Apple iPod Event 2009

Apple iPod Event 2009

Michael Adams

Well…Apple’s “Buy a Mac, Get a Free iPod Touch” promotion ended yesterday. What are they going to do now? The answer is simple! Introduce new iPods! That’s right folks, at today’s “It’s Only Rock And Roll, But We Like It” music event, Apple unveiled a few things it had up its sleeve. The Internet was ablaze with rumors of what these new toys would be. Quite a few of these rumors turned out to be true, and some turned out to be not so true (Mac Tablet, I am looking at you). Anyway, let’s take a look at what went down at the event.

  1. Steve was back! That’s right, Steve Jobs was back. I know that this isn’t exactly an announcement, but it was a big deal to have him deliver the keynote. I wish I could have seen it live.
  2. The first thing Apple unveiled was the iPhone 3.1 OS. What this patch does is it will allow you to use the very nifty “Genius” feature of iTunes on apps now. Let’s say you like playing Monopoly. Hit the Genius button and the iTunes store will now suggest apps you might like based on the fact you like playing Monopoly. With this update, you will also be able to gain access to 30,000+ ringtones for your iPhone at $1.29 each. This update is available right now. [Side Note: I do not actually have the iPhone/iPod Touch 3.0 software installed on my iPod Touch as of yet. But it appears that with the release of 3.1, the cost of the 3.0 update has lowered in price from its original $9.95 price tag to $4.95. Looks like holding out might have paid off.]
  3. Next up…iTunes 9. What do you get with iTunes 9? To start with, you get a new Genius feature called “Genius Mixes”. As Steve stated, it will basically be like a DJ, playing an endless loop of music that compliments each other. Kinda like the Genius playlist option, but continuous. You also get “Home Sharing” which will allow you to share your iTunes purchases with up to 5 machines on your home network. But the biggest enhancement of all? The “Application Manager”…finally! Don’t want Vampires vs. Werewolves vs. Elvis on your iPhone anymore? You can now easily get rid of it, along with a bunch of other apps taking up space on your precious 8GB HD. All I have to say for this is thank you Apple. Thank you.
  4. After that, they talked about iTunes LP and iTunes extras. With iTunes LP, Apple is trying to bring back the glory days of the vinyl jacket in a digital age. When you purchase an iTunes LP, you get liner notes, lyrics, video interviews, art, etc. Basically, you are getting DVD bonus type content, except applied to music. And with iTunes extras, you are getting DVD bonus content with the videos you get from iTunes now.
  5. Now, the iPods. To start off, they announced new iPod Touches. There is not anything drastically new with these little guys as far as hardware is concerned (which was probably the BIGGEST surprise of the Keynote…just wait til we get to the Nano to see why), but there is a price cut and bigger HD capacities. The 8GB version is now only $199, the 32GB is $299 and the 64GB version is $399. Man…64GB…that just dwarfs my 16GB Touch.
  6. Next on tap was an update to the iPod Classic. Despite rumors of its demise, it is still around and doing well. The only thing they did was up the HD capacity to 160GB for $249.
  7. The iPod Shuffle was updated as well. Offering new colors instead of the plain old silver and black, you can now get your iPod Shuffle in pink, green, blue, silver or black. And there are now two different sizes…2GB for $59 and 4GB for $79.
  8. The “one more thing” of the event though, was the iPod Nano. The iPod nano now offers a bigger screen, a built-in FM Transmitter, and a built-in video camera! That’s right, your Nano has just been turned into a Flip Cam (which is obviously what Apple was going for…as they even compared their new Nano to a Flip Cam). The 8GB models will run you $149 and the 16GB models will run you $179.

So there you have it. The camera on an iPod is not a surprise if you have been following the rumor mill. What WAS a surprise is that there was no built-in camera on the new iPod Touches, especially considering that the iPhone has a nice one built in to it…and really…isn’t an iPod Touch essentially just an iPhone you can’t talk to. Well…you could, but you might look a little weird, although you could just tell folks you are recording yourself. Anyway, I digress. While I like most of the announcements that were made, I do have to wonder as to why Apple is offering two models of the Shuffle and the Nano, especially since the difference in cost between the 2 and 4GB (or 8 and 16GB for the Nano) is very minimal. Why not just make one model?

Anyway, that’s all the news from Apple’s music event. New iPhone OS, new iTunes (yay application management) and new iPods. If you have any questions, just feel free to let me know. Maybe next time, we will finally get a look at the ever elusive Mac Tablet…darn you rumor mills and my willingness to believe.