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.
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
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.”
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).
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.
AudioOutfitters has announced the earPod storage device for iPod earphones. The earPod features a felt-padded compartment, a spool for wrapping the cable around, a slot for feeding the cable through, a place to clip the iPod Remote Control on either side, and comes with the eClip for clipping to belt, pocket, etc. The earPod will be available at the end of July 2004 for $11.99. You can reserve your earPod without payment at the website.
MacMinute is reporting that “IDG, the company behind Macworld and more than 300 other publications, will soon launch iPodworld—a magazine dedicated to Apple’s iPod, iTunes and iTunes Music Store. iPodworld will feature iPod and music news, previews of upcoming products, software and hardware reviews, digital lifestyle how-to articles, and reviews of music available from the iTunes Music Store. It is not yet clear whether the magazine, which will be available on newsstands in August, will be a single issue, quarterly or monthly. IDG and Mac Publishing also plan to launch and heavily promote an iPod news Web site to support the new magazine.”
In “This Is London”, Mark Prigg, Evening Standard Technology Correspondent writes: “The Government today issued a warning over internet “pyramid” selling scams as sites such as eBay are being targeted by con artists.
But the offers are usually a scam with extremely small print, which reveals that the buyer will not get an iPod but simply a link to a website where they must pay to join a waiting list.
The buyer will only get an iPod when they reach the top of the list - and they will only move up it by getting other people to join - a scam similar to the pyramid selling schemes popular in the Eighties.
But the chances of getting to the top of the list are very remote - and in some cases non-existent because many of the websites are fakes.”
If you’re looking to shave $50 off the price of a fifteen gigabyte iPod, Amazon.com (USA) is offering one with a $50 gift certificate, free shipping and no sales tax (outside of Washington State) for $299 total. It’s the best deal we’ve seen on Apple’s current entry-level third-generation iPod. No additional purchase is required to qualify for Amazon’s free shipping promotion, and unlike the iPod mini, these 15GB iPods are currently in stock.
Senacases’ new Flip Cover case for the iPod mini features; a magnetic closure, removable flip cover; access to all buttons, headphone and dock port; is compatible with Apple’s iPod mini belt clip, comes in black, blue, yellow, red, and costs $29.99. Additional flip covers are sold separately for $9.99.
The iTunes Music Store is celebrating their 70% worldwide market share of legal downloads by having a contest to count down to the 100 millionth song with some great prizes like iPods, Powerbooks, 10,000 free songs, etc. You’re automatically entered when you buy a song from iTunes, but Engadget.com shows how to enter for free in this week’s How-To.
The Mac Observer reports “for the sixth straight year, Apple Computer has taken home another I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review award, this time for its iPod packaging.
Calling Apple’s iPod packaging ‘flawless,’ ‘inventive,’ and ‘utterly consistent with what we’ve come to expect,’ the judges awarded Apple with a ‘design distinction’ accolade. The judges praised the packaging of the original, white iPod for its ‘egg-carton’ design that slowly reveals the product.”
In a rare opportunity to save some money on the iPod mini, Amazon.com (USA) is offering a $50 gift certificate, free shipping and no sales tax (outside of Washington State) for pre-orders on the diminutive 4GB iPod. You’ll need to pick a $1+ additional item to bring your total above $250 to qualify for the gift certificate.
“Companies should consider banning portable storage devices such as Apple’s iPod from corporate networks as they can be used to introduce malware or steal corporate data, according to an analyst.
Small portable storage products can bypass perimeter defences like firewalls and antivirus at the mailserver, and introduce malware such as Trojans or viruses onto company networks, claimed analyst Gartner in a report issued this week. Analysts have warned for some time of the dangers of using portable devices, but the report points out these also now include ‘disk-based MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, and digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks, compact flash and other memory media.’”
The first German online iPod community, i-Pod.de has changed its name to iPodFun.de. “We had to do this because it is easier to tell people [about the site] without causing worries about the dash and so on. At the same time we sourced out our support pages into a new wiki based standalone site called iPodHilfe.de (which means iPodhelp),” said Christian Hieber of iPodFun.de.
Tag&Rename is a music organizer that easily handles all popular digital audio formats. It supports mp3 (all ID3 tags), mp4 (m4a, m4p), wma, ogg, mpc, flac, ape, wav pack & optim frog. With Tag&Rename, you can fix tags using freedb database, import album info from allmusic.com, get tags data from files and folders names, organize music files and folders, create play lists, export information to CSV, HTML, XML, text and more.
iPod:Essentials announce UK availability for the Griffin iTrip Mini. The iTrip mini FM transmitter lets you play your iPod minis music wirelessly through any FM radio in your car, on the road, even at home through your stereo.
For a limited time, koss.com is offering 50% off of the retail price (49.99) of the PortaPro headphones. Use http://www.koss.com Coupon code 61804 for 50% off.
We’re hard at work on a major upgrade to our iPod program PodUtil, and we need your help! We need people who can commit to downloading and testing our program, then give us detailed feedback on any problems they encounter and interact with us to get it fixed. The Beta test’s central ‘hub’ will be a forum on our web site. To best work with us, you should be able to check the forums on a daily basis. Should you not be able (or want) to use the forums, we will be able to communicate with you (albeit not as effectively) via email.
Want to enhance your chances of winning something in Apple’s countup to 100 million songs sold through the iTunes Music Store? Thanks to Jon Maddox, now you can buy your songs near a 100,000 marker, based on Apple’s most recently published number of iTMS songs sold. PC users can use a cool web script that displays the current tally, and Mac users can download an even cooler desktop widget for use with the increasingly popular application Konfabulator. (Jon, if you’re reading this, great work, and shoot us a line if you have a moment!)