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Mac: iPod2Mac 1.2 released

iPod2Mac can copy music files from the invisible folders of the iPod to your Mac.

Mac/Linux: PlayFair 0.2 released - removes DRM from protected AAC files

Decode Apple iTunes Music Store protected AAC files into unprotected AAC files so that they can be played outside of iTunes.

Note: Several users of this software are reporting crashes when using the converted AAC files in iTunes on Mac or PC. One user notes: “It appears that before running the playfair you need to make sure to play an encrypted song in iTunes and possibly even need to copy an encrypted song to the iPod to make sure the correct key is on the iPod. I tried it again after doing those two things and it worked. So the code appears to still be fairly buggy so I wouldn’t go around decrypting all your files without backing them up, but it does work, you just need to be carefull to test your resulting files.”

Playfair requires a Unix command line interface to be installed.

Linux on iPod progresses

“A release version of the 2.4.24 kernel is now available for download! This version includes full support for first, second and third generation iPods (no iPod mini support) including audio, firewire and remote.

The other important inclusion with this release is the demo podzilla program. Podzilla is a basic GUI demo similar to the native Apple firmware, it has a very simple mp3 player which can be run by running the file browser and selecting a .mp3 file, during playback the pause/play button will pause and menu will exit back to podzilla.”

Virgin Mobile giving away iPod minis

  • April 5, 2004
  • iPod
“This spring, Virgin Mobile is giving you the chance to win some booty, some Big Booty. Spread the word about Virgin Mobile and get your friends to Live without a plan. If enough of them buy their phones direct from Virgin Mobile, you could win. The top 50 customers who refer the most friends to Virgin Mobile by 5/3/04 will win an Apple iPod mini. The next 100 will win a $50 gift certificate to the Apple iTunes Music Store.”

New study concludes file sharing does not hurt sales

The draft of a new study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee of the Harvard Business School and Koleman S. Strumpf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill concludes that file sharing is not hurting record sales.

“The problem with the industry view, Professors Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf say, is that it is not supported by solid evidence. Previous studies have failed because they tend to depend on surveys, and the authors contend that surveys of illegal activity are not trustworthy. “Those who agree to have their Internet behavior discussed or monitored are unlikely to be representative of all Internet users,” the authors wrote.

Instead, they analyzed the direct data of music downloaders over a 17-week period in the fall of 2002, and compared that activity with actual music purchases during that time. Using complex mathematical formulas, they determined that spikes in downloading had almost no discernible effect on sales. Even under their worst-case example, “it would take 5,000 downloads to reduce the sales of an album by one copy,” they wrote. “After annualizing, this would imply a yearly sales loss of two million albums, which is virtually rounding error” given that 803 million records were sold in 2002. Sales dropped by 139 million albums from 2000 to 2002.”

Theif slammed with iPod mini in self defense

“Fortunately I was armed with more than my one and a half Krav Maga lessons – I was carrying my iPod mini. Just in case you haven’t seen one, the mini is not your mother’s iPod. The rounded edges and soft plastic chassis that characterized the older generations have given way to one sharp digital lifestyle appliance.

So this guy lunged out and grabbed my shoulder as I was changing songs and, with my bag stolen just last week, I was in no mood to make any concessions of my property to appease him. I immediately took a panicked swipe and made solid contact between the base of my mini and his forehead. He stumbled back, dazed from the blow, and I took this chance to kick him solidly in the stomach and scurry away.”

New web-based portal to iTunes Music Store launches

SiteLink Network recently launched “Tune-Watch”, an advanced web portal to the iTunes Music Store, implementing an easy-to-use interface that allows users to browse the Store’s latest additions, new releases, and top songs and albums without actually launching Apple’s iTunes software. Tune-Watch also provides direct links to the Store through iTunes for purchase or more detailed browsing.

Castle in France uses iPods for audio tours

  • April 4, 2004
  • iPod

A reader notes that Chenonceau Castle in France has started to use iPods for its audio tours. Visitors may borrow an iPod featuring two tours in varying lengths in eleven languages narrated by one of France’s famous actors, Michaël Lonsdale.

iTunes Case Study released

“The Digital Media Project’s Green Paper, iTunes: How Copyright, Contract, and Technology Shape the Business of Digital Media, provides an in-depth look at this service from the perspective of comparative law. Members of the Digital Media Team examined different legal and regulatory regimes from a range of countries to deterimine how iTunes and services like it are likely to fare under different sets of norms. The Case Study has focused on four important regulatory issues:

Interaction between Copyright and Contract Law
Digital Rights Management
Digital First Sale Doctrine
Fair Use Doctrine”

The iPod is “hard to use,” creates new CD ripping service

  • April 3, 2004
  • iPod

“It’s the epitome of cool, a must-have item rated No 1 with teenagers, oldies and muggers alike.

Yet the iPod digital music player has confused so many thousands of new owners that the gadget has spawned its own service industry - to help technophobes download their own songs. [...]

Now companies are springing up to meet the need, including the London-based wePod, which does the hard work of converting disc tracks into electronic files for the iPod, using its own specially developed software. Even though it does not advertise, the new venture claims it has been inundated with inquiries.”

Mac: iSight may interfere with iPod

  • April 2, 2004
  • iPod

MacFixit reader, Bruce Nofrey is reporting “‘Like other users, I have also had problems updating my iPod with the iSight camera connected. The iPod would continue to have the ‘do not disconnect’ sign displayed - then the iPod would freeze ( clock not being updated) and finally my G4 tower would freeze. I have replaced one iPod and have talked to tech support when the second one did the same thing. We could not get the RESTORE function of the iPod Updater to recognize the iPod. Unplugging the iSight firewire cable from the computer will allow the iPod to be updated correctly.” Apple suggests installing iSight Updater 1.0.2 as noted in this Knowledge Base document.

Lajo releases exo2mini case for iPod mini

pic#### has released the exo2mini case for iPod mini featuring 2.0mm of silicone protection on top, bottom and sides with 0.5mm of silicone covering the click wheel. It will eventually come in over 50 colors (currently 7) plus art designs. Accessories include, ishades multi colors screen protector, zip ultra clear TPU case, SWVclip which comes in over 50 color combinations, ultra clear zip TPU earphone case, multi colored TPU bungee safety straps. A new TPU arm strap is to be released in less than 10 days and a new belt clip is to be released at Macworld Boston in May. The exo2mini costs $20 (case only) plus $5 shipping to anywhere in the world.

Apple announces iPod V portable video player

picApple today introduced iPod V, the smallest portable video player ever developed.

“Encased in a lightweight anodized aluminum body and featuring a simplified interface for easy, one-touch media navigation, iPod V includes an all-new user interface incorporating the most requested elements of Apple’s OS X graphical interface. Built to integrate easily with QuickTime and Apple’s new iTunes Music Video Store, iPod V will revolutionize the way people watch and listen to audiovisual content.”

File sharing legal in Canada

“Sharing copyrighted works on peer-to-peer networks is legal in Canada, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, handing the record industry a sharp setback in its international fight against file swappers.

Canadian record labels had asked the court for authorization to identify 29 alleged file swappers in that country, in preparation for suing them for copyright infringement, much as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued more than 1500 people in America.

But the judge denied that request. In a far-ranging decision, the court further found that both downloading music and putting it in a shared folder available to other people online appeared to be legal in Canada.”

Free iPod personalization promo extended

MacMinute is reporting that Apple has extened its iPod personalization promotion, which allows customers to get free custom laser engraving on any new iPod purchased between March 28 through June 26, 2004. The engraving normally costs US$19 extra.

Wall Street Journal seeks iPod party people

  • March 31, 2004
  • iPod

iLounge recently spoke with Wall Street Journal reporter, Pui-Wing Tam who is researching the concept of using an iPod at parties. Have you ever attended a party where iPod(s) were used as main source of music? “We’re working on a fun story about how iPods are changing parties—do people duel over which music to play now, since so much more music is available on iPods, for example? How do people prevent others from walking away with their iPods at parties?”

Wireless headset adapter for iPod coming next year

“Apple iPod (digital music player) customers across the world will soon have a bluetooth wireless adaptor and headset for listening to music without the hassles of a cable hanging overhead.

Developed in India by Bangalore-based Impulsesoft Technologies, iWisa (wireless adaptor) and iWish (wireless headset adaptor) have been licensed to US-based TEN Technology to be used in naviPlay, one of the first bluetooth wireless stereo adaptors with remote control, which is attached to an iPod. naviPlay will be launched in the market in the next 2-3 months.”

Refurbished iPod 30GB for $349

Dealmac: A reader found the factory-refurbished iPod 30GB MP3 player, with dock connector, for $349 at The Apple Store. That’s $50 less than the best price we’ve seen for a new, factory-sealed unit. Shipping is free, although sales tax is added where applicable. A one-year Apple warranty applies.

New UK retailer offers iPod accessories

I-magine, a newly launched UK based online retailer is offering iPod accessories, web design and more. “We supply the cheapest iPod accessories throughout the UK. If you can find any of our products anywhere else in the UK for cheaper, please email us and let us know.” A few of the products listed at the site are iSkin cases, iTrip and the NaviPod remote.

More iPod muggings in UK

  • March 30, 2004
  • iPod

Back in Febrary we we reported that the “This is London” website was reporting that iPod owners were being targeted by criminals. Today, “The Register UK” is reporting a person was mugged for their iPod.

“West Midlands police have issued a stark warning to iPod users: ditch the white headphones or pay the price.

Fashion-conscious music lovers are apparently being targeted by muggers. The Times tells the sorry tale of 22-year-old language student Roland Baskerville, who lost his 20GB model on the mean streets of Birmingham: “I was walking down the road near to my home when a man who was walking the other way pointed at my headphones.”

The thief then asked Baskerville if he was listening to an iPod and, receiving an affirmative answer, he “pulled a knife out and started waving it at me, saying: ‘Well hand it over, then.’ I gave it to him and he ran off. He must have known I was wearing an iPod because of the white headphones.”

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