Contour Design has announced the Showcase Photo, a new hard case designed for Apple’s iPod photo. Based on the original Showcase for 3G and 4G iPods, the accessory offers all-around protection, clear exterior with shock-absorbing interior, screen protector, detachable belt clip, Click Wheel access, and top and bottom openings for access to connectors, headphone jack and hold switch. The Contour Showcase Photo will be available beginning next week in two colors—black or white—for $32.95.
YamiPod is a freeware application to manage your Apple iPod for Windows and Mac OS X. It can also help you to rebuild the music library, in case some program messed up your iPod. New features in this version include: notes are automatically split if longer than 4KB, choice of destination playlists and many more.
At this week’s UBS Media Week Conference in New York, two executives took aim at Apple’s iPod. Andrew House, VP of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said he plans to first get the company’s Playstation Portable (PSP) in the hands of consumers as a gaming device and then use it to sell music and video downloads. The device uses a proprietary Sony storage disc format that can store about 2GB worth of content. “In the portable space, there are devices that are a necessity, like a cell phone, and there are devices that are indulgences,” House said. “The iPod fits very much into the indulgence and status category and that is where we are going to go head-to-head with PSP.”
Meanwhile, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman said in a separate presentation at the conference that he sees a large opportunity to sell the label’s music on mobile phones, which he expects will hold as much as 1,000 songs like the iPod mini. “Eventually, the greatest competition [for the iPod] comes from the wireless network providers,” Bronfman said. “If my cell phone—or one of those 1.3 billion cell phone users as opposed to the five million iPod users—can give me the same kind of functionality as the iPod, that’s the biggest competition.”
Sena Cases has announced the release of a new line of cases for Apple’s 4G iPod and iPod photo models. Made of specially selected soft European leather, the new cases are offered in two different designs—with or without a flip cover. They feature a slim design, the ability to sync/charge via the iPod dock, access to all buttons and headphone jack, and a multi-purpose pocket (flip cover model only). The Sena cases are available in nine different colors—black, tan, blue, light blue, red, white, orange, green, and violet. The flip cover model is priced at $36.99, while the non-flip cover model sells for $33.99.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today announced that its TransPod all-in-one car solution for iPod is fully compatible with the iPod photo. The TransPod lets owners transmit, charge and secure their iPod in one compact device in their cars. “After extensive testing, DLO now confirms the iPod photo fits the TransPod as well as the current lineup of 3G, 4G and mini iPods,” the company said. The TransPod retails for $99.99.
The female lead in the new Blade: Trinity movie relies on her iPod when fighting vampires, according to a video on the film’s new music Web site, Music To Slay By.
iPod My Photo is a new service that transforms any of your digital photos into an image identical to Apple’s silhouette ads for $19.95.
Missouri congressman and former Democratic presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt loves his iPod and says he listens to both Nelly and Eminem.
Apple is in a battle with the owner of the iTunes.co.uk domain name. The owner claims to have registered it before Apple was granted a trademark.
The iAlbea is a new white leather iPod case. It is hand-made by craftsmen from a Spanish traditional leather production zone, and features quick access to controls, and a secure removable clip. The iAlbea comes in two models to fit all third and fourth generation iPods. It is priced at $85 (shipping included).
Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Napster 2.0 are the most recognized online music services, according to a new study from global marketing research firm Ipsos-Insight. “New findings from TEMPO, the company’s quarterly study of digital music behaviors, reveal that in summer 2004, American downloaders aged 12 and older were equally as likely to be aware of Napster 2.0 and Apple’s iTunes on a top-of-mind basis (20% each). However, when prompted with brand names, about four out of five (79%) downloaders recognize the Napster 2.0 brand, while nearly half (46%) are aware of iTunes.”
iSounder 1.6 is the latest version of the Windows software that aids in using your iPod to karaoke. Version 1.6 brings the ability to edit the content of an iPod directly; multi-library support; the ability to sync the database and songs from an iPod back to the computer; and auto sync in-and-out both ways in an iPod.
Peachpit Press has announced the release of “The iPod Playlist Book.” The $14.99 book offers playlists for “nearly every mood and occasion,” according to the publisher. “Many consumers find it overwhelming having to sort through a massive collection of music to find the right tunes to make a perfect playlist. The iPod Playlist Book makes it simple by featuring more than 150 playlists organized by genre (punk, blues, roots, and more) and activity (road trips, cocktail parties, weddings, luaus, etc.). Each page includes a playlist and interesting tidbits about that list. Some examples of playlists include: Road Trippin’, Not Your Typical Wedding Songs, Cryin’ in Your Beer: Songs for Soaking in Cheap Suds and Salty Tears, The Building Blocks of Punk.”
Vaja has announced a new “Rasta” version of its i-Volution iVod case for all sizes of the iPod photo and 4G iPod. The $90 case is made from genuine Argentine leather, and features a built-in screen protector and access to the Click Wheel, dock port, headphone port, and hold switch. The iVod case is also available in a slew of other color combinations for $70.
IGG Software has released PlayPod 0.2, the latest version of its RSS Podcast client. New features in this update include improved iTunes integration, enhanced download management and a “check and download” button to quickly download all new Podcasts.
Macally has introduced two new silicon cases for Apple’s iPod and iPod mini. The IceSuit is a flexible sleeve case designed for both the 20GB and 40GB fourth-generation iPods. The PodSuit Mini protects all iPod minis “against everyday hazards and scratches.” Both products are priced at $14.99.
Lisa Merschel, a professor in the Spanish department at Duke University, says the iPod program has revolutionized her students’ experience with the language.
Brian Braiker of Newsweek has written a good overview of Podcasting entitled “Tivo for your iPod.”
Not just anyone can build accessories for the iPod. Companies interested in building certain gear for the device must license the dock connector technology from Apple.
USA Today’s Andrew Kantor says he doesn’t understand the overwhelming appeal of the iPod, and claims that “other brands are better, less expensive, have more capacity, are easier to use, and so on.”
Meanwhile, Shawna Richer of The Globe and Mail says the iPod is the “most life-altering gadget to arrive in my 37 years on the planet.”
Matias today announced that it has updated its iPod Armor hard case for the all models of the 4G iPod and iPod photo. The aluminum case offers all-around protection and has been updated to match the look of current iPods, and to make sure that the internal dimensions fit all current iPods correctly. Priced at $49.95, the new iPod Armor features an open-cell EVA foam interior and access to the top ports and dock connector.
Following a complaint from a consumer watchdog that the UK iTunes Music Store overcharges customers, the Office of Fair Trading has referred the issue to the European Commission.
Napster founder Shawn Fanning is touting a new technology called Snocap that is designed to help music companies cash in on peer-to-peer file sharing.
Mac pundit John Gruber has written an excellent piece on the rumored flash memory-based iPod. “If there is a flash memory iPod in the pipeline, the fact that it uses flash memory is the least interesting part of the story,” he concludes.
Arizona State University is offering free iPod minis to students applying for housing renewals at certain locations for next year. Eligible students must apply by 5 p.m. today.
This Sunday, Dec. 5, CBS News Sunday Morning will air a report by best-selling author and NY Times tech writer David Pogue on the culture of iPod Mania. Pogue won a 2004 Business Emmy just yesterday for his tech segments on the show.
XtremeMac today announced the Audio Splitter for iPod. The $12.95 accessory allows you to share music from your iPod with another listener. It works with the 3G and 4G iPod, iPod photo and iPod mini. The splitter allows free access to the iPod hold switch and requires no batteries, and does not draw power or lessen the iPod’s battery life.
In its annual report (SEC form 10-K) filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple summarized several iPod and iTunes related details. The company said it sold a total of 4.4 million iPods in fiscal 2004, a 370 percent increase from the 939,000 iPods sold in fiscal 2003. Apple reported that net sales of iPods rose $961 million or 279 percent during fiscal 2004 compared to the previous year. Since it was first introduced in fiscal 2002, Apple has sold approximately 5.7 million iPods. Apple said net sales of other music products, which consists of sales associated with the iTunes Music Store and iPod related services and accessories, increased $242 million or 672 percent during fiscal 2004 compared to previous year.
“Strong demand for the iPods during fiscal 2004 continued to be experienced in all of the company’s operating segments and was driven by enhancements to the iPod, the introduction of the iPod mini, increased expansion of the iPod distribution network, and continued success of the iTunes Music Store due largely to making it available to both Macintosh and Windows users in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany,” Apple said in the filing.
RadTech has announced a new version of its PodSleevz for Apple’s iPod photo. Made from 0.8mm Optex, the form-fitting sleeve case protects the iPod from scratching and abrasion, while adding minimal bulk to the player. The sleeve features a debossed control area that allows the iPod to be played directly through the case, a clear protective display covering, and full access to all ports. The PodSleevz are available immediately in six colors for $19.95.
iPod Access 1.1 from Findley Designs is the latest version of the Windows utility that allows users to transfer music files from an iPod back to a computer. The free update fixes “No Disk in Drive” errors, fixes a bug where the last song in the Library would not display in Playlists, includes an updated Esellerate engine, and offers improved documentation.