Audio player better than phone, old-tyme pay phone

James Careless —

Yes, the warm weather is on the wane. No problem: Just snuggle up with this, the latest edition of the Gadget Zone, to take your forebodings of the approaching winter far, far away!

The Gadget Zone

If you prefer to hear your music from a portable MP3 audio player rather than your phone, do I have a device for you! That’s just the beginning: If you also like to be able to hear AM/FM radio on your audio player; use it to record stereo audio in CD-quality WAV files using a pair of built-in microphones; move audio files back and forth between your player and your computer, and even edit audio tracks on your audio player, then you need the CC Witness Plus from

About the size and shape of a classic iPod, the CC Witness Plus is an audio recorder/player on steroids. It even comes with 20 preset timers, so that you can record your favorite radio programs and hear them when you want to; just like an audio PVR. The CC Witness Plus has 2GB of onboard memory, and a slot for an SD memory card too. It plays back through stereo earbuds (included along with a charger and 1/8″ stereo Line In cable), or its own onboard stereo speakers.

US $149.95 at

I hate running out of power on my smartphone, which always seems to happen when I need it most. Well, thanks to the TP-LINK TL-PB10400 external battery charger, this doesn’t happen to me anyone. Basically, the TL-PB10400 is a rechargeable battery that has two USB ports. First you charge the TL-PB10400 at home or work, then use it to boost your smartphone or other USB-powered device while on the road.

Perfect for a purse or pocket, the white-and-blue TL-PB10400 weighs 241g and measures 88.8×44.3×44.3 mm in size. It works with most 5V input USB-charged devices, including iPhones/iPads, and BlackBerry/Android smartphones. The TL-PB10400 lists for $59.99 CAD; more details (including retailers) at

Have you noticed that payphones are a vanishing breed? Yes, with the advent of personal smartphones, payphone usage has dropped off dramatically; so much so, that most have been taken out of service.Crosley-Payphone

No matter: You can always have a payphone handy by buying your own; namely a Crosley 1950’s replica payphone. Okay, so the coins you deposit aren’t required, although they will be retained inside the payphone’s built-in bank. As well, the faux-rotary dial is really made up of pushbuttons, but hey: It looks like a real payphone and it works. Find this retro payphone for US$89.99 at