Alternately referred to as the “iPod+hp” and the “Apple iPod from HP,” Hewlett-Packard’s rebranded version of the fourth-generation iPod will initially be available in 20GB ($299.99) and 40GB ($399.99) capacities. Pre-orders for the device are currently being taken at the HPShopping web site, and will receive free shipping as a “special offer.” A September 15, 2004 estimated ship date is listed at the site, though other HP pages list online availability beginning today “at various retailers” with in-store availability starting on September 12. HP is also selling a small collection of third-party iPod accessories from Belkin, Griffin, Altec Lansing and XtremeMac, all available now.
Other than the fact that each new unit’s chrome back carries both Apple and HP logos, the white and chrome iPod+hp initially appears identical to Apple’s version of the iPod, contradicting initial claims from HP that their model would come in a special “HP Blue” color. Unlike the iPod, however, the iPod+hp is listed as Windows compatible only, with a PC installation disk. HP will provide service for the device through HP Total Care, notably for one year with full telephone support during that year, surpassing Apple’s newly unimpressive single free telephone call policy. The company will also provide a customized instruction booklet and a new quick start poster to add to the iPod’s legendary ease-of-use.
HP is also offering one of nine different “HP Tattoos,” or iPod-covering musical artist stickers, to those who purchase the iPod+hp from CompUSA, Circuit City, or HPShopping.com. These stickers currently include designs for Ashlee Simpson, The Cure, Gwen Stefani, Keane, Lloyd Banks, Sting, The Who, The Hives, and Vanessa Carlton. The company has also announced plans to offer “HP Printable Tattoos” to allow users to make their own iPod stickers using HP printers and “the latest album art from the newest releases” - provided via HP’s Tattoo Gallery.
Beginning with sponsorship of the MTV Video Music Awards, HP will also launch a separate advertising campaign for the iPod+hp, including commercials on MTV channels across the world and a global digital photo contest with a trip to Rome, Italy as the prize. MTV and HP’s newly-announced strategic marketing partnership for promotion of the iPod+hp will include advertisements in territories from the United States to Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Update: MacMinute has posted copies of HP’s new iPod print ads .
“Such are the perils of using Shuffle, a genre-defying option that has transformed the way people listen to their music in a digital age. The problem is, now that people are rigging up their iPods to stereos at home and in their cars, they may have to think twice about what they have casually added to their music library.
Shuffle commands have been around since the dawn of the CD player. But the sheer quantity of music on an MP3 player like the iPod - and in its desktop application, iTunes - has enabled the function to take on an entirely new sense of scale and scope. It also heightens the risk that a long-forgotten favorite song will pop up, for better or for worse, in mixed company.”
AudioOutfitters announces that it is now offering pre-orders for the new iSkin eVo2 for the 4th Generation iPods. The list price of the new iSkin eVo2 is $29.99. AudioOutfitters will be offering them for $28.99, and no payment is necessary until the order is shipped. In addition, with every order for a new iSkin, you will be eligible to purchase an earPod for a discounted price.
Digital Age Products has released several new iPod accessories. The iSoundz CarCast FM Transmitter ($24.95) is an FM Transmitter that uses power from your auto’s cigarette lighter. It does not charge the iPod. The Soundz Sound Wallet ($39.95) is a small notebook sized case with built-in, self-powered, stereo speakers and a place for your iPod. The iSoundz Portable Desktop Mini Speakers ($39.95) is a desktop stand for iPod with flip-out speakers on each side. A power adapter and stereo cables are included.
ThinkSecret.com recently reported that Apple has changed its 90 day complimentary phone support for 4G iPods and minis (sold after July 24) to one incident within the first 90 days. The following appears on Apple’s iPod FAQ page:
Question 29: How long is iPod complimentary telephone support?
Answer: Newer iPods come with a single incident of complimentary telephone support within the first 90 days. This change in the complimentary support offering applies to:
iPod (Click Wheel)
any iPod minis sold on or after July 24
Previous models of iPod (such as the Dock Connector and Touchwheel models), as well as iPod minis sold before July 24, still come with 90 days of complimentary support (covering unlimited incidents).
“Apple is looking for two iPod hardware engineers both with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi experience, opening the possibility that the portable music player may be upgraded with wireless connectivity.
... At the very least, Apple is keen on increased integration between Wi-Fi and iTunes, and there’s a big hole in its product line here: the remote control system. Whether it has in mind something a simple as an 802.11-enabled iPod, a more complex tablet-style computer, or both, remains to be seen.”
A critical excerpt from Apple’s job posting (emphasis ours) notes that:
“* Experience in the following areas is important: system integration, digital logic, SDRAM, Flash, ASIC’s, processor selection, ATAPI, various communication protocols (ie: GSM, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11, Firewire, and USB), display types and video and analog integration.
* Broad experience: both digital and analog.”
“The iPod mini, a digital music player by Apple Computer Inc of the United States, has proved extremely popular since hitting the Japanese market a month ago.
People interested in owning the credit card-size gadget are waiting an average of four to six weeks for it to be delivered to them.”
The iStore.com is offering iLounge readers free standard shipping on the recently released iSkin eVo2 for 4G iPods. “Simply use coupon code 200410304 at www.theistore.com before August 29th and you will get free standard shipping on your entire order when you pre-order the iSkin eVo2 case for the new 4th generation Click Wheel iPods. Order whatever other iPod accessories you want. If the items are in stock, they will be shipped immediately, you will not have to wait for the iSkin eVo2 to be available to take advantage of free shipping on the other items.”
A reader notes that a website has posted detailed instructions on how to boost the signal of a Griffin iTrip with the following introduction: “The following is a proof of concept abstract on the iTrip amplifier using the schematic available from thewolfweb. Its purpose is to increase the signal produced by the Griffin iTrip. Use of the finished device is prohibited (in the US and Canada) as it violates Part 15 of FCC laws.” Perform this at your own risk. iLounge is not liable for any damages or injuries.
Piel Frama has released a new leather case for the 40GB 4G iPod featuring a front cover with magnet closure, removable swivel belt clip, two credit card pockets and one money pocket. The case comes in black, tan, black/tan, red, and costs 50 Euros (approx. $61) with availability in early September.
Altec Lansing has released an update to its inMotion speakers for iPod named the inMotion iM3 Portable Audio System. The iM3 features: travel alarm clock when used with iPod; built-in docking station for charging and syncing; four custom-designed neodymium 28 mm micro drivers; MaxxBass(R) technology; wireless remote and built-in controls; 24 hours of continuous playback with four AA batteries; auto shut-down; and secondary input jack to connect other audio devices, including laptops, older iPods, and other MP3 players (cable included). The iM3 is available now at Apple Stores and Apple Store online for $179.00 and direct from Altec Lansing for $179.95.
PodGourmet is an iPod based gourmet food recipe database with 260 select recipes.
iSkin is now taking pre-orders on its newly redesigned iSkin eVo2 case for 4G iPods. The iSkin eVo2 comes with a clear acrylic screen protector, RevoClip belt clip and features access to all functions. The eVo2 can also accomodate the Griffin iTrip or Belkin voice recorders on top. iSkin is accepting pre-orders for $29.99 with shipping expected August 31.
JAVOEdge has released the JAVOSkin silicone case for iPod mini featuring access to all functions and a strap loop. No screen protection or belt clip is available. JAVOEdge costs $21.95 (regularly $25.95) and is now shipping.
A.B. Sutton has released several custom, hand made cases for 2G/3G iPods, and iPod mini. Made of goatskin leather imported from the Middle East and silk from India, A.B Sutton cases come in a vast array of colors and four distinct designs - monogram, stripe, flora or solid. The 2G/3G iPod cases are available with ($120) or without ($100) a front cover. The iPod mini case sells for $70, and all cases are individually numbered.
iPod.iTunes gives the choice to synchronize tracks, playlists or both - automatically with one click, or manually. A ‘manual mode’ creates a list of iPod tracks not in iTunes, and allows to copy desired tracks from that list. With every synchronization iPod.iTunes creates a date&time stamped iTunes playlist containing the tracks which were copied. This gives the option to easily add those tracks to existing playlists or to create new ones from the transferred tracks.
“Copy protection provider Macrovision is sufficiently confident that it will be able to incorporate FairPlay support into its CDS-300 copy control that is has begun telling customers that it will add iTunes and iPod support to its software in Q4.
According to mailings sent out with the company’s CDS-300 version 7 beta release, ‘support for iPod and iTunes… will be made available in a Q4 update.’”
I-magine Technology is the only iSkin reseller who is currently accepting pre-orders on the new 4th Generation iSkin eVo2 case for the 4th Generation iPod. I-magine Technology is giving customers within the UK and Europe the opportunity to guarantee that they are one of the first to own the new iSkin for the 4th Generation iPod by accepting pre-orders on these items. The eVo2 is a silicone case featuring access to all iPod functions, a clear, hard plastic screen protector and the RevoClip belt clip. The new eVo2 comes in nine colors, two sizes (20GB or 40GB), costs £22.00 and is expected to ship in mid-September.
The Apple Store is offering impressive deals on third-generation refurbished iPods, including a $169.00 entry level 10GB model, a $249.00 20GB model, a $279.00 30GB model and a $329.00 40GB model, each with free shipping. The iPods, which are being sold as Apple Certified Reconditioned hardware, include a one-year limited warranty and standard accessories.
Update (8/21 11pm MST): The 10GB and 20GB models are no longer available.