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Podstar case for 2G iPod nano introduced

Boomwave Products has announced a new version of its devil-themed Podstar case for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. Called the Podstar Diablo Spectrum, the silicone case is available in six different colors and offer “a healthy dose of attitude, personality and quirky style,” according to the company. Each Podstar case includes a sterling silver earring, removable colored click wheel protector, screen protector, neck strap and an individual Podstar ID. The Podstar Diablo Spectrum is available now for $20.

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Report: Cingular to launch music service sans Apple

In a move that would no doubt signal the end of its partnership with Apple, Cingular has reportedly teamed up with iTunes rivals Napster, Yahoo Music and eMusic to launch a new music service. The service, which could be announced as early as tomorrow, will work on music-playing cell phones and will eventually offer wireless downloads, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Cingular’s service initially will support transferring music from personal computers to cellphones using a cable. In a first for music-enabled cellphones, users will be able to transfer music acquired from ‘all you can eat’ subscription services like Napster to Go, Yahoo’s Y Music Unlimited or eMusic,” reports the Journal. “They will also be able to transfer songs ripped from CDs or downloaded in the MP3 and Windows Media formats. Next year, Cingular is scheduled to add an over-the-air downloading component that will feature a menu for compatible telephone handsets that takes users to a virtual store, similar to the ones customers already use to buy ringtones.”

New iPod shuffle arrives; old earphones, weak clip? (Updated)

Updated: See our higher-resolution iPod shuffle (Second-Generation) unpacking gallery here, and freshly updated First Look here.

iLounge readers have started to report the arrival of their second-generation iPod shuffles, and have noted two semi-surprises so far: unlike the iPod shuffles that were demonstrated at Apple’s “It’s Showtime” press event in September, actually shipping models are packaged with Apple’s older, less comfortable earphones rather than the newer, better ones found in current iPod and iPod nano boxes. Official Apple images of the new shuffle published since the event have included the older earbuds, confusing numerous attendees who tried the shuffle along with the improved earbuds. One reader has also reported that the integrated clip is “very weak,” and “won’t hang from a shirt while running,” suggesting that even if the iPod can be attached to clothes for casual use, additional athletic accessories will most likely be needed to render the shuffle safe for active users to wear. Expect additional details as the day progresses, including updates to our extended First Look at the new shuffle.

Apple launches iTunes Latino

Apple today announced the launch of iTunes Latino, a new area within the U.S. iTunes Store featuring top Latin music, music videos, television shows, audiobooks and podcasts. Apple said iTunes Latino offers “hundreds of thousands” of Latin and international music tracks, including a number of exclusive tracks and albums. Genres include Regional Mexicano, Rock Alternativo, Baladas y Boleros, Pop Latino, Reggaeton and Hip-Hop.

As part of the launch of iTunes Latino, Apple announced that Telemundo and mun2 are now offering popular Spanish-language and bilingual television programming on the iTunes Store. The new content includes Telemundo’s “Pasion de Gavilanes,” “El Cuerpo del Deseo” and “Decisiones.” mun2, the popular Latino youth network, is currently offering reality content such as “mun2: The Immigration Special.” The shows sell for $1.99 each.

iLounge debuts The 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide

imageThe 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide is here! Weighing in at 180 pages, the world’s most popular iPod and accessory buyers’ guide has returned for its third year, bigger and better than ever!

Want the full scoop on what’s inside? Here’s the official page, and here’s the short version: More than 20 exclusive accessory debuts. Our Best of the Year accessory awards. All the help you’ll need to pick the best new iPod for the holidays. Amazing photographs in our iPod Home pictorial feature and iPod Colors contest gallery. And much, much more.

Download Print Version Single page, best for printing (21.8 MB ZIP)
Download Wide Version Double page, best for monitors (21.7 MB ZIP)

Download it now - it’s 100% free and in PDF format. Enjoy!

Apple releases iTunes 7.0.2 update

Apple today posted iTunes version 7.0.2. According to the brief release notes, the update adds support for the second-generation iPod shuffle, which will hit stores this Friday, and also “addresses a variety of stability and performance issues found in iTunes 7 and 7.0.1.” No further information was provided.

XtremeMac announces TuffWrap Accent for 2G iPod nano

XtremeMac today announced the TuffWrap Accent case for second-generation iPod nanos. The silicone case is offered in two color combinations—translucent/white and black/gray—and features ridged side grips, a removable play-through click wheel protector, and clear plastic screen guard. The TuffWrap Accent also comes with a detachable belt clip that rotates. locks and secures excess earbud cord, as well as a special Universal Dock Well insert that accommodates the nano with the case on.

Difusi announces Exotica iPod cases

Difusi has introduced a new line of luxury iPod cases called Exotica. The new cases, designed for fifth-generation iPods and iPod nanos, feature genuine Ostrich, Snake, Italian Patent and Alligator leather exteriors with interior patent leather and black lambskin shearling leather. “The new case line represents our desire to move beyond traditional cases offered by what seems like a thousand different vendors, by creating truly unique, one of a kind, luxurious line of cases for technology oriented devices,” says Difusi. The cases range in price from $130 to $330.

Sonnet updates iFreq FM transmitter for 2G iPod nano

Sonnet Technologies has announced that its iFreq in-vehicle FM transmitter/charger has been redesigned to fit the second-generation iPod nano. Sonnet said the iFreq’s nano cradle has been redesigned to fit both 1G and 2G nanos, and that the iFreq still functions uncradled with all dockable iPods. The iFreq, priced at $80, plugs directly into a car lighter jack and features a line-out signal to “obtain a clean, consistent sound level, and uses quality discrete components to provide a high signal-to-noise ratio, excellent stereo separation and extended frequency response.”

New iPod shuffle available worldwide this Friday

Apple today announced that its new second-generation iPod shuffle will be available in Apple retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers this Friday, November 3rd. Announced at Apple’s “Showtime” event last month, the new shuffle is nearly half the size of the original model, weighs half an ounce and features an all-new aluminum design with a built-in clip. The new shuffle, which Apple calls “the world’s smallest digital music player,” offers 1GB of storage, which holds up to 240 songs, and is priced at $79. We reported yesterday that pre-orders for the shuffle began shipping over the weekend.

Important: Buyers’ Guide Contest Entrants, Please Read

If you have submitted a contest entry to the iLounge Buyers’ Guide iPod Colors Contest, please read this notice and follow the directions carefully.

We received an incredible number of outstanding entries to this contest, but a number of entrants did not attach their e-mail addresses or names to their entries. iLounge’s editors have selected winners, however, we need to match names and e-mail addresses to the submitted photos.

As per the contest rules, please submit your high-resolution (1600x1200) images right away to [email protected] with your name and e-mail address attached. If your high-resolution image has not been received by 5:00PM PT tomorrow, October 31, 2006, you will be ineligible to win the grand or second-place prizes. Thank you!

Nicktoons Network offers new animated content on iTunes

Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon’s 24-hour animation network, has announced a new line-up of content on the iTunes Store. Nicktoons Network programming includes four episodes of Skyland, a new animated adventure series, which will be available on iTunes prior to the show’s network debut on November 18th. The network is also offering 28 compilations of approximately 180 short films from The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, “the world’s only multiplatform animation festival which showcases the diversity of independent cartoon filmmaking by animators from around the globe.”

iHome debuts ultra-portable iPod nano speaker system

iHome Audio has introduced a new ultra-portable speaker system for the first-generation iPod nano. The iHM1B features custom speakers designed for the nano, SRS TruBass technology, and provides access to all controls. The speaker system includes a plastic shield to protect the nano while in use, and also comes with a water-resistant carry case. “Sleek portable design allows you to take this item anywhere while protecting your nano, perfect for your home, office, car, or on the road,” says iHome. The iHM1B is priced at $30. Availability was not announced. Update: iHM1B is in stores such as Target now.

2G iPod shuffle now shipping

Meeting its self-imposed October deadline, Apple has begun shipping its new second-generation iPod shuffle. A number of customers who pre-ordered the tiny device, which was announced last month at a special event, began receiving shipping notices over the weekend. iLounge’s package tracking number shows that the shuffle is shipping directly from Apple’s manufacturing partners in China, and that it is expected to arrive before the end of the week. As of this morning, Apple retail stores still did not have any 2G shuffles in stock, though stores are expected to have them any day.

iTunes Store becomes gripe central for iPod discontents

Want to buy a video or game for your iPod from the iTunes Store? Apple’s the only distributor, but if you visit its popular online shop these days, one of the first things you’ll see is the equivalent of picket lines: numerous complaints from users regarding software compatibility and Store business practices, stacking up as negative ratings for various downloadable items. On other downloads, you’ll see ad hoc debate societies, with comments on the new iTunes offerings attracting more user attention than the downloads themselves.

imageAmongst the video gripes: numerous comments in the Store’s South Park Season 10 section angrily note that after paying in advance for the latest season of the popular Comedy Central cartoon, users then discovered that the Store had split the episodes into “Season 10A” and “Season 10B,” forcing subscribers to pay more to receive the second half of the season. “i am yet another person screwed out of the full season 10 that i bought months ago,” wrote one commenter to Season 10B, “now there are two season tens? i tunes conveniently left that out when they first offered the season pass. scammers.” Hundreds of users are registering opinions - “helpful” or “not helpful” - on the South Park comments, some disagreeing with characterizations of the season-splitting as “deceptive,” and others claiming that they have written to Apple to complain without receiving satisfactory responses. Additional details can be found by clicking on the link below.

Newly added: iLounge Column Shuffle

Today, we’ve reached another stage in our overhaul of the site’s left column: say hello to Column Shuffle. In August, we updated the column with new and more useful section headers, and added the ability to close and open sections of the site based on your preferences. Today, we’ve added a new feature that allows you to dynamically reorganize the sections in your preferred order, so that the topics you find most interesting can be closer to the top of the page every time you load iLounge. Just drag and release the headers - that’s it.

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Additionally, we’ve also tossed in a permanent link to the iPod Storage Calculator, announced last week, so you can figure out how to maximize your iPod’s music storage space - more tweaks and improvements are planned for the very near future. Enjoy!

iSkin protector for 2G iPod nano announced

iSkin today announced a new version of its iSkin protector for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The new iSkin features a dual-layer design that combines an impact-resistant, clear face and screen protector with a shock-absorbing silicone layer. The new nano iSkin protector is available in several colors and comes in the following 3-packs: Groove Pack - Ghost (white, glow-in-the-dark ), Eclipse (black), Arctic (clear); the Chill Pack - Viper (purple), Sonic (blue), Arctic (clear); and the Cruise Pack- Blush (pink), Blaze (red), Arctic (clear). Each 3-pack sells for $30.

Apple shares to continue trading on Nasdaq

The Nasdaq stock exchange will not de-list Apple, as long as the company files its overdue 10Q quarterly report within two months, according to a filing with the SEC. “On October 24, 2006, Apple received a written notification from the staff of The Nasdaq Stock Market stating that the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel has granted the Company’s request for continued listing on The Nasdaq Stock Market, subject to the condition that the Company shall file its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 1, 2006, and any required restatements, by December 29, 2006,” Apple said in a filing today. “If the company is unable to file the Form 10-Q by that date, it intends to seek an additional extension of time from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel.” Apple delayed filing its quarterly report as it evaluates how much it will need to restate earnings as a result of stock options dating irregularities.

Kenpo announces 15 new iPod-ready jackets

Kenpo has announced the release of 15 new iPod-ready jackets for men and women. The jackets feature an integrated ElekTex 5-button iPod control panel and an internal iPod pocket. “From earthly browns, cool grays and lustrous blacks to electric green, dazzling winter white and icy blue, Kenpo’s 2006 line-up of iPod enabled jackets come in a vibrant array of colors and new signature styles including: fluffy bubble jackets (some with cozy fur-lined hoods), sleek sprinter’s jackets, show-stopping snowboarding jackets and wind resisting windbreakers.” Prices range from $89 to $189.

XtremeMac debuts SuperClip for 2G iPod nano

XtremeMac today announced its new SuperClip for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The SuperClip is a low-profile, clear plastic belt clip attachment that snaps on to the back of the nano. It features a rotating clip, interior rubber pad, and notches for winding excess earbud cord. The SuperClip is priced at $20 and will be available next month.

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