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Apple Announces iTunes 9, "LPs," Video Camera For the iPod Nano 521

Apple just finished their latest press event, and they revealed a number of new services and features for their products. They kicked things off by saying that iPhone OS 3.1 is now available. It will add the Genius recommendation technology to the App store, giving users suggestions on which apps they might find useful based on what others with similar needs use. They're also adding 30,000 ringtones that users can purchase. Next, they announced iTunes 9, which will use Genius to make mixes by analyzing songs in your library to see which go well together. iTunes is also seeing UI improvements for things like app management, and syncing utilities. You'll be able to easily transfer apps, music, and videos from one of your local devices to another, and there is integrated support for Twitter and Facebook if you want to send music as a gift. Another big new feature: iTunes LPs. These LPs will be a digital album with cover art, lyrics, videos, and other customized content created by the artists themselves. Moving on, they showed off a few new games: an Assassin's Creed sequel, an FPS called Nova that had impressive graphics and multiplayer capability, Riddim Ribbon, a futuristic driving/music game that lets you remix your songs by how you navigate the course, and Madden NFL 2010. Next, Apple announced a price cut for the 8GB iPod Touch and a doubling of available storage for the other models. It's also getting OpenGL 2.0. The iPod Classic is getting a storage upgrade from 120GB to 160GB. In addition, there are headphones that have a controller for the Shuffle. Finally, Jobs got down to his "one more thing": Apple will now be building a video camera into the back of every iPod Nano. Apparently it will be a simple matter to sync videos to your computer or put them up on YouTube, and they're building in an FM radio as well. A detailed liveblog of the event with a ton of screenshots is available at Engadget.
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Apple Announces iTunes 9, "LPs," Video Camera for the iPod Nano

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  • Re:ipod touch (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:29PM (#29369173)

    they call that the iphone.

  • Disappointed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:33PM (#29369257)
    I'm a big Apple fan and love the iPod. I have a classic and a Touch and I was really looking forward to today's announcements. I was hopeful for things like a tablet (iPod Touch but bigger) or a netbook (unlikely to be announced at an iPod-focused show but I could hope) or an iPod Touch with a camera or some similarly cool announcement, after seeing that there was actually very little in the way of new stuff being announced, I must confess, I'm kinda disappointed. Actually, not kinda - I am disappointed.

    Yes, the nano with a camera is cool and all but, if I'm going to buy a new iPod, it'll be a newer, better Touch, not something "less." Ah well...
  • LPs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hardburn ( 141468 ) <[hardburn] [at] []> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:35PM (#29369293)

    Another big new feature: iTunes LPs. These LPs will be a digital album with cover art, lyrics, videos, and other customized content created by the artists themselves

    I read that as "we're giving into the RIAA, who wants people to buy 12 songs at a time, only 2 of which are worth a listen, and which you will be sick of already from being played endlessly on Top 40 radio in between 10 minute commercial breaks and 5 minutes of the DJ talking about their dog."

  • by erac3rx ( 832099 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:35PM (#29369299)
    I never would have believed they would add a video camera to the Nano and not the Touch. That's just dumb. The mid-range model has more functionality than the premium model now.
  • Re:App Store Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Steve Max ( 1235710 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:36PM (#29369323) Journal
    Yes, but they seem to ignore a simple fact: quantity != quality. You can have 21000 games, but only three or four worth playing; this low signal-to-noise ratio is a problem for the DS, and a much bigger one for the iPhone/iPod. Besides, the lack of a conventional input system makes some types of games much less attractive. Imagine FIFA on the iPhone, for example. The iPhone, like all phones, is an alternative casual gaming platform. It's not in the same market as the PSP, or even the DS; just like the Wii didn't stop PS3 or Xbox360 sales. It brings more diversity, but doesn't make a "war" with the other, traditional platforms.
  • Re:ipod touch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:38PM (#29369355)

    You don't decide what you want. Apple decides what you want.

  • Re:LPs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:42PM (#29369421)

    That would be a silly way of reading it, since you can continue to purchase individual tracks. And why are you listening to top 40 radio?

    You don't always have to be contrarian, you know.

  • by pohl ( 872 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:43PM (#29369449) Homepage

    I just can't legitimize spending that sort of money on something like that with [vaporware] around the corner.

    Fixed for brevity

  • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:48PM (#29369529) Homepage Journal

    What are you honestly going to use the extra "power" for? Wouldn't you rather just have something that does its thing really well? And has a gazillion apps available? If you're going to go purely on features for the dollar instead of "brand", you're probably going to buy a SanDisk anyway. Microsoft is in the worst of both worlds here-- they can't compete with Apple in apps, games, usability, or utility, and they can't compete with the smaller Asian manufactures on pure feature checklist length. Unless you put a LOT of extra value in the "Microsoft" label why buy a Zune? (Which is probably why market share goes roughly 74% Apple, 18% "Other", 7% SanDisk, 1% Microsoft.)

  • Double standard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:49PM (#29369537)
    Why is Apple's PR effluence tagged as "announcement" while the equivalent from Redmond is tagged slashvertisement/astroturfing?
    No, I'm not new here, I'm just dense.
  • Re:What day is it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:03PM (#29369773) Homepage Journal

    How do you pick that up on a device that's less than 10 centimeters long?

    You use the "grounding" or "common" conductor in the headphone lead. That's plenty long enough.

  • Re:LPs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:07PM (#29369841)

    You know that they've been selling music by the album for quite some time, right?

    Some albums have a pdf "booklet". LP is probably just a way of getting all the extras packaged together so that the devices (and not just a computer) can handle them.

  • by BigT ( 70780 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:22PM (#29370109)

    Do they have to put a camera in everything? And will I be able to get a nano without a camera? When almost all cell phones have cameras, does my mp3 player need one, too?

    This is a problem only because I work someplace that I can't bring any sort of camera into for security reasons. It's already almost impossible to find a decent cell phone that doesn't have a camera. Now, they're going to make it so I can't get a good music player, also.

  • by Ma8thew ( 861741 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:27PM (#29370169)
    Did you even read my fucking post? If not why are you replying to it?
  • by Ma8thew ( 861741 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:31PM (#29370251)
    I'll reply by posting the same thing another commenter did. The EFF says it is not DRM []. It is a controller chip with no encryption.
  • by mrdoogee ( 1179081 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:31PM (#29370253)

    Why YOU would want it? I don't know. I don't know you.

    The average end user wants iPod + iTunes becasue it is easy to use, and designed to work together from the onset. You can buy an app or a track, download it and load it to your media player all through the same application. Its Apple's "walled garden" approach. You can't do everything (not by a long shot) but what it does is easy for the end user to understand.

    Apple isn't after the average /.er, they are after the millions of people who use a computer because they HAVE to, not so much because they want to.

  • by anegg ( 1390659 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:58PM (#29370641)

    I have an iPod because I like to listen to my music at work and in my car. I ripped my CDs to iTunes long before I had an iPod, so that I could listen to them using a SLIMP3 on my living room stereo. I like using my Mac to rip and store my music because its my preferred home computer and it works.

    Now that my life has become complicated enough to warrant keeping a personal calendar (two kids in elementary school and with extra-curricular activities that need to be coordinated between my wife and myself, my work/activity schedule, my wife's work/activity schedule) and an Address Book (school and business phone numbers) I have found myself using my (older) iPod for its calendar and contacts information as well as for music (I used it for carrying around photos, too, but thats not a significant use for me).

    I'm VERY interested in the higher-capacity iPod Touch so that I can a) still carry around all my music on a flash-based music device, b) access my calendar and contacts information in a more friendly fashion, and c) make use of the WiFi-based Internet access; all from a single device that integrates nicely with the home computer that my wife and I use to organize ourselves.

    A reference to iTunes and its inflated prices or reduced selection is a non-sequitur; one need not purchase anything through iTunes in order to use iTunes or the iPod. I have over 4,000 songs (all legally purchased) in my library, and I've only ever purchased one song over iTunes - it was a song my daughter needed for a dance rehersal, and I didn't want to buy a whole album for just the one song for a limited time period.

    I spend enough time hacking around with computers at work. When I get home, I want my home computer and associated peripheral devices to just work, with no hassles. Apple provides that experience quite well, and has (relative to other choices) done so for me since 1987 when I purchased a Macintosh Plus for school.

    If I were younger and had more free time, I would probably really enjoy creating the same type of environment using free and open source software. I'm busy by choice doing too many other things, however, so I buy consumer products that take care of those things for me.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:14PM (#29370923)
    The nano is popular for people to workout with, it's also significantly cheaper than the touch.
  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:31PM (#29371203) Homepage

    If you don't treat end users like mushrooms, that's not such a big deal.

    Before the market settled down. When many of these devices were using pre-USB
    interfaces. Before there was standarization, there was a certain point to Apple's
    walled garden.

    If you do anything besides buy from iTunes, it all comes crashing down. This is
    especially true for video. A more flexible, less picky more standards driven
    device is actually less trouble to manage if you decide to buy your videos cheaper
    at Amazon.

    Amazon has much better recommendation system too.

    "Genius" is more like Forrest Gump.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:47PM (#29371437) Homepage

    The reason you keep getting modded as a troll is that you keep making trollish claims, such as the chip cannot be reverse engineered due to DMCA, even after you are shown links that explain why you are wrong.

    The chip is a controller chip. There is nothing in the DMCA that prohibits reverse engineering controller chips.

  • Re:What day is it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mako1138 ( 837520 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @05:05PM (#29371685)

    Are companies actually integrating these products? -24 dBi performance isn't so hot, though it would probably be good enough for an urban area. I expect that a headphone cable would do better. []

  • Re:FLAC support? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @06:23PM (#29372689)

    By the trouble it takes to do the conversion of tens of thousands of files to another format.

    That's not what lock-in means. It would be lock-in if Apple implemented some mechanism to keep you from converting to another format. As it is you can just set your jukebox player to batch convert and go get coffee. Try not to misuse terms so incorrectly, it verges on flamebait because it is so misinformative. DRM'd AAC, absolutely can be considered lock-in. WMA yup. ALAC, no.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:49PM (#29373405)

    The problem with your story is one that is repeated over and over in different forms but all are based on the same theme. You went down the list of functions that the iPod touch does and restated it as a list of exactly what you want it to do. Nothing more and nothing less. I'd be willing to bet that your list of "wants" changes the minute that Apple releases a newer version that does something additional like Apple was reading your mind. I remember back when the big story was an iPod was just music player, the story then was "I just want a simple easy to use music player", no one wanted internet, fm radio, video, no need for more than 4GB, those things would just "clutter" it up and make it not as simple and elegant.

    If you think using other non Apple devices requires "hacking" to get to work, you have the problem. My kids are 8 and 9 and they use A Sansa device and have no problems managing their music with Rhapsody. To be quite honest, I stick to keeping my contacts and calander on my phone or using any web based service like gmail or yahoo and seemlessly syncing them with what ever device I am using at the time.

  • by gbarules2999 ( 1440265 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @08:39PM (#29373785)
    There used to be a point to Apple's walled garden. Now devices and software has caught up. Windows Media Player is now passable at managing players and their databases (and most people can use them pretty well - they're not as obtuse as they were a few years ago), and companies like Sandisk have made some great gizmos at half the price of Apple's usual. Maybe Apple is riding the high right now, but I can't see how that will never change in the future.

    Heck, all I saw at the press conference of note was them adding all of the features the Sansa Clip and pretty much all of its peers have had for years to the Nano (aside from the video camera, which seems interestingly pointless). Apple, play catch-up? Welcome to the future. Hope you like your stay.
  • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:28PM (#29374121)

    I agree so much with your statement but I have such a hard time comprehending why Apple needs me to login to iTunes in order to share my music with myself on other systems.

    Or, why I have to load iTunes to transfer a song to my iPod/iPhone. Why can't I transfer a file through bluetooth? Why not a word/OO.o document? Why do I need an APP for that?

    Fortunately I love computers and have not limited myself to "JUST WORK" or " PLUG AND PLAY" technology so I can solve stupid problems such as iTunes sharing music with ALL my systems and my children's systems. Be they Linux, Windows, FreeBSD or what not. That fact is there is no such thing as "JUST WORK" and when things are broken by design by Apple and Microsoft it can get very frustrating.

    I have one music library and I share it with the household PS3, Wii, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, iPods, iPhones, Nokias, and Macs in the house. We share the same music. Unfortunately it took a lot of time and energy to be configured to JUST WORK. No thanks to Apple.

  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <> on Thursday September 10, 2009 @07:25AM (#29376655) Homepage

    I don't know if you realize it or not, but Windows Mobile is a 10+ year old platform. The number of apps available for it dwarf the number of apps for the iPhone, and that is before you subtract the over 90% of iPhone apps that are useless sound makers and/or trial versions of software.

    On top of that I can write my own app and have it published on my website without getting Apple, or Microsoft, or anyone else involved or approving it, and people can install it on their phone as simply as a double click on the EXE. Or, if I CHOOSE to, I can publish it to the MS app store as well.

    The only people who think the iTunes app store is superior to the windows mobile world are the people who have never had a windows mobile device and thus have no idea what they are missing.

    You don't see front page slashdot articles about C64 emulators being rejected from the Windows Mobile app store for two reasons - for one, it's been around since 2004. For two, you don't need any approval to do anything on a windows mobile device, you can write any software you damn well please.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @09:50AM (#29377889) Homepage

    It is not a lie.

    iTunes does not handle arbitrary video files.

    Individual iPods don't handle arbitrary video files or codec settings withing an individual codec.


    The fact that you mention "Handbrake" is a very nice abdication on that point.

    Once you try to point to a 3rd party tool, the entire iTunes paradigm is a big FAIL.

    You're too busy drinking the cool-aid to treat iTunes critically.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?