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Yahtzee released, Cubis 2 re-released as iPod Games

In addition to the re-release of Fresh Games’ Cubis 2, a fifth-generation iPod Game originally sold in 2006, the iTunes Store today added Electronic Arts’ Yahtzee to the roster of downloadable games available for the third-generation iPod nano, iPod classic, and fifth-generation iPod. Cubis 2 is a block-matching game with colorful backgrounds and user-selectable artwork, while Yahtzee is billed as “America’s all-time number one dice game,” where five dice are rolled at once to make matches. Both titles sell for $4.99.

Note: Both titles have temporarily disappeared from the iPod classic and iPod nano section of the iPod Games listing. We have posted a First Look at Yahtzee here.

Brazilian company hides iPod shuffles in popsicles

Brazilian ice cream company Kibon has announced a promotion in which it will give away 10,000 iPod shuffles, hidden away inside “propsicles.” “It works like this: the consumer buys an Fruttare popsicle which comes in 10 different fruit flavors,” Mentor Muniz Neto, creative director for Bullet Brazil, said, “and may find an iPod Shuffle inside the package.” When faced with the challenge of hiding the prizes, the company worked with Apple to design a fake popsicle that looks like the real thing, but safely holds the shuffle inside, even in freezing temperatures. “We developed a special prototype that emulates the real ice cream;” Neto says, “it protects the iPod from humidity, and it feels like the real ice cream. It is virtually impossible to fell the difference without opening the package.” In addition to the shuffle, winning packages also include an 800 number and a code, which can be used to obtain the shuffle’s Dock and manual. Kibon’s “iPod no palito” promotion will start on December 18.

First 2007 iPod shuffle unboxing photos, more posted

We’ve just posted unboxing photos of the new 2007 iPod shuffle color lineup. You can check out the collection through this link.

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Also added to the prior photo collection are numerous comparative shots of the new iPods and past models, including color comparisons between new and old shuffles, thickness comparisons between the original 5G iPod and the new 80GB iPod classic, some new iPod interface photographs, and more. Enjoy!

Apple releases iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2

Apple has released iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2, which can be used to restore first- and second-generation iPod shuffles back to their original factory settings when iTunes is unable to do so. All music and data on the iPod is erased during the restore process, and the most current iPod software is installed. iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2 is a free download from Apple’s support website and is available for Mac and PC.

Apple posts iPod Reset Utility 1.0

Apple has released iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 for both Mac and Windows. The software—which apparently replaces Apple’s iPod shuffle Reset Utility—lets users completely restore first-generation and second-generation iPod shuffles back to their factory settings “when iTunes is unable to do so.”

2G iPod shuffle knock-off being sold

The first clone of Apple’s second-generation iPod shuffle has made its way to market. The “Shuffle2-Style MP3 Player,” being sold by DealExtreme.com, appears to be nearly identical to Apple’s latest shuffle, sporting a colored aluminum enclosure, similar controls and dimensions, and built-in clip. A product description is not provided, but the knock-off player is available in two colors—red and black—for $18.89. An Apple-like “Shuffle II USB Data/Power Cradle” is being sold for $5.04. DealExtreme is also selling a second-generation iPod nano look-alike for only $26.50. Again, a product description is not given, but the “Nano2-Style MP4 Player 1G” appears to have an aluminum shell, color screen, and a click wheel-like control pad. A brand name for either player is not provided.

Apple 2G iPod shuffle wins design award

Apple’s second-generation iPod shuffle grabbed top honors for best consumer product design at the 2007 Design Week Awards. “We were in a quandary with Consumer Product Design,” says Sebastian Conran of Conran & Partners in announcing the winners. “Though there was a wide variety of interesting products, there was also a raft of entries from Apple’s design team, of which, though all were excellent, only the Shuffle was truly ‘new.’ It feels a bit unfair to all the other entries, which were mainly very good indeed, that Apple—with its relentless commitment to innovative and evolutionary design, and its attention to detail—should again win pole position. The Shuffle is a simple, beautifully executed concept with minimal, re-useable packaging that is fantastic value for money.”

SwimMan waterproofs iPod shuffle from inside out

SwimMan has taken a novel approach to waterproofing an iPod by doing so from the inside out. The company, using proprietary internal waterproofing technology, is selling altered second-generation iPod shuffles that are waterproof up to 10 feet below water. This alteration, according to the company, in no way impacts the outside of the player so that it can retain its original look. Customers can choose to buy the waterproofed shuffle on its own ($150), or bundled with SwimMan’s Waterproof Headset II ($250).

Colored shuffle gallery posted, in-store details added

iLounge has posted a full photo gallery showing off the newly colored second-generation iPod shuffles, along with comparison photographs against the same-colored iPod nanos, plus Proporta- and JAVOedge-branded colored shuffle shells designed to offer silver shuffle owners similar results. The new gallery is here.

Additionally, checks by iLounge at Apple Stores across the United States suggest that the new shuffles are still making their way into retail locations, with some stores already displaying the new models and others awaiting shipments later this afternoon or tomorrow. If you are considering the purchase of a silver shuffle, and are concerned about purchasing the newer version - with its superior included earphones - rather than the older one, look for a silver shuffle in a box with gray printing, rather than green printing. All five of the new iPod shuffles come in gray-printed boxes, leaving the classic green shuffle coloration behind.

Apple unveils iPod shuffle in four new colors (updated)

Apple today announced that its second-generation iPod shuffle is now available in four new colors—blue, pink, green, and for the first time in iPod history, orange—in addition to the original silver. Like the iPod shuffle introduced last year, the new models feature 1GB of flash memory storage, an aluminum design with a built-in clip, and weigh just half an ounce. However, they are now packaged with Apple’s most recently updated iPod Earphones, rather than the predecessor model that shipped with prior shuffles. The new iPod shuffle is available immediately worldwide for $79.

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Update: iLounge this morning posed several new iPod shuffle questions to Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak; the answers can be found below.

Update 2: iLounge’s editors are weighing in on the new shuffle lineup in this Editorial. What do you think?

Luxpro wins legal battle with Apple, plans to countersue for $100m

Luxpro, the Taiwan-based company known for its iPod shuffle knock-off, says it has won a lawsuit filed against it by Apple, and now plans to countersue the iPod maker for $100 million in damages. “We plan to sue Apple in a Taiwanese court before the end of the month and demand $100 million in compensation for the revenues we have lost due to their abuse of their global power,” Wu Fu-chin, Luxpro chairman, told the Financial Times.

In early 2005, Luxpro introduced a digital audio player that was nearly indistinguishable from Apple’s first-generation iPod shuffle. The Super Shuffle, later renamed the Super Tangent, had the same measurements, weight and overall design—including the control pad, backside slider switches and USB port cover—of the iPod shuffle. It also came in 512MB and 1GB sizes like the Apple player.

In August 2005, Apple sought and received an injunction to stop sales of the Luxpro player from the Shihlin District Court in Taipei. Luxpro appealed and won subsequent lawsuits in the Taiwan High Court and the Taiwan Supreme Court. Last month, the Shihlin District Court lifted the original injunction, stating that “the appearances of the two products are significantly dissimilar.”

Apple airs new iPod shuffle commercial

Apple began airing a new iPod shuffle TV commercial last night during primetime. The 30-second spot features numerous people putting on different shirts and jackets and attaching a new second-generation iPod shuffle to them. The commercial features the song “Who’s Gonna Sing” by The Prototypes and ends with the tagline “Put some music on.”

Apple releases 1.0.1 Update for iPod shuffle (2G)

Apparently only available for PC users at this time, Apple Computer has released a version 1.0.1 Software Update for the second-generation iPod shuffle, available via iTunes 7.0.2. According to the notes accompanying the download, version 1.0.1 includes inspecific “bug fixes,” and nothing else. As of the time of posting, it does not yet appear as an update for Macintosh users of the new shuffle.

Updated: The Update appears for both PC and Mac shuffle 2G users, however, you may have to “restore” the shuffle in order for the update to appear in iTunes.

New iPod shuffle arrives; old earphones, weak clip? (Updated)

Updated: See our higher-resolution iPod shuffle (Second-Generation) unpacking gallery here, and freshly updated First Look here.

iLounge readers have started to report the arrival of their second-generation iPod shuffles, and have noted two semi-surprises so far: unlike the iPod shuffles that were demonstrated at Apple’s “It’s Showtime” press event in September, actually shipping models are packaged with Apple’s older, less comfortable earphones rather than the newer, better ones found in current iPod and iPod nano boxes. Official Apple images of the new shuffle published since the event have included the older earbuds, confusing numerous attendees who tried the shuffle along with the improved earbuds. One reader has also reported that the integrated clip is “very weak,” and “won’t hang from a shirt while running,” suggesting that even if the iPod can be attached to clothes for casual use, additional athletic accessories will most likely be needed to render the shuffle safe for active users to wear. Expect additional details as the day progresses, including updates to our extended First Look at the new shuffle.

New iPod shuffle available worldwide this Friday

Apple today announced that its new second-generation iPod shuffle will be available in Apple retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers this Friday, November 3rd. Announced at Apple’s “Showtime” event last month, the new shuffle is nearly half the size of the original model, weighs half an ounce and features an all-new aluminum design with a built-in clip. The new shuffle, which Apple calls “the world’s smallest digital music player,” offers 1GB of storage, which holds up to 240 songs, and is priced at $79. We reported yesterday that pre-orders for the shuffle began shipping over the weekend.

2G iPod shuffle now shipping

Meeting its self-imposed October deadline, Apple has begun shipping its new second-generation iPod shuffle. A number of customers who pre-ordered the tiny device, which was announced last month at a special event, began receiving shipping notices over the weekend. iLounge’s package tracking number shows that the shuffle is shipping directly from Apple’s manufacturing partners in China, and that it is expected to arrive before the end of the week. As of this morning, Apple retail stores still did not have any 2G shuffles in stock, though stores are expected to have them any day.

Apple releases update to fix ailing iPod shuffles

Apple today posted iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 for both Mac and Windows. The long-overdue software update fixes a number of widespread issues affecting 512MB and 1GB first-generation iPod shuffle models. The update will completely erase all music and data and reinstalls software version 1.1.4 on affected shuffles. According to Apple, iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 fixes the following issues:

With the iPod shuffle switched on, pressing the Play button will cause amber and green LEDs to flash for a few seconds, and the unit will not play any music, nor can you sync music to it from iTunes.

On a Windows PC, iPod shuffle will appear in My Computer as a “Removable Disk,” however the iPod shuffle volume will not mount correctly. The unit is listed in Device Manager under “Disk Drives” as “Apple iPod USB Device.”

On a Mac, the unit will only be recognized in Apple System Profiler under Hardware -> USB and will not appear or mount in the Finder.

When attempting to restore, the unit may not be recognized at all. However, if it is recognized, the restore may fail with an error dialog “Firmware update failure. Disk write error” or another error. It may take 3 restore attempts before the error appears. Note: iPod shuffle may take several minutes to be recognized.

Apple: New iPod shuffle still on track for October release

During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call, Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook reaffirmed that the second-generation iPod shuffle would ship to customers and stores before the end of the month.

“We will ship by the end of October,” Cook said, later adding, “We’re excited to get shipments underway in a couple weeks.” Cook said customer reception was excellent and that “demand [for iPods generally] accelerated significantly after the launch,” adding that “it was that acceleration that allowed us to exceed expectations for the quarter.”

Apple introduced the new shuffle at a special event on September 12th. The shuffle, which Apple calls “the world’s smallest digital music player,” features an all-new aluminum design and is roughly half the size of the original shuffle. It offers 1GB of storage and sells for $79.

Apple announces new ultra-tiny iPod shuffle

Apple today introduced the new iPod shuffle, which the company now calls the world’s smallest digital music player. The new shuffle, which is nearly half the size of the original, weighs half an ounce and features a new aluminum design with built-in clip. The new shuffle offers 1GB of music storage, features up to 12 hours of battery life, and includes earbud headphones and an iPod shuffle Dock. The new iPod shuffle is expected to be available worldwide in October for $79. “It’s hard to believe the new iPod is a real music player when you first see it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “But it is real, and holds up to 240 songs in an incredibly compact and wearable design that weighs just half an ounce.”

SigmaTel to keep iPod shuffle socket, Samsung ‘punished’

SigmaTel will likely remain the chip supplier for Apple’s iPod shuffle, after a Samsung executive revealed publicly that the company had won a contract to supply chips in future iPods. According to Wedbush Morgan Securities, Apple may be “punishing” Samsung for the leaked news by keeping SigmaTel as the iPod shuffle chip supplier. “It is not surprising that Apple would ‘punish’ Samsung for commenting publicly about its position within the iPod Nano follow-on, and we believe that SigmaTel is likely to be the resulting beneficiary of the Samsung executive’s gaffe,” wrote analyst Craig Berger in a report Tuesday.

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