Microsoft is apparently preparing to battle the iPod. Not satisfied with decimating the Macintosh with undercut pricing (and, admittedly, a more sound distribution model) Microsoft wants the iPod to have a more Apple-like 5 percent market-share.
But will it work? Yes, and no…
The Vodafone cell phone company has broadcast a TV commercial in Japan that portrays a woman using white iPod earbuds to listen to her music-capable cell phone. It is a conclusive sign that other manufacturers are trying to “cash in” on the coolness of the white earbuds. The phone itself actually ships with cheap silver-and-black headphones, not the white earbuds used in the commercial (which are clearly iPod earbuds).
iPodLibrary.com, a new repository for “podBooks” created for iPod has launched. “podBooks are cool, instant “books” that can be accessed on your iPod using the Note Reader. Ideally suited to reference, sports and music info, guides and so-on, we now aim to make them available here at iPodLibrary.com - and also aim to encourage as many people as possible to author their own and to submit them for distribution. All kinds of arcane and fun topics would work well.” The site encourages the creation and sharing of podBooks with a how-to guide to get you started.
Gizmodo reports that a reader has spotted several iPod parody ads in New York City commenting on the recent Iraqi prisoner-abuse scandal. The ad depicts the silhouette of a hooded prisoner hooked up to electric wires. The tagline reads, “10,000 volts in your pocket, guilty or innocent” and says iRaq instead of iPod in the upper right corner.
Dennis Sellers, senior editor for MacMinute.com has published an editorial on the recent news of Apple’s new iPod division on his website Macsimum Perspective. In it he states, “All things considered, the split should be a good thing. The iPod is a tremendous contributor to Apple
LoadPod has launched as a new service that takes an iPod user’s entire CD collection and rips it into their iPod for them…so that they don’t have to. LoadPod currently offers local service in several areas including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Houston, Indianapolis, South Carolina, and Minneapolis, and is bringing local service to new markets daily. LoadPod will pick up a customer’s iPod or iPod mini, along with their CD collection, from their home or place of work, and then return it to them within five days, fully ripped and loaded…allowing customers to use their time for more valuable things.
Dealmac: Amazon.com offers the iPod 40GB MP3 player, with dock and carrying case, for $463.14, as a reader found. With free shipping and no sales tax charged in most locations, that’s the lowest total price we know to be available.
“Forget the $200 iPod bag from Gucci; it’s for cheapskates.
The ultimate iPod accessory is Fendi’s Juke Box, a $1,500 carrying case for transporting multiple iPods.
The bag, unveiled by the Italian fashion house at a catwalk show in Milan, is a rectangular gilded purse about the size of a bread bin. It is lined with multicolored cloth and incorporates a pocket for holding up to a dozen iPods
‘It’s a hot gadget right now, and these designers don’t want to miss the boat,’ said Janet Ozzard, executive editor of Style.com, the online home of Vogue and W.”
Apple would profit nicely from spinning out its digital music biz now—before the market gets"commoditized, which it will be for sure. [...]
All of this makes Apple a force to be reckoned with in the music business. In fact, its musical offerings have almost single-handedly driven Apple’s stock within striking distance of $30 (it was trading around $26 as of May 4). [...]
For Apple, the best move right now is to spin out iPod and pocket the cash, because Wall Street’s current euphoria marks the market’s peak. Although Apple would be loath to admit it, digital music players are on the verge of commoditization.”
“Apple has sold more than 3 million of its sleek iPods, taking nearly 50 percent of the market for digital music players, and its iTunes online music store claims 70 percent of all songs bought online. [...]
‘Apple’s pretty far ahead,” said Stephen Baker, an analyst at market research firm NPD Group. “Up until iTunes, the music industry had struggled with what the business model for online music would be.’ [...]
‘How many people need $400 music players?’ Baker said, predicting that Apple will need to look at iPod’s cost relative to competitors before much longer. Since Apple can still sell just about every iPod it makes, it would be ‘ridiculous to cut prices now,’ he said.
‘But I would argue that in the next 12 months, with increased competition, that would change,’ Bajarin said.”
Apple has begun airing a new iPod+iTunes commercial titled, “Wild Postings” on TV this evening. The ad features a young guy walking out of an apartment building listening to his iPod, then walking past a wall of animated posters featuring the now famous black silhouettes. The song in the new commercial is “Ride” by The Vines. Apple has posted the QuickTime version for online viewing.
Apple has posted a Knowledge Base document outlining a possible fix for when the iPod does not appear in the iPod Updater (v2.2 2004-04-28) or iTunes. “Under some circumstances, iPod appears in the Finder in Mac OS X, but does not appear in the iTunes Source list or does not appear in the iPod Updater.” Several iLounge forum members have reported having the same problem.
“Apple Computer said Thursday that it is investigating reports that some iPod owners have had trouble updating their devices to take advantage of the company’s latest version of its iTunes jukebox software.
The Mac maker on Wednesday released an iPod software update in conjunction with its enhancement of iTunes. The iPod software is required for iPods to take advantage of the new features of iTunes 4.5 and the iTunes Music Store. However, a number of iPod owners say that when they run the software that is supposed to upgrade their devices, the software cannot detect their iPod.”
iPod Update 2004-04-28 supports all models of iPod and iPod mini introduced before April 28, 2004. This update is required to take advantage of new features in iTunes 4.5 and the iTunes Music Store.
Changes for iPod without a Dock connector
Compatibility with iTunes 4.5 and the iTunes Music Store
Improved playback performance
Changes for iPod with a Dock connector and iPod mini
Compatibility with iTunes 4.5 and the iTunes Music Store
Improved playback performance
Support for the Apple Lossless Encoder, to enable compressed music encoding at high quality
“According to the Times, ‘(The iPod) was put together starting in 2001 by hardware designers led by Tony Fadell, a young engineer who had worked at the Apple spinoff General Magic, at Philips Electronics and briefly at RealNetworks, led by Rob Glaser, who has developed the Rhapsody music service.’
So, Fadell designed the iPod as an independent contractor and shopped it to Apple, which hired him to bring it to market. How he did it was spelled out in Electronics Design Chain Magazine, though the article makes no reference to Fadell.”
“STROLL the corridors and the atriums on Apple Computer’s corporate campus these days and you will notice that something is missing. Gone are the posters and graphics accenting the company’s sleek personal computers. In their place, in the main lobby, is a striking, three-story-high billboard celebrating Steven P. Jobs’s brand-new billion-dollar consumer electronics business - the iPod digital MP3 music player. [...]
Apple says it developed the iPod in just six months, faster than any major product in the company’s history. The hand-held device, which contains more computing power than an early Macintosh, was put together starting in 2001 by hardware designers led by Tony Fadell, a young engineer who had worked at the Apple spinoff General Magic, at Philips Electronics and briefly at RealNetworks, led by Rob Glaser, who has developed the Rhapsody music service.”
“Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs publicly dismissed on Thursday an overture from RealNetworks to open up the iPod, saying such a move does not make business sense.
Speaking at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting here, Jobs said there would be both an initial and ongoing cost to allowing the iPod to work with other music services.
‘To be honest, it’s just not worth it,’ Jobs said, noting that RealNetworks has made a number of overtures to Apple and adding that Real’s music service has been ‘less than successful.’”
A new German iPod website, iPod-news.de, has been launched. Dirk Ellenbeck, Editor-in-cheif at iPod-news.de said, “Until now there was no German speaking news-service just for iPod users and potential iPod buyers. With the new internet-site iPod-news.de this has come to an end. Finally all German speaking users can inform themselves extensively and up to date about all topics around the popular digital music player from Apple. As a platform-independent news service iPod-news.de includes all systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux also in it
Fashion guru, Karl Lagerfeld admitted in the French magazine “Elle” that he owned 40 iPods. The English translation reads: “These sweats are for someone that never jogs [talking about the clothes in the picture] even if the metal grey color is very chic, it is not for me. However, I love iPod, I have fourty of them. I recorded all the music I love on them.” MacBidouille states, “40 iPods, that is a maximum of about 1.5 TB (terabytes) of music, or roughly US$400,000 at the iTunes Music Store. That is, of course if Apple can provide that much music.”