Apple is offering refurbished versions of the iPod shuffle at its online store. The 512MB Shuffle, regularly $100, is available for $80, while 1GB Shuffle (recently reduced to $130) is available for $100. Apple is also offering refurb color iPods: 30GB ($300), 40GB with dock and carry case ($330), and 60GB ($350). Apple has also added more 12-inch PowerBooks for $1,300 (1.5GHz/Combo or 1.33GHz/SuperDrive) or $1,500 (1.5GHz/SuperDrive) and a single model of the high-end 17-inch PowerBook ($2,300). Apple also has two 12-inch iBook models starting at $800 (1.2GHz/CD and 1GHz/Combo) as well as 14-inch iBook for $1,300. Several refurbished G5 desktops models are also available starting at $1,200.
Mophie today announced the Song Sling, a new iPod shuffle accessory that "takes the basic lanyard concept to the next level." The patent-pending design features concealed audio connections and retractable ear buds for "pull and play" functionality. "Song Sling raises the bar when it comes to style and convenience on the portable music scene. Mophie is betting heavily on the belief that they arenít the only ones frustrated by the dangle and tangle of conventional earphone wires." It is priced at $40 and will be available in three colors: gray, blue and pink. The Song Sling will ship in late July, while a version for the iPod mini will be available in Fall 2005.
MarcMoini.com has released 3D-Space VFS 1.3, a system utility that combines launcher, dock and finder features with elegant 3D drawers to offer easy point-and-click access to favorite files and applications. The utility offers Finder-like features and navigation, standard file copy/move operations via drag & drop, instant access to hundreds of favorite items in 3D drawers, and OpenGL-based graphics for maximum performance. "A flick of the mouse and a vast three dimensional landscape appears. You see all your favorite items, neatly presented and waiting for you to click the one you want." 3D-Space VFS also allows users to navigate from one 3D space to another, and open any folder as a new 3D space. Version 1.3 brings forward/back buttons, more menu commands, reduced CPU usage when in the background, and more. It is $30 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Forums roundup: Members discuss the new ATI X850 XT video card option on BTO Power Macs from the Apple Store.... 17" PowerBook G4 owners discuss problems with their machines' cases flexing when places on uneven surfaces.... iPod enthusiasts discuss the new iPod pricing from Apple, which was updated this week.... Members also speculate about future iPod models, including 2GB and 4GB iPod shuffles.... Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users discuss changing screen capture format from PNG to PDF format.
Ambient Design last month introduced ArtRage 1.1 for Mac OS X. ArtRage, which contains the same feature set as its Windows counterpart, provides easy-to-use, realistic painting solution. It is designed provide a "natural" environment for producing art: "By providing realistic tools such as oil paints and pencils, and simulating the real world dynamics of those media, ArtRage allows any user to play around with paint without the expense and mess of its real world counterpart." It also offers tracing tools to allow users to produce paintings based on photographs or other existing images, supports "zooming," features larger canvases, includes a color sampler, and offers the ability to import normal images as a background canvas. It is available for free and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
PiperJaffray today said Apple's iTunes is the "clear winner" in terms of audio-download store traffic. "We recently checked Web traffic information of audio download sites on Alexa.com to get an idea of the market share that each of the sites hold." The firm believes the rankings "fairly represent the overall mindshare held by a company." Apple and Napster were both given an "A" grade in the "traffic report card," while Audible got a B and Real received a C. "In our minds, Apple.com earned an "A" as a result of having the largest 3 month percentage change in web traffic rank." Continued on iPodNN. . . .
PiperJaffray today said Apple's iTunes is the "clear winner" in terms of audio-download store traffic. "We recently checked Web traffic information of audio download sites on Alexa.com to get an idea of the market share that each of the sites hold." The firm believes the rankings "fairly represent the overall mindshare held by a company." Apple and Napster were both given an "A" grade in the "traffic report card," while Audible got a B and Real received a C. "In our minds, Apple.com earned an "A" as a result of having the largest 3 month percentage change in web traffic rank."
DVD Database X 1.6 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help keep track of any size DVD collection. Version 1.6 adds increased speed for online lookups, Improved compatibility with QuickTime 7.01 and DVD Player 4.6, and New Quick Search function. [Download - 2.5MB] ShutterBug 1.2 ($34), from XtraLean Software, offers more improvements and a more streamlined user interface giving users "more flexibility and control over their online photos and Web pages." Some of the new features for this version include: horizontal and vertical page centering, new diagonal repeating watermark for photos, color and transparency controls for watermarks, alphabetical sorting of photos upon import, floating tool tips and more. [Download - 1.6MB] BasaOne 2.0 ($100) from Basasoft adds some important enhancements to the Graphical Web Application Development tool. It features: development of full fledged Dashboard Widgets, creation of appealing interfaces using transparencies, adding objects to existing groups or rearranging them, and fast property editing in inspector. [Download - 4.1MB] CoverBuddy 1.1 ($25) is an add-on for iTunes that lets users manage a music collection by cover art. New features include hiding albums with missing covers, faster and improved importing and limiting play to a single album. [Download - 3.8MB] WireTap Pro 1.1.1 is an all-purpose digital recorder. This new version of WireTap Pro adds MacOS X 10.4 ("Tiger") compatibility, support for one-off timed recordings, a graphic EQ, the ability to record Microphone and Mac audio simultaneously, and more. [Download - 13.7MB] Yenco today announced that its next generation of applications will only support Mac OS X. Removing support for the Classic Mac OS generation will allow the company to make faster applications, "casting off numerous limitations that support for Mac OS 9 imposed."
In brief: osViews has published a "trip down memory lane" looking at BeOS on an Apple Performa 6300CD.... Pariahware today announced a month-long sale celebrating America's declaration of independence, with deals on ChimeX, Days Away, File Stitcher, FLaunch, and more.... The Fast Icon Studio has released a new icon set for Mac OS X: "Acoustic Guitar", with 5 freeware icons.... Griffin today announced that the iVault ($20) aluminum case for the iPod Shuffle is now shipping.
Griffin today announced that the iVault ($20) aluminum case for the iPod Shuffle is now shipping. Machined entirely out of aluminum, the iVault safely encloses the iPod Shuffle, while still allowing total access to the control wheel, audio jack, on switch, USB port, and LED. The front and back halves of the case are joined together by 4 small screws, so your iPod Shuffle is guaranteed to be secure. Lightweight yet strong, the iVault and the iPod Shuffle together weigh less than 1.5 ounces. Every machined edge of the case is rounded from comfort and aesthetics. The iVault is available in five anodized colors.
Acapela today announced the release of Acapela Multimedia for Mac OS X, a speech synthesis solution designed to make Mac multimedia applications voice-enabled. "Voice synthesis is an important element in multimedia applications, as it creates an interactive interface between computers and computer users, thereby facilitating innovative communication exchanges," Acapela said. The SDK offers resources for reading and learning languages, e-learning, talking characters, proof reading, personal assistants, edutainment and productivity. Acapela Text to Speech generates smooth and natural sounding voices, providing "high intelligibility and naturalness for the end-user."
Hewlett-Packard today added the iPod shuffle to its line of HP-branded music players. HP is offering two models: the $100 512 megabyte version, which holds up to 120 songs, and the $130 1 gigabyte version, which holds up to 240 songs. HP currently offers the 20GB and 60GB full size iPods, as well as the 4 GB and 6 GB iPod minis. HP sells printable iPod "Tattoos" for customizing the exterior of the iPod and iPod mini. HP is now offering Printable Tattoos for the Shuffle at this time. HP's Total Care customer support covers all Apple iPod from HP models. This includes one year of phone support and a one-year limited warranty.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN