I’ve been busy writing up an article about Panther, to be released around October 25… after the NDA expires, of course. 😉

Meanwhile, today has been a busy day for Apple, with lots of new releases around the iTunes Music Store, now with Windows support, updates for the iPod, and lots of marketing brouhaha. I’ve downloaded all the new stuff already and everything seems to work very well. This should give Apple’s music store a good boost, nearly at the last possible minute.

There are two new iPod peripherals. The microphone has a small speaker but unfortunately no audio input; so, no built-in ripping yet. As it seems to use the iPod’s normal audio plug (plus the remote-control interface), there’s some hope of this coming out in the future. Possibly Apple is shying away from the possibility of letting the iPod rip audio directly – no telling what the RIAA would say about this, even if it wouldn’t have CD quality.

The media reader is more interesting; it reads 6 different types of media cards used in digital cameras and downloads the contents to the iPod. This means that taking an iPod along with the camera now allows one to capture a huge amount of high-quality pictures… tens of thousands, depending on resolution. It’s rather expensive, though, at US$99.

The iPod peripheral I’d like to see isn’t out yet; I want an in-dash amplifier with a built-in iPod dock. No radio necessary. Just let me slide the iPod in. Track forward/back, volume, and start/stop buttons. That’s it. I wonder whether my dislike of in-car radios are shared by enough Americans to make somebody put such a thing on the market. US$99 should be the right price point…