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iPod to support Windows Media Audio?

Connected Home Magazine’s Paul Thurrott predicts the recently announced Apple/HP partnership will bring Microsoft’s WMA format to the iPod.

“HP’s blockbuster deal with Apple will have one exciting side effect. The company will be working with Apple to add support for Microsoft’s superior Windows Media Audio (WMA) format to the iPod by mid-year. You heard it here first.”

Businesses spring to life around iPod

Ellen Lee for Contra Costa Times has written an article about the cottage industry which has spawned from the creation of the iPod - well known accessory makers DLO, Ten Technology, and Speck Products were mentioned.

“The iPod was the ubiquitous item at last week’s annual Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Manning the floor were no less than a dozen exhibitors piggy-backing on the growing popularity of the iPod, selling accessories such as rainbow-colored “skins” to clothe the device and an add-on by Belkin to convert the iPod into a voice recorder.”

iPod-based ‘HP Digital Music Player’ unveiled

As noted by MacMinute, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has unveiled the new iPod-based “HP Digital Music Player” at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The device is light blue in color and has an “HP” logo on the back. Firoina said it is “the first and only one” in existence. HP and Apple announced a partnership yesterday to deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple’s iPod, which is expected to ship this summer. CNET has a short video of Fiorina introducing the device at CES.

CNET: HP, Apple harmonize on iPod

“‘Apple will manufacture the player, which will not have the iPod name but will have the same design and features as Apple’s third-generation iPod players, Phil Schiller, senior vice president at Apple, said in an interview. Also, the HP music player will come in “HP Blue,” he said.

“The way we look at it, HP will be reselling an iPod device,” said Schiller, who noted that the device will display the Apple logo at start-up and will work with all of the accessories made for the white-hued Apple varieties. [...]

The deal with HP involves only the traditional iPod design and not thenew iPod Mini models, which use a 1-inch hard drive that has 4GB of storage, Schiller said; though, he added, that’s “obviously something we can look at in the future.”

Schiller would not say whether Apple may look to craft similar deals with other computer or electronics makers. While that part of the deal is not exclusive, Schiller said HP’s promotion of the iTunes Music Store through its PCs is a “multiyear, exclusive” deal.”

Another iPod lawsuit on the horizon

It seems another lawsuit is on the horizon regarding iPod batteries - this time out of Florida.

“In the last year, many iPod owners got bad news after their iPods

BusinessWeek: A maxiPrice for Apple’s miniPod

“Macheads witnessed a Cube moment the other day at MacWorld San Francisco when Jobs trotted out the new iPod mini as a highlight of his much anticipated keynote speech. It’s an iPod that comes in many bright, funky colors. The miniPod, as it’s already being called, has far less capacity than the previous versions, but it costs about the same (only $50 less the previous lowest-price model). And it weighs just three ounces less than the heftier iPods. [...]

Even Jobs’s Jedi-esque powers of reality dispersion can’t alter the unfavorable math behind Apple’s new offering. Here are the hard numbers. The new miniPod will cost $249. That’s about $100 more than the rumor sites had posited. It will offer 4 gigabytes of capacity on its hard drive. By comparison, the entry-level iPod now costs $299 and has 15 gigabytes of disk space. The miniPod’s cost per gigabyte is $62.50. In the entry-level iPod, it’s about $20.”

The Age: Owners and iPods: a love story with the sweetest sounds

“In a world increasingly absorbed by digital entertainment, an electronic phenomenon called the Apple iPod reigns as king of right-in-yer-ear mobile music. Its significance is not in the clarity of its pop tune delivery but the speed with which it has created a series of flourishing new enterprises.

Suddenly there is a new multibillion-dollar industry. More than 50 accessories are available for the tiny white MP3 music player - skins as funky as those made for mobile phones, ear buds, holsters, microphones, FM transmitters - and much else.”

Editor’s note: The Age states iLounge attracts 4 million unique visitors per month, but it should read 3.5 - 4 million page views per month.

MacMinute: WSJ: Apple to introduce cheaper iPod

“The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) is reporting that Apple will introduce a new, low-cost iPod later today. However, the price the publication expects—US$200—is “more than the $100 figure that has circulated on Apple rumor Web sites in recent weeks,” but “it’s still a sharp enough markdown that Apple hopes will attract a much larger audience of music and gadget lovers.” A $200 iPod would likely offer profit margins in the “single-digits or low double-digits” compared with profit margins ranging from 20 percent to 45 percent for its higher-end models, says Charlie Wolf, an analyst at brokerage firm Needham & Co.”

iPod ads “do a terrific job of seducing and selling”

“That fact was borne out in the results of Ad Track, USA TODAY’s weekly consumer survey. While iPod has a somewhat narrower potential audience than many products, 19% of consumers familiar with the ads like them “a lot,” about the Ad Track overall average of 21%. And 20% consider the ads “very effective” vs. the average of 21%.

The ads’ appeal ranged across age groups. Though they were most popular with 25- to 29-year olds (29% like the ads “a lot”), 19% of consumers ages 50 to 64 gave them the top mark. Just 2% of those over 65 like the ads “a lot,” however.”

AppleMatters: Next To The iPod Everything Else Is Ugly

“There are other products out there that do what the iPod does and for less. Check out the specs on the iRiver iHP-120. It has a similar shape to the iPod but comes with a built in FM radio, 16 hour battery, can play way more formats than the iPod (MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV, and OGG), has optical input and output for recording music directly to it and a built in voice recorder!”

DJs look to iPod as the next turntable?

“The biggest advantage DJs have already discovered is the iPod’s size. “Vinyl” DJs have to lug heavy boxes containing hundreds of albums. But many are taking up the iPod music player, which can hold 1,000 digitised albums in a package smaller than a cigarette packet. [...]

But does the iPod embody the future of DJing, given that unlike vinyl, it is supremely portable yet unshowy? Mr Gower is circumspect. “It’s an alternative - both this and vinyl can exist simultaneously,” he said. “A few years ago people said vinyl was dead, but we’re actually seeing more being pressed today than then.”

But with the number of iPods and other digital players doing nothing but rise, it could be that at future raves, the man or woman at the front will be waving a white gadget in the air as it plays. And you could never have done that with a record.”

Robert X. Cringely predicts cheaper iPods and video iPod for 2004

Robert X. Cringley, best-selling author and writer for PBS has posted his predictions for 2004.

“What IS guaranteed is that Apple will introduce a cheaper iPod using flash memory instead of a hard drive. Oh, and for next Christmas expect a video iPod, which is essentially a hard drive with a dedicated DV encoder/decoder and a FireWire interface. You’ll be able to record video direct to the hard drive then edit from that same drive, completely eliminating tape. The logical follow-on from Apple would be a complete QuickTime video camera, but I don’t see that until 2005.”

Apple retailer says mini iPod is true?

A recent article states, “sources at an Apple retailer in Los Angeles tell that the rumors of the new budget priced iPod are completely true. Apple has not made any official statements on the matter, as they tend to prefer to make their new product announcements public at MacWorld.”

‘Poddies’ speak up about their favorite music player

It was the must-have Christmas gift of 2003: a gadget that stores your favourite 10,000 tunes and looks incredibly cool, too. So why do people become such bores when they get one? Stephen Moss on the invasion of the Poddies. [...]

Poddies radiate joy - the joy of first love or true belief. “I love my iPod,” says Gareth. “It’s changed my life. Mine’s a 30-gigabyte [already superseded by the 40-gig, note] and holds seven and a half thousand songs. I’ve downloaded 6,000 - the soundtrack of my whole life.”

Half an iPod

Macrumors reports that an interesting photo has appeared at It seems that their web designer has ‘over’ edited a product photo of the ‘iPod in Dock’ to the point where there is no LCD display.

Give me money to buy an iPod

UK resident Geoff really wants an iPod. So he’s simply asking you to give him money so he can buy one. His website is complete with photos of people handing him money as well as statistics on money collected, how it was contributed, contributors sex and more.

“Surely this can’t be done can it? I’m trying to convince five hundred people to just give me 50p each, so that I can raise

The Mac Night Owl asks, “Does a Cheap iPod Make Sense?”

“But the pricing calculations appear to be skewed. Today’s cheapest iPod sells for $299 and carries a 10GB hard drive. Can you really believe that a 4GB version would sell for a third of that price? And if it did, how many folks would still plunk down a lot more cash for the bigger models, unless, of course, Apple added some extra features, such as video display and a color LCD.

Regardless of what Steve Jobs pulls out of his top hat, I am skeptical of a version with flash memory for one simple reason: It’s too expensive. Take a look at the price of, say, a 256MB flash card for your digital camera. I’ve seen retail prices in the $40 range, after rebate, but that’s the low-end. Double that capacity and scale it upward appropriately. So how much do you really expect a full-fledged music player with flash memory of reasonable capacity to cost, especially one as carefully crafted as an iPod?”

Mini iPods not likely

“Don’t count on seeing dramatically smaller or cheaper iPod music players in the new year, despite Internet rumors that Apple Computer will announce them next week in San Francisco.

For Apple CEO Steve Jobs to introduce such a product during his speech Tuesday at Macworld Conference & Expo, Apple would have to either unveil a breakthrough hard drive technology, begin selling iPods based on the same flash memory storage cards that many digital cameras use, or adopt a new small drive made by Cornice.”

Mini iPod Roundup

As we draw closer to Macworld 2004, many major news outlets are now reporting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will announce low cost, mini iPods during his Keynote Presentation. The following is a roundup of articles with varying details about the mini iPod. In the Scotsman newspaper report “New smaller iPod is going for a song” states “Apple has announced it is unveiling a smaller version which will cost around

Apple and iPod in Yahoo Top 2003 Searches

Apple has made the Yahoo Top 2003 Searches twice. No other company or product made it to the list. The iPod is listed #6 in the

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