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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Freeway Congestion Makes Me Want to Buy a New GROM-HDR1 of HD Radio® Dongle

I was driving to work one morning, during a nasty traffic jam, and began wandering through my radio stations. I was really irritated and all I wanted was to listen to a little classical or jazz to calm me down.

I would have to explain my tardiness to my supervisor. This morning I was going to be a little over an hour late. Since I wasn’t the only one in my department who commuted to work, I was sure I wouldn’t be the only one late at least. That brought me some peace of mind. But really it still made me twitch.

The radio stations weren’t getting proper reception where I was currently “parked” on the freeway. My IPhone was dead, so I didn’t bother trying to access something that way. I decided to turn off the stereo and listen to my thoughts instead.

I began thinking about my audio system and the idea of connected cars. I read something online the night before, and it seemed to beam back into my thoughts at that moment.

Connected cars are basically vehicles that have access to internet-based technology. Any time you access music on your phone and listen to it on your car stereo via a USB or AUX connection you are driving a “Connected Car.” Also, if you have an infotainment system included with your car audio system, you are driving a “Connected Car.” GROM Audio specifically develops car kits to better and seamlessly access your hand-held device to GROM’S car.

So regardless, I was sitting there in the slow moving traffic and thinking about connected cars. I read last night that GROM Audio created a new attachment for their car systems, specifically designed to enhance radio availability by 300%. Well, maybe that is a little overboard; however, I was impressed how the device would “extend the value” of their car kits.

This device, called GROM-HDR1, is an HD Radio tuning gadget that plugs directly into your GROM Audio car kit. Using HD Radio® Technology, the device provides static-free, clear audio from FM stations and adds access to more than 2,000 HD Radio stations; along with HD2, HD3, and HD4 channels broadcast by any of those stations.

The HD Radio tech was developed by iBiquity Digital, who partnered with GROM Audio to develop this extended value add-on to GROM’s car kits.

Considering that I was limited to my local classical and jazz stations, which I love by the way, I could additionally access similar stations all over the globe. Plus, I would not have to worry about local reception!

I think what really excited me was having more choices and better sound performance. It was nice being able to access some radio through my IPhone, but usually it was a challenge getting to where I needed to be on my phone—not to mention driving at the same time! This new device would integrate seamlessly into my car stereo system, making it a lot safer to use with better quality.

After thinking about all this for a few minutes, I considered my next opportunity to order GROM-HDR1. The article mentioned it was on sale for $74.99 from $89.99.

I decided to try my radio again. The jazz station was able to get through, at least for a while. I scan the traffic around me and noticed there had been no movement! I leaned back in my seat and listen to a trumpeter wandered through a loose melody.

-- Post submitted by Rudy M --

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Join us on the Playlist Tour through the History of Popular Music in the 20th Century till Now

At GROM Audio, we really love music. That is what has driven us to develop car kits to access hand-held devices to your car stereo system more efficiently and safely. It is also why we developed smart-phone apps like the AALinQ Music Player, a safe and driver-centric app designed for you to listen to your favorite artists while on the road.

GROM believes that one fun way to experience music safely while driving is creating playlists. These lists of songs you generate are an easy way to listen what you want to hear while on the road without having to make changes while driving.

This why we have recently started to create some of our own playlist at SoundCloud for your enjoyment!

We welcome you to join us as we dig deeper into the history of 20th century pop music . We decided to create the series of the playlists that will cover the development and progression of popular music in the 20th century.

Here is what to look forward to:

·       October Playlist: 1920s & 1930s
Featuring the emergence of 20th Century Blues, the Dominance of Jazz and the Romanticism of Show-Tunes
·       November Playlist: 1940s & 1950s
Featuring Jazz as the Mainstream Sound of America, the Rise of the Blues, and the Birth of Rock & Roll
·       December Playlist: 1960s & 1970s
Featuring Blues Inspiring Mainstream American music, the Rise of Rock & Roll, and Emergence of Soul/R&B
·       January Playlist: 1980s
Featuring the Birth of Rap/HipHop, Rock & Roll Hairbands, Modern Jazz, R&B Mainstream dominance
·       February Playlist:  1990s & 2000s
Featuring the Mainstream Appeal of Rap/HipHop, the Rise of an Alternative Sound to Rock & Roll, and Jazz in the New Millennium

For the month of October, we have collected a great introduction to the wonderful world 20s and 30s hot dance bands and musicians.  The big band era which dominated the 1930s music scene incorporate jazz into a more palatable format but did so while integrating other forms popular music in their sets.  The 1930s Jazz became the mainstream music particularly with young people on the campuses of American colleges and high schools.  Slowly but surely, Jazz became the mainstream music for all ages. 

Louis Armstrong, the most influential Jazz musician, began his individual music career in the 1920th. 

Swing and Charleston are widely danced across America and outside of US. The Charleston was first composed by James P. Johnson, and hold its popularity for an entire decade. Swing Era started around 1935 and held its popularity until the late 1940th. The swing was later revived in the other forms such as gypsy swing, swinging pop and others. Swing style is incorporated in the works of several 21st century musicians.

Blues became a part of the popular American music in the 1920th. The classic female Blues singers of that times include Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. In the 1930th the pure form of Blues was replaced by so-called Swing Blues.

Please enjoy the first playlist of 20th century; Classy Vintage Music of the 1920s & 30s!

Keep reading GROM’s blog page or check out our Facebook and/or Twitter  for the next playlist!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

20th Century Music: An American Odyssey

Music has always been a center piece of every nation, but a nation of immigrants had to grow into its own musical identity. How can America take traditions spanning from Europe to Africa and emerge with its own distinct sound? The 20th century became the era that American music came of age.

The sounds of Jazz, Blues, Country Western, Rock & Roll, Soul, R & B, Disco, and Hip Hop all emerged in the U.S. in the 20th Century. From Louis Armstrong to Elvis Presley to Otis Redding to Ella Fitzgerald to Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys to Jay-Z, American music gave birth to a nation of brilliant artists, evoking these new music styles to express the America identity.

Louis Armstrong represented Jazz better than most of his contemporaries. Making a name for himself in the 1920’s, he was known as an “inventive” trumpet player whose improvised solo work and distinct gravelling singing was highly influential in the early Jazz scene.

Elvis Presley defined Rock & Roll as young, wild, and confrontational towards social norms. Mixing Blues and Country influences, he was able to take blues and country tracks and make them hits. From Arthur Crudup’s “That’s Alright Mama” to Big Mamma Thorton’s “Hound Dog,” he refined Black Blues’ music into mainstream White Pop songs.

Alicia Augello Cook, more commonly known as Alicia Keys, is a contemporary R & B artist who combines her talents as an accomplished pianist and songwriter to craft music that complements contemporary Hip Hop sounds while infusing classical piano with R&B, soul, and jazz. She cites a diversity of many great R & B artists such as Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, and Donny Hathaway.

Jay Z defined success in rap music. He is one of the most successful music artists in America. Exposed to his parent’s collection of soul artist like Marvin Gaye, Jay Z created a sound that has been described as a mastery of flow. Whether slow or fast, he blends spoken word to verse to create a style that is made up of fast rhymes and vocal deliveries.

These are some examples of some of the artist who were influenced and influence American Music. All of them helped inspire what music should song like in the U.S. The 20th Century became the defining moment for music in America. One can only imagine how this music will continue to evolve and change into the next century and beyond.

Please enjoy the playlist from the  U.S. in the 20th Century @ https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/the-20th-century-became-the

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Improve Driver Safety with Your SmartPhone

Whether commuting or on a road trip, your phone is always there while you drive, ready to interrupt your concentration and encourage distracted driving risks. The overabundance of apps available to smart-phones and other hand-held device are a nest of colorful diversions. Now there is a trend in app design focused on the driver and providing the opposite to the common scenario so far.

However, there are apps available to transform your Smartphone into Car Mode.

Their purpose could be described as providing information with easy visual clarity and offering an interface that relies on a minimum amount of attention and effort from the user. Some of the key function for many of these kinds of apps are:
·        Voice control
·        Odometer/Speedometer/etc.
·        Weather
·        Music/Radio
·        Google Maps Integration
·        GPS Navigation

A key ingredient to ensure the quality of these apps is their layout design as displayed on your smart phone. One of the biggest mistakes many of these apps make is that they cram too much information on a single screen. Here’s a straightforward hint about finding a quality dashboard car mode app: if you can’t figure out quickly what’s displayed on the app’s screen, then it failed.

The point of these apps is to make things simple for you to glance at while you’re driving. If there is too much happening at once, what’s the point of using such an app in the first place?

Another important ingredient is interface enhancement. Usually, the enhancement is offered via two methods: voice activation and swipe controls/large buttons. Again, what can cause these apps to fail in their purpose is an over-abundance of information on any given screen. You cannot navigate through these apps if you cannot find what you’re looking for quickly. After all, you’re driving your car while doing all this!

Voice activation solves many of these issues, but many times these features don’t function correctly and become more work than using your smart-phone normally, It always important to do your research before deciding on one of these kinds of apps.

Overall, dashboard car mode apps are a great idea and may provide a resource to increase your driving safety, instead creating unsafe disruptions. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

AALINQ Car App: Three Music Players in One for The Driver

GROM’s new car app is designed to offer music safely for drivers. With it’s with large fonts and easy swipe controls, it is designed for drivers who need to focus on the road and less on the phone. This is one aspect of this new app. 

Another is it is designed to play music. Specifically, it is three music apps in one.

On its most basic level, AALinQ plays music on your phone. It does so in the most straightforward manner. AALinQ’s interface is designed for you as the driver. It’s quick and simple. It gets you to your music quickly as you navigate through traffic.

On another level, AALinQ synchs with your online account on Google Play. This service offered by Google allows you to upload all the music on your computer library (up to 50,000 songs!), then play that library from your phone (or computer). Instead of streaming music from some internet station, you can stream your music from Google Music’s internet site. You can have your music without loading it on your phone (or other hand-held device.) The best part is you may never know the difference between either option since they are both service offered from one app—AALinQ!

On a more deferent level, AALinQ offers TuneIn’s content through its platform. TuneIn is an app (and website) that offers around 100,000 live radio stations in 230 countries & territories and around 4 million podcasts. Through AALinQ, you can access all this content through the driver-safe and easy-to-use AALinQ platform. You can save a favorite station to listen to during your commute and, exclusively through AALinQ, you can record live broadcasts for repeat listening later. This extraordinary partnership between GROM and TuneIn offers AALinQ users a great source of radio variety and the ability to save content to be heard over and over again—like a DVR for internet radio.

Most music play apps are designed to do one thing well. AALinQ, in a sense, is also designed to do one thing well—offer a platform to listen to music safely on your phone as you drive. To do this and provide a variety of sources of music, AALinQ additionally will access music content on your phone or Google Play account, or radio stations through TuneIn.

AALinQ app offers all these resources not just for the variety of content, but also to listen to that content through a safe driver-designed interface.

Please visit AALinQ page at http://gromaudio.com/aalinq/index.html. Download available on Google Play

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Keyboard of Soft and Loud

A Short History of Piano

Around the beginning of the 1700s, a man named Bartolomeo Cristofori; an expert harpsichord maker employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany; created an instrument he called the “un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte” (a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud). Eventually the instrument enquired names like “pianoforte” or “fortepiano.” Over the last century or two, it simply became known as a “piano.”

This keyboard of soft and loud would eventually eclipse the harpsichord as the favorite keyboard instrument in Europe and eventually would become one of the most recognizable instruments in the world. Not only would it would be recognized as a favorite instrument of classical music, but it would be synonymous with Jazz, Blues, Folk, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rock.

In the late 1700s, composers were already beginning to create compositions that included the piano. Mozart most famously composed his piano concertos throughout his life. He eventually composed 27pieces for piano and orchestra before his death.

The piano became the signature instruments of 18th century composers. Pianist became the heroes of the music world. Frederic Chopin, a pianist from Poland, entranced the aristocracy of Europe and tutored many of their children. Franz Lizt, pianist from Hungary, composed solo piano performances that had women crying and flowers drenching the stages he play upon.

In America during the turn of the 20th century, piano musicians like Scott Joplin and “Jelly Roll” Morton would eventual begin composing and playing a kind of American music that started out as Ragtime and would eventually become Jazz. Morton, a New Orleans musician, would especially bring Jazz into the world. Fusing together blues and ragtime, he created "Jelly Roll Blues,” in 1915, in what is sometimes considered the first jazz piece published.

Later, Blues artists would begin create their own version of piano music. Memphis Slim in 1947 would write "Every Day I Have the Blues.” Meanwhile, Fats Domino in 1955 would have a Top Ten hit with "Ain't That A Shame,” helping bring piano blues into the mainstream.

The Piano would increasingly become present in other popular forms. Rock stars, Blues artists, Singer-Songwriters, R&B Performers, and Hip-Hop Composers would all feature many songs with piano. Artist from Marvin Gaye to Bob Dylan would compose and perform with piano; while artist like Elton John and Fiona Apple would be recognized as writing and performing as piano musician stars.

It is hard today to listen to any music without piano in it. By perusing your music device, you could select any track and probably hear a little piano in the recording. In around three hundred years, piano has evolved from a new variation of the harpsichord to becoming a signature instrument of many forms music heard and performed throughout the world.

Please listen and enjoy the relaxing piano music at; https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/playlist-instrumental-piano

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Join us at Cars and Caffeine in San Jose, Ca

Cars and Caffeine – Club Auto Sports free car meet-up is one of the best established in Silicon Valley. GROM Audio will be there and will bring their latest innovations, including new devices such as the V-Line infotainment upgrade kit and the HD Radio Dongle.

Taking place on Saturday August 8th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the show will be at Club Auto Sport Event Center, 521 Charcot Avenue, San Jose CA 95131.

Meeting eight times a year in the back parking lot, this event is the premier wake-you-up Club Auto Sport gathering. See fast cars and funny mods! Bring your family and/or bring your buddies. This is a great space to see wild cars and meet their electric owners.

Visit GROM's booth and learn more about our new HD Radio Dongle. The HD Radio Dongle is a device that upgrades some of GROM’s car kits and allows access to over 2,000 radio stations in crystal clear sound! Come say hi. We’ll tell you all about it, win fun prizes and much more!

The Club Auto Sport Event Center is an amazing space designed for car owners and more! This event is their chance to help build community among car owners. This is their fourth year hosting this free event! Check out this video to see what it’s like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGTtKuuLik