Boombox Party in NYC Saturday

Want to go to a Boombox Party in NYC this Saturday night? Of course you do. I do. I don’t know if a last-minute flight from Austin to NYC will be worth the Boombox Party experience for me or not, but something tells me it just may be. So, suffice it to say that if you’ll already be in New York this weekend because you’re visiting or living there, you should embrace this new kind of impromptu party. What is a Boombox Party? It’s a portable and battery-powered party, basically. Started by two guys out of Vancouver, the parties invite thousands of people to carry boomboxes around and dance. A DJ carrying an FM radio transmitter in a backpack has the boombox carriers tune into his master FM broadcast. The result is a mobile, synchronized sound system. The party can, and probably will, go anywhere and everywhere. Subways, city blocks, parks–who knows. The location for Saturday night is TBA, but it will start at 9pm. The theme is Strictly Business, meaning, of course, you must wear business attire.

Follow the party-throwers on Facebook and find out tonight where the NYC Boombox Party will be held. And if you hear the party outside your window in NYC and you’re annoyed, just remember: you’re in the city that never sleeps.

Win trip for two in Air New Zealand Like Totally 80’s contest

Air New Zealand has never been afraid to show off its sense of humor. From matchmaking flights to cheeky commercials to risque in-flight safety videos, the Kiwi airline knows how to get attention. Now, however, we might actually benefit from their creativity with prizes that include a trip for two to New Zealand. They’re celebrating the decade of excess with their Like Totally 80’s contest on Facebook. To enter, you just need to upload a photo of yourself rocking some classic 80’s clothes. Too young to have owned your own acid-washed jeans? Well, hit up the vintage stores and take a picture of yourself just dressing the part. It’s a small price to pay for the chance to publicly humiliate yourself win a trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The airline’s Facebook fans will vote for their favorite photos and the final 10 will be judged by a panel. The winner wins a trip for two to New Zealand. First runner-up will win an iPod compatible “boombox” while the second runner-up will score a case of Tab cola, the soda for beautiful people. Just last year I enjoyed some cold, “delicious” Tab with my Gadling buddy Scott Carmichael. My advice: Try not to come in third place in this contest.

Tomorrow is the deadline to enter Air New Zealand’s Like Totally 80’s contest, so act fast.

Gadling gear review – Altec Lansing iMT800 MIX – the boombox is back!

The year is 1984 – you put on your backpack, fill your pockets with twenty bucks worth of D cell’s, and grab a couple of your best Duran Duran and Culture Club tapes off the dresser. As you leave on your trip, you carry your Panasonic Boombox to the car, ready to use it while walking down the street at your destination – because that is what cool people do.

It may have been years since anyone traveled with a Boombox, let alone had anything that required tapes, but portable audio is more alive than ever. Some people may travel with a portable speaker, but others may be in need of something with a little more “oomph”.

The Altec Lansing iMT800 “MIX” Boombox is the boombox from the 80’s – reinvented. The MIX has some of that great 80’s styling, combined with the features you’d expect from a current generation music accessory.

At first glance, it is hard to not notice the massive speakers on the front and side of the unit. In the middle is an iPod dock and a display, and on the top are controls and 2 additional inputs.
The MIX comes with the usual assortment of iPod docking adapters, making it compatible with any iPod, iPod Touch or iPhone with a dock connector. Once inserted into the MIX, a metal bracket slides down over your player, keeping it in place, and preventing it from falling out.

Like the old Boomboxes from the 80’s, the MIX also takes a huge stash of D cell batteries – 8 in total. They’ll keep the unit running for about 30 hours (manufacturer rating).

When at home, or in a hotel, the unit can also operate off the included AC adapter. I would have preferred to see the AC adapter built into the unit, but that would have pushed its weight to the max.

On the front and top of the MIX are carrying handles – they are not just for decoration, as they really are strong enough to hold the unit with. This means you can actually use the Altec Lansing iMT800 MIX as a shoulder carried boombox, listening to Van Halen playing off your 32GB iPhone 3GS. Sure, you’ll look like a bit of a dork, but that probably has more to do with your taste in music. On the rear of the MIX is the AC jack and FM antenna.

The MIX offers 4 different music sources – iPod/iPhone, FM Radio and 2 AUX inputs. The unit comes with 2 3.5mm cables, which means you can hook up a non-Apple device like a Zune or a Blackberry.

The display on the front of the MIX is very cool – it can be programmed with your own personal startup message, and displays what kind of iPod is inserted. It also shows the track name when you play stuff off the iPod dock. The display also shows RDS information from any compatible radio station you are tuned in to.

Controlling the MIX is simple – the top has just 4 buttons and a dial. Included with the unit is a wireless remote control. This remote can control the power, source, iPod track, volume and radio preset. It has a slick carabiner clip on the top, should you feel the urge to clip it to your pants.

Now on to the most important part of the product – the audio. If you were planning to use the MIX to take care of the music at your next party, you will not be disappointed. Not only does it sound fantastic, it can be cranked up to MAX to produce some absolutely mind blowing volume, without any distortion.

The integrated equalizer is great – in basic mode, it lets you control bass and treble, and if you hold down the EQ button along with the track forward/back buttons at the same time, you enter a more advanced 7 band EQ mode.

All joking aside, I’m sure not many of you will seriously be considering purchasing one of these to carry around on your shoulders on your next trip. At 10.1lbs (without batteries), it’ll take up a considerable amount of your baggage allowance. That said – it is the perfect companion for a road trip or a day at the beach.

The iMT800 MIX retails for $299.95, which is about $100 cheaper than a comparable portable system.

There are a couple of minor things I would have wanted to see on the unit – The iPod control is very basic, you can only play/pause and skip tracks. At this price point, a full iPod control would have been nicer. I would have also liked to see a video output on the unit. Other than those minor gripes, I’m very impressed with the iMT800. Sound is fantastic and I love the looks – this thing really screams “loud”.

The iMT800 MIX Digital Boombox is available directly from Altec Lansing or as a pre-order from

Boom Box for iPod

For those of you who like to bring along your entertainment system when you travel, let’s spare a moment for the new iMep.

The iMep is another auxiliary toy designed to work in conjunction with the ubiquitous iPod. In this case, however, it transforms the tiny iPod into a more bulky, yet still entirely portable entertainment center.

Weighing in at just nine pounds, the iMep is basically a glorified boom box with two, ten-watt speakers and a seven-inch LCD screen. Simply plug your iPod into the docking station, and share your music and video with fellow campers or beachgoers.

What, no iPod? If you are part of the no iPod minority, the iMep also offers a TV and radio tuner as well as a DVD player. It almost makes you wonder why you left home in the first place.

Price: $299.99