vulture bytes

Vulture Bytes: Telenovela Translators and DIY Radio

Another week, another dive into the sites, doodads, and accessories that will enhance your pop-culture-soaked life. This week: free foreign TV, turning your phone into a universal remote, a way to get MP3s on the cheap, a site that turns anybody into a D.J., and the opportunity to spend $225 on 3-D glasses.

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Viki is for those of you who (like us) are fond of watching international telenovelas even though you don’t know what they’re saying. The site collects shows from across the world and farms them out to over 100,000 volunteers who translate them into more than 100 languages. It’s a Babel Fish for the Hulu era. After navigating the site’s confusing layout — it’s hard to find a show if you don’t know what you’re looking for — we tested the service by watching Playful Kiss, a sort of Glee-without-the-singing from South Korea. A 30-second ad played before the show, but then it was streaming at a smooth rate and high quality. The translations seemed pretty solid, though Vulture Bytes’ Korean is … rusty. Perfect for the immigrant, expat, or study-abroad nostalgic in your life. PRICE: Free.
Peel is yet another TV-guide app (one of many in the app store), but it happens to be the most beautiful. It treats TV shows the way the App Store treats apps. What’s playing at any given hour is presented with a handsome graphic, and if you tell Peel what you like to watch, it will you what you want to watch at any given time. Soon, too, Peel’s app will become a universal remote, able to control your entire media system from your phone with a little wireless accessory they call “the fruit.” They will be selling the fruit soon , and it’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to pay for it. Peel says it will look at the bids and give fruits to those who submitted the fairest price, like you’re at a bazaar, haggling with a pomegranate vendor. PRICE: Free, with flex pricing starting soon for the universal-remote function.
Last weekend, we made our semiannual stop at an abandoned Bushwick warehouse so we could spasm to synth-trance until dawn. But between the drinks, the clothes, and the pity brunch the next morning, we remembered that this being-social thing is too expensive. Why hang out with others when you can hang out with yourself? Amazon understands. It’s offering the new Tron soundtrack, scored and performed by Daft Punk for eight bucks . The deals can be even better than that, but they don’t last long — Tron and Cee Lo’s new album, The Ladykiller, were both just $3.99 (Cee-Lo is now $5.99). So if you’re dedicated to dancing with yourself, subscribe to Amazon’s MP3 listserve to get tipped off about the deals before they expire.
3-D glasses have never been ideal for the fashion-inclined. In the old days, it was difficult to match an ensemble to the red and blue Saran Wrap–like lenses. And now, just when the red-and-blue might seem retro, we instead have these reusable black glasses. The plastic! The germs! The square frames! Is it so hard to make a disposable accessory beautiful? Gucci understands that the status quo is unacceptable, so it released its own pair of boutique 3-D aviators . Branded so all your pals know you’ve made the investment to look good in the dark where no one can see you, the glasses work best with the Real D systems now found in over half the theaters in the country. Just in time for Yogi Bear 3D. PRICE: $225
Vulture Bytes was once a bad college D.J. The show was called “Good Music Sounds Good,” and it was bizarre, esoteric, and indulgent (did we mention it was a college radio show?). Nevertheless, it was our bizarre, esoteric, and indulgent show. And there are still nights that we dream of once again having a trucker call in at 2 a.m. requesting Jethro Tull. Now, with , that can happen. Mixlr is a live audio web broadcaster, allowing anyone to create or tune into a broadcast online. For the creators, it offers different usage plans depending on whether you’re going to use it for a radio station, to broadcast live D.J. sets, or to upload studio recordings of your band. It’s smart and simple. Unlike the average college radio show. PRICE: Fifteen-day free trial, and then varies wildly. Most likely between 3 and 38 euros per month.
Vulture Bytes: Telenovela Translators and DIY Radio