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Tune Belt Announces iPod Armband Carrier

picTune Belt today announced the iPod Armband Carrier. “The innovative design is engineered to fit iPods in upside down so that when the arm is raised slightly with the flap open the LCD reads right side up! Other design features include open access for the touch wheel and touch buttons, a clear protective window for the LCD, an opening in the bottom for the headphone jack or remote cord to come out, and a zip pocket on the flap for personal items or the earbud headphones when not in use.  A diagonal reflective accent strip enhances the sleek look even more and provides nighttime safety as well.  The arm strap is easily adjustable with one hand up to 20 and the case is available in black and royal blue.”

Napster’s making deals with beer companies. How low will Steve Jobs go to keep iTunes on top?

You know, it seems like only yesterday that I pointed out that all (both) of the players in the soft drink space were spoken for when it came to digital music. In fact, it was yesterday. The good folks at Roxio must have been reading my article, and realized that they were in a bit of a pinch now that both Coke and Pepsi sponsorships were off limits, because they’ve moved on to other beverages in search of sponsorships, and no I’m not talking about Fresca. In what may amount to a new all-time low for the high-tech industry, the brains behind the Napster mini-revival have signed up a beer company as their new sponsor. Yeah, you read that right…

Fortune names iTunes Music Store Product of the Year

“Napster proved that tens of millions of consumers were eager to download digital music from the Internet. They just weren’t inclined to pay for it, which led music companies to believe that the Internet was the superhighway to ruin and that most Internet users were thieves. All of which makes the achievement of Apple’s iTunes Music Store impressive from both a diplomatic standpoint and a technical one.”

Give your iSkin a Tattoo

iSkin Inc. today launched its iSkin Tattoo Service. Organizations, businesses and institutions can now order iSkin products with their logotype, web site address or company message printed on it to create a unique, functional branding solution. The minimum order for the Tattoo service is 50 pieces. Prices vary based on individual print locations and quantity color.

Mac: Goombah 0.2 Pre-Release (Find new music through others)

You’ve already got access to hundreds of thousands of songs with Apple’s legendary ease of use through iTunes, but you need a hassle-free way to find really great new music. Goombah from Transpose connects you to listeners who like what you like. See what they are playing, then preview, buy, and download with the iTunes Music Store.

iTunes Music Store in Japan by next year

“Apple Computer Inc. will open its iTunes Music Store to customers in Japan by as early as next year, CEO Steve Jobs, in Tokyo for the opening of Apple Store Ginza on Sunday, told The Asahi Shimbun. [...]

Online music sales have yet to catch on in Japan, the world’s second-largest music software market following the United States, but growing interest from companies such as Apple underscores the market’s potential.”

PC World: Tech Giants Team Up to Fight Piracy

“The group, which calls itself the Content Reference Forum (CRF), is a new, cross-industry standards organization that counts leading technology and media companies as members, including Universal Music Group, Microsoft, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, and VeriSign, according to a statement released by the group.

The goal is to design a technology platform that enables media companies and other digital content owners to distribute content across different technology environments and geographical regions, according to Albhy Galuten, chairman of the CRF and a former advanced technical lead at Universal Music Group.”

Macworld UK: Poll: Santa facing iPod hell

  • December 10, 2003
  • iPod
“A quarter of Macworld readers have asked Santa for an iPod, with a further quarter hoping for a PowerBook, the latest Macworld Online poll shows.”

Here’s why Coke’s download service is music to Apple’s ears

“Color me paranoid, but when Apple first announced its upcoming iTunes cross-promotion with Pepsi, my first thought was that Apple was putting itself at risk by signing on with the soft drink industry’s number two player. I figured that it was just a matter of time before Napster, Dell, Microsoft, or some other player in the music download space would announce a similar deal with comfortably-number-one Coca-Cola. Sure, it would have just been yet another case of Apple dreaming up a new way of doing things only to have an unimaginative competitor steal it, but it would really have sucked for iTunes if it had worked out that way.

So when Coke announced yesterday that it would be launching its own music download service without help from anyone, I have a feeling that Steve Jobs was dancing in the streets. Even better, Coke is only launching the service in Great Britain. In other words, Coke just wants to have something out there to compete for attention when Pepsi starts giving away iTunes tracks during the Super Bowl. You knew that Coke would enter the picture at some point, but this is beautiful: they’ve taken themselves out of the picture completely…”

Used 2G 20GB iPods for $229

Powermax.com has used 2nd generation 20GB iPods (without dock connectors) for $229.

TroyBoyDesign releases PodKin icons, desktops and more

  • December 9, 2003
  • iPod

picTroyBoyDesign has released several new iPod icons, a new desktop and t-shirt based on its new PodKin character.

Macworld UK: Euro iTunes petition raised

“Europe’s Mac users don’t want to wait three years for Apple to arrange licensing arrangements, so Swedish Mac user Jacob Landefjord has launched a petition entreating Apple to launch its service: “We, the undersigned feel that the opening of the iTunes Music Store in Europe would be a great success and sell a lot of music and iPods,” the petition reads. It has attracted 415 signatures so far.”

Internetnews: Paid Music Downloading, MP3 Player Sales Double

“Persistence is paying off in the battle between the record industry and music sharers, as Ipsos-Insight determined that there has been a growing willingness among Americans to pay for their tunes.

The firm’s research revealed that the number of paying music downloaders doubled in the first half of 2003 coinciding with the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) announcement that they intended to begin prosecuting file-sharers and the release of Apple’s iTunes music store.”

ZDNet UK: Execs target 99-cent song price

“Music industry executives are contemplating shifts in the 99-cent song price that has become a default standard

As the early buzz over new music services such as Apple Computers iTunes fades, record labels and technology companies are struggling to turn the services into profitable businesses.”

CNET: Sales of portable music rocking steady

“The demand for MP3 players in the United States is poised to grow at a steady rate of 50 percent a year through 2006, signaling better times for the digital music market, claims Jupiter Research.

Shipments of MP3 players should hit 3.5 million in 2003, almost double 2002 figures, Jupiter said in a report issued Tuesday. It also said that there will be more than 26 million MP3 players in use by 2006. Starting in 2004, the demand for players with hard drives will surpass that of players with flash memory.”

Refurbished 30GB iPod for $380

MacResQ offers the reseller-refurbished Apple 30GB iPod for $379.99 via coupon code “PODME”. That’s a $10 savings and the lowest price we know to be available. Add around $5 for shipping. A 90-day MacResQ warranty applies. Offer ends December 15, 2003.

TidBITS: iPod Gift Offerings, Part 1

“The iPod is one cool gadget; in fact, it’s the best-selling hard drive-based music player in the world, with millions of units sold since its release. So chances are either you or someone you know owns one. Use that to your advantage this holiday season and buy your favorite music lover (or yourself) something to accentuate their iPod.”

iTunes sells more than 20 million songs

“Indeed, the download services are seeing some signs that many music listeners are accepting the 99-cent price tag, despite some downward pressure. Apple Computer said Monday that it has now sold more than 20 million songs in fewer than seven months through its iTunes song store.

Online buying patterns are also beginning to emerge, pointing to potential ground rules for the new services. Apple director of marketing Peter Lowe said that 45 percent of songs downloaded through iTunes had been sold as part of a full album, rather than in single song form. That indicates many people are still interested in purchasing large numbers of songs, or full albums, despite having a la carte options, Lowe said.”

Jack in your helmet and hit the slopes

piciLounger Jesse has informed us about snowboard/ski helmets by Giro with built-in headphones and cable for use with iPod. “The Audio Series helmets feature TuneUps earpads, a premium-quality set of specially designed headphones that are built seamlessly into the earpads so you can dial in your favorite sounds anywhere on the hill without the hassels of earbuds or extra cords. Just plug in youyour player and go.” We Googled several online retailers and the Fuse helmet can be had for about $155, the Nine.9 helmet for about $135 and the Nine.9 MX helmet for about $125.

The Register: iPod Phone Scam Man Arrested

  • December 8, 2003
  • iPod

“A 21-year-old man from St Neots has been arrested after the main switchboard at Cambridgeshire police HQ was jammed by thousands of calls on Friday.

Concerned callers rang the Huntingdon-based HQ after receiving an email informing them that 399.99 would be taken out of their account to pay for an iPod music player they’d supposedly ordered.”

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