Announcing art4iTunes.com - a website that generates album covers and track listings from your iTunes song list. The album cover can be dropped back into iTunes and displayed whenever the track is played. Artwork can be from US or UK album covers. Have a look and let me know what you think - there’s a demo button to see what it does before uploading your own song list.
“The music industry is pushing bitter technology rivals—most notably Microsoft and Apple—to shake hands in the interest of promoting digital downloads, Billboard has learned.
Hardware makers and digital format developers, including many traditional adversaries, are engaged in private talks aimed at meeting the music industry’s goal of compatibility among competing digital music devices by 2005.”
Apple has posted several sizes of the Pepsi+iTunes commercial scheduled to air during today’s Super Bowl game.
Apple has officially launched the Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway by updating its previous teaser page with How to Play, Enter Code, Official Rules, FAQ and System Requirements. There are 100 million songs being given away, 1 in 3 wins. The iTunes Music Store has been updated with a ‘Redeem Song’ button to enter your winning bottlecap code. It asks to enter your birthdate then the code to redeem your song. Official rules indicate the giveaway expires March 31, 2004 and the “maximum number of valid Codes per email address/person that can be entered at the Web Site is 10 per day and 200 total throughout the Promotion Period.” Today during the Super Bowl Pepsi will air its iTunes giveaway commercial featuring teens sued by the RIAA.
“WHERE TO FIND GAME PIECES:
Look for game piece printed underneath bottle caps on specially-marked “iTunes” 20 oz. and 1 liter bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist and under the rim of specially-marked 32 oz. fountain cups available at participating 7 Eleven convenience stores during the Promotion Period. Not all brands and package sizes may participate in all areas. No Purchase Necessary. To receive one free game piece and a copy of Official Rules, while supplies last, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope postmarked on or before 3/31/04 to: Pepsi iTunes Game Piece, P.O. Box 9205, Young America, MN 55558-9205. Residents of the state of VT may omit return postage. Limit one free game piece per request per stamped outer envelope. Pepsi-Cola Company (“Sponsor”) assumes no liability for lost, late, stolen, illegible, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete or postage-due mail or requests.”
Ten Technology has recenly launched a new FAQ section for the naviPod wireless remote and the yet-to-be-released naviPlay Bluetooth stereo adapter. Our readers have had many questions arise from the announcement of the new naviPlay, two of which regard the transmitting range and sound quality. Included in the new FAQs is the following:
Q: What is the range of the naviPlay?
A: The naviPlay is a Class 2 device and will have a range up to 8 meters (25
feet). Actual range will depend on the amount of activity and interference
in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, as well as the presence of materials that absorb or reflect signals. The naviPlay product is intended for personal use, not as a means to broadcast over a wide area.
Q: What is the quality of the audio provided by the naviPlay?
A: The naviPlay will provide near CD-Audio quality stereo at 44.1 KHz.
Editor’s note: Here are photos of the naviPlay prototype as seen at Macworld SF.
MacMinute is reporting that “the Apple Store is offering 10 percent off 15, 20 and 40GB iPods and select iPod accessories this weekend (Jan. 31-Feb.1). Accessories eligible for the discount include: Apple In-Ear Headphones, Sony CPA-9C Car Cassette Adapter, Belkin TuneDok, Monster iCarPlay Wireless, NaviPod IR Remote, Altec Lansing inMotion Portable iPod Speakers, JBL Creature II Speakers, iCable for iPod, Incase Belt for iPod, and Monster iCase Travel Pack. Terms and conditions apply.”
The iPad is a custom made, sliding tray for Volkswagen MK IV vehicles with a factory storage compartment above the stereo unit. The tray allows the iPod dock to be mounted within for easy access while in the vehicle, and allows for storage of an iPod when not in use. The iPad is available now for $59 via PayPal. “I use my iPod daily in my car, and it couldn’t be easier. I simply slide out the tray exposing the dock… dock it… push the tray back in slightly (so the back of the iPod touches the dash) and I’m ready to roll. The placement high up on the dash makes it possible to change the songs and playlist while resting an elbow on the factory armrest.”
“The RIAA applauded the ad, even though it may serve to remind some of the trade group’s legal campaign, which many music fans thought went too far.
‘This ad shows how everything has changed,’ said RIAA chief executive Mitch Bainwol. The debate is not digital versus plastic, it’s legitimate versus illegitimate.” [...]
‘I would like to see more of this,’ said Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, part of Universal Music Group. ‘We’re starting to see technology companies come on our side, now soft drink companies are coming on our side.’”
Although this story is a bit old, The Hollywood Reporter today posted a writeup about how Peter Jackson, writer/director of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy and Jim Rygiel, visual effects supervisor, used iPods in the film’s production.
“Media was transferred from Weta to Pinewood Studios in London. There, Jackson’s 30-gig iPod was ready and waiting to upload Weta’s daily fresh-baked shots and sequences. His iPod was then delivered via sneaker net to his home a few minutes away from Pinewood.
Jackson then viewed those 1K-resolution QuickTime files on an Apple Cinema Display, tied to his G4 laptop, which drew directly from his iPod. The director’s setup was mirrored in New Zealand, so Rygiel and crew could step through shots with the help of their iPods, with Jackson’s guidance piped in over a videoconferencing system. During the course of two movies and four months, “Rings” iPods stored and served up nearly one-half terabyte of digitized footage from ‘Towers’ and ‘King.’”
“‘I still can’t get over the fact that these fresh faced teenagers are being attacked by companies just to preserve a business model in need of freshening up itself,” says Wattles. ‘I don’t want my kids treated that way by business and I don’t want other people’s kids treated that way.’
And on the choice of language, ‘Prosecutions are usually understood to be actions by the state to enforce criminal laws,’ he says. ‘Prosecutions aren’t generally understood to mean civil lawsuits. The word ‘sued’ would be appropriate and accurate in this context.
‘The ad falsely pumps up the music industry’s enforcement effort, and its suggestive criminalization of the kids’ behavior building up to the tag line ‘we’re still gonna download music for free off the Internet - and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it,’ reinforces the ad’s presumption that their behavior had been criminal.’”
“So I have to ask: why hasn’t anyone created a utility that can be aimed at various web pages or RSS feeds and grab their contents, convert them into plain-text format, and drop ‘em in the Notes folder of an iPod? Yes, it would require some clever page-scraping, and yes, it would require intelligent splitting and hyperlinking of stories using the bare-bones coding format that the iPod understands.
But still, it shouldn’t be that difficult. While there are some RSS browsers out there for the iPod, they don’t thrill me, because most RSS feeds don’t include the full text of news stories. And I don’t know of any RSS tool for the iPod that actually downloads the contents of the page referenced by the RSS entry. I want to read more than headlines on my iPod; I want to read the whole article!”
Dealmac: For new customers only, HSN.com takes $15 off one item of $20 or more via coupon code “265211”. Among many other items, HSN.com sells Belkin iPod accessories. (Search for “belkin ipod” to find them.) Sample deals: the Belkin iPod Auto Kit with Dock for $24.95, Belkin Leather Case For iPod for $9.95, and Belkin TuneCast iPod Mobile FM Transmitter for $14.95, all after discount. Coupon ends April 30, 2004. The Daily Web Deal, clearance, and sale items are excluded.
Pod Manager allows you to select MP3, MP4 and AAC music files on your iPod and copy them to your Macintosh. It has probably the best interface for accomplishing this when comparing it to other utilities that claim to do the same.
“In 2001 the small firm beat out nine competitors, including Texas Instruments, to provide iPod’s central nervous system. Apple’s in-house designers provide the look and feel that make the iPod so distinctive; PortalPlayer provides the innards that lie beneath. It won over Apple with a design that uses two modest processors and an operating system two years in the making.
PortalPlayer’s “firmware” makes it easy for makers to mix and match features and rapidly stamp out upgrades without having to start from scratch. Apple picked PortalPlayer in the summer of 2001, and the iPod was in stores in November of that year.”
“One of the best things about prognostication is the “I told you so” satisfaction of a successful forecast, so over the past five years, I’ve made sure to point out all of my dead-on predictions. This time, however, I’m admitting to an apparently incorrect hunch. I thought that Apple would forgo an iPod portable video player (PVP), but the company is reportedly working on one. [...]
Last month, the careers page of Apple’s Web site advertised an opening for a video iPod developer. The listing has disappeared, but in this New York Times interview, Jobs mentions that someone in the company’s labs could be working on such a device. He also talks about some of the same doubts and challenges that I’m discussing here, so for the record, my prediction might still come true.”
“Pepsi this week shipped 300 million specially marked 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist to convenience stores and other retailers. Consumers who find a numerical code for a free download in the bottle caps can type it into the iTunes program for a free download. [...]
Analysts expect Apple will reap huge rewards from the contest. Analyst Charles Wolf of Wall Street research firm Needham & Co. estimates the firm is selling 2 million songs per week. ‘‘This campaign will get them to 5-10 million per week by summer, or 200 million songs for the year,’’ he says.”
“With the Tune Recycler, you can send us your unwanted iTunes bottlecap codes and we’ll use them to support independent music. Easy for you, and good for music. [...]
When you submit a winning Pepsi code to the Tune Recycler, we’ll redeem it for music from honest, independent labels. There are a few great independent labels in the iTunes store that give their musicians up to 40-50 cents, right from the first sale. When you use the Tune Recycler, you know that no money is going to support price fixing, payola, or lawsuits against families with children—and most importantly, the money goes to a musician. That way, you don’t have to sign up with iTunes to get one song, but you can still put that cap to use.”
An external Li-Ion battery pack solution for iPod has been developed by Battery Technology, Inc (BTI). “Designed for all iPod users, The iPod Battery comes with interchangeable cradles for the original and new iPod and will provide up to 40 hours of music play-time or down-load time, regardless of the age or status of the original (internal) battery.
Dealmac: Buy.com still has the 40GB iPod for $436.74, as a reader notes. A new $10 off coupon, expiring January 31, yields a net price of $426.74, the lowest we know to be available. Shipping starts around $11.
AppleInsider has posted the upcoming Pepsi iTunes Super Bowl commercial featuring 16 teens that were recently sued by the RIAA for illegally downloading music from the Internet. The commercial also features Green Day’s version of ‘I Fought the Law.’