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Sonos announces $999 multi-room digital music system

Sonos today announced the Sonos ZonePlayer 80 Bundle, the latest addition to its line of wireless multi-room digital music systems. The $999 bundle includes two Sonos ZonePlayer 80s and a Sonos Controller. “The brand new ZP80 Bundle lets you play all your digital music, all over your house, on all your current audio equipment—your home theater, stereo, powered speakers, premium table top radio and more,” says Sonos. “By simply connecting a ZP80 to any amplified audio device in any room, that device is instantly and seamlessly part of a wireless, multi-room digital music system. Plus, you can wirelessly control all your music from the palm of your hand with the industry’s only full-color wireless Controller.”

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Coinstar now offering iTunes Music Store gift cards

Coinstar has expanded its Coin to Card service to include iTunes Music Store gift cards. As part of the service, consumers can now convert their loose change into an iTunes gift card or eCertificate at select Coinstar Centers. What’s more, there’s no coin-counting fee when exchanging coins for a gift card (standard Coins to Cash transactions have an 8.9% processing fee). Coinstar says that activated gift cards are dispensed on the spot from the Coinstar machine and can be used right away. Other companies partnering with the company on gift cards and eCertificates include Amazon.com, Virgin Digital, Starbucks, and more.

Mix: Disney/ABC, Apple earnings, Vending machines, NotPods

Disney/ABC will offer several of its hit shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives for free on the web. The programming will feature commercials and will not be downloadable to computers or portable devices.

Apple will release its second quarter financial results on Wednesday, April 19 after the markets close. Analyst are expecting earnings of around 44 cents a share and $4.5 billion in revenue.

Logitech debuts mm32 portable speakers for iPod

Logitech has announced its mm32 portable speaker system for the iPod. The mm32 speakers feature a cylinder-shaped design, an adjustable iPod cradle, and neodymium quad micro drivers that deliver “surprisingly high-quality sound for their size,” according to the company. “The sleek, affordable speaker system that delivers dynamic sound quality and works with any MP3 player or iPod with a standard headphone jack.” The speakers will be available beginning this month for $80.

DryPod waterproof iPod cases introduced

SKB has introduced its DryPod line of waterproof cases for fourth and fifth-generation iPods and the iPod nano. The DryPod cases offer play-through controls and come with a neoprene arm band, adjustable lanyard and stainless steel belt clip. “Wear the DryPod on the waves, in the rain or down the mountain while your staying in control of every audio function,” says the company. “The seamless ‘flex-pad’ technology allows for the manipulation of the iPod’s control wheel right through the case. Independent laboratory tests declare the DryPod compliant with immersion and rain tests.” The 4G and 5G iPod cases will sell for $40, while the nano case will sell for $35.

4Flix.Net offers subscription plan for DRM-free videos

4Flix.Net has announced its Free*Pass annual subscription service, which allows unrestricted access to the site’s collection of iPod-ready videos for a full year. The $99 service allows members to download any of 4Flix.Net’s DRM-free feature-length movies, classic TV shows, and independent films. “The first subscription-based Download-To-Own movie service featuring unlimited access to full-length DRM-free movies allows consumers to download hundreds of available titles, with dozens more added each month,” says the site. “Avoiding Digital Rights Management restrictions provides a better long-term entertainment investment, while enabling 4Flix.Net content to play back on a wide range of H.264-compatible hardware platforms, from video iPods to high-definition DVD players.”

Mix: Jetix shows, EyeTV 250, Podcasts, Cheap player

The iTunes Music Store is now selling Jetix children’s shows including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!, and Power Rangers: Mystic Force.

Elgato has introduced the EyeTV 250, an ultra-compact TV receiver/recorder for analog TV. The $200 device, which works only with Macs, records in MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats, and recorded programs can be exported to the iPod.

Analyst expects iPod sales to beat street estimates

Bear Sterns analyst Andrew Neff said today that he expects second quarter iPod sales to exceed Wall Street estimates. Citing checks with suppliers and continuing strong end demand, Neff said he believes Apple will ship 10.5 million iPods during the quarter, compared to consensus estimates of 8.5 to 9.5 million units. The analyst also reiterated his outperform rating on Apple shares.

Five iHome iH5/iH26 giveaway winners announced

Participating in today’s live iLounge chat with speaker maker iHome, five iLounge readers won new iH5 clock radios (white/black) or iH26 portable clock radios (white/black/silver) in their choice of colors. A complete list of winners can be read from the full story link above or below. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone, including iHome/SDI’s Evan Stein, for participating in the chat today!

Griffin announces TuneCenter Pro dock with pre-order bonus and details

To accompany TuneCenter, a $100 Media Center dock for iPods premiered in January, Griffin Technology today announced TuneCenter Pro, a premium $130 version with extra capabilities. In addition to charging and connecting iPods to home entertainment systems, and displaying iPod music menus, photos, and movies on a television screen, both versions of TuneCenter will connect to an existing home network for realtime navigation and playback of Internet Radio programming. TuneCenter will ship with an Ethernet port, while TuneCenter Pro will include internal 802.11 networking functionality. As a special bonus, all TuneCenter pre-orders placed through Griffin’s web site through Monday, April 10 will receive TuneCenter Pro for the standard TuneCenter’s price of $100. TuneCenter will ship in May, TuneCenter Pro in early June. A QuickTime movie demonstrating TuneCenter’s interface and features is now available for viewing online.

Mix: Braeburn Capital, Apple Store, iPod etiquette, iPad housing

Apple has incorporated Braeburn Capital, an asset management company based in Reno, Nevada. “Braeburn—named for a variety of apple that’s uniquely sweet and tart—will be a vehicle for managing Apple’s investment portfolio. By incorporating in Nevada, Apple will be shielded from certain taxes imposed by the state of California.”

Apple is offering $10 off an order of $100 or more at the online Apple Store. To receive the discount, enter the promotion code MJN23NGDBF when you check out. The deal will expire April 22, 2006.

Apple trademark ruling unlikely before Easter

A ruling in the Apple vs. Apple trademark case is unlikely before Easter. Following closing arugents yesterday, judge Edward Mann said his judgement in the legal battle between Apple Computer and the Beatles’ Apple Corps over the use of the apple logo was unlikely to be before the Easter break. “In one corner, Apple Corps Ltd.‘s lawyer Geoffrey Vos said Apple Computer is a ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ that is attempting to steal the British company’s trademark and increasingly encroach on its territory,” reports the AP. “In the other corner, Apple Computer lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the company is doing nothing wrong and music lovers are smart enough to tell the difference between the use of the apple logos.”

Rambler audio phrase books help iPod travelers

CyraKnow’s Rambler audio language phrase books are designed to help iPod users when traveling abroad. Available in French, German, Italian and Spanish, each Rambler audio book contains 900 words and phrases. The recordings are done by native speakers and organized into categories such as Travel, Food, Lodging and Fun. Each language sells for $20, or you can purchase all four in a $50 Euro-Pack. “Made for your iPod, Rambler audio phrase books help make travel everything you want it to be. With over 900 words and phrases per language at your fingertips, getting off the beaten path and mixing with the locals just became a whole lot easier.”

iLink multimedia interface for iPod debuts

Valor Multimedia has introduced the iLink-L2, an enhanced iPod interface device for home or car use. The iLink allows users to play audio (MP3 or WMA), view photos, and play videos stored on any dockable iPod through any multimedia setup, with an easy on-screen menuing system. The device enables an on-screen display of iPod functions on any connected video monitor, charges the iPod, and is controlled with an IR remote control. “Turn your iPod into a multimedia entertainment center,” says the company. “The world’s first multimedia interface for iPod enables any iPod with dock connector to play video on any multimedia system, home or car.” The iLink sells for $130.

iPod continues to be dominant player among teens

Apple’s iPod continues to dominate market share and mindshare among teenagers. According to Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual digital music teen survey, 77% of students who own an MP3 player have an iPod, up from 74% last Fall. For online music services, 71% of teens said they use iTunes, up from 64% last Fall. “While it is not at all surprising to see that Apple still has leading market share in digital audio players and online music, we are surprised that Apple has actually grown its market share in both digital audio players and music download services since the Fall-05 PJC teen survey was completed,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a report given to iLounge.

Forums: iPod+Linux Discussion Forum launches

What’s new in the iLounge Discussion Forums? Today, after many requests from our readers, iLounge is pleased to launch a new forum for iPod users who might wish to install Linux on their iPods. The new forum, iPod+Linux Discussion Forum will give members a special area to discuss Linux on iPods, exchange tips, and seek advice for any problems they might encounter.

Merriam-Webster references to be released for iPod

iPREPpress and Merriam-Webster have announced a series of portable text references for the iPod. The first title, Merriam Webster’s Pocket Dictionary for iPod, is available today for $10. The downloadable dictionary includes 40,000 words and their definitions, a pronunciation guide, abbreviation guide, and a Handbook of Style. Over the next two months, the two companies will release Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary for song and hip-hop writers, Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Atlas, and The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations.

Apple lawyer gives closing arguments, defends right to logo

During his closing arguments in the Apple vs. Apple case today, Apple Computer lawyer Anthony Grabiner defended the company’s right to use its logo on the iTunes Music Store and in ads for the service. Grabiner said ads featuring U2, Eminem and Coldplay were entitled to use the Apple logo because they were promoting the iTunes store and not the music itself. “Viewers aren’t ignorant people, but… have significant understanding of what Apple Computer does and the object of the exercise, accepted by people watching, was to get the benefit of the download,” Grabiner said. “Apple Computer has the exclusive right to use the apple mark on such a broadcast, if used to indicate the source or origin of the hardware and downloading services mentioned in the advert.”

Mix: Boot Camp, SearchForiPod, PodBrix, Creative

Apple today introduced Boot Camp, new software that enables Intel-based Macs to run Windows XP. The free beta software is available today for download and will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major version of Mac OS X.

SearchForiPod.com is a “free online video download community that aggregates and organizes iPod-formatted video content from over 1,000 independent sources and makes it searchable through various content channels and traditional keyword search.”

Womp! debuts new iPod case collection

Womp! Products has launched a new range of iPod cases “influenced by the urban lifestyle of iPod users at affordable prices.” The cases are available for the nano, 5G, 4G, and mini in a variety of styles and patterns. “Our unique cases offer quality protection as well as allow users to showcase their personal style with a plethora of designs—from urban camo to preppy argyle,” says Womp! “All cases are made from quality materials such as genuine leather or our very own lattice canvas with plush interiors that won’t scratch.”

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