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E-Commerce News: The Real Cost of Online Music

“Now that Apple’s iTunes Music Store (iTMS) does Windows and Napster has bee rehabilitated, more people are starting to change their music-buying focus moving from old-school CDs to new-generation digital formats like AAC (Advance Audio Coding) and WMA (Windows Media Audio)

However, the onset of legal music download services has brought a new issue front and center: sound quality. The bit rate of an iTMS AAC file is 128 kilobits per second (kbps)—just a fraction of the 1,411 kbps “uncompressed” standard used for CD, WAV and AIFF files.”

Guardian Unlimited: The iPod Wars

“How can rival MP3 jukebox manufacturers end music fans’ love affair with Apple’s iPod?

Taking on the Apple iPod is a brave move. The iPod has claimed the moniker of the Walkman of the 21st century for its superb design, compact size, usability and, unusually for Apple, competitive price. Several manufacturers have tried but so far none have succeeded in loosening the all-conquering Apple product’s vice-like grip on the MP3 jukebox market.

However what was once a niche product area is now moving towards the mainstream. Sony is predicting a huge growth in network audio (any personal audio device that plays MP3 files including CD and MiniDisc) in the coming year and several other makers have big plans for product launches in the area.”

Innovacases Europe Sells Vaja Cases

Innovacases.com has announced their website launch as the official reseller of Vaja cases in Europe.

“Innovacases will officially represent the brand name Vaja Cases in Europe, to give you quicker access (shorter delay), less shipping expenses, easier transaction (purchase in Euro) and reliable (transaction secured and in Euro currency), for the entire catalog of Vaja cases.”

iPod Halloween Costume

picWell, we were wondering if someone was going to do this… and they did. A reader has submitted photos of his iPod Halloween costume. “I decided to go to the office Halloween party as something more Apple-like. And it won first prize!” It even has a built-in drink holder.

Amazon: 20GB iPod for $375 and 10GB for $284 with free shipping

Amazon is offering the new 20GB iPod for $375.24 and the new 10GB iPod for $284.04. Both qualify for free ground shipping.

iSKin eXo 2 for 1 extended until November 3

The eXo 2 for 1 has been extended until Monday, November 3rd to give a chance to those that are not sure if they want an eXo or Xskn. Details of the new Xskn case will be released this weekend. How to hold your eXo 2 for 1 order for 15days: submit an unpaid order on the www.lajo.biz site and it will be held in a database for 15 days before it is deleted.  If you decide that you want to complete your order just follow the instructions on the auto email that will be sent to you.

Custom iPod engraving for free at Apple

Dealmac: Apple offers free custom engraving, a $20 value, on all new iPods purchased at The Apple Store. Offer ends November 5, 2003.

NY Times: iTunes is best vs. the rest

“The best music store-jukebox is Apple’s iTunes, for a list of reasons as long as a Wagner opera. Its copying policies are by far the most liberal: unlimited iPod copies, unlimited burns to CD as long as you rearrange the song order after every 10 copies, easy re-authorizing. It’s the only service to offer pleasant extras like audio books (5,000), spending limits (are you listening, parents of teenagers?) and gift certificates.”

40GB iPod for $419 today only

Dealmac: A reader notes that Dell Home offers Apple’s 40GB iPod MP3 Player for $449.10 in its Software and Peripherals store. Coupon code “56BAD54168D2” chops $30 off, yielding a net price of $419.10. That’s $30 off our last mention and the best price we’ve seen. Shipping is free. Offer ends today.

iPod Bluetooth Audio Transmitter Early Next Year

ExtremeTech has revealed that XtremeMac will be releasing a Bluetooth adapter which will allow the iPod to “stream music from the player

New Burton iPod jackets and backpack

According to Japanese website A-bony, Burton are to release three new iPod jackets and a backpack. There are two men’s jackets, the Shield and Ronin 2L, one for the ladies, the Radar 2L, and the Amp Pack backpack are all expected to be announced November 1, 2003. Apple/Burton released the first model Amp Jacket at Macworld San Francisco in January 2003 and have since been discontinued. The new Burton jackets and Amp Pack use “SOFTswitch technology, which allows the iPod to be controlled through a soft, flexible control pad.” Photos and an illustration of the Amp Pack are available at the bottom of the A-bony website. We had an earlier report about the Amp Pack back in March 2003.

Window On Mac’s Musical World

The Age (Australia) has posted an interesting article about iTunes for Windows, not to mention, they even linked to us!

“While there [are] a couple of minor bugs in the Windows version (see the Windows forum at ilounge.com), and some annoyances - chiefly the fact that you cannot fully maximise the application - it makes the ripping and organising of music, including drag-and-drop creation of playlists and fast burning of CDs, absurdly simple.

We suspect that whether they own iPods or not, Windows users will be eager to try out a jukebox application that is not only powerful, simple and elegant, but also free. Once they experience that, they might start wondering what it would be like to have iMovie, iCal and the rest of the in-built applications you get with a Mac.”

Apple 40GB iPod for $450 shipped

Dealmac: A reader found that CircuitCity.com offers the Apple 40GB iPod MP3 player for $449.99 with free shipping. It’s the lowest total price we know to be available. (Target.com has the same price after a 10% off coupon but charges shipping.)

Apple Store 6th Anniversary Discounts

One of our forum members has noted that Apple is emailing some of its customers with a special Anniversary Promotion celebrating the 6th year of their online Apple Store.

“Thanks to your continuing support, we’re celebrating our sixth anniversary at the worldwide Apple Store. You’ve helped us grow into the premier online destination for Apple products, and the digital lifestyle accessories and software that make them even more useful and fun. Because you’re one of our loyal customers, we’re offering you this special discount of $XX off your order of $XXX or more when you shop online at the Apple Store by December 15, 2003. “

Discounts have not been consistent with one report of $25 off purchases above $250, and another $100 off purchases above $999. Customers are being emailed specific Claim Codes, so this offer is not available for the general public.

Standford Students rave over iTunes sharing service

“With a program for Macs and PCs that allows users to listen to the music of any iTuner who authorizes it and is on the same network, more Stanford students are jumping on the iTunes bandwagon. [...]

‘They have a super cool just-as-good-as-Mac version out now for Windows, ‘Wang said. ‘Once you get the program, you can access the MP3 music library of anyone on the local network (so it’s almost as good as downloading, but you don’t fill up your hard drive) and, oh yeah, it’s not illegal. Woohoo’”

Mossberg: Attack of the iPod Clones

“Now, however, a new generation of would-be iPod killers is hitting the market. And, after two years of studying Apple’s work, the makers of these new players are finally giving the iPod a run for its money. These products are nearly as small as the iPod, and have aped its widely admired user interface. Some have more features, and are less expensive. But are they as good as, or better, than the iPod?”

CNN: Rapper’s ‘bling bling’ stolen from Vegas

“Thieves made off with a rapper’s jewels and stole a pop star’s computer, cell phone and iPod, from their hotel rooms in Las Vegas where they were attending the 2003 Radio Music Awards, police and a spokeswoman said Tuesday.”

NY Times: Online Music Business, Neither Quick Nor Sure

“In the last decade a new record business has been forming online. It has been coalescing by trial and error, largely error. And its evolution is in no way complete as it moves toward a finish line at the rate of one step forward for every nine-tenths of a step back.”

Griffin iFire Now Shipping

Griffin Technology is now shipping the iFire Amp and Adaptor for Apple Pro Speakers.

“Griffin iFire allows any computer with FireWire or an iPod with its charger to connect and power the popular and stylish Apple Pro Speakers. Previously, only a few select models of Apple computers could use Apple Pro Speakers. Now with the Griffin iFire, even Apple Notebooks and the new G5 computers can connect and enjoy the Harman Kardon designed Apple Pro Speakers. The Griffin iFire retails for 39.99.”

Updated: Belkin responds to Media Reader file transfer issue

Brian VanHarlingen, Sr. Technology Manager for Belkin has submitted an official statement to iLounge regarding Belkin’s position on the Media Reader transfer issue.

A reader at dpreview.com has discovered that transferring large files from large capacity compact flash cards is a slow process. A 500MB file transferred from card to Media Reader took 22 minutes. Other transfer tests indicate slow speeds as well - about 1 minute to transfer a 20MB file at 0.300MB per second. Belkin has acknowledged that there is a problem with large file transfers. Belkin is said to be working with Apple to solve the problem. If it’s an hardware issue, Belkin says it will replace the units. If it’s a software issue, Apple will most likely release a firmware update.

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