The Wireless Streaming Music Centre is like many iPod docks: it lets you plug your portable media player into it and acts as a large speaker for it. But its design sets it apart from the rest.
We have received these two images of the iPod nano showing a new interface. They look like Apple’s own product illustrations and the iPod itself looks like the unconfirmed leaked picture, but of course we don’t know if they are real or not. They are so polished and we like them so much that we hope they are real, but for now, they are just a couple of images out of nowhere. Check the playback screen after the jump and tell us what you think
We will see what happens in a few hours. Remember our first rules about rumors and leaks: never trust them, even when they seem like the real McCoy.
Just so everyone knows. I am kinda sick of my iPod dying around 2 years after buying it. The worst part is that several of my friends iPods died at the same time. All of course were purchase around the same time.
So i can say that i decided to switch, and for my b-day, which just two day after Valentines and got a Red Zune.
Lets hope it does not die in 2 years… But do i really need 80 GB?
AT&T’s LG Shine isn’t the only thing going red for Valentine’s Day this year. Microsoft’s recent Apple rip-off TV commercials seemed to be a bit of a Band-Aid approach to marketing its Zune PMP. Pehaps this is part of the Washington wonder’s game plan however, as they announced earlier this week that the 80GB Zune would be available in a lovely shade of red for Valentine’s Day. Available for a limited time through Microsoft’s Zune Originals website, the red Zune’s price tag remains unaffected at $250. Zune Originals also allows buyers to choose from 20 new VDay-related designs that can be laser-etched onto the back of the player. Customers can even download a variety of lovey-dovey tracks that can be shared Zune to Zune or via the Zune SoNet. Microsoft has put a lot of effort into their Valentine’s Day offering this year and hopefully by taking advantage of it, you’ll be one step closer to getting exactly what you want for Vday.
With the iPhone right around the conner, it’s only fitting that we learn more about it…
Here’s a bunch of strange and weird iPod stories. The most recent ones (pictured above) is the one about a soldier in Iraq who got shot (saved by the vest) but didn’t know about it – the iPod is how he found out that he actually got shot.
Not often do we come across a piece of gear that makes us wish we’d thought of it. But when we saw this in-dash iPod dock (more of a slot, really) adapted from a car cassette deck, we dusted off the award statuette. With a Kenwood head unit, you can select the iPod as a source so song information and playlists are visible on the stereo’s LCD readout — good to have, since your iPod’s clickwheel and screen will be a little obstructed. And that Apple button is a nice touch.
Tragically, the highly evolved dock is a one-shot mod of a dashboard cassette player done by CarDomain.com user JPPadula, and it’s doubtful he’s taking orders. We hope that some smart manufacturers are paying attention, but in the meantime, Alpine’s iDA-X001 can stand in as the next best thing.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made a surprise call for the end of digital rights management technology, which is designed to stop copyrighted music from being shared illicitly. Jobs says Apple would sell only DRM-free music on iTunes if it could.
The revelation came in an open letter published on Apple’s Web site, which largely responds to concerns over DRM that have come from European countries such as Norway and France. Jobs offers three possible outcomes for the future, but highlights the abandonment of DRM by record companies as the best possible solution for consumers.
Because Apple leads the digital music market by a huge margin in both song downloads and hardware players with the iPod, legislators have told the company it needs to make iTunes compatible with competitors. Norway went so far as to declare the iPod illegal last month, as it locks users into buying music only from iTunes.
Jobs explains in the letter that Apple has determined it cannot open up its FairPlay DRM technology to others, because doing so would open the door for hackers. When negotiating terms with record labels, Jobs says, Apple was forced to stipulate that FairPlay would remain secure or the labels could pull their music from iTunes immediately.
The FairPlay DRM has been cracked in the past, but Apple has been quick to issue updates that close any loophole. “There is no theory of protecting content other than keeping secrets. In other words, even if one uses the most sophisticated cryptographic locks to protect the actual music, one must still “hide” the keys which unlock the music on the user’s computer or portable music player. No one has ever implemented a DRM system that does not depend on such secrets for its operation,” Jobs writes.
If Apple were to open FairPlay to third party manufacturers and music stores, controlling those secrets would be impossible, he adds. Referring to the Zune, Jobs adds, “Perhaps this same conclusion contributed to Microsoft’s recent decision to switch their emphasis from an “open” model of licensing their DRM to others to a “closed” model of offering a proprietary music store, proprietary jukebox software and proprietary players.”
Another solution moving forward is to continue on the same path, where companies sell music designed for specific players and protected by closed DRM systems. Microsoft, Sony and Apple all do this Jobs notes. He downplays “lock-in” concerns by explaining that only 22 songs are purchased from iTunes for every iPod sold, which indicates that the vast majority of iPods are filled with non-DRM music.
But the most controversial idea for the future is one Jobs says would create the best environment for both the marketplace and consumers alike: “abolish DRMs entirely.”
“Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat,” Jobs writes. “If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store.”
He explains that most music is still sold on CDs, which have no built-in DRM technologies and can be freely copied and shared over the Internet. “So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.”
Jobs concludes his letter with a swipe at European regulators, noting that two and a half of the big four music labels are located in Europe, and says, “those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free…Convincing them to license their music to Apple and others DRM-free will create a truly interoperable music marketplace. Apple will embrace this wholeheartedly.”
When Apple first released details about what is now called Apple TV, I wrote that it would create a DVR dilemma for the Cupertino company, one that it decided by bypassing DVR functionality (at least for now). The result will be a product that avoids many setup foibles and complexities of digital video recorders while allowing use of the increasingly versatile streamlined Apple Remote. There are three main reasons why Apple’s digital media adapter will trump its predecessors, but it may not yet be enough to catapult digital content into the living room the way the iPod did into our pockets.
First from a technology perspective, Apple TV is one of the first digital media adapters to support the draft 802.11n standard. If the PCs from which it is obtaining media also have this fast a connection, Apple TV should be able to obtain digital content much faster than previous products. 802.11n should certainly be fast enough for standard-definition compressed video and reliable enough to carry movie trailers from Apple’s Web site without stuttering.
However, as good as 802.11n is, few if any unlicensed wireless technologies are completely immune to interference and range limitations, which is why the inclusion of a hard drive is a great boon for this device class. As I wrote when I looked at Brookstone’s hard disk-based SongCube last fall, there are many advantages to using a “sync and store” scenario for digital content devices on a home network. These address the reliability and performance of local storage while eliminating the need to manually update a device with the latest content. Managing this cache, however, can require a bit of configuration; Apple will need to make some tradeoffs here.
The second advantage Apple TV will have over other digital media adapters is commercial video content, or at least easy access to it. Because Apple has become the leading seller of Hollywood TV shows (followed by the recently launched Xbox Live video service), consumers can queue up TV shows or movie purchases and have them delivered to the big screen. Apple is clearly hoping to jump-start a virtuous circle here, in which the availability of a clear path to the television spurs demand for digital content, which spurs demand for AppleTV units.
It’s a more direct relationship than Apple has enjoyed with the iPod, which didn’t rely on the iTunes store for its meteoric rise. The Walkman provided a clear model for the success of the iPod. There is no such precedent for Apple TV and consumers have yet to express the collective need to move PC-based content into their living rooms. In fact, in some ways the Apple TV model reverses that of the iPod, and is one in which digital content purchases will have more weight in spurring device sales than vice versa.
Third, AppleTV will enjoy distribution in Apple’s phenomenally successful retail stores. Previous DMAs have proved flummoxing to retailers that wrestle with whether to put them in the networking or AV departments. Demonstrating AppleTV effectively may not be simple even for Apple, but its retail stores’ simpler focus and knack for attracting those interested in the digital lifestyle should help AppleTV’s entry in the fledgling category.
Unlike the iPod (but like the iPhone), Apple TV will be cross-platform from its first day on the market, continuing Apple’s embrace of the tremendous base of Windows users. But there will be other requirements that the first iPod didn’t have — broadband and a home network, the latter of which exists in about a third or fewer American households. In suck homes, AppleTV will test whether the challenge to bridge the PC and TV has been due to lack of design, lack of content, lack of appropriate shelf space or, in Apple’s worst case, lack of interest.
Image by Matt Krueger
Do you travel in private jets? Decorate your foyer with real Renoirs? Use the word “foyer”? Then there’s no way you’re going to get your gadget fix from anything you can get at Best Buy. You crave the most exclusive, the top of the line, the most unusual, and the most attention-grabbing technology, and price is no object. But there are expensive gadgets, and then there are expensive gadgets. We aren’t talking PlayStation 3 expensive — we’re talking gear so expensive you’ll have your butlers pick them up in your gold-plated helicopter. There are plenty of cool toys out there for you and your mansion, and we’ve compiled a list — the list — of the 10 best tech toys for the überdiscriminating connoisseur. And if you’re still working on that Park Avenue address, don’t fret; drop by tomorrow for our Top 10 Gadgets You Can Actually Afford. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with ogling. So click on the jump, enjoy the list, and to you millionaires out there: don’t listen to those people laughing at you for wasting your money. They’re just jealous.