Perhaps not surprisingly, iLounge’s servers have been slammed by readers during the holidays, and we’re working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. Even if the servers are slow, don’t forget: you can still download the free iLounge Buyers’ Guide 2004 to read offline, including our reviews of all the best iPod accessories and new iPod hardware!
The online Apple Store and all Apple retail stores are offering discounts on iPods and iPod accessories as part of its after-Thanksgiving sale. The stores have taken $20 off all iPod models, today selling the iPod mini for $228, 20GB iPod for $278, 40GB iPod for $378, 40GB iPod photo for $478, 60GB iPod photo for $578, and iPod Special Edition U2 for $328. Apple has also taken $30 off AirPort Express, and $40 off both the JBL On Stage and Altec Lansing inMotion IM3 speaker systems. In addition, Apple is offering several iPod accessories, such as cables and leather sleeves, at discounted prices.
While Sony flounders, the iPod mini remains the No. 1 selling portable audio player in Japan.
Only 20 iPod owners showed up at Creative Technology’s headquarters to trade in their Apple gadget for a Creative Zen Micro MP3 player.
The MP3 Experiment is the world’s first live theatrical performance that audiences will experience exclusively through headphones—there are no actors. Audience members will download an MP3 track from the show’s Web site in advance, load it onto their iPod, and bring it with them to the show.
One iPod fan has created an excellent iPod commercial that rivals any big production company.
An online petition has been posted in hopes of getting Apple to add PDF booklets with liner notes to each song download from the iTunes Music Store.
Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf expects Apple to sell 13.3 million iPods in 2005 and an impressive 23.5 million iPods in 2006. He is also looking for 100 million Windows users to own iPods by 2008. In a research note to clients, Wolf said that a flash-based iPod could be “an opportunistic move to quickly capture an even higher share of the portable music player market.” He also suggests that iPod mini drive production costs could now have fallen by a third (the costs decline as yields increase, because overheads are spread across more units). “Apple should have sufficient margin to reduce the price of the mini from $249 to $199 once supply catches up with demand,” Wolf said.
Tunewear today announced an Icewear case for 30 and 40GB third-generation iPods. The transparent silicone case allows access to all ports and controls, has shock absorbing ribs on the sides, and sports a belt loop for use with waist belts or shoulder carry bags. The Icewear case for 3G iPods will be available next month for $24.95. Tunewear said it has no plans to release this case for 10/15/20GB 3G iPods.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) said today that it is now shipping the iBoom, its $149.99 boombox solution for the iPod. The 20-watt per channel, four-speaker sound system fits all iPods (including iPod mini, but not iPod photo), and features a fully digital FM stereo with four station presets and amber backlit display. “Users simply drop their iPod or iPod mini into the DLO iBoom dock, hit play and enjoy their music on the beach, at a party, or almost anywhere.” The DLO iBoom can be powered by six D-size batteries or AC power, which also charges the docked iPod as well.
MCE Technologies has announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Tunewear to sell and distribute the company’s products in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. The initial product line-up will consist of Icewear ($24.95), a transparent case made from high quality silicone, and Prie ($39.95), an upscale and fashionable case that is available in 4 different colors.
Anapod Explorer 8.6.5 from Red Chair Software is the latest version of the iPod utility for Windows. This release includes improvements to two of Anapod’s Maintenance utilities, “Recover Missing Tracks” and “Fix Mislabeled Tracks.” Handling of track and disc numbers has been fixed, sorting issues have been resolved, additional fields are now processed, and enhancements have been made to iTunes Music Store track handling.
ZappTek has announced the release of iPresent It 1.0, new software that converts PowerPoint and Keynote presentations into slideshows that can be synced to your iPod photo. iPresent It is priced at $17.95.
Dension has announced a new version of its ice>Link vehicle integration kit for the iPod. The new ice>Link Plus brings dual mode operation: Dension User Interface mode enables access to all iPod playlists through a combination of CD changer interfacing and the Dension menu, while iPod User Interface mode lets the user operate with the iPod control surface and maps car controls to major iPod commands. The new car kit, which will start shipping next month, also adds CD-text support to display album/artist /song information on selected radios, upgradeable firmware, and a modular design. ice>Link:Plus supports a range of vehicle systems (both factory and aftermarket) including those from Alpine, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Kenwood, Panasonic and Sony. Pricing starts at $199.99.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store today began selling the U2 digital box set, The Complete U2, as well as the band’s new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The 446-song package includes all of the band’s albums, 40 previously unreleased tracks, and more than 100 rare live cuts, remixes, covers, demos, and B-sides. The Complete U2 also comes with a digital booklet (PDF) that has album artwork, track listings, and band commentary. Unsurprisingly, several of the rare tracks are not available for individual purchase and can only be had with the purchase of the $149.99 box set.
In addition to raising his price target on Apple stock to $65 from $53, Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Robert Cihra increased his estimates on iPod sales in Apple’s current quarter to 4 million from 2.9 million. Cihra also said that the iPod would account for 33 percent of the quarter’s revenue, up from 13 percent a year ago. Earlier today, Piper Jaffray raised its price target on Apple to $100 from $52, citing a definite “halo effect” among iPod owners.
Westshore Craftworks has announced its hardwood iDockCovers, which slip over Apple’s iPod Dock, adding color and style. They are available in a variety of woods and finishes for 3G, 4G and iPod mini models. “Made of the finest hardwoods, iDockCovers are carefully and skillfully hand-finished. Available in a variety of models that cover the spectrum from traditional wood finishes to brightly-colored, high-gloss ‘electric guitar’ finishes.” Pricing starts at $34.95.
Even though Motorola’s new 5GB M500 player is $20 cheaper and 1GB bigger, Engadget says it’s still not enough to dethrone Apple’s iPod mini.
PhotoshopSupport.com has posted a great tutorial on creating your own iPod silhouette ad.
The Nokia Neo is an upcoming iPod lookalike mobile phone that has a scroll wheel instead of a regular keypad.
Tom Cox of The Times explains why he is selling his vinyl collection and switching full time to iTunes in order to make his life easier.
Amazon.com has kicked off a new promotion that offers discounts on its selection of iPod accessories. You can save $5 when you spend $50 on iPod accessories (promo code IPODACCSSAV5), $10 on $75 worth of iPod gear (IPODACCSAV10), and $15 if you spend $100 or more (IPODACCSAV15). The offer is valid through November 27, 2004.
Piper Jaffray raised its target price on Apple stock to $100 from $52, citing a “halo effect” from satisfied iPod users. The firm said that in a survey of 200 users, 6 percent were former PC users who have purchased a Mac after becoming an iPod owner, while 7 percent were former PC users who plan to buy a Mac within the next 12 months. “We believe that the remarkable satisfaction with the iPod creates a word-of-mouth wildfire that generates new customer interest in Apple products,” Piper Jaffray said.
Fashion designer Kate Spade has created a line of iPod mini holders that come in a variety of different materials and colors. The cases are currently available in gold crinkle leather ($75), rose faux croc ($55), pink/green leather ($55) and gold metallic snake ($75). All of the new holders are available in Kate Spade stores nationwide now. As a side note, the gold crinkle leather model was created specifically for the MTV Video Award gift bags and are now being released to the public.
iLounge has received shipment confirmation from Apple for a set of the company’s iPod Socks. The $29 accessories, which should also be in Apple retail stores soon, were originally projected to ship in early December. The iPod Socks come in a six-pack of vibrant colors—green, purple, grey, blue, orange, and pink. Watch iLounge for a full review of the iPod Socks in the coming weeks.
Rivet has announced iGrab, a leather holster for 3G/4G iPod and iPod mini models. The product features a Rivet stainless steel pin integrated into the back of the harness, which allows it to be quickly changed from lanyard, car dash or belt loop. The iGrab is available in a variety of colors and offers full access to all controls and ports. Suggested retail price will be $39.99 for iGrab with QR hook and QR Dash attachments and $29.95 for iGrab with Lanyard attachment. It will be available next week through the company’s online store, and at national retailers in February 2005.
Pacific Design has debuted new cases for iPod mini and 3G iPod models. The iPod mini Flip Case, made of soft PU and velvet polyester, is available in Big Sky Blue, Luscious Lime, Precious Pink, and Tangerine Orange colors. It offers full access to all buttons and ports, and uses the mini’s plastic belt clip. The iPod Pouch, made of metallic microfiber and velvet polyester, features an ultra-slim design, a detachable, swivel belt clip, and a clear PVC cover to protect the iPod’s screen. It is available in Titanium Grey Metallic and Pretty Pink Metallic. Both cases retail for $24.99.