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iSkin unveils Wild Sides for iPod mini

imageiSkin today announced the availability of its Wild Sides protectors for the iPod mini. The distinctive silicone skins are available in three colors—Verve (bright green and white), Rebel (deep blue and white) and Diva (hot pink and white)—and have photo-luminous glow-in-the-dark stripes. The Mini Wild Sides also feature a colored screen protector, an iSkin REVOClip, and a swirl printed Click Wheel protector. They’re priced at $29.99.

Tune Belt intros new armband for iPod shuffle

imageTune Belt has announced a new “Open View

Windows: iPod Access 2.4 released

iPod Access 2.4 from Findley Designs is the latest version of the Windows utility that enables you to copy songs from your iPod back to your computer. Version 2.4 adds iTunes 4.9 support, correctly shows playlists on all iPods, and features more robust file re-naming. iPod Access for Windows is available for $14.99.

Forums: Forum reshuffling, Gadget habit, Deleting Podcasts

This week in the iLounge Discussion Forums: with increased interest in Podcasts, our existing Podcast & Podcasting forum has now been promoted from a subforum to the main Forums page. Make sure to check it out!

We’ve also rearranged our iPod forums. Our old iPod photo forum has been converted to iPod (Color/Photo) to cover the updated iPod range, while all black and white (monochrome) iPod discussion can now be found in the renamed iPod (Black & White) forum. A similar reshuffle has taken place in the Problems & Solutions Discussion Forums.

Got a gadget habit? In a similar vein to the popular Workspace and Desktop threads, a member has asked for other Loungers to post their favorite gadgets. Share your obsession…

Finally, the question of how to delete Podcasts from your iPod after you have listened to them has been raised in the Podcasts Discussion forum.

Griffin intros SiliSkins for iPod shuffle

imageGriffin Technology has announced the SiliSkins, a set of silicone skins for the iPod shuffle. Each SiliSkins package comes with three skins in three frosted colors: clear, pink and blue. The set is priced at $19.99.

“Shelter your iPod shuffle from scratches, drops, and bump,” says Griffin. “Pick a color to fit your mood or activity. Mix and match cap colors for a look all your own. SiliSkins are form-fitted and their see-through design allow for easy operation of the iPod shuffle.”

Mix: Tech Night Owl, Microsoft/Creative, iPod eBooks

iLounge Contributing Editor Kirk McElhearn will be on The Tech Night Owl Live tonight. You can tune in to the broadcast from 9:00 to 11:00 PM ET to hear the show.

In order to better compete with the iPod, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates reportedly said that his company would work closer with Creative Technology. “The iPod has done great marketing and great design,

Matias USB 2.0 keyboard doubles as iPod shuffle dock

imageMatias has unveiled a new computer keyboard that features a dedicated USB 2.0 dock for the iPod shuffle (or other iPod using a USB cable).

The Matias USB 2.0 Keyboard, which was originally planned to be called the “iPod shuffleboard,” also features two USB 1.1 ports for other devices such as your mouse and joystick. It comes in two versions—a white, Mac-only version with Option Key symbols like the company’s OS X Keyboard and Tactile Pro Keyboard, and a black version that works with both Macs and PCs. They both sell for $39.95, or $49.95 with a mouse.

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.

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