"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Apple's iPod Line Announcements

Today Steve Job introduced the refresh of the iPod product line. Overall its a drop in price and small little improvements across the board. The shuffles get new colors, the Nano gets a new design and itouch like features, the classic now only has one model, and the iTouch gets a price drop and improved look. Also a new firmware update is coming, iTunes 8 is out (with Genius feature) and new expensive headphones.

Firmware Update
- 2.1 update for iPhone and iTouch will be out Friday
- If iTouch not updated to 2.0, then $10 fee for update. Free for iPhone.
- Expected to fix bugs, fewer dropped calls, better battery life

- Price: 8gb $229, 16gb $299, 32gb $399
- More tweak then redesign, but did get a price drop
- Slightly thinner, curved alumnium design.
- Added features: volume controls on the side, built-in speakers, Genius playlist creation, Nike+ (but shoe dohickey still seperate cost).

iPod Nano
- Completely re-designed.
- Battery life: 24 hours for music, 4 for video
- Price: 8gb $149, 16gb $199
- Thinnest iPod yet.
- Larger screen, curved aluminum design, accelerometer, Genius playlist creation
- With accelermoter, has Cover Flow when turned sideways. Same for photos.
- To enable shuffle, simple shake device.
- Does play videos
- Comes in a pretty wide range of colors
- Size comparison here
- Hands-on: Feels better in hand, small and thin, responsive, accelerometer as good as iPhone, great screen, hold middle button now brings up shortcuts, overall impressed.

iTunes 8
- Television programs now available in HD
- HD price: $2.99, standard price: $1.99
- NBC returns to the store. (Guess the Amazon experiment wasn't a boom to the bottom line they thought it would be.
- Genius Sidebar added - A way to create playlists with one click based on listening habits. Of course its main purchase is to suggest music to buy from the store. Genius info is sent anonymously back to iTunes to improve recommendations.
- Hands-on: Slow to install, slow to start, slow to go through and do setup for Genius feature, visualizer is great, grid view not so much. Once completed Genius selections are mostly miss. Too early to know if will improve with time.

iPod Classic
- Reduce line to one 120gb version for $250
- Keep eye out, probably be able to get the 160gb version on clearance soon.

iPod Shuffle
- Price: $49 1gb, $69 2gb
- The same size, same price, same memory, new colors.
- Now comes in gray, blue, green, red and magneta

iPod Headphones
- White $79 in-ear headphones.
- Comes with 3 earbuds and 2 drivers (a woofer and tweeter)
- Essentially for audiophiles.

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