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Roku SoundBridge allows music anywhere in your home

picAlthough this device is not directly related to the iPod, it does share a common feature

The digital audio format war - who will win?

“An emerging version of this conflict is being fought out now over standards for music purchased online. It boils down to this: will Apple support Microsoft’s “Windows Media Audio” (WMA) format for purchased music on the iPod music player? Or has the Apple-preferred (but not Apple-owned) “Advanced Audio Codec” (AAC) format that it uses through its own iTunes Music Store become a de facto standard that others - including Microsoft - will have to adjust to?”

Burton Amp Pack now at Apple Store online

  • February 3, 2004
  • iPod,

A reader has informed us that the Apple Store online is now selling the Burton Amp Pack for $199. “Introducing the first backpack in the world that not only carries your iPod but controls it too. The Burton Amp Pack integrates an iPod control system using SOFTswitch technology, which allows the iPod to be controlled through a soft, flexible control pad built into the pack’s shoulder strap. Constructed with super durable ballistic nylon, the Amp Pack features a secure iPod storage pocket, a headphone port located on the shoulder strap, an easy-access side entry laptop compartment and padded ergonomic shoulder straps for ultimate comfort. Whether you’re running to catch a flight, riding the subway or lugging your stuff into the lodge, the Amp Pack makes it super simple to flip through your downloaded music library.”

Crutchfield’s how to connect an iPod in your car

  • February 3, 2004
  • iPod,

Auto stereo equipment retailer Crutchfield has posted a four page how to on connecting your iPod in the car. Several topics are covered from mounting an iPod, connecting an iPod, and using an iPod while in the car. It also mentions in a ‘Wish list’ section that Alpine will soon be releasing head units for connecting and controlling an iPod, and goes on to mention other possible solutions coming soon. “I suspect that makers of vehicle-specific CD changer adapters and satellite tuner cradles are hard at work on iPod solutions. And Daimler-Chrysler already has an iPod dock in one of its European Smart cars. Can it be long before this technology appears in stateside Chryslers? Stay tuned.”

Legal downloads will take off in 2004

“The European music download scene will turn around in 2004. Many consumers who have routinely downloaded for free will become resigned to paying for legitimate services. Portals will benefit first; Apple’s iTunes and Napster will win in the long run. “Attempts to stop illicit downloading in Europe have failed so far,” said Forrester Senior Analyst Rebecca Jennings. “But commercial sites just need to be patient as the market gradually changes. In 2004, a combination of legal action by the music industry and expansion of legitimate services will cause a watershed in the download market.”“

How hard is it to spell “iPod?”

  • February 2, 2004
  • iPod,
“iPOD, IPod, i-Pod. I’d hate to think what would happen if these people had to do a story about e e cummings. Let’s kick off the parade of humiliation with a story by The Inquirer. No, not the one where you can get all the Ben Affleck news you need, but the online news source that looks to steal more than a bit of its design from The Register. While reporting that Virgin Mobile is planning to sell music via its mobile handsets, it repeatedly refers to the iPOD, perhaps feeling it has to balance that lower-case “i” at the beginning of a proper noun with LOTS OF CAPS. Wouldn’t want it to tip over.”“

“Downloading music without paying for it is a crime largely devoid of social stigma”

  • February 2, 2004

“I hope I

Pepsi+iTunes ad ranked poorly

USAToday published the ‘16th Annual Ad Meter’ ranking yesterday’s SuperBowl commercials. The Pepsi+iTunes giveaway ad is near the bottom of the list with a 5.90 out of 10.

art4iTunes.com - generate album art for your iTunes song library

Announcing art4iTunes.com - a website that generates album covers and track listings from your iTunes song list. The album cover can be dropped back into iTunes and displayed whenever the track is played. Artwork can be from US or UK album covers. Have a look and let me know what you think - there’s a demo button to see what it does before uploading your own song list.

Digital audio, Apple and Microsoft seeking mutual compatibility?

“The music industry is pushing bitter technology rivals—most notably Microsoft and Apple—to shake hands in the interest of promoting digital downloads, Billboard has learned.

Hardware makers and digital format developers, including many traditional adversaries, are engaged in private talks aimed at meeting the music industry’s goal of compatibility among competing digital music devices by 2005.”

Apple posts Pepsi+iTunes commercial

picApple has posted several sizes of the Pepsi+iTunes commercial scheduled to air during today’s Super Bowl game.

Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway begins

picApple has officially launched the Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway by updating its previous teaser page with How to Play, Enter Code, Official Rules, FAQ and System Requirements. There are 100 million songs being given away, 1 in 3 wins. The iTunes Music Store has been updated with a ‘Redeem Song’ button to enter your winning bottlecap code. It asks to enter your birthdate then the code to redeem your song. Official rules indicate the giveaway expires March 31, 2004 and the “maximum number of valid Codes per email address/person that can be entered at the Web Site is 10 per day and 200 total throughout the Promotion Period.” Today during the Super Bowl Pepsi will air its iTunes giveaway commercial featuring teens sued by the RIAA.

WHERE TO FIND GAME PIECES:
Look for game piece printed underneath bottle caps on specially-marked “iTunes” 20 oz. and 1 liter bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist and under the rim of specially-marked 32 oz. fountain cups available at participating 7 Eleven convenience stores during the Promotion Period. Not all brands and package sizes may participate in all areas. No Purchase Necessary. To receive one free game piece and a copy of Official Rules, while supplies last, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope postmarked on or before 3/31/04 to: Pepsi iTunes Game Piece, P.O. Box 9205, Young America, MN 55558-9205. Residents of the state of VT may omit return postage. Limit one free game piece per request per stamped outer envelope. Pepsi-Cola Company (“Sponsor”) assumes no liability for lost, late, stolen, illegible, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete or postage-due mail or requests.”

Ten Technology posts new naviPlay FAQs

Ten Technology has recenly launched a new FAQ section for the naviPod wireless remote and the yet-to-be-released naviPlay Bluetooth stereo adapter. Our readers have had many questions arise from the announcement of the new naviPlay, two of which regard the transmitting range and sound quality. Included in the new FAQs is the following:

Q: What is the range of the naviPlay?
A: The naviPlay is a Class 2 device and will have a range up to 8 meters (25
feet). Actual range will depend on the amount of activity and interference
in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, as well as the presence of materials that absorb or reflect signals. The naviPlay product is intended for personal use, not as a means to broadcast over a wide area.

Q: What is the quality of the audio provided by the naviPlay?
A: The naviPlay will provide near CD-Audio quality stereo at 44.1 KHz.

Editor’s note: Here are photos of the naviPlay prototype as seen at Macworld SF.

Apple Store offering 10% off iPods and accessories

  • January 31, 2004
  • Deals,

MacMinute is reporting that “the Apple Store is offering 10 percent off 15, 20 and 40GB iPods and select iPod accessories this weekend (Jan. 31-Feb.1). Accessories eligible for the discount include: Apple In-Ear Headphones, Sony CPA-9C Car Cassette Adapter, Belkin TuneDok, Monster iCarPlay Wireless, NaviPod IR Remote, Altec Lansing inMotion Portable iPod Speakers, JBL Creature II Speakers, iCable for iPod, Incase Belt for iPod, and Monster iCase Travel Pack. Terms and conditions apply.”

iPad: A docking solution for Volkswagen MK IV vehicles released

  • January 30, 2004

The iPad is a custom made, sliding tray for Volkswagen MK IV vehicles with a factory storage compartment above the stereo unit. The tray allows the iPod dock to be mounted within for easy access while in the vehicle, and allows for storage of an iPod when not in use. The iPad is available now for $59 via PayPal. “I use my iPod daily in my car, and it couldn’t be easier. I simply slide out the tray exposing the dock… dock it… push the tray back in slightly (so the back of the iPod touches the dash) and I’m ready to roll. The placement high up on the dash makes it possible to change the songs and playlist while resting an elbow on the factory armrest.”

RIAA applauds Pepsi iTunes promotion

“The RIAA applauded the ad, even though it may serve to remind some of the trade group’s legal campaign, which many music fans thought went too far.

‘This ad shows how everything has changed,’ said RIAA chief executive Mitch Bainwol. The debate is not digital versus plastic, it’s legitimate versus illegitimate.” [...]

‘I would like to see more of this,’ said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, part of Universal Music Group. ‘We’re starting to see technology companies come on our side, now soft drink companies are coming on our side.’”

LOTR filming used iPods for digital dailies

  • January 30, 2004
  • iPod,

Although this story is a bit old, The Hollywood Reporter today posted a writeup about how Peter Jackson, writer/director of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy and Jim Rygiel, visual effects supervisor, used iPods in the film’s production.

“Media was transferred from Weta to Pinewood Studios in London. There, Jackson’s 30-gig iPod was ready and waiting to upload Weta’s daily fresh-baked shots and sequences. His iPod was then delivered via sneaker net to his home a few minutes away from Pinewood.

Jackson then viewed those 1K-resolution QuickTime files on an Apple Cinema Display, tied to his G4 laptop, which drew directly from his iPod. The director’s setup was mirrored in New Zealand, so Rygiel and crew could step through shots with the help of their iPods, with Jackson’s guidance piped in over a videoconferencing system. During the course of two movies and four months, “Rings” iPods stored and served up nearly one-half terabyte of digitized footage from ‘Towers’ and ‘King.’”

Ex-Paramount Pictures exec berates Pepsi iTunes ad

“‘I still can’t get over the fact that these fresh faced teenagers are being attacked by companies just to preserve a business model in need of freshening up itself,” says Wattles. ‘I don’t want my kids treated that way by business and I don’t want other people’s kids treated that way.’

And on the choice of language, ‘Prosecutions are usually understood to be actions by the state to enforce criminal laws,’ he says. ‘Prosecutions aren’t generally understood to mean civil lawsuits. The word ‘sued’ would be appropriate and accurate in this context.

‘The ad falsely pumps up the music industry’s enforcement effort, and its suggestive criminalization of the kids’ behavior building up to the tag line ‘we’re still gonna download music for free off the Internet - and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it,’ reinforces the ad’s presumption that their behavior had been criminal.’”

Calling all software developers: Website content on iPod

  • January 30, 2004
  • iPod,

“So I have to ask: why hasn’t anyone created a utility that can be aimed at various web pages or RSS feeds and grab their contents, convert them into plain-text format, and drop ‘em in the Notes folder of an iPod? Yes, it would require some clever page-scraping, and yes, it would require intelligent splitting and hyperlinking of stories using the bare-bones coding format that the iPod understands.

But still, it shouldn’t be that difficult. While there are some RSS browsers out there for the iPod, they don’t thrill me, because most RSS feeds don’t include the full text of news stories. And I don’t know of any RSS tool for the iPod that actually downloads the contents of the page referenced by the RSS entry. I want to read more than headlines on my iPod; I want to read the whole article!”

HSN.com: $15 off $20, good on Belkin iPod gear

  • January 30, 2004
  • Deals,

Dealmac: For new customers only, HSN.com takes $15 off one item of $20 or more via coupon code “265211”. Among many other items, HSN.com sells Belkin iPod accessories. (Search for “belkin ipod” to find them.) Sample deals: the Belkin iPod Auto Kit with Dock for $24.95, Belkin Leather Case For iPod for $9.95, and Belkin TuneCast iPod Mobile FM Transmitter for $14.95, all after discount. Coupon ends April 30, 2004. The Daily Web Deal, clearance, and sale items are excluded.

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