The first independent iPod repair service has launched in the UK. “At UK iPod repairs we offer a quick affordable repair service for all generations of Apple’s iPod, If you have a smashed or broken LCD screen or want a high capacity battery we can fit a replacment and have your iPod back to you within 48 Hours! We also repair broken iPod headphone sockets and FireWire ports, replace dead hard disk drives, fix non-responding scroll wheels and buttons.”
Entertainment production company Cinemafactory has placed a casting call on Cragslist seeking “unique and interesting” people for an upcoming iTunes commercial. “Are you addicted to iTunes? Do you take your iPod everywhere? The CinemaFactory is looking for dancers, performers, and uniquely talented people of all ethnicities and ages who enjoy using iTunes/iPods for an upcoming non-union commercial shooting in early November in Los Angeles.”
Note: iLounge’s publisher, Dennis Lloyd will be attending the event and may be participating in the commercial.
Kensington today debuted an all-in-one FM Transmitter and Auto Charger for iPod and iPod mini. “Compact FM Transmitter/Charger charges and plays iPods using car radio and cigarette lighter plug. Transmits outside the car to FM radios within 15 feet. LED indicators signal plugged and charging states, and safety fuse protects against power spikes. For iPod or iPod mini with dock connector. 5-year limited warranty and free technical support.” The FM Transmitter/Auto Charger retails for $59.99.
“Rock band U2 has cut a deal with Apple Computer to sell custom iPods promoting the band’s forthcoming album.
Sources close to the group say the U2 edition of the popular digital music player will come preloaded with the band’s new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, along with portions of the Irish supergroup’s 25-year catalogue. The iPods will be black and will be made available the same week as the band’s 11th studio album, which is slated to be released in the U.S. by Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records on November 23.”
MacMinute reports that Apple has sent out an invitation to select media announcing a special event to be held next week at San Jose’s California Theater. The event appears to be music related as the invite reads: “Steve Jobs, Bono and The Edge invite you to a special event.” Bono and The Edge are of course members of the popular rock band U2, who are featured in Apple’s latest iPod+iTunes commercial performing their new single “Vertigo.” The song is also available exclusively through Apple’s iTunes Music Store. During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call last week, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple and U2 would be working together more “in the coming weeks.”
“In Europe, the UK is at the forefront of this [iPod] phenomenon. Pascal Cagni, Apple’s European boss, has recently relocated to Britain, which has just overtaken France to become the biggest market in the region.
Cagni said: ‘The UK is our strongest country now, no question. We have been performing superbly with the iPod. The adoption curve is much stronger than in other countries in Europe. The Christmas to come will be immense.’”
Pyrim Technologies, Inc. has released the the Rock Docks line of “stone” desktop organizers for the Apple iPod. The Rock Docks are available in three configurations; Rock Dock - CD Holder, Rock Dock - Picture Frame and Rock Dock - Dual Cavity, and come in five faux stone finishes; Granite, Red Granite, Quartz, Sandstone and Limestone. Prices for the Rock Docks range from $69.99 to $79.99.
“iRip debuted today as the least expensive CD-to-iPod transferring (ripping) service to date. The service assists current and prospective iPod owners by taking their CDs and “ripping” them to their iPod, often saving the iPod owner hours. All Orders are tracked via iRip’s unique Client Order Management web application, letting the customer know their order’s exact status.
iRip service costs only $1 per CD for standard service, more than 30% off the price of our nearest competitor. Standard service includes three-way UPS Ground shipping and expedited service includes three-way UPS Overnight shipping. There is a 30 CD minimum and service is offered for the Apple iPod, the Apple iPod mini and the Apple iPod by HP.”
MacMinute reports “The MP3 music format is losing ground to rival technologies backed by Apple and Microsoft, according to researchers at the NPD Group’s MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people’s hard drives. The researchers said that the percentage of MP3s in digital music collections has steadily declined in recent months, down to 72 percent of collections from 82 percent a year ago. The AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) format, which Apple’s iTunes Music Store uses, and Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format has each gained about 5 percent of the ‘hard-drive share’ in the past year.”
“Rob Enderle, consumer electronics analyst at The Enderle Group, says Apple has dominated the MP3 player market because its product is superior to competitors’, and Apple ‘outspent everyone else on marketing 10 to one.’
Companies such as Dell, Creative Technology, Rio and Virgin have announced new MP3 products aimed at taking business from Apple with lower prices and more storage. Enderle says Apple’s real test ‘is going to be in the next two months. None of the new products are as good as the iPod, but collectively, they could start to eat at Apple’s market share,’ he says.”
Belkin has announced two new iPod accessories. TunePower ($99.99) is a rechargable battery pack for use whenever there isn’t access to an AC outlet. The battery provides 8-10 hours of charge, comes with three sleeves to fit either an iPod and iPod mini players with dock connectors, and a detachable DC/FireWire power cable. The TunePower can be used with the Apple wall adapter to charge both the iPod and the TunePower. TuneBase ($49.99) is a flexible steel gooseneck mount/dock for the iPod mini. It plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter outlet and charges/powers the iPod mini and also features a 3.5mm line-out for use with the specially designed Belkin Mobile Cassette Adapter or TuneCast Mobile FM Transmitter (not included). The TunePower and TuneBase will begin shipping on October 25.
iPodMods repair and customizing service, has changed the price for color change mods to $35.00 for all LCD and Touch wheels (3G iPod). Due to overwhelming demand, they have made the offer more affordable to customers. The color change mod consists of replacing the original LEDs with new colored LEDs of your choice; Super Red, Super White, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green. iPodMods also offers general repair services for iPods starting at $20 and LCD repairs starting at $140.
“Apple today announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 150 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, marking another major milestone for the online music business. The 150 millionth song was “Ex-Factor
Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes has updated “NNW Subscription to iPod Contacts”, an AppleScript that copies selected news Subscriptions from the NetNewsWire RSS reader in vCard format to the Contacts folder of any mounted iPod.
Griffin is now shipping its iBeam Laser Pointer and Flashlight attachments for iPod and iPod mini. “Introducing the Griffin iBeam set, ready for your dock-connector iPod or iPod mini. The snap-on flashlight is great for finding keys in the dark. The other half of the package is a class IIIA laser pointer, handy for iPod-friendly presentations and other, less professional pursuits. Both units come with a snap-on protective cap that can be attached to any keychain for convenient portability and accessibility.” The iBeam retails for $19.99.
RetroPod, makers of iPod cases from the shell of vintage Sony Walkmans shuts down at the request of Sony. “Your use of casings for such a purpose is a clear infringement of the SONY and WALKMAN marks because it is deceptive. Consumers likely will be misled and deceived into believing that Sony is somehow connected with the iPod personal stereo when in fact it is not.” Customers with unfilled orders will be refunded through PayPal.
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2004 fourth quarter ended September 25, 2004. Apple shipped 2,016,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 500 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter. Apples’ Q4 financial conference call with financial analysts and press also mentioned several iPod and iTunes related highlights. (Source MacMinute.com)
- Music based revenue grew 370%
- 2,016,000 iPods shipped, up 500% ($537 million)
- $98 million from iTunes Music Store and other iPod-related services/gear
- HP-branded iPod accounted for 6% of all iPods sold
- More European stores coming this month
Better Energy Systems Ltd. in London has announced a solar powered battery backup for the iPod and portable electronic devices. The Solio uses a 1600mAh lithium ion battery and charges at the same rate as the iPod’s normal charger and will store enough charge to extend the playtime of your iPod 40GB to about 9-10 hours. Solio works on all 3G and 4G models including the iPod mini. The Solio will also power your cell phone by changing out the tip.
Solio is selling in the UK and France at the moment for £49.99 and will be launching in the US and Japan very soon. Solio can be bought in the UK at online retailers such as www.ipodworld.co.uk and several high street shops including Micro Avika or Selfridges in London.
According to new data reported from analyst firm NPD Group, iTunes remains the leader in legal downloads by retaining a 70 percent market share for digital downloads between December 2003 and July 2004. Napster had a 11 percent share for the same period and MusicMatch, RealNetworks and Wal-Mart each had six percent share.