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iKeychain for iPod shuffle announced

imageThe iKeychain is a new machined aluminum iPod shuffle case that doubles as a keychain. The case is available in black, blue, gold, red, and polished aluminum for $29.95. Pure silver and gold plated versions are also available for $99.95.

“To test the strength of the iKeychain, we ran over it with a car five times and the case remained in tact,” says the manufacturer. “This durability can come in handy when using your shuffle while skateboarding, rollerblading, mountain biking, snowboarding, snowskiing, bungee jumping, skydiving…you get the picture.” [via TUAW]

Mix: Mass market, AAPL, Podcasting, Sony players

“Apple is becoming a mass market company,” Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich said today. “The next perceptual change could be investor recognition that the company is building a sustainable consumer franchise. Although the current focus is music, look for Apple to go after video in the home with an emphasis on high definition.”

Shares of Apple surged today after the company reported its best quarterly profit ever and better than expected iPod sales. The company’s positive results also gave a boost to the companies that supply components for the iPod.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has written an interesting article on Apple’s fast adoption of podcasting, noting that speed was of the essence with incorporating the new technology into iTunes.

Sony has knocked Apple from the top spot of the flash-based MP3 player market in Japan with its new stylish devices. Sony’s share for flash memory players rose from 4 percent in March to 27 percent in June. Apple’s share with the iPod shuffle in Japan has fallen to under 20 percent.

Newer Technology offers iPod photo replacement battery

Newer Technology is now offering a high-capacity 900mAh replacement battery for all iPod photo models and fourth-generation 40GB iPod models. The battery sells for $29.99 and ships with instructions and installation tools, though “professional installation is highly recommended,” according to the company. The replacement battery provides nearly 30 percent more capacity for iPod photo models and 50 percent more capacity for the fourth-generation 40GB iPod.

iPockets add storage to back of iPod

imageiPockets are stick-on plastic sleeves for the iPod designed to let you store items such as credit cards, money, drivers license or house key. They’re available in clear, pink, blue, green, orange, and red for the iPod ($3.99) and iPod mini ($2.99).

“iPockets are an inexpensive but valuable asset for your iPod,” explains the company behind the product. “They are a super thin and ultra light weight storage system that attaches easily to your iPod. Use them to store items you need to take with you while you’re on the go.”

Apple ships 6.1 million iPods, tops analyst expectations [updated]

Reporting its fiscal 2005 third quarter financial results on Wednesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 6.1 million iPods during the quarter, topping all analyst estimates, which ranged from 4.8 million to 5.55 million.

With today’s report of Apple shipping 6,155,000 iPods during the quarter—about 800,000 more than last quarter and 5.3 million more than a year ago—the total number of iPods sold now stands at over 20 million.

Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $320 million, or 37 cents per share, on $3.52 billion in revenue—the highest earnings and revenue in the company’s history. These results compare to a profit of $61 million, or 8 cents a share, and revenue of $2.01 billion last year.

In an SEC filing, Apple said all iPod models accounted for more than $1.1 billion in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 343 percent compared to last year. Apple’s “Other Music Products

Muff Dock lets your iPod relax, recharge

imageMuff Pod has add to its unique selection of iPod gear with its new Muff Dock. Described as the first fully functional iPod beanbag, the Muff Dock allows your iPod to “relax, recharge and sync in stylish comfort.”

The $19 accessory is designed to let you use the Dock Connector cord while keeping your iPod “well-supported in an upright comfy position.” It’s available in four styles—“Tarty,” “Assault,” “Fluffy” (shown), and “Bluey Green Cord”—and works with all iPods.

Etchamac puts laser etched images on your iPod

imageEtchamac 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.”

Mix: iPod shipments, Album sales, Macworld Expo, Sales growth

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.

DLO debuts iPod mini cases targeted at women

imageDigital 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 unveils TuneTalk, TuneCommand

imageBelkin 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.

imageBelkin’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.

Mix: Q3 earnings, iPod hoodie, H.264 codec

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.

O’Neill shows iPod-friendly jacket, backpack

imageAt 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.

imageThe “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.

German iPod site has posted a photo gallery from the event with pictures of the new jacket and backpack.

Mix: iPod Parka, Poker, Future Sonics, Podcasting, Nyko

imageThe 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 turns iPod into PowerPoint powerhouse

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 offers iPod mini replacement battery

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 intros ‘Drive + Play’ for iPod

imageHarman 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

DLO debuts TransPod for iPod shuffle

imageDigital 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.

iPodlounge growth drives expansion, rebranding to iLounge

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.

Mix: Plantronics/Altec Lansing, Blogcast, London bombing

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.

Doctors said that Tad Grglewiecz, a victim of last week’s bombing in London, had his hearing saved by his iPod earphones. [via MDN]

Kensington intros FM transmitter/radio for iPod

imageThe 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.

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