Odeo is a startup company that aims to make podcasting easier for the millions of iPod users who want to take advantage of the new web-based broadcast medium. iLounge recently spoke with co-founder Evan Williams about the company and what exactly it will offer podcasters and listeners. Williams previously created the Blogger.com weblogging service and later sold it to Google. If his part in the blog phenomenon is any indication, podcasting is here to stay — and is set to go mainstream in a hurry.
The Odeo services are currently in beta stage and are only available by invitation. No announcement has been made on when Odeo will have its official launch for the public. Continue reading for some details of the new services and for a screenshot of the company’s website.
PalmPod 1.0 from Sappenin Technologies is a new Palm Desktop data exporter for Windows that enables you to transfer your Palm Desktop calendar, todo’s, contacts, and memos onto your iPod. “Unlike other offerings, PalmPod allows you to choose the Palm data you want exported to your iPod, both at the Palm conduit level, and on a per-category basis,” says the developer. “Now you don’t have to settle for an ‘all or nothing’ approach when it comes to getting your Palm data onto your iPod.” PalmPod offers support for Desktop privacy settings, and priority, category, and note/custom field support in todo’s, contacts, and datebook events.
Burberry has added its line of iPod cases to its online store. Previously only available at Burberry retail stores in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston, the designer cases are available in two styles — signature plaid and embossed plaid. The signature style ($150) for the iPod mini comes in two models — Candy Check and Nova Check — and features leather trim. Made of Italian leather, the embossed case ($140) is available for full-size iPods and iPod minis, and comes in either white or gold.
Hitachi plans to produce hard drives containing 230 gigabits of data per square inch, which could mean 20GB iPod minis by 2007.
Engadget has an interesting interview with Motorola’s Dave Ulmer about iRadio. Ulmer says: “I really don’t see this as an iPod killer, it’s an iPod enhancer. In fact, if an iPod had Bluetooth with a little snippet of code from us, it would be able to be played on your car stereo and your home stereo and controlled on your stereo.”
Apple UK has kicked off a promotion that offers customers 30 percent off a set of Altec Lansing iMmini speakers with the purchase of an iPod mini before May 12, 2005.
In a Time article entitled “Attack of the Anti-iPods,” Tim Morrison says iPod rivals “still can’t match Apple’s ease of use. But they’re getting closer.”
From April 1 through May 31, all participants in American Red Cross blood drives in the Southern California region can fill out an entry form for a chance to win a 20GB iPod and a $100 iTunes gift certificate.
LifePod has introduced its new Urban Camouflage ModPod case for the iPod and iPod mini. The case is made of either canvas or vinyl and is available in a slew of colors and styles for $24.99. The ModPod features nylon interior lining, a silicone hinge, snap closure, and wrist strap. The iPod slides into a clear vinyl pouch that’s sewn into the back of the case. Designs include: Techno-Fleur (red or blue), Indie, Shockwave, Orange Sherbet, Blue Surf, Candy Dots (red, blue, or green), James Dean Denim, Twister (blue), Rna (green), Betty (purple), Neapolitan (pink), and Speed Racer (black). The full-size ModPod case fits both 3G and 4G iPods (20GB-60GB).
Click “Read more” for an exclusive look at a selection of the Urban Camouflage ModPod designs.
ShuffleArt has announced that its vinyl iPod shuffle skins are now available from iPodStyles.com. The skins are available in five designs — Bloody, Green, Monogram, Hawaiian Blue, and Hawaiian Pink — and are priced at $7.99 for a limited time.
“Give your new iPod shuffle a new look in seconds and protect it from abuse at the same time. All skins are repositionable - removable - reusable for a fast, easy and accurate installation and goo-free removal.”
Nearly 30 percent of U.S. consumers who own an iPod or other MP3 player have downloaded and listened to podcasts from the web, according to a new survey released this week. The Pew Internet and American Life Project said that means more than 6 million Americans are taking advantage of the new form of personal broadcasting. The survey also found that nearly half of MP3 player owners younger than 29 years old have tried podcasts, compared with 20 percent of those 29 or older.
iLounge has already released two Podcasts of its own, and plans further installments for the near future.
Bruddy Designs is now shipping the ShuffleMate, its all-in-one iPod shuffle accessory that combines the functionality of a case with clips and wire management. Made of clear plastic, the ShuffleMate fits both iPod shuffle models, has a wrap-around base to reduce excess wire, and features a built-in belt clip. The accessory also comes with an industry standard “bull-dog” clip that can be attached to any side of the ShuffleMate via mounting slots. The ShuffleMate is priced at $16.95. Bruddy offers a $3 discount with quantities of two or more.
Battery Technology, Inc. (BTI) has officially announced the Tunestir, its new three-in-one iPod FM radio receiver, transmitter, and remote control. The Tunestir, which was announced at Macworld Expo in January, is the first accessory to be released that enables users to tune in and listen to FM radio stations on their iPod. (Griffin announced the iFM receiver in 2003, but later canceled production.) The device allows users to program five favorite FM stations to listen to on their iPod, as well as five FM stations to transmit the music on their iPod to. The Tunestir is also an inline remote control with cord management features. It is compatible with all iPod models with Dock Connectors, including the 3G and 4G iPod, iPod mini, and iPod photo. The Tunestir will begin shipping later this month for $69.95.
iPod Access 2.3 from Findley Designs is the latest version of the Windows utility that enables you to copy songs from your iPod back to your computer. Version 2.3 offers improved iTunes integration and the ability to change the iTunes Scripting Engine. iPod Access for Windows is available for $14.99.
Early Friday morning, the Japanese web site of Apple Computer briefly hosted pages depicting an previously unannounced iPod peripheral called “iPotty” (JPY 104,970, approx. $1000), a beige-and-white electric toilet seat featuring an integrated iPod dock on its right side. Presumably intended only for the domestic Japanese marketplace, iPotty promises to deliver music playback and an “optional scent eliminator” to drown out embarrassing bathroom sounds and smells. Availability is listed at 1-3 weeks, indicating an imminent release.
The pages, which are no longer available online, described an Apple partnership with Japanese toilet seat manufacturer Toto, maker of Japan’s popular Apricot-badged electric toilet seats. Apricot and other Toto seats include heating elements, bidets, motion sensors for automatic lid opening and closing, and in some cases remote controls and deodorizing systems. According to the pages, iPotty will feature an optional remote control to provide easy access to the system’s bidet and other functionality.
Click Read More for a screenshot of the original Japanese main page, as well as a Babelfish-translated English version.
Griffin Technology is now shipping the AirClick Remote, its new wireless remote control solution for the iPod. The AirClick Remote allows users to control their iPod from up to 60 ft. away. Because it uses RF technology (as opposed to IR) users do not have to be in the line of sight for the device to work. The remote has five buttons (play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up, and volume down), a hold switch, and belt clip.
Each AirClick package ships with a remote, a receiver that mounts to the iPod or iPod mini, and a remote cradle and straps for attaching it to a car steering wheel or elsewhere. The AirClick, which is priced at $39.99, works with all Dock Connector iPods, including the iPod mini and the iPod photo.
Read iLounge’s exclusive review of the AirClick here.
Mercedes-Benz is testing iPod-compatible Audio Books at the New York Auto Show, which is taking place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City until April 2. The Audio Books are designed to educate potential Mercedes buyers about a car’s features by providing digital “walk-around” audio narrations with an iPod. Consumers at the show can download the Audio Books to their own iPod for $2.95, or use loaner iPods for free. Mercedes-Benz said downloads of the Audio Books will also be available on the iTunes Music Store. The car maker has developed Audio Books — that cover everything from the engine to trunk — for the M-Class, CLS, SLK, and SLR McLaren. All proceeds from the Audio Book sales during the show will be donated to Automotive High School in Brooklyn, New York.
iLounge is proud to announce that in only the first four days since its release, the new issue of our Buyers’ Guide (Spring/Summer 2005) has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times directly from iLounge’s servers. This number does not include any of the downloads that have taken place through the numerous mirrored download servers available, or downloads made through file-sharing networks. iLounge has encouraged sharing of the Buyers’ Guide through such networks in an effort to promote responsible and legal use of these technologies.
The magazine-format digital Buyers’ Guide includes over 100 pages of iPod culture, products, and expert advice from iLounge. You’ll find tons of previews and reviews, a Beginners’ Guide to the iPod, sneak peeks at upcoming accessories (including Griffin’s iTripLCD), a first look at the new iLounge web site design, and much more. Downloads are now available in two formats: one for single-page viewing and easy home printing, and another for widescreen magazine-style viewing in double-page spreads. Both versions are completely free for iLounge users, and are available here.
The first Buyers’ Guide, which was released in November of last year, has been downloaded approximately 350,000 times so far, and contains its own collection of feature articles, reviews, and contest entries from iLounge readers. It remains available for free download at this link.
Pacific Rim Technologies has announced that its 4gShield case for fourth-generation iPods is shipping with a free iSkin Wheel Cap for a limited time. The form-fitting iSkin product protects the iPod Click Wheel and allows for easy non-restrictive scrolling. The aluminum 4gShield case, which sells for $34.99, provides full access to controls and connector ports, and protects your screen with a plastic window. The free Wheel Cap promotion is valid until April 30, 2005.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that Apple’s product availability is improving based on the shorter estimated ship times on the company’s online store, particularly for both versions of the iPod shuffle and Mac mini. In a research note provided to iLounge, Munster says that over the last several weeks, the ship time on every Apple product — from desktops to iPods — either remained the same or was reduced except for the special edition U2 iPod. The 512MB and 1GB iPod shuffle models are now ready to ship on the same business day from 1-3 days and 5-7 days, respectively.
Munster also noted that in a recent check of Amazon.com’s Top Seller list for MP3 players, 8 of the top 10 were versions of the iPod. “This is the first time we have examined the iPod’s popularity on Amazon.com, but we believe it shows that Apple continues to be the dominant producer of portable MP3 players,” he says.
Hewlett-Packard is showing a renewed interest in the iPod, announcing the first computer with a built-in docking area for the device and saying that it will soon offer a branded version of the iPod photo.
HP said it is planning to add a spot for the iPod in its new Media Center m7000 desktop PC. The computer “doesn’t have a dock itself, but rather features a molded piece of plastic that fits around Apple’s own dock to allow the device to gracefully dock atop the PC,” according to CNET News.com’s Ina Fried.
Siobhan O’Connor, HP’s vice president of consumer brand and marketing, said that the company will be releasing new HP-branded iPods in the coming weeks, including an HP version of the iPod photo as former CEO Carly Fiorina said in January. “Expect us to have, like we did with the original products, a very similar lineup to what Apple has,” O’Connor said.
HP has recently been criticized for not taking full advantage of its partnership with Apple. Goldman Sachs said HP needs to make “substantial changes” in its relationship with Apple and that “HP’s iPod sales are likely to decline markedly over the next few quarters unless HP is able to bring out new iPod models in a more timely manner.” The firm says HP could drop from 7% of Apple’s iPod shipments in the December quarter to 2% in the March quarter.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today announced the Cool Caps Replacement Caps & Lanyards for the iPod shuffle. The Cool Caps, which replace the standard Apple USB caps, come in a 5-Pack of colored caps, lanyards, and lanyard clips. The lanyard on each of the Cool Caps is adjustable and removable, allowing users to “change the length of the lanyard, mix and match colors from different caps or remove the lanyard altogether and use the caps alone.” The $29.99 Cool Caps 5-Pack includes caps and lanyards in shades of green, blue, white, purple and orange.
Check out iLounge’s review of the Cool Caps here.
Reports of New York subway robberies are up about 20 percent through mid-March — a spike police officials blame on the iPod.
One blogger has posted directions to build an iPod battery pack inside an Atari 2600 game cartridge.
Lists and Diagrams has posted a printable template for creating an iPod stand out of cardboard.
After domain name registry Nominet ruled that he must give iTunes.co.uk to Apple, Benjamin Cohen now says he plans to take his legal battle to the High Court.
LuxPro has introduced a slightly updated version of its iPod shuffle clone, the Super shuffle. Sporting a redesigned control pad and adding two new colors, the “Super Tangent” still remains nearly indistinguishable from the Apple music player.
Like the iPod shuffle and its LuxPro predecessor, the Super Tangent uses flash memory, offers the USB 2.0 connectivity and charging, has backside slider switches, and is available in 512MB and 1GB sizes. The Super Tangent is also the same length, width and weight, but is a tad thicker due to its FM tuner and voice recorder. It works with both Windows and Mac OS X, and offers MP3, WAV, and WMA support.
After the iPod clone was shown earlier this month at the CeBIT conference, Apple lawyers reportedly spoke with LuxPro and got the company to remove the music player from its booth — but only for one day. LuxPro brought it back out on Saturday for weekend visitors. Some have said that the Super shuffle was just a “clever PR maneuver” and was never intended to be released.