Etchamac has expanded its custom laser etching service to include the iPod and iPod mini. The company uses a CO2 laser to professionally etch the image or text (or both) of your choice directly to the backside of your iPod. Text costs $30 for both iPods and iPod minis, while an image and text costs $50 for full-size iPods and $40 for iPod minis.
“The process is done at low power and can not damage your iPod,” explains Etchamac. “The process is quick, clean, and permanent. From family pictures to corporate logos, line art, or your favorite team. You give us the art and we will etch your iPod or Powerbook.”
Bloomberg reports that Apple’s iPod shipments “probably dropped in the third quarter from the second [from 5.31 million to 5.29 million units], the first decline in more than two years and a sign the surge in demand for the music players may be waning.”
U.S. music fans downloaded 158 million songs from services like Apple’s iTunes Music Store during the first half of the year, compared with 55 million in the year-ago period, according to a recent SoundScan report.
The Boston Herald says that iPod accessories and associated gear will “dominate at least 10 percent of exhibit space” and “nearly a quarter of all conferences” at Macworld Expo in Boston this week.
In further pessimistic news that iPod sales may have plateaued, BusinessWeek says that sales growth is expected to cool from 234% in 2005 to 18% in 2006. “With every passing quarter, the company that set the music world on fire with the iPod is in greater need of an encore,” the publication says.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced its “mini Fling” fashion cases for the iPod mini. Designed specifically for women, the new cases “embrace today’s fashion trends and styles” and range from metallic pink to faux crocodile blue. They feature a removable wristlet with charm, an elastic loop for storage of earphones or lipstick, and a flip-up cosmetic mirror. The DLO mini fling cases will begin shipping later this month for $34.99.
Belkin today introduced two new iPod add-ons—the TuneTalk and TuneCommand—which add voice recording and wireless control capabilities to the device.
The TuneTalk is an omnidirectional microphone attachment that allows you to record audio such as memos and lectures to your iPod. As with other iPod voice recorders, you can transfer your recorded audio to your computer or listen to it on your iPod. The TuneTalk features a recording indicator LED, foam microphone cover, a flexible neck, and requires no extra software. It works with 3G/4G iPods and will be available later this month for $29.99.
Belkin’s TuneCommand is a wireless remote system that lets you control your iPod from up to 150 feet away. The device uses wireless radio frequency technology, enabling you to use it through walls. The remote features eight functions: play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up and down, shuffle songs, and repeat. When used with color screen iPods, the device lets you scroll through photo slideshows wirelessly. TuneCommand is compatible with 3G/4G iPods and the iPod mini. It will ship in August for $49.99.
Apple tomorrow reports its third-quarter financial earnings. Analysts expect the company to have earnings of 31 cents per share on $3.33bn in revenue and report iPod shipments of 5.4m-5.5m units.
Mary Burr Design is offering a $2.95 pattern for knitting your own iPod Hoodie.
In an article entitled “Movies seem ready to roll on iPod,” Robert Padbury of The Age speculates that Apple will take advantage of its H.264 video codec in an upcoming iPod movie player.
At an Apple event in Munich, Germany last week, O’Neill showed off its new iPod-ready jacket and backpacks. The company’s H2 line, which was announced earlier this year, consists of three tech-savvy outdoor products designed for use with the iPod—a jacket and two backpacks with iPod controls.
The “communication and entertainment jacket” was designed for skiers and snowboarders who want to take their iPod with them on the slopes. The jacket features an integrated audio system that can be controlled by a soft, washable control panel woven into the left hand sleeve. It also has a built-in Bluetooth module and microphone for hands-free calling with a compatible mobile phone.
The “solar communication and entertainment backpack” features two flexible solar panels and a USB recharging system to charge an iPod or mobile phone. Like the jacket, the pack also has embedded iPod controls and an integrated Bluetooth module and microphone for making hands-free calls. The other durable nylon backpack features the same features except lacks the solar charging.
The H2 backpacks are scheduled to be available later this month, while the jacket is supposed to be ready in September. Pricing was not immediately available.
The inCLUDE is a tiny parka for your iPod shuffle made by a Japanese company. The case’s sleeves double as a neck lanyard.
IPREPpress has released a set of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker game rules that can be downloaded and viewed on your iPod.
Future Sonics is offering iLoungers $10 off its Ears EM3 earphones. Simply enter the code: “ilounge05” during checkout to receive the discount.
“Podcasting won’t kill radio, but it will definitely kill a few hours as you explore what the rest of the world has to say,” says Fortune magazine’s Peter Lewis.
Nyko’s summer portable revolution contest is giving away a grand prize package that features a color iPod, Sony PSP, 100 iTunes downloads and numerous Nyko accessories.
ThinkFree has announced ThinkFree Office 3 Show, iPod Edition, new software that allows iPod users to create, edit and transport PowerPoint presentations and use them on any PC or view them on color screen iPods. ThinkFree Office 3 Show, iPod Edition is currently in beta and will be released in August for $39.95.
“Bringing the mobility of professional expression to another level, ThinkFree Office 3 Show, iPod Edition lets anyone create and edit powerful presentation graphics on any PC or Mac, then (with the color iPod or portable multimedia player) display them anywhere, from the campus to the golf course,” says ThinkFree. “This means that sales professionals, executives and students can leave their laptops at home and can literally put sophisticated graphic presentations in the hands of their prospects.”
Newer Technology has expanded its line of replacement iPod batteries with the introduction of a high-capacity battery for the iPod mini that provides up to 50 percent more capacity than the factory original.
NewerTech’s NuPower 600mAh is priced at $24.95. All NuPower battery kits are user-installable with included tools and online viewable installation videos, although the company says professional installation is recommended for iPod mini and fourth-generation iPod models.
Harman Kardon today introduced the Harman Kardon Drive + Play, a new iPod car connection solution that “provides complete iPod control, including full browsing capability, while minimizing distractions for drivers.”
The Drive + Play system consists of three components: a backlit LCD screen that displays five lines of iPod menu text; a five-button navigation control unit that mimics the iPod’s user interface; and “The brain
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the TransPod for iPod shuffle, an all-in-one car solution that lets you transmit, charge and display your iPod shuffle.
Like the company’s larger TransPods for full-size iPods, the TransPod for iPod shuffle broadcasts music to any FM radio frequency from 87.9 to 107.9. It features four programable presets, a line-out for use with a cassette adapter or auxiliary car stereo input, and a USB connection that allows the TransPod to interface with other iPods and audio devices like the Sony PSP.
“The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle is the only car accessory shuffle owners will ever need,” says DLO. “It lets them enjoy their entire music library on the road by broadcasting the iPod shuffle’s music through a car’s FM stereo. The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle also charges the iPod shuffle while cradling it in an adjustable, easy to position dock that attaches to any standard 12V cigarette lighter.”
The DLO TransPod for iPod shuffle is available now at Best Buy stores nationwide for $59.99.
A Message from Dennis Lloyd, Publisher of iPodlounge
Back in 2001, I started iPodlounge as a place for iPod owners and admirers to learn about the world’s coolest invention. The idea was simple: create a friendly, relaxed lounge where good people could hang out and meet other good people.
In our first few months, hundreds of visitors checked out the site, telling their friends and families about both the iPod and iPodlounge. They kept coming back, so it’s no surprise that iPodlounge has grown. Now we have a community of over 65,000 forum members, over 3,000,000 visitors a month to our main site, comprehensive coverage of every iPod ever released (plus every major iPod accessory), and some of the most incredible photo galleries ever assembled. This past month, we had over 20,000,000 page views, and thanks to your readership, the numbers just keep going up.
Today I have some exciting news to share: iPodlounge is expanding. For years, we’ve been known around the world by our name and our famous tagline, “All Things iPod.
Plantronics announced today that it has agreed to buy Altec Lansing, a leading maker of portable iPod speakers, for about $166 million in cash.
Microsoft employees are reportedly using the term “blogcast” instead of “podcast” because of the latter word’s association with the iPod.
The Kensington Digital FM Transmitter/Radio is a 2-in-1 FM transmitter and radio that allows you to listen to radio stations on your iPod or transmit the music on your iPod through a home or car FM stereo.
The device features a blue backlit display, four station pre-set buttons, and Aerielle-enabled FM transmitter technology that “delivers cleaner, higher quality audio when compared to any other FM transmitter on the market.” It’s compatible with Dock Connector iPods (3G/4G) with the extended headphone connector. Kensington said that the accessory will available in October 2005 for $79.99.
PumpPod is a new “portable training program” for color screen iPods and other handheld devices.
Each “PumpPod Trainer” is a collection of detailed JPEG images that are synced to your iPod, allowing you to view the exercises, instructions and tips just like you would a normal photo. The workout training is available in several levels—from cardio to abs to weights. The company behind PumpPod said that most PumpPod Trainers, which start at $29, “make up a progressive 4-6 week exercise program.”
“PumpPod is like having an elite personal trainer that fits in your pocket and goes where you go,” the company says. “The bright images and simple instructions demonstrate how to do exercises properly and effectively for better results. Best part? PumpPod is a visual training aid that won’t get in the way of you, your music, or your workout. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
iPodStyles today announced that it’s now offering a denim-like iPod case made to look like a pair of distressed jeans. The Jeans Splatter FabriX case is available now for $25.
“FabriX cases are handmade specially for the iPod using the finest of high grade fabrics and inner quilt padding,” explains the store. “This Denim Splatter FabriX case is made using high grade denim like material, with a special inner lining that not only protects the iPod, but also simulates the look of an actual pair of jeans. This special Denim Splatter FabriX case also features a cool jeans pocket that doubles as a earphone holder.”
Motorola plans to debut the first iTunes-compatible mobile phone at the V Festival next month, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The music event is sponsored by Virgin Mobile, leading some to believe the carrier could be the first to offer the device.
Apple has reportedly filed a patent for a car iPod holder that’s described as an “apparatus that can secure an electronic device and be inserted into a conventional cup holder. The cup holder, for example, is inside of an automobile.”
iLounger Marie-Chantale Turgeon let us know about her terrific series of illustration/painting/collage inspired by the iPod.
In an article entitled “Inside the big switch: the iPod and the future of Apple,” Jon Stokes says that we can expect to see an Intel chip inside iPods, and that the long-rumored video iPod could be the first to use the processors. “The cold, hard reality here is that the Mac is Apple’s past and the iPod is Apple’s future,” he writes.
The Inquirer has photos of a subway train in Japan that has been completely wrapped in Apple’s colorful iPod silhouette ads.
Logitech’s Identity headphones feature “powerful audio in a small and lightweight form factor.” The behind-the-head headphones include four changeable color plates and use twin neodymium drivers. The Identity headphones will be available in September for $39.99.
The Logitech Curve headphones (iLounge rating: B-) are “designed for the active mobile music enthusiast.” The durable headphones are made from translucent polycarbonate material and will be available in August in for $29.99.
Odeo, the new online podcasting service co-founded by Blogger creator Evan Williams, has opened its doors to the public. While “still very much in beta,” the site enables users to easily find and subscribe to the popular web-based audio programs and then sync them to their computer and iPod.
The podcasts can be downloaded to your hard drive with a free Windows or Mac OS X program called Odeo Syncr, which lets you listen to the shows in any audio player application (including iTunes) or on any portable device. Odeo also smartly provides the option to sync your podcasts to iTunes via a special RSS feed. Once in iTunes, you can then move the shows onto an iPod.
Odeo will eventually be more than just a place to find and listen to podcasts. The start-up plans to shortly introduce features that will enable anyone with a web browser and microphone to create their own podcasts online. The site will offer the Odeo Studio to record and publish audio, and Phone Posting, which will let you leave a voicemail to record a podcast. Odeo will also provide feed creation and hosting services.
The initial lack of the podcast creation features could be seen as a result of last month’s release of iTunes 4.9. It would appear that Odeo wanted to get its site open as soon as possible after the somewhat surprising release of the new version of iTunes and its podcasting support—even if it meant not having all of its promised features completely ready for launch.
iLounge spoke with Odeo’s Williams shortly after the release of iTunes 4.9. His reaction echoed that of other prominent members of the podcast world. “At the highest level, I think this is good for podcasting,” Williams said. “I think Apple will introduce a lot more people to podcasting a lot faster than would have happened otherwise.”
Williams said there are some similarities between his service and iTunes. “There is some overlap with Odeo as it stands today, but there’s so much to do in this space that I’m not concerned at all that there won’t be enough places for us to add value,” Williams told iLounge. “If it means we don’t need a client app for the millions of folks who use iTunes, then that might be a better user experience and a lower barrier to getting started,” Williams said. “It will also mean that many more people will want to create podcasts, which we will help with as well.”
Toyota announced today that its iPod-compatible Pioneer audio system upgrade is now available for its 2006 Scion xA and xB models, making Scion “the first brand to offer iPod connectivity and control across its entire lineup.”
The Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod control provides track, artist and album information from the iPod into a one-line scrolling display on the head unit’s screen. The iPod is connected by “simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable.” The iPod upgrade costs $260, which includes installation.
In May, Toyota announced that its 2006 Scion tC sports coupe was available with the iPod-ready audio system upgrade. The new xA and xB will begin arriving at Scion dealers next week.