At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Alpine Electronics of America announced iPod-ready in-dash receivers to allow seamless control of up to 10,000 songs in the car. Japanese website AV Watch has posted several photos of the Alpine unit from the recent ALPS Show (equivalent to CES) in Japan. “Alpine has engineered a unique interface box that takes advantage of the iPod Accessory Protocol allowing audio, track information, and control signals to be communicated over the Ai-NET system bus to the in-dash receiver. This seamless integration provides emulation of the iPod’s controls through an Alpine head unit using both the front panel buttons and the wireless remote control.”
Toshiba today announced that it will offer a 60GB version of its 1.8-inch hard drive in the coming months and that Apple has already placed its order. Cindy Lee, deputy manager of Toshiba’s hard disk drive division, said the drive will enter mass production during July or August. All three iPod models (15GB, 20GB and 40GB) use Toshiba drives, while the iPod mini uses a 4GB 1-inch drive from Hitachi. Lee noted that Toshiba is currently shipping 350,000 of the 1.8-inch drives per month to Apple.
“Sometime last week
The New York Times’ Education Life section is working on a mini-guide for incoming freshman at various college campuses and has asked iLounge to assist in reaching out to college students with iPods. The New York Times is compiling a list of iPod “must-have” tunes across various college campuses across the country. Based on your experiences, the paper wants to know: “What is the ONE song or group/artist that everyone at your college has on his or her iPod?”
Editor’s note: This is an authentic request for assistance by The New York Times.
MacMinute reports “the USA Network is offering a contest to promote its new “The 4400” series, which premieres on July 11th. ‘One Grand Prize winner will receive 4,400 iTune [sic] song downloads and a 40GB iPod. In addition, five First Prize winners will receive a 20GB iPod and five Second Prize winners will receive a 15GB iPod.’ The contest runs until Monday, July 12th. Further details are available from the Web site.”
Pepsi Australia is giving away 15GB iPods every hour on the hour. Buy a 600ml Pepsi, Pepsi Max, or Pepsi Light, SMS (text message) the code on the back of the label, and go into the drawing for that hour. The giveaway starts midnight, May 31st and continues until September 24th. That’s 1008 iPods to give away. Also, any entry you make goes into the draw to win one of 10 iPods after the competition is over.
German website i-pod.de has released a schedule of upcoming matches for the European Football Championships for use with the Notes feature on iPod/iPod mini.
Except for pre-order items, everything is 20% off upon check out. No coupon code needed. Global Source PDA sells a USB retractable iPod docking cable, FireWire retractable iPod docking/charging cable and a Deluxe Leather iPod mini case. The sale event ends May 31st.
Microsoft is apparently preparing to battle the iPod. Not satisfied with decimating the Macintosh with undercut pricing (and, admittedly, a more sound distribution model) Microsoft wants the iPod to have a more Apple-like 5 percent market-share.
But will it work? Yes, and no…
PBS’ Frontline interviewed David Crosby, a music legend known for his solo performances as well as his work with the Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In it Crosby mentions how iTunes looks “really, really, really promising.”
“Why did that work? Because it was simple, and it was already existing hardware. And anybody could have done it, but Steve Jobs put it together. It works like a charm. You upload it; they download it. They pay you a buck or two. It’s that simple.
You getting some hits from that? You bet. And I’m going to get a lot more. No packaging cost, no promotion, no lairs of distributors, each taking 20 percent off as it goes by. No returns, no free goods, nada! [laughter] No costs! That’s a good business model that works, and it’s working for them. They’re a brilliant company, and that’s a brilliant idea. And if I were in a position to invest in the stock market, which I wouldn’t be, it certainly would be Apple, because that’s the one that works.”
The Vodafone cell phone company has broadcast a TV commercial in Japan that portrays a woman using white iPod earbuds to listen to her music-capable cell phone. It is a conclusive sign that other manufacturers are trying to “cash in” on the coolness of the white earbuds. The phone itself actually ships with cheap silver-and-black headphones, not the white earbuds used in the commercial (which are clearly iPod earbuds).
Put control of the iPod back in your hands with iPodRip, with the ultimate iPod companion. iPodRip supports importing of your songs to iTunes or a location on your hard drive as well as playback of songs.
Matias Corporation has released the iPod Armor case for the iPod mini featuring; an aluminum and plastic hard case exterior; black velvet interior; access to the headphone port, “Hold” switch and click wheel (when open); and can accommodate the iTrip FM Transmitter. The iPod Armor mini is available now for $49.99 (includes optional Armor Clip belt clip) plus free shipping.
Editor’s note: Read our exclusive review.
To celebrate their first month of trading, iPodX.co.uk are having a blow out sale on iSkin products. For the remainder of May they’re dropping the price of the new iSkin eVo to just
“Catchy singles reach radio as much as eight weeks before the full-length CDs they are on land in the stores, but customers willing to pay for legal downloads online have had to wait, sometimes until just before the CD’s release date.
Music companies had feared that issuing the songs any earlier could fuel piracy, upset traditional marketing plans and anger brick-and-mortar retailers. But in the past six months, recording companies have had a change of heart.
Songs are now routinely released for sale by download through iTunes, Napster, RealRhapsody and other services on the same day those tracks hit radio.”
MacMinute reports Apple’s iPod is a hit, but analysts’ belief that it commands 25 percent of the global market may be overblown, Alex Salkever writes in his latest “Byte of the Apple” column for Business Week Online. He says this is because “very little good data exists on international sales of consumer electronics.” “According to one of those chipmakers and to industry analysts, worldwide shipments of digital-music-player chips hit about 15 million last year,” Salkever writes. “An April, 2004, report from investment bank CIBC on this market estimated global sales of flash and hard-drive music players at 17 million. If that’s true, then the 1.5 million iPods sold in 2003 gives Apple 8 percent to 10 percent of the global market.”