Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

Make an iPod Screensaver

Here is a quick and easy way to change what your iPod video displays while it is charging. From, they have some good screenshots there as well.

Create a folder named Demo Mode.
In iTunes, rename the video you want the iPod to play.
After the iPod is on the charger two minutes, the video will start playing.
This only works on fifth generation Video iPods.
The iPod must be on pause and charging.
You must have enable disk use enabled.
the iPod video must have up to date firmware.

You could probably do this without updating the firmware, if that sort of stuff scares you. Try it first, if it works, why update it?

Apple Store

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 9, 2006 at 2:05 am

Categories: Apple   Tags: , ,

Zune and iPod Side By Side

Here are some side by side pictures comparing the Zune to the iPod, from Jake Ludington’s Media Blab.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 2, 2006 at 11:15 pm

Categories: Tech News   Tags: ,

Five Reasons Zune Scares Apple

When Microsoft releases a new product, there is almost always hundreds of articles telling why it will be a hit or why it will fail, especially if they are going up against Apple. Apple practically owns the mp3 player market, and most of its fans believe Microsoft doesn’t have a chance because the iPod is so popular and is so cool. We have two in my family right now, a Nano and one of the orginal, 20 gig iPods without the color screen, dangit. But, when you take on Microsoft, you usually take on the whole outfit, with the release of the Zune, Microsoft has already announced that you will be able to buy songs through their service with Microsoft Points, which had only been usable on the Xbox live site, I believe. So you know there will be more cross promotion, and probably increased interoperability, there will probably be hooks so you can connect to Windows XP Media Center pcs to play music, and, if they are smart, free songs with everything they sell. The Zune will be able to plug into the Xbox through the USB port, a fact they will no doubt advertise on the Xbox Live site.

Mike Elgan at Computerworld says Apple is scared os the Zune and give five reasons why they should be.

1. Microsoft is hatching a consumer media “perfect storm.”
Apple fans assume iPod will face Zune in the market, mano a mano, like other media players. But that’s not the case. Zune will be supported and promoted and will leverage the collective power of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Soapbox (Microsoft’s new “YouTube killer”) and the Xbox 360.

Microsoft will make the movement of media between Windows, Soapbox and the Zune natural and seamless. The Zune interface is just like a miniature version of the Windows Media Center user interface and is very similar to some elements of Vista.

Apple fans are overconfident in the iPod because Apple once commanded 92% of music player market share, a number that has since fallen to around 70%. About 30 million people own iPods.

But Microsoft owns more than 90% of the worldwide operating systems market (compared with Apple’s roughly 5%), representing some 300 million people. The company expects to have 200 million Vista users within two years.

The Zune will plug directly into the Xbox via a standard Universal Serial Bus cable — a fact Microsoft will drill into the heads of Xbox users on the Xbox Live online gaming service. The Zune Marketplace will be integrated with, and promoted by, the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Apple faces the prospect of competing not with the Zune alone, but with a mighty Windows-Soapbox-Xbox-Zune industrial complex.

He has four more reasons in the article, available here.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 30, 2006 at 7:22 pm

Categories: Apple, Gadgets, Xbox   Tags: , , , , ,

Microsoft Zune vs. iPod Comparisons

Was reading the Zune Insider Blog, via digg, and he as posted a list of six sites with Zune vs iPod comparisons.

A few folks put together Zune-iPod comparisons and I wanted to link to them.

Zune Groove is one such site and they say,

We dug up this nice little chart putting the Zune specs and iPod specs head-to-head. I’d say these two are very close in terms of what each offers. iPod seems to have the size edge, but as far as sharing your content it goes to the Zune hands down.

Battery life is also similar with the iPod looking to beat the Zune by a little. Though this may also be slightly inaccurate due to customers complaining of the dwindling battery life the iPod seems to endure.

Let’s just hope the Zune doesn’t suffer the same fate

Not a whole lot of info, but it may be interesting to people thinking of purchasing a Zune when they come out.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 26, 2006 at 2:48 pm

Categories: Apple, Hardware, Reviews   Tags: , ,

Microsoft Pulled Zune Pricing, They Will Not Be Undersold

The reason there was no pricing information released when Microsoft released the Zune announcement, the Apple price cut took them by surprise, so they pulled the pricing at the last minute to wait and see what happens. It is said they are taking a “We will not be undersold” approach, in preparations to make it’s run against Apple market dominance. Undercutting the price of the iPod is a major goal of Microsoft’s, according to insiders, and they want to at least match a comparable iPod and hope to undercut it.

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu echoed such reports on Friday, saying that the firm believes “Microsoft is re-thinking its pricing strategy amid potential wider losses to stay competitive in the marketplace.”

The iPod’s new low price throws a wrench into Microsoft’s plans. The company now needs to decide whether it can afford taking a second large financial risk by sticking to its previous pricing strategy, or hope its increased feature set can buoy the Zune at a price equal to or slightly higher than the iconic iPod. Source: BetaNews

This is a tricky situation for Microsoft, compete on features or on price, it will be hard to do both. The digital music player market is completely different from say the gaming console market, where you can loose money on each system sold and make it up in game sales. Most of Apple’s money is made on the sale of the iPod as not to many users are throwing down big bucks for music, yet, so Microsoft can’t hope to make up money on music sales as the market is probably not there yet.

Shoot low Microsoft, I’ll buy one if its cheap, for sure.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 19, 2006 at 2:39 pm

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News   Tags: , , ,

With the New iPods, Profit is the Word

Analysts at Gartner say Apple has focused the release of the new iPods for profit and not market share, like canceling the 1gig iPod, which they say could have been a big seller. But since Apple has over 75% of the market, they feel they can price it a little higher and not cut the prices like they did previously. What this will do, is, it will give Microsoft and the Zune Player an opportunity to slide in for some extra market share. Combine this with Microsoft promoting itself as the next generation MP3 Player and the iPod as the Pong of digital music, and Microsoft may be able to do something, especially if some young enterprising hacker cracks the DRM and the 3 day or 3 play limitation.

The top sign Apple is going for the green is its lack of aggressive pricing, according to Gartner analysts Joseph Unsworth and Jon Erensen in a Monday report. The second-generation iPod shuffle, for example, could have been priced closer to $49 to stimulate demand from users, since the cost of materials going into it amounts to only $30, the analysts said. Instead, the shuffle is priced at $79.

The company could have also priced the new 8GB nano product lower than $249, since its materials only cost $130, Gartner said, the same with its 4GB, which at $199 is far higher than the $90 worth of materials inside, and the 2GB version, which is $149 and is made from materials costing only $70.

The two Gartner researchers even lamented Apple’s decision to discontinue the 1GB nano, which they say could have been a nice mass-market item for around $99.

“Apple is in a secure position atop the portable media player market and has decided to strategically focus on its margin this time,” the analysts said.

I don’t know about most people, but if I know someone is beefing up the price on me, it tends to push me somewhere else.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - at 2:09 am

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags: ,

iPod the Pong of Digital Music

In an interview with Gizmodo, Microsoft’s J Allard called the iPod the Pong of digital music.

Giz: Why should iPod users switch to a Zune?

J Allard:The wrong consumer to start with is…

the one who says “You’ll take my ipod from my cold clammy hands.”
People love their social networks, though. If they’re over email, IM, or on the web, it’s integrated into their lives. We want to bring that to portable music. Digital music is far front done. Ipod is the Pong of digital music. Let’s take it to the next level. And connected is what its all about.

The other thing is video. It’s a much more inclusive part of people’s life. Especially tail end video [referring to Wired and Chris Anderson's Long Tail theories]. How do we bring that to pockets? Oh yes: People said we want a bigger screen [than the ipod].

Now, before you take that as an attack on Apple, I need to say what he was trying to say. He was saying the iPod is the first big hit of digital music, hell, I’d still play pong if it was put in front of me, wouldn’t you? Many, many people own an iPod, we have two, the original 20 gig with the black and white screen and my boy owns a Nano, with all of its wonderful scratches. Heck, we have a local radio station that calls itself xPod, for whatever reason, they don’t fit in my pocket, they don’t just play songs that I like, and play way too much Poison. Sounds dumb when they say it, “xPod Radio”.

Apple should take the statement to heart though, if what he says is true, that means the iPod will be going away to be replaced by the next generation digital music player, and we all know which one Microsoft hopes it will be, Zune. Allard even spoke about the Wifi capabilities of Zune, saying,

Put WiFi in, start with one or two scenarios that users will understand. A few times a year, we’ll update the firmware, and let consumers do new and exciting things.

I like the sounds of this, Zune will start with the ability for users to share music with outher Zune devices,

Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

With the prospect of them adding to these abilities, this one doesn’t sound as bad, of course three times or three days suck, but we all know some young enterprising young hacker will figure out how to bypass the DRM, and will all be sharing mp3′s until our hearts content. Not that I would or want to. ;)

While I kind of agree about the iPod being the first big thing, I don’t think they will lay down and go away, Apple has bigs things planned for the iPod, remember,

Apple is in your den
Apple is in your living room
Apple is in your car
Apple is in your pocket

at least in Apple’s picture of the future of digital music.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 15, 2006 at 9:49 pm

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News   Tags: , ,

How to Backup the Music on Your iPod

Apple has added some new and very welcome features in iTunes version 7, one at least they didn’t allow before. Previously they would not let you sync your iPod with more than one computer, sure I know it was possible, my 12 year old did it with several of his friends, but it wasn’t supported. Now, you can reverse sync and they are pushing it as a feature. Say you have a home pc and your iPod already synced, now you can take it to your work pc and sync it up with your iPod, but it only works with music and videos purchased from iTunes.

Here is the new big feature:
You can now backup the music from your iPod straight to CD or DVD.

iTunes 7 has really breathed some new life into that venerable jukebox software. One of the most useful new features is ‘Back Up to Disc,’ which is located under the ‘File’ menu of iTunes. This feature allows you to back up all your tracks to either CD or DVD.

Sounds great, right? But is it easy? Yes, yes it is. Read on for a detailed step by step tutorial.

Once you click the ‘Back up to disk..’ option you get this window:

Visit The Unofficial Apple Weblog for the complete set of instructions.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - September 13, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Categories: Apple, Backup, How To   Tags: ,

Xbox 360 and your iPod

Coming to a big screen near you. The Xbox 360, when it debuts, will have the ability to stream music files from just about any MP3 player, including, gasp, Apple’s iPod. And during the preview of the Xbox 350 in San Francisco last month, Microsoft execs were really excited to be able to play music from the apple iPod, and talked up the functionality quite a bit.

“When you plug your iPod in,” Xbox digital-entertainment executive producer Jeff Henshaw told CNET, “the Xbox 360 automatically detects that it’s there. You can browse by artist or album or genre or by custom playlist.”

And, although it can stream the music from your iPod into games like Project Gotham Racing 3, replacing the game sound track with your own tunes, this was done without Apple’s support.

“We do not have an official relationship with Apple for the iPod connectivity,” said Scott Henson, product unit manager in Microsoft’s advanced technology group. He maintains that “Xbox 360 leverages standard protocols such as USB mass storage to enable iPod support.”

Henshaw said Microsoft tried to “engage” Apple in a partnership that would have officially made the iPod interoperable with Xbox, but Apple rejected the overture.

“So we went in and built all of the support we could,” Henshaw said. Microsoft plans to release the new Xbox in North America on Nov. 22.

Henshaw said the Xbox 360 would be able to stream any standard MP3 file or AAC file from an iPod, but not protected songs purchased through the iTunes Music Store. Those songs, he said, will appear grayed out in menus on the Xbox.

Microsoft would not comment as to wether they had to reverse engineer anything, but industry folks assume they did, since the iPod actually scatters the songs accross directories and renames them, which makes them really hard to find.

iPods have a database that cross-references the location of music files and their names so users can select them through the device’s menu. Microsoft would have had to include simple software in order to engage that database, he said.

“They have to read that database to get a list of songs on the iPod and present that to the user,” Benson said. “Once a user has selected what song to play, then you use the database to find the song and play it.”

So, it sounds like they would have to figure out how to find them first by talking to their database. I would say Apple isn’t going to like this very much, and will probably be ready to counter the ability with an iTunes update of some kind, like they did when RealNetwork’s made it possible to copy songs from their online offerings with the iPod.

“It would be unfortunate if that happened, because people are enjoying the flexibility,” said Henshaw. “It would be unfortunate to see Apple inhibit people’s ability to enjoy their own music.”

Hehe. That’s their line and they are sticking to it. This article quoted the article, and they said Apple did not have a comment at this time. I’m sure there will be one when the system ships near the end of the month.

Here’s a post on Microsoft blog on, where a journalist actually got to try it out with an iPod Nano and his own iPod, and he said it worked just fine, even has a pic with it connected. has an article about it posted here, and it has some quotes from J Allard and he says,

“I’m pro consumer on this one to the end. Anybody in my company who thought this was a bad idea to plug in Sony or Apple devices into this thing, I ended that conversation pretty quickly. This is the right thing to do for consumers. Once they invest $500 in their digital media library, you can’t ask them to go buy a 360 music player and a 360 digital camera, and a 360… NO! They got their stuff. They’re going to want to plug it in. We’re going to be open here, guys. And if anything, I wish we could be more cooperative with the other companies that are doing those things. And if Sony or Apple were to call me up and say, “hey, we want to [do] some special things with the 360,” i’m on it. I think it would not be in anybody’s interest to say, we’re not going to work with 360. It’s good for them, it’s good for us, and it’s good for consumers.”

Sounds good to me. ;)

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 4, 2005 at 2:00 pm

Categories: Gaming News, Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags: , , , , ,

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