The iPod Photo (40GB, $499 and 60GB, $599) is Apple’s new top-of-class iPod hardware, holding up to 25,000 digital photos and featuring 15 hours of Music Playback or 5 hours of Slideshow playback. The same general physical size as current iPods but slightly thicker, and with a color screen, the iPod Photo now syncs with iTunes 4.7 (released today) for music and pictures, integrating with iPhoto, Adobe photo programs, and Windows’ My Pictures folder. It features a dock with Audio and Video out, a 1.4m AV cable, and a black carrying case. It ships today.
The U2 iPod, also called the iPod U2 Special Edition ($349) is a 20GB black and red iPod with the engraved signatures of U2’s band members Bono, Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton and The Edge on the back. Available in three weeks, the new iPod will not include U2 music as widely rumored, but will include a $50 voucher for purchase of a new Apple “Digital Box Set” called “The Complete U2” with over 400 U2 tracks, including all of U2’s albums and a collection of rare and unreleased tracks. The Complete U2 will sell for $149.
Apple-X reports that “Apple director of QuickTime product marketing, Frank Casanova, will deliver a keynote speech at the Cellular Telephone and Internet Association (CTIA’s) Wireless IT and Entertainment 2004 [today] in San Francisco.” Casanova is expected to announce Apple’s support for a next-generation AAC encoding format with superior compression, ready for use on cellular networks.
MacMinute reports: “While Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich expects a U2-edition iPod, flash-based iPod and photo iPod, he does not think Apple will introduce a video player iPod or add wireless capability in the near future.” Milunovich, who spoke with key Apple executives, walked away with strong evidence that a photo iPod would include A/V output jacks for television viewing, but that video or wireless (Bluetooth/802.11G) functionality was unlikely based on practicality, power consumption and other issues.
iLounge’s Dennis Lloyd is in attendance at today’s joint Apple/U2 press event at the California Theater in San Jose, California, and will be filing updates as the event takes place. We will be adding to this news story with live information and (as possible) photos from the event, which is widely anticipated to include the introduction of a limited edition U2 iPod and international expansion of the iTunes Music Store. Keep checking back with iLounge for text updates to this piece, and see the photos at the link below.
Update (9:53AM PST): MacMinute reports that the iTunes Music Store now includes the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK, and USA.
Update 2: A number of additional photos have been added, including first photos of iPod Socks ($29) from Apple (colored cases) and the new iPod Photo Dock.
The SkinTight Armband for 4th generation iPods features an adjustable armband with an attached clip to snap your iPod onto. The clip has a built-in feature for cable management. The Armband includes is a SkinTight Rubberized Skin case. The Armband is designed to work with the Skin on. The SkinTight Armband retails for $34.95.
MacSkinz has released limited artist series PodSkinz. These were designed by accomplished, well known artists with a world-wide following. Each design is limited to 100 units. PodSkinz are also now available in all sizes for 3G and 4G iPods including the larger capacity models. PodSkins retail for $50 for a set of front and back panels.
Pyrim Technologies has added a white Rock Dock to it’s lineup after initial market feedback. “Pyrim adds White Stone, a pure white stone-like material, to its Rock Dock materials option. It also adds the Micro Rock to its line of Rock Dock products. Like the other Rock Docks, the Micro is available in six stone finishes. The Micro retails for $29.99.”
“The latest Media Center PCs from HP come with a special iTunes-related feature built into Microsoft’s new Windows XP Media Center Edition software. The computer maker created the feature, called HP Tunes, to let users of its Media Center PCs play songs and playlists from iTunes within the Windows Media Center interface, the special Microsoft software designed to be controlled using a remote while sitting back in a chair or couch in the living room. [...]
Without the HP Tunes feature, Media Center PC users would need to exit the Windows Media Center interface and use the ordinary Windows desktop to access their iTunes music. That’s because Microsoft’s music software doesn’t play songs encoded in the AAC format that Apple uses.”
QuikMount.com announced the QuikMount car solution for 3rd and 4th generation iPods with docks. QuikMount attaches without tools to an automobile’s dashboard or console. It uses the iPod’s dock with line out connectivity for the best possible sound. The patent-pending QuikMount is constructed of solid steel, and is available in white. A bracket, also made of steel, is required for console mounting. The bracket is available in black (so as to be less visible). QuikMount costs $54.95; the Bracket costs $12.95.
Three years ago today, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod to the world at a media event on October 23, 2001. Many now call it the best digital music player in the world. The iPod wouldn’t be available for sale until November 10, 2001.
I remember watching the announcement via a live QuickTime broadcast on the Internet. Three years later it would become the number one digital player and a cultural icon. Who knew? That day changed my life forever, literally. I launched iLounge.com only two weeks after its announcement. And now, 3 years later, I sit here in my home office (iLounge HQ) writing to you about its 3rd birthday. Strange how things work out. Happy Birthday iPod.
JAVOEdge has released several new cases for the 4G iPod. The JAVOSkin for the 20GB 4G iPod is a silicone case with detachable belt clip that sells for $23.95. Also available is a JAVOSkin Bundle Pack which includes a detachable belt clip, screen protector, Click Wheel protector, and retractable earphones for $42.20. JAVOEdge also released two new leather cases for 4G iPods. The JAVO LeatherCase - Design 1 for 20/40GB 4G iPods is a sleeve case that comes with or without a belt loop for $28.95. The JAVO LeatherCase - Design 2 for 40GB iPod is an open face sleeve case that also comes with or without a belt clip for $28.95. Both Design 1 and Design 2 (with or without belt clips) cases are also available in a Bundle Pack which includes screen protector, Click Wheel protector, and retractable earphones for $44.69.
Apple’s iTunes and Steve Jobs have been nominated for several awards in the Billboard 2004 Digital Entertainment Awards. iTunes has been nominated for “Innovator of the Year” and it’s up against BitTorrent, Sony Eyetoy, and XM Radio. iTunes has also been nominated in the “Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service” category with competitors Musicmatch on Demand, Napster, and Rhapsody by Real Networks. Apple has been nominated for “Brand of the Year” competing against EA Sports, Virgin Mobile and XM Satellite Radio. The “Visionary of the Year” category nominees are Steve Jobs - CEO, Apple/CEO, Pixar; Mark Cuban - Chairman, HDNet; Rob Glaser - Chairman & CEO, Real Networks and Will Wright - Game Designer (SimCity and The Sims). The awards will commence on November 5 in Los Angeles.
Terforma has announced pre-orders for their new iSleeve mini for the iPod mini. Made of thick Durium TPU rubber, the iSleeve mini features a built-in LCD protector and can be used with the Apple iPod mini belt clip or armband. The iSleeve comes in five colors and is available for pre-order for $29.99.
Contour Design has released the new iSee-20 hardcase for 4G 20GB iPods. The iSee-20 features a clear, hard plastic shell, removable belt clip and access to all iPod functions. There is also a dock port cover for the dock connector and security latches on each side to seal in the iPod. The iSee-20 retails for $19.99 and the iSee-40 for 4G 40GB iPods is coming soon.
Users of iTunes 4.5 or earlier are being urged by Apple to upgrade to 4.6 in order to access the iTunes Music Store. The warning reads, “You are using a version of iTunes that will soon no longer be supported. Upgrade today to take advantage of the latest application features and music store enhancements.”
Multi Technology Equipment has released the iPod2Car Adaptor for controlling your iPod with your car’s factory radio. The iPod2Car allows you to control your iPod’s Next, Previous, Fast Forward & Fast Rewind functions using your car’s radio. The adaptor fits all iPods with dock connectors, is available for most major car models and costs $189.99.
“It’s Friday night in Melbourne, and at a corridor-sized club in the CBD the music is pumping but there are no turntables in sight. Two pint-sized iPods - those ubiquitous MP3 players with dangling white earphones - are running the show instead, churning out songs by Madonna, the Strokes and all musical points in between.
Tonight, at what is believed to be Australia’s only iParty (or iPod dance party), punters are given the opportunity to DJ. Choosing two songs from a selection of nearly 10,000, they wait like shoppers at a deli counter, until their number is beamed onto a laptop screen.”
“‘We’ve taken our best guess, and we’re building a lot, but the demand may be even larger,’ said [Steve] Jobs, perched on a stool in trademark jeans and black mock-turtleneck shirt. ‘So if you want to be sure to get an iPod this holiday season, I’d get one soon.’
Jobs is planning for his best Christmas ever. With the possible exception of cave-dwelling arthropods, most everyone is getting into the music download game.”