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Featured by TechTV, Fox News and The New York Times were definitely some of the highlights from this long journey that we will never forget.

American Idol on iTunes

The biggest American reality show on TV has finally joined the iTunes platform. Fox Broadcasting, Fox Interactive Media and FremantleMedia signed an exclusive deal with Apple to bring American Idol audio and video performances to iTunes as single song-sized snippets available the day after they premiere on air.

Audio performances of the top 24 contenders run 99¢ per song, and videos of the top 12 finalists performances will be priced $1.99/each from March 11.

Apple will also become one of the show’s premiere sponsors and maintain a branded presence on AmericanIdol.com, where some free streaming performances can be seen.

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American Podcasting Audience Soars

The U.S. podcasting audience reached 18.5 million in 2007, according to eMarketer and was projected to top 65 million by 2012 with 25 million listeners downloading one or more podcasts a week. Ad spending on podcasts in the U.S. is also expected to creep up, from $165 million in 2007 to $435 million in 2012. Major podcasting networks like Revision3 are growing with the medium’s success by revamping their websites and adding new programming. If you’re not already a podcast consumer, then check out the podcast section in iTunes. There’s a lot of great stuff from tech shows to yoga workouts. And they are all free. I usually watch 5-10 podcasts a day on either my iPod Touch or Apple TV. Makes the bus ride to work much more enjoyable.

Here are a few favorites:
  • Diggnation – weekly rundown of the front page stories on Digg.com
  • Tiki Bar TV – drinking games
  • Unboxing Live – take a new gadget, and open it up while the camera is rolling
  • Midwest Teen Sex Show – explores topics concerning teen sexuality from gym class to syphilis
  • The Totally Rad Show – movie, comic books and game reviews
  • Make Podcast – how to tweak, hack, and bend technology any way you want
  • Play Value – the history of video games.
  • NBC Nightly News – the full TV broadcast sans commercials
methodshop Continue Reading

How to Reset Your Frozen iPhone [or iPod]

The guys over at Methodshop always come up with helpful tips on how to run your Apple gear.  So if you’ve got an iPhone or iPod this tutorial is worth a read – even if you haven’t experienced a frozen iPhone – it’s nice to know what you should do when it inevitably happens. Occasionally an iPod or iPhone may freeze or fail to respond to your commands. This can happen for a number of reasons and does not necessarily indicate a serious problem. Sometimes they just need a restart much like the way your computer needs a reset once in a while. Tutorial: How to reset a Frozen iPod or iPhone Restarting an iPod/iPhone is a simple procedure that will not erase any of your music, data files, or customized preferences. methodshop Continue Reading

Apple TV Take 2: Movie Rentals, No Computer Required

Steve Jobs announced an update to the Apple TV at Macworld San Francisco this week as well as iTunes Movie Rentals, which were already rumored to be part of his Macworld keynote speech. Jobs admitted that Apple’s online video plan had been a disappointment and that users didn’t take to watching online video the way Apple had expected. When Jobs first announced the Apple TV last January, Apple’s initial video plan was too complicated for many people. Getting a movie or TV show onto your Apple TV required customers to buy the video from the iTunes Store, download it to their computer, then sync/stream the file using an Apple TV.

Although Apple has already sold 7 million movies, Jobs said: “That’s more than everyone else put together, but it did not meet our expectations.” Apple plans on overhauling their strategy by making 2 major changes:
  1. Adding a new online movie rental service
  2. Updating the Apple TV’s software so that viewers can stream movies direct from the internet sans (that’s Latin for without) computer.
Jobs thinks that viewers would prefer to rent movies, not buy them. As a result, the new Apple TV software will allow users to Continue Reading

Steve Jobs Announces the MacBook Air at MacWorld

I hope you didn’t buy a new Apple laptop recently. Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Air at Macworld today.

The MacBook Air is the “World’s Thinnest Notebook” – even thinner than the Sony TZ, which is 0.8 to 1.2 inches thick. It’s so thin it fits in a manila envelope. Seriously. See the image below! Apple’s goal was to make a high performance 3 pound laptop, with a full size keyboard, and large display.

The MacBook Air is so thin, it only has 4 ports: USB 2.0, Micro-DVI, headphone jack and a MagSafe 45w power adapter plug. So what did Apple leave out? Continue Reading

iTunes Movie Rentals – Rumors Say They Are Coming Soon

According to reports, Apple is close to announcing plans to make Fox and Disney movies available as online rentals via iTunes (US). Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely saving the official announcement for his Macworld Expo keynote on Jan. 14. Customers would pay a fee to download titles viewable on computers, iPods and presumably Apple TV devices that would expire after a short window of time. Netflix, Amazon.com and Blockbuster’s Movielink are competitors in this space. Wal-Mart, however, has thrown in the towel. Wal-Mart.com quietly pulled the plug on its video download service late last month as Hewlett Packard decided to discontinue the back-office technology that powered it. The service, popular with studios because it offered variable pricing, struggled with compatibility issues. Wal-Mart downloads could not be burned to DVDs or watched on video iPods. methodshop Continue Reading

iPhone 1.1.3 Leak [video]

Here it is… video evidence of the new unreleased iPhone 1.1.3 software improvements. The embedded video below is a nice and thorough walk-through of the unreleased iPhone 1.1.3 feature updates hosted by Andru from GearLive.com. Watch it fast before Apple’s lawyers take it down. Anyone still think it’s fake? If the embedded video above doesn’t load, then click here. methodshop Continue Reading

Hi-Tech Thanksgiving Turkey Help

Have a habit of getting yourself in to a jam when cooking Thanksgiving dinner (USA)? When things go wrong in the kitchen, sometimes you probably feel like running down to the closest restaurant and asking for some professional advice. Actually physically busting into a restaurant kitchen may be a little extreme, but thanks to a few websites like ChefsLine.com and Chefs.com, experienced chefs are connecting with home cooks via email and instant-messaging. This hi-tech cooking assistance fills a growing need that has boomed recently due to the popularity of hobby cooking. Food TV shows, podcasts like Stump The Chef, and web sites are inspiring more and more people to try their hand in the kitchen. The only problem is… the average person doesn’t really know how to cook anymore. So the next time you are wondering how to cook a frozen turkey in one afternoon or why your flourless cake never cooked all the way through, professional help might be just one IM or email away. But before you start chatting with chefs online, you might want to brush up on your chatroom and IM lingo. Think I’m overreacting? Well, ROTFL TAFN NRN L8R! AAB! Continue Reading

U2 Previews New Tracks for Joshua Tree on iLike

U2 used iLike.com to post a video of Bono singing “Wave of Sorrow” while sitting on a couch. It’s a track that U2 demoed during sessions for The Joshua Tree in 1987. Just recently Bono laid down vocals for the song and it will be released for the first time next week on the remastered release of The Joshua Tree. As Bono plays the track, he sings over it and talks listeners through the story of the song and explains the lyrics. “Wave of Sorrow” is one of several rare and previously unreleased cuts which are featured on the bonus audio CD of the remastered deluxe and super deluxe versions of the remastered release of The Joshua Tree. Continue Reading

Worst iPhone Accessory

Hate fingerprints on your iPhone or iPod Touch? Enough to spend $9.90 on some finger condoms? A enterprising company in Austria is selling something called Phone Fingers that prevent smudges and fingerprints on the screens of the iPod Touch and iPhone.
Here’s a video of the “Phone Fingers” in action. It has a strange ending. One more thing, the Phone Fingers only come in black and make the user look like they have a severe case of frostbite. Silly product idea, weird choice in color and a demo video that ends in a theft… Yep, the Phone Fingers are a gag gift… like the Pet Rock. Apple’s touchscreen technology works by sensing the electrical fields in your skin. A latex finger condom is an insulator and would prevent the iPhone and iPod Touch from detecting any input from your fingers. The Phone Fingers website even says “This is probably the funniest accessory for the iPhone available!” But if you go over to Digg.com, there’s a pretty heated debate going on in the comments. A lot of people initially thought this was serious product, not a gag gift. If you have a few minutes, it makes for a pretty entertaining read. BeSocial: methodshop Continue Reading

AT&T Offers Free Wildfire WiFi

Due to the California Wildfires, AT&T has stated it will be offering free T-Mobile Hot Spot Wi-Fi services to San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Orange and Ventura counties. About 600 locations total will participate. The offer began on October 27th and will last a several weeks. It’s a very nice gesture, especially for people who lost their homes and need to reconnect online and get their life back in order. But I’m not exactly sure why AT&T is offering T-Mobile’s service for free. Weird right?
Photo Credit: MalkoffDid another major telecom merger happen and I missed it? Or is AT&T just offering other people’s products for free? Maybe I’ll take a walk down 5th Avenue at lunch time and tell people that AT&T says they can get a free copy of OS X Leopard at the Apple Store. Think it will work? BeSocial: digg story | methodshop Continue Reading

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