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iPods and more in Japan

Jeremy Horwitz, part of the iLounge review crew has sent in some photos of his recent travel to Japan.

“Thought you might like this a shot from inside an Osaka, Japan electronics store highlighting iPod accessories available in the Japanese marketplace, including the cool Metal Gear iPod holder and some more common items.”

Best-Selling Author Neil Gaiman on the iSkin

“As a side comment: I loved the iSkin for the original iPod. It made the thing better: harder to scratch or to damage, harder to touch keys by accident, it made it easier to transport, and look cool. [...]

The trouble is, the new iSkins make the thing work less well. The bottom of my iSkin has now been cut off to allow it to sit in the dock of the iPod speakers. The recessed keys are harder to get to and to press properly (and the “lock” key is almost impossible to get to). The microphone-notes attachment doesn’t work with the iSkin in place.”

TechNewsWorld: Napster: ‘We Will Take Market Share from Apple’

“Not to be upstaged by Apple, Roxio chairman and chief executive officer Chris Gorog challenged Apple’s statistics and told TechNewsWorld his company will be chipping away at Apple’s market share with a powerful marketing campaign already underway.

“We expect as soon as we get the word out to consumers that Napster is back, it will significantly impact our growth,” Gorog said in an exclusive interview with TechNewsWorld. “We would also expect to be taking away market share from Apple on a weekly basis.”“

The Apple Store: $25 off $249 Coupon

“Were celebrating the sixth anniversary of the worldwide Apple Store by offering a storewide savings of $25 off any order totaling $249 or more. In just six short years, the Apple Store has become the premier online destination for Apple products and the digital lifestyle accessories and software that make them even more useful and fun. Come help us celebrate, and browse what we believe is the best collection of innovative digital lifestyle products available anywhere. Simply enter the claim code KPZZAW48CY when you check out by November 21, 2003, for an instant savings of $25.”

Engineered Audio RemoteRemote is fixed, updated units shipping next week

Engineered Audio has emailed another update reporting that they have fixed the RemoteRemote to work with iPods using firmware 2.1, and the shipping of units will begin next week.

The Register UK: iTunes is ‘not a money maker’

“‘Most of the money goes to the music companies,’ admitted Jobs.

‘We would like to break even/make a little bit of money but it’s not a money maker,’ he said, candidly.

So now we have it on record: the music store is a loss leader. Jobs said Apple would pay its dues to the RIAA, then seek to make money where it could, from its line of hardware accessories. When the conversation turned to rivals such as eTunes and Napster, Jobs said: ‘They don’t make iPods, so they don’t have a related business where they do [make money].’”

CNET: Five reasons not to buy an iPod

  • November 7, 2003
  • iPod

“For the past year, the media has been clamoring about iPod killers on the horizon—new MP3 players with more features, longer battery life, and designs nearly as svelte as the iPod’s. However, this oversimplifies the situation; in truth, while the iPod rocks, it’s not now, nor has it ever been, perfect for everyone.

We too have run our fair share of iPod-centric headlines—for a good reason. With about 1.5 million units sold, the iPod is the most popular MP3 player in the world, and it still makes other players look and feel inelegant in comparison. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still our favorite overall MP3 player. Although everyone can think of reasons why they want an iPod, I’ve decided to use this column to list a few reasons why not to buy one.”

ZDNet UK: What’s wrong with digital rights management?

“The problem, critics say, is that companies can all too easily turn DRM into a powerful tool for locking customers into proprietary technologies. For example, files that users purchase through Apple’s iTunes music store won’t work with portable music players other than the company’s own iPod device.”

Taiwan News: Here Comes the iPod Music Bus

  • November 6, 2003
  • iPod

“One of Apple’s latest gimmicks is the iPod Music Bus. Four buses - they come in yellow, purple, blue, and green - are digital music stores on wheels. Each bus represents a consumer’s taste in music - yellow for hip-hop, purple for dance music, green for inspirational and family tunes, and blue for R&B and jazz. Those iPod buses will be plying Taipei’s 3C areas - Hsimenting, Kuanghwa, and Pateh Rd. to name a few - until the end of December. [...]

‘Every iPod bus passenger will also get a raffle coupon from us,’ he said. ‘We will hold the raffle draw in InfoMonth, the biggest consumer electronics show in Taiwan. We will give away tons of products including Mac computers, digital cameras, digital printers, and of course, iPods. So, who says there’s no such thing as a free ride?’”

Engineered Audio to fix RemoteRemote

Engineered Audio has sent us another notice following a recent statement regarding the RemoteRemote receiver being incompatible with iPod firmware 2.1.

“11/06/2003 Update ... Currently we have identified where the problem is and why it is related to v2.1 of the iPod firmware. While we can not get into exact details (due to various NDA agreements), we are confident that we understand the problem and the necessary corrective actions. Today (and perhaps tomorrow) we will be testing an updated version of our firmware, and will start fixing inoperative receivers beginning next week. We will post further details on how to send back units later this week.”

iTunes stomps Napster in sales

“Music fans purchased and downloaded 1.5 million songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week of operation. More than 17 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the iTunes Music Store had more than 80 percent market share of legally purchased downloads last week.”

MacDonald’s: No Deal To Announce

“Responding to inquiries about a story in Thursday’s New York Post that the fast-food giant will team up with Apple Computer Inc. (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) to offer up to one billion free iTune downloads, McDonald’s issued a statement saying, ‘There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation.’”

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer does iPod dance

Macboy.com has launched a parody of Apple’s iPod+iTunes TV commercial featuring Steve Ballmer doing the Monkey Boy Dance with an iPod.

NY Post: Wal-Mart to offer online music store

“Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has told the music industry it expects to unveil an online music store this month, The Post has learned.

The company is still finalizing deals with the five major music companies and has told music industry executives it could launch the service by Nov. 15. If it doesn’t meet that date, the company hopes to launch the service by Thanksgiving, sources say.”

New 30GB iPod: $429 Shipped

Deals On The Web: ClubMac is offering the new 3rd generation 30GB iPod (M8948LL/A) for $429.00. Ground shipping is Free via mail-in rebate, or $9.99 for FedEx Overnight. It’s the best current price we’ve seen on a new unit.

NY Post: McDonalds to give away 1 billion iTunes songs?

“Less than a month after Pepsi announced a blockbuster deal to give away 100 million downloads from Apple’s iTunes music service to its customers, McDonald’s is close to a announcing a much bigger deal, The Post has learned.

In a dramatic move that gives a thumbs up to the music industry’s efforts at creating legal alternatives to file sharing, McDonald’s plans to give away up to 1 billion songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

AppleMatters: What Apple Wont Tell You: Get An iPod for $7

  • November 6, 2003
  • iPod
“I feel there is an unspoken comradery between iPod users. But cultural dominance is not enough. Apple is missing a golden opportunity to make the iPod the first cultural icon in handheld music since the Walkman. With a slight twist in its marketing strategy, Apple has the opportunity of putting iPods in the hands of everybody that craves it. Here’s the big idea:”

Lajo Releases eXo2 Case

pic#### creator of the iSkin silicone case, zip case, iShades, and recently the ####2 case has announced yet another new case, the eXo2 which updates the existing eXo case with silicone protecting the touchwheel on 3G iPods. The eXo2 is available now for preorder and includes zip TPU case, a removable belt clip and iShade (crystal) screen protector for a special introductory price of $32.50. There are currently ten colors to choose from, but more will become available with each week. Shipping will begin sometime this month.

Windows: Feed my Pod 1.0 Released

Staylazy.net Software has done it again. A new tool has been released to Windows users. Why should mac users have all the fun? We have kicked it up a notch with standards for our software, with the release of Feed my Pod. Feed my Pod allows users to download the latest iLounge.com news headlines. Feed my Pod is compatible with all Windows iPod versions.

Jobs on iPod and iTunes

In a financial analysts meeting on Wednesday, Steve Jobs, Apple CEO “rebuffed the idea that the iTunes music store should work with MP3 players other than the iPod, or conversely, that Apple’s iPod should work with other music download services.”

“‘Why should we work with another music store when we are working with the Microsoft of music stores?” Jobs said. “I’d rather spend our engineering dollars on enhancing the iPod and the iTunes music store.’”

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