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iPod mini sound distortion issue

Many forum members have been reporting that their iPod mini is creating audio distortion when used. One such member claims to have discovered a major ‘design flaw’ in the iPod mini, which results in sound distortion when placing pressure anywhere on its surface or headphone port. The source of the noise may be a weak connection between the headphone port and the main circuit board.

“My iPod mini after two weeks of gentle use started to make horrible static noises; sometimes sound will disappear completely. Then the sound will return to normal, but any pressure as small as thumb pressure anywhere on iPod mini will make sounds to come back. Resetting iPod did not help. Guided by the detailed ‘iPod mini Autopsy’ posted here on iPodLounge, I disassembled by iPod rather easily. To check the reason of these noises, I started to play the iPod and disconnected the wheel, then the hard drive, but iPod was still playing (out of 25 min flash memory) and still making noises. Eventually, I narrowed the problem to a small little part that contains headphone and remote jack and metallic part in the shape of the white plastic top.”

PowerDesign releases new iPod mini BodyMask stickers

picPowerDesign USA has recently released several new iPod mini BodyMasks including; BodyMask Clear ($5.50), BodyMask Color ($7), Self-Design BodyMask ($9.50), and Carbon-Fiber BodyMask ($12). Each BodyMask comes with stickers for all sides (top, bottom, front, back) plus the click wheel. BodyMask for the iPod mini dock is optional. BodyMask Clear comes with an LCD protector.

Lajo releases exoflpmini case

picLajo has released yet another case for the iPod mini. The exoflpmini features a dock friendly design, access to all functions, includes protection over the mini’s click wheel and comes in a variety of colors. The exoflpmini sells for $21.50 (case only) plus $5 shipping to anywhere in the world.

Major labels want to raise the price of online music

“All five of the major music companies are discussing ways to boost the price of single-song downloads on hot releases - to anywhere from $1.25 to as much as $2.49. It isn’t clear how or when such a price hike would take place, and it could still be months away. Sales of such singles - prices have remained at 99 cents - still account for the majority of online music sales.

The industry is also mulling other ways to charge more for online singles. One option under consideration is bundling hit songs with less-desirable tracks. Another possibility is charging more for a single track if it is available online before the broader release of the entire album from which it is taken. There is also talk of lowering the price on some individual tracks from older albums.”

iPodMods offers new iPod modifications

iPodMods is now offering several new iPod modification services including; changing the color of your iPod’s LCD backlight ($75), changing the color of the four touch buttons on a 3rd generation iPod ($65), changing the LEDs on the Belkin Battery Pack ($25) and TuneCast FM Transmitter ($25). All modifications are available exclusively at iPodMods.com.

Did you replace your iPod earphones?

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Marcus Lillkvist writes not about the popular iPod, but it’s mostly unpopular white earphones. Many users think the earphones are uncomfortable and produce mediocre sound and have replaced them with better, aftermarket alternatives. “Still, some customers are quick to dump the Apple-supplied buds. High-school student Austin Agarwal took $390 in birthday money last year and treated himself to an iPod. But when he slipped on the headphones that come with the device, he says the the bass was fuzzy, and the high notes muffled. It sounded “like an old boom box,” he says. Less than a week after the 17-year-old who lives in Easton, Conn., bought his iPod, he plunked down $150 more for a pair of higher-end headphones.”

“It’s not clear how many iPod owners discard their ear buds. ‘We chose the 80-20 rule, as we think that the supplied headphones satisfy the big majority of our customers,’ says Stan Ng, director of iPod product marketing at Apple Computer Inc. The company recently introduced a $39 a la carte option, designed to address the fit issue. It comes with three different size caps, to ensure a snugger fit.”

Music Recommendation System for iTunes released

The Music Recommendation System is an automated system that provides music recommendations specifically tailored to each user to find new music that they might like. This system, designed by students at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), operates by taking ratings from your own iTunes playlists and comparing them against other users who have used the recommendation system. Right now we have a very small number of users, and so the recommendations will most likely be laughable. However they will get better over time as more people enter into the system; meanwhile, enjoy while the numbers grow. Works on Mac or Windows.

Lajo announces exo3mini for iPod mini

picLajo has released another silicone case for the iPod mini today. The exo3mini features 0.7mm silicone, 0.5mm silicone covering the click wheel and comes in an assortment of colors. Lajo will also be releasing new accessories for all exo and exomini series cases. Exo3mini is compatible with iTrip and iTalk and sells for $9.50 plus $5 shipping to anywhere in the world.

“Me and my iPod” Photo Contest launched

picIf you liked last month’s giveaway, you’re going to love this one. Three lucky people are going to get awesome new in-ear phones courtesy of iLounge and its partners, with one winner taking home a $900 personally customized pair of UE-10 Pros from Ultimate Ears.

What you need to do: Submit a photograph of yourself with your iPod or iPod mini for the new “Me and my iPod” photo gallery. The photo can be funny, sexy, art inspired, or whatever you dream up, so long as you follow the photo and contest rules.

“Secrets of the iPod, Fourth Edition” released

picPeachpit Press has announced the release of Christopher Breen’s fourth edition of Secret’s of the iPod. “This updated, fun guide from Macworld magazine columnist Chris Breen offers tips and tricks for all of you Mac and Windows users on how to get the most out of your iPod and iPod mini. In addition to the inside skinny on the iPod’s all-touch interface and on-the-go play lists, you’ll also find hints for accessorizing and protecting your iPod, tips on maximizing its storage capabilities, and troubleshooting advice for when it refuses to cooperate.” Now available for $19.99.

Mac: iPod2Mac 1.2 released

iPod2Mac can copy music files from the invisible folders of the iPod to your Mac.

Mac/Linux: PlayFair 0.2 released - removes DRM from protected AAC files

Decode Apple iTunes Music Store protected AAC files into unprotected AAC files so that they can be played outside of iTunes.

Note: Several users of this software are reporting crashes when using the converted AAC files in iTunes on Mac or PC. One user notes: “It appears that before running the playfair you need to make sure to play an encrypted song in iTunes and possibly even need to copy an encrypted song to the iPod to make sure the correct key is on the iPod. I tried it again after doing those two things and it worked. So the code appears to still be fairly buggy so I wouldn’t go around decrypting all your files without backing them up, but it does work, you just need to be carefull to test your resulting files.”

Playfair requires a Unix command line interface to be installed.

Linux on iPod progresses

“A release version of the 2.4.24 kernel is now available for download! This version includes full support for first, second and third generation iPods (no iPod mini support) including audio, firewire and remote.

The other important inclusion with this release is the demo podzilla program. Podzilla is a basic GUI demo similar to the native Apple firmware, it has a very simple mp3 player which can be run by running the file browser and selecting a .mp3 file, during playback the pause/play button will pause and menu will exit back to podzilla.”

Virgin Mobile giving away iPod minis

  • April 5, 2004
  • iPod,
“This spring, Virgin Mobile is giving you the chance to win some booty, some Big Booty. Spread the word about Virgin Mobile and get your friends to Live without a plan. If enough of them buy their phones direct from Virgin Mobile, you could win. The top 50 customers who refer the most friends to Virgin Mobile by 5/3/04 will win an Apple iPod mini. The next 100 will win a $50 gift certificate to the Apple iTunes Music Store.”

New study concludes file sharing does not hurt sales

The draft of a new study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee of the Harvard Business School and Koleman S. Strumpf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill concludes that file sharing is not hurting record sales.

“The problem with the industry view, Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf say, is that it is not supported by solid evidence. Previous studies have failed because they tend to depend on surveys, and the authors contend that surveys of illegal activity are not trustworthy. “Those who agree to have their Internet behavior discussed or monitored are unlikely to be representative of all Internet users,” the authors wrote.

Instead, they analyzed the direct data of music downloaders over a 17-week period in the fall of 2002, and compared that activity with actual music purchases during that time. Using complex mathematical formulas, they determined that spikes in downloading had almost no discernible effect on sales. Even under their worst-case example, “it would take 5,000 downloads to reduce the sales of an album by one copy,” they wrote. “After annualizing, this would imply a yearly sales loss of two million albums, which is virtually rounding error” given that 803 million records were sold in 2002. Sales dropped by 139 million albums from 2000 to 2002.”

Theif slammed with iPod mini in self defense

“Fortunately I was armed with more than my one and a half Krav Maga lessons

New web-based portal to iTunes Music Store launches

SiteLink Network recently launched “Tune-Watch”, an advanced web portal to the iTunes Music Store, implementing an easy-to-use interface that allows users to browse the Store’s latest additions, new releases, and top songs and albums without actually launching Apple’s iTunes software. Tune-Watch also provides direct links to the Store through iTunes for purchase or more detailed browsing.

Castle in France uses iPods for audio tours

  • April 4, 2004
  • iPod,

A reader notes that Chenonceau Castle in France has started to use iPods for its audio tours. Visitors may borrow an iPod featuring two tours in varying lengths in eleven languages narrated by one of France’s famous actors, Micha

iTunes Case Study released

“The Digital Media Project’s Green Paper, iTunes: How Copyright, Contract, and Technology Shape the Business of Digital Media, provides an in-depth look at this service from the perspective of comparative law. Members of the Digital Media Team

The iPod is “hard to use,” creates new CD ripping service

  • April 3, 2004
  • iPod,

“It’s the epitome of cool, a must-have item rated No 1 with teenagers, oldies and muggers alike.

Yet the iPod digital music player has confused so many thousands of new owners that the gadget has spawned its own service industry - to help technophobes download their own songs. [...]

Now companies are springing up to meet the need, including the London-based wePod, which does the hard work of converting disc tracks into electronic files for the iPod, using its own specially developed software. Even though it does not advertise, the new venture claims it has been inundated with inquiries.”

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