Monday, October 31, 2005

Apple Sells 20 Million Videos

Apple announced that in the 20 days following the release of the iPod with video, they have sold over 20 million videos. If you ask me, that's a ringing endorsement to the concept and definitely gives legs to selling videos online.

If you haven't seen the new iPod yet, you really need to see it. The screen is incredible and the viewability is amazing.

Who Is This Sam and What Exactly Did He Sing?

Samsung has announced it will introduce an online music service to compete directly with iTunes. Yeah, good luck.

Friday, October 28, 2005

iPod Cases


If you're in the market for a case for your iPod, there are literally thousands of choices. The Apple Store online offers a mere 185 pages (yes, pages) of cases. That's over 1000 cases. There's even a $75 Kate Spade case. That's nearly the cost of a Shuffle and 1/4 the price of a new iPod!

I wouldn't even begin to recommend a case - I've had 4 iPods over the years (and trying to find a way to get the fifth) and I've yet to buy a case.

WWJB

What would Jesus buy? Perhaps the iBelieve lanyard for the iPod Shuffle? Come to think of it, probably not. I suppose the cross just brings up some bad memories for JHC. But for those hipsters who feel the need to wear their beliefs around their neck, this might do the trick.

Read more on this here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

iPod Tutorials

iPod Tutorial image - copyright Apple Computer
New to the iPod? Or maybe just have some questions about this Podcasting stuff? Apple has put together some extensive tutorials on their support site. Just one of the many reasons you should go Mac. Once you go Mac you never go back.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Motorola ROKR - Is this phone for you?

Motorola ROKR
Wired has a great article on the new Motorola/Apple/Cingular iTunes phone, the ROKR. The much-anticipated and now lamented, the ROKR was released on the same day as the iPod nano.

I haven't seen the phone yet, but from everything I've read, it's just so-so. It is limited to 100 songs. You can't purchase and download songs on the phone - you need to sync it just like an iPod with iTunes.

It's probably not a bad phone, but I haven't yet encountered any mobile device that does more than one thing well. I have a Blackberry phone and it's fine as a Blackberry, but really stinks as a phone.

Update: Attended an event at Cingular Wireless the other night (their headquarters is here in Atlanta) and they were raffling a phone to attendees. They made a big joke about how they were originally going to raffle a ROKR, but considering all the negative press, they thought the RAZR would go over better.

The Inevitable iPod Nano Lawsuit

It was bound to happen. When reports surfaced soon after the Nano's release that it was too easily scratched, you could see this coming. Apple doesn't comment about its lawsuits, but was the Nano rushed to market? I guess the court will have to tackle that issue if it isn't settled like the battery controversy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New iPod - Wow times 10


Got a closer, second look at the new iPod today. Wow. A colleague of mine bought a lovely black iPod last week, and downloaded Desperate Housewives over the weekend. The screen is beautifully bright and crisp. The weight and profile of this iPod is fantastic. I've got to get my hands on one of these!

What are you waiting for? Get the new iPod today!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tip - Talking About My Generation

The first iPod came out in October 2001. Just 4 years later and we're already on the 5th Generation iPod. Not sure which model you have? This article on the Apple support site does a fantastic job of identifying which generation iPod you have.

There have only been 25 different versions of the iPod - I mean, c'mon - keep up, man! :-)

Scuba Pod

Waterproof iPod Case by Otterbox
Okay, not really. But this crushproof case from Otterbox is waterproof up to depths of 1 meter. Not only does it keep out the water, but it also keeps out the sand, dust or dirt. The exceptional thing about this case is that you can still control the iPod while it's in there, as well as plug in headphones - all without breaching the waterproof seal.

And if that's not enough, checkout these submersible/waterproof headphones by SwimMan.

Fits 4th generation iPods including the mini.

Read the review at PlayListMag.com.

Her Name Was Rio

Rio Diamond
H&M Holdings, the current makers of one of the world's first MP3 players - the Rio, has announced it is leaving the business citing "intense competition". It's a tough space to compete in, especially when you consider Apple's iPod has a 70% market share.

Most people think the Rio Diamond (pictured) was the first MP3 player. Wrong. That distinction actually belongs to Saehan's MPMan which was released a couple of months earlier than the Rio in Asia.

HP or not HP

Apple iPod + HP
HP stopped selling the Apple iPod + HP a couple of months ago. However, there are still some in the retail pipeline, sometimes at a great discount. The only thing different about the Apple iPod + HP is the label. Everything else about it is the same. So if you can live without color or video, you can pick up a great deal.

Check out PriceGrabber.com for a list of merchants with stock left. Prices go from $79 (Shuffle) to $249 (iPod 40GB). I've also seen them at your neighborhood warehouse club - BJ's Wholesale, Costco or Sam's Club.

Purchase refurbished iPods starting $79 at the Apple Store

An Eye for An iBall

iBall
Oregon Scientific has an interesting speaker system for the iPod called the iBall. Sit your iPod in the included transmitter base and send your music up to 100 feet away to the powered speaker array without wires.

The base also charges and syncs the iPod to your computer.

Works with 3G-4G iPods, plus the nano. Not sure if the new iPod with video will work. More information on Oregon Scientific's web site.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sitting on the Dock

Apple Universal Dock - photo copyright ilounge.com
There's a new iPod dock in town and it isn't your old generation dock. This one is now universal for all iPod models since the the third generation (1G and 2G didn't dock). In the past, Apple has released a separate dock for every generation.

The universal dock comes with inserts that will hold all the various models of the dockable iPods, except the iPod Shuffle. All you do is slip in the insert that matches your iPod. As with the previous dock, it comes with audio out, dock connector and s-video ports.

However, it doesn't end there. The new dock sports an infared sensor which goes with the new Apple Remote (purchased separately of course). The remote is the same as the one shipping with the new iMac G5. As you'd expect, it controls volume, skip, rewind and fast forward. If you're lucky enought to have the new iPod with video, the remote lets you control the video.

iLounge.com has a very good in-depth review of these new components.

Buy the new dock and remote today!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Gift This

Apple iTunes Gifting
Gift certificates from the iTunes Music Store are great - but if you want to buy that special someone a specific song or album it wasn't possible - until iTunes 6.

Simply click the Gift This Music from any song or album listing. Key in the email address and you've sent someone the gift of music.

If you want to gift some music to me, the email address is way2poppy(at)konfrst.com. :-)

Give the gift of music with iTunes gift certificates

Creating Video for iPod

QuickTime 7 Pro
You don't have to just view videos from the iTunes Music Store - you can convert just about any video you already have on your computer with QuickTime 7 Pro.

QuickTime 7 Pro is an awesome program. It is well worth the $30 price tag. Convert video. Convert music. Record sound. Extract sound. Extract stills. View movies in full screen. Encode. Decode. View high-definition video. There are so many things this program can do.

Apple has created a helpful 8-step process to convert your videos for use on the iPod with video.

QuickTime 7 Pro for Mac OS X
QuickTime 7 Pro for Windows

Color Me iPod

Color iPods
Black & White - more choice than before, but it may not reflect your true personality. If you are looking for something outside the norm, consider iPods from Colorware. Lots of different color choices. Blue iPods, green iPods, even pink. If you miss the color options the iPod minis gave you, here's an alternative.

iPod with Video or Sony PSP?

Sony PSP
Contemplating an iPod vs. Sony PSP? There are a lot more similarities than you might think. Both play music and both play videos. The PSP adds high-end games.

Playlistmag.com has a good side-by-side comparison of the iPod with video and the PSP. As with anything, it really all comes down to what you want to do with it. There are very few devices that can do multiple things and do them all well and conveniently.

Hooking Up Your iPod to the Stereo

Belkin TuneStage
There's always Apple's dock, but here's a truly innovative way - wirelessly. The Belkin TuneStage sends your music wirelessly to a receiver that is hooked up to your home stereo. Control the iPod as you would normally, but instead of listening to it through your headphones, listen to it through your stereo; without the mess of wires. The iPod essentially becomes the remote control. Awesome concept.

It's a bit pricey at $180 USD, but if you want to listen to your iPod through the stereo without messing with a spaghetti mess of wires, this might be a great solution.

Playlistmag.com has a good review of this unique iPod home stereo solution.

iPod Problems?

Got a problem with your iPod? Check out the discussion board over at apple.com. If you are having an issue, chances are good you're not the only one.

The new iPod - Wow

New Black iPod
Okay. I was skeptical. Watching TV or videos on a 2.5 inch screen? Come on - way too small.

Went on a field trip to the Apple Store over lunch today and played with the new iPod. It's lighter & thinner. The screen is brighter and more stunning than ever. Even if all you plan to do with it is listen to music, you'll appreciate the larger display.

And surprisingly, watching video is not bad! I could certainly see watching the iPod on a plane, train, bus or carpool. Not sure I would want to watch Gone With The Wind on it, but a 30-45 TV show or video, absolutely.

The addition of black is cool as well - a refreshing change from the white, and not as feminine as the iPod minis. Anyone want to buy my 60GB iPod Photo? :-)

Read the review & comments at Gizmodo.com. Playlistmag.com has some practical information about the new iPod as well.


Get music at your fingertips from the Apple Store.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

iPod in the car - Griffin Smart Deck

Griffin Smart Deck
Using your iPod in the car can be tricky. There are FM radio transmitters, cassette adapters, custom installs and more. Griffin has come up with something truly unique - the Griffin Smart Deck Cassette Adapter. What makes this cassette adapter unique is that you can control your iPod using your tape deck controls. Hit the seek button on the tape deck and the Smart Deck will advance to the next song on the iPod. Very cool. Very innovative. Very simple. Why didn't I think of this?

There's a great review of this unique iPod car solution at PlaylistMag.com. My iPod cassette adapter from Griffin has already been ordered.

Tip - Extend your iPod Playback Time

Not getting the playback time you'd like? Apple has put together some great information on how to maximize your playback time by carefully selecting the features you use. There's also fantastic information on the Apple site for taking care of and extending the battery life of your iPod.

Still want more playback time? Extend your iPod playback time even further with the Belkin Battery Pack for iPod.

Tip - iPod won't play purchased music

This can happen after an upgrade of iTunes - most notably from iTunes 4 to iTunes 5. All you need to do is go to the "Advanced" menu and click "Deauthorize Computer". Then double-click on a purchased song, authorize the computer, and then re-sync your iPod. The songs will now play.

iTunes 6.0.1 now available

Apple posted an update to iTunes 6 recently to 6.0.1. This release does not add any new features, but according to Apple, it features several stability improvements over iTunes 6.

If you use multiple computers for your music, you will need to upgrade all your computers that purchase music from the iTunes Music Store to iTunes 6.0.1.

iPod nano -Truly impossibly small, and the coolest iPod yet

The iPod nano - image copyright Apple Computer
The incredible iPod nano is absolutely "impossibly small". If you haven't seen it in person, the TV & internet ads just do not do it justice. I thought for sure my fingers would be too big for the click wheel, but I was pleasantly surprised to have no issues. If you are looking for an MP3 player to take to the gym, on a jog or sitting on a plane - this is perfect. It is so light you hardly feel anything. And by using flash memory instead of a hard drive, the nano is skip-free. The color screen is definitely an improvement over the iPod mini (the nano's predecessor). The screen is incredibly sharp - more so than any other iPod (save the iPod Video). Playlist Magazine thinks this is the coolest iPod yet*. Read the full review at PlaylistMag.com.

*at least until they review the iPod video. :-)

Get an iPod nano Personalized with Free Engraving at the Apple Store

iPod Shuffle

iPod Shuffle
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to get into the iPod experience, the iPod shuffle is it. It starts at $99 USD for the 512MB (120 songs) and tops out at $129 USD for the 1GB (240 songs) model. Looking for a lightweight MP3 player? - this one can't be beat. It's as small as a pack of gum, and as light as a stick of gum. But don't let the small size fool you. It packs the volume and power of the fullsize iPods.

Because it uses flash memory, you don't have to worry about skipping. The fullsize iPod models have hard drives, and while Apple has designed them well to be skip resistent, it still can happen.

The lack of a display is only a concern if you have the need and desire to view song selections, song titles, etc. If you are out for a jog and just want to listen to a few songs, the display really isn't necessary. However, if you want to select certain songs to listen to, it is just not easy with the Shuffle. The whole concept is to live life on the edge and let the Shuffle, well, shuffle your music.

If you are considering the 1GB model, I'd strongly recommend coughing up the extra $70 USD to get the iPod nano. It's almost as lightweight and compact as the shuffle, but adds the beautiful color screen and another GB of storage (1000 songs).

But don't take my word for it. Read the review at PC Magazine. Need a third opinion - check out the review at Playlistmag.com.

Welcome to iPodMania!





Welcome to iPod Mania! My goal for the site is to provide you with information about the Apple Computer's popular iPod, its accessories, iTunes, hints & tips and more. A site totally dedicated to the best MP3 player and music store. Updates as time permits.