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Thursday, September 16, 2004  

Technology: Bose frees the iPod

I said the Apple iPod had arrived when it made the cover of Newsweek in July. The evidence has become even more convincing since. Not only are most new buyers of iPods Microsoft Windows users, the iPod is being used to promote the Power Mac G5, Apple's workhorse desktop computer. Now, the tiny device is the impetus behind an innovation by a veteran manufacturer of audiophile products.

Bose has developed a sound system solely for the purpose of supporting and enhancing the iPod. According to coverage at Mac News World, it will allow iPod users to listen to their music without earphones and control the menu without direct contact. As wireless capabilities, such as WiFi (802.11) and Bluetooth have spread, the lack of untethered access to the iPod became noticeable. Designers at Bose were among those aware of the barrier.

Bose today introduced its SoundDock digital music system, designed to deliver superior audio performance for Apple's iPod and iPod mini.

The new speaker system lets iPod users access, control and listen to their stored music with the ease of dock and play -- no headphones, cables or adaptors are required.

The SoundDock system includes a proprietary acoustic design that delivers clear, full sound across the entire musical spectrum.

. . .The SoundDock system seamlessly integrates with third- and fourth-generation iPods, as well as the iPod mini. An infrared remote is included that can control the iPod from across a room. The iPod and SoundDock system can also be operated without the remote.

Despite the plethora of products designed to complement the iPod, only recently has it become possible to dispense with the earpods. The other missing option has been the ability to control the iPod from a distance. The remote control Apple includes requires that the iPod be close at hand. For those of us who prefer being as wireless, and as flexible, as possible, Bose's product may be just what we've been waiting for.

Bose describes a very simple set-up. Plug the device in. Put the iPod in the SoundDock. Hit 'Play' on either the home unit or the remote. Other menu controls include fast forward, reverse, repeat, pause, and stop.

The SoundDock will retail for $299.

Gadget Whore reports the product will be available by October 15.

Over at iPod Lounge, many of the habitues say they are ready to buy.

The SoundDock looks wonderful and seems like a perfect solution to untethering the iPod. But, I will wait for the release and reviews.

11:15 PM