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iDea HomeDock offers iPod, PSP connectivity

FriendTech has introduced the iDea HomeDock, a new combo docking station for iPods, Sony PSPs, and other portable devices. The HomeDock comes in two versions—wired and wireless—and allows users to connect the handheld devices to a home entertainment system for music and video playback. In addition to audio/video connectivity, the unit also simultaneously charges both iPods and PSPs, and features a 16-button remote control and a USB 2.0 port for synchronization with a computer. Other MP3 players and music cell phones can also be connected to the unit. The iDea Wireless HomeDock uses RF HD-Audio transmitting and broadcasting to send music wirelessly to multiple room stereos and headphones. Pricing and availability were not announced.

Pacific Design debuts GrandStand iPod case

Pacific Design has announced its GrandStand case for fifth-generation iPods. The $40 case is constructed of “rich Italian-sourced polyurethane (PU) material and full-grain leather,” and features a Lexan screen protector, belt clip, and flip-cover that can be folded back to create a stand for watching videos. The GrandStand is available in five color combinations—black with a red stripe, brown with a tan stripe, green with a white stripe, turquoise with a white stripe, and pink with a white stripe.

World Cup iPod guides released

With the 2006 World Cup starting this week, two companies have released iPod guides to help those traveling to Germany for the tournament. MyCityMate has created a free 12-city guide that contains roughly 750 venues—from restaurants to bars and clubs to points of interest—for the host cities in Germany. Coolgorilla, who recently released an iPod World Cup guide with schedule and player information, has announced a new German translation guide for the iPod. The free guide has over 750 MP3s of recorded German words and phrases. “You simply select the phrase you require in English, play the translation and off you go,” says the company.

DLO debuts case for new U2 iPod

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced its limited edition Cross Case for the new special edition U2 iPod, which was announced earlier today. The new Cross Case features red and black leather construction, a protective flip-over cover, an ID or credit card pocket, and belt clip. The case has an expanding body style and dual headphone openings to fit both fourth and fifth-generation iPods. The case is priced at $40 and will be available for a limited time.

Blog the Book to win a $1075 Geneva iPod sound system

To get the word out about our Free iPod Book 2.0, we’ve teamed up with Geneva Lab to launch the Blog the Book XL Contest. Like last year’s contest, all you have to do to enter is add one of our contest badges to your blog or website and link to the Book. The grand prize winner with the most referrals to the Free iPod Book 2.0 download page will win a Geneva Lab Model XL Sound System (value: $1075). The second place winner with the second most referrals wins a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System (value: $599). The third place winner—with at least 25 or more unique referrals and an on-blog description of his or her favorite part(s) of the Book—will be chosen by iLounge’s editors to also win a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System.

Mix: Life2Go, Keane, Unique Whips, iSubscription

Kainjow has changed the name of its Pod2Go software to Life2Go. The program, available for Mac and Windows, lets you load your iPod with news, weather forecasts, movie showtimes, stock quotes, driving directions, horoscopes, lyrics, gas prices, and more.

Contact Music reports: “British rockers Keane are devastated their chances of getting to number one in the album charts later this month have been jeopardized by an iTunes blunder. The band’s second album may not reach the top spot because the online music store accidentally put ‘Under the Iron Sea’ on sale on their Belgium site last Tuesday, May 30—two weeks ahead of the official release.”

Apple files second copyright suit against Creative

Apple has filed a second copyright lawsuit and a U.S. trade complaint against Creative Technology, according to Channel NewsAsia. “In its latest lawsuit, Apple claims Creative is infringing three patents relating to using icons, and displaying and editing data,” reports the publication. “It is asking for cash damages and a court order to stop Creative from further breaches. At the same time, Apple wants the International Trade Commission in Washington to block imports of Creative’s music players.” Creative sued Apple last month for infringing on its “Zen Patent.” Following the company’s legal actions, Apple countersued Creative.

Apple intros new U2 iPod

Apple today announced a new version of the special edition U2 iPod based on the fifth-generation iPod model. The new U2 iPod is available with 30GB capacity and features a new all-black enclosure with special black stainless steel back, red Click Wheel, and engraving of U2 band member signatures. The new U2 iPod is priced at $329—a $30 premium over the regular 30GB iPod. Apple said U2 iPod customers will also receive 30 minutes of exclusive U2 videos from the iTunes Music Store with their purchase. “We’re thrilled to continue working with one of the greatest bands in the world to bring U2 fans a special edition of the world’s best digital music player,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s VP iPod Product Marketing. “With its distinctive new design, including an all-black stainless steel enclosure, the new U2 iPod is sure to be a hit.”

See our First Looks: Apple Computer iPod U2 Special Edition (with video)

Report: Apple nabbing flash memory for iPod update

Apple is buying up large quantities of flash memory for a possible upcoming iPod nano launch, according to a DigiTimes report. “Following recent signs of recovery for the price of NAND flash, industry sources are confident that the industry should break out of its low point as Apple is booking considerable capacity at chip makers,” the publication reports. “Apple is likely to debut a new version of its iPod with a larger memory capacity, probably with 8GB of NAND flash, according to industry sources. Industry sources hinted that both leading Korea-based chipmakers, including Samsung and Hynix have both landed more orders from Apple.”

Apple launches ‘Back to School’ iPod promo

Apple has kicked off a new “Back to School” promotion that offers students a free iPod nano after mail-in rebate. Apple said students who purchase a new Mac before September 16, 2006 are eligible to receive up to a $179 rebate to cover the educational customer price of a nano, or use toward the price of any other iPod model.

Major league baseball players discuss iPod use

The Colorado Rockies this year began extensively using video iPods for everything from helping hitters find their groove to tracking upcoming draft picks and future free agents. “It has everything right there for you. It’s great, especially on the road,” says Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. “You can look at your swings when you were going good. And it only takes a couple of minutes.” The Rockies’ video team loads a player’s iPod with their hits from the previous week, all of their past at-bats against the starting pitchers in the upcoming series, as well as a 2005 highlight reel. Meanwhile, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox says he would rather watch 50 Cent videos than at-bats. “You don’t want to put video of baseball on here,” Ortiz said. “You need more room, bigger vision to see what you’re doing than this. Like you can sit down and watch a video right here, but your at-bat? Watch the pitcher and you, that’s kind of a small screen.”

‘AppleBerry’ device on the way?

A partnership between Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion could be formed soon, according to Peter Misek, an analyst with Canaccord Capital. Misek said the two companies might jointly develop a new “AppleBerry” device that would combine iPod features with RIM’s wireless technology, or RIM might begin offering iTunes on future BlackBerry devices. Misek, who last year accurately predicted a partnership between RIM and Intel, also said that senior executives at Intel have recommended that Apple work with RIM.

Microsoft: No iPod rival in the works

Microsoft has denied last week’s report that it was teaming up with Toshiba, Victor, NTT DoCoMo and five other companies to take on the iPod in Japan. “The announcement that came out of Japan this week was simply about the Japanese launch of Windows Media Player 11,” said a Microsoft representative who asked not to be named. “Due to translation issues the announcement was misconstrued to sound like Microsoft was developing a rival to the iPod; that’s just not the case.”

Hello Kitty iPod gear abounds

The Spectra Group has recently introduced several iPod accessories under the Hello Kitty electronics brand. Among the new products are three FM transmitters and two speaker systems. The Hello Kitty KT4520 is a small dock-connecting FM transmitter for the iPod nano. The KT4530 is an FM transmitter/car charger/cradle for all dockable iPods. The KT4510 is a top-mounting FM transmitter for 3G, 4G, and mini iPods. The KT4555 and KT4556 speaker systems have identical specs with different Hello Kitty designs. Both work with all dockable iPods and feature integrated docks, two 1” speakers, and can be powered a wall outlet or batteries.

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FIB2.0: TuneDeck, O ROKR, AirDock, iDuo Hub debut

Three new iPod docks and one pair of unique audio sunglasses made their debut in iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.0. New products (left to right) are from Belkin, Oakley/Motorola/TEN Technology, Griffin Technology, and Atech.

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Belkin’s TuneDeck for iPod nano ($50) combines a metal-reinforced dock with a cassette tape adapter, allowing you to mount your nano in front of your car’s cassette player without wires. The TuneDeck for iPod nano is due in July.

The O ROKR ($250) is a joint Bluetooth product from Oakley and Motorola that combines Thump-style stereo earphones with a pair of modern sunglasses. It can be used wirelessly with an iPod with TEN Technology’s naviPlay ($100), which is being sold through Oakley at that special discounted price specifically for iPod-to-O ROKR pairing. The sunglasses sport an integrated microphone (for cell phone use), volume buttons, and iPod track and playback controls.

Griffin’s AirDock ($70) is the new entry-level member of the company’s TuneCenter line. The AirDock’s remote and iPod dock use RF wireless technology, allowing users to control audio and video functions from up to 60 feet away and through walls. The product will also charge an iPod while docked.

The iDuo Hub + Remote ($60) is Atech’s new version of its iDuo, which combined a memory card reader and iPod dock. The iDuo Hub + Remote features three USB 2.0 ports, a 7-button infrared remote control, and S-video output. It’s also expected in July.

For bigger photos and additional details, download The Free iPod Book 2.0, and turn to pages 18-20.

FIB2.0: v-moda NV Audio, Targus SoundUp, Locks, many cases debut

A number of exciting new headphone accessories and cases have debuted in The Free iPod Book 2.0, from v-moda, Targus, Power Support, Sumo Cases, Griffin, and Pods Plus.

v-moda’s NV Audio (pronounced Envy, $310) is the first gold-bodied, premium headphone designed for the iPod, with real gold used on both of the earbuds, the Y-spitter, and the headphone port plug. A special edition, matching golden iPod nano called NV Nano is also planned.

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Targus’ SoundUp ($30) is an audio enhancer for all iPod models, designed to unlock detail hidden in digitally compressed music files. The company’s Mobile ($40) and Eyelet ($20) Security Locks are additions to its previously announced series of Desktop Security Locks ($30), all attaching a combination lock to your iPod’s Dock Connector and offering varying degress of security - Desktop attaches to a table, Mobile to your bag, and Eyelet to either of the other locks. Targus also unveiled the Mobile Essentials Kit ($60), a nylon travel case bundled with a ton of travel accessories, including a battery charger, auto charger, wall charger, and more.

 

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Power Support has debuted three new products - the incredible Mirror Cases ($30-40), which turn your iPod into a see-through mirror; the lightweight Water-Resistant Case for iPod nano ($36), and the surprisingly cool Liquid Titanium Screen Protector, the first iPod protector we’ve seen that uses a clear protective liquid rather than film to scratch-proof your iPod’s screen and face.

 

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Sumo Cases has announced the Major League Baseball Cases for iPod 5G ($40), a striped and baseball-stitched version of its Vertical PlayThru cases for iPod. Griffin showed off Trio nano, a three-piece leather case design offering six colors and your preferred degree of nano coverage. And Pods Plus showed off Aluminum V2, a metal case with a protective silicone cover for your iPod’s Click Wheel, providing especially comprehensive iPod protection.

For bigger photos and additional details, download The Free iPod Book 2.0, and turn to pages 10-21.

FIB2.0: Sonic Impact K1, 2 Monitor i-decks, Atlantic E GO debut

As just several of the brand-new iPod accessories debuted in The Free iPod Book 2.0, speaker makers Sonic Impact, Monitor Audio, and Atlantic have released first photos and details on the next generation of iPod audio systems.

Sonic Impact’s K1 (tentative name, $300) is the first combination video screen and speaker dock for the iPod, designed to add a large 7” monitor for viewing while you travel.

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Monitor Audio’s i-deckcompact ($200) and i-deckplus ($300) take the company’s successful i-deck (iLounge rating: A-) formula to the next level. i-deckcompact is an all-in-one, less expensive version of i-deck, while i-deckplus is a three-piece, enhanced i-deck with integrated radio and on-screen RDS display.

imageAtlantic’s E GO ($200) is the iPod’s first totally water-submersible speaker system. Carried with a shoulder strap or mounted on its included stand, you can take it to the pool or beach and even fully dunk it in the water without fear of speaker or iPod damage.

For bigger photos and additional details, download The Free iPod Book 2.0, and turn to pages 8 and 9.

Belkin announces TuneStage for iPod nano

Belkin has announced the TuneStage for iPod nano, a new version of its device that allows you to stream music from your iPod to your home stereo wirelessly via Bluetooth. The new TuneStage, which was first shown in iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.0, consists of a transmitter that connects to the nano’s dock connector and a receiver wired to your system. The TuneStage for iPod nano can transmit from up to 33 feet away from your stereo, connects via RCA or 3.5mm outputs, and does not require direct line-of-sight for control. The new TuneStage will ship in July for $180.

XtremeMac MicroMemo gets ship date, lower price

XtremeMac told iLounge today that its MicroMemo iPod audio recorder will begin shipping in early July for $60. The MicroMemo, which was announced in January for $80, features an omnidirectional microphone and a built-in speaker for instant playback. The device connects to a fifth-generation iPod’s dock connector, and records 16-bit audio in high or low quality formats. The MicroMemo’s microphone is detachable from its 3.5mm port, which can be used as a line-in port for use with external stereo microphones or other audio devices. XtremeMac is now taking pre-orders for MicroMemo via its website.

Industry heavyweights team to take on iPod in Japan

Microsoft, Toshiba, Victor, NTT DoCoMo and five other companies have teamed up to offer digital music and video services and media players to compete with Apple in Japan. Bloomberg News reports: “The companies will develop a portable music and video player for the Japanese market, according to a Microsoft press release dated yesterday. The device would challenge Apple’s iPod… Microsoft will develop the software while consumer electronics makers Toshiba and Victor, will make the portable device. DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, last month said it would offer a handset that is compatible with Microsoft’s software, and that lets customers transfer Windows format music files from their personal computers to their cell-phones.”

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