Following a brief look earlier this week, iSkin today announced the release of its SiLo case for the first-generation iPod nano. The SiLo ($50) offers a dual-layer design with a two-tone leather exterior and an inner silicone layer. The case features integrated Click Wheel protection, a rear belt loop, a removable mini vanity mirror, and a removable hand strap. The SiLo can be customized with different color iSkin slims. iSkin said an updated version of the SiLo for second-generation nanos will be available soon.
XtremeMac today announced that its Tango iPod audio system will begin shipping on November 1st. First announced in January at Macworld Expo, the Tango features two mid-range speakers, two tweeters and an independent subwoofer. The $200 system also offers a universal iPod dock, a wireless remote, a line-in port, as well as an S-video jack and an A/V line out port for playing video content from the iPod on a television or other device. Customers who pre-order Tango will also receive a free MicroShield iPod case (5G iPod or nano) which will ship with the speaker system.
Best Buy will launch a new digital music service with SanDisk and RealNetworks in the latest effort to take on Apple’s iPod and iTunes. “Best Buy, the top U.S. consumer electronics retail chain, said it would use Real’s Rhapsody subscription service. The service is designed to work hand-in-hand with the new line of SanDisk Sansa e200R Rhapsody digital music players.”
The Register has noticed a small warning about iPod nano discoloration. According to the fine print on the second-generation iPod nano’s packaging, “Like a fine pair of jeans, iPod nano colors may vary and change over time.” Apple had similar warnings when the iPod mini was introduced.
Starbucks today announced that its Hear Music catalog is now available on Apple’s iTunes Store. According to the coffee giant, Hear Music produces a wide range of albums featuring new and classic artists including the Artist’s Choice series, Opus Collections, Debut Series releases by emerging artists, as well as new works from major artists. “The Starbucks Entertainment area within iTunes will feature a wide variety of playlists including unique music hand-picked by the same Starbucks Hear Music content team responsible for selecting the music played in Starbucks stores around the world,” the company said in its announcement. “Playlists and content will be updated frequently and will also include digital versions of many of Hear Music’s popular CD series and co-releases.”
Noreve has announced its first two leather cases for the second-generation iPod nano. The Nano 2G Tradition leather case ($42) features a front flap cover, magnetic closure, padded interior, removable belt clip, and access to all controls and ports. It is available in nine colors. Noreve is also offering the Nano 2G Tradition B leather case ($45), which is similar to the version A case, but without a front cover and with the addition of a metal hook.
iPod FM transmitters are set to become legal in the UK before Christmas, according to Ofcom, the regulating body for the UK communications industries. “After years of campaigning, Ofcom has taken its most significant step yet to legalize the use and sale of FM transmitters for iPods in the UK,” reports Macworld UK. “The regulator today published draft regulations that will make use of these devices—which stream music from an iPod at a very low range using the FM frequency—legal in the UK. Ofcom explains that it proposes to permit the use of these FM transmitters on a ‘license-exempt basis’. Final changes will come into effect in December 2006.”
Following an independent investigation into the company’s past stock option granting practices, Apple Computer today confirmed that grants made on 15 dates appeared to have been improperly pre-dated, skirting proper accounting principles and potentially violating Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. During periods of stock value appreciation, pre-dated grants enable recipients to collect compensation greater than what they were actually entitled to receive. According to the company, the grants in question were made between 1997 and January 2002, with no findings of misconduct by any member of Apple’s current management team. In “a few instances,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs was said to have been aware of the dates, but was neither aware of the accounting implications of the pre-dating nor the recipient of any benefits from the grants.
In a statement, Jobs apologized for the problems, calling them “completely out of character for Apple,” and promised “to ensure that this never happens again.” The company simultaneously announced that former Apple Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson has resigned from the company’s Board of Directors, and noted that it was providing “all details” regarding the actions of “two former officers” to the SEC regarding their actions in connection with the grant problems.
Following up on the success of its previously released Duo case (iLounge rating: A) for iPod nano, iSkin has today launched a teaser page for a new case for the second-generation nano (shown), revealing what appears to be a clear plastic shell outside of a silicone rubber insert geared towards the color of the aluminum iPod inside. A company representative initially referred to the case - which bears a lot of similarities to the company’s Claro for 5G iPods - as a Duo, but has since said that the new product could have another name.
The company similarly teased a new case called SiLo for iPod nano, which promises to combine a leather exterior with a silicone inner layer, shown in four black-and-color combinations.
Soundflavor today released Soundflavor DJ, digital music software that helps iTunes users create playlists, rediscover the songs in their library, and discover new music based on songs that they already like. Soundflavor DJ is powered by the Music Recommendation Engine and song recommendations are based on more than six years of research that includes the analysis of hundreds of thousands of songs, spanning nearly every genre of music. Soundflavor DJ works as a companion to iTunes and is available for free to Windows XP users. A Mac version, as well as support for additional digital music software such as Windows Media Player, is planned.
Ultimate Ears has released the triple.fi 10 Pro earphones (iLounge Rating: A-) featuring three individually balanced armature speakers per ear, customizable ear tips, noise isolation, flexible ear loops, low friction cable, sound attenuator, earphone cleaning tool and metallic travel case. The triple.fi 10 Pro comes in blue metallic, with a 2 year warranty and costs $399.
The first 1,000 Ultimate Ears triple.fi 10 Pro earphones will come in a Collector’s Edition kit and can be pre-ordered immediately for shipping in late October. Each collectors pair will come in an engraved mini-travel case marked with the limited edition number and also ships with a larger engraved metal case that can also hold an iPod. Each of the first 1,000 units will also come with a certificate of authenticity and a limited-edition poster, with accessories including a five-piece fit kit to adapt the earphones to different ear shapes, 1/4-inch adapter jack, cleaning tool and attenuator.
InterLingua Educational Publishing announced today the availability of its NotePods collection of audio downloads for iPods and MP3 players. Created to help students with their exams and term papers, NotePods sell for $1.99 each. In addition to the audio summaries, students can also download text versions of the summaries which can be read on their computers or iPods, and they can also download the full text version of many, but not all, of the books and plays, also for $1.99 each. Also, to help students focus their studies, a “Test Questions Blog” is being added to the NotePods website, so students can review typical exam questions prior to taking a test.
“NotePods are audio summaries of books and plays by Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen and other required authors that can be played on a student’s iPod, MP3 player or computer,” says Jack Bernstein, President of InterLingua Educational Publishing. “The NotePods are being written by university teachers and recorded by professional actors,” says Bernstein, “so they should be accurate, comprehensive, and easy to listen to.
Griffin Technology has released two new iPod 5G video cases. The Centerstage case features a clear plastic shell, anodized aluminum flip lid that opens into an easel stand. Centerstage is available now in silver, blue, black, or hot pink aluminum flipstand and costs $24.99. The Disko features a polycarbonate case with LED lights which are motion controlled and turns on with movement. There are 3 light colors and 5 lighting sequences. Disko is available now in black or white and costs $29.99. See iLounge First Looks for more Disko photos.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the 2007 Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, California. As always, the keynote is scheduled for the morning before the show floor opens to the public, on January 9, 2007.
Creative Labs has announced Xmod, its first audio accessory to be touted via press release as iPod-compatible. Xmod claims to enhance compressed digital music to higher-than-CD-quality audio with “virtual surround sound,” but is primarily geared towards PC and Mac users; it requires a power adapter to be connected when used with portable devices such as the iPod.
iLive has released the Home Docking System for iPod featuring a DVD/CD/CDR/CDRW/digital audio CD/JPEG CD player, iPod charger, digital AM/FM stereo radio, remote control, digital clock, stereo speakers, and a 4 preset equalizer. The audio/video ports include composite video output, stereo audio outputs, stereo headphone output and an auxiliary input. You can also charge, amplify and remotely control an iPod 5G, iPod photo, iPod, iPod mini, and iPod nano. An iPod shuffle can only be charged and amplified. The Home Docking System fits all iPod models, comes in black or white and is available now for $129.99.
Famous for creating DeCSS software to remove encryption on Macrovision protected DVDs, Jon Lech Johansen (aka DVD Jon) has reportedly reverse-engineered Apple’s FairPlay DRM (Digital Rights Management) software, and is licensing it to any company that wants it. Using the reverse-engineered code, a company can purchase a license and make their content (music or videos) play on Apple’s iTunes and iPod products. According to the report, Johansen set up a meeting with Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, who, not knowing that Jon would later decide offer the FairPlay license to companies, warned that while Apple was not a litigious company, other tech firms might not take kindly to whatever he might be up to. [via GigaOM]
Difusi today released two new leather wallet cases for the iPod nano and iPod 5G video (30, 60 and 80GB). The videoWallet ($25) for iPod 5G features reinforced padding, snap-closure, full-body ClearGaurd protection film, cleaning cloth, and necklace lanyard. The nanoValet rev2 ($20) for iPod nano features a belt-loop, Caribiner clip, necklace lanyard and full-body ClearGaurd protection film.