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Reminder: iPods Around the World milestone contest

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This is a reminder to note that the posting of the 4,000th photo in our iPods Around the World photo gallery is nearing and that the associated milestone giveaway winner will also be announced soon. As previously stated, the iLounger who posts the 4,000th validated photo in the iPods Around the World gallery will win a custom-colorized iPod nano.

Now sort iLounge reviews by rating, and more

By reader request, iLounge today debuted the first of several new features planned for our Reviews section: “Sort by ratings and categories.” Found at the top of our Sort by Category Reviews Index page, this new tool is the equivalent of the Report Cards published in our Free iPod Books and Buyers’ Guides, but updated in real time. The simple pull-down menu lets you immediately see the top-rated products in any category of iPods or accessories we have reviewed. With over 900 products now reviewed on the site, and over 1,300 in our larger accessories database, this our goal is to help you quickly sort out top-rated products from the not-so-good ones.

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Please note that the feature is approximately 90% complete, with several handfuls of products (including a number of lower-rated ones) still yet to be added. We intend to make sure that all of our reviews are searchable via the system by the end of the week. Enjoy!

Blog the Book to win a $1075 Geneva iPod sound system

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To get the word out about our Free iPod Book 2.0, we’ve teamed up with Geneva Lab to launch the Blog the Book XL Contest. Like last year’s contest, all you have to do to enter is add one of our contest badges to your blog or website and link to the Book. The grand prize winner with the most referrals to the Free iPod Book 2.0 download page will win a Geneva Lab Model XL Sound System (value: $1075). The second place winner with the second most referrals wins a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System (value: $599). The third place winner—with at least 25 or more unique referrals and an on-blog description of his or her favorite part(s) of the Book—will be chosen by iLounge’s editors to also win a Geneva Lab Model L Sound System.

Download Now: The Free iPod Book 2.0

Blog The Book XL Contest
It’s here: The Free iPod Book 2.0, by iLounge.com! Weighing in at 194 pages, this revised and expanded second edition of our popular Book is your one-stop answer to every major iPod and iTunes question… plus much, much more. Inside, you’ll find 20 exclusive sneak peeks at new iPod accessories from Atlantic, Belkin, Griffin, Monitor Audio, Oakley, Power Support, Sonic Impact, Targus, v-moda, and others, ratings of over 900 accessories and iPods, plus extraordinary guides to All Things iPod, All Things iTunes, and Beyond. Click the link below for the details and the download links. Two versions - printable and widescreen - are available; please download only one. We hope you enjoy!

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iLounge counts down to major community milestones

iLounge is pleased to announce the imminent sign-up of our 100,000th forum member and the posting of the 4,000th photo in our iPods Around the World photo gallery. In celebration of the milestones, iLounge will be giving away a custom-colorized fifth-generation iPod to the 100,000th validated forum member (if you already have an account, please don’t sign up again - tell a friend!), and a custom-colorized iPod nano to the member who posts the 4,000th validated photo in the iPods Around the World gallery. Winners will be announced on the iLounge site.

Free iPod Book 2.0 Contests - win Mac mini or Shure earphones

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To celebrate the upcoming launch of iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.0, we’re holding two big contests and giving away six pairs of Shure’s high-end E500 earphones and one brand-new Mac mini. In the “iPod 2010 Concept Art Contest,” we’re looking for the four best “future iPod” pieces of original concept art. A grand prize winner will get the Mac mini, while the most realistic, most creative and funniest entries will get a set of Shure earphones. Our “iPods Everywhere Photo Contest” seeks pictures taken of iPods in the car, in the home or on the go. The winner in each of the three settings will also win a set of Shure earphones.

Griffin Survival Kit, TuneCenter Winners, Q&A Announced

Participating in tonight’s live iLounge chat with Griffin Technology, five iLounge readers won huge Griffin iPod Survival Kits full of new accessories, and one reader also won a new Griffin TuneCenter Pro Home Media Center. Griffin representatives also answered iLounge reader questions on a wide variety of topics. A complete list of prizes and winners can be found in the full story link above or below, along with some of the Q&A. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone, including all of the representatives of Griffin Technology, for participating in the chat today!

Win Griffin iPod Survival Kits and more tonight in live iLounge chat

By reader request, the third in our series of live iLounge chats - hosted in our recently opened live chat room - will be with three representatives of Griffin Technology, who will be available to answer reader questions, and give away five total iPod Survival Kit prize packages to lucky iLounge readers. One of the packages will include Griffin’s new TuneCenter or TuneCenter Pro Home Media Center, while the rest will be packed with car, home, and travel accessories. The format will be trivia; additional details are below. Please join us in the chat room on Monday, April 17, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET.

Five iHome iH5/iH26 giveaway winners announced

Participating in today’s live iLounge chat with speaker maker iHome, five iLounge readers won new iH5 clock radios (white/black) or iH26 portable clock radios (white/black/silver) in their choice of colors. A complete list of winners can be read from the full story link above or below. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone, including iHome/SDI’s Evan Stein, for participating in the chat today!

Win free iHome iH5 and more in Thursday live iLounge chat

As the second in our series of live iLounge chats, hosted in our recently opened live chat room, popular clock radio and speaker maker iHome will be giving away iHome iH5 clock radios (iLounge rating: A-) and portable audio systems to iLoungers this Thursday. Rules for the giveaway will be announced during the live chat, so please join us in the chat room on April 6, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET.

Twenty v-moda Remix-M Class winners announced

Participating in tonight’s live iLounge chat with headphone makers v-moda, twenty iLounge readers won new pairs of Remix M-Class earphones in their choice of three colors (silver/black, blue, or pink). A complete list of winners can be read from the full story link above or below. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone for participating in the chat tonight.

iLounge to launch new free Guide in June, contests soon

Last August, we launched The Free iPod Book 1.0, a free 142-page tutorial to all things iPod and iTunes, including a Back to School Buyers’ Guide. In keeping with our tradition of releasing premium-quality free publications for our readers (and despite our April Fool’s joke), we have announced today that we will release The Free iPod Book 2.0, a substantial update to the earlier edition - with some thematic surprises - in early June. As with all of our past Guides, the Book will contain original content not found on the iLounge.com web site, and new reader contests will be announced shortly.

iLounge adopts subscription model, establishes hourly Q&A fee

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Bowing to industry pressures and hoping to boost income from its widely-read iPod and iTunes web site, iLounge.com has announced substantial changes to its free content offerings, refocusing heavily on revenue-generating measures. Effective 9:00PM PST today, April 1, thousands of previously free pages on iLounge.com will be locked, and made available only on a pay-per-page or monthly subscription basis. “Having watched the experts at Napster and RealNetworks practically mint their own money with similar plans,” explained Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief of iLounge, “we decided to bet the company on a similarly great idea. Soon, users will be able to unlock the site with individual ‘iLounge Keys,’ sold for 99 cents per page, or monthly ‘iLounge Gold’ site-wide access for only $12.95. Everyone else is trying to sell something to Apple fans, so why not us?”

“Too many times, we’ve passed up opportunities to make an easy buck,” said Dennis Lloyd, Publisher of iLounge, “so starting now, we’re going to change that.” In addition to starting an all-nude version of its popular iPods Around the World photo galleries, the site will begin to publish reviews written by accessory and service providers, and open its Discussion Forums to endless quantities of viral advertising and astroturfing. Lloyd also disclosed that Ask iLounge, the site’s weekly Q&A column, would be cancelled in favor of ‘iPod Buddies,’ a $65/hour consulting service where iLounge editors or high school students (as available) will offer in-person or telephone iTunes assistance and music recommendations to needy readers. “We think that these changes will ultimately benefit both us and our readers,” said Lloyd and Horwitz, “and if they don’t, at least we’ll be able to enjoy the nude photo galleries.”

Update: Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Expect a real announcement soon!

Win free v-moda earphones in iLounge chat contest

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To kick off a series of live iLounge chats in our recently opened live chat room, fashion headphone maker v-moda will be holding a live trivia contest and giving away 20 pairs of Remix M-Class earphones (iLounge rating: A-) to iLoungers. Ten questions will be asked, and two people per question will win headphones for correct answers - one pair maximum per person. Winners will be announced on the spot. Answers to the questions can be found either on v-moda’s website or in iLounge.com news coverage of the company and its products. The live chat will be held on April 3 at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET.

Our new News Views, explained

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Over the past several weeks, we’ve made a number of subtle but important changes to parts of the iLounge web site. You may have noticed one of them right here - our new News Views bar. Though it looks like the old bar, it now gives you three different ways to customize news on the iLounge home page to your liking, and saves your choice for later visits.

iLounge EIC Horwitz on WNYC radio today, 2:45PM ET

iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz will appear today on New York City’s WNYC (93.9FM) radio program Soundcheck to discuss iLounge and the iPod accessories market. The audio segment - our first since pausing production of the iLounge Week-in-Review Podcast - will air at approximately 2:45PM Eastern/11:45AM Pacific.

Sumo Tough Love Valentine contest ends tomorrow

The iLounge/Sumo Tough Love Valentine contest ends tomorrow night at 11:59 p.m. But there’s still time to win your sweetheart a unique trip that they won’t soon forget. Just tells us your tough love story—gaining or losing an important love—and you could win a trip for two to the US Sumo Open in Los Angeles. You’ll get airfare, tickets, two Sumo nano flip cases, and a one night stay at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. 100 runner-up winners will receive their own Sumo nano flip case.

iLounge launches Mobile Edition

We’re proud to announce the launch of iLounge Mobile Edition, a fast-loading, condensed version of the iLounge.com main page created especially for users of portable devices. This page, available at ilounge.com/mobile, provides one-page access to our top 12 News stories, top 10 Reviews, top 6 Articles, top 3 current and past Contests, and top 5 Backstage entries. Each link is simplified for speedy reading without excessive scrolling, including reader comments, and additional Mobile content can be accessed through “More” links at the bottom of each section.

iLounge Mobile Edition will continue to evolve in the days to come. Your suggestions are, of course, welcomed.

MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon now on iTunes

Following iLounge’s report yesterday, MTV Networks and Apple today announced that television programming from MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and The N is now available on the iTunes Music Store.

A total of 14 new shows have been added, including MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” “The Gauntlet 2,” “Beavis & Butt-Head,” “Jackass,” “Punk’d” and “My Super Sweet 16”; MTV2’s “Wonder Showzen”; Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and “Zoey 101”; Comedy Central’s “South Park” and “Stand-Up”; and The N’s “South of Nowhere.” iTunes now offers over 40 TV shows.

Happy New Year from iLounge!

As iLounge’s editors close out 2005, we look back fondly at a year that was as amazing for the Lounge as it was for the iPod. We were blessed by a massive surge in readership, which saw our traffic double from roughly 2 million loungers per month to around 4 million, while our Forums grew from under 40,000 registered members to over 83,000. Repeated server upgrades, the last one just a few weeks ago, have been necessary to handle all of the new traffic. On top of all the new people, there have been too many new iPod and major accessory launches to count, and hundreds of new news stories, tutorials, reviews, and photographs as a result. It has been an incredibly busy but exciting year.

Now, with our holiday vacations coming to an end (Jeremy has returned from shopping in Asia, while Dennis is soon to finish his tropical lounging in Hawaii), 2006 is here, and it’s going to start off with two bangs. iLounge will provide live coverage from the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show starting this week, where a huge array of new iPod accessories will be launched, and then the team will be in San Francisco for the annual Macworld show the following week. We expect Macworld to be big on Mac-related announcements and iPod accessories, but not on new iPod hardware. (For more on that subject, we’ll soon have a new Backstage entry to share some of what we’ve heard.)

Thank you to all of our readers for your continued support and participation in the growth of iLounge. Even if we can’t respond individually to the thousands of messages that appear here and in our e-mail boxes every day, we appreciate every bit of your involvement, and strongly anticipate that 2006 will be an even bigger Year of the iPod - a major step forward for the entire iPod community, with some huge surprises in store for iLounge, too. Happy New Year, and stay tuned for what’s next!

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