PMA's Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Your friends and family are as obsessed with music as you are. What do you get them for the holidays?

Editorial sponsored by HP. Your Entertainment. The way it should be.

If you’re like us, you’ve probably racked up a coterie of friends who are as obsessive about their music as you are, and come holiday season it can be fairly complicated to keep them all happy. Worried about alienating your country-loving aunt? Concerned you’ll buy the wrong box set for your nerdy crush? We’ve compiled a list of items that’ll enhance any of your friends’ and family’s listening experience (or your own – you’ll probably want to throw some of these on your own wishlist), whether they’re into Skrillex or Spoon or Rachmaninoff. Here, in no particular order, are some gifts any music fan would love to see under the tree.

Concert memories. For the compulsive concertgoer, keeping track of show attendance can be tough. A notebook that’ll hold over one hundred stubs and provides margin space for notes is a cute way to keep those memories organized.
+ Ticket Stub Diary $10


Fun USB drive. An everyday USB drive might be the kind of gift you expect from your tax-preparing tech-inclined uncle, but these keys make for more thrilling stocking stuffers. Whether they double as bottle openers for the college student in your life or come concealed in mixtape-shaped boxes for those who remember fondly more analog days, there’s something out there for everyone.
+ USB Mix Tape Drive $20 (pictured)
+ USB Flash Drive Bottle Opener $20


Cloud storage space. Apple and Amazon both offer free Cloud services that can store your music so you can access it anywhere, but you can only store up to 5GB of material (about 1000 songs) without paying up. Apple's service has an extra plus - for $25 a year, their iTunes Match will "match" all the songs in your iTunes Library and allow you to stream/download them from the Cloud onto your iDevice. For the friend with a ten-thousand song library, extra Cloud space is an intangible but heartfelt way to show them you care about all that music too - and you’d like them to DJ at your house sometime.
+Amazon Cloud Drive $20-1,000/yr
+iTunes Match $25/yr



LP record frames. Whether your friend’s a fan of elaborate, gorgeous album art or just loves showing off their hip belongings, simple frames keep vinyl safe and put it on display for admiration, away from a faceless stack on a shelf.
+ Records on Walls 4/$36


Fun, portable iPod accessories. Whether they’re cranking dance remixes at parties or ambient jams when it’s time to study, iPod speakers often deliver the volume and sound quality your computer speakers can’t. Whether your friend’s into sleek, sci-fi minimalism, or they want something cutesy and portable, or their tastes lean more toward the vintage, or they’re a Deadmau5 fan, there’s something for everyone.
+ Deadmau5 Red Thingie Speaker $25
+ Radio Cardboard Speaker $40
+ Portable Balloon Speaker $45
+ Geneva Sound System Model S $300 (pictured)


USB record players. Not many things are better for the music lover than a good record player, but a good portable record player that looks awesome and can rip your vinyl onto your computer is up there – vinyl collectors young and old will likely jump at the chance to get the high-quality material from their collections on their iPods. Crosley have a couple of models that fit those criteria, whether you’re a purist or a revolutionary when it comes to record player design. We like this one:
+ The Crosley Revolution $150


Emerging DJ wares. For the friend who’s always trying to beat-match stuff on their computer at house parties, Numark's DJ2GO can help them hone their craft and feel a little more legit. For those ready to move beyond the impromptu basement parties, we give you Numark's Mixdeck Express.
+ Numark DJ2GO $50 (pictured)


AirPlay-ready speakers. Chances are your music-loving friends and family members use iTunes to store and manage their robust music libraries. The latest version of iTunes comes with AirPlay, a technology that allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home, wirelessly. More often than not, these speakers also allow you to stream from music services like Spotify and Pandora. Here are the best of the AirPlay-ready speakers on the market today, at various price points.
+ Sonos Play:3 $300
+ Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air $600
+ Libratone Live $700 (pictured)


Star-making synthesizer. The Teenage Engineering OP-1 has been called "the most anticipated synthesizer in the history of mankind," and it's a must gift for the well connected burgeoning bedroom dream-pop artist in your life. (You have one of those, right?) It's a perfect gift to allow them to get serious about their art and to let them know you support them. Eight hundy fifty dollar worth of support. Maybe they'll dedicate their first BNM'd album to you.
+ Teenage Engineering OP-1 $850


Artwork by Topher Edwards