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.
iPodder 2.0 is the latest release of the free cross-platform Podcast application. The software enables users to easily subscribe to, download, and listen to Podcasts. Version 2.0 features a redesigned user interface, a streamlined subscription process, a new cleanup section, history of downloads and click-to-play abilities, proxy support, and OPML import and export options.
DVForge today announced that it will ship its two latest iPod accessories early next month.
The company’s JamPod guitar amp module will ship on April 8 for $29.99. The JamPod is a compact add-on that plugs into the headphone jack and the remote port on top of 3G/4G iPods or iPod minis, enabling users to play along with their music. JamPod works with any electric guitar, electric bass, or other instrument that sends a guitar-level output signal through a 1/4-inch instrument jack.
DVForge said The Clips, its set of three different mounting clips for the iPod shuffle, would begin shipping on April 6. The $14.99 set includes a belt clip, a gripper clip, and a push pin clip which snap securely onto the USB plug end of the shuffle. All three clips are made of white ABS plastic, stainless steel and galvanized steel to match the appearance of the iPod shuffle.
General Motors announced today that it is adding a new line of iPod-ready radios that will debut on its vehicles later this year. The new radios feature an auxiliary channel and front mounted auxiliary input jack, enabling owners of iPods or other portable audio players to connect the device and play it through the car stereo. While GM’s solution is not as integrated or iPod-only as other manufacturers such as Mercedes and Volvo, the car maker does make several references to the iPod in its press release.
“GM has a long tradition of leading with technology that provides real benefits to our customers,” said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president, sales, service and marketing. “We are excited to be part of the iPod revolution by offering our customers an easy way to play their favorite music in their GM cars and trucks.”
The new radios will be standard equipment on 2006 models of the Chevy HHR, Impala and Monte Carlo; Saturn VUE and ION; Pontiac Solstice; Buick Lucerne; and Cadillac DTS.
Griffin Technology today announced that it is now shipping its Dock400 and Dock800 cables for synchronizing and charging an iPod using your computer’s FireWire ports. The Dock400 FireWire cable is being billed as the perfect solution for the latest iPod photo and iPod mini models, which ship with only a USB 2.0 cable. Griffin’s Dock800 is a Dock Connector-to-FireWire 800 cable for iPods. Both the Dock400 ($14.99) and Dock800 ($19.99) cables are 48-inches long, use Apple-approved connectors and can be used with Apple’s iPod Dock, or plugged directly into an iPod.
Los Angeles-based “alterna-pop” band Sexohol today released their debut album, “Enjoy,” on Apple’s iPod shuffle. The “Enjoy” iPod shuffle comes pre-loaded with 12 songs from the band’s album. It’s available in both versions of the device — 512MB ($109) and 1GB ($159). “Enjoy” will be released on CD in late April.
“It’s only a matter of time before other bands use iPod shuffle as a distribution method or promotional item,” said Sexohol co-lead singer and bassist, Golden Delicious. “With our tradition of innovation, we thought it important to be first. And we’ve left plenty of room for songs by other visionary artists like The Beatles, Trent Reznor, or Weird Al.”
PodShanking is a method for direct iPod-to-iPod song transfers via earphone ports with a minimum of equipment and software. However, the transfers are in real time.
The latest version of iTunes (4.7.1) apparently adds limits to the number of people that can stream your music in a 24 hour period to five.
The ShasPod is a 20GB iPod loaded with Talmud lectures given by Rabbi Dovid Grossman of Los Angeles. It sells for $399.
iPod shuffle owners are finding all kinds of places to stick the tiny device. Jim Younkin simply crammed his inside a pair of $1 thrift-store headphones.
Goldman Sachs has doubled its estimate for the number of iPod shuffles it expects Apple to sell this quarter to 1.8 million units. In a research note, the firm told clients that “with competition unlikely to come from ‘me too’ MP3 players, it will probably take something like Sony’s PlayStation portable to pose a challenge to iPod long term.”
Goldman also said that Hewlett-Packard may be the “odd man out” unless it makes “substantial changes” in its relationship with Apple. “HP’s iPod sales are likely to decline markedly over the next few quarters unless HP is able to bring out new iPod models in a more timely manner,” it said. “We estimate that HP could drop from about 7% of Apple’s total iPod shipments in the December quarter to 2% to 3% of hard drive-based iPods in the March quarter (and an even smaller amount if you include Apple’s flash-based iPod shuffle shipments).”
To coincide with the launch of iPod connectivity in its 2005 model line, Volvo announced today that it will showcase music from Scandinavian artists on the iTunes Music Store. The car company will present a live music event in Times Square to launch “nu: the sounds of new Scandinavia” on March 23, with music available on the iTunes Music Store to help promote developing Scandinavian artists. Volvo’s “nu” will feature a monthly 12-song compilation, and select tracks will be available for free.
The Volvo iPod Adapter will be available for S60, S80 and V70/XC70 models and will connect by plugging an iPod into a cable located in the car’s armrest compartment. The Volvo S40, V50 and XC90 feature a dashboard mounted FM transmitter. The Volvo iPod Adapter allows users to listen and control their music through their Volvo sound system and steering wheel controls.
AudioOutfitters has announced a new car charger and silicone case for the iPod shuffle. The ezCharge Shuffle comes in white and includes a high quality coiled cable and a fuse-protected car plug. It is priced at $24.98 and will be available in late March.
The ezSkin Shuffle silicone case comes in a 2-pack for $19.98. It offers all-around protection and is available in five colors - Sky Blue, Pink, Onyx Black, and Lime Green. All of the colors come with a Frost White ezSkin.
The shuffletatu is a new product that “combines a durable, high-gloss Mylar covering with colorful designs to provide iPod shuffle owners with a non-permanent way to customize the look of the device, as well as protect it from scuffs and scratches.” The initial release of shuffletatus will feature 33 different designs, including 12 national flags, an assortment of solid colors and stripes, and 10 shuffletatu designs from graphic designer Andres Conde of Digital Assault. The shuffletatus range in price from $2.49 to $3.49 each. Selected three packs and five packs are also available for $6.99 and $9.99, respectively.