Sales of portable digital audio players are set to grow 57 percent in 2005 after more than doubling last year, a global survey by iSuppli found. The market research group said today that over the next five years, shipments of MP3 players will expand to 132 million units in 2009 from 36.8 million in 2004. Sales of hard drive-based digital audio players are expected increase to 56.2 million units in 2009, up from 9.8 million in 2004, and account for 43 percent of the total MP3 market.
iSuppli said that less is more when it comes to portable players. “The so-called ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach has not succeeded in the MP3 market. Simple, elegant products that perform a few functions with easy-to-use interfaces have sold well in the marketplace, while the do-everything approach has failed.”
At last month’s Grammy Awards, Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone performed a medley of Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” and “Piece of My Heart.” The live track is now available exclusively on the iTunes Music Store, with all proceeds benefiting two premier cancer research organizations - City of Hope and Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
“I’ll never forget those two-and-a-half minutes on stage,” says Etheridge, who recently completed a course of chemotherapy to battle breast cancer. “It was the best get well present a girl could have.” Stone added, “Singing with Melissa was a dream come true. She’s an amazing singer, songwriter and without a doubt an amazing person, definitely a woman to look up to.”
Apple’s Steve Jobs again received a salary of $1 in 2004, according to an annual proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jobs also did not receive stock options or restricted stock from Apple last year. “For years, Jobs, who co-founded Cupertino, California-based Apple, has taken a salary of $1,” reports Reuters. “In March 2003, Jobs voluntarily canceled all of his outstanding options, excluding those granted to him in his capacity as director.” Jobs is Apple’s second-largest shareholder, with more than 10 million shares, or 1.23 percent of the company’s outstanding share count, according to Marketwatch.
Nominet, the UK internet registry, has found that CyberBritain Holdings made an “abusive registration” with iTunes.co.uk and ruled that the domain name should be transferred to Apple.
Jonathan Rubinstein, senior vice president of Apple’s iPod division, realized $26.3 million in value from exercising 3 million stock options last year.
Apple’s iPod lineup will make its eagerly anticipated debut in Vietnam this month, according to the Vietnam Economic Times.
Atlanta-based TunerTricks has details and photos on custom iPod installs in a Volkswagen, Infiniti, Lexus, and other cars.
London’s Leicester Square subway station has been blanketed with ads for Apple’s iPod shuffle. Media Week reports that the “exclusive iPod zone” will include ads on poster sites, ticket gateways and station arches, and appears to be the first time that a company has done such a campaign at the station in seven years. Photos of the ad-covered station can be found here.
Vaja has announced a new turntable-inspired version of its iVod leather case for iPods. Made from genuine Argentine leather, the iVod DJ features a vinyl Click Wheel cover that resembles an actual record. The padded leather case is available for all sizes of the 4G iPod and iPod photo, and offers a built-in screen protector and access to the Dock Connector Port, headphone port, and hold switch. The iVod DJ is available in numerous color combinations, and starts at $80.
Engadget has an interview with Napster CEO Chris Gorog, in which he compares the iPod to “your father’s Oldsmobile” and says Steve Jobs “must be pretty frightened of the Napster To Go.”
London’s Playlist Club has announced its first affiliated US event - Playlist Philadelphia on March 28.
Command-Tab has an article on how to use a regular 3.5-inch hard drive with an iPod.
The delay of Motorola’s iTunes-compatible mobile phone is reportedly due to wireless carriers which want to be able to make money off of digital downloads (the iTunes phone gets music directly from your computer).
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today introduced black and silver versions of its TransPod all-in-one car solution for iPods. The TransPod allows users to transmit, charge and secure an iPod in their car with one accessory. The DLO TransPod works on any frequency and uses any standard 12V cigarette lighter outlet for power. Previously only available in white, the new black and silver TransPods now “match most car interiors perfectly and work equally well with the 20G iPod, U2 iPod, iPod photo as well as the new iPod minis.” The DLO TransPod is priced at $99.99.
Shuffleshirt.com has announced the Shuffle shirt, a T-shirt specifically designed for the iPod shuffle. The Shuffle shirt features a pocket on the left sleeve to snugly hold the device.
“Why be bound by an armband or leashed by a lanyard? Slip your Shuffle into your Shuffle shirt and shuffle on. With your Shuffle tucked into your Shuffle shirt, it is protected and conveniently within reach without being in the way of your everyday activities.”
The $20 shirts are available in black and yellow. Each Shuffle shirt has a slogan such as “The Playlist is Dead,” “Sorry… I can’t hear you. I’m shuffling.” and “I shuffle, therefore I am.”
iPod-TV is a Windows application that allows you to put up to a weeks worth of television listings on your iPod. The free software automatically downloads the TV information from the web and allows you to easily upload the data onto your iPod.
As previously reported, Skittles is launching an iPod giveaway as part of its promotion for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Details are minimal at this point, with only a short note on Skittles.com saying: “Come back April 2nd to play ‘Hunt for Grievous’ and enter your in-pack codes for a chance to win cool prizes including a Star Wars engraved iPod with iSkin.”
iLounge has acquired photos of the Star Wars-themed silicone protector from iSkin, which was commissioned by Skittles. The red iSkin eVo2 features a small illustration of Darth Vader’s head on the front, and a tribal “Vader” graphic on the back. The case also features an iSkin Wheel Cap with a Darth Vader logo.
Click “Read more” for large photos of the Vader iSkin.
PodGuides.net has announced the release of PodGuide Generator, an application that allows you to easily create audio tour guides for your iPod. “Just fill in your PodGuide data (PodGuide name, track info, track pictures) and it generates a PodGuide for you. Add the mp3 files, zip it and submit it to PodGuides.net - a site for a community of people who want to make and share their own audio tours.” PodGuide Generator is available for both Mac and Windows.
After persuading LuxPro to remove its iPod shuffle knock-off from its stand at the CeBIT trade show on Friday, Apple was met with little cooperation on Saturday as the Taiwanese company put the device back on display.
As reported last Thursday, LuxPro’s Super shuffle is nearly indistinguishable from Apple’s iPod shuffle in every way. (See iLounge’s report and photos of the Super shuffle for complete details.)
After news spread of the iPod look-alike last week, Apple lawyers spoke with LuxPro and got the company to remove the device from its CeBIT booth for one day. LuxPro brought the flash-based music player back out on Saturday for weekend visitors.
“Our lawyers are in the process of weighing legal options,” Apple spokesman George Albrecht said.
If you’ve attended or hosted an iPod party anywhere in the world - and have pictures to prove it - iLounge would like to hear from you. Send an email telling us your name, the name and location of the venue where the party was held, the (approximate) date, how iPods were used in the party, and what you thought of the experience. Did you meet new people? Expand your musical tastes? Feel bored? Please be prepared to send a picture if requested. Thanks!
Marware has created a special promotional code for iLounge readers that enables you to get 20 percent off a variety of the company’s iPod accessories. By using code “IPL35” at checkout, you can get the discount on the: 4G Sportsuit Convertible (black only), 4G Basic, 3G Sportsuit Convertible (black only), Mini Sportsuit Convertible (black only), Mini Basic, and Runabout. The offer is valid until March 31.
Wisconsin legislators are “mobilizing against a proposal they call the ‘iPod tax,’ in a battle over online music and movies that could soon spread across the United States.”
In a move to curb illegal downloading, an academic at McGill University proposes putting all music on a search engine and charging five cents a song.
Slate’s Daniel Engber asks, “How much is your stolen music worth?” And answers, “Probably more than you think.”
A cigarette container probably isn’t what Apple had in mind when they created the iPod shuffle Sport Case.
“I am currently working on a project for Apple.
We are looking to speak with people who have come to Mac through owning an iPod. These are people who have been or currently are PC users; they own an iPod and love it so much that they’ve bought a Mac.
Specifically we are looking for people between the ages of 14-35…young professionals, parents, students/etc…approachable, real people. I would like to speak with anyone who fits this description.”
Marware today announced that its SportGrip iPod shuffle case, which was first shown by iLounge last month, will begin shipping on Monday, March 14. The $8.95 silicon protector is available in a slew of colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, plum, pink, white, gray, and black. The SportGrip, which offers access to the control pad and slider switch, has an included attachment ring and carabiner to attach your iPod shuffle to a zipper, belt loop, backpack strap, and other locations.
Tunewear has updated its Prie line of iPod products with three new cases — the Prie Classic, the Prie Lux, and the Prie Pearl. All three come in sizes for the 4G iPod (including iPod photo) and iPod mini. The Prie Classic ($24.95) is made of high quality leatherette, and comes in lime, pink, gray, and black. The Prie Lux ($34.95) is made of genuine leather, and is available in black, brown, green, and cream. The Prie Pearl ($44.95), constructed of smooth sheepskin, comes in blue, violet, and bronze. The Prie case series covers the entire iPod when closed, but still allows for easy access to all ports. It features a twin snap-button design, and includes two straps that can be clipped onto the the sides of the case.
The first iPod accessory to carry Apple’s new “Made for iPod” badge is now shipping; it’s Macally’s new IceTune stackable speaker system, which received a favorable initial preview from iLounge, and signals that Apple’s Made for iPod program is now getting off the ground. Several third-party accessory makers have confirmed to iLounge that their products are either now beginning to ship with the Made for iPod badge, or will be in the near future.
According to Apple, and as previously reported by iLounge, the Made for iPod program aims to help consumers choose iPod products that are compatible with and safe for their iPods. The program consists of guidelines and specifications that companies must follow when bringing accessories to market. Companies that join the program pay a licensing fee to Apple for use of the badge and access to authorized sources of iPod connector components.
“This is a very important logo for Macally to have on our packages because we at Macally work hard to meet all of Apple’s requirements and we hope to help strengthen and support the iPod brand,” Macally’s Adrian Chan told iLounge. “By seeing the Made for iPod logo on the package, consumers will be able to choose products that are acknowledged by Apple.”
Chan said that as part of the program Macally does extensive self-testing that includes “every aspect of charging and iPod functionality.” After the in-house testing, products are submitted to Apple for final review. The program appears to primarily be a self-certification process to meet guidelines published by Apple, whereby the accessory maker tests the product itself.
Click “Read more” for the rest of the article and a shot of the Made for iPod badge on the IceTune box.