Apple today launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions to affiliate websites. The iTunes Affiliate Program will complement successful iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. The iTunes Music Store is the world’s number one music service with over 125 million songs purchased and downloaded to date.
Tunewear today announced a new silicone case for 4G iPods. Compared to traditional silicone cases, the ICEWEAR series uses the same silicone found in diving masks which allows for both scratch protection and a clear view of the iPod’s original color. The ICEWEAR series design allows access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel. Shock absorbing ribs on the sides not only serve to protect the iPod during falls, but they also function as a grip for the iPod when held in your hand or when placed on most any surface. The ribs also glow the iPod when held in the light. The new ICEWEAR 4G will retail for $24.95 and will be available worldwide in September.
Larry Angell of MacMinute.com writes “In an obvious move to gain new Mac purchasers, Apple is heavily promoting the similarities between the iPod and the new iMac G5. The main tagline on Apple’s homepage says it best. “From the creators of iPod. The new iMac G5,” the page simply reads, showing an iPod and iMac side by side. It appears Apple is hoping that the cross-platform success of the iPod will help the company to convince Windows users to make their next computer purchase an iMac. ‘Just like the iPod redefined portable digital music players, the new iMac G5 redefines what users expect from a consumer desktop,’ said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.”
Christian Hieber of iPodFun.de, a German language iPod website, has learned more about the Bose SoundDock while attending Apple Expo Paris. The SoundDock dock acts as a charging station and features an IR (infrared) port for use with an included wireless remote control for the iPod. Pricing is set at $299 and is expected to ship October 15. Christian had a chance to demo the SoundDock and said, “It looks like a fine, well designed and powerful living room item. The sound is amazing, although there is no subwoofer, it’s okay with the bass. But it’s pricey. It works with 3G/4G iPods and mini iPods.”
While on stage at the Keynote address at Apple Expo Paris, Vice President of WorldWide Marketing, Phil Schiller revealed that Bose has developed a speaker system for iPod named the SoundDock. The photo to the right depicts a large rectangular speaker grill with an integrated dock for the iPod. Details about the new Bose unit have yet to be released.
Griffin Technology today announced the Griffin PodPod. The soft foam Griffin PodPod slips into any auto cup holder and provides a safe secure ride for any iPod or iPod mini. It also places the iPod in comfortable reach for easy adjustment and perfect placement for the iPod or iPod mini with an iTrip on top. The PodPod will ship next month for only $9.99 and is being shown this week at Apple Expo Paris. Pre-orders are being accepted now at http://griffintechnology.com
During the opening moments of the Keynote at Apple Expo Paris, Vice President of WorldWide Marketing, Phil Schiller told the audience that the iPod has captured 58 percent share of the digital music player market since June 2004.
In the Keynote presentation at Apple Expo Paris, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller has announced that the iTunes Music Store will be available to all European Union countries in October. Schiller also noted that Apple is the first company to sell 100 million songs online since its debut in April 2003. The iTunes Music Store has also sold 5 million songs in its first eight weeks since being introduced in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, a rate of 625,000 songs per week.
XtremeMac has announced the release of Talking Panda iLingo, a Language Translator for iPod (Mac/Win) created by Talking Panda. Using the iPod’s built-in Notes feature, iLingo equips the iPod toting traveler with over 450 essential words and phrases. Each translation is displayed on screen and, with the push of the play button, spoken aloud, making it easier to recognize and speak key words and phrases. Talking Panda iLingo will initially be released in three versions: English-Euro Pack - translates English to Spanish, Italian, German, and French; French-Euro Pack - translates French to English, Spanish, Italian, and German; and English-Asia Pack - translates English to Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Each pack costs $39.95 and will debut at XtremeMac’s Apple Expo Booth #B49 in the Paris Expo Center, August 31st through September 4th, 2004, and will be available from the XtremeMac website, in Apple retail stores, at Apple Store online and through our network of national and international resellers and distributors following Apple-Expo.
Matias released its new Clear iPod Armor mini case at Apple Expo Paris today. With a clear ABS plastic front and rugged aluminum back, the new case features docking port access and iTrip compatibility. The Clear iPod Armor mini case is available immediately, and retails for $34.95.
DLO has released two updated cases for the 4G iPod. The Jam Jacket 40/20 silicone case ($29.95) and the Action Jacket neoprene case ($24.99). The Jam Jacket 40/20 features textured sides for gripping, a thin, built-in transparent screen protector, access to all functions and comes in several colors including Glow Green.The Jam Jacket 40/20 also comes in a 3-pack with Cobalt Blue, Clear and Glow Green for $39.99. The new Jam Jacket 40/20 cases are available for pre-order with shipping expected the last week of September. The Action Jacket 4G is available now.
RadTech has announced the 4G PodSleevz featuring the same play-through-case design as the previous line of RadTech iPod sleeve cases. The form-fitting sleeve case is made with super soft, ultra tough Optex, RadTech’s exclusive optical-grade material that’s thin and lightweight for durable, long-lasting protection without the bulk allowing it to be used with the Apple iPod clip case. The case costs $19.95 and is available in several colors.
Pod Secret allows one to store encrypted notes, medical vaccinations, credit cards, bank numbers, traveler’s check, serial numbers, passport, driver’s licenses, or any other data that you wish on removable media such as an iPod or a thumb drive for convenient portable access!
The Neo iON provides direct connection to most factory and aftermarket car stereos. When connected your car stereo buttons will control the iPod, the iPod battery will charge, and the sound will play from your car stereo speakers. The adapter includes a 11.5’ (3.5M) cable that plugs directly into the iPod. The other side of this cable plugs into the CD changer port on the back of the car stereo – there is no FM modulation. Once the cable is plugged in your car will charge and power your iPod, as well as control it (Next/Previous track, FF/RW) using your car stereos existing buttons (steering wheel controls if you have them). The New iON Car Kit is compatible with 3G/4G iPod and iPod mini. The Neo iON retails for $189.
In a characteristic demonstration of his ability to personalize other people’s musical innovations, rap mogul P. Diddy used this evening to unveil a diamond-encrusted iPod at his after party for the MTV Video Music Awards. Covered with 120 diamonds, the HP-labeled iPod is now unquestionably amongst the world’s most expensive customized iPods, and each guest at the Diddy party will receive an iPod - sans ice. Additionally, iPod minis and related accessories have been given away to VIP attendees of the Video Music Awards, and to VIPs at an earlier MTV Movie Awards show this year.
MacMinute reports: “The iTunes Volume Discount Program allows companies and educational institutions to purchase iTunes Music Store download codes in bulk, which can then be distributed and redeemed for free music. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 25,000 song downloads for commercial entities and 10,000 volume song downloads for educational institutions. ... The company revealed that it is able to offer discounts of as much as 20 percent off the standard 99 cent pricing for certain bulk purchase levels.”
So much for Apple’s “10 cents a song” profit margin on iTunes songs. MacMinute also notes that Apple is offering new iTunes encoding and marketing tools to music companies.
In what appears to be the most aggressive discounting to date on the fourth-generation iPod hardware, Buy.com is now offering the new 40GB Apple iPod from HP for only $341.99 with free shipping. The lower-end 20GB model is available for a similarly impressive $251.99. Apply the 10% coupon code from the link below to see the discounted prices.
Beware: Though it works for now, Buy.com’s coupon may be retracted or disqualified, but it’s probably worth the risk.
Not content to allow the “Apple iPod from HP” to be dismissed as just an iPod clone from a second company, Hewlett-Packard has disclosed in an interview with iLounge both the company’s new iPod-related product offerings and the actual differences between the Apple and HP versions of the iPod. “There are a lot of similarities between the two products,” explained HP’s Perry Ralph, Product Manager for the Apple iPod from HP, “we wanted to extend [the iPod] and integrate it more into the PC space and the digital entertainment space.”
To that end, HP has demonstrated a new portable, LCD-equipped 4"x6” photo printer, the HP PhotoSmart 375 ($199), which can connect with the iPod via USB for direct digital printing. The printer can run off of battery power and also includes Bluetooth wireless functionality for direct print connections to cellular phones and other devices. HP has also introduced HPTunes, software compatible with Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center operating system “which lets iTunes music be played on the Media Center’s extended interface,” which Mr. Ralph explains was previously not possible.
Tech-savvy users will likely believe that HP’s changes to the iPod hardware are only skin deep. Mr. Ralph said that although the HP logo will now appear in addition to Apple’s on the back of HP-distributed iPod hardware, “other than that, the physical components are all the same.” From cables to Docks to earbuds, the Apple iPod from HP will use all of Apple’s parts, not HP’s.
But the differences, including new packaging, manuals, and a poster, are intended to make the iPod even easier for first-time digital music users to enjoy. “The user guide is very Windows-centric,” said Mr. Ralph, “so we can talk to the Windows-based consumer.” Noting that HP’s research suggested that new iPod users needed more help ripping CDs and transferring music to the iPod, Mr. Ralph said that a “setup poster we have is the first thing you see when you open up the box; in a single page you let the consumer see how to connect it up [and easily use the iPod].” And unlike Apple, HP will recommend use of the included USB 2.0 cable for music transfers, given the smaller penetration of the FireWire standard in the Windows PC market. Software in the HP box will be identical to Apple’s PC installers for the iPod.
Starting with the September 30th issue of Rolling Stone magazine, HP will also give away HP Tattoos - iPod covering stickers featuring photographic and artistic content from various recording artists. Each magazine will include one Tattoo from a total of five or six variations, and blank Tattoos will be available in 10-packs ($14.99) from HP, Circuit City, and CompUSA. Free art will be provided for the blank Tattoos by MTV and BMG at www.hp.com/music. Individual blanks will not be available. HP claims that the Tattoos will last for between three and four weeks and will leave no residue on an iPod.
On a final note, HP explained the following regarding its use of two product names in publicity materials today, the abbreviated “iPod+hp” name is intended to appear in headlines, while the actual product name is “Apple iPod from HP.”
Afraid of losing your iPod and never seeing it again? A new service might be the answer to insure your iPod’s safe return. LostiPods.com is offering iPod registration ($5 fee), stickers (coming soon) and a reward system to help you get your iPod back.