iLounge is proud to announce our second iPod guide of 2005 — the iPod 101: Back to School Guide. In a twist on previous iLounge Buyers’ Guides, the new publication will include two major parts: a free iPod and iTunes guidebook for readers, plus a preview and review section focused on the top “Back to School” accessories for Fall. As with past Guides, two exciting reader contests with major prizes will be announced shortly. The new issue will be released on August 15, 2005.
Our last Guide, released at the end of March, has been directly downloaded more than 350,000 times from iLounge and affiliated sites, with numerous indirect downloads thereafter. iLounge remains committed to providing its Guides free of charge to its readers, and will again make the new Guide available in open PDF format for easy reading, downloading, and file-sharing.
Following the horrific bomb blasts in London today, Apple has closed its flagship store in the city. “For the security of our customers and employees, the Apple Store, Regent Street, will be closed for the rest of the day,” reads a brief statement on Apple’s website. “Our hearts go out to all those affected by this morning’s events in central London.
The Pixel Girl Shop has added three new iPod products to its lineup of unique gear.
Podschtickers (shown right) are removable stickers that go on the back of full-size iPods (first through fourth generation models). They’re available in four designs—“Awesome Asterix,” “Deluxe Dots,” “Daisy” and “DJ Turtable.” They’re priced at $5.99.
The new Carryboo animal cozies are three one-of-kind hand-made iPod cases that will fit any full-size iPod. The three creatures include “Blue Birdie,” “Crazy Kitty,” and “Lil Mousie.” They sell for $28 each.
The Denim iPod Mini Wallet Organizer is a tri-fold wallet that was made specifically to hold an iPod mini. It has two slots for credit cards and a larger opening for bills. It features denim construction with a yellow polka dot lining and sells for $35.
PhatNoise announced today that the iPod adapter available for 2005 Volvo models is based on its AutoPort product. The company said it has also partnered with the car maker to offer its 20GB PhatBox Digital Media Player as a $898 dealer-installed option for those without iPods.
As previously reported, the $150 iPod adapter is available for the Volvo S60, S80 and V70/XC70 models and connects by plugging the iPod into a Dock Connector cable located in the car’s armrest compartment. The adapter allows users to listen and control their music through their Volvo sound system and steering wheel controls. It will also charge the iPod when connected.
According to new research by the Diffusion Group, the number of podcast users in the U.S. will increase nearly 15 fold over the next five years, reaching 60 million by 2010.
The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg says that “Apple has made receiving podcasts as simple as downloading music. The bad news is that neither Apple nor anyone else has made it nearly as simple to create a podcast and get it online as it is to create and post a text and photo blog. Until that happens, podcasting won’t be truly mainstream.”
Apple has posted a support document that says Smart Playlists on Click Wheel iPods may stop updating dynamically after applying iPod Updater 2005-06-26.
Following reader reports that Altec Lansing pulled its inMotion iM7 speaker systems from Apple retail stores, a company representative confirmed to iLounge that a problem with the product’s iPod door has been fixed and new units have replaced affected iM7s.
“We had discovered a few isolated issues with the inMotion iM7 door staying closed,” Altec Lansing Sr. Marketing Manager Pamela Roccabruna said. “We immediately responded and corrected the problem. The new inMotion iM7 inventory shipped from our facilities last week and should be arriving in the Apple stores very soon.”
Roccabruna said that Altec Lansing is accepting refunds/returns directly and that if a customer experiences any issues with their inMotion iM7, they are encouraged to contact Altec Lansing’s customer service at 1-800-258-3288. “Our customer service technicians will work with them to reach a solution as quickly as possible,” she said.
Tunewear today announced its Poptune collection of removable wrappers for the iPod shuffle. Each Poptune protects the shuffle from dirt and scratching, and comes with two USB cap covers, one for the lanyard cap and one for the regular USB cap. The company said they won’t leave behind sticky residue when removed. The Poptune series comes in a $19.95 pack of 12 patterns—“Aloha”, “Dragon”, “Wood”, “Snake”, “Karakusa”, “Sakura”, “Fire”, “Stone”, “Orange”, “Green”, “Sparkle Silver” and “Sparkle Gold”.
In this week’s look at the iLounge Discussion Forums, one reader asks: how many songs do you have? In hours? Days? Weeks? - over 38% of those voting have 2600 or more…
A bug has been noted in the latest iPod Updater 2005-06-26: readers are finding that their Smart Playlists are no longer updating on the iPod. Join the discussion on this topic…
With the upsurge in podcasting and the latest iTunes 4.9 support for podcasts, one reader’s experiences so far have yet to convince him of the appeal of this latest broadcasting phenomenon... What do you think?
And finally, as previously reported in the iLounge news, a natural look iPod has been produced in an amazing mod by a reader who removed the complete front of his fourth generation iPod and produced a wood replacement, complete with a working wooden clickwheel. Read his detailed description of the mod and view the whole process in the Hacks and Mods Forum.
In a phone call to the father of the 15-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed over his iPod last week in Brooklyn, Apple CEO Steve Jobs conveyed his sympathies and told the man not to hesitate to ask if there was anything Jobs could do for him.
“I didn’t know who he was,” Errol Rose, father of the slain Christopher Rose, told The New York Times. “He called me on my cellphone, at 4 maybe. Or maybe it was 5.”
“He told me that he understood my pain,” Rose said. “He told me if there is anything—anything—he could do, to not be afraid to call him. It really lightened me a bit. Some people talk to you like they’re something remote,” Rose said. “He was so familiar. After every word, he paused, as if each word he said came from his heart.”
“We live in a world which is changing rapidly,” Rose said. “We have the technology that can give us the iPod and everything else, but it’s not all these things. We have to work on the minds and the hearts. We’re failing these kids. We’re not loving them like we’re supposed to.”
Denon Electronics has introduced two new home entertainment systems that offer direct connectivity and control of the iPod.
The compact 2.1-channel systems—the S-301 ($1,599) and S-101 ($999)—feature integrated DVD/receiver units, a range of audio and video connections, dual satellite speakers, high-performance subwoofers, and wireless remotes. They both sport a “gentle round-form design” with metallic silver finishes and will be available in August.
Most importantly for iPod owners, both systems feature a plug-and-play “Connect iPod” cable located on the front panel that provides 3G and 4G iPod users connectivity with an iPod navigational menu that’s displayed on their home theater screen.
“The onscreen display mimics the iPod’s own menu display, offering easy and familiar control capabilities,” says Denon. “Once connected, all basic iPod features, including volume control, menu navigation, play, stop and skip, can be accessed via the Denon remote control. Users can even recharge their iPods while connected.”
In addition, both the S-301 and S-101 systems offer support for the iPod photo (now iPod with color display), enabling users to show and control their photos with music on their main home theater display.
Denon has yet to update its site with details of these new models, however, a teaser site showing the S-101 was recently posted.
Speck Products today added a new version of its iGuy posable “friend” for Apple’s iPod mini. The white rubberized toy/case features bendable arms and legs, docking capability and a screen protector. iGuy mini is priced at $34.95 and fits both 4GB and 6GB iPod minis.
“Since our explosive iGuy release in May, mini iPod owners have been anticipating the release of iGuy mini,” said Tim Hickman, general manager of Speck. “The iGuy mini is even more portable than his big brother. The smaller size makes it much lighter and easier to carry around.”
First Albany analyst Joel Wagonfeld has raised his earnings and sales forecasts for Apple and increased his iPod sales forecast to 5 million units from 4.25 million.
PC World reports that Apple’s decision last week to cut the price of the 1GB iPod shuffle may prompt other companies to do the same.
EarphoneSolutions.com will begin shipping the Shure E4 earphones (black) on July 8th and the Shure E4c (white) is in stock now.
According to a recent IDC survey, Americans are “experimenting with new audio technologies, from online music services to terrestrial and satellite digital radio and multichannel audio formats, but they still rely on CDs and FM radio as primary sources of music.”
Tunewear today announced the Tuneclip, a new headphone cable management accessory for the iPod and other portable audio players.
“With Tuneclip, all you have to do is wind your earphone cable around the reel-shaped body and snap it into the stopper,” says Tunewear. “Using the clip on the back it is easy to fasten it to a shirt pocket, belt loop or almost anywhere else. Because you can wind the cable to the length that you like, you no longerhave to worry about getting tangled up in excess cable.”
Tuneclip comes with a removable ball-bearing style chain so that you can attach it to a bag or key ring. It’s available now for $9.95.
Apple today announced its countdown to half a billion songs sold on the iTunes Music Store.
To celebrate, the company is giving away an iPod mini and an a 50-song iTunes gift card to the iTunes customer who purchases the winning song at each 100,000 interval. The person who downloads the 500 millionth song will win 10 iPods of their choice, an iTunes gift card for 10,000 songs and an all-expenses paid trip for four to see Coldplay on their world tour.
Apple has posted a live song counter online to help users “participate in the race to purchase and download the 500 millionth song.”
“As we prepare to cross this major milestone of half a billion songs, we want to thank our customers, the artists and the music labels who have helped make iTunes a global success,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of applications. “iTunes continues to be the world’s number one online music store featuring the world’s best digital music including special performances such as the Live 8 concerts.”
Joshua Driggs has constructed a terrific replacement iPod faceplate out of African Padauk wood. He has posted several photos of the “wooden iPod” and explained the building process.
Scott Kelby and his KW Media staff have created a hilarious Apple parody video for a super tiny iPod called the “iPod flea.”
The New York Times has an article on the mainstream media adopting podcasting. “The ruling media elite are quickly adopting the methodology and technology of the insurgency, attempting to co-opt something that was meant to tip them over. This time, the revolution will be televised, broadcast and published.”
With Apple’s leap into podcasting, “leaders in the RSS community, including the standard’s own creator, are taking Apple to task for developing an ill-advised DTD without seeking input and guidance from the community.”
In further confirmation that iTunes 4.9 is ready for the long-awaited Motorola iTunes-compatible phones, which Engadget suggests will begin with the TransFlash-card capable Motorola E790, iLounge forum member “celebi23” has discovered several mobile phone icons and dialog strings in the application.
Following on the heels of an earlier discovery of an icon that resembles the popular Motorola RAZR phone, and reports that some current Motorola phones can already communicate with iTunes, Celebi23 uncovered a generic mobile phone icon that will appear in the source column of iTunes.
As previously reported, hidden files in iTunes 4.9 are riddled with references to an “iPod Phone.” Celibi23 verifies this information and provides details of preferences for such a phone, including options very similar to those of the iPod shuffle, crediting most of the dialog discoveries to Macshrine.com.
Users will apparently be able to use AutoFill with an iTunes-compatible phone, convert songs to a lower bit rate before loading them, display album artwork on the phone, and choose how many songs versus data to store. Additionally, iTunes will seemingly enable users to name their phones, transfer podcasts to them, and update their contacts. A reference to “iPodmobile” remains obscure.
The online Apple Store is offering factory refurbished 512MB iPod shuffles for $79 and 1GB iPod shuffles for $99. The store also has deals on the discontinued 20GB iPod (black and white display) and the 30GB color display iPod.
A 15-year-old Brooklyn boy was fatally stabbed Saturday by two other teenagers in an iPod mugging, police said. “Rose and three friends were accosted by a group of young men Saturday evening in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn,” reports AP. “Members of the group demanded Rose’s iPod and stabbed him twice in the chest when he resisted. The group fled, taking Rose’s iPod and a backpack.”
iPodResQ has announced new discounts for its iPod repair programs. You can get $10 off the iPodResQ 24 Hour Nationwide iPod Repair Program with code “MEXICO”, and $10 off the iPodResQ 4G iPod Flat-Rate LCD Same-Day Replacement Service with code “MALL”.
Engadget has new photos of a Motorola E790 running iTunes. “It might just be an engineering or a production sample, and we can’t guarantee whether this will actually be the first iTunes phone or not,” the gadget site says.
Every three seconds, a child dies in Africa from starvation or disease: 30,000 die every day. The continued presence of AIDS and armed conflicts, combined with a tremendous debt burden and widespread illiteracy, have kept the people of the African continent from achieving their deserved equality on the world stage.
Twenty years have passed since the worldwide charitable music event known as Live Aid took place. Today, the world’s wealth is more concentrated than ever before, and those without resources still need help - this time, your signature, not your money.
This weekend, millions of people have gathered at music events around the world to convince world G8 leaders that the era of misery in Africa should end. Cancelling the debts of impoverished African nations - wiping the slate clean - will enable these countries to use their money to help their own people, rather than paying interest on debts they will never clear. Your signature on the petition below could help convince the G8 to erase African debts, and aid these countries on the road to self-dependence.
Philadelphia, Paris, Johannesburg, Rome, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow, London, Cornwall, and Barrie, Canada are all taking part in today’s events. Top artists including Coldplay, Razorlight, The Killers, The Dave Matthews Band and many, many more are participating to raise awareness for this effort.
Update: The song, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, which opened the Live 8 event in London performed by Sir Paul McCartney and accompanied by U2 is now available to download from the iTunes Music Store. Also available is the live rendition of the Beatles track “The Long and Winding Road” also performed by McCartney. Both tracks cost $.99 and all proceeds go to Live 8.
Following the successful launch of iPort (iLounge rating: B+) last year, the recently-formed iPort division of Dana Innovations has announced iPort In-Wall (IW), a new series of five iPort docking stations for the iPod. According to the company, the new iPort models “feature a universal docking system (patent pending) with a self-adjusting base plate that automatically conforms to any size iPod,” and represent “a dramatic leap forward in install-ability and future upgradeability.”
As contrasted with the original $600 iPort, the new models vary in suggested retail price from $200 to $1100. The IW-1 ($200) charges an iPod and outputs unbalanced audio and video, with an included wall plate for audio only; a video wall plate is optional. IW-1 is the only new iPort without an upgradeable motherboard.
The IW-2 ($350) adds an integrated IR receiver, and is compatible with optional feature cards for balanced audio ($275), balanced video ($325), and RS232 communications ($225). iPort’s RS232 card enables the docked iPod to provide metadata such as artist, track, and playlist information for viewing on separate video displays. The remaining three models are bundles of the IW-2 with various feature cards: IW-3 ($600) bundles the IW-2 with the balanced audio card, while IW-4 ($800) bundles the IW-3 with RS232, and IW-5 includes the IW-4 and the balanced video module.
All of the new IW series products except for the IW-5 and separate feature cards are now shipping; the remaining products will be available later this month.
Mophie has announced the Song Sling, a new iPod shuffle case and lanyard combo with integrated retractable earbuds. The Song Sling is priced at $39.99 and will be initially available in three colors—gray, blue and pink. It’s expected to ship beginning next month.
“Song Sling takes the basic lanyard concept to the next level,” says Mophie. “Its patent-pending design features concealed audio connections and retractable earbuds for ‘pull and play’ functionality. Song Sling raises the bar when it comes to style and convenience on the portable music scene.”