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Harmon Multimedia announces portable speaker systems

picHarmon Mutlimedia today announced the On Stage and the JBL On Tour portable speaker systems. The flying saucer shaped On Stage unit features an integrated dock, stereo mini jack, dual speakers producing 12 watts of power, and touch controls. The dock can be used to sync iPod and your computer. The On Stage will cost under $200 and will ship later this year.

picThe JBL On Tour speaker system works with all digital music players and features a pair of speakers producing six watts of power, touch controls, protective cover and stand, and is powered by four AAA batteries providing for more than 24 hours of music. The On Tour will be available in early August for $99.95.

Update: UK military denies iPod ban

  • July 13, 2004
  • iPod,

“The pocket-sized digital music player, which can store thousands of songs, is one of a series of banned gadgets that the military will no longer allow into most sections of its headquarters in the UK and abroad.

Devices with large storage capabilities—most notably those with a Universal Serial Bus (or USB) plug used to connect to a computer—have been treated with greater suspicion of late by government agencies and corporations alike.”

Update: The British Ministry of Defense has denied to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) that the military has imposed an outright ban on iPods or portable storage devices in general. A spokesman clarified that only specific secure areas are or will be deemed off-limits to such devices, and that the iPod was not specifically targeted by the government.

 

Mac: Book2Pod 1.2.1 released

Book2Pod is a utility to format large text documents so they can be read on an iPod using the built in Note Reader software. It supports documents larger than the 4KB per note limit of Note Reader, and makes the 1000 note limit easier to live with.

XtremeMac announces Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini

XtremeMac, has announced the Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini. The Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini includes: Xtremity Snap-on Clip; Xtremity Neck Strap; Xtremity Swivel Belt Clip; and two Xtremity Low-profile Dash Mounts. The complete package sells at a suggested retail price of $29.95 U.S., and is available for pre-ordering.

iTunes Europe close to deal with indie labels

“Apple Computer Inc. is on the verge of agreeing a deal with independent record labels that will allow its iTunes music service to sell their tracks, The Times newspaper reported on Monday.

Citing sources close to the talks, the newspaper said a pact could be announced on Tuesday, ending a feud that has kept independent labels off iTunes since its launch in the UK, France and Germany last month.”

iTunes Music Store hits 100 million

Roughly ten days after Apple’s iTunes Music Store began its “count up” giveaway with the 95,000,000th song sold, the company is poised to pass the 100,000,000 song mark. At approximately Midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.), July 12, 2004, Apple flipped the official count up timer to “99,943,896.” At the current rate of sales, Apple will hit the 100 millionth song today, quite likely within the next two hours. Best of luck to all those entering the grand prize giveaway!

Update: Apple hit the 100,000,000 mark at approximately 1:25AM Eastern Standard Time (U.S.). (The final three updates to Apple’s page were 99,992,422, then 100,014,607, then a static 100,000,000 banner.) Congratulations to Apple on this major milestone in legal music downloading!

Update 2: Preliminary sales figures suggest that roughly 40,000 songs (estimated value $39,600) were sold in just the final ten minutes before the 100,000,000 mark was reached. By comparison, the grand prize of a 17” PowerBook laptop computer, 40GB iPod and 10,000 song iTunes Gift Certificate were valued at approximately $13,200 - a very smart promotional move for Apple. To see the progression of sales from 94,679,227 songs to over 100,000,000, click on the link to Kurt Hoffmann’s table below.

Hack: iPod as wireless music streamer and fileserver

Using the unlikely couple of Apple’s iPod and a Microsoft Pocket PC handheld, third-party software developer Simeda has devised a fully portable method to wirelessly broadcast iPod music and files to PCs or other portable devices on a local area network. The hitches: you’ll need a 15 Euro (US$19) piece of software, two cable or card-based adapters, music that can be legally performed and/or shared, and plenty of pre-charged battery power to keep both the Pocket PC and iPod going.

iPod-BMW interface FAQ available

Wondering how the new BMW Auto Adapter for the iPod and iPod mini works? Apple’s official frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for the interface is now available online, including the official street date (July 12, 2004), tips for developing up to five BMW-ready playlists (plus using the BMW’s sixth preset button to play all iPod songs), and a picture of the iPod’s new “BMW” connected screen.

iPod lost and found - the benefits of registration

  • July 11, 2004
  • iPod,

iLounger “vgirla” found an iPod on a flight and decided to use the forums to try and locate the owner. After posting her story and following advice from various members, she contacted Apple and passed them the serial number.

One day later, another iLounge user, “smacryan” claimed ownership of the iPod, and explained that a representative from Apple had called.

“I lost my iPod last Wednesday and I have been trying to trace my steps to figure out where I left it. I called the airline lost & found, the arrival and destination airports, and my hotel. [...] I would not have found it without Apple contacting me today. I did not even think to check any iPod or lost and found sites. I am glad I registered my iPod!!”

The moral of this story: register your iPod with Apple, and if you lose it, check the iLounge forums. This happy ending brought to you by yet another great iLounger - thanks “vgirla.”

Etymotic announces new 6i Limited Edition Earphones

“The 6i was developed for Apple iPod users with the goal of providing greater sensitivity and enhanced bass without compromising fidelity,” explained Mead Killion, Ph.D., founder and president of Etymotic Research, Inc. They come in white to complement the design and image of Apple products. The 6i is supplied with additional eartips, extra filters and a small carrying case. The black ER-6, Etymotic

Alpine iPod interface info posted

Alpine USA has recently posted information describing its new KCA-420i iPod Interface solution. “Introducing the KCA-420i,  the best in-vehicle interface adapter which allows you to cruise to your iTunes! Simply use the KCA-420i to plug in your iPod or iPod mini into a compatible 2004 Alpine Ai-NET head unit, and voil

iPod nightclub coming to London

  • July 9, 2004
  • iPod,

A new London nighclub called Playlist is claiming to be “London’s First iPod Music Club” (NoWax started back in September 2003) is launching Saturday, August 7 at the Nambucca club on Holloway Road. The press release reads: You are the DJ. Bring your favourite 15-minute playlist on an iPod or other digital music player and play your songs, first come, first served. The best DJs win prizes from Belkin…

“Playlist celebrates digital diversity. It’s all about the music, not the genre. The principle is simple: if you want to share your music, just turn up, sign in and play out. If you want to judge other people’s music, turn up, sign up and speak out. If you simply want to party, just turn up, tune in, dance it out.

 

3 in 1 FireWire Travel Kit for iPod announced

Micomp Solutions Inc. has announced the availability of a 3 in 1 FireWire Travel Kit for iPod. The FireWire Travel Kit comes with a FireWire Sync & Charge Cable, FireWire Cigarette Lighter Adapter, and a Firewire Travel Charger Adapter. It allows you to use the cable to sync and charge your iPod at the same time. And you can convert the kit into a cigarette lighter charger or a travel charger to charge your iPod through any cigarette lighter socket or AC wall outlet. The 3 in 1 FireWire Travel Kit costs $34.44.

iTunes Countdown app for Mac and Windows released

Jesse Perry informed us of his new iTunes Countdown application featuring an alert when it gets near every 100k mark. “Apple will begin the countdown to 100 million songs by giving away 50 special 20GB iPods

iCountdown beta for Windows released

iCountdown is a program for Windows that sits in your system tray and querys the Apple iTunes site for an updated total of downloads. When you hover your mouse over the icon it shows you the total. “I got the idea for the program from Brian (http://counter.eklektion.org/) who created a Mac program like iCountdown. I wouldn’t have thought of writing my own version had it not been for adamh and todd2fs4u who posted comments asking for a windows version of Brian’s 100MilCounter.”

Nine Figures for Mac released

Wonder Warp Software Group has today announced the release of Nine Figures, a simple application which displays, in the menu bar, a constantly updated figure of the number of tracks sold on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. In addition to this, it displays the top ten most sold tracks on the store. The program, written by Steve Streza, may offer assistance to those set on winning Apple’s much coveted prize awarded to the buyer of the 100-millionth song. “Just promise you’ll let us use that PowerBook too,” jokes the group’s website.

Jim Heid updates The Macintosh iLife book

Author Jim Heid has has released a new edition of “The Macintosh iLife ‘04. “The ground-breaking, best-selling book/DVD dedicated to helping you take control of your iLife is back

Apple: Sony’s misleading you on song capacity

  • July 7, 2004
  • iPod,

Amplifying concerns raised by iLounge in a feature story last week, Apple Computer has attacked Sony’s claims that its upcoming Network Walkman devices hold more songs than comparably equipped iPods. “We’re disappointed that Sony, which is new to this market, has decided to make their first impression by attempting to mislead the press and customers,” Apple told The Wall Street Journal, explaining that Sony had used unrealistically low bit rate compression to fool readers into thinking that the Network Walkman holds more music than an iPod. In a separate interview with MacCentral, Apple’s Greg Joswiak noted that similar tricks would render the 20GB iPod capable of holding 40,000 songs, but “[t]hat’s something we would never claim because that’s just not something a customer would do.”

100MilCounter for Mac released

“So you want to know the right time to buy that iTunes song. Well, 100MilCounter is a simple menu-bar application that runs in the background (no Dock icon, no main menu). It queries the Apple website (every 150 seconds) for the latest iTunes download count and displays that number up in your menu bar. Why? Because Apple is giving stuff away to people who download a song at the right time - Is that cool or what? (and no, I’m not an Apple employee…)”

iPod mini worldwide July 24, iTunes EU hits 1.5m

With an expected delivery/on-sale date of July 24, 2004, Apple has announced that it is now taking iPod mini pre-orders from customers across the world. Prices for the iPod mini differ by territory, and are as follows (including tax):

Continental Europe: 279 Euros (259-269 in certain countries, inc. Germany and Austria)
United Kingdom: 179 Pounds.
Japan: 28,140 Yen (26,800 Yen pre-tax).
Australia: A$399.
Canada: C$349 including the $15 Blank Media Levy, but excluding VAT.
Singapore: S$458 (excluding rebates).
Hong Kong: HK$1,900.

Of special interest: At current exchange rates, the pre-tax Japanese and non-tax Hong Kong prices for the iPod mini are actually slightly lower than the current American retail price, whereas other territories are receiving the mini at a slight premium. iPod mini ordering options and prices for mainland China, India, Latin America, Mexico and South Korea were not yet available.

Each iPod mini will include headphones, a power adapter, a belt clip, FireWire and USB 2.0 cables, and iTunes 4.6 for Mac and Windows. The same five colors (silver, blue, green, pink, and gold) previously introduced will be available internationally.

In a related story, Apple has announced the combined sale of over 1.5 million songs through its European iTunes Music Stores (U.K., France and Germany) since its launch on June 15, 2004. The rate of sales is slightly lower than the initial launch of the iTMS for United States-based Macintosh customers in April of 2003, following which two million songs had been sold by the 16th day of operations. Canadian, Latin American and Asia-Pacific region launches of the iTunes Music Store have not yet been announced.

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