In an in-depth interview with IGN, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and XNA Chief Architect J Allard said that he hopes to work more closely with competing companies such as Apple when it comes to making their devices compatible with the Xbox 360.
“I’m pro consumer on this one to the end,” says Allard. “Anybody in my company who thought this was a bad idea to plug in Sony or Apple devices into this thing, I ended that conversation pretty quickly. This is the right thing to do for consumers. Once they invest $500 in their digital media library, you can’t ask them to go buy a 360 music player and a 360 digital camera, and a 360…NO! They got their stuff. They’re going to want to plug it in. We’re going to be open here, guys. And if anything, I wish we could be more cooperative with the other companies that are doing those things. And if Sony or Apple were to call me up and say, ‘Hey, we want to some special things with the 360,’ I’m on it. I think it would not be in anybody’s interest to say, we’re not going to work with 360. It’s good for them, it’s good for us, and it’s good for consumers.”
eXopod has introduced a new machined aluminum case for the iPod nano and has provided iLounge with a first look. The $39.99 case, which is held together with strong magnets like the company’s iPod shuffle case, features a plastic screen protector, foam padding, access to the hold switch, and will accommodate 90 degree headphone jacks and oversize jacks. eXopod said the case may also come with a lanyard. The company said the case in the photo is was not yet anodized because it was the first case made, and that the anodized cases will look much better with no tool marks.
A recent consumer study by analytics firm Intelliseek found that iPod owners are significantly more likely to create and spread consumer-generated media on the web.
According to Intelliseek’s study: “iPod users are twice as likely to have authored a blog than consumers who do not own MP3 players, and they outpace other MP3 owners on creating and posting content online. iPod users are also 2.5 times as likely to exchange text messages on cellular phones (59% vs. 24% of non-owners), three times as likely to take photos with a camera phone (45% vs. 15%), and three times as likely to download video clips and movies to a personal computer (47% versus 16%). The representative study of 660 online consumers was conducted in August, 2005.”
The consumer behavior study also finds that “iPod users are product innovators, significantly more likely to own digital video recorders, personal digital assistants, digital cameras, laptop computers and cell phones than non-iPod owners. They tend to link to the Internet via broadband and wireless connections, and are more likely than others to skip past or filter advertisements, especially online, a behavior that may be linked as much to high usability/interface expectations as it is to a dislike of advertising.”
Difusi has announced two new leather cases for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod. The videoFlip and videoValet are both made from top-grain leather and feature reinforced exterior stitching, and access to all ports and controls. Both cases are available in black, white and red leather, and come with a belt loop, a removable swivel belt clip, and an adjustable lanyard strap. Difusi said the cases will ship the second week of November for $29.95 each.
Central Park Media has announced that it is now providing anime content for the new video-capable fifth-generation iPod.
“Visitors can now download the first episode of Central Park Media’s upcoming Armored Trooper VOTOMS as well as view the trailer for the shockingly horrific Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek, scheduled to premiere on a special pre-Halloween midnight broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, Saturday, October 29, and Hammerboy, winner of numerous prestigious awards on both sides of the Pacific.”
Central Park Media said it will soon be making available more full episodes and trailers to best-selling CPM anime including Descendants of Darkness, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Shadow Star Narutaru, among hundreds of other titles.
ColorWare plans to offer the new fifth-generation iPod in a rainbow of custom painted colors with a scratch resistant coating. The company says the 5G iPods will be available in 23 standard colors and 460 color combinations with its “scratch resistant X2 coating.” ColorWare will sell the 30GB iPod for $365 and the 60GB model for $465. ColorWare currently sells custom painted iPod nanos and fourth-generation iPods, and also offers a service that lets you send in your iPod to have it colored in the hue of your choice for $64.
CopyPod Photo is a new Windows application that enables users to backup, recover and share photos on your iPod. CopyPod Photo features: full backup of your photos; saves/restores your photo albums; the ability to share photos; a drag and drop interface; and photo slideshow features. The software sells for $14.90.
American Technology Research analyst Albert Lin says that Motorola’s ROKR phone may have flopped. He estimates that as many as six times more customers are returning the phones than is normal for new handsets.
Stanford University has launched Stanford on iTunes, a custom section of the iTunes Music Store that offers Stanford-related audio content, including “downloads of faculty lectures, campus events, performances, book readings, music recorded by Stanford students and even podcasts of Stanford football games.”
The official Yahoo! Search blog has instructions on how to use the Media RSS feed from the company’s Web Services API to “easily pull in Yahoo! Video Search results as a video podcast with iTunes 6, and from there you can move them to your video iPod.”
PC Magazine gives the new iPod five out of five stars: “Video looks excellent on the new model’s 2.5-inch screen, and the thinner profile—not to mention new audio capabilities such as high-quality stereo recording—makes it more versatile than previous generations. Consider that you can now get the 30GB model for the same price as the previous-generation 20GB model, and you have a pretty impressive product.”
Slappa has announced new iPod cases featuring officially-licensed NBA team graphics. The company’s NBA cases—which include the ShockShell and SlipScreen for the iPod mini and the Gripper for the iPod shuffle—will be available in styles for all 30 NBA teams and feature team colors and logos. According to Slappa, the cases will be available the first week of November. Pricing was not announced.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm representing plaintiffs in the iPod nano lawsuit against Apple, has sent out a press release announcing its claims. As reported last week, Jason Tomczak and other consumers have filed a class action suit over the iPod nano’s susceptibility to scratches.
Steve Berman, lead attorney in the case, says that Apple chose to ignore a design problem with the nano before it was released and has since downplayed the complaints from owners. “We intend to prove that in an effort to rush the iPod nano to the market, Apple ignored obvious defects in the design and later tried to cover up negative responses received from consumers,” says Berman. “We seek to recover money lost in purchasing this product as well as the $25 fee Apple has chosen to impose on those who have returned their product after it became unusable.”
The press release also attempts to describe the alleged defect with the nano. “Previous versions of the iPod separated the screen and controls from the case and was covered with a thick film of resin. In designing the nano, Apple reconstructed the housing into a seamless front where the screen and controls reside directly under a much less durable film of resin allowing irreparable damage to occur.”
The announcement goes on to say that “Apple knew the nano was defective, but chose to go forward with the release and pass the cost of replacing the defective device on to class members. The suit also claims that instead of admitting to the flaw after widespread complaint, Apple concealed the defect and advised class members to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively.”
In this week’s dip into the iLounge Discussion Forums: now that Apple have added video playback to the newest member of the iPod family, you’ll want somewhere to discuss it. So why not pay a visit to the latest addition to the iLounge forums: the TV & Videos Forum. We’re certain that as more readers receive their 5G iPods there’ll be plenty of discussion here.
With the arrival of the new 5G iPod we have completely waved goodbye to the iPod “box” - the origami-like experience of unfolding the “box” is something that new iPod users will miss. Some readers are discussing its passing in “R.I.P. iPod Box….” Will you miss its cubic charm?
Many readers will still feel that the iPod is first and foremost a music player, and will perhaps have no interest in the video playback ability of the 5G. If you are one of these users, then visit the Music Recommendation forum for some new sounds, as suggested by other iLounge readers.
First it was there, then it was gone. But now it is back again - the Eminem Ad has returned. Some readers discuss the merits of choosing Eminem to star in the 5G ad campaign. How do you feel? Should Apple have retained the anonymous dancing silhouettes or is it time to move on?
Speck Products today announced six new cases as part of its accessory lineup for the recently introduced fifth-generation iPod. The company said the cases, which are similar to Speck’s new iPod nano cases, have been “streamlined and tailored towards iPods with video capabilities.” Speck said the cases will begin shipping in mid to late November.
The SkinTight rubberized skins come in a 3-pack (black, white and blue) for $29.95. Made of shock-absorbing Kraton, the skins are available for both the 30GB and 60GB iPod and feature screen protectors.
These hard plastic cases offer a “seductive look” for your iPod and are available in three translucent colors (clear, black and red). They’re priced at $29.95 for a 3-pack.
The ToughSkin ruggedized iPod case features aggressive design and protection. Available in clear or black for $34.95, the ToughSkin includes a belt clip and screen protector.
The SkinTight armband combines a “stylish, sporty look” with a soft comfort fit adjustable strap and earphone cord clips. The armband includes a SkinTight skin with screen protector. It sells for $34.95.
iPod Cloud FunSkin
This “fluffy cloud of protection and fun” fits both 30GB and 60GB iPods, and features a screen protector and removable belt clip. It’s priced at $34.95.
iPod Grass FunSkin
Speck’s other unique case has a green grass-themed design, screen protector and belt clip. The case fits both 30GB and 60GB iPods, and is also available in black. It sells for $34.95.
Now available is the sixteenth iLounge podcast, co-hosted by our Bob Levens and Jeremy Horwitz. This week’s podcast discusses the lawsuit over iPod nano scratching, brand new iPod 5G and nano cases and accessories, the impressive Vaja iVod Crystal, and of course our review of the new 5G iPods.
Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.
We’re happy to announce that in addition to the iLounge Mac OS X Dashboard widget, we now offer a downloadable widget for users of the cross-platform Konfabulator software. Like the Dashboard widget, the free Konfabulator widget provides quick access to iLounge news stories, reviews, and FAQs. The widget also lets you easily search the site or our forums.
Thanks to a report by an iLounge reader, additional details on internal differences between the 30GB and 60GB iPods have been discovered. As initially shown through a diagnostic test of the new iPod, the 60GB model actually contains twice as much SDRAM - 64 Megabytes rather than 32 Megabytes. SDRAM typically serves as a buffer for audio and video clips, and additional memory can reduce the number of times an iPod’s hard drive is accessed, thereby further improving battery life.
Like the 32MB component, the 64MB chip is a Samsung part, here labeled K4M51163PC. Previous teardowns of the new iPod have not revealed this difference in components, as they have focused on the less expensive 30GB iPod.
In combination with the 60GB’s new hard drive, which is shown to be a Toshiba MK6008GAH, and the unit’s battery (additional pictures of which are shown at Read More below), the additional memory helps the larger iPod to provide nearly six hours of tested audio run time over the smaller one, over two more hours of photo slideshows, more than one hour of additional on-screen video and over two extra hours of on-TV video. As noted in our comprehensive review, this is the first time that component differences between full-sized iPods have been used to create battery performance distinctions between models.
CNET News.com reports: “Pinup site Suicide Girls said Thursday that it had launched a new, free feature: downloadable videos of interviews and photo shots with its models, all configured for the video-capable iPod. At least one unambiguously adult site, Povpod.com, has also released content for the device.”
Yahoo employee and blogger Russell Beattie says that the video-enabled fifth-generation iPod will create a new market for portable how-to videos.
Duncan Martell of Reuters has written an article that poses the question of whether rising iPod sales could hurt Apple’s margins. “Apple has a runaway hit with its market-leading iPod digital music player, but could the device’s success actually hurt the company’s profitability over the longer haul?”
Yahoo! Music Unlimited has raised the price of subscription music service from $4.99/6.99 annual/monthly to $9.99/11.99, reports Engadget.
Tunewear has announced the Prie shuffle, a new leather lanyard case for the iPod shuffle. The case features a removalbe lanyard and USB cap and provides access to the control pad and slider switch. The Prie shuffle is currently shipping for $29.95.
“Prie shuffle cases provide excellent protection for your iPod shuffle against dirt and scratches, yet still allow complete access to the iPod shuffle’s controls pad, slider and earphone jack,” says Tunewear. “There is also a removable USB cap cover. Opening the USB cap cover will allow you to connect the USB connecter for charging and syncing with your computer.”
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the iPod nano’s tendency to get scratched easily. The complaint was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose on behalf of nano owner Jason Tomczak and others who have purchased the device.
The lawsuit alleges that nano screens “scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes… and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages.
Market research firm iSuppli has taken apart the new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod and concluded that the 30GB device, which sells for $299, costs Apple $151 to manufacture—a profit margin of around 50%. “This is in line with what we have seen with other iPod products from Apple,” says iSuppli analyst Chris Crotty.
Like a similar report earlier this week, which estimated that the 30GB model cost $143.50 to build, the researcher documents the suppliers of components in the new iPod. iSuppli notes that Broadcom makes the video chip, while PortalPlayer and Wolfson Microelectronics produce the audio chips.
“In this case, the Broadcom chip is just for video and the PortalPlayer chip is just for audio,” Crotty says. “Right now, Apple is keeping the functions separate. Over time, you’ll see more chips that do everything. But now it’s probably more cost effective for Apple to do it with separate chips.”
Griffin Technology today announced a new iTrip FM transmitter for Apple’s iPod nano. The latest iTrip uses the nano’s LCD display for on-screen tuning, and features a new “sled” design that wraps around the bottom and back of the nano, and securely connects via the iPod’s dock and headphone connectors. The nano slides into the device and stays attached using “patented micro grip technology.”
“Griffin’s SmartDisplay technology seamlessly integrates all functions and features with the iPod nano,” explains the company. “iTrip information is displayed on the best screen in the industry: the gorgeous iPod nano screen. This innovative approach to displaying station and set up information is a first and only available with Griffin products. One touch navigation puts all iTrip functions at your fingertip. This also makes iTrip for iPod nano the easiest-to-operate FM transmitter, ever.”
The new iTrip also features SmartSound volume control, selectable mono or stereo modes, stores the last 3 used station presets and supports US, International and Japanese tuning modes. The iTrip for iPod nano’s introductory price is $49.99 and is expected to ship in November.