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Wired: ITunes, Now for the Rest of Us

“During a slick presentation in downtown San Francisco on Thursday morning, Mick Jagger, Bono and Dr. Dre joined Jobs to endorse a new version of Apple’s iTunes software and music store for the Mac and Windows. [...]

Like the Mac version, iTunes for Windows offers songs a la carte at 99 cents a pop, and albums for $10. Songs can be shared between three computers—any combination of Macs or Windows PCs—and copied ten times to CD or any number of iPods. On the Mac, the service has won praise for its ease of use and liberal usage rights.”

2.1 Doesn’t Fix Gap Between Songs

  • October 16, 2003

A reader at iPoding reports that “despite some other nice improvements in the 2.1 firmware (especially the dynamic playlist), Apple still hasn’t been able to eliminate the gap between songs.”

Apple Posts New TV Spot

  • October 16, 2003

Apple has posted a new version of its recent hip-hop style television commercial. The new version features black silhouettes on vibrant colored backgrounds ‘rocking out’ to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet.

iTunes Music Store No. 1 in the World

“Since its launch six months ago, music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 13 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, making it the number one download music service in the world. With music from all five major music companies and over 200 independent music labels, the iTunes Music Store catalog is growing every day and will offer more than 400,000 songs by the end of October.”

AOL and Apple Unite for Music

  • October 16, 2003
“Apple® and America Online, Inc., the world’s leading interactive services company, today announced an alliance to provide instant, one-click registration to the iTunes® Music Store for AOL’s more than 25 million U.S. members starting later this quarter. America Online will integrate links to iTunes artists, albums and songs throughout its leading music site, AOL Music, which will give members the option to link directly to the specific iTunes Music Store page to preview and buy music as they browse and read music news and reviews.”

Buy a Pepsi, Win a Song

“Apple® and Pepsi-Cola North America today announced a historic promotion to legally give away 100 million free songs to Mac® and Windows PC users from Apple’s iTunes® Music Store. Beginning February 1, 100 million winning codes will be randomly seeded in 20 ounce and 1 liter bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist, and the winning codes will be redeemable for a free song from the iTunes Music Store. Winners will simply go to Apple’s iTunes Music Store (www.iTunes.com), enter the code found under the bottle cap and choose any 99 cent song from the online store’s vast catalog of over 400,000 songs. The Pepsi iTunes promotion will kick-off with a Super Bowl ad on February 1, 2004, and will run until March 31, 2004.”

Exclusive Audible Content Added to iTunes Music Store

In a partnership with Audible.com, Apple has added exclusive content such as spoken word, audio books and NPR (National Public Radio) programs to iTunes Music Store.

“Through iTunes, Mac® and Windows customers can preview and download audio editions of best-selling books, magazines, radio programs and original shows, manage audio content alongside their music collection, and take their entire audio library with them for listening anywhere with the market-leading iPod™ digital music player.”

Belkin Releases Media Reader for 3G iPods

picBelkin has released a media reader ($100) for 3G iPods (Mac or Windows) and requires iPod Software 2.1.

“iPod’s new photo storage feature allows users to use a Belkin Media Reader to import, store and backup over 20,000 digital photos from a 3 megapixel camera onto a 40GB iPod and take them anywhere. This frees up valuable camera and memory card storage space so users can continue to take pictures without the hassle and expense of buying and carrying multiple memory cards. Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the digital photos are easily transferred to a user’s computer and photo editing software. With Mac OS® X, iPhoto™ will automatically recognize the iPod as a media storage device and prompt users to transfer their photos into the iPhoto library—just as if it were a camera, allowing users to erase the photos after transfer if desired. The ideal tool for professional photographers and people on vacation, Belkin’s new Media Reader for iPod is the first third party iPod photo storage accessory. The Belkin Media Reader for iPod connects easily though iPod’s dock connector and supports the five most common memory card formats—CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD and MMC.”

Belkin Releases Voice Recorder for 3G iPods

pic Belkin has released a new voice recorder ($50) for 3G iPods (Mac or Windows) and requires iPod Software 2.1.

“With the new voice recording features, iPod users can use a Belkin Voice Recorder to record and instantly review over 600 hours of lectures, interviews or notes on a 40GB iPod. Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the voice notes are automatically synced with the computer just like songs and playlists are synced in the iTunes library. These audio recordings are stored in WAV file format and can be easily edited or even sent to others via email. The Belkin Voice Recorder for iPod is the first third-party voice recording accessory to take advantage of these new capabilities in iPod. Belkin’s ultra-compact Voice Recorder for iPod is equipped with a high-quality, omnidirectional microphone and 16mm speaker, works with all dockable iPods through the headphone connector and indicates recording status through iPod’s LCD screen.”

Windows: iPod Software 2.1 Released

The update command downloads new software to an iPod. The update command may be disabled if the iPod does not need to be updated because it already has up-to-date software. The restore command returns an iPod to ‘factory fresh’ condition. It erases and reformats the iPod before downloading new software. WARNING: The restore command erases all of the music and other data currently on the iPod.

What’s new in this version:

  • Voice notes (requires 3rd party microphone, sold separately)
  • Digital photo storage (requires 3rd party photo card reader, sold separately)
  • Enhanced On-The-Go playlist
  • Improved playback performance
  • Added Music Quiz game
  • Improved backlight
  • Improved battery meter
  • New for Windows: support for AAC audio files, including songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store

Mac: iPod Software 2.1 Released

The update command downloads new software to an iPod. The update command may be disabled if the iPod does not need to be updated because it already has up-to-date software. The restore command returns an iPod to ‘factory fresh’ condition. It erases and reformats the iPod before downloading new software. WARNING: The restore command erases all of the music and other data currently on the iPod.

What’s new in this version:

  • Voice notes (requires 3rd party microphone, sold separately)
  • Digital photo storage (requires 3rd party photo card reader, sold separately)
  • Enhanced On-The-Go playlist
  • Improved playback performance
  • Added Music Quiz game
  • Improved backlight
  • Improved battery meter

Apple Store UK Confirms iPod Accessories

  • October 16, 2003

Apple UK has confirmed rumours that the Mac maker will introduce a set of iPod accessories, almost certainly later today when the company unveils the Windows version of iTunes and opens its iTunes Music Store to Wintel users.

“‘Rumours site’ Think Secret has been touting such peripherals for some time, and yesterday cited sources who claim a microphone and a memory card reader will be among the items Apple will offers as iPod options. Apple will also ship a firmware update - taking the device’s on-board software to version 2.1 - to allow the portable music player to use the new add-ons.

Alas, it appears only the latest generation of iPods can make use of the peripherals, but here’s hoping.

The story is confirmed by Apple’s UK online store which has a graphic on its front page advertising “Hot iPod Accessories”. The player “now records your voice and stores more than tunes,” it burbles.”

LATimes: Apple Is Expected to Unveil Pact With Pepsi

“The Cupertino, Calif., company, which reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday that beat analysts’ expectations, is expected to announce today a promotion deal that would give Pepsi buyers free songs from Apple’s fledgling online music service.

Sources said the unveiling of the pact with PepsiCo Inc. was timed to coincide with today’s release of a Windows-compatible version of Apple’s iTunes Music Store, which has been available only to Macintosh users.”

Updated: Apple ships 336,000 iPods, still no. 1 MP3 player

MacMinute has posted highlights from today’s Apple Q4 financial conference call with industry analysts and the press. iPod highlights included: Apple made $121 million in profit from the 336,000 shipped iPods. The iPod is still the no. 1 MP3 player on the market. Apple is expanding its worldwide iPod sales with 8,000 resellers before Christmas.

Today Apple posted its 4th quarter results and it’s noted that 336 thousand iPod units were shipped, up 140 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple posted a net profit of $44 million and revenues for the quarter were $1.715 billion, up 19 percent from the year-ago quarter.

“‘It was a great new product quarter for Apple,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We launched the Power Mac G5, the fastest personal computer in the world, new PowerBooks and new iPods. Plus, we’re delivering Panther, the next major release of Mac OS X, later this month and we’ll have some exciting news regarding our music efforts tomorrow.’”

iPod Available at May’s

  • October 15, 2003
“MacNN readers note that the iPod is now available at several of The May Department Stores, including Robinsons-May and Hecht’s: ‘Today I saw a 3/4 page add on the back page of the A section of The Washington Post promoting the iPod’s are now at Hecht’s. Hecht’s is a regional store like Macy’s. The add featured a few cameras and the like below the iPod, but the iPod took up at least 1/2 of the ad. In some ways getting the iPod in to stores like that seems very good as they have HUGE adverting presence in every Washington Post and probably can get Apple immensely discounted co-promotion.’”

Top 10 reasons iTunes Music Store will beat competition

Blogger Bill Palmer has compiled a Top 10 list of interesting reasons why the iTunes Music Store will beat the competition. “Don’t look now, but just as Apple is about to launch the iTunes Music Store for Windows, here comes a slew of competitors high and low. Here’s why the competition doesn’t stand a chance.”

AP: Apple facing more music rivals

“‘We have a bunch of very comparable services each with their own natural constituencies, and the ability to market to their constituencies is what will determine their success,’ said Josh Bernoff, a Forrester Research analyst.

Early bets on front-runners so far are going to Napster, Apple and MusicMatch—Napster for its deep brand recognition from its freewheeling song-swapping days, MusicMatch for its built-in connection to the widely used Windows Media Player, and Apple for its seamless integration with its popular iPod portable music player.”

Belkin announces TuneDok iPod holder

Today Belkin officially announced the release of the TuneDok in-car holder for iPod.

“The TuneDok holds your iPod in position for easy access using AirGrip (TM) suction-cup functionality. Offering three adapter cup configurations (for different-size cup holders), its flexible construction gives a perfect fit in your vehicle’s cup-holder console. With its innovative height-adjustment capability, the ratcheting neck feature allows you to reposition your iPod easily. The cable-management clip eliminates loose and tangled cords, which keeps your iPod experience simple.”

Mac: PodMonkey 1.1.1 Released

Manage your iPod with the Finder! The first time you run PodMonkey it moves all of your music files out of the iPod’s hidden folder, out to where you can get at them.  When you make changes—copy files in, move them around, delete them—just run PodMonkey again to synchronize your iPod to the Finder: your MP3 files appear on your iPod, more or less as if you’d imported them with a certain bloated and clunky (and metal—ugh!) iApp.

Apple stores to broadcast music event

Apple retail stores nationwide will be presenting a live satellite broadcast of the expected release of iTunes for Windows and more this Thursday, October 16 at 10 a.m. PT. “The year’s biggest music story is about to get even bigger.”

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