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Mix: Video albums, Greatest gadgets, Samsung-Sony, Hillary Clinton

Apple’s iTunes Music Store is now offering “video albums” from both Green Day ($15/15 videos) and Jack Johnson ($10/22 videos).

The iPod landed at No. 2 behind the original Sony Walkman on PC World’s list of the top 50 greatest gadgets of the past 50 years.

Samsung said on Monday it may sell NAND flash memory chips to Sony for use in its MP3 players. The deal is said to be similar to the arrangement Samsung made with Apple earlier this year.

An album comprised of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s best speeches of 2005 has been made available for download on the iTunes Music Store.

iPod battery settlement finalized

The settlement to the iPod battery class-action lawsuit—which was approved by a judge in August and then appealed in November—has finally been made official.

“On December 20, 2005, the appeal filed by individual objectors to the Settlement was dismissed and the Settlement is now Final,” a note on the settlement’s official website says. “This means Apple and the Settlement Administrator can move forward with claims administration and claims fulfillment.”

The website notes that claim submission deadlines have not changed. Affected third-generation iPod owners must send in their claim form within two years of the original product purchase date. The deadline for submitting first- and second-generation iPod claims expired on September 30, 2005.

Record companies investigated over digital music pricing

The four major record companies are being investigated by New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer over whether they have violated antitrust laws in the pricing of songs sold by digital music services such as the iTunes Music Store.

“Spitzer’s office recently began serving subpoenas on the major record companies—the Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal; Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture of Sony and Bertelsmann; the EMI Group; and the Warner Music Group, according to people involved,” reports The New York Times. “Some major record companies have been pushing to introduce flexible pricing, charging more for hit songs and less for oldies, for example. But some executives say that a more complex price structure would turn off buyers and hurt industry efforts to woo music listeners away from free, unauthorized file-swapping networks.”

Welcome, new iPod owners!

If Santa brought you an iPod this year, then you’re at the right place. Whether you got a video iPod, an iPod nano, iPod shuffle, or even a previous generation iPod or iPod mini, iLounge will help you get the most out your new favorite gadget. If you’re looking to accessorize your iPod, check out our extensive list of iPod accessory reviews or the latest iPod accessory news. You can find answers to common iPod questions in our Ask iLounge and iPod 101 & 201 sections. If you want to ask a specific question or just chat with other iPod owners, hop on over to the iLounge Forums. And be sure to download our free Holiday Buyers’ Guide, which is loaded with tons of cool iPod gear and info.

Apple offers free Battlestar Galactica, SNL videos on iTunes

Apple has posted two free video downloads on the iTunes Music Store—“Sci Fi Inside: Battlestar Galactica” (21:03) and “Saturday Night Live: Lazy Sunday” (2:31).

“As it prepares for a new season, take a behind-the-scenes look at the life on board the Battlestar Galactica. Watch exclusive interviews with the people at the heart of one of television’s most acclaimed shows,” says Apple. “Get up to speed with the crew’s adventures so far in this free episode, and get a sneak peek at some of the upcoming action in the new season, premiering Jan. 6, 2006.”

In the Saturday Night Live clip, “Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell rap about their ‘Lazy Sunday’ which includes going to see the move ‘CHRONIC..(WHAT?)..CLES’ OF NARNIA and buying cupcakes.”

VP Cheney’s iPod takes precedence on flight

On a return flight from a four-day trip to the Middle East, U.S. vice president Dick Cheney used one of the only working power outlets on Air Force Two to charge his beloved iPod, frustrating reporters who were trying to file stories.

“Working passengers began lining up their laptops to share the power from a couple of working outlets—particularly the reporters who urgently needed to prepare their articles to transmit during a quick refueling stop in England,” reports the Associated Press. “But when Cheney said his iPod needed to be recharged, it took precedent above all else and dominated one precious outlet for several hours. The vice president’s press staff intervened so a reporter could use the outlet for 15 minutes to charge a dead laptop, but then the digital music device was plugged back in.”

CoolGorilla releases music trivia game for iPods

A new start-up named CoolGorilla has launched a trivia game for the iPod. The Rock and Pop quiz game contains twenty megabytes of audible trivia questions about the Gorrilaz, U2, Metallica, Beyonce, The Beatles, The Whites Stripes, The Killers, Madonna and many, many more. The game is compatible with 3rd, 4th and 5th generation iPods, iPod mini and nano. The game is free to download with CoolGorilla Movies and CoolGorilla Rap, R&B and Hip Hop trivia games coming soon. Instructions on how to install the game on Windows or Mac are available at the website’s FAQs.

ABT unveils new wireless iPod gear

ABT (Advanced Bridging Technologies) has provided iLounge with exclusive details of four new iPod accessories, including the iJet remote with dock connector, iJet remote/FM transmitter for iPod nano, iJet two-way transmitter and receiver, and the PowerJet auto charger with 9-pin accessory port. The company also announced the iJet USB Control, a wireless RF remote for PCs and Macs.

image

iJet with dock connector (1)
ABT’s RF remote now supports all iPods with dock connectors, from 3G and up. The new iJet offers up to 150 ft range and features a pass-through connector allowing users to charge or sync their iPod without removing the iJet.

iJet for iPod nano (2)
The slim, sled-like device combines an RF remote with an optional FM transmitter. It features a clear flip-up front cover and pass-through dock connector port. The RF remote works up to 100 feet away, while the optional FM transmitter works on four frequencies—88.1, 88.3, 88.5 and 88.7.

iJet Two-Way (3)
The iJet two-way transmitter and receiver allows any iPod user to wirelessly view song selections, artists and playlists from a remote LCD screen. The iJet Two-Way works with all dockable iPods, including the 5G iPod and iPod nano. It has a range of 150 ft and also sports a pass-through dock connector port.

PowerJet (4)
ABT’s PowerJet auto charger features a 9-pin accessory port for using older, top-docking accessories with the latest iPods. The PowerJet works with all dockable iPods, offers a swivel design, and provides safe charging of an iPod through any +12V cigarette lighter outlet.

iJet USB Control
ABT also introduced the iJet USB Control, a wireless RF remote for PCs and Macs. The receiver plugs into any USB port on a computer, and the 5-button remote enables users to control applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and PowerPoint up to 150 ft away.

All of the new accessories are available in either black or white. Pricing and availability were not announced.

Mix: Japan share, Macworld Expo, UDI spec, iTunes flaw

As of November, the iPod had approximately 60 percent share of Japan’s digital music player market, according to Tokyo-based WebBCN Ranking. Sony has fallen to just under 10 percent of the market.

Amanda Cantrell of CNN/Money has written a round up of what Apple watchers are expecting to be introduced at next month’s Macworld Expo.

Several electronics companies, including Apple and Intel, are working on a new standard for connecting computers to high-definition TVs and other consumer-electronics products. The new specification is known as the unified display interface, or UDI.

An independent security researcher has provided further details on a security flaw in Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime software that could put systems running Windows and Mac OS X at risk of attack.

Macally mPouch for iPod nano now available

imageMacally has announced the availability of its mPouch for the iPod nano. The leather case features a clear screen protector, micro suede inner lining, snap-button top closure, and a belt loop. The Macally mPouch is available in pink or black for $20.

Poll results: 2005’s most important iPod/iTunes event

The most recent Lounge Poll, “What was the most important iPod & iTunes event of 2005?”, is now closed.

Over 6,400 votes were cast in the poll, which covered 7 key events and included a “something else” category. By far, iLounge readers chose the October release of iPod (with video) and the addition of paid video content to iTunes. A 51% majority picked this option over all others, which was 27% higher than the number two option, the September release of iPod nano (24%).

Complete results are available at the Lounge Poll archives. Our new poll, “What iPod accessory are you most hoping to receive for the holidays?”, is now open. You can find it on the left column below Ask iLounge - please cast your vote!

iPod interfaces expected in 73 million cars by 2011

Telematics Research Group (TRG) said today it predicts that by 2011, 28 million cars in the U.S. and 73 million cars worldwide will offer built-in iPod integration. The research firm said that automotive auxiliary inputs will expand to about 60 million cars in the U.S. and 150 million globally by 2011. TRG expects Bluetooth audio interfaces will be installed in 8.5 million cars in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide by 2011. According to TRG data, 39 models from major auto companies currently sell vehicles in the U.S. market with iPod adapters or auxiliary-input jacks.

DLO ships over 20 new cases for iPod, nano

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters said today that it is now shipping over 20 new styles of its Relaxed Leather Cases for iPod and iPod nano and its Fling Fashion Cases for iPod nano. All of the cases are priced from $30 to $35. Select styles are available exclusively at Target and Apple Stores nationwide.

imageThe Relaxed Leather cases come in 10 different styles, featuring suede and distressed leather with touches like contrast stitching and brass rivets. They also offer a flip-up cover, belt clip, and an inside pocket to store ID, credit card or cash.

imageDesigned for fashion-conscious nano owners, the Fling Fashion Cases come in 11 new designs, ranging in style from “Faux Crocodile

HandStands offers updated iSnug armband for 5G iPod

imageHandStands today announced that it is offering an updated version of its iSnug Armband for use with the new fifth-generation iPod. Designed for iPod users with an active lifestyle, the new armband features a lightweight material, a velcro closure, and pouch that also works with 3G and 4G iPods. A smaller pouch is included for the iPod mini. The iSnug Armband is available immediately in black for $20.

Analyst: Apple to move away from Mac, build on iPod

Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey believes that Apple will move away from its core Mac lineup and instead focus on new consumer products. The company would be successful in doing so because of its mega-popular iPod brand, according to the analyst.

“2006 will undoubtedly mark another major year in Apple’s transformation, but its new markets bring together tougher competition,” Bailey wrote in a recent research note. “If early indications from suppliers prove correct, Apple is likely to move further from its Mac core in 2006, leveraging its brand and building on the consumer success of iPod.”

Bailey expects Apple to sell 11.6 million iPods during the holiday quarter, up from his previous estimate of 10 million.

ezGear intros clearCase for 5G iPods

imageezGear has introduced the clearCase Video for Apple’s latest iPod. Made of ultra-clear acrylic, the case features a flip-open front cover, removable belt clip and neck strap, and has openings for the dock connector port, headphone jack, hold switch and click wheel. The clearCase Video sells for $27 and comes in two sizes to fit the 30GB and 60GB iPod models.

Mix: iTunes Japan, Jobs, Video praise, Xbox 360, Zeitgeist

Apple’s Japanese iTunes Music Store has added new content from Victor Entertainment. The record label offers 18 albums totalling 209 tracks of mainly Japanese domestic artists.

USA Today tech columnist Kevin Maney says that 2006 could be the year Apple CEO Steve Jobs finally “falls off his pedestal.”

“The new iPod is its own little addictive medium,

Sonnet releases USB power adapter for iPod

imageSonnet Technologies has announced a USB power adapter for charging an iPod without a computer. Available in black or white, the compact adapter is “about 2/3 the size of its competition” and offers fold away blades, universal power compatibility (100-240V, 50/60 Hz) for worldwide use, and non-polarized blades so it can be plugged in with the USB outlet face up or down. Sonnet’s iPod USB power adapter is compatible with 4G/5G iPods, iPod mini, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. It’s available immediately for $20. A European version will be released in January.

iPod earbuds could cause hearing loss

The type of earbud headphones that come bundled with every iPod sold can cause serious hearing loss, according to a Northwestern University professor and audiologist. The earbuds can lead to permanent damage after only an hour of high-volume music in the 110- to 120-decibel range, the equivalent of a concert, said professor Dean Garstecki. He recommends switching to over-the-ear headphones, listening to your tunes no more than an hour a day, and turning down the volume.

“Insert earphones can boost the signal by as much as six to nine decibels. That’s about the difference between the sound of a vacuum cleaner and a motorcycle,” said Garstecki. “It’s a significant difference.” He also noted that the storage space on iPods contributes to problems. “Not only do you have a signal that is likely to be more intense, you’re likely to be using this device longer than people have been using CD players and Walkmans in the past. This increases the likelihood of hearing loss down the road.”

For a more complete article about this issue please read “Listen Safely: Your Ears and Your iPod” by iLounge’s Kirk McElhearn.

Body Glove debuts iPod nano case

imageBody Glove Technology Accessories has announced the MP3Suit, a new form-fitting case for the iPod nano. The MP3Suit features Body Glove’s signature Scuba material in black with a silver trim and the Body Glove logo. The water-resistant material protects the iPod nano from everyday use and has openings for the click wheel, dock connector, hold switch and headphone jack. The $30 case also comes with a belt and armband attachment. The MP3Suit will be available at bodyglove.com in January.

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