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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple iTunes, iPod Announcements

Yesterday Apple held "It's Only Rock and Roll" Event to announce the refresh of its iPod line, iTunes 9 and iPhone 3.1 OS release. Just as important, it marked the return of Steve Jobs as the head of the company as he walked onstage to a standing ovation. The event itself didn't really announce anything remarkable, just overall improvements to the line of iPods and programs.

iTunes 9
- Available now
- Improved store navigation
- iTunes LP that includes lyrics, liner notes, video, photos and more
- iTunes Extra, basically DVD extras via iTunes. Exactly what isn't clear.
- Genius Mixes, instead of a finite playlist, it essentially creates a personal radio station with your music.
- App Management, finally able to control the layout of your iPhone icons via iTunes
- Home Sharing, now up to five local computers can share songs, videos and apps
- Sharing, can send iTunes gifts, add to wish list and publish about them to Twitter and Facebook

iPhone/iTouch OS 3.1.1
- Available now, free for iPhone, $4.95 for iTouch
- Support for iTunes 9 features
- Bug fixes

iPod Nano 5th Gen
- Available online, in stores as they get shipments
- 8GB: $149, 16GB: $179
- Video Camera, can shoot live video at 640 x 480 resolutions in H.264 but does not shoot still pictures
- Larger 2.2'' display, 9 colors (with red and yellow as Apple Store exclusives)
- Other features: Nike+ integration, voiceover, voice memo support, FM tuner with live pause, iTunes tagging (to note music from radio that might be worth buying), and 24 hours of battery life (or five hours for video playback).
- Hands-on video
- Video examples, click the link to see the various visual effects the nano offers in action

iPod Touch
- Less refresh, more price drop, new size model, available now
- 8GB: $199, 32GB: $299, 64GB: $399
- Oddly enough no camera, reasons why include lack of space internally, provide a feature for nano while giving people a reason to get an iPhone instead of an iTouch, and pricing point may not have been achieved.
- Hands-On video

iPod Shuffle
- More colors, new size, retired the older version, available now
- 2GB: $59, 4GB: $79
- Comes in pink, green, blue, silver, and black
- Also available 4GB special edition for $99 through Apple Store in heavier stainless steel.
iPod Classic
- No change, just increase in size to 160GB (from 120GB) for the same price of $249.

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