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News 12.23.01-12.28.01

Friday, December 28, 2001

Reviews: I Got An iPod For Christmas.

Tobey Maquire, at, has written a review of his newly unwrapped iPod. Look for our own iPod for Christmas story coming soon, with photos.

“The iPod itself is something to behold. Some may call the iPod just another MP3 player but it is far from ordinary.”

Hardware: iPod Package Deal at reports on Small Dog Electronic’s iPod with Connectivity Kit for $419.

Small Dog Electronics offers the Apple iPod MP3 player with Small Dog’s iPod Connectivity Kit for $419. That’s $15 off for dealmac readers. The kit includes a Boostaroo headphone amplifier and splitter, a Link-it FM fixed-frequency FM transmitter, and a 12-ft. stereo Y adapter (minijack-to-RCA) and cable. (The kit alone costs $35, while the iPod alone costs $399.) This kit is intended to connect your iPod to a home stereo, boost the output by 30%, transmit the signal to an FM radio (primarily for car use), and connect up to three sets of headphones to one iPod. Offer ends January 2, 2002.

For more info…

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Cases: OP/TECH USA Releases MP3i Pouch

A new case has been released by OP/TECH USA. This case went into production as a direct result of some modifications made by Blake Patterson at Way to go Blake! OP/TECH USA sent us a description of their MP3i pouch:

It’s a neoprene pouch designed with an opening to accommodate the earphone jack, has a locking belt clip attachment system and offers protection from both impact and weather. It’s made right here in our Montana factory and retails for only $14.50. If you have a moment to look at our website (, it looks just like our PDA cases except for the opening for the ear jacks.
Contact OP/TECH USA at their web site for more info.

Forums: She Loves Her iPod

iLounger, “Geeman” writes in the forums about giving his girlfriend an iPod. We liked his story so much, we thought we’d share it with all of you on the front page.

I was most hesitant to admit I’d bought this thing for my PC using girlfriend - especially around holiday time. So I made sure I got her gifts she loved, then bought the machine.
I sprung it on her during a long drive - when she asked the usual, “Do you have any good CD’s with you?”, I merely smirked. “Yes, In fact I do.”
“All of them,” I muttered inaudibly.
When we took off in the car, I asked her what she wanted to hear, and cleverly played from a PLAYLIST I had created for her of her favorite music. She LOVED it. She had no clue what I had done until she saw a billboard on the road. “DO YOU HAVE AN iPOD??”, she asked as we drove by the sign. I nodded and smiled.
The only thing she asked was whether there were any other colors. But later that night, she was bragging to my other friends about it! So it’s a hit!

Seems as though “Geeman” was playing his iPod using an inexpensive FM transmitter he picked up at Best Buy. We think it’s the same one we’ll be reviewing, the iRock Wireless Music Adaptor.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Software: iPod Free File Sync 2.0b1 Released

Christian Vick has released a new version of iPod Free File Sync.

iPFFS is the one and only utility that allows synchronizing any iPod with any computer with ease. It is the only tool which shows you which of the MP3/AIFF/WAV files on an iPod are not on your computer. After synchronizing, you can browse trough the new files directly in the application you’re familiar with - iTunes 2. Regardless how the files where copied on the iPod - directly or via iTunes synchronization - iPFFS synchronize them all.

Download it here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Software: XPlay Technology Preview 2 is now available for download

Since Preview 1, we’ve added the ability to copy music to your iPod through
both Windows Media Player and Explorer!

Based on MacDrive technology (, this preview
provides both read and write access to your iPod hard drive for documents
and data files, plus the ability to both copy music to your iPod and play
songs that are already on your iPod.

This XPlay preview (alpha release) is intended as an illustration of the
general structure and abilities of XPlay, but is not yet a thoroughly robust
solution for use of the iPod with Windows.

More information about this preview release is available here.

Attention all iPod XPlay users: We have topics set up in the forums for iPod XPlay users.

Cases: The Pouch, Inc. releases an iPod case

The Pouch, Inc., a case maker in Arizona, has released their own iPod case ($19.95). Made of neoprene and nylon, the case is a water-resistant, padded case with velcro enclosure. Other options available are an elastic arm band and adjustable belt clip. Get more info here.

Sunday, December 23, 2001

Tips & Tricks: How to clean your iPod’s scroll wheel

iLounger, “tonton” writes in the forums about a technique he used to clean the iPod’s scroll wheel:

Every morning I take the bus to work, read the newspaper, and listen to my iPod, adjusting the volume as necessary. Sometimes I like to play a little Breakout. Needless to say, my grubby newsprint fingers have turned my scroll wheel into an ugly grey mess.

Trying an old trick I’ve been using for years, I was able to restore the ring to its pristine white condition. All it takes is a clean pencil eraser (rubber for you Brits).

Warning: Be careful to “stay within the lines”. Although this works great for the matte finish of the scroll wheel, it will take away the gloss from the buttons, and it will easily scratch your screen.

Reading a post about a guy who dropped his iPod, I found out that the wheel quite easily pops off, revealing the bearings below. Side note: Apple actually uses steel ball bearings for smooth wheel action. A very nice touch.
To get the wheel off, just use a small penknife and (carefully) wedge it out on one side, then the other. I did this and didn’t get a single scratch on it.

Now I can clean my wheel repeatedly using the eraser method, and I don’t have to worry about the eraser’s effects on the other buttons or the screen, or about eraser “bits” getting into the works.

Next: News 12.30.01-01.05.02

Previous: News 12.16.01-12.21.01

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