Apple has quietly released iTunes 6.0.2 and QuickTime 7.0.4. According the brief release notes accompanying the updates, iTunes 6.0.2 includes “stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.1,” while QuickTime 7.0.4 delivers “numerous bug fixes, support for iLife ‘06, and H.264 performance improvements.”
In addition to new Intel-based Macs, Apple today introduced the iPod Radio Remote, a tiny new device that combines a wired remote control with FM radio capabilities for the iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod.
The remote uses the iPod’s screen to display station and song information for stations that support the Radio Data System (RDS). It will comes with a pair of Apple earbuds with a shorter cable and will begin shipping immediately for $49.
Apple says the iPod Radio Remote is “a convenient way for music lovers to skip tracks and adjust the volume of their iPod even when it’s in a pocket or backpack, and listen to FM radio stations while displaying station and song information on their iPod screen.”
The $99 connection kit includes an iPod Universal Dock, an Apple Remote, an iPod AV Cable, an iPod Dock Connector to USB 2.0 Cable and an iPod USB Power Adapter and is available now. The new iPod nano In-Ear Lanyard Headphones combine the original iPod nano Lanyard and the Apple In-Ear earphones. They’re also available immediately for $49.
In a rare move ahead of next week’s expected earnings report, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed the company’s holiday financial numbers during his speech at Macworld Expo. Jobs reported that Apple had its highest revenues ever—$5.7 billion. “One for the records,” said Jobs. In addition, the Apple boss noted that Apple retail stores had their first $1 billion revenue quarter.
During his keynote speech at Macworld Expo this morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that more than 14 million iPods were sold during the holiday quarter, or more than 100 every minute. Jobs also said that over 850 million songs have now been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, and that iTunes holds an 83% share of the digital music market. In addition, Jobs said that 8 million videos have been sold since they were added to iTunes in October.
Apple today also introduced iLife ‘06, the latest update to its suite of digital lifestyle applications. Several of the included applications offer enhancements for iPod users. iMovie ‘06, along with its improved effects, titles, and animated themes, also includes a one press export to video iPod function for the fifth-generation iPod.
GarageBand, the suite’s audio editing tool, now features robust solutions for creating podcasts. Voices can easily be recorded, and radio-style sound effects and music jingles are included with the application, as well as support for adding chapter artwork and URL links. Talk show Podcasts can now be done by interviewing one or more guests simultaneously in iChat AV and recording directly into GarageBand 3. Finally, podcasts can be posted on .Mac and submitted to iTunes using the new iWeb application.
iLife ‘06 is available now and sells for $79.
Keyspan has announced two new iPod accessories, the A/V Dock for iPod and the A/V Remote for iPod. The two accessories are meant to work together, as the Dock features Apple’s Universal Dock design, has S-Video and line out, and comes with a USB AC power adapter. The optional A/V Remote features an IR connection and a 16 function design. Both the A/V Dock and A/V Remote will be available in both black and white models in February; the A/V Dock will sell for $49.00, while the remote will cost $29.00.
Memeo has announced Memeo iExtend, an iPod-specific version of its backup solution AutoBackup. It allows iPod users to access content such as e-mail, contacts, calendars, PowerPoint presentations, and RSS feeds on the go, and also allows Windows users to configure folders with their iPod so they have access to their most up-to-date files and content. Memeo iExtend for iPod is available now and sells for $29.00.
DLO has introduced its new HomeDock Deluxe, the first iPod docking system to allow users to navigate their songs, artists and playlists on their TV screens. The new ‘Dock comes complete with an AC adapter that also charges the iPod while docked, a six-foot AV cable for connecting HomeDock to a TV, and an 18-button IR remote. HomeDock Deluxe displays song info and time at the top of the screen, while allowing access to more navigation at the bottom. It also displays videos and slideshows from capable iPods, and can display a built-in screensaver to prevent burn-in should the screen sit idle for too long. The DLO HomeDock Deluxe will be available in March, is compatible will all dock connector iPods, and will sell for $149.99.
Griffin Technology today announced the TuneFlex, a car dock and charger for the iPod nano. The TuneFlex features a flexible steel neck and rotating cradle, and plugs into your car’s 12-volt accessory outlet to power and charge your iPod. It also sports a 1/8” stereo line-out jack for cassette adapters or audio cables, a blue power status light, a low-high audio output switch, and a pass-through dock connector for use with accessories like Griffin’s iTrip FM transmitter. The TuneFlex is available now for $40.
XtremeMac today announced the MicroMemo, a new voice recorder for the fifth-generation iPod. The $80 device utilizes the new iPod’s high-fidelity audio input capabilities to record 16-bit audio via an included, removable microphone or any compatible microphone with a 3.5 mm plug. The MicroMemo features a flexible neck, a built-in speaker for instant playback, and a one-touch recording feature. It connects via the dock connector port and is powered by the iPod’s internal battery. The MicroMemo is scheduled to begin shipping in late spring 2006.
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.
Harman 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 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.
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.
The 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
The 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.
The 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.
The 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.