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Panasonic debuts SC-HC3 iPod stereo, iPod-docking TVs

Panasonic has introduced its SC-HC3 compact stereo system for iPod. Nearly flat on the front, the system features proprietary, 2.5-inch full-range bamboo cone speakers with a dual passive radiator design, a motorized front door that allows access to the integrated iPod dock and CD player, MP3 CD support, an AM/FM tuner, a clock, 40 watts of total power, an auxiliary input, and an included remote control. It will be available in March and will sell for $200.

In addition, the company has introduced a new line of iPod-docking televisions. Panasonic’s Viera X1 LCD televisions, available in 19-inch (TC-L19X1), 26-inch (TC-L26X1), 32-inch (TC-L32X1), and 37-inch (TC-L37X1) models, all feature an integrated Universal Dock and on-screen menus that let users play music or videos. Other features include the ability to select a song by artist, album or playlist, an SD card slot, dedicated game mode and 720p resolution. The 37-inch and 32-inch models will be available in March, 26-inch in April and the 19-inch in August; pricing has yet to be determined.

Mix: Keynote Remote, Pandora, Rogers, AdMob

  • January 8, 2009

Apple has released its Keynote Remote application for iPhone and iPod touch. The new app allows users to control Keynote slide presentations on their computers directly from their devices via a Wi-Fi connection. Simple swipe gestures allow users to move back and forth through slides, and users may preview the next slide in landscape view, or view presenter notes while in portrait mode. Keynote Remote requires Keynote ‘09 and is available now for $1.

Pandora Radio has released version 2.0 of its application for the iPhone and iPod touch. New in the updated version is a CoverFlow view for recent songs, artist bios, and the ability to create genre-based stations, play song samples for bookmarked tracks, and tap album art to see a progress bar, create a station from the current song or artist, or email the current station to a friend. Pandora Radio 2.0 is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Rogers Communications has announced that they added 199,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter, helped along by sales of the iPhone. The Canadian iPhone carrier said it added 130,000 iPhone customers in the quarter, with new subscribers representing 40 percent of that total.

Mobile advertising firm AdMob has revealed that iPod touch requests more than tripled worldwide from November to December. The firm said there was a particularly large spike in requests the week after Christmas, although it is unclear how many of the increased requests can be attributed to sales of AdMob-supported applications. According to the company, the iPod touch is now the #2 device in the AdMob network; the iPhone and iPod touch now represent 15.5 percent of all worldwide requests.

2009 Best of Show Awards video now online

Our video for the 2009 Best of Show Awards is now online. In a change from past years, when we put individual videos up for each product, this year’s video has been compiled into one 6-minute collection of clips for your viewing convenience. You’ll find live footage of each award-winning product, providing a more complete view than is possible through still photography.

Massive Flickr photoset from Macworld Expo 2009 posted

iLounge has just posted a massive photo gallery from Macworld Expo 2009. We’re in the process of sifting through all of the products we’ve been looking through during the day, but it suffices to say that there isn’t a huge amount to get excited about here. Photos show both major booths with handfuls of cool products, and many minor booths. We’ll have more to come later today.

 

 

Apple: No new iPod, iPhone announcements for MW Expo

iLounge editors have been able to confirm with Apple representatives that there are no new developments for the company’s iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV products planned for announcement at Macworld Expo beyond what was mentioned in the keynote. While only a few small iPhone/iPod related items were mentioned during the address, Apple has in the past released small updates to product lines, such as capacity bumps, on an under-the-radar basis directly after keynotes and other events.

iTunes goes DRM-free with variable pricing, OTA downloads for iPhone

Apple today announced that it has signed agreements with all the major music labels to offer their music in a DRM-free format on the iTunes Store. Like prior iTunes Plus tracks, all music will now be sold in DRM-free, 256kbps AAC format. Starting today, eight million songs are available; all ten million songs are expected to be available DRM-free by the end of the quarter. iTunes will offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of previously purchased songs to the higher quality DRM-free iTunes Plus format for 30 cents per song or 30 percent of the album price. Beginning in April, and based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs will now be priced at one of three price points—$0.69, $0.99, and $1.29, with most albums still priced at $9.99. Finally, users are now able to download music from the iTunes Store on their iPhone 3G over the 3G network, removing the need for a Wi-Fi connection.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “And in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points—69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29—with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29.”

Full transcript of 2009 MWSF Keynote Address

Continue reading a full play-by-play transcript of the keynote address from the 2009 Macworld Conference and Expo, presented by Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing for Apple, Inc. Note that events are presented in reverse chronological order. Most of the announcements found in this transcript are explained in further detail in separate news articles; photos from the event can be found here.

10:33 AM: This most likely signals the end of the presentation. Sorry, iPod + iPhone fans - we were hoping for more today, too. But there has been a little good news, especially for iPhone users. Lots of applause for Bennett. He’s doing another song. Left my Heart in San Francisco. A melancholy way to close this all out. The 3G iTunes music downloading is working _RIGHT NOW_, Jesse Hollington confirms. Standing O for Tony Bennett. We’ll be updating iLounge with all the news from the show, stay tuned, guys! Thanks for tuning in.

10:29 AM: iTunes. iPhone 3G downloading of music starts today. Since they’re ending on music, they have a musical performer… Grammy winner… 15 Grammies, 2 Emmys, Tony Bennett. Song that is “very appropriate to this last Macworld,” Schiller says. Bennett slides out on a platform with a band. The Best is Yet to Come is the song.

10:27 AM: iTunes. DRM-free, 256k encoding in AAC, one-click upgrades from iTunes. All the majors, starting today, 8 million songs are DRM-free. By the end of this quarter, 2 million more - all 10m songs will be DRM-free. In AAC format. It’s easy to upgrade library to DRM free for a fee. Third new thing: iPhone/iTunes. Wi-Fi Music Store. You’ll be able to buy music over 3G network. So it’s no longer Wi-Fi Music Store. Same price. Same selection. Same quality. Anytime, anywhere, you can get music on your iPhone.

10:24 AM: iTunes. iTunes Music Store started 6 years ago. What’s happened: 6 billion songs. 10,000,000 songs available. 75,000,000 accounts with credit cards. iTunes #1 channel for music in USA. What’s new? Three things. Price. One pricing model for all songs in the past. The music companies will have more flexibility - three pricing tiers. $0.99, $0.69, and $1.29. Based on how the companies offer music, that’ll be the pricing. More music will be sold at 69 than 1.29. iTunes Plus is DRM-free music.

10:23 AM: MBP 17”. Completes lineup of the MacBook family. One last thing… iTunes.

10:20 AM: MBP 17”. So the bottom of the MBP 17” is just a plain sheet of aluminum, no latches, no segments. 7 hours of life on the 9600GT or 8 hours on the 9400M. It can be BTO - same price of $2799 to start, 2.66GHz, 4GB memory, 320GB drive + SuperDrive. Ships at end of January. 34% smaller packaging, too, they note. Showing TV ad.

10:15 AM: MBP 17”. Video of engineers talking about the battery tech. Bob Mansfield talking about how they give you 8 hours on single charge, 1,000 recharges. Dan Riccio, VP of Product Design. Removable battery is gone. They are justifying on video the non-removable battery. They say that by making specially shaped batteries they can fill the space better. Ugh. Lithium Polymer battery video. Adaptive charging lets the batteries get charged intelligently by talking to the individual cells inside the battery. It will have 3X the number of recharges and lifespan of “industry standard,” Riccio says on video. Environmentally friendly… a lot less batteries will wind up in landfills.

10:10 AM: 17” MBP is the third thing today. Unibody enclosure… all of Apple’s buddies praising it, being shown on screen. Doesn’t this ever get old? MacBook #1 on best-seller lists. The 17” version looks like the others. 0.98” inches thin, world’s thinnest 17”, 6.6 pounds is lightest. LED backlit display, 1920x1200. Wide viewing angle, 700:1 contrast ratio and 60% greater color gamut. Best display they’ve done, he says. Some high-end customers don’t want clossy. $50 Anti-Glare option. Loses the black glass and goes with silver metal instead. Superdrive and lock on right. Standard IO on the other side like 15” - 3 USB ports, FW800. No FW400. Up to 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB memory 1GHz DDR3, GeForce 9400M + 9600MGT built in. Standard 320GB, 256GB SSD offered. All the same stuff as in other MacBooks. Greatest feature, he says, is the battery.

10:09 AM: iWork ‘09. This is a lot easier than trying to send stuff through e-mail… and lets you get access to documents anywhere. Launches today. You can get to it via the new iWork ‘09.

10:04 AM: iWork ‘09: iWork.com demo.

Lets you just select any iWork document and share it over the site, with invites to people who want to see it. (Just go right ahead and share your business documents over the web. ...) You get an e-mail invite to view the document on Mac or PC under any popular browser. Being shown in an educational context where it makes more sense. For now it’s free, eventually it’ll be paid.

10:01 AM: iWork ‘09. That’s it for iWork ‘09. $79 or $99 for Family Pack. If you purchase it with a new Mac, you can get it for $49. Ships today. Leopard is required for new iLife; if you want to buy all three - Mac Box Set of all three at $169, Leopard, iLife + iWork. Ships late January. So looks like no Snow Leopard in there, until later. iWork.com is a new service, going into Beta. A new service that will let you share iWork documents with other people. View documents online. Add comments and notes, which you can see. You can also download a copy from iWork.com rather than using e-mails - even for large files.

9:58 AM: iWork ‘09, Numbers ‘09. This year it has added features requested by customers. Table categories. It can now do auto-grouping of information in a table based on similar words. Easy formula writing has been added; 250 functions now that are easy to find and understand. Dennis is falling asleep. New chart options, inclduing mixed chart types, multi-axis, trend lines, and error bars. Linked charts between Pages and Numbers, and new templates.

9:55 AM: iWork ‘09, Pages. Full-screen view. Lets you see multiple pages on screen at once rather than cluttering with toolbars. Dynamic outlines so that you can create an outline and then build pages off of the outline, allowing for reorganization of the outline dynamically. Mail merge with Numbers, now added. MathType and EndNote support. Complicated bibliographies etc. supported. Plus 40 new templates for documents.

9:49 AM: Item number 2 today: iWork ‘09. Keynote, Pages, Numbers all updated. Keynote gets new animation tools for better presentations. Magic Move is a new feature that does transition between slides. If slide one is a collection of cards and 2 is only one card, it auto-transitions between them - you just choose how you want the start and end slides to look and it does the rest. Powerful transition effects that look really nice. Text transitions have also been added, including “swing” where the text swings from one word to another. Shimmer effect has sparkles. Anagram is a reorg of letters. Great new metallic chart look and animations, also stone textures, wood, etc, all animated. New themes. Very simple. Keynote Remote feature - an iPhone app to let you control keynote. Works on iPod touch or iPhone. Talk wirelessly using wi-fi to yor Mac, giving you slides and speaker notes you’ve added. Flick to advance slides. Lots of applause on this. $0.99 application from Apple. First time Apple is charging for an iPhone app other than a game.

9:48 AM: Other updates to iWeb and iDVD. Free with all new Macs. Upgrade is $79. $99 Family Pack for 5 machines. Will ship late January.

9:45 AM: Colbie Callat, Patrick Stump/Fall Out Boy, Sting, and more. Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Tedder/OneRepublic, Norah Jones. Every one presented in video form so you can learn how to play their songs. There’s a lesson store and a new section of Garageband for iPhone Ringtones, too. The artists help you learn the stories behind songs, view lyrics and notation, practice with tracks, create your own mix, slow down any part. John Fogerty talking about the making of his song - very self-deprecating humor and amusing anecdotes on Proud Mary. This is awesome.

9:40 AM: The last of the apps he’s highlighting is Garageband ‘09. New guitar effects, etc. Only one feature he’ll talk about: create software that can help someone learn to play a musical instrument. It’s called Learn to Play. New UI that teaches guitar or keyboard, with an HD video instructor who helps you learn. “Tim,” a recorded Applesque guy, shows you how to use the piano or guitar on screen, plus notation. 9 basic guitar lessons and 9 basic piano for free, you can download what you want. Artist Lessons help you learn to play songs with artists! John Fogerty.

9:37 AM: iMovie ‘09: pro-quality animated maps showing in either 2-D or 3-D where you’ve traveled from and to. New transitions, titles, and themes added. The five themes bring in some nice effects—very professional-quality effects for consumers, easy to create.

9:34 AM: iMovie ‘09: Audio tracks can be edited separately so that two videos spliced together don’t overlay audio on top of each other. Very streamlined, visual process for editing videos. Video stabilization - iMovie analyzes every frame to figure out motions. Bouncing Jeep video he’s showing makes the video look totally stable - shot from a moving car, yet the video looks completely professional in stability. You also have the ability to transform videos into slow-mo mode very easily. Aged film and cartoon and X-ray effects can be added to videos in realtime.

9:30 AM: iMovie ‘09 Demo. Randy Ubillos, who came up with the new app last year, is up for the video demo. Chief Architect of Video Applications for Apple. You can add picture-in-picture to your videos, cutaways to shots, everything else real easily. You can also place the audio only from a video clip into the background of an existing video sequence, with just drag + drop. Precision editor gives you a large view of both clips you are trying to combine to figure out where you want to splice, and what can go into the final edit.

9:28 AM: iMovie ‘09. Last year they wiped out the old version, getting rid of some old features. This year, they’ve brought back the depth and power. Precision editor. You can edit audio and video up close now. Advanced drag and drop feature that lets you choose how to deal with clips added to the timeline. New themes, with titles, transitions and effects created for you. Animated travel maps in 2-D or 3-D show where you traveled during your video. There is now also AUTOMATIC VIDEO STABILIZATION. Videos you couldn’t use before are auto-fixed.

9:26 AM: One cool feature: it sorts all of the photos taken in different locations, so if you want to find everything taken in one spot, you just click on the location’s name and it locates everything for you.

9:24 AM: Demo continues to move through Faces, Places… Notably, Phil Schiller’s delivery during the speech thus far has been pretty strong. While he doesn’t have the air of danger that surrounds Steve Jobs during a keynote - Phil comes across as a friendly guy - he’s doing a good job. Showing how when you move through a collection of photos taken along a street, how the pins placed automatically on a Places map let you see where photos were taken, highlighting the current location with a pin on the map.

9:20 AM: Product demo. Basically what we’ve already heard, being shown in the software.

9:19 AM: Photo printing and books. Travel books and new themes, better printing have been added. Inside, you can add maps for travel books, inclusive of info on where you were based on geotagging. All handled automatically. You can print on the sleeve and hardcover as well.

9:18 AM: Some effects literally rip the photos to shreds and reassemble them. Pro-quality looks. You can sync the slideshows to iTunes and iPhone/iPod touch! Finallllllly.

9:15 AM: Also: Facebook and Flickr support. Just click a button with tagged info on the people in the photo, syncs IDs of people that you’ve added, as well as re-synching info from Facebook back to your library. Flickr sync and geotag support is there. New Slideshow Themes let you select a number of effects, music, with cool animated themes somewhat like iDVD and iPhoto Books, combined. It uses face detection to properly position photos in the middle of a realtime slideshow. Smart.

9:11 AM: iPhoto ‘09: Places. Will it use GPS? A map appears with pins where your photos were taken. It uses GPS Geotagging, which is starting to make its way into cameras - iPhone 3G and recent Nikon camera - have geotags. iPhoto figures out where things are on a map, IDing them by name rather than just the longitude/latitude details. If you have a photo that hasn’t been geotagged (because it’s old), you can categorize entire events by location. There’s a DB with thousands of locations to help you find where the event took place. The maps come from Google Maps. Satellite images and overhead maps are both available.

9:08 AM: iPhoto ‘09. Faces is a new way to organize photos. (Facial recognition technology?) You get a corkboard with snapshots of people. How does it work? Face detection. You can name a person in a photo, and then it figures out who the person is. It uses Face Recognition across multiple photos. (Hope this works for babies.) You give the program a little help IDing faces, but this is the best technology they’ve found to do it.

9:07 AM: An entire new version of iLife, iLife ‘09. There’s nothing as good as iLife on a personal computer.

9:06 AM: 100 Macworlds each and every week in the Stores. People come to get hands on iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac. Mac has had huge resurgence with customers. Today, is all about the Mac. 9.7m Macs sold. Twice as fast as rest of industry growth. Best product line ever for the Mac. Three new things to tell you about.

9:03 AM: Lights are dim. Event starting. Schiller takes stage in blue button-down shirt and jeans. Audience applauds. “So much going on across all our businesses…” Excitement highest in Apple’s stores. Picture of Beijing location. Then Munich, Germany. Sydney, Australia. What other company’s logo, he asks, could ever be in front of such beautiful stores? 3.4 million customers per week visit Apple Stores around the world.

9:02 AM: There’s a simple computer setup on stage, still no Phil Schiller. It looks from a distance to be an old 20” Cinema Display.

9:00 AM: The sheer number of iPhones in use here is insane. Obviously, it’s an Apple event, but… (Coldplay is playing.)

9:00 AM: Pretty much all the seats except for the VIP section are occupied here.

8:59 AM: “Welcome to Macworld 2009… silence your cell phones and paging devices as a courtesy…”

8:56 AM: It’s obvious that Apple likes Beck. Ever since he was involved in the very first limited edition iPods—the ones with artists’ signatures on the back, years ago—he has occasionally shown up in iPod-related materials, and his music is currently playing (Gamma Ray). (Note: Tony Hawk, Madonna, and No Doubt were other limited-edition iPod participants, before the release of the U2 iPod.)

8:55 AM: For iPod and iPhone users, the announcements expected today are relatively low-key. We’ve heard whispers of a new iPod shuffle, capacity bumps, iPhone-to-Mac tethering, and iTunes announcements. We’ll see what actually gets announced, but this will be a bigger day for Mac-related news than iPod and iPhone news—sales statistics aside.
8:51 AM: They’ve updated their playlist of pre-keynote music. Similar artists, new songs.

8:50 AM: Apart from the suggestion that Steve Jobs won’t be opening the keynote, this seems in all regards like a typical Apple keynote event.

8:50 AM: Welcome, iLounge readers, to our coverage of the 2009 Macworld Expo keynote.

iLife ‘09 brings new features for iPhone, iPod touch

Apple today announced iLife ‘09, the newest edition of its digital media management and creation suite. Introduced in iPhoto ‘09 is the ability to sync slideshows to the iPhone or iPod touch, complete with transitions, many of which are exclusive to the latest version of the program. The program also adds a “Places” feature that automatically imports photo location data from iPhone pictures. In addition, Garageband ‘09 adds a new dedicated section for iPhone ringtones. iLife ‘09 includes iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iDVD, and Garageband, and will be available late this month for $79.

Sling shows SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone, coming Q1

Sling Media is demonstrating a version of its SlingPlayer Mobile application for the iPhone at Macworld Expo, and has said the application will be submitted for App Store approval in the first quarter. The application allows users to stream video from any Slingbox directly to the device, and can also control their home digital video recorder to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, or queue new recordings while away from home. “SlingPlayer Mobile is ideally suited for the iPhone’s large touch screen display and I know iPhone users are eagerly anticipating the application’s availability,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media. Pricing for SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone has yet to be determined.

Best Buy now offering refurbished iPhone 3G

Electronics retailer Best Buy is now offering refurbished iPhone 3G units in its stores. Like the refurbished iPhones available from AT&T, Best Buy is offering 8GB refurbs for $149, and 16GB units for $249; a two-year service contract is required. “This is focusing on customers’ needs, trying to provide as wide a range of products and networks for our consumers,” said Scott Moore, vice president of marketing for Best Buy Mobile. Apple has yet to offer refurbished iPhone 3G units directly from its retail or online stores.

Logitech to trim workforce by 15 percent

Logitech has announced that it plans to cut approximately 15% of its salaried workforce due to the current economic situation. “During the December quarter, the retail environment deteriorated significantly,” Logitech Chief Executive Gerald Quindlen said. “We experienced varying degrees of weakness across all geographies and channels, as our customers reduced inventory levels in the face of weaker consumer demand. Moreover, we expect the economic environment to worsen in the coming months, and we are therefore taking significant actions to align our cost structure with what is likely to be an extended downturn.” The company is expected to give details of the job cuts with its third-quarter results on January 20; it is currently unclear whether the cuts will affect the iPod accessory or Ultimate Ears product teams.

Contour Design intros Bolt Armband for iPod nano 4G

Contour Design has introduced its new Bolt Armband for the fourth-generation iPod nano. Made from a flexible, breathable lycra and spandex fabric, the Bolt features a sweat-resistant back, a reflective design, an anti-static screen guard, an adjustable strap, velcro closure, and compatibility with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. It will sell for $30. In addition, the company is set to release its reCharge combination home and car charger. First shown at Macworld Expo in early 2008, it offers two USB charging ports, a blue LED power indicator, an included carrying case, and more. It will sell for $50.

Boston Acoustics unveils Horizon iDS3 iPod Speaker System

Boston Acoustics has announced its new Horizon iDS3 Flagship iPod Speaker System. The iDS3 features 100 Watts of total system power, an integrated iPod dock, a wireless six-inch woofer that connects to the main unit via a 2.4GHz signal, two 1/2” tweeters, two three-inch mid-range drivers, DSP processing and EQ, and the ability to charge all dock-connecting iPods. Available in high gloss white or black with matching grilles, the Boston Acoustics iDS3 Flagship iPod Speaker System will sell for $500 and is expected to ship later this year.

Fastmac announces nV case for nano 4G, U-Jam speaker case

Fastmac has announced its first ever iPod case, the nV for the fourth-generation iPod nano, and the U-Jam Portable Speakers and Carrying Case. The nV is made from clear hard plastic less than 1mm thick, and features an extruded aluminum clip that serves as a money/belt clip, lanyard holder, and video stand. Offering integrated screen protection, it will include a protective strip for the Click Wheel and center button, as well as a matching lanyard. The U-Jam is a large fabric carrying case for the iPod, iPhone, or other portable devices, offering a zippered closure, built-in flat panel speaker and room for extra cords or cables. It connects to the device via a 3.5mm plug, and runs for up to 15 hours on two AA batteries. Both the nV and the U-Jam will sell for $20.

iVoice intros Diamond-X Dual Mic Bluetooth Headset

iVoice has introduced its Diamond-X Dual Mic Bluetooth Headset, described by the company as the world’s first Bluetooth headset to report the name of the caller from the user’s phonebook. In addition to the name reporting, it features automatic volume control depending on environmental conditions, up to 5.5 hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby time, dual microphones for noise cancellation, an in-ear design with three sizes of rubber ear gels, and an included mini-USB power adapter, car charger, and wall charger. It will be available later this month and is priced at $100.

Griffin shows slew of iPod, iPhone products at Macworld Expo

Griffin Technology has introduced a number of new products for the iPod and iPhone. The SmartTalk Bluetooth is a sound isolating hands-free headset that features a dual microphone design and MyVoice acoustics from StepLaps to help eliminate background noise. According to the company, it offers 30 dB to 50 dB of signal-to-noise improvement, and also features an in-ear fit for sound isolation and improved audio clarity, and instant pairing capability. It will sell for $100. The Navigate is an in-line controller for the iPod and iPhone that connects via the Dock Connector. It offers a built-in LCD screen that mirrors info from the device, a FM radio, play, stop, pause, forward/backward, and scan controls, an integrated clip, and 3.5mm headphone jack. It will sell for $60.

imageOffering a USB port and rechargeable battery, the PowerBlock Reserve is the latest model of what the company claims is “the world’s best-selling AC charger/adapter for USB-rechargeable devices.” It features integrated, fold-away prongs, and a removable, rechargeable battery pack that is held via magnet when not in use, and connects via the Dock Connector to charge iPods or iPhones, offering up to two hours of additional talk time on the iPhone. It will sell for $40. SmartShare USB is a small port expander for USB devices, offering Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connections, and a slim USB connector which allows users to connect two devices to a single USB port. It will sell for $20.

imageTuneBuds Fit are a new pair of earphones featuring an in-ear design and anatomically correct curved aluminum housings. They feature matched, tuned 10mm drivers, a sound isolating design with three included sets of differently-sized ear cushions, heavy-duty nylon/PVC cabling, and a slider for adjusting the individual earphone leads. They will sell for $50. The TuneFlex AUX with SmartClick is an in-car charging and mounting solution for iPod and iPhone. Featuring a flexible steel neck, wireless remote control with magnetic steering wheel mount, a lighted ring on the charging stem to indicate charging status, and adapters for a variety of recent iPod and iPhone models, the TuneFlex AUX also includes 3.5mm stereo mini cable, which connects the auxiliary out port with a vehicle’s aux-in jack. It is priced at $80.

The Charge Converter is a small Dock Connector accessory that lets users charge newer iPods and iPhones with legacy Firewire charging accessories. It will sell for $30. The Noise-reducing Auxiliary Audio Cable is a six-foot 3.5mm stereo mini jack cable featuring an in-line dual-element noise filter that eliminates electrical interference that occurs when charging an iPod in a car whose electrical system is not grounded. It will sell for $20. TuneJuice for iPod and iPhone is a portable battery-powered charger. Operating on four AAA batteries, it offers up to 5 more hours of music, 6 hours of video, 1.5 hours of talk time, or 2 hours of web access. It will sell for $30.

The iTrip for iPod nano 4G is a small FM transmitter designed to fit the fourth-generation iPod nano, but works with other models as well. It connects to and draws power from the Dock Connector, and features a silver body, a screen for picking the station, and a dedicated SmartScan button which will automatically find the best available frequency. It will sell for $50. Also priced at $50 is the iTrip Auto Universal Plus, which like the company’s iTrip Universal connects via a 3.5mm plug for compatibility with nearly any mobile device, such as the iPod or iPhone, including the iPod shuffle. It draws power from a vehicle’s cigarette lighter/power port, and offers a lighted display for selecting FM frequencies, SmartScan for automatically finding the best frequency, and an integrated USB port for charging devices, along with a 3-color charging indicator on the stem.

Finally, the Elan Form Chrome for iPhone 3G is a revised version of Griffin’s earlier Elan Form Hard-Shell Leather Case. The Chrome features a two-piece, shatter-proof polycarbonate inner shell with a removable bottom for easier docking, a top-grain black leather outer, and openings for access to all ports and controls. The case also features chrome details, including the area around the device’s face, and comes with a static peel screen protector and cleaning cloth. It will sell for $35.

Jaybird debuts wired, wireless headphones and earphones

Jaybird has announced its new Freedom Wireless Headphones, Tiger Eyes Earbuds, and Endorphin Earphones. The Freedom Wireless Headphones use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly, and feature a small cord that runs between the right and left earphones, an in-ear design for improved sound isolation, direct USB charging, APT-X audio processing, and a unique body designed to stay in place during activities such as sports. They will be available in April and sell for $130. The Tiger Eyes Earbuds are compact in-ear headphones featuring tuned neodymium drivers, pitch reduction technology to produce warmer tones and eliminate fatigue during long listening sessions, and a black and silver body. Finally, the Endorphin Earphones feature an in-ear design, neodymium drivers, an unique acoustical sound chamber, and a cord-securing slider. Both the Tiger Eyes and Endorphin Earphones will be available in February for $100.

Intellitouch rolls out Eos Converge wireless audio products

Intellitouch has introduced its new Eos Converge line of wireless audio products. The Wireless USB Transmitter will allow users to transmit audio from any computer connected via USB, can accept audio from other sources via an auxiliary input, and can transmit to up to four receivers. It will sell for $99. The Wireless iPod Transmitter is a dock for iPod and iPhone featuring an auxiliary input and the ability to transmit to up to four receivers. It will sell for $129. The Wireless Receiver is designed to receive audio from any Converge transmitter and connect to a main home audio system, theater system, or amplified speakers. In addition, it offers function buttons to allow remote control of playback and track functions on an iPod or iTunes, and sells for $89. Finally, the Amplified Wireless Receiver can receive audio from any Converge transmitter, and features a high-quality digital amplifier to power any traditional speakers, along with playback and track remote buttons, and a sub-output for connection to a powered subwoofer. It will sell for $149. Release dates for the new Eos Converge products have yet to be announced.

JBL announces pair of Duet speakers

JBL has introduced its Duet II and Duet III speakers. Designed for use with a computer, iPod dock, or other 3.5mm audio source, both the Duet II and Duet III feature a silver and black champagne glass-like vertical design, onboard digital amplifiers, and Computer Optimized Equalization which optimizes stereo imaging and system response off-axis. The Duet II system offers 6 Watts of power per satellite, Phoenix SE drivers, and is ten inches tall, while the Duet III offers 10 Watts of power per satellite, Warrior drivers, and is 12 inches tall. JBL’s Duet II and Duet III speaker systems will be available later this month for $100 and $150, respectively.

Gear4 debuts HP-400 iPod Speaker System

Gear4 has introduced its HP-400 iPod Speaker System. This desktop-sized system features an integrated, front-mounted iPod dock, a top-mounted, slot-loading CD player, AM/FM radio with 10 station presets, an alarm clock, LCD screen, touch controls, an auxiliary input for other audio sources, and a remote control. Priced at $199, the Gear4 HP-400 will be available in April.

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