Apple today posted iTunes version 7.0.2. According to the brief release notes, the update adds support for the second-generation iPod shuffle, which will hit stores this Friday, and also “addresses a variety of stability and performance issues found in iTunes 7 and 7.0.1.” No further information was provided.
XtremeMac today announced the TuffWrap Accent case for second-generation iPod nanos. The silicone case is offered in two color combinations—translucent/white and black/gray—and features ridged side grips, a removable play-through click wheel protector, and clear plastic screen guard. The TuffWrap Accent also comes with a detachable belt clip that rotates. locks and secures excess earbud cord, as well as a special Universal Dock Well insert that accommodates the nano with the case on.
Difusi has introduced a new line of luxury iPod cases called Exotica. The new cases, designed for fifth-generation iPods and iPod nanos, feature genuine Ostrich, Snake, Italian Patent and Alligator leather exteriors with interior patent leather and black lambskin shearling leather. “The new case line represents our desire to move beyond traditional cases offered by what seems like a thousand different vendors, by creating truly unique, one of a kind, luxurious line of cases for technology oriented devices,” says Difusi. The cases range in price from $130 to $330.
Sonnet Technologies has announced that its iFreq in-vehicle FM transmitter/charger has been redesigned to fit the second-generation iPod nano. Sonnet said the iFreq’s nano cradle has been redesigned to fit both 1G and 2G nanos, and that the iFreq still functions uncradled with all dockable iPods. The iFreq, priced at $80, plugs directly into a car lighter jack and features a line-out signal to “obtain a clean, consistent sound level, and uses quality discrete components to provide a high signal-to-noise ratio, excellent stereo separation and extended frequency response.”
Apple today announced that its new second-generation iPod shuffle will be available in Apple retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers this Friday, November 3rd. Announced at Apple’s “Showtime” event last month, the new shuffle is nearly half the size of the original model, weighs half an ounce and features an all-new aluminum design with a built-in clip. The new shuffle, which Apple calls “the world’s smallest digital music player,” offers 1GB of storage, which holds up to 240 songs, and is priced at $79. We reported yesterday that pre-orders for the shuffle began shipping over the weekend.
If you have submitted a contest entry to the iLounge Buyers’ Guide iPod Colors Contest, please read this notice and follow the directions carefully.
We received an incredible number of outstanding entries to this contest, but a number of entrants did not attach their e-mail addresses or names to their entries. iLounge’s editors have selected winners, however, we need to match names and e-mail addresses to the submitted photos.
As per the contest rules, please submit your high-resolution (1600x1200) images right away to [email protected] with your name and e-mail address attached. If your high-resolution image has not been received by 5:00PM PT tomorrow, October 31, 2006, you will be ineligible to win the grand or second-place prizes. Thank you!
Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon’s 24-hour animation network, has announced a new line-up of content on the iTunes Store. Nicktoons Network programming includes four episodes of Skyland, a new animated adventure series, which will be available on iTunes prior to the show’s network debut on November 18th. The network is also offering 28 compilations of approximately 180 short films from The Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, “the world’s only multiplatform animation festival which showcases the diversity of independent cartoon filmmaking by animators from around the globe.”
iHome Audio has introduced a new ultra-portable speaker system for the first-generation iPod nano. The iHM1B features custom speakers designed for the nano, SRS TruBass technology, and provides access to all controls. The speaker system includes a plastic shield to protect the nano while in use, and also comes with a water-resistant carry case. “Sleek portable design allows you to take this item anywhere while protecting your nano, perfect for your home, office, car, or on the road,” says iHome. The iHM1B is priced at $30. Availability was not announced. Update: iHM1B is in stores such as Target now.
Meeting its self-imposed October deadline, Apple has begun shipping its new second-generation iPod shuffle. A number of customers who pre-ordered the tiny device, which was announced last month at a special event, began receiving shipping notices over the weekend. iLounge’s package tracking number shows that the shuffle is shipping directly from Apple’s manufacturing partners in China, and that it is expected to arrive before the end of the week. As of this morning, Apple retail stores still did not have any 2G shuffles in stock, though stores are expected to have them any day.
Want to buy a video or game for your iPod from the iTunes Store? Apple’s the only distributor, but if you visit its popular online shop these days, one of the first things you’ll see is the equivalent of picket lines: numerous complaints from users regarding software compatibility and Store business practices, stacking up as negative ratings for various downloadable items. On other downloads, you’ll see ad hoc debate societies, with comments on the new iTunes offerings attracting more user attention than the downloads themselves.
Amongst the video gripes: numerous comments in the Store’s South Park Season 10 section angrily note that after paying in advance for the latest season of the popular Comedy Central cartoon, users then discovered that the Store had split the episodes into “Season 10A” and “Season 10B,” forcing subscribers to pay more to receive the second half of the season. “i am yet another person screwed out of the full season 10 that i bought months ago,” wrote one commenter to Season 10B, “now there are two season tens? i tunes conveniently left that out when they first offered the season pass. scammers.” Hundreds of users are registering opinions - “helpful” or “not helpful” - on the South Park comments, some disagreeing with characterizations of the season-splitting as “deceptive,” and others claiming that they have written to Apple to complain without receiving satisfactory responses. Additional details can be found by clicking on the link below.
Today, we’ve reached another stage in our overhaul of the site’s left column: say hello to Column Shuffle. In August, we updated the column with new and more useful section headers, and added the ability to close and open sections of the site based on your preferences. Today, we’ve added a new feature that allows you to dynamically reorganize the sections in your preferred order, so that the topics you find most interesting can be closer to the top of the page every time you load iLounge. Just drag and release the headers - that’s it.
Additionally, we’ve also tossed in a permanent link to the iPod Storage Calculator, announced last week, so you can figure out how to maximize your iPod’s music storage space - more tweaks and improvements are planned for the very near future. Enjoy!
iSkin today announced a new version of its iSkin protector for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The new iSkin features a dual-layer design that combines an impact-resistant, clear face and screen protector with a shock-absorbing silicone layer. The new nano iSkin protector is available in several colors and comes in the following 3-packs: Groove Pack - Ghost (white, glow-in-the-dark ), Eclipse (black), Arctic (clear); the Chill Pack - Viper (purple), Sonic (blue), Arctic (clear); and the Cruise Pack- Blush (pink), Blaze (red), Arctic (clear). Each 3-pack sells for $30.
The Nasdaq stock exchange will not de-list Apple, as long as the company files its overdue 10Q quarterly report within two months, according to a filing with the SEC. “On October 24, 2006, Apple received a written notification from the staff of The Nasdaq Stock Market stating that the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel has granted the Company’s request for continued listing on The Nasdaq Stock Market, subject to the condition that the Company shall file its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 1, 2006, and any required restatements, by December 29, 2006,” Apple said in a filing today. “If the company is unable to file the Form 10-Q by that date, it intends to seek an additional extension of time from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel.” Apple delayed filing its quarterly report as it evaluates how much it will need to restate earnings as a result of stock options dating irregularities.
Kenpo has announced the release of 15 new iPod-ready jackets for men and women. The jackets feature an integrated ElekTex 5-button iPod control panel and an internal iPod pocket. “From earthly browns, cool grays and lustrous blacks to electric green, dazzling winter white and icy blue, Kenpo’s 2006 line-up of iPod enabled jackets come in a vibrant array of colors and new signature styles including: fluffy bubble jackets (some with cozy fur-lined hoods), sleek sprinter’s jackets, show-stopping snowboarding jackets and wind resisting windbreakers.” Prices range from $89 to $189.
XtremeMac today announced its new SuperClip for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The SuperClip is a low-profile, clear plastic belt clip attachment that snaps on to the back of the nano. It features a rotating clip, interior rubber pad, and notches for winding excess earbud cord. The SuperClip is priced at $20 and will be available next month.
Another Apple patent application detailing a next-generation, multi-function handheld device has surfaced. The patent—titled “Electronic Device Having Display and Surrounding Touch Sensitive Bezel for User Interface and Control”—describes and shows a full-screen, iPod-like device that incorporates touch-sensitive areas on its bezel around the screen. The areas would allow users to make selections and operate the device without the need for a touch-screen interface.
From Apple’s patent application:
An electronic device has a display and has a touch sensitive bezel surrounding the display. Areas on the bezel are designated for controls used to operate the electronic device. Visual guides corresponding to the controls are displayed on the display adjacent the areas of the bezel designated for the controls. Touch data is generated by the bezel when a user touches an area of the bezel. The device determines which of the controls has been selected based on which designated area is associated with the touch data from the bezel. The device then initiates the determined control.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced a new white Action Jacket for iPod nanos. The accessory features a polyurethane-coated neoprene case, a fully adjustable armband, a rotating belt clip, and is “specially designed to complement the bold colors of the iPod nano.” The Action Jacket also has a play-through vinyl window to protect the screen and controls of the nano. The case is available immediately for $30.
Apple today announced the availability of the BMG catalog on the iTunes Store in Japan. The addition brings top Japanese and international artists to the store, including Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Kasabian, Outkast, Pink, Seamo, Suga Shikao, Sukima Switch, Usher and more. Apple said the iTunes Store in Japan now offers more than 2 million songs, 3,500 music videos, Disney and Pixar short films, 65,000 podcasts and 16,000 audiobooks.
Apple today posted iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 for both Mac and Windows. The long-overdue software update fixes a number of widespread issues affecting 512MB and 1GB first-generation iPod shuffle models. The update will completely erase all music and data and reinstalls software version 1.1.4 on affected shuffles. According to Apple, iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 fixes the following issues:
With the iPod shuffle switched on, pressing the Play button will cause amber and green LEDs to flash for a few seconds, and the unit will not play any music, nor can you sync music to it from iTunes.
On a Windows PC, iPod shuffle will appear in My Computer as a “Removable Disk,” however the iPod shuffle volume will not mount correctly. The unit is listed in Device Manager under “Disk Drives” as “Apple iPod USB Device.”
On a Mac, the unit will only be recognized in Apple System Profiler under Hardware -> USB and will not appear or mount in the Finder.
When attempting to restore, the unit may not be recognized at all. However, if it is recognized, the restore may fail with an error dialog “Firmware update failure. Disk write error” or another error. It may take 3 restore attempts before the error appears. Note: iPod shuffle may take several minutes to be recognized.
iPodResQ has begun offering its full line of services and repairs for the second-generation iPod nano line. iPodResQ, which offers next-day turnaround and nationwide pickup and delivery, said it carries a full-line of 2G nano repair parts, including batteries and LCD screens. Their service begins with packaging material that is delivered to the customer’s doorstep overnight, which is then picked up for overnight delivery back to the iPodResQ service center. iPodResQ will receive the nano, perform a diagnosis the same day, and contact the customer to discuss the repair.