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Dell re-signs retail contract with Apple

MacCentral is reporting that Dell, Fry’s and Micro Center have re-signed their retail contract with Apple. Last week, Dell and Target were among those companies that did not re-sign their contracts, thus, they stopped selling iPods. Target went on to liquidate their stock of iPods by selling them at substantial discounts while Dell removed iPods from its online catalogs and stopped selling them altogether.

Windows: iText 1.0

iText is a user-friendly Windows application with which you can easily transfer text files to your iPod, and later access them from the Extras->Contacts menu. iText is freeware, meaning you can use it and distribute it freely.

iPod Remote Disassembly

iLounger “Morcheeba” recently posted news of his disassembly of the Apple iPod remote. His webpage includes photos, pinouts and a schematic. In his latest forum post, he explains why he took the remote apart. We’d also like to note that iLounger “norque83” has posted disassembly photos of the Apple iPod remote.

But the other answer is that I eventually want to build an interface to my car, so that I can control the iPod with the steering wheel track forward/back controls. Taking the remote apart helped find the electrical specs I need to emulate, and watching the signals on the scope told me how complicated the protocol was—hence how complicated of a microcontroller I’ll need for my project.

Replacement Battery for iPod Now Selling

iLounger “Jackonicko” has informed us that Laptops for Less is selling a replacement battery for all iPod models. The Sony Lithium Ion battery sells for $49 with a 1-year warranty and includes step-by-step installation instructions on its website. We have also updated the iLounge FAQ, “Can I replace iPod’s battery myself?” with this new information.

Mac: iCommune 2.01a Released

iCommune is an application that extends Apple’s iTunes to share music over the network.  You can share the music in your iTunes library and access other iCommune music collections.  iCommune music collections appear as playlists in your iTunes window.  You can browse through them, and choose to stream or download the music they contain. 

The new version of iCommune is finally available for download.  It’s definitely an alpha version, but it seems to work pretty well for me.  Enjoy!

New iPods with Docking Stations Coming Soon

Think Secret is reporting that Apple will introduce two new iPod models by end of April, along with Apple’s new music service.

“A re-designed Apple iPod in two new hard drive sizes with control buttons and a docking/charging station will be announced toward the end of April, sources have confirmed to Think Secret. The new models will be available in 15GB and 30GB sizes, as the 5GB and 20GB models will be discontinued.”

Also, noted in the report, new PC models will feature USB 2.0. According to an artist rendering the control buttons (play, pause, rewind, fast forward) have been moved from around the touch wheel to below the LCD display on all new models. The pricing for each new model; 10GB $299, 15GB $399 and 30GB $499.

Target and Dell Stop Selling iPods

According to a report by Think Secret, Target and Dell have stopped selling iPods due to a dispute over the new Apple dealer contract. “iPods have been marked for clearance at 1,148 Target stores nationwide, according to eyewitness reports.” Now might be a good time to check with your local Target store for discounted iPods. One employee at Target reports a 15% discount on 10GB iPod (Mac and Windows), dropping the price to $339.99. Dell has removed the iPod from its online catalog.

“It is not known exactly what objections Target and Dell had to the contract, but sources confirm the contract was instrumental in the decision of both companies to abandon, for now, the sale of the iPod. It is not known if either company will settle its contractual differences with Apple and start selling the product again, but based on Target’s decision to clear out all remaining stock of iPods, it’s thought the possibility of such a move is remote.”

EverythingiPod Introduces TransPod II

EverythingiPod.com has announced the new TransPod II player/charger/mount now with cassette adapter capability. TransPod II includes cassette adapter and auxiliary cable. It’s available for pre-order for $99, and shipping is expected by May 1, 2003.

“Like the original TransPod, the TransPod II allows users to simultaneously charge, mount, and listen to their iPods through their car stereos. The TransPod II has the same sleek design of the original TransPod, but features a cassette tape adapter and auxiliary cord that plugs directly into a user’s car stereo!”

New PodPod Stand for iPod Announced

Chally Micro Solutions, makers of the PodPod stand for iPod have announced a new remodeled design. The PodPod is now made from thicker acrylic, laser formed and available in Smoke Black and clear acrylic. All new PodPods also sport a new laser engraved PodPod logo. The stand only costs $12.95 plus shipping and handling until April 30, 2003.

Burton/Apple Amp Pack Info and Photos

You may remember our recent report where we informed our readers about the soon to be released Burton/Apple Amp Pack. An anonymous reader has submitted to iLounge an Amp Pack product sheet. It’s a $200, black backpack featuring the same SoftSwitch Technology used in the Burton/Apple Amp Jacket. All we know at this time is that it should be available soon. Check with your local snowboard/skate/ski shop to see if they have more info.

XtremeMac Offers 10% Savings

Our friends at XtremeMac wanted to let our readers know about their April Spring Break Sale. XtremeMac is offering 10% off any product to anyone purchasing products available online. After making your selection(s) and placing the item(s) in your shopping cart, you will be prompted to type “SPRING” into the Coupon Code field in the online order form. Click the “Use Coupon” button and your discount will be automatically applied to the items in your shopping cart.

Refurbished iPod 20GB for $399

Dealmac reports:

“PowerMax offers the factory-refurbished iPod 20GB for Mac for $399. It’s the best price we know to be currently available, although we’ve mentioned it for slightly less in the past. Add around $9 for shipping. A one-year Apple warranty applies.”

More info

Listen to iPod and cellphone at the same time

Want to listen to your iPod and your cellphone using one headset? MacMinute reports that Skullcandy, makers of cellphone headsets has released a hands free headset which will allow you to switch from cellphone to audio input, vice-versa or listen to both at the same time.

“When a call is received, you can either eliminate the music entirely, or simply                 reduce the music volume with the inline music control on the LINK console - listen to both the music and the call at the same time!”

Mac: PodWriter 2.2b1 Released

PodWriter is a (now Cocoa & Objective-C, was Java) application to display notes on your iPod.

What’s new in v2.2b1:
Adds some basic mp3 transfer functions. It’s not anywhere near finished, but here’s a look at it. Choose List Music from the mp3s menu and then make sure you select your destination folder. Once I figure out how to read mp3 tags correctly, it’ll get some more functions and a nicer appearance (function is more important than looks).

“The iPod is nearly perfect, but these add-ons make it better”

Tom Gromak of The Detroit News has a written an article describing several useful add-ons for iPod users. Included is the free and famous EphPod software for Windows, Marware’s SportSuit Convertible case, Koss KSC55 headphones and an in-dash JVC MP3 player for your car with audio input for your iPod.

Linux: gtkpod 0.50 Released

gtkpod is a platform independent GUI for Apple’s iPod using GTK2. It allows you to import your existing iTunes database, to add songs/directories/playlists, to edit ID3 tags, to modify the iTunes database without the iPod connected and to synchronize at a later time. gtkpod also features international charset support for ID3 tags, detects when adding already existing songs, and more.

“Troubleshooting the iPod: Unmounting problems, solution”

Macfixit reports that several readers are having trouble unmounting their iPod after applying the iPod Software 1.2.6 Updater.

“After pressing the Update button, the iPod will unmount from the Desktop, then an error message will appear saying that the Updater could not proceed because the iPod was unmounted.”

Mac: PodWriter 2.1.1 Released

PodWriter is a (now Cocoa & Objective-C, was Java) application to display notes on your iPod.

What’s new in v2.1.1
Added German localization thanks to Volker Riebartsch.

iPod Armor $49.95 Plus Free Belt Clip and Anchor

On The Go Depot has announced an introductory price special for the iPod Armor case. The aluminum hard case is on sale for USD $49.95 (CAN $79.95) and includes a free belt clip and anchor ($20 value).

“Using an iPod with a Wallstreet Powerbook”

MacOS X Hints reports today on an alternative method for using an iPod with a Wallstreet PowerBook. Previous methods required jumping through many hoops, and even then it wouldn’t always work. This new method, however, seems to be a little more fool proof.

“An alternative to this approach is to purchase an external FireWire drive with a powered bus (you still need the PCMCIA FireWire card), and connect your iPod to the extra FireWire port on the drive. Now your iPod is connected to a powered FireWire port. Consider doing this when it’s time to upgrade your internal hard drive.  Just make sure you get a powered FireWire drive.”

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