“Chris Bell, director of product marketing for iTunes, talked with the E-Commerce Times about how Apple has always paid attention to music—and why it always will.
How do you see iTunes in comparison to current competitors?
Bell: I think as other companies work on the first versions of their music stores, we’re already on to our second and third generation of innovation. We’ve passed the initial phase, and we’ve moved into finding new ways to collaborate with artists, forge deals with other companies and develop relationships with independent labels. Now that we’ve established the gold standard for ease of use, our goal is to grow the catalog and expose customers to even more music. We think there’s still a great opportunity for growth in this market.”
Mactracker provides detailed information on every Apple, Motorola, PowerComputing, and UMAX Mac OS computer ever made, including items such as processor speed, memory, optical drives, graphic cards, supported Mac OS versions, and expansion options. Also included is information on Apple mice, keyboards, displays, printers, scanners, digital cameras, iPod, AirPort Base Stations, Newtons, and Mac OS versions. Mactracker for iPod brings Mactracker’s database to Apple’s iPod through the Notes feature. Mactracker for iPod requires Mac OS X v10.1.5 or later and an iPod (Dock Connector) with iPod Software 2.0 or later or any iPod mini.
Mike Matas, the talented iconographer behind the Omini Group has released a set of iPod mini icons (one of each color) for Mac OS X - free for download.
MicrophoneSolutions.com is selling the Shure E2 for $76.00 You can use coupon code F156E3.
“In its largest legal action to date, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed another 532 lawsuits Wednesday against alleged music pirates operating through peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.
The lawsuits use the “John Doe” process, which is used to sue defendants whose names aren’t known.
The lawsuits identify the defendants by their Internet protocol computer address. Once a John Doe suit has been filed and approved by a judge, the RIAA can subpoena the information needed to identify the defendant by name from an Internet service provider (ISP).”
Westering has released Shakespeare’s Sonnets as Notes as a free download. Instructions for downloading to iPod are available on the website.
“Concern over the lifespan of the iPod’s rechargeable battery has reached the House of Commons, with 11 MPs [Members of Parliament] putting their names to a motion calling for Apple to ensure that replacement batteries are plentiful in supply and priced at a reasonable level.
Labour MP for Chorley, Lindsay Hoyle, tabled the motion, stating his concern regarding the “difficulty people are having in replacing batteries for iPods”.
He notes: “iPods were a favourite Christmas present, with a value of between
“Audio Outfitters - Audio Outfitters, LLC, a leading provider of audio products announced today that they are looking for current Apple iPod owners to participate in market research for a new iPod product.
“It is a bit emasculating to admit this, but portable electronics have replaced sidearms in our culture. I draw upon the Japanese katana for my analogy for several reasons. First, the katana was much more than a mere weapon or cutting tool. It was a portable symbol of status, power, and class. The warrior class, the Samurai, were actually quite numerous. At their height they were nearly 10% of the population of Japan. Before 1876, wearing the katana conveyed to the casual observer that the wearer of the long and short swords possessed a rank and status of an elite group.
The simple fact that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars more for an iPod, when equal technology is available in a less impressive-looking package, points directly to this analogy. People will pay more for a status symbol, and in doing so, they have made the iPod one of the most important cultural icons today.”
“Pacific Rim Technologies, a global supplier of innovative products specializing in iPod, PDA, Pocket PC cases, today announced the introduction of the iPod ‘iShield II’ hard case made of aircraft aluminum, available in multi-colors and compatible with Apple iPod 10, 15, and 20GB. It will be shipping in quantity in late February.
Apple has posted a ‘coming soon’ page for its Pepsi-iTunes 100 million song giveaway. You can sign up to be notified when the giveaway launches on February 1, 2004. “Watch for our ads during the Superbowl. 100 million songs. 1 in 3 wins.” It seems that you can either purchase Pepsi or Sierra Mist for a chance to win, as indicated by the icons in the lower left.
“Impulsesoft, the leading Bluetooth(R) Audio solution provider, today announced that TEN Technology has licensed its Bluetooth stereo technology. TEN Technology, the company that introduced the naviPod(TM) wireless remote control for Apple’s iPod, the leading digital music player in the world, demonstrated the TEN naviPlay(TM), the first Bluetooth stereo adapter and remote control designed specifically for the iPod, on January 6, 2004 at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, CA.
‘Superior audio quality and long battery life are critical for naviPlay to meet the high expectations of iPod owners. Impulsesoft’s iWISH and iWISA deliver 44.1KHz and 48KHz stereo audio with a long battery life,’ said John Lin, CEO of TEN Technology.”
Editor’s note: Here are photos of the naviPlay prototype as seen at Macworld SF.
“Europeans purchased over three million song downloads in 2003 from the continent’s primary online music store, OD2, raising faint hopes the lackluster music industry is on the road to recovery. [...]
Still, the volume of downloads is growing 25 percent month on month, Grimsdale said, which would mean download sales should grow more than three-fold in 2004. [...]
The more mature U.S. market is growing even faster. American music fans purchased 30 million download tracks in 2003 as online stores such as Apple Computer’s iTunes proved a big hit with consumers.”
“Synch iPod-iTunes Data” synchronizes select data between your iPod and iTunes. The data that can be synchronized are “Date Last Played”, “Play Count”, “Rating” and “Comments”. The data can be transferred from iPod to iTunes or the reverse, or can be synchronized between the two. This application is designed for people who manually manage their iPod playlists.
“Back in 1999, researchers at Compaq designed a 30 Gbyte portable music player that weighed 9.5 ounces, could fit in your pocket and had 10 hours of battery life. The Personal Jukebox - aka PJB - went on sale for more than $500, and Compaq received a handy patent for its work.
But the PJB is not all that interesting in and of itself. Plenty of companies were busy working on their own music players at the time. The demand for such devices was pretty clear, as consumers rushed to organize their music on PCs and wanted a way to carry the tunes around. [...]
The only explanation for HP’s iPod lust is that it was the easy way out - the road least invented. [...]
HP’s decision to pick up Apple product points to nothing less than a failure of the company to capitalize on its own invention. In addition, it shows HP’s unmatched readiness to ignore in-house IP at the very moment a fledgling market looks promising.”
Normally we couldn’t care less about iPod clones, but Korean company Nextway has announced the D Cube NHD-150D, a 1.5GB hard drive based audio player looking very similar to the iPod. It’s white, and has an LCD display above a scroll wheel and buttons similar to older iPods. Its features include; OGG Vorbis support, 8 line LCD, FM transmitter, FM radio and FM record, direct encoding, Mac OS support and the list goes on. We could not find a price posted on the website. Apple has been known to sue for such ‘similarities’ in product design, most notably the original iMac.
Apple has posted a new iPod TV commercial for viewing at Apple.com which features “Channel Surfing” by Feature Cast. It had been shown for the first time during Steve Job’s Keynote speech at Macworld San Francisco.
JAVOedge has released retractable stereo headphones called JAVOeBuds and features; 3.5 mm headphone jack, and retractable cable (47 inch max.). The JAVOeBuds are on sale for $18.95 (expires 2/18/04).