Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Body Glove releases kickstand case

Famous mainly for its swimwear, Body Glove has launched a new iPod case, simply dubbed the iPod Case with Kickstand. It fits 30GB, 60GB and 80GB video iPods, and as its name might suggest, it has a stand built into its belt clip which allows it to stand upright on a flat surface. If the clip proves more of an obstacle than help, it can be removed. Meanwhile, the case itself is made of Body Glove's "Ion" fabric, which stretches to fit iPods while protecting them from water and surface damage. The Kickstand is now available at Wal-Mart for $20.

Belkin debuts new iPod charging accessories

Belkin has unveiled a new line of power-related accessories for the iPod, offering various ways to charge the device. They include the Power Dock AV, Power Dock, Charging Kit, and Power Adapter. The new power accessories are compatible with the iPod nano 2nd generation (aluminum), iPod 5th generation (video), iPod nano 1st generation, iPod 4th generation (color display), iPod 4th generation, and iPod mini 1st generation.

The Power Dock AV is priced at $50 and charges and plays your iPod through home entertainment center. It also syncs with iTunes using included USB cable. The standard Power Dock is $35, and charges/syncs the iPod through your computer. The charging kit, also priced at $35 includes wall-outlet and in-car power adapters and a USB cable for charging. Finally the Power Adapter for iPod is $25 and includes a wall-outlet power adapter and a USB cable for charging..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nissan nav-compatible Bluetooth for iPod

mobilecast has announced a new iPod Bluetooth transmitter that is compatible with the CARWINGS HDD navigation system from Nissan. The transmitter allows users to listen to music stored on their iPods wirelessly through car speakers on select vehicles. The device allows self-contained control of the iPod, creating a wireless remote setup. It also offers switching between Bluetooth hands-free (HF) communication and Bluetooth data communications. Pricing has been set at 7,800 yen.

The manufacturer says: "As a solutions vendor that focuses on wireless personal area networking (PAN), mobilecast worked with Nissan in developing and marketing an iPod Bluetooth Transmitter that is compatible with Nissan's HDD car navigation. Bluetooth technology is the subject of great international anticipation as a safe, secure, and easy solution for vehicles. Consequently, this collaboratively developed product is drawing considerable attention as a model for wireless solution in ITS (Intelligent wireless solution in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems and Services)."

Marks & Spencer to stock iPod-ready suit

UK-based apparel retailer Mark & Spencer has agreed to carry a new business suit for men with integrated iPod functionality. The suit features Elektex fabric to offer built-in iPod controls, turning a standard lapel into a five-button electronic control panel. The Marks & Spencer hands-free iPod suit is made from wool with added Lycra and the afore-mentioned Elektex is priced at $300. The technology-enabled jacket sells for $180 while the accompanying trousers go for $120. A spokeswoman for Mark & Spencer described the apparel -- which features an iPod connector sewn into the pocket of the jacket alongside a system of loops to keep earphone wires hidden -- as a classic black pinstripe, two-button modern-cut suit, according to The Guardian.

Apple extends iTunes to Bebo social network

Apple today announced a deal that will expand its popular iTunes music service into the realm of social networking. The company on Wednesday announced a deal to embed its iTunes music download service into the Bebo website, according to The Financial Times . Initially, the deal will be limited to UK and Ireland, but could eventually extend to its entire user base of 33 million users. The San Francisco-based Bebo network has nearly 9 million users and 500,000 musicians in UK and Ireland--all of whom will now be able to buy music directly from the profile of any musician who has a Bebo profile and whose music is available on iTunes, making it the first time Apple has linked iTunes to a social networking site, the report claimed. The report says that more than 4,000 bands sign up on the site each day, creating a huge selection of potential iTunes music.

"The deal with Bebo will give Apple a deeper reach into the market segment of 16- to 24-year-olds, who are both keen users of social networking sites, and key consumers of music," FT reported. "Some 32 percent of 16- to 24-year-old internet users visit social networking sites at least once a month, making the demographic the leader of the social networking trend."

Bebo will reportedly also offer a platform for iTunes to promote lesser-known artists. Much like iTunes current "Single of the Week" promo, the site will offer users a free music download each week in a continued effort to introduce new artists and releases.