Samsung plans to launch a digital music store similar to Apple’s iTunes, according to Choi Gee-sung, the head of the company’s digital media business.
The Independent has a profile of Apple CEO Steve Jobs that contains some interesting quotes. “I end up not buying a lot of things,” he says, when asked how he chooses which gadgets to buy. “Because I find them ridiculous.”
The Taipei Times looks at how Apple began using the “i” in product names.
Mobile Tracker reports: “Sprint Nextel today became the first US wireless carrier to launch its own music store. The Sprint Music Store offers more than 300,000 songs [$2.50 each] that can be downloaded directly to a mobile phone over-the-air.”
The Cult of Mac blog is rounding up photos of people dressed up like iPods for Halloween, as well as iPods that have been dressed up.
HandStands is now offering a new version of its iSnug case for the iPod nano. Like the iSnug for full-size iPods, the hard-shelled case features an EVA foam cutout, belt loop, and a mesh pocket for earphones or cables. The iSnug nano also includes a leather skin case, lanyard, micro-fiber cloth, and a clear protective film for covering the face of the Nano. The iSnug nano is priced at $40 and will be available in mid-November.
Makayama Interactive has announced the release of iPod Media Studio, a new Windows application that encodes video for playback on the new fifth-generation iPod. The $33 software can encode several formats (AVI, MPEG1, DivX, XVID, VOB, ASF) and enables DVD-to-iPod conversions.
“The feature that everyone wants, but Apple didn’t give you. This software allows you to transfer DVD’s directly to your video iPod and enjoy them on the gorgeous 2.5” LCD-monitor. You can take any movie from DVD, but also recorded TV-material, or home movies from your DV-camcorder or digital still camera, and with 3 clicks convert those into a small file, which is optimized for playback with the iPod built-in video player. Enjoy movies with an amazingly sharp picture and stereo CD-quality sound.”
zCover has announced the availability of its iSA silicone case for the fifth-generation iPod. The form-fitting case is available in six colors—black, blue, pink, grey, clear, and glow-in-the-dark white—and also comes with a clear screen protector and a removable rotary belt clip. The iSA case sells for $29.95 and is shipping now.
Apple today announced that over one million videos (TV shows, music videos and Pixar short films) have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since they debuted on October 12th.
“Selling one million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests there is a market for legal video downloads,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings, so that customers can enjoy watching more videos on their computers and new iPods.”
Pacific Rim Technologies has announced two new iPod nano accessories—the Nano iCradle and the Nano Gel Shield. Both products will be available the second week of November. The Nano iCradle ($49.99) consists of a dock and a remote that allows users to control their nano from up to 30 feet away. The iCradle, which is available in black or white, also lets users sync/charge their nano. Pacific Rim’s Nano Gel Shield ($19.99) is a silicone case with an anti-dust coating that “does not pick up lint or dust while in your pocket or your desk.” The Gel Shield comes in a 3-pack (white, blue and black) with a lanyard stereo headset, and a click wheel and screen protector.
Now available is the seventeeth iLounge podcast, co-hosted by our Bob Levens and Jeremy Horwitz. This week’s podcast discusses MacExpo 2005 in London, which is going on right now, as well as the iBelieve crucifix accessory for iPod shuffle, the opening of iTMS Australia, Bob’s evolving feelings on the 5G iPod, and more.
Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.
Consumer Reports claims that the screen on the new fifth-generation iPod is just as prone to scratching as the iPod nano. “Our tests of the new 30GB model did turn up some drawbacks. Among them is a durability problem that arose with some of the Nanos: a scratch-prone screen. In an informal test, we found the screen on the new iPod softer than the one on previous high-capacity iPods; we could easily scratch it with fingernails.”
Commenting on the new iPod and ABC-iTunes deal, BusinessWeek’s Stephen Wildstrom says that Apple stays ahead of the competition because of its focus on consumers. “Apple’s products and services are designed with the single overarching concern of delivering a great consumer experience… Apple has again done consumers a service by playing the trailblazer, persuading a top-tier studio to provide good content despite its fears of piracy and disruption to its distribution model.”
Forbes has created a Steve Jobs/Darth Vader mask that you can download and print out. “Steve Jobs was the chosen one who promised to make things right in the computing world. But as time passed, his hunger for power took over, leading him to sue hapless bloggers and embrace dark arts, like digital-rights management.”
Sumajin has announced the Loop nano, a new silicone iPod nano case. The company said the $14 case is “made of a clearer grade of silicone rubber which makes our casing design more appealing than commonly used silicone rubber.” The Loop nano, which is available in 10 colors, has grooves on the back for better grip and comes with a lanyard and a clear screen protector film.
Autobytel’s CarTV has converted several of its automotive videos to play on the new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod. The downloadable video content includes “expert third-party new vehicle reviews, step-by-step car maintenance tips, and a weekly automotive news program covering late-breaking industry announcements, trends and issues.” CarTV will also provide daily coverage of next week’s SEMA show in iPod video format. The company said new videos will be added each week.
Pacific Rim Marketing has added a new version of its iDiddy Opticover for the iPod nano. Made from aerospace polyurethane, self-applied covering will “protect your nano from scratches with a tough barrier so durable that it is offered for use on the front of Ferraris and Porches to protect the paint from rocks and road rash.” The clear film covers the front and back of the nano and sells for $14.95.
Tunewear has announced the Tunewallet 5G, a new wallet-style case for the new fifth-generation iPod. The leather case, which will be available next month for $39.95, has three card slots and a small pocket inside the flip-cover to fit credit cards, business cards, cash and more. The Tunewallet 5G comes in three color combinations—black leather with red stitching, black leather with white stitching, and white leather with white stitching. The case will also include the Tunefilm 5G, the new clear protective film that covers the front and back of the iPod.
Contour Design has introduced a new version of its iSee hard case for Apple’s iPod nano. The clear polycarbonate case features all-around protection for the nano, wrap-around cord management, a detachable belt clip, and provides access to all controls and ports. “The iSee nano brings the beauty and simplicity of Contour’s iSee case line to the iPod nano—a crystal clear, low profile, secure snap-on case that accents and complements the iPod nano’s style,” says the company. Contour’s iSee nano is priced at $19.95 and will be available the first week of November.
Tunewear has announced the Tunefilm 5G, a clear protective covering for Apple’s fifth-generation iPod. The film comes in three pieces to cover the iPod’s front, back and click wheel. The Tunefilm is being sold separately for $9.95, and will be included free with the company’s Prie Ambassador 5G and Icewear 5G cases. It will be available starting next month.
BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl says that lawyers will be the only real beneficiaries in the class action lawsuit over scratched iPod nanos.
Sony-BMG is hopeful it will soon come to an agreement with Apple to join the Australian iTunes Music Store. “There’s a couple of points left to finalize, the negotiations are going really well and we hope that they will be all settled soon and we’ll be on track too,” said Emmanuel Candi of Sony-BMG Entertainment Australia.
“Osman Ratib, professor and chief of nuclear medicine at the University Hospital of Geneva, has co-created a computer software program called Osirix,
iSkin has announced the availability of its iSkin Duo for the iPod nano. First shown earlier this month, the case features a dual layer shock-resistant silicone skin that “guards against bumps, scratches, dirt, and other unwanted elements, ensuring your tunes keep playing no matter where you go.”
The form-fitting protective case comes with a clear screen protector, port covers for both the dock and earphone ports, a transparent click wheel protector, and a RevoClip 2 belt clip. iSkin’s iPod Duo is available in a variety of two-tone color combinations and is priced at $29.99.
Hutchings Software has announced Bosco’s Pod Pouch, a new lanyard case for Apple’s fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano. “Inspired by the female kangaroo,” Bosco’s Pod Pouch has a pouch to hold the iPod and an earbud pouch to hold earbuds when not in use. The case features embroidered surfaces, lets users control their iPod without removing it from the pouch, and comes with a set of red earbuds from Jasper Unlimited. Bosco’s Pod Pouch will be available next month in black twill, black velveteen, or black polyester suede. Pricing starts at $29.95.
Makers of MP3 players are facing a shortage of 1GB flash memory chips, and at least one blames Apple and Samsung for the less than ample supply that the rest of the industry is fighting for.
“One of the key challenges we face in our MP3 business is an industry-wide shortage of 1GB flash memory,” said Creative president Craig McHugh. “Industry demand for high-capacity flash memory currently outstrips supply and this will impact availability of our 1GB flash MP3 players for the holiday quarter. The shortage of flash memory, according to industry analyst speculation, is primarily a result of a special deal that Apple has secured from a key supplier for the holiday season.”
It has been reported that Samsung is selling the majority of its flash memory supply to Apple at below market cost for use in the iPod nano and iPod shuffle.
Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said the deal is putting pressure on many smaller companies. “The MP3 market is now consolidating, but there is a shortage [of flash memory] because of the special deal we talked about,” said Sim. “The low-end [manufacturers] went out of business in the last few months because it’s very hard to face this pressure. If Creative is losing money then it’s very difficult for other companies to really fight in this battle.”
Sim said he doesn’t expect the deal to last long. “I don’t think the vendor [Samsung] is benefiting on it, so it’s really a one-sided deal,” he said. “I don’t think anybody else out there can get [similar terms]. That’s not the way the industry practices.”
Sonnet Technologies has announced a new line of high-capacity replacement batteries for first- through fourth-generation iPods and iPod minis. The new batteries offer 75% greater capacity than the original Apple batteries, according to the company. Sonnet supplies all the required tools and installation instruction videos (in English, French, German, and Japanese) on a CD-ROM. Prices range from $29.95 to $39.95.
The BrixPod Classic is a limited edition iPod shuffle case made of Legos. Resembling a full-size iPod, the unique case is assembled by hand from 59 Lego parts.
“The BrixPod Classic can be displayed alone but is intended for use with the iPod shuffle. By inserting the shuffle into the top of the BrixPod you get the effect of a fully functional music player constructed from Lego. The shuffle is held securely and protected inside the BrixPod. By pushing on the screen area of the BrixPod the shuffle can be paused/played. An eject slider on the back of the BrixPod allows you to remove the shuffle easily.”
300 BrixPods will be available. The first 150 units will go on sale tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. ET for $49.99 each. The second group of 150 units will be available in approximately three weeks. [via TUAW]