RipDigital recently announced a new CD ripping service to save you time from doing it yourself - ideal for those with large collections of CDs that have yet to digitize them. RipDigital will turn your CD library into an MP3 library of 224Kbs bitrate song files with “a traceable, unique identification code in each converted track” to discourage illegal file sharing. You can opt to have the MP3 library stored on a DVD or a hard drive. Prices for ripping your CD collection start at 100 CDs for $129. After placing your online order, RipDigital will send you all the packing materials for shipping your CDs. When we asked RipDigital if they offer AAC encoding the response was, “Currently we only offer MP3 conversion. In the near term, we’re keeping it simple. I take your point about AAC and this may be something we add down the line.”
Dealmac: SendStation’s PocketDock for third-generation iPods is back in stock at MegaMacs.com for $16.99 plus around $8 shipping. We still haven’t found a cheaper price elsewhere. (MacMall charges the same but adds an inexplicable $24 or more for shipping.) The PocketDock converts the iPod’s docking port into a 6-pin FireWire port.
A recent AudioRevolution.com article states, “sources at an Apple retailer in Los Angeles tell AudioRevolution.com that the rumors of the new budget priced iPod are completely true. Apple has not made any official statements on the matter, as they tend to prefer to make their new product announcements public at MacWorld.”
Several mini iPod concept designs have popped up on the web. Here is a list of links to several.
This is not the new mini iPod
First Look at the new mini iPod
Mini iPod Mockup
Mini iPods (Version 5)
SirGiggle Would Buy This Mini-iPod
Simple idea for miniPod
New iPod Remote with SD Flash Card Sticking Out
It was the must-have Christmas gift of 2003: a gadget that stores your favourite 10,000 tunes and looks incredibly cool, too. So why do people become such bores when they get one? Stephen Moss on the invasion of the Poddies. [...]
Poddies radiate joy - the joy of first love or true belief. “I love my iPod,” says Gareth. “It’s changed my life. Mine’s a 30-gigabyte [already superseded by the 40-gig, note] and holds seven and a half thousand songs. I’ve downloaded 6,000 - the soundtrack of my whole life.”
Macrumors reports that an interesting photo has appeared at Target.com. It seems that their web designer has ‘over’ edited a product photo of the ‘iPod in Dock’ to the point where there is no LCD display.
UK resident Geoff really wants an iPod. So he’s simply asking you to give him money so he can buy one. His website is complete with photos of people handing him money as well as statistics on money collected, how it was contributed, contributors sex and more.
“Surely this can’t be done can it? I’m trying to convince five hundred people to just give me 50p each, so that I can raise
“He liked the easy-to-use iTunes program, and decided to make it the central jukebox for digital copies (altogether legal) of his conventional CD’s. I set up the downloading account for him, and decided to show him how to download from the music store. I selected Dutch DJ JXL’s excellent remix of the Elvis Presley song “A Little Less Conversation” and paused before hitting the “buy” button. [...]
Here’s the shocker: more than ever, he began asking us to buy CD’s for him. He wanted discs from artists he had come to know online, with the liner notes and lyrics. His less copyright-friendly buddies send him the stuff they like, and if he likes a song, he listens to a better-quality version on Rhapsody or buys the track.
Amazing but true: music downloading spurs music sales, at least in our house. (Sam’s 16-year-old sister, Elizabeth, has proven resistant to digital music’s allure, content to lug around a case full of CD’s.)”
“Another growing source of complaints surrounds Apple’s wildly-popular iPod line of digital music players, which many enthusiasts believe will get an upgrade at Macworld with the introduction of smaller, less-expensive models and a range of case colors.
In California, a lawsuit seeking class-action status is expected to be filed January against the company over the claim that Apple’s warranty does not run long enough to cover problems with the player’s battery.”
“But the pricing calculations appear to be skewed. Today’s cheapest iPod sells for $299 and carries a 10GB hard drive. Can you really believe that a 4GB version would sell for a third of that price? And if it did, how many folks would still plunk down a lot more cash for the bigger models, unless, of course, Apple added some extra features, such as video display and a color LCD.
Regardless of what Steve Jobs pulls out of his top hat, I am skeptical of a version with flash memory for one simple reason: It’s too expensive. Take a look at the price of, say, a 256MB flash card for your digital camera. I’ve seen retail prices in the $40 range, after rebate, but that’s the low-end. Double that capacity and scale it upward appropriately. So how much do you really expect a full-fledged music player with flash memory of reasonable capacity to cost, especially one as carefully crafted as an iPod?”
Dealmac: Expercom offers the factory-refurbished iPod 5GB MP3 player for Mac or PC for $169. It’s among the cheapest iPods we’ve seen. Add $10.50 for shipping.
“Don’t count on seeing dramatically smaller or cheaper iPod music players in the new year, despite Internet rumors that Apple Computer will announce them next week in San Francisco.
For Apple CEO Steve Jobs to introduce such a product during his speech Tuesday at Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple would have to either unveil a breakthrough hard drive technology, begin selling iPods based on the same flash memory storage cards that many digital cameras use, or adopt a new small drive made by Cornice.”
“The widely reported rumors, which Apple declined to address, suggest that the company will unveil an inexpensive iPod that will cover the end of the market dominated by cheaper MP3 players from Creative, Rio and Dell.
The risk in such a move would be undercutting brisk sales of iPods, which now range in price from $299 for a 10GB drive to $499 for a 40GB drive. In Apple’s fourth quarter, ended Sept. 27, sales of the iPod generated $121 million in revenue, up 9 percent from the prior quarter and 128 percent from a year ago. The company has said the iPod business is profitable.
‘I don’t think Apple currently needs to sell a $100 iPod at risk of cannibalizing sales of existing models and sacrificing gross margins,’ said Tim Deal, analyst with Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H. ‘Apple already has the market lead, so I don’t see the need for (the $100 version) when people are buying $299 and $399 models.’”
Radtech and Geekshelter partnered up to bring you an after Christmas give-away. We thought those lucky ones who got an iPod from Santa would need a case to keep their precious iPod in, so we are giving away five (5) PodSleevz! Please enter your information [at the link] for a chance to win a PodSleev with the color and size of your choice!
“Apple continues to dominate the overall portable MP3 player market in the US with the 10GB iPod the number one selling device leading into the Christmas buying season, according to final numbers just released by industry intelligence group IDC.
The monthly retail numbers show the Apple US$299 10GB iPod “virtually neck and neck in terms of unit sold” with the US$140 Digitalway128MB player for first and second place respectfully, according to company analyst Steve Baker. The US$399 20GB iPod was third, followed by the US$140 128MB iRiver player. The US$499 40GB iPod rounded out the top five best sellers.”
As we draw closer to Macworld 2004, many major news outlets are now reporting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will announce low cost, mini iPods during his Keynote Presentation. The following is a roundup of articles with varying details about the mini iPod. In the Scotsman newspaper report “New smaller iPod is going for a song” states “Apple has announced it is unveiling a smaller version which will cost around
“‘This will be the year downloadable music ... goes legitimate,’ says Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft’s digital media division.
Those jumping on board the digital music bandwagon can thank Apple Computer for getting it rolling. Apple opened its iTunes online music store in April and was the first to let patrons download individual songs for 99 cents, without having to commit to a subscription service.
The software giant aims to topple Apple as the early market leader by spurring the growth of a cross section of digital music suppliers and device makers all using the Windows Media format, it says.
‘The best part about Windows Media is that it unlocks choice,’ Microsoft’s Fester says. “You can buy from the store or use the device that gives you the best experience.”“
“Since May 2003, when Apple Computer’s online music service iTunes opened its digital doors, the drums announcing other online music services—new enterprises as well as existing music services spruced up and recharged—have been steadily beating. [...]
The future looks good, too. Jupiter Research expects online music sales to grow to $3.3 billion by 2008. Forrester Research expects that within four years online music will account for 33 percent of the music industry’s sales. But behind the vaunted successes and the optimistic predictions lurk at least two big questions: Which online music vendors, among the nearly one dozen operating today, have found the business model that will guarantee they will be around in 2008 to share the profits? Can the for-fee services make a dent in the billions of musical tracks exchanged, at no cost, on pirate networks?”