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First Science: Review of Etymotic ER-4P headphones

“Ear-Bud Headphones (the type you put directly in your ears) are generally fairly useless. This seemed to be one of those universal truths that was right up there with food that tastes the best being the worst for you and computers always crashing 3 seconds before you were about to save a vital document.”

Editor’s note: You can also read our review of the Etymotic ER-4S.

UK Guardian: iPod nail in the coffin for CDs

“First they killed off vinyl 45s. Now even the days of CD singles are numbered. In the future, laments Paul Morley, pop fans will collect nothing but lists in cyberspace. [...]

The iPod, at once a nail in the coffin and some kind of saviour, is an object that seems beautiful enough to honour the history of the popular song as a vast and varied art form, and to be the futuristic replacement to the vinyl single. It represents a brave new world in the way that the CD never did. The iPod, the place where storage becomes magic, now helps us say for sure: It’s all over.”

iPodSkinz Coming Soon

The company that brought you MacSkinz for Apple Macintosh G3/G4 and recently announced for 12” iBook laptops, is currently developing iPodSkinz. The ‘Skinz’ are made from form fitting plastic and come in several different designs. No pricing or shipping date is set, but we’ll announce news of iPod Skinz as soon as it becomes available. MacSkinz for 14” iBook and 12” Powerbook are will also be available soon.

iTrip illegal in UK

The iTrip has been deemed illegal in the UK according to AMMICRO, a UK based reseller.

“In the UK FM broadcasts are allocated for the exclusive use of licensed broadcasters. No other systems are permitted to operate within these bands. The UK authorities have allocated all existing analogue FM bands. Therefore, use of the iTrip in any FM broadcasting bands is strictly prohibited.

Use of the iTrip in the UK therefore constitutes an offence and can lead to prosecution of the User, the dealer and the seizure of all iTrips in the UK.”

Register: UK ‘bans’ iPod radio add-on

The Register reports that “Griffin Technologies’ iTrip iPod add-on is illegal in the UK”. It goes on to state that “While its operation in the US is permitted by the Federal Communications Commission, over here the device contravenes the UK Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1949. ”

MacSlash: BuyMusic.com Ripping Off Artists

MacSlash reader and musician, Jody Whitesides has reported that BuyMusic.com is ripping off artists.

” Here’s what I’ve deduced… BuyMusic.com (which I will refer to as BM) got their “vast” music library of 300,000 plus songs from a company called the Orchard. The Orchard is a distribution company that has consistently shafted artists by not paying them for CD’s sold nor returning unsold CD’s or cancelling contracts. So, without the express consent of what is likely lots of the Orchards catalog, BM has put it up for sale at the bargain price of $.79 a song.”

Move over LimeWire, here comes Poisoned

I was on techtv.com today when I saw a download for a file-sharing program called Posioned. Basically it connects Mac users to the Gnutella, FastTrack (KaZaA), and OpenFT networks. This is good news for anyone that is sick to death of LimeWire. Hope you have a good time!

Editor’s note: Don’t steal music.

30GB iPod for $399

Macs Only! reports that they have overstock items for sale, including (2) 30GB iPods for $399. “They are sealed in their boxes and never opened. We are offering them to our readers before they go on eBay this Saturday.”

Billboard: iTunes Headed To PC, Biz Mulls Download Prices

“In the afternoon keynote session yesterday (July 29) at the Jupiter Plug.In conference in New York, Peter Lowe, Apple’s director of marketing for applications and services, said the company intends to launch a PC service with broad content-usage rights similar to those enjoyed by iTunes consumers using Mac computers. [...]

Meanwhile, Plug.In attendees questioned whether the 99 cent download model employed by Apple and others will drive the digital music business going forward. “We still have a long way to go in terms of figuring out how everyone makes money in the space,” Yahoo! Inc. VP/GM of music David Goldberg told attendees in a Billboard-moderated roundtable discussion on the state of the digital music business.”

BusinessWeek: Why iTunes Has Bands on the Run

Byte of the Apple columnist Charles Haddad writes how iTunes has shifted control from artist to consumer when buying music.

“DISTANT WAILS. In the hands of listeners such as McGinley, Apple’s iTunes is a tool of liberation. It gives them the freedom to pick and choose, and, in essence, make their own compilations from favorite tracks. And that’s just what many of those who wrote in told me they were using iTunes to do. In fact, the opportunity to compile personalized play lists and track selections may be one of the service’s biggest draws.

Fans of iTunes represent an unstoppable force. Who wants to keep all those CDs if you can carry around 1,000 songs on an iPod and easily expand that library through the Internet? Not many I suspect. Nor is this growing army of Internet-savvy users going to stop at music. Not too far in the future an iVideo and perhaps an iTome, for downloading literature and audiobooks, respectively, will be available”

Apple 20GB iPod for $279

Dealmac: Small Dog Electronics offers dealmac readers the Apple 20GB iPod for Windows for $279. That’s $50 off and well below the next-best price we could find. Offer ends tomorrow. (These are new, factory-sealed units that can easily be converted to work with Macs.)

Next generation iPod does TiVo?

  • July 29, 2003
  • iPod

Michael Sippey of ‘stating the obvious’ weblog has posted an excerpt from a concept document proposing several new features to be added to next generation iPods.

“The iPod and Tivo share more than a few characteristics: they both enable the user to manage and experience entertainment content, they both are made possible by the ever-decreasing costs of local storage, and they both share a similar interface metaphor.  But to date we’ve missed out on an opportunity that Tivo takes advantage of brilliantly:  the ability to provide rotating promotional content and messaging as a component of the menuing system.”

Jason Kottke’s weblog, Kotte.org Undesign has posted a rebuttal to the concept proposals, and said, “If Apple is pushing me advertisements and marketing which I can’t opt out of and are draining *my* battery while I look at them and taking up *my* hard drive space, is my iPod really mine or is it Apple’s?”

30GB iPod $419 and 15GB iPod $329 - Today Only

Deals on the Web: Dell is offering the 30GB iPod for $499, an instant 10% discount drops the price down to $449.10. TODAY only, take an additional $30 off with coupon code “50C322C30D4” for a final price of $419.10. With Free ground shipping, it’s the lowest current price we’ve seen. Offer ends tonight at 11 PM CST

Deals on the Web: Dell is offering the 15GB iPod at $399, less an automatic 10% off to bring the price down to $359.10. TODAY only, use coupon code “50C322C30D4” to save an additional $30 for a final price of $329.10. You’ll need to add something with a cost of $1 or more to your cart to use the $30 off coupon. Searc for “media” and add some cheap CD-R discs to your order. With Free ground shipping, it’s the best current price we’ve seen at $70 below the retail price. Offer ends 7/29 at 11 PM CST.

Windows iTunes “on track to launch by the end of this year”

At the 2003 Jupiter Plug.IN Conference & Expo, Peter Lowe, Apple’s Director of Marketing for Applications and Services addressed attendees at the keynote address, and mentioned several items in regards to iTunes.

“We fundamentally believe subscriptions are the wrong path…that’s not what consumers are doing offline…they want to buy downloads.
If digital distribution is about one thing, it is about being simple…as simple as a CD player…and it needs to be consistent….take the “but” out of it.
We believe Web is not the best interface to enjoy music…
Apple for Windows is on track to launch by the end of this year…Usage rules for Windows version of iTunes: certainly it is our intention to have the broad music rights…
Out of all our iTunes sales, 46 percent has been sold as albums..the disintegration of the album has not happened, contrary to what people are saying…”

iPod sound quality and AAC encoding tests

iLounge reader, Marc Heijligers has posted the results of his encoding tests for AAC using iTunes and QuickTime. You’ll also find reviews of several headphones and a comparison of the iPod’s sound quality to other audio digital devices.

“Although the AAC 224bit/sec shows some artifact, you have to compare it with the original and critical source material in order to recognize those artifacts. The AAC 320 kbit/sec encoding results in much larger files, for just a little bit more quality, which was my reason not to select it. For less critical material, I use the 192kbit/sec AAC encoding, just to save some space on my iPod.”

Action Jacket $25 for iLounge readers

picThe Think Different Store has announced a special price of $24.99 on the DLO Action Jacket case for iLounge readers. The Jacket for 3G iPods features a belt clip, armband, and comes in red, black, graphite, and blue.

MadsonLine Releases iPod Jogging Pack

MadsonLine has released a Neoprene waist pack for joggers/bikers and fits all iPod models. The Jogging Pack is on sale at an introductory price of $28.

Compatible with all model iPods
Lightweight neoprene construction
Comfortable & sturdy design
Velcro strap to hold iPod securely in place
Designed & manufactured in Germany

Hack for removing volume cap on European iPods

  • July 28, 2003
  • iPod

Update: The page has been removed due to a cease and desist order from Apple.

A reader has posted information and a how-to for removing the volume cap on iPods sold in Europe. EU iPods have a volume cap due to health regulations, therefore having significantly lower decibels than U.S. versions. It’s been a sore spot for many EU iPod owners and has been discussed at length in our forums. (Disclaimer: iLounge is not responsible for anything that happens to your iPod after performing this hack. Hack at your own risk.)

Think Different Store and eXo iSkin info

The Think Different Store wanted to clear up some rumors that have been floating around about the shipping of the eXo iSkins. Currently they are shipping the following colors (Click ‘Read more’) without the screen protectors. The screen protectors will be shipped separately sometime in August. New colors will be shipping each week.

Stereophile: Downloading Increases

“Downloading audio files, whether through a paid music service or not, continues to grow as a means to accumulate music in the US.  According to a recent Ipsos-Insight study, as of April 2003, nearly one-third of the general US population aged 12 or older has downloaded a music or MP3 file from the Internet.  This translates into roughly 65 million downloaders.

The survey also notes that enthusiasm for downloading audio files has increased significantly in the past several months, with the proportion of Americans who have downloaded a music or MP3 file growing from 26% in December 2002 to 30% in April 2003.”

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