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iFixit offers free iPod disassembly guides, iPod parts

iFixit, a company known for its do-it-yourself Mac computer repair guides, has posted a series of free iPod disassembly guides online. iFixit has also announced a large iPod parts store with over 100 parts and upgrades. iFixit has guides covering first through fifth generation iPods, the iPod mini, the iPod shuffle, and iPod nano.

Insurers begin covering claims for digital music

After years of covering music on CDs, records and tapes, insurers are now beginning to accept claims for digital music downloaded to iPods and other gadgets. “Nationwide has been the trail-blazer, including music and other entertainment downloads as standard in its home contents cover,” reports The Independent. “The building society argues—and a lot of iPod users would agree—that these virtual music collections count as family valuables, just like CDs and old LPs. Other insurers are considering a similar addition to their home contents cover… Nationwide’s cover is for any download—ringtones, games, films or music—wherever it is held, be that a phone, PC, laptop or music player. The important point is that the owner will have to prove they have paid for the download.”

MusicJam portable iPod audio mixer announced

Cerventis has introduced the MusicJam portable iPod mixer. The $230 unit features a pro-quality microphone, microphone stand clamp, audio effects, AC adapter, and cables. The MusicJam also offers an electric guitar input with Tone and Distortion controls. “Turn your iPod into your own band,” says the company. “Play backing tracks or songs and sing along. We add an echo effect to your voice to make it sound like you are on stage… The MusicJam has a sophisticated circuit design with very low noise and superior sound quality that may be used for public performances and recording via standard RCA jacks on the side.”

Analyst: Apple could sell 8-12 million iPhones next year

While he doesn’t expect Apple to introduce a cell phone at tomorrow’s special event, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster continues to expect the company will ship an “iPhone” within the next 4-6 months. Despite admitting that his firm “has not seen any concrete evidence that the product is near completion or launch,” Munster says Apple could ship between 8-12 million phones next year. “Assuming Apple ships its iPhone early in 2007, at Macworld-07 or a special event, we expect the company will sell 8-12 million iPhones in the full calendar year,” Munster says. “We believe the most likely iPhone buyers would be those who have previously owned a higher average selling price HDD iPod.”

iBreath iPod add-on features alcohol breathalyzer

The iBreath is a new iPod accessory that purports to combine an alcohol breathalyzer and an FM transmitter. “Just fold out the BAC blow wand and exhale into it for a full 5 seconds. 5 seconds later, this jail-saving gizmo let’s you know if you’re safe to drive,” says David Steele, the company selling the product. “It even houses a timer that can be set from 1 minute up to 4 hours in order to remind you when it’s time for the next test. And if keeping you out of the pokey isn’t enough, this cool gadget doubles as a wireless FM transmitter to beam your tunes directly to any FM stereo.”

Apple working to increase iTunes sales in Japan

Apple is pursuing new ways—including prepaid iTunes cards and free downloads at concerts—to increase sales at the iTunes Music Store in Japan. The company is also targeting consumers who commonly purchase mobile phone downloads. “Apple dominates the market for music downloads in the United States, but its iTunes online music store has about a 5% share in Japan, where most fans download songs onto mobile phones and many people prefer not to buy music online with credit cards,” reports Reuters. In Apple’s favor is the popularity of the iPod. According to BCN, iPods dominate the top nine slots of the latest digital music player sales ranking in Japan.

BluPod iPod add-on offers Caller ID, radio features

Zenecom debuted a new Bluetooth iPod accessory with Caller ID functionality at this week’s IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany. When connected to an iPod and a call is received to a Bluetooth-compatible phone, the BluPod displays the caller’s number on the iPod’s screen and automatically turns down the music volume. The small, iPod shuffle-like device also functions as an FM radio and remote control. Pricing and availability for the BluPod were not announced. [via Gizmodo]

Podfitness, Marware team up

Podfitness, the customized audio personal training service, has partnered with iPod accessory maker Marware to offer “exclusive product offers that will be bundled with the Sportsuit product line.” In their announcement, which provided no product specifics, the two companies said: “Additional product and cross promotional initiatives are being designed to enhance the fitness enthusiast experience. Podfitness will also be distributing Marware products online as well as implementing a branded line of Marware products. Podfitness and Marware will continue to collaborate on co-branded strategies.”

Marware debuts Nike-compatible Sportsuit Relay

Marware today announced the new Sportsuit Relay combo accessory pack for owners of the the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. The $30 set includes Marware’s previously announced Sportsuit Sensor+ pouch for the Nike+iPod Sport Kit sensor along with a new wrist/armband case designed specifically to accommodate the iPod nano and the Sport Kit receiver. Both feature neoprene and rubber construction, and the wrist/armband comes with an optional extension piece and sports a play-through protector window. offers new plan, notes ‘6th generation Video iPod’

4Flix.Net has announced its Free*Pass monthly subscription plan, which allows unrestricted access to the site’s collection of iPod-ready videos for $9.99 a month. The service allows members to download any of 4Flix.Net’s DRM-free feature-length movies, classic TV shows, and independent films. Strangely, in 4Flix.Net’s press release for the new service, sent to iLounge, the company lists “Apple’s 6th Generation 16x9 widescreen Video iPod” as a supported device. Apple has obviously yet to introduce such a device and is unlikely to provide product details to a company such as 4Flix.Net in advance of such an announcement.

Update: As noted in the comments below, 4Flix.Net has updated its press release on its website, which now lists “Apple’s 5th Generation video-capable iPod” as a supported device.

Amazon opens ‘Unbox’ online movie store

As expected, today launched its Amazon Unbox video store. The web-based service offers TV shows and movies from more than 30 studios and networks.

TV shows cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies range from $7.99 to $14.99. Movies can also be “rented” for $3.99. The “DVD-quality” movies and shows must be watched on a PC using Amazon’s software. Downloads also come with a second file that can only be viewed on one of a handful of Windows Media-compatible video players from Creative, Toshiba, Archos and iRiver. Movies cannot be burned to DVDs for playback in a DVD player. The average TV show weighs in at 600MB in file size and is expected to take 30 minutes to 2 hours to download, while a 2-hour movie is around 2.4GB in size and takes from 2-7 hours to download.

Apple is widely expected to launch its own online movie service at a special event in San Francisco on Tuesday. Recent reports claim that Apple has yet to sign the majority of Hollywood studios due to wrangling over movie prices.

100,000th Forum member announced, awarded special iPod

Congratulations to new iLounge Discussion Forum member Alycia Kohler from New Jersey, who officially became our 100,000th validated forum member last week! Having helped us to reach this milestone, Alycia won a custom-colored fifth-generation iPod, courtesy of iLounge. With over 100,000 members, 150,000 topics and nearly 1,000,000 posts - even more if you count those in our old forums - our Discussion Forums continue to constitute the largest independent community of iPod users and discussions anywhere on the planet.

Thanks to all of our Forum members for their continued support! If you haven’t visited or signed up yet, now’s the time.

Apple files patent for multi-function handheld device

A new Apple patent application published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office details a “multi-functional handheld device” that has the ability to quickly switch between multiple operating modes. The patent, which was filed in March, describes a device with a touch sensitive screen covering the entire front of the unit and the ability to switch between functionalities such as PDA, cell phone, music player, video player, game player, digital camera, GPS, handtop, and remote control.

“Before a particular device functionality can be used, it typically must be selected for use,” a portion of the filing reads. “The selection can come in a variety of forms. For example, the selection may be made via a main menu that includes soft buttons or icons that, when selected, activate the device functionality associated with the soft button. During activation, the GUI for that particular device is brought into view on the display and the software associated with the device is installed, loaded or activated. From that point on, the multi-functional device operates like the selected device.”

Griffin offers iTrip Auto Universal

Griffin Technology will soon release the iTrip Auto Universal, a new FM transmitter designed to work with any portable audio player with a standard 1/8” (3.5mm) headphone port. Like the other iTrip accessories, this new model allows users to listen to the music on their player wirelessly through a car’s stereo system. The iTrip Auto Universal ($40) is powered by a 12-volt accessory (cigarette lighter) outlet and features an LCD for station tuning, switchable LX/DX Modes, and automatic shutoff function.

GizMac ships Titan case for iPod nano

GizMac has announced the availability of its aluminum Titan case for the iPod nano. The Titan case, made from anodized aircraft aluminum, features a carabiner clip, armband, belt clip with 360-degree rotation, and lanyard accessories. The $40 case also sports a hard acrylic screen protector and thin film click wheel protector. The Titan case is available in black, silver, pink, purple, cranberry, light green, light blue, dark orange, and gold.

Mix: RAZR V3i, TightPod, SpiralFrog, Speck Products

Cingular is now selling Motorola’s iTunes-compatible RAZR V3i cell phone. The V3i, which was announced nearly a year ago, features a 1.2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, microSD card slot, and more.

Apple will pay a laptop case maker to stop using the word “Pod” in its product names. Bloomberg reports: “Terry Wilson, 53, who sells the TightPod over the Internet, said Apple contacted her after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said she would soon receive a trademark for the product. She wouldn’t say how much Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., agreed to pay toward costs of the name change.”

Vaja debuts iVolution Leather Suit for 5G iPods

Vaja has announced its new iVolution Leather Suit for the 30GB and 60GB fifth-generation iPods. The $70 case is made from genuine Argentine leather and features all-around, padded protection, snap closure system, and a removable Lexan screen protector. The case also provides access to all controls and ports, is available in nearly 40 different colors, and can be personalized with a name ($10) or logo ($30).

New content from Nickelodeon, The N coming to iTunes

The MTVN Kids and Family Group announced today that it will soon offer new programming from Nickelodeon and The N on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Launching today on iTunes is The N’s Degrassi: The Next Generation, a “fictional, dramatic series that tackles tough issues in a realistic way, which ranked number-one in premiere ratings in its time period among teens.” During the month of September, Nickelodeon will add TEENick series Drake & Josh, Unfabulous and Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, as well as Nick Jr. series The Wonder Pets!, and new seasons from Zoey 101. The network will also offer a free sneak peek of its new series, Mr. Meaty, prior its on-air network debut.

Report: Apple to launch movie service with only Disney offerings

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will use its special event next week to add full-length movie downloads to the iTunes Music Store, but that the company has so far only signed up Disney and no other major Hollywood studio. In contrast, plans this week to unveil its new Windows Media-based movie-downloading store with films from all of the major Hollywood studios except Disney. Apple’s lack of studio partnerships is due to Apple’s refusal to charge higher prices for new releases. Apple reportedly plans to sell older movies for $9.99 and $14.99 for new releases. According to Variety,’s movie prices will range from $9.99 to $19.99—about the same as those for other online movie services such as CinemaNow, Movielink and AOL. The movies on both stores are expected to go on sale at the same time as the DVD versions are released.

Harman Kardon Go+Play speaker system announced

Harman Kardon has introduced its new Go+Play iPod speaker system. The portable system features a horizontal iPod cradle, stainless steel handle and speaker grilles, and can be battery or AC powered. The Go+Play also offers an IR remote control, touch-sensitive controls, and S-video out. Harman Kardon said the Go+Play will be available later this year for $300.

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