All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge




iLounge sold to Apple, replaced by Hot News

Following its purchase and shutdown of pesky gossip site Think Secret, Apple today announced that it has acquired and replaced leading independent iPod and iPhone site with Hot News, an existing collection of suspiciously upbeat reviews penned by Apple's favorite writers. Based on preproduction testing conducted by Apple in January 2008, the new iLounge web site will be 4.3 times faster at publishing positive stories about Apple, and 2.5 times better at deleting iTunes bug reports filed by users. You can leave comments on the original iLounge web page here. [Apr. 1, 2008]

Pro Tip of the Week: "Walk into an Apple Store and buy one of everything - you'll be glad you did"

"In my experience, the biggest problem busy professionals face is choice," reports Rick Thompson ( "I just hate going into a store and being forced to pick from so many great products." Then Thompson saw that a Personal Shopper was available by appointment at his local Apple Retail Store. "My Personal Shopper tried to help me understand my options, but wound up showing me so many amazing iPods and accessories that I couldn't just choose one or two. That's no surprise, as this is Apple's best iPod lineup, ever." So which did he choose? All of them, of course. "My advice is, just walk into an Apple Store and buy one of everything," Rick said. "You'll be glad you did!" [Mar. 31, 2008]

"Twelve stars" for software upgraded iPod touch with Weather app

The iPod touch was already the "world's coolest mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform" before Apple released the January Software Upgrade, reports Tom Spokes (, but the new $20 application package took the iPod family to new heights. "Never before have I been able to check the weather from any Wi-Fi hotspot," he notes, "and it's not just the weather right outside, but anywhere - and forecasts for six whole days!" The addition of the Weather application increased the site's iPod touch rating from its previous eleven stars (out of five) to twelve. "Music and videos are so 2007," explains Spokes. "I can't wait to stuff my 8GB iPod touch with software." [Mar. 30, 2008]

New site explores "compelling, human drama" of MacBook Air commercial

"From the moment Yael Naim began to sing 'New Soul' on the MacBook Air commercial," writes Tony An Trom (, "I knew other people would be wondering: whose soft but masculine hand is revealing that beautiful new MacBook Air? How did such a magnificent, revolutionary new notebook computer wind up inside a manila envelope? Who mailed it, and was it a luxurious gift, or merely for business? Apple has packed more compelling, human drama into these 30 seconds than most TV shows I watch." An Trom's web site, registered immediately after the commercial was first shown in January, along with 8 other URLs based on Apple products, continues to attract "steady" traffic two months later. "I'm just hoping they release another commercial soon so I can update the site," says An Trom. [Mar. 30, 2008]

NY Times: iTunes Gift Cards more valuable overseas than U.S. currency

Planning your summer vacation? You'd better stock up on iTunes Gift Cards, reports Jayson Blair of the New York Times. "During my travels to China, the Philippines, and Taiwan, I found that local merchants were willing to offer a better exchange rate for Apple's iTunes Gift Cards - conveniently available in denominations of up to $100 - than for U.S. dollars or travelers' checks," says Blair. Though he planned to take time during a recent trip to Shenzhen to load his new computer with prepaid music, TV shows, and movies from the iTunes Store, "I was able to buy a small iPod case making factory with a handful of plastic Silhouette dancer cards. Even overseas, you should never underestimate the power of the world's most popular online music and video store." [Mar. 30, 2008]

"Unbelievable" SuperTrash scores top rating

"I have never enjoyed erasing files so much," exclaims Sam Harrison ( over Claris's SuperTrash, awarding the $29 file deletion utility five flying toasters (out of five). "For years, I have been challenged by the 'drag/drop,' 'desktop/trashcan,' 'erase/unerase' model of file management. SuperTrash simplifies the process with a single list of files and a delete button. It is unbelievable. And, dare I say it, revolutionary." [Mar. 29, 2008]

Fashionista's iPhone still works after freak storm

After a freak lightning strike permanently welded her iPhone to her left leg, Veronica Dyson ( was initially concerned, but quickly warmed to the idea of wearing her favorite all-in-one digital lifestyle device everywhere. Noting that she is "still able to use the phone and music features as long as I carry headphones," the SF Daily's Style section writer reports that "calls from friends, and the iPhone's revolutionary widescreen iPod music player, help me temporarily put aside the physical pain that the experience has left me with." Dyson also continues to enjoy "true Internet web browsing if I am sitting down, and the screen is rotated properly," which she says "is only possible thanks to the iPhone's breakthrough three-axis accelerometer. As a fashion journalist, my only concern is this: how outdated will I look when the 3G iPhone comes out?" [Mar. 29, 2008]

MacBook Air "not just a computer, it's God"

Initially skeptical of the revolutionary Thinnovation™ found in MacBook Air, Tom Spokes ( changed his view when he realized that gushing quotes about the product were being featured in Hot News. "I have given up my pursuit of traditional religion," reports Tom, "and made MacBook Air my personal deity." The three-pound machine, which also features the world's most powerful USB port, now accompanies Tom wherever he goes. "Some say it's just a thin notebook. For me, it's not just a computer, it's God." [Mar. 29, 2008]

Quick Tip of the Week: Adobe's Flash Player Sucks

Wondering why Safari sometimes crashes on your favorite web page? Blame Adobe - its Flash Player sucks. With Safari 3, included with Mac OS X Leopard and also available as a free download for PC users, web sites no longer need to use buggy plug-ins from Apple's competitors to display animations or videos. Find out how you can completely remove Flash Player from your digital life in the latest Quick Tip of the Week. [Mar. 28, 2008]

Environmentally-conscious Apple hits 75% of 2008 recycling goal in 3 months

Any growing company would be challenged to recycle more while using fewer toxic chemicals and fossil fuels, but for the new, "greener Apple," helping the environment is as easy as "thinking different." Released today, a new Apple report discloses that all current iPod and iPhone models, as well as certain new Mac computers and peripherals, have been designed to be 100% recycled on an annual or bi-annual basis. "By making batteries or other parts expensive or challenging for users to replace," explained Apple CEO Steve Jobs, "we can encourage any Apple Store visitor to get rid of an entire two-year-old, non-revolutionary product at once, then replace it with a newer, revolutionary version on the spot. With 40 weeks left in the year, our recycling collections are already at 75% of our 2008 goal. Clearly, this is a win-win for us and the environment." [Mar. 28, 2008]

MacInsider Magazine calls 160GB iPod classic a "true classic"

Calling the recently released 160GB iPod classic a "true classic," MacInsider Magazine has awarded the hard disk-based iPod four and a half Macs (out of five), with reviewer Jeeve Stobs offering tempered but otherwise strong praise for the device. "The only way I can imagine this iPod getting any better would be to make it thinner, with a larger screen and a Wi-Fi antenna," reports Stobs. "But a little bird told me that such changes would absolutely require it to have 1/10th the storage capacity and sell for a higher price. Right now, this is a fantastic iPod, and you should buy three of them, but next year, I strongly suspect that it will be a true classic." [Mar. 27, 2008]

Apple stock a "great buy" at $143 or higher

"I would strongly advise you to purchase as much Apple (AAPL) stock as possible," recommends Tom Spokes ( "It's a great buy right now, and in fact, whenever you happen to be able to invest in it." Spokes, who has tracked Apple stock from his revolutionary iPhone, and bought shares using the ultimate all-in-one iMac, is enthusiastic about both the company and its products. "This stock is a rocketship with a handsome bespectacled, turtleneck-wearing gentleman captain, and I'm going to lay back and enjoy the ride." [Mar. 27, 2008]

New 1GB iPod shuffle helps me "wear my favorite 100 CDs on my sleeve"

iPod nanos may be the iPod family's smallest video players, but the tiniest music player trophy goes to the revolutionary 1GB iPod shuffle, writes Tony An Trom for, a site that makes small and often inaccurate changes to articles found elsewhere online before reprinting them without credit. "Until Apple released the $49 shuffle, I never realized that I could 'wear' my favorite 100 CDs on my sleeve without looking like a moron," says An Trom. "I can even listen to songs in a different order. Finally, I can stop using the Sony CD changer backpack I've been wearing since 1996!" [Mar. 27, 2008]

iTunes 7.6.1 "eating all my system resources, please help!"

"My MacBook's fans spin up and programs slow down as soon as I load iTunes," writes Jill McCanney, a reader from Parsippany, New Jersey. "I have a small music and movie collection on my Mac but this program seems to be getting bigger and slower all the time. I am running Mac OS X 10.5.2 and have 3GB of RAM with 15GB of free hard drive space. It's version 7.6.1 and I think it's eating all my system resources. Please help!" [ed. this is an itunes bug report, not a piece of 'hot news,' and should be deleted before ilounge relaunches.] [Mar. 27, 2008]

New 2GB iPod shuffle a "brilliant, innovative new way to randomize your music"

iPod nanos may be the iPod family's smallest video players, writes Tonya Stone of the Cleveland Free Press, but the tiniest music player trophy goes to the revolutionary 2GB iPod shuffle. "This is a brilliant, innovative new way to randomize your music," reports Stone. "Until Apple released this $69 'shuffle,' I never realized that I could 'wear' my favorite twenty CDs in public without looking ridiculous," says Stone. "Finally, I can stop using the Sony CD changer backpack I've been wearing since 1997!" [Mar. 26, 2008]

Audiogeek Monthly: Discontinued iPod Hi-Fi now "an even smarter purchase"

Did you miss out on buying the home stereo-redefining iPod Hi-Fi during the year and a half it was on the market? Don't fret, reports Dan Jones ( now that the $349 all-in-one speaker can be had for $249 on closeout, it's "an even smarter purchase. You can use that $100 to buy an audiophile grade power cable, which will help your iPod's music achieve silky-smooth nirvana with just a hint (.25dB) of extra treble power at 11KHz. Or you could buy a couple of tweeters. Or save your money. iPod Hi-Fi is almost perfect as-is; I have no idea why Apple discontinued it." [Mar. 20, 2008]

Apple fans should focus more on features, less on bugs, says Macnerds Magazine

"Though I appreciate their eyeballs and subscription dollars, too many iPod and Mac users are, by nature, whiners," reports Jacob Harrison, Publisher of Macnerds Magazine and "We try to focus on the positives, with fun articles like, 'Ten Reasons You Should Buy a Mac,' 'Ten Reasons You Should Buy an iPod,' and 'Ten Reasons You Should Buy an iPhone.' I don't know why readers keep coming to us with their problems, like when their Macs or iPods don't work right. Can't they just enjoy the parts that work fine and wait for patches for the rest?" Citing Apple's positive impact on his company's business, and his desire not to say anything that might upset his biggest advertiser, Harrison notes that he bravely cancelled a Macnerds contributor's smear piece, "Five Things That Aren't Quite Perfect About the New iMac," calling it "just a little too edgy in this tough economic climate." The next issue's cover story, "All Pent Up for Phil Schiller: the Carly Fiorina Story," will appear in Hot News in April. [Mar. 20, 2008]

"I'm going to elope" with my aluminum Apple Keyboard

It was love at first sight for Jaime Miller, Parties and Boys columnist for Teen Vogue, when she unpacked the all-new aluminum wired Apple Keyboard. "I am so in love!" exclaimed Miller. "The first thing I thought: so cute! Next: how thin! And then: I am so taking this keyboard to the prom!" Since that fateful initial meeting, she reports, the relationship has progressed. "I'm totally over Zac Efron. Done with the Jonas Brothers. I might be young, but I think I'm going to elope with this keyboard. It is just that revolutionary." [Mar. 18, 2008]


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