Creative Technology today reported that it sold two million digital music players in its second quarter of fiscal year 2005, ended December 31, 2004. The company said sales were up 50 percent to $375.1 million, and that it has sold over five million players to date. In comparison, Apple sold over 4.5 million iPods during the same holiday quarter, and has sold more than 10 million to date.
Following recent criticism of Apple’s iPod shuffle, Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said in a financial statement that his company will benefit from the new low-cost Apple player. “I believe we are extremely well positioned against the flash products and pricing that were recently announced by Apple, as we have superior features and broad product lines that span the entire category,” Wong Hoo said. “I also believe that Apple’s entry into the flash market will create more awareness in the flash market segment, and we are well positioned to become a big beneficiary of this expanding market.”
From all of us at iLounge to all of our wonderful readers, Happy New Year!
We could hardly have asked for a better year than 2004. iLounge has been blessed with the world’s greatest readership, plenty of exciting news, and all signs pointing towards a bigger, better and brighter 2005. Our forums continue to grow dramatically, our behind-the-scenes Backstage page has gone from pipe dream to reality, we launched the free Buyers’ Guide, and we’ve expanded to offer an audio-format Podcast of key iLounge content. Two big contests (Etymotic giveaway, Klipsch giveaway) are ending tonight. Much, much more is planned for next year.
We hope that this year has brought you as much fun, happiness, and relaxation as you have hoped for, and that 2005 will offer you at least as much of the same! Please use this comments thread to discuss your New Years’ resolutions, and your hopes for iLounge in the year to come.
Best wishes from Dennis, Jeremy, Larry, and the rest of Team iLounge!
To celebrate this holiday season we created a special holiday desktop/wallpaper for your enjoyment. Thanks for making iLounge your Internet destination and have a safe and happy holidays!
“iPod & iTunes Garage” is a new book by Kirk McElhearn thats aims to show users how to get the most out of the device and software. The $24.99 book “shows both Mac and Windows users the tips and tricks to transform their iPods into the most useful electronic device they own. And he demonstrates how to manipulate the iTunes digital music management program to make it the most entertaining piece of software in existence. The book covers the best features of iTunes and the iPod, including the new 4G model and the iPod mini.”
Peachpit Press has announced the release of “The iPod Playlist Book.” The $14.99 book offers playlists for “nearly every mood and occasion,” according to the publisher. “Many consumers find it overwhelming having to sort through a massive collection of music to find the right tunes to make a perfect playlist. The iPod Playlist Book makes it simple by featuring more than 150 playlists organized by genre (punk, blues, roots, and more) and activity (road trips, cocktail parties, weddings, luaus, etc.). Each page includes a playlist and interesting tidbits about that list. Some examples of playlists include: Road Trippin’, Not Your Typical Wedding Songs, Cryin’ in Your Beer: Songs for Soaking in Cheap Suds and Salty Tears, The Building Blocks of Punk.”
Metro FreeFi has added several new U.S. locations to wiPod, its iPod-based field guide to free wi-fi locations. You can also now choose which specific areas to add to your iPod. “Now when you are on the road you can look up a free hotspot quickly and easily right from your iPod. No, the iPod isn’t wi-fi enabled (yet). wiPod uses the Notes functionality of the iPod OS to store the database in an easy to use format… From Miami to Seattle, and Los Angeles to New York, Metro FreeFi is making sure you never have to pay for wi-fi ever again.”
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 iPod eBook Creator is a Web-based tool to convert books (or any text) to the iPod Notes format that you can add to your iPod for reading on the go.“This utility/PHP script loads large text file and splits it into notes for use on iPod. It is easy to read your book in plain text format on your iPod via Notes functionality. All notes will be automatically linked, so you can move from one to another with absolute ease. It’s as simple as turning pages of the book.”
The NBA has informed Toronto Raptors star Vince Carter that he is no longer allowed to use his iPod during pregame warm-ups. “The 27-year-old shooting guard had been listening to music on his trendy iPod on the basketball court during pregame warm-ups, chilling privately with his tunes while practicing jump shots with his teammates. Yesterday, the NBA said Carter’s quest for inner peace through his headphones did not conform to the league guidelines on proper attire on the court. The league has asked him to put the music player away. Carter was shocked when told the news yesterday afternoon after practice. ‘It’s going to hurt [my routine] big time,’ Carter said. ‘I like to listen to music when I’m working out, doing all that. That was my chance to really kind of relax yet focus in. I focus in when I have music on.’”
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.
CNET News.com reports that more and more luxury hotels are adding iPods to their guest rooms.
Markus Giesler, an assistant professor of marketing at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Ontario, has launched the iPod Experience, a research homepage dedicated to “the study of iPod consumers and their iPod related stories and consumption experiences.”
Since launching BiblePlayer last month, the free version of the software has been downloaded roughly 7,000 times. BiblePlayer allows users to read the Bible on an iPod using the device’s Notes function.
LoadPod, a nationwide iPod CD loading service, has announced a new, more affordable pricing structure that brings lower prices and rewards those customers with larger CD collections. The price for customers with 50 to 99 CDs is now $1.49 per CD. The price for customers with 100 to 199 CDs is now $1.39 per CD. And customers with 200 or more CDs will now pay $1.29 per CD. In addition, there is no longer a travel fee for any size collection.
MP3.com said the Rio Carbon was an able competitor, but “it didn’t have the stamina to keep up with the solid build of the iPod mini.”
According to a new survey by Jupiter Research, Europeans are more interested in portable music than portable video. The research firm found that only 13 percent of European consumers want to watch video on a portable gadget, while nearly a third are interested in listening to music on a device such as an iPod. Jupiter said that only 5 percent of those surveyed wanted a player that could play back both music and videos.
“Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD), the industry pioneer in small form factor storage, today announced a new family of 1.8-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) that deliver the industry’s highest capacities in this category with its 30GB “MK3006GAL” and 60GB “MK6006GAH.” These drives also feature improved shock tolerance, power consumption and vibration control for better performance in mobile consumer electronics devices.
To achieve this industry-leading capacity, Toshiba has set a new benchmark for areal density in the 1.8-inch HDD category at 93.5 gigabits per square inch. This has allowed Toshiba to pack 30GB of data onto a single 1.8-inch platter, an increase of 50 percent over current models, delivering drives that are ideally suited for in-demand consumer electronics products such as mobile audio players and mobile notebook PCs.”
This formal announcement confirms Toshiba’s earlier revelation in Taiwan of the new 60GB drive, for which the company said Apple had already placed orders. The new details on size (60GB is the same thickness as current 40GB iPods; 30GB is same size as current 20GB models) and power consumption (lower) suggest that future iPods based on the new drive will be in cases of the same size as today’s models, but should feature even better battery life.
The first German online iPod community, i-Pod.de has changed its name to iPodFun.de. “We had to do this because it is easier to tell people [about the site] without causing worries about the dash and so on. At the same time we sourced out our support pages into a new wiki based standalone site called iPodHilfe.de (which means iPodhelp),” said Christian Hieber of iPodFun.de.
“A release version of the 2.4.24 kernel is now available for download! This version includes full support for first, second and third generation iPods (no iPod mini support) including audio, firewire and remote.
The other important inclusion with this release is the demo podzilla program. Podzilla is a basic GUI demo similar to the native Apple firmware, it has a very simple mp3 player which can be run by running the file browser and selecting a .mp3 file, during playback the pause/play button will pause and menu will exit back to podzilla.”
Rhythmbox is an integrated music management application, originally inspired by Apple’s iTunes. It is free software, designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, and based on the powerful GStreamer media framework, or the Xine framework. Now supports iPod, which is still experimental. See README.iPod for more information.