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Rivet intros earphone lanyard for iPod nano

imageRivet has announced its Rhythm Earphone Lanyard and Grab for the iPod nano. The $50 accessory integrates a set of in-ear earphones, adjustable lanyard and polycarbonate holder.

“Hang your nano around your neck or clip it to your belt, shirt, pocket or bag and listen to your music, tangle-free. Comfortable and near custom fit earphones block out noise from the outside so all you hear is the full sound and extended bass. The Rivet Grab, designed specifically for the iPod nano, is made of durable polycarbonate and provides complete protection with full access to controls and ports. Rivet’s Rhythm and Grab are the perfect pair for your nano—superior sound, protection and tangle-free comfort.”

Mix: Film festival, Artist podcasts, Data recovery, Apple history

The Flux today announced the opening of an online film festival/competition for content formatted for the video iPod.

iCompositions has launched Artist Podcasts, a new service allowing artists to syndicate their music through iTunes and other podcast-tracking applications.

ESS Data Recovery is now offering an iPod data recovery service for as low as $99.
 
To coincide with the launch of its “This Day In Apple History” feature, Apple Maters is giving away a 5G iPod engraved with the original Apple logo.

ESPN, ABC Sports, more come to iTunes Music Store

The Disney ABC Television Group announced today that it plans to add a slew of new programming to the iTunes Music Store. The new offerings will come from ESPN and ABC Sports, ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, Disney Channel, SOAPnet, and Walt Disney Feature Animation. The content will be a mix of free and paid downloads.

ESPN and ABC Sports are offering condensed versions of all four BCS Bowl Games from ABC Sports. Yesterday’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl will be available today, while today’s Orange Bowl and tomorrow’s Rose Bowl will be available the day after they air. Other ESPN content will be available later this month, including the “Best Of The X Games,” ESPN Classic’s “SportsCentury” interviews, “This is SportsCenter” commercials, and “Knight School,” the forthcoming reality program featuring Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight.

Also available later this month will be ABC Family’s original series “Wildfire,” Disney Channel’s animated series “Kim Possible” and “The Proud Family” and SOAPnet’s original biography series “Soapography,” as well as ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and the popular 1970’s Saturday morning “School House Rock” vignettes and episodes of Buena Vista Television’s “Ebert and Roeper.”

Classic animated shorts produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and featured on Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s upcoming “Disney at the Academy Awards,” including the 1933 Academy Award-winning “The Three Little Pigs” and the 1935 Academy Award-winning “The Tortoise and the Hare,” will also be available.

In addition, free video podcasts from ABC News will be available on iTunes, including daily segments from “Good Morning America” and the “World News Tonight” webcast, as well as ABC News Now’s “Money Minute,” “Medical Minute” and “Buzz Cut.”

iSee 360i adds video recording, playback to iPods

imageAdvanced Technology Office (ATO) has unveiled the iSee 360i, an add-on video recorder and player for iPods. The device allows users to download videos directly from a computer, TV, cable, satellite, DVR, or any other analog source. Measuring 6 x 3.2 x 1.1 inches and weighing 6oz, the iSee has a 3.6-inch 320 x 240 LCD screen, a rechargeable 2200mAh battery, and offers a video-out option for watching videos on a TV.

“The iSee is the first video recorder for the iPod that lets you record what you want and watch it through your iPod,” says ATO. “It lets you see video bigger and better, because it has a 91% larger viewing area than the iPod with video and can be played back onto any TV at full TV resolution. Its rechargeable and replaceable battery has a minimum 4-hour battery life, so you won’t have to recharge your iPod to watch the end of a movie. Most importantly, it brings video viewing and recording to millions of existing iPod users.”
 
imageThe iSee 360i works with most fourth-generation iPods, and with the help of an adapter, iPod minis, iPod nanos and the 30GB fifth-generation iPod. It will retail for $250 and is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2006.

Starz launches iPod-incompatible movie service

Cable network Starz is launching a new subscription service that allows users to download full-length movies and watch them on portable video players and computers. The Windows-only service, called Vongo, uses Microsoft digital media technology and does not work with any iPod.

“As a subscription service, Vongo will allow users to download as many movies as they want for $9.95 a month,” reports The New York Times. “They will be able to choose from an ever-changing roster of about 800 movies, including about 300 films in rotation on the Starz cable channel (mainly movies released in theaters one to three years earlier) and 500 older titles.”

Motorola to drop iTunes in next ROKR phone

imageMotorola will reportedly drop iTunes support in the next version of the ROKR cell phone in favor of its own iRadio subscription music service. According to Reuters, the ROKR E2 phone, an update of the iTunes-enabled ROKR E1, will only play music via the iRadio service.

“The iRadio service, will include 435 commercial-free radio channels, including genres such as Heavy Metal, Rockin’ Cowboys and Angry Women. iRadio will let users download channels on the computer and transfer them to play on their phones or on car or home stereos, like satellite radio. The iRadio service will cost about $7 a month but the price may vary depending on which wireless phone service the subscriber uses, according to Motorola.”

In November, Motorola announced the RAZR V3i, an updated version of its popular RAZR V3 mobile phone that includes iTunes and other new features.

PyP-Bomb iPod/guitar amp available

imageThink Geek is now offering a unique portable iPod speaker system and guitar amp made from actual PVC pipe. Priced at $150, the PyP-Bomb offers 18 watts of power and features an internal liquid acid battery that gives you “days of play time.”

“Made from durable PVC pipe this tiny little powerhouse dominates with sound,” says the store. “Simply jack in your iPod or your guitar and crank the volume. The PyP-Bomb gets seriously loud with 18 watts of power blasting from its single enclosed speaker. Sound output is optimized for the iPod (or other external music source) when using the 3.5mm phono input jack. Plug your guitar into the standard 1/4” input jack and the one-of-a-kind electric/acoustic switch enables you to actively control the frequency response of the amplifier and cater it to the requirements of the instrument you are using.”

Mix: AAPL, Yahoo Maps, 1GB shuffle, Satellite

The iPod helped Apple shares gain 128.5 percent in 2005. The company accounted for a rise of 3.7 points in the S&P 500 index—more than any other stock.

iPod-iWay is a new service that lets you easily transfer driving directions from Yahoo Maps onto your color screen iPod.

Troy Wolverton of TheStreet.com is the latest to speculate that Apple will soon replace the 1GB iPod shuffle.

A small UK company last week launched the first Galileo satellite made of low-cost components from consumer gadgets, including the iPod.

Hammacher Schlemmer offers $4K iPod speaker system

imageHammacher Schlemmer is now selling a $4,000 tube-based iPod speaker system. Scheduled to ship on January 20th, the system produces a “luxurious warmth and clarity prized by audiophiles and previously difficult to reproduce outside of custom-built amplifiers of a handful of live musicians.”

“Developed and built by German audio technicians, the system consists of an aluminum-encased amplifier housing four powerful Class-A tubes which glow gently as they generate warm, low-octave sound that is virtually distortion-free, considered by audiophiles to be the most pleasing to the human ear,” says the store. “The tube amplifier smoothes over distortions found in modern digital recordings while helping to compensate and minimize the quality loss inherent in compressed audio such as MP3s. The matching double-cone, full-range speakers—designed solely for use with this system—faithfully generate warm, realistic tones using a single, highly synchronized chassis per speaker (reducing ill-timed and out of phase audio).”

iPod FM transmitters could soon be legal in UK

The January issue of MacFormat magazine has an interesting article on the future of FM transmitters in the UK. The publication notes that representatives from Ofcom—the regulating body for the UK communications industries—were on hand at October’s MacExpo in London to clamp down on exhibitors illegally selling FM transmitters for the iPod. However, Ofcom was also at the show to negotiate a way to offer the accessories legally.

From the issue:

The current problem is that British, and indeed European, law prevents people from broadcasting on commercial FM frequencies. It’s also illegal to sell the transmitters, as they can’t receive the required certification. Commercial radio is less tightly monitored in countries such as America, which is why products like Griffin’s iTrip are so popular over there.

Over the past year, though, Ofcom has been working with the likes of Griffin and Belkin to find a way around this problem. At the Expo, Griffin and its UK reseller, AM Micro, were presented with a draft spec for a legal alternative. This solution involves a transmitter that operates over a very small distance. AM Micro’s Stephen Hawkins explained: “The maximum power of the device has to be small. That way the range is limited so it cannot interfere with your next door neighbour.”

The proposal is still awaiting official approval, but Hawkins is confident that it will go through early next year, as it already has government support. “The government has realised that its missing out on a lot of taxes from these products,” he said. “Also, its receiving a load of complaints from people who want to buy them.”

EyeBud wearable display for video iPod revealed

imageeMagin, which makes video display products for military and industrial uses, has unveiled the EyeBud headset, a new wearable display for video iPods.

The EyeBud, which displays video in front of one eye, can provide the feeling of watching video on a 105-inch display from 12 feet away, according to the company. “Suddenly you’ve got this big-screen, movie-screen, home-theater experience, wherever you are,” said Gary Jones, eMagin’s president and CEO. The EyeBud uses a separate control module, about the size of an iPod, which includes a rechargeable battery pack.

The EyeBud is scheduled to be available later this year for as much as $600. It will be on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. iLounge plans to have coverage of iPod-related products from the event.

Happy New Year from iLounge!

As iLounge’s editors close out 2005, we look back fondly at a year that was as amazing for the Lounge as it was for the iPod. We were blessed by a massive surge in readership, which saw our traffic double from roughly 2 million loungers per month to around 4 million, while our Forums grew from under 40,000 registered members to over 83,000. Repeated server upgrades, the last one just a few weeks ago, have been necessary to handle all of the new traffic. On top of all the new people, there have been too many new iPod and major accessory launches to count, and hundreds of new news stories, tutorials, reviews, and photographs as a result. It has been an incredibly busy but exciting year.

Now, with our holiday vacations coming to an end (Jeremy has returned from shopping in Asia, while Dennis is soon to finish his tropical lounging in Hawaii), 2006 is here, and it’s going to start off with two bangs. iLounge will provide live coverage from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show starting this week, where a huge array of new iPod accessories will be launched, and then the team will be in San Francisco for the annual Macworld show the following week. We expect Macworld to be big on Mac-related announcements and iPod accessories, but not on new iPod hardware. (For more on that subject, we’ll soon have a new Backstage entry to share some of what we’ve heard.)

Thank you to all of our readers for your continued support and participation in the growth of iLounge. Even if we can’t respond individually to the thousands of messages that appear here and in our e-mail boxes every day, we appreciate every bit of your involvement, and strongly anticipate that 2006 will be an even bigger Year of the iPod - a major step forward for the entire iPod community, with some huge surprises in store for iLounge, too. Happy New Year, and stay tuned for what’s next!

Queen honors iPod designer

Apple design guru Jonathan Ive, best known for his work on the iPod and iMac, was named on Friday in the Queen’s Honours List for his achievements in industrial design.

“London-born Jonathan Ive, 38, Apple’s senior vice president of design, on Friday was awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth,” reports Reuters. “The rank of CBE is the third most senior rank among the five British classes of chivalry. It was created in 1917 by King George V to honor noncombatants at the height of World War I. Only the first two orders qualify for knighthood.”

Pacific Rim intros Pod Jams for iPod nano

imagePacific Rim Marketing has announced its wearable iDiddy Pod Jams for Apple’s iPod nano. The Pod Jams consist of either a clear see-through PVC case or a diamond-etched “Bling” case along with the company’s iLanyard, a fabric lanyard and earbud combination. Both Pod Jams come with your choice black or white iLanyards and are priced at $30 each. They will be available the first week of January. “Both of these Pod Jams products provide great protection against the abuse that your iPod will experience with normal daily use,” says Pacific Rim. “The earbuds pound out the base as well delivering the highs and everything in between. Rhodium-plated rings hold the earbuds in place against the iLanyard when not in use preventing the tangling of the earbud wires.”

Mix: Exec picks, Amazon list, iPod spam, Jobs posters

Not surprisingly, the iPod is the most popular gadget among 50 top executives surveyed by Forbes. [via TUAW]

The 2GB iPod nano, the 20GB color screen iPod, and the 512MB iPod shuffle were all included in Amazon.com’s Best Of 2005 List, which includes the “best selling, most positively reviewed, most wished for, and favorite gift products as determined by Amazon.com customers in 2005.”

Free iPods, Donald Trump and cheap Rolex watches were among AOL’s third annual Top 10 Spam List.

The latest Mike Industries iPod creativity contest has collected a number of humorous movie posters featuring Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Griffin ships iTrip for iPod nano

imageGriffin Technology today announced that its new iTrip FM transmitter for the iPod nano is now shipping. The new iTrip uses the nano’s LCD display for on-screen tuning, and features a new “sled

Mix: Sony BMG, iPodResQ, Mini tee, Ice fishing

As part of its settlement to the rootkit class-action lawsuit, Sony BMG will apparently offer free album downloads from the iTunes Music Store.

iPodResQ has announced that it has lowered the price of its iPod nano screen repair service by $30.

Beastee is offering a $16 T-shirt featuring the discontinued iPod mini pleading for a second chance. It’s available in the same green, pink and blue of the minis.

There’s no end in sight for unique podcast topics. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has developed a 30-minute podcast on ice fishing.

Music store offers iPods for CD trade-ins

Millennium Music, an independent music store in Charleston, South Carolina, allows customers to trade in their old CDs for an iPod. You can drop off your CDs at one of two locations or ship your collection to the store. The CDs credits will be judged on physical quality and quality of title. In addition, if a customer doesn’t have enough CDs, the difference can be made up with cash.

Millennium’s CD to iPod converstion table:
45 CDs = 512MB iPod shuffle
65 CDs = 1GB iPod shuffle
85 CDs = 2GB iPod nano
110 CDs = 4GB iPod nano
130 CDs = 30GB video iPod
175 CDs = 60GB video iPod

iPod tops brand survey

Apple’s iPod ranks as the top brand in the eyes of Americans, according to a national study conducted by Landor Associates, a leading branding and design consultancy, and research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland. The 2005 ImagePower Newsmaker Brands Survey examines Americans’ attitude toward the top brands.

“Four Internet brands (Google, eBay, Amazon.com and Yahoo!) are among the top 10 winning brands in 2005, while the iPod brand earned the No. 1 overall spot. The release of the shuffle, nano and video iPods in 2005 combined with effective branding efforts helped iPod continue its domination of the MP3 market,” the firms said. “Other technology brands in the top 20 include DVR, Xbox 360 and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.”

iMeat: New iPod replaced with meat [updated]

imageA Mililani, Hawaii woman claims that she purchased a video iPod for her 14-year-old son as a Christmas gift, but when he opened it the device had been replaced by some kind of mystery meat. “He went from joy, really happy joyful,” Rachel Cambra said, “then to discover this, just angry and hurt.”

Cambra said the iPod’s packaging was sealed (as was the meat) and that it didn’t appear to have been tampered with when she brought it home from the Honolulu Wal-Mart where she works. Dan Fogleman, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, said the package was sealed and has contacted Apple about the matter. He said Cambra will be given a new iPod for her son when the next shipment arrives.

Update: An iLounger has provided us with two photos taken from a local newscast on the story.

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