During a broadcast earlier in the day, BBC 6 Music news reported “Apple is set to unveil a new video iPod at the BBC Television Centre in London on October the 12th. The company is expected to reveal details of the new MP3 and video player as well as video bundles to be available from the company’s iTunes stores.” Conflicting reports about the rumored video iPod have run rampant across the web since Apple sent out the “One More Thing…” announcements yesterday. The broadcast is no longer available on the BBC site.
Like many others, two Wall Street analysts are expecting Apple to introduce the much-rumored video iPod at next week’s “One more thing” special event in San Jose, California.
“We would expect a video iPod to have a material ‘wow’ factor, but we believe that it would need to be priced reasonably (less than $400) and be accompanied by a significant library of iTunes accessible video content to not be anything more than a niche product in the near term,” Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster said in a research report obtained by iLounge. “That said, a first step into portable video would open the door for future product innovations as the company continues to branch out into more of central player in digital and mobile convergence.”
Munster said a smaller form factor high capacity (greater than 10GB) iPod could also be shown at the event, but he does not expect a new Mac computer (other than possible incremental changes to speed and memory), nor does he believe the company will introduce an Apple-branded mobile phone.
American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu also believes a video iPod will be unveiled next week, and is also looking for speed-bumped Macs. “After spending the past two years studying this market and negotiating with content partners, it appears Apple is ready to go to market with a 1st generation video-capable iPod,” Wu said. “Competitors Samsung, Creative Technology, iRiver, and Archos have shipped portable video devices for some time albeit without much success. We think a key area to watch is the price points Apple will set for these new devices. If Apple can charge under $400 and preferably $299, we believe it will sell well. At higher price points, we believe it may be difficult to drive high volume.”
Wu said he expects that the first set of video content available from the iTunes store will be music videos and video podcasts. “At this point, we do not anticipate full-length feature movies but would not be surprised to see some test movies in the future as the studios are still figuring out their future business model vs. today’s movie theater and then DVD approach,” he said. “We are also picking up indications that Apple could announce an optional external ‘video out’ module that attaches to an iPod video meaning one can output the video to a TV or external screen.”
EDGE Tech has begun shipping its EDGE Dock & Multi Flash Card Reader for iPod. The device allows users to access various flash memory formats while charging/syncing their iPod. Supported media include xD Cards, SD Cards, MultiMedia (MMC) Cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, SmartMedia Cards, Type I/II CompactFlash Cards, and IBM Microdrives. The device also features line-out for audio, s-video out, and USB 2.0 for the card reader—a separate dock connector port is used to connect the iPod to the computer. The EDGE Dock & Multi Flash Card Reader for iPod is available now and sells for $49.99.
Microsoft has broken off talks with record labels regarding its planned subscription-based music service, Reuters reports.
Artist and cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has released “I Run For Life,” a single chronicling her struggle with the disease, on iTunes. In October, 80 percent of the download price of the song will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and 20 percent to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has launched its own e-label, MSO Classics, created specifically for digital distribution of its recordings at online music services such as the iTunes Music Store. This marks the first time an American orchestra has distributed works online under its own label.
A recent survey by research firm Piper Jaffray shows that the iPod and iTunes are gaining market share.
UpBeat Audio is now shipping the Boostaroo Revolution, a pocket-sized audio amplifier and two-way splitter. The Revolution is compatible with any device with a headphone jack, including all models of iPod. It can drive high-end headphones (greater than 60 ohm impedance for best results) or mini-speakers, quadruple their volume, and image “high-definition 3-channel surround” sound. The Boostaroo Revolution is available now and sells for $79.95.
Waterfield Designs has introduced its iPod nano Case, and a revised version of its small iPod Gear Pouch. The iPod nano Case features three-layer construction—an Indium nylon outer, a protective plastic middle, and an interior layer made of neoprene. The case also features an elastic band sewn into the back for storing earbuds, and comes in five different colors. The revised small iPod Gear Pouch now features a small padded interior compartment for the nano, and can fit an iPod nano, its WaterField case, ear buds, USB power adapter and either an arm band or a power supply inside. Both the iPod nano Case and the revised small iPod Gear Pouch are available now. Pricing for the iPod nano Case is set at $22.00; the small iPod Gear Pouch sells for $29.00.
Vaja has released its latest luxury iPod case, the iVod Crystal, a Swarovski crystal-encrusted version of its iVod case for color screen iPods. Other features of the iVod Crystal include an exclusive leather strap, easy access to the click wheel, headphone jack, hold switch, and dock connector, interior padding, and a screen protector. The Vaja iVod Crystal is available in six different leather/crystal combinations, and sells for $340.
Pivot has announced its Pocket Skin for iPod nano. The Pocket Skin features a silicone sleeve-style design and cutouts for the screen, click wheel, headphone jack, hold switch, and dock connector. The cases are available in eight different colors—white, solid black, black, blue, pink, orange, yellow, and green—and are available now. Pricing for the Pivot Pocket Skin for iPod nano is set at $22.00 for a 2 pack.
Apple has announced a “One More Thing” event on October 12, 2005, at the same California Theatre venue in San Jose where the iPod photo and U2 Special Edition iPod were announced last year. The event, promoted to select media, will begin at 10:00am Pacific, and is named after the famed oratory trick of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who uses the phrase as a prelude to a bombshell announcement at the close of a keynote speech. As contrasted with the blue jeans image used to tease the announcement of the iPod nano, the One More Thing event is promoted with a red theater-like curtain. iLounge will be on hand to provide coverage of the day’s announcements, which will come one day after the company publicly discloses its financial results on October 11.
On November 1, 2005, iLounge will publish its Holiday 2005 Buyers’ Guide, and as always, we will be prominently featuring the art and photography of our incredible readers. Today we are announcing two new contests, one for artwork, one for photographs, with over $1,800 in prizes at stake.
The Ultimate iPod Accessory Design Contest gives you a chance to create a great new iPod accessory and win a prize for it. We’ll pick a total of three winners in three different categories - “creative,” “realistic/practical,” and “funny” - with the best overall winner receiving The Ultimate iPod Accessory Bundle from Belkin and Oregon Scientific.
The Black and White Photo Contest honors the release of the photo-ready, black- and white-bodied iPod nanos with a new photo contest. Two winners will each win a brand new iPod nano in the color of their choice.
For complete details, check out the new Contest pages. Winners will be shown in the new Buyers’ Guide on November 1. Good luck!
RapidSolution Software has taken the wraps off its new PodSpider Portal. The portal features access to over 20,000 podcasts and features the largest directory of podcasts available in the English language. The launch of the portal accompanies a new version of the PodSpider software for Windows, v. 1.2. The software offers synchronization between a user’s PC and MP3 player, including the iPod. The PodSpider Premium software sells for $24.95 (50% off for a limited time); a free version is also available.
The Think Different Store is now shipping its new clear protective body wrap for the iPod nano, the invisibleSHIELD. The film, which was originally developed to protect helicopter blades, is cut to provide access to the nano’s hold switch, headphone jack, and dock connector port while offering full-body coverage. A version of the invisibleSHEILD with the clickwheel cut-out is also available directly from the invisibleSHIELD website. The invisibleSHIELD for iPod nano is available now and sells for $19.99.
Podtee is now offering a selection of iPod-inspired t-shirts, including two limited edition prints. Made of 100% cotton, each design is offered on men’s standard, ringer, and women’s styles of shirts. Designed for the upcoming holiday, the “Boo” and “Bats!” prints are being offered in limited edition runs. Pricing for podtees starts at $18.99.
The iPod nano is leading the way in the change from hard drive-based to flash-based MP3 players, according to Billboard. “We don’t look at it from a standpoint of hard drive and flash,” says Stan Ng, director of iPod product marketing. “We try to look at the whole lineup to bring a lot of new customers in.”
Apple is siding with a record label group in an ongoing dispute over iTunes royalties, reports Macworld UK.
An iPod nano owner has comically shown a way to connect a 200GB ATA hard drive to the nano.
Speck Products has introduced its latest iPod toy, the iKitty. Shaped like a cat, the iKitty offers functionality as both a stand and a case for the iPod and iPod mini. Features of the iKitty include access to the iPod’s top ports, a tail that functions as a headphone cord organizer, as well as a screen protector and a dockable design. The iKitty is available now; both the full-size and mini models of iKitty sell for $34.95.
According to analysts with UBS, sales of iPods could top 10 million in the fourth quarter, Forbes reports. Worldwide checks found the potential to exceed 10 million units based on “ambitious plans for the nano” and “recent reports that a handheld device capable of video playback may be in the works.”
“‘In short, our meetings were very positive for Apple into year-end and next, in terms of potential new iPods and possible build plans,’ said the firm. ‘We continue to believe that Apple could do more in terms of multimedia offerings into the year-end.’”
Leather goods manufacturer A.B. Sutton has introduced two new leather cases for the iPod nano, the nano Book and the nano Slip. Both cases are handmade-to-order in varieties of more than 40 leather colors and 70 silk fabrics. Both also offer access to all the nano’s controls and ports, are individually numbered, and are available starting today.
The nano Book case for iPod nano features a full-flap design with a leather buckle to cover the nano’s face when closed. A piece of protective plastic covers the nano’s screen when open, and the silk lining is designed to prevent scratches. A backstrap holder for headphones is also available. Pricing for the nano Book starts at $70.
The nano Slip for iPod nano has a sleeve-like design, with decorative options available for the back of the case. A piece of protective plastic covers the screen, while the silk lining option is only available in thin silk fabrics. A backstrap holder for headphones is an available option as well. Pricing for the nano Slip starts at $50.
While global music sales declined 1.9 percent the first half of the year, market share for commercial music downloads rose to 6 percent of total sales, Reuters reports.
Jim Rossman reports for the Dallas Morning News, “The nano pushes the cool factor to a new level. If you touch it, you’ll have to have it,” in his review of the device.
iLounge reader Jon Gales reports that his iPod nano survived a spin in his washing machine.
Sources are predicting new, higher-capacity fifth-generation iPods are on their way this month, possibly with video, reports AppleInsider.
For the first time since the advent of commercial digital music downloads, a recording has passed the 1,000,000 mark in download sales. The song, former Billboard #1 “Hollaback Girl” from Gwen Stefani’s debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., had sales of approximately 995,000 downloads as of Friday, September 30. The recording has averaged 15,000 downloads per week since it’s release on November 25, 2004.
Stefani commented, “It’s always an honor to be recognized for your music, and this is really the coolest. It’s exciting to see people embrace the song and really make it part of their lives. Whether it’s cds, computers, or cellphones…it really is bananas.”
Another track from the album, “Rich Girl,” was featured in commercials for Apple and Pepsi’s free iTunes download promotion earlier in the year. “Hollaback Girl” is available for sale from iTunes, as well as Napster, Rhapsody, Sony Connect and other online music retailers.
Tunewear has launched a new leather iPod nano case, the Tunewallet nano and announced availablility and pricing for the Tunetag. The Tunetag and Tunewallet nano are available in three colors—black with red stitching, black with white stitching, and white with white stitching. Both cases will begin shipping October 11.
The Tunetag is a luggage-tag style case made of leather. It features a clear vinyl sheet to protect the screen and click wheel, and a belt strap for connecting the case to bags, purses, or belt loops. The Tunetag sells for $29.95.
The Tunewallet nano is a wallet-style leather case. It features a bi-fold design with a screen cover and a slot on the inside of the flip cover for credit cards, small amounts of cash, and more. The Tunewallet nano sells for $39.95.