CBS Digital President Larry Kramer said this week that he has had talks with Apple about selling CBS television shows on the iTunes Music Store. Kramer said a deal with Apple is a strong possibility as long as the “economic proposal is fair enough.” Currently, the only network the offers shows through iTunes is ABC.
CBS recently announced that it will offer downloads of three episodes of prime-time sci-fi series “Threshold” online via CBS.com. The network also recently released a large number of podcasts through the iTunes Music Store, including “60 Minutes” and “Guiding Light” podcasts.
Neuros Audio is turning to the open-source community to help make its upcoming portable media player an iPod contender.
Apple is giving Scotland’s Edinburgh high school 50 iPods to be used in classrooms by students and teachers.
Make magazine’s Philip Torrone has posted an article on his experiences testing out VR/LCD goggles with the video-enabled 5G iPod.
Engadget has posted all of the iPod costume entries it received for the Engadget Halloween Costume Contest.
Men’s magazine publishers Playboy and Penthouse may soon offer adult movies for portable video players such as the new 5G iPod, according to Bloomberg News.
AOL confirmed today that it has bought Circuit City’s MusicNow digital music service. Financial terms were not disclosed, but insiders said AOL paid less than $25 million. MusicNow will offer 99-cent song downloads and monthly subscriptions for $9.95 for unlimited downloading. Like services from Napster and Yahoo, users can download songs to a compatible music player for an additional fee.
AOL entered into a partnership with Apple in 2003 to promote the iTunes Music Store through its internet service. AOL members can also sign in to the iTunes Music Store using their AOL screen name and password to buy tracks. The company said its purchase of MusicNow will not immediately affect its relationship with Apple. “AOL’s partnership with iTunes is strong, has been fruitful for both companies, and will continue,” said AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham.
iKey-Audio has introduced the iKey, a portable device that records audio from any audio source and converts it to MP3 or WAV files that are saved directly onto an iPod. The iKey sells for $230 and is available now.
“From music and concerts to live speeches and seminars, the iKey is a consumer-centric device that is capable of capturing an audio signal in real-time and converting it into MP3 and WAV format,” explains the company. “The iKey is extremely user-friendly and easy to operate. Consumers simply connect a cable from their headphone jack, CD player or other output source to the iKey, connect the iKey to a USB storage device such as an iPod, select a digital audio format, and hit record.”
Contrary to previous reports, Samsung said today that it does not plan to launch its own digital music store. However, the company did say that it will help its online music partners in hopes of boosting sales of Samsung digital audio players.
“We’re not interested in the online music services market but we plan to offer technical support to our partners to make their services easier and fancier and that would increase our hardware sales,” Choi Gee-sung, the president of Samsung’s digital media division told reporters after a meeting with analysts.
Samsung’s partners include Napster, Microsoft and Yahoo Music. The company is also the main supplier of flash memory to Apple for use in iPods.
Sales of Apple’s video-enabled fifth-generation iPod are stronger than expected, according to one Wall Street analyst. “In our recent proprietary checks with industry and channel sources, we believe sales of 5G iPods are coming in ahead of expectations,” American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said in a research note provided to iLounge. “In some cases, in Apple’s own channels, including its physical stores and online store, we believe 5G iPods are surprisingly outselling even the very popular iPod nano.”
Wu said he believes that buyers of the new iPod are “mostly installed base users attracted to its high storage capacity, video capability, and reasonable price points,” while more mainstream customers are purchasing nanos. “We do not believe this trend is true through all distribution channels, particularly retail including Amazon.com, Best Buy, and CompUSA, where iPod nano remains the best seller,” he said.
New York City-based Fluffpod has announced Fluffer, a new iPod case made from “extra soft faux fur, silky smooth satin lining, and white leather boots.” The white fur case is available for all fourth-generation iPods, and provides access to all controls and ports. “We wanted to bring serious softness, personality, and character to our first really fun consumer product,” said Scott Lopatin, creator of Fluffpod, “all while safely protecting your iPod cuddled snugly inside Fluffer.” The case is priced at $35.
Despite the increasing popularity of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, digital music sales in the U.S. have plateaued in recent months. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of digital tracks almost tripled to 6.6 million downloads a week in the year through May, and were at only 6.7 million in the last week of October.
“The download numbers suggest that the iPod’s iconic success, which has driven up Apple’s share price almost sixfold since 2001, isn’t translating into new music sales the way the evolution from vinyl albums to cassettes and then CDs did,” says Bloomberg’s Charles Goldsmith. “For many users, the portable devices are just another way of stocking and listening to music, not an incentive to buy new music,” he says.
iLounge has today opened the Library, a section of the site dedicated to our free Buyers’ Guides and Books. The Library provides one-click downloading access to each of our previous editions, starting with our 2004 Buyers’ Guide, continuing to our Spring/Summer 2005 Guide, The Free iPod Book, and our most recent Holiday 2005-2006 Buyers’ Guide.
The Free iPod Book contains comprehensive iPod and iTunes tutorials, as well as information on the wealth of iPod-related repair, customization, and CD ripping service providers currently out there. Past editions of our Buyers’ Guides focus heavily on accessories for discontinued iPods and iPod minis. All of these publications are in PDF format, and available free of charge.
The Pixelgirl Shop has added a slew of new iPod nano cases to its online store of handmade goods.
The Urban Metallics Sculpted Leather Nano Case ($45) designed by Marty Flint is a hand-oiled leather stitched case that has a “dark silver texture made out of words, blended onto the black leather for an urban but grungy feel.”
The Sweethearts White Nano Case ($18) is a white vinyl hand-stitched case also designed by Flint. It has a “cute heart pattern stitched onto the front and a cool sewn edge to give it a finished look.” Flilnt’s Winter White Nano Case ($18) is identical to his Sweethearts nano case, but with a light blue snowflake pattern instead of hearts.
Gerbera Designs has three designs available from Pixelgirl. All three cases sell for $25 and include iPod Nano Case - Flowers, iPod Nano Case - I love Eames, and iPod Nano Case - Mod Dots. The flip-style fabric cases have a clear pocket for the nano, foam padding and velcro closure.
The Mod Lines Nano Case ($18) by Emily Sessions has a hand-sewn design made of a wool/acrylic blend felt, with acrylic felt appliques and velcro closure. The case also has a clear vinyl covering for the screen and click wheel.
Two 16-year-old Philadelphia boys were arrested in an undercover sting operation yesterday after holding a female college student’s iPod for ransom since this past weekend. The iPod was recovered unharmed.
The BBC is reportedly planning to make most of its programming available for free on platforms such as the video-enabled 5G iPod for seven days after it has been broadcast.
Online search engine Guba is “set to offer vast amounts of pornography and other video files specifically tailored for Apple’s new iPods,” reports Reuters. Beginning this month, Guba will convert video files from Usenet newsgroups into H.264 format.
Griffin Technology has announced that its RoadTrip FM transmitter, charger and cradle now works with Apple’s fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano. A new cradle for the nano now ships with every RoadTrip, and the 5G iPod works with the RoadTrip’s adjustable cradle. The all-in-one car solution also now comes in either white or charcoal. The RoadTrip, which sells for $89.99, is now compatible with any 3G/4G/5G iPod, iPod mini and iPod nano. Current RoadTrip owners can get the nano cradle from Griffin for free plus the cost of shipping.
The iLounge team will be on hand at next week’s Portable Media Expo & Podcasting Conference in Ontario, California. Our booth will feature a hands-on lounge area with a number of iPod accessories from companies such as Altec Lansing, Belkin, Griffin, DLO, iHome, JBL, Macally, Oregon Scientific, iSkin, and Speck.
The booth will also feature a “History of iPod” display showcasing every generation of iPod with music and featured podcasts to listen to. The iLounge booth will sport two 20” iMacs for checking out the Holiday Buyers’ Guide and the iLounge website, as well as a 50” Plasma display showing visuals to music. We’ll also have giveaways of iLounge T-shirts and iPod accessories. In addition, iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz will moderate a panel featuring leading members of the iPod economy at the event. You can check out renderings of the iLounge booth by clicking below.
Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster expects Apple to ship approximately 37 million iPods in 2005. “We expect the iPod to continue to be a foundation for growth in other parts of Apple’s business, and we expect that by the end of CY05 more than 37 million iPods will have shipped, providing Apple with a greater scope of awareness for various products (halo effect),” Munster said in a research note obtained by iLounge. “It appears that this phenomenon has begun to take effect, with a record 1.23 million Macs shipped in the September quarter.”
Munster also notes that iPod models are still dominating Amazon Top Seller Lists. “We believe that the iPod is continuing to gain traction in the December quarter as evidenced by the number of iPods included on the Amazon Top Seller List for portable MP3 players and All Electronics,” he said. “The number of iPods in the Top 10 increased by one, from 7 to 8 since our last update on October 21. Apple has 2 products in the Top 10 Sellers List of All Electronics and 4 in the Top 20.”
SKProducts has introduced the CarClip, a new iPod holder that hangs from your car’s rear view mirror. The CarClip puts your iPod at eye level, allows for use of top-mounted accessories and provides access to the dock connector port. The CarClip for the iPod mini sells for $24.95 and is available now. An iPod nano version will begin shipping on November 8th.
“The CarClip is engineered from a single piece of laser-cut, hand-molded, clear acrylic plastic designed to fit the iPod. The simple, yet elegant design, is accompanied by a colorful set of patent pending rubber Fishband motion buffers. These elastics go through the CarClip and around the center knob of the rear view mirror to prevent swaying.”
The folks at Engadget have gotten their hands on the upcoming Motorola SLVR L7 phone and report that the device has a mobile version of iTunes on it like the ROKR. The gadget site notes that there is no headphone jack and speculates that the phone will work with wireless Bluetooth headphones.
American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu says that Apple’s announcement of 1 million video downloads from iTunes is better than most expected this soon. “No one had any doubt they would reach 1 million (downloads),” said Wu. “But I think the speed of adoption is ahead of expectations. It’s a good sign for Apple, and its strategy.”
iPodMyBaby.com has kicked off a World’s Cutest Baby contest. The baby crowned the “World’s Cutest” will win a family of iPods (5G iPod, iPod nano and iPod shuffle), magazine subscriptions to Cookie and Wondertime, and global exposure on iPodMyBaby’s website.
Apple has moved up to 41st position in BusinessWeek’s survey of global brands. “The new placing sees Apple rise from 43rd place last year and 50th position in 2003. The reason for this is that Apple is now valued at $7.985 billion. This is $1.1 billion more than last year,” reports Macworld UK.
JAVOedge has announced the availability of a new leather case for Apple’s iPod nano. The JAVOLeatherCase features a slim top-flap design with magnetic closure, a detachable belt clip, and is available in nine colors—black, blue, brown, green, light blue, pink, red, white, and yellow. The textured leather case is priced at $29.99.
Wcities, a leading provider of travel and destination content, has released its first Pod CityGuides. The travel guides are downloaded and transferred to your iPod, providing you with details “for the coolest clubs, hippest hotels, trendiest restaurants, top attractions, and hottest events in more than 300 cities around the globe,” according to the company.
“With the handy Pod CityGuide you can customize your travel itinerary with the same ease and convenience that you program your iPod,” says Wcities. “When you use the Pod CityGuide, you can forget your calendar because the personal event guide keeps you up to date with the coolest events including concerts, sports, theater, festivals and museums, in cities across the USA and around the world.”
Following Apple’s announcement yesterday that more than 1 million videos have been downloaded from iTunes, BusinessWeek reports that demand for the video-enabled fifth-generation iPod may be outstripping supply.
“Apple hasn’t yet said how many of the new players it has sold since the units started shipping Oct. 17, but clues are mounting that there simply aren’t enough around,” says BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl. “It’s taking Apple between five and seven business days to fill online orders for the video iPod, according to the company’s Web site.”
Component constraints are reportedly to blame for shipping delays with the 5G iPod and iPod nano. iSuppli analyst Vinita Jakhanwal says that the component is probably a light-emitting diode backlight used to brighten the iPod’s screen. “They’re going into iPods, but they’re also going into cell phones,” Jakhanwal says. “The lead times for these backlights has gotten longer in recent weeks.”
inSight Concepts has announced the PodFitKit, a new product that aims to turn the Apple-supplied iPod earbuds into custom fit earphones. “PodFitKit consists of a unique, moldable silicon material that, when fitted properly, becomes integrated with the iPod’s earbuds,” explains the company. The PodFitKit is priced at $9.95.
“You get a totally customized earpiece that is quite similar to molded hearing protection, hearing aid fitting material and prosthetic inserts that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars,” says inSight. “Your iPod earbuds suddenly fit! And not only do they fit, they’re actually comfortable, and they stay put! The special silicon formula in PodFitKit hardens to the precise shape of your ear, while maintaining the earbud’s optimum positioning. Yet, it still remains slightly pliable on the surface for comfort.”