Friday, June 30, 2006

Come Together Right Now!

One of the most disappointing (and most complained about) limitations of iTunes is the inevitable split-second gap between tunes on an album that were created to be played seamlessly. I mean, how the hell do you really enjoy Abbey Road or The Wall with these annoying little gaps?! Apple's over-emphasis on single tracks is a real downer for fans of the album.

You could always merge the tunes into one larger file (which can be done through iTunes if they are consecutive and you choose to do so before importing them from a CD - phew), but that is really only half the problem. There are times when you might just want to listen to one of the tunes without the others. Through the magic of Apple Scripts, Doug Adams offers a solution: Join Together. The script will join your selected tracks together, then, using the included Apple ChapterTool application, it will "chapterize" the tune so you can control what you want to listen to and how you want to listen to it. Very cool. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Of course, I have no idea what impact it has on play count and other such features that some can't live without, but until Apple comes up with a better solution, that'll do, pig.

The suggestion is courtesy of iLounge's new free iPod book, which you can download here. It's a great and almost required resource for iPod and iTunes users.

Update: The latest (2006) iPod Updater & version of iTunes (7.0) is now gapless!!

Let's Go Tubing

Fatman iTube

Want to be able to listen to your iPod in style? Want that luscious warm analogue sound combined with the ease of use of digital technology? We present the Fatman iTube Valve Dock.
Interesting, yet not the most attractive dock I've seen. The logo on the front is obnoxious, but the tube amp sure is cool. I'd love to hear how it sounds.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Audiophile iTunes on the way?

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple may soon be offering songs in ALC (Apple Lossless Codec). What is ALC you ask? It is an encoding method which produces a song without any compression. It results in a song with the quality exactly that of the original CD.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

iPod Gramophone

iPod Gramophone via Boing BoingThis is the best retro iPod accessory yet. Play it way-old school with your very own iPod gramophone. Looks to be in limited production so you're not going to find this at CompUSA.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

XtremeMac MicroMemo

XtremeMac MicroMemo Digital Audio Recorder for iPod
The MicroMemoDigital Audio Recorder from XtremeMac enables you to instantly record in high fidelity 16 bit stereo sound.

Unlike other iPod recorders out there, this one has an innovative microphone and speaker combination. Record memos, meetings, classes or a roaming podcast in clean, crisp, environmentally-safe digital audio.

Coke Is Out

Coca Cola is shutting down its online music store in the UK, www.mycokemusic.com due to substantial market share loss to Apple's iTunes.

Can't wait to watch Garfield on my iPod!

Movies on iPodApple is in active negotiations with major movie studios to offer feature-length releases on iTunes. It is certainly the natural progression of things and would be a perfect marketing tie-in to the release of the long-awaited and much-rumored true video iPod. I love the idea of making all movies $9.99, but I have a feeling the studios will win this battle.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Most Disturbing iPod Accessory Ever


Need I say more?

No-Touch iPod?

China Post Online has a story about Hon Hai (iPod manufacturer - one of many) revealing in their annual meeting that Apple is about to unveil the next generation of iPod, utilizing a "none touch" interface.

What this means is anyone's guess, but could allude to a voice-activated iPod. Apple recently filed for a patent for an audio interface.

Between this and recent allegations of factory conditions, I don't think Hon Hai will be an iPod manufacturer much longer.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

iPod Nike Sport Kit Now Available For Pre-Order


For those interested in the intriguging iPod/Nike Sport Kit, you can now pre-order. For $29 it seems like a good deal and a very interesting concept. I especially like the sync feature which lets you analyze your performace, set goals, etc.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Apple iPhone to Launch....Inevitably

Forbes online is reporting Apple will eventually come out with a cell phone, but nothing is imminent.

Something I had not heard before is that anyone entering the cell phone market has to register with the FCC at least 3 months prior to a product launch. So don't expect to see the iPhone anytime soon.

Europe Hates Apples

I think it has something to do with Apple pie, but I'm not really sure.

Apple computer is being targeted by several European countries including Norway, Sweden and the UK to remove their copy protection scheme (DRM or Digital Rights Management for those in the know) and make iTunes inter-operable with competing MP3 players.

There have also been some consumer protests, but my guess is that the government actions and "consumers" are really organized by competing companies who haven't been able to actually offer a product that even competes with the iPod. And no 2poppy, I am not a conspiratorialist.

What is Apple going to do? I hope they pull out of the markets. The consumer support FOR Apple & iTunes will far outweigh those against. That would show those no-good politicians. Yeah.

Somebody help me why people are supposedly anti-DRM. Without DRM the record companies would never have gone along with iTunes (and Rhapsody, Napster, etc.). What is wrong with protecting the rights of artists and their evil, greedy record companies. I can see customers wanting a choice in MP3 players, which they do. They can buy any ol' crappy Creative or Samsung or Sony MP3 player and load up any old song onto it. Just not ones bought from iTunes (unless you burn the song to a CD then import it into whatever crappy software those crappy players come with).

Monday, June 12, 2006

Software: iTunify

I haven't yet tried this, but I am tempted. iTunify is the "missing tools for iTunes".

With iTunify you can: find duplicate tracks; find and replace in I3 tags; change the case of ID3 tags; exchange ID3 tags; import and export artwork; import and export ID3 tags; toggle the bookmarkability of AAC tracks; remove “dead tracks” from the library; remove checked tracks from the library; remove unchecked tracks from the library; and invert check marks. You can do all this without leaving iTunes. iTunify also comes with a variety of pre-written templates. The software is a Universal Binary product, so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

iLuv iPod Video Dock


In what I think is a first, the iLuv Video Dock docks your 30GB or 60GB iPod with video to play videos on a spacious 7-inch screen.

For the cost of $249 USD, you get the dock, carrying case, 3 power sources (outlet, car & battery), headphones, remote, cables, and straps for your car headrest. And if that's not all, it also plays DVD, VCD, Audio CD and MP3 CDs. Sounds like a great value, assuming the screen is bright and sharp.

I could especially see the value if you took a lot of long road trips with the kids - just load up your iPod with a couple of dozen movies and not have to worry about keeping track of DVDs all over the car.

New Get A Mac Ads

New ads that have been released under the Apple "Get A Mac" campaign. The new ads feature "fun stuff", "out of the box" and "Macs are PCs Too"; the later of which talks about running Windows on a Mac.

The ads have not been posted on Apple.com yet, but of course you can find them on YouTube:

Fun Stuff
Out of the Box
Macs are PCs Too

Update: Apple just updated their site with the new ads.

iPod City

According to a report by the British Sunday paper "The Mail", iPods are made in Chinese concentration camps where workers are only fed gruel and paid only 1 penny per year.

Okay, a bit of an exaggeration.

As does thousands of other companies, Apple manufactures some of their products in China. I'm not necessarily advocating it - I'm all for humane treatment and keeping jobs in the US - but it does allow us fat, lazy Americans the ability to purchase goods at extremely low prices.

And really, if I have a choice between cheap goods and humane treatment, you know which one I'm rootin' for.

**Update** Apple is investigating the allegations of conditions for iPod manufacturers. Apple vows to uphold its code of conduct - “suppliers must pay wages, benefits, and overtime to workers in accordance with applicable laws, including those related to minimum wages, overtime, hours, and legally mandated benefits. Suppliers may not discriminate based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or marital status. The basis on which workers are being paid must be clearly conveyed to them in a timely manner.”.

Motorola RAZR iTunes Phone Coming to the U.S.


Motorola's ultra-thin and ultra-popular RAZR phone is coming to the U.S. with iTunes.

The RAZR V3i will initially be available only through Cingular. As with previous iTunes phones, it will be limited to 100 song storage. It will feature a 1.23 megapixel digital camera and micro SD storage.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Think Commodore.

Think Commodore Web Site
Any generation X computer geek fondly remembers the Commodore 64. LOAD"*",8,1 is something that is forever stuck in your mind, along with the 1541 disk drive, 300 baud modem and datasette tape drive. I fondly remember my brother (2poppy) and I staying up until all hours of the night programming Mad Libs in basic.

Now there's a site for the Commodore 64 dedicated to Apple users - Think Commodore. Find emulators, equipment, information and more.

10 PRINT "WWW.THINKCOMMODORE.COM"
20 GOTO 10

RUN

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Software: iSquint - Convert Video for iPod

iSquint will convert just about any video for transfer to your iPod with video. The best part? It's absolutely free. The makers claim it is significantly faster than using QuickTime Pro.

Features:


  • Fast MPEG-4 and H.264 conversion from almost every popular video format, from 3GP to XviD.
  • QuickTime Pro and DivX codec not required.
  • DivX/XviD AVIs, all forms of MPEG video, and many other formats QuickTime chokes on are supported.
  • Batch Processing of multiple files. Save in-place, or to a different folder.
  • Automatic aspect ratio detection. Anamorphic MPEG-2 and HDV detected too.
  • Quality slider. Leave it as is or mess with it if you know better, or completely ignore it.
  • Advanced settings drawer. Change every aspect of the conversion process.
  • Multithreaded for multi-processor computers.
  • Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel Macs.
  • Just a few of the supported formats: .mov .mp4 .avi .dv .mpg .vob .3gp .asf .wmv .flv .m4v


I haven't fully tested it out, but it converted a 133 MB Simpsons episode in less than 10 minutes using the default settings. The software is as easy if not easier than Instant Handbrake. However, the interface, prompts, etc. all have very humorous and witty responses which for me makes this software more fun to use.

Free iPod


College students get a free iPod when they purchase a new MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Power Mac G5. Offer not valid with Mac Minis. The rebate is good for up to $179, so you can get anything from a iPod Shuffle to a 2 GB iPod nano. You can also buy a the other iPods, but you'll still only get $179 back. Not a bad deal.

Macs at Best Buy?

AppleInsider is reporting that Best Buy may expand its Mac pilot program. Best Buy is the number one consumer electronics retailer in the US. It has been testing Mac sales at seven of its stores in California. If it proves to be a hit, Best Buy is prepared to expand rapidly.

This would give Apple even more reach for consumers to get their hands on a Mac. Best Buy sells iPods and to a much lesser extent Mac Minis, but for anything else you'll need to find a CompUSA (puke) or Apple store. Not everyone is blessed with three Apple stores in their city (jealous?).

myvu Personal Media Viewer


For the low-low price of $269, you too can look like Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge. The myvu personal media viewer will enable you to view videos from your iPod. According to the company, you can wear these, watch a video and walk around. There's a good review of the device at Yahoo!.

iPod More Popular Than Jesus Beer

In a sign of just how freakin' popular the iPod is, college students find that iPods are more "in" than beer. Now I admit I probably have an unhealthy relationship with my iPod (and Macs), but good beer is still more important. :-)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You give it all but I want more


The U2 iPod is back! Based on the fifth-generation iPod, the new 30GB U2 iPod sports the same black case with red clickwheel. Buyers will receive a coupon to download an exclusive 30 minutes of U2 video content from the iTunes music store.

Get a great deal on black iPod Nanos


Apple Certified iPod nano 2 GB only $169, while supplies last. Qualifies for free ground shipping.

That's a $30 savings on a brand new one. I'm a big fan of refurbished products. Get a like-new product for a great price.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Get Your Cover Art Here


Equinux software has released CoverScout. CoverScout will search Amazon, Google, and the iTunes Music Store for album art. Manage the art, search multiple albums or songs, etc. You'll be able to quickly see which music has art and which doesn't. It will even help you find that rare album art. Buy before July 1 and get it for only $15.95 USD.