Griffin Technology has announced the XPress Digital Audio Cable, a 9-foot cable for connecting an Airport Express to the digital input on a home stereo. The $19.99 digital optical cable has Toslink based connectors on both ends and comes with two Toslink-to-mini digital cable adaptors. The digital mini connectors are the same connectors that provide digital audio output on the Airport Express, as well as the new iMac G5 machines.
MultiPivot has introduced a new line of cases for the iPod market. iMod Cases are available in several styles and levels of protection. They all feature built-in MultiPivot usability enhancements such as Flip & View Belt Mode and adjustable desk and dash stand functions. The iMod Zip ($34.95) is a completely clear, soft case with access to all ports except for the dock port. The iMod Shield ($49.95) features high impact plastic and shock absorbing rubber, and access to all ports and controls. The iMod Armor ($74.95) is a hard case with aluminum exterior and protective foam interior. It offers access to headphones, remote and dock port while closed.
Australian disability equipment specialists Technical Solutions have developed a remote control which enables a person with no hand function to control Apple’s iPod. “The SwitchPod plugs into the remote control socket, and using a single switch suited to the individual, all remote control functions are available. For a person with high level quadriplegia, a switch mounted on the wheelchair headrest may be suitable.” Pricing and availability was not available at post time.
PodStyle is a new anodized aluminum display/frame for third- and fourth-generation iPods (20GB, 40GB or 60GB). Available in red, blue, silver or black, the $29 stand features access to all ports and buttons, allowing you to charge and use your iPod while mounted in PodStyle. “The beautiful styling and classic design of the PodStyle complements any desktop, counter, or existing stereo setup. Choose from four stylish colors to complement your existing rooms décor. Made of strong aluminum with a secure pocket lined with padding to avoid scratches—PodStyle positions the iPod at a perfect height and angle for optimal screen visibility.”
PodShop today announced iDrops, an all-in-one product for cleaning, polishing, protecting, and removing scratches from all models of Apple’s iPod. The $14.95 product can also be used with the iBook, eMac, and iMac G3 and G5. iDrops come in a 1.7-ounce bottle of “liquid health” featuring a medicine dropper top, allowing easy, mess-free use for repairing and restoring the acrylic portion of your blemished, scuffed, or scratched Apple product. In related news, PodShop has also lowered the shipping cost of PodHolder, the company’s $9.95 clear acrylic stand/display product, to $1.95.
BusinessWeek’s Alex Salkever is expecting Apple to unveil a flash memory-based iPod that will hit shelves “sometime next year.” Salkever says the flash iPods would sell for significantly less than the current hard drive-based iPods, allowing Apple to reach new consumers who balk at the higher prices. “iPod, which clocked 3.2 million units sold in the last quarter, is logging an annual sales rate of roughly 13 million units. That leaves Apple plenty of room to maneuver if it wants to assault the flash player market… If Apple could sell just 5 million flash IPods in the next year at prices between $120 and $199, that would likely generate revenues of between $600 million and $1 billion. It would certainly push Apple closer to its goal of rejoining the $10 billion revenue club in the next two years. Add it all up, and the flash iPod hardly looks like a flash in the pan.”
O’Reilly has announced the release of the “iPod Fan Book” by Yasukuni Notomi. The $14.95 book is for anyone “who wants to live the fullest iPod lifestyle possible.” The “iPod Fan Book” offers readers tips on connecting the iPod, loading music, ripping CDs the right way, using iTunes with Windows, optimizing sound quality, protecting the iPod, saving the battery’s life, burning iPod tunes onto CDs and DVDs, using the iPod as a hard drive, and more.
After announcing them at its special music event last month, Apple has now added the iPod Socks to its online store. “Dress your iPod up in any one of six vibrant color socks (green, purple, grey, blue, orange, and pink). This set of knit socks provides a stylish, fun, and practical way to protect your iPod. So add a dash of color to your iPod with iPod Socks, the year’s coziest and most vibrant iPod accessory. It doesn’t matter which iPod model you have because iPod Socks fit all of them. And it doesn’t matter what your mood is because each iPod Socks package includes six bright colors so you can pick the one that feels best. Forgive us if we’re stating the obvious, but here’s how it works: Just slide your iPod into the sock to keep it safe and warm. Slide it out to dock or change playlists. It’s as easy as… putting on a pair of socks.” The iPod Socks are priced at $29 and will begin shipping in early December.
In his latest article for The Independent, Charles Arthur asks whether Apple would be smart to open up the iPod to developers in order to secure the device’s long-term dominance. “The hardware add-on market is fiercely energetic, with more than 300 accessories. But that’s only half the story. Lots of independent programmers would love to write their own games and applications for the iPod. Imagine spreadsheet and document readers or mapping systems. The only limit is imagination and there’s little shortage of that around the iPod. Those programs would make the machine even more useful to its buyers and an even bigger source of revenue for companies, which would thus have a vested interest in the iPod’s continued existence. In technology parlance, the iPod would become a ‘platform’—just like Windows, Linux and OS X on personal computers.”
New additions to Apple’s iTunes Music Store this week include: an “intimate and intense” solo acoustic version of “Lithium” by Kurt Cobain, which will be part of the forthcoming Nirvana box set, With The Lights Out; a new mash-up EP that combines the talents of Jay-Z with Linkin Park; soundtracks from The Incredibles and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie; and greatest hits albums from Britney Spears and the Bee Gees.
Keyspan today introduced the Keyspan Express Remote, a USB infrared remote control that includes support for Apple’s AirPort Express. The remote’s receiver plugs into the AirPort Express USB port, or into the USB port on a Mac or PC, enabling users to wirelessly control iTunes or other media applications. The 17-button remote transmits signals up to 40 feet and includes key maps for iTunes, MusicMatch, Windows Media Player, WinAMP, QuickTime, PowerPoint and more. The Keyspan Express Remote retails for $59 and will begin shipping later this month.
Mac community site Spymac is now offering a limited edition aluminum iPod stand. “Designed and crafted in Germany, this iPod stand proudly displays all models of the world’s most renowned digital music player. Slanted design allows for easy removal and showcasing. Constructed from beautiful high quality aluminum and featuring rubber feet to prevent sliding and furniture damage. The Spymac Smoking Man logo is embedded in the front.” The Spymac iPod stand is priced at $49.99.
Incase has announced its Travel Kit for Apple’s 3G and 4G iPod and iPod mini. The nylon carrying case comes with the dual input Incase iPod charger (a $49 value) and features customized pockets and storage space for your iPod, cables and adapters. It also has a penholder and room for business cards, credit cards, plane tickets, passport and more. “For long and short excursions, or just the daily journey, this is your complete iPod or iPod mini carrying solution,” says Incase. The iPod Travel Kit will be available later this month for $69.
Online retail giant Amazon.com has quietly launched a new store dedicated to Apple’s iPod and iPod-related accessories. “Introducing the new Apple iPod Store at Amazon.com, your one-stop shopping destination for everything iPod,” reads a promotion on the retailer’s site. “You’ll find iPods, iPod minis, and the accessories to trick them out.” Unlike Apple’s new iPod Store, Amazon’s store appears to be a work in progress as it currently lacks many accessories.
Engadget has posted a step-by-step article on how to play a “movie” on an iPod Photo. The process involves exporting the frames and audio of a video, importing them to the iPod and playing them manually by “Click-Wheeling” through the thousands of images while the sound is playing.
iSkin today announced the availability of colored screen protectors called “Shades” for use with the company’s eXo2, eVo and eVo2 iPod cases. “These funky screen protectors are made of a polymer that provides protection without leaving wet marks, graphic distortion or compromises in clarity when placed over the screen of the iPod,” notes iSkin. The new iSkin Shades are available as a $14.99 five-pack containing the following colors: Cosmos (purple), Sonic (deep blue), Blush (pink), Kiwi (green) and Tangerine (orange).
Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich has raised his iPod sales estimates for Apple’s December quarter from 3 million units to 3.5 million units based on stronger international sales and increased supply of drives. “December could be particularly strong as the new iPod Photo is getting glowing reviews, and the competition still lags in ease of use,” Milunovich said in a research note obtained by iLounge. “Hitachi’s HDD division (HGST) should increase its 1-inch production by 50 percent in October. HGST is Apple’s main supplier for the iPod Mini. Toshiba, the major suppler for the white iPod, saw its 1.8-inch drive production almost double in September. Also, scrollwheel supplier Synaptics has a bullish outlook.”
Micromat, makers of the TechTool Pro disk repair utility for Macintosh, has announced a new utility for iPod. PodLock allows users to hide important files by creating an “invisible” partition on their iPod. According to Christian Pickman, Product Manager of Micromat, “It’s like having a secret drive for your data files that only you can see by entering your personal password. If you use your iPod as an external drive to transport data, you’ll want this protection in the event that you should ever lose your iPod.” The utility can also unfragment file data on the iPod, improving file retrieval and music access speed; backup and restore data on the primary iPod volume; and display important and interesting technical information about the iPod, like where a specific iPod was manufactured. PodLock is priced at $65.
Booq has announced a new version of its PodPaq nappa case for the 20/40GB 4G iPod and iPod Photo. The $49.95 case, which will begin shpping on November 10, is made from super-soft Nappa leather and features a removable flap with cutouts for headphones and charging cable, an internal neoprene accessory pouch and external leather pocket, and a belt clip wrapped in leather.
A Rolling Stone article reveals that rock band U2 accepted no money for Apple’s iPod+iTunes ad that features its new single “Vertigo.” The band will, however, get royalties on the special edition U2 iPod. U2 manager Paul McGuinness said, “The commercial was an attractive idea because iTunes was already selling our music, and the amount Apple will spend for airtime is out of reach for the record business.” In the article, U2 lead singer Bono called the iPod “the most interesting art object since the electric guitar in terms of music.”