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O’Reilly: Unsung Heros and Other iTunes Tips

Derrick Story has written a tip on how to create a smart playlist for those songs that don’t get played often on i iTunes/iPod.

“So I created a new smart playlist titled “Unsung Heros.” In the parameters for the list I set Last Played -> is not in the last -> 30 days, and then I set up a couple more limiters such as Album -> does not contain -> Christmas so Bing Crosby doesn’t constantly appear at the top of my list. One other parameter I set is Limit to 50 songs -> selected by song name.”

iPod voted ‘Best Gadget’ in InfoWorld’s Reader Choice Awards

Macminute reports that InfoWorld has released its 2003 InfoWorld Readers Choice Awards results and the iPod took top spot as ‘Best Gadget’, sweeping the competiton with 40% of the votes.

“Pushing RIM’s Blackberry out of the way, Apple’s popular digital music player beat out last year’s Best Gadget in one of the this year’s biggest upsets.”

Cringely: One Possible Future for a Music Business

“I call my idea Son of Napster, or Snapster for short.

Napster failed because it was determined by the courts to violate intellectual property rights and because it did not have a successful business model, or any business model for that matter.

‘iPod: The Missing Manual’ book released

O’Reilly and Associates has released a new book for iPods titled, ‘iPod: The Missing Manual.’ “In this book, New York Times tech columnist J. D. Biersdorfer blows open the secret doors of this gleaming, chrome-and-white beauty. With humor and authority, she lays bare an astonishing collection of useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts…” The book covers all Mac and Windows iPod models, iTunes, MusicMatch, iTunes Music Store and retails for $24.95.

“BuyMusic.com blocks Mac access”

Macminute reports that BuyMusic.com has blocked access to Mac users. The page starts to load then it’s redirected to the following message; “Thank you for visiting BuyMusic.com. In order to take full advantage of BuyMusic.com’s offerings you must be on a Windows Operating System using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.”

Also noted is a tutorial by MacMerc.com to enable the Safari browser to act like Windows MSIE6.

Dr. Mac: BuyMusic isn’t .com-parable to Mac’s iTunes

“BuyMusic.com’s big marketing push is songs for 79 cents. But it’s a bogus claim. For example, only one song in its Top 100 Downloads section cost 79 cents; all the others had prices from 99 cents to $1.29. [...]

Here’s another example: BuyMusic.com sets strict limits on what you can do with the songs you buy. Most are bound to a single PC, so you’re only allowed to listen on one computer, while every song you buy at iTMS can be played on up to three Macs. [...]

I can’t recommend BuyMusic.com to anyone on any platform. Mac users should avoid it. And Windows users will be better off waiting for iTunes for Windows, available later this year.”

Griffin Announces iTrip Station Finder Software

Griffin Technology has released a free OS X application for finding clear FM stations within the U.S. for use with the iTrip FM transmitter.

“This small free application assists iTrip owners in finding clear frequencies in over 200 cities and towns in the United States. [...] The new iTrip Station Finder application makes this process much easier and faster by suggesting the frequencies that have the least interference near them. [...]

The iTrip Station Finder’s city-based frequency list has been compiled by analyzing extensive data about a given metropolitan area and its current radio station offerings. Frequencies were then selected that were not only empty, but also contained adjacent clear channels. For example in Dallas, TX 102.5 is suggested for use with the iTrip. That means that not only 102.5 is clear, but 102.3 and 102.7 are clear as well.”

Windows: iPod Software 1.3 Update Released

The iPod Software 1.3 Update provides iTunes 4 support, including playback of AAC encoded audio files (Mac-only). For Windows users, iPod Software 1.3 adds support for Audible.com content. Additional enhancements include audio playback and user interface improvements, increased playback time on scroll-wheel iPods, and longer stand-by time for all iPods.

iPod Software Update 1.3 is only compatible with touch-wheel and scroll-wheel iPods without a dock connector. The recently introduced iPods (April 28, 2003) do not need this update.

Dr. Bott naviPod for Original iPod Ships

I received an email today that the naviPod wireless remote is shipping, though the website remains “Preorder, shipping July.”

Vaja Releases New Classic Case for 3G iPod

picVaja has officially released information on its new leather Classic cases for 3G iPods. Featuring snap closure, screen protector, interior storage slot (for credit cards, license, etc.), and an all access design, the flip-top cases are available in two different exterior styles. Models 669 and 667 fit 30GB iPods while the 668 and 665 models fit 10/15GB iPods. Visit the website for information on custom built orders and complete pricing.

Target 15GB iPods in Stock at $359.99

Deals On The Web: Target has restocked the new 15GB iPod at $399.99. Use coupon code “TCAF2SAVETEN” during checkout to save 10% and drop the price to $359.99. It’s the best current price we’ve seen. Search for “IPOD” to find the deal.

Vaja Announces Classic iPod Case for 3G iPod

pic Vaja has announced to iLounge that they will release their new Classic case for 3G iPods tomorrow. The Classic leather case features a flip-lid design, access to all iPod functions, screen protector, snap closure, and comes in two models for 10/15GB and 30GB. Both models retail for $54.90 and can be purchased tomorrow, Thursday, July 24.

Belkin TuneDok Car Holder for iPod

pic Belkin has posted information about a new car holder called the TuneDok. This is the same iPod holder as being sold in the VW iPod connectivity kit for the ‘Pods Unite’ promotion. The TuneDok features ‘AirGrip’ technology (suction cup) for secure placement, a large and small rubber base plus adapter cup for exact fit in a cup holder, cable management system, and comes with a 3 year warranty. The TuneDok fits all iPod models and retails for $29.99, but is not yet available. Update: The TuneDoc is expected to ship September 15.

New iTrip for 3G iPods Delayed

After sending an inquiry, I was met with this tragic news from Griffin Technology tech support.

“Hello, The new iTrip has been pushed back to the end of August.”

NPR: Music Sharing on the Web

In a recent ‘All Things Considered’ radio show, host “Robert Siegel talks to Jason Freeman, a Columbia University doctoral student in music, who has created a software, called N.A.G.,  that makes music montages off music-sharing networks. It relies on the way music files are downloaded—some faster than others—and puts items together that come from a word-search. Freeman likes the random nature of his creation, but not all of the results.”

Creative announces I-Trique L3450 speakers

pic Creative has announced the I-Trique L3450 all-white 2.1 speaker system featuring 2 amplifiers, one each dedicated to the Lateral Firing Transducer driver, and 2 Titanium micro drivers, Audio Control Pod for volume, auxiliary line-in, headphones jack, Power on/off and bass control. The L3450 is priced at $149.99 and is expected to ship next month.

Target 30GB iPod for $449.99

Deals On The Web: Target is offering the new 30GB iPod for $499.99.  Use coupon code “TCAF2SAVETEN” during checkout to save 10% for a final price of $449.99.  It’s the best current price we’ve seen on a new unit.

USATODAY: BuyMusic Not Compatible with iPod

“BuyMusic’s songs are fully portable, but there’s a catch: None can be moved to Apple’s iPod, which has 50% of the digital music player market, though they do work with players from Creative Labs, Rio, Lyra and others.”

USATODAY: Swap songs? You may be on record industry’s hit list

“Online swappers wondering whether their names are on the record industry’s hit list can check online to see if they’re among 871 whose identities were subpoenaed in the first step of unprecedented mass legal action to stem Net piracy. [...]

The U.S. District Court’s Web site (ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov) is searchable, though users must first apply for an account; confirmation comes a week later in the mail, and there are fees for documents. The Electronic Frontier Foundation may offer quicker action: The activist group hopes to soon let the public check the same information through www.eff.org.”

AP: New Music Download Service Launches

“A new Internet music download site for PCs debuting Tuesday boasts the cheapest per-song rates yet but many of the same restrictions on copying that have stymied wider use of other music services.

Although online retailer BuyMusic.com will offer a catalog of more than 300,000 songs from the five major record labels, users of the service will not necessarily have the freedom afforded customers of Apple Inc.‘s iTunes service to transfer the music purchased to multiple computers and portable devices, or to burn it to compact discs. [...]

BuyMusic is charging 70 cents for individual song downloads—9 cents lower than MusicNow, which previously had the lowest per song price. It’s also undercutting competitors’ price for a full album download at $7.95. The iTunes’ service charges $9.99 for most full albums.”

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