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Macworld: Griffin iTalk Voice Recorder coming in April

Griffin Technology has posted details about its upcoming iTalk Voice Recorder for iPod. The iTalk mounts to iPod via the headphone port and can record seminars, meetings, classes, notes in your car, songs, etc. - up to 100 feet away. “Its built in microphone was designed to record crystal clear audio and iTalk’s Automatic Gain Control assures you have the best possible signal level recorded. You can even connect an external microphone directly to iTalk for even more recording options. iTalk includes a pass-through headphone jack that allows you to monitor your voice recording, or simply listen to your music without having to remove iTalk again. You can also download your recordings to your computer to play back, but iTalk’s speaker is so good you may not have to.” Griffin is expecting to ship the iTalk in April 2004 for $34.99.

Macworld: Belkin Announces TuneCast II FM Transmitter

The TuneCast II FM transmitter features FM frequencies 88.1-107.9MHz and Auto ON/OFF. It also memorizes up to four FM frequencies to give you easy and quick access to your favorite songs. The TuneCast II comes in two models: a white version and a gray version. The gray version, TuneCast� II Mobile Transmitter (F8V3080; ESP $49.99) , ships with a Belkin Mobile Power Cord that connects to your car’s cigarette lighter to provide extended power while on the road. The white version,TuneCast� II Mobile Transmitter (F8V3080-APL; ESP $39.99), includes only a DC cable for optional battery-free operation. The DC cable plugs into the DC jack on the Mobile Power Cord (F8V7067-APL; ESP $19.99 ) for iPods with Dock Connector.

RadTech Announces PodSleevz

  • January 5, 2004
“The PodSleevz is the ultimate, full-coverage protective sleeve case for 3G iPods..  Based on RadTechs popular PowerSleevz notebook sleeves, the PodSleevz formfitting case adds almost no bulk to Apples svelte iPod, and is the first case to fully envelope the iPod while allowing operation of the devices touch control buttons right through the case!  The PodSleevz features control zones debossed into its 0.8mm thick Optex face which provides perfect control sensitivity. Weighing a feathery 4 grams, PodSleevz utilize a supple, double polished Vinyl window for iPod display protection, as well as a die cut knock-out for docking port cable access.  The PodSleevz allow full use of Apples included clip case, as well as most third party iPod accessories; Griffin iTrip, Belkin Voice Recorder, Altec Lansings inMotion, etc. RadTech will have plenty of product on hand at MacWorld Expo, South hall booth #2618. RadTech products will also be available at the Think Different Stores South hall booth, #2634, and Developer Depot, North hall booth #3851.”

Mini iPods to use new Cornice 2GB hard drive?

MacMinute reports - “Cornice, a company specializing in compact, high capacity storage, today introduced (PDF) the 2GB Cornice Storage Element, a tiny hard drive for use in consumer electronics, portable devices, and possibly the rumored Mini iPods. The company previously offered a 1.5GB drive. ‘The 2GB Storage Element will allow electronics device manufacturers to build new pocket-able products that store more music, video, and pictures, as well as more office productivity files such as presentations and word processing documents.’ The 2GB Storage Element is available to manufacturers for US$70 per unit in quantities of 100,000 per year.”

iPod ads “do a terrific job of seducing and selling”

  • January 5, 2004
  • iPod

“That fact was borne out in the results of Ad Track, USA TODAY’s weekly consumer survey. While iPod has a somewhat narrower potential audience than many products, 19% of consumers familiar with the ads like them “a lot,” about the Ad Track overall average of 21%. And 20% consider the ads “very effective” vs. the average of 21%.

The ads’ appeal ranged across age groups. Though they were most popular with 25- to 29-year olds (29% like the ads “a lot”), 19% of consumers ages 50 to 64 gave them the top mark. Just 2% of those over 65 like the ads “a lot,” however.”

AppleMatters: Next To The iPod Everything Else Is Ugly

  • January 5, 2004
  • iPod
“There are other products out there that do what the iPod does and for less. Check out the specs on the iRiver iHP-120. It has a similar shape to the iPod but comes with a built in FM radio, 16 hour battery, can play way more formats than the iPod (MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV, and OGG), has optical input and output for recording music directly to it and a built in voice recorder!”

iTunes Music Store coming to Japan

  • January 5, 2004

“Apple Japan Inc. is planning to launch a localized version of the iTunes Music Store in Japan the coming months.

Officially the company has not announced when or if it plans to launch the service, but staff at its newly opened retail store in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo have been telling customers the company is currently planning to launch the service ‘in the spring.’”

iSportCase iPod case for $20

Dealmac: Monster’s new iSportCase costs $19.95 plus $4 shipping at The Apple Store. (To find it, search for “iSportCase”.) It’s the lowest total price we’ve seen. This slim, open-face iPod case works like a cell phone belt clip to carry your iPod on your belt or the included self-adhesive car mount. There are two versions, for 10/15/20GB iPods and for 40GB iPods.

Macworld: Matias Announces New iPod Armor Case

“With looks to match Apple’s latest iPods, Matias today announced its newest iPod Armor aluminum hard case.� The new model has docking port access, and is compatible with every iPod Apple has shipped to date. “iPod Armor continues to offer the best protection available for your iPod,” said Vesna Vojnic, Marketing Manager for Matias. ‘We’ve had customers drop them onto concrete, fall down stairs, and their iPod has escaped unharmed.’ The new iPod Armor case comes bundled with a high-quality Armor Clip belt clip, and retails for $49.95.”

CNET: Music downloads decline after RIAA lawsuits

“The music industry’s controversial lawsuits against online song swappers appear to have forced U.S. computer users to severely curb their free music downloading habit, according to new research released.

The percentage of Americans who downloaded music from the Internet fell to 14 percent over the four weeks ended December 14, from 29 percent in a 30-day sample conducted in March, April and May, according to a telephone survey of 1,358 Internet users conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.”

Apple to webcast Macworld Keynote

Apple will be webcasting a live QuickTime stream of the Macworld 2004 Keynote on Tuesday, January 6 at 9 am Pacific time/12 pm Eastern time. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce new products for 2004. Will he announce low cost, mini iPods? iLounge will be reporting the event live as it happens via the iLounge IRC channel with guest reporter Trent Lapinski of Apple-X.net. As usual, any iPod related news coming out of Macworld will be posted under iPod News as well.

Podboard iPod Stand Announced

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“‘Podboard’ is a stainless steel iPod stand made in Switzerland.  It supports all iPod versions, lets owners create their own skin (i.e.  with calendar, ruler, phone numbers) and share it with others. Price is 44 Swiss Francs (currently about 36 US Dollars). Pre-orders accepted now, shipping starts January 20, 2004.”

Lajo announces $10 coupon

  • January 4, 2004
“Every customer that bought an exo or exo2 (over 60,000 exo and exo2 sold) can get a $10 coupon for a free SWVclip, one of the four new #### belt clips for exo and exo2.  The process is rather painless, go to www.####.biz/#### and click on the #### signature in the banner ad (top of the page), click info and read the instructions.  The $10 coupon has no expiry date. This offer is available to any exo and exo2 customer regardless of whether you bought your exo2 from the ####.biz site or not. Customers that bought from the ####.biz site will get a separate email to inform them of the offer. The offer will expire on Monday, January 12th, midnight, Central Time.”

iChicken video

My friend afallahi and I are both proud iPod owners and I happened upon this chicken one Easter (thanks Mom) and it just made sense to put one and one together. Apple’s “new” iPod and iTunes commercials are great and haven’t been parodied too much yet, so the opportunity was prime. We both hope you enjoy the show and please feel free to send the link to your friends.

DJs look to iPod as the next turntable?

  • January 3, 2004
  • iPod

“The biggest advantage DJs have already discovered is the iPod’s size. “Vinyl” DJs have to lug heavy boxes containing hundreds of albums. But many are taking up the iPod music player, which can hold 1,000 digitised albums in a package smaller than a cigarette packet. [...]

But does the iPod embody the future of DJing, given that unlike vinyl, it is supremely portable yet unshowy? Mr Gower is circumspect. “It’s an alternative - both this and vinyl can exist simultaneously,” he said. “A few years ago people said vinyl was dead, but we’re actually seeing more being pressed today than then.”

But with the number of iPods and other digital players doing nothing but rise, it could be that at future raves, the man or woman at the front will be waving a white gadget in the air as it plays. And you could never have done that with a record.”

Robert X. Cringely predicts cheaper iPods and video iPod for 2004

  • January 3, 2004
  • iPod

Robert X. Cringley, best-selling author and writer for PBS has posted his predictions for 2004.

“What IS guaranteed is that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPod using flash memory instead of a hard drive. Oh, and for next Christmas expect a video iPod, which is essentially a hard drive with a dedicated DV encoder/decoder and a FireWire interface. You’ll be able to record video direct to the hard drive then edit from that same drive, completely eliminating tape. The logical follow-on from Apple would be a complete QuickTime video camera, but I don’t see that until 2005.”

Windows: iPod-Ex[tras] 0.1 Released

This software will let you create contacts in vCard format supported by iPod. You can manage your contacts on iPod once you export the contacts to iPod.

Griffin iFM Radio for iPod canceled

iLounger Larry W. has informed us that Griffin Technology has announced it has canceled the production of the iFM Radio for iPod in an email to customers who pre-ordered. The Griffin website has also removed the iFM from its products page. Click ‘Read more’ for the letter from Griffin.

RipDigital announces CD ripping service

RipDigital recently announced a new CD ripping service to save you time from doing it yourself - ideal for those with large collections of CDs that have yet to digitize them. RipDigital will turn your CD library into an MP3 library of 224Kbs bitrate song files with “a traceable, unique identification code in each converted track” to discourage illegal file sharing. You can opt to have the MP3 library stored on a DVD or a hard drive. Prices for ripping your CD collection start at 100 CDs for $129. After placing your online order, RipDigital will send you all the packing materials for shipping your CDs. When we asked RipDigital if they offer AAC encoding the response was, “Currently we only offer MP3 conversion. In the near term, we’re keeping it simple. I take your point about AAC and this may be something we add down the line.”

PocketDock for iPods for $17

Dealmac: SendStation’s PocketDock for third-generation iPods is back in stock at MegaMacs.com for $16.99 plus around $8 shipping. We still haven’t found a cheaper price elsewhere. (MacMall charges the same but adds an inexplicable $24 or more for shipping.) The PocketDock converts the iPod’s docking port into a 6-pin FireWire port.

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