knowing my gear and my software better.