Amplifying concerns raised by iLounge in a feature story last week, Apple Computer has attacked Sony’s claims that its upcoming Network Walkman devices hold more songs than comparably equipped iPods. “We’re disappointed that Sony, which is new to this market, has decided to make their first impression by attempting to mislead the press and customers,” Apple told The Wall Street Journal, explaining that Sony had used unrealistically low bit rate compression to fool readers into thinking that the Network Walkman holds more music than an iPod. In a separate interview with MacCentral, Apple’s Greg Joswiak noted that similar tricks would render the 20GB iPod capable of holding 40,000 songs, but “[t]hat’s something we would never claim because that’s just not something a customer would do.”
MacMinute is reporting that “IDG, the company behind Macworld and more than 300 other publications, will soon launch iPodworld—a magazine dedicated to Apple’s iPod, iTunes and iTunes Music Store. iPodworld will feature iPod and music news, previews of upcoming products, software and hardware reviews, digital lifestyle how-to articles, and reviews of music available from the iTunes Music Store. It is not yet clear whether the magazine, which will be available on newsstands in August, will be a single issue, quarterly or monthly. IDG and Mac Publishing also plan to launch and heavily promote an iPod news Web site to support the new magazine.”
In “This Is London”, Mark Prigg, Evening Standard Technology Correspondent writes: “The Government today issued a warning over internet “pyramid” selling scams as sites such as eBay are being targeted by con artists.
But the offers are usually a scam with extremely small print, which reveals that the buyer will not get an iPod but simply a link to a website where they must pay to join a waiting list.
The buyer will only get an iPod when they reach the top of the list - and they will only move up it by getting other people to join - a scam similar to the pyramid selling schemes popular in the Eighties.
But the chances of getting to the top of the list are very remote - and in some cases non-existent because many of the websites are fakes.”
The Mac Observer reports “for the sixth straight year, Apple Computer has taken home another I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review award, this time for its iPod packaging.
Calling Apple’s iPod packaging ‘flawless,’ ‘inventive,’ and ‘utterly consistent with what we’ve come to expect,’ the judges awarded Apple with a ‘design distinction’ accolade. The judges praised the packaging of the original, white iPod for its ‘egg-carton’ design that slowly reveals the product.”
“Companies should consider banning portable storage devices such as Apple’s iPod from corporate networks as they can be used to introduce malware or steal corporate data, according to an analyst.
Small portable storage products can bypass perimeter defences like firewalls and antivirus at the mailserver, and introduce malware such as Trojans or viruses onto company networks, claimed analyst Gartner in a report issued this week. Analysts have warned for some time of the dangers of using portable devices, but the report points out these also now include ‘disk-based MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, and digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks, compact flash and other memory media.’”
iPod Hacks reports that Tim Monroe, a member of Apple’s QuickTime engineering team, recently wrote a how-to article titled “Snow Day: Developing QuickTime Applications for the iPod” in the April 2004 issue (vol. 20, no. 4) of MacTech Magazine. “In the article, Tim dispells the widely held belief that the iPod is a closed system and that writing custom applications for the device requires expensive and hard to obtain development tools. As the reader is taken through the process of developing an application from the ground up that will perform QuickTime movie playback on the iPod’s screen, it becomes clear that the iPod is a viable development platform indeed.” Unfortunately, the article turned out to be nothing more than a late-arriving April Fools joke, but an amusing one nonetheless.
MacMinute reports Apple’s iPod “Silhouette” advertising campaign has won a Media Lion Award at the 51st annual Cannes Lions Festival, which celebrates the best in international advertising, marketing and creativity. The iPod campaign included TV, outdoor, print and in-store advertising and was honored in the “Young Adults (18-34)” category, reports Apple UK.
MacNewsWorld interviewed Dr. Michael Bull or “Professor iPod”, a lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK who is studying the cultural impact of iPods and other digital music technology. MNW asked Dr. Bull, “What kinds of questions did you ask the people who responded?” “I gave them a 32-page questionnaire that included questions about their playlist, what they like best about their iPod, what they don’t like. I asked how they listen to music, how they select music in relationship to mood, and about relationships they have to their environment and other people when they’re listening. I’m quite interested in how people manage their relationships through technology,” Dr. Bull also noted, “Nearly all are amazingly positive about the machine,” but the battery was a huge negative.
Jim Dalrymple of MacCentral.com talked with Apple and BMW executives about the recent release of an iPod integration adapter. “We are beginning a really big push into a world we all spend a lot of time in—our cars,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, told MacCentral. “So many people invest in great cars that have great stereos, but one thing they don’t have is access to their music library. Now you can put your iPod in your BMW or Mini and have all of your music everywhere you go.” Phil Schiller also noted that this is the first of many more partnerships.
“We know that a lot of BMW owners are people that achieve success early in life—they are work hard, play hard kind of people and they adopt new technologies that help them save time or empower them,” said Jim McDowell, vice president marketing BMW North America. “We knew when we saw the iPod come out that it was something that would appeal to a lot of BMW owners.”
Editor’s note: Apple and BMW claim to be the first to provide a complete in-car audio solution, but we beg to differ. Dension was the first company to offer iPod integration with their ICE-Link Auto Integration Kit, and it’s available for many car models.
Apple has been nominated for three Cannes Lions Awards at the 51st International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France. Apple is up for awards for its billboard announcement of Apple Store Ginza, Japan, its joint “Pod’s Unite” ad promotion with Volkswagen in the U.S., and its media marketing for the iPod and its billboard ads. “Over 16,000 ads from across the world are showcased at the event, which also offers seminars from industry leaders.”
“According to First Albany
MacMinute reports that “in an interview with Neil McIntosh of The Guardian, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that the iPod is no longer meant to lead PC users to switch to the Mac platform. ‘We brought the iPod to Windows. That was a big decision. That was basically a decision not to use the iPod to drive people to Macs,” Jobs said after Tuesday’s iTunes event in Europe. ‘We’re going to use it as a music device, and we’re going to put it on Windows. The majority of iPods we sell are used on Windows.’”
Apple knocked $20 off the factory-refurbished iPod 20GB to $279. 30GB and 40GB models were also dropped to $319 and $379, respectively. All come with a one-year warranty and shipping id free.
Yesterday we reported that a columnist at engadget.com had written a how-to on creating your own pirate radio station using a modified iTrip mini. Today we noticed on the boing boing blog that a reader was actually doing it from his car with an iTrip and his iPod. “I’ve been running around for the past several months with this bumper sticker on my car. It’s an ink-jet job and as you can see, it’s getting a little faded. I figure that anyone that can read the bumper sticker—on the I-5, at a stop light—if intrigued could tune in and listen to whatever I’m listening to.”
“A shareholder asked him about plans for a video iPod at the company’s annual meeting in April. He responded by paraphrasing a campaign slogan of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential election campaign, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’
‘It’s the music, stupid,’ Jobs said after a slight pause. Also, last week, Apple’s head of hardware product marketing Greg Joswiak told Reuters that Apple has no plans yet for a video iPod. [...]
‘Apple has good equity built up around the iPod brand,’ McGuire said. ‘They have to be careful about turning it into this digital-media Swiss Army knife that does a lot of things but none of them very well.’”
Speaking at today’s iTunes Music Store launch in London, England, Apple CEO Steve Jobs stated that Apple’s sale of 3,000,000 iPods as of March 2004 represents a fifty percent market share for the iPod and iPod mini formats. “We can’t make some of them fast enough,” Jobs added.
Jobs also touted the strength of the iPod’s accessory base, noting that “there’s a huge iPod economy, with 250 products out there.” Announcements regarding new iPod “in-car listening” accessories are coming “later this year,” said Jobs, and German site Macnews.de reported that a BMW was clearly visible in a projected slide.
iPod parody posters dubbed “iRaq” have gone bi-coastal since their recent debut in New York City. Several photos of the latest parody posters to hit the streets of Los Angeles include silhouetted figures holding various military weapons with the famous white cable attached; including a Russian AK-47 assault rifle, hand grenade and RPG grenade launcher. All posters are marked “10,000 Iraqis killed. 773 US soldiers dead.”
“The Magazine Publishers of America awarded TBWAChiatDay the $100,000 Grand Prize Kelly Award for its Apple iPod “Silhouette” campaign that shows people dancing with iPods against brightly colored backgrounds.
‘It demonstrated to people that you don’t have to spend a lot of time talking about features to get people to make a human connection with your product,’ said Mike Hughes, president of The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and a Kelly judge. ‘Also, one of the core values for Apple is design. To reinforce that without ever talking about it, just by art direction, is an incredibly smart and effective device.’”
“One word describes Apple’s sudden success with iPod and the iTunes Music Store: “Phenomenon.”
Apple’s early music success transcends technology features and is as much about basic human characteristics often overlooked by companies developing new products. The popularity of iPod and the iTunes Music Store offers interesting cultural lessons for Apple and its competitors. What is the measure of success? People.”