To accompany TuneCenter, a $100 Media Center dock for iPods premiered in January, Griffin Technology today announced TuneCenter Pro, a premium $130 version with extra capabilities. In addition to charging and connecting iPods to home entertainment systems, and displaying iPod music menus, photos, and movies on a television screen, both versions of TuneCenter will connect to an existing home network for realtime navigation and playback of Internet Radio programming. TuneCenter will ship with an Ethernet port, while TuneCenter Pro will include internal 802.11 networking functionality. As a special bonus, all TuneCenter pre-orders placed through Griffin’s web site through Monday, April 10 will receive TuneCenter Pro for the standard TuneCenter’s price of $100. TuneCenter will ship in May, TuneCenter Pro in early June. A QuickTime movie demonstrating TuneCenter’s interface and features is now available for viewing online.
Apple has incorporated Braeburn Capital, an asset management company based in Reno, Nevada. “Braeburn—named for a variety of apple that’s uniquely sweet and tart—will be a vehicle for managing Apple’s investment portfolio. By incorporating in Nevada, Apple will be shielded from certain taxes imposed by the state of California.”
Apple is offering $10 off an order of $100 or more at the online Apple Store. To receive the discount, enter the promotion code MJN23NGDBF when you check out. The deal will expire April 22, 2006.
A ruling in the Apple vs. Apple trademark case is unlikely before Easter. Following closing arugents yesterday, judge Edward Mann said his judgement in the legal battle between Apple Computer and the Beatles’ Apple Corps over the use of the apple logo was unlikely to be before the Easter break. “In one corner, Apple Corps Ltd.‘s lawyer Geoffrey Vos said Apple Computer is a ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ that is attempting to steal the British company’s trademark and increasingly encroach on its territory,” reports the AP. “In the other corner, Apple Computer lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the company is doing nothing wrong and music lovers are smart enough to tell the difference between the use of the apple logos.”
CyraKnow’s Rambler audio language phrase books are designed to help iPod users when traveling abroad. Available in French, German, Italian and Spanish, each Rambler audio book contains 900 words and phrases. The recordings are done by native speakers and organized into categories such as Travel, Food, Lodging and Fun. Each language sells for $20, or you can purchase all four in a $50 Euro-Pack. “Made for your iPod, Rambler audio phrase books help make travel everything you want it to be. With over 900 words and phrases per language at your fingertips, getting off the beaten path and mixing with the locals just became a whole lot easier.”
Valor Multimedia has introduced the iLink-L2, an enhanced iPod interface device for home or car use. The iLink allows users to play audio (MP3 or WMA), view photos, and play videos stored on any dockable iPod through any multimedia setup, with an easy on-screen menuing system. The device enables an on-screen display of iPod functions on any connected video monitor, charges the iPod, and is controlled with an IR remote control. “Turn your iPod into a multimedia entertainment center,” says the company. “The world’s first multimedia interface for iPod enables any iPod with dock connector to play video on any multimedia system, home or car.” The iLink sells for $130.
Apple’s iPod continues to dominate market share and mindshare among teenagers. According to Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual digital music teen survey, 77% of students who own an MP3 player have an iPod, up from 74% last Fall. For online music services, 71% of teens said they use iTunes, up from 64% last Fall. “While it is not at all surprising to see that Apple still has leading market share in digital audio players and online music, we are surprised that Apple has actually grown its market share in both digital audio players and music download services since the Fall-05 PJC teen survey was completed,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a report given to iLounge.
What’s new in the iLounge Discussion Forums? Today, after many requests from our readers, iLounge is pleased to launch a new forum for iPod users who might wish to install Linux on their iPods. The new forum, iPod+Linux Discussion Forum will give members a special area to discuss Linux on iPods, exchange tips, and seek advice for any problems they might encounter.
iPREPpress and Merriam-Webster have announced a series of portable text references for the iPod. The first title, Merriam Webster’s Pocket Dictionary for iPod, is available today for $10. The downloadable dictionary includes 40,000 words and their definitions, a pronunciation guide, abbreviation guide, and a Handbook of Style. Over the next two months, the two companies will release Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary for song and hip-hop writers, Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Atlas, and The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations.
During his closing arguments in the Apple vs. Apple case today, Apple Computer lawyer Anthony Grabiner defended the company’s right to use its logo on the iTunes Music Store and in ads for the service. Grabiner said ads featuring U2, Eminem and Coldplay were entitled to use the Apple logo because they were promoting the iTunes store and not the music itself. “Viewers aren’t ignorant people, but… have significant understanding of what Apple Computer does and the object of the exercise, accepted by people watching, was to get the benefit of the download,” Grabiner said. “Apple Computer has the exclusive right to use the apple mark on such a broadcast, if used to indicate the source or origin of the hardware and downloading services mentioned in the advert.”
Apple today introduced Boot Camp, new software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. The free beta software is available today for download and will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major version of Mac OS X.
SearchForiPod.com is a “free online video download community that aggregates and organizes iPod-formatted video content from over 1,000 independent sources and makes it searchable through various content channels and traditional keyword search.”
Womp! Products has launched a new range of iPod cases “influenced by the urban lifestyle of iPod users at affordable prices.” The cases are available for the nano, 5G, 4G, and mini in a variety of styles and patterns. “Our unique cases offer quality protection as well as allow users to showcase their personal style with a plethora of designs—from urban camo to preppy argyle,” says Womp! “All cases are made from quality materials such as genuine leather or our very own lattice canvas with plush interiors that won’t scratch.”
As the second in our series of live iLounge chats, hosted in our recently opened live chat room, popular clock radio and speaker maker iHome will be giving away iHome iH5 clock radios (iLounge rating: A-) and portable audio systems to iLoungers this Thursday. Rules for the giveaway will be announced during the live chat, so please join us in the chat room on April 6, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET.
WaterField Bags has announced the first travel case for Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi. The $149 case features padded nylon construction, play-though functionality, plastic speaker protection, shoulder strap, and five exterior pockets. “To play, just tuck the front flap into rear of the case behind the speaker, plug in the power cord, and drop in your iPod,” says WaterField. The iPod Hi-Fi Speaker Case will ship on April 18th.
Atakan Cetinsoy, the former business intelligence manager of the iTunes Music Store, has joined MusicStrands, a company that develops music recommendation software.
According to a survey by M:Metrics, owners of portable music devices, especially iPod owners, are “more than twice more likely than average mobile subscribers to use music and video applications on their mobile phone and to express a willingness to pay for such services in the future.”
Apple today announced the availability of the entire Dave Matthews Band catalog on the iTunes Music Store. “For the first time ever online, fans of Dave Matthews Band can purchase and download individual songs from the band’s catalog for just 99 cents per song exclusively from iTunes,” Apple said in a statement. Previously, the band’s “Stand Up” was the only album offered in digital form.
Apple and Warner Bros. Records today announced that the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new double album “Stadium Arcadium” will be offered through an exclusive pre-sale on the iTunes Music Store. Customers can pre-order the album from iTunes for $19.90 to be downloaded on May 9 when it is released. In addition, those who pre-order the album will be entered to win a limited-edition Chili Peppers iPod and get the first shot at concert tickets for the band’s North American tour.
Participating in tonight’s live iLounge chat with headphone makers v-moda, twenty iLounge readers won new pairs of Remix M-Class earphones in their choice of three colors (silver/black, blue, or pink). A complete list of winners can be read from the full story link above or below. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone for participating in the chat tonight.
Eddie Cue, vice president of iTunes at Apple Computer, took the witness stand Monday to defend his company in the trademark lawsuit brought on by The Beatles’ Apple Corps. Cue testified that Apple Computer did not violate a 1991 agreement between the two companies by using the Apple logo on the iTunes Music Store. Apple Corps lawyer Geoffrey Vos asked Cue to confirm that the iTunes Music Store had offered exclusive songs from artists such as U2 and Bob Dylan. “We have tracks that are temporarily exclusive to us in the Music Store, and so do most of the other services,” Cue said in the High Court in London. James Hoffman, CEO of Woodstock Systems, testified earlier on behalf of Apple Corps that Apple Computer converts its music files into a proprietary format to restrict how they are used.
Last August, we launched The Free iPod Book 1.0, a free 142-page tutorial to all things iPod and iTunes, including a Back to School Buyers’ Guide. In keeping with our tradition of releasing premium-quality free publications for our readers (and despite our April Fool’s joke), we have announced today that we will release The Free iPod Book 2.0, a substantial update to the earlier edition - with some thematic surprises - in early June. As with all of our past Guides, the Book will contain original content not found on the iLounge.com web site, and new reader contests will be announced shortly.
Today, six of the major studios began selling downloadable full-length movies online through the Movielink service, which is owned by Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal, MGM, and Paramount. Until today, only rentable downloads had been offered by the studios, which could be watched only during a 24-hour window. The movie files will take up around a gigabyte of storage, and will take an hour or two to download, depending on the internet connection.