In a seven-page Business 2.0 article [paid sub. required] on Apple’s possible plans for the future, Paul Sloan speculates that the company will continue its dominance in the digital media and consumer electronics businesses with a lineup of iPod-based products. The magazine has also posted renderings of these possible products, which include “PodWatch,” “iPod Wireless,” “vPod,” “iHome” and “iPhone.” The mock-ups were created by Robert Brunner, Apple’s chief designer from 1989 to 1996.
“Discussions with past and present company officials, Apple partners, and longtime acquaintances of Jobs, as well as clues in patent applications and other evidence, point to a gargantuan effort to leverage the iPod’s success by creating an entire line of breakout consumer electronics devices,” Sloan writes. “Dozens of gadgets — from an iPod phone to wireless iPods that talk to one another to the ultimate all-in-one home-cum-car media hub — appear to be on the drawing board or, in some cases, already in prototype.”
Sloan says a wireless iPod could use Bluetooth to sync with your computer, or use Wi-Fi to connect to the iTunes Music Store from a public network. He also mentions that the device could morph into a “super iPod” that would “wirelessly communicate with a car, providing an iPod-like interface on the dashboard that handles not only music but also addresses, calendar information, and even a navigational system.” An iPod/mobile phone combination device could be controlled “with the iPod’s scroll wheel, and the numbers could work with a slide-out keyboard or a simple touchpad system on the screen,” Sloan says.
“For the first time in more than a decade, Apple has a chance to become a commercially powerful company — not just a very cool place with a superstar CEO and brilliant designers, but a leader in new markets that are exponentially bigger than the very computer industry it pioneered,” he says. “The sizzle is in what Apple comes up with to turbocharge the iPod — or to create entirely new devices so irresistible that, iPod-like, they’ll blast open vast new markets.”
Other interesting details in the article were the fact that the iPod is selling at a rate of about 40 per minute, and that Microsoft recently hired a former Apple design executive to help the software giant be more like Apple.
Jeremy Horwitz, iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief, will be on tonight’s Your Mac Life radio show. He’ll be discussing the latest iPod accessories and what the future holds for the iPod. The broadcast will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. PT. An audio feed is available here, with a video feed for QuickTime 6 here. Host Shawn King will also be giving away an iPod shuffle to one lucky student listener tonight.
Nikkipod.com has announced the availability of its handmade designer cases for the iPod shuffle. The cases are made of water-resistant vinyl and come in seven different materials, including textured gator, ostrich and snakeskin varieties in an assortment of colors. The cases are lanyard compatible, and feature a velcro closure and built-in belt strap. They’re priced at $12 each or two for $20.
Mad Catz Interactive today announced that its iKit bundles for iPod and iPod mini are now shipping. The iKit bundle includes a RCA cable to connect an iPod to a home stereo, a car adapter with a 6-foot cord, and a horizontal carry case. The iKit is available for $39.99 online and at select retailers.
Apple’s support site briefly hosted documents early Wednesday morning that offered details on using an iPod photo with the company’s new iPod Camera Connector. The support documents, which are no longer available, provided information on photo importing formats, tips on using the USB port on the device and deleting pictures, and linked to a complete list of supported digital cameras (which is still available here).
Apple said that most cameras with USB connectivity can be used with the iPod Camera Connector, and must support either the PTP, Type 4 (Normal), or Mass Storage protocol.
“The iPod Camera Connector’s USB port can only be used to connect supported cameras and media readers. You cannot use it to connect other USB devices such as a keyboard, mouse, hub, or printer,” Apple stated in one document. “The iPod Camera Connector is a low power port and it cannot charge another iPod, iPod mini, or iPod shuffle. While an iPod photo with an attached iPod Camera Connector may recognize another iPod if you connect it, transferring photos from one iPod to another is not supported.”
The iPod Camera Connector, which was announced last month and went on sale Monday, allows users to transfer photos directly from a digital camera or media reader to an iPod photo.
Only a day after Apple blocked the original version of PyMusique, Jon Lech Johansen says that he has posted an updated version of his software that allows users to once again tap into the iTunes Music Store and buy songs without digital rights management (DRM) protection.
In a post on his blog entitled “So sue me,” Johansen writes: “The iTunes Music Store recently stopped supporting iTunes versions below 4.7 in an attempt to shut out 3rd party clients. I have reverse engineered the iTMS 4.7 crypto which will once again enable 3rd party clients to communicate with the iTMS.”
Vais Technlogy has introduced a new iPod adapter for Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The AVIC-100i allows you to connect a 3G/4G iPod or iPod mini directly to a Toyota/Lexus OEM audio system, providing the ability to listen and control your iPod through the vehicle’s head unit and audio steering wheel controls. Playlist, Song Title, Artist Name and Album name information can also be displayed. By connecting the AVIC-100i direclty to the Audio/Navigation system, you can keep all factory-installed components such as 6-disc CD changer or CD/DVD changer. The adapter, which works with 1998-2005 models with Navigation systems, is available for $609.99.
Pro-Fit International has announced the miMount for installing your iPod in your car. “miMount was created to fill a significant demand from iPod users. There is a need for a quality passive cradle and vehicle mounting solution. Keeping the iPod secure within the vehicle provides numerous safety benefits, not to mention easy access to all the iPod features and functions.”
The miMount fits 10, 15 and 20GB 3G and 4G iPods, and is available in three combinations with mounting solutions for your vehicle — miMount with UltiMount, miMount with Loboy and miMount with WindowMate. All three versions can be pre-ordered now for $22. The miMount is expected to ship next month.
TechRestore has launched a new iPod hard drive upgrade service for owners of full-size iPods with a faulty internal drive or who are looking to boost the capacity of their iPod. The TechRestore 24-Hour iPod upgrade program is a complete, door-to-door overnight service for customers in the continental U.S. Once a repair is scheduled, a “RestoreBox” is sent via overnight courier to the customer’s home or office, where their iPod is picked up and shipped overnight to TechRestore. Within 24-hours of receipt, the upgrade is completed and the iPod is sent back to the customer via overnight.
4G iPod owners can upgrade from a 20GB to 40GB hard drive for $179.99, or from a 40GB to a 60GB drive for $229.99. 3G iPod owners have several upgrade options. They can upgrade from 15GB to 20GB for $119.99, from 10GB to 20GB for $149.99, from 20GB to 40GB for $199.99, from 15GB to 40GB for $209.99, or from 10GB to 40GB for $219.99. Owners of 1G iPods can upgrade from 5GB to 10GB for $119.99, and 2G iPod users can go from 10GB to 20GB for $129.99. Prices include all overnight shipping charges, parts and installation.
Noreve has announced five new versions of its Tradition leather case for the iPod mini. Previously only available in black or white, the case now comes in pink, red, beige, light blue, and grey. The soft leather case provides easy access to the headphone jack, hold switch, Click Wheel, and Dock Connector port. It also features a button snap closure and a removable belt clip. The Noreve Tradition leather case is priced at €39.90.
Apple today confirmed that it has closed a security hole that allowed users to connect to the iTunes Music Store and purchase songs without digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. The company said that iTunes users will need to upgrade to version 4.7 or higher in order to buy songs. While not specifically stating so, Apple apparently updated the store to block access with PyMusique, recently released software created by three programmers including “DVD Jon” Johansen that enabled users to tap into iTunes to buy DRM-free tracks.
“The security hole in the iTunes Music Store which was recently exploited has been closed, and as a consequence the iTunes Music Store will now sell music only to customers using iTunes version 4.7,” Apple said in a statement provided to iPodounge. The company went on to note that approximately only 15 percent of iTunes users will be affected by this forced upgrade.
DVForge’s Jack Campbell says that the LuxPro Super shuffle was “one of the most clever PR maneuvers” he’s ever seen by a small company, and was never intended to be released.
In an interesting San Francisco Chronicle article, David Lazarus takes a look at the “free iPod” offers on the web.
Gizmodo reader Adam Bell has “Pimped” his son’s crib with an iPod loaded with lullabies and a JBL OnStage
iPods have been banned by a private school in Sydney, Australia because the devices lead to “social isolation.”
Jim Younkin has posted photos of “Shufflephones 2.0 - New Hotness Edition,” which improves on his original idea with added features.
Apple has quietly added the iPod Camera Connector to its online store. In addition to making the connector available for order, this is also the first time an official photo of the device as been offered by Apple.
The iPod Camera Connector, which was announced alongside Apple’s new iPod photo lineup last month, provides the ability to easily transfer digital photos directly from your digital camera for instant viewing and slide show playback on an iPod photo.
Apple says the $29 device will ship in 1-3 weeks.
Pressure Drop today announced the DecoDock, a stylish new dock designed for Apple’s iPod shuffle. DecoDock, which features illumination with white LEDs, enables users to easily charge/sync their iPod shuffle with their computer.
“Designed in the classic Art Deco style, the DecoDock’s lighted columns tower over a brilliantly colored and graceful arc, enhancing the pleasing simplicity of the iPod shuffle,” says Pressure Drop. “The iPod’s plastic cap can be stored in the back of the DecoDock, a unique feature designed specifically to help prevent it from getting lost.”
DecoDock will be available in April in a variety of colors for $28.99.
PodBrix has announced its first apparel item — the Brixwear 1000 T-shirt for iPod shuffle owners. The T-shirt features an integrated magnetic clasp to hold the tiny music player to the front of the shirt, which features PodBrix’s signature mini figure in the style of Apple’s iPod silhouette ads.
“No modification is needed to your iPod shuffle,” PodBrix says. “Simply place it over the clasp area of the shirt and it locks into place. The shuffle stays firmly attached even with vigorous activity. A quick pull easily removes it from the shirt.”
The Brixwear 1000 is a signed limited edition of 300 units and will go on sale later today (approximately 9:00 p.m. ET) for $28.99. It’s available in medium, large or x-large sizes. Click “Read more” for larger photos.
At the South by Southwest music festival last week in Austin, Apple debuted a new series of prepaid iTunes cards that feature song download codes specific to more than 200 artists. Unlike Apple’s current prepaid cards, which are available in retail stores such as Target, the custom iTunes cards can only be used to download predetermined songs or albums by a certain artist.
“The cards can be used to obtain a specific single from iTunes and are being distributed at shows, press conferences and other events throughout the festival,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “As one example of what is possible from the promotional and marketing perspectives, Virgin/EMI recording artist the Gorillaz distributed a limited-edition iTunes card good for the premiere of their unreleased new song, ‘Dirty Harry,’ to everyone who attended its world premiere listening party in Austin.”
Update: More information on iTunes Custom Cards can now be found on Apple’s site.
The iStore has a special offer on the iPod2Car connection kit for all iLounge readers. Until April 1, you can buy iPod2Car including your specific vehicle connector for $189.99 ($199.99 normally). As an added bonus, the iStore is also offering a free car mount ($25 value) — you can choose between the Universal Swivel Vent Mount or the Cup Holder Mount.
iPod2Car, which received a B+ rating in a recent iLounge review, allows you to get CD quality sound from your factory car stereo, with one connection providing audio output and iPod charging.
UK’s Playlist Club has teamed up with iLounge to bring its unique iPod-DJing experience to the US. Playlist Philadelphia will be held on Monday, March 28, at The Khyber, 56 S. 2nd Street (2nd & Chestnut) at 8:00 p.m. Admission will be free.
“Playlist invites music lovers, mixers and makers to turn up with their best 15-minute set of tunes on their iPod and play their songs through the club PA for our audience of music fans and critical judges. The best DJs on the night win great prizes, and judges get a free drink on us.”
The top three sets win prizes courtesy of iLounge. The top vote-getter will receive a 512MB iPod shuffle. Second place will be awarded a pair of Etymotic ER6i earphones, and third will get a $50 iTunes Music Store gift card.
“DVD Jon” has released PyMusique, new software that allows users to connect to the iTunes Music Store and buy songs without digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.
During the U2 induction speech to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen jokingly said that he wants a red, white and blue special edition “Boss” iPod.
Spymac and iStockphoto have launched a contest to give away a 60GB iPod photo to registered members of the site. To enter, you must create “the godfather of all posters for SpyStock between March 18 and April 18, 2005.”
In addition to share music restrictions, iTunes 4.7.1 also “disallows iPhoto slideshows with embedded iTunes-purchased tracks to play when distributed to other systems.”
eyeJamz 1.0 is a new Windows utility that allows users to: “easily download Album cover art, click on Albums to play them, attach Album cover art to iTunes, synch your iPod photo to display Album art as you play, control iTunes from eyeJamz and enjoy the synergy of two great programs working together.” eyeJamz sells for $11.99, and works with Windows XP and Windows 2000.