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Free 2004 DNC speeches on iTunes

The iTunes Music Store has recently added speeches from day one and day two of the Democratic National Convention: America 2004 held in Boston, Massachusettes. The free download includes speeches by former Vice President Al Gore; former President Bill Clinton; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; former President Jimmy Carter; Senator Ted Kennedy; and Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan and many more.

Windows: iRemote 1.9 released - customize your iTunes interface

iRemote allows you to control iTunes through a completely skinnable interface, using global hotkeys, and even a DeskBar which allows you to have the control in your taskbar! It has a keyboard shortcuts manager to make it easier to change keyboard shortcuts. The interface and the way iRemote works can be completely customized through the use of skins.

Update: Apple “stunned” at RealNetworks’ hacker tactics

RealNetworks has responded to Apple’s statement (below) saying “consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software. We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility.

Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real’s music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system.”

Apple today released a statement in response to RealNetworks’ recent announcement that they had created a method to offer iPod-compatible song downloads through its new Harmony software. “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”

4G iPod has secret features?

Time Magazine’s Wilson Rothman named the new 4G iPod the “Gadget of the Week” and noted that “you should know that internally the new iPod is a ground-up reconstruction, and its really compelling applications — the ones that very well might get the goat of anyone unable or unwilling to upgrade — are still secret. All that Apple is saying is that there’s more to this than what’s being publicized.”

Contest to win Shure earphones

“EarphoneSolutions.com will be giving away 1 Shure E3c for the winner(s) of a review contest. All you have to do is submit a review of a Shure E2 or Shure E3 or Shure E3c or Shure E5 or a comparison between any of these to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

If your review is chosen to be published you will receive a FREE Shure E3c. EarphoneSolutions.com will then hold the exclusive rights to publish the winning review(s) on any website(s) of their choice. More than 1 review might be chosen if the reviews somehow complement each other. In any case all reviews chosen to be published on the website(s) will receive a FREE Shure E3. Please feel free to attach any pics along with your review as that will make it even more interesting.”

JAVOEdge releases iPod mini LeatherCase

picThe new LeatherCase from JAVOEdge features access to all functions, a Velcro closure top and a built-in belt clip. The case comes in black leather and is priced at $24.95.

Update: iPod 4G Audio Problems

Updating our earlier news story regarding headphone port static and hard drive noise problems in Apple’s new fourth-generation iPods, iLounge has remained in contact with Apple and our readers over the past several days in an attempt to help the company determine the nature and extent of the problems.

iLounge’s editors returned both of their affected 40GB iPods at Apple’s request for testing, and replaced them with two new 40GB iPods yesterday. One of the new iPods exhibits no problems. The other exhibits the exact same defect as before. This brings our internal total of tested iPods to five, two (one 20GB unit, one 40GB unit) without the static issues, and three (all 40GB units) with them.

Of the 158 responses we collected from our initial story on the defect, 85 readers posted the results of their own 4G iPod testing, and of that group, 54 readers (63.5%) reported no problems, while 31 readers (36.5%) reported the same problems we had found. While we emphasize that the results of our inquiry are comprised of strictly voluntary submissions from readers, and should not be taken as scientific or conclusive, they do suggest that the problem may be more widespread than we had originally hoped. For a full discussion of testing procedures, please click on the “More info” link below.

Apple releases iPod mini in Korea

“Apple Computer Inc. announced the domestic release of its portable music player, the iPod mini, in Seoul yesterday, hoping its latest product will overcome the disappointing market performances of earlier models.

‘We believe iPod mini could become a huge success in Korea and other places such as China or Taiwan where flash-memory music players still dominate the market,’ said Yeo Eng Yiong, Apple’s portable devices product marketing manager for Asia-Pacific.

‘The main reason that iPod models didn’t catch on with Korean consumers in the past was the high prices for the products. However, iPod mini now comes at a very affordable price and we believe it will have a great success in Korea considering its huge advantage in storage capacity,’ he added.”

How to turn your iPod into an infrared remote

Engadget has posted an interesting how-to on turning your iPod into an infrared remote control for your TV, DVD player, stereo, etc. Using Griffin’s Total Remote Software and IR device for Pocket PCs you can transfer the same technology used in the Total Remote to the iPod. You might remember that Griffin had originaly planned a remote device for iPod called the PodMate, but development was canceled before going to market.

Airport Express can charge iPod

Reader Chris Whittier has discovered that the Apple Airport Express can charge the iPod.

“After seeing some people asking about it, I just randomly plugged my iPod mini into the Airport Express to see what happens (the USB port of course). Surprisingly enough, the Express CHARGES the iPod. So to answer that question, you CAN charge your iPod using the Airport Express (which negates my need to tote an extra power charger when traveling.)

Now if Apple could only have a way to pass through the Audio to the Express from the iPod when it’s plugged in, that would be a killer little firmware update.”

Editor’s Note:  This likely applies only to USB-chargeable iPods (4G and Mini).  The 3G does not charge via USB.

iTunes coming to Motorola cell phones

Motorola, Inc. and Apple today announced they are partnering to enable millions of music lovers to transfer their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on their Mac or PC, including songs from the iTunes Music Store, to Motorola’s next-generation ‘always with you’ mobile handsets, via a USB or Bluetooth wireless connection. Apple will create a new iTunes mobile music player, which Motorola will make the standard music application on all their mass-market music phones, expected to be available in the first half of next year.

Exclusive: iPod 4G Audio Problems?

picIn extended testing of Apple’s new fourth-generation iPods, iLounge has discovered and reported to Apple an apparent manufacturing defect affecting the headphone jacks of certain new iPod hardware. The defect manifests as audible static and noise interference in the earphones that is most prominent whenever a new iPod’s hard disk is accessed. Similar interference was not detectable through line out (Dock Connector) output.

Users of affected iPods will be able to hear a hard disk-like whirring sound in their earphones, coupled with several seconds of light static at the start of a song that has just been loaded. This should not be confused with the quiet hard disk loading sounds that an iPod makes, which sounds are not audible through earphones, or with normal static-like compression artifacts in your audio.

To test your iPod while eliminating the possibility that static from your music or headphones may be responsible, use iTunes to encode several three- to five-minute compact disc tracks using Apple’s Lossless Audio encoder, transfer them to your iPod, then connect the earbuds packaged with your new iPod. Find the directory or create a playlist with only the Lossless tracks, and skip back and forth between them. Hold your iPod at a distance or cover it up so that you can’t hear its normal internal hard disk sounds. If your iPod has a problem, at the start of each loaded song, you should hear a loading pause, then a whirring sound and light static in your ears at a normal volume level. If it does not have a problem, the song should load and play without audio interference.

iLounge has confirmed that this interference does not affect all new iPod hardware. Of the three units we purchased for evaluation, both of the 40GB iPods exhibit the same problem, but the 20GB iPod does not. Unfortunately, some new iPod users have reported that the problem exists in their new 20GB iPods, as well. The units we know to be affected were manufactured in China, shipped from Shanghai, and ordered directly from Apple.

An Apple representative is currently looking into the report, and the company has had no further comment. Please report your findings using the Comments link below.

Mac: youPod 1.0 released

youPod lets you take your real AddressBook and iCalendars with you, as well as your bookmarks for Safari, Firefox or Explorer. you can even take your Keychain, so you don’t have to remember all of those passwords and logins.

RealNetworks plans to sell iPod compatible songs

“Tomorrow, without Apple’s authorization, RealNetworks will start to give away software that will allow people to buy and download songs from its online music store and then play them on Apple’s popular iPod portable devices in addition to those that use the Windows Media Player format and RealNetwork’s Helix format. [...]

So RealNetworks created technology that can create files to be read by iPods. Mr. Glaser [CEO, RealNetworks] declined to say how it did this. But Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research, said that RealNetworks used a technique known as reverse engineering - observing how Apple’s software behaved as it encoded songs to be loaded onto iPods.”

iPod mini sales hot in Japan

“Thousands of people lined up outside electronics stores in Japan on Saturday as Apple Computer launched sales of its iPod Mini digital music player.

About 1,500 people were lined up outside Apple’s store in Tokyo’s Ginza district before the store opened at 10 a.m. Tens of thousands of the devices have already reportedly been reserved by customers.”

Griffin posts how-to video for iTrip

Griffin Technology has posted a QuickTime video tutorial on how to use the iTrip/iTrip mini with iPod or iPod mini. “The iTrip, while very flexible and powerful, is certainly not as initially easy at other simple toggle switch Transmitters with only four selectable stations. So in an effort to really help our customers get up to speed with the iTrip as fast as possible we filmed this tutorial movie in house. Just like our experiences at the trade shows, once we ‘demonstrate’ the use of the iTrip and switching stations, customers ‘get it’ and live happily ever after. And that’s good for everybody.”

Apple upset over Fuse silhouette ads

“Apple Computer is outraged over new advertisements by upstart music channel Fuse that resemble ads for the iPod, Apple’s popular digital music player, The Post has learned.

Apple lawyers have been calling Fuse and threatening to sue unless the ads

Griffin releases new FireWire cables

Griffin Technology recently announced three new additions to their Clear Choice line of cables

iLounge’s first 4G iPod review arrives today

To commemorate Apple’s launch of the fourth-generation iPod, and to thank all of our readers for their patience, iLounge will be posting its first review of the new 20GB and 40GB models later today, Friday, July 23, 2004.

Like our prior first review of the iPod mini, titled the Newbie Review, iLounge’s first fourth-generation review, conclusions, and product rating will be geared towards first-time iPod buyers. A subsequent review geared towards more experienced users (the Power Users’ Review) will follow shortly thereafter.

These reviews will also mark the launch of iLounge’s new product rating system, which will replace our prior Excited / Happy / It’s OK / Sad icons with a more versatile letter grading system, featuring A, B, C, D and F with plus and minus marks. We have been planning for this change for some time, and you will soon see its benefits in an easier-to-use report card for all currently released iPods and accessories. We’ll look forward to your thoughts and comments.

iPod 4G testing underway, more photos

iLounge couldn’t wait until Friday to receive its 40GB iPod, so we went to our local Apple Store and picked up a new 4G 20GB iPod for review. It’s being put through its paces as we speak. And yes, though the numbers show only a .12” difference, the new 40GB version feels surprisingly thicker (3G size, even) than the new 20GB. Retail Apple Stores have received “lots of them” in both sizes, and they’re already going quickly. Check back here for updates.

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