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NBC video content coming to iTunes next?

The Wall Street Journal reports [paid sub. req.] that the film and TV sides of NBC Universal are “in talks with a number of players, including Apple, about making their content available for downloading.” The paper says that the company is still discussing pricing and security issues. “NBC Universal Digital Media is having conversations with many top players,” Deborah Reif, president of NBC Universal Digital Media, said in a statement. An spokesman declined to comment on whether the company has held conversations with NBC. Currently, Disney/ABC and Pixar are the only two studios offering content on the iTunes Music Store.

iLounge ‘One more thing’ Event Gallery

We’ve posted a large photo gallery from today’s “One more thing event” in San Jose, California. The gallery features 350 pictures from Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ presentation and numerous hands-on shots of the new iPod from after the keynote.

Apple posts special event video, iPod commercial

Apple has now posted a streaming QuickTime video of today’s “One more thing” event, where Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new iPod, iTunes 6, and updated iMacs. In addition, Apple has also made its latest iPod commercial available for download. The new spot features a U2 video playing on a new iPod with the tagline, “Watch your music.”

Griffin rolls out new iTrip

imageGriffin Technology today announced a new version of its popular iTrip FM transmitter for all full-size dockable iPods, including the new iPod introduced today. Unlike past iTrip models, the new version mounts to the bottom of third, fourth and fifth-generation iPods via the dock connector.

The new iTrip features a backlit LCD screen, a side-mounted switch to select broadcast frequency (88.1-107.9MHz), and the ability to set the iTrip to either US or International tuning modes. The device, which requires no batteries, also offers selectable LX or DX modes of broadcasting, which let you find the best possible audio under real-world conditions. The iTrip is priced at $49.99 and will be available later this month.

New Podcast: iLounge Week in Review iPod 5G Special!

imageNow available is a brand new mid-week podcast from iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz, bringing first details on the brand new fifth-generation (video) iPod, and many other major announcements made at Apple’s One More Thing event in San Jose, California. If you want first details and hands-on impressions of the new iPod, you’ll want to download this podcast. We apologize for the audio quality - we recorded live in a crowded setting.

Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.

Direct download: MP3 Version
Subscribe to our Podcast feed
Subscribe to our iTunes Podcast feed
Listen to Past Podcasts

iTunes 6 announced; 2,000 music videos, TV shows offered

In addition to the new iPod, Apple also today announced iTunes 6. Available just five weeks after the last major update, iTunes 5, the new version of Apple’s popular jukebox application and online music store features the ability to purchase and download video content for the new iPod.

iTunes 6 offers more than 2,000 music videos, a handful of television shows from Disney/ABC, and six short films from Pixar Animation Studios all priced at $1.99 each. As part of a deal with Disney, current and past episodes from “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” as well as the new drama series “Night Stalker” and the two most popular shows from Disney Channel, “That’s So Raven” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” are being offered.

Other new features in iTunes 6 include expanded online gift options that allow you to give specific songs, albums, music videos or iTunes playlists to anyone with an email address, a public beta of the new “Just for You” personalized music recommendations, and the debut of online customer reviews.

Apple intros fifth-generation iPod with video playback

As widely expected, Apple today introduced the long-rumored new iPod with video playback capabilities. The new fifth-generation device, which is up to 30% thinner than the previous full-size iPod, features a larger 2.5-inch color screen (320 x 240 resolution, 260,000 colors) that can play videos, including music videos, video Podcasts, home movies and television shows, in addition to displaying album artwork and photos. It supports MPEG4 and H.264 video at 30 fps and also sports TV out. (See our report on iTunes 6 for further details on available video content). The new iPod is available in both white and black versions in 30GB ($299) and 60GB ($399) capacities. Both models will begin shipping next week.

iLounge Exclusive: New iPod revealed

iLounge has snapped exclusive photos of advertisements for the new iPod, which will be introduced today at Apple’s “One more thing” event in San Jose, California. The familiar silhouette posters clearly show an all-new iPod model with a noticeably larger display, approximately 2.5 to 2.6 inches diagonal, compared to the current full-size iPod’s 2-inch screen. Also of note, the headphone jack has been moved from the top-center to the top-right side of the device.



Mix: Army pitch, Robot statue, EU license, RealNetworks

The Army National Guard has been recruiting young men and women online with the promise of three free downloads from the iTunes Music Store to anyone who agrees to be contacted by a military recruiter.

Make magazine’s Phillip Torrone has posted an excellent photo diary of how to make a robot statue from an iPod box, hot glue and paint.

The Associated Press reports: “The European Union called on Europe’s music industry Wednesday to create EU-wide copyright licenses for online music, saying this would boost demand for legal downloads.”

RealNetworks has settled its digital media antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Analysts say the deal will help the two companies compete against the iPod and iTunes, but won’t put them in the lead.

Tunewear intros ‘luxurious’ new iPod case

imageTunewear today announced the Prie Jewel, a “luxurious iPod case sensation for iPod and iPod mini.” The new case features a metallic pink and sliver design, rhinestone buckle, and removable silver chain. “Passionate colours, ever-so-smooth soft touch and the pretty design combine to bring you an iPod case that is functional as well as very chic,” says Tunewear. The Prie Jewel also features clear vinyl screen and click wheel protectors and access to the earphone and dock connector ports. It’s priced at $39.95.

DLO unveils redesigned TransPod

imageDigital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced a redesigned TransPod, its all-in-one car solution for the iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini. Like the original TransPod, the device broadcasts your iPod’s music to any FM radio frequency from 88.1 to 107.9 while simultaneously charging and cradling the iPod in the car.
The new TransPod features a “smaller, sleeker design with a beautiful curved form and easy-access controls.” It also offers intelligent power control that automatically turns the TransPod on when the iPod is docked and off when the TransPod is not in use. Other new features include front-based tuning buttons and side-based buttons that control backlight and preset functions.

The new DLO TransPod comes in white, silver and black, and sells for $99.99.

Apple hints at new iPod announcement, sees ‘staggering’ nano demand

During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call with analysts and press Tuesday, a senior Apple executive said that the final phase of a complete iPod lineup revamp would be revealed before the holiday shopping season, hinting that full-size iPods would soon receive a makeover and new features—possibly at tomorrow’s special event in San Jose, California.

While discussing the iPod family and the new iPod nano, which just replaced the iPod mini, Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations, said that his company had some “very innovative new products that we have yet to introduce” for the holiday season. Cook noted that Apple began working on “revolutionary” new versions of its iPods more than a year ago, and that last quarter was the final quarter for the older models.

Also during the conference call, Cook said that Apple sold over 1 million iPod nanos in the first 17 days of the product’s availability (before the fourth quarter ended), and that the company is seeing “staggering” demand and an “enormous backlog” for the tiny device.

Apple reports best earnings ever, ships 6.4 million iPods

Reporting record fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Tuesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 6.4 million iPods during the quarter, the 10th consecutive quarter of record iPod sales.

Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $430 million, or 50 cents per share, on $3.68 billion in revenue—the highest quarterly earnings and revenue in the company’s history. These results compare to a profit of $106 million and revenue of $2.35 billion last year. For fiscal 2005, Apple had a net profit of $1.335 billion on revenue of $13.93 billion, representing the highest annual net profit and revenue in the company’s history.

With today’s report of Apple shipping 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter—about 300,000 more than last quarter and approximately 4.4 million more than a year ago—the total number of iPods sold now stands at over 26 million.

In an SEC filing, Apple said all iPod models accounted for more than $1.212 billion in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 126 percent compared to last year. Apple’s “Other Music Products

Contour Design intros two new hard cases

Contour Design has announced two new hard cases for 20GB and 30GB fourth-generation iPods. The cases are expected to start shipping on October 26th. Pricing information was not available.

imageShowcase Sport ($32.95)
The new Showcase Sport builds on the design of the original Showcase hard case. It features a new, secure sliding latch, smoother shock absorbing rubber, and a streamlined design to offer “superior protection and looks.”

imageToughShell ($21.95)
The Contour ToughShell is made of a lightweight transparent material that “complements its sleek and streamlined design without compromising a hard case’s ultimate protection.” It also sports a snap-tight latch.

Mix: Apple earnings, iTMS podcasts, FoxTrot

Apple will report its fourth quarter financial results later today. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimate the company will earn 37 cents a share on $3.72 billion in sales.

Apple’s iTunes Music Store now includes 15,000 podcasts, and visitors have subscribed to more than 7 million of the shows, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Bill Amend’s FoxTrot comic strip features a mention of Apple’s iPod nano, with one character saying he is going to design a competitor called the “jPod pico.”

iPod accessory makers critical of Apple licensing fee

Two iPod accessory makers have publicly criticized Apple for its “Made for iPod” licensing fee, which reportedly takes 10 percent of the price of a product that connects to an iPod dock connector port.

Dominique Water, head of Bose’s Asia Pacific operations, said: “All Apple partners were told of the decision some weeks ago. This is a massive license fee which will not sit comfortable with many partners. Bose is not happy as the proposed fee is excessive by any standards.”

An Altec Lansing spokesperson said: “We were told of the port fee some weeks ago. It is ridiculous. It is excessive and will result in many partners rethinking their relationship with Apple. It will also push up the cost of Apple accessories.”

Marware unveils iPod nano case lineup

imageMarware has introduced its new accessory lineup for Apple’s iPod nano. The new line consists of 10 cases made from neoprene, silicone, plastic, fabric and leather in a variety of styles and colors. “Rather than scaling down existing case designs to fit the nano, Marware has designed new, unique cases that complement the nano’s sleek form,” explains the company. Most of the cases, which are summarized below, will be available by the end of October.

Sportsuit Convertible
The orca-skin neoprene case features a unique side-opening lid, clear plastic screen and click wheel protector, armband clip, belt clip, and hand strap. It comes in black, blue or silver for $29.95.

Sportsuit Sleeve
Sporty neoprene case offers complete protection and features a removable belt clip, velcro closure and a pocket to hold earphones. It’s available in black or blue for $19.95.

Sportsuit Basic
An ultra-slim, form-fitting case with screen protector and removable mini clip. It comes in black and sells for $19.95.

Sport Grip
Flexible silicone case with clear plastic screen protector. The case is available in 10 colors for $9.95 each.

Sport Grip Extreme
Rugged silicone case with hard plastic screen-protector, carabiner, and lanyard. Available in same 10 colors for $19.95.

Hard plastic case with pull-out side for earphone storage. It also features a screen protector and removable belt clip, and is available in black for $19.95.

CEO Card Wallet
The full-grain leather wallet holds business cards and your nano. The $24.95 case comes in black, brown, red and pink.

CEO Billfold Wallet
A full-featured black leather wallet that holds your nano, credit cards, cash and other essentials. It sells for $34.95 and features plastic screen and click wheel protector. Marware notes that it is for jacket pocket use only.

Sportsuit Safari
Animal print case come with lanyard and carabiner, and is available in seven different prints. It sells for $19.95.

Sportsuit Santa
Nano-sized version of its holiday-inspired iPod sleeve. It includes lanyard and carabiner and sells for $19.95.

Wooden iPod nano case announced

imageMiniot has introduced the iWood nano, a new iPod nano case hand-crafted from wood. The iWood nano—available in varieties such as maple, mahogany, pear, wengé and walnut—is carved from a single piece of wood and features a hinging lid. It can be ordered with a monogram initial on the outside and a two-line message inside. Pricing was not immediately available.

“The iWood nano is made from the best gift of nature: wood. Massive wood of course from various kinds of trees. Carefully selected and carved with precision, the iWood nano fits and protects the iPod nano like a glove. The iWood nano’s own natural color is not all that makes it unique. Your own monogram engraved on top makes it even more personal, let alone the discretely hidden message inside.”

Mix: iPod tax, 7-11, UK robberies, Music industry

Japan’s music industry has asked the government to charge a royalty on portable digital music players. “Money earned from the fee, likely to be 2 percent to 5 percent of the retail price, would go to recording companies, songwriters and artists as compensation for lost revenue from home copying.”

7-11 stores in Japan will start selling iPods later this month. “Japanese consumers will be able to buy five types of iPod from the chain, including the iPod nano.”

Police in the UK have blamed an increase in street robberies on the popularity of iPods and mobile phones. “Figures to be released by the Home Office later this month are expected to reveal that muggings rose by almost 40% in some parts of the country last year.”

Newsweek has an article looking at the music industry’s crusade to collect shares of ad and content revenue for its music videos and artist searches on search engines like Google.

iAttire offers Halloween costumes for iPods

imageiAttire has announced a new line of handmade Halloween costumes for iPods. Priced at $39.99, the costumes are available in seven styles for the iPod, iPod mini, and iPod shuffle. You can choose from Frankenstein, Ghost, Pirate, Vampire, Witch, Mummy or a Paper Mask assortment.

“Get into the fun of Halloween without having to wear a costume yourself. For the Halloween enthusiast, the gadget freak who loves Halloween, and for avid collectors of all types, these costumes are made for you to enjoy. Designed to be replicas of people costumes, these costumes fit and wear just like those you might select for yourself.”

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