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iPod touch blamed for fire in OH lawsuit

A Cincinnati, OH mother is suing Apple and 10 unnamed employees from the Apple retail store in Kenwood Towne Centre claiming that her son’s iPod touch caught fire in his pants pocket. According to Ars Technica, the suit claims that the device was off when it made a popping noise and the boy noticed a burning sensation, only to stand up and discover his pants were on fire. The child was found to have second-degree burns from the incident. “He continues to suffer from both physical and mental conditions which will cause him to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of his life,” the lawsuit claims. Apple and its 10 employees are accused of gross negligence and recklessness; the suit is requesting compensatory damages totaling more than $75,000, as well as punitive damages of more than $75,000, and attorney fees.

Hollington debuts book, iPod & iTunes Portable Genius

iPod & iTunes Portable Genius, written by iLounge editor Jesse David Hollington, is now available in Canada and for pre-order in the U.S. Offering a number of useful tips and how-tos, descriptions of tools and other shortcuts to enhance iTunes, and other information for iPod and iTunes users, the 368-page book is illustrated with a number of full-color screenshots. iPod & iTunes Portable Genius is available now for pre-order from Amazon and sells for $16.50.

Boxee releases remote app for iPhone, iPod touch

Boxee, developers of the popular media center software of the same name, has released its Boxee Remote application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Described as a “very basic” remote, the application offers two modes of control, one of which uses a set of six on-screen buttons for navigation, while the alternate “gesture” controls lets the user move around a Boxee logo cursor on the iPhone’s screen that corresponds with the cursor inside the Boxee program. The application also allows users to type using the iPhone’s built-in keyboard when entering text in an input field. Boxee Remote is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Apple extends developer program contracts to July 11

Apple has extended the iPhone Developer Program contracts of all developers signed up during the beta period, giving the company time to sort out its renewal process. Last week it was reported that developers seeking to renew their contracts, many of which were scheduled to expire this month, had no way to do so. “There is no process in place yet to renew it just now,” an Apple Developer Connection representative said. Apple has since begun contacting these early developers via email, stating that their contracts have been extended to July 11, 2009—one year from the opening of the App Store—and that they will be able to renew their contracts beginning in May.

Enter our JBL On Stage Speaker Giveaway today

If you haven’t yet entered our JBL On Stage Speaker Giveaway, there’s still time to do so. In our Giveaway of the Month for March, JBL and iLounge are giving away ten JBL On Stage 200ID Loudspeaker Docks for iPod and iPhone to ten lucky readers. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on March 31, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!

Etymotic, V-Moda, Monster promise shuffle 3G-friendly earphones

Following statements from Klipsch and Scosche announcing that iPod shuffle 3G-compatible earphones were in development, Etymotic, V-Moda, and Monster have all come forward to make similar statements. Etymotic said “an upcoming version of its headsets will support the new integrated control functions of Apple’s third-generation iPod shuffle,” without listing possible pricing or release dates, while Monster said it would be adding shuffle-friendly control boxes to its Beats by Dr. Dre family of headphones, Turbine In-Ear Speakers, and new upcoming models within the “next few months.” Finally, V-Moda announced it would be developing a new V-MODA Audio Volume Control (AVC) headphone line, featuring proper shuffle 3G-compatible inline controls. V-Moda’s first AVC headphone is expected in the second quarter of 2009, with more AVC models to follow later in the year.

Sirius XM plans iPhone app for Q2

Sirius XM has announced plans to release a streaming audio application for the iPhone and iPod touch during the second quarter. The application will be available to both the company’s current 19 million subscribers and to all iPhone and iPod touch users.  “This is a large and interesting opportunity that will maintain our subscription-based economics while providing customers easier access to our content through means other than our traditional satellite-based platform,” Sirius President of Operations and Sales Jim Meyer. Pricing and and exact release date for the application have yet to be set.

Apple outlines security changes in iTunes 8.1

Apple has published a new Knowledge Base document outlining the security changes in iTunes 8.1. According to “About the security content of iTunes 8.1,” the updated software fixes a bug which could allow a malicious podcast to request the user’s iTunes username and password via an authentication dialog box. The update fixes the issue by clarifying the origin of the authentication request in the dialog. In addition, iTunes 8.1 fixes an issue in which a maliciously crafted Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP) message could lead to a denial of service; the update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of DAAP messages. iTunes 8.1 is available now through Apple’s Software Update utility or as a direct download from [via CNet]

iPod shuffle 3G teardown photos available online

iFixit has posted new teardown photos of the third-generation iPod shuffle. The device’s sole chip was found to be a multi-layered stack containing the CPU, RAM, and 4GB of flash memory, while the 3.7 volt lithium-polymer battery lists a capacity of 0.27 watt-hours, or 73 mAh, which iFixit describes as “record-breakingly small” in terms of iPod batteries. Interestingly, the back of the shuffle’s main casing was stamped 09/03/03, suggesting it may have been manufactured as little as ten days ago, and both halves of the device weighed 5 grams, or about 10% more than a single sheet of letter-sized paper.

EA Mobile details Tiger Woods PGA Tour for iPhone

EA Mobile has released new details of the upcoming Tiger Woods PGA Tour game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users will get to play as or against Tiger Woods and other professional golfers including Annika Sorenstam, Vijay Singh, and Retief Goosen, on realistic 3D courses such as Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and TPC Sawgrass. The game will employ a “touch-n-drag” swing meter with visual feedback for swing control, allowing players to swipe the screen while the ball is in the air to affect ball spin direction and intensity. Other features will include official “Bragging Rights” and achievements, and play-by-play commentary by Sam Torrance and Kelly Tilghman. Tiger Woods PGA Tour for iPhone and iPod touch is expected to launch later this year; exact release and pricing information has yet to be released. Continue reading for more screenshots from the game.

Dexim previews Shu-Lip for iPod shuffle 3G

Dexim has announced its new Shu-Lip charging and syncing accessory for the iPod shuffle 3G. Featuring a built-in USB 2.0 connector on one end, the aluminum bodied Shu-Lip’s opposite side sports a headphone jack, enabling the user to connect the iPod shuffle 3G directly to a computer’s USB port or other USB charger. Dexim’s Shu-Lip for iPod shuffle 3G is now available for pre-order and sells for $10; a release date has yet to be revealed.

Teac rolls out iPod-docking HD Radio system

Teac has introduced the HD-1, the company’s first HD Radio product. The HD-1 features a tabletop design, with an integrated iPod dock, iTunes Tagging capability, FM radio, rear-firing ports for improved bass response, a headphone jack, video and audio outputs, a dual alarm clock with snooze button, five equalizer presets, an included remote control, and iPhone compatibility. Normally priced at $130, the Teac HD-1 is currently available at select Costco stores and is priced at $100 for a limited time.

Scosche unveils iPod shuffle 3G-ready earphones

Scosche has announced that it is currently developing three new earphone models that will offer full compatibility with the third-generation iPod shuffle. The IDR350M, IDR450M and IDR650M noise isolating earphones will feature an integrated control module, allowing shuffle users to play, pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, navigate playlists, and hear information on the currently playing song. The new earphones will also feature an integrated microphone for use with the second-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod nano, and 120GB iPod classic. The new earphones are expected to be available this spring and will range in price from $50 to $100. Scosche also revealed that it is developing an inline control adapter kit that will allow iPod shuffle users to control their devices while offering the ability to connect standard third-party headphones or an auxiliary output cable.

Apple announces iPhone OS 3.0 event on March 17

Apple has begun sending out invitations to select media outlets inviting them to a special event on March 17. As illustrated in the invitation, the topic will be iPhone OS 3.0 and a new software development kit (SDK) for the updated operating system; the event will be held on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, CA. The invitation arrives a little over a year after Apple’s 2008 iPhone Software Roadmap event, in which the company outlined plans for the iPhone SDK, the App Store, and previewed Exchange support for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Movies, TV Show Genius sidebar missing from iTunes 8.1

One of the new iTunes 8.1 features touted by Apple, Genius sidebars for Movies and TV Shows, seems to have been left out of the software update. iLounge editors have thus far been unable to get the feature working on their own machines, despite updating Genius results following installation of version 8.1. In addition, Apple has removed all reference to the feature from its iTunes “What’s New” page, on which it appeared yesterday. For more information on iTunes 8.1, see our Instant Expert article.

iPod shuffle 3G unboxing photos posted

iLounge has obtained both models of the new third-generation iPod shuffle, and will be posting unboxing photos in this story as we take them, along with some brief first impressions.

Update: It’s very similar in size to the Apple Bluetooth Headset, and as small as the smallest flash drives we’ve seen. Its rear clip is somewhat of a fingerprint magnet, and it lacks personality from front, to side, to bottom. The black color is same as the iPod nano 4G and 120GB iPod classic, and if a user plugs in headphones with no music loaded onto the device, a voice directs him/her to sync to iTunes.

Update 2: The results of our initial file transfer test show the new shuffle to be faster than the second-generation model, but not as fast as the iPod nano 4G. When transferring our 1GB test playlist, it took the iPod shuffle 3G 2:02 to transfer, while the iPod nano 4G took just 1:27. The same transfer on the second-generation iPod shuffle took 2:33, but it was only a partial transfer, as some songs could not be played, and iTunes showed only 392MB as transferred.

In addition, iTunes must connect to a server to download the VoiceOver kit before that feature can be enabled, meaning that an Internet connection will be required for initial VoiceOver setup.

In our initial audio testing with a pair of Ultimate Ears UE-11, there is an immediately noticeable difference in the amount of static present in the audio compared to the iPod shuffle 2G—hissy, static-like noise present in the prior generation’s audio is gone in the iPod shuffle 3G. Our initial impressions of its sonic balance are that its sound signature is extremely similar to that of the late 2008 iPods and iPhone 3G. Our testing has also found it basically impossible to control the unit with standard third-party headphones, and that Apple’s other remote-enabled headphones appear completely compatible. Of note, Apple has further slimmed down the headphone plug on the new earphones, physically matching the top of the shuffle’s headphone jack.

Apple makes App Store reviews version specific

In another tweak to its App Store application review system, Apple has now begun tying each review to the application’s current version number. Previously, reviews could only be sorted by date, leaving potential customers with no way to know whether or not a negative review pertained to the current version. This move follows a number of changes Apple has made since the opening of the App Store in hopes of making application reviews more helpful; last September, it began requiring users to purchase or download an app prior to review, and last month it removed older reviews from users who had not purchased the applications they were reviewing. [via TouchArcade]

Klipsch debuts new earphones, promises shuffle 3G compatible model

Klipsch has introduced two new pairs of in-ear headphones, and has promised to have a new pair offering iPod shuffle 3G compatibility by this summer. Klipsch’s new Image S4 and S2 in-ear headphones feature the same proprietary oval ear tips as their predecessors, moving coil designs with controlled damping, passive noise-cancelation, and an iPhone-friendly 3.5mm headphone plug. The Image S4 also features a dual magnet motor structure designed to increase damping and reduce distortion. Sporting a piano black and silver finish, the Image S4 will include three sets of different-sized oval ear tips, an ear tip cleaning tool, and an aluminum case, while the piano black Image S2 will include three sets of different-sized oval ear tips and a cloth carrying pouch. Klipsch’s Image S4 and S2 will be available in April and July and will sell for $79 and $49, respectively.

In addition, the company has announced plans to have a new set of headphones compatible with the new third-generation iPod shuffle available by summer. The new headphones will give users the ability to fully control the device, and are expected to sell for $100.

Apple updates Remote with iTunes 8.1 compatibility

Apple has released Remote 1.2, the latest version of its iTunes and Apple TV remote software for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Apple, the new release contains bug fixes and provides compatibility with iTunes 8.1. More specifically, it adds the ability for guests to select songs to add to the iTunes DJ playlist, and vote for songs picked by others. Remote 1.2 is avialable now as a free download from the App Store. Continue reading for screenshots of Remote 1.2.

iTunes 8.1 released, list of changes published

On the heels of its announcement of the third-generation iPod shuffle, Apple this evening released iTunes 8.1, a 65.4MB download for Mac users, and a 69.9MB download for Windows PC users. Unusually, a list of the many changes to this new version has been included in the Software Update feature of Mac OS X, noting the following:

“Faster and more responsive, with noticeable improvements when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing.
Supports syncing with iPod shuffle (3rd generation)
Allows friends to request songs for iTunes DJ
Adds Genius sidebar for your Movies and TV Shows
Improves performance when downloading iTunes Plus songs
Provides AutoFill for manually managed iPods
Allows CDs to be imported at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus
Includes many accessibility improvements
Allows iTunes U and the iTunes Store to be disabled separately using Parental Controls.”

Additional improvements and bug fixes are also included in the release, notably security updates relating to iTunes networked media sharing in the prior PC version of iTunes, and “malicious podcasts” in the prior Mac version of iTunes. Apple’s iTunes download page is available here.

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