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iPod Envy and Subculture

Vern Seward for The Mac Observer describes his iPod envy and the subculture that drives it.

“I know, I know… I had intended to buy one when the prices got to around US$200. The price of a new iPod still isn’t there yet, but there have beenlots of decent refurb models around for well under US$200. In fact, I bought my son one for his birthday; a spiffy 10 gigger. I think he likes it, at least, he says he does. Toby lives in Southern CA so we don’t see each other much and I don’t know for sure if he’s really using it or just saying so to be nice to his old man. If he’s not, he’s really missing the boat; there seems to be a California-esque subculture growing around the iPod that he, and I, are missing out on. I’ve had several experiences recently that will illustrate what I mean:”

NYTimes: The Guts of a New Machine

Rob Walker for the New York Times Magazine has written an extensive article (6 web pages) on all things iPod - past and present. The article touches on the cult of iPod, the design - inside and out with Apple’s Jonathan Ives, the system, the competition, comments from Steve Jobs and more.

“Two years ago this month, Apple Computer released a small, sleek-looking device it called the iPod. A digital music player, it weighed just 6.5 ounces and held about 1,000 songs. There were small MP3 players around at the time, and there were players that could hold a lot of music. But if the crucial equation is ‘‘largest number of songs’’ divided by ‘‘smallest physical space,’’ the iPod seemed untouchable.”

Update: iPod’s Dirty Secret Secret Revealed

Dave Shroeder has emailed us in his own words about the events that took place between the Neistat brothers and himself. Click ‘Read more’ to read the letter.

According to Dave Shroeder, the Neistat brothers (producers of the iPod’s Dirty Secret movie) had no intent on letting people know that there were solutions available for replacing the battery in iPods. Dave had provided the Neistat brothers with a mirror (server space) for their website, ipodsdirtysecret.com, to host their now infamous movie. Dave did this with one condition, that they place a link to Apple’s iPod Battery Service along with the movie. At first the Neistat brothers agreed, but then never posted a link to Apple’s website. Dave has since removed the mirror to the website and has posted a text file containing the email conversations that took place between Dave and Casey Neistat. Dave told us, “Please spread the word on these brothers who’d rather spread lies than the truth.”

Macworld UK: UK Apple chief’s iPod retail push

Macworld UK talks with Apple’s UK general manager Mark Rogers on digital media’s future and the iPod’s push into several UK retail stores, including 165 Virgin music shops.

“‘Many interesting things are going to happen in the whole digital media area,’ Apple

iPod named Stereophile’s Editor’s Choice and Budget Product of the Year

In its December 2003 issue, Stereophile magazine has named the iPod as the Editor’s Choice and Budget Product of the Year. Our informant, Bill S. notes that the Editor’s Choice ‘usually goes to $30K CD players and so forth.’ Click ‘Read more’ for an excerpt from Stereophile magazine.

Why you can’t hear Jet on an iPod

Unfortunately, iPod’s in Australia are etchnically in breach of copyright if you copy CD’s to them! Plus, iTunes music service is not available in Australia anytime soon.

A Healthy Way to Win an iPod (and More!)

For all those Aussies and Kiwis that seem to be excluded from any competitions to win an iPod (as they are based in US), we now get a healthy option! Blackmores is offering one of 3 Canon Digital Video Cameras, 5 10GB iPods, and 10 World Music Chill Out CD Packs to winners of a simple and fun quiz. Competition closes 12th Dec 2003. Good Luck!

AppleCare for the iPod at $55

Dealmac: Small Dog Electronics has the lowest price we know to be available for the new AppleCare Protection Plan for iPods, which extends the warranty coverage and phone support to two years from the date of purchase. It charges $55, $4 less than Apple.

iRonic iPod T-shirts

Kevin Muoio informs us of his line of iPod t-shirts which simply display a line of text which reads ‘ask me about my iPod.’ and another that reads ‘i own an iPod.’ Each design is available on several shirt styles/colors and start at $19.

Apple Launches AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod

“Every iPod comes standard with 90 days of phone support and one year of hardware service coverage. The AppleCare Protection Plan ($59) extends your service and support coverage for your iPod, its included accessories, and iTunes software for up to two years from the original purchase date of your iPod. With this plan, you get direct access to Apple experts for answers by phone2 and anytime access to web-based resources.3 If your iPod or the included accessories should need service, Apple-certified technicians will repair it or provide a replacement using genuine Apple parts.”

Key Features:

  • Extends telephone support from 90 days to up to two years

  • Extends hardware coverage from one year to up to two years

  • Provides expert support for both Mac and Windows users

  • Wired News: Feel Free to Jack Into My iPod

    Leander Kahney for Wired News writes about the ‘jack sharing’ phenomenon reported earlier on iLounge. In his story Kahney talks to Steve Crandall (known as ‘esc’ in the iLounge forums) about his recent experience with ‘jack sharing’ in his hometwon in New Jersey. The story goes on to expose other ‘jack sharing’ locales, including Cambridge, UK.

    “‘She walked right up to me and got within my comfort field,’ Crandall stammered. ‘I was taken aback. She pulled out the earbuds on her iPod and indicated the jack with her eyes.’

    Warily unplugging his own earbuds, Crandall gingerly plugged them into the woman’s iPod, and was greeted by a rush of techno.

    ‘We listened for about 30 seconds,’ Crandall said. “No words were exchanged. We nodded and walked off.’”

    iPod named ‘best of class’ at MacUser Awards 2003

    “Apple again was the star at the UK’s most prestigious Mac awards, picking up six Maxines, one more than it garnered last year.

    The 20in Cinema Display, 40GB iPod, Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack all claimed the ‘best in their class’ gong while the Power Mac G5 was given the Readers’ Award for Hardware of the Year and the Special Award for Product of the Year.”

    Seattle Weekly: iPod As iGod

    “‘God is a DJ,’ goes a popular dance-music catchphrase. That line was written long enough ago that it fails to account for a few new facts

    Why the iPod Should Play Windows Media Audio

    Like the age-old battle between the Beta format and the VHS format we are at the very beginnings of a digital media battle…. The solution? Apple should avoid the potential of becoming the Beta by having the iPod able to play WMA files.

    iPod helped to make Lord of the Rings

    The newly released Extended Edition of the Two Towers DVD has a documentary which describes how, when in London, the digital artists would copy information sent from New Zealand to their iPods and take them home to work on the data.

    They had set up a ‘fat pipe’ link from NZ to the UK to send each day’s work to the director, Peter Jackson for him to review. However the connection would not function in his home and so they had to travel to the nearest access point and copy the information to an iPod.

    iPod ‘jack sharing’

    An interesting topic had been posted by iLounger ‘esc’ in the forums about iPod ‘jack sharing’ whereby people share their iPod music in impromptu meetings. Are you ‘jack sharing?’ Tell us about it.

    “I’m seeing an interesting iPod behavior around here (central New Jersey). I take a 3 mile walk most evenings and regularly pass a few other iPod owners. About two months ago one of the iPod users stopped, pulled out her headphone jack and offered it to me. I did the same and we listened to each other’s music for about a minute before going on. Within a few days all of the iPod users were doing it and it continues to be a standard greeting.”

    Sumajin Announces Smartwrap Headphone Cord Manager

    picSmartwrap, winner of ID magazine’s Design Distinction award, is a cord manager for headphone cables designed and developed by Sumajin, an industrial design firm in Singapore. You snap the cord into place at one of two places then wrap and snap into place again. Smartwraps come in seven colors and are produced in limited quantities. Sumajin is now accepting orders via email as they get their online ordering system ready. Each Smartwrap is $5 plus $5 shipping and takes up to 14 days to arrive. Sumajin also makes the fun and playful Flex Champion, a small gadget in the shape a person flexing its muscles overhead. It can be used on keychains, bags, zippers, etc. Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more info. Click ‘Read more’ for photos.

    ZDNet UK: Microsoft CTO lauds BlackBerry, iPod

    “Microsoft’s chief technology officer this week eulogised over the Blackberry email device and Apple iPod in front of an audience of IT directors and developers. In addition to owning a Blackberry and loving the iPod, David Vaskevitch said he always carries a digital camera, but he

    Apple offers iPod Battery Service for $99

    Apple is now offering a Battery Replacement program that includes iPods over a year old. “Battery Service: $99.00 USD: labor, parts, and a 90-day guarantee on materials and workmanship, plus $6.95 shipping. $105.95 USD total.” This service is not yet available for Europe. Check this FAQ for more information on cheaper battery replacement alternatives.

    Apple Launches iPodRocks.com

    Apple has launched a special holiday shopping site for iPod featuring several animations of the iPod, and sections include What’s an iPod?, How does it work?, Convince your parents and Where to buy. The Convince your parents section is particulalry humorus as Apple lists several ways for you to ask your parents for an iPod; Ask nicely, Stake your grades on it, Do a good deed and Subliminal advertising.

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