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New SNL skits now available on iTunes store

Following the free “Lazy Sunday” spoof music video from Saturday Night Live, Apple has added a bevy of new SNL skits and collections to the iTunes Music Store. Comedy fans can currently choose from a number of skits from the 1975 and 1994 seasons, as well as TV commercial parodies, and several “Best Of” collections featuring John Belushi, Chris Farley, Dan Akroyd, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Gilda Radner, and Christopher Walken. The individual skits are priced at $1.99, as are the hour+ collections.

JBL On Time speaker system introduced

imageHarman Multimedia has introduced the JBL On Time ($300), a new speaker system and clock radio for iPods.

The On Time, which features a very unique speaker enclosure, includes a radio, clock and dual alarm, universal iPod cradle, and large backlit LCD with automatic dimming. The system’s upward-firing tweeter and horizontal low and midrange transducers provide a 360-degree sound field with a “full, rich frequency response from the lowest bass to the highest highs.”

The On Time also offers a menu-driven user interface, blue dome light, an automatic time-set feature, backup battery, and the ability to charge and sync your iPod. It works with most docking iPods with the Apple iPod Universal Dock adapter. The JBL On Time will be available in white and black versions. Pricing and availability was not announced.

“JBL On Time revolutionizes the way you use your iPod,” says Harman. “A compact, high-performance time machine and sound center, JBL On Time lets you wake up to music stored on your iPod, instead of to annoying buzzers or fuzzy radio reception. Just connect your iPod, MP3 player or other music source to JBL On Time and experience clean, powerful and dynamic sound.”

In related news, Harman said it has decided to update its On Stage II iPod speaker system, and will sell it under the same name as a modified version with support for Apple’s Universal Dock Adapters. Pricing and other features will not change.

ezGear debuts ezGold Video Cable for iPod 5G

ezGear has announced its latest iPod accessory, the ezGold Video Cable for iPod 5G. The cable features shielded wires with protective sheathing to reduce signal loss and interference, as well as gold-plated connectors for a better connection. The ezGold Video Cable for iPod 5G will be available this month; pricing and exact release information was not available.

Small Dog launches PodJungle iPod store, intros ClickCase

Online retailer Small Dog Electronics has announced the launch of its new online iPod accessories store, PodJungle, as well as the ClickCase for iPod 5G and iPod nano. PodJungle allows for shopping of accessories by style, category, or lifestyle, and will feature iPod trade-ins through Small Dog.

imageThe ClickCase for iPod 5G and nano features a leather flip-case design with the Small Dog paw-print design embossed on the outside, with cutouts for access to ports and the dock connector, magnetic closure, as well as a belt clip. The case is available in ebony, crimson and natural, and sells for $27.50 for the 5G model and $19.00 for the nano case.

Kensington intros Pico FM transmitter for iPods

Kensington today announced the Pico FM transmitter for iPods. The thin device connects to the dock connector of any iPod and uses its screen for easy viewing of station information. “Smaller than the iPod nano itself, the Kensington pico FM Transmitter was designed with the iPod nano in mind, but works seamlessly with any iPod with the dock connector,” according to the company. “iPod enthusiasts can kick off the New Year with one of the coolest new accessories available for the nano and any iPod with dock connector.” The Pico FM transmitter will be available in February for $60. We’re awaiting photos of the device.

Samsung: Apple to feel heat in 2006

Electronics giant Samsung said it will take aim at Apple this year with several new portable products and large ad campaigns. A Samsung executive claims that Apple’s lead in digital music and video can be attributed to only marketing.

“What’s the difference between how they have gone to market and how we have gone to market? It’s real simple. They spent $165 million last year to advertise Apple MP3 products. We spent $1 million,” said Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of consumer electronics for Samsung’s North American division. “We are going to break the code. In 2006, we are going to over-invest in advertising and marketing around these really hot new digital video and digital audio products, and we will spend tens of millions of dollars.”

HandStands offers Bullet-Proof iPod protectors

imageHandstands has announced the release of its Duravú Bullet Proof iPod Shields. The shields are a thin protective sheet for the front and back of both 5G iPods and iPod nano and can be applied without the use of any soap and water solution. Duravú Bullet Proof iPod Shields are available now for $9.99.

TuneBuckle lets you wear iPod nano

imageTuneBuckle has just introduced its first product, the TuneBuckle for iPod nano. The TuneBuckle is a belt with a specially designed buckle that holds the iPod nano horizontally across the front, with an access hole cut out for the headphone port. The click wheel controls can be accessed from the front of the buckle. The TuneBuckle is now available for pre-order in both black and white for $49.95.

Mix: Google, BusinessWeek report, iPod bandits, David Pogue

At the Consumer Electronics Show late last week, Google officially announced its Google Video Store, with content from CBS, the NBA, Sony BMG, Charlie Rose and more.

As part of a special report on Apple, BusinessWeek has posted the following articles: “More Apple Miracles in 2006?,” “Just What Apple Needs: Intel,” “The Latest Add-Ons for iPods,” “The Great European iPod Famine,” “Facts from the Apple Rumor Mill” and “How Apple Could Mess Up, Again.”

Two “brazen bandits” walked behind an electronics counter in a Connecticut CompUSA during business hours to steal $8,000 worth of iPods. It was all caught on camera.

David Pogue of The New York Times has posted notes from his “iPod Dynasty” panel at CES. The panel consisted of Apple rivals including executives from Real and Yahoo Music.

Saffire announces new iPod accessories

Saffire has debuted three new accessories for the iPod, including speakers, cases, and a Bluetooth accessory. Pricing and availability information for the new accessories was not available.

imageThe DS-317 Speaker System for iPod features Neodymium drivers coupled with a built-in subwoofer, an included remote, and iPod charging and syncing while in the system. The DS-317 is compatible with all dock connecting iPods.

imageThe BT 3008 Bluetooth transmitter for iPod allows users to pair both Bluetooth headphones and cell phones to the iPod making wireless headphones a reality and adding a tone to alert listeners of incoming calls. The BT 3008 is compatible with all 4G iPods.

imageThe Protective Skin Sleeve for iPod is a silicone case designed for the new iPod 5G. Features include cutouts for the screen, controls, headphone jack, and dock connector, a built-in belt clip, plus Dissipation Pores that help the iPod run cooler.

‘Most-abused iPod Giveaway’ to be held at Macworld Expo

Applesauce Polish, which makes a microfinishing product for the iPod, has announced the “Most-Abused iPod Giveaway” as part of its participation at this week’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Anyone who stops by its booth with an iPod in bad shape will be eligible for the grand prize drawing of a 4GB iPod nano to be held Friday, January 13 in the Apple Specialist Theater in Booth 2225 at 3:30 p.m. Applesauce Polish will also be showing off its Scratch Removal Kit for iPod, which “restores the shine and removes scratches from the plastic front and display, and the metal backing of all iPod models.”

Ignitek debuts iCheer 212 speaker system for iPod nano

imageIgnitek has announced the iCheeer 212, a new speaker system designed specifically for the iPod nano. The 4-driver speaker system, similar to the company’s original iCheer for the iPod shuffle, is designed to be “compact and lightweight, making it perfect for the desktop or as a traveling companion for the nano.” The iCheer 212 features a dock connector cradle, a mini USB connector, and comes with a a carrying bag. It operates on 4 AA batteries or the supplied AC adapter. The iCheer 212 will be available in “early 2006” for $90.

Photo to Movie gets iPod support

LG Graphics has released an updated version of its Photo to Movie software that adds support for exporting video to the iPod 5G. Photo to Movie allows users to make videos from their pictures by making use of the “Ken Burns Effect” that is featured in Apple’s iMovie software, as well as various titles, music,  and transitions. Photo to Movie sells for $49.95.

Elekson intros new Audio Case

imageElekson has introduced its new Audio Case for the iPod. The case features external controls for iPods including Play/Pause, Track Forward and Back, Volume Up and Down, and iPod On/Off. The Volume controls incorporate a smart fabric that allows for scrolling control of the volume level. Pricing and availability information was not yet available.

Pixelgirl Shop adds new handmade iPod nano cases

imageThe Pixelgirl Shop has added two new handmade sleeves for the iPod nano—Sacred Heart and Vintage Glitter.

imageThe Sacred Heart case ($24), designed by Marty Flint, is made from black industrial felt and sports a stitched sacred heart design.

Pixelgirl’s Vintage Glitter sleeve ($10) is made from vintage glitter vinyl and come in blue, pink, gold and silver.

Chrysler announces iPod integration for 2006 models

The Chrysler Group today announced that it plans to offer full iPod integration as an option in most of its 2006 models, with over three million Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge cars offering iPod connectivity this year. The American automaker said it will sell an optional iPod Integration Kit for $175 plus installation from authorized dealerships beginning this spring. The kit will allow drivers to listen to their iPod through the car’s audio system, select music by artist, album or playlist with radio or steering wheel controls and view selections on the radio’s display.

CNET names Creative Zen Vision: M ‘Best in Show,’ ‘iPod Killer’

In announcing its “Best of CES 2006” award winners, CNET has named Creative’s Zen Vision: M “Best in Show,” its top pick of all of the products shown at the annual consumer electronics convention. Citing the device’s “brighter screen, better battery life, and more features” than the iPod, CNET’s editors suggested that the device was an “iPod killer,” praising its support for multiple video formats and “winning design.”

In a video interview with CNN’s Renay San Miguel, CNET editor Brian Cooley was challenged on the choice of a device so similar to the fifth-generation iPod for an award based in part on innovation. Cooley defended the tech site’s choice of the “little more hefty” Vision: M, saying that “sometimes slimmer and more svelte is not always good for your hand,” and said that CNET’s editors preferred the Vision to the iPod on feel. CNET readers picked Pioneer’s Inno, a truly portable XM Satellite radio receiver and recorder, as the show’s best new product.

Pacific Rim debuts Dolphin, Commuter cases

imagePacific Rim Marketing has added two new accessories to its line of iDiddy iPod products—the Dolphin and Commuter.

The wearable iDiddy Dolphin ($35) is a bundle consisting of the company’s fabric iLanyard integrated lanyard/earbuds and a rubberized PVC iPod nano case with belt clip. The Dolphin case is available in four colors—gray, black, blue and red. “The earbuds pound out the bass as well as delivering crisp highs and great mid-tones,” according to Pacific Rim.

imageThe iDiddy Commuter ($50) is a new wallet-style case for the iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. Available in white or black leather and two-toned brown and tan suede, the case features a padded iPod holder, zippered earbud pouch, cash nook, credit card slots, business card holder, and ID window. Each Commuter ships with an Opticover protective film.

ezGear offers ezStart nano starter kit

ezGear has announced the ezStart nano Starter Kit, which includes “everything you need to use, charge, share, and protect your iPod nano.” The accessory bundle includes the company’s ezCharge car charger, ezPower wall charger, ezSkin nano protective case, ezGold earphone splitter, and ezCassette cassette adapter. The Starter Kit is priced at $60. Sold separately, the five products would retail for over $130.

SoundFX Sound View magnifies iPod video screen

imageSakar has introduced the SoundFX Sound View, an adjustable stand for the video iPod that integrates a screen magnifier and two speakers. The unique variable zoom magnifier enlarges the iPod’s screen image up to 300%, according to the company. The SoundFX Sound View sells for $30 and is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2006.

“The SoundFX Sound View is poised to revolutionize the way iPod video enthusiasts enjoy their digital entertainment,” says Sakar. “The all-in-one device features a cradle designed specifically for the iPod video, allowing users to sit back and comfortably enjoy any song or video hands-free. Twin stereo speakers positioned on each side of the unit provide exceptional amplified sound, while a side headphone jack makes iPod connection easy for personal listening.”

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