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Temporary fix for iPods affected by noise issue

As first noted in the comments of an iLounge news item, the audio defect found in Apple’s fourth-generation iPod and iPod Photo is apparently caused mostly by third-party headphones/earbuds that have a metal base around the headphone plug. When the metal base comes in contact with the metal case of the iPod, the static and hard drive accessing noises can be heard.

Several readers have provided temporary fixes for the issue. One reader suggests using a small piece of plastic wrap between the headphone plug and iPod, while another has had luck with a tiny teflon washer. Others have simply used scotch tape. Basically, any insulating material that can fit between (and around) the plug and the top of the iPod will work as long as it does not conduct electricity.

Mix: Altoids battery pack, iPod mini earbuds, iPorn

  • November 2, 2004

pic One enterprising iPod owner has squeezed an external iPod battery pack into an Altoids tin.

Japanese manufacturer Audio-Technica has introduced a new set of headphones that match the colors of the iPod mini.

In an article on mobile porn, Wired calls Apple’s new iPod Photo “a triple-X theater in your pocket.”

PodFreq now includes car charger

picSonnet Technologies has announced that its PodFreq FM Transmitter for iPod now includes a car charger at no additional cost. The car charger works in any standard +12V cigarette lighter/auxiliary power socket, and plugs into PodFreq’s FireWire port to charge the iPod. Features include a replaceable fuse to prevent damage in case of a power surge or short circuit, an extendable, coiled cord, and an LED power indicator. PodFreq is compatible with all third- and fourth-generation iPods.

Belkin introduces TuneBase FM

Belkin today announced the TuneBase FM, a new all-in-one car solution that allows you to mount, power, charge, and play your iPod mini. The $79.99 product plugs into a cigarette lighter outlet and features a built-in FM transmitter (with four programmable memory slots) for wireless connection to your car stereo. The TuneBase FM, which will begin shipping on November 22, also features an iPod mini holder with a flexible-steel neck that offers easy repositioning. While mounted in the TuneBase FM, your iPod mini charges and plays audio simultaneously. Belkin’s website has yet to be updated with the new product.

Griffin EarJams now shipping

picGriffin Technology today announced it has begun shipping the Griffin EarJams. Introduced this summer at Mac Expo in Paris, EarJams snap onto your iPod’s existing earbud-style headphones and “significantly increase the bass output, volume level and comfort.” A sonic enhancing cone transmits the sound directly into the ear, according to the company, while slip-on soft ear pads are provided for protection and comfort. The new Griffin EarJams retail for $14.99.

myPower all-in-one accessory powers, syncs iPod

picTekkeon today unveiled myPower, a new iPod case/portable dock with a built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery. The lightweight, all-in-one device provides fourth-generation iPod and iPod Photo users with an extra 32 hours of extended play time, third-generation iPod users with up to 20 additional hours, and iPod mini users with up to 28 additional hours.

myPower includes a FireWire port and a USB 2.0 port to enable users to sync their iPod using standard (and included) FireWire or USB cables. It also sports a line out port for connection to a stereo or external speakers, and a 5V charging output for simultaneously charging a mobile phone or other gadgets. myPower is priced at $89.95.

New irock! Beamit wireless music adapters debut

First International Digital today introduced its newest series of irock! Beamit wireless FM transmitters for portable audio devices. The 440FM features a built-in cigarette lighter power adapter, 90 degree swivel action, and 12 channels of digital tuning. The device is priced at $29.99. The lightweight 450FM plugs into the headphone jack of any portable music player and offers 100 channel digital tuning. It is powered by 1 AAA battery (optional battery-free operation when used with the included 12VDC auto adapter) and sells for $39.99.

European consumers not interested in video iPod

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.

The iPod Vote

Tuesday’s US presidential election comes down to “the iPod Vote,” according to Geek Culture’s latest Joy of Tech comic. “Finally, both candidates clue in that it all comes down to the iPod vote,” Monday’s comic jokingly reads.

iTunes 4.7 disables iPodDownload

According to Engadget, iTunes 4.7 disables iPodDownload, the iTunes plug-in that allows users to transfer songs from any iPod to your iTunes library. Apple allows an iPod to be associated with only one iTunes music library at a time in order to prevent the device from being used to transfer songs to any Mac.

iPod Halloween costumes

iPod fan Jared Winick loves the portable music player so much that he created a fully functional iPod Halloween costume with working display and audio.

“I didn’t just want to be walking around in a box, so I made it a fully functional costume,” writes Winick. “I finally found a good use for a tablet PC, and used that for the display. A rewired USB mouse served as the ‘Forward,’ ‘Reverse,’ ‘Play/Pause’ buttons, and a bit of Java code played and displayed the MP3s. Some battery powered speakers provided the sound. It all worked out well, and I even won the costume contest.”

We’ve also come across a slightly better looking iPod costume (minus the audio capabilities) as well as a very original trio that dressed up as characters from Apple’s “Silhouette” iPod+iTunes TV and print ads.

iPod Photo manifests audio defect

  • October 29, 2004
  • iPod

After preliminary testing of our new 60GB iPod Photo hardware, iLounge has confirmed the presence of the same audio defect widely reported in the fourth-generation iPod shortly after its release. The defect can be heard in headphones when the iPod Photo’s hard drive reloads its music memory buffer, and sounds like static accompanied by hard drive accessing noises, overlapping for several seconds the beginning of a music track.

As a reader noted in iLounge Backstage earlier this month, an almost identical problem has been reported, acknowledged, and addressed by Rio, the manufacturer of Carbon music players. Though iLounge provided two affected fourth-generation iPods to Apple in late July, the company has to date has had no official comment on or public solution for the defect.

Though we realize that few of our readers will have purchased the $599 60GB unit, we ask that those with iPod Photos read the prior reports and testing procedure, and add comments to this story’s thread so that we can determine the scope of these issues. We note that the sounds appear to be more faint and intermittent in our iPod Photo hardware than in our 4G iPods, however, they can still be heard.

Ten Technology announces flexDock charger/mount for mini

picTen Technology today announced flexDock, an auto charger and mount for the iPod mini. The TEN Technology flexDock mini for the iPod mini features a dock on an adjustable arm that plugs into standard cigarette lighter sockets in most automobiles worldwide. The flexDock mini will securely hold and power the iPod mini. The flexDock mini will begin shipping in November 2004 and also will be available through the Apple Store Online. The suggested retail price is $49.95.

OutKast tops first digital music sales awards

“Hip-hip duo OutKast took top honors on Wednesday as the recording industry handed out its first awards for music sold through Internet-music services like Apple Computer Inc.‘s iTunes.

The flamboyant Atlanta duo’s “Hey Ya!” collected a multi-platinum award for downloads of at least 400,000, while “The Way You Move” and “Roses” won platinum awards for sales of more than 200,000 each.”

The new iPod Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition

A reader has submitted a link to a website poking fun at Ashlee Simpson and the release of the U2 Special Edition iPod. Not very happy about the U2 iPods’ design the sites’ owner said, “it looks like the A-Team van,” and has retaliated with the iPod Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition.

“Never Miss A Beat. Like no other, iPod Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition stands out. Virgin white, it features the new Apple Fast-Forward Click Button and, on the flip side, complete how to use instructions. Available for just $349, it comes with enough money to use a pay phone for calling your daddy, your agent or both, when you get caught lip syncing live on national television. We have also included some Kleenex for those special times when your entire fan base realizes your nothing but a talentless hack.”

Marware releases TrailVue case for iPod mini

picMarwares’ new TrailVue is a flip-lid style case made of ballistic nylon. The mini is held in place via a clear vinyl sleeve sewn into the case and it also provides protection for the LCD screen. The TrailVue includes a low-profile spring clip and is compatible with the Multidapt interchangeable clip system. TrailVue costs $29.95 and is available in seven color combinations.

Apple iPod Photo now available at Apple Stores

  • October 27, 2004
  • iPod

Certain retail Apple Stores in the United States have received and started to sell through their first shipments of the company’s new 60-Gigabyte iPod Photo ($599), which though announced only yesterday is already attracting significant attention. Forty-Gigabyte units ($499) have not arrived yet at these stores, but Apple Store employees confirmed that the 60GB model is selling surprisingly well despite its high price tag and lack of any known advertising to support the launch.

Exclusive Pictures: Apple’s iPod Photo

  • October 27, 2004
  • iPod

piciLounge is proud to present the world’s first independent pictures of the new 60GB iPod Photo, the premium color-screened iPod announced yesterday and released today by Apple Computer, with its packaging. Use the Photos link below to see our photo gallery.

The gallery includes pictures of the iPod Photo’s remarkable new screen, which is far crisper and brighter than we had imagined it would be, and a variety of the new color applications included with the hardware. Our first screenshot of the iPod Photo’s new Photo menu shows the menu choices available to the user, and you can also see the unit’s new cables, Photo Dock, and all of its packaging. Notably, the iPod Photo is the first to include Apple logo stickers, which used to be packed-in only with Macintosh computers.

Apple sees growth in music downloads

  • October 27, 2004

picDuring yesterdays’ Apple|U2 music event Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs shared some “secretive” sales data reported from the iTunes Music Store. “I’ve read some articles that have said the online music industry is slowing down. We don’t know where that is coming from. We don’t normally share our data. We’re pretty secretive about it. But I want to share some data with you today so you can see what we see.” While showing the data, Jobs continued to say, “I don’t know what our competion are doing, but we’re seeing some serious growth here and we expect it to continue.” He noted that the iTunes Music Store has had 64 percent growth in the last five months. Jobs also mentioned that the iTunes Music Store has 70% of the marketshare and iTunes for Mac and Windows has been downloaded more than 85 million times.

XtremeMac releases Silicone Sleeve for iPod

picXtremeMac has released its own line of silicone cases for 3rd and 4th generation iPods. The new Silicone Sleeve features grip ridged sides, access to all iPod functions, and heat dissipation pores on the back. Clear Silicone Sleeves are sold individually for $19.95 while the color versions come in 3-packs ($29.95) of Hot Colors (pink, blue, green) or Neon Colors (orange, yellow, green).

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