Apple today introduced the new iPod, the fourth generation of the world’s number one portable digital music player, featuring Apple’s patent pending Click Wheel, which combines the smooth and continuous scrolling of a touch-sensitive wheel with five push buttons for superior one handed navigation. The new iPod also features up to 12 hours battery life and Shuffle Songs, a new command in the main menu which gives users instant access to one of the most exciting new ways to listen to their music library. All iPods work effortlessly with Apple’s iTunes, providing music fans with the best digital jukebox on either a Mac or Windows computer and access to the iTunes Music Store, the number one digital music service in the world. The new iPod is available immediately in a 20GB model for $299 and a 40GB model for $399.
“The best digital music player just got better,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The fourth generation iPod features Apple’s amazing Click Wheel for superb one handed control, 12 hour battery life and the new Shuffle Songs command in the main menu—all in an even smaller design that puts up to 10,000 songs in your pocket.”
“HP has chosen iPod and iTunes as the best products to integrate in to our digital entertainment strategy,” said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer at HP. “We decided to wait for this amazing new fourth generation iPod, as it will offer our customers an even better experience. HP’s version of the new iPod will be available in September.”
iPod features Apple’s patent pending Auto-Sync technology that automatically downloads an entire digital music library onto iPod and keeps it up-to-date whenever it is plugged into a Mac or Windows computer using FireWire or USB. Users can transfer two songs per second from their Mac or Windows computer and can now conveniently charge iPod with either the included FireWire or USB cable.*
Pricing & Availability
The new 20GB and 40GB iPods are available immediately for a suggested retail price of just $299 (US) for the 20GB iPod and $399 (US) for the 40GB iPod through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Both iPods include earbud headphones, 1.2m 30-pin to FireWire cable, a 1.2m 30-pin to USB cable, and a CD with iTunes 4.6 for Mac and Windows computers. The 40GB model also includes an iPod dock.
Need something to do while waiting for more details on the fourth-generation iPod? Formerly available through Audible’s web page (linked below), Apple has added 36 free downloads from Audible and C-SPAN to the iTunes Music Store’s Audiobooks section, encompassing hours of testimony before the 9/11 Commission in Washington, D.C. dating from March to June 2004. Highlights include former and current U.S. Attorneys General Reno and Ashcroft, former and current Secretaries of Defense (Cohen and Rumsfeld) and State (Albright and Powell), and former and current Mayors of New York City Giuliani and Bloomberg.
Newsweek has revealed some details on the upcoming new iPod in its “advance peek” article. The fourth generation iPod has a new “click wheel” similar to the iPod mini, “where the controls are placed on the compass points of the circular touchpad that lets you scroll through menus.” Other new features include: a more efficent menu - “‘Music’ is a first-level entry, and now a single click initiates the popular technique of shuffling your library for playback.”; you can create mulitple on-the-go playlists and delete on-the-go playlists; listen to audio books or music “at normal speed, slower or 25 percent faster”; the battery is rated for 12 hours of power, a 50% increase; and new lower prices - 40GB for $399, 20GB for $299, and the 15GB has been dropped. The new iPod is also about one millimeter thinner than previous models, and contrary to rumors there are no new colors being offered except classic white.
As discovered by MacMinute, Apple Computer has used the cover of Newsweek Magazine to reveal the newest generation iPod. White like the third-generation iPod, the newest iPod now sports a Click Wheel and thickness similar to the iPod mini, in addition to a six-line (3G iPod-style) black and white screen. In the original photograph (right, credit Newsweek via MacMinute), the screen appears to suggest that Apple has preserved the traditional iPod font and interface, but modified the menu structure to further simplify access to the device’s multiple features. Kudos to Steven Levy on securing the exclusive Newsweek article.
Update: Having obtained an advance copy of Newsweek’s iPod article, The Mac Observer reports that Apple will formally announce the new iPod on Monday, July 19, 2004, and notes that additional photos indicate that in addition to being thinner than current 3G iPods, it may also have a slightly smaller footprint. Check back with iLounge for additional photos and details soon.
Podtender is an iPod based mixed drink database with over 900 recipes. It was created for the iPod owner who would like to have another use for their iPod. If you’re at a bar, party or restaurant and the bartender doesn’t know how to mix a requested drink, then pull out your iPod with Podtender and look it up. Or you could be the bartender mixing drinks with Podtender on your iPod jamming to your tunes. Podtender uses the iPod Notes feature to read the database.
InferNote is basically a way for you (and perhaps most importantly, your friends) to create iTunes playlists using a web browser and a “shopping cart” style interface. It’s painless and sometimes even fun. InferNote is free, 100% pure Java, and is available for both Mac and Windows
“Over a thousand (1,325) readers voted when we asked: “Which iPod mini colour would you choose?”, and silver stole a stunning 46 per cent (535 people) of that free vote. Amazon in the US reveals the silver iPod mini to be its fourth biggest-selling electronic gadget there - that colour leads the pack. [...]
Second most popular in Apple’s iPod mini five-pack offering of musical delight is blue, which took 26 per cent of votes cast, 308 votes in all. An Old Wives Tale exists that claims the colour blue protects boys from the evil eye. Blue is the third most-popular colour on Amazon US. [...]
Though its the second biggest-selling coloured iPod mini in the US on Amazon, Pink took just 107 Macworld Online votes, that’s 9 per cent of all those cast.”
iArt is a freeware program that can be used to download album art for your iTunes library. It allows you to choose what playlist (or your library) to get album art for. You can then choose exactly what tracks you want music for, and then iArt will download covers for your music from Amazon! This program depends on your tags so having good tags usually gets better results. However, iArt will also work with music with missing tags, as long as the artist tag is there, it can attempt to find a match!
Apple has posted details for 31 winners of the iTunes Music Store 100 Million song giveaway, including previously announced grand prize winner Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas (who purchased Zero 7 and Dangermouse’s “Somersault”) and a wonderfully eclectic collection of other people, locations, and song choices. Notably missing from the list at this time: winners from outside the United States, winning details for entries such as 99,200,000, 99,400,000, 99,600,000, and more.
Incase, long time maker of backpacks, bags and cases teamed up with skateboard shoe maker DC Shoes to bring you a new line of iPod cases and a backpack for the urban techie. The new iPod (3G) and iPod mini sleeve cases feature a white and grey camouflage design and orange interior. You can access the dock port, headphone port and Hold switch. Pricing and shipping date is yet to be determined. iLounge has received the iPod mini case and it will soon be reviewed.
iLounge reader John Masone has submitted a tutorial on how to set up iTunes to be remote controlled via any web browser. “This little tutorial will show you how to create a web based remote for Apple iTunes. It’s only for Mac OS X. It requires some modifications to the Apache Web Server that make it less secure, so I recommend you do this on a computer that’s safely hidden behind a router, and preferably a computer that isn’t using Apache for anything else.”
During Apple’s conference call expanding on its second-quarter financial results, Apple representatives have held to prior projections on availability of Hewlett Packard’s blue version of the iPod: “HP will ship this Summer as we indicated in last quarter’s call.” On the subject of HP/Apple iPod marketing and distribution by geographic region: “HP and Apple independently conclude who to sell to,” and there will be no restriction on HP sales of the iPod by region.
Apple today announced financial results and sales statistics for its fiscal 2004 third quarter ended June 26, 2004. Of interest to iPod lovers: 860,000 iPods were shipped during the quarter, representing a 183 percent increase in iPods over the same quarter last year. By comparison, Apple shipped 876,000 Macintosh units, representing a 14 percent increase in CPU units.
For the quarter, the Company posted a net profit of $61 million, or $.16 per diluted share. These results compare to a net profit of $19 million, or $.05 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $2.014 billion, up 30 percent from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 27.8 percent, up from 27.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 39 percent of the quarter
Tunewear today announced the Prie leather iPod mini case in two designs; Open Face and Classic Face. The Open Face case features an open face panel that does not cover the front of the mini, a flip-open cover with Velcro closure and access to the dock port, headphone port and ‘Hold’ switch (when cover is open). The Classic Face case features a covered front panel including screen protection, a flip-open cover, and access to the dock port, headphone port, and ‘Hold’ switch (when cover is open). The Prie cases also offer two strap styles to choose from; Strap Style A features one long and one short strap, and Strap Style B features one long neck strap and a loop on the case. With four colors, two front panels and two strap styles to choose from, there are a total of 16 Prie combinations. Pricing is yet to be determined and expected ship date of later this month.
Harmon Mutlimedia today announced the On Stage and the JBL On Tour portable speaker systems. The flying saucer shaped On Stage unit features an integrated dock, stereo mini jack, dual speakers producing 12 watts of power, and touch controls. The dock can be used to sync iPod and your computer. The On Stage will cost under $200 and will ship later this year.
The JBL On Tour speaker system works with all digital music players and features a pair of speakers producing six watts of power, touch controls, protective cover and stand, and is powered by four AAA batteries providing for more than 24 hours of music. The On Tour will be available in early August for $99.95.
“The pocket-sized digital music player, which can store thousands of songs, is one of a series of banned gadgets that the military will no longer allow into most sections of its headquarters in the UK and abroad.
Devices with large storage capabilities—most notably those with a Universal Serial Bus (or USB) plug used to connect to a computer—have been treated with greater suspicion of late by government agencies and corporations alike.”
Update: The British Ministry of Defense has denied to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) that the military has imposed an outright ban on iPods or portable storage devices in general. A spokesman clarified that only specific secure areas are or will be deemed off-limits to such devices, and that the iPod was not specifically targeted by the government.
Book2Pod is a utility to format large text documents so they can be read on an iPod using the built in Note Reader software. It supports documents larger than the 4KB per note limit of Note Reader, and makes the 1000 note limit easier to live with.
XtremeMac, has announced the Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini. The Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini includes: Xtremity Snap-on Clip; Xtremity Neck Strap; Xtremity Swivel Belt Clip; and two Xtremity Low-profile Dash Mounts. The complete package sells at a suggested retail price of $29.95 U.S., and is available for pre-ordering.
“Apple Computer Inc. is on the verge of agreeing a deal with independent record labels that will allow its iTunes music service to sell their tracks, The Times newspaper reported on Monday.
Citing sources close to the talks, the newspaper said a pact could be announced on Tuesday, ending a feud that has kept independent labels off iTunes since its launch in the UK, France and Germany last month.”
Roughly ten days after Apple’s iTunes Music Store began its “count up” giveaway with the 95,000,000th song sold, the company is poised to pass the 100,000,000 song mark. At approximately Midnight Eastern Standard Time (U.S.), July 12, 2004, Apple flipped the official count up timer to “99,943,896.” At the current rate of sales, Apple will hit the 100 millionth song today, quite likely within the next two hours. Best of luck to all those entering the grand prize giveaway!
Update: Apple hit the 100,000,000 mark at approximately 1:25AM Eastern Standard Time (U.S.). (The final three updates to Apple’s page were 99,992,422, then 100,014,607, then a static 100,000,000 banner.) Congratulations to Apple on this major milestone in legal music downloading!
Update 2: Preliminary sales figures suggest that roughly 40,000 songs (estimated value $39,600) were sold in just the final ten minutes before the 100,000,000 mark was reached. By comparison, the grand prize of a 17” PowerBook laptop computer, 40GB iPod and 10,000 song iTunes Gift Certificate were valued at approximately $13,200 - a very smart promotional move for Apple. To see the progression of sales from 94,679,227 songs to over 100,000,000, click on the link to Kurt Hoffmann’s table below.