Welcome to our new, continuously-updated First Looks - a collection of previews showing brand new iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories that we’re currently in the process of testing. Here’s what’s hot right now:
Compatible: PC Only, iPod 5G
These two new pieces of Windows PC software are designed to quickly convert movies into iPod-compatible files. DVD Copy 4 - here in the Platinum H.264 Edition ($80) - promises to convert DVDs and other movies into iPod format in three steps. It can also create DivX files, and copy DVDs. You insert a disc and select it in the program, choose an output type (DVD, VCD/SVCD or video file) and format (iPod), then press the burn button. iVideoToGo for iPod ($30) is streamlined for iPod conversion, taking DVDs or video files in numerous formats (AVI, MPEG, WMV, MOV, MP4, DivX, ASF, DVR-MS, 3GP) and converting them into MPEG-4 or H.264 format with ease. Free trials of both programs are available through InterVideo's web site. Updated: Neither program is capable of reading or transferring copy-protected DVDs (read: anything sold in a store) to your iPod, a fact you'll discover on your first attempt to run either of them. You'll need an additional program - not provided by InterVideo and of varied legality depending on your country - to do that.
Model: iPod Software
This new collection of six different software titles from Avanquest Publishing includes some of the most popular potential tools we could imagine, ranging in price from $30 to $50. Other than the company's iPocketBible and PodPresenter, all of the programs are for Windows PC users only, and attempt to simplify various iPod content creation and management tasks for novice and intermediate users. The programs are sold in boxed or downloadable formats through the company's web site.
Like a number of other lanyard-style headphones we've seen for the iPod shuffle and iPod nano, this pair of Philips Neckstrap Headphones - model SHE7600, an Asian import model available from Warehouse123.com - uses a fabric necklace and user-adjustable headphone and neck length cords to minimize cable clutter and dangling. A strap is included to attach the headphones to a case, not included, and "turbo bass" performance is promised.
Company: Sumo Cases
Model: World Cup 5G
Compatible: iPod 5G (with video)
Based on the company's previously released Horizontal Playthru case design, Sumo's new World Cup cases are special, limited editions with soccer ball pattern-stitched leather exteriors. Eight different countries are represented with the cases, specifically Italy, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, USA, England, and Mexico; their national colors appear in the cases' leather bodies. A classic black and white version will also be available. Each has a soccerball logo rather than the Sumo logo found on standard Horizontal Playthru models.
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