Acme Made has introduced two new stylish iPod and iPod mini cases. The iPod Wallet features an Italian box leather exterior and “Cashmere” finish microsuede lining. It sports a magnetic tab closure, cable access, an internal headphones strap, and card pocket. Available in pink, lime and blue, the Acme Made iPod Wallet for iPod costs $59.95, while the iPod mini version sells for $49.95. Also announced was the iPod Traveler, a protective travel case specifically designed for the iPod and iPod mini. The leather case comes in red or black and features a suede lining, a polished YKK zipper (with protective flap lining), internal headphones pocket, and rear headphone port (mini version only). The Acme Made Traveler is priced at $59.99 for iPod and $49.99 for iPod mini.
Japanese company Bird Electron is offering limited edition iPod speakers that are handmade from actual gourds.
PortalPlayer, which makes components for Apple’s iPod, plans to go public this week, selling 6.25 million shares at $11 to $13 a share.
Wired’s Leander Kahney found the fIRSt evEr prOTotyPe dDArwIng Of tHe IPOd.
The EPodium is yet another new iPod stand made from crystal-clear acrylic. The stand comes in two versions—a plain version for $15.95 and a customizable version for $18.95 which you can personalize with a laser-engraved name or symbol. The EPodium, which will fit all iPod models (mini, 20GB, 40GB, and the new iPod photo 40GB, and 60GB), also has a slot on the bottom for the dock connector cord.
Burberry is now offering two new iPod cases in its signature plaid designs. “This nifty, leather-lined case shields your portable jukebox from the perils of pocket and purse. As an added bonus, the iconic exterior, available in traditional Nova or cheery Candy plaid, complements the cover of Le Tigre’s latest album.” The Burberry London iPod case sells for $195 and is available at Burberry stores in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and King of Prussia, PA.
While Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls the iPod the “Walkman of the 21st century,” Microsoft and its allies are hoping to make it the Betamax of the 21st century, according to a report in the New York Times. “The iPod dominates its market in a way that no Apple product has done in a generation, raising the possibility that the company is becoming more than just a purveyor of computers with high design and low market share. If Apple continues to ride the wave of consumer electronics products, it may become the Sony of the 21st century. For that to happen, however, Jobs must do what he failed to do last time: prevail over his old nemesis, Bill Gates, who sees entertainment as Microsoft’s next great frontier. Microsoft is working hard to make sure that the iPod is less like the Walkman and more like the Betamax, Sony’s videocassette format that was defeated in the marketplace by VHS.”
Tune Belt today announced a new style armband carrier with an open view for Apple’s iPod mini. The $16.95 product fits the iPod mini right side up or upside down so that you can read the device’s screen when viewed on the arm. The Tune Belt iPod mini Armband Carrier, which is adjustable up to 20-inches, also features a clear protective mylar window with access to the Click Wheel; access to the headphone jack and hold button; a flap to hold down excess cord length; and a mini pocket for the earbuds when not in use.
Panic has officially retired its Audion MP3 application and made it a free download. The company has posted an amazing story by co-founder Cabel Sasser on the history of Audion, including very interesting details on the early days of MP3, a failed AOL deal, meeting Apple CEO Steve Jobs and how Audion almost became iTunes.
The French Competition Council has dismissed a case brought by Virgin’s French arm against Apple for alleged abuse of market dominance.
The Think Different Store now has the new iSkin eVo 2 in stock for fourth-generation iPods.
Geek Culture’s Joy of Tech comic reveals the Dirty Secrets of iPod Socks.
Anapod Explorer 8.6.4 from Red Chair Software is the latest version of the iPod utility for Windows. This update adds the ability to install Griffin iTrip Stations onto your iPod via Anapod Explorer. Improvements have also been made to streaming playback performance, Xtreamer security, and MP3 tag handling.
EarphoneSolutions has issued a new $30 coupon code (IPODLOUNGEFREE30) to be used on any purchase of $99 or more. This is an exclusive offer for iLounge readers and can be used to save on all highend earphones for the iPod. EarphoneSolutions is an authorized Etymotic and Shure dealer. The coupon cannot be combined with any other offer.
Griffin Technology has announced the XPress Digital Audio Cable, a 9-foot cable for connecting an Airport Express to the digital input on a home stereo. The $19.99 digital optical cable has Toslink based connectors on both ends and comes with two Toslink-to-mini digital cable adaptors. The digital mini connectors are the same connectors that provide digital audio output on the Airport Express, as well as the new iMac G5 machines.
MultiPivot has introduced a new line of cases for the iPod market. iMod Cases are available in several styles and levels of protection. They all feature built-in MultiPivot usability enhancements such as Flip & View Belt Mode and adjustable desk and dash stand functions. The iMod Zip ($34.95) is a completely clear, soft case with access to all ports except for the dock port. The iMod Shield ($49.95) features high impact plastic and shock absorbing rubber, and access to all ports and controls. The iMod Armor ($74.95) is a hard case with aluminum exterior and protective foam interior. It offers access to headphones, remote and dock port while closed.
Australian disability equipment specialists Technical Solutions have developed a remote control which enables a person with no hand function to control Apple’s iPod. “The SwitchPod plugs into the remote control socket, and using a single switch suited to the individual, all remote control functions are available. For a person with high level quadriplegia, a switch mounted on the wheelchair headrest may be suitable.” Pricing and availability was not available at post time.
PodStyle is a new anodized aluminum display/frame for third- and fourth-generation iPods (20GB, 40GB or 60GB). Available in red, blue, silver or black, the $29 stand features access to all ports and buttons, allowing you to charge and use your iPod while mounted in PodStyle. “The beautiful styling and classic design of the PodStyle complements any desktop, counter, or existing stereo setup. Choose from four stylish colors to complement your existing rooms décor. Made of strong aluminum with a secure pocket lined with padding to avoid scratches—PodStyle positions the iPod at a perfect height and angle for optimal screen visibility.”
PodShop today announced iDrops, an all-in-one product for cleaning, polishing, protecting, and removing scratches from all models of Apple’s iPod. The $14.95 product can also be used with the iBook, eMac, and iMac G3 and G5. iDrops come in a 1.7-ounce bottle of “liquid health” featuring a medicine dropper top, allowing easy, mess-free use for repairing and restoring the acrylic portion of your blemished, scuffed, or scratched Apple product. In related news, PodShop has also lowered the shipping cost of PodHolder, the company’s $9.95 clear acrylic stand/display product, to $1.95.
BusinessWeek’s Alex Salkever is expecting Apple to unveil a flash memory-based iPod that will hit shelves “sometime next year.” Salkever says the flash iPods would sell for significantly less than the current hard drive-based iPods, allowing Apple to reach new consumers who balk at the higher prices. “iPod, which clocked 3.2 million units sold in the last quarter, is logging an annual sales rate of roughly 13 million units. That leaves Apple plenty of room to maneuver if it wants to assault the flash player market… If Apple could sell just 5 million flash IPods in the next year at prices between $120 and $199, that would likely generate revenues of between $600 million and $1 billion. It would certainly push Apple closer to its goal of rejoining the $10 billion revenue club in the next two years. Add it all up, and the flash iPod hardly looks like a flash in the pan.”
O’Reilly has announced the release of the “iPod Fan Book” by Yasukuni Notomi. The $14.95 book is for anyone “who wants to live the fullest iPod lifestyle possible.” The “iPod Fan Book” offers readers tips on connecting the iPod, loading music, ripping CDs the right way, using iTunes with Windows, optimizing sound quality, protecting the iPod, saving the battery’s life, burning iPod tunes onto CDs and DVDs, using the iPod as a hard drive, and more.
After announcing them at its special music event last month, Apple has now added the iPod Socks to its online store. “Dress your iPod up in any one of six vibrant color socks (green, purple, grey, blue, orange, and pink). This set of knit socks provides a stylish, fun, and practical way to protect your iPod. So add a dash of color to your iPod with iPod Socks, the year’s coziest and most vibrant iPod accessory. It doesn’t matter which iPod model you have because iPod Socks fit all of them. And it doesn’t matter what your mood is because each iPod Socks package includes six bright colors so you can pick the one that feels best. Forgive us if we’re stating the obvious, but here’s how it works: Just slide your iPod into the sock to keep it safe and warm. Slide it out to dock or change playlists. It’s as easy as… putting on a pair of socks.” The iPod Socks are priced at $29 and will begin shipping in early December.
In his latest article for The Independent, Charles Arthur asks whether Apple would be smart to open up the iPod to developers in order to secure the device’s long-term dominance. “The hardware add-on market is fiercely energetic, with more than 300 accessories. But that’s only half the story. Lots of independent programmers would love to write their own games and applications for the iPod. Imagine spreadsheet and document readers or mapping systems. The only limit is imagination and there’s little shortage of that around the iPod. Those programs would make the machine even more useful to its buyers and an even bigger source of revenue for companies, which would thus have a vested interest in the iPod’s continued existence. In technology parlance, the iPod would become a ‘platform’—just like Windows, Linux and OS X on personal computers.”
New additions to Apple’s iTunes Music Store this week include: an “intimate and intense” solo acoustic version of “Lithium” by Kurt Cobain, which will be part of the forthcoming Nirvana box set, With The Lights Out; a new mash-up EP that combines the talents of Jay-Z with Linkin Park; soundtracks from The Incredibles and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie; and greatest hits albums from Britney Spears and the Bee Gees.