Speck Products has introduced its latest iPod toy, the iKitty. Shaped like a cat, the iKitty offers functionality as both a stand and a case for the iPod and iPod mini. Features of the iKitty include access to the iPod’s top ports, a tail that functions as a headphone cord organizer, as well as a screen protector and a dockable design. The iKitty is available now; both the full-size and mini models of iKitty sell for $34.95.
According to analysts with UBS, sales of iPods could top 10 million in the fourth quarter, Forbes reports. Worldwide checks found the potential to exceed 10 million units based on “ambitious plans for the nano” and “recent reports that a handheld device capable of video playback may be in the works.”
“‘In short, our meetings were very positive for Apple into year-end and next, in terms of potential new iPods and possible build plans,’ said the firm. ‘We continue to believe that Apple could do more in terms of multimedia offerings into the year-end.’”
Leather goods manufacturer A.B. Sutton has introduced two new leather cases for the iPod nano, the nano Book and the nano Slip. Both cases are handmade-to-order in varieties of more than 40 leather colors and 70 silk fabrics. Both also offer access to all the nano’s controls and ports, are individually numbered, and are available starting today.
The nano Book case for iPod nano features a full-flap design with a leather buckle to cover the nano’s face when closed. A piece of protective plastic covers the nano’s screen when open, and the silk lining is designed to prevent scratches. A backstrap holder for headphones is also available. Pricing for the nano Book starts at $70.
The nano Slip for iPod nano has a sleeve-like design, with decorative options available for the back of the case. A piece of protective plastic covers the screen, while the silk lining option is only available in thin silk fabrics. A backstrap holder for headphones is an available option as well. Pricing for the nano Slip starts at $50.
While global music sales declined 1.9 percent the first half of the year, market share for commercial music downloads rose to 6 percent of total sales, Reuters reports.
Jim Rossman reports for the Dallas Morning News, “The nano pushes the cool factor to a new level. If you touch it, you’ll have to have it,” in his review of the device.
iLounge reader Jon Gales reports that his iPod nano survived a spin in his washing machine.
Sources are predicting new, higher-capacity fifth-generation iPods are on their way this month, possibly with video, reports AppleInsider.
For the first time since the advent of commercial digital music downloads, a recording has passed the 1,000,000 mark in download sales. The song, former Billboard #1 “Hollaback Girl” from Gwen Stefani’s debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., had sales of approximately 995,000 downloads as of Friday, September 30. The recording has averaged 15,000 downloads per week since it’s release on November 25, 2004.
Stefani commented, “It’s always an honor to be recognized for your music, and this is really the coolest. It’s exciting to see people embrace the song and really make it part of their lives. Whether it’s cds, computers, or cellphones…it really is bananas.”
Another track from the album, “Rich Girl,” was featured in commercials for Apple and Pepsi’s free iTunes download promotion earlier in the year. “Hollaback Girl” is available for sale from iTunes, as well as Napster, Rhapsody, Sony Connect and other online music retailers.
Tunewear has launched a new leather iPod nano case, the Tunewallet nano and announced availablility and pricing for the Tunetag. The Tunetag and Tunewallet nano are available in three colors—black with red stitching, black with white stitching, and white with white stitching. Both cases will begin shipping October 11.
The Tunetag is a luggage-tag style case made of leather. It features a clear vinyl sheet to protect the screen and click wheel, and a belt strap for connecting the case to bags, purses, or belt loops. The Tunetag sells for $29.95.
The Tunewallet nano is a wallet-style leather case. It features a bi-fold design with a screen cover and a slot on the inside of the flip cover for credit cards, small amounts of cash, and more. The Tunewallet nano sells for $39.95.
JAVOedge has released the JAVOScreen Screen Protector for iPod nano. The JAVOScreen has been specifically designed to cover the entire front of the nano. It is made of an anti-reflective, scratch-proof material that can also be washed and re-positioned. JAVOScreen for iPod nano is available now; pricing is set at $5.95.
Agent 18 has introduced the Shield 4 iPod nano, a clear Polycarbonate cover for the iPod nano. The snap on/off design allows access to the nano’s hold switch, headphone port, and dock connector without the need to remove it from the case. The shell also provides protection for the screen, and access to the click wheel. The Agent 18 Shield 4 iPod nano sells for $19.99 and will ship on October 12.
During its first demonstration of “final” Xbox 360 hardware in London, Microsoft showed off its upcoming game console’s ability to interface with an iPod, and explained the link between the two devices. According to German site Heise Online, Xbox 360 can connect to an iPod with a standard Apple cable using any one of three total USB ports, then use the iPod’s MP3- or WAV-format music as a soundtrack for games.
Though an iPod mini was used in the demonstration, other digital music players, USB storage sticks, digital cameras, external hard drives and Sony PSPs can also be connected in the same way. The Xbox 360 can apparently use both music and digital photographs from these devices to create on-screen slideshows, complete with audio accompaniment. However, says Heise, the console cannot store data it has transferred through the USB connections, nor can it play back movies stored on any external device.
This week in our look at the iLounge Discussion Forums: iPod nano scratching has prompted the question, “what is the best sticker film for nano?” Do you have a preference for protecting your nano until more cases appear?
We all know the tag line, “1000 songs in your pocket,” but one member asks “for those of you who have 1000+ CDs, what do you do with them all?” Do you relegate your CDs to the basement or keep them on display?
After several months of wanting to change his iPod display to match his car stereo display, one member has succeeded in ‘inverting” the display on his third gen 20GB iPod. A cool blue?
And finally, in the Final Round of the Signature of the Year 2005 contest in The Lounge area of the forums, iLounger Jeff (jwc110869) has managed to retain his title for a second year! See the signature that earned him his title, and start honing your sig for the next contest!
Speck Products has announced the release of its new GripSkin cases for iPod and iPod mini. Made of Kraton rubber, the GripSkin features ribbed grips on each side, a removable screen protector, removable swivel belt clip and has access to all iPod functions. GripSkin ($19.95) for iPod fits 20, 30, and 60GB models, and the iPod mini ($19.95) version fits 4 and 6GB models. All models are available now.
Now available is the twelfth iLounge podcast, co-hosted by iLounge’s Bob Levens and Jeremy Horwitz. This week’s podcast focuses on the iPod nano screen and scratch story, myriad options for protecting your new nano, comments from Motorola on an Apple “smart phone,” XtremeMac’s licensing deal for new iPod accessories, and more.
Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.
Analysts report that the iPod nano, which can store more than just music files, is driving down prices of portable USB flash drives, memory cards and MP3 players.
Volkswagen is releasing a limited edition “VW iFox” in Europe that is equipped with a Blaupunkt Calgary MP3 radio, an iPod adapter and a 2GB iPod nano with a VW logo engraved on the back. [via Engadget]
Blogger Todd Dailey has posted an article on how to remove scratches from your iPod nano using a $4 can of Brasso.
USA Today’s Edward C. Baig gives the iPod nano four out of four stars and writes: “I wanted to spend meaningful time with the device before weighing in with a review. I wanted to make sure the Nano’s beauty was more than skin deep. It is. There’s a reason the Nano has rapidly emerged as Apple’s latest status symbol of choice: It’s a digital music player priced at $199 to $249 that is actually more affordable than its larger and more capacious siblings.”
Piper Jaffray analysts are predicting that Sony may challenge the iPod with the launch of a next generation PSP with an integrated hard drive to store music and videos.
Tunewear has announced the Tunetag Edge, a dog-tag style silicone case for Apple’s iPod nano. The case, which covers only the sides and back of the nano, comes with a removable ball-bearing style chain so that you can attach it to a belt loop, bag strap or elsewhere. It uses the same high density silicone as the company’s Icewear cases, and allows full access to the headphone jack, hold switch and click wheel. The Tunetag Edge will be available next month. Pricing was not announced.
According to internet search behavior data from Hitwise, U.S. searches for “ipod nano” increased 133 percent the week ending Sept. 24, versus the week of its introduction (week ending Sept. 10, 2005), and the market share of total internet visits to Apple’s website shot past peak levels during the 2004 holiday shopping season.
“The iPod has consistently been one of the most searched for items on the Internet in the past year,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of worldwide research at Hitwise. “The share of searches on the iPod nano has eclipsed any other iPod product in the past year, suggesting that the consumer love-affair with the iPod has been reinvigorated with this product introduction.”
Griffin Technology announced today that it is now shipping the SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette Adapter for iPod (iLounge Rating: B+). The $29.99 accessory allows users to control their iPod using the built in controls of their cassette player.
“SmartDeck is more than just a cassette adapter for iPod; it achieves truly seamless integration between iPod and cassette deck,” says Griffin. “Users can utilize the cassette deck’s forward and rewind buttons to advance to the next or prior songs in the iPod playlist. In addition, pause and stop buttons do what pause and stop buttons are expected to do. When the user hits the cassette deck’s Eject button or switches from Cassette to Radio, Griffin’s SmartPlay technology automatically pauses the iPod.”
Griffin said that a version of the SmartDeck compatible with the iPod nano is expected to begin shipping in November.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has announced that its TransPod all-in-one iPod car accessory is compatible with the iPod nano. The company said that an included iPod mini insert and extra fit pads can be used to create a snug fit for the nano. A TransPod Fit Kit that includes detailed instructions for fitting a nano into the TransPod is available for download from DLO’s website.
“The DLO TransPod is the home for your iPod in your car, and it performs beautifully with the new iPod nano,” the company says. “It works with all dockable iPods so the whole family has one, simple solution for enjoying their iPods in the car.”
Motorola CEO Ed Zander added to the ongoing speculation of Apple’s intent to create its own mobile phone with comments today to CNET News.com. “We know that they are going to build a smart phone—it’s only a matter of time,” he said after his presentation today at Technology Review’s Emerging Technologies Conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Also, as a Motorola representative did earlier this week, Zander downplayed his comments about the iPod nano, claiming they were “taken completely out of context. We have a great relationship with Apple. I’ve known Steve Jobs for 15 years. Sure, there is some tension there. We have the Rokr, and they have the Nano. They are a competitor as well as a partner.”
No Starch Press will release Leander Kahney’s “Cult of iPod” book on November 1st. A follow-up to his “Cult of Mac” book, the title offers “a comprehensive look at how Apple’s hit iPod is changing music, culture, and listening behavior,” according to the book’s description. “The Cult of iPod includes the exclusive back story of the iPod’s development; looks at the many ways iPod’s users pay homage to their devices; and investigates the quirkier aspects of iPod culture, such as iPod-jacking (strangers plugging into each other’s iPods to discover new music) as well as the growing legions of MP3Js (regular folks who use their iPods to become DJs). 4-color throughout.”
STM has introduced a new version of its Cocoon case designed specifically for the iPod nano. The Cocoon offers two forms of protection—a silicone skin and a hard outer shell—that can be used together or separately. The silicone skin features a neck lanyard and screen protector, while the zip-up hard case, made from compressed EVA, offers a belt clip, soft inner lining, and a mesh pocket for earphones. The Cocoon for the iPod nano will be available in November for $35. “So whether you’re at the gym, doing housework or sipping cocktails by the beach, safeguard your iPod nano in an STM cocoon and silicone skin,” says STM.