Apple released quite a few new products during its press event today:
The new iPod keeps the same form factor as its predecssor (the iPod with Video), but adds an hour more of video playing time, a 60% brighter screen, a bigger hard drive (the high-end model is now 80G) and a lower price – $249/$349 for 30G/60G respectively.
The new iPod nano is now thinner, sturdier, brighter (40% more before) and more attractive – an anodized aluminum case replaces the polycarbonate used in the previous model, and is available in five different colors. Song capacity starts at 2G, with a 4G model in the middle and 8G of storage available at the high end. Pricing ranges from $149 for the 2G model to $249 for the 8G unit.
The new iPod shuffle has undergone perhaps the most amazing transformation. No longer resembling a “stick of chewing gum”, the new Shuffle is now a 1.07″ by 1.67″ rectangle less than half an inch thick, weighing in at around half an ounce. The polycarbonate plastic casing has been replaced with anodized aluminum; the new shuffle resembles a money clip made from the top of an Apple Remote more than anything else. Storage is fixed with a single 1G model (no more 512M), and syncing and data transfer is done with an included tiny USB dock that connects to the shuffle via the headphone port. The new iPod shuffle is available for $79.
Along with the new hardware, Apple released updates to its multimedia software offerings:
iTunes 7 now offers movie downloads and iPod games (for the iPod with Video) from the iTunes Store, along with automatic downloadng of album cover art, song browsing with Cover Flow, and the ability to transfer music from an iPod back to a Macintosh (that has been authorized with the Apple Store).
Quicktime 7.1.3 features security fixes and upgrades to support the new iPod models and movie downloads.
Apple also previewed a new set-top media streaming box temporarily named “iTV” that is set for release in the first quarter of 2007. Engadget has good coverage of it along with some pictures.