In a live video streamed from California, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs began his presentation with a pithy message: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated".
Before getting into the details of the eighth iteration of iTunes, Jobs began by boasting about the success of the iTunes store, which now has over 8.5 million songs, 125,000 podcasts, stacks of TV episodes and movies and now has over 3,000 applications as well.
He added that the App Store has already seen more than 100 million downloads in the 60 days since its inception.
Jobs then revealed that iTunes will soon be adding HD content, with HD shows costing US$2.99 each, a dollar more than their SD counterparts. In case you're wondering what use an HD signal is for an iPod, you will also be able to watch these on your PCs, Macs and Apple TVs.
iTunes 8 has some new browsing and accessibility features, but the big news is the inclusion of Apple's dubiously named 'Genius button' which automatically creates a playlist of 25, 50, 75 or 100 songs based on the song you are currently listening to.
Next was a quick nod in the direction of the iPod Classic. The thicker version is being discontinued, while the thin version is being jumped up from 80GB to 120GB and will sell for US$249.
Probably the biggest announcement was up next with the unveiling of the fourth generation iPod nano, which returns to the previous candybar design, but keeps the third generation screen size.
The new design is oval with a curved glass screen. It also comes with an accelerometer, voice recorder and has a 'shake to shuffle' feature.
The new rainbow-coloured Nano will be available in eight and 16 GB versions and sell for US$149 and US$199 respectively. The battery will purportedly give 24 hours of music or four hours video on each charge.
There will also be a new iPod Touch which is a little slimmer, has integrated volume controls, a built-in speaker, can do the Genius playlist thing, and has a built-in Nike+ receiver.
These new Touches will go for US$229 for the eight GB version, US$299 for the 16GB and US$399 for 32GB.
In a rather candid admission of guilt, Jobs went on to say that the new version 2.1 of the iPhone / Touch software would fix a raft of bugs seen since the launch of the iPhone 3G, promising fewer dropped calls, better stability when lots of apps are installed and longer battery life for most iPhone owners.
Apple updates Itunes and nano
By Ian Williams on Sep 10, 2008 11:59AM