Mix: Wolfson, Senator Burns, iPod knock-offs, CustomFlix

Wolfson Microelectronics, which makes audio chips used in iPods, said its first-quarter profit more than tripled, driven by demand for portable digital music players. The company’s earnings rose to $7.7 million from $2.49 million a year earlier.

Senator Conrad Burns—who is said to be the fourth-highest recipient of entertainment industry money in Congress—has returned the free iPod sent to him by IPac. A campaign spokesperson said the iPod “is the first time we have received something technological” as a donation, adding that “it’s just not a donation that we want” and confirming that while Burns does not own an iPod, “if he wants an iPod, he’ll buy one.”
The Taipei Times has an article on the iPod knock-offs in Taiwan. “These rip-offs can cost as little as half the price of the real thing, and their functions and appearance are, at first glance, indistinguishable from real iPods. The giveaway is that they are currently only available online or after setting up an appointment. These imitation iPods go under the name of the Nano Apple.”

Amazon.com said that its subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs, has signed deals with television networks to sell DVDs of television shows soon after they air. “Greg Greeley, vice president of worldwide media products for Amazon.com, said the networks could choose to offer DVDs of television shows within 24 hours of the first airing, much like Apple Computer Inc.‘s iTunes offers popular shows such as ‘Lost’ for sale online soon after they air.”

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