Dension USA today announced the release of their new ICE-Link v1.1 auto interconnect kit for iPods. The new version features the 3G cradle, a docking station which supports the 30/40GB iPod and the 10/15/20GB models with the help of a user installable spacer. Charging the iPod while in the car is effortless - just place the iPod into the cradle. For classic iPods the connection option includes a FireWire plug that connects directly into the iPod and supplies 12V DC at all times. The dock connector models now feature a variable output line voltage to match the specifications of the OEM or aftermarket amplifier system - 0.8V-1V-2V-4V. For classic iPods, output is derived from the top connector and power-on volume level may be pre-set by the end user. Mini dock cradle, dock cable, and classic iPod connection options are scheduled to be available in May, 2004, and will connect to the existing ICE-Link v1.1 module. The ICE-Link v1.1 module should be available the week of April 19.
XPlay 2 provides a variety of new features, including compatibility with Audible files, AAC files, and even automatic WMA-to-MP3 conversion. XPlay 2 is also much faster than the original XPlay, has improved support for international characters, displays album art, supports play counts, and has a greatly-enhanced interface under Windows XP.
BiblePod is a new program that allows you to transfer books and chapters from the Bible to your iPod. BiblePod is free and available for Mac and Windows.
iLounge has received the first Vaja Classic case for the iPod mini. Constructed from genuine Argentine leather, the flip-lid case features snap closure, access to all functions and the Ultra-clip swivel belt clip (optional). The mini Classic case will cost about $34.90 and be available in approximately 10 days. The i-Volution case for iPod mini is also coming soon.
Apple has listed new 10GB and 30GB iPods for $249 and $399 respectively in its Special Deals section. The 10GB does not include the dock. Units are covered by Apple’s One-Year Limited Warranty. Supplies are limited, and these products are offered “While Supplies Last”.
DeadEnd Software is pleased to announce the update of ListSaver to version 2.0. Version 2.0 adds many new features, including the ability to rebuild manually updated iPods from scratch, including automatically copying the music files from the local library to the iPod. This allows a user to perform a software restore on a manual iPod, and then return it to its previous state, as well as creating multiple iPods with the same set of music.
The PlayFair project, which removes fair-use restrictions from music purchased through Apple’s [iTunes] online store, has become the latest victim of offshoring. Actually, that’s not quite true: only the hosting provider has moved to India. Not surprisingly, Apple has used the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to ask SourceForge to remove the project. SourceForge declined to use the Safe Harbor provisions of the Act. [...] The new location for PlayFair is at Sarovar, a hosting company for software libre projects based in Trivandrum, India.
“Smart, the iconic automotive brand, is the first car manufacturer worldwide to offer an integrated iPod play-back and charging station into its limited edition smart fortwo i
The new online retailer of iPod accessories, i-magine, has launched an Easter Special. You can now buy any iSkin eXo2 from www.iskins.co.uk for just
Amazon.com has the Sony MDREX71SL earphones (black only) on sale for $29.94 including free shipping.
A reader notes that iSkin.com has posted a gallery of photos of its ‘coming soon’ iSkin mini case. Also note that iSkin.com is reporting a delay in shipping the new case as of March 30. “The release of iSkin ‘mini’ has been faced with a slight delay due to manufacturing. We now expect to begin shipping within the next 7 to 10 days. We apologize for the inconvenience. An announcement will be made once the product is available for order.”
Many forum members have been reporting that their iPod mini is creating audio distortion when used. One such member claims to have discovered a major ‘design flaw’ in the iPod mini, which results in sound distortion when placing pressure anywhere on its surface or headphone port. The source of the noise may be a weak connection between the headphone port and the main circuit board.
PowerDesign USA has recently released several new iPod mini BodyMasks including; BodyMask Clear ($5.50), BodyMask Color ($7), Self-Design BodyMask ($9.50), and Carbon-Fiber BodyMask ($12). Each BodyMask comes with stickers for all sides (top, bottom, front, back) plus the click wheel. BodyMask for the iPod mini dock is optional. BodyMask Clear comes with an LCD protector.
Lajo has released yet another case for the iPod mini. The exoflpmini features a dock friendly design, access to all functions, includes protection over the mini’s click wheel and comes in a variety of colors. The exoflpmini sells for $21.50 (case only) plus $5 shipping to anywhere in the world.
“All five of the major music companies are discussing ways to boost the price of single-song downloads on hot releases - to anywhere from $1.25 to as much as $2.49. It isn’t clear how or when such a price hike would take place, and it could still be months away. Sales of such singles - prices have remained at 99 cents - still account for the majority of online music sales.
The industry is also mulling other ways to charge more for online singles. One option under consideration is bundling hit songs with less-desirable tracks. Another possibility is charging more for a single track if it is available online before the broader release of the entire album from which it is taken. There is also talk of lowering the price on some individual tracks from older albums.”
iPodMods is now offering several new iPod modification services including; changing the color of your iPod’s LCD backlight ($75), changing the color of the four touch buttons on a 3rd generation iPod ($65), changing the LEDs on the Belkin Battery Pack ($25) and TuneCast FM Transmitter ($25). All modifications are available exclusively at iPodMods.com.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Marcus Lillkvist writes not about the popular iPod, but it’s mostly unpopular white earphones. Many users think the earphones are uncomfortable and produce mediocre sound and have replaced them with better, aftermarket alternatives. “Still, some customers are quick to dump the Apple-supplied buds. High-school student Austin Agarwal took $390 in birthday money last year and treated himself to an iPod. But when he slipped on the headphones that come with the device, he says the the bass was fuzzy, and the high notes muffled. It sounded “like an old boom box,” he says. Less than a week after the 17-year-old who lives in Easton, Conn., bought his iPod, he plunked down $150 more for a pair of higher-end headphones.”
“It’s not clear how many iPod owners discard their ear buds. ‘We chose the 80-20 rule, as we think that the supplied headphones satisfy the big majority of our customers,’ says Stan Ng, director of iPod product marketing at Apple Computer Inc. The company recently introduced a $39 a la carte option, designed to address the fit issue. It comes with three different size caps, to ensure a snugger fit.”
The Music Recommendation System is an automated system that provides music recommendations specifically tailored to each user to find new music that they might like. This system, designed by students at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), operates by taking ratings from your own iTunes playlists and comparing them against other users who have used the recommendation system. Right now we have a very small number of users, and so the recommendations will most likely be laughable. However they will get better over time as more people enter into the system; meanwhile, enjoy while the numbers grow. Works on Mac or Windows.
Lajo has released another silicone case for the iPod mini today. The exo3mini features 0.7mm silicone, 0.5mm silicone covering the click wheel and comes in an assortment of colors. Lajo will also be releasing new accessories for all exo and exomini series cases. Exo3mini is compatible with iTrip and iTalk and sells for $9.50 plus $5 shipping to anywhere in the world.
If you liked last month’s giveaway, you’re going to love this one. Three lucky people are going to get awesome new in-ear phones courtesy of iLounge and its partners, with one winner taking home a $900 personally customized pair of UE-10 Pros from Ultimate Ears.
What you need to do: Submit a photograph of yourself with your iPod or iPod mini for the new “Me and my iPod” photo gallery. The photo can be funny, sexy, art inspired, or whatever you dream up, so long as you follow the photo and contest rules.