The MP3 player market is set to double between 2005 and 2009, DisplaySearch analyst John Jacobs said yesterday. He expects the global MP3 player market to exceed 50 million units this year.
Coldplay’s new album, X&Y, topped the sales charts in the U.S. and also did well in digital format. Approximately 8% (about 62,000) of the nearly 740,000 copies sold in the first week were downloaded from online stores. “Most of those sales were at Apple’s market-dominating iTunes Music Store, which had been accepting orders for the album for a month,” reports the LA Times.
A British sociologist says that iPod owners “love being able to shut out the world’s distractions, hate their cellphones and would prefer not to talk to anyone.”
The New York Public Library has excluded iPod users from access to its new audio eBook collection because of its choice to use a Windows Media-based technology for the audio DRM.
Pacific Rim Technologies has kicked off a June sales promotion just for iLounge readers. The discounts will last until June 30, 2005.
You can get $5 off the company’s Cube Speakers (coupon code: IPODLOUNGE-CUBE), $10 off its Stereo Kit bundle (IPODLOUNGE-REMOTE), $2 off its aluminum hard case (IPODLOUNGE-4G), and $4 off its iShield 1 or iShield 2 (IPODLOUNGE-3G).
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has joined the iPod generation. UK tabloid The Sun reported Friday that she is now the owner of a silver 6GB iPod mini, and that Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne, was behind the move.
“The Queen loves music and was impressed by how small and handy the iPod is,” a royal insider told the paper. “Obviously it is quite complicated to download songs, but I’m sure one of the courtiers will do it for her. Prince Andrew will probably also help out because he’s a real dab hand with gadgets.”
The Cableyoyo is a cord management product for devices such as the iPod. The product’s ultra-thin plastic case conceals up to 6-feet of coiled wire. It also comes with a small adhesive attachment that lets you mount the Cableyoyo to virtually any surface. The Cableyoyo, which is available in white, black and silver, began shipping earlier this month for $4.99.
“Our increasing dependence on digital products is creating a persistent and growing nuisance: a mounting pile of tangled cords,” says the company behind the product. “Even wireless products require electric chargers. The Cableyoyo brings order to that chaos, cleans up your desktop, stores your wires neatly, and makes travel with cables hassle-free.”
Make magazine reports that podcast download logs are showing a new user agent for iTunes 4.9, hinting that Apple is actively testing the new version internally.
Kodawarisan has posted photos of its teardown of the Luxpro Super Tangent.
Screenshots of Odeo’s upcoming podcasting service have been posted on flickr.
Meanwhile, another flickr user has posted a rather strange photo of her “iPod Family”—a dad (1G) and mom (iPod mini) looking over their baby (iPod shuffle).
CNET News.com has posted the complete transcript from Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which took place earlier this month in San Francisco.
Prosoft Engineering has announced the release of Pod Genius ($59), new Mac OS X software that helps you maintain, manage, and optimize Your iPod, according to the developer.
“Pod Genius is the only comprehensive software utility geared specifically toward iPod users. Recover lost or damaged music, repair corrupted data structures, backup your iPod to an exact copy, permanently delete unwanted files, or optimize the file layout of your music. You’ve invested a lot into your iPod and music, with Pod Genius, you can be sure your iPod will faithfully perform and your investment is well-protected.”
Belkin has confirmed to iLounge that a manufacturing defect affects a portion of its Power Pack units for the iPod shuffle. The company said that while the Power Pack is providing the appropriate voltage, a connected iPod shuffle may not charge with either the AC or DC adapters even after hours of charging.
“This defect was first reported to us and verified on June 14th as a result of a customer support call,” Brian VanHarlingen, Belkin’s Senior Technology Manager, told iLounge. “Upon identification of the potential issue, we immediately ceased all shipments of the product from our distribution centers.”
VanHarlingen said Belkin is currently looking into the cause of the defect and how the issue slipped through the cracks. “We are currently conducting detailed testing to determine the cause of the problem and the extent of the problem (what percentage of products, and which production lots, are affected). We are also determining how our usually very thorough manufacturing QA processes allowed them to be produced.”
VanHarlingen said that customers who purchased a Power Pack and are experiencing the charging issue should either return the product to where it was purchased, or contact Belkin directly at 800-2-BELKIN x2064 to arrange a return. “We will continue to offer updates as we determine the cause of this defect,” he said. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this causes for customers who have purchased the product.”
Update: As expected, VanHarlingen has provided iLounge with an update on the defect:
“We have confirmed that the affected Belkin Power Pack for iPod shuffle products properly charge the iPod shuffle as long as the iPod shuffle is turned on—in either the shuffle or play-in-order modes,” he said. “However, the iPod shuffle will not charge using the Power Pack if the iPod shuffle is turned completely off.”
“We are currently revising the design to ensure that the product will consistently charge the iPod shuffle in either circumstance. Once we have the revised product in stock, we will exchange units for customers experiencing this issue, and, as previously mentioned, we are honoring any requests for refunds.”
Speck Products continues its onslaught of new iPod accessories with the Portfolio Skin, a new silicone case that opens up like a book and closes with a strap made out of the same material. The case, which offers all-around protection, is available in clear or pink and each comes with four different colored straps.
Speck says the Portfolio Skin will work with 20, 30, 40 and 60GB 4G iPod and iPod photo models. It will be available from the company’s online store early tomorrow morning for $34.95. Click below for our exclusive photos.
Morgan Stanley analyst Rebecca Runkle said today that Apple’s pact with Wal-Mart may be broader than some realize.
“While we don’t believe Apple iPod availability at Wal-Mart is completely new news, we do think the partnership is broader than people think, in transition and set to expand in the near-term,” Runkle said in a research note to clients.
Runkle said Apple and the retail giant have expanded their initial test rollout in the last few months. Confirming the report, iLounge readers in Florida, Indiana, Texas and elsewhere have noted in recent weeks that they’ve seen various iPod models at their local Wal-Mart stores. Select Wal-Mart locations are carrying the 20GB iPod, the iPod mini, and the iPod shuffle, along with HP-branded versions.
Runkle estimates that sales of iPods at Wal-Mart locations could boost sales by 100,000 units and add $20 million in revenue each quarter. “We view the growing Wal-Mart relationship as a positive—a way to expand the brand to the mainstream and additive to the bottom-line,” she said.
Apple and the Sundance Channel have signed a deal to make content from the cable network available exclusively as podcast downloads from the iTunes Music Store.
“The partnership with Sundance gives iTunes one of its first exclusive podcast partners and inches Apple’s iTunes operations—originally created as a music distribution hub—toward becoming a broader, radio-like media entity,” reports AdAge (free registration required).
One of the first podcasts from the Sundance Channel will be “The Al Franken Show,” which features the Air America talk show host.
Battery Technology, Inc. (BTI) today announced that it will ship a number of its new iPod products early next month.
Among the new gear is the Mpod 3, a new battery-powered FM transmitter for the iPod shuffle ($29.95); a 20-hour rechargeable battery for the iPod and iPod mini ($69.95); an international AC power adapter for the iPod, which includes US, UK, EU plugs ($29.95); a headphone splitter with dual volume control ($14.95); and a belt clip and neck strap set for the iPod and iPod mini ($29.95).
The company also said that its Tunestir iPod FM receiver/transmitter and remote ($69.95), which was expected to ship in April, would also be available early next month.
Ignitek has announced three new iPod speaker systems that are set to be released next month.
The first, called iCarrier, is a 3-way, floor-standing speaker system with a powered woofer and variable bass control. The top docking mechanism will accommodate both the iPod and iPod mini, and the unit will ship with a remote control. Ignitek said it will retail for $249.99.
The second speaker system is the iCruiser. Like many other iPod desktop systems, it is an all-in-one unit that features an iPod cradle in the center with two flanking speakers. The iCruiser ships with a remote control and audio-in for other music players. The iCruiser will sell for $129.99.
The iDeck, the third system offered from Ignitek, is built specifically for the iPod shuffle. It is a 2-Way speaker system in a compact, portable design. The battery-powered system works with an optional car charger. The iDeck is priced at $79.99.
iPod accessory maker Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced that F. Garey De Angelis has been appointed Vice President of Product Development. In his new role with DLO, De Angelis will be responsible for “taking new products from the idea stage into successful production.”
De Angelis previously held product, software, and corporate executive roles at Apple in the Far East and at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. He also held technical management positions at DuPont, was a partner in a start-up consulting business, and served as CEO for video communications company Motion Media Technology.
Stanford University has posted the transcript of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ commencement speech. Jobs offers three very interesting and heartfelt stories from his life.
iLounger Francis Real has posted details on how to put a faceplate from a U2 iPod onto a 30GB iPod photo.
iPod Soufflé is a site that shows you how many iPod shuffles you could get in exchange for certain items or dollar amounts such as Donald Trump’s net worth, a year’s supply of Twinkies, or the US national debt. The site also lets visitors add their own. [via Airbag]
Apple recently applied for several new trademarks, including one for “iPod Socks.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has tapped Senior Vice President Robbie Bach to revamp the company’s digital music offerings in an effort to keep up with Apple. Bach, who is also the head of Microsoft’s Xbox unit, has been called a “rising star” in the tech industry for his work on the video game console.
“Bach is expected to be given the authority to push for a range of changes, such as setting up a team focused solely on digital music, reorganizing product groups, or acquiring companies,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. “One immediate mission for him will be to make Microsoft’s new Xbox a hub for handling digital music.”
Ballmer reportedly assigned Bach to the new music role after an executive retreat in which his team privately showed the new Xbox 360 and marketing plans. “Later, executives talked about how they might employ lessons learned from Mr. Bach’s group,” the paper notes. “The retreat included a brief analysis of rival Apple’s music strategy.”
Microsoft insiders say that Bach plans to work more closely with certain media player makers to aid them in building better devices. “It would be an extension of the PlaysForSure branding program Microsoft started last year that subjects partners’ music players and services to a battery of tests to assure they will work smoothly with music services,” the paper reports.
Apple is the fastest growing brand in the world, according to marketing consultants Vivaldi Partners and Forbes. Apple has increase its brand value by 38% in the last four years thanks to the popularity of the iPod.
Apple reportedly said South Korean citizens will not be eligible for compensation in its iPod battery settlement.
iPods have “become the tool of choice for some fraudsters who use them to download vast quantities of corporate information either to sell to rivals or to support their own start-up operations,” reports The Guardian.
An inventive iPod owner created a case for his device out of an old cassette Walkman. The procedure required a special “dock-pinout-to-headphone-jack hack” because of the tight fit.
Thought Out’s Mike Talmadge provided iLounge with an update regarding the ongoing trademark dispute with Apple over the use of his company’s iPed name.
“We understand Apple’s request in protecting their trademark of the ‘iPod’ name, but we feel we are being singled out,” Talmadge said. “We pointed out to Apple that many other companies use the iPod/Pod name and variations of it in their products such as i_od or Pod this or that. We have been told by Apple as excepted, (in so many words) that this is not of your concern, and that Apple is, has, will be addressing them too.”
“We have been making every effort to come to terms with Apple in regards to the iPed name with out any major legal battle,” Talmadge said. “Apple and Thought Out plan to meet in the near future to discuss further actions for our iPed name.”
The iHome division of SDI Technologies has announced the iH5 clock radio, which lets you wake up to music from your iPod, an AM/FM radio or buzzer. With its built-in iPod cradle, the iH5 charges your iPod while docked, and sports a backlit LCD screen, and line-in to connect non-docking iPods and other audio players.
The iH5 also features “Gentle Wake and Gentle Sleep,” which “gradually increases and decreases Alarm/Sleep volume for a more relaxing beginning and end to each day,” and utilizes Reason8 speaker technology to create “sound quality that has outstanding depth, clarity and power.” The iH5 works with the 3G/4G iPod, iPod mini and iPod photo. iLounge was told the iH5 will be available in August for $99.99, and that a website for the product will go live later this week.
AudioOutfitters has introduced the ezGear clearCase 60, a new version of its clear, hard case for larger iPods such as the iPod photo. The clearCase is made of ultra-clear acrylic, has openings on the top and bottom for access to all ports, and an opening for the Click Wheel. It covers the iPod’s screen completely to prevent scratches, and comes with a detachable clearClip and a lanyard. The clearCase 60 works with the iPod photo 30GB, 40Gb and 60GB models and the 40GB fourth-generation iPod. It sells for $19.98.
Because of “weaker than expected” iPod shuffle sales, NAND flash prices could drop up to 40% for other manufacturers if Apple’s allotted portion is made available, according to a DigiTimes report.
“Although the iPod Shuffle was a hit when it was first introduced on the market, sales of the MP3 player are not justifying the supply forecasts for NAND flash that Apple has secured from Samsung, the sources stated. If Apple cancels the orders, Samsung may release even more NAND flash into a market already being affected by the influx of a number of new NAND flash producers,” the tech site reports.