The iNews Review

earPod Earbud Case, Roadmaster FM Modulators, iPod Music Liberator, MoviesForMyPod, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.04.20

This Week's iPod News

PowerBook, iBook, iPod, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. News about Apple's transition to Intel CPUs and other Intel developments is covered in The Macintel Report.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

For current iPod prices from a variety of sources, see our Best iPod Deals.

Products

Software

Products

earPod, a First of Its Kind Earphone Storage Device

PR: AudioOutfitters, LLC, a provider of iPod accessories, has announced the introduction of the first true storage product for the Apple iPod and third party earphones, the earPod. The earPod is a sleek stylish storage device for your iPod earphones. According to Charlie Bernstein, President of AudioOutfitters, LLC: "While storing my iPod, I noticed that the earphone wires would tangle easily. We were curious if others were having similar problems." A market study of over 1700 iPod users was conducted. The research found that 75% of the group experienced the same problem. Users also indicated that they found the wire too long and there was no product available today to help them.

earPodDesigned by iPod Users for iPod Users

Seven hundred iPod users were recruited to help design this product. These users where polled regarding every aspect of the product and at every stage. Based on their input, the earPod is small and compact and provides quick access to store and retrieve your earphones. It can also shorten your earphone wires during use and has a place for your Apple remote control.

The "Tangles"

When your earphones are placed in a bag, purse, or pocket, the wires always get tangled - sometimes knotted. The earPod eliminates awkward tangling and knotting - increasing the life of the wire. With the earPod, the earphone's wires are neatly wrapped around a spool. Your earbuds and plug are stored in a central compartment. The compartment has felt padding to protect your earbuds. And it's fast too. "With my earPod, I can store my earphones in less than 20 seconds, which is a lot faster than it takes me to untangle the wires." indicates Mr. Bernstein.

Long Wires

"I have spoken to many users who love their iPod, but are a little embarrassed by the long earphone wire, especially when used with the iPod remote control." indicates Mr. Bernstein. To shorten the wire, just wrap it around the earPod a few times then feed the wire through a slot to your iPod and to your ears. It's that simple. The earPod comes with the e-Clip™ - an integrated, removable belt clip - that allows you to clip your earPod to your belt, your pocket, or the front of the Apple iPod case so it is close to the iPod during use. The earPod also has a place to clip on your iPod Remote Control on either side making it a complete solution for iPod users.

The earPod sells for $11.99. Initial distribution of the earPod will be available via www.ear-pod.com and other online Apple iPod resellers.

Roadmaster $20-70 FM Modulators for Your Car

PR: Roadmaster USA Corp. has announced that it has begun shipping the Roadmaster VRFM series of FM Modulators that plug into your car's cigarette lighter to play your favorite MP3, WMA, iPod, CD, or MP3 player music through your car's radio. The Roadmaster VRFM FM modulators convert audio signals into an FM signal, which is then transmitted over an unused FM frequency or station selected by the listener. The VRFM can transmit this high-quality music from an SD card, USB or audio input device, including MP3 players, USB memory key, and CD and DVD players. It can even play any MP3 and WMA music saved on a SD Card or USB Memory.

High-Quality Stereo Sound

Roadmaster FM Modulators make it easy to listen to all your tunes saved on your computer, laptop, or MP3 Player in your car with excellent stereo sound at a low price. Just save your MP3 collection on a USB memory key or SD card and plug it into the Roadmaster FM Modulator; or simply plug your MP3 player or other device directly into the FM Modulator for instant music that you can listen to for hours.

VRFM6VRFM6 - Low-cost Entry-level FM Modulator

Starting at $19.99, the VRFM6 (Roadmaster's entry-level model), connects to all audio devices, including MP3 players, CDs and DVD players, through its audio input to wirelessly broadcast high-quality music through the car radio. The LED displays 15 FM frequencies, from which you can select the appropriate radio channel frequency to play your music. The VRFM6 uses 12 volt wire-free transmission and a 3.5mm stereo input. The channel selector features an up and down key.

VRFM7 - with USB Slot and MP3 Decoder

The next product in the line, the VRFM7, is priced at $29.99 and includes an MP3 decoder, USB slot, Aux in, and frequency push button, as well as all the standard features. The Dual-Function Buttons offer selections for Play, Stop, Volume, and Track Change. The VRFM7W is Plug 'N Play ready for your MP3s and WMA music, which you can play from a USB memory drive.

VRFM8VRFM8 - with Versatile Ratchet Neck & Shuffle/Random Play Features

The Roadmaster $34.99 VRFM8 includes all previous FM Modulator features, plus Dual Function Buttons for Shuffle/Random, Last Song Played, Last FM Channel, Play, Stop, Volume, and Track Change Controls. The Ratchet Neck style provides more flexibility with 6 versatile positions that you will find makes for ease of use in any vehicle.

VRFM9 - Top of the Line with USB, SD Card Slots and Song Name Read-outs

The top of the line Roadmaster FM Modulator, the VRFM9 (priced at $69.99), includes a read-out of the name of each song, SD and USB slots, Dual Function buttons for Shuffle/Random, Last Song Played, Last FM Channel, Play, Stop, Volume, and Track Selection. It automatically plays MP3s and WMAs from USB memory drives, as well as SD cards. In addition to song titles, the easy-to-read LCD also shows preset FM stations.

Priced between $19.99 - $69.99, the VRFM FM Modulators are available immediately through most major superstores, retailers, and car dealerships.

Software

iPod Music Liberator 4.6

PR: The iPod Music Liberator allows you to copy music from your iPod to any computer, filling in a missing feature of iTunes. You see, iTunes only allows for a one way transfer of music from your computer to your iPod. But what if you want to move music to another authorized computer? What if you want to make a backup of your music? What if your computer crashes and you lose all of the music on your computer? What if you buy a new computer and need to move your music? What if

Use the iPod Music Liberator for all of your iPod music copying needs.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

System support: PPC

$24.99 demoware

MoviesForMyPod Converts QuickTime Movies to iPod-friendly Format

PR: Simple, effective batch processing application for converting QuickTime movies into iPod-friendly PSP/iPod/Podcast Movies, 320x240 MPEG-4 and H.264 movie files.

New in version 1.0

PSP video conversion to MoviesForMyPod, a post-fix moniker, and a bunch of other enhancements to this popular free utility for Macintosh fans.

For a final test, I converted this clip using the iPod+PSP Template, and then sync'd it to a 5G Video iPod and a Sony PSP v2 firmware. It played on both perfectly. Good luck with your own videos....

  • Creates .MP4 that plays/synchs to both iPod and PSP ("Universal Podcast"). Perfect for Podcasters.
  • Optimized for Single, Dual and Quad Core CPUs
  • PSP Thumbnail Creation
  • Watched Folders
  • Converts MPEG-2(.m2v)/.AIFF with Apple MPEG-2 component installed.
  • Universal Binary

Found and fixed one last minute bug after Midnight, so if you downloaded the software between 9 pm (Sun) and 4 am (Mon) PST, you probably have the version with the bug. The executable file should be dated April 17, 2006. If not, download again.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.3 or later, iTunes 6.x or later.

System support: PPC/Intel

Free

Babya iGrab Lets Let You Rip a Single MP3 or an Entire MP3 Collection from Your iPod

PR: Babya iGrab is an easy to use way to grab iPod music without having to manually do it. This utility will let you rip either a single song or the entire music collection of the iPod.

This utility will not hurt your iPod in anyway, nor modify its database files or music.

Babya iGrab has some limits also: It can only read MP3 encoded music, all other music will not be shown on the list (e.g. music purchased from the iTunes Music Store. It can only grab either one song, or the entire collection, not in between.

Babya iGrab will work with most iPods-including the latest fifth generation iPod and iPod nano.

Babya Software Group's product manager for digital media, Alvin Novick said: "Babya iGrab is a fast and fuss-free application for easily managing your music on a iPod."

Babya Software Group's A.A. Fussy noted, "Babya iGrab is a innovative application, allowing Apple iPod users to effectively and efficiently copy music stored from their iPod onto a computer for archival or playback purposes."

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