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Napster logoNapster has decided to change their service to a web-based platform so users will no longer be required to download its software. Napster’s current subscription service is offered for $10.00 to $20.00 per month for unlimited usage, but they don’t seem to be able to keep up with the iTunes store which has a flat fee of 99 cents per tune. Christopher Allen of Napster feels that the move will be easier to integrate than their present method and foresees the end of DRM with major music companies by the end of 2008. If this idea becomes reality and other companies follow suit, we may soon see the end of small music shops the way that neighborhood video stores have gone now that downloading is easily and readily available.

Read More | Reuters

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iPhone SDK Announced

Apple announced today that starting in February they will be offering an SDK to allow developers to create applications for the and the iPod touch. The announcement comments that is being conscious of the need to protect the iPhone from viruses as well as to keep the platform stable, however opening up the multi-touch platform to developers will result in a new wave of revolutionary mobile applications. Although many in the hacking community have grumbled about the recent lockouts with the 1.1.1 version of the iPhone/iPod touch software this should appease them, as well as provide richly documented API’s to allow for easier development that will hopefully utilize the full potential of the platform. Why do we need to wait until February?

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task.

It would have been nice to have the SDK available from launch, but better late than never. Expect to see a flood of highly polished and engaging applications appearing on an iPhone near you sometime early next year.

Read More | Apple Hot News

Mac OS X Leopard Launch

That’s right peeps, after a huge delay five months ago, we are happy to share that has finally stamped a date on the release of Mac OS X . The launch is happening in just ten days, on October 26, 2007. Leopard will be available in two flavors - the single-user version, which sells for $129 USD, or the Family Pack, which can be installed on up to five computer in one home for $199. Apple is currently taking pre-orders on their online store, guaranteeing delivery on October 26th, so if you want to avoid the lines at your local Apple Store, we recommend the online purchase. Just be sure you can hang with the required specs - you’ll need, at the minimum, an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 processor that’s at least 867MHz, and 512MB RAM. And please note, we said minumum.


3G iPhone

Pyrofers has posted a how-to on turning a 5 or Windows Mobile 6 phone with access into a high-speed modem for the . The whole process seems a little extreme given that you would have to pay for, carry, and keep active a 2nd device at all times, but might be useful if you have a spare Windows Mobile device hanging around and if you can convince your work to pay for an unlimited data account for it. Fair warning - the hack involves registry editing on your Windows Mobile device so proceed at your own risk. As for us, we will likely just wait it out for the iPhone 2.0 (iPhone Extreme?) to come out with 3G internet access built in.

Read More | Pyrofers Projects

Colorware Apple Painting

We recently clued you in to the fact that was offering custom iPhone paint jobs, but Lars just let us know that they are now offering customization on the new iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod touch lines. If that wasn’t enough, they are even taking order for paint jobs on the new aluminum iMac as well. Colorware already does the Mac mini, so it would seem the only thing left out would be the Mac Pro. It’s probably for the best. In any event, you can head over to Colorware now if you want to get your paint on. They’ll allow you to send in your device to be painted, or you can purchase a brand new one directly from them. Of course, this all comes at a premium.

Read More | Colorware

iStones Wabi and Sabi

If you’re looking for a unique dock but the bed, grill or toilet paper holder didn’t strike your fancy, how about the iStone? Available in two versions – the Wabi and the Sabi – each weighs approximately 5.5 pounds, supports USB 2.0 and is even equipped with audio and video outputs. A definite conversation-starter, and it’s perfect for that geologist-who-has-everything. And yes, they’re real stones. Pricing information is currently unavailable, so stay tuned…

 

Read More | Brand Incubator

Zune 2

While Microsoft’s first generation hardly put up a fight against Apple’s juggernaut the soon to be released Zune 2 seems to have a much better chance of gaining a foothold in the market. Last 100 has posted their take on the top 5 things the new Zune got right - we agree with them for the most part, although they do seem to underscore the challenge Microsoft faces with the iPod Touch, iPhone, and the rest of the iPhone line.

The new flash based Zunes do help widen their appeal, but Apple has anDAP available in $50 price increments from $79 all the way up to $400 - something to fit everyone’s budget and needs. Apple has also beat Microsoft to the punch on mobile song purchase, but the new improvements to the Zune store shows that Microsoft is gaining momentum to catch them on features.

All in all, the Zune 2 has a chance with it’s bevy of new features. With the goal of helping the brand Microsoft is also smartly planning to release a firmware update for the 1st generation Zune that will include all of the new features. Now might be a good time to pick up a Zune on the cheap if you don’t mind slightly older hardware but are interested in the new store or social networking features.

Read More | Last 100

Mac nano

We’ve been hearing rumors of doing away with the Mac mini for quite a while now, and we were even surprised when the line received a refresh a couple of months ago. Now rumors are churning again that Apple might finally kill off the Mac mini, in favor of a new, slim Mac nano. As you can see in the image above, the Mac looks similar to an Apple TV, and includes an IR receiver. The question is - is this the Mac nano? As we all know, launches at the end of this month. We are expecting a few Apple announcements surrounding that - possibly an updated Apple TV, HD movies in iTunes, and some changes in the Mac line.

[Thanks, Jake!]

Read More | XYHD

Skitch Splash Screen

We just wanted to throw out a friendly reminder for all of our readers using . We are running a contest where we will be giving away two invitations to the amazingly fantastic Beta. If you missed it, check out our Skitch review to see what all the fuss is about, and hit our Skitch discussion thread to make your entry. All we want to know is what you’d Skitch. The contest ends on October 10th, so get in quick!

Read More | Skitch Giveaway Contest

iTunes Wifi Music Store

After a couple of frustrating days fighting with a flaw in password entry fields in the newly released iPhone software version 1.1.1, Gear Live has finally gotten the chance to probe the inner depths of the iTunes WiFi Music Store. The new WiFi Music Store brings mobile media impulse buys to the millions of iPhone users all packaged up in the typical Apple fashion: sexy, easy to use, and slick as glass. While my experiences with the WiFi Music Store were not 100% positive it’s definitely off to a stunning start and has great potential. Click through the jump to continue reading the review to learn more about the plusses and minuses of our adventuresome journey through ‘s mobile media e-commerce wonder.

Click to continue reading The definitive iTunes WiFi Music Store review


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