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iPod Hi-Fi review
Apple's iPod Hi-Fi has received high marks from a Stereophile senior contributing editor, who says the device produces "glorious sound." A review on NewJersey.com talks about Apple's new iPod stereo jukebox, noting that while the iPod Hi-Fi may not live up to Steve Jobs' claims of replacing a high-end stereo system, it delivers high-quality sound along with some nice extras -- despite some misgivings with its weight and aesthetic appeal: "But the dual-ported box, fitted with a robust 5-inch woofer, outputs surprisingly deep, supple, musical bass. A pair of rich-sounding 3-inch midrange tweeters deftly integrate with the woofer to deliver the rest of the music with equally smooth composure. Apple didn't neglect functionality, or its famous obsession with small details -- too many to list here."
iTunes video bundles
Apple is exploring new ways to market and sell music videos in bulk as interest in downloadable video grows, according to Billboard. In recent weeks, the company has begun offering all the clips from Tori Amos' "Fade to Red" -- a 21-song music video collection released on DVD -- as individual downloads for $1.99 each or as a complete package for $24.99, according to the report. While the company has always sold individual video clips, the report notes that Apple has been trending toward higher-margin video bundles, including vingles (videos bundled with the corresponding song) and iTunes-only "video albums," which offer of six to seven exclusive videos that are not available elsewhere--either digitally or on DVD. The trend toward video collections is expected to continue on iTunes, currently the leading online service for music: "It's a natural fit," says Eddie Cue, vice president of applications for Apple. "These are not replacements for people buying individual songs or albums. But they're great for well-established artists with a fan base behind them that wants more product."
New iPods coming?
Unusual price drops in the advertised price of Apple's iPod have prompted some to speculate that the company is set to introduce a line of iPods to replace its existing products, according to a new report. Retailers such as Amazon.com have begun below-MAP (minimum advertised price) advertising for Apple's range of iPods. Amazon is offering a seven percent (about $20) discount on Apple's video iPod and a five percent discount on the iPod nano. While retailers sometimes offer discounts, they are usually hidden until a customer has added the item to the cart and/or available as an "instant rebate". The below-MAP advertising suggests that Apple has lifted the MAP restrictions in order to allow retailers to clear their inventory, hinting at the introduction of new iPods in the near future, according the publication. Earlier this month big-box retailers were told that the high-end 60GB is "at risk" of being replaced and/or discontinued. In addition, AppleInsider reports that Meijer, a discount superstore chain in the Midwest, is advertising 10 percent discount sales on Apple's iPod in its weekend circular.
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