Oct. ’09 Apple to the Core?
• Is a MAC App Store in Apple’s future?
• Buy the ﬁrst-ever Mac Plus!
• If you upgraded to Snow Leopard, your Mac is more vulnerable
• Why is Microsoft “poaching” Apple Store employees?
• And much more, including a special Apple & Halloween Quiz!
Details of the Interbrand report show that cost-
based innovators such as Apple are heating up
competition. And brand leaders Apple, Google,
By Dennis Sellers Blackberry and Nintendo remain pillars of smart brand
The Yankee Group estimates that nearly seven billion management.
U.S. smartphone app downloads from sites such as So while there’s a call among some quarters for
the Apple App Store will garner US$4.2 billion in Apple to release a netbook and/or cheaper products,
revenue by 2013. Which has to make you wonder the company seems to have good reason for focusing
whether Apple is considering a Mac App Store. on making the best products, not the cheapest one.
With the number of smartphone users set to
quadruple to 160 million over the next four years,
Yankee Group uses just two words to describe the
market to come: gold rush. It might be as big a gold
rush, but a Mac App Store might do well for Apple, By Dennis Sellers
though it would also present the same logistical issues I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Apple should
and problems (slow approval processes, anyone?). consider making digital books, newspapers and
For some time, there have been rumors that Apple magazines a push for the rumored iPad/iTablet
is planning on introducing a Mac App Store. The idea (assuming, as I always say, such a critter is actually
is probably one worth investigation by the company. coming). And a new survey backs this up.
Imagine, as an example, a site where musicians could According to a new study, Americans are
get plug-ins, loops, etc., with a special log-in akin to increasingly turning to online and radio sources for
the Apple Sales Web. A similar user interface, but with news and information, while relying less on daily
a design to make it easier to get the software you newspapers and television. In the second year of a
need. media-use and -credibility survey conducted by
Such a store would help end users, developers Opinion Research Corp. and sponsored by the
and hardware companies. It would be eco-friendly (no ARAnet media company, daily newspaper usage
packaging, etc.). And it could be profitable. Not only dropped 4.1% and television usage dropped 3.6%,
might Apple take a share of the sales, but companies while radio usage increased 2.9% and online usage
might want to advertise on the site. increased 1.9%. Credibility ratings for nearly all types
of media rose slightly from a year ago.
The national study of 1,000 adults measured the
percentage of news and information Americans
receive from various media sources each month.
Consumers reported getting 31% of their news and
By Dennis Sellers information from television, and 19.4% from both radio
Recently, we reported that Apple has risen from 24th and daily newspapers.
place in 2008 to 20th place this year on Interbrand’s The media use rankings of the survey, conducted
Best Global Brands list. But there’s even more good by phone Sept. 10-13, 2009, were:
news. • Television: 31.1% (down from 34.7% a year ago)
Trust, innovation and staying true to the brand • Daily newspaper: 19.4% (down from 23.5%)
were important underpinnings for both brands that did • Radio: 19.4% (up from 16.5%)
and did not do well on the ranking. Specifically, there • Online: 14.6% (up from 12.7%)
seem to be two types of tech brands this year – those • Weekly community papers: 4.4% (down from
that innovate and those that don’t. Guess which 5.1%)
category Apple falls in? • Free shopper newspapers: 2.9% (up from 2.2%)
• Magazines: 2.1% (up from 1.6%) • College graduates are more likely to trust online
The survey also measured media use among news (giving online a 6.3 rating versus the 5.7 rating
specific demographic groups. A trend to watch is the by the general population), and are less likely to trust
increased use of online sources for news and television news (giving TV a 6.1 rating versus the 6.5
information among the college educated, Hispanics rating by the general population).
and people making more than $100,000 per year, • Respondents with household incomes of
compared to the general population. And, of course, $100,000 and above trust online sources considerably
the younger the respondent, the more likely they are to more than the general population (giving online a 6.5
rely on online sources. rating, compared to the 5.7 rating by the general
Respondents with household incomes of $100,000 population). Higher-income respondents also view
or more receive considerably more news and daily newspapers as more credible (6.8 versus the 6.3
information from online sources (23.1% versus 14.6 % overall rating).
for the general population). College graduates
reported using online sources more frequently
(20.0%). People 18 to 34 reported the highest reliance
on online sources (22.2%). Hispanic respondents
were more likely to prefer online sources (21.0%). By Dennis Sellers
“The survey results – especially that high earners I love my iPod classic, but the days of the dedicated
and college graduates are continuing to move toward music player may be numbered. The future belongs to
online sources of news and information and that the multi-purpose devices such as the iPod Touch and, of
credibility of those sources is on the rise – reinforce course, the iPhone.
that Americans are continuing to change the way they According to Research and Markets, worldwide
consume media. While traditional media isn’t going PMP/MP3 player shipments are plateauing as the
away any time soon, this does change how we as market succumbs to competition from emerging
marketers reach these sought-after consumers,” connected-device segments. Not so long ago, the
according to marketing, social media and public PMP/MP3 player market was one of the fastest-
relations blogger Dave Fleet. growing segments in the portable consumer electronic
The ARAnet survey gauged which media sources (CE) industry, with Apple, of course, as the runaway
Americans view as the most credible sources of news leader with its iPod lineup.
and information. With the exception of television, Today, the market is facing a serious slowdown as
which dropped a tenth of a rating point, all media types Apple shifts its focus to its illustrious iPhone, and as
stayed steady or increased slightly in credibility from a iPhone-like competitors pop up. According to
year ago. Survey respondents assigned credibility Research and Markets, PMP/MP3 player shipments
scores ranging from one for “not at all credible” to 10 will reach 225 million worldwide by the end of 2009,
for “extremely credible” to seven types of media: up only 5% from 2008. Manufacturers are scrambling
• Television: 6.5 on a scale of one-to-10 (down .1 to encourage sales by adding enhanced features,
from a year ago) like touchscreens and support for Wi-Fi.
• Daily newspaper: 6.3 (same as last year) Nevertheless, the PMP/MP3 player market has
• Radio: 6.3 (up .3 from a year ago) reached saturation due to waning consumer demand,
• Online: 5.7 (up .1) a poor economic environment, and competition from
• Weekly community papers: 5.4 (up .2) emerging Internet-connected CE segments, such as
• Magazines: 4.9 (up .3) audio/video-capable smartphones and mobile
• Free shopper newspapers: 4.3 (up .8) Internet devices (MIDs).
Other survey findings included: And, once again, we can expect Apple to lead.
AppleInsider is reporting that Apple has begun
informing its direct sales channels that several of its
desktop-based Mac offerings have entered a period of
By Dennis Sellers constraint. So what will the new models offer?
Apple’s introduction of an FM radio tuner on the fifth Only Steve Jobs and his inner circle know for sure,
generation iPod Nano could re-ignite interest in the but here’s what I’m predicting. Apple will finally put
format, according to a new survey by the Radio desktop chips into the iMac and offer beefier graphics
Research division of Vision Critical, which did an cards. Despite that, prices will be cut slightly on all but
online survey to find out what consumers think of the a high-end model (maybe two). The high-end iMac will
Nano’s new features. come with a quad-core processor and have Blu-ray
The integrated research and technology company and a non-glare screen as well as build-to-order
surveyed close to 3,000 consumers in Canada, the options. There’ll be a built-in SD card slot, but no USB
U.S. and the U.K. between Sept. 10-13, 2009 – with 3.0, TV tuner, etc. And, sadly, I don’t think we’ll see a
particular attention to how the 18-34 year-old set 27-inch or 30-inch model, though I hope I’m wrong.
compares to the general population. According to the I think the Mac Mini will see incremental upgrades
survey, the new interactive features of the FM tuner (speed bumps), and little more. No Blu-ray, quad-core
show potential to energize interest in radio among or HDMI options/features. Again, I hope I’m wrong.
younger consumers – the demographic known to be As for the MacBook, they’ll maintain the white
the prime users of MP3 players. Consumers are “very polycarbonate casing, though it will be slimmer.
interested” in the ability to pause and rewind songs There’ll be no surprising new features, though the
they hear on the radio – particularly those between the consumer portable line will also get speed bumps
ages of 18 and 34. while accommodating a lower price tag.
When presented with the specific features of the One final thought: if we don’t see the line-ups
FM tuner, 47% of Americans age 18 and older say refreshed by Oct. 13, I don’t think we’ll see it happen
they are “very interested” in the ability to pause and until early 2010.
rewind songs they hear on the radio. This rises to 66%
among 18-34 year-olds.
The opportunity to see the name of the song using
the Nano’s RDS display also has strong appeal. In all,
41% of Americans, and 55% of 18-34 year-olds, By Dennis Sellers
express an active interest in this feature. In a speech delivered at The Brookings Institution in
Consumers show somewhat less interest in the Washington, D.C., Julius Genachowski, chair of the
ability to “tag” songs for future purchase. Twenty-eight Federal Communications Commission, said it’s important
percent of Americans age 18 and older are “very the Internet remains an open system. I don’t always
interested” in this feature, but this increases to 45% of agree with the FCC, but on this topic its head is 110%
18-34 year-olds. correct. Which is why I support “Net neutrality.”
“Today, we can’t imagine what our lives would be
like without the Internet – any more than we can
imagine life without running water or the light bulb,”
Genachowski says. “Millions of us depend upon it
By Dennis Sellers every day: at home, at work, in school – and
I’m going on my gut feeling here, nothing else, but I’m everywhere in between. The Internet has unleashed
expecting updates to the iMac line on either Oct. 6 or the creative genius of countless entrepreneurs...”
13. I think we’ll also see the MacBook and Mac Mini Editor’s note: To read the rest of this article, please
lines revved at the same time. click here.
MACSIMUM NEWS ROUNDUP
• Although its market share has been declining,
Nokia continues to hold 12 of the top 20 smartphones
Tim Bajarin – president of Creative Strategies and devices in AdMob’s network.
recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, • The Palm Pre also had a strong month, due to
analysts and futurists – says Apple is “unstoppable,” in the addition of new publishers to the AdMob network,
a new column for PC Magazine. and captured 9% of US smartphone usage.
“Given Apple’s increased dominance in the • Nokia’s N97 and 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen
smartphone and MP3-player space, as well as the devices were the fourth and fifth most popular
company’s gains in consumer and business smartphones in Western Europe.
mindshare with the Mac platform, Apple is perhaps the AdMob’s “Mobile Metrics Report.” combines
most influential company in the personal computer AdMob network data with survey results from more
and CE market,” he says. “And this is driving its than 9,000 mobile sites and 3,000 applications.
Bajarin says that Apple isn’t really a personal
computer or even a consumer electronics company
anymore. It’s grown beyond those to become “a digital
asset management, aggregation, and distribution
Apple has announced that more than two billion apps
company that also makes devices that can receive,
have been downloaded from the Apple App
deploy and view all types of Apple-managed and
Store.There are now more than 85,000 apps available
personal digital content.”
to the more than 50-million iPhone and iPod Touch
“At the moment, I don’t get the sense that other PC
customers worldwide, and over 125,000 developers in
and CE guys really understand what Apple has
Apple’s iPhone Developer Program.
become,” Bajarin says. “While they have been fighting
“The rate of App Store downloads continues to
wars on form, function and prices, Apple has boldly
accelerate with users downloading a staggering two
transformed itself from a mild and not-so-meek PC
billion apps in just over a year, including more than half
company into the most powerful digital-asset-
a billion apps this quarter alone,” says Apple CEO
management company on the planet. And for the time
Steve Jobs. “The App Store has reinvented what you
being, it is unstoppable.”
can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users
are clearly loving it.”
Today, iPhone and iPod Touch customers in 77
countries worldwide can choose from a range of
apps in 20 categories, including games, business,
AdMob, a mobile advertising platform, says the iPhone news, sports, health, reference and travel, he
represented 50% of U.S. smartphone usage in adds.
AdMob’s network in August, followed by RIM and
Android devices at 14% and 13%, respectively. Other
highlights from report:
• Worldwide iPhone OS market share has
increased from 33% to 40% in the last six months,
with substantial share in all regions except for Asia
and Africa. In a research report published [September 24],
• The Android is growing rapidly in North America Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates the App
and Western Europe. The HTC Magic (my Touch) is a Store currently brings in US$60 million to $110 million
Top 10 smartphone in both North America and in quarterly revenue for Apple. That’s just over 1% of
Western Europe. total Apple revenue, if you use the high end of
MACSIMUM NEWS ROUNDUP
Sacconaghi’s App Store revenue estimate, according CoolBrands list, showing that despite the fact the first
to the Wall Street Journal. mini rolled off the production line half a century ago,
The analyst believes the Apple App Store the brand is still as cool as ever. Up-market classic
contributes between two cents and four cents a share brands have also maintained their cool factor and are
in profit to Apple a quarter (Apple’s earnings per share still very much present in the list despite the
were $1.35 for the three months ended June 27). economic downturn, with Rolex, Dom Perignon and
Sacconaghi arrives at his estimates by crunching the ultimate in Cool Britannia fashion, Vivienne
numbers from the most popular application lists on the Westwood; all securing spots in the CoolBrands top
Apple App Store, notes the WSJ. 20.
His sales estimates are for the money Apple gets New entries to the top 20 include the iPod,
from the 30% cut it takes on the Apple App Store BlackBerry, Xbox, Mini and BBC iPlayer. Falling out
software sales. He estimates independent makers of from last year’s top 20 were Agent Provocateur (down
iPhone software generate between $140 million and 18), Ducati (down 15), Nike (down seven) and
$250 million a quarter through their 70% cut of App Facebook (down three), all of whom, however,
Store sales. remained top of their respective categories. Also falling
out of the top 20 was sports car Lamborghini which fell
Cool brands in the top 20 are: the iPhone, Aston
Martin, Apple, the iPod, Nintendo, YouTube,
The iPhone has been named the number one BlackBerry, Google, Bang & Olufsen, PlayStation,
CoolBrand for 2009/2010 by the Superbrands Xbox, Tate Modern, Dom Perignon, Virgin Atlantic,
organization. This follows independent research Ferrari, Sony, Mini, Vivienne Westwood, Rolex and
administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis BBC iPlayer.
amongst influential opinion formers and the British
Apple pushed the prestigious car manufacturer
Aston Martin off the top spot for the first time in three
years, showing the growing importance of technology iPhones in China will be relatively expensive, but
and gadgetry to the UK consumer. monthly charges will be among the lowest in the world,
Revealing just how dominant Apple’s influence reports Fortune.
has become on all things cool in recent years, the The entry-level 8GB iPhone 3G will purportedly
CoolBrands list features the iPhone, Apple itself, and cost 2,075 yuan (US$303) – more than three times its
iPod in the top five (at numbers one, three and four, U.S. retail price ($99). But the iPhones in China will be
respectively) beating off competition from brands bundled with two-year service packages that are
such as Nintendo, YouTube and BlackBerry. considerably cheaper than AT&T’s, According to the
Technology brands continue to dominate the Xinhua News Agency, the lowest-price service
CoolBrands list, with nine of the top 10 being package will cost 126 yuan per month – or about
technology or internet brands. $18.45.
The list also shows that it’s not just the new AT&T charges its U.S. iPhone customers a
brands on the block that are causing a stir. There’s minimum of $39.99/mos. for voice service plus a
still a special place in the UK’s heart for some classic mandatory $30/mos. for data. Fortune says the total
marques. Car manufacturer Mini, which this year cost for China Unicom customers over two years will
celebrates its 50th birthday, is number 17 in the be $746. The total cost for AT&T customers is $1,779.
MACSIMUM NEWS ROUNDUP
available yet”, says Heiko Pohlmann, CEO and founder
of the startup. If Apple, contrary to expectations,
[doesn’t] present the tablet, the winner will obtain
Without even a prototype to look at, 21% of 3,100 whatever else will be presented next January – worth
respondents in a RBC Capital/ChangeWave survey up to 1500 Euro (approximately $2200).
said they’d be interested in buying an Apple tablet Hmmm. Apple’s not participating in the 2010
computer in the $500 to $700 price range. Macworld (which won’t be held until February). So
That’s better than the 9% who said they would be how do we know Apple will announce any new product
interested in buying the original iPhone in an April in January?
2007 survey – after Steve Jobs had unveiled it, but
before it had been released, according to Fortune.
“The promising early interest illustrates the market
opportunity for a Mac-based Tablet,” writes RBC
analyst Mike Abramsky in a Wednesday morning note Apple [opened] a new retail store in Temecula,
to clients. Among the other findings in the survey: California, this weekend [September 25-27]. Apple
• 25% of respondents bought a Mac laptop in the Store Promenade Temecula – located at 40820
last 90 days, up from 18% in July. Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92591 – [held] its
• 17% bought a Mac desktop in the last 90 days, grand opening at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26.
up from 12% in April. Regular store hours will be: Monday through
• 30% of 4,200 respondents in a separate survey Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to
already had an iPhone, up from 20% in June. to 7 p.m. The store [is] Apple’s 270th retail
It should be noted that respondents to establishment. Apple plans to open another 18 during
ChangeWave surveys tend to be early adopters, notes this fiscal year.
Apple just barely missed (again) the top 10 (again) on
There are no details, there’s no pricing, there’s no the “Top 50 Web Properties,” the latest monthly
release date. Heck, Apple hasn’t even admitted that it ranking of the top online properties by the comScore
plans to released the much rumored iPad/iTablet. But Media Matrix Service. For August, Apple sites had
Berlin-based Regman is giving away the not-released/ almost 57 million visitors. That’s about the same as
not-confirmed device in a sweepstake among Twitter July.
followers. Google maintained its number one position in the
Every new follower is a sweepstakes entry. Top Properties ranking, reaching 161 million
Followers must retweet a text found in the news Americans in August, while Yahoo! sites captured the
section of Regman to participate. Regman has also second spot with 158 million and Microsoft sites
formed a partnership with Gravis, the biggest Apple ranked third with 130 million visitors. Also in the top 10
retailer in Germay to exchange data about property were AOL, FaceBook, Fox Interactive Media, Ask
from their customers. Every Gravis customer can Network, eBay (sixth place), Amazon sites (eighth)
register their products within the buying process. and Wikipedia sites.
So why use the rumored pad/tablet as bait? “We However, Apple was ahead of sites such as
strongly believe that Apple, Inc., will show us the Craigslist (16th place), Adobe (20th place), Comcast
rumored Mac Tablet in the first product presentation (22nd place), Wal-Mart (23nd place), AT&T (26th
next year – so we take the risk to offer a prize that is not place), Disney (27th place) and Target (29th place).
MACSIMUM NEWS ROUNDUP
categories, including digital cameras, HDTVs, notebooks
and routers. GPS devices and game consoles appeared
on this year’s category list for the first time, with big wins
Profiles in History, a auctioneer of Hollywood for Garmin and Nintendo, respectively.
memorabilia, will be offering the first Macintosh Plus
computer, given to [Star Trek creator] Gene
Roddenberry by Apple Computer. It bears the serial
This artifact, which is accompanied by a signed FTN Equity Capital analyst Bill Fearnley has cut his
letter of provenance from Gene Roddenberry’s son, rating on Apple from “Buy” to “Neutral” on a valuation
Rod, will be a special addition to Profiles in History’s basis, noting that the stock has moved above his U.S.
Oct. 8-9, 2009, auction of Hollywood memorabilia. It $180 price target, reports Barron’s. Still, he notes that
has an estimated sale price of US$800-$1,200. Mac sales are above plan, and reports that the new
The Macintosh Plus was a revelation among iPod Nano “is a big hit.”
personal computers when it came on the market in Fearnley says iPhone sales are in line, with spot
1986. With 1MB of RAM (upgradeable to 4MB), it shortages. The analyst has raised his EPS (earnings per
supported the double-sided floppy disk format and share) estimate for the September 2009 fiscal year to
was the first Mac with a SCSI port for fast data transfer $5.97, from $5.94. For 2010, he goes to $7.22, from $7.08.
to and from an external hard drive. The Macintosh was Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz
the first mass-produced computer to utilize the mouse, today raised EPS estimates on Apple, notes Barron’s.
and the Macintosh Plus was the longest-lived He rates the stock Overweight, with a $210 price
Macintosh, with production until 1990. It features the target. He writes that Mac and iPhone “sales velocity”
beige-colored case with a nine-inch display, 3.5 inch- continue to improve. For the September quarter, he
floppy drive and includes the short keyboard, external now sees EPS of $1.45, up from $1.37. For FY 2010
floppy drive, mouse and Apple logo deluxe padded Moskkowitz goes to $6.96, from $6.58.
The Wedge Partners research firm thinks Apple will
PCMag.com released the results of its 22nd Service release both new iMacs and new MacBooks “in the
and Reliability Survey, and Apple cleaned up in pretty next several weeks,” according to Barron’s [as of
much all categories. September 15].
The annual survey measures readers’ opinions on Wedge sees a redesigned iMac with a “thinner,
the customer support and reliability offered by service organic design, likely with smoothed or rounded
providers and the manufacturers of computers and edges. The MacBook redesign “is likely to be limited,”
peripherals. Apple, consistently a powerhouse in the according to the research group.
annual survey, ranked this year as the readers’ top Meanwhile, the firm also expects “new, lower price-
choice in each of the categories in which it was a points to drive demand and create a meaningful
contender: cell phones, notebooks, desktops, portable competitive threat” to coming PCs based on Windows
media players, and routers. 7, as well as to the booming netbook segment, notes
The thousands of readers who responded to Barron’s. “We believe these new designs and price
PCMag.com’s 2009 Service and Reliability Survey points will help Apple achieve a 3-million-unit quarter
offered their ratings on 46,434 products from 13 different for Macs in [calendar] Q4.”
MACOSG TIPS & TRICKS
What is one of the first things you’ll want to do if your The new iPhone 3G S has a
Mac is stolen? Call the police and file a report. One of different type of screen than
the most important things you’ll need to know when previous models. It uses an
filling out the report, however, is the product’s serial “oleophobic coating” on the
number. Do you know your Mac’s serial number? Do screen – defined as having or
you even know where to find it? relating to a lack of strong
If your Mac is stolen, you might be able to get the affinity for oils – and is actually
serial number by calling Apple if you have some sort of easier to clean than previous
purchase proof, but if you’re reading this right now, models.
click here, read the rest of this tip and record your Here is Apple’s
serial number in a secure place, just in case! recommendation for cleaning iPhone screens,
including the new phone 3G S:
“To clean iPhone, unplug all cables and turn off
iPhone (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, then
slide the onscreen slider). Then use a soft, slightly
According to antivirus company Sophos, Snow damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in
Leopard installs version 10.0.23.1 of Flash for Mac, a openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household
security downgrade from the most up-to-date version, cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia,
10.0.32.18. or abrasives to clean iPhone.
This tip appeared in last month’s issue, but it bears If your iPhone has an oleophobic coating on
repeating in case you missed it, so please check out the screen (iPhone 3G S only), simply wipe your
this link, test your Adobe Flash version and update it if iPhone’s screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to
necessary. remove oil left by your hands and face.”
RICK’S TIPS & TRICKS
Easy Document Navigation + A Bonus Tip!
Most of us know that when you navigate around a window by clicking above or below the blue “pill”
in a scroll bar, the view will move by one page.
If you have a long document or Web page open in a window, however, you can navigate to a
relative area of the entire page/document by using the Option key and clicking on the approximate
spot you would like see. For example, in the graphic at right, if you click at the point shown, it will
take you to the next screen, but if you hold down the Option key and click there, it will take you to the
middle of the page/document.
So what’s the bonus tip for this month? Well, I created the graphic at right using the new
Screenshot function in Preview, and I added the arrow using Preview’s Annotate function.
For more of Rick Prather’s helpful tips and tricks, please visit our Forums!
By Dennis Sellers By Dennis Sellers
If you spend much time with a Last month, Apple
laptop on your, well, lap, you delivered a new version
know you need some sort of of its the iPod Touch,
protection to safeguard your which it says is the
thighs and private regions from “funnest iPod ever.” I
the heat a laptop generates. won’t argue with that,
One cool (pun intended) solution to the problem is the though it would be still
Targus Chill Mat. more fun if it had the
It’s designed to maximize notebook performance FM Radio and video
by keeping the laptop cool while you’re using it, thanks recording features of
to two fans that generate cool air. Four rubber feet are the smaller, less-expensive iPod Nano.
designed to keep your laptop from slipping – even if Of course, the fourth-gen Touch still handles
you’re using a 17-inch MacBook Pro that’s a bit bigger music, photo, videos, etc., with aplomb (as most iPods
than the mat itself. do) but is also a fine handheld gaming machine. And a
The Chill Mat is small enough (15.2x11.2x1.5 plethora of fun, since reasonably priced games that
inches) that it travels reasonably well. And it plugs take advantage of the iPod Touch (and iPhone)
directly into your laptop’s USB port, so no AC adapter features such as the accelerometer – which lets you
is required (in fact, one doesn’t even come with the turn, twist, shake and tilt the device for gameplay – are
Chill Mat). available at the Apple App Store. In fact, with well over
The Targus device features a white plastic top with 1,000 game titles available, the iPod Touch continues
mesh-like circular vent holes that let air circulate to pose a serious competitor to the PlayStation
around your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Portable and Nintendo DS.
The bottom of the Chill Mat is made of a soft, fabric The range of titles is solid considering the Apple App
mesh that facilitates air flow. Inside this chassis are Store only launched July 11. Most of the games are
two small fans that blow cool air directly onto the under US$10 – and many are free. What’s more, the 4G
laptop. These fans run with surprising quietness. iPod Touch’s 3.5-inch, 480-by-320 pixel widescreen is
There are some downsides to the Chill Mat. You’ll large, bright and crisp. As before, iPod Touch sports a
have to sacrifice a valuable USB port to use it. You thin contoured metal design, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless
can run the Chill Mat from a hub, as well, but to me, networking, integrated volume control buttons, advanced
that’s totally unpractical. Also, based on my estimates, sensors, and Apple’s Multi-Touch user interface.
drawing USB power will shave 2-3 minutes per hour According to Apple, the fourth-gen iPod Touch
off your laptop’s battery life. But that’s not bad at all, offers up to 30 hours of music playback or six hours of
considering the benefit. And it does have a power on/ video playback on a single charge. My tests have
off button, so you can turn the Chill Matt on and off as proven the claim to be true, perhaps even a bit
needed. modest. And the iPod Touch now offers more bang for
At US$29.95, the Chill Mat is a reasonably priced the buck. The 8GB iPod Touch is now available for just
solution. Especially since its price has dropped by 20 US$199, along with new models that deliver twice the
bucks since it was first introduced. capacity for the same price, with the iPod Touch 32GB
Macsimum rating: 9 out of 10 model for $299 and 64GB model for $399.
I bought the latter, and it’s the one I strongly or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows
recommend. Videos, photos and games eat up space Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service
very quickly. That said, the 64GB model holds up to Pack 3) or later and iTunes 9.
14,000 songs, 90,000 photos or 80 hours of video. Macsimum rating: 8 out of 10
The 32GB and 64GB models also include up to 50%
faster performance and support for even better
graphics with OpenGL ES 2.0. And the new iPod
Touch line-up comes with the latest iPhone 3.1
software, including: Cut, Copy and Paste; Spotlight By Dennis Sellers
Search to search across iPod Touch or within Mail, If you need to keep an iTunes library
Contacts, Calendar and iPod; landscape keyboard for synced between two or more Macs (or, if
Mail, Notes and Safari; remote lock for MobileMe and you must, a Windows system), SuperSync
anti-phishing features. is worth checking out. An iTunes syncing
There’s a lot to love about the iPod Touch. But, if solution, it acts as a music collection’s
you fork out 200 to 400 smackers, you may suffer from central hub, retrieving, organizing and syncing all
iPod Nano envy. The Nanos have much less storage music and movie files across machines and disk
capacity (and storage capacity is a big must for folks drives in order to create one consistent, complete
like me), but I do wish my new Touch had the built-in music library. An the latest version (3.3) improves
FM radio with live pause and iTunes tagging and video upon its meta data synchronization interface.
recording. With SuperSync, you can retrieve a song from a
Live pause lets iPod Nano users pause and laptop, play or download a song from a home
resume playing their favorite FM radio shows. iTunes computer while at the office, upload a new album from
tagging is great when users hear a song they like, they the road, or back-up an entire music library on a new
can simply tag it, and then preview and purchase that computer or network drive. It allows visual comparison
song when they sync to iTunes. iPod Nano also of two music libraries locally or over the net. With this
features Genius Mixes, which automatically create up feature, you can see what music is located in each
to 12 “endless mixes” of songs from your iTunes library. You can select the tracks you want copied from
library that go together. one library to the other, and click Synchronize to begin
The Nano also lets you shoot video wherever you one or two-way file synchronization.
are, in either portrait or landscape mode. iPod Nano SuperSync includes integration with iTunes so that
customers can share videos instantly with friends any additions to the SuperSync music library can be
using its display and speaker, or sync with a Mac or automatically reflected in iTunes. SuperSync
PC and share them on YouTube, MobileMe, Facebook eliminates the need to manually add new music or
or via email. iPod Nano can even shoot videos with remove broken links in iTunes. Also, the software
fun real-time effects, such as Thermal, Film Grain, includes a beefy library scanner that will clean up your
Kaleido and X-Ray. And the video quality isn’t bad – SuperSync and iTunes music libraries, removing
640 by 480 at 30 frames per second. I want to be able broken links to music and adding new tracks.
to do this with my Touch. And take still photos, as well. I use SuperSync to keep the tunes between my
But I can’t, so there it is. I love my new iPod Touch desktop and laptops in sync. All your music, movies
for what is can do. I just wish it could do more, and be and playlists can be moved to all the computers you
even “funner.” keep music on. At the Sellers household, we also use
The new iPod Touch is available immediately it to sync music between our various computers to
through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and create a master library.
Apple Authorized Resellers. It requires a Mac with a SuperSync is a breeze to install and set-up. After I
USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and iTunes 9; download it, I had it up and running on two computers
(more on that, in a moment) in less than 10 minutes. SupersSync costs US$29 for a two-machine
However, it will take a bit longer to delve into all the license. Family licenses are available for US$39 per
power-user features the software offers. five-pack, and US$59 per 10-pack. A demo is
For example, you can compare and merge any two available for download, and version 3.3 is a free
music libraries. You can export all or a subset of your update for registered users.
library as a directory of tracks. You can locate and fix Macsimum rating: 8 out of 10
iTunes library problems, such as locating corrupt files,
deleting duplicates and finding missing tracks.
With SuperSync, you can import media from a
hard drive, iPod or network drive. Plus, you can By Dennis Sellers
access your home music library from just about The iPod Nano
anywhere and share a common library with several may be cuter and
iTunes users on a network drive. You can even see the iPod Touch
and play files from your iPod or iPhone. cooler, but when
In version 3.3, you can update tracks that have it comes to bang
modified tags and ratings information across multiple for the buck, the
libraries (such as album, artist, genre, track number, iPod Classic is a great bargain. Once available in
rating, etc.) – such as where a set of tracks in a library myriad models, now it’s only offered in one version: a
is updated to correct a misspelled artist name or track 160GB baby for US$249. It can hold up to 40,000
numbers are added. This is a nice update to the songs.
syncing app. In fact, SuperSync is designed to make it 40,000 songs! It can hold my current CD collection
easy to propagate these changes in a track’s “meta- (which is pretty substantial) and all the music I buy for
data” to other places where the track is saved in a years to come. Or you can fill it with seven hours of
library. video, though the 2.5-inch, 320×240 pixel display is
Example: Metadata includes volume adjustment, too small for longterm video viewing.
grouping, EQ settings, ratings, played counts and The iPod Classic – which is really the latest
beats-per-minute. For movie files, metadata includes incarnation of the beloved original iPod design –
episode number, series, and video kind, such as delivers the things most of us have long loved about
movie, TV show or music video. Besides the our iPods. It’s available in silver and black only.
convenient features it had before, SuperSync now The iPod Classic sports a hard drive rather than
makes it easy to move an iTunes library from one flash memory. It features up to 40 hours of music
machine to another without losing useful metadata. playback and seven hours of video playback on a
You’ll need a copy of SuperSync for each Mac and single charge, according to Apple. I test drove it and
PC that has music on it. (Note: for this review, I used actually got about 1.5 hours of music playback and a
two Macs; I haven’t tried SuperSync on a PC namely half hour more of video playback than the official
because we don’t have any Windows systems at the specs indicate.
Macsimum headquarters). What’s not to love?
As I said, getting up and going for relatively simple The iPod Classic is available immediately through
syncing is easy. However, SuperSync does have lots the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple
of options, and you’ll need to spend some time in the Authorized Resellers. It requires a Mac with a USB 2.0
app to understand how to tap its full potential. But port, Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and iTunes 9; or a
once you do, you’ll be impressed with how much you Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista
can accomplish (though I do wish there was a way to or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack
“invert” the Artist and Album filtering). 3) or later and iTunes 9.
BE KIND, REWIND
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The September 23rd edition of MacNotables, a
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Mac community, is available. launches the iTunes app] where you’ll be alerted to
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop talks about Microsoft’s each new episode as soon as it’s available.
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Apple TV and why it can be frustrating and the surprising miss a show!
video and audio quality of the iPod nano camera. He also
comments on the ease of the transition to Snow Leopard
for most, and dives deep into what he feels are the best
audio plug-ins for the Mac. Sandbox 142: This is really a psychological
MacNotables panelists include Christopher Breen, experiment. The last time the Sandbox had really
Bryan Chaffin, Jim Dalrymple, Adam Engst, Tonya Engst, good numbers, I mentioned Obama in the title. I want
Andy Ihnatko, Joiner, Ted Landau, Jason Snell, Bob to see if it holds true.
LeVitus, Dan Frakes and [Dennis Sellers]. Not all Other than that, we have Hitler, Miss South
panelists can make all shows due to scheduling conflicts. Carolina and Dennis on tap for you. Obviously not at
the same time as Miss South Carolina, and Dennis
had scheduling conflicts, and I'm pretty sure Hitler is
dead. At least, he's not returning my calls.
I'm thinking of changing the show’s title to either
The Video Box or The Box. Either one any good?
Approved by Apple, Pogg is now available to buy on Email me from thevideosandbox.com and let me
iTunes and the App Store. Pogg is a cute game for know your opinion.
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can do all sorts of things: run, hop, sing, go to the Dig! Download, double click, dropout.
moon, and heaps more.
With a database of 300 words and phrases, 30
different movie sequences and the promise of free
animation upgrades if Pogg receives enough support
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To find out how Apple CEO Steve Jobs is fairing 1. “Caramel apple” is another name for “candy
during these tough economic times, and where he apple”?
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2. What is the best type of apple for making caramel
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A. Mothers began entering the workforce and
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE didn’t have time to make them.
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