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Kevin Rose says New iPods Coming Soon

Is Digg.com founder and Diggnation star Kevin Rose abusing his Apple contacts? This past weekend Kevin blogged about some new stuff being released by Apple next month including new iPods and an iTunes update.

According to Kevin, Apple will announce the following within the next few weeks:

  • the iPod nano will take on a slimmer, more rounded look
  • the iPod Touch will get an update with a new 2.1 operating system
  • Prices of the iPod line will drop to differentiate the product from the iPhone
  • iTunes 8.0 will be a major new release with several additional features
  • Further out Apple is planning to add Blu-ray support to Mac OS X

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iPhone 3G Launch Problems

The long awaited iPhone 3G was released on Friday, July 11th. But what should have been a happy and joyous day for iPhone fans, ended up being an exercise in frustration for many.

AT&T’s insistence on trying to activate the phones in store taxed Apple’s authentication server (more info) and caused lines to move at a snail’s pace or sent buyers home with a phone only good for making emergency calls. During last year’s iPhone 1.0 launch Apple had everyone activate their own phone at home through iTunes.

Worse yet, AT&T outlets were allowed to sell far fewer phones that Apple Stores, forcing them to turn away customers who waited hours to get their hands on one.

The iPhone 3G line outside the Manhattan Apple Store on 14th Street at 12:52PM. Estimated wait time was ~4 hours. (Photo credit: MethodShop.com)Earlier this week, Apple also had problems with the relaunch of their data service now called MobileMe (it was previously called iTools and .Mac). The MobileMe service is designed to synchronize a user’s personal data across devices, including the iPhone, but many users were denied access to their accounts this week, including Frank Accarrino.

“I’ve been trying to upload pictures from iPhoto to my .Mac website for the past few days but it’s offline. I can’t even get to my Mac mail. I bet Steve Jobs is pissed right now,” Frank told MethodShop.com.

Apple is usually known for flawless product launch events. Let’s hope Apple solves these network issues for next time. It’s estimated that 1 million iPhone 3G models were sold in the U.S. this weekend.

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Loopt Coming Soon to the iPhone 3G

Wish you knew where your friends and family were at all times? Have you heard of Loopt yet?

Loopt is a mobile phone application that enables users to spy on see the location of their friends on an interactive map (see image below). The application also allows you to message friends in your general area and setup automatic alerts to notify you when friends are nearby.

In the last few months, Loopt has published several BlackBerry versions of its software for all major American cellphone carriers including T-Mobile, AT&T, Alltel and Sprint. Loopt also demonstrated an Alpha version of their software for the 3G iPhone at the 2008 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). You can sign up to be notified when the full iPhone version of Loopt is released here.

If you have a Jailbroken iPhone, then the function and features of Loopt might sound similar to Twinkle. Twinkle is a native Twitter client for the iPhone that pairs your GPS location with your Twitter posts. Twinkle also gives you the ability to add images to your Twitter Tweets.

But whether or not you use Loopt, Twinkle or Twitter.. it’s not any fun unless all your friends are also using the service.

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Developers and Consumers Get Ready for Apple’s iPhone App Store

A massive new online business is scheduled to launch on July 11: Apple’s App Store – an online hub for third party iPhone and iPod Touch applications.

Beginning later this month, developers will begin to upload apps to the store accessible by iPhone users or to a new section of the iTunes Store, sharing revenue from app sales with Apple in a 70/30 split. These apps will be in addition to the 1,700-odd apps already developed for the iPhone’s Safari web browser.

One of the games people are looking forward to playing is Super Monkey Ball. Sega’s Ethan Einhorn showed off Super Monkey Ball on stage at the WWDC. According to Einhorn, after 8 weeks of development, the developers have created 110 stages.


The new 3G, GPS-enabled iPhone should open up a world of possibilities for clever developers in the realms of gaming, entertainment and enterprise applications.

In related news, the AOL Radio app for the iPhone won for Best Entertainment Application at the 2008 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), providing users free access to over 350 online radio stations (including 150 local CBS radio stations) and more than 200 AOL Radio channels.

Other WWDC iPhone App winners:

Best iPhone Game:
Enigmo by Pangea Software

Best iPhone Social Networking App:
Twitterrific by the Icon Factory

Best iPhone Productivity App:
OmniFocus by the Omni Group

Best iPhone Healthcare & Fitness App:
MIM from MIMVista

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iPhone 3G and WWDC Announcement Predictions

There’s no doubt that an iPhone update is imminent. But while nearly everyone has agreed on that, nobody knows anything definite about the specifics… except that the new iPhone will be compatible with the Microsoft Exchange email services. There’s a link on the main Apple.com iPhone page where you can apply to be a beta tester.

In regards to the iPhone, here’s what we know today:

  • Apple.com lists the iPhone as “Currently Unavailable.” Stock is so low that you can’t buy it. Usually a good sign that a new model is coming out soon.
  • Apple continues to make iPhone sales deals across the globe. Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Australia were all announced with the last few months.
  • A 3G settings screen was found by hackers in the latest firmware update for the iPhone.
  • The new iPhone will most likely be unveiled during Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) on June 9th.
  • AT&T is prohibiting retail-store employees from taking vacations between June 15 and July 12, claiming that they’re expecting a “heavy selling period”. They implemented a similar policy last year for the iPhone launch.
  • AT&T executives have said numerous times that all of their smartphones (the iPhone is one of the) will support 3G networking soon.
  • The Apple Stores have been out of stock of the iPhone for weeks. And people are forming daily lines outside Apple stores that still have a few iPhones in stock.

And here are some rumors that the guys at MethodShop.com compiled, about what Steve Jobs might announce at the WWDC on June 9th:

  • Rumor: The new 3G iPhone will be about 20% thinner.
  • Rumor: The new 3G iPhone will have built-in video chat that would allow you to video chat with other iPhones or even computers with webcams.
  • Rumor: The Apple TV is going to get an add-on USB camera that will turn the Apple TV into a video chat system (see item above). How would it work? A picture in picture effect would happen if you were watching a movie on your Apple TV when someone tried to “video call” you from an iPhone.
  • Rumor: Just like the iPods, the new iPhone will come in several colors including black [pic] and white [pic]. Several colored iPhone photos have already surfaced on the Interweb. There’s no doubt that black would be an extremely popular iPhone color.
  • Rumor: The new iPhone will have built-in GPS (it’s about time).
  • Rumor: Apple will also announce a new, wireless keyboard specifically for Apple TV, with multi touch capabilities. Basically it will be a super remote control.

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Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes

iTunes is much more than a digital music jukebox. It’s capable of handling many different tasks involving digital media. Some of iTunes’ most popular features include buying music and videos online, burning CDs, and syncing files with your iPod or iPhone.

But one of the lesser known functions hidden within iTunes is the ability to convert audio files.

Why would you need to convert an audio file? Converting audio file types can be useful in many different situations. Here are a few examples:

  • You have an AAC file in iTunes that’s not compatible with your Zune that can play MP3 and not AAC files.
  • A WAV file needs to be emailed to a client for approval but it’s too big. You need to convert the file to an AAC so it’s small enough to easily send via email.
  • You are making a music video and want to use a song you got online as the soundtrack. However, the editing program won’t import the song because it doesn’t support MP3 or AAC.
  • You need to remove the DRM (Digital Rights Management) from an AAC song you purchased from the iTunes Store (see step #7).

Many programs that convert audio files into different formats are pretty complicated and usually cost money. But not iTunes. iTunes is simple, fast and best of all… free.

Tutorial: Converting Audio File Formats in iTunes

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