Toshiba today announced an 80GB version of its 1.8-inch hard drive that should eventually find its way into Apple’s iPod range. The company, which makes the drives found in current iPods, said the 80GB units would ship in the third quarter of 2005. “The Japanese manufacturer didn’t mention any customers by name of course, but having supplied Apple with micro hard drives to date, it seems likely the relationship will continue with the new, higher capacity,” reports The Register. A thinner and lighter version of the company’s 1.8” 40GB hard disk has also been introduced, and is likely to find its way into digital music players.
Altec Lansing has announced the limited edition inMotion iM3 Black, a special version of its iM3 portable audio system designed to match Apple’s U2 iPod. Like the original white inMotion iM3, the black model offers a built-in iPod docking station for charging and syncing, and has four full-range micro drivers and “MaxxBass” technology that simulates a subwoofer. The system, which provides more than 24 hours worth of playback on four AA batteries, comes with a black wireless remote control, a universal power supply, a 3.5 mm stereo cable for auxiliary input from other audio devices, and a padded carrying case. The black iM3 is available now at Apple Stores and the online Apple Store for $179.
iLounger Wesley Vasher has built an excellent dock for his second-generation iPod out of hard wood and aluminum.
Organizers of the upcoming Grammy Awards are reportedly letting voting members hear nominated songs for free through Apple’s iTunes Music Store.
CBS Marketwatch says the growth of the iPod remains the crowning achievement of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ business strategy since he returned to the company in 1997.
iPod and iTunes spokesband U2 are among five musical legends to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the foundation’s 20th annual induction ceremony next year.
iPodSync 2.22 is the latest version of the Windows tool to keep Microsoft Outlook calendar, contact, tasks and notes synchronized between a PC and iPod. This update adds a new file synchronization functionality, new RSS interface, improved progress display, and the ability to write to an iPod using unicode file format.
H2O Audio has issued a statement attempting to explain a slightly negative Associated Press review of its SV Mini waterproof case for Apple’s iPod mini. The company told iLounge that the initial round of cases sent out to reviewers was “pulled from a shipment of pre-production units” that “do not have a final housing seal.” H2O Audio said these units are “splash proof but possibly not waterproof in an active environment,” noting that the final cases are in transit and are expected in the coming weeks. iLounge has been testing the preliminary case for some time. We have delayed our review while awaiting representative final product of both the case and its included waterproof headphones.
Mike Wendland of the Detroit Free Press says the iPod mini is his gadget of year. “All of the iPods are awesome. But this little package, weighing in at 3.6 ounces, a half-inch thick and the size of a business card, is so slick and so sleek that all I can say is: Sweet.”
In his latest commentary piece, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber aims to dubunk the image and description of the rumored flash iPod that TheMacMind posted earlier this week.
Actor Colin Farrell, who is hosting Saturday Night Live this week, appeared in a Spanish-language talk show skit as U2’s Bono along with the band’s special edition iPod. The host, “Fericito,” countered Farell/Bono with an older Sanyo cassette recorder/player that “holds 15 songs and your photos too” (fold-out wallet photos were taped to the back of the large player).
The current Joy of Tech comic pokes fun at the rumored flash memory-based iPod. The comic features four “flash” iPods including a Super-hero branded iPod, a disco edition, and an iPod “flasher.”
Apple and PayPal today announced that the US iTunes Music Store now accepts PayPal for purchases of music, audiobooks and gift certificates. Starting today, PayPal users can shop at the store with a credit card, bank account or stored account balance. “We are thrilled that PayPal users can now buy their music on the world’s number one online music store,” said Todd Pearson, general manager of PayPal’s Merchant Services. “PayPal’s virtual wallet offers iTunes customers the convenience of paying in the way they prefer.” The first 500,000 customers to open a new iTunes account in the US using PayPal as their form of payment before March 31, 2005, will receive five free songs.
Booq has announced PodPaq Denim, a new version of its PodPaq case for the 4G iPod and iPod photo. The $39.95 case is made from washed denim and trimmed in soft Nappa leather. The case features a removable flap with cutouts for headphones and charging cable, an internal neoprene accessory pouch and a swivel belt clip.
Toshiba has reportedly agreed to supply Apple with flash memory chips—presumably for the much-rumored flash iPod. China Daily reports that Yasuo Morimoto, senior executive vice president at Toshiba, has confirmed his company will start selling the memory chips to Apple “early next year.” Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich expects Apple to introduce a cheaper flash memory-based iPod at Macworld Expo in January. Toshiba currently supplies Apple with the 1.8-inch hard drives that the company uses in its 4G iPods.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store has posted its Top 100 Songs and Top 100 Albums of 2004. The No. 1 song is “This Love” by Maroon 5, while the No. 1 album is U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.
John C. Dvorak highlights yet another “iPod Killer
Digital Age Products has rolled out the iSoundz portable desktop speaker system for iPods with Dock connectors. The system features fold-away speakers for easy portability and offers “clear, crisp sound in a design that cradles your iPod, but doesn’t hog your desktop (or your iPod’s battery charge).” The iSoundz speaker system, which retails for $39.95, includes an audio cable, AC adapter and a USB charging cable for recharging the system’s Ni-MH battery from your notebook or desktop computer.
Audio Outfitters today introduced the iPod PowerStick, an auxiliary power source for use with all iPods with Dock connectors. The PowerStick triples the battery life of your iPod when used with four AA batteries, according to the company. The accessory features an on/off switch and LED, and charges the internal iPod battery while attached to the iPod via the Dock Connector. The iPod PowerStick retails for $27.99.
Our friends at Engadget have posted an impressive, nicely illustrated tutorial on changing an iPod’s graphics to include custom visuals of your choice. The hack requires a program called iPod Wizard, which is explained in greater detail at the tutorial link.
PDAtrends has introduced three new iPod products—PowerGuard, ScreenShield and WheelFilm. The iPod PowerGuard protects the back of the device from scratches and dirt. It is available in several different colors and patterns. The ScreenShield acts as a protective layer for the screen of the iPod. Each pack contains six ScreenShields. The iPod WheelFilm is a sticker-like add-on that protects your iPod’s Scroll/Click Wheel. It also comes in different colors and patterns. All three products work with the 3G and 4G iPod, iPod mini and iPod photo. They are priced at $9.95 each.
One MacGyver-like iPod owner has posted detailed instructions on how to make an iPod carrying case out of a milk jug.
Radiologists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and other institutions from as far away as Europe and Australia are now using iPods to store medical images.
eBay has removed a modified U2 iPod promoting Negativland from its auctions after Apple complained of copyright violations.
At least one company in Hong Kong is selling a bootleg set of Apple’s trademark white earphones.
Pacific Design has announced a new version of its iPod Pouch for fourth-generation iPod models. The new case is made of microfiber and features full access to all buttons and ports, a 360-degree detachable belt clip, and clear PVC to protect the LCD screen. The new iPod Pouch fits both the 20GB and 40GB iPod and is available in Titanium grey metallic, Pretty pink metallic, and Super silver metallic.
iPresent It 1.0.1 is the first update to ZappTek’s software for converting PowerPoint, PDF and Keynote presentations to slideshows viewable on your iPod photo. This version adds built-in Keynote processing, improved image quality, and support for PowerPoint X in addition to 2004. iPresent It sells for $17.95.
Contour Design has announced the Showcase Photo, a new hard case designed for Apple’s iPod photo. Based on the original Showcase for 3G and 4G iPods, the accessory offers all-around protection, clear exterior with shock-absorbing interior, screen protector, detachable belt clip, Click Wheel access, and top and bottom openings for access to connectors, headphone jack and hold switch. The Contour Showcase Photo will be available beginning next week in two colors—black or white—for $32.95.
YamiPod is a freeware application to manage your Apple iPod for Windows and Mac OS X. It can also help you to rebuild the music library, in case some program messed up your iPod. New features in this version include: notes are automatically split if longer than 4KB, choice of destination playlists and many more.
At this week’s UBS Media Week Conference in New York, two executives took aim at Apple’s iPod. Andrew House, VP of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said he plans to first get the company’s Playstation Portable (PSP) in the hands of consumers as a gaming device and then use it to sell music and video downloads. The device uses a proprietary Sony storage disc format that can store about 2GB worth of content. “In the portable space, there are devices that are a necessity, like a cell phone, and there are devices that are indulgences,” House said. “The iPod fits very much into the indulgence and status category and that is where we are going to go head-to-head with PSP.”
Meanwhile, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman said in a separate presentation at the conference that he sees a large opportunity to sell the label’s music on mobile phones, which he expects will hold as much as 1,000 songs like the iPod mini. “Eventually, the greatest competition [for the iPod] comes from the wireless network providers,” Bronfman said. “If my cell phone—or one of those 1.3 billion cell phone users as opposed to the five million iPod users—can give me the same kind of functionality as the iPod, that’s the biggest competition.”