MacMinute reports “The MP3 music format is losing ground to rival technologies backed by Apple and Microsoft, according to researchers at the NPD Group’s MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people’s hard drives. The researchers said that the percentage of MP3s in digital music collections has steadily declined in recent months, down to 72 percent of collections from 82 percent a year ago. The AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) format, which Apple’s iTunes Music Store uses, and Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format has each gained about 5 percent of the ‘hard-drive share’ in the past year.”
“Rob Enderle, consumer electronics analyst at The Enderle Group, says Apple has dominated the MP3 player market because its product is superior to competitors’, and Apple ‘outspent everyone else on marketing 10 to one.’
Companies such as Dell, Creative Technology, Rio and Virgin have announced new MP3 products aimed at taking business from Apple with lower prices and more storage. Enderle says Apple’s real test ‘is going to be in the next two months. None of the new products are as good as the iPod, but collectively, they could start to eat at Apple’s market share,’ he says.”
Belkin has announced two new iPod accessories. TunePower ($99.99) is a rechargable battery pack for use whenever there isn’t access to an AC outlet. The battery provides 8-10 hours of charge, comes with three sleeves to fit either an iPod and iPod mini players with dock connectors, and a detachable DC/FireWire power cable. The TunePower can be used with the Apple wall adapter to charge both the iPod and the TunePower. TuneBase ($49.99) is a flexible steel gooseneck mount/dock for the iPod mini. It plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter outlet and charges/powers the iPod mini and also features a 3.5mm line-out for use with the specially designed Belkin Mobile Cassette Adapter or TuneCast Mobile FM Transmitter (not included). The TunePower and TuneBase will begin shipping on October 25.
iPodMods repair and customizing service, has changed the price for color change mods to $35.00 for all LCD and Touch wheels (3G iPod). Due to overwhelming demand, they have made the offer more affordable to customers. The color change mod consists of replacing the original LEDs with new colored LEDs of your choice; Super Red, Super White, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green. iPodMods also offers general repair services for iPods starting at $20 and LCD repairs starting at $140.
“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 150 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, marking another major milestone for the online music business. The 150 millionth song was “Ex-Factor
Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes has updated “NNW Subscription to iPod Contacts”, an AppleScript that copies selected news Subscriptions from the NetNewsWire RSS reader in vCard format to the Contacts folder of any mounted iPod.
Griffin is now shipping its iBeam Laser Pointer and Flashlight attachments for iPod and iPod mini. “Introducing the Griffin iBeam set, ready for your dock-connector iPod or iPod mini. The snap-on flashlight is great for finding keys in the dark. The other half of the package is a class IIIA laser pointer, handy for iPod-friendly presentations and other, less professional pursuits. Both units come with a snap-on protective cap that can be attached to any keychain for convenient portability and accessibility.” The iBeam retails for $19.99.
RetroPod, makers of iPod cases from the shell of vintage Sony Walkmans shuts down at the request of Sony. “Your use of casings for such a purpose is a clear infringement of the SONY and WALKMAN marks because it is deceptive. Consumers likely will be misled and deceived into believing that Sony is somehow connected with the iPod personal stereo when in fact it is not.” Customers with unfilled orders will be refunded through PayPal.
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2004 fourth quarter ended September 25, 2004. Apple shipped 2,016,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 500 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter. Apples’ Q4 financial conference call with financial analysts and press also mentioned several iPod and iTunes related highlights. (Source MacMinute.com)
- Music based revenue grew 370%
- 2,016,000 iPods shipped, up 500% ($537 million)
- $98 million from iTunes Music Store and other iPod-related services/gear
- HP-branded iPod accounted for 6% of all iPods sold
- More European stores coming this month
Better Energy Systems Ltd. in London has announced a solar powered battery backup for the iPod and portable electronic devices. The Solio uses a 1600mAh lithium ion battery and charges at the same rate as the iPod’s normal charger and will store enough charge to extend the playtime of your iPod 40GB to about 9-10 hours. Solio works on all 3G and 4G models including the iPod mini. The Solio will also power your cell phone by changing out the tip.
Solio is selling in the UK and France at the moment for £49.99 and will be launching in the US and Japan very soon. Solio can be bought in the UK at online retailers such as www.ipodworld.co.uk and several high street shops including Micro Avika or Selfridges in London.
According to new data reported from analyst firm NPD Group, iTunes remains the leader in legal downloads by retaining a 70 percent market share for digital downloads between December 2003 and July 2004. Napster had a 11 percent share for the same period and MusicMatch, RealNetworks and Wal-Mart each had six percent share.
A musical dream come true, the iPod offers huge capacity, letting you easily slip up to 10,000 songs into your pocket. And enjoy it wherever you go. In the car. On the treadmill. At the office. Around the house. October’s Crossword Puzzle highlights some of the features and accessories for the iPod.
Starting today, people can visit www.hp.com/music and go to the tattoo gallery to create their own printable tattoos. People can import their personal digital photos or download exclusive tattoos designed by major music industry recording artists and award-winning designers. Printable tattoos are sold in 10-packs of printable glossy paper that are pre-cut in the shape of the iPod for $14.99. They will be available this month at Amazon.com, Circuit City, CompUSA, Fry’s, hpshopping.com, PC Mall and Radio Shack.
MacMinute reports that Apple’s iPod is still king of the digital music world despite increasing competition, according to a new report from the NPD Group. The research company said in a report released today that various versions of the iPod account for 92.1 percent of the market for hard-drive based music players, up from 82.2 percent a year ago. NPD said Creative and Rio were a distant second and third, with 3.7 and 3.2 percent of the market, respectively.
One of the many features listed for the new HP Digital Entertainment Center z500 series computers includes: “Choose, organize and enjoy digital music from 10 feet away with HP Tunes, part of the Digital Entertainment Center’s compatibility with the Apple iPod from HP. HP Tunes works with Apple iTunes(4) to give consumers access to their music collection and play lists via a remote control.”
Apple CEO, Steve Jobs was interviewed by BusinessWeek on the subject of innovation. Many companies have tightened their belts and cutback R&D, but not Apple, it forges ahead.
“Q: With the iPod, Apple moved beyond the PC into consumer electronics. But you’re still considered a niche player that picks its spots in bigger markets. Will you try to expand to become a more full-line player, like a Sony or Samsung?
A: The fact that you’re comparing us to Sony is a statement in itself. I’m flattered. We really respect those guys and what they’ve accomplished over the years. But we’re just trying to make great products. We do things where we feel we can make a significant contribution. That’s one of my other beliefs.”
The makers of foofpods have updated their choice of fabrics to include several Kimono Obi prints cut from actual polyester Kimonos. Kimono Obi foofpods are in limited stock and cost $16.50 plus shipping. Foofpods are handmade fabric sleeves for 3G/4G iPods featuring a soft interior lining and are available in thirteen fabric prints.
Apple has posted a new extended iPod commercial starring U2 in the iTunes Music Store. The ad features the boys of U2 as silouettes peforming their new song “Vertigo.”
Now you can take God’s Word with you anywhere you go. Using iPod’s ‘Notes’ feature, you can read the Bible* on your iPod. Each book is logically organized so finding the chapter you want is a breeze. The bible translation we currently offer is the King James Version.