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DLO HomeDock now shipping

imageDigital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced that its DLO HomeDock home entertainment center for iPods is now shipping. The iPod docking center enables users play their music through their home stereo, display photos and videos on their televisions, charge their iPod and sync it to their computer. The HomeDock features RCA connectors, Composite Video, S-Video, USB 2.0 and comes with a 14-function remote control. It costs $99.99 and works with all dockable iPods, including fourth and fifth generation iPods, iPod nanos, and iPod minis.

Lap Locker intros PodLock iPod locking case

imageLap Locker has announced its PodLock iPod locking case. The case is designed to fit all full-size iPods except the 30GB 3rd generation model, original 20GB iPod photo, and the 40-60GB iPod photo. The system consists of a tapered aluminum frame to contain the iPod and a Master Lock carabiner-style combination lock. The lock allows the case to be secured to belts, backpacks, purses, and, using a clamp-lock device, the case can be locked to a table or desk. The PodLock allows access to all the iPod’s controls and ports. The PodLock is available now and sells for $39.99.

Mix: Madonna, TV ads, school podcasting, iMic

  • October 19, 2005

Two pre-order versions of the upcoming Madonna album Confessions On a Dance Floor are now available at the iTunes Music Store: a single-track continuous dance mix, and a traditional album divided into twelve tracks. A radio edit of the album’s first single, “Hung Up,” is immediately available for download with a pre-order—a first for the iTMS.

Television advertisers are being forced to think of new means of delivery following Apple’s announcement of commercially available advertisement-free television downloads.

Students at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, VA are making their own podcasts and using iPods as learning tools. The podcasts are to be used as supplemental learning tools in the future.

Griffin has announced a new version of its USB audio adapter iMic. The device sells for $39.99 and includes LP recording software.

iPod 5G (video) teardown online (updated)

  • October 19, 2005
  • iPod

Investment bank Jeffries & Company has posted an investment summary that includes details about the chips used inside the new iPods, as well as a few pictures. The chips include the PP5021 decoder and CPU “system on a chip” from PortalPlayer, a BCM2722 video decoder/processor from Broadcom, a K4S56163PF 256Mbit SDRAM module from Samsung, a WM8758 audio codec chip from Wolfson Microelectronics, a SST39WF800A 8Mbit Parallel Flash chip from Silicon Storage Technology, and a CY8C21 PSoC Mixed Signal Controller for the click wheel from Cypress. The report indicates that the estimated total cost of components for the new 30GB iPod is $143.50. [via TUAW]

Notably, the hard drive shown and glossed over in the Jeffries & Company report is a Toshiba 30GB MK3008GAL, a super-slim 1.8” hard disk that to date has only been produced in 20GB, 30GB, 40GB and 60GB (MK6008GAH) capacities. Consequently, Apple would need to use the thicker, less power-efficient MK8007GAH drive for an 80GB version of the 5G iPod, or wait for a thinner 80GB version matching the 60GB model to be produced.

Pacific Design announces iPod nano Flip Case

imagePacific Design has announced its iPod nano Flip Case. The iPod nano Flip Case features a flip-top design to help protect the nano’s screen and click wheel, a soft clip on the back for attaching to a belt or armband, and the case allows access the nano’s headphone jack, hold switch, and dock connector. The iPod nano Flip Case is available in Carbon Black, Precious Pink, Big Sky Blue, and Rally Red—pricing and release information have yet to be announced.

Mossberg: New iPod a ‘surprisingly decent video player’

  • October 19, 2005
  • iPod

In his column for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg has taken a look at the new iPod 5G (video), including a close look at the device’s video functionality.

“Our verdict is that this new iPod is an excellent music player. It has all of the strengths that have made prior iPods monster hits, and a few subtle refinements. Plus, it’s a surprisingly decent video player, with crisp, smooth vivid playback of TV shows, music videos, short films, video podcasts and home videos… We wouldn’t want to watch a full-length movie on this iPod—the screen is just too small. But, for short things like music videos, video podcasts or even hourlong TV shows shortened by stripping out the commercials, as Apple is doing, the new iPod provides a pretty good experience.”

Tunewear debuts Prie Ambassador, Icewear for 5G iPods

Tunewear has announced its Prie Ambassador 5G and Icewear 5G cases for 5G iPods. The cases are available for both the 30GB and 60GB models, and both include Tunefilm 5G, a thin protective sheet for the iPod 5G. The Prie Ambassador 5G and the Icewear 5G will be available next month.

imagePrie Ambassador 5G
The Prie Ambassador 5G is made from nappa leather, and features three ways to carry the case—using the removable hook to attach it to a belt loop or strap, using the removable clip to secure your iPod to a pocket or belt, or simply removing all clips and hooks and slipping it into a pocket or bag. The case also features vinyl covers for the screen and click wheel, and access to the hold switch, headphone jack, and dock connector. The Prie Ambassador comes in 3 colors: black leather with red stitching, black leather with white stitching, and white leather with white stitching. It sells for $49.95.

imageIcewear 5G
The Icewear 5G is a transparent silicone case for the iPod 5G. The case’s design allows access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel. Ribs are featured on the sides to increase grip and help protect the iPod inside in the event of a fall. The Icewear 5G is available in transparent silicone for both the 30GB and 60GB iPod models and sells for $24.95.

iPod Updater 2005-10-12 released

  • October 18, 2005
  • iPod

Apple has posted iPod Updater 2005-10-12 for download on its website. The update includes iPod Software 1.0 for Apple’s new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod, but does not bring any new features to current iPods. According to the brief release notes, iPod Updater 2005-10-12 “contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-23 for all other iPod models.”

Fifth-generation (video) iPods arrive

  • October 18, 2005
  • iPod

imageApple’s new fifth-generation iPods have begun arriving to those in the U.S. who placed their order shortly after last week’s announcement. iLounge editors and several forum members have already received their new iPods, with many more iLoungers reporting that theirs have been shipped. In addition, it has been confirmed that most Apple retail stores have received a limited number of the new iPods.

We’ve posted a six-page photo gallery featuring the unpacking of a 30GB black iPod and a 60GB white iPod. You can also check out our Top Ten Things You Wanted to Know About the 5G iPod article, our original first look article on the device, as well as our gallery of 300+ pictures from the special Apple event where the new iPod was unveiled. Stay tuned to iLounge for our comprehensive review.

Mix: iTunes phones, TV programming, TiVo-to-iPod, Hollywood

  • October 18, 2005

In an interview with Fortune, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there’s more iTunes-enabled mobile phones to come besides Motorola’s ROKR. “There are more phones yet to roll out,” he said. “Cingular has been great to work with.”

If it becomes popular enough, the video iPod could begin to “raise the value of television programming in the mind of the consumer,” says Steve Hoffenberg, director of electronic media research at Lyra Research. “People pay $30 or $50 a month for unlimited cable television for a couple hundred channels that they can watch 24 hours a day. Now all of a sudden, when one hour of TV is a dollar or two, it changes the value proposition for television.”

Engadget has posted a guide on how to get TV shows off of a Series 2 TiVo and on to the new video-enabled 5G iPod.

BusinessWeek’s Ronald Grover says it’s now the Hollywood studios’ turn to learn that digital downloads are the future. “Wake up, Hollywood. What are you waiting for? Either let Steve Jobs have your movies or—and this is a novel idea for any entertainment mogul—beat him to the punch with your own efficient, cost-effective way for consumers to get flicks off the Web.”

CBS offers podcasts on iTunes Music Store

CBS has announced that it is now offering a slew of free audio podcasts, from “60 Minutes” to “Guiding Light,” on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Other offerings include: “Face The Nation,” “Survivor Live,” “CBS Soapbox,” “NFL Hot Topic,” and “Fantasy Football: Roster Trends.”

“Podcasting has become a way of life for an increasingly growing population, and I’m confident our programming will find a whole new audience on this hugely popular platform,” said Larry Kramer, CBS Digital Media president. “With one click on iTunes, users can now receive podcasts from each of our divisions, including entertainment and sports. We’re very pleased to be working with iTunes on this promotion, and we look forward to exposing and sharing our programming with an audience that might not be traditional TV viewers.”

Sumo Cases offers new gear for iPod nano, 5G iPod

image

Sumo Cases has provided iLounge with an exclusive look at its new leather cases for the recently introduced iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. Pricing and availability were not announced.

imageNano Flip Case
The Nano Flip Case features leather construction, a flip-top front cover, and a soft interior. The case provides access to the dock connector and headphone jack, and comes with a removable wrist strap. It’s available in black and red.

imageNano Stripe Case
Sumo’s Nano Stripe Case is made from molded leather over eva foam for better protection, and sports a contrasting white stripe. Also available in black and red, it features a front face cover, access to all ports, and a removable wrist strap.

imageiPod Ballistic/Leather Case
The Ballistic/Leather Case for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod features premium leather and ballistic nylon construction, a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. It’s available in black.

iPod Stripe Case
Sumo’s new iPod Stripe Case, also made from premium leather with a contrasting stripe, features a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. The Stripe Case is available in a sleek black-and-white design.

Griffin intros AirClick with dock connector for iPod

imageGriffin Technology today announced the AirClick with Dock Connector, a new version of its wireless remote control for iPods. Unlike previous models, the receiver of the new AirClick connects to an iPod’s bottom dock connector instead of the top headphone and remote ports.

The AirClick uses RF technology that allows users to control their iPod from up to 60 ft. away and through walls. The remote control features five buttons—play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up, and volume down—and also has a hold switch and rear clip. The new AirClick works with fourth and fifth generation iPods and iPod minis. It is priced at $39.99 and is scheduled to begin shipping in mid-November.

Eminem iPod + iTunes commercial returns

imageAfter briefly appearing online last week following Apple’s special event, the new iPod + iTunes commercial featuring rap music superstar Eminem is now back on the company’s website for viewing. There have also been reader reports that the 30-second spot began airing on TV over the weekend.

The ad, which was first shown by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during the event in San Jose, is a new 3D version of Apple’s well-known silhouette ads featuring the rapper singing his hit single “Lose Yourself” along with dancers and the new fifth-generation iPod.

The commercial came as somewhat of a surprise given the history between Apple and Eminem. The rapper’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed a lawsuit against Apple in early 2004, claiming the iPod maker used “Lose Yourself” in a commercial for the iTunes Music Store without permission. The dispute was settled in May of this year, with Apple agreeing to pay Eminem and Eight Mile Style an undisclosed sum.

The disappearance of the commercial from Apple’s website without explanation sparked a bit of controversy online. Bloggers have speculated that Apple had pulled the ad because of its similarity to a three year old Lugz shoe commercial [video, screenshot comparison]. Others assumed that the ad was pulled because of a last minute demand from Eminem’s camp. Currently, no explanation has been given.

Incase debuts first case for new iPod

imageIncase has introduced its first case for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod. The Incase Pouch, designed to fit the new 30GB iPod model, features a durable synthetic fiber exterior and soft suede interior. The case has expandable elastic sides and a belt clip, and will come in black, olive and chocolate (shown). Incase said the Pouch for 5G iPods will retail for $19.95, and will be available from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores by the end of the month.

Mix: iPod video, Hollywood, Motorola V3X, Jobs successor

  • October 17, 2005

Newsweek’s Steven Levy writes about the iPod’s new video support. “Will people be similarly impressed by viewing such fare on the 2.5-inch iPod screen? A couple of weeks ago, Jobs tested it himself with an episode of Lost. The verdict? ‘It’s not bad,’ he says. With more than 20 million iPods sold, and a new business selling TV shows, he’s not desperate, and certainly not lost.”

The New York Times’ Richard Siklos says: “The video iPod is not about to revolutionize Hollywood in the way the iPod revolutionized music. Why? Two reasons. One is that studios are not rushing to make their most popular movies and shows available for the video iPod. Perhaps even more important, mobile gadgets with access to everything that is already on television are on the way.”

Engadget reports that Vodafone has the Motorola V3X listed as being available next month with iTunes. The phone also has a two megapixel camera, memory card slot, and Bluetooth.

In a BusinessWeek articled entitled “Atop the Apple Tree, Almost,” Arik Hesseldahl and Peter Burrow discuss the possibility of life after Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “If Jobs ever steps down, Tim Cook’s elevation to COO confirms him as the top candidate to fill his shoes. Actually, make that to try to fill them.”

Shure adds black E Series earphones for iPod nano

Shure today announced black versions of its E Series sound-isolating earphones designed to complement the black iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. In addition to the current white models, the Shure E2c, E3c and E4c will be available in black. They will begin shipping in November.

“Featuring Shure’s unique Dynamic MicroDriver technology and priced at $99, the E2c is a consumer’s first introduction to premium audio and an ideal choice for upgrading bundled earphones. The lightest, most compact model in its class, the E3c retails for $179 and features WideBand MicroDriver technology to deliver extended frequencies and precision highs. The E4c, $299, incorporates Shure’s Tuned Port Technology and High Definition drivers, delivering luxurious, detailed audio and extended bass response.”

We are awaiting pictures of the new black models from Shure.

Apple drops Samsung investment plan

Talks between Samsung and Apple on a possible joint investment to produce NAND flash memory chips have been dropped. “We had had some talks with Apple earlier this year but it did not work out due to differences over terms,” a Samsung spokesman told Reuters on Monday, adding they had dropped the joint investment talks “at a very early stage.” Apple is reportedly in talks currently with another company for joint flash chip output.

The Korea Economic Daily reported over the weekend that Apple had pulled out of the joint $3.8 billion investment plan due to “deepening anti-Samsung sentiment among some South Korean politicians and civic groups.” The Korean Fair Trade Commission Chairman recently stated that Samsung could be investigated for reports of the company selling flash memory to Apple at below-market prices. Last week, Samsung was found guilty in the U.S. of price-fixing.

ABC shows on iTunes causing waves in TV business

Apple may have “helped open a Pandora’s box for the media business” by making television shows available for download on iTunes. The Wall Street Journal reports [paid sub. req.] that Apple and its first TV partner, Walt Disney/ABC, have “taken a potentially significant step in the dismantling of a decades-old system for distributing TV programming to viewers, a move that could have profound long-term consequences for broadcasters, cable systems and satellite companies if more users download shows instead of watching them the old-fashioned way.”

Apple’s deal with Disney is “already causing waves in the TV business,” with Leon Long, the president of the association representing ABC’s affiliate stations, expressing his concern to ABC executives. “It is both disappointing and unsettling that ABC would embark on a new—and competitive—network program distribution partnership without the fundamental courtesy of consultation” with its affiliates, Long said in a letter to the president of the ABC network. Meanwhile, the unions that represent TV show writers, producers, directors and actors issued a joint statement last week saying, “We look forward to a dialogue that ensures our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work.”

Apple’s design process highlighted in Time cover story

imageThe October 24th edition of Time magazine features a cover story on Apple and how the company is different from others when it comes to designing new products. While Apple CEO Steve Jobs is featured on the cover holding the new fifth-generation iPod, most of the article is devoted to analyzing the design process at Apple. The cover story contains some choice quotes from a number of Apple executives, including Jobs, Jonathan Ive and Tony Fadell. A paid subscription is required to read the full article.

Time’s Lev Grossman says that there are two things going on inside Apple—collaboration and control. When it comes to a new product, it’s a joint effort—the company does not pass a product down the line, from team to team. “There aren’t discrete, sequential development stages,” explains Grossman. “Instead, it’s simultaneous and organic. Products get worked on in parallel by all departments at once—design, hardware, software—in endless rounds of interdisciplinary design reviews.”

Jobs compares Apple’s design process to other companies. “You know how you see a show car,” Jobs says, “and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”

Time’s Grossman describes the “control” of Jobs: “Sure, Jobs is perfectly pleasant to be around. And he pays attention to what you’re saying, but if he disagrees with it… he’ll come storming back and hammer at you until you change your mind or at least shut up… In other words, Jobs is into control. In itself, that is of no real importance, except that in a lot of ways, Apple is an expression of Jobs’ personal ethos.”

Finally, Jobs talks of the new iPod’s potential. “There is no market today for portable video,” he says. “We’re going to sell millions of these to people who want to play their music, and video is going to come along for the ride. Anyone who wants to put out video content will put it out for this. And we’ll find out what happens.”

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