“Apple’s popular MP3 gadget is at the front lines of a battle for digital rights. Can the government, the entertainment industry and Microsoft stop it?
The phenomenon known as the iPod is emerging from the shadows of Napster and the Mac to become a force unto its own. As a designer toy, it offers the promise of mobility, the allure of 21st Century Art Deco and the gratification of impulse buying.
But behind the scenes, Apple Computer’s MP3 device is the bulwark of an increasingly serious battle for digital rights versus the virtual law firm of Achcroft, Valenti and Gates. With the help of an increasingly pliable Congress, Microsoft has moved rapidly to encapsulate digital content in a digital-rights-management layer of protection.”
Deals On The Web: A reader points us to Circuit City for discounts on current generation iPods. The 10GB iPod is $269.99 and the 40GB iPod is $449.99. Both include Free ground shipping and are the lowest current price we’ve seen on new units. Search for “iPod” to find the deals.
Editor’s note: We have corrected the headline from ‘4G’ to ‘3G’. Deals On The Web is incorrectly stating it as 10GB 4G iPods.
“In the not-too-distant future when compact discs are museum pieces and vinyl records are near fossils, 2003 will be remembered as the year digital music stepped into the mainstream. [...]
Mark Mulligan, an analyst with Jupiter Research, said: “A lot of the important building blocks have now been put into place. [...]
Effectively a device for storing music files, the iPod helped kickstart a rush to move music from the compact disc to the portable hard disc drive.
In an effort to boost iPod sales, Apple launched its own online music service in May 2003, offering music lovers a wide range of tracks for 99 cents.”
Dealmac: Apple’s iPod MP3 players are 10% off at CircuitCity.com. The iPod 10GB costs $269.99, iPod 20GB costs $359.99, and iPod 40GB costs $449.99. All ship for free. Offers end tomorrow.
In related news, The Apple Store’s free custom engraving offer (a $20 value) on iPods ends tomorrow.
“‘We’ve been running around for the past couple of days trying to find it,’ said 16-year-old Joey Balinski, looking downcast after coming up iPod-less at another store. ‘I would have asked for it for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I figured by now it would be easier to find. [...]
‘It still beat our overestimating expectations,’ said Kawika Holbrook, assistant manager at the Apple Store at Westfield Shoppingtown Valley Fair, noting his store had sold thousands since Thanksgiving. Plus, fate may have conspired against a few iPod lovers. A large FedEx MD-10 airplane that caught fire Thursday in Memphis had a load of iPods on it, Holbrook said. ‘The picture was being passed around the Net, and we were like, ‘No!’ ‘Apple has not said whether any iPods were damaged, or whether that affected late-season availability.”
“When Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs takes the stage at MacWorld next month, analysts expect him to unveil smaller, cheaper iPods and hope he will detail the company’s strategy to move into the digital living room.
The lower-end iPods, which are expected to carry a price tag of about $100 and will hold 400 to 800 songs, are a necessary answer to the bevy of MP3 digital music players now on the market that cost $100 or less, analysts said. [...]
In addition to the lower-cost iPods, the Cupertino, California-based Apple is also expected to unveil them with different colors and even in stripes, as well as variously colored cases for Apple’s traditional iPods, according to Enderle and Mac rumor Web site Thinksecret.com.”
Brian Briggs at BBspot.com has reviewed several music download services; iTunes Music Store, Napster, Musicmatch, Rhapsody, Wal Mart, BuyMusic and EMusic. “I didn’t start out this process with a desire to review all the music services, but as a desire to have a “legal” music collection. I found myself jumping from service to service to see what was offered, and found that there wasn’t one met all my needs, but some were closer than others.”
“The makers of Kazaa, the world’s most popular computer file-sharing program, cannot be held liable for copyright infringement of music or movies swapped on its free software, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled Friday. [...]
‘This victory sets the precedent about the legality of peer-to-peer technology across the European Union, and around the world,’ Kazaa founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis said in a statement distributed on the Internet. They called the ruling a ‘historic victory for the evolution of the Internet and for consumers.’”
“John Lewis had also sold out of the iPod, and was warning customers they may have to wait until mid January to get their hands on the product. Dan Knowles is the company’s director of buying for electrical goods.
He said: ‘We have sold over 2,500 iPods in the run-up to Christmas, which is a lot for such a highly priced product. It just seems to have that cool factor somehow, it’s a truly iconic product already. I don’t think there is a secret to it, it’s just a really, really good product.’
However, those in the industry are unsurprised by the success. Gadget magazine Stuff voted the iPod its number-one gadget from a list of 100 products. Gary Parkinson, deputy editor, said: ‘There has been phenomenal interest in the iPod. I don’t think we have ever experienced anything like it for a gadget.’”
An anonymous reader at SlashDot reports that law firm “Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP is investigating a potential class action against Apple Computer, Inc. on behalf of iPod owners whose batteries have died or lost their ability to hold their charge.” The firm has posted an online form stating; “If you’ve experienced these or simliar problems and you are interested in helping us in our investigation, please fill out the form below.”
Editor’s note: The page is no longer available.
MacMinute reports - “According to sales figures documented in Apple’s annual filing with the SEC, approximately 1.79 iPods were sold every minute in fiscal 2003. Apple said it sold 939,000 iPods for US$345 million in net sales this past year. The iPod is the number one-selling portable digital music player on the market, accounting for 29 percent of all units sold worldwide. The device holds 54 percent of the market share in terms of revenue.”
The people that brought you MacSkinz for Apple computers is soon to release iPodSkinz. iPodSkinz are formed plastic “Skinz” that snugly fit over the front of your iPod. “Our first release will be a few solid tones for all sizes of the original iPod only. The newer iPods will be “Skinned” sometime after the beginning of 2004. They cover and attach to the iPod just like our MacSkinz cover the iBooks and PowerBooks. The price will be $12.50 each with a 3+ quantity discount at $10.00 each.”
“In the new year, some of the world’s biggest brands will promote their products and services by doling out millions of free downloads through alliances with digital music services.
‘You’re going to see lots of free music given out via third-party companies,” buymusic.com founder Scott Blum says. “It’s not going to be Apple and iTunes driving the business. It’s going to be companies like Pepsi and other third parties that are promoting digital music on bottle caps and on labels.’
Indeed, Apple Computer has inked a deal with Pepsi to give away 100 million iTunes downloads in a promotion that kicks off in February with a Super Bowl ad.”
iLounger ‘thericky’ shares his step-by-step integration of iPod and his 2004 Honda Accord. You’ll find this and many other auto installation discussions in our ‘iPod-In-Car Solutions’ forum.
“I recently installed the Soundgate SNHOND3 into my brand new ‘04 Honda Accord EX V-6 so that I could use my iPod in the car. I’ve been using an FM transmitter for a long time in my old car and was tired of hearing static and trying to find stations that worked.
Here you will find step-by-step, picture-filled instructions on how to install the SNHOND3 unit into your ‘03 or ‘04 Accord. They are identical installations.”
MacMinute reports Apple’s Friday filing of its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates the iPod continues to be a big winner for Apple.
“Mike Khalfey, central buyer for electronics at John Lewis department stores, said so many people wanted an iPod they were having to take orders for delivery after Christmas.
‘The demand is certainly outstripping supply,’ he said, adding that the most popular model was the middle of the range 20GB iPod for
In the latest release of iTunes appears a new feature called ‘Grouping.’ Grouping is another field you can edit and search on. Grouping is useful for Classical music, where a “work” or “piece” of music is multiple tracks but not the whole CD. It shows up in Get Info, View Options, and when you right click on column headers,” as explained by ‘iTunes Mike’ in the Apple Discussions forums.
The following job posting has just appeared on Apple.com:
Just as an Apple job posting in early 2003 for a developer of iTunes for Windows was a clear confirmation of that product’s arrival (which came six months later), this posting seems to demonstrate very clearly that the iPod is heading toward video.