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Griffin announces PodPod cup holder cradle for iPods

picGriffin Technology today announced the Griffin PodPod. The soft foam Griffin PodPod slips into any auto cup holder and provides a safe secure ride for any iPod or iPod mini. It also places the iPod in comfortable reach for easy adjustment and perfect placement for the iPod or iPod mini with an iTrip on top. The PodPod will ship next month for only $9.99 and is being shown this week at Apple Expo Paris. Pre-orders are being accepted now at http://griffintechnology.com

iPod captures 58% market share in US

During the opening moments of the Keynote at Apple Expo Paris, Vice President of WorldWide Marketing, Phil Schiller told the audience that the iPod has captured 58 percent share of the digital music player market since June 2004.

iTunes Music Store in all EU countries in October

In the Keynote presentation at Apple Expo Paris, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller has announced that the iTunes Music Store will be available to all European Union countries in October. Schiller also noted that Apple is the first company to sell 100 million songs online since its debut in April 2003. The iTunes Music Store has also sold 5 million songs in its first eight weeks since being introduced in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, a rate of 625,000 songs per week.

XtremeMac announces Talking Panda iLingo - Language translator for iPod

XtremeMac has announced the release of Talking Panda iLingo, a Language Translator for iPod (Mac/Win) created by Talking Panda. Using the iPod’s built-in Notes feature, iLingo equips the iPod toting traveler with over 450 essential words and phrases. Each translation is displayed on screen and, with the push of the play button, spoken aloud, making it easier to recognize and speak key words and phrases. Talking Panda iLingo will initially be released in three versions: English-Euro Pack - translates English to Spanish, Italian, German, and French; French-Euro Pack - translates French to English, Spanish, Italian, and German; and English-Asia Pack - translates English to Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Each pack costs $39.95 and will debut at XtremeMac’s Apple Expo Booth #B49 in the Paris Expo Center, August 31st through September 4th, 2004, and will be available from the XtremeMac website, in Apple retail stores, at Apple Store online and through our network of national and international resellers and distributors following Apple-Expo.

Matias releases Clear iPod Armor mini

picMatias released its new Clear iPod Armor mini case at Apple Expo Paris today. With a clear ABS plastic front and rugged aluminum back, the new case features docking port access and iTrip compatibility. The Clear iPod Armor mini case is available immediately, and retails for $34.95.

DLO announces new 4G Action Jacket and Jam Jacket cases

picDLO has released two updated cases for the 4G iPod. The Jam Jacket 40/20 silicone case ($29.95) and the Action Jacket neoprene case ($24.99). The Jam Jacket 40/20 features textured sides for gripping, a thin, built-in transparent screen protector, access to all functions and comes in several colors including Glow Green.The Jam Jacket 40/20 also comes in a 3-pack with Cobalt Blue, Clear and Glow Green for $39.99. The new Jam Jacket 40/20 cases are available for pre-order with shipping expected the last week of September. The Action Jacket 4G is available now.

RadTech releases 4G PodSleevz

picRadTech has announced the 4G PodSleevz featuring the same play-through-case design as the previous line of RadTech iPod sleeve cases. The form-fitting sleeve case is made with super soft, ultra tough Optex, RadTech’s exclusive optical-grade material that’s thin and lightweight for durable, long-lasting protection without the bulk ­ allowing it to be used with the Apple iPod clip case. The case costs $19.95 and is available in several colors.

Mac/Windows: Pod Secret 1.0 released

Pod Secret allows one to store encrypted notes, medical vaccinations, credit cards, bank numbers, traveler’s check, serial numbers, passport, driver’s licenses, or any other data that you wish on removable media such as an iPod or a thumb drive for convenient portable access!

Neo Car Audio releases Neo iON Car Kit

The Neo iON provides direct connection to most factory and aftermarket car stereos. When connected your car stereo buttons will control the iPod, the iPod battery will charge, and the sound will play from your car stereo speakers. The adapter includes a 11.5’ (3.5M) cable that plugs directly into the iPod. The other side of this cable plugs into the CD changer port on the back of the car stereo – there is no FM modulation. Once the cable is plugged in your car will charge and power your iPod, as well as control it (Next/Previous track, FF/RW) using your car stereos existing buttons (steering wheel controls if you have them). The New iON Car Kit is compatible with 3G/4G iPod and iPod mini. The Neo iON retails for $189.

P. Diddy unveils diamond-encrusted iPod+hp

picIn a characteristic demonstration of his ability to personalize other people’s musical innovations, rap mogul P. Diddy used this evening to unveil a diamond-encrusted iPod at his after party for the MTV Video Music Awards. Covered with 120 diamonds, the HP-labeled iPod is now unquestionably amongst the world’s most expensive customized iPods, and each guest at the Diddy party will receive an iPod - sans ice. Additionally, iPod minis and related accessories have been given away to VIP attendees of the Video Music Awards, and to VIPs at an earlier MTV Movie Awards show this year.

Apple offers mass volume discounts of up to 20% for iTunes

MacMinute reports: “The iTunes Volume Discount Program allows companies and educational institutions to purchase iTunes Music Store download codes in bulk, which can then be distributed and redeemed for free music. There is a minimum purchase requirement of 25,000 song downloads for commercial entities and 10,000 volume song downloads for educational institutions. ... The company revealed that it is able to offer discounts of as much as 20 percent off the standard 99 cent pricing for certain bulk purchase levels.”

So much for Apple’s “10 cents a song” profit margin on iTunes songs. MacMinute also notes that Apple is offering new iTunes encoding and marketing tools to music companies.

iPod+hp: $252-$342 - the discounting begins

In what appears to be the most aggressive discounting to date on the fourth-generation iPod hardware, Buy.com is now offering the new 40GB Apple iPod from HP for only $341.99 with free shipping. The lower-end 20GB model is available for a similarly impressive $251.99. Apply the 10% coupon code from the link below to see the discounted prices.

Beware: Though it works for now, Buy.com’s coupon may be retracted or disqualified, but it’s probably worth the risk.

HP: New iPod-ready printer, HPTunes expand Apple’s products

Not content to allow the “Apple iPod from HP” to be dismissed as just an iPod clone from a second company, Hewlett-Packard has disclosed in an interview with iLounge both the company’s new iPod-related product offerings and the actual differences between the Apple and HP versions of the iPod. “There are a lot of similarities between the two products,” explained HP’s Perry Ralph, Product Manager for the Apple iPod from HP, “we wanted to extend [the iPod] and integrate it more into the PC space and the digital entertainment space.”

picTo that end, HP has demonstrated a new portable, LCD-equipped 4"x6” photo printer, the HP PhotoSmart 375 ($199), which can connect with the iPod via USB for direct digital printing. The printer can run off of battery power and also includes Bluetooth wireless functionality for direct print connections to cellular phones and other devices. HP has also introduced HPTunes, software compatible with Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center operating system “which lets iTunes music be played on the Media Center’s extended interface,” which Mr. Ralph explains was previously not possible.

Tech-savvy users will likely believe that HP’s changes to the iPod hardware are only skin deep. Mr. Ralph said that although the HP logo will now appear in addition to Apple’s on the back of HP-distributed iPod hardware, “other than that, the physical components are all the same.” From cables to Docks to earbuds, the Apple iPod from HP will use all of Apple’s parts, not HP’s.

But the differences, including new packaging, manuals, and a poster, are intended to make the iPod even easier for first-time digital music users to enjoy. “The user guide is very Windows-centric,” said Mr. Ralph, “so we can talk to the Windows-based consumer.” Noting that HP’s research suggested that new iPod users needed more help ripping CDs and transferring music to the iPod, Mr. Ralph said that a “setup poster we have is the first thing you see when you open up the box; in a single page you let the consumer see how to connect it up [and easily use the iPod].” And unlike Apple, HP will recommend use of the included USB 2.0 cable for music transfers, given the smaller penetration of the FireWire standard in the Windows PC market. Software in the HP box will be identical to Apple’s PC installers for the iPod.

picStarting with the September 30th issue of Rolling Stone magazine, HP will also give away HP Tattoos - iPod covering stickers featuring photographic and artistic content from various recording artists. Each magazine will include one Tattoo from a total of five or six variations, and blank Tattoos will be available in 10-packs ($14.99) from HP, Circuit City, and CompUSA. Free art will be provided for the blank Tattoos by MTV and BMG at www.hp.com/music. Individual blanks will not be available. HP claims that the Tattoos will last for between three and four weeks and will leave no residue on an iPod.

On a final note, HP explained the following regarding its use of two product names in publicity materials today, the abbreviated “iPod+hp” name is intended to appear in headlines, while the actual product name is “Apple iPod from HP.”

Tunewear announces Tunemax battery pack case

”[TUNEMAX] is a product which looks and weighs about the same as a protective case for the iPod, yet it is actually a powerful 16 hours* of additional power for your iPod. The beauty of [TUNEMAX] is the design. The case actually IS the battery. Simple yet elegant, the case sandwiches the iPod inside the side covers which are filled with 850mAh Lithium Ion cells. Each cover holds 425mAh worth of power. A lightweight and sturdy hooking belt clip designed onto the case allows you to ‘clip’ it to your waist belt, bag or anywhere you like. It is wide enough be used as a belt loop, and unlike conventional clips, opens at a wide angle for easy clipping onto thick surfaces.”

Griffin announces EarJams earbud adapters

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“Griffin Technology Inc, innovator of exciting hardware and software products for the Mac and iPod, today announced the Griffin EarJams. The Griffin EarJams are a totally new kind of product – they snap onto your iPod’s existing earbud-style headphones and significantly increase the bass output, volume level and comfort. The EarJams turn your existing earbuds into in-ear style headphones. A sonic enhancing cone extends the sound directly into the ear and is protected and made comfortable by slip-on soft ear pads. Three sizes of removable pads are included for the perfect individual fit. The package also includes a small canvas carrying case. The new Griffin EarJams will be shown Tuesday at Apple Expo Paris and will ship in September for just $19.99.”

Lost iPod tracking service

Afraid of losing your iPod and never seeing it again? A new service might be the answer to insure your iPod’s safe return. LostiPods.com is offering iPod registration ($5 fee), stickers (coming soon) and a reward system to help you get your iPod back.

HP debuts “iPod+hp” for 9-15-04 release

picAlternately referred to as the “iPod+hp” and the “Apple iPod from HP,” Hewlett-Packard’s rebranded version of the fourth-generation iPod will initially be available in 20GB ($299.99) and 40GB ($399.99) capacities. Pre-orders for the device are currently being taken at the HPShopping web site, and will receive free shipping as a “special offer.” A September 15, 2004 estimated ship date is listed at the site, though other HP pages list online availability beginning today “at various retailers” with in-store availability starting on September 12. HP is also selling a small collection of third-party iPod accessories from Belkin, Griffin, Altec Lansing and XtremeMac, all available now.

Other than the fact that each new unit’s chrome back carries both Apple and HP logos, the white and chrome iPod+hp initially appears identical to Apple’s version of the iPod, contradicting initial claims from HP that their model would come in a special “HP Blue” color. Unlike the iPod, however, the iPod+hp is listed as Windows compatible only, with a PC installation disk. HP will provide service for the device through HP Total Care, notably for one year with full telephone support during that year, surpassing Apple’s newly unimpressive single free telephone call policy. The company will also provide a customized instruction booklet and a new quick start poster to add to the iPod’s legendary ease-of-use.

HP is also offering one of nine different “HP Tattoos,” or iPod-covering musical artist stickers, to those who purchase the iPod+hp from CompUSA, Circuit City, or HPShopping.com. These stickers currently include designs for Ashlee Simpson, The Cure, Gwen Stefani, Keane, Lloyd Banks, Sting, The Who, The Hives, and Vanessa Carlton. The company has also announced plans to offer “HP Printable Tattoos” to allow users to make their own iPod stickers using HP printers and “the latest album art from the newest releases” - provided via HP’s Tattoo Gallery.

Beginning with sponsorship of the MTV Video Music Awards, HP will also launch a separate advertising campaign for the iPod+hp, including commercials on MTV channels across the world and a global digital photo contest with a trip to Rome, Italy as the prize. MTV and HP’s newly-announced strategic marketing partnership for promotion of the iPod+hp will include advertisements in territories from the United States to Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Update: MacMinute has posted copies of HP’s new iPod print ads .

HP’s iPod to be released on Friday?

“Hoping to make a big bang in consumer electronics, Hewlett-Packard plans on Friday to unveil its long-awaited HP-branded iPod, along with its first televisions, an entertainment hub and the usual array of new printers and cameras, sources said.”

The iPod shuffle, for better or worse

“Such are the perils of using Shuffle, a genre-defying option that has transformed the way people listen to their music in a digital age. The problem is, now that people are rigging up their iPods to stereos at home and in their cars, they may have to think twice about what they have casually added to their music library.

Shuffle commands have been around since the dawn of the CD player. But the sheer quantity of music on an MP3 player like the iPod - and in its desktop application, iTunes - has enabled the function to take on an entirely new sense of scale and scope. It also heightens the risk that a long-forgotten favorite song will pop up, for better or for worse, in mixed company.”

AudioOutfitters offers pre-orders for iSkin eVo2

AudioOutfitters announces that it is now offering pre-orders for the new iSkin eVo2 for the 4th Generation iPods. The list price of the new iSkin eVo2 is $29.99. AudioOutfitters will be offering them for $28.99, and no payment is necessary until the order is shipped. In addition, with every order for a new iSkin, you will be eligible to purchase an earPod for a discounted price.

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