Sunday, 03 February 2008

Little green men

I love the little aliens from the Pizza Planet vending machine in Toy Story. Thanks to my friend Heather, and a long ago giveaway of some kind, I have two of the little guys guarding my favorite Mac, which is a little otherworldly in its own right…

Click on the photo to see the entire set.

posted by retrophisch at 9:30 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , ipod , movie , photography
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Saturday, 14 July 2007


If you have an iPod, or a new iPhone, and you’re worried that the mere sight of the device may prompt a ne’er-do-well to attempt a snatch, consider the Hide-a-Pod as a deterrent.

Even if you choose not to purchase a Hide-a-Pod, be sure to click on the Order graphic or Buy Now link for a special treat. You won’t have to complete the order to enjoy the surprise.

[Via David D. on the Ranchero iPhone list.]

posted by retrophisch at 6:10 PM -->in fun , iphone , ipod
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Monday, 22 January 2007


Originally uploaded by paul beefs.

I don’t recall Steve Jobs talking about this new product during the Macworld Expo keynote.

posted by retrophisch at 1:40 PM -->in fun , ipod
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Thursday, 18 January 2007

Once again, we learn why they’re called analysts

So let me get this straight:

Apple sets new company records for revenue and profit, beats the Street’s estimates, and ships 28 percent more Macs and 50 percent more iPods than they did this time a year ago, but because a bunch of analysts don’t like future estimates, the stock price takes a dive?

No wonder monkeys do just as good a job at the stock market as analysts.

posted by retrophisch at 8:25 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod , rant
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Friday, 12 January 2007

Stevenote on iTunes

Apple has posted Steve Jobs’s keynote address for the 2007 Macworld Expo on the iTunes Store. It’s a 1.21 GB download, so make sure you’ve got the space to watch it on your iPod.

posted by retrophisch at 3:30 PM -->in iphone , ipod
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Thursday, 02 November 2006

Yesterday’s shuffle first ten

Kicked on ye olde iTunes in shuffle mode yesterday morning, to give myself some background music while I commenced writing this year’s novel. What’s funny is that I had earlier finished the chapter on the beauty and apparent oddities of the iPod’s shuffle mode in Steven Levy’s The Perfect Thing, his book devoted to the little white wonder from Apple.

Part of the chapter was devoted to the randomness of shuffle mode, the mathematics behind it, and how when true randomness is really at work, we begin to believe it’s not really so random at all. Like say when people notice their iPod—and here I’ll also throw in the iTunes application itself—seemingly playing a lot of the same type of music in a row. Such it was this morning, when I had an all-mellow mix.

As before, songs are linked to the iTunes Store, albums to Amazon.

  1. “Never Say Goodbye” - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
  2. “September Skies” - The Brian Setzer Orchestra - The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  3. “Yellow Ledbetter” - Pearl Jam - Jeremy
  4. “Flesh for Fantasy” - Billy Idol - Greatest Hits
  5. “DJ Culture” - Pet Shop Boys - Discography
  6. “If I Leave This World Tomorrow” - Glenn Kaiser - Spontaneous Combustion (I’ve always loved Kaiser’s voice, and think his blues work is so much better than when he fronted Resurrection Band/Rez)
  7. “Understand Your Man” - Johnny Cash - Unearthed, Vol. 1 - Who’s Gonna Cry
  8. “Last In Love” - George Strait - Pure Country
  9. “Your Presence” - By the Tree - These Days
  10. “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I” - Elvis Presley - Elvis 30 #1 Hits
    and a bonus, because I like the song so much:
  11. “Loved and Forgiven” - Lost Dogs - Gift Horse
posted by retrophisch at 12:35 AM -->in ipod , music
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Tuesday, 03 October 2006

Disko goes Centerstage at Griffin

Griffin Technology today announced two new iPod cases, the Disko and the Centerstage, for fifth-generation iPods. Both are made from clear polycarbonate for protection, then diverge to their unique features. The Centerstage features an anodized aluminum flip-cover, which allows the case to convert in to a stand. The Centerstage flip-cover is available in four different colors. The Disko has three colored LED lights set around the scroll wheel portion of the case, as well as what it appears to be around the edges of the case. The lights are motion controlled, turning on with movement of the scroll wheel, and are powered by the iPod itself.

Griffin's Centerstage case Griffin's Disko case

Personally, I wouldn’t waste my money on the Disko, but I know there are plenty of folks out there who will love it, much the way they love the light-up mobile phone accessories. I can see a real use in the Centerstage, however, especially for those who may take their iPod to the office where they don’t have a dock hooked up to their office computer system.

posted by retrophisch at 12:22 PM -->in ipod
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Thursday, 28 September 2006

Koyono iPod cases, by Orbino

Photo of Cambino case Koyono has announced some new iPod cases, hand-crafted by the leather goodsmen of Orbino. I especially like the brown, embossed crocodile skin Cambino case for video iPod models, seen here.

I’ve been using a Koyono ViewSlimmy as my main wallet for several months, and I love it. Great build quality, and it’s holding its own in day-to-day usage. I would expect much of the same from these iPod cases.

I also have my eye on their BlackCoat Minimal, which, oddly enough, is not available in black.

posted by retrophisch at 7:47 PM -->in ipod
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Monday, 28 August 2006


  • The U.S. Army now has podcasts.

  • Picture Framer is one of myriad non-productive widgets, but it’s probably the first one of that category that I like.

  • There are new Get a Mac ads, and in “Trust Mac”, I swear Justin Long is about to truly crack up every time he has to look at John Hodgman wearing the glasses and fake mustache.

    [Via Paul.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:32 AM -->in Macintosh , armed forces , ipod
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Monday, 31 July 2006


The iPod cases from ifrogz look very nice. I like the customizable aspects of the design, but would love to be able to upload my own image for the Screenz. A Retrophisch-branded iPod case in “Gun Metal” Wrapz and “Thick Black” Bandz would rock.

* * *

Amazon Grocery is now out of beta after more than 200,000 people have used it to shop for food staples.

* * *

One of the recent winners of a Flickr Pro account speaks to my childhood.

posted by retrophisch at 11:13 PM -->in fun , ipod , web/site
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Sunday, 09 July 2006

Tivoli’s latest iPod accessory

It’s a shame that at the time I reviewed the Tivoli Audio iSongBook, there wasn’t the black version. Such is life.

Now, Tivoli has the unusually-named iYiYi coming in the fall. Billed as a digital home entertainment system, the iYiYi doesn’t look to have many more features than the iSongBook, but it does have a deeper casing. This means it’s not as portable as the iSongBook, but will likely sound better, since the iYiYi will be capable of delivering deeper, fuller bass sounds, one of the areas in which I found the iSongBook lacking.

[Wave of the phin to Uncrate.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:08 PM -->in ipod , tech
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Tuesday, 20 June 2006


I must have a Gnome-be-Gone. Must.

[Via Uncrate.]

* * *

Why is it I’m learning about Pete’s Famous from Brent, rather than my parents, who have lived in the Birmingham metroplex for a decade? (I can actually answer this one; my parents bring their lunch to work, and don’t go out.) I wonder how far Gus’s place is from their respective offices?

* * *

Eric Blair:

Of course, I could see this eating into the PowerMate’s market. I mean, who needs a flashing knob to notify you of email when you can have a flashing keyboard?

One reason I turned off that particular functionality of my PowerMate was the distraction of the blinking light…

* * *

Presenting the iCarta. iDon’t think so.

[Via Firewheel Design.]

posted by retrophisch at 4:54 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , ipod
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Thursday, 08 June 2006

We were content to kick your BLEEP, but now you’ve made us mad

I love how my friends are able to succinctly sum up current events.

posted by retrophisch at 12:47 AM -->in ipod , tech
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Thursday, 11 May 2006

A pair of Apple miscellany

“Apple simplifies .Mac Web access”. So common sensical, I wonder why they didn’t think of this sooner.

* * *

“Apple actively courting the Beatles”. I like the Beatles, but I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to download any of their music from anywhere. For the sake of Apple, I would love for the iTunes Music Store to carry their full catalog; I believe, as one online commentator wrote, that the Beatles could make up any lawsuit-related losses easily through iTMS sales. Unlike myself, there are lots of people, including TUAW’s Dave Caolo, who want individual Beatles albums.

Personally, I have all the Beatles’ songs I could want on my iPod already. It’s called “1”.

posted by retrophisch at 10:37 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Tuesday, 11 April 2006


It’s too bad I have no design experience nor web programming skills. The guys at Firewheel Design sound fun to work with, and they’re about fifteen minutes away in Southlake.

* * *

Dan needs some of this furniture in his pad.

* * *

Cableyoyo’s new Pop is a good idea, but most folks I know with iPods keep them in some sort of case.

* * *

What happens when you shove an iPod Shuffle in to a NES controller?

* * *

[With waves of the phin to the Firewheel Design blog, and Macsimum News.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:16 AM -->in fun , ipod , web/site
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Wednesday, 05 April 2006


Waterfield Designs has a padded carrying case for the iPod Hi-Fi that allows the use of the system while remaining in the case.

* * *

Lost your iPod? Check craigslist to see if someone’s found it.

* * *

Further proof that RSS is everywhere.

posted by retrophisch at 1:15 AM -->in ipod , tech
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Saturday, 04 February 2006

Dell can’t compete with Apple

Dell has discontinued its sale of hard drive-baesd MP3 players.

John Gruber:

Someone should make a list of all the pundits and tech columnists who, back in October 2003 when Dell first introduced the DJ, predicted that it was the beginning of the end for the iPod.

posted by retrophisch at 11:58 AM -->in ipod , tech
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Tuesday, 06 December 2005

How you know you’re a parent #1,487

While testing a new product for review, you set your iPod on shuffle, and hear Hootie & the Blowfish, dc Talk, King James (old Christian metal group), Petra (the Aerosmith of Christian rock), and then VeggieTales. Just kind of throws that whole rhythm off to have Junior pop in to the middle of the mix with “Come over to my house and play!”

posted by retrophisch at 4:55 PM -->in fun , ipod , tech
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Tuesday, 25 October 2005

The latest iBelieve

Someone tell me when Snoop, 50 Cent, or some other rapper/hip-hopper sports the iBelieve on MTV.

Not that I really care; that’s just the first thing I thought of when I saw the product photo.

[Via John.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:16 AM -->in ipod
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Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Why stock analysts are worthless

(Alternative title: There’s an reason the word “anal” is in “analyst”)

Apple quadruples its profit, but the stock takes a ten percent-plus dive because the company “missed” the number of iPod sales stock analysts —who are not employees of Apple, do not sit on the Board of Directors, and who are not Apple executives— said they thought the company should have sold? They sold 6.4 million iPods in a three months. How many Rios did Creative sell in the last three months? Oh, that’s right, they canned that music player.

Hold on, it gets better.

Those same analysts, who are poo-pooing Apple for failing to sell as many iPods as the analysts thought they should have sold, seem to think Delphi is a good buy. No wonder monkeys are just as good at the stock market as these guys.

[With thanks to John Gruber, and Matt Deatherage and W.R. Wing on the MacJournals-Talk list.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:46 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod , rant
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Wednesday, 07 September 2005

iPod Nano?

I realize with a new, slimmer design, Apple would want a new moniker to grace its smallest-iPod-with-a-screen, but who came up with Nano? That word should imply something very small, as in smaller than the Shuffle, which the Nano is not. Better they had kept the Mini name for this range of iPods, or possibly gone with Micro.

posted by retrophisch at 12:19 AM -->in ipod
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Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Baby’s first iPod

This is giving me all sorts of ideas, should we have another tyke.

posted by retrophisch at 7:38 AM -->in ipod , tech
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Monday, 28 February 2005

Just Can’t Get This Out Of My Head

So while ripping CDs and loading up my wife’s Shuffle, I decided to listen to a few tunes on it. I am still amazed that music comes out of this little chunk of plastic. One of the tunes I came across was Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”. I remember it was used in a commercial, but the commercial made such an impression on me that I cannot recall what or whom the commercial was for. Anyone?

posted by retrophisch at 11:06 PM -->in fun , ipod
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Monday, 07 February 2005

Napster needs to do the math again

See Napster’s Super Bowl ads? Think you’ll remember them three weeks from now? Right.

Ashlee Vance dissects Napster’s supposed costs, which do not take in to account the fact that most people’s songs on their iPods are not from the iTunes Music Store:

From where we sit, the math doesn’t break down terribly well in Napster’s favor.

Let’s take a look at consumer A. This consumer goes to and does a search for Creative - one of the Napster supported music device makers - and picks up a 20GB player for $249.99. Let’s assume he keeps the device for three years, paying Napster all the time. That’s $538 for the Napster service, bringing the three-year total to $788.19.

Consumer B types iPod into the search engine and finds a 20GB device for $299. Apple doesn’t offer a subscription service, so this customer has to buy songs at the 99 cent rate or at $9.99 per album. Subtracting the price of the iPod from the $788, consumer B would have $489 left over for music. That’s roughly worth 489 songs or 49 albums.

We posit that during this three-year period both Consumer A and Consumer B will actually end up with close to the same number of songs on their devices. Customers do not, as Napster suggests, pay $10,000 to fill their iPods with 10,000 songs just because the capacity is there. They take their existing music, CDs and MP3s, and put that onto the device first, then later add iTunes songs as they go along. A Napster customer would have a similar mix of old music and new downloads.

The big difference here is that after the three years are up, Consumer B has something to show for his investment. He still owns the music. If the Napster customer stops paying for the service, his music is all gone. He’s paying $179 per year to rent music. This isn’t high quality stuff either. It’s DRM (digital rights management)-laced, low bitrate slop.

You could once buy a CD and then play that music on your computer or in your car at will. Hell, you still can. You own it. You can burn an extra copy of the disc in case it gets scratched or pass along the disc to a friend to see if they like it - just like you would with a good book. Five years from now, you will still own the CD. No one can tell you where and when you can play it.

This is not the case in the Napster subscription world. After six years, you’ve tossed away $1,076 for something that barely exists. Forget to pay for a month and watch your music collection disappear. (Not to mention, you’re betting on the fact that Napster will even exist two years from now. At least you know that a year’s subscription to the Wall Street Journal will still work in 12 months time.)

I’m a CD man, myself. I like the versatility of being able to do whatever the heck I want to with the music I purchase. I know it will run aghast of some, but I still use CDs in my Pilot. Most of the time, however, the CD arrives at the phisch bowl, gets opened, ripped to MP3 format in iTunes, and is loaded in to the music library (tunaphisch) and on to the iPod (phischpod). The only tunes I’ve downloaded from the iTMS are the free ones I occasionally will like. That may change a bit with the new Pepsi-iTunes promo, but other than that, I do not see myself purchasing digital music directly from Apple, much less from Napster.

[Via DF.]

posted by retrophisch at 8:46 PM -->in ipod , tech
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Wednesday, 02 February 2005

Microsoft overrun by the iPod

MacMinute notes a Wired article showing how despite the best efforts of management, Microsoft employees know a clear winner when they see one.

[Thanks, Lee.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:37 PM -->in ipod
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Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Thought shuffle

So according to Apple, one of the big reasons for bringing out the iPod Shuffle is the shuffle “phenomenon with iPod users - the ‘shuffle songs’ playback mode that randomizes either portions or the entirety of your music library.”

I’m just wondering if I’m alone in iPod-dom in that I rarely, if ever, use the shuffle songs mode. Anyone else of similar mind?

posted by retrophisch at 10:57 PM -->in ipod
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Tuesday, 07 December 2004

iPod flash

Engadget notes’s report on the supposedly forthcoming iPod flash, a tiny, flash memory-based MP3 player that will round out Apple’s music player line-up. Several things don’t jibe with the picture of the supposed iPod flash:

  1. When the iPod mini was released, Steve Jobs did quite a bit of trash-talking with regard to the myriad flash-based players already on the market, did he not? Why would Apple now want to wade in to that market, when they can barely keep up with demand for the iPod mini, the company’s flash player killer?

  2. Okay, let’s say Steve does an about face and wants Apple to compete in the flash-based market. I don’t see this design being it. It lacks visual feedback, and that has been the iPod’s strong suit, coupled with the physical controls’ ease of navigation, when compared to its competitors.

  3. The overall design doesn’t flow with the rest of the iPod line, plain and simple. I could be drastically wrong, and if this design is real and released, it would signal a sort of departure from the iPod line.

Personally, I’m not opposed to a flash-based iPod. Such a device would be perfect for my wife, who only has need for such an audio component in rare circumstances, such as when working out. Even the iPod mini is really overkill for her needs. I just don’t believe that TheMacMind’s version is the real deal. At the least, I hope it isn’t.

[Wave of the flipper to Michael.]

posted by retrophisch at 11:40 AM -->in ipod
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Thursday, 07 October 2004

Ballmer smackdown continuation

As usual, Mr. Gruber does a better job than most at dissecting a topic, in this case Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s crude comments regarding Apple and the iPod:

I’d love to see his source for this. I have no source either, but I’d place a wager with Mr. Ballmer that the most common source of music on most iPods are unencrypted songs legally ripped from CDs. Most iPod users I know own hundreds of CDs; it’d take ages to bootleg the amount of music they already own on CD.


The point of all this seems to be that Ballmer is saying that Apple can’t lead the way here — where by “here” I’m talking about the convergence between the computer, entertainment, and consumer electronics industries — because the iPod allows for and even encourages the use of non-DRM-protected digital media.

But I would argue that Apple is already leading the way in terms of music — in large part because they don’t enforce draconian DRM measures.

posted by retrophisch at 12:42 AM -->in ipod
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Thursday, 30 September 2004

Tattoo residue

Engadget is reporting that the iPod tattoos being provided by HP can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

posted by retrophisch at 1:11 PM -->in ipod
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Friday, 27 August 2004


MacMinute notes a report by The Register on open positions within the iPod team for wireless networking engineers. Tony Smith proceeds to pontificate over the possibilities of this, including the use of Wi-Fi to sync data and music with the iPod. Your reasoning for this, Tony, other than a certain coolness factor, would be?

The best wireless speeds right now are 54 Mbps, which is great for surfing the web and downloading your e-mail, but I would hesitate to use it to load ripped CDs on to my iPod. Even 100Base-T Ethernet would be faster. With iPod iFireWire connectivity at 400 Mbps, why bother with wireless syncing?

The wireless access does make sense for turning the iPod in to a remote control for iTunes and streaming music via Airport Express. However, Smith and The Register have a history for speculation that turns out to be incredibly wrong, so take this one with the usual grains of salt.

Obviously, from the Apple job postings, the iPod team is looking at Wi-Fi integration for some reason, but it’s too early to tell what that reason might be.

posted by retrophisch at 9:18 PM -->in ipod
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Monday, 23 August 2004

About that halo effect

USA Today:

Apple’s trendy iPod digital music player, which has revitalized the company, is giving laptop sales a boost during back-to-school season.

Many students, after falling in love with the iPod, are packing for college with new Apple Macintosh computers.

Of course, the “journalists” at USA Today could head on over to Microsoft’s Mactopia and verify that Outlook is not part of Office for Macintosh, but I suppose that would be too much trouble. I guess it’s just one more rag I really need to stop reading…

posted by retrophisch at 9:48 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Friday, 20 August 2004

iPods, Real, and real choices

John Gruber:

RealNetworks’ battle cry in the Harmony debate is “Choice!” Consumers demand and deserve “choice”, and despotic Apple isn’t offering it to them. (Microsoft has also played the “choice” card — cf. last year’s “Closed Is Open”. Look for Microsoft to reiterate the “choice” angle when their own music store platform launches.)

But when RealNetworks whines about choice, they’re only talking about choice between rival DRM platforms. And it’s true that Apple denies iPod owners this choice.

But what Apple provides is a larger and more important choice: the choice not to use DRM protected audio at all.

Harmony is not going to help Apple sell more iPods. Harmony is simply an attempt by RealNetworks to sell songs to iPod users. There’s no shame in that — but no benefit to Apple, either.

posted by retrophisch at 8:49 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod , tech
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Tuesday, 03 August 2004

Apple does batteries

Just in case you’ve ever wondered.

posted by retrophisch at 8:55 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Saturday, 17 July 2004

New iPods Monday?

Engadget has the Newsweek cover with Steve and the new iPod. It’s still white, reportedly has an even slimmer case, and sports the iPod mini-style scroll wheel, which I really like over my 40 GB iPod’s multiple buttons. I’m curious to know if Espy Sans made the move from the mini as well. I am now depressed, as this appears to be the iPod I wish I could have had six months ago…

(Thanks to Gruber’s linked list for the link.)

posted by retrophisch at 10:51 PM -->in ipod
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Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Fun with Apple toys

You can now have your iPod fully integrated in your over-priced German automobile.

Apple product managers have an iChat AV video conference while one is at 35,000 feet over Canada.

(Danke, Lee.)

posted by retrophisch at 10:47 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Monday, 21 June 2004

The meaning of iPod

The Economist has a noteworthy article on how the iPod has changed and is changing the way we listen to music. Rumormongers of the video iPod should take note of the article’s conclusion:

Are video iPods next? Strikingly, none of these shifts in usage patterns applies to video. People do not watch movies while walking the dog, make playlists of their favourite movie scenes, or clamour to buy individual scenes online. Portable video-players, which are already starting to become available, undoubtedly have their uses, such as providing entertainment during long journeys. But they seem unlikely to be the kind of industry-changing products that the iPod and its imitators have unexpectedly proven to be.

(via The Iconfactory)

posted by retrophisch at 2:33 PM -->in ipod
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Wednesday, 05 May 2004

Color Showcase

My favorite iPod carrying case is going color on May 15th. The Contour Showcase will be available in six different colors, as well as black and the original white. Personally, the only one that interests me is the black Showcase. Contour is doing a buy-two, get-one-free promo with the new Showcases, but I doubt I’ll be buying a new one when they’re $39.95 a pop.

Now if a couple of people want to go in with me and split the cost of two Showcases three ways, I wouldn’t mind…

Eric reviewed the Showcase for ATPM.

posted by retrophisch at 3:58 PM -->in ipod
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Thursday, 08 April 2004

You like your iPod a little too much when…

This is just sad.

What makes it even more sad is that this “impulse buy” wasn’t at some flea market or craft store, or something along those lines. It actually had to be purchased online…

(via Lee)

posted by retrophisch at 3:11 PM -->in ipod
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Thursday, 01 April 2004

Who needs satellite radio?

Lee linked to the Alpine iPod Ready in-dash receivers in a recent post. I must say I am very interested, though I will probably hold off on anything like this until we figure out my vehicle situation later this year.

posted by retrophisch at 5:41 PM -->in ipod , tech
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Monday, 01 March 2004

iPod mini thoughts

I stopped by the Willow Bend Apple Store last week for two reasons. First, I needed to pick up a couple of extra FireWire-to-Dock cables for iPod use. Second, I wanted to see how the Genius Bar LCD retrofit turned out, since that has been my principal project at work for the past month. While there, I also played around with the new iPod mini. If I didn’t already have the 40 GB iPod, and was still using the original 5 GB one, I would jump on the mini. I love how they’re using Espy Sans for the screen font; I hope that carries over to the next-gen full-size Pods. Likewise, I hope to see the combination mechanical/capacitance-sensitive scroll wheel with the built-in buttons on the next-gen full-size Pod. It make navigation so much simpler. Of course, with my 40 GB iPod, I use it 50-50 as a music player and as an external hard drive. Every day, I back up my Mailsmith and Entourage mail folders to it to shuffle to and from work. Between the two, I’ve got about 1.3 GB of stuff, not to mention anything I may have downloaded during the day that I want to take home. So from that usage standpoint, a mini is not in my future. Then again, by the time I’m ready to upgrade again, the mini may just have the storage capacity to suit my habits.
posted by retrophisch at 9:32 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod , tech
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Monday, 16 February 2004

Bye-bye, Palm

So PalmSource has decided to discontinue Mac support in upcoming versions of the Palm OS, despite the fact that they have a larger market share percentage-wise in the Macintosh side of the computing world than out. Mac users will be left to third-party solutions to sync future Palm devices with their Macintosh systems, costing us more money. Palm Desktop (which Palm bought from Apple as Claris Organizer) will no longer be updated. Last night, I migrated all of my Palm Desktop data to Address Book, iCal, and BBEdit-created text files. I then proceeded to use iSync to sync my contact and calendar info,first on my iPod, then to my .Mac account, the latter of which was a first for me. I then synced my new-to-me, work-provided 1.42 GHz dual-G4 to my .Mac account, so that my Address Book info and Safari bookmarks matched with those on my Cube. All syncs worked without any problems, just as they should. I have been debating over what kind of phone to move to. My wife’s law firm makes extensive use of the Blackberry RIMs amongst the attorneys, and she will be getting one soon, with service through T-Mobile. I had been considering the Treo 600, but now I’m not so sure. I may go with the Sony-Ericsson T630 when U.S. providers begin carrying it over the next month or two. I don’t think Address Book and iCal will fill all of my PIM needs; I already feel like I’m going to butt against the limits of the applications, and am looking at alternatives. For now, however, Palm no longer has a place on my systems’ desktops.
posted by retrophisch at 10:19 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod , phone , tech
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Monday, 29 December 2003

iPod Battery FAQ

Dave Schroeder, an Apple Distinguished Educator, has posted the quite sensible and easy-to-follow iPod Battery FAQ. Hopefully this will go a long way toward disproving any falsehoods raised by those spreading “dirty secrets” about the iPod. (via MacInTouch)

posted by retrophisch at 4:00 PM -->in ipod
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Tuesday, 16 December 2003

Yeah, a standard port would have been nice

And now we have experienced the other druther of the 3G iPods: the non-standard dock connector. I get to work today, pull out the new iPod, and then realize I have no dock here and I left the FireWire-to-dock cable at home, connected, appropriately enough, to the iPod dock on my desk. So the old 5 GB iPod, which was still in my bag, is happily pumping out tunes now…

posted by retrophisch at 11:56 AM -->in ipod
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New iPod

So I had long ago outgrown my original 5 GB iPod, but I lived with moving music off and on to it from my Mac as my tastes dictated. An early Christmas present from my wonderful wife, however, has yielded a 40 GB third-generation iPod. Now I have to grow in to the new little white wonder on my hip—I only have about 15 GB of music ripped to MP3 format.

Using iSync, my latest “phischpod” carries my contact and calendar info, and I’ve started playing around with the Notes function. I do miss the input ability I had with a Palm device, and I know I’m not alone. I lived in the Memo function of my Palm, so maybe the Belkin Voice Recorder would help alleviate the input druthers of the ‘Pod.

In other news, I am waffling over how to sheath my iPod. It will either be this or that. Thoughts and comments on this issue are welcome.

posted by retrophisch at 11:09 AM -->in ipod
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Wednesday, 10 December 2003

You want to jack in to my what?

Unlike Lee, I don’t think I’d appreciate this new trend of non-verbal, can-I-listen-to-your-iPod-for-a-moment “communication” with perfect strangers. With someone I know, even on an acquaintance level, I’d feel much more generous. I’ve known my new boss less than two weeks, and we’ve already listened in to one another’s iPods. But we’re the only two people in our department, both total Mac heads, both love our iPods, he’s a major music geek, etc., etc. We have a lot of stuff in common outside of our work relationship. But I would likely balk if someone just walked up to me on the street and wanted to plug in…

posted by retrophisch at 5:47 PM -->in ipod , tech
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Paying for iPod color?

I have to wonder at the prospect of paying for a professional paint job for one’s iPod or PowerBook. Granted, the iPod job only costs fifty bucks, but how many different colored skins could you buy for your iPod for fifty bucks? And the skins are removable, plus generally offer other features (non-skid, for example).

I know it’s not a full-blown paint job, but you can get cover panels for your PowerBook. Not to mention that having your iPod or ‘Book painted will void your AppleCare warranty. (via MacMinute)

posted by retrophisch at 10:56 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Friday, 05 December 2003


XtremeMac has released their Xtremity iPod Case System. I like the ease of transition from being carried on the belt to popping it in to a car mount, to just having it on the desk. Something else to look in to when I add a new iPod to my arsenal. (via MacMinute)

posted by retrophisch at 9:46 AM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Wednesday, 03 December 2003

Change your iPod battery

Thinking that my iPod’s battery may be dying—it is an original 5 GB model—I’ve been looking around for replacements from third parties. The fine folks at have even elected to show you how to disassemble your iPod to make the battery swap. Kudos!

posted by retrophisch at 6:21 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Tuesday, 02 December 2003

iPod as big as the Mac?

It’s certainly looking that way to Apple. The iPod is the highest-volume item the company moves right now, with 1.4 million sold.

”It’s something that’s as big a brand to Apple as the Mac,” is how Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, puts it. ”And that’s a pretty big deal.”

posted by retrophisch at 3:38 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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Saturday, 22 November 2003

Skin that Pod

When I pick up a new 40 GB iPod, it will get sheathed in one of these.

posted by retrophisch at 1:24 PM -->in Macintosh , ipod
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