Sep 09

Apple updates iPod Touch, iPod nano, iTunes

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Apple updated a few of its products today at a “Let’s Rock” media event.

iTunes 8 is free for download and available today. The new version adds the “Genius” feature to suggest music similar to user choices and automatically make playlists, as well as visual album cover browsing.

The second-generation iPod Touch is smaller, lighter, and thinner than the original, with new external volume buttons on the side of the curved aluminum enclosure. Storage options range from 8 to 32G with prices from $229 to $399.

The fourth-generation iPod nano has a new super-slim curved glass and aluminum enclosure, as well as an accelerometer and new colors (silver, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, pink, red, or black). The 8G model retails for $149 while the 16G model costs $199.

May 22

HBO Shows on iTunes; Logic Pro updated

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Apple and HBO have announced that HBO television series such as “The Sopranos”, “Sex and the City”, “Rome”, and “The Wire” is now available for purchase on the iTunes Store for between $1.99 and $2.99 an episode.

On May 20th, Apple released version 8.0.2 of Logic Pro. The update is 139 megabytes in size and can be downloaded at no charge.

Feb 05

Apple increases iPhone and iPod Touch storage

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Apple has released an updated iPhone available with 16G of onboard storage as well as a new iPod Touch available with 32G.

Both new products retail for $499. The older 8G iPhone and 16G iPod Touch are still available for purchase.

Jan 15

New Products and Updates from MacWorld 2008

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Apple announced new products and updates at MacWorld San Francisco today:

Apple TV is now $229, with a forthcoming software update that will let you rent movies from the iTunes Store in “standalone” mode without a host Mac system. Movie rentals (from every major studio) are $2.99 for older releases and $3.99 for new releases, with prices for HD versions at $3.99/4.99.

Time Capsule combines the Airport Extreme wired and wireless router/print server with an integrated 500G or 1TB hard drive that supports wireless operation of the Time Machine backup software. The 500G model retails for $299 while the 1TB model costs $499.

iPhone firmware version 1.1.3 adds Google Maps location finding, multiple-recipient text messages, Web Clip bookmarking, home screen customization, and the ability to play movies rented from the iTunes Store. This is a free software upgrade for iPhone owners. A $20 firmware upgrade for iPod Touch owners will add Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, Notes, and iTunes Movie Rental capability.

MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest notebook. It’s less than an inch tall (from 0.76 to 0.16 of an inch), it can fit into a manilla envelope. The screen is 13.3″ with LED backlighting, and the system features a backlit full size keyboard, iSight camera, and multi-touch trackpad. The processor is a 1.6 or 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, with 2G memory standard (non-upgradeable), 802.11n and Bluetooth wireless, and an 80G hard drive. A 64G solid-state disk is available as an option. Ethernet networking and an external SuperDrive are possible via the system’s single USB port. The MacBook Air starts at $1799.

Sep 05

Apple releases new iPods

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Apple today released three new iPod models:

The iPod nano:

The new iPod nano features a larger two-inch display with 204 pixels per inch, which lets users watch their favorite movies, TV shows and music videos in the same resolution they currently enjoy on the video iPod. iPod nano also includes three fun games, and additional games can be purchased from the online iTunes® Store ( iPod nano delivers up to 24 hours of audio playback or five hours of video playback on a single charge, and is encased in a beautiful new all-metal design made with anodized aluminum and polished stainless steel and comes in five new colors—silver, black, blue, green and a (PRODUCT) RED special edition. Available today, the 4GB iPod nano comes in silver for just $149 (US) and the 8GB model is available in silver, black, blue, green and a (PRODUCT) RED special edition for just $199 (US).

The iPod Classic:

The new iPod® classic features 80GB or 160GB of storage that holds your entire collection of music, photos, video, podcasts and games—up to 40,000 songs or 200 hours of video. Now in its sixth generation, the new iPod classic delivers all the features customers love about their iPods, plus an enhanced user interface featuring Cover Flow™ and a new all-metal enclosure. iPod classic is priced at just $249 for the 80GB model and $349 for the 160GB model.

The iPod Touch:

The new iPod® touch features Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch user interface that enables users to find and enjoy all of their music, videos and more on its gorgeous widescreen display with just the touch of a finger. The iPod touch also includes Wi-Fi wireless networking, the first on any iPod, and three amazing applications that use it—Safari™, the most advanced browser on any mobile device, lets users wirelessly view web pages just as they look on their computer, and features Google Search or Yahoo! oneSearch; Apple’s YouTube application lets users wirelessly watch over 10 million free videos from the Internet’s most popular video website; and the new iTunes® Wi-Fi Music Store lets users wirelessly browse, preview and buy songs and albums from the most popular online music store in the world. The iPod touch is an unbelievable 8 mm thin, and is priced starting at just $299. iPod touch features up to 22 hours of audio playback and up to five hours of video playback. The 8GB iPod touch model is $299 (US) and the 16GB iPod model is $399 (US).

Apr 09

EMI music now DRM-free on the iTunes Store

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Apple and EMI have announced that starting in May, the entire EMI Music catalog will be available in DRM-free high-quality 256kbps AAC format from the iTunes Store, at only $1.29 per song. Previously-purchased songs can be upgraded to the DRM-free higher-quality format for $0.30 each.

Apr 09

Apple sells 100 Million iPods

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Apple has announced that the 100 millionth iPod has been sold. The first iPod was sold in November 2001, and ten new iPod models have been announced since then.

Jan 30

New Apple Products and Software Updates

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Today Apple released new iPod Shuffles in four new colors – pink, green, blue, and orange, in addition to the original silver. Capacities are unchanged at 1G.

The 802.11n Enabler is available as a download from the Apple Store for $1.99, and upgrades all Core2Duo Macs with Airport Extreme (except for the 17″ 1.83Ghz iMac) to add 802.11n wireless capability.

Airport Extreme Update 2007-001 improves compatibility with Airport Extreme base stations and networks.

Security Update 2007-001 improves QuickTime security.

Jan 09

New Apple products from MWSF 2007

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This morning during his keynote speech at Macworld San Francisco 2007, Steve announced two new products:

The Apple TV (formerly known as the “iTV”) is a streaming media server (based around an x86 processor) that connects to your television. Featuring HDMI and component video outputs as well as USB2, 10/100 Ethernet, and 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity, the Apple TV can stream audio or video content from a Macintosh system or directly from the Internet to your television and display it in 720p high definition. It uses the normal Apple Remote and features a 40G internal hard drive that allows syncing of media from iTunes. Available in February, the Apple TV is priced at $299.

The iPhone is a combination wide-screen iPod, mobile phone, and internet communications device, all in one product. The user interface consists of a full touchscreen that uses a “multi-touch” interface that is controlled with finger presses and movements. The iPhone has a 3.5″ 160-pixel-per-inch full color display, runs OS X as its operating system, and has GPRS+EDGE, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity. For software applications, Safari is available (with full functionality of things like Google Maps) as well as software “widgets” for things like weather and stock quotes. Developer information is not available yet. Not detailed in the keynote was a two-megapixel camera. The iPhone is expected to be on sale through Cingular (as an exclusive partner in the US) in June 2007 and should retail for $499 for the 4G version and $599 for the 8G.

Not announced at the keynote (but here’s the press release) is the new Airport Extreme, now in the Mac Mini/AppleTV form factor (a flat square) and featuring 802.11n speeds (for use with the Apple TV). Buried under Apple’s 802.11n information page is a note that recent Intel-based Macintosh systems support 802.11n after a software enabler is loaded:

* iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo (except 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac)
* MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo
* MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo
* Mac Pro with AirPort Extreme card option

It looks like owners of first-gen Intel Mac systems (like me, with a Core Duo iMac and MacBook) are out of luck for the higher speeds unless Apple releases an upgraded Airport+Bluetooth module for these machines.

Last but not least, “Apple Computer, Inc.” is no more – the company is renaming itself to “Apple, Inc.” now that they’ve branched out into non-computer products such as media center systems and mobile phones.

Sep 12

Apple’s New Multimedia Assault

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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.