“Apple Computer Inc. will open its iTunes Music Store to customers in Japan by as early as next year, CEO Steve Jobs, in Tokyo for the opening of Apple Store Ginza on Sunday, told The Asahi Shimbun. [...]
Online music sales have yet to catch on in Japan, the world’s second-largest music software market following the United States, but growing interest from companies such as Apple underscores the market’s potential.”
“The group, which calls itself the Content Reference Forum (CRF), is a new, cross-industry standards organization that counts leading technology and media companies as members, including Universal Music Group, Microsoft, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, and VeriSign, according to a statement released by the group.
The goal is to design a technology platform that enables media companies and other digital content owners to distribute content across different technology environments and geographical regions, according to Albhy Galuten, chairman of the CRF and a former advanced technical lead at Universal Music Group.”
“Color me paranoid, but when Apple first announced its upcoming iTunes cross-promotion with Pepsi, my first thought was that Apple was putting itself at risk by signing on with the soft drink industry’s number two player. I figured that it was just a matter of time before Napster, Dell, Microsoft, or some other player in the music download space would announce a similar deal with comfortably-number-one Coca-Cola. Sure, it would have just been yet another case of Apple dreaming up a new way of doing things only to have an unimaginative competitor steal it, but it would really have sucked for iTunes if it had worked out that way.
So when Coke announced yesterday that it would be launching its own music download service without help from anyone, I have a feeling that Steve Jobs was dancing in the streets. Even better, Coke is only launching the service in Great Britain. In other words, Coke just wants to have something out there to compete for attention when Pepsi starts giving away iTunes tracks during the Super Bowl. You knew that Coke would enter the picture at some point, but this is beautiful: they’ve taken themselves out of the picture completely…”
Powermax.com has used 2nd generation 20GB iPods (without dock connectors) for $229.
TroyBoyDesign has released several new iPod icons, a new desktop and t-shirt based on its new PodKin character.
“Persistence is paying off in the battle between the record industry and music sharers, as Ipsos-Insight determined that there has been a growing willingness among Americans to pay for their tunes.
The firm’s research revealed that the number of paying music downloaders doubled in the first half of 2003
“Music industry executives are contemplating shifts in the 99-cent song price that has become a default standard
As the early buzz over new music services such as Apple Computers iTunes fades, record labels and technology companies are struggling to turn the services into profitable businesses.”
“The demand for MP3 players in the United States is poised to grow at a steady rate of 50 percent a year through 2006, signaling better times for the digital music market, claims Jupiter Research.
Shipments of MP3 players should hit 3.5 million in 2003, almost double 2002 figures, Jupiter said in a report issued Tuesday. It also said that there will be more than 26 million MP3 players in use by 2006. Starting in 2004, the demand for players with hard drives will surpass that of players with flash memory.”
MacResQ offers the reseller-refurbished Apple 30GB iPod for $379.99 via coupon code “PODME”. That’s a $10 savings and the lowest price we know to be available. Add around $5 for shipping. A 90-day MacResQ warranty applies. Offer ends December 15, 2003.
“Indeed, the download services are seeing some signs that many music listeners are accepting the 99-cent price tag, despite some downward pressure. Apple Computer said Monday that it has now sold more than 20 million songs in fewer than seven months through its iTunes song store.
Online buying patterns are also beginning to emerge, pointing to potential ground rules for the new services. Apple director of marketing Peter Lowe said that 45 percent of songs downloaded through iTunes had been sold as part of a full album, rather than in single song form. That indicates many people are still interested in purchasing large numbers of songs, or full albums, despite having a la carte options, Lowe said.”
iLounger Jesse has informed us about snowboard/ski helmets by Giro with built-in headphones and cable for use with iPod. “The Audio Series helmets feature TuneUps earpads, a premium-quality set of specially designed headphones that are built seamlessly into the earpads so you can dial in your favorite sounds anywhere on the hill without the hassels of earbuds or extra cords. Just plug in youyour player and go.” We Googled several online retailers and the Fuse helmet can be had for about $155, the Nine.9 helmet for about $135 and the Nine.9 MX helmet for about $125.
“A 21-year-old man from St Neots has been arrested after the main switchboard at Cambridgeshire police HQ was jammed by thousands of calls on Friday.
Concerned callers rang the Huntingdon-based HQ after receiving an email informing them that
Griffin Technology today announced the iTrip Station Finder 2.0 for Mac & PC. It helps iTrip owners find a clear frequency in over 200 US cities, and now includes frequencies for 15 additional countries, interactive map navigation, and user submission of new frequencies. The new iTrip Station Finder 2.0 for Mac and PC is available now for free.
“Bringing iTunes to Windows was obviously a bold move. Did you do much hand-wringing over it?
I don’t know what hand-wringing is. We did a lot of thinking about it. The biggest risk was that we saw people buying Macs just to get their hands on iPods. Taking iPods to Windows - that was the big decision. We knew once we did that that we were going to go all the way. I’m sure we’re losing some Mac sales, but half our sales of iPods are to the Windows world already.”
SiK today announced the imp car charger with line level output and a new version of the FireJuice multi-mode power injector for iPods with dock connector. “Imp’s unique design offers unmatched flexibility for using your iPod on the go. Imp provides unadulterated line level audio output and charging when used with iPod with Dock Connector.” The FireJuice “makes possible the use of bus-powered devices on computers with un-powered FireWire ports. FireJuice for iPod with Dock Connector is available in both 4 and 6 pin versions.” imp and FireJuice for iPod are available for pre-order today. imp is available at the special introductory price of $25.95 (MSRP $29.95.) FireJuice for iPod with Dock Connector is available at the special introductory price of $33.95 (MSRP $39.95.)
In the December issue of What Hi-Fi? magazine (UK), Apple’s 20GB iPod wins the group test against the likes of the Archos AV320, Creative Jukebox 3, Creative Zen NX, iRiver iHP-100 and Thomson’s Lyra. The test found the iPods pros were -“Controlled, detailed sound; easy to use; slim and incredibly stylish; better value than ever.” Cons were - “Bass could be beefer; supplied headphones look great but are best replaced” Verdict - “More memory for the money and ever-more options mean our Award winning portable just got even better.”
Washingtonpost.com’s Technews reviews four new iPod competitors. Looks like iPod still gets the best marks, but the Dell product seems almost comparable.
“Apple’s iPod has stolen the hearts of many digital-music fans with its stylish, svelte contours and delightfully simple controls. But it’s an expensive date, from $299 for a 10-gigabyte model to $499 for a 40-gig unit, and the latest design’s arrangement of buttons lacks some of the first iPod’s intuitive clarity.
Meanwhile, competing manufacturers have shipped a series of MP3 players with iPod-esque capacities and sizes but lower prices: Creative’s Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra, Dell’s Digital Jukebox, Rio’s Karma and Samsung’s YP-910GS Napster.”