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XtremeMac offers NBA Iconz iPod cases

imageXtremeMac today announced a new licensing agreement with the National Basketball Association and the debut of its NBA Iconz cases for the iPod and iPod nano. Constructed of rubber, the cases feature some of the NBA’s most popular teams and players with a play-through design and clear screen protector.

Three teams are currently available for the 5G iPod—the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat—while four teams and two players are available for the nano—the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Dwayne Wade (Miami), and LeBron James (Cleveland). The NBA cases start at $25.

Blinkit iPod safety light debuts

imageIntuitive Devices has introduced the Blinkit safety flasher/flashlight system for iPods. The $30 device, which is compatible with all dockable iPods, is designed for personal safety when using your iPod after dark. “The Blinkit user becomes easily visible from over a hundred yards away,” says the company. “An adjustable mirror system lets users direct light forward or to both sides. Five interchangeable tinted lens caps let users change the color of light emitted. Whether for safety or just fun, Blinkit helps provide personal visibility at night. In addition, Blinkit also flashes along with your iPod, providing a light show synchronized to the beat of your music.”

Small Dog offers CarTune FM transmitter/charger

imageSmall Dog Electronics has announced its CarTune FM transmitter and car charger for all dock connecting iPods. The product features an LCD display, multi-FM channel support, memory functions for channels, and an adjustable tuner control. “Small Dog worked with manufacturers to create the best value FM Transmitter for their customers,” says the company. “A design was chosen that provides the ability to not only play an Apple iPod through a car’s audio system but also charges the iPod using the car’s DC power port.” The CarTune is available now for $33.

Mix: Mobile Me, Windows Media, iPod add-ons, iPod kids

Apple has filed a U.S. trademark for the term “Mobile Me,” sparking further speculation of an “iPhone” or other mobile products and services.

Microsoft has officially ended development of Windows Media Player for Mac OS X and plans no future versions of the music-playing software for the Apple OS.

Ina Fried of CNET News.com has a general two-page article on the iPod accessory market.

Leander Kahney’s four children were on hand at this week’s Macworld Expo dressed as iPods to promote his “Cult of iPod” book.

Griffin debuts iClear for iPod nano

imageGriffin Technology has introduced the iClear for iPod nano. The clear hard case is priced at $20 and is scheduled to begin shipping in February. “iClear protects your nano with a tough, transparent polycarbonate two-piece shell that is strong enough to take the daily abuse of any lifestyle, yet attractive enough to be worthy of iPod nano,” says Griffin. “iClear offers full screen protection without adding bulk or weight. Simply place iPod nano into the casing and slide the rear section securely in place.”

XtremeMac’s MicroPack extends iPod playback time

imageXtremeMac today announced its MicroPack battery pack/dock for iPods. The MicroPack, which has an integrated Universal Dock for all dockable iPods, provides up to 80 hours of audio playback for the iPod nano and up to 8 hours of video playback for the 5G iPod. It also doubles as a dock for syncing your iPod with a USB cable, sports dual headphone ports with independent volume controls, and is designed to “position the iPod at a precise angle for optimal viewing, serving as a convenient base for the iPod while watching video content.” The MicroPack is expected to begin shipping this spring for $100.

RadTech rolls out new iPod gear

RadTech has announced several new iPod products, including new cases, cables and chargers. All of the accessories are available immediately.

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Sleevz Case for 5G iPod and iPod nano
RadTech’s play-through Optex sleeve case is now available for the 5G iPod ($21) and iPod nano ($15). The sleeve provides access to all ports, complete control through the sleeve and offers a clear screen protector. It comes in black, gray, blue, purple, light purple and red.

Acclaro Transparent Acrylic Clamshell Case
The Acclaro is a transparent acrylic clamshell-style protective case for the 5G iPod and iPod nano. The $20 case fully covers the iPod’s display, and includes a neck lanyard and quick-release belt clip with the 5G model, and removable neck and wrist lanyards with the nano model.

ClearCal Transparent Mylar Protective Panels
A pair of ultra-thin and protective Mylar panels to protect the 5G iPod and iPod nano. Priced at $7, the ClearCal uses adhesive that leaves no residue on an iPod and can be reused several times.

Gelz Economy Silicone Case
The form-fitting silicone case is available for 4G/5G iPods, iPod minis and iPod nanos. “Colorful, rugged, stylish and durable for long-lasting protection of your iPod’s elegant finish.” The Gelz case comes in blue, green, white, pink and yellow, with belt-clip lanyard and armband options available for most.

Cables & Connectivity for iPod
RadTech is now offering an inexpensive line of electronic iPod accessories—the RetractCable iPod Dock Connector ($10), the RetractCable Earbuds ($8), the AutoPower ($8) in-car charger, and the CarConnection ($10) cassette player adapter.

$1 billion worth of iPod accessories sold during holidays

While Apple shipped a record-breaking 14 million iPods during the holiday quarter, they weren’t the only ones to benefit from the device’s popularity. iPod accessory makers also had a tremendous holiday season, according to one tech analyst. Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group estimates that $1 billion worth of iPod accessories were sold during the recent holiday quarter. “It’s the iPod economy,” Doherty said. “And Steve Jobs is the Alan Greenspan of that iPod economy.”

Mix: Wynton Marsalis, Keynote, Podcast tutorials, iFill

MacTV has posted the new Wynton Marsalis “Sparks” iPod ad that was shown during Steve Jobs’ keynote Tuesday. The ad is also available in an iPod-ready format.

Citing an anonymous source, Wired’s Leander Kahney reports that the Macworld keynote delivered by Steve Jobs on Tuesday was not the one he had planned. Kahney said some of the speech and products had been cut out because of “supply issues.”

Apple has posted a series of eight free video tutorials on the iTunes Music Store that will show you how to create a podcast with the company’s new iLife ‘06 suite.

Griffin Technology announced today that is giving away numerous copies of its iFill software to those who stop by its booth at Macworld Expo.

XtremeMac intros HomeShow, RoadShow kits for iPod

imageXtremeMac has announced two new iPod cable kits—the HomeShow and RoadShow. “At home, XtremeMac’s HomeShow cable package supports connection of iPods to nearly any kind of speaker or video playback device,” says the company. “RoadShow, on the other hand, is an all-in-one cable that connects iPod with video to in-vehicle DVD entertainment systems as well as the vehicle’s DC power system.”

imageThe HomeShow is a 4-piece home audio/video connection kit that includes a composite cable (red/white/yellow), home audio cable, auxiliary audio cable, and audio splitter. The RoadShow is an 8-ft integrated cable that plugs into a car’s 12-volt accessory outlet for charging and links the 5G iPod to the DVD unit via composite audio/video connectors. Both products will be available later this month for $50 each.

Small Dog offers Hippod iPod case

imageSmall Dog electronics is now offering its Hippod iPod case and external speaker. The case features a zippered closure and compatible with all iPods. iPods inside the case connect with the external speaker through an internal headphone plug. The Hippod iPod case also features a built-in belt sleeve and is available now for $25.00.

iLounge announces 2006 Best of Show Awards

The Editors of iLounge have selected the following thirteen new products for its San Francisco 2006 “Best of Show” Awards. Additional details on all of these products will be available on iLounge later this evening.

Altec Lansing inMotion iM9 Speakers
Apple Computer Garageband 3 with Podcast Studio
Apple Computer iPod Radio Remote
Belkin TuneTalk Stereo
Better Energy Systems Tread Case for iPod nano
Contour Design Showcase 5G
El Gato EyeTV2 Television Recorder with Export to iPod
Griffin TuneCenter Interactive Dock for iPod
JBL On Time Speakers and Clock Radio
Mophie Relo Case Series for iPod nano and 5G
Scosche Bluetooth Car Kit for iPod
Shure E500 Earphones
XtremeMac Iconz Sport - NBA Series for iPod nano and 5G

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners - we were highly impressed by these products!

Slappa launches SlipScreen for the iPod nano

imageSlappa has introduced the SlipScreen for the iPod nano. The case is made from a lightweight PU material, and offers complete protection for the nano’s click wheel and dock connector access. The SlipScreen comes with screen and body protectors for the nano as well as a removable belt clip. The SlipScreen for iPod nano is available now and sells for $14.99.

Griffin intros TuneCenter iPod dock

imageGriffin Technology has announced its new TuneCenter iPod dock and charging station. TuneCenter features the ability to navigate and control the iPod from a TV screen using the included 14 button remote, as well as play internet radio stations through the built-in Wi-Fi or ethernet connections. TuneCenter provides both composite and S-Video out, as well as RCA audio. The TuneCenter is compatible with all dock connector iPods, and sells for $99.99. It is scheduled to begin shipping in March; pre-orders are being accepted now.

iPod, iTunes updates hide major new features

Coinciding with the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple has released iPod Updater 2006-01-10 and iTunes 6.0.2, both classified as “point releases” of its key software packages for iPods, Macs, and PCs. Though the company originally had not published details on many of the new features of these programs, iLounge’s editors found several hidden treasures in each of them, most of which have now been confirmed on Apple’s web site.

imageiPod Updater 2006-01-10 upgrades the fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano to software versions 1.1, adding support for on-screen FM radio tuning, the display of accessory-specific color on-screen logo graphics on the Do Not Disconnect screen, and bug fixes. Bug fixes have also been implemented for both versions of the fourth-generation iPod (black-and-white/color), and iPod mini.

Originally described by Apple only as including “stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.1,” iTunes 6.0.2 adds several major new features to the music management software. Most notably, iTunes now handles automatic H.264-format video conversion for the iPod without requiring the purchase of Apple’s QuickTime Pro software. Right-clicking on any video track now brings up a “Convert Selection for iPod” option. iTunes also allows users to stream audio wirelessly to multiple AirPort Express receivers at once, a feature previously found in standalone audio distribution systems such as Sonos’ ZonePlayers.

In less positive additions, Apple has created a mini iTunes Music Store (the “MiniStore”) which displays by default whenever you look at your Library or Playlists. The MiniStore analyzes the music you are listening to and suggests similar options for purchase, a feature that is already being described as unwelcome “spyware and adware” by several writers. You can turn off the MiniStore by selecting Edit > Hide MiniStore.

Gizmac debuts Titan iPod nano case

imageGizmac accessories has announced its Titan case for iPod nano. The case is made from anodized aircraft aluminum, and features a clear screen protector, thin film click wheel protector, a rubberized dock connector plug, access to the headphone jack, and a customized hold switch extension. Available in 10 different colors, the Titan includes a carabiner clip, arm band, belt clip and lanyard. Pricing and availability information was not available.

Tunewear announces new nano, shuffle cases

Tunewear has unveiled four new lines of iPod cases—three for iPod nano and one for iPod shuffle. All four lines are available now.

imageThe Prie Jewel nano and Prie Jewel nano fur feature access to the headphone port, snaps on either end for removal for the top or bottom, a vinyl window protecting the screen and click wheel, and steel rings in each corner to allow for flexibility in placing the chain and any accessory charms. The Prie Jewel nano sells for $29.95, and the Prie Jewel nano fur for $34.95.

imageThe Prie Robo for iPod nano features headphone access, a bottom removal snap, vinyl windows protecting the screen and click wheel, an attached loop, and clips on the ends of the Robo’s springy “arms” for attaching the case to surfaces not compatible with the loop. The Prie Robo for iPod nano sells for $34.95.

imageTunetag Studs for iPod nano is a chrome silver studded case for nano. It features full access to the headphone and dock connector ports, a vinyl window protecting the front face of the nano, 22 chrome studs on the sides, and a 20cm chain for hanging from a belt, purse, or wrist. Tunetag Studs for iPod nano sells for $34.95.

imageThe Charm Shuffle series of cases for iPod shuffle come in four different themes: Butterfly, Honey Bee, Flower Power, and Ladybug. All of the cases offer access to the shuffle’s front controls and rear slider switch along with the headphone port. Each case in the Charm Shuffle series sells for $19.95.

Griffin offers SmartShare audio splitter

imageGriffin Technology has announced the SmartShare headphone/audio splitter. The $20 accessory, which lets you share the music from your iPod with another person, features an integrated slim volume control slider for each of the output jacks. Griffin’s SmartShare comes in either white or black and is available immediately.

Apple releases iPod Updater 2006-01-10

Apple has released iPod Updater 2006-01-10, which includes iPod Software 1.1 for the 5G iPod, iPod Software 1.1 for the iPod nano, iPod Software 1.2.1 for iPods with color displays, iPod Software 1.4.1 for iPod minis, and iPod Software 3.1.1 for click wheel iPods. The new update brings support for the new iPod Radio Remote for the 5G iPod and nano, and bug fixes for the above mentioned iPod models.

Mix: AAPL, 32 million iPods, O’Reilly podcasts, Spod

Shares of Apple (AAPL) rose $4.81, or more than 6%, to $80.86 on Tuesday following the introduction of several new Mac products and iPod accessories at Macworld Expo.

Referring to Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ remark that Apple sold 32 million iPods in 2005, technology analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies said: “I think they can sell another 32 million iPods this year. I don’t see the iPod phenomenon slowing down one bit.”

O’Reilly Media has announced the launch of its O’Reilly Podcast programming with “Distributing the Future” and “Make Audio and Video” Podcast shows, FOO Casts (Friends of O’Reilly Podcasting), “In Our Ears” highlights, “Pick of the Week” and more.

Apple has sued Liquid Air Tab—the company behind Spodradio, a service that allows users to download podcasts to their Nokia mobiles—over the word “spod.”

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