Roxio has announced the release of Popcorn 2, a new version of its Mac-only DVD burning application. Popcorn 2 adds the ability to convert and transfer video to the fifth-generation iPod, Sony PSP and select mobile phones. The $50 software allows users to create portable-compatible versions of all popular video formats including non-protected DVD-Video, QuickTime movies, MPEG files, iMovie projects and more. Roxio said Popcorn 2 includes predefined settings optimized for standard or high-quality video output, or users can tweak their own DivX, MPEG4, or H.264 levels for bit rate, frame rate, and image size.
iPodPortugal.com, a Portuguese-language member of the iLounge Around the World network of web sites, and “the first and most complete Portuguese website related to the iPod culture,” announced that it would cease publication today due to alleged massive-scale theft of its content by a competing publication. According to Nuno Henriques of iPodPortugal, the decision to stop providing iPod news to the Portuguese community was made after a rip-off artist cloned his site’s original content, then refused to delete it. “It’s a shame we had to do this,” said Henriques, “but we had no choice… You can’t imagine how frustrating it is to keep a site up to date, wasting precious time of yours and then some jerk just copies everything.” iPodPortugal said that it will keep its Portuguese-language discussion forum open for the benefit of its community; iLounge extends its respect and support to iPodPortugal’s editors and readers.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences today announced the nominees for the first Emmy Award for “original entertainment programming created specifically for non-traditional viewing platforms, including computers, mobile phones, iPods, PDAs and similar devices.” The nominees are: “24: Conspiracy” by Fox Mobile Entertainment; “It’s Jerrytime!” produced by Ozone Inc.; “Live 8 on AOL” produced by America Online; “mtvU Stand In” produced by MTV Networks; “Sophie Chase” produced by CB Films; and “Stranger Adventures Helen Beaumont” produced by Riddle Productions. The new Emmy Award will first be presented at the 33rd Annual Creative Arts Daytime Emmy Awards on Saturday, April 22 at New York City’s Marriott Marquis.
Bose has provided iLounge with details and photos of its new black SoundDock iPod speaker system. The black SoundDock, designed to match the black fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano, will be available in stores and online in early May for $299—the same price as the original white system. The new SoundDock will also offer the same features as the original, including Bose’s proprietary acoustic design, universal docking cradle for all dockable iPods, and matching infrared remote control.
Airline in-flight entertainment system providers have talked with Apple about licensing iTunes to enable passengers to download music and videos onto iPods while flying. “We’ve had lots of discussions with Apple,” said Thales VP and in-flight systems GM Brad Foreman. “The key is to get them to see the value of hosting iTunes on an aircraft. Is it a big enough market for them to be interested in? I’d try to do it tomorrow if they said yes.” Panasonic Avionics strategic product marketing director David Bruner agreed that “there’s a lot of airline interest” in the idea of hosting iTunes. “Apple is aware of the market,” he said. “It’s a small market for them, but it’s a very visible market.”
Dension has announced that it will will be distributing DICE Electronics’ new iPod integration kits. DICE offers three kits—Hard-Wired to MOST, Hard-wired to CDC and Hard-Wired FM-RDS—which give you “the highest in sound quality, controls from your radio and steering wheel, charging for your iPod, unlimited playlist selections and more.” The MOST kit ($400) is for Mercedes Benz and Porsche vehicles vehicles utilizing the MOST fiber optic bus. The CDC kit (from $160; Audi, Acura, BMW, GM, Honda, Lexus, Mini, Mazda, Mercedes, Scion, Toyota and VW) allows you to connect an iPod to your vehicle’s factory entertainment system through the CD changer port. The FM-RDS kit (from $160) works with all vehicles with FM radio and a universal antenna port, and offers static free FM modulation. DICE is also selling an optional $60 iPod video cradle.
Sonos today announced the Sonos ZonePlayer 80 Bundle, the latest addition to its line of wireless multi-room digital music systems. The $999 bundle includes two Sonos ZonePlayer 80s and a Sonos Controller. “The brand new ZP80 Bundle lets you play all your digital music, all over your house, on all your current audio equipment—your home theater, stereo, powered speakers, premium table top radio and more,” says Sonos. “By simply connecting a ZP80 to any amplified audio device in any room, that device is instantly and seamlessly part of a wireless, multi-room digital music system. Plus, you can wirelessly control all your music from the palm of your hand with the industry’s only full-color wireless Controller.”
Coinstar has expanded its Coin to Card service to include iTunes Music Store gift cards. As part of the service, consumers can now convert their loose change into an iTunes gift card or eCertificate at select Coinstar Centers. What’s more, there’s no coin-counting fee when exchanging coins for a gift card (standard Coins to Cash transactions have an 8.9% processing fee). Coinstar says that activated gift cards are dispensed on the spot from the Coinstar machine and can be used right away. Other companies partnering with the company on gift cards and eCertificates include Amazon.com, Virgin Digital, Starbucks, and more.
Disney/ABC will offer several of its hit shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives for free on the web. The programming will feature commercials and will not be downloadable to computers or portable devices.
Apple will release its second quarter financial results on Wednesday, April 19 after the markets close. Analyst are expecting earnings of around 44 cents a share and $4.5 billion in revenue.
Logitech has announced its mm32 portable speaker system for the iPod. The mm32 speakers feature a cylinder-shaped design, an adjustable iPod cradle, and neodymium quad micro drivers that deliver “surprisingly high-quality sound for their size,” according to the company. “The sleek, affordable speaker system that delivers dynamic sound quality and works with any MP3 player or iPod with a standard headphone jack.” The speakers will be available beginning this month for $80.
SKB has introduced its DryPod line of waterproof cases for fourth and fifth-generation iPods and the iPod nano. The DryPod cases offer play-through controls and come with a neoprene arm band, adjustable lanyard and stainless steel belt clip. “Wear the DryPod on the waves, in the rain or down the mountain while your staying in control of every audio function,” says the company. “The seamless ‘flex-pad’ technology allows for the manipulation of the iPod’s control wheel right through the case. Independent laboratory tests declare the DryPod compliant with immersion and rain tests.” The 4G and 5G iPod cases will sell for $40, while the nano case will sell for $35.
4Flix.Net has announced its Free*Pass annual subscription service, which allows unrestricted access to the site’s collection of iPod-ready videos for a full year. The $99 service allows members to download any of 4Flix.Net’s DRM-free feature-length movies, classic TV shows, and independent films. “The first subscription-based Download-To-Own movie service featuring unlimited access to full-length DRM-free movies allows consumers to download hundreds of available titles, with dozens more added each month,” says the site. “Avoiding Digital Rights Management restrictions provides a better long-term entertainment investment, while enabling 4Flix.Net content to play back on a wide range of H.264-compatible hardware platforms, from video iPods to high-definition DVD players.”
The iTunes Music Store is now selling Jetix children’s shows including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!, and Power Rangers: Mystic Force.
Elgato has introduced the EyeTV 250, an ultra-compact TV receiver/recorder for analog TV. The $200 device, which works only with Macs, records in MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats, and recorded programs can be exported to the iPod.
Bear Sterns analyst Andrew Neff said today that he expects second quarter iPod sales to exceed Wall Street estimates. Citing checks with suppliers and continuing strong end demand, Neff said he believes Apple will ship 10.5 million iPods during the quarter, compared to consensus estimates of 8.5 to 9.5 million units. The analyst also reiterated his outperform rating on Apple shares.
Participating in today’s live iLounge chat with speaker maker iHome, five iLounge readers won new iH5 clock radios (white/black) or iH26 portable clock radios (white/black/silver) in their choice of colors. A complete list of winners can be read from the full story link above or below. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone, including iHome/SDI’s Evan Stein, for participating in the chat today!
To accompany TuneCenter, a $100 Media Center dock for iPods premiered in January, Griffin Technology today announced TuneCenter Pro, a premium $130 version with extra capabilities. In addition to charging and connecting iPods to home entertainment systems, and displaying iPod music menus, photos, and movies on a television screen, both versions of TuneCenter will connect to an existing home network for realtime navigation and playback of Internet Radio programming. TuneCenter will ship with an Ethernet port, while TuneCenter Pro will include internal 802.11 networking functionality. As a special bonus, all TuneCenter pre-orders placed through Griffin’s web site through Monday, April 10 will receive TuneCenter Pro for the standard TuneCenter’s price of $100. TuneCenter will ship in May, TuneCenter Pro in early June. A QuickTime movie demonstrating TuneCenter’s interface and features is now available for viewing online.
Apple has incorporated Braeburn Capital, an asset management company based in Reno, Nevada. “Braeburn—named for a variety of apple that’s uniquely sweet and tart—will be a vehicle for managing Apple’s investment portfolio. By incorporating in Nevada, Apple will be shielded from certain taxes imposed by the state of California.”
Apple is offering $10 off an order of $100 or more at the online Apple Store. To receive the discount, enter the promotion code MJN23NGDBF when you check out. The deal will expire April 22, 2006.
A ruling in the Apple vs. Apple trademark case is unlikely before Easter. Following closing arugents yesterday, judge Edward Mann said his judgement in the legal battle between Apple Computer and the Beatles’ Apple Corps over the use of the apple logo was unlikely to be before the Easter break. “In one corner, Apple Corps Ltd.‘s lawyer Geoffrey Vos said Apple Computer is a ‘Johnny-Come-Lately’ that is attempting to steal the British company’s trademark and increasingly encroach on its territory,” reports the AP. “In the other corner, Apple Computer lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the company is doing nothing wrong and music lovers are smart enough to tell the difference between the use of the apple logos.”
CyraKnow’s Rambler audio language phrase books are designed to help iPod users when traveling abroad. Available in French, German, Italian and Spanish, each Rambler audio book contains 900 words and phrases. The recordings are done by native speakers and organized into categories such as Travel, Food, Lodging and Fun. Each language sells for $20, or you can purchase all four in a $50 Euro-Pack. “Made for your iPod, Rambler audio phrase books help make travel everything you want it to be. With over 900 words and phrases per language at your fingertips, getting off the beaten path and mixing with the locals just became a whole lot easier.”
Valor Multimedia has introduced the iLink-L2, an enhanced iPod interface device for home or car use. The iLink allows users to play audio (MP3 or WMA), view photos, and play videos stored on any dockable iPod through any multimedia setup, with an easy on-screen menuing system. The device enables an on-screen display of iPod functions on any connected video monitor, charges the iPod, and is controlled with an IR remote control. “Turn your iPod into a multimedia entertainment center,” says the company. “The world’s first multimedia interface for iPod enables any iPod with dock connector to play video on any multimedia system, home or car.” The iLink sells for $130.