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Apple's Music Event Reveals Updates to iPods, iTunes, Apple TV

Jen Winston |
September 1, 2010 | 1:21 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The new iPod Touch. (Apple.com)
The new iPod Touch. (Apple.com)
Today, for its annual Music Event, Apple decided it was time to let the everyman see Steve Jobs speak.

The company offered a live stream of the San Francisco conference on its website, available for anyone to watch—of course, you had to be either using Safari on a Mac with Mac OS 10.6 or using an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or higher.

Steve Jobs spoke to his exclusive audience from in front of an acoustic guitar with the Apple logo as the sound hole, first listing his proudest accomplishments (the App Store sells 200 every second). He brought the news of iOS 4.1, which, only available for iPod touches and iPhones right now, should fix lots of bugs, allow HD video to be streamed across wi-fi networks, and add the ability to take HDR photos. iOS 4.1 also introduced Game Center, a venue for multi-player games to take place (as if Angry Birds weren’t enough).  An update for iPad is in the works, and should feature wireless printing.

Jobs next went into discussing iPods, first announcing the new iPod Shuffle. The new model has buttons (Jobs pointed out that we really missed those on the 3G shuffle), a clip, voiceover capabilities, and playlist options, making it a seemingly perfect combination of the 2G shuffle design and the 3G’s firmware.

The iPod Nano went the logical way of most Apple electronics and became the iPod Multitouch Nano. The new model is 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter than the previous Nano, and features iPhone-like buttons.

The new iPod touch (the iPod Jobs says is most popular) has a front-facing camera, added retina display and is even thinner than the previous model. It will also have a rear camera with HD video recording technology, and will be priced as follows: 8G for $229, 32GB for $299, 64GB for $399.

The audience was then allowed to watch some ads, the Nano’s featuring the throwback “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake. No mention of the iPod classic left its advocates (cough, cough) wondering. Gizmodo reports the classic is dead.

Next, Jobs explained to us the glory of iTunes 10’s simple design, and the version’s focus on music discovery. He introduced Ping, a social network that allows users to follow favorite artists and friends and have conversations, as well as check into concerts or events they will be attending. Most music subscription services already do this.

Finally, Jobs discussed the product that has been buzzing recently—the Apple TV. On what his customers wanted, Jobs said, “The number one, two, and three thing they want is Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them. It's that simple." Jobs then revealed the new, tiny Apple TV, coming in at one-quarter of the size of the previous version.

The new Apple TV shows video in HD, and only allows users to rent and stream – no storage or syncing necessary. Renting TV shows is now only 99 cents. Netflix subscribers can stream movies. Users can create photo slideshows from their Flickr accounts. And those are just some of the features. The icing on the cake? The product will sell for just $99 (previous version was $229).

The guitar popped back up on the screen, and Jobs brought it back to a sentimental note. "We started doing this music stuff for a really simple reason: we love music,” He said. “That hasn't changed one bit.” He segued into an introduction for a live performance by Coldplay, and Chris Martin took the stage.

After striking the first few chords of Viva La Vida, Martin spoke a thank you to Jobs.

“Apple helped turn this song into our biggest hit,” he said. “Which proves that your marketing people can sell anything." 

To reach reporter Jen Winston, click here.



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