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iPod outdone by iPod mini

“Finally, somebody has outdone the iPod. After years of unsuccessful attempts by Creative, Dell, Rio, Samsung and others to knock Apple’s MP3 player off its pedestal, we’ve got a player that makes the iPod seem like the oversize, clunky relic it (now) is. [...]

I tried out the iPod mini on short walks, my Metro commute and during jogging—Apple’s optional, $29 armband kept the thing clamped to my arm, but its earbud headphones wouldn’t stay in place—and everything worked fine. Battery life, at about 10 hours, actually exceeded Apple’s estimate of eight hours.”

Mac: Text2iPod X 1.1b3 Released

Text2iPod X is a very easy drag and drop application that can make any text file viewable on an iPod without text size limitation! In version 1.1, the 32kb implementation limit has been resolved. Why using Text2iPod X? Other programs that apparently have the same purpose than Text2iPod X already exist. I say “apparentl” because there is precisely a major difference between those programs and Text2iPod! The difference is that Text2iPod X has the ability to put a whole text file in a single iPod contact. You have surely be quite disappointed to see that, when trying to convert a text file greater than 2000 characters in size, those programs generate segmented files which have to be read one at a time.

iTunes Music Store offers prepaid card redemption

picIn a recent news story we mentioned that Target will have gift (prepaid) cards available starting this Sunday, February 15. Readers have commented that some Target stores are already selling them, and we suspect that other department stores will offer them as well. Apple has updated the iTunes Music Store with a new section to redeem prepaid cards and Terms & Conditions. Prepaid cards expire two years from date of issuance with exceptions in some states. Redemption codes appear on the back of prepaid cards. iTunes 4 (free download) or later and an iTunes Music Store account is required.

iPod people attack New York!

“Idea for a sci-fi horror flick: New York is invaded by zombielike robots. They ghost along the sidewalks, oblivious of pedestrians, and have frequent near misses with taxis and cyclists, causing chaos. They carry a secret weapon

eBay auctioneer warns consumers of iPod scams

You may have recently read the many articles circulating the Web regarding iPod scams on eBay. An auctioneer has taken it upon himself to do something about it. He has posted an eBay auction of his own to warn prospective buyers by stating, “This is an auction of free info to save some of you from getting suckered. There are a ton of ads on eBay for “information” on how to get a cheap new iPod—usually for $25 or $40. I felt it was worth the 30 cent or so insertion fee to warn you people of this. Word to the wise, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. These are SCAMS. You will not get an iPod, you will get scammed.” He also refers readers to a recent Wired article about the scams.

Small Dog offers iPod Battery Replacement Program

“Small Dog Electronics now offers replacement batteries for both the original and 3rd generation (slim)  iPods. These batteries have the same capacity as the original batteries and are available in both kit form for do-it-yourselfers and as an installed product if you send your iPod to Small Dog. These are the best values in iPod batteries available!

Dawn and Troy are working on our instruction sheet and we have bought the ideal tool to open your iPod, so our kit will include the tool and an illustrated instruction sheet. I just replaced the battery in a 20GB iPod and the whole process took me about 5 minutes.  I know that
everyone is not ready to open their iPods and replace the battery so we offer the batteries with installation service included for $20 more.”

iPodResQ offers 24 hour repair and battery replacement

piciPodResQ is offering two new 24 hour services; iPod Repair Program and “iQ” Battery Replacement Program for all iPods. “The price for this service [repair] is just $29 and includes the iBox, the 3-Way overnight shipping (iBox to you, iPod to us, iPod back to you), and the detailed diagnosis. Should you elect to perform the repair, we’ll also offer you a discounted iQ battery replacement for just $40! If you decide to not have your iPod repaired, we’ll return it to you overnight with no additional charges.” The iPod battery service costs $79 and includes overnight shipping, battery replacement and cleaning. Call 1-877-Pod-Repair or visit iPodResQ.com for detailed instructions, FAQs and customer comments.

Marware announces new iPod mini cases

picThe SportSuit Runabout ($29.95) is a small, lighweight Neoprene case for wearing the mini on the wrist like a watch. The Runabout features an all-access design, screen protection, adjustable wrist strap, and cord management for earbuds. Tentative availability is scheduled for the third or fourth week of February.

The Sportsuit Safari ($19.95) is a line of pouch type cases featuring a quick-release lanyard and exotic, fuzzy animal patterns in panther (black), polar bear, giraffe, flamingo, lion and leopard. Tentative availability is scheduled for the third or fourth week of February.

The Sportsuit Basic ($19.95) for iPod mini is a smaller version of Marware’s current Basic case for iPod featuring the Multidapt clip system, plastic inserts in back for protection, 2mm neoprene, lined interior and access to headphone and ‘Hold’ switch. Tentative availability is scheduled for the third or fourth week of February.

The Sportsuit Convertible ($39.95) for the iPod mini features a removable molded front cover, clear plastic screen protection, access to the mini

iTunes Bad, WMA Good

“After immersing myself in audio codecs (as research for a future article) and re-ripping most of my own collection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like WMA—and I really don’t like the whole iTunes/iPod thing.

AAC is a perfectly fine audio format. It sounds good. I don’t really want the music I pay money for to be encoded at 128k, but none of iTunes’ competitors are offering a higher bitrate, so I don’t have much choice there. The problem with AAC is that it doesn’t really have digital rights management, so songs you buy through the iTunes Music Store have an Apple-specific proprietary digital rights management scheme called FairPlay attached to them. AAC may be a format that many desktop applications (like Winamp) can understand, and it’s certainly possible for non-iPod portable players to build in support for it, but iTunes and iPods understand FairPlay. If I buy music through the iTunes store, it will only play on iTunes or an iPod. That’s it, until the end of time.”

iPod, the new album - CDs going away?

“Looking on my iPod, there’s no physical barrier between Maxwell, Melvins, Messiaen, Metallica, Miles Davis, Mouse On Mars, and Mozart. They are peers. They’re all songs on a global album. This is promising—and weird. [...]

But so, this iPod. When I buy CDs, I immediately transfer them to the iPod and then shelve them, where they sit untouched. My vinyl is long gone. The album as a discrete unit containing 10 or so songs feels increasingly dated. I am entering a post-CD era in which one single disc (my iPod) holds thousands of songs—the new unit of measurement. [...]

The record album is going away. So are you. Don’t mourn yet. The rise of the phonograph in the 1900s meant that ordinary people who couldn’t afford a steamship voyage to visit the great opera houses of Europe could still be blown away by Enrico Caruso. Tapes of the Velvet Underground helped undermine a totalitarian regime in Czechoslovakia. Great things are afoot in this new era, too.”

Griffin announces iTrip software for Windows

Today Griffin released iTunes for Windows iTrip software installer for the iTrip FM Transmitter. “This small free application automatically installs all available iTrip frequencies into iTunes for Windows. Users then have access to over 250 FM frequency options for the US, Japan and European countries - the most frequencies available to any iPod FM Transmitter in the world.”

Valentine 2 for 1 sale on Lajo exo cases

“Love is in the air at www.lajo.biz  with a shop from the comfort of your home Valentine 2 for 1 sale. Lajo

iPod vs. the rest

“The rivals come from electronics makers (Samsung) and from fellow computer makers (Dell, Gateway), as well as from veteran music-player makers (Rio, Creative Labs, iRiver). [...]

Now, you’re a busy person, so here’s the gist: most of these rivals are cheaper - usually $100 less. But “better” is another story. The iPod is still smaller, more attractive and more thoughtfully designed than any of the upstarts. [...]

Apple could have been some character from Greek mythology: blessed with ingenious, culture-changing innovation yet cursed with seeing its ideas co-opted by rivals who wind up making all the money. In the iPod’s case, though, none of the companies who lust for some of Apple’s pie can deliver the elegance and convenience of Apple’s music trinity: iPod, the iTunes software and the iTunes music store.”

DLO announces pre-order for new iPod mini accessories

picDLO has announced that it is now accepting pre-orders for its new line of iPod mini accessories, including the silicone DLO Jam Jacket mini ($19.99), DLO Jam Jacket Pro mini ($24.99), DLO Jam Jacket Pro mini 3Pac ($34.00), DLO Jam Jacket mini 3Pac ($39.00), leather DLO Podfolio mini ($29.99), and the Neoprene DLO Action Jacket mini ($29.99). The armbands are sold individually for $9.99 and come in black, pink, gold, green, and blue. We package the black armband with the Action Jacket for iPod, the Action Jacket mini, the Jam Jacket Pro mini, and the Jam Jacket Pro mini
3Pac. All new iPod mini products are due to ship the first week of March.

Apple and Target team up with iTunes gift cards

picOne of our readers has submitted evidence of a new partnership between Apple and Target stores, resulting in $15 Gift Cards to purchase music from the iTunes Music Store. The new promotion is expected to start on Sunday, February 15.

More on iPod eBay scams

“A search for “iPod” on eBay yields a couple thousand listings for the digital music player and accessories, but beware: Hundreds of the listings are inducements to join pyramid-style scams.

Ebay is swamped with new “matrix” schemes, which appear to be legitimate buyers clubs but are in fact variations on classic pyramid scams, which are outlawed around the world.

In most cases, eBay shoppers are offered hot products like an iPod, a game console or a cell phone at an incredible discount, say for $40 or $25.”

iPod designer Jonathan Ive is Britain’s no. 1 cultural figure

“Now Jonathan Ive, the designer of the iPod, the iMac and the iBook, has been recognised by being voted top of a list of Britain’s 50 most influential cultural figures. The list, compiled by leading figures in the worlds of fashion, the arts, media and design, has been compiled for the first birthday of BBC3, the youth-orientated digital channel. [...]

Mr Ive, 38, who was born in Chingford, east London, is now in San Francisco where he earns

iPod mini Knowledge Base documents

Apple recently posted several new Knowledge Base documents regarding the iPod mini. We have added the links to the documents on our Links page for future reference.

iPod mini: Frequently Asked Questions
iPod mini: System Requirements
iPod mini Software Updater: Only Works With iPod mini
iPod mini: Now Playing Screen Does Not Display Album Title
iPod mini: How to Insert Into Belt Clip and Armband
iPod mini: About the Click Wheel
iPod mini: About Using Older Accessories

Vote for iPod at Lovemarks.com - showcasing your favorite brands

A newly developed website, Lovemarks.com, encourages consumers to vote and comment on the brands/products they have fallen in love with or couldn’t live without. Website editor Stephen Olsen says, the Apple iPod is sitting at number seven on the new Saatchi & Saatchi website for brands that deserve a “special Valentine”. If you love your iPod, let them know.” There are monthly prizes for the most evocative, true-to-experience stories and comments. A grand prize of the North American Car of the Year, the Toyota Prius, will be awarded to the story that best captures why and how a particular Lovemark has won your “Loyalty Beyond Reason”. This competition runs until May.

Update: The iPod has moved up to no. 2 and Apple is no.1 on the lovemarks popularity list.

Pod People and “the iPod swap”

“Time was, if you met someone cool and cute, someone you wanted to know better, you might make that person a mix tape. It was the perfect courtship calling card: a neat little package of songs carefully selected to say something about both you and your understanding of the recipient.

Today, such compilations are an anachronism. Most stereos don’t even have tape decks anymore. Countless couples will probably trade mix CDs this Valentine’s Day, but the point-and-click process of CD burning is rather sterile; it’s possible to make someone a mix CD without having to listen to a single song. As an inveterate trader of cassettes, I’ve been in steady mourning for the mix tapes of my youth for some time now. However, I recently acquired both an iPod and a boyfriend

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