Thursday, August 31, 2006

iTunes Movies Coming September 12


Engadget and AppleInsider are reporting that Apple will be holding one of its infamous special events on September 12. New iPod? iTunes Movies service? You'll just have to wait and see. AppleInsider offers the most details with $14.99 new releases and $9.99 for older movies. Wal*Mart is up to its evil ways as well. Don't shop at Wal*Mart. Shop at Target instead. But Wal*Mart does have cheap diapers. But I digress.

UPDATE: Apple indeed sent invites to the media today stating "It's Showtime". How clever and cute. Apple stock is up $3.10 today.

Run Windows Applications Without Windows

The 60-day trial of Codeweavers is now available. Codeweavers enables you to run Windows software on your Intel-based Mac. Have Parallels you say? Installed Boot Camp have you? Well, that's all nice and well, but do you really want to run Windows?

Codeweavers lets you run selected Windows-based software without Windows! And for the skeptics, you can download the beta for free and try it out.

The Future Record Store

PodBuffet is in development. If you've ever wanted to download tunes from iTunes but you happen to be away from home and stuck in some godawful airport, this might be the best way to get spankin' new tunage straight to your iPod so you can enjoy while you're traveling rather than waiting to get home. I like it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Free iTunes Alternative

SpiralFrog.com will be offering free music for download. This advertising-supported site will offer songs in crappy DRM'd WMA format which means 85% of music devices out there (aka iPods) won't be able to play it. You can listen to music via a special player on your computer and can only sync to 2 "PlaysForSure" devices. Plus, you have to log onto the service at least once a month to view ads otherwise your music will stop playing.

Apparently the founders of SpiralFrog have completely forgotten about the Dotcom bubble burst. FreePC anyone?

Apple turning evil?

First Al Gore, then Disney, and now Eric Schmidt? The CEO of Google joins Apple's board today. Don't believe Google at least has the potential of being evil? Read their privacy statement. Look at what you're agreeing to when you download and use Google Desktop.

Next we'll be hearing how Apple has partnered with Wal*Mart.

I guess if they topple the evil Microsoft it will be worth it. Or not.

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Get A Mac Ads

Get A Mac Already
Apple has released new Get A Mac ads this week. I think these are the best yet. They actually show more of the Apple product instead of just concepts. "Angel/Devil" highlights the photo book you can make with iPhoto and "Accident" highlights the MagSafe connector on MacBooks. The others stick to more conceptual reasons to Get A Mac. I just like how you can see the actors just having a lot of fun with it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

More Details on Microsoft Zune Emerge

Microsoft Zune MP3 Player
Microsoft recently filed necessary paperwork for their new Zune MP3/Video/Photo device. The filing offers further features of the device some of which are quite interesting.

DJ mode - transmit music, photos and videos wirelessly to up to 4 nearby users.
Share content - send promotional copies of songs, playlists, etc. to a nearby user. If the user likes the song, they can purchase it from the Zune store.
Built-in FM radio - big whoop - I've never understood why this is such a desired feature.
30 GB hard drive.

I like the DJ/Share mode, although I wonder how much it would be used. I could certainly see people in a younger demographic than me sharing their music with friends, etc.

It looks like Microsoft finally gets that it is not about the device itself, but about the overall experience. If they can make that experience better than the iPod, they have a chance. I can see the DJ/Share features being a real plus in this web 2.0 world. But let's keep in mind that Microsoft really isn't that good with "experience".

Bluetooth iPod

The good folks over at Engadget are reporting that their new in-car system will be compatible with an upcoming Bluetooth iPod adapter.

Apple Gets More Creative

One thing I missed while reading about the settlement between Apple and Creative is that Creative will be releasing "Made for iPod" accessories later this year. Also, the settlement essentially amounts to a license for Creative's patent. The bottom line for Apple is that some of the $100 million may be recouped if Creative is successful in licensing the patent to other manufacturers.

It's good to see even more competition in the iPod accessory biz. It seems prices have been escalating while quality and variety remain stagnant. Hopefully this will change things. As for the music interface patent, I've never been too sold on it, particularly when you have a full 60gb iPod. It's pretty unruly with that much music unless you make creative use of smart playlists courtesy of iTunes. As always, what makes the iPod a huge success is the whole package.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Screw Sony

Dell was the first to swallow the hard pill of recalling Sony's shoddy batteries, and now our beloved Apple has been forced to do the same. 1.8 million batteries are being recalled, with the iBook G4 and the PowerBook G4 being the only products affected.

Macworld saw it coming.

Pass the Ol' Elgato

EyeTV HybridThis looks good. Elgato is releasing EyeTV Hybrid, which will allow your Mac to receive and record analog and digital TV via a slick USB stick. It's not shipping until September and it'll cost you $150, but if you have one too many TV sets in your house and you're looking to make your Mac a true media center, this could be what you need.

Thanks, Uncrate.

Ditty on the Floor and I Wanna Kick It

Dell DJ Ditty Go Bye-byeDell submits to the might of the iPod by officially discontinuing the DJ Ditty -- I can't even type that without laughing at what a terrible name Dell came up with. It follows the demise of the hard-drive based DJ line that Dell discontinued in January. Could Dell be having a worse year?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Apple Pays 100 Million to Creative

Apple announced today that they have settled 5 patent lawsuits with Korean-based Creative for $100 million.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

SanDisk Launches New iPod Nano Killer

SanDisk e280
Okay, maybe not killer, but I'm not sure what it is about these SanDisk MP3 Players, but I kinda like them. Don't get me wrong - I'll never give up my iPod, but I wouldn't point, laugh and throw things at someone who bought one.

The SanDisk e280 competes directly with the iPod nano, but has twice as much storage space, a larger screen, and is only slightly thicker than the nano.

SanDisk has actually gained marketshare lately - not at Apple's expense, but at Creative's and others.

Monday, August 21, 2006

iTunes Holdouts No More

Major recording artists that cannot be found on iTunes:
The Beatles
Garth Brooks
Kid Rock
Led Zeppelin
Metallica
Radiohead
Bob Seger

Metallica caved last month and it looks like Kid Rock and Seger are on the verge. I would predict The Beatles and Brooks to be the last ones to give in. With Apple v. Apple, a miracle agreement would have to be forged to break The Beatles' online drought. It'll take some kind of marketing blitz to make it worthwhile. 30th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's is next year -- I'm just saying. Brooks is in bed with Wal-mart but doesn't even make his music available on their iTunes rival service. Most of the other artists claim album integrity and fault iTunes for focusing only on single tunes. Weak argument in my opinion. I can't imagine Kid Rock can sustain a full album's worth of good material anyway!

Friday, August 18, 2006

iTunes Movies Coming Soon

Engadget is reporting that the Lions Gate Film CEO announced that they signed a deal with iTunes for video distribution and that it should be launched by the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

iLifeStuff iWeb Templates

If you're bored or uninspired by the templates Apple includes in iWeb, check out the templates over at iLifeStuff.com. Templates are $12.99 each or $39.99 for all.

Themes include Pink, Chocolate, Water, Redmodern, Light, Juice and more.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Call L8er

Engadget: iChat MobileAppleInsider has more on the oft-rumored iPod mobile phone. Evidently Jobs has been leaking the info this time. That's a stretch I think.

Thanks to Engadget for the pic.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

MacSaber

In what is quite possibly the most awesome and innovative use for sudden motion sensors, MacSaber turns your MacBook or MacBook Pro into a light saber. Start the program and wave your MacBook around and the sweet sounds of a badass light saber emit from your MacBook. Watch some weirdo demo the software.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Flipskin Case


Speck Products has released the cool FlipSkin case for the 5th Generation iPod. Its innovation is the flip stand. The two-tone rubberized shell and plastic screen protector keeps your iPod safe from most elements. Priced at a reasonable $34.95.

The News and Cartoons - Same Difference

More video on iTunes: CNN and Cartoon Network. Now there are over 150 TV shows available through iTunes.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

GM, Ford & Mazda to Integrate iPod

Apple announced today that GM, Ford and Mazda will integrate the iPod into their new vehicles.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Windows Vista Voice Recognition



And they gave Apple a hard time about the early Newton handwriting recognition 10 years ago...

1984 PodBrix Creation


Hey! You rammed your iPod into my Legos! Hey! You rammed your Legos into my iPod!

What could be better than Legos or the iPod? How about a combination of both! PodBrix offers Legos inspired by the iPod ad campaign. Or is the other way around?

Not only is there an iPod made of Legos, but there is a Lego figure in the likeness of Steve Jobs doing one of his patented keynote presentations. Very cool.

Now they've got an extremely limited run recreating Apple Computer's famous 1984 Superbowl Commercial. But hurry - there's only 100 sets offered and after they sell out, they're never to be made available again.