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iPod interfaces expected in 73 million cars by 2011

Telematics Research Group (TRG) said today it predicts that by 2011, 28 million cars in the U.S. and 73 million cars worldwide will offer built-in iPod integration. The research firm said that automotive auxiliary inputs will expand to about 60 million cars in the U.S. and 150 million globally by 2011. TRG expects Bluetooth audio interfaces will be installed in 8.5 million cars in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide by 2011. According to TRG data, 39 models from major auto companies currently sell vehicles in the U.S. market with iPod adapters or auxiliary-input jacks.

DLO ships over 20 new cases for iPod, nano

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters said today that it is now shipping over 20 new styles of its Relaxed Leather Cases for iPod and iPod nano and its Fling Fashion Cases for iPod nano. All of the cases are priced from $30 to $35. Select styles are available exclusively at Target and Apple Stores nationwide.

imageThe Relaxed Leather cases come in 10 different styles, featuring suede and distressed leather with touches like contrast stitching and brass rivets. They also offer a flip-up cover, belt clip, and an inside pocket to store ID, credit card or cash.

imageDesigned for fashion-conscious nano owners, the Fling Fashion Cases come in 11 new designs, ranging in style from “Faux Crocodile

HandStands offers updated iSnug armband for 5G iPod

imageHandStands today announced that it is offering an updated version of its iSnug Armband for use with the new fifth-generation iPod. Designed for iPod users with an active lifestyle, the new armband features a lightweight material, a velcro closure, and pouch that also works with 3G and 4G iPods. A smaller pouch is included for the iPod mini. The iSnug Armband is available immediately in black for $20.

Analyst: Apple to move away from Mac, build on iPod

Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey believes that Apple will move away from its core Mac lineup and instead focus on new consumer products. The company would be successful in doing so because of its mega-popular iPod brand, according to the analyst.

“2006 will undoubtedly mark another major year in Apple’s transformation, but its new markets bring together tougher competition,” Bailey wrote in a recent research note. “If early indications from suppliers prove correct, Apple is likely to move further from its Mac core in 2006, leveraging its brand and building on the consumer success of iPod.”

Bailey expects Apple to sell 11.6 million iPods during the holiday quarter, up from his previous estimate of 10 million.

ezGear intros clearCase for 5G iPods

imageezGear has introduced the clearCase Video for Apple’s latest iPod. Made of ultra-clear acrylic, the case features a flip-open front cover, removable belt clip and neck strap, and has openings for the dock connector port, headphone jack, hold switch and click wheel. The clearCase Video sells for $27 and comes in two sizes to fit the 30GB and 60GB iPod models.

Mix: iTunes Japan, Jobs, Video praise, Xbox 360, Zeitgeist

Apple’s Japanese iTunes Music Store has added new content from Victor Entertainment. The record label offers 18 albums totalling 209 tracks of mainly Japanese domestic artists.

USA Today tech columnist Kevin Maney says that 2006 could be the year Apple CEO Steve Jobs finally “falls off his pedestal.”

“The new iPod is its own little addictive medium,

Sonnet releases USB power adapter for iPod

imageSonnet Technologies has announced a USB power adapter for charging an iPod without a computer. Available in black or white, the compact adapter is “about 2/3 the size of its competition” and offers fold away blades, universal power compatibility (100-240V, 50/60 Hz) for worldwide use, and non-polarized blades so it can be plugged in with the USB outlet face up or down. Sonnet’s iPod USB power adapter is compatible with 4G/5G iPods, iPod mini, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. It’s available immediately for $20. A European version will be released in January.

iPod earbuds could cause hearing loss

The type of earbud headphones that come bundled with every iPod sold can cause serious hearing loss, according to a Northwestern University professor and audiologist. The earbuds can lead to permanent damage after only an hour of high-volume music in the 110- to 120-decibel range, the equivalent of a concert, said professor Dean Garstecki. He recommends switching to over-the-ear headphones, listening to your tunes no more than an hour a day, and turning down the volume.

“Insert earphones can boost the signal by as much as six to nine decibels. That’s about the difference between the sound of a vacuum cleaner and a motorcycle,” said Garstecki. “It’s a significant difference.” He also noted that the storage space on iPods contributes to problems. “Not only do you have a signal that is likely to be more intense, you’re likely to be using this device longer than people have been using CD players and Walkmans in the past. This increases the likelihood of hearing loss down the road.”

For a more complete article about this issue please read “Listen Safely: Your Ears and Your iPod” by iLounge’s Kirk McElhearn.

Body Glove debuts iPod nano case

imageBody Glove Technology Accessories has announced the MP3Suit, a new form-fitting case for the iPod nano. The MP3Suit features Body Glove’s signature Scuba material in black with a silver trim and the Body Glove logo. The water-resistant material protects the iPod nano from everyday use and has openings for the click wheel, dock connector, hold switch and headphone jack. The $30 case also comes with a belt and armband attachment. The MP3Suit will be available at in January.

A happy holiday wish from iLounge

Everyone at iLounge would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. As a special thanks to all of our wonderful readers, advertisers and those in the iPod industry, we’ve created this holiday card for you to enjoy. We’ll continue updating the site throughout the week.

Mix: Apple website, Rob Glaser, Steve Jobs, Entrepreneur

According to research from Nielsen//NetRatings, Apple had the fastest growing website among the top 10 web brands for November 2005. Apple ranked No. 1 by climbing 57 percent over November last year.

In an interview with Engadget, RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser has a number of negative comments for Apple, iTunes and the iPod.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been named to Time’s “People Who Mattered” list. “If you could read this man’s mind, you would see the future,” the magazine says. “He has sold more than 18 million iPods this year, more than doubled Apple’s stock price (to an all-time high) and put Desperate Housewives in your pocket. Jobs’ thoughts tend to become our reality. What will he think of next?”

Entrepreneur magazine has an article on what made the iPod a hit and why every entrepreneur should pay attention, with insight from iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz.

Fluffpod for 5G iPod now available

imageFluffpod has introduced a new version of its Fluffpod case for Apple’s fifth-generation iPod. The furry case, available in white or pink, features satin lining and screen and click wheel protectors. It sells for $25. “Fluffpod video, besides being soft and furry on the outside, is lined with white or pink silky soft satin giving your iPod a bed to lay in for super soft protection,” says the company. “Two white leather boots on the bottom of the case keep your iPod secure, with room for the dock connector to be attached without sacrificing your iPod’s safety, or comfort.”

‘Commander In Chief’ added to iTunes Music Store

As promised, new television shows are being quietly added to the iTunes Music Store. The latest show is ABC’s new Commander In Chief. “Solid writing and great casting have made Commander in Chief one of the stronger political dramas on television,” says Apple. “Geena Davis leads the cast as Mackenzie Allen, a former university chancellor who is taken in as the running mate of a more conservative presidential candidate. A short time after winning the election, the president undergoes critical surgery, requiring Allen to step up to the plate. Difficulties arise in the form of Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton and various others members of the cabinet who aren’t entirely convinced that Allen is right for the job. As if being leader of the free world isn’t enough, she also has three children and a husband.”

OtterBox for iPod nano announced

imageOtter Products has announced a new version of its rugged OtterBox for the iPod nano. The “waterproof, dustproof, dirtproof, sandproof, and drop-proof” case features an interactive membrane that provides protected click wheel access, a hard screen cover, rubber lining, and a secure-close latch. The case works with any standard set of headphones, and when combined with waterproof headphones, allows you to use your iPod while swimming. The $40 case also includes a removable neck lanyard and belt clip. Optional armbands are available for $14.95.

Griffin ships iTrip Auto for iPod

imageGriffin Technology today announced the availability of the iTrip Auto, the latest addition to its iTrip lineup. First shown in the iLounge Holiday Buyer’s Guide, the iTrip Auto is a combination iPod charger and FM transmitter for in-car use. It connects to an iPod’s dock connector port, features a backlit LCD screen and allows for easy tuning via a wired remote-like device. The iTrip Auto also offers selectable LX and DX modes, and US and International tuning modes. Priced at $70, the iTrip Auto works with all dockable iPods, including the 5G iPod and iPod nano.

XtremeMac intros trio of leather cases for 5G iPod

imageXtremeMac today announced three new cases for the fifth-generation iPod. The MicroFlip ($40; black, brown, dark brown or saddle) is a leather flip-style case that features a belt clip and built in protection for the iPod’s screen and click wheel. The MicroFolio ($40; black, brown, dark brown or saddle) and MicroFolio Chic ($40; pink or white) are billfold-style leather cases with pockets for an ID or credit card and cash as well as screen and click wheel protectors. MicroFolio Chic offers the same internal design as MicroFolio and also features a tab closure and a removable carabiner. All three of the cases will begin shipping in two to three weeks.

MCE brings Noreve’s iPod cases to North America

imageMac hardware retailer MCE Technologies has entered into a distribution agreement with Noreve to sell the French company’s leather iPod cases in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. “Currently available only in Europe and carried by Apple Store Europe, Noreve cases are designed using high-quality, ultra-fine grain leather and include features and craftsmanship that one would expect to see in much more expensive cases, but at a fraction of the price,” said MCE. Currently available and shipping now in the U.S. are the Noreve Tradition cases for the 5G iPod ($35) and iPod nano ($30).

Trendy Shields for 5G iPod, nano available

Trendy Geek has announced that its Trendy Shields are now available for the fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano. The transparent film sleeves help keep iPods clean and scratch-free. The $13 Trendy Shield kit contains three protectors (6 pieces all together). “Trendy Shields are inexpensive and transparent,” noted the company. “They are made of a thin material that clings to the iPod using high static. The film covers the iPod’s delicate case perfectly. When the shields need replacing, there is no sticky glue or residue to remove—they simply peel off.”

Mix: iPodMyBaby, Hewlett-Packard, eMusic, ‘Da Vinci Code’ has announced the winner of the World’s Cutest Baby Contest, Madison, daughter of Mike and Michelle, from Minneapolis, MN. They will receive the prize package of a family of iPods.

After ending its iPod distribution deal earlier this year, HP’s contract with Apple requiring it to load iTunes on its PCs will lapse in January. This will allow the company to look at its digital music options with other companies.

eMusic today announced the addition of its millionth song. The track is a live version of the Pixies’ classic “Here Comes Your Man,” off of their forthcoming digital-only album entitled “Hey,” and will be exclusively on eMusic until January.

Apple is offering the theatrical trailer for “The Da Vinci Code” in iPod video format alongside small, medium, full-screen, and high definition versions.

Carbon fiber iPod nano case introduced

imageC6 Manufacturing has introduced a carbon fiber iPod nano case. The $40 case features genuine aerospace carbon fiber construction, a clear screen protector and a stainless steel belt clip. “As a designer for professional motorsports teams (Indy car, NASCAR) I have been using advanced materials such as titanium and carbon fiber all my career,” C6’s Jason Anderson told iLounge. “When I purchased a nano and could not find a decent case for it, I decided to create my own. After it was completed everyone who saw it wanted one (even people who hadn’t purchased a nano yet) so I decided to start selling them.”

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