New Lip Around Face of iPod nano 1GB

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 13th, 2006, 09:45
Category: iPod

ipod-nano-1gb-lip.jpgA posting on the iLounge message boards claims that Apple has added a new lip around the front of the new iPod nano 1GB to protect it from scratching.

Apple has sliently updated the iPod nano design in response to scratching outcry. With the 1GB nano and possible others, there is a slightly raised rim around the entire iPod, thus preventing the entire iPod face touching the surface when laid on its face.

This has not been confirmed and there’s no word on whether Apple plans a similar change to the 2GB and 4GB nanos.

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The Apple Core: Why the 1GB iPod won't do video; RIP shuffle?

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Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 2006, 07:00
Category: iPod

ipodnano_blk_front.jpgIn a surprise announcement today, Apple announced a 1GB version of their popular iPod nano for US$149 that will hold up to 240 songs or 15,000 photos. At the same time Apple dropped the price of the iPod shuffles to US$69 and US$99 for the 512MB and 1GB models respectively. If you’re a student or an educator you can buy the 1GB iPod nano for US$129 which is the same price as the 1GB shuffle was one year ago.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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What is the Lifespan of an iPod?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2006, 19:00
Category: iPod

A New York Times article (“Good Luck With That Broken iPod“) by Joe Nocera bemoans the fact that iPods (shock!) eventually die:

By refusing to deal with broken iPods, why is Apple so willing to tick off people who spend thousands of dollars on their products?
It happened right after Christmas – a Christmas, I hasten to add, in which I gave my wife the new video iPod, making it the latest of the half-dozen iPods my family has bought since Apple began selling them in October 2001. We also own five Apple computers, and have become pathetically loyal because of our reliance on the iPod. To the extent that Apple is using the iPod to drive sales of other Apple products, the Nocera family is proof that the strategy works; we’ve probably spent more than $10,000 on Apple hardware since the iPod first came out. Alas, at least three of the iPods were replacements for ones that broke.

(Editor’s Note: the NY Times now charges for articles in their archive, so it’ll cost you US$4 to read the article or US$8 per month to subscribe – a real shame.)
PowerPage reader hjcho writes with some analysis of the NYT piece:
I found this particularly amusing, since the average cell phone user gets a new one every 18 months (and how much does a new RAZR or Treo cost, not counting the service?), the “fragile” disk drives Enderle speaks so knowingly about are installed in about a zillion laptops, and by his logic, any electronics company that sells fewer media players than Apple will have even less incentive to provide customer service.
The funny thing is, I have a four year old 2G iPod that’s still going strong. I did have to replace the plug after three years, but it has lasted longer than any cell phone or PDA I’ve had so far. No doubt there have been problems, but for every ‘horror story,” there are probably at least ten satisfied customers, if not more. The numbers are hard to argue with, and there must be thousands of repeat buyers, including the guy who wrote the column!

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Noreve Leather iPod Video Case

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Date: Wednesday, February 1st, 2006, 08:00
Category: iPod

noreve-ipod-closed.jpgReaders of the PowerPage already know that I’m a proponent of wrapping everything in a case – especially the iPod. I cringe when I see people using shiny new iPods unprotected and remember seeing several that were used without cases and subsequently look like a piece of sandpaper was taken to them.
My current favorite iPod case is the “Leather 60GB Color Tradition” [4104T2] from Noreve. It’s basically a larger version of the leather iPod nano case I reviewed back in October 2005.
noreve-ipod-open.jpgNoreve cases are beautifully constructed of full-grain cowhide and look like a fine wallet, they’re also lined with velvet to minimize scratching. It’s an operate-in type case with a protective flap to cover the screen and clickwheel. Simply slide the iPod in and you’re done. You can access the hold switch, earphone jack and dock connector while in the case. The Noreve case doesn’t block the docking cable port so you can leave it in the case. As an added bonus the Noreve cases feature a completely removable belt clip.
Noreve now has a U.S. distributor – MCE Technologies, a boon for customers that are stateside. If you’re in Europe you can order directly from Noreve in France.
The Noreve “Leather 60GB Color Tradition” case comes in black or white and is available for US$34.95 from MCE Technologies.

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Griffin SmartShare Headphone Splitter (Updated)

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2006, 09:11
Category: iPod

griffin_smartshare.jpgLike any good mobile technologist, there’s a few stock items that I carry everywhere in my PowerBook gear bag. One of them is a headphone splitter so that I can jack a friend into my iPod or PowerBook during air or train travel. This little doodad can be found for about two bucks from Radio Shack.
Griffin Technology has a new spin on an old favorite. I’ve been playing with their just-announced headphone splitter called SmartShare ($20) and it’s different that the run-of-the-mill “dumb” splitter. SmartShare gives you independent volume control on each channel. This way you can jam the latest house track from Deep Dish while your mate keeps it on low.
The SmartShare is available now for pre-order from Griffin.

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Tune Into Your World, Tune out all Others

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iPod

An article in The Orlando Sentinel by Linda Shrieves (“Tune into your world, tune out all others“) asks if the iPod generation has effectively isolated themselves from society and potentially done irreparable harm to their communication skills.

When he left his home in Orlando, Fla., to attend New York University, Dante Lima quickly discovered a terrific use for his iPod, the portable music player that he and most of his fellow college students wear.
While walking down the streets of New York, Lima has found that when he wears his iPod headphones — known to iPod aficionados as “ear buds” — he can walk past the throng of sidewalk hucksters without being bothered.
“If you want to get away from them, just start listening to your iPod,” says Lima, 20. “They don’t approach people with headphones on.”

Read the rest of the article in The Orlando Sentinel.

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iPod Audio Tours Gaining in Popularity

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2006, 06:43
Category: iPod

A story in the Washington Post by Anne McDonough (“Hear Here!“) discusses services by SoundWalk, AudioSteps and TalkingStreet that offer museum and neighborhood audio tours in MP3 format for between US$12 and $35 each.

Soundwalk tours include familiar neighborhoods, which become even more so after walking them with an insider. A walking tour of Little Italy, for example, is narrated by “Sopranos” cast member Vinny Vella. Writer Paul Auster narrates a walk through Ground Zero. Auster augments the walk by talking with historians, a poet and Mohawk ironworkers who helped build the World Trade Center. A woman talks about the phone message she received from her husband there; standing not far from where he died, you hear him saying goodbye.
Outside the tourist haunts, you can, for example, follow the voice of hip-hop veteran Jazzy Jay through the Bronx. Or tour Williamsburg’s Hasidic community in the company of Joseph Piekarski, a Lubavitcher.

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Retractable iPod Sync Cable

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Date: Monday, January 23rd, 2006, 20:18
Category: iPod

radtech-retractor.jpgWhen it comes to accessories, I’m all about saving space. Cables are the bane of my existence and I try to carry as few as humanly possibly. One of the few that makes the cut is my iPod sync cable because, unfortunately, I’m addicted to bass and have to update my iPod music frequently.
One of my favorite new doodads is the Retractable iPod sync cable (US$10) from RadTech. It’s available in USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 and to quote Swingers this thing is money, baby. It’s quite simple, you grab either end and pull when you want to use it and pull again when you’re done. No more pesky winding! And when you’re a cable freak like me, this is no small feat.
Oh, that sweet case on my iPod nano is the new Iconz (Bart Simpson edition) US$25 from ExtremeMac. They’ve got a couple dozen cool designs ranging from Star Wars to Batman to Scooby Doo and they’ve got them for the iPod video too.

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Why the Current iPod nano Won't do Video

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Date: Thursday, January 5th, 2006, 00:08
Category: iPod

In my ZDNet blog article “Top 10 things Apple could announce at Macworld Expo” I speculated in #3 (1GB iPod nano) that “Apple will also add video support to the nano line via a firmware upgrade to boost sales of TV shows and video content.”
While this sounded good at the time, reader Eugenia Loli-Queru proceeded to burst my bubble. It appears that the 75MHz, single DSP nano, doesn’t have the juice to decode real video. The iPodlinux Video Player only plays raw AVI files.
For more on Eugenia’s technical explanation on why, click through…

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Adobe iPods Pilfered

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Date: Wednesday, January 4th, 2006, 11:41
Category: iPod

Adobe had such a great year that they decided to reward their employees with a free iPod Shuffle. Each one came engraved with the words “Adobe 2005: Thanks for a Record Year!” on the side. The only problem was that half of the shipment went missing while on the boat from China. So if you see a Shuffle with these words on it, you know where it came from.

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