Wrappers has introduced new Sleeves and Shiny Sleeves for iPod nano (with video). Original Sleeves offer a simple pouch-style design with an alcantara exterior in either Canary Yellow or Jubilee Red and microfiber lining. Wrappers Sleeves for iPod nano (with video) are priced at £11, or around $23. Wrappers new Shiny Sleeves are made from waterproof polished polyurethane, offer a slim profile, and feature 100% Thai silk lining in one of five colors. Wrappers Shiny Sleeves for iPod nano (with video) will sell for £14, or around $29. Both cases are expected to be available from November 15.
YoTank has introduced its iTank Nano 3 aluminum case for iPod nano (with video) and the PhoneTank aluminum case for iPhone. Both cases are machined from solid aluminum, and come as 2 pieces that are held together by screws. Features include felt interior lining, access to the nano’s Click Wheel, headphone jack, Dock Connector, and hold switch, access to the iPhone’s touch screen, buttons, and headphone jack, and 2 extra screws and an allen wrench for assembly. Available in polished aluminum or gloss black powdercoating, the iTank Nano 3 is available now and sells for $45 (aluminum) and $53 (gloss black), while the PhoneTank sells for $65 (aluminum) and $73 (gloss black).
Following last Thursday’s release of our 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, iLounge’s editors received this terrific image from Times Square, showing the announcement of the Guide, which has been downloaded over 250,000 times since its debut.
Now that we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued readership and participation in the iLounge community. Beyond just the huge download volumes we see for our Guides and Books, we truly appreciate the contributions you make to iLounge’s articles, forums, and galleries — each of our publications is as much a celebration of the fantastic collection of iLoungers as it is the iPod itself.
Tunewear has announced the immediate availability of its Stereo Sound Recorder for iPod, a stereo voice and music recorder for the fifth-generation iPod, iPod classic, second-generation iPod nano, and iPod nano (with video). The Stereo Sound Recorder for iPod features two built-in, omni-directional microphones and works using the built-in recording function already included in iPod, recording in either High Quality (Stereo, 16bit/44.1KHz) or Low Quality (Mono, 16bit/22.05KHz) WAV format. Other features include audio line-in with compatibility for external microphones sporting 3.5mm plugs, as well as cassette decks or other analog equipment, built-in gain control to reduce distortion and control recording levels, a mini-USB port to charge the iPod while in use, and a recording “hot” button that jumps directly to the iPod Voice Memo recording menu when used with a second-generation iPod nano or fifth-generation iPod. The Tunewear Stereo Sound Recorder for iPod is available now and sells for $50.
Ticketmaster and the iTunes Store have announced a plan to offer digital album sales directly alongside Ticketmaster.com concert tickets. The expanded offerings let users purchase tickets to an artist’s concert along with their music in a single transaction on Ticketmaster.com. Users purchasing tickets at Ticketmaster.com to live performances by participating artists will be given the option of adding a digital album to their purchase, and through the end of 2007, a special dollar-off discount will be applied to every album sold. Ticketmaster.com will provide a direct link that will take the user to the iTunes Store to download their album in full.
“The ability to connect live and recorded music, concert tickets and album sales is the future of the music business,” explained David Marcus, SVP Music, Ticketmaster. “The collaboration between Ticketmaster and iTunes makes it simple for fans to download the latest music from the artists they want to see live. We’ve now extended the music + concert tickets program we introduced with iTunes earlier this year, and we’re thrilled to now offer digital albums integrated with concert ticket sales.”
Ticketmaster and iTunes are also offering special Ticketmaster + iTunes gift card packs exclusively through Target stores in the US. The dual card packages include two $25 gift cards; one redeemable towards tickets from Ticketmaster, and one redeemable on the iTunes Store. The cards have no expiration date, and multiple cards may be used for a single purchase. Previously, iTunes and Ticketmaster teamed up to offer advance pre-sale tickets to those who pre-order certain albums through the iTunes Store.
IASUS Concepts has introduced its Mobile Amp, a portable high-fidelity audio amplifier for mobile devices. The Mobile Amp features an independent rechargeable power source, which the company claims improves audio and power output to headphones, and as a result of lower power demands from the player, extends the playtime of devices like the iPod by up to “20% to 50%.” Other features include a machined aluminum analog volume control, a piano black finish with gunmetal accents, an included audio output splitter, and a built-in, rechargeable lithium polymer battery. The IASUS Mobile Amp is available now from Soundrite and sells for $59.
Case-mate has introduced its new line of Signature Leather cases for the iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch. Made from injection molded, impact resistant plastic shells with Napa leather exteriors, the cases offer full access to the iPod classic and iPod nano’s Click Wheel, headphone jack, Dock Connector, and hold switch, and include screen and Click Wheel protectors. The cases for iPod touch offer full access to the device’s touch screen, Dock Connector, headphone jack, and home and power buttons, and come with full face screen protectors. In addition, belt clip versions of the iPod classic and iPod nano cases are available, and a perforated leather version of the iPod nano case is also available. Case-mate Signature Leather cases for iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), and iPod touch are available for pre-order now and sell for $30. The cases are expected to begin shipping on November 15.
VAF has introduced its new Octavio 1i speaker system for iPod. Measuring slightly over four inches deep, the Octavio 1i features an integrated iPod Dock, two additional audio inputs, one audio output, a video output, a full-featured remote control, built-in digital power amplifiers, advanced signal processing, and audiophile grade speakers. In addition, it comes packaged with three interchangeable acoustic skins in black, pink and silver. VAF’s founder, Philip Vafiadis, said “Whether you’re playing from an iPod alone, or also connecting Octavio 1i to a TV, DVD player and Gaming Console, you will get huge true to life sound without the clutter of conventional Hi-Fi or Home Theatre equipment, and without need for a subwoofer…and you can do it with style.” The VAF Octavio 1i is now available for pre-order from Amazon and is expected to arrive at other electronics retailers soon. It sells for $500. Keep reading for more pictures of the Octavio 1i.
Phase, the interactive iPod music game, is now available from the iTunes Store. Developed by Harmonix, makers of popular console-based rhythm games, Phase creates levels based on songs users add to a special iTunes playlist called Phase Music. Once a song is selected, users tap the Click Wheel’s left, center, and right buttons to match corresponding “discs” in the game, and are also asked to slide their finger on the Click Wheel to match “flowing sweeps” of dots that appear in between the discs. MTV Network’s Phase is available now for fifth-generation iPod, iPod classic, and iPod nano (with video), and sells for $5. For more information on Phase, check out our First Look article.
DLO has announced its new Jam Jacket cases for iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch. The new Jam Jackets feature a no-slip rubber texture, access to all controls, ports, and jacks, and DLO’s Earbud Management System on the back of the case to allow users to neatly stow earbuds, as well as take up extra slack while headphones are in use. Jam Jackets for the iPod nano and iPod classic feature full click-wheel protection with embossed buttons for touch-based iPod control, while the Jam Jacket for the iPod touch features open access to the touch screen and comes equipped with a DLO Surface Shield screen protector. “The Jam Jacket has long been one of DLO’s flagship cases and we are thrilled to be able to bring its renowned quality and functionality to the newest members of the iPod family,” said Rick Case, executive vice president of sales for DLO. “The gripable silicone case offers supreme protection, which combined with the innovative earbud management system, equal a must-have case for every iPod user.” DLO Jam Jackets with earbud management are available now in clear or black for the iPod nano, iPod classic 80G and 160G, and the iPod touch, and sell for $20.
Fastmac has introduced its line of Universal Headphone Adapters for Apple iPhone that allow any headphones or earphones with a standard 3.5mm plug to work with the recessed headphone jack of the iPhone. The Fastmac Universal Headphone Adapter is available in 3 models, starting with a basic in-line audio adapter with flexible cable & gold plated connector port priced at $5. The mid-level model, priced at $10, also features the in-line audio adapter with flexible cable & gold plated connector port, but adds a shirt clip, built-in microphone and a music playback/ phone control button that allows users to answer and end phone calls and pause, play, and skip music. Fastmac’s 3-in-1 Premium Headphone Adapter, priced at $20, incorporates all of the features of the mid-level model along with an adjustable volume slider and noise suppression microphone. “Replacing lost or damaged headphones can be expensive,” said Michael Lowdermilk, Business Development Manager of Fastmac Performance Upgrades.. “With our new 3-in-1 universal headphone adapter, you can re-use old iPod headsets that are probably laying about in a drawer unused ever since the iPhone came out & obviated the need to carry around another device!” All three adapters carry a 1-year warranty and are available now from Fastmac’s website.
Apple has released iTunes 7.5 for Mac and Windows. According to Apple, iTunes 7.5 “features the ability to activate iPhone wherever service is offered and support for Phase, a new interactive music game designed exclusively for iPod nano (third generation), iPod classic, and iPod (fifth generation). This release also includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance.” As of this writing, the game, Phase, has yet to appear on the iTunes Store. iTunes 7.5 is available via Apple’s Software Update application or as a download from apple.com/itunes.
Google has announced Android, its new open-source mobile phone “software stack,” rumored for months as the “Gphone.” The new software will be offered to manufacturers for free as part of a new Open Handset Alliance, and phones from HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and others running the software are expected in the second half of next year.
In a recent Telegraph article examining iPhone negotiations in the UK, O2 CEO Matthew Key has said that the company has ordered hundreds of thousands of the handsets, adding that he expects the iPhone to be the network’s best holiday seller “by a mile.”
Last Saturday’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” featured a parody of Apple’s latest iPhone advertisements, which feature iPhone owners telling how they use the devices in front of a plain black backdrop. Of particular note is the fact that the iPhone featured in the sketch appears to have been hacked.
European mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has said that it expects to sell 10,000 iPhones on launch day in the UK. “We will hope to represent a big share of what’s sold,” said Darren Gardener, head of wireless at Carphone Warehouse U.K. The iPhone will be available from Carphone Warehouse, as well as O2 and Apple retail outlets, beginning this Friday at 6:00 pm local time.
A recent BusinessWeek article asks whether the iPhone’s success will lead to higher prices in the smartphone market. David Carey, head of Portelligent, said, “The component content that is most in demand is flash chips. If everyone starts chasing the iPhone, then the costs will go up, but that will be driven more by flash.”
The first UK iPhones have arrived in the hands of journalists, who have reported that the devices are running a new version of the iPhone software — v1.1.2 — that disables jailbreak processes known to work on software version 1.1.1. According to T3, the new software closes the TIFF exploit found in software version 1.1.1 that is used to enable installation of third-party applications on the iPhone. Currently found only on UK iPhone models, it is expected that Apple will roll-out the update for US iPhones in the coming days, possibly as early as this week.
Mediafour has announced the upcoming release of the latest version of XPlay, its iPod add-on software for Windows. XPlay 3 offers many new features and improvements, including the ability to copy music, playlists, pictures and video to and from an iPod, the ability to use an iPod with Windows Explorer, Media Player and Media Center, lost song recovery, automatic conversion of unprotected WMA files, and the ability to auto-sync music and pictures from Windows Media Player. Also, XPlay 3 works with both Mac and Windows iPods, and allows Mac iPods to work with iTunes for Windows. Designed for Windows XP and Vista, XPlay 3 works with all iPod models except for iPod touch and iPhone. XPlay 3 will be available on February 4, 2008 for $30, and upgrades from previous versions will run $15. Any purchase of XPlay 2 on or after November 1 qualifies for a free upgrade to XPlay 3.
AT&T, possibly in response to user complaints over extremely high international data prices, has introduced two new international data plans for the iPhone. A $60/month plan offers 50MB of international EDGE data access, while a $25/month plan offers only 20MB. Both plans offer service in 29 countries, and require a domestic iPhone plan. In addition, overages will be charged 0.5¢ per kilobyte in those 29 countries, and 1¢ per kilobyte at all times outside of that area. AT&T advises users to check on international plans and rates before traveling. [via Infinite Loop]
As is customary, several new iPod accessories and cases from a wide range of companies made their debut in our 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide. Of particular note are the Acme Research Ledoc for iPod, a unique Dock that features a video camera mounted in front of the iPod to allow for TV-based iPod menu access, the 2007 version of Griffin’s popular iTrip FM Transmitter, and SendStation’s PocketDock pico, an iPod to USB adapter so small it fits inside a chrome keychain. Continue reading to learn more about the other accessories debuting in the Guide.
Tunewear has announced the immediate availability of its Tunefilm clear protective film for the iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), and iPhone. Tunefilm sets for iPod classic and iPod nano include film for the screen, Click Wheel and back, while Tunefilm for iPod touch includes protective film for the touch screen and back. Tunefilm for iPhone includes film for the touch screen only. Tunefilm for iPod touch, iPod classic, and iPhone sells for $13 a set; Tunefilm for iPod nano (with video) sells for $10 a set. All the new Tunefilm sets are available now from Tunewear’s website and from major retailers worldwide.
Apple has had to delay volume shipments of the iPod touch due to a shortage of touch screen panels, according to a DigiTimes report. The report claims that “Apple originally planned to rapidly grow global shipments up to the year-end holidays. However, due to the shortage of touch screen panels, volume shipments have been pushed back to this month.” This delay has also affected flash memory prices, which were expected to recover based on strong demand for the iPod touch. Due to the delay, NAND flash producers were not able to make planned deliveries to Apple, and as a result have had to find other vendors to purchase their products. The report adds, “In the long-term it is unlikely prices in the flash market will stabilize.” [via MacWorld UK]