iLuv has introduced a new portable tablet-style media device that allows users to play videos stored on iPod as well as DVDs. The iLuv i1055 features a 7-inch widescreen LCD display, an integrated rear dock for fifth-generation iPods, and a disc drive that supports DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs and MP3 CDs. The $250 device, available in black or white, also has a built-in rechargeable battery, S-video output, and an on-screen interface. The i1055 comes with a remote control, carrying case, and headphones.
Sonnet Technologies has announced the iFreq, a new in-vehicle FM transmitter and charger for the iPod nano. The iFreq consists of a mounting cradle that’s wired to an FM transmitter unit which plugs directly into a car’s cigarette lighter outlet. The $80 product features a backlit LCD display, broadcasts from 88.1 to 107.9, and comes with an adhesive-backed magnetic disk that is attached to the dash to mount and unmount the cradle. Sonnet said the iFreq will begin shipping in third quarter of 2006.
Creative Technology states in its patent lawsuit against Apple that the iPod maker approached Creative in 2001—before the introduction of the iPod—about licensing the company’s technology or investing in a possible Creative digital media player spin-off company. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Creative says in its suit that Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached a Creative employee at the January 2001 Macworld trade show and praised the Nomad, Creative’s first MP3 player. The two discussed a possible meeting, and Mr. Jobs ‘indicated Apple wanted a smaller version’ of the Nomad… The next month, according to the suit, Creative executives met again with Mr. Jobs. The suit says Apple proposed that Creative either license its technology to Apple, or spin off its portable media-player business into a separate company in which Apple would invest. Creative, however, declined Apple’s proposals. In October, Apple introduced its first iPod.”
The iPod has surpassed beer drinking as the most “in” thing among college students, according to the latest study by Student Monitor. The market researcher found that 73 percent of the 1,200 students surveyed said iPods were “in.” Drinking beer and social networking website Facebook.com tied for second most popular with 71 percent of positive votes from students. The “in” list also included text messaging, bar hopping and downloading music. Student Monitor said the only other time beer was temporarily dethroned in the 18 years of the survey was in 1997 by the Internet.
CBS and Apple today announced that prime-time programming from CBS is now available on the iTunes Music Store. Shows available include the reality series “Survivor,” the popular dramas “NUMB3RS” and “NCIS,” and top-rated CSI programs: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: Miami,” and “CSI: NY.” Earlier this year, CBS Sports offered the 2006 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on iTunes, and Showtime, which is a division of CBS, brought iTunes users “Sleeper Cell” and “Weeds.” Apple said it now offers over 100 TV shows and is the world’s most popular online video store with over 30 million videos sold.
Apple Canada has quietly cut prices of the fifth-generation iPod. The 30GB model is now priced at CAD$349 (was $379), while the 60GB model now sells for $459 (was $499). The just-announced special edition U2 iPod, based on the fifth-generation design, sells for $379. The price drop is an apparent response to changes in international currency exchange rates. iPod nano and iPod shuffle pricing remain unchanged.
Forbes’ Rachel Rosmarin says the iPod has done little to boost Apple’s Mac sales. “As impressive as the iPod has been for Apple, its success has yet to transfer to the company’s PC line, which remains a high-profile also-ran. In the last quarter, Apple’s U.S. market share dropped to 3.5% from 3.6% in the same period last year.”
The Consumer Council of Norway has won a preliminary ruling that could force Apple to change its iTunes terms of service (TOS) in the country. The group filed a complaint with the Consumer Ombudsman earlier this year.
FriendTech has introduced the iDea HomeDock, a new combo docking station for iPods, Sony PSPs, and other portable devices. The HomeDock comes in two versions—wired and wireless—and allows users to connect the handheld devices to a home entertainment system for music and video playback. In addition to audio/video connectivity, the unit also simultaneously charges both iPods and PSPs, and features a 16-button remote control and a USB 2.0 port for synchronization with a computer. Other MP3 players and music cell phones can also be connected to the unit. The iDea Wireless HomeDock uses RF HD-Audio transmitting and broadcasting to send music wirelessly to multiple room stereos and headphones. Pricing and availability were not announced.
Pacific Design has announced its GrandStand case for fifth-generation iPods. The $40 case is constructed of “rich Italian-sourced polyurethane (PU) material and full-grain leather,” and features a Lexan screen protector, belt clip, and flip-cover that can be folded back to create a stand for watching videos. The GrandStand is available in five color combinations—black with a red stripe, brown with a tan stripe, green with a white stripe, turquoise with a white stripe, and pink with a white stripe.
With the 2006 World Cup starting this week, two companies have released iPod guides to help those traveling to Germany for the tournament. MyCityMate has created a free 12-city guide that contains roughly 750 venues—from restaurants to bars and clubs to points of interest—for the host cities in Germany. Coolgorilla, who recently released an iPod World Cup guide with schedule and player information, has announced a new German translation guide for the iPod. The free guide has over 750 MP3s of recorded German words and phrases. “You simply select the phrase you require in English, play the translation and off you go,” says the company.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced its limited edition Cross Case for the new special edition U2 iPod, which was announced earlier today. The new Cross Case features red and black leather construction, a protective flip-over cover, an ID or credit card pocket, and belt clip. The case has an expanding body style and dual headphone openings to fit both fourth and fifth-generation iPods. The case is priced at $40 and will be available for a limited time.
To get the word out about our Free iPod Book 2.0, we’ve teamed up with Geneva Lab to launch the Blog the Book XL Contest. Like last year’s contest, all you have to do to enter is add one of our contest badges to your blog or website and link to the Book. The grand prize winner with the most referrals to the Free iPod Book 2.0 download page will win a Geneva Lab Model XL Sound System (value: $1075). The second place winner with the second most referrals wins a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System (value: $599). The third place winner—with at least 25 or more unique referrals and an on-blog description of his or her favorite part(s) of the Book—will be chosen by iLounge’s editors to also win a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System.
Kainjow has changed the name of its Pod2Go software to Life2Go. The program, available for Mac and Windows, lets you load your iPod with news, weather forecasts, movie showtimes, stock quotes, driving directions, horoscopes, lyrics, gas prices, and more.
Contact Music reports: “British rockers Keane are devastated their chances of getting to number one in the album charts later this month have been jeopardized by an iTunes blunder. The band’s second album may not reach the top spot because the online music store accidentally put ‘Under the Iron Sea’ on sale on their Belgium site last Tuesday, May 30—two weeks ahead of the official release.”
Apple has filed a second copyright lawsuit and a U.S. trade complaint against Creative Technology, according to Channel NewsAsia. “In its latest lawsuit, Apple claims Creative is infringing three patents relating to using icons, and displaying and editing data,” reports the publication. “It is asking for cash damages and a court order to stop Creative from further breaches. At the same time, Apple wants the International Trade Commission in Washington to block imports of Creative’s music players.” Creative sued Apple last month for infringing on its “Zen Patent.” Following the company’s legal actions, Apple countersued Creative.
Apple today announced a new version of the special edition U2 iPod based on the fifth-generation iPod model. The new U2 iPod is available with 30GB capacity and features a new all-black enclosure with special black stainless steel back, red Click Wheel, and engraving of U2 band member signatures. The new U2 iPod is priced at $329—a $30 premium over the regular 30GB iPod. Apple said U2 iPod customers will also receive 30 minutes of exclusive U2 videos from the iTunes Music Store with their purchase. “We’re thrilled to continue working with one of the greatest bands in the world to bring U2 fans a special edition of the world’s best digital music player,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s VP iPod Product Marketing. “With its distinctive new design, including an all-black stainless steel enclosure, the new U2 iPod is sure to be a hit.”
Apple is buying up large quantities of flash memory for a possible upcoming iPod nano launch, according to a DigiTimes report. “Following recent signs of recovery for the price of NAND flash, industry sources are confident that the industry should break out of its low point as Apple is booking considerable capacity at chip makers,” the publication reports. “Apple is likely to debut a new version of its iPod with a larger memory capacity, probably with 8GB of NAND flash, according to industry sources. Industry sources hinted that both leading Korea-based chipmakers, including Samsung and Hynix have both landed more orders from Apple.”
Apple has kicked off a new “Back to School” promotion that offers students a free iPod nano after mail-in rebate. Apple said students who purchase a new Mac before September 16, 2006 are eligible to receive up to a $179 rebate to cover the educational customer price of a nano, or use toward the price of any other iPod model.
The Colorado Rockies this year began extensively using video iPods for everything from helping hitters find their groove to tracking upcoming draft picks and future free agents. “It has everything right there for you. It’s great, especially on the road,” says Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. “You can look at your swings when you were going good. And it only takes a couple of minutes.” The Rockies’ video team loads a player’s iPod with their hits from the previous week, all of their past at-bats against the starting pitchers in the upcoming series, as well as a 2005 highlight reel. Meanwhile, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox says he would rather watch 50 Cent videos than at-bats. “You don’t want to put video of baseball on here,” Ortiz said. “You need more room, bigger vision to see what you’re doing than this. Like you can sit down and watch a video right here, but your at-bat? Watch the pitcher and you, that’s kind of a small screen.”
A partnership between Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion could be formed soon, according to Peter Misek, an analyst with Canaccord Capital. Misek said the two companies might jointly develop a new “AppleBerry” device that would combine iPod features with RIM’s wireless technology, or RIM might begin offering iTunes on future BlackBerry devices. Misek, who last year accurately predicted a partnership between RIM and Intel, also said that senior executives at Intel have recommended that Apple work with RIM.
Microsoft has denied last week’s report that it was teaming up with Toshiba, Victor, NTT DoCoMo and five other companies to take on the iPod in Japan. “The announcement that came out of Japan this week was simply about the Japanese launch of Windows Media Player 11,” said a Microsoft representative who asked not to be named. “Due to translation issues the announcement was misconstrued to sound like Microsoft was developing a rival to the iPod; that’s just not the case.”