Friday, January 17, 2003
Windows: XPlay 1.1 Beta 1 Released
“XPlay brings the power of the ultimate MP3 player to Windows users. Just plug your Apple iPod into your Windows computer, and XPlay makes it easy to load your MP3 music and other files.”
- What’s new in XPlay 1.1 Beta 1:
- It is much, much faster than previous releases. If you’ve used the interim speed-up patch, you know how great this is!
- You can now drag songs off of your iPod, as well as on. This makes it much easier to share songs amongst your various computers, and can even be valuable in the case that your PC hard drive crashes, and you need to restore your music collection from your iPod. Note that you can drag individual songs, groups of songs, folders of songs, and even folders of folders of songs!
- When autosynching, manually created playlists are now no longer erased. This is a somewhat controversial change around here, but I’ll bet people are going to like it. Please post your thoughts on this one, if you care.
- The display of song lists in Explorer is enhanced. There is now friendly shading of alternating lines to help guide the eye in nagivating long, dense song listings. The colors can even be changed with a registry tweak, if you are crafty, I’ve heard…
- Column headers in Explorer can now be dragged so as to reorder the columns. How many people are excited about this? I’d love to hear, and to know how many people wish they could control which columns they see, or if that is overkill.
- Songs without artist or album tags now appear under the Artists and Albums folders in (unknown artist) and (unknown album) subfolders.
- This beta release functions through February 15, 2003.
iPod 10GB for $334, 20GB for $434
“Dell Home’s new $25 off $350 coupon creates a new price low
on the iPod 10GB for PC. It costs $334 after discount. (To
find it, search for “M8740LL/A”.) Also of note, the iPod
20GB for PC (search for “M8741LL/A”) costs $434 after
discount, the lowest we know to be available. Both ship
free. To get these prices, add the item to your cart and
apply coupon number “E48FFB9C774A”. Offer ends today. An
Apple FAQ describes how to use these PC iPods with a Mac.”
“Apple silences iTunes P2P software” iCommune Developer Interviewed
CNET News.com follows up Apple’s recent request for iCommune developer James Speth to stop distributing his iTunes P2P plug-in. Apple clams that James “broke the terms of the agreement that allowed him access to the iTunes software development tools.”
“If I[James Speth] can rework it to not need the Apple-licensed code, then I’ll go back to distributing it,” he said. “Or if it turns out that the license is unnecessary or not legally binding, I’ll continue work on it. But right now I’m taking stock of the situation before making it available again.” “
Mac: iPod Launcher 1.1 Released
“There’s a proliferation of tools available for working with your iPod. Wouldn’t it be great if they all started automatically when you connected your iPod to your Mac? Well now they can. With iPod Launcher you specify applications via System Preferences and, whenever you connect your iPod, they launch.”
What’s new in v1.1:
You no longer have to type in application names. The preference pane provides a panel from which you can select the applications to add to your launch list.
Mac: PodWorks 1.2 Released
“PodWorks is the latest entry in the crowded field of iPod song copying utilities, but it has several important differences that I feel distinguish it immediately from the competition.”
- What’s new in v1.2:
- Added “Rename” as an option for the “When a file already exists” preference. My implementation follows the same conventions as the Finder in renaming files.
- Added “Album” alone as an option for the “Copy into directory hierarchy” preference.
- Added support for disc numbers in song list sort. Albums that consist of multiple discs (and have disc numbering specified through iTunes) will now sort first by disc number and then by track number.
- Added “Disc Number, Track Number, Title” as an option for the “Rename files using” preference. Note that only songs that have disc numbers specified will include disc numbers in their name (if there is no disc number specified the results will be identical to “Track Number, Title”).
- Fixed issue that would sometimes cause even successful drags to “slide back” as if they were unsuccessful.
- Implemented a throttling algorithm that I hope will solve issues that have been reported on earlier model G3s (blue and white towers, PowerBook G3s and so forth) without adversely affecting the copy performance on faster machines.
Thursday, January 16, 2003
“Apple, The iPod Isn’t Finished!”
Gregory Ng of AppleMatters dives into the world of iPod and comes up with a list of five suggestions for improvments. The suggestion list includes “No Gaps Between Tracks” to “A Better Case.”
Bubble Design Introduces Habitat for iPod
iLounger Ron G. has informed us of the Habitat for iPod desktop stand developed by Bubble Design in Mountain View, CA. Made of clear poly carbonate, the Habitat holds your iPod, and features earphone cord storage, earphone holders and a place to plug the FireWire cable into when not in use. The Habitat is avialable for $24.99 plus shipping and handling.
Apple Requests iCommune Shutdown
“iCommune is a plug-in which extends iTunes” capabilites by allowing users to share their music over a network. Apple disagrees with the purpose of the plug-in and stands by its “Don’t steal music” mantra and has requested iCommune to make the plug-in unavailable for download.
“Uh oh… I just received a “Notice of Breach and Termination of License” letter from Apple, stating that I violated my license to the Device Plug-in API which iCommune uses. For the time being, I’m making the download unavailable, while I try to sort things out with Apple. Sorry about this folks. Any good lawyers in the house? “
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Mac: Pod Manager 1.4 Released
“Say you want to retrieve music stored on your iPod while you’re on the road … or at a friend’s? Pod Manager is the perfect application for this task!”
- What’s new in v1.4:
- Drag & drop support from the music list
- German localization
- Small cosmetic changes
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Mac: iPod Access 1.0b11 Released
“This app can be used to transfer songs from your iPod to your computer organized by artist/album, play songs directly from your iPod and save the last song listing gathered to make application startup quicker. “
Monday, January 13, 2003
Mac: iSpeak It 1.1 Released
“It’s a common problem, you have so much to read but not enough time to read it all. Well, now you don’t have to. With iSpeak It you can take any document and convert it into an MP3 in iTunes using your Mac’s built-in text-to-speech capabilities. From there you can listen to it at your leisure or, better yet, transfer it to your iPod and listen to it on the go!”
What’s new in v1.1:
You can now load PDF, Word and AppleWorks documents in addition to text, HTML and RTF documents. All file types are available through the Load File option.
Note that PDF requires Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader) and Word and AppleWorks documents require their respective applications. If the applications are not present you won’t be able to load the files.
License: Shareware $8.95
System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2 or higher, PDF support requires Adobe Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader) and Word and AppleWorks support requires their respective applications
For more info…
Sunday, January 12, 2003
MP3 Winners and Losers of 2002
MP3newswire.net has posted their annual list of winners and losers for 2002. Focused on all things MP3, the list features software, hardware and personalities. The iPod made #2 in the winners list behind Kazaa, the popular peer-to-peer file sharing network.