This week marks the one year anniversary of the iTunes Music Store. Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs will be holding a special conference call with press and analysts on Wednesday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. ET, the official anniversary date.
“Online technology company CNET Networks on Monday launched a free digital music service, allowing people to search and download what it said were thousands of songs contributed by independent and unsigned artists. [...]
CNET said it plans to add new technology and community features to its download service, which it intends to be the largest free-music download platform, over the course of the year.”
“Sonnet Technologies, the worldwide leader in processor upgrade cards for Apple Macintosh computers, announces the new PodFreq, a portable FM transmitter designed for serious music freaks with iPods (with dock connectors). PodFreq easily tunes with any available FM frequency, and transmits music from the iPod with a very high-quality signal. The PodFreq is ideal for anyone wanting to listen to the music on their iPod through a FM car stereo, home sound system receiver, or any portable FM radio device.
The PodFreq will begin shipping in May 2004, with an MSRP of $99.95. A Japanese version will also be available in May 2004.”
Dealmac: Overstock.com offers Apple’s 15GB iPod for $294.90. (Search for “130394” to find it.) A $20 off coupon chops the price to $274.90. With $1 shipping, that’s $2 off our last mention and the lowest total price we know to be available. Offer ends April 30.
Dealmac: The Apple Store again offers its factory-refurbished iPod 30GB MP3 player, with dock connector, for $349 in its Special Deals section. That’s still $50 less than the best price we could find for a new, factory-sealed unit. Shipping is free, although sales tax is added where applicable. A one-year Apple warranty applies.
FairTunes puts your music back into your hands. Now you can play your iTunes music when you want to, and where you want to.
- Convert any authorized protected iTunes song into an unprotected, uncompressed file.
- Supports AIFF, Wave, QuickTime, System 7 Sound, MuLaw, and AVI file creation.
- Easy to use - no complicated setup needed.
- Built for Mac OS X.
“STROLL the corridors and the atriums on Apple Computer’s corporate campus these days and you will notice that something is missing. Gone are the posters and graphics accenting the company’s sleek personal computers. In their place, in the main lobby, is a striking, three-story-high billboard celebrating Steven P. Jobs’s brand-new billion-dollar consumer electronics business - the iPod digital MP3 music player. [...]
Apple says it developed the iPod in just six months, faster than any major product in the company’s history. The hand-held device, which contains more computing power than an early Macintosh, was put together starting in 2001 by hardware designers led by Tony Fadell, a young engineer who had worked at the Apple spinoff General Magic, at Philips Electronics and briefly at RealNetworks, led by Rob Glaser, who has developed the Rhapsody music service.”
“An estimated 6 million people have stopped downloading copyrighted music from the Internet over fears that they may sued by the recording industry, but the overall number of Americans who download music is rising with the popularity of iTunes, Napster and other legitimate online music services, according to a survey released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Approximately 23 million people are active downloaders of music, based on a phone survey of 1,371 adult Internet users conducted in February. That compares to 18 million estimated downloaders in November and December 2003.”
Teenage writer, coder, and hacker Aaron Swartz has published a technical article on the behind-the-scenes look at the iTunes Music Store, including how Apple implements the FairPlay DRM (Digital Rights Management). “This document explains how the iTunes Music Store works. This information is useful to computer science researchers, cryptographers, and politicians, who may be curious to understand the largest deployed DRM system to date.”
“The online survey found that 90 percent of consumers have no more than 1,000 songs on their PCs. And 77 percent of the consumers Jupiter questioned said they’d be interested in purchasing a portable media player with a capacity of 1,000 songs. The 4GB hard drive included in Apple Computer’s iPod Mini, and in MP3 players from some Apple rivals, holds roughly that number of songs.
The Jupiter Research survey also found that 20 percent of consumers said playing MP3 files is important, versus 7 percent who would prefer files in Microsoft’s WMA format and fewer than 1 percent who prefer the Advanced Audio Coding format, an open standard that was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group and which is supported on Apple’s iTunes music store.”
MacFixit has compiled a list of all their past iPod and iPod mini troubleshooting articles to help those in need. Some areas covered include iSight interference, batteries, iPod mini audiobook issues, Applecare for iPod, cracked LCD screens and more.
“Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs publicly dismissed on Thursday an overture from RealNetworks to open up the iPod, saying such a move does not make business sense.
Speaking at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting here, Jobs said there would be both an initial and ongoing cost to allowing the iPod to work with other music services.
‘To be honest, it’s just not worth it,’ Jobs said, noting that RealNetworks has made a number of overtures to Apple and adding that Real’s music service has been ‘less than successful.’”
The Think Different Store has announced several sales of iPod cases and accessories. iSkin cases for 1st and 2nd generation iPods are 50% off or 2 for 1 at $20. The Lajo eXo2 (case only) has been reduced to $15 for 3G iPods, and the Get Connected iPod Auto Kit for 3G iPods is now $39.95 (was $49.95). Also on sale is the HomePod for $240 and described as “a digital stereo component that allows users to take advantage of their existing wireless network to stream music files stored on their computers to HomePods located anywhere in the house.”
It disappeared for a while there, but now it’s back in action! GoogleGet is a small Windows program designed to download the latest news from news.google.com (or a local variation) to your iPod in the quickest and simplest way possible.
A new German iPod website, iPod-news.de, has been launched. Dirk Ellenbeck, Editor-in-cheif at iPod-news.de said, “Until now there was no German speaking news-service just for iPod users and potential iPod buyers. With the new internet-site iPod-news.de this has come to an end. Finally all German speaking users can inform themselves extensively and up to date about all topics around the popular digital music player from Apple. As a platform-independent news service iPod-news.de includes all systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux also in it
“Teaming up to offer the leading collection of digital music for kids, teens and families, Apple and Walt Disney Records today announced that the catalog of Walt Disney Records, including soundtracks from Disney’s classic animated films and Disney/Pixar’s computer-animated films, is now available exclusively on the iTunes Music Store through September 30th.
A new “Disney” genre page within the iTunes Music Store will feature a wide range of family entertainment including the soundtracks from animated films such as Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Snow White and The Little Mermaid; Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo; plus, Disney audio storytellers, theatrical cast recordings and music from up-and-coming stars Raven and Jesse McCartney.”
A reader notes that Belkin has updated its website with information about the new Digital Camera Link for iPod with dock connector. The Digital Link has a USB port for compatible digital cameras as opposed to the currently shipping Media Reader, which does not. You can download photos from camera to iPod. This product is not yet available, but will sell for $89.99 at Belkin’s online store.
“Storing digital photos is fast and easy using the Digital Camera Link for iPod. Now you can leave your PC at home and stop worrying about using up your camera’s memory. With this portable innovation you’ll easily transfer thousands of digital images from your camera to your iPod, and free up disk space to take more pictures. Belkin brings a new dimension to your iPod device - it’s not just for tunes anymore.
Simply connect the Belkin Digital Camera Link to your iPod, and connect your USB mass-storage-class camera device. Using software support that’s already built into your iPod (with software version 2.1 or later), your pictures transfer quickly and you’re ready to start shooting again. When you get home, just connect your iPod to your computer to retrieve the images. It’s like having virtually unlimited storage space for all your photos.”
PodWorks is a Mac OS X (Cocoa) application that compensates for the iPod’s only downside: Apple only allows you to copy songs to your iPod. If you have two Macs and want to use your iPod to transfer music between them, or you only store your MP3s on your iPod and need to copy them back onto your hard drive after a disk failure, you are out of luck!
“‘It’s kind of a Soviet model,’ said Glaser, referring to Apple’s closed environment in a remark that drew laugher from the audience at the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference here. ‘Taking secure music off the PC is a morass of incompatibility. This is not going to fly in the mainstream market.’ [...]
The company had approached Apple CEO Steve Jobs with a proposal to create a technical alliance that would allow customers of RealNetworks’ music service to play songs on the iPod, to no avail. That could now force RealNetworks into a deeper relationship with archenemy Microsoft, which has won support for its technology on dozens of players and plans a major upgrade later this summer.”