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FIB2.0: Sonic Impact K1, 2 Monitor i-decks, Atlantic E GO debut

As just several of the brand-new iPod accessories debuted in The Free iPod Book 2.0, speaker makers Sonic Impact, Monitor Audio, and Atlantic have released first photos and details on the next generation of iPod audio systems.

Sonic Impact’s K1 (tentative name, $300) is the first combination video screen and speaker dock for the iPod, designed to add a large 7” monitor for viewing while you travel.

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Monitor Audio’s i-deckcompact ($200) and i-deckplus ($300) take the company’s successful i-deck (iLounge rating: A-) formula to the next level. i-deckcompact is an all-in-one, less expensive version of i-deck, while i-deckplus is a three-piece, enhanced i-deck with integrated radio and on-screen RDS display.

imageAtlantic’s E GO ($200) is the iPod’s first totally water-submersible speaker system. Carried with a shoulder strap or mounted on its included stand, you can take it to the pool or beach and even fully dunk it in the water without fear of speaker or iPod damage.

For bigger photos and additional details, download The Free iPod Book 2.0, and turn to pages 8 and 9.

Belkin announces TuneStage for iPod nano

Belkin has announced the TuneStage for iPod nano, a new version of its device that allows you to stream music from your iPod to your home stereo wirelessly via Bluetooth. The new TuneStage, which was first shown in iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.0, consists of a transmitter that connects to the nano’s dock connector and a receiver wired to your system. The TuneStage for iPod nano can transmit from up to 33 feet away from your stereo, connects via RCA or 3.5mm outputs, and does not require direct line-of-sight for control. The new TuneStage will ship in July for $180.

XtremeMac MicroMemo gets ship date, lower price

XtremeMac told iLounge today that its MicroMemo iPod audio recorder will begin shipping in early July for $60. The MicroMemo, which was announced in January for $80, features an omnidirectional microphone and a built-in speaker for instant playback. The device connects to a fifth-generation iPod’s dock connector, and records 16-bit audio in high or low quality formats. The MicroMemo’s microphone is detachable from its 3.5mm port, which can be used as a line-in port for use with external stereo microphones or other audio devices. XtremeMac is now taking pre-orders for MicroMemo via its website.

Industry heavyweights team to take on iPod in Japan

Microsoft, Toshiba, Victor, NTT DoCoMo and five other companies have teamed up to offer digital music and video services and media players to compete with Apple in Japan. Bloomberg News reports: “The companies will develop a portable music and video player for the Japanese market, according to a Microsoft press release dated yesterday. The device would challenge Apple’s iPod… Microsoft will develop the software while consumer electronics makers Toshiba and Victor, will make the portable device. DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, last month said it would offer a handset that is compatible with Microsoft’s software, and that lets customers transfer Windows format music files from their personal computers to their cell-phones.”

iPresent It for Windows released

ZappTek has announced the release of iPresent It for Windows. Like the original Mac OS X version, iPresent It for Windows allows you to convert PowerPoint or PDF presentations into slideshows that are synced with your iPod. The software sells for $18. “Never carry a laptop into a presentation again; it’s all on your iPod,” says the developer.

Website uses iPod as ‘modern message in a bottle’

60gbroundtheworld.com is a new project that will send a 60GB iPod across the globe, from person to person, to collect random content until it finally returns back to the site’s owner. “60gbroundtheworld.com is a project, using a black iPod as a modern kind of a message in a bottle,” the site explains. “This iPod collects exciting content (photos, voice-messages, etc.) throughout his journey. Meanwhile, there’s a white iPod everbody’s invited to fill with some content via internet. As soon as both iPods are full, 60gbroundtheworld.com will present the iPods’ content doing a round-the-world-tour!” [via TUAW]

Belkin TuneTalk Stereo shipping this month

Belkin today announced that its new TuneTalk Stereo will be available in North America in mid-June, with launches in Asia, Europe, and Australia to follow closely. The $70 device, first shown at Macworld Expo in January, lets you record audio in CD-quality stereo sound. It features two high-quality omnidirectional microphones, an auxiliary 3.5mm stereo-input for an external microphone, and comes with a positionable stand. The TuneTalk Stereo also has an adjustable gain control switch, an extended dock connector spacer for using the device with a protective case, and is available in both black and white colors.

Download Now: The Free iPod Book 2.0

Blog The Book XL Contest
It’s here: The Free iPod Book 2.0, by iLounge.com! Weighing in at 194 pages, this revised and expanded second edition of our popular Book is your one-stop answer to every major iPod and iTunes question… plus much, much more. Inside, you’ll find 20 exclusive sneak peeks at new iPod accessories from Atlantic, Belkin, Griffin, Monitor Audio, Oakley, Power Support, Sonic Impact, Targus, v-moda, and others, ratings of over 900 accessories and iPods, plus extraordinary guides to All Things iPod, All Things iTunes, and Beyond. Click the link below for the details and the download links. Two versions - printable and widescreen - are available; please download only one. We hope you enjoy!

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Mix: Cars contest, World Class awards, Nike/Apple, Pirate Bay

Disney/Pixar has launched the “Radiator Springs iPod Sweepstakes” to promote the release of the animated film “Cars.” Four custom engraved “Cars” iPods will be given away.

PC World today announced the winners of its annual “World Class Awards.” Apple won five for the fifth-generation iPod, iPod nano, iTunes, Boot Camp, and Mac mini. Apple was also selected as the “Hardware Company of the Year.”

Dr. Bott offers i-doll case collection

Dr. Bott has announced the i-doll line of fashion iPod cases. “Made from the finest, most luxurious materials, i-doll cases are hand-stitched by French leather craftsmen who pay close attention to detail and tradition,” says the store. The cases come in more than 20 different styles—from “classic luxury leathers to the most modern and original materials like genuine and metallicized python skin, glossy cotton, fluffy fur.” Each case features a metallic spine, attachment ring and plexiglas stand. Available for the fifth-generation iPod, iPod nano and iPod shuffle, the i-doll cases retail from $28 to $50.

NYPD launches etching program to track stolen iPods

In response to the increase of iPod thefts on the subways, the New York City police department has launched a new program to register and track iPods. The New York Daily News reports: “Under the iPod etching program, cops are using invisible ink to mark the mini-music machines—as well as cell phones, BlackBerries and other electronic devices—so they can return lost or stolen items to their rightful owners and connect with potential prosecution witnesses.” The police are offering the free iPod service at Transit Bureau offices, and are setting up tables throughout the subway system where devices can be marked. About 2,100 devices have been registered in the last three months. [via Infinite Loop]

SigmaTel to keep iPod shuffle socket, Samsung ‘punished’

SigmaTel will likely remain the chip supplier for Apple’s iPod shuffle, after a Samsung executive revealed publicly that the company had won a contract to supply chips in future iPods. According to Wedbush Morgan Securities, Apple may be “punishing” Samsung for the leaked news by keeping SigmaTel as the iPod shuffle chip supplier. “It is not surprising that Apple would ‘punish’ Samsung for commenting publicly about its position within the iPod Nano follow-on, and we believe that SigmaTel is likely to be the resulting beneficiary of the Samsung executive’s gaffe,” wrote analyst Craig Berger in a report Tuesday.

iGlaze faceplate now available for 5G iPods

Moshi has introduced a new version of its iGlaze protector for fifth-generation iPods. The ultra-thin stick-on faceplate provides scratch protection for the front casing, screen and click wheel of iPods, and can be repositioned and removed without leaving residue, according to the company. The new 5G iGlaze ($30) comes in four basic colors—pink, white, silver and black/red—and will soon be available in a selection of World Cup styles ($35).

Apple’s included iPod sleeves go from gray to black

Apple has quietly changed the color of the protective sleeves included with the iPod nano from gray to black. The sleeves first started shipping with the nano in November 2005 after complaints of widespread scratching and a subsequent lawsuit. A nearly identical sleeve came with the fifth-generation iPod from day one. It can be assumed that the fifth-generation iPod sleeves will also now come in black instead of gray. Thanks to iLounger Mikael Langfos for the photo.

SpeckTone Retro iPod speaker system debuts

Speck Products has announced the SpeckTone Retro, a new iPod speaker system with vintage styling. “SpeckTone Retro looks like nothing you’ve seen for the iPod. The clean lines and nostalgic elegance of 1950’s style makes a statement without replicating or competing with the modern, sleek look of the iPod itself,” says Speck. The $150 speaker system features a top-mounting iPod dock, 28 watt output, a 4” subwoofer and two 3” drivers, and support for 4G and 5G iPods, the iPod nano and iPod mini. SpeckTone Retro’s all-wood speaker cabinet is available in three high-gloss lacquered finishes—green/brown, black/black and white/silver. It will begin shipping in June.

Apple planning iPod gaming system?

GameSpot speculates that Apple may be getting into portable gaming. “This week, GameSpot learned that there may be more to the Apple-game rumors than mere Mac-mad daydreams,” gaming publication reports. “A tech-sector recruiter contacted the GS NewsDesk with an interesting story of a prospective hire that got away. Recently, when said recruiter made an offer to a software engineer, the engineer turned the offer down—saying he was being ‘heavily recruited by Apple,’” GameSpot reports. “According to the engineer, an Apple hiring manager named Mike Lampell is heading up a group inside Apple’s storied iTunes division. The group is specifically hiring for ‘C/C++ coders with a ‘gaming background.’ The engineer says the project in question was described to him as ‘super secret,’ and Apple would not even tell him the exact nature of it until he had been hired and signed a non-disclosure agreement.”

Apple loses court bid to unmask sources

A California appeals court has struck down Apple’s bid to identify the sources of leaked product details that appeared on Apple enthusiast websites, ruling that online reporters are protected the same as traditional journalists. “In no relevant respect do they appear to differ from a reporter or editor for a traditional business-oriented periodical who solicits or otherwise comes into possession of confidential internal information about a company,” Justice Conrad Rushing of the 6th District Court of Appeal wrote in a unanimous 69-page ruling. “We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes ‘legitimate journalism,” he wrote. “The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here.”

Vaja offers World Cup iPod cases

Vaja has announced a new collection of its iVod cases in colors matching the countries/teams competing in this year’s World Cup soccer tournament. Like the original iVod, the World Cup edition cases feature a padded interior, screen and click wheel protectors, and access to all controls and ports. The World Cup cases are priced at $90 each.

Podstar Diablo cases for 5G iPods announced

Boomwave Products has announced a new line of Podstar Diablo cases for fifth-generation iPods. Like the company’s Diablo iPod nano cases (iLounge Rating: A-), the $30 silicone cases come in four devil-inspired designs in black or red. “A range of devilishly good-looking body casings for your stylish-but-sterile iPod Video. Available in 8 dastardly designs, each of these first-generation Podstars come with a unique personality that just screams with a melancholic but sensual anti-hero vibe,” says Boomwave. “Each Podstar character includes an aluminum hook, removable screen protector and also an individual Podstar ID.”

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Apple’s Steve Jobs on innovation, iPod releases

In an interview with Brian Williams for NBC News, Apple CEO Steve Jobs commented on innovation and the speed in which new iPods are being released. “As the technology keeps moving and lets us do more and more, we want to bring customers with that, not just leave them using stuff that they could do five years ago,” Jobs said. “You keep on innovating, you keep on making better stuff. And if you always want the latest and greatest, then you have to buy a new iPod at least once a year.” When asked by Williams where he sees himself in the American family of thinkers and inventors, Jobs said: “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

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