Friday, March 31, 2006

France vs Apple

There has been a great deal of commotion recently about France having voted to approve the 'music interoperability bill'. The bill intends to force companies, specifically Apple, to open their DRM so others can use it.

If passed, the bill would allow consumers to purchase songs from the iTunes store and play it on any device that implements the Apple DRM.

Note that they're not against DRM per se, they're trying to break the monopoly that Apple has by untying their iTune music store to the iPod.

It's clearly a progressive decision in favour of all consumers.

Unfortunately, Apple will not - can not - play in this game. Their only course of action will be to exit from the French market. Why? It's widely believed that Apple makes very little money from sales from their store; it seems that their business model is built around using cheap sales from the music store to entice people to buy iPods. If you break the tie between the store and iPods their business model fails.

Anyways, here are a few articles explaining the situation:

French lawmakers approve bill to open iPod, iTunes
Apple: French law will result in 'state-sponsored piracy'
French law would have 'minimal' impact on Apple
DRM, for better or worse

It was also discussed on JJJ's hack, available as a podcast from here:

France and iPods

[Thanks to Jeremy for prompting me to blog about this!]

Update: The French bill has been watered down

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jetta-iPod remote mod

A nice example of how to build a remote control into the steering wheel of your car. Mounted in carbon fibre no less.

iPod Book

Hide your iPod inside a book! Look more intellectual, it pulls the chicks.

Eight iPod hacks, mods and tricks

We've talked about most of these hacks before but it's nice to have them in one place.

Giant iPod in Australia

Looks like Apple are planning something big for their 30th anniversary. The 893,240 metre square iPod, located near an abandoned mineral mine in Western Australia, can be seen using Google Earth - it's that big.

It's worth reading the back story...who said gambling doesn't pay? :)

Google Earth Blog
Cameron Reilly

iPod Protector

Make your own iPod protector to stop the screen gettin' all scratched up.

Woody iPod Blaster

For the ultimate in tacky, check out the Woody iPod Blaster bag, crafted out of quality vinyl with a wood print.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Belkin announces TunePower

If you're looking to squeeze out an extra few hours of play time outta your 5G iPod then Belkin's TunePower may be the battery for you. US$80, adds a few (they claim six) hours of life to your iPod.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


iNES is a project to port a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator to the iPod. Brought you via the fine folks at iPod Linux.

iLuv Battery Booster

iLuv makes batteries for the 5G iPod and for the Nano. Get up to a 55 hour battery life for US$85!

iPod Linux on 60Gb 5G iPods

It's now official - iPod Linux now works fine on 60Gb 5G iPods.

Automatically get TV shows on your iPod

Anything that uses Bittorrent, RSS and an iPod is OK with me. Transpodder uses a combination of simple, freely available tools to automatically suck your favourite TV shows from the Internet into your teeny little iPod. Now all we need are some good shows to watch since Battlestar Galactica finished...

Clip M

Another one of those Bluetooth headsets that can switch between your iPod and your mobile phone. Looks good and priced reasonably at US$52.

New iPod commercial

Apple have a new iPod commercial that I've seen here on cable TV. Very slick, as you'd expect from Apple.

iPod dock in ya keyboard

Razer have announced a keyboard with a built-in iPod dock. USB2, US$99.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Skype on your iPod

Holy cow, you can now run Skype on your iPod!

[Admittedly in a kludgey fashion!]

Upload CD's directly to your iPod with the iUpload

The iUpload is a fancy device that allows you to rip your CD's without the need of a PC. It even can make use of an internet connection to download and tag the ripped mp3's. Ugly but effective.

How iPods Work

If you're new to the wonderful world of iPods you may just be wondering how they work. Howstuffworks recently wrote an article - How iPods Work - that will satisy your curiosity.

Hardwood case for your iPod

iWood now offer hardwood cases for the 5G iPods. I try to avoid case announcements but this is too smooth to ignore.

MAME Cabinet

Further on the MAME news, someone has built a mini arcade "cabinet" around their Nano. Looks sweet!

Pac Man on your iPod

MAME, the awesome arcade machine emulation software, is beginning to be ported to the iPod via the iPodLinux project. You can - right now - play Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man on the Nano and 5G iPod's.

KeySpan TuneView

A remote control with a difference; the TuneView displays the iPod or iTunes library on it's onboard display. You can then choose the songs to play out of your stereo from the comfort of your lounge suite.

Make your own privacy filters for your iPod

If you watch pr0n on your little iPod video on the train in the morning you may want to check out how to make these filters that reduce the viewing angle of your iPod screen so only you can see it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

iTunes Agent

If you're one of those weird folks that likes iTunes, well, I can't really help you on an emotional level. And if you've bought a non-iPod mp3 player then I don't want to help you. But I'm such a nice guy that I will.

iTunes Agent is an nice piece of software that will sit between iTunes and your favourite non-iPod mp3 player allowing you to use the damned music management software with your equally-damned music playing device. Hope you're happy. ;)

Via MAKE: Blog.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

iFloat, Waterproof iPod Case

The iFloat is a waterproof case for your iPod. It even has a small audio speaker so you can use it as a boom box (minus the boom - the speaker is small!). I'm just not sure I'd be able to relax in the spa knowing that my precious iPod was toe-ing the line of electronic death protected only by a thin plastic box... US$40 available in Brookstone stores (but not yet online - let me know if anyone wants me to bring one back).

iPod Shuffle Beanie

Wear beanines? Check. Have iPod? Check. You're a beanie wearing, iPod toting badass and you need to get your head into the iPod Shuffle Beanie. You know you want it. US$22.

iBoxers for Women

Want to buy your Significant Other an iPod? She's not keen on the idea, right? Maybe you should buy her these iBoxers for Women as 'wrapping paper'. :)

Kensington Entertainment Dock 500

If you're looking to easily and stylishly connect your iPod to your TV and home stereo, the Kensington Entertainment Dock may be a good option. It will charge your 'pod and has a remote control. US$105.

TEN NaviPlay Bluetooth Stereo Headset

Bluetooth is flavour of the month it seems. TEN Technologies just released a set of Bluetooth-equipped headphones specifically designed to be used with your iPod. They also sync up with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones so when a call comes through it can be switched over. US$200.

DLO Ships TransDock Micro iPod Charger/Car Adapter

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has begun shipping their Transdock Micro. It is a car charger and FM transmitter that has the differentiating feature that it can also charge other USB devices. It also has an auxiliary input to allow you to play a seperate sound source through the FM transmitter. US$70.

Scoshe BlueLife connects iPod via Bluetooth

If you aren't happy with the audio quality of your iTrip (or favourite FM transmitter) maye the Scoshe's BlueLife is for you. It is a Bluetooth-based transmitter/receiver combo that can wirelessly transmit your tunes. Not cheap at US$200 but coolness rarely is.