After a lengthy delay, Numark is now shipping its iDJ2 portable DJ mixing console with Universal Dock for iPod. The iDJ2 features the ability to scratch, control pitch, key-lock, and simultaneously play two songs from a single iPod with a full-color screen. In addition, it boasts a special iPod Direct Mode function that allows users to play all iPod-supported music, including songs purchased from the iTunes music store. The Numark iDJ2 is available now and carries a suggested list price of $799.
Six Apart has announced the release of a mobile version of its TypePad blogging application customized for the iPhone. The application was designed from the ground up to be optimized for the iPhone’s touchscreen interface, letting users create and edit posts, manage comments left on their blogs, and configure settings for sending photos directly from their iPhone. In addition, the TypePad iPhone application is also compatible with the iPod touch. Michael Sippey, Six Apart’s vice president of product, Professional Division, said “Providing a custom-built interface for the iPhone is part of our investment in further enabling on-the-go blogging.” TypePad users can access the application by navigating to http://i.typepad.com on their iPhone. New users can sign up for a TypePad account at http://typepad.com. Six Apart also announced a plugin to provide a similar iPhone-optimized interface for its Movable Type content management system. Read on for screenshots of TypePad for iPhone.
An image posted in our iPod touch First Look article and a subsequent edit by Apple of the iPod touch’s online information has led to widespread speculation that the company has intentionally removed features from the iPod touch’s applications. As seen in the photo below, the iPod touch’s Calendar application lacks the “Add” button found in the upper right hand corner of the iPhone’s Calendar application. This button is used to add new events to the Calendar.
Following the discovery of this omission by members of Apple’s discussion boards, Apple changed the text in the device’s Multi-touch feature description. It originally read, “And iPod touch features a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard perfect for browsing the web in Safari, searching for videos on YouTube, finding music on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, entering calendar events, or adding new contacts.” It now reads: “And iPod touch features a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard perfect for browsing the web in Safari, searching for videos on YouTube, finding music on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, or adding new contacts,” with the “entering calendar events” removed. Apple has yet to comment on the story.
Update: Apple has confirmed with Engadget that the iPod touch will not be able to create calendar events. “Like current iPods, the touch can only view calendar entries created on your computer,” Apple said.
During the Apple Special Event “The Beat Goes On,” iLounge launched new forums to cover the latest additions to the Apple iPod family. We’ve spent the weekend tweaking them—and actually, all the forums—to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.
The new iPod classic has joined with the existing iPod (with video) forum to cover the full range of video enabled iPods, while a new iPod touch forum can be found here in a dedicated discussion forum.
In addition to these iPod-specific forums, we have also opened a new cases forum for the new iPod touch, consolidated our Third-Party Software forums to include iTunes and non-iTunes software, and created a new Games forum for you to discuss iPod 5G, classic, and nano (video) games. Enjoy!
iPhoneSIMFree‘s retail partners have begun sales of iPhone unlocking software. Companies in four countries — iPhoneWorldwideUnlock in Australia, 1digitalphone In Germany, iPhone4arab.com in Saudi Arabia and Wireless Imports in the US — have licensed the software from iPhoneSIMFree and are offering the software online. The iPhoneSIMFree software includes an application that is installed on the iPhone, and once run it contacts the company’s servers via Wi-Fi to complete the unlock. While the software is currently effective, neither iPhoneSIMFree nor its retail partners provide any guarantee of compatibility with future iPhone firmware. Wireless Imports, currently the only US-based retailer of the unlocking solution, and is accepting pre-orders for $99. [via Infinite Loop]
Apple has studied the possibility of joining an auction for the rights to use a highly-coveted wireless spectrum, according to BusinessWeek sources. The 700Mhz spectrum currently occupied by analog TV broadcasts will be given back to the government in 2009, and the Federal Communications Commission will hold an auction for usage rights on Jan. 16. According to rules set in place by the FCC, the winning bidder must allow any device or application to run, which means the winning bidder must also make sure the network supports competitors’ devices. The minimum bid required by the government is $4.6 billion; it’s expected that the winning bid will be around $9 billion. Labeled “beachfront property” by the FCC, signals at the spectrum could provide far faster Internet access than current cellular or Wi-Fi networks, and could be used by Apple to provide its own wireless service for devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch, and Macs.
iTunes 7.4.1 breaks a method of using AAC audio files as ringtones for the iPhone. The method, which involved altering the audio file’s extension, was posted on MacRumors.com last week. While the method no longer works as of iTunes 7.4.1, a workaround has been discovered.
Apple has signed a patent-licensing agreement with cellular technology developer InterDigital that covers current and future generations of the iPhone, and points to a future 3G model. In an SEC filing InterDigital revealed that it has signed a seven-year licensing agreement with Apple, effective June 29, 2007, covering the current iPhone and “certain future mobile phones.” In addition, InterDigital revealed that it expects to receive a $20 million payment soon, “in connection with a recently signed license agreement.” InterDigital’s current offerings are used for older standards, such as the EDGE network used by the current iPhone, but the company is focusing its current development on 3G standards, such as HSDPA and WCDMA.
Belkin has added five new cases for the second-generation iPod nano to its “Hope” line of cases, which help support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. New pink-and-chocolate colored cases include the Remix Metal, Folio, Pocket Blues, Slim Fit, and Remix Acrylic for iPod nano. The cases are available now and sell for $25; for each case sold, Belkin will donate $2.50 to support Komen for the Cure.
A menu item in iTunes pointing to possible future movie rentals has been discovered. Mac OS developer David Watanabe on Friday posted a screenshot of a menu he discovered in iTunes’ problem reporting section, which contained several options mentioning “RentalMovie.” The options’ presence was confirmed by several others; all references to “RentalMovie” have since been removed from the menu by Apple.
The Financial Times reported in June that Apple was currently in talks with major movie studios regarding the launch of an iTunes-based online movie rental service. According to that report, the rentals would be priced at $2.99 for a 30-day rental, and would incorporate DRM that allowed transfer of the title to at least one other device, such as an Apple TV or iPod. The software would also prevent the movies from being copied. Many had speculated that a movie rental service would be introduced at Apple’s “Beat Goes On” special event last week.
Apple on Saturday released iTunes 7.4.1, just two days after the release of iTunes 7.4. No further information is provided in the update’s description, and while the release of iTunes updates in such close proximity is unusual, presumably 7.4.1 simply provides bug fixes. Several iLounge readers have reported that the new version appears to have resolved an issue involving new iPod classic and iPod nano models properly appearing in iTunes when first connected to their computer. In addition, we’ve updated our Instant Expert article to reflect the new version. iTunes 7.4.1 is available through Apple’s Software Update application or as a download from apple.com/itunes.
Apple today announced that it sold its one millionth iPhone yesterday, 74 days after the product’s introduction on June 29. “One million iPhones in 74 days-it took almost two years to achieve this milestone with iPod,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait to get this revolutionary product into the hands of even more customers this holiday season.” Apple last week announced a $200 price drop on the iPhone, bringing its price down to $399.
iFixit has posted teardowns of the newly-released iPod classic and third-generation iPod nano. The teardowns do not list individual component suppliers, nor do they offer any estimates concerning component costs. Interestingly, iFixit comments that the third-generation iPod nano makes liberal use of adhesive, including using it to hold the Click Wheel in place. The iPod classic doesn’t follow this trend, and instead uses screws to attach the logic board to the metal framework. In addition, the iPod classic features a new metal plate backing the display, an addition that iFixit speculates may help support the display, making breakage less likely.
Griffin Technology has announced its latest cases, designed for the recently announced iPod touch, iPod classic, and third-generation iPod nano. The iClear for iPod touch, classic, and third-generation iPod nano is a clear two-piece polycarbonate case that offers access to the Dock Connector, headphone port, and hold switch, as well as the Click Wheel on the iPod classic and nano, and touch screen on iPod touch. The iClear will sell for $20. The Griffin Reflect is a mirror-finished polycarbonate case that effectively hides the iPod nano or classic’s screen when not in use. Features include Click Wheel access for the nano and classic models, touch screen access for the touch model, and a rubberized case back for added grip. The Griffin Reflect for iPod nano, classic, and touch is priced at $25.
The Griffin Elan Convertible is a leather flip-top case with a removable flipcover that doubles as a stand. It features a clear screen protector, microfiber lining, and a removable clip. The Elan Convertible will be available for the iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch; it is priced at $25. The Elan Form is a hard shell leather case that uses a combination of leather and polycarbonate construction. It provides access to the Click Wheel or touch screen, Dock Connector, headphone port and hold switch. The Elan Form will come in models for the new iPod nano, classic, and touch, all three models will sell for $30. The Griffin Streamline will also be updated for the new line, with a model to fit the third-generation iPod nano, as well as a model for the new iPod classic and iPod touch. It features a full-face screen protector, reflective trim, and a washable, two-way adjustable band. $30. Finally, Griffin also plans the release of the Courier for iPod classic and touch, a “utility case” designed to wrap onto a backpack or shoulderbag strap. Features include a carabiner clip, hidden zippered pocket, a second flapped pocket, and compression-molded EVA outer casing. It will sell for $35. The new line of Griffin cases for third-generation iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch will be available in October.
Executives for High Tech Computer (HTC), a Taiwan-based manufacturer of Microsoft Windows CE portable devices that holds worldwide trademarks for its touch screen-based HTC Touch, have commented on Apple’s announcement of the similarly-named iPod touch. Digitimes reports that HTC CEO Peter Chou has pointed out to the press that while his company holds trademarks for the HTC Touch, the company is proud to share a similar vision with Apple in regards to touch screen functionality. HTC product manager Ching-hung Wang pointed to a previous trademark agreement between Apple and Cisco concerning the iPhone, while stating that questions regarding the Touch trademark would need further observation. HTC has yet to comment on whether or not it will take legal action against Apple for trademark infringement.
Did you buy an add-on display, dock, speaker system, car accessory or cable with video-out for your color 4G or 5G iPod? Were you expecting it to work with the iPod classic or new iPod nano? Think again.
Without disclosing the change to customers, Apple has locked the TV Out feature of the iPod classic and video-capable iPod nano, preventing users from outputting iPod content to their TV sets as has been done in years past. Going to the Videos > Settings menu brings up a TV Out option that is now unresponsive when clicked, showing only the word “off.” When locked, video content will display on the iPod’s screen, but not on your TV or portable display accessory.*
Presently, the only apparent way to turn this feature on is if you connect your iPod to a device with an Apple authentication chip built in. Authentication chips are only available in Apple products, and in a handful of products made by Apple-licensed third-party developers. The chips are not available to unlicensed developers, and add additional costs to the prices of iPod accessories. Upcoming Apple video cables that will work with the new iPods will sell for a staggering $49.
Testing results with old accessories have been mixed, but largely negative. iLounge has tested the new iPods with Apple’s Universal Dock and iPod Hi-Fi, both of which unlock the TV Out option—even though the Hi-Fi has no video out feature. We have also confirmed that the new iPods do not work in popular portable video displays such as the Memorex iFlip and Sonic Impact Video-55, or most speakers with video output capabilities. One notable third-party exception is Bowers and Wilkins’ recent $600 speaker system Zeppelin, which appears to contain an authentication chip and have been assisted during development by Apple, unlike its lower-priced peers.
It is unclear whether Apple will also require new accessory purchases in order to unlock video output in its upcoming iPod touch. We will have more on this story as it develops.
[Updated: Starting in subsequent versions of the iPod nano and iPod classic firmware, Apple changed the Videos > Settings > TV Out menu option in a small and relatively unimportant way: you can now select “On” or “Ask” regardless of whether any accessory is connected, but neither of these settings will work to actually output video from these iPods to an external display unless you have connected a new accessory with an authentication chip. Similarly, the iPod touch and iPhone will only output video to authentication chip-equipped accessories, bringing up a Display on TV dialog box whenever you start video playback with such an accessory attached, and refusing to bring up that option otherwise. Pre-authentication chip video accessories remain unable to perform video from the iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod touch, and iPhone.]
Apple is considering a plan that would cut the retail price of TV shows sold through iTunes to $0.99, half of the current price of $1.99, Variety reports. Citing three people familiar with the proposal, Variety says that Apple has informed networks and studios of its plan, explaining to them that they will end up making more money from digital downloads under the new proposal. Apple believes that with such a price cut, sales will rise dramatically, offsetting the revenue lost from the price cut. According to the report, the possibility of a price cut may have played a major role in the NBC Universal/iTunes contract dispute. Apple has to comment on the report.
Apple has announced a partnership with iBiquity Digital and major radio broadcasting groups to create an industry-wide service called iTunes Tagging. iTunes Tagging lets users who are using HD Radio receivers that have been equipped with a special Tag button to “tag” songs that they hear on the FM dial for subsequent purchase via iTunes. “iTunes tagging takes music discovery on the radio to the next level,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod Product Marketing. “When a song plays on your HD Radio that you like, a simple push of a button will tag it and later give you the chance to preview, purchase, and enjoy it with iTunes and your iPod.” Bob Struble, CEO of iBiquity Digital, the developer of HD Radio technology, said, “Research consistently shows that radio is the predominant source of music discovery. Now, with iTunes Tagging, HD Radio technology provides a cool new way to capture the songs listeners discover, buy them on iTunes and then enjoy them.” Both JBL and Polk have announced support for iTunes Tagging in their upcoming iHD and I-Sonic products; in addition, several major broadcasters have pledged support for iTunes Tagging, and will implement the feature, initially, across hundreds of stations. More announcements concerning iTunes Tagging can be expected at the NAB Radio Convention, which runs September 26-28.
New iPod classic and iPod nano (with video) photos we’ve recently posted will be of interest to some iLounge readers. The secret Diagnostic Mode, also known as iPod Diagnostics, is shown in our new gallery for both of the new iPod models. Activated by holding down Menu and Action (center) buttons at the same time to reset the iPod, then Back and Action at the same time after the reset, iPod Diagnostics lets you see tests that can check the performance of each device’s Click Wheel, screen, accessory ports, and storage medium. Enjoy the new gallery here.
There’s been a ton of new iPod and iPhone news over the past day. Here’s a quick summary of where you can find all the best information we’ve posted.
Apple introduced three new iPods, refreshed the iPod shuffle, and dropped the price of the iPhone by $200 per model, as detailed in this news story. It also announced new iPod accessories, version 7.4 of iTunes with a 99-cent ringtone creator, and a Starbucks-backed iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for its portable devices. Apple today offered a $100 Apple Store credit to all early iPhone adopters.
The iPod classic is the sixth-generation hard disk-based iPod, preserving its predecessor’s 2.5” screen size and body footprint, but changing its face material to silver or black metal, upgrading its user interface, and offering 80GB of storage for $249 or 160GB of storage for $349. We have unboxing photos here, a First Look here, and a user interface video here.
The third-generation iPod nano adds a 2” screen with video and game playing features to its super-popular flash memory-based predecessor. A silver version is available for $149 with 4GB of storage, and five colors (red, black, silver, green, and blue) are available in $199 8GB models. We have unboxing photos here, a First Look here, and a user interface video here.
The iPod touch is Apple’s first 3.5” widescreen, multi-touch iPod. Though it preserves some of the wireless (Wi-Fi) functionality and interface of the iPhone, it strips the cell phone, built-in speakers, camera, and microphone, and Bluetooth features out, losing .2” of height, and loses several features such as e-mail and text messaging in the process. It is the first iPod with Safari web browser functionality, but does not currently support iPod games like the new iPod nano and classic models. We have a First Look here, and a user interface video here.
Apple also refreshed last year’s iPod shuffle with four new colors, preserving the original silver model and last year’s $79, 1GB pricing. We have unboxing photos here, and additional color comparisons with last year’s shuffles here.
We’ve just posted unboxing photos of the new 2007 iPod shuffle color lineup. You can check out the collection through this link.
Also added to the prior photo collection are numerous comparative shots of the new iPods and past models, including color comparisons between new and old shuffles, thickness comparisons between the original 5G iPod and the new 80GB iPod classic, some new iPod interface photographs, and more. Enjoy!
Responding to widespread anger from early purchasers of the iPhone over $200 price cuts announced yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs today published an open letter offering a $100 Apple Store credit to any customer who purchased an iPhone at its original $499 or $599 price points, and is not already receiving a rebate or other compensation from the company. Jobs simultaneously explained the company’s reasons for the price cut, apologized, and acknowledged its need to “do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers.”
“There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever,” explained Jobs. “This is life in the technology lane.”
“[E]ven though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone,” Jobs continued, “and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.”
According to Jobs, details of the $100 credit “are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple’s website next week.” The credit will be available through Apple retail or online locations.