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Dual intros iPod-ready mobile theater

Dual Electronics has announced a new iPod-ready mobile theater system for automobiles. The Dual XDVD8182 ($700) features a 7-inch touch-screen motorized TFT LCD display and direct-connection for iPods with Dock Connectors. The single-DIN receiver features 5.1 channel preamp outputs, one set of audio/video inputs, two video outputs, and is compatible with DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and WMA media. “When a user connects an iPod via the supplied interface cable, the XDVD8182 becomes a command center for the player,” explains Dual. “Information such as Playlist, Artist, Album, and Track are displayed on the unit’s LCD screen, which is also used for viewing videos stored on the player when the vehicle is not in motion and the parking brake is engaged.”

Nike+iPod runners log over 1 million miles

Nike announced today that more than 1 million miles have been logged by runners using the Nike+iPod Sport Kit in just 10 weeks since Nike and Apple launched the product. Nike noted that this milestone is the equivalent to circling the world more than 40 times. Nike also said it is continuing to expand its line of Nike+ product offerings and plans to add functionality on nikeplus.com, including a route finder so runners can easily map and share their favorite running routes. In October, Nike+ will launch in more markets in Europe, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands, as well as Japan and Australia. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last week that over 450,000 Nike+iPod Sport Kits have been sold.

iTunes 7 causing headaches for some users

Almost immediately after Apple released iTunes 7 last week, bug reports started surfacing from users on both Mac OS X and Windows. Apple’s discussion boards and iLounge’s forums are both currently host to a number of complaints about the issues—which range from application crashes to audio problems—and the company recently began posting support documents to address some of the bugs. In a related issue, iTunes 7 users are also experiencing problems with getting purchased music working on the iTunes-ready Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones. According to numerous accounts, songs purchased from the iTunes Store will not play on the devices, even though CD-ripped tracks will. Meanwhile, AppleInsider claims that Apple is “well aware of the matter and that it’s toiling feverishly to rectify the issues.” The website claims that Apple hopes to release an update, presumably iTunes 7.0.1, as soon as possible.

Belkin debuts new cases for iPod nano, 5G iPod

Belkin today introduced several new cases for the original iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. “Designed to fit every lifestyle, the cases reflect a more contemporary feel with colors, designs, and materials that complement current fashions,” says Belkin. The cases will be shipping this month. Read below for summaries of all the new cases. In addition, Belkin also recently announced that its existing line of iPod accessories includes a number of devices that are compatible with the new second-generation iPod nano, including the TuneTalk Stereo, TuneCommand AV, and TuneFM Transmitter.

Mix: DIY dock, Discovery Channel, Unbox, PodFreq

One second-generation iPod nano owner has created a homemade dock from the nano’s plastic packaging. “Twenty minutes, scissors (the orange ones), a pocket knife and masking tape… and boredom thrown in. Ultimately I now have an iPod dock,” he says.

The Discover Channel is looking for original iPod owners: “You and your iPod can be ‘Discovery’-ed on international television if you send us your high resolution photos (300 dpi, 1000x1000 pixels) of you and your 1st or 2nd generation iPods circa 2001-2002. Contact Bernadette Longino, Associate Producer, The Discovery Channel, Inventions that Changed the World: the iPod: (212) 784-7769, bernadette (at) sharpentertainment (dot) com.”

JVC rolls out Made for iPod audio systems

JVC has announced a new line of iPod-ready home and portable audio systems. JVC’s new “Made for iPod” product line includes the NX-PS1, a compact desktop system with a matching subwoofer; the UX-EP25, a low-profile CD micro system; the RA-P10, a portable system with iPod dock and clock radio functions; and the RC-EZ38 CD/cassette boombox.

Miniot debuts wooden case for 2G iPod nano

Miniot has announced a new version of its iWood case for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. Like the company’s previous hand-crafted wooden cases, the iWood nano 2G will be available in varieties such as maple, walnut, mahogany, cherry and oak. It’s carved from a single piece of wood, features a hinging lid, and can be customized with a monogram or logo. The case will be available in two versions—a standard version that accepts the dock connector and headphone jacks up to 10 mm with a closed lid, and a lanyard version that accepts Apple’s Lanyard earphones. The iWood nano 2G will ship in early October. Pricing was not available.

iTunes Store sells 125,000 movies in first week

Apple sold more than 125,000 movie downloads in the first week that full-length movies were available from the iTunes Store. Disney accounted for all of the movie downloads, which Disney CEO Robert Iger said brought in $1 million in revenue for the company. Apple added 75 movies from Disney and three of its studios—Pixar, Miramax Films and Touchstone Pictures—to the iTunes Store last week following a special event in San Francisco. Iger said he expects the iTunes movie downloads to generate $50 million in added revenue during the first year.

Apple slashes prices on refurb iPods

Following last week’s new iPod introductions, Apple has added a slew of refurbished iPods to the online Apple Store and substantially cut previous refurb pricing. Apple is currently offering the original 2GB iPod nano (both white and black) for $99, the original 4GB iPod mini (gold, silver, blue, pink and green) for $99, and the second-generation 6GB iPod mini (silver, blue and pink) for $129. The company is also offering original fifth-generation iPods at a discount. The 30GB model is priced at $179 and the 60GB model is now $229. Apple Certified Refurbished products are pre-owned Apple products that “undergo Apple’s stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale.” All Apple Certified Refurbished products are covered by Apple’s one-year warranty.

Buy $25 smartCharge, get $50 in iTunes songs

SendStation Systems has kicked off the final days of its current iTunes promotion with a new offer—purchase a smartCharge iPod car charger for $24.95 and receive 50 free downloads from the iTunes Store, a $49.50 value alone. The offer is available to US customers while supplies last.

mStation to offer Orb in colors to match new iPod nano

mStation Audio has announced that its 2.1 Stereo Orb will soon be available in new colors to compliment the new iPod nano line. In addition to the currently available black and white, the Orb will come in silver, green, pink, and blue this holiday season. The Orb speaker system (iLounge Rating: B) offers 30 watts of power, a 10-button remote, and can be used to sync your iPod with your computer. mStation said it does not yet have production photos of the new colored Orbs.

iPod Hi-Fi ranks fourth in market share, second in revenue

According to data from the NPD Group, Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi speaker system accounts for 7.8% of all iPod audio systems sold, putting it behind products from Bose, Logitech and i-Fusion. The Hi-Fi ranks second only to Bose in revenue share, with 14.5%. “Together, Bose and Apple are pulling in half the money consumers are spending on iPod speakers,” reports Business 2.0’s Jon Fortt. “Not bad. Apple took a gamble that it could differentiate itself and make money by selling the priciest set of iPod speakers out there. So far, it’s working. Of course, it might work even better at $299, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for Apple to lower the price on this one.”

iMojo intros iPod nano armband

iMojo has announced its nano Sweats, a new armband for first and second generation iPod nanos. Made from stretch cotton terry-cloth and designed to be worn on the forearm, the nano Sweats feature a rubber iPod cradle, clear vinyl cover, and a cable management silicone cleat. The armbands come in black or white in 2-packs for $25. They’re available in a one-size fits most and XL for forearms larger than 12 inches in circumference.

Napster exploring possible sale

Beleaguered subscription music company Napster said it is considering selling the company. “There’s been interest by third parties to acquire the company,” said Napster CEO Chris Gorog, adding that other proposals have included strategic partnerships or joint ventures. “That activity has heated up as we’ve gotten traction with a lot of our new products… There’s been a lot of speculation” about which companies or industries would be interested in Napster, Gorog said. “Any company that is executing at a high level in digital media will likely have at least a conceptual interest in looking at Napster.” Napster was originally an illegal music sharing site before being shut down in 2001. It was purchased by Roxio and relaunched in 2003. Napster said as of June 30, it had 512,000 paid subscribers, down from 606,000 in the prior quarter.

Mophie debuts wallet/case for new iPod nano

Mophie has announced the release of Knox, a new aluminum wallet/case for the second-generation iPod nano. “Knox holds essentials securely—credit cards, cash, and nano—yet still lets you access your iPod connections,” says Mophie. “You can still slide your iPod in or out of all mophie RELO accessories securely because the Knox comes with a RELO-ready Radura case.” Pricing and availability was not announced.

Study: European iPod owners not flocking to online music

A new study by Jupiter Research found that only one in five European iPod owners regularly buys songs online and that iPod owners on average buy only 20 tracks a year from Apple’s iTunes Store. “About 83 percent of iPod owners throughout Europe do not regularly buy digital music, the study found, although they are more apt to do so than owners of other portable media devices,” reports Reuters. “The study found that 30 percent of iPod owners illegally swap songs using file-sharing networks and another 23 percent listen to Web-based audio files for free legally. iPod owners also were found in the survey of about 4,000 consumers across Europe to be much more likely to buy CDs online than they were to buy downloads.”

ezGear offers silicone case for 2G iPod nano

ezGear has announced the ezSkin nano G2, its first case for Apple’s new second-generation iPod nano. The silicone case, which comes in black, white and pink, features a removable belt clip, Click Wheel protector, screen protector, and neck strap. The ezSkin nano G2 is priced at $25. The ezSkin nano G2 3 Pack, with all three color cases, is available for $35.

Analysts: New iPods priced for profits, not market share

Apple’s pricing of the new iPod models shows the company is looking for better profit margins and not market share gains, according to analysts at market researcher Gartner. The analysts said the second-generation iPod shuffle could have been priced closer to $49, since the cost of materials amounts to around $30. Similarly, Apple could have also priced its new iPod nano models cheaper, according to the analysts. They claim the 8GB model has $130 in materials, the 4GB has $90 worth of materials, and the 2GB version has only $70 in materials. “Apple is in a secure position atop the portable media player market and has decided to strategically focus on its margin this time,” the analysts said.

myvu Made for iPod edition video eyewear announced

MicroOptical has introduced a new version of its myvu video eyewear headset designed to work specifically with Apple’s video-enabled iPods. The myvu Made for iPod edition ($400) is is compatible with the 30GB, 60GB and new 80GB iPods, and offers a viewing experience comparable to a 27-inch screen from six feet away, according to the company. The new myvu model features noise-reducing earbuds, wired remote, protective case, an ultra-thin battery pack for six hours of viewing time, and connects via the dock connector port.The myvu Made for iPod edition will be available in “late fall 2006.”

Report: Apple in talks to bring Google videos to iTV

Newsweek reports that Apple is in talks with Google to offer videos from the search giant’s online video service on Apple’s forthcoming iTV media device. In addition to streaming videos, photos and music, the iTV will also be able to stream content from the web, such as movie trailers, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ demo of the device. “Is it possible that when iTV ships next year, you may also be able to choose a menu item called Google Video, and then zip through the best of the thousands of user-submitted videos on the search giant’s service? Google’s consumer product chief, Marissa Mayer, tells me that indeed, the two companies are engaged in talks,” reports Newsweek’s Steven Levy. It should be noted that Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently joined Apple’s board of directors.

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