In addition to the new iPod, Apple also today announced iTunes 6. Available just five weeks after the last major update, iTunes 5, the new version of Apple’s popular jukebox application and online music store features the ability to purchase and download video content for the new iPod.
iTunes 6 offers more than 2,000 music videos, a handful of television shows from Disney/ABC, and six short films from Pixar Animation Studios all priced at $1.99 each. As part of a deal with Disney, current and past episodes from “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” as well as the new drama series “Night Stalker” and the two most popular shows from Disney Channel, “That’s So Raven” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” are being offered.
Other new features in iTunes 6 include expanded online gift options that allow you to give specific songs, albums, music videos or iTunes playlists to anyone with an email address, a public beta of the new “Just for You” personalized music recommendations, and the debut of online customer reviews.
As widely expected, Apple today introduced the long-rumored new iPod with video playback capabilities. The new fifth-generation device, which is up to 30% thinner than the previous full-size iPod, features a larger 2.5-inch color screen (320 x 240 resolution, 260,000 colors) that can play videos, including music videos, video Podcasts, home movies and television shows, in addition to displaying album artwork and photos. It supports MPEG4 and H.264 video at 30 fps and also sports TV out. (See our report on iTunes 6 for further details on available video content). The new iPod is available in both white and black versions in 30GB ($299) and 60GB ($399) capacities. Both models will begin shipping next week.
iLounge has snapped exclusive photos of advertisements for the new iPod, which will be introduced today at Apple’s “One more thing” event in San Jose, California. The familiar silhouette posters clearly show an all-new iPod model with a noticeably larger display, approximately 2.5 to 2.6 inches diagonal, compared to the current full-size iPod’s 2-inch screen. Also of note, the headphone jack has been moved from the top-center to the top-right side of the device.
MORE TO FOLLOW
The Army National Guard has been recruiting young men and women online with the promise of three free downloads from the iTunes Music Store to anyone who agrees to be contacted by a military recruiter.
Make magazine’s Phillip Torrone has posted an excellent photo diary of how to make a robot statue from an iPod box, hot glue and paint.
The Associated Press reports: “The European Union called on Europe’s music industry Wednesday to create EU-wide copyright licenses for online music, saying this would boost demand for legal downloads.”
RealNetworks has settled its digital media antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Analysts say the deal will help the two companies compete against the iPod and iTunes, but won’t put them in the lead.
Tunewear today announced the Prie Jewel, a “luxurious iPod case sensation for iPod and iPod mini.” The new case features a metallic pink and sliver design, rhinestone buckle, and removable silver chain. “Passionate colours, ever-so-smooth soft touch and the pretty design combine to bring you an iPod case that is functional as well as very chic,” says Tunewear. The Prie Jewel also features clear vinyl screen and click wheel protectors and access to the earphone and dock connector ports. It’s priced at $39.95.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced a redesigned TransPod, its all-in-one car solution for the iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini. Like the original TransPod, the device broadcasts your iPod’s music to any FM radio frequency from 88.1 to 107.9 while simultaneously charging and cradling the iPod in the car.
The new TransPod features a “smaller, sleeker design with a beautiful curved form and easy-access controls.” It also offers intelligent power control that automatically turns the TransPod on when the iPod is docked and off when the TransPod is not in use. Other new features include front-based tuning buttons and side-based buttons that control backlight and preset functions.
The new DLO TransPod comes in white, silver and black, and sells for $99.99.
During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call with analysts and press Tuesday, a senior Apple executive said that the final phase of a complete iPod lineup revamp would be revealed before the holiday shopping season, hinting that full-size iPods would soon receive a makeover and new features—possibly at tomorrow’s special event in San Jose, California.
While discussing the iPod family and the new iPod nano, which just replaced the iPod mini, Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations, said that his company had some “very innovative new products that we have yet to introduce” for the holiday season. Cook noted that Apple began working on “revolutionary” new versions of its iPods more than a year ago, and that last quarter was the final quarter for the older models.
Also during the conference call, Cook said that Apple sold over 1 million iPod nanos in the first 17 days of the product’s availability (before the fourth quarter ended), and that the company is seeing “staggering” demand and an “enormous backlog” for the tiny device.
Reporting record fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Tuesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 6.4 million iPods during the quarter, the 10th consecutive quarter of record iPod sales.
Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $430 million, or 50 cents per share, on $3.68 billion in revenue—the highest quarterly earnings and revenue in the company’s history. These results compare to a profit of $106 million and revenue of $2.35 billion last year. For fiscal 2005, Apple had a net profit of $1.335 billion on revenue of $13.93 billion, representing the highest annual net profit and revenue in the company’s history.
With today’s report of Apple shipping 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter—about 300,000 more than last quarter and approximately 4.4 million more than a year ago—the total number of iPods sold now stands at over 26 million.
In an SEC filing, Apple said all iPod models accounted for more than $1.212 billion in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 126 percent compared to last year. Apple’s “Other Music Products
Contour Design has announced two new hard cases for 20GB and 30GB fourth-generation iPods. The cases are expected to start shipping on October 26th. Pricing information was not available.
Showcase Sport ($32.95)
The new Showcase Sport builds on the design of the original Showcase hard case. It features a new, secure sliding latch, smoother shock absorbing rubber, and a streamlined design to offer “superior protection and looks.”
The Contour ToughShell is made of a lightweight transparent material that “complements its sleek and streamlined design without compromising a hard case’s ultimate protection.” It also sports a snap-tight latch.
Apple will report its fourth quarter financial results later today. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimate the company will earn 37 cents a share on $3.72 billion in sales.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store now includes 15,000 podcasts, and visitors have subscribed to more than 7 million of the shows, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bill Amend’s FoxTrot comic strip features a mention of Apple’s iPod nano, with one character saying he is going to design a competitor called the “jPod pico.”
Two iPod accessory makers have publicly criticized Apple for its “Made for iPod” licensing fee, which reportedly takes 10 percent of the price of a product that connects to an iPod dock connector port.
Dominique Water, head of Bose’s Asia Pacific operations, said: “All Apple partners were told of the decision some weeks ago. This is a massive license fee which will not sit comfortable with many partners. Bose is not happy as the proposed fee is excessive by any standards.”
An Altec Lansing spokesperson said: “We were told of the port fee some weeks ago. It is ridiculous. It is excessive and will result in many partners rethinking their relationship with Apple. It will also push up the cost of Apple accessories.”
Marware has introduced its new accessory lineup for Apple’s iPod nano. The new line consists of 10 cases made from neoprene, silicone, plastic, fabric and leather in a variety of styles and colors. “Rather than scaling down existing case designs to fit the nano, Marware has designed new, unique cases that complement the nano’s sleek form,” explains the company. Most of the cases, which are summarized below, will be available by the end of October.
The orca-skin neoprene case features a unique side-opening lid, clear plastic screen and click wheel protector, armband clip, belt clip, and hand strap. It comes in black, blue or silver for $29.95.
Sporty neoprene case offers complete protection and features a removable belt clip, velcro closure and a pocket to hold earphones. It’s available in black or blue for $19.95.
An ultra-slim, form-fitting case with screen protector and removable mini clip. It comes in black and sells for $19.95.
Flexible silicone case with clear plastic screen protector. The case is available in 10 colors for $9.95 each.
Sport Grip Extreme
Rugged silicone case with hard plastic screen-protector, carabiner, and lanyard. Available in same 10 colors for $19.95.
Hard plastic case with pull-out side for earphone storage. It also features a screen protector and removable belt clip, and is available in black for $19.95.
CEO Card Wallet
The full-grain leather wallet holds business cards and your nano. The $24.95 case comes in black, brown, red and pink.
CEO Billfold Wallet
A full-featured black leather wallet that holds your nano, credit cards, cash and other essentials. It sells for $34.95 and features plastic screen and click wheel protector. Marware notes that it is for jacket pocket use only.
Animal print case come with lanyard and carabiner, and is available in seven different prints. It sells for $19.95.
Nano-sized version of its holiday-inspired iPod sleeve. It includes lanyard and carabiner and sells for $19.95.
Miniot has introduced the iWood nano, a new iPod nano case hand-crafted from wood. The iWood nano—available in varieties such as maple, mahogany, pear, wengé and walnut—is carved from a single piece of wood and features a hinging lid. It can be ordered with a monogram initial on the outside and a two-line message inside. Pricing was not immediately available.
“The iWood nano is made from the best gift of nature: wood. Massive wood of course from various kinds of trees. Carefully selected and carved with precision, the iWood nano fits and protects the iPod nano like a glove. The iWood nano’s own natural color is not all that makes it unique. Your own monogram engraved on top makes it even more personal, let alone the discretely hidden message inside.”
Japan’s music industry has asked the government to charge a royalty on portable digital music players. “Money earned from the fee, likely to be 2 percent to 5 percent of the retail price, would go to recording companies, songwriters and artists as compensation for lost revenue from home copying.”
7-11 stores in Japan will start selling iPods later this month. “Japanese consumers will be able to buy five types of iPod from the chain, including the iPod nano.”
Police in the UK have blamed an increase in street robberies on the popularity of iPods and mobile phones. “Figures to be released by the Home Office later this month are expected to reveal that muggings rose by almost 40% in some parts of the country last year.”
Newsweek has an article looking at the music industry’s crusade to collect shares of ad and content revenue for its music videos and artist searches on search engines like Google.
iAttire has announced a new line of handmade Halloween costumes for iPods. Priced at $39.99, the costumes are available in seven styles for the iPod, iPod mini, and iPod shuffle. You can choose from Frankenstein, Ghost, Pirate, Vampire, Witch, Mummy or a Paper Mask assortment.
“Get into the fun of Halloween without having to wear a costume yourself. For the Halloween enthusiast, the gadget freak who loves Halloween, and for avid collectors of all types, these costumes are made for you to enjoy. Designed to be replicas of people costumes, these costumes fit and wear just like those you might select for yourself.”
Yahoo! has embraced podcasting in a major way with the launch of a new online destination that lets users easily find, listen to, rate and subscribe to podcasts. The service, which is now in beta stage and located at podcasts.yahoo.com, features a large podcast directory, community tools, and compatibility with iTunes and iPods.
“Yahoo! Podcasts offers community ratings and reviews to help people find the right podcasts for them, user tagging for better searching and discoverability, and a comprehensive podcast search,” explains Yahoo!. “In addition, Yahoo! is providing most popular and highest rated lists, category browsing and editorial picks. Yahoo! plans to add more features to Yahoo! Podcasts throughout the beta period, including personalized recommendations and easy-to-use publishing tools, which will allow anyone to create and publish their own podcasts.”
Following complaints from Korean digital music player makers, Samsung and Apple could be facing an antitrust probe over NAND flash memory chip pricing. Samsung is said to have sold its flash chips to Apple for the iPod nano at below-market prices, crippling makers of iPod competitors who cannot now build comparable devices at the same price points.
“Speaking at a local radio talk show, FTC Chairman Kang Chul-kyu said questions about Samsung and Apple engaging in unfair trading could be investigated by the antitrust body,” reports Asia’s Yonhap News. “The issue of whether Samsung provided cheap flash memory chips for use in Apple’s latest MP3 music player was raised earlier this week during a parliamentary audit on the FTC. Rep. Kim Hyun-mi claimed that Samsung sold its NAND chips for US$54, or roughly 50 per cent of market prices.”
Altec Lansing has released the inMotion iM402 Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Headset, which lets you quickly switch between listening to your iPod mini and your cell phone. The iM402 consists of a receiver unit that plugs into the mini and a clip-on remote unit that you plug your headphones into. It works up to 30 feet away, and features controls for volume, play and pause. The iM402 sells for $179 and offers up to 5 hours of talk time and up to 5 hours of stereo playback time.
“The Altec Lansing iM402 wireless headset is now the only thing that ever has to come between you, your cell phone and your iPod mini. The iM402 puts your iPod mini and cellular phone directly under your command, letting you use both at the same time at an incredible level of freedom and convenience. You can listen to your iPod, hear a phone call come in through the headset, take the call with the touch of a button, then go back to the iPod the same way.”
Now available is the thirteenth iLounge podcast, co-hosted by iLounge’s Bob Levens and Jeremy Horwitz. This week’s podcast discusses at length iLounge’s take on next week’s “One More Thing” Apple event and the surrounding rumors, the current Lounge Poll and what people really want Apple to add to the iPod, reviews of Klipsch’s iGroove and Oregon Scientific’s iBall, Oakley’s Thump 2 sunglasses, and by request, what’s hot in the iLounge Discussion Forums.
If you haven’t listened to our podcasts before - or if you have taken a break from them - this is definitely the one you should hear.
Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.
In our look back at this week in the iLounge Discussion Forums: Although a tutorial was posted recently on the web regarding using Brasso to remove scratches from iPod nanos, it is not a new discovery. Nearly three years ago, Brasso was suggested as a suitable polish for iPods. But be warned - if you work the surface too hard you could end up with this problem...
In the Hacks & Mods forum, members continue to display their iPod painting skills. One has painted his 4G iPod blood red, and not content with that mod, he has also changed the display. Another member has painted the front AND back of his 4G iPod.
The iPod mini may have been relegated to the history books - for now - but it is still a popular model and it is still supported on iLounge, with forums for General Discussion and also Problems & Solutions. And if you feel the “tough kid” on the Apple block needs protecting, there is always the iPod mini Cases forum.
Finally, we have re-established a channel on IRC for those iLounge members who wish to chat with other members. If you’re an experienced IRC chatter the server is: irc.hashmark.net and the channel: #ilounge - availability permitting, we hope to have a member of Team iLounge available as often as possible. More info can be found here.