The iNews Review

8 GB iPod mini, Free Beethoven Downloads, iPod Linux, Tiny iChant Speakers, Pod Genius, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.06.17

This Week's iPod News

PowerBook, iBook, iPod, and other portable computing is coveredin The 'Book Review, andgeneral Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News and Comment


Products and Services

iPod Deals

News and Comment

iPod mini to Hit 8 GB?

Macworld UK reports:

"It's possible Apple may soon ship an 8 GB iPod mini, with newsof Seagate's first 8 GB 1-inch drive....

"The new 8 GB drive incorporates several technologies of use formanufacturers in the digital device market, including a technologythat guards against skipping which Seagate calls RunOnTechnology."

Free Beethoven Symphony Downloads from BBCRadio 3

The Guardian's David Ward reports:

"Forget the Crazy Frog. The iPod generation is to be given thechance to enjoy a more enriching download diet: Beethoven's entirecollection of nine symphonies. Following Radio 3's Beethovenmarathon, which ended at midnight on Friday, the BBC is making thecomplete cycle of the composer's symphonies - more than six hoursof listening - available for free.

"Listeners can visit the Radio 3 website and download as MP3files the complete set performed by the Manchester-based BBCPhilharmonic under the direction of its principal conductor,Gianandrea Noseda."

iPod Battery Settlement Explained

iPodlounge's Jeremy Horwitz reports

"In early June 2005, Apple Computer settled a UnitedStates-based class-action lawsuit over battery problems in specificiPod models, offering compensation and/or free repairs to affectedindividuals. As of today, a web site called AppleiPodSettlement.comhas been established, and a Claim Form provided for free download.iPod owners registered with Apple are already receiving the sameClaim Form in the mail, along with a Notice describing thesettlement. This new iPodlounge page serves as a clearinghouse forinformation and "frequently asked questions" reference for iPodowners with battery problems."

Music Phone iPod's Biggest Threat

PowerPage's Jason D. O'Grady says:

"The biggest threat to the iPod is a combined mobile phone/musicplayer. Let's face it, if you pretty much take your cell phoneeverywhere, why take along another piece of hardware to playmusic?

"Music players like the iPod can be cumbersome and are justanother thing to carry, charge, store, etc. If a mobile phone/musicplayer hybrid (like the Sony Ericsson W600, pictured) had goodspeed, storage space and a decent interface (an area the iPodhasn't exactly excelled at), it could really give the iPod a runfor its money."

Install Linux on Your iPod

PR: iPod-Linux Installer is an easy to use GUIapplication that enables Mac OS X user to install Linux onHFS+ formatted iPods while still allowing you to keep and use theApple supplied OS.

Currently this project supports 1G, 2G, and 3G iPods. Photo, 4G,U2, and Mini iPods are still not supported officially. Support forthese and other iPods will come according to what progress is madeon the iPodLinux kernel.

Installing Linux on your iPod gives you more functionality interms of games, recording, image viewing, and more!

New in this version:

  • Includes the newest iPodLinux Kernel and Podzilla as of April4th, 2005.
  • Fixed update, mount/unmount bug.
  • Added eject button, enabled users to select installer output,clarified output text, and corrected typos.
  • Installer creates recording directory if one is not alreadypresent.
  • Installer tells user if they have a windows iPod.
  • Installer checks to ensure Mac OS X is not installed on thetarget iPod.
  • Updated the installed iPodLinux kernel, user-land, andPodzilla.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher
  • 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation iPod

iPod-Linux Installer is freeware.

Small Dog Electronics Offers Free Recycling foriPod Components

PR: Small Dog Electronics has announced that it isexpanding its e-Waste Take Back program to include free recyclingfor iPod batteries and hard drives.

For customers to recycle old iPod batteries, Small DogElectronics will include a pre-labeled return envelope andinstructions in orders of replacement iPod batteries. Shipping andreturn instructions will be included with orders of ATA harddrives. Customers can send the old batteries and hard drives backto Small Dog Electronics, which will dispose of them properly.Recycling services are free (a value of $0.25 per pound); customersare responsible for postage only.

"Discarded batteries and old electronic waste are seriousenvironmental issues. Small Dog is a company that wants to make iteasy for our customers to deal responsibly with their oldelectronics and used batteries, and we've expanded our e-Waste TakeBack program to help them do so with even more products," said DonMayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics. "It truly is a sharedresponsibility to protect our planet for future generations."

Small Dog Electronics is a leading specialty retailer ofpersonal computers and accessories, consumer electronics, andsoftware, launched its e-Waste Take Back program in 2004 to greatsuccess. To date it has recycled more than 10,467 lbs ofelectronics.

E-Waste is the fastest growing stream of trash in the US. SmallDog Electronics' e-Waste Take Back Program at its Waitsfieldshowroom accepts televisions, computers and peripherals, cellphones, digital cameras, digital music players, monitors, printers,and now iPod batteries and hard drives. As a public service, SmallDog Electronics is offering to take back old electronics at theirRoute 100 Waitsfield showroom for $0.25 per pound, their cost torecycle electronics properly. The cost for most computers is $5-10.

Small Dog Electronics is a leading specialty retailer ofpersonal computers and accessories, consumer electronics, andsoftware found online and at its showroom in Waitsfield, Vermont.Small Dog Electronics is the top Apple Computer reseller in NewEngland with more than $20 million in sales and is known for itssocial and workplace policies, which includes offering electronicsrecycling.


iPod Troubleshooting Basics

An updated Apple Knowledge Base Article says:

Having trouble with your iPod? This list of troubleshootingsteps and service options will show you the smoothest path toresolving your issue. Be sure to perform the appropriatetroubleshooting before submitting a service request.

Playing Audio Books on Your iPod shuffle

An updated Apple Knowledge Base Article says:

"iPod shuffle can play audio books just like other iPods.

"The Autofill feature of iTunes will not add audiobooks to iPodshuffle. Instead, you should manually add audiobooks to iPodshuffle by dragging them to the iPod shuffle playlist.

"When iPod shuffle it set to shuffle mode it will play all theaudio files on iPod shuffle that are not audiobooks. To play anaudiobook that is on iPod shuffle, set the switch on iPod shuffleto play in order. This way the audiobook will play in the correctorder."

Products and Services

Tiny iChant Active Speaker for iPod

PR: Tired of using that irritating, ear-aching headset tolisten to your iPod?

iChantNow you can finally freeyour ears and share your music with others. Eliminate the hassle ofalways being connected to your iPod now! Maximize your listeningand sharing experience with the iChant Active Speaker.

  • Ultra-Portable &endash; Now share music with friends
  • Perfect for home or work
  • On/Off switch to save battery life
  • Made of durable ABS plastic with a steel metal grille
  • Intuitive design, easy to operate
  • Crystal clear quality sound. Up to 8 hours on one AAbattery.

Small Dog Offers Portable, Folding iPodSpeakers

PR: Want portable iPod speakers with high-quality soundwithout paying a fortune? Small Dog Electronics today beganoffering the Groove Cube, a foldable, portable iPod speaker withsound quality to rival that of pricier competitors.

Groove Cube with iPod"We'revery particular about music here at Small Dog and we did anextensive search to be able to offer a top-quality, sub-$30 speakerfor iPods," said Don Mayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics. "Werelied on our decade of experience in sourcing electronics to finda product that would meet customers needs: portable, quality soundand good value. At $29, the Groove Cube is a high-quality,inexpensive addition to any iPod user's gear bag."

The Groove Cube, a 52mm 0.9 Watt speaker set with amplifier,comes complete with audio cable, carrying case, and iPod holder.This small compact speaker set is just 2" square by 3.5" long whenfolded, making it ideal for travelers, mobile professionals,students, and music aficionados alike. It runs either on four AAAbatteries or an optional AC adapter.

The Groove Cube is $29.

The optional AC adapter is an additional $9.

The Small Dog Groove Cube is just one of many high-quality iPodaccessories offered in the Small Dog Electronics product line.Other accessories include an iPod car charger with dock connector,iPod FireWire retractable cable, iPod straight USB 2.0 and FireWirecables, iPod windshield mount, an iPod replacement battery kit, andiPod battery recycling.

ezGear ClearCase 60 for iPod

ClearCasePR: ezGear, aleading marketer of iPod accessories, announced the introduction ofthe ClearCase 60 for Apple iPod. The ClearCase is a crystal clearcase that provides a full 360 degree view of your iPod. The case ismade of ultra-clear acrylic, has openings on the top and bottom foraccess to all ports, and an opening for the clickwheel. The top ofthe ClearCase flips open for easy installation and removal of youriPod. The ClearCase comes with a detachable ClearClip and alanyard. The ClearCase 60 works with the iPod photo 30 GB, iPod 4thGeneration 40 GB, iPod photo 40 GB, and iPod photo 60 GB.

According to Charlie Bernstein, President of ezGear "The iPod issuch a great looking product that should be heard and seen. TheClearCase 60 enhances the stunning look of your iPod photo andprotects it at the same time. When iPod users see this case, theyare impressed with the simple elegance it adds to theirplayers."

The ClearCase 60 for the iPod suggested retail price is $19.98.The ClearCase 60 for the iPod is available at various iPodresellers and distributors including MicroEnterprises.

Black and Silver TransPod Direct foriPod and iPod mini

PR: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), inventors of theDLO iBoom and other exciting accessories for the iPod, haveannounced new Black and Silver versions of their popular TransPodDirect Car Solution for iPod and iPod mini. The DLO TransPod Directcomes with a built-in charger for the iPod, a cradle to position itfor easy access to its controls, a cassette adapter and a mini plugcable. Most importantly, the DLO TransPod Direct provides customerswith a direct connection to their car stereos that integrates thehigh-quality line-out audio signal from the bottom of the iPod. TheTransPod Direct Silver, TransPod Direct Black, as well as theoriginal white version, are available for purchase and at retail stores nationwide for $69.99.

TransPod DirectThe best soundoutput available from an iPod comes from the 30-pin port on thebottom of the iPod. Merely connecting from the headphone jack atthe top of the iPod with a cassette adapter or mini cable does notachieve this level of sound quality. The DLO TransPod Direct CarSolution connects directly to the line output in the bottom dockconnector. Users can then plug in either the auxiliary mini cableor cassette adapter to the jack on the side of TransPod Direct toconnect to their car stereos.

"The TransPod Direct is the next best thing to a full custominstall, and it's only 60 bucks," said Andrew Green, VP ofMarketing for DLO. "You just install the TransPod Direct, plug intoyour system and never think about it again. It's a greatsemi-permanent solution for the iPod in your car."

Like the DLO TransPod All-in-one Car Solution, the TransPodDirect mounts the iPod for easy access to its controls whilekeeping the iPod charged at the same time. The rotating base armallows users to position the iPod or iPod mini in their car forsuper-easy access. The new Black and Silver TransPod Directs nowmatch most car interiors perfectly and work equally well with the20G iPod, U2 iPod, iPod photos as well as the iPod minis. The DLOTransPod Direct package includes the TransPod Direct Dock, acassette adapter, a mini auxiliary audio cable, a charger arm andan extension arm so customers can adjust iPod to any position intheir car.

The DLO TransPod Direct for iPod and iPod mini in white, blackand silver is available and shipping now. Online orders can beplaced at for $69.99.

Pod Genius Software for MacOS X

PR: Prosoft Engineering announces Pod Genius for MacOS X. Prosoft will demonstrate Pod Genius, along with fourother award-winning products - including Data Rescue, Drive Genius,Data Backup and Picture Rescue - at MacExpo Germany in Cologne,June 16-18, 2005.

Pod Genius for Mac OS X is a comprehensive software utilitygeared specifically toward iPod users. It will be introduced anddemonstrated at Mac Expo Germany on Thursday.

"iPods have quickly become the hottest must have gadget. Withall the songs and files, our iPods can quickly become overloadedwith files. Mechanical parts wear and fatigue, your iPod begins tooperate more slowly, and eventually fails. Your only defense is tocarefully monitor and manage your iPod so you can be sure it is ingood health and working at peak efficiency at all times&endash; You've invested a lot into your iPod and music, youwant to make sure your iPod will faithfully perform and yourinvestment is well-protected," states Greg Brewer, CEO of ProsoftEngineering. "We are dedicated to providing a feature rich, easy touse software utility that will let you take control of your iPod,and your digital life."

Pod Genius &endash; Maintain, Manage, and Optimize YouriPod.

Pod Genius is the only comprehensive software utility gearedspecifically toward iPod users. Recover lost or damaged music,repair corrupted data structures, backup your iPod to an exactcopy, permanently delete unwanted files, or optimize the filelayout of your music. You've invested a lot into your iPod andmusic, with Pod Genius, you can be sure your iPod will faithfullyperform and your investment will be protected.

Pod Genius's Eight Must-Have Utilities In One Package.

  • Backup: Make an exact clone of your iPod for safe keeping. Useyour backup as protection against data loss.
  • Optimize: Increase battery life and minimize wear-and-tear.Your songs get optimized in the order that you want to hear them,minimizing hard drive access and reducing the work your iPod has todo.
  • Undelete: Accidentally deleted music? Undelete quickly recoversthem in perfect condition.
  • Shred: Permanently delete your songs and files from your iPod.Do your part to protect against music piracy... if you sell ordonate your iPod, shred your music to prevent unauthorizeduse.
  • Duplicate: Make an exact copy of your iPod on another iPod&endash; perfect when you are migrating your music to a neweriPod model.
  • Scan: Analyze your iPod's hard drive for media defects that canendanger your music files.
  • Info: Display detailed information about your iPod's hard driveto enable sophisticated troubleshooting.

Pod2Go: News, Weather, Movies, Lyrics& More on Your iPod

PR: With Pod2Go, you can read the news from thousands ofwebsites, get the forecast for cities around the world, view movieshowtimes for your local theaters, find your way around town withdriving directions, or even sing along to the lyrics of yourfavorite song - all from your iPod!

Pod2Go turns your iPod into a PDA. Calendars, contacts, to-do's,notes, and much more can be quickly accessed. If you need a PDA butonly need to view your data, Pod2Go and your iPod are a perfectmatch. You can also read your unread messages from Apple's Mail, oreven your Stickies.

Every time your sync your iPod, Pod2Go simply formats textdownloaded from the Internet into an iPod-friendly format, and thenwrites it to your iPod. Pod2Go works with all existing iPods,including the iPod photo! Older iPods with the mechanical scrollwheel will have their data stored as contact files, and newer iPods(touch sensitive) will use the notes feature.

Pod2Go is very customizable to suit your needs. Pod2Go canautomatically sync at certain times of the day, and when your iPodis connected to your computer. It can also eject your iPod when itsfinished syncing, so you don't even have to touch your mouse.

New in this version:

  • Dropped support for Podcasts.
  • iPod menu has been greatly improved. Previously you couldnotice very often a slight lag when accessing the menu on firstclick of the icon in the menu bar.
  • During syncing, the iPod menu icon will blink, alternating withblack and white (I tried colors like red and blue, but they weren'tas obvious to the eye).
  • The Eject menu in the iPod menu now supports multiple iPods ifmore then one is connected. It will look the same if only one iPodis connected. (It now supports the iPod shuffle too)
  • The "About" menu in Pod2Go has been removed for each tool. Youcan view the version for each tool by the toolbar item'stooltip.
  • The code to add the P2GHelper app to the login items has beenreworked, and it should now not cause any crashing (this was the #1reason for the iPod menu crashing).
  • Pod2Go is now fully compatible with Tiger, and is compiled as auniversal binary, so it will run natively on the first Intel Mac'sthat Apple ships.
  • Removed all RSS feeds. I no longer will host themsimply because its a pain to maintain - and you can find equivalentfeeds elsewhere.
  • Also fixed the CNN feeds
  • and added more too.
  • Significantly improved the lookup of symbols (works in thebackground). Also mutual funds should work now too.
  • Added syncing of PDF's in Tiger
  • Added *unlimited* subfolders if you are syncing a folder offiles
  • Directions has been reworked, and now supports many morewebsites, and more can be added quite simply.
  • Besides support for MapQuest (USA, Canada, and most of Europe)I have added support for (Europe), Google Maps (USA andCanada), and (Australia).
  • You can also add a custom set of directions (basically a plaintext file) by holding the Option key and clicking + in Pod2Go.
  • Fixed iCal so it will sync correctly in Tiger (Note: now thatiTunes supports syncing calendars and contacts, it may workbetter.)
  • Run Automator workflows just by selecting your .workflow fileand adding it to Launcher

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2.7 or higher
  • iPod Software 1.3

Pod2Go is $12 shareware.

The Boom Box Software Suite for iPod

PR: Roxio™ has launched The Boom Box™, a Macsoftware suite comprised of five premium applications designed toreveal the iPod's full power and potential. The versatile suiteenables iPod users to optimize their music enjoyment by expandingand enlivening their portable music collections and broaden theiraudio entertainment beyond music to include podcasts and Internetradio broadcasts. In addition, The Boom Box allows users to convertWeb pages, emails and other text-based documents into audio filesand create their own personal audio books that they can listen toon the go.

"The Boom Box is a smart compilation of excellent tools," saidLarry Angell, News Editor of leading iPod resource iPodlounge."Each of the applications offers iPod owners a simple way to addgreat new content or better organize their existing libraries."

The Boom Box features two applications that enable iPod ownersto rediscover their music collections. CD Spin Doctor offers astraightforward way to digitize vintage vinyl and tape recordingsincluding powerful features for automatically detecting tracks,removing unwanted noise and enhancing overall sound quality.MusicMagic Mixer is a personal, portable DJ. Using sophisticatedalgorithms, MusicMagic Mixer analyzes acoustic elements of eachsong in a user's collection to automatically generate compelling,complementary playlists.

The Boom Box also includes three applications that empower iPodowners to broaden their listening experience. Audio Hijack is apowerful component that captures audio from an application inreal-time. Users can schedule the recording of a favorite Internetradio show and then listen to it at a time that is most convenient.iPodderX™ makes it easy for users to subscribe to theirfavorite podcasts and have them automatically delivered to theirdesktop ready for transfer to their iPod. Covering topics thatrange from sports to technology and from movies to children'sprogramming, podcasts offer a distinct alternative to mainstreamcontent. Rounding out the suite is iSpeak It, which makes it easyfor users to convert text-based documents such as e-mails or webpages into spoken word audio files or even create their ownpersonal audio books that they can enjoy during their morningcommute.

"Roxio will stand out in the thriving market of over 500 iPodaccessories that until now has focused largely on personalizing theoutside of the device," said Dave Habiger, president and chiefoperating officer, Sonic Solutions. "The Boom Box is a versatilesuite that focuses on the inside of the iPod and promotes greatermusic enjoyment and delivers refreshing new audio experiences."

The Boom Box is available from Roxio and will be widelyavailable at retail later this month for a suggested retail priceof $49.95. The Boom Box includes special discount coupons andoffers from Wiley books,, and Belkin Corporation.

birdPodMaker Guide to Bird Songs foriPod

PR: birdPod is an iPod loaded with bird songs - and lotsmore. Unlike a typical bird song CD set, birdPod's bird songs areorganized to enable quick identification of bird songs in thefield. We think birdPod is the best tool yet for learning birdsongs. And, it's fun!

birdPod makes use of the Apple iPod, considered by most criticsto be the best digital music player on the market. Its majorstrengths - an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, small sizeand light weight, make it the perfect tool to adapt for bird study- particularly for bird study in the field.

At it's core, birdPod is an extremely well organized series ofbird song playlists. Generated from a large collection of excellentrecordings (the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region),these playlists group birds by habitat or family group - whichmakes the playlists very useful for both learning bird songs andthe identification of birds.

And, because birdPod uses the iPod, it's easy to pick a playlistto match any need even on the spur of the moment. For field work,we carry our birdPod on our belt (we have a case that we willrecommend), along with ear buds (we have another recommendation forthese). We have what we truly believe is the most portable,easy-to-use, quality tool available for learning and identifyingbirds through their songs.

How well does it work? Here at birdPod we can typically identifyan unknown bird song in a couple of minutes - sometimes almostimmediately (the list of unknowns is getting shorter and shorter,thanks to birdPod!). Pick the habitat or group, eliminate the birdsyou know ... and, there it is!

For some reason, after we go through this process, the birdsongs we correctly identify seem to stick in our minds. We findthat the next time we hear that same song we are likely to identifythe bird more easily. That's our goal: to facilitate the learningof bird songs.

A few playlists included with birdPod are:

  • All Eastern North American birds
  • Fields
  • Forest
  • Marsh
  • Nocturnal
  • Paddlers
  • Shorebirds
  • Warblers
  • Wetlands
  • Plus playlists for all sections as seen in the Stokes FieldGuide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region

New in this version:

Version 1.01 adds two additional playlists:

  • All birds in Phylogenetic Order
  • Sparrows

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher
  • iTunes 4.7.1 or higher
  • Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region (can bepurchased from the ibirdpod website)

birdPodMaker sells for $69.

iPod Deals

For current iPod prices from a variety of sources, see This Week's Best iPod Deals. LEM

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