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iPod Updater 2005-10-12 released

Apple has posted iPod Updater 2005-10-12 for download on its website. The update includes iPod Software 1.0 for Apple’s new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod, but does not bring any new features to current iPods. According to the brief release notes, iPod Updater 2005-10-12 “contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-23 for all other iPod models.”

Fifth-generation (video) iPods arrive

imageApple’s new fifth-generation iPods have begun arriving to those in the U.S. who placed their order shortly after last week’s announcement. iLounge editors and several forum members have already received their new iPods, with many more iLoungers reporting that theirs have been shipped. In addition, it has been confirmed that most Apple retail stores have received a limited number of the new iPods.

We’ve posted a six-page photo gallery featuring the unpacking of a 30GB black iPod and a 60GB white iPod. You can also check out our Top Ten Things You Wanted to Know About the 5G iPod article, our original first look article on the device, as well as our gallery of 300+ pictures from the special Apple event where the new iPod was unveiled. Stay tuned to iLounge for our comprehensive review.

Mix: iTunes phones, TV programming, TiVo-to-iPod, Hollywood

In an interview with Fortune, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there’s more iTunes-enabled mobile phones to come besides Motorola’s ROKR. “There are more phones yet to roll out,” he said. “Cingular has been great to work with.”

If it becomes popular enough, the video iPod could begin to “raise the value of television programming in the mind of the consumer,” says Steve Hoffenberg, director of electronic media research at Lyra Research. “People pay $30 or $50 a month for unlimited cable television for a couple hundred channels that they can watch 24 hours a day. Now all of a sudden, when one hour of TV is a dollar or two, it changes the value proposition for television.”

Engadget has posted a guide on how to get TV shows off of a Series 2 TiVo and on to the new video-enabled 5G iPod.

BusinessWeek’s Ronald Grover says it’s now the Hollywood studios’ turn to learn that digital downloads are the future. “Wake up, Hollywood. What are you waiting for? Either let Steve Jobs have your movies or—and this is a novel idea for any entertainment mogul—beat him to the punch with your own efficient, cost-effective way for consumers to get flicks off the Web.”

CBS offers podcasts on iTunes Music Store

CBS has announced that it is now offering a slew of free audio podcasts, from “60 Minutes” to “Guiding Light,” on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Other offerings include: “Face The Nation,” “Survivor Live,” “CBS Soapbox,” “NFL Hot Topic,” and “Fantasy Football: Roster Trends.”

“Podcasting has become a way of life for an increasingly growing population, and I’m confident our programming will find a whole new audience on this hugely popular platform,” said Larry Kramer, CBS Digital Media president. “With one click on iTunes, users can now receive podcasts from each of our divisions, including entertainment and sports. We’re very pleased to be working with iTunes on this promotion, and we look forward to exposing and sharing our programming with an audience that might not be traditional TV viewers.”

Sumo Cases offers new gear for iPod nano, 5G iPod

Sumo Cases has provided iLounge with an exclusive look at its new leather cases for the recently introduced iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. Pricing and availability were not announced.

imageNano Flip Case
The Nano Flip Case features leather construction, a flip-top front cover, and a soft interior. The case provides access to the dock connector and headphone jack, and comes with a removable wrist strap. It’s available in black and red.

imageNano Stripe Case
Sumo’s Nano Stripe Case is made from molded leather over eva foam for better protection, and sports a contrasting white stripe. Also available in black and red, it features a front face cover, access to all ports, and a removable wrist strap.

imageiPod Ballistic/Leather Case
The Ballistic/Leather Case for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod features premium leather and ballistic nylon construction, a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. It’s available in black.

iPod Stripe Case
Sumo’s new iPod Stripe Case, also made from premium leather with a contrasting stripe, features a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. The Stripe Case is available in a sleek black-and-white design.

Griffin intros AirClick with dock connector for iPod

imageGriffin Technology today announced the AirClick with Dock Connector, a new version of its wireless remote control for iPods. Unlike previous models, the receiver of the new AirClick connects to an iPod’s bottom dock connector instead of the top headphone and remote ports.

The AirClick uses RF technology that allows users to control their iPod from up to 60 ft. away and through walls. The remote control features five buttons—play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up, and volume down—and also has a hold switch and rear clip. The new AirClick works with fourth and fifth generation iPods and iPod minis. It is priced at $39.99 and is scheduled to begin shipping in mid-November.

Eminem iPod + iTunes commercial returns

imageAfter briefly appearing online last week following Apple’s special event, the new iPod + iTunes commercial featuring rap music superstar Eminem is now back on the company’s website for viewing. There have also been reader reports that the 30-second spot began airing on TV over the weekend.

The ad, which was first shown by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during the event in San Jose, is a new 3D version of Apple’s well-known silhouette ads featuring the rapper singing his hit single “Lose Yourself” along with dancers and the new fifth-generation iPod.

The commercial came as somewhat of a surprise given the history between Apple and Eminem. The rapper’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed a lawsuit against Apple in early 2004, claiming the iPod maker used “Lose Yourself” in a commercial for the iTunes Music Store without permission. The dispute was settled in May of this year, with Apple agreeing to pay Eminem and Eight Mile Style an undisclosed sum.

The disappearance of the commercial from Apple’s website without explanation sparked a bit of controversy online. Bloggers have speculated that Apple had pulled the ad because of its similarity to a three year old Lugz shoe commercial [video, screenshot comparison]. Others assumed that the ad was pulled because of a last minute demand from Eminem’s camp. Currently, no explanation has been given.

Incase debuts first case for new iPod

imageIncase has introduced its first case for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod. The Incase Pouch, designed to fit the new 30GB iPod model, features a durable synthetic fiber exterior and soft suede interior. The case has expandable elastic sides and a belt clip, and will come in black, olive and chocolate (shown). Incase said the Pouch for 5G iPods will retail for $19.95, and will be available from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores by the end of the month.

Mix: iPod video, Hollywood, Motorola V3X, Jobs successor

Newsweek’s Steven Levy writes about the iPod’s new video support. “Will people be similarly impressed by viewing such fare on the 2.5-inch iPod screen? A couple of weeks ago, Jobs tested it himself with an episode of Lost. The verdict? ‘It’s not bad,’ he says. With more than 20 million iPods sold, and a new business selling TV shows, he’s not desperate, and certainly not lost.”

The New York Times’ Richard Siklos says: “The video iPod is not about to revolutionize Hollywood in the way the iPod revolutionized music. Why? Two reasons. One is that studios are not rushing to make their most popular movies and shows available for the video iPod. Perhaps even more important, mobile gadgets with access to everything that is already on television are on the way.”

Engadget reports that Vodafone has the Motorola V3X listed as being available next month with iTunes. The phone also has a two megapixel camera, memory card slot, and Bluetooth.

In a BusinessWeek articled entitled “Atop the Apple Tree, Almost,” Arik Hesseldahl and Peter Burrow discuss the possibility of life after Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “If Jobs ever steps down, Tim Cook’s elevation to COO confirms him as the top candidate to fill his shoes. Actually, make that to try to fill them.”

Shure adds black E Series earphones for iPod nano

Shure today announced black versions of its E Series sound-isolating earphones designed to complement the black iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. In addition to the current white models, the Shure E2c, E3c and E4c will be available in black. They will begin shipping in November.

“Featuring Shure’s unique Dynamic MicroDriver technology and priced at $99, the E2c is a consumer’s first introduction to premium audio and an ideal choice for upgrading bundled earphones. The lightest, most compact model in its class, the E3c retails for $179 and features WideBand MicroDriver technology to deliver extended frequencies and precision highs. The E4c, $299, incorporates Shure’s Tuned Port Technology and High Definition drivers, delivering luxurious, detailed audio and extended bass response.”

We are awaiting pictures of the new black models from Shure.

Apple drops Samsung investment plan

Talks between Samsung and Apple on a possible joint investment to produce NAND flash memory chips have been dropped. “We had had some talks with Apple earlier this year but it did not work out due to differences over terms,” a Samsung spokesman told Reuters on Monday, adding they had dropped the joint investment talks “at a very early stage.” Apple is reportedly in talks currently with another company for joint flash chip output.

The Korea Economic Daily reported over the weekend that Apple had pulled out of the joint $3.8 billion investment plan due to “deepening anti-Samsung sentiment among some South Korean politicians and civic groups.” The Korean Fair Trade Commission Chairman recently stated that Samsung could be investigated for reports of the company selling flash memory to Apple at below-market prices. Last week, Samsung was found guilty in the U.S. of price-fixing.

ABC shows on iTunes causing waves in TV business

Apple may have “helped open a Pandora’s box for the media business” by making television shows available for download on iTunes. The Wall Street Journal reports [paid sub. req.] that Apple and its first TV partner, Walt Disney/ABC, have “taken a potentially significant step in the dismantling of a decades-old system for distributing TV programming to viewers, a move that could have profound long-term consequences for broadcasters, cable systems and satellite companies if more users download shows instead of watching them the old-fashioned way.”

Apple’s deal with Disney is “already causing waves in the TV business,” with Leon Long, the president of the association representing ABC’s affiliate stations, expressing his concern to ABC executives. “It is both disappointing and unsettling that ABC would embark on a new—and competitive—network program distribution partnership without the fundamental courtesy of consultation” with its affiliates, Long said in a letter to the president of the ABC network. Meanwhile, the unions that represent TV show writers, producers, directors and actors issued a joint statement last week saying, “We look forward to a dialogue that ensures our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work.”

Apple’s design process highlighted in Time cover story

imageThe October 24th edition of Time magazine features a cover story on Apple and how the company is different from others when it comes to designing new products. While Apple CEO Steve Jobs is featured on the cover holding the new fifth-generation iPod, most of the article is devoted to analyzing the design process at Apple. The cover story contains some choice quotes from a number of Apple executives, including Jobs, Jonathan Ive and Tony Fadell. A paid subscription is required to read the full article.

Time’s Lev Grossman says that there are two things going on inside Apple—collaboration and control. When it comes to a new product, it’s a joint effort—the company does not pass a product down the line, from team to team. “There aren’t discrete, sequential development stages,” explains Grossman. “Instead, it’s simultaneous and organic. Products get worked on in parallel by all departments at once—design, hardware, software—in endless rounds of interdisciplinary design reviews.”

Jobs compares Apple’s design process to other companies. “You know how you see a show car,” Jobs says, “and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”

Time’s Grossman describes the “control” of Jobs: “Sure, Jobs is perfectly pleasant to be around. And he pays attention to what you’re saying, but if he disagrees with it… he’ll come storming back and hammer at you until you change your mind or at least shut up… In other words, Jobs is into control. In itself, that is of no real importance, except that in a lot of ways, Apple is an expression of Jobs’ personal ethos.”

Finally, Jobs talks of the new iPod’s potential. “There is no market today for portable video,” he says. “We’re going to sell millions of these to people who want to play their music, and video is going to come along for the ride. Anyone who wants to put out video content will put it out for this. And we’ll find out what happens.”

Forums: More new forums, New iPod, RIP iT5, Linux Forum?

In this week’s look at the iLounge Discussion Forums: a new set of forums have been launched for the new iPod 5G (video). We have opened a General Discussion forum, which is already seeing a lot of activity, a forum for Problems & Solutions, which we hope will see little activity, and we’re sure the Cases forum for the new iPod will see plenty of posts.

Members share their views of the “new iPod,” “video iPod,” or “5G iPod” in “The Official “New iPod” Discussion Thread”. Love it and want one? Or are you ambivalent about the newest Apple iPod? Share your views.

With the release of iTunes 6 during the “One More Thing” event, iTunes 5 is relegated to the history books as the shortest-lived version of iTunes. Join other members mourning its passing and reminiscing its brief time installed on their computers…

We have had a request from a member to establish a forum to cater for Linux iPod users within the iLounge community. At present there seems to be little in the way of a large enough response from the Linux iPod users to warrant a dedicated forum. Are you a Linux iPodder and would a Linux forum be of use? If so, please comment in the thread.

Mix: PSP vs. video iPod, Network TV, iPod porn

PSPworld has an editorial comparing the Sony PSP with the new fifth-generation iPod. “The PSP is a wonderful game machine, and it is a joy to own,” the site says, “but if Sony doesn’t pull together and start taking advantage of the PSP’s multimedia capabilities, they are going to lose sales of PSPs to the video iPod. It’s just that simple.”

Mark Cuban, who became a billionaire in the content delivery business during the dot-com boom, says this week’s announcement by Apple and ABC has “enabled a new revenue stream which if it grows, could definitely be the revenue stream that saves primetime network TV.”

Adam Curry, president of PodShow Inc. and one of the pioneers of podcasting, said the new fifth-generation iPod is going to open up doors to portable pornography. “Porn is just going to be huge,” he told listeners to his Daily Source Code podcast this week. “The porn guys are just going, ‘holy moly,’”—in gratitude for the new market that’s opened up to them.

Griffin debuts black iFM with dock connector

imageGriffin Technology today announced a new version of its iFM with a dock connector and a new black exterior. The tiny device integrates an FM radio tuner and remote control functionality. It is compatible with fourth and fifth generation iPods, iPod minis and iPod nanos. The new iFM functions as a remote (controls play, pause, fast forward, rewind, next song, previous song, volume), and features a digital FM radio with a band-switch function to switch between US, European and Japanese FM bands. It also offers 6 station presets per band. The new iFM is priced at $49.99 and will begin shipping in mid-November.

iPod chief stepping down, to be succeeded by ‘Father of iPod’

Apple today announced that Jon Rubinstein, the company’s senior vice president of its iPod Division, will retire on March 31, 2006 and will be succeeded by Tony Fadell, Apple’s vice president of iPod engineering. Apple said in a statement that Fadell, known to insiders as the “Father of the iPod,” will report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and take over all aspects of iPod development.

“I’ve worked with Jon for over 15 years, and we’re going to miss him. Jon has done an excellent job as a member of Apple’s senior management team, as well as building our world-class iPod engineering team and running our hardware engineering team prior to that,” said Jobs. “Tony has been doing a superb job running a large part of the iPod engineering team, and we’re expecting a very smooth transition.”

Fadell, an engineer who previously worked at General Magic, Philips Electronics and RealNetworks, is credited for the birth of the iPod. Fadell reportedly approached Apple with the idea of a portable digital music player coupled with a paid download service in 2001. Apple provided Fadell with a 30-person team and a tight deadline to create the first iPod.

Apple also announced today that it has named Tim Cook its chief operating officer. Cook, who has been Apple’s executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations since 2002, will continue to report to Jobs.

Vaja unveils new iPod nano cases

Vaja has introduced its first cases for Apple’s iPod nano. Like all cases from the company, they’re made from Argentine high-ended leather and can be customized with numerous color options and added features. Vaja offers further personalization with your embossed name or logo.

imageThe Vaja AP171 case ($34) features a screen protector and access to the headphone port, hold switch and dock connector. The case is available with an optional metal hook, Ultra Clip, or Rivet Clip system, and can also be ordered with a click wheel protector.

imageVaja’s AP161 case ($40) sports a flip-down front cover with a screen protector and access to the headphone port and hold switch when closed, and access to the dock connector when open. The AP161 is available with the Ultra Clip or Rivet Clip system and can also be customized.

Mix: Steve Jobs, iReruns, Motorola podcast, MP3 player sales

In an interview with The New York Times earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs acknowledged the about-face he made on his view of portable video. “Jobs said he was entering the video market as an experiment, but one that he felt he could not lose because the players will sell well on their music-playing features alone.”

Time magazine’s James Poniewozik has an interesting idea for the TV shows on iTunes. “Why not let people pay $1.99—or more—to watch a show the day before it airs? Sure, some folks might pony up for a glorified rerun. But how many Lost fanatics would gladly pay every week—essentially subscribing to a network show—for the chance to find out whether Michelle Rodriguez is evil, or why Daniel Dae-Kim is suddenly speaking English? A day late, a Survivor elimination is old news; a day early, it’s insider information.”

Motorola will release a podcast for its iTunes-enabled ROKR mobile phone next week that will feature legally-licensed music from big name music acts. The company describes the inclusion of such music as: “Marking another step towards full legitimacy of a format frequently branded ‘the new pirate radio.’”

Research firm IDC says global sales of digital music players are expected to increase to nearly 1 billion units a year in 2009. IDC forecasts sales of compressed audio players (everything from MP3 players to DVD devices) will reach 945.5 million units worth $145.4 billion in 2009, up from 224.9 units worth $46.7 billion in 2004. The portable flash player category is expected to grow to 124 million units in 2009 from 26.4 million in 2004.

DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano announced

imageDigital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced the DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano. The cushioned neoprene case features a clear screen protector, a built-in swivel clip and a slender armband “that’s perfect for jogging or the gym.” The DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano sells for $29.99 and is available immediately.

“The DLO Action Jacket for the iPod nano preserves the glass finish of the iPod nano’s screen and top surface by offering owners a soft, padded neoprene case with a built-in screen protector. It fully protects the nano from dirt, sweat and dings. The sturdy belt clip offers the option of wearing the nano on their hip or belt, bag, shirt, pocket, almost anywhere.”

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