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Crystal Jacket for iPod shuffle announced

imageBrando has announced a new iPod shuffle case that looks very similar to Apple’s Sport Case. The Crystal Jacket for the iPod shuffle is a translucent hard case that offers all-around protection and a “play-through” rubber control pad cover. It comes with a high-quality neck lanyard and four flexible control pad covers in blue, orange, white and clear. Brando’s Crystal Jacket for the iPod shuffle is priced at $20.

Mix: Samsung, Boston, Red Cross, Incentives

Samsung will introduce six new digital audio players in the second half of 2005 and plans up to 10 more next year in a bid to catch up with market dominating Apple. [via DAP Review]

Audissey Guides today released The Boston Audissey, an iPod compatible walking tour through 27 historical sites in Boston.

The Red Cross has begun “offering incentives including raffles for free iPods, vacations, free gas cards and free meals in an attempt to increase the nation’s blood supply.” [via TUAW]

In an article entitled “The Free Toaster? Today, It’s an iPod,” David Bernestein of The New York Times looks at companies using free iPods to lure customers.

Kainjow releases 4G iPodLinux installer

Kainjow, developer of the popular Pod2Go (downloads news, weather, lyrics and more to your iPod), has released an iPodLinux installer for fourth-generation iPods and iPod minis.

“Want iPodLinux running on your 4th generation iPod, iPod photo, or iPod mini, but hate doing all the steps manually? Well now you can get games, videos, gameboy games, Doom, text input, and much more all on your iPod!”

iPods dominate Top Sellers list

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple’s strong showing on is an indication that the iPod shows no signs of slowing down. Munster notes that iPod models hold the top 10 spots on Amazon’s Top Sellers list for MP3 players.

“We believe that the iPod is continuing to gain traction in the September quarter as evidenced by the number of iPods included on the Amazon Top Seller List for portable MP3 players and All Electronics,” Munster wrote in a research note obtained by iLounge.

The analyst also points out that iPods account for 2 of the top 10 products on the overall electronics Top Sellers list, with the 20GB iPod holding the No. 1 spot.

Mix: iTunes visitors, Yahoo, Hearing problems, United Airlines

Macworld UK reports on new comScore Media Metrix figures: “In all, 5.4 million people visited iTunes in July, up 13% from June 2005. The growth of iTunes also helped push the Retail Music category up 7% to 30.1 million visitors”

Following “beta testing” since May, Yahoo’s music subscription service will reportedly stay at the price of $5 a month when it’s formally launched this week. Yahoo is also planning a large ad campaign for the service.

Researchers at Sydney’s National Acoustic Laboratories have found that up to a quarter of users of iPods and other music devices will suffer hearing problems because they’re listening at “excessive and damaging” levels.

United Airlines in Canada has launched a giveaway that provides the opportunity to win one of three iPod minis, one 20GB iPod or the grand prize of 50,000 Saver Award miles.

Nokia denies iTunes phone report

Nokia said today that it has no agreement with Apple to include iTunes on its upcoming N91 multimedia phone, despite an earlier report by the Finnish daily Taloussanomat saying the company did.

“There is no commercial agreement between Nokia and Apple to integrate iTunes into the N-series devices,” said Kari Tuutti, spokesman for Nokia’s multimedia division. “But since this is based on a computer platform, anybody—including Apple if they so wish—can very easily develop this kind of application and offer it to consumers, via the Internet for example.”

The Nokia N91 features a 4GB hard drive for music storage, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, a 2-megapixel camera, and supports MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA song formats.

“We are not making any exclusive arrangements with any music store, but believe that we want to give the consumer the choice of where they want to purchase their music,” Tuutti added.

PlasticSmith debuts eight “tux” clear stands

imageFollowing up on its line of successful Mac mini acrylic accessories, The Plasticsmith has announced tux for iPod, a series of eight flame-polished acrylic stands built to hold full-sized and mini iPods. Described by the company as “the first elegant stand for Apple’s ubiquitous music player,” tux comes in upright and tilt versions that hold your iPod straight up or on a recline, respectively, as well as black-based and white-based color versions. Each model will have clear sides and 3M pads on the bottom for stability. Apple’s cables can be connected to mounted iPods for easy charging and synchronization while inside.

Starting on August 18, tux will be exclusively available for $35 plus $3 shipping and handling direct from The Plasticsmith’s online store. Additional photos of the six other tux variants are available there.

iPodderX for Windows public beta released

Thunderstone Media has released a public beta version of iPodderX for Windows. The podcasting client and newsreader offers the the same features previously only available in the popular Mac OS X version of the software.

“We’ve been working overtime to make this happen, and we’re thrilled to announce that iPodderX for Windows is now a reality,” said August Trometer, CEO of Thunderstone. “Windows users can finally get the same great features and ease of use that has made iPodderX a household word on the Macintosh platform.”

iPodderX for Windows is being offered at special beta pricing of half off the regular price. Users who buy the application during the beta test period will pay $12.47, and get a free upgrade when the final version is released.

American Eagle offers leather iPod case

imageAmerican Eagle Outfitters is the latest clothing retailer to offer a branded iPod case. The leather AE iPod case features a flip-top design with an opening for a headphone plug, and an embroidered eagle logo.

“No scratches, no skips. Keep your iPod safe no matter where you go in a genuine leather case,” says American Eagle. “Sized for a standard iPod, the case measures 4 inches high by 2 1/2 inches wide by 3/4 inches deep.”

The AE iPod case is available in white leather or dark brown leather, and sells for $19.50.

iDJ mixer for iPod to ship in October

imageNumark has announced that its iDJ mixing console for the iPod will be available for purchase in October. First shown in April at a German music event and then further revealed last month, the iDJ features dual iPod docking cradles, large navigation controls, lighted console, 3-band equalizer, and host of inputs and outputs.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the art of DJing to the consumer market. Since almost everyone carries an iPod in their pocket, the new iDJ makes it easy to use their iPod as professional DJ gear,” says Numark CEO Jack O’Donnell. “For college students and other iPod enthusiasts, this compact mixing system is a natural extension of the iPod platform that makes enjoying music with others that much easier.”

Mix: Machine love, DRM suit, Subscriptions, Cellcasting

“The iPod is a very powerful identity technology,” says Sherry Turkle, director of the Initiative on Technology and the Self at MIT. “The iPod is just one more technology that uses the computer as the second self—a reflection of who we are as people, a way of seeing ourselves in the mirror of the machine.”

AppleInsider reports: “Five of the top companies in the online music industry are being sued by an individual who claims that the digital rights management software used by the Internet’s most popular music download services violates a seven-year-old technology patent.”

BusinessWeek’s Peter Burrows says he has a “more secure sense of ownership” with music from RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service and hopes that Apple will soon offer an iTunes subscription service.

On the ZDNet blog, Dana Gardner says that “we may need to soon drop the ‘pod’ part of podcasting in favor of ‘mobile’ or ‘cell’-casting” because “the ultimate device for listening to podcasts will soon be cell phones.” [via MDN]

DecoDock Lava Edition announced

imagePressure Drop today announced the DecoDock Lava Edition, a “fiery” new version of its stylish iPod shuffle dock. It features a glossy black base and glowing red LEDs, and enables users to easily charge/sync their shuffle with their computer.

“Designed in the classic Art Deco style, the DecoDock’s lighted columns tower over a brilliantly colored and graceful arc, enhancing the pleasing simplicity of the iPod shuffle,” says Pressure Drop. “The iPod’s plastic cap can be stored in the back of the DecoDock, a unique feature designed specifically to help prevent it from getting lost.”

DecoDock Lava Edition is available immediately for $28.99.

Toshiba’s perpendicular hard drives made for next iPod?

Toshiba today announced the availability of its first hard drive based on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), a new technology that increases the amount of data a drive can hold. The new MK4007GAL 1.8-inch PMR drive can store 40GB of data on a single platter, making it possible for thinner portable devices with larger capacity.

Toshiba, which makes the hard drives found in current iPods, hinted that future gadgets will take advantage of the new innovation, noting that an 80GB version is on the way. “The addition of PMR technology will increase capacity options for product designs beyond those currently on the market today, especially as Toshiba introduces an 80GB 1.8-inch HDD with PMR later this year,” the company said.

Incase, DC Shoes, Apple team on B4BC case

imageIncase, DC Shoes and Apple have teamed up to offer a new iPod case to help promote breast cancer knowledge. The companies said that half the proceeds from the case will be donated directly to Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), a non-profit organization that benefits breast cancer awareness.

The white B4BC Folio case, which fits fourth-generation iPods, features unique flip-down access, a pink ribbon graphic, suede interior, a DC|Incase white logo badge, chrome snap, and access to the headphone port.

“There are nearly 250,000 women in the United States under the age of 40 currently living with breast cancer,” notes the companies. “Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), a non-profit, youth-focused education, awareness, and fundraising foundation, aims to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection, and the value of a healthy lifestyle.”

The case will be launched in Apple retail stores at the end of September for $39.95.

Mix: Apple’s iBod, XM Audible Store, Video iPod

The woman behind the striped bikini silhouette iPod ad says she was paid $1,500 to be photographed for the campaign, but that she still can’t afford one of the players.

Audible and XM Satellite Radio today launched the XM Audible Store, which offers exclusive XM programming available for individual purchase or download subscription, including “The Bob Edwards Show” and “Opie and Anthony.”

Microsoft and Texas Instruments representatives both recently said that Apple will more than likely introduce a portable video player before the end of January 2006.

Loungers get 10% off UE earphones

Earphone Solutions has issued a new coupon code (iloungeue10off) that will give you a 10% discount, free shipping and a free airline adapter with the purchase of any Ultimate Ears earphones. This is an exclusive offer for iLounge readers.

The’s professional-grade audio is produced by “special engineering that places low- and high-frequency speakers in each ear for better fidelity, plus a unique earbud design that securely seals the ear against external noise,” explains Ultimate Ears. “The earbuds’ shape and snug fit—based on Ultimate Ears’ 10 years of experience in handcrafting earphones from silicone impressions of customers’ ears—yield maximum wearing comfort as well as maximum noise isolation essential for use in the gym and other noisy environments.”

Belkin intros TuneFM for iPod

imageBelkin will soon introduce the TuneFM, a new FM transmitter that lets you listen to the music on your iPod through any FM stereo receiver.

The TuneFM plugs into the headphone and remote jacks on the top of third- or fourth-generation iPods, and features a large LED display that shows the current FM frequency. It has channel up/down buttons and two programmable preset buttons for favorite frequencies.

“Proximity switches give you total control at the touch of your fingertips, and the LED display indicates FM frequency and memory preset, eliminating the need to use the iPod interface for frequency selection,” explains Belkin. “Because the TuneFM is powered by the iPod, no batteries are required.”

Mix: Apple shares, Dave Matthews Band, Wells Fargo

Shares of Apple were boosted Monday by a report from Caris analyst Mark Stahlman, who said that the company will soon introduce upgraded Macs and a video iPod.

The Dave Matthews Band has posted instructions on how to download songs from its copy-protected album Stand Up into iTunes and onto an iPod. “Please note an easier and more acceptable solution requires cooperation from Apple, who we have already reached out to in hopes of addressing this issue,” the band said on its website.

Wells Fargo is offering a free song download from the iTunes Music Store to anyone who signs up to receive information about its checking accounts. Those who open an account are entered to win one of 125 iBooks.

iLounge Back to School Guide reveals new iPod gear

imageiLounge’s free iPod Book & Back to School Guide, which released today, has exclusive sneak peeks at several upcoming iPod accessories:

Oregon Scientific’s iBall (shown right) is a unique combination clock, two-channel speaker system, and iPod dock.

The On Stage II is an update to JBL’s UFO-like portable speaker system for the iPod, which gains an RF remote.

Blumac’s Cerulean is set of amplified silver speakers that come with a unique, case-friendly iPod dock and remote control.

The Belkin TuneFM is an easy-to-use FM transmitter that uses a large LED display and four touch-sensitive buttons.

The Griffin iRave is “the ultimate iPod shuffle lanyard”—it has a collection of colored lights that pulse in sync to the music you’re playing.

Griffin’s iTalk 2 is the successor to the original iPod voice recording attachment. It adds a button for quick recording and improved, digital automatic gain control.

Sumo’s PlayThru Cases feature either vertical or horizontal front flaps and easy access to the iPod’s controls.

Download the 140-page iPod Book & Back to School Guide for complete details on these new products. The guide, which is available in printable and widescreen versions, also has numerous iPod and iTunes tips, tutorials, reviews, contests and much more.

Mix: Chinese campaign, iPod recreation, Judy’s Books, Anti-iPodders

Macworld UK reports that Chinese Mac users are preparing an October promotional campaign focused on Apple’s iPod.

Softpedia’s Alexandru Macovschi says: “Companies that invest money and effort into dethroning iPod shouldn’t have skipped the digital music history classes and understand once and for all, that iPod is the result of a once in a lifetime moment, which cannot be recreated even if they add two wheels and a 5TB hard drive.”

Seattle start-up Judy’s Book is offering iPods to anyone who submits 50 reviews of local restaurants and other businesses.

Corilyn Shropshire of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about the “small number of holdouts and self-proclaimed music lovers who are shunning iPods as if they were the coming of the plague.”

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