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Pro-Fit intros miMount iPod car cradle

pic Pro-Fit International has announced the miMount for installing your iPod in your car. “miMount was created to fill a significant demand from iPod users. There is a need for a quality passive cradle and vehicle mounting solution. Keeping the iPod secure within the vehicle provides numerous safety benefits, not to mention easy access to all the iPod features and functions.”

The miMount fits 10, 15 and 20GB 3G and 4G iPods, and is available in three combinations with mounting solutions for your vehicle — miMount with UltiMount, miMount with Loboy and miMount with WindowMate. All three versions can be pre-ordered now for $22. The miMount is expected to ship next month.

TechRestore launches iPod hard drive upgrade program

TechRestore has launched a new iPod hard drive upgrade service for owners of full-size iPods with a faulty internal drive or who are looking to boost the capacity of their iPod. The TechRestore 24-Hour iPod upgrade program is a complete, door-to-door overnight service for customers in the continental U.S. Once a repair is scheduled, a “RestoreBox” is sent via overnight courier to the customer’s home or office, where their iPod is picked up and shipped overnight to TechRestore. Within 24-hours of receipt, the upgrade is completed and the iPod is sent back to the customer via overnight.

4G iPod owners can upgrade from a 20GB to 40GB hard drive for $179.99, or from a 40GB to a 60GB drive for $229.99. 3G iPod owners have several upgrade options. They can upgrade from 15GB to 20GB for $119.99, from 10GB to 20GB for $149.99, from 20GB to 40GB for $199.99, from 15GB to 40GB for $209.99, or from 10GB to 40GB for $219.99. Owners of 1G iPods can upgrade from 5GB to 10GB for $119.99, and 2G iPod users can go from 10GB to 20GB for $129.99. Prices include all overnight shipping charges, parts and installation.

Noreve debuts new colors for iPod mini case

pic Noreve has announced five new versions of its Tradition leather case for the iPod mini. Previously only available in black or white, the case now comes in pink, red, beige, light blue, and grey. The soft leather case provides easy access to the headphone jack, hold switch, Click Wheel, and Dock Connector port. It also features a button snap closure and a removable belt clip. The Noreve Tradition leather case is priced at €39.90.

Apple blocks iTunes Music Store DRM hack

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.

Mix: Super shuffle, Free iPods, Crib, Banned iPods, Hotness

 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.

iPod Camera Connector available for order; First official pic

pic 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.

DecoDock offers Art Deco style for iPod shuffle

pic 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.

Brixwear 1000 T-shirt magnetically holds iPod shuffle

pic 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.

Apple uses SXSW to unveil custom iTunes cards [updated]

pic 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.

iStore offers iLoungers discount on iPod2Car

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.

iLounge sponsors first Playlist Club event in US

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.

Mix: PyMusique, Springsteen, Spymac, Subscriptions, iTunes 4.7.1

 “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.”

 Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, and Wilson Rothman of The New York Times have both posted comparisons between Napster To Go and the iTunes Music Store.

 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.”

Windows: eyeJamz 1.0 released

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.

Mac|Windows: iPodder 2.0 released

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 offers ship dates for JamPod, The Clips

DVForge today announced that it will ship its two latest iPod accessories early next month.

pic 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.

pic 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.

GM adding iPod compatibility to 2006 models

pic 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 ships Dock400, Dock800 FireWire cables for iPods

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.

First album released on iPod shuffle

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.”

Mix: Podshanking, iTunes limits, ShasPod, shuffle headphones

 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 doubles iPod shuffle unit estimate, sees HP decline

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).”

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