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USA Network launches iPod, iTunes contest

MacMinute reports “the USA Network is offering a contest to promote its new “The 4400” series, which premieres on July 11th. ‘One Grand Prize winner will receive 4,400 iTune [sic] song downloads and a 40GB iPod. In addition, five First Prize winners will receive a 20GB iPod and five Second Prize winners will receive a 15GB iPod.’ The contest runs until Monday, July 12th. Further details are available from the Web site.”

iTunes subscription service needed for Apple to stay on top?

“What should Apple do to stay on top? Plenty. For starters, it needs to embrace the new ways consumers want to buy music. While the iTunes store offers 99 cents downloads, Apple has yet to provide a subscription service for folks who want to listen to whatever they want for a monthly fee. To stare down a raft of new music players, Apple needs to broaden its product line. It should consider forming partnerships to add iPod technology to cell phones and other futuristic devices. And it needs to address nagging quality problems, such as scratchy-sounding headphones and disappointing battery life. While most buyers love their iPods, Apple has to hit a higher standard to keep its market share, premium prices, and good buzz it has with buyers.”

Pepsi Australia giving away an iPod every hour

Pepsi Australia is giving away 15GB iPods every hour on the hour. Buy a 600ml Pepsi, Pepsi Max, or Pepsi Light, SMS (text message) the code on the back of the label, and go into the drawing for that hour. The giveaway starts midnight, May 31st and continues until September 24th. That’s 1008 iPods to give away. Also, any entry you make goes into the draw to win one of 10 iPods after the competition is over.

European Football Championships schedule for iPod Notes

German website i-pod.de has released a schedule of upcoming matches for the European Football Championships for use with the Notes feature on iPod/iPod mini.

Global Source PDA Memorial Day Sale

Except for pre-order items, everything is 20% off upon check out. No coupon code needed. Global Source PDA sells a USB retractable iPod docking cable, FireWire retractable iPod docking/charging cable and a Deluxe Leather iPod mini case. The sale event ends May 31st.

iPod 15GB $274, 20GB $369 and iPod mini for $235

“X10 Wireless Technology, Inc.—a leading online retailer of affordable consumer electronics, specializing in security, surveillance, entertainment and automation products—is excited to now offer a selection of best-selling iPods at the lowest prices available on the Internet. Beginning Friday, May 28th, X10.com will offer the iPod 15GB [$274], iPod 20GB [$369] and iPod mini [$235] for the best prices available on the web—including Amazon.com. Quantities are limited.”

A $50 Microsoft iPod Killer? Feh!!

Microsoft is apparently preparing to battle the iPod. Not satisfied with decimating the Macintosh with undercut pricing (and, admittedly, a more sound distribution model) Microsoft wants the iPod to have a more Apple-like 5 percent market-share.

But will it work? Yes, and no…

David Crosby says iTunes is “brilliant”

PBS’ Frontline interviewed David Crosby, a music legend known for his solo performances as well as his work with the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In it Crosby mentions how iTunes looks “really, really, really promising.”

Why did that work? Because it was simple, and it was already existing hardware. And anybody could have done it, but Steve Jobs put it together. It works like a charm. You upload it; they download it. They pay you a buck or two. It’s that simple.

You getting some hits from that? You bet. And I’m going to get a lot more. No packaging cost, no promotion, no lairs of distributors, each taking 20 percent off as it goes by. No returns, no free goods, nada! [laughter] No costs! That’s a good business model that works, and it’s working for them. They’re a brilliant company, and that’s a brilliant idea. And if I were in a position to invest in the stock market, which I wouldn’t be, it certainly would be Apple, because that’s the one that works.”

White iPod earbuds appear in cell phone commercial

The Vodafone cell phone company has broadcast a TV commercial in Japan that portrays a woman using white iPod earbuds to listen to her music-capable cell phone. It is a conclusive sign that other manufacturers are trying to “cash in” on the coolness of the white earbuds. The phone itself actually ships with cheap silver-and-black headphones, not the white earbuds used in the commercial (which are clearly iPod earbuds).

Windows: iPodRip 2.0 released

Put control of the iPod back in your hands with iPodRip, with the ultimate iPod companion. iPodRip supports importing of your songs to iTunes or a location on your hard drive as well as playback of songs.

Matias releases iPod Armor mini

picMatias Corporation has released the iPod Armor case for the iPod mini featuring; an aluminum and plastic hard case exterior; black velvet interior; access to the headphone port,  “Hold” switch and click wheel (when open); and can accommodate the iTrip FM Transmitter. The iPod Armor mini is available now for $49.99 (includes optional Armor Clip belt clip) plus free shipping.

Editor’s note: Read our exclusive review.

iSkin blowout sale at iPodX.co.uk

To celebrate their first month of trading, iPodX.co.uk are having a blow out sale on iSkin products. For the remainder of May they’re dropping the price of the new iSkin eVo to just 17.99 and the iSkin Mini to just 15.99. This offer is only open until Midnight on the 31st of May 2004.

Online single sales enjoy new life

“Catchy singles reach radio as much as eight weeks before the full-length CDs they are on land in the stores, but customers willing to pay for legal downloads online have had to wait, sometimes until just before the CD’s release date.

Music companies had feared that issuing the songs any earlier could fuel piracy, upset traditional marketing plans and anger brick-and-mortar retailers. But in the past six months, recording companies have had a change of heart.

Songs are now routinely released for sale by download through iTunes, Napster, RealRhapsody and other services on the same day those tracks hit radio.”

iPod market share “may be overblown”

MacMinute reports Apple’s iPod is a hit, but analysts’ belief that it commands 25 percent of the global market may be overblown, Alex Salkever writes in his latest “Byte of the Apple” column for Business Week Online. He says this is because “very little good data exists on international sales of consumer electronics.” “According to one of those chipmakers and to industry analysts, worldwide shipments of digital-music-player chips hit about 15 million last year,” Salkever writes. “An April, 2004, report from investment bank CIBC on this market estimated global sales of flash and hard-drive music players at 17 million. If that’s true, then the 1.5 million iPods sold in 2003 gives Apple 8 percent to 10 percent of the global market.”

iTunes Music Store UK launching mid-June?

“Apple could be ready to launch its iTunes Music Store (ITMS) in Europe by the middle of June, sources said to be familiar with the company’s plans have claimed.

They reckon that the Mac maker may now have secured licences from the major labels and others it needs in order to open ITMS to UK and other European buyers.

Separately, we’ve heard the date 4 July bandied about, though since the date is far more relevant to the US than it is to Europe, it seems an odd choice, if correct.”

iPod:Essentials UK iPod accessory store launches

Yet another iPod accessory store has been launched for our UK readers. Available from www.ipodessentials.co.uk

are cases, chargers, voice recorders, headphones, speakers and a host of other goodies for both the iPod and the new iPod Mini. Gavin
Nicholson, 2nd Chance PCs MD, said “We wanted to provide somewhere clean and simple just the essentials for your iPod.”

iPod First Aid UK - iPod battery replacement service debuts

Plugstore.net (UK) has launched iPod First Aid, an iPod replacement battery service. iPod First Aid (75) includes battery replacement by Plugstore.net typically within 24 hours of first receipt, a 90-day new battery warranty, and return to the owner by registered post.

Mac: Pod2Go 0.7.3 released

Pod2Go takes an ordinary iPod and makes it extraordinary by syncing news, weather forecasts, movie listings, stock quotes, horoscopes, driving directions and much more all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Mac OS X 10.3.4 update released - now supports iPod USB 2.0

Apple today released Mac OS X 10.3.4. We don’t normally announce operating system software updates, but this particular update makes mention of USB 2.0 support for iPods. iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync. The update is available via the Software Update preference pane.

New website for podBooks launches

iPodLibrary.com, a new repository for “podBooks” created for iPod has launched. “podBooks are cool, instant “books” that can be accessed on your iPod using the Note Reader. Ideally suited to reference, sports and music info, guides and so-on, we now aim to make them available here at iPodLibrary.com - and also aim to encourage as many people as possible to author their own and to submit them for distribution.  All kinds of arcane and fun topics would work well.” The site encourages the creation and sharing of podBooks with a how-to guide to get you started.

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