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Illegal music downloading up, where’s the RIAA?

“According to The NPD Group, music downloading via peer-to-peer (P2P) services increased 14% from October through November of 2003. That followedsix straight months of decline during the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) legal campaign against pirates, which has so far resulted in more than 300 lawsuits.

Russ Crupnick, vice president of the independent NPD Group, says there may be several reasons for the uptick in downloading. Among them: the inevitable dropoff in publicity from the RIAA’s campaign, more leisure time for students during the holidays, and the launch of several high-profile legal music downloading services.”

iPod 10GB for $237, 20GB for $370 and 40GB for $463

  • January 16, 2004
  • Deals,

Dealmac: Amazon.com once again offers Apple’s iPod 10GB MP3 player for $236.54 with free shipping. It’s still the lowest total price we know to be available. Amazon.com offers the iPod 20GB and 40GB for $370.24 and $463.14, respectively, with free shipping. We couldn’t find a better total price on either of these elsewhere.

New watertight, floatable liliPod case announced

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Teski debuts new iPod roadie case

picTeski, fashion apparel and case designer/manufacturer, has released a new hardcase for 3G iPods. The roadie case is made of PC ABS plastic and features; an interchangeable design for use with an armband or low profile belt clip, access to ‘Hold’ switch, headphone and docking port and provides full access to the front of iPod. The case comes in two-tone white/black on sale for $19.95, and comes in two sizes; 10/15/20GB and 30/40GB. You can purchase an additional 3-pack of front panels (orange, black and clear) for $9.95

Euro iTunes Music Store this spring?

“Kenswil [Universal Music’s eLabs president] spoke at the well-attended Music and Technology conference at the Royal Society in London yesterday. His assessment of a Q2 rollout for Apple’s music store was shared by representatives from BMG, EMI and other smaller labels represented at the show who were spoken to by Macworld.

He said: “As far as we know, the deals for Europe have been done, all the agreements are in place to introduce services here.”“

Lajo announces exo3 thin case for 3G iPods

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“Lajo the designer and manufacturer of eXo (sold over 70,000 and going strong) and eXo2 is proud to announce the release of his eXo3 3rd gen iPod case. As eXo and eXo2 it is not a new improved eXo but a new Lajo case designed to meet the needs of iPod owners who want an extremely thin case. Exo3’s main features are: it is made for the same top quality Japanese silicone as Lajo’s eXo and eXo2, the main body is 0.7mm thick with only 0.2mm covering the menu and touch wheel and it has a totally flat back. You can view eXo3’s colors and features by going to www.Lajo.biz/Xskn and click on new releases.  For those that want to be on the list of owners you can place a backorder on his site, no money will exchange hands, you will be auto notified the moment your color comes into stock and then it is up to you to return to his site to place your order. Available now for $9.50.”

Griffin PowerPod Charger now ships with Dock-To-FireWire cable

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“Griffin Technology Inc, innovator of exciting hardware and software products for the Mac and PC market, today announced that the PowerPod iPod Auto Charger now includes a separate Dock-to-FireWire cable. Recently redesigned, the Griffin PowerPod is still the only iPod charger fully compatible with both original and new Apple iPods. It also works perfectly with the recently announced iPod mini. The new PowerPod now includes a new ultra-light ultra-flexible 48-inch Dock-to-FireWire cable. In addition to its use as a charger cable, the PowerPod’s Dock-to-FireWire cable can be used for normal syncing and docking operation. The PowerPod Auto Charger for all iPods is available immediately for $24.99”

iPod accessories added $14 million to Apple’s Q1 revenue

  • January 15, 2004
  • Apple,

MacMinute reports: “An estimated 733,000 iPods were sold, accounting for $256 million in revenue. This doesn’t include iPod accessories, which added up to another $14 million. Plus, the iPod numbers would have been even higher, but Apple’s supply couldn’t keep up with the demand, Anderson [Apple Chief Financial Officer] said.”

Forget the iPod mini, I want an ePod

“For a product like the iPod, I would bet that most of these kids already have them and those who don’t, would want them but can’t afford them. Wouldn’t it be a huge boon to Apple if they could provide students a reasonable reason to buy an iPod? I think that Apple should move towards offering an educational version of the iPod. Let’s call it the ePod. And it wouldn’t just be an iPod for a discount. This would be a modified iPod with a 1GB hard drive, a more robust calendar, and most importantly, a voice recorder. Now students could record their lectures and save them alongside their music. All for a very palatable price of $99.”

Marware announces iPod mini SportSuit Sleeve

picWhile at Macworld, I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of a new iPod mini case by Marware. Soon after the Keynote speech by Steve Jobs, Ed Martin, CEO of Marware was talking to his manufacturer in Taiwan. Three days later, Ed showed me a finished prototype of the iPod mini SportSuit Sleeve, a smaller version of the iPod 3G SportSuit Sleeve. “We are working hard on the SportSuit Sleeve and it should be available when the iPod mini is out.” The case is identical in material and features as the SportSuit Sleeve for 3G iPods - a pouch-style neoprene case with vulcanized rubber side grips, access to the ‘Hold’ switch, dock and headphone ports. No pricing or color information has been determined at this time.

Apple sells 733 thousand iPods, up 235%, profits are up

  • January 14, 2004
  • Apple,

“Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2004 first quarter ended December 27, 2003. For the quarter, the Company posted a net profit of $63 million, or $.17 per diluted share. These results compare to a net loss of $8 million, or $.02 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter reached a four-year high of $2.006 billion, up 36 percent from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 26.7 percent, down from 27.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 44 percent of the quarter

Speck Products announces mini iPod Skins

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“Speck Products announces a newly designed rubberized skin for the recently announced and much anticipated Mini iPod. Apple introduced the new smaller form factor iPod at last week’s MacWorld and has stated a mid-February ship date. The Speck Mini iPod Skin cases will be available at the same time.

The new Mini iPod Skins will provide protection for the new Mini iPod against dust, knocks, and scratches,while minimizing the bulk that most cases add. This skin-tight design is even more valuable for the new slimmed down iPod form factor. The case features a special shock-absorbing Dynaflex rubberized plastic construction, cutouts for the headphone, firewire port, and hold switch, and will be introduced in translucent colors inspired from the 5 new Mini iPod. The Mini iPod Skins will be sold in 3-Packs for $29.95 and individually for $19.95.”

Macworld UK: One-in-six Xmas iPods sold in UK

  • January 14, 2004
  • iPod,

“Apple UK achieved excellent results during the last (December) quarter, with one-in-six iPods sold over the Christmas period worldwide shifting in the UK market, Macworld UK has learned.

It appears that in the region of 125,000 iPods were sold in the UK

iPods selling “like hot cakes” in UK

  • January 14, 2004
  • iPod,

“Hundreds of desperate shoppers missed out when the new portable digital music players vanished from the high street before Christmas.

And it doesn’t look like its popularity is on the wane - not only are they still flying off the shelves, Apple also has a new mini version on sale in the US, which is set to hit the shops here in April. [...]

“They’re like hot cakes. We get them in stores and they sell out immediately. We’re working really hard to get more stock,” says Kellie Evans, spokeswoman for Dixons.”

iPod 10GB for $237 shipped

  • January 14, 2004
  • Deals,

Dealmac: Amazon.com again offers Apple’s iPod 10GB MP3 player for $236.54 with free shipping, as a reader discovered. It’s still the lowest total price we know to be available.

iPod mini colors ranked on Amazon

MacMinute is reporting that “several MacMinute readers informed us that Amazon.com offers some insight into which colors of the iPod mini are popular among its shoppers. As of 12:00 a.m. ET, the silver iPod mini was the top seller with a sales rank of 305, followed by pink (672), blue (864), green (3,050) and gold (6,342). The iPod mini carries a retail price of US$249, which has been a hot topic since the device’s introduction a week ago.”

BusinessWeek: Apple + HP = iPod Forever

  • January 13, 2004
  • Apple,

“Despite critics who decry Apple’s proprietary audio format, this deal shows that Steve Jobs’s digital-music strategy is a winner. [...]

‘He was smart enough to go do something that was beneficial to the music industry in creating a paid environment that protects their interests. He’s pretty much golden in terms of getting deals with the labels,’ says Tim Bajarin, CEO of consultancy Creative Strategies. That Jobs could become the most powerful guy in digital music from a platform with a mere 5% or less of total market share is like Houdini pulling a Hummer out of his hat.”

Do-it-yourself iPod mount for boat

Glen Ersly wanted to mount his iPod in his boat and came up with an easy solution to his problem. “I installed an Apple iPod at the helm, where it

CNET: Canadian MP3 player tax challenged

“MP3 player manufacturers, including Apple Computer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, are challenging a recent regulatory ruling in Canada that would impose an extra fee of as much as $25 on iPod-like digital music players.

The Copyright Board of Canada ruled in December that hard drive-based digital music players should be subject to fees aimed at compensating musicians, songwriters and record labels for copyright infringement. Similar fees are placed on blank audio tapes and CDs, and manufacturers typically pass on the costs to the consumer.

A group of retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores and Best Buy, also is appealing the decision, which will be heard by a federal court.”

Solar powered tech jacket can charge iPod on-the-go

“ICP Solar Technologies Inc. (ICP), the world’s largest developer of solar products for consumers, and SCOTTeVEST LLC (SeV), the leading Technology Enabled Clothing

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