MWSF: MacMice to intro slew of new products

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DVForge Inc. subsidiary MacMice on Friday announced plans to show off a variety of new products for users of Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh and iPod products at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Calif. next week. New products include an iPod car interface, a Bluetooth trackball, USB audio adapters, iMac G5 accessories and more. What's more, they're giving away a new Mazda MX-5 Miata, a convertible sports car.

The Miata giveaway is to draw attention to MacMice's new PodBuddy, an iPod car connection system that attaches using the cigarette lighter or accessory plug. It features a 6-inch length of flexible steel tubing attached to an iPod holding cradle, and it fits any model of Dock Connector-equipped iPod or iPod mini. iPod audio streams through an FM transmitter which automatically selects and displays the best available FM frequency. A line output jack at the lighter plug enables users to directly connect to their car stereo instead, if it accepts line input. Available in February in either black or white, the PodBuddy is expected to ship for US$99.99.

The Ball is MacMice's new wireless trackball that uses Bluetooth to connect to the Macintosh. It features a similar clear over white acrylic design as MacMice's USB and bluetooth mice, and features a top surface that works as two buttons, a scrollwheel and a scroll switch. Coming in March, The Ball will include three balls in gray, blue and red and will cost $89.99.

ProSticks are MacMice's new premium 2.1 desktop loudspeaker system -- the first in a new category of products for the company, according to DVForge Inc's manager, music products, C.J. Sorg. The two satellite speakers and subwoofer enclosure feature aluminum grills and will cost US$399.99 -- MacMice will offer users a 30-day in-home trial guarantee.

Also to be shown are the GuitarPlug and MicPlug, two small USB audio adapters that GarageBand users and other musicians can use to connect to their Mac recording rig. Both of the adapters are 2.3 x .7-inch cylinders powered by the USB interface. They're equipped with on/off switches and blue LED power indicators, and they convert mono analog input into 16-bit, 48kHz USB audio. The GuitarPlug features a 1/4-inch guitar plug compatible with any electric guitar or bass; the MicPlug has an XLR input for use with any dynamic stage microphone. Both products are expected in late January for $49.99.

MacMice will also show off its JamPod, a guitar amplifier for the iPod. It's designed to let guitar players jam to their favorite songs on their iPod. JamPod plugs into the headphone jack and remote port on the top of any Dock Connector-equipped iPod and includes a 48-inch guitar cord. A volume knob lets you mix the output level to your earbuds or headphones. JamPod works with any instrument that sends guitar-level output through a 1/4-inch jack. It's coming in February for $49.99

PortBuddy is a port relocator designed with the iMac G5 in mind. It's a snap-on device that plugs into the expansion ports on Apple's iMac G5. It moves one USB and one FireWire port to the right rear edge of the Mac, and moves another USB port and FireWire port to the inside face of the Portbuddy. Also integrated is a 13-in-1 memory card drive that uses one slot to accommodate different flash media, accessible from the right edge of the iMac. PortBuddy has been made in a complementary white gloss finish to match the iMac G5, and will begin shipping in February for $49.99.

ZeroSticks are described as "a companion speaker system for the iMac G5." The speakers are mounted on an enclosure that fits entirely behind the iMac G5, suspended on the aluminum support upright used by the iMac itself. An AC cord replaces the Apple power cord and juices up both the iMac and the ZeroSticks. The speaker system fits 17 and 20-inch iMac G5s. MacMice plans to ship the ZeroSticks in April for $199.99.

Macworld Conference & Expo runs from January 10 - 14, 2005 at the Moscone Center. The exhibit hall area is open January 11 - 14. MacMice is located at booth 1017.

This story, "MWSF: MacMice to intro slew of new products" was originally published by PCWorld.

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