Why the Current iPod nano Won't do Video

Posted by:
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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Leak is in the Air: Bluetooth Headphones?

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Date: Saturday, December 31st, 2005, 13:31
Category: iPod

dandelion-250.jpgThe Apple Japan Web site has a little teaser for their New Year’s Special t-shirt design that depicts an iPod nano dandelion with iPod earbuds as the wishes.
The caption reads “Luck is in the Air” and a pair of the headphones are suspiciously detaching from the rest.
Could this be a hint of an upcoming wireless Bluetooth headphones for the iPod? Or even an iPod with Bluetooth built-in? Tough to say, but it’s great fodder in the build up to Macworld, no?
The t-shirts will be given out to the first 1000 visitor of each Apple store on January 2nd.
(Thanks Digg)

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Ask PowerPage: iPod Video Battery Life (Updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 09:00
Category: iPod

ipod-low-battery.jpgDear PowerPage:
Are you seeing/hearing complaints about battery life in the new 5G iPod’s? I’ve recently upgraded from a 3G and the expected 15 hours playback just doesn’t seem to be happening no matter what I do (current configuration: backlight set to 5 seconds, only playing music, and no photos/slideshow).
I think I’m getting in the neighborhood of eight hours play time on a “fully” charged battery.
I haven’t performed a test (welcome your suggestions) but I’m seeing battery life issues similar to my 3G. I have thought about letting it charge overnight (to fully charged status), turning it on as I leave for work, and check it when I return to see if its still playing (I actually tried this today while at home 12/28 and the iPod went to sleep instead of continuing to play). Typically that’s a 12-13 hour window. If Apple is basing their 15 hour battery life claim on use without the backlight, shuffle, or the click-wheel, that’s borderline fraud.
I regularly use the iPod while riding my bicycle indoors on a stationary trainer for an hour to 1.5 hours at a time. As of this Sunday at 3pm (12/11), the iPod had been charging for at least 18 hours. I selected the same playlist I always do of 150 songs, the shuffle setting was already active, backlight timer set to 5 seconds, and after approximately 75 minutes of playing time, the battery status had decreased approximately 15-20% (a visual estimation). There was a noticeable gap from the little + nub to the point where the battery still showed “juice.” During such use, I do not skip songs and just let it play as it sits in a jersey pocket on my lower back.
In using it while at work, I haven’t tracked the use/charging as closely, but I think it needs to be charged about every other day if I use it for 2-3 hours while working, put it to sleep, then use it again the following day for another 2-3 hours. The battery icon will be red by the time that second session ends. During these sessions, I will skip multiple songs at a time, pause randomly, and typically set it to shuffle the entire music library.
I have even seen the battery meter immediately start to reduce after pulling it off of an overnight charge, turning it on, playing 3-6 songs (again, randomly), but then activating the backlight (by just touching the wheel) to see what song is being played. I’ve also seen the + nub empty completely upon activating the backlight in such situations, and then refill as it turns off.
Did you find it odd that nowhere in the quick setup guide did it tell you how long to charge the iPod? All it tells you to do is to plug it in. I had to search on the Apple Web site and found instructions stating that a 3-hour charge brings the battery up to 80%, and 5 hours would fully charge it. So, I let mine charge initially for 5 hours, the icon on the display said charged and displayed the plug icon, so I started using it. And it ticks me off to no end that it only supports USB transfers – what a crock!
Jason Kazee
Lexington, KY
I have a iPod video 60GB, but haven’t ever got around to timing the battery run time. Any PowerPage readers out there with a 5G iPod video care to share your experiences with battery life? Post your results in the comments below. -Ed

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The In-Dash iPod II (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 28th, 2005, 14:00
Category: iPod

ipod-to-car2.jpg
Todd Schneider submits his photo of his iPod setup in his car. iPod w/ steering wheel controls, Treo 650 w/ Bluetooth NAV, Bluetooth wireless phone interface.
Click through for all the deets…

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iPod Stocking Stuffers From Griffin

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Date: Friday, December 23rd, 2005, 08:50
Category: iPod

griffin-itrip-auto.jpgThere’s nothing like the last minute. If you’re still looking for something for the iPod owner on your list, you should take a look at two new offerings from Griffin.
- iTrip Auto (US$69.99) is a combination of two of Griffin’s most popular items: their famous iTrip FM modulator, which lets you broadcast your tunes to any nearby FM radio, and an integrated auto charger. iTrip Auto uses the audio line out from the iPod’s dock connector and volume is controlled from your car stereo controls without having to adjust it on the iPod.
iTrip Auto also includes selectable LX and DX modes and US and International tuning modes. The usual caveats apply here for FM transmitters: make sure that there’s an available FM frequency to use. Large cities have many FM broadcasts which can make it difficult to find an open channel.
griffin-airclick-dock.jpg- AirClick Remote Control is a US$39.99 remote control for the iPod that allows you to control it via a gorgeously simple remote control. I’ve written about the AirClick USB here before and gave it a PowerPick award because it’s simply the best way to watch and control DiVX movies in VLC on a PowerBook connected to your TV.
Snap the AirClick onto the bottom of your iPod then connect it to your home stereo system and control it without having to be in sight. It’s a must for parties because AirClick’s RF signals travel through walls and allow you to control it from up to 60 feet away.
Because their new accessories are designed exclusively for the iPod’s proprietary 30-pin dock connector, they’ll work with any iPod from the 3G on up to the most recent nano and video models.

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The In-Dash iPod

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 19:21
Category: iPod

ipod-indash-03.jpgPowerPage reader Geert Matton submits this piece on his excellent iPod install in his car.

I’m an Art Director for TMP in Belgium and I wanted to integrate my iPod into my 2004 Audi A2 and do it in a way that I would be able to use the full potential of my iPod and in a nice way, no haywire of cables. This is what I came up with…

Read more for the details and six pictures…

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New Small USB charger from Japan

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Date: Friday, December 16th, 2005, 09:08
Category: iPod

mini-charger2.jpgMy stocking-stuffer for 2005 comes from Japan. A truly pocket-sized USB charger which can be used to top up your iPod’s battery, cellphone or anything else that takes USB as its power source.
The unit, made by a company called Filco (not be confused with Philco who made radios back in the 1920s and ’30s) sells for about $10 in Japan. I found several other brands with essentially the same design, but Filco is the price leader. The unit is about half the size of the one you can buy from Apple. Input voltage is 100 – 240V so it will work anywhere in the world with the right plug adapter. The AC plug is not removable, but folds in as you can see in the picture. Hopefully some US-based supplier will import these soon.
(Contributed by Ole Jacobsen)

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"Bye-Pod" Warning Posters Cropping up in UK

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Date: Tuesday, December 13th, 2005, 08:17
Category: iPod

bye-pod.jpgSuch is the popularity and visibility of iPods that police have issued a poster warning people to conceal their little white ear phones at night following a surge in inner city muggings across the UK – all related to iPod theft.
(Contributed by Neal Hoskins).

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Free PocketDock (actually just S&H)

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Date: Monday, December 12th, 2005, 13:35
Category: iPod

PocketDock your iPodThe US$19 PocketDock from SendStation is a tiny adapter that converts the proprietary FireWire port on third generation iPods and later into a normal, everyday female FireWire 400 port.
The boys over at SendStation are getting into the holiday spirit by giving away 1,000 original PocketDocks for FREE. All you have to pay is US$6.80 in shipping (they’re coming from Germany.) So get going and don’t say that I never gave you anything ;)

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