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Mix: iPod competitors, iTeufel, Jaguar, LG shuffle

  • June 27, 2005

In an interesting Fast Company article, several Apple rivals—Rio, Sony, Dell, iRiver, Archos, and Creative—discuss how they intend to knock the iPod from its throne.

The iTeufel is a new iPod sound system similar to the Bose Sound Dock. We are awaiting further details on specs and availability in the US.

Jaguar’s “Test Drive

Coach debuts zebra print iPod mini case

imageAs part of its new Fall lineup, designer handbag maker Coach has introduced an updated version of its iPod mini case.

The zebra print iPod mini case is covered in dyed hair calf, and features a belt clip and 12-inch strap with “dogleash clip.” The designer iPod case is priced at $98—$30 more than its standard leather iPod mini case.

“Give your iPod the look of the wild with this bold new zebra print case,” says Coach. [via Purseuing]

Analyst: MP3 market’s problems aren’t Apple’s

  • June 27, 2005
  • iPod,

Creative Technology’s warning of sagging demand for its devices is no indication that the MP3 player market as a whole is suffering, a Wall Street analyst said Monday. Creative earlier today cut its fourth-quarter sales outlook and said it will have an operating loss, citing weaker-than-expected demand for its products.

“We believe that iPod’s continued dominance of the portable audio market, especially as shuffle gains market share for flash-based players, is likely having an impact on Creative,” Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster said in a research note obtained by iLounge. “In addition to Apple’s market share gains in the flash segment, we believe the June quarter is a seasonally slow time for this market and we do not expect blow-out iPod numbers from Apple (expect iPod units of 5.5 million for June, up from 5.3 million in March). We do, however, believe that Apple will significantly benefit from back-to-school and holiday buying in the September and December quarters.”

Munster also said that his recent retail survey shows that Apple’s presence in stores remains significantly greater than Creative. “We spoke with MP3 player sales reps at 100 U.S. retail stores about what portable audio devices they recommend to customers and why,” he said. “58% of reps recommend some variation of iPod, while only 16% of salespeople would point their customer to a Creative device. We believe these checks provide another indication that Apple is holding its ground, if not gaining momentum, as the leader in portable audio.”

MusiCase for iPod combines speakers, case

imageFirst International Digital has announced the MusiCase, a new iPod accessory that combines two powered stereo speakers with a carrying case. The MusiCase features a nylon exterior, two inside mesh pockets to hold an iPod and/or an iPod shuffle, and two internal speakers (1.8” and 1.1”) powered by a built-in three-watt amplifier. It also features a belt loop and a detachable carrying strap. The $19.99 device runs off of two AA batteries, which provide approximately 15 hours of music. Though targeted at iPod users, the device is compatible with any MP3 player.

Supreme Court rules against file-sharing services

In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services could be held responsible if their software was intended primarily to swap music and movies illegally.

“We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement,” Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion.

Earlier today, financial research firm Piper Jaffray said that Apple’s iTunes Music Store “would be the primary beneficiary

Mix: P2P ruling, AAPL, Fast Track Studio

  • June 27, 2005

Piper Jaffray said today that the iTunes Music Store “would be the primary beneficiary” of a Supreme Court decision against P2P file sharing.

Shares of Apple and key suppliers for the iPod fell on Monday after Creative Technology cut its sales outlook for the current quarter and a weekend report of increased competition from music cell phones.

M-Audio today announced the Fast Track Studio Podcasting Edition ($179), which includes “everything a consumer needs to get started”—an audio interface, microphone and software.

Clickwheel puts digital comics on iPod photo

Clickwheel is a new Mac OS X application for downloading digital comics to the iPod photo. The $24.99 program uses a special RSS feed to acquire and manage the comics, which are added to the iPod photo as slideshows. Users then navigate through them normally, though some make clever use of the push across transition, with one of Demian Vogler’s comics using the first six frames to form a continuous image.

“Because comics on the iPod is a completely new field, we’ve commissioned a number of leading artists to create work for us,” the developer explained. “They’ve each been asked to produce a running series for the feed, so their work will be appearing over the coming year, with new episodes following on a regular basis. Our hope that others will get drawing, too, and before long, we’ll have a thriving community of artists, authors and podcasters creating work for the iPod photo.”

The developer said a Windows version is under development and “will be available shortly.”

Harman Kardon readying iPod auto adapter

imageHarman Kardon is reportedly planning to release a new car iPod adapter that will feature a back-lit display and separate controller.

“Both will be mountable anywhere in the vehicle, and are united in audio goodness by the small ‘brain’ that’s the central hub for all the physical cable connections as well as a charger for the iPod,” reports Engadget. “Connection to the car’s audio system can be of the direct line-in variety if you opt to have the unit professionally installed for an extra $70 fee; otherwise you can set up the $199 adapter kit yourself and use the built-in FM radio transmitter to pump the audio signal to your can stereo.”

More images of the device can be seen at Engadget.

naviPro eX for iPod mini, U2 iPod now available

imageTEN Technology announced today that it is now shipping two new versions of its naviPro eX wireless remote control specifically designed for the iPod mini and iPod U2. The naviPro eX mini was made for the iPod mini and comes with a stylish aluminum stand, while the naviPro eX black matches the color theme of the iPod U2 Special Edition. Both sell for $49.95.

The naviPro eX remote control, which uses wireless infrared technology, features 13 buttons, including functions for navigation of playlists, albums and audiobooks, and shuffle and repeat modes (in addtion to the normal play/pause, volume, and track up/down. The original white naviPro eX is compatible with 4G iPod and iPod photo models.

Mix: IDEA Awards, Apple shares, iMuffs, iPodStyles sale

  • June 27, 2005

Apple’s iPod shuffle was among the 148 winners in this year’s prestigious Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). It won a gold award in the consumer products category.

Apple’s stock will likely take a hit if upcoming music cell phones prove to be competitors, Barron’s newspaper said. “While some analysts believe Apple might sell 45 million iPods next year, that pales next to the 750 million or more handsets that might be sold.”

Wi-Gear is now taking pre-orders ($179.99) for its iMuffs Bluetooth headphones for iPods and mobile phones. Free ground shipping is included.

iPodStyles has kicked off a summer clearance sale, with discounts ranging from 40% to 60%. All silicone cases, sync/charge accessories, and ShuffleArts are on sale.

Report: Cingular to offer iTunes phone

Cingular is considering whether to sell Motorola’s long-awaited iTunes mobile phone, according to a Reuters report on Friday. “Motorola and Apple have been talking to Cingular about it using the iTunes phone,” a source told the news agency.

In further confirmation, RBC Capital analyst Mark Sue said in a research note this week that Apple and Cingular, the No. 1 U.S. carrier, were finalizing details on revenue sharing.

Cingular and Apple representatives declined comment, while a Motorola spokeswoman said the company is on schedule to ship the first iTunes phone in the third quarter. [via Mobile Tracker]

Audible to begin RSS delivery and podcast service

Today, Audible announced plans to distribute the New York Times Audio Digest, Wall Street Journal and other periodic audio content via RSS. Audible customers can schedule automatic delivery of their periodic programming to their computers and to any one of more than 135 AudibleReady handheld devices, including the iPod.

Audible has also launched an information page outlining its strategy behind profitable podcasting. “Starting June 24th, you can put Audible’s management experience, platforms and tools to work for you and your podcasting strategy. Audible now offers content producers the infrastructure for circulation control, paid subscriptions and advertising management needed to effortlessly produce and manage podcasting - and turn that audio content into predictable, incremental revenue.”
[via I-Newswire.com]

iPodderX developer talks iTunes 4.9, podcasting

iLounge recently spoke with iPodderX developer August Trometer on what impact the forthcoming iTunes 4.9 update will have on podcasting. As previously reported, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced iTunes 4.9 at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, and then later provided further details at this month’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

Trometer told iLounge that he was by no means surprised at the announcement. “It was inevitable that Apple would take an interest in podcasting,” he said. “After all, the more uses Apple can find for the iPod, the better for them. So when iTunes 4.9 was announced, I wasn’t too surprised.”

Trometer said that in the long run, it’s great news for both podcasting and for applications like iPodderX. “In much the same way that Safari RSS is introducing a whole new audience to syndicated newsfeeds, I think iTunes 4.9 will do the same for podcasting. But, also like Safari RSS, people will soon tire of the basic feature set and want more capabilities than iTunes offers. These folks will look elsewhere and to other applications for their podcast needs.”

After seeing Jobs give a demo of iTunes 4.9 at WWDC, Trometer said Apple, like always, has come up with a great looking and easy to use solution to a technology many have yet to embrace. “I have to admit, iTunes 4.9 looks slick,” he told iLounge. “I have a feeling that people will get tired of the way it lists their podcasts—disclosure triangles for each feed will get tiresome—but overall it looks like a great introduction to the world of podcasting.”

Poll results: How do you use your iPod?

The results of our first Lounge Poll are in. With responses from over 2,800 Loungers, the question “What do you use your iPod for?” has now been answered.

 

image

More than 50% of responding readers said that they use the iPod only for music, but a robust 40% also use it to store data and/or photographs, too. Thanks for your responses, and be sure to check out our current Lounge Poll on the left column, right underneath Ask iLounge: “How large is your biggest iPod?”

 

58% of retailers recommend iPod; Sales to ‘reaccelerate’

  • June 24, 2005
  • iPod,

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said on Friday that Apple “will likely not show significant upside for the iPod in the June quarter” with sales of 5.5 million units, but that the iPod business will “reaccelerate” in the seasonally strong September and December quarters.

Munster’s positive expectations are based on results from a recent survey of MP3 player sales reps at 100 U.S. retail stores (non-Apple), which on average 58% of recommended the purchase of an iPod over a competing device.

Munster said in a research note obtained by iLounge that 63% of sales reps recommend an iPod model in the 5GB or larger category, in most cases recommending the 6GB iPod mini or 20GB iPod. In the 5GB or less category, 52% of sales reps recommend an iPod (4GB iPod mini or iPod shuffle).

The analyst said that 32% of salespeople who recommend the iPod do so because of the device’s ease of use. Munster said that 21% see the “massive eco-system” of iPod accessories as the top reason to own an iPod.

Meanwhile, the top reason given by 25% of sales reps for recommending something other than an iPod was its lack of an FM receiver. Approximately 14% said its close integration with iTunes is too limiting, and an another 14% said there are some players that have a better design or are smaller than the iPod.

DLO drops iBoom pricing

imageDigital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced that its iBoom has been lowered to $129.99 (from $149.99). The portable four-speaker sound system offers 20-watts of power and features an integrated iPod cradle, a digital FM radio, and backlit display. The iBoom runs on 6 D batteries or AC power and also has a built-in handle and auxiliary input jack.

Mix: iPod books, iPed discount, iPod deals, Clear Channel

  • June 23, 2005

Both Leander Kahney of Wired News and Dylan Jones of Britain’s GQ magazine will be releasing books on the iPod phenomenon this year.

In celebration of the 4th of July, Thought Out will honor all active military personnel with 25% off its line of iPed iPod stands.

Kelli Grant of SmartMoney.com has written an article on how to get the best deal when buying an iPod.

Clear Channel Radio announced today that it will make radio programming available through Podcasts at 11 new radio stations.

Mobifly debuts Clip & Walk case for iPod mini

imageMobifly has announced the Clip & Walk case for Apple’s iPod mini. The case can be worn around your waist or across the chest with an included belt (white leather) or shoulder strap (white polyester). The Clip & Walk is currently available from European online Apple Stores (£34.90 at the UK store). U.S. availability is unknown at this time.

“Equipped with a case, a belt and a shoulder strap, the Mobifly kit is designed especially for women and possesses a unique rotation feature enabling the users to access all the iPod mini functions in one flip,” says Mobifly. Moreover, the Mobifly case enhances the look of the iPod mini by displaying its screen, its design and its colour.”

Coldplay solar-powered charger for iPod offered

imageColdplay’s UK online store has added a branded version of the Better Energy Systems Solio solar-powered charger for the iPod (iLounge Rating: B+). The limited edition Solio features cryptic artwork from the band’s new album X&Y . The store said that only 200 are available for purchase worldwide at £79.99. The compact Solio, which weighs 5.8 ounces, features a unique fan blade design that allows it to “achieve maximum solar area when in use, and to fold compactly to the size of an average mobile phone when stored.”

European iTunes Music Stores top 50 million songs

Apple today announced that more than 50 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from its European iTunes Music Stores in their first year of operation. Apple launched iTunes stores in the UK, France and Germany in June 2004, and now have them in 17 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

“We’re thrilled to have sold and delivered over 50 million songs in our first year

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