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Incase announces assortment of new iPod cases

Incase has introduced a full line of cases for the iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch. The new offerings include Leather Sleeves, Neoprene Sleeves, Sports Armbands, and Protective Covers. The Leather Sleeve cases feature black leather construction, suede topo lining, and access to all controls and the Dock Connector. The Incase Leather Sleeve is available now for the iPod nano ($30), iPod classic ($30), and iPod touch ($35).

imageThe Incase Neoprene Sleeve cases feature form-fitting neoprene construction, a belt clip for bag or belt attachment, and access to all controls, headphone jack, and Dock Connector. Available now for the iPod nano (with video) ($25), iPod classic ($30), and iPod touch ($30), the case is offered in black or pink, except for the iPod touch model, which is available only in pink. Also available now is the imageSports Armband for iPod nano (with video), a case that, like the iPod classic and iPod touch models, is made of lightweight, washable neoprene and reflective material, features an adjustable Velcro armband, and provides access to all controls, headphone jack, and Dock Connector. The iPod nano model sells for $30 and is available in pink and black; the Sports Armband for iPod classic and iPod touch will be available at a later date.

Finally, Incase announced Protective Covers for iPod nano (with video), iPod touch, and iPod classic. These form-fitting rubber cases feature a topographic exterior for added grip, access to all controls and ports, and will be available in a variety of colors. Protective Covers for iPod nano and iPod touch will be available by the end of this month; The Protective Cover for iPod classic will be available following that release. Incase Protective Covers will sell for $25-$35.

Radiohead releases latest album without label, others to follow

English rock band Radiohead has released its latest album, In Rainbows, on its own through its website, echewing iTunes and other label-driven digital music services. While the band is selling a “discbox” set that includes the album on physical media as well as other extras, the digital download version, which comes as 10 DRM-free 160kbps MP3s, is available for as much or as little as the customer would like to spend, save for the £0.45 transaction fee. This label-free release comes at a time when another well-known artist, Nine Inch Nails, announced on its website that it is a “totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label.”

While Radiohead has never made their music available on iTunes, citing the fact that they prefer not to sell individual tracks and wanting whole album sales instead, Nine Inch Nails offers a large portion of its catalog on the service. Both artists, however, have had prior disputes with their labels, and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails made clear his band’s distaste with the major labels as he said on his website, “It gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as i see fit and appropriate.”

As both these major artists are announcing their split from the labels, reports are surfacing that other bands are anxious to follow suit. The Telegraph is reporting that Jamiroquai and Oasis, neither of which is signed to a recording contract, are considering following Radiohead’s lead and releasing work for free, or in a “pay what you want” manner. “They’ll all be thinking about it now,” said Stuart Clarke at Music Week. “Any big name that is out of contract such as Jamiroquai and Oasis will now see it as an option.”

AB Sutton launches cases for new iPod lineup

Luxury leather goods maker AB Sutton has introduced several cases for Apple’s new family of iPods. The Nano Slip for iPod nano (with video) features a leather outer shell, an oval cut-out for Click Wheel access, full access to the headphone jack, Dock Connector, and hold switch, and a push-through slot to ease in removal of the nano. It is available in a wide range of colors, with customizable linings, thread, and trim, and sells for $68. The Simple Slip for iPod nano (with video) is a leather pouch-style case which features a customizable lining and a band for headphone cable organization. It is available in solid and monogram configurations, and sells for $38 and $58, respectively.

imageFor the iPod classic, the company has the Classic Solid Slip, which features cut-outs for Dock Connector and Click Wheel access, an integrated screen protector, a leather exterior, and interior lining. Fully customizable, it is available with ($108) and without ($88) a monogram. The company also makes a Simple Slip for iPod classic, a pouch-style leather case that is available with or without a strap, features access to the headphone jack and hold switch, and is also available with or without a monogram. It sells for $48 without a strap or monogram, $68 with a strap or monogram, and $88 with both. Also for the iPod classic is the Solid Book case, which features a horizontal front flap, integrated screen protector, cut-out access to the Dock Connector and Click Wheel, and a simple leather closure. It is available with or without a monogram, and sells for $138 and $118, respectively.

Finally, the company is offering a Simple Slip case for the iPod touch. The case features a leather exterior, a band for headphone cable organization, and a slide-in design. It is available with or without a monogram, and is priced at $48 for the solid version, $68 for a monogrammed case. AB Sutton’s new lineup of cases for the iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), and iPod touch is available now.

Tokyo Made offers Pod Canvas iPod covers

Tokyo Made is now offering a range of Pod Canvas rear covers for the iPod. The covers are made of film coated for fade resistance and durability, and adhere to the rear of the iPod with a strong adhesive seal. Available in a variety of designs, there are covers available for both full-sized iPods and for the iPod nano. Tokyo Made Pod Canvas covers sell for $8 each or $15 for a two-pack, and are available now.

Keyspan cable connects iPod to Ford Sync system

Keyspan has introduced its Sync Cable for iPod, a cable designed to connect Dock Connector iPods to Ford’s new Sync media system. Once connected, the iPod’s content is automatically displayed on the screen on the system, and the player can be externally controlled by the Sync system. When connected, the iPod will also charge while the car’s engine is running. “The Keyspan Sync Cable for iPod provides the most universal solution for connecting iPods to the Sync media system,” said Mike Ridenhour, president at Keyspan. The cable features a Dock Connector at one end, USB and mini-jack plugs at the other, and is available now for $49.

iStuff intros Domino iPod Speaker System

iStuff has introduced its new Domino iPod Speaker System. The Domino is a 2.1 channel speaker system that features two 2-inch wide-range drivers, two 3-inch fiberglass cone subwoofers, 30 watts of power, an integrated Universal Dock, S-Video out, a USB port for syncing, auxiliary input, and a RCA stereo input. The system includes a remote control, four Dock adapters, a mini jack to RCA cable, and a S-Video cable. The Domino 2.1 iPod Speaker System is available now in white with black speaker cones or black with white speaker cones and sells for £100, or roughly $200.

Mix: Harrison, Rocks, Jailbreak, Ringtones, Luna

The solo catalogue of Beatles member George Harrison has been added to iTunes. Offerings include Harrison’s critically-praised All Things Must Pass, as well as Bonus Track Versions of the self-titled George Harrison, Living in the Material World, and Somewhere in England.

A fourteen-year-old Texas girl ended up receiving not one, but two iPod boxes filled with rocks in place of the music player. Both boxes were purchased from Fort Worth, TX-area Target stores; the company has said that an investigation team is “actively looking into this matter and will partner with local law enforcement as necessary.”

Although not ready for widespread use, the iPhone developer community has managed to use an exploit in MobileSafari to launch recompiled third-party applications on v1.1.1 iPhones, and has also gained root access on iPod touch units.

Apple has acknowledged a bug that will only allow the first eight ringtones to automatically sync to the iPhone, assuming the user has more than eight. As a workaround, Apple is telling users to deselect “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” in the iPhone’s Summary Tab, and use the “Selected Ringtones” option in the Ringtones tab instead.

iLounge reader Paul Christensen has reported that the XtremeMac Luna clock radio is unable to wake his 160GB iPod classic from deep sleep to play an alarm. It is unknown whether this is a widespread bug or if it affects other members of the new iPod family, such as the iPod nano (with video) and iPod touch.

Apple re-adds Texas Hold’em to iPod Games list [updated]

Continuing its re-releases of 2006-2007 downloadable iPod Games for play on the iPod classic and third-generation nano, Apple has just added Texas Hold’em, a no-limits poker game, to the new iPods’ roster. The $5 title (iLounge rating: B-) features digitized graphics and cheat codes for scenarios such as dogs playing poker, a Stonehenge tournament, and an Apple Conference Room setting. Prior buyers of Texas Hold’em for 2005-2006 iPods will need to re-purchase the title for play on current iPods.

Updated: We have compiled a list of changes made to the iPod nano and classic version of Texas Hold’em, and added them with photos to our Changes to iPod Games Versions 1.1.0 list.

Geekanoids rolls out GeekPouch for iPhone, new iPod lineup

Geekanoids has introduced its GeekPouch, a custom fit, black corduroy pouch for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), and fifth-generation iPod. The GeekPouch is made from 100% cotton corduroy, and is designed to be used in conjunction with a clear film-style protector. Available in custom-fit sizes, all GeekPouches are available now and sell for £5.99 including U.K. shipping; international customers will pay £10.99, or roughly $22.50, including shipping.

Replug prevents damage to headphone, audio jacks

Replug LLC has introduced Replug, a new audio accessory that aims to protect any standard 3.5mm audio jack from undue strain. Replug attaches to the end of any headphone, earphone, or other audio cable, and then to the headphone jack of the device, such as an iPod, speaker system, or laptop computer. When too much strain is applied to the cord, Replug separates from its tip, saving the iPod (or other device’s) headphone jack. Replug will be available in both black and white and will sell for $18. Pre-orders are being accepted now; Replug is expected to ship on November 1.

iStyles introduces Skins for iPod touch, 2G shuffle

iStyles has introduced its Skins for the iPod touch and Skin Sets for the second-generation iPod shuffle. Skins for iPod touch feature high-resolution, full-color designs printed on repositionable, removable adhesive-backed cast vinyl with UV resistant inks, and include coverage for both the front and back of the touch, as well as a special download code for free matching background wallpaper. iStyles Skins for iPod touch are available now and sell for $7 each.

Skin Sets for the second-generation iPod shuffle include three different high-resolution designs printed with UV resistant inks on removable, adhesive-backed vinyl, each of which covers all aluminum surfaces of the shuffle. In addition, cutouts around the shuffle’s controls offer a more customizable look. iStyles Skin Sets for second-generation iPod shuffle come in packs of three and sell for $7.

Mix: LA Times, eBay, McDonald’s, Calendar, Gold

Following our article about Apple’s recent missteps, the Los Angeles Times’ Michelle Quinn has written a piece examining Apple’s actions and the subsequent response of its customers and supporters.

A new report from Packaged Facts states that $152.5 million in MP3 player sales took place on auction site eBay in 2006, representing more than 1.4 million units sold.

McDonald’s has announced that it will work with U.K. wireless company Cloud Networks to offer free Wi-Fi internet access in its 1,200 U.K. restaurants. The Cloud recently announced a partnership with O2 to offer Wi-Fi access for U.K. iPhone owners as part of their monthly tariff.

According to a Mac Rumors forum post, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an email that the inability of the iPod touch to edit or add calendar events is a “bug” and that it will be fixed “in a future software update.” This claim is currently unconfirmed.

Goldstriker International plans to offer a gold-plated iPhone later this month. The gold will apparently be applied to both the chrome front surround and metallic rear portion of the phone. Pricing has yet to be announced.

ColorWare now offering colored iPod classic, 3G nano, touch

ColorWare is now offering its custom coloring service for the iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), and iPod touch. The company offers send-in coloring services for previously purchased iPods, or customers can purchase an iPod pre-colored, directly from ColorWare. 29 different colors are available, and can be mixed on a single iPod — on the iPod classic and iPod nano (with video), the device’s back, front, Click Wheel, center button, and earbuds can all be colored, while on the iPod touch, the device’s back, antenna, frame, home button, and earbuds can be customized. For those that want to send in their iPod to be colored, the service runs $64 for the iPod nano (with video), $74 for the iPod classic, and $95 for the iPod touch. Pre-colored 4GB iPod nano (with video) models sell for $215, with 8GB units going for $265. Pre-colored iPod classics run $325 for the 80GB model, and $425 for the 160GB model; finally, pre-colored 8GB and 16GB iPod touch models sell for $395 and $495, respectively.

Thought Out unveils PED3 Rotating Stand for iPhone

Thought Out has introduced its PED3 Rotating Stand for iPhone. The stand features solid steel construction, baked on coating, two angled positioning, 360 degree rotation, cable management, and seven rubber coated metal grips that allow full access to all ports, controls, and buttons. The Thought Out PED3 Rotating Stand for iPhone is available now from the company’s website, and sells for $40.

Apple debuts three new iPhone TV ads

Apple has debuted three new iPhone television ads, featuring iPhone users against black backdrops, explaining how the devices has changed their lives. In the first spot, “Mankind”, iPhone owner Doug talks about Visual Voicemail, proclaiming it to be “one of the greatest advancements in the history of mankind.” The second spot, “Meredith”, features a story of how Elliot used his iPhone to lookup the name of his girlfriend’s boss’ fiance before she arrived at a dinner, saving them the embarrassment of admitting to not knowing her name. In the third ad, titled “One Thing”, iPhone owner Stefano explains how he no longer has to carry a bag around to hold his camera, iPod, and two separate cell phones, because the iPhone replaces them all. All three ads are airing now and are available for viewing on Apple’s web site.

iPod nano, classic 1.0.2 Updates change video, Cover Flow

Apple has released iPod Software 1.0.2 for the iPod classic and third-generation iPod nano, generically noting only that the release contains “bug fixes.” However, changes to both devices’ handling of video-out, Calendar/Contact synchronization, and Cover Flow are apparent in the new software.

The new iPods’ much-disliked TV Out lock has been changed, but not eliminated. Apple’s new implementation enables you to choose from On, Off, or Ask options under Video Settings, but when you go to output video with On or Ask, you are prompted with newly locked second screens to connect an Apple-authorized, authentication chip-equipped accessory in order to start the video playing.

Brief tests with prior Made for iPod video accessories have shown that playback can still be triggered there under unusual, inconvenient circumstances, such as starting playback on an Apple-authorized accessory, then disconnecting it and reconnecting it to an old accessory, but simple, uninterrupted playback on old video accessories is clearly still not supported in the new Software Update. This is unfortunate, as old devices work acceptably once the iPods have been unlocked, demonstrating that the restriction has not been imposed for technical reasons. Pictures of the new screens can be seen by clicking on the headline above or the comments line below.

Additionally, a bug affecting proper Calendar and Contact data synchronization has been fixed. Cover Flow has also been improved, coming closer to the feature’s standard view in iTunes, and doing a somewhat better job with names and album art. The new Software Update can be downloaded through iTunes.

iLounge announces Holiday iPod, iPhone nano Concept Contests

iLounge is pleased to announce two contests for our upcoming 2008 Buyer’s Guide, the Holiday iPod Photo Contest, and the iPhone nano Concept Contest. The Holiday iPod Photo Contest has iLounge readers submit a photograph that fits within the broad theme of “an iPod or iPods during the December holidays.” The top entry will receive a pair of Ultimate Ears’ custom-fit top-of-the-line UE-11 Pro Earphones, with a second place winner getting a pair of Ultimate Ears’ 10 Pro Earphones, both courtesy of Ultimate Ears. The third place winner will receive a new 80GB Apple iPod classic, courtesy of iLounge.

The iPhone nano Concept Contest calls on our readers’ imaginations and artistic abilities to create a rendering of what you’d hope an “iPhone nano” will look like. The top entry in this contest will win a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System in white, courtesy of Geneva Lab, and a 16GB Apple iPod touch, courtesy of iLounge. A second place winner will receive a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System in red, courtesy of Geneva Lab, while the third place winner will receive an 8GB Apple iPod nano, courtesy of iLounge. Both contests are open now and end on October 25; for more information and to view official rules visit the contest page. Good luck!

iLuv to offer updated i1155 video player, new iPod accessories

iLuv has introduced several new iPod accessories, and has also revealed an updated i1155 iPod/DVD video player that will feature compatibility with the iPod classic and iPod nano (with video). Following the release of the new iPod line, it was discovered that the players require accessories to use a special Apple authentication chip to activate the devices’ video-out features. The i1155 also features an 8.4-inch widescreen display, touch sensitive controls, and a rechargeable battery. The revised i1155 iPod/DVD video player will sell for $270.

imageThe iLuv i166 Stereo iPod Alarm Clock System features a dual alarms, a digital clock display, dimmer control, built-in Universal Dock, auxiliary input, subwoofer out, an AM/FM tuner, and an 18-button remote control. It will be available this month in both black and while, and sells for $70. The iLuv i189 Stereo Speaker for iPod features an integrated Universal Dock, auxiliary-in, the ability to charge the iPod while docked, and output of 2 x 2.5 watts RMS. It will be available in white and black and will sell for $50.

imageThe iLuv i222 Stereo Bluetooth Backphone Headset sports a behind-the-neck design and features an embedded digital signal processor (DSP) for noise and echo cancellation, integrated remote control functions, support for HSP, HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP profiles, and an included wireless transmitter. It will sell for $150. The iLuv i707 FM Transmitter with integrated car adapter plugs directly into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter or power port, and features a digital FM transmitter, selectable frequencies of 88.1MHz to 107.9MHz), a two-station programmable memory, and a LCD with white backlight for FM frequency display. It will be available in both black and white, and will sell for $80.

imageFinally, iLuv introduced the i10 Hard Case and i11 Silicone Case for the second-generation iPod shuffle. Both cases feature access to the device’s ports and controls, and include a hook for a lanyard. The i10 Hard Case comes in a two-pack while the i11 Silicone Case comes in a four-pack; both will sell for $13. All of iLuv’s new accessories are expected to be available later this month.

First-gen iPod nano bursts into flames at airport

Danny Williams of Douglasville, GA had his first-generation iPod nano ignite in his pocket while he was working at a kiosk in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “So I look down and I see flames coming up to my chest,” said Williams. “I’m still kind of freaked out that after only a year and a half my iPod caught fire in my pocket.” According to reports, Williams’ iPod was in flames for roughly fifteen seconds; he believes that a piece of paper in his pocket with the iPod may have shielded him from the flames, preventing burn injuries. The iPod owner also said that Apple has requested that he send the unit back, and has promised a replacement.

French law possible roadblock to iPhone release

A French law that would require the iPhone to be sold both with and without a contract may delay the launch of the device in the country, reports MarketWatch. According to the report, French daily Les Echos quotes a source from French Telecom’s Orange as stating, “The risk we’re evaluating this week is that Apple crosses France off”. The law requiring the sale of the iPhone without a contract could potentially undermine any revenue-sharing agreements between Apple and Orange; it has been speculated that Apple has revenue-sharing agreements in place with every iPhone carrier. A spokeswoman from Orange had previously confirmed that the company has signed an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone in France.

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