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Win iPhone, Apple TV or iPods in iLounge Wallpaper Contest

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To build upon iLounge’s large collection of desktop wallpaper images, we’ve launched the “Wallpaper Yourself an iPhone, Apple TV, or iPods” art contest. To enter, you just need to a create a high-resolution (1600 x 1200 pixels) desktop wallpaper featuring any current iPod model and the iLounge.com name. One grand prize winner will receive a 4GB iPhone, while a second place winner will get a new Apple TV set-top box. One third place winner will receive a 4GB iPod nano and a second-generation iPod shuffle in their choice of color. Click here for full contest rules and submission info.

iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz on Your Mac Life tonight

iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz will will appear tonight on the popular Internet Radio broadcast Your Mac Life. Topics discussed will include Apple and The Beatles. The broadcast will begin at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, 5:30 p.m. Pacific. An audio feed is available here, with a QuickTime video feed available here.

iLounge debuts free 2007 Accessories Guide in iPod format

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As a fun experiment - still in progress - iLounge has just released the 2007 Guide to New iPod Accessories & More, an iPod-formatted downloadable guide to the major new iPod accessories and announcements from this year’s Macworld Expo and International Consumer Electronics Show. Developed using Mogopop - a web site that leverages Apple’s iPod Notes feature to create downloadable packages of linked text, photos, and videos - the Guide features videos of Apple TV and iPhone, numerous pictures of new iPod accessories, and details on their vendors, all viewable on a fifth-generation iPod. It’s intended as a “carry it anywhere” version of our Expo coverage from earlier this month.

“The Guide is the most ambitious project yet published to Mogopop, showcasing the scope and scale of what the Mogopop system can tackle,” explained Kara Berklich Weber, co-founder/VP Strategic Development, Mogopop. “With photos, videos, and dozens of pages of useful, informative text, the New iPod Accessories Guide is just the sort of content our users want in a portable format. This will dramatically improve anyone’s next accessories shopping trip.”

The new Guide is free for download, and available now from this link. Follow the link, download the Mogopop Manager, connect your iPod, then download the Guide and install it on your iPod with the Manager. To find the Guide on your iPod, start at the main menu, pick Extras, then pick Notes. Please note that limitations of its design - for instance, the requirements that pictures and videos be linked, rather than embedded - are limitations of Apple’s iPod Notes software; we’ve tried to make the Guide as easy to use as possible given these constraints.

Happy New Year and Thank You from iLounge

Heading into 2007, the entire staff of iLounge would like to take a moment to thank all of you in our community for this spectacular 2006. The year that’s passed has been full of memorably great moments, and we can’t wait to top them in the year to come.

Happy New Year, and again, thank you from iLounge! The comments thread below is continued from our holiday gift comparison thread - feel free to continue the discussion.

2007 Best of Show: Call for Submissions

Two trade shows in January, 2007 - the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and Macworld Expo in San Francisco - are expected to see the introduction of hundreds of new iPod accessories. As always, iLounge will be spotlighting the best product introductions for our readers, giving you a preview of what’s coming up in the brand new year, and issuing Awards to the cream of the crop.

If you represent an iPod accessory manufacturer who will be formally exhibiting new products at your own CES or Macworld Expo booth, and would like to have your new products considered for one of a limited number of iLounge 2007 Best of Show Awards, please contact jeremy (at) ilounge.com immediately for product submission details. While we have already contacted the vast majority of the industry’s participants on this subject via e-mail, this public notice is intended to make sure that any other qualified company’s products have an opportunity to be considered, as well. Best of luck, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in January!

Please note: Our deadline is December 16, 2006, and only previously unreleased products are eligible for Best of Show consideration.

New iPod Stars: Juicy J, Joey McIntyre and Joey Medina

We’ve posted a new edition of our iPod Stars feature - an opportunity for iLounge to talk with celebrity musicians and performers about how they use their iPods, what they think of iTunes downloads of their performances, and what they’ve been up to.

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In this edition, we heard from Oscar-winning rapper Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia, Joey McIntyre from Dancing With the Stars and Boston Public, and Joey Medina from Los Angeles-based band (and iLounge favorite) The Tender Box. Enjoy!

 

Win a MacBook, iPods or earphones in iLounge contests

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We recently launched two new contests with some great prizes:

To celebrate our upcoming fifth birthday, we’ve launched the iLounge 5th Birthday Contest. Prizes include a white Apple MacBook and 80GB iPod pack, an 80GB black iPod, and a 4GB iPod nano in your color of choice. To enter, you must design an effective, interesting online ad for iLounge.

The second contest we recently kicked off is the Musician Match Game Contest. The object of the game is to match the custom Ultimate Ears earphones to the musician who wears them. A winner will be randomly drawn from correct entries. First and second prizes will be randomly drawn from all other entries. Prizes include one pair of Ultimate Ears UE 10 Pro earphones, custom fitted for your ears and free personalization, one pair of super.fi 5 Pro earphones, and one pair of super.fi 5 EB earphones.

iLounge debuts iPod Stars feature

We’ve just debuted a new regular feature of the site: iPod Stars. Each week, we’ll be talking to celebrities about how they use their iPods, and what they’ve been up to.

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This week, we chatted with DJ AM, one of the most photographed celebrity DJs in the world, and Sean Avery, the “feisty,” “bad boy” L.A. Kings center and music fan, about their favorite iPods and accessories. Here are our quick Q&As - more are coming.

iLounge debuts The 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide

imageThe 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide is here! Weighing in at 180 pages, the world’s most popular iPod and accessory buyers’ guide has returned for its third year, bigger and better than ever!

Want the full scoop on what’s inside? Here’s the official page, and here’s the short version: More than 20 exclusive accessory debuts. Our Best of the Year accessory awards. All the help you’ll need to pick the best new iPod for the holidays. Amazing photographs in our iPod Home pictorial feature and iPod Colors contest gallery. And much, much more.

Download Print Version Single page, best for printing (21.8 MB ZIP)
Download Wide Version Double page, best for monitors (21.7 MB ZIP)

Download it now - it’s 100% free and in PDF format. Enjoy!

Important: Buyers’ Guide Contest Entrants, Please Read

If you have submitted a contest entry to the iLounge Buyers’ Guide iPod Colors Contest, please read this notice and follow the directions carefully.

We received an incredible number of outstanding entries to this contest, but a number of entrants did not attach their e-mail addresses or names to their entries. iLounge’s editors have selected winners, however, we need to match names and e-mail addresses to the submitted photos.

As per the contest rules, please submit your high-resolution (1600x1200) images right away to [email protected] with your name and e-mail address attached. If your high-resolution image has not been received by 5:00PM PT tomorrow, October 31, 2006, you will be ineligible to win the grand or second-place prizes. Thank you!

Newly added: iLounge Column Shuffle

Today, we’ve reached another stage in our overhaul of the site’s left column: say hello to Column Shuffle. In August, we updated the column with new and more useful section headers, and added the ability to close and open sections of the site based on your preferences. Today, we’ve added a new feature that allows you to dynamically reorganize the sections in your preferred order, so that the topics you find most interesting can be closer to the top of the page every time you load iLounge. Just drag and release the headers - that’s it.

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Additionally, we’ve also tossed in a permanent link to the iPod Storage Calculator, announced last week, so you can figure out how to maximize your iPod’s music storage space - more tweaks and improvements are planned for the very near future. Enjoy!

iLounge debuts iPod Storage Calculator

imageThough Apple lets you know how many iTunes Store-downloaded songs can fit on each iPod, readers often ask us how many songs from their existing library can be squeezed onto a given iPod hard drive or flash memory chipset. In this week’s Ask iLounge column, we answered that question by debuting the iPod Storage Calculator, a new tool that lets you quickly estimate how many compressed audio files of various types will fit in any current or past iPod’s storage capacity.

Most people will find that their existing collections consist of songs compressed at bitrates ranging from 96 to 192 kbps, so we’ve provided automatic calculations for each major bitrate in that range. A handful of listeners will have larger, less compressed files ranging up to 320 kbps, and we’ve included calculations for those bitrates, too. If you’re a really hard-core audiophile, you may insist on Lossless-formatted files - if so, you can use the custom calculation field to make a best guess, or the Lossless field that’s set to an average rate of 850 kbps.

We hope you find the new Storage Calculator useful. As always, your comments are appreciated.

Win a new iPod in our Buyers Guide Countdown Contest

To count down to the November 1 launch of our third annual Buyers’ Guide, we have launched a new photo contest with brand new iPods as prizes. The Buyers’ Guide Countdown Contest offers you the chance to win an 80GB iPod, an 8GB iPod nano, or a 4GB iPod nano if your colorful photo of an iPod is picked as a winner. See all the details and the full rules here!

Newly added: Pause, rewind and skip headlines

By reader request (and fulfilling our original design desires), our top-of-page headlines now have pause, rewind, and skip buttons, allowing you to stop their automatic rotation, go back to a story that caught your attention, or cut forward to something new. Though this isn’t a huge change to our main page, we wanted to let you know about it just in case you missed the “Show Previous Story,” “Show Next Story,” and “Pause Stories” buttons up there; give them a try, and we hope you like them.

All iPod 5G downloadable games, reviewed

imageWe’ve just added a brand-new category to our ever-growing reviews section - iPod Games - along with full reviews of all nine of the current downloadable iPod 5G titles. You can click here to see all nine reviews sorted by grade, or look at the reviews individually. Enjoy!

Bejeweled by PopCap Games
Cubis 2 by Freshgames
Mahjong by Electronic Arts
Mini Golf by Electronic Arts
Pac-Man by Namco
Tetris by Electronic Arts
Texas Hold ‘em by Apple Computer
Vortex by Apple Computer
Zuma by PopCap Games

iPod Countdown Contest Winners Announced

iLounge is pleased to announce the winners of our New iPod Countdown Contest, in which we challenged readers to design new iPod and iPod-like devices that Apple Computer might release. Three winners with various types of cool Apple gadget designs were selected from a gallery of beautiful entrants to win pairs of Shure premium earphones. We picked one winning iPod phone, one winning iPod, and one winning iPod-style tablet. The winners are:

First Place: Edmond Ng, Canada (for “iPod chat”)
Prize: Shure E500PTH Sound Isolating Earphones
Second Place: Gerard Pye, United Kingdom (for “MacPad”)
Prize: Shure E4C Sound Isolating Earphones
Third Place: Orrin Sonck, Belgium (for “the new iPod”)
Prize: Shure E3C Sound Isolating Earphones

Congratulations to each of the winners and thanks for all of the great entries. To see the winning entries, please click on the link below.

‘Showtime’ Apple event live coverage

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The iLounge team has arrived at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco for Apple’s special event today. We will deliver live coverage if at all possible—a live update page and live IRC chat are planned. Closer to the beginning of Steve Jobs’ presentation we will switch the site over to a “lite version” to better handle heavy traffic loads. The special event begins at 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET.

New, better review categories added

If you’ve been sifting through the over 2,000 accessories now in our Complete iPod Accessory Guide, good news: this weekend, we updated our review categories to make the catalog even easier to use.

Our biggest change is in Speakers: instead of one catch-all category for the over 100 iPod speakers out there, we now have six categories of speakers, starting with four types of All-in-One designs (pocketable, portable, room-to-room and stationary), one catch-all for Clock Radios, and one catch-all for Multi-Component Stationary systems.

We used to have one category called Stands and Docks. Now we have separate categories that address the many iPod docks now on the market: Stands (iPod holders without electronics) have their own place, while Docks for Audio-Out, Data, On-TV Menuing, and Video-Out are now in their own categories, with some overlap.

We used to put sports-related iPod gear into separate categories - electronics, cases, and so on. Our new Armbands and Athletic Add-Ons section lets you see all of these items in one convenient place.

We’ve renamed Bluetooth Wireless to include all Bluetooth and Wireless Home Audio accessories, and renamed Microphones and Microphone Adapters to Recorders - Audio. There are also new categories for DJ Mixing, Karaoke, and Audio Tools, iPod Hi-Fi cases, Lights and Flashers, Portable Video Displays, Security Devices and Software, and Video Recorders, amongst others.

Check out the new Complete iPod Accessory Guide for all the details - more changes are coming very soon. As always, your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Newly added: For popular, recent content, look left

imageThis weekend, we’ve added another new feature to the main page of iLounge: a way to let you quickly scan only the new site updates you care about. Look off to the left hand side of the page and you’ll see these: colored header bars leading to many different sections of the site, including Reviews, First Looks, Articles, Tutorials, Ask iLounge, Backstage, our Forums, Library, and more.

Hundreds of new pages are added to the site each month, some of which are publicized on the main page, others not. With this new expandable bar - use the rotating arrow on the right to expand or collapse the list of most recent or popular additions - you can easily see only the pages that interest you. A cookie will save your preferred open or closed view for each category; the default position for all of them is “closed.”

We’re continuing to develop new bars for popular topics, and have some other enhancements to this feature planned for the near future. Enjoy!

Win Shure earphones in iLounge’s iPod Countdown Contest

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As the world anticipates Apple’s next-generation iPod this Fall, we have launched a new contest to collect your artistic interpretations of what the new iPod will look like. Just submit your creation to our iPod Countdown Contest and you’ll be entered to win one of three prizes from Shure—one Grand Prize winner will get a pair of E500PTH Sound Isolating Earphones ($550), with two additional winners receiving Shure E4c and E3c earphones, respectively. Contest rules and guidelines are available here - remember, you only have until September 9 to enter.

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