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Sonnet intros PodFreq for iPod nano

imageSonnet Technologies has announced the PodFreq Nano, a new version of its FM transmitter designed specifically for Apple’s iPod nano. In addition to FM broadcasting, the PodFreq Nano also incorporates a protective case, integrated dock, car charger, car cradle (vehicle mount sold separately), and telescoping antenna. It sells for $100.

“PodFreq Nano is simple to use—with its integrated, backlit display and dedicated tuning buttons, it is easy to quickly tune and broadcast to any empty station frequency without having to navigate through menus,” says Sonnet. “There are no cables to plug in and no software to install—just extend the antenna and
you are ready to Freq.”

Logitech mm50 iPod speakers go black

imageLogitech today announced that its mm50 portable iPod speaker system (iLounge rating: A-) is now available in black to match the latest iPods.

The $150 system features “Max-X” high-excursion drivers, a built-in iPod cradle, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 10 hours. You can simultaneously recharge the iPod battery and speaker battery when powered by the included AC adapter. The system works with all dockable iPods and comes with a travel case and a wireless remote control.

Mix: Scrubs, iPope, One Voice, Cingular

NBC Universal and Touchstone Television are reportedly close to signing a deal to offer “Scrubs” on Apple’s iTunes. Episodes from the current season could be added as soon as this month.

Pope Benedict XVI, who was presented with an iPod last week, is “very pleased” with the device and “likes to unwind listening to it,” according to The Sun newspaper.

One Voice Technologies announced today that it has added voice enabled commands to access and play iTunes music from within Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005.

Cingular has launched a new mobile TV service that offers subscribers of its 3G network clips from 18 different channels, including Cartoon Network, NBC, ESPN, Fox News, and HBO.

MTX intros iThunder portable iPod audio system

imageMTX Audio has announced the iThunder, a new portable boom box for all dockable iPods. The iThunder features a built-in iPod cradle, internal amplifier, ported enclosure, and a set of 4” full range drivers. It also has a spring-action pop-up handle, wireless remote, and can run off AC power or eight C batteries. The iThunder will be available in white or black and will begin shipping during Q2 2006.

“The MTX iThunder is definitely not just another MP3 player boom box,” says the company. “What separates the iThunder is that it is designed from the ground up by MTX’s own team of highly skilled engineers. Which means it isn’t just another set of repackaged drivers thrown together by a computer speaker company or another no name brand. The iThunder features the same technologies and innovations that have made MTX a leader in home and car audio products for over thirty years.”

iTunes Multi-Pass debuts; Daily Show, Colbert Report added

Comedy Central and Apple have quietly added “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart and “The Colbert Report” to the iTunes Music Store. The episodes, however, are not just being sold individually like previous shows on iTunes. Apple has introduced a new feature called “Multi-Pass,” which is similar to a paid video podcast.

The Multi-Pass costs $9.99 and allows iTunes users to subscribe to a specific show in order to get future episodes automatically. The Multi-Pass for the two Comedy Central shows will get you the most recent episode and the next 15 new episodes. The new episodes will be downloaded automatically as they become available.

Update: Comedy Central and Apple have now sent out a press release announcing the addition of the shows and the new Multi-Pass feature.

“We are excited that ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ are now available to download on the iTunes Music Store,” said Michele Ganeless, executive vice president and general manager, Comedy Central. “Fans of the most trusted names in fake news can now take Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert with them everywhere they go.”

“We’re thrilled to offer ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ on iTunes,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “Our newest feature ‘Multi-Pass’ gives fans the ability to purchase a block of 16 episodes of these hit programs during the current season and have them delivered automatically to their computer after they air on TV.”

iLuv launches iPod accessory lineup

iLuv, a division of jWIN Electronics, has introduced several new iPod products, including three new speaker systems, an FM transmitter, a power adapter and an external battery pack.

imageiLuv i552 ($120; black or white)
The i552 is a portable speaker system with a built-in AM/FM radio and universal iPod dock. It features “jAura” acoustic technology, a multi-function LCD screen, USB port for iPod shuffle compatibility, line input for other audio devices, and comes with a remote control.

imageiLuv i177 ($110; black or white)
The i177 is a stereo docking system with an integrated clock display with dual alarm functions. It offers the same jAura sound, AM/FM radio, USB connectivity, remote control and backlit LCD screen. The i177 lets users sleep or wake to their iPod, radio, or buzzer.

imageiLuv i188 ($60; black or white)
iLuv’s i188 is a smaller portable speaker system with universal iPod dock. It features four full-range loudspeakers, line-in audio port and charges your iPod while in use.

imageiLuv i107 ($30; white only)
The i107 is a foldable battery charger/power adapter for iPods. The multi voltage (110/220v) AC adapter has a USB port and allows you to charge your iPod when not connected to a computer.

imageiLuv i702 ($25; black or white)
The iLuv i702 is bottom-connecting FM transmitter that lets you listen to the music on your iPod through any FM radio. The i702 tunes FM radio frequencies with the iPod controls and displays frequencies on the iPod’s LCD. The compact device utilizes PLL tuning technology and supports international FM frequency ranges.

imageiLuv i603/i604 ($84; black, white, pink, blue)
The i603 and i604 are silicone skins with integrated iPod back-up battery packs. They each feature a built-in high-capacity rechargeable lithium polymer battery that extends the playback time of the fifth-generation iPod by up to 55 hours (i604) or up to 42 hours (i603).



V-Moda debuts polished metal earphones

imageV-Moda has introduced a new collection of polished alloy metal earphones. The Remix M-class earphones offer a “comfortable, light weight and secure fit,” and provide “warm mids and crisp highs… deep yet precise bass levels (122dB at 20Hz).” They’re available in silver, pink and blue, and feature clear metallic and color cables. The Remix M-class earphones are priced at $50.

Mix: Gigabytes, Early Show, La la Media, Tony Blair

Apple Matters has compiled some historical iPod data and found that the price per gigabyte has fallen from $80 for the original 5GB iPod to $7 for the 60GB fifth-generation iPod.

Brett Larson, technology editor for WCBS-TV in New York, was on the CBS Early Show today showcasing a number of iPod accessories.

Reuters reports: “A new online music service called La la Media Inc. aims to offer full-length CDs for $1 by letting users trade discs, in a bid to avoid legal pitfalls that face online song trading.”

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair says he has an iPod, but admits that he’s “not always in control of it”. “My daughter does all the songs, I’m not very good with the technology, I’m not very good with any aspect of it,” Blair said.

Bose intros SoundDock carrying case

imageBose has introduced a new carrying case for its popular SoundDock iPod speaker system. The SoundDock travel case, which offers a padded, two-tone gray nylon design, allows users to more easily transport the speaker system and its power supply. The case also has pockets for an iPod, SoundDock remote, earbuds and dock inserts. The travel case sells for $45.

iStyles intros Silicon Screens, Overlays for iPods

iStyles has announced its Silicon Screens and Silicon Overlays for the iPod. The Silicon Screen ($7) is a dual layer screen protector that features an outer hard coat protective film and an inner silicon rubber layer. The Silicon Screen is available for 4G and 5G iPods, iPod nanos and iPod minis. The Silicon Overlay ($10) is made using the same protective material as the Silicon Screen, but comes in a three-piece set to cover the front, back, screen and click wheel area of the 5G iPod or iPod nano.

ezGear offers ezGold video cable for iPods

imageezGear has announced the availability of the ezGold video cable for fifth-generation iPods. The $20 cable allows users to view videos and photos on a TV. It’s made of shielded wires with protective sheathing and uses gold-plated connectors.

“The ezGold is the easiest way to share your iPods videos and photos with friends and family, allowing your video iPod to perform like a VCR, DVD player, or DVR. Simply plug one end of the ezGold video cable into your earphone jack of your iPod and the other to the back of your television and your done.”

Mix: Apple VP, Beverly Center, Hi-Fi window, AOL shows

Pascal Cagni, Apple VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will speak at a London digital music conference on March 15.

The Beverly Center Apple retail store in Los Angeles, Calif. is giving away an iPod, iPod nano or iPod shuffle every night in March.

Apple retail stores have rolled out a new window display advertising the new iPod Hi-Fi. It simulates a broken window caused by the sound from the speaker system.

AOL plans to sell TV programming on its website by the middle of this year. The service will sell Time Warner-owned shows and those by other programmers and networks, the company said.

Nyko debuts Speaker Dock 2 for iPod

imageNyko Technologies has introduced the Speaker Dock 2, a new compact iPod speaker system. The dome-shaped system has a top mounted iPod cradle/stand and two acoustically balanced BDD Pro speakers. The Speaker Dock 2 works with all dockable iPod with a set of included adapters, and has a line-in port for using the speakers with other devices and older iPods. It is powered by 4 AA batteries or an included AC adaptor. The Speaker Dock 2 is available now for $100.

“The Speaker Dock 2 is a stylish, compact speaker system that lets users listen to their favorite tunes in crisp, clear stereo sound while charging their iPod at the same time,” says Nyko. “The speaker system is skillfully designed to match the aesthetic of the iPod, and is small enough to fit on your nightstand, bathroom or kitchen counter, shelf, desk, or anywhere space is limited. Now you can enjoy your music while cooking, taking a shower, getting ready, at work, or just hanging out.”

DLO brings iPod solution to select Volvos

imageDLO has announced it will be providing iPod car solutions to Volvo. Developed in partnership with ProClip USA, the Volvo FM Transmitter will be available through Volvo dealerships for S40, V50 and XC90 models. The transmitter will provide a secured power cradle for the iPod and iPod nano, and is hard wired and mounted directly into the vehicle’s dashboard. It also features an auxiliary input for use with other audio and video devices. The Volvo FM Transmitter is available now, exclusively through Volvo dealerships, and sells for $139, installation not included.

Keyspan intros TuneView for iPod, iTunes

imageKeyspan has announced its new TuneView Remote system for both iPod and iTunes. The TuneView Remote features a color LCD and 2-way RF connectivity, allowing users to remotely manage music on the iPod when used in conjunction with the TuneView Dock for iPod. Also announced was the TuneView USB adapter, which allows for remote managing of music in iTunes via software and the TuneView Remote. Both the TuneView Remote and TuneView Dock for iPod will be available in May, for $99 and $79 respectively. The TuneView USB adapter sells for $39 and will be available this summer.

Mix: Mac mini, Hit-and-run, Hi-Fi disappointment, Music Week

Like it did with the iMac G5, Apple is promoting the new Intel-based Mac mini computer as being iPod-like. “Mac mini. Your whole digital life, as easy as iPod,” reads an email to Apple Store customers.

A San Francisco woman who was the victim of an hit-and-run accident was identified thanks to her iPod and the help of an Apple retail store.

David Colker of the Los Angeles Times says the iPod Hi-Fi is “quite disappointing” and that it’s “maybe the weakest offering from Apple since the woeful Cube computer of 2000.”

Apple’s iTunes Music Store was named Best Digital Music Store at the Music Week Awards 2006, which were presented at the Grosvenor House in London on March 2nd.

Pope presented with iPod nano

Pope Benedict XVI was given an iPod nano today by a group of Vatican Radio employees. In honor of the pope’s first visit to the radio’s broadcasting headquarters, he was presented with a 2GB white nano pre-loaded with special Vatican Radio programming and classical music. It was engraved with the words “To His Holiness, Benedict XVI” in Italian.

“The pope’s new 2GB digital audio player already was loaded with a sampling of the radio’s programming in English, Italian and German and musical compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frederic Chopin, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky and Igor Stravinsky,” reports the Catholic News Service. “The iPod also contains an English-language radio drama on the life of St. Thomas a Becket and a 10-minute feature on the creation of Vatican Radio, with original sound clips of the inventor of the radio, Guglielmo Marconi, and Vatican Radio’s founder, Pope Pius XI.”

Griffin iTrip now available in Switzerland

imageGriffin Technology has announced that its iTrip FM transmitter is now available in Switzerland thanks to recent changes made to Swiss law. Griffin said the device, which works with 3G, 4G and 5G iPods, can be purchased in the country from MediaMarkt, FNAC, Manor, Dataquestin and other retailers.

“Recent changes in Swiss law have opened the door to broadcast in Switzerland over the FM radio spectrum (87.9 - 107.9),” Griffin said in a statement. “iTrip’s CE certification means that users can be rest assured of iTrip’s compliance with strict laboratory guidelines for emmisions, broadcast strength, electrostatic discharge, and immunity to outside interference. In plain language, this means that iTrip will not conflict with other electronic devices, and that it will be available to a wider European market.”

DOJ investigating digital music price fixing

Following a similar investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the Department of Justice is now investigating the major music labels for possible anti-competitive pricing of digital music downloads.

“One music industry source said that some subpoenas may have been issued already in connection with the probe, while other labels had been tipped off that subpoenas would likely be coming in the next few days,” reports Reuters. “The two music industry sources said Thursday the DOJ’s probe appeared to be focused on the same issues—whether the labels colluded to set wholesale pricing for song downloads. The investigation also could be related to licensing renegotiations with Apple, maker of the wildly popular iPod digital music player, for its iTunes music store.”

Avis offers free iTunes downloads with car rental

Avis Rent A Car has announced a new promotion that rewards customers with free iTunes song downloads with every rental booked on the company’s website. Avis said customers receive five free song downloads for every rental of one to four days, and rentals of at least five days will qualify for ten song downloads.

“With over one billion songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, I think consumers have shown how much they want this product. And at Avis, ‘trying harder’ means giving people what they want,” said Scott Deaver, VP of marketing for Cendant Car Rental Group, parent of Avis.

Avis said it also has plans to offer specially equipped rental vehicles that will let customers play their own digital music through the car’s audio system. “Rewarding customers with free music is only the beginning; the cars have to be ready too,” Deaver said.

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