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Time: How the iPod nano came to be

Time magazine has published a three-page article on the creation of the iPod nano and its replacement of the iPod mini.

“It’s amazing that the nano even made it to the stage,” writes Time’s Lev Grossman. “The story of the nano started nine months ago, when Jobs and his team took a look at the iPod mini and decided they could make it better. On the face of it, that wouldn’t appear to be a fantastically smart decision. The iPod mini was and still is the best-selling MP3 player in the world, and Apple had introduced it only 11 months earlier. Jobs was proposing to fix something that decidedly was not broken.”

The article also includes some choice quotes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

“The more we started to talk about what this could be,” Jobs said, “it wasn’t long before I said, ‘You know, what if we just bet our future on this? Is that possible?’ And everybody immediately looked pretty scared. Including me.”

“What’s really been great for us is the iPod has been a chance to apply Apple’s incredibly innovative engineering in an area where we don’t have a 5%-operating-system-market-share glass ceiling,” Jobs said. “And look at what’s happened. That same innovation, that same engineering, that same talent applied where we don’t run up against the fact that Microsoft got this monopoly, and boom! We have 75% market share.”

Mac: iPod It 2.5 released

ZappTek has released iPod It 2.5, an update to its Mac OS X software that lets you transfer calendar and contact information from applications such as Entourage, Mail, Address Book and iCal. This release adds RSS feed support, revamps iCal support to provide greater control over your calendars, improves Mail processing and a number of other enhancements. iPod It sells for $14.95.

Tunewear announces Tunewallet for iPod nano

imageTunewear continues its barrage of iPod nano accessories with the announcement of the Tunewallet nano. The business card-sized leather case opens up like a bi-fold wallet and features a card slot inside the flip-cover for credit cards, business cards or cash.

“Best of all, Tunewallet nano is small enough and protective enough that you can simply throw it in your bag or pocket and enjoy your music wherever you go without having to worry about your iPod nano getting scratched,” says Tunewear.

The Tunewallet nano will be be available in October 2005.

Mix: nano destruction, Playing it safe, Discovery, nano uses

As part of its review for the iPod nano, Ars Technica performed a stress test that included dropping the device at various speeds and heights, and running over it with a car.

“Playing it safe is the most dangerous thing we can do,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs recalls telling a gathering of Apple executives and engineers last year regarding the company’s lead in digital music. “We have to get bolder.”

Some scholars say iPods, TiVos and other technology are causing consumers to miss out on discovering new content. “What concerns me is that we are developing an information segregation,” said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University. “People are ending up exposing themselves only to the ideas, issues and entertainment that suits them. And I don’t think that’s healthy in the long run.”

Geek Culture’s Joy of Tech comic has a humorous look at alternative uses for an iPod nano.

Apple posts iPod nano TV commercial

imageYou can now download and watch the new iPod nano television commercial, which was first shown during Steve Jobs’ presentation at Apple’s special event last week. A departure from the company’s long-running silhouette ads, the new spot features nothing but hands and the new iPod nano along with the tagline “1000 songs. Impossibly small.” The ad has been receiving heavy rotation on network and cable TV since the nano was introduced.

Klipsch announces iJam boom box

imageIn addition to its new iGroove speaker system, Klipsch has introduced the iJam boom box for all iPods with dock connectors. The portable system features an iPod cradle, FM tuner, dual 4.5-inch woofers with coaxial mounted tweeters, and a passive radiator located on the rear that delivers “hard-hitting bass response.”

“Perfect for the beach, the garage or a backyard barbeque, this high-end portable digital music system will allow iPod and other MP3 users to easily share their tunes with anyone anywhere,” says Klipsch.

The battery-operated iJam also comes with an A/C adapter. It will be available in “multiple finish options that reflect the season’s hottest colors.” Pricing and availability was not announced.

Forums: New Forums, nano views, pico?, iTie

In this week’s look at the iLounge Discussion Forums: with the release of the iPod nano, new forums have been created to cater for the latest member of the iPod family. We have added a iPod nano General Discussion Forum as well as a forum for Problems & Solutions. There’s also a sub-forum for the surely imminent range of iPod nano Cases.

Like the iPod nano? Dislike it? Disappointed or overjoyed? Share your nano views with other iLoungers in the “The Official New iPod nano Thread ..... What do you think?!” thread.

And just as the iPod nano hits the shelves, one member posts what he believes is the next in the iPod line - drumroll please - the iPod pico!

And one member has posted what must the ultimate iPod accessory for the school or office - a hole new dimension in ties - The iTie…...

New Podcast: iLounge Week in Review 9, enhanced

imageNow available is the ninth (and abbreviated) iLounge Week in Review podcast, hosted by iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz.

This week’s podcast rapidly covers the obvious big topics of the week: Apple’s introduction of iPod nano and iTunes 5, and Motorola’s introduction of the ROKR E1 phone. We also discuss Harman Kardon’s new Drive + Play, which is featured in a brand new First Looks article today. Enhanced (with pictures and links) and regular (audio only) versions of the podcast are available.

Past podcasts, including week 7’s edition with audio samples from the voice recorders iTalk (2) and iFM, are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.

Direct download: Enhanced Version (includes photos and URL links)
Direct download: MP3 Version
Subscribe to our Podcast feed
Subscribe to our iTunes Podcast feed
Listen to Past Podcasts

Mix: Samsung, Zen Nano, Walkman, Xbox 360, Sept. sales

Korean MP3 player makers are “miffed” by the release of Apple’s new iPod nano, which they say is using cheap Samsung flash memory chips through an exclusive deal. A Reincom spokesman said, “We can hardly declare a price war with Apple. We’ll counter Apple’s challenge by releasing new concept products.

Pioneer rolls out iPod-ready A/V receivers

imagePioneer Electronics has announced two new A/V receivers—the VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV—which feature iPod connectivity and navigation.

“Connect iPod directly to the receiver to enjoy music through a home theater sound system,” says Pioneer. “This transforms a primarily personal music player into something that can be enjoyed throughout the home. Instead of using the Click Wheel on the iPod, the remote control on the receiver is used to navigate through playlists, songs, artists and genres. The information can be viewed from a scrolling 14-character display on the receiver or from a full display on the TV.”

Pioneer’s new receivers can connect up to 18 products in total, and offer an auto room-tuning option and HDMI connectivity with digital video conversion, among other features. The VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV are available now for $1,500 and $1,200, respectively.

Mac: Pod2Go 1.5 released

Kainjow has released Pod2Go 1.5, a new version of its Mac OS X software that lets you put a variety of content on your iPod, such as news feeds, weather reports, movie showtimes, driving directions, lyrics and more. Version 1.5 brings the ability to view local gas prices on the iPod, along with importing music from the iPod back to the computer, a new Directions tool and much more. Kainjow has also announced a iPod nano Giveaway to celebrate Pod2Go’s 3 year anniversary. Pod2Go is priced at $12.

Tunewear announces Poptunes for iPod nano

imageTunewear has announced new versions of its Poptune adhesive protectors for the new iPod nano. Poptunes are removable and reusable, and provide protection against dirt and scratching. The wrappers ofer full access to all ports and controls, and come in a pack of 12 stylish patterns including tropical “Aloha,” fierce “Dragon,” pretty “Sakura” and more. Poptunes for the iPod nano will be available in October. Pricing was not announced.

ezGear intros ezSkin cases for iPod nano

imageezGear has announced its first case for the new iPod nano. The ezSkin nano case is made of high quality silicone and has openings on the top and bottom for access to the hold switch, dock connector port and headphone jack. It will be available in five colors—blue, pink, green, black and white—and comes with a neck strap, an integrated removable belt clip, and a clear ezShade screen protector. The ezSkin nano case will be available later this month for $24.98.

iPod nano & Motorola iTunes phone photos

Check out the new unpack photos of the iPod nano and Motorola ROKR iTunes phone in our iPod Photo Galleries.

Kensington announces new iPod accessories

imageKensington today announced the addition of five new products to its line of iPod accessories. The new gear includes a set of speakers, an FM transmitter and a combo FM radio and transmitter for dock connector iPods, and a travel plug adapter and clip set for the iPod shuffle.

The SX 2000 Speakers ($159.99) feature “breakthrough flat-panel SurfaceSound speaker technology from NXT and deliver superior bass, more balanced sound, and a wider sweet spot versus traditional cone speakers.” The speakers will come with the iPod Universal Dock.

Kensington’s Micro FM transmitter ($49.99) lets you play the music on your iPod through any FM receiver. It’s built with Aerielle wireless technology, which is said to offer “superior audio and noise filtration so your music sounds great.”

The Digital FM Radio and FM Transmitter ($79.99) is a 2-in-1 FM transmitter and radio for any dockable iPod. It lets you listen to your favorite radio station with your iPod or transmit your music through your home or car stereo. The device features a backlit digital display, four pre-sets and also uses Aerielle technology.

The Kensington Travel Plug Adapter with USB Charger ($39.99) is a “complete travel plug adapter in a convenient size” for the iPod shuffle. It allows you to plug into outlets in up to 150 different countries, and has two modules that allow you to either charge your iPod or plug in any AC powered product.

Transporters ($19.99) come with two attachments—a belt-clip and spring-loaded carabineer clip—for easy carrying of your iPod shuffle. The case’s proprietary locking caps “protect the USB connector and keep your shuffle safe and secure no matter where you put it.”

Kensington told iLounge that the iPod accessories wouldn’t be available until later this year. The company’s website has yet to be updated with the new products and we are awaiting photos from Kensington.

Mix: ROKR, nano teardown, Synaptics, iPod cemetery

Motorola’s Carson Schmidt said the ROKR is “the first phone in a series of phones that we will be launching over the next year. You can expect an announcement on a quarterly basis for new phones in the range. A 3G model would be the obvious progression.”

A Japanese tech news site has already dismantled one of Apple’s new iPod nanos. See the destruction here if your stomach can handle it.

Synaptics, which supplies scroll-touch technology for full-size iPods, wasn’t tapped for the new iPod nano. “We believe its uses an alternative solution,” Synaptics Chief Financial Officer Russ Knittel said.

Merrill Lynch said it was disappointed with the new ROKR phone. “We do not expect that the ROKR will contribute meaningfully in the near term,” the firm said, adding that it is a “poor compromise” and has “an outdated look and feel.”

Engadget has posted a roundup entitled “The iPod family cemetery” of all of the discontinued iPod models over the years.

Australian iTMS coming next month; Two labels unsigned

Forbes reports that Apple plans to launch an Australian iTunes Music Store early next month, but that the company is still trying to reach an agreement with two of the four major record labels to offer their music in the country.

“Apple is working to expand iTunes and plans to open up an Australian version of its iTunes online music store Oct. 3, according to people familiar with the negotiations,” Forbes reports. “But how much music the store will have for sale is an open question. Of the world’s four major music labels, only two—EMI Group and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group—have agreements to sell their music on the site so far. Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music, a joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann, have yet to sign on with Apple, which has been rumored since last spring to have plans to launch the site.”

The same two companies are also the holdouts at Apple’s recently opened iTunes Music Store in Japan.

iPod Updater 2005-09-06 released

Apple has posted iPod Updater 2005-09-06 for download on its website. The update includes new iPod Software 1.0 for Apple’s iPod nano, but does not bring any new features to current iPods. According to the release notes, iPod Updater 2005-09-06 “contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-06-26 for all other iPod models.” As reported yesterday, the iPod nano’s software includes a world clock with multiple time zones, stopwatch, and a screen lock feature.

Mix: 30GB iPod, Sony players, ROKR, Replacement cycle

Apple has mistakenly listed a 30GB iPod (instead of 20GB) alongside its 60GB model on its online store. When viewing full-sized iPods, a new graphic is displayed for the 30GB iPod with a $299 price.

In an attempt to steal a bit of Apple’s thunder this week, Sony has introduced sleek new Walkman music players. Sony announced 6GB and 20GB models that feature an organic EL display that blends seamlessly into the player.

David Pogue of the New York Times writes about the new Motorola iTunes Phone. “If you’re looking for an iPod phone, the Rokr isn’t it; it stands no chance of living up to the hyperventilating hype of the last few weeks. But as an iTunes phone—the only one on earth that lets you carry subsets of your Apple store-bought music on errands and other short missions—the Rokr is great-sounding, reasonably priced and a lot of fun.”

The new iPod nano “is a dramatically different iPod,” Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster said after yesterday’s special event. “It’s not only going to bring new people into the market, but it will start a replacement cycle among iPod owners. Everyone is going to want one.”

Tunewear announces Icewear case for iPod nano

imageTunewear today announced its first case for Apple’s new iPod nano. The Icewear nano is made of the same high-density silicone found in diving masks for both scratch protection and a clear view of the nano’s original color. It allows access to all ports and controls (headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel) and has shock-absorbing ribs on the sides to protect the nano during falls and to increase grip. The Icewear nano will be available next month for $19.95.

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