Apple’s iTunes and Steve Jobs have been nominated for several awards in the Billboard 2004 Digital Entertainment Awards. iTunes has been nominated for “Innovator of the Year” and it’s up against BitTorrent, Sony Eyetoy, and XM Radio. iTunes has also been nominated in the “Best Downloadable or Subscription Music Service” category with competitors Musicmatch on Demand, Napster, and Rhapsody by Real Networks. Apple has been nominated for “Brand of the Year” competing against EA Sports, Virgin Mobile and XM Satellite Radio. The “Visionary of the Year” category nominees are Steve Jobs - CEO, Apple/CEO, Pixar; Mark Cuban - Chairman, HDNet; Rob Glaser - Chairman & CEO, Real Networks and Will Wright - Game Designer (SimCity and The Sims). The awards will commence on November 5 in Los Angeles.
Terforma has announced pre-orders for their new iSleeve mini for the iPod mini. Made of thick Durium TPU rubber, the iSleeve mini features a built-in LCD protector and can be used with the Apple iPod mini belt clip or armband. The iSleeve comes in five colors and is available for pre-order for $29.99.
Contour Design has released the new iSee-20 hardcase for 4G 20GB iPods. The iSee-20 features a clear, hard plastic shell, removable belt clip and access to all iPod functions. There is also a dock port cover for the dock connector and security latches on each side to seal in the iPod. The iSee-20 retails for $19.99 and the iSee-40 for 4G 40GB iPods is coming soon.
Users of iTunes 4.5 or earlier are being urged by Apple to upgrade to 4.6 in order to access the iTunes Music Store. The warning reads, “You are using a version of iTunes that will soon no longer be supported. Upgrade today to take advantage of the latest application features and music store enhancements.”
Multi Technology Equipment has released the iPod2Car Adaptor for controlling your iPod with your car’s factory radio. The iPod2Car allows you to control your iPod’s Next, Previous, Fast Forward & Fast Rewind functions using your car’s radio. The adaptor fits all iPods with dock connectors, is available for most major car models and costs $189.99.
“It’s Friday night in Melbourne, and at a corridor-sized club in the CBD the music is pumping but there are no turntables in sight. Two pint-sized iPods - those ubiquitous MP3 players with dangling white earphones - are running the show instead, churning out songs by Madonna, the Strokes and all musical points in between.
Tonight, at what is believed to be Australia’s only iParty (or iPod dance party), punters are given the opportunity to DJ. Choosing two songs from a selection of nearly 10,000, they wait like shoppers at a deli counter, until their number is beamed onto a laptop screen.”
“‘We’ve taken our best guess, and we’re building a lot, but the demand may be even larger,’ said [Steve] Jobs, perched on a stool in trademark jeans and black mock-turtleneck shirt. ‘So if you want to be sure to get an iPod this holiday season, I’d get one soon.’
Jobs is planning for his best Christmas ever. With the possible exception of cave-dwelling arthropods, most everyone is getting into the music download game.”
The Broadband from BT Digital Music Awards 2004 has awarded the iTunes Music Store “Best Download Music Service.” iTunes beat competitors Napster, Sony Connect, MyCokeMusic and KarmaDownload for the award.
The first independent iPod repair service has launched in the UK. “At UK iPod repairs we offer a quick affordable repair service for all generations of Apple’s iPod, If you have a smashed or broken LCD screen or want a high capacity battery we can fit a replacment and have your iPod back to you within 48 Hours! We also repair broken iPod headphone sockets and FireWire ports, replace dead hard disk drives, fix non-responding scroll wheels and buttons.”
Entertainment production company Cinemafactory has placed a casting call on Cragslist seeking “unique and interesting” people for an upcoming iTunes commercial. “Are you addicted to iTunes? Do you take your iPod everywhere? The CinemaFactory is looking for dancers, performers, and uniquely talented people of all ethnicities and ages who enjoy using iTunes/iPods for an upcoming non-union commercial shooting in early November in Los Angeles.”
Note: iLounge’s publisher, Dennis Lloyd will be attending the event and may be participating in the commercial.
Kensington today debuted an all-in-one FM Transmitter and Auto Charger for iPod and iPod mini. “Compact FM Transmitter/Charger charges and plays iPods using car radio and cigarette lighter plug. Transmits outside the car to FM radios within 15 feet. LED indicators signal plugged and charging states, and safety fuse protects against power spikes. For iPod or iPod mini with dock connector. 5-year limited warranty and free technical support.” The FM Transmitter/Auto Charger retails for $59.99.
“Rock band U2 has cut a deal with Apple Computer to sell custom iPods promoting the band’s forthcoming album.
Sources close to the group say the U2 edition of the popular digital music player will come preloaded with the band’s new album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, along with portions of the Irish supergroup’s 25-year catalogue. The iPods will be black and will be made available the same week as the band’s 11th studio album, which is slated to be released in the U.S. by Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records on November 23.”
MacMinute reports that Apple has sent out an invitation to select media announcing a special event to be held next week at San Jose’s California Theater. The event appears to be music related as the invite reads: “Steve Jobs, Bono and The Edge invite you to a special event.” Bono and The Edge are of course members of the popular rock band U2, who are featured in Apple’s latest iPod+iTunes commercial performing their new single “Vertigo.” The song is also available exclusively through Apple’s iTunes Music Store. During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call last week, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple and U2 would be working together more “in the coming weeks.”
“In Europe, the UK is at the forefront of this [iPod] phenomenon. Pascal Cagni, Apple’s European boss, has recently relocated to Britain, which has just overtaken France to become the biggest market in the region.
Cagni said: ‘The UK is our strongest country now, no question. We have been performing superbly with the iPod. The adoption curve is much stronger than in other countries in Europe. The Christmas to come will be immense.’”
Pyrim Technologies, Inc. has released the the Rock Docks line of “stone” desktop organizers for the Apple iPod. The Rock Docks are available in three configurations; Rock Dock - CD Holder, Rock Dock - Picture Frame and Rock Dock - Dual Cavity, and come in five faux stone finishes; Granite, Red Granite, Quartz, Sandstone and Limestone. Prices for the Rock Docks range from $69.99 to $79.99.
“iRip debuted today as the least expensive CD-to-iPod transferring (ripping) service to date. The service assists current and prospective iPod owners by taking their CDs and “ripping” them to their iPod, often saving the iPod owner hours. All Orders are tracked via iRip’s unique Client Order Management web application, letting the customer know their order’s exact status.
iRip service costs only $1 per CD for standard service, more than 30% off the price of our nearest competitor. Standard service includes three-way UPS Ground shipping and expedited service includes three-way UPS Overnight shipping. There is a 30 CD minimum and service is offered for the Apple iPod, the Apple iPod mini and the Apple iPod by HP.”
MacMinute reports “The MP3 music format is losing ground to rival technologies backed by Apple and Microsoft, according to researchers at the NPD Group’s MusicWatch Digital who track the contents of people’s hard drives. The researchers said that the percentage of MP3s in digital music collections has steadily declined in recent months, down to 72 percent of collections from 82 percent a year ago. The AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) format, which Apple’s iTunes Music Store uses, and Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format has each gained about 5 percent of the ‘hard-drive share’ in the past year.”
“Rob Enderle, consumer electronics analyst at The Enderle Group, says Apple has dominated the MP3 player market because its product is superior to competitors’, and Apple ‘outspent everyone else on marketing 10 to one.’
Companies such as Dell, Creative Technology, Rio and Virgin have announced new MP3 products aimed at taking business from Apple with lower prices and more storage. Enderle says Apple’s real test ‘is going to be in the next two months. None of the new products are as good as the iPod, but collectively, they could start to eat at Apple’s market share,’ he says.”
Belkin has announced two new iPod accessories. TunePower ($99.99) is a rechargable battery pack for use whenever there isn’t access to an AC outlet. The battery provides 8-10 hours of charge, comes with three sleeves to fit either an iPod and iPod mini players with dock connectors, and a detachable DC/FireWire power cable. The TunePower can be used with the Apple wall adapter to charge both the iPod and the TunePower. TuneBase ($49.99) is a flexible steel gooseneck mount/dock for the iPod mini. It plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter outlet and charges/powers the iPod mini and also features a 3.5mm line-out for use with the specially designed Belkin Mobile Cassette Adapter or TuneCast Mobile FM Transmitter (not included). The TunePower and TuneBase will begin shipping on October 25.