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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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  • App Store Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:28PM (#29369169)

    If you look at one of the graphs that was shown, this is the first time I can remember that Apple has made a direct comparison to the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, or even to those companies in general. I think this is the opening shot of a new gaming war.

    It will be interesting to see if the app developers can keep up with the DS and PSP developers.

  • Goodbye Flip? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cheefachi ( 970662 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:29PM (#29369187)
    I wonder how much the Flip's marketshare will be affected by the Nano getting a camera. Sure its not HD, but the original Flip was a huge seller and the Nano has that and a lot more while still retaining ease of use (though a single button to record is still probably a bit easier). I know if I were the founders of Pure Digital I am psyched Cisco acquired the company for $600 million a few months *before* this announcement! I wonder how much Cisco would acquire them for now?
  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:35PM (#29369301) Homepage

    Really? They can fit one into the Nano, but not the Touch?

  • 30k Ringtones (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sou11ess ( 942999 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:40PM (#29369403)

    $1.29 Ringtones! It still boggles my mind that people accept this.

    $1.29 for a 30 second sound clip compared to $.99 for the full 2-3 minute song. Insane. You know what would've been nice to have in the 3.1 OS update? The ability to choose a song on your phone and then making it your ringtone.

  • by malevolentjelly ( 1057140 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:43PM (#29369447) Journal

    Well, it's got a pretty hardcore Nvidia Tegra APX, which really slaps the iPod's solution sideways... plus it does have a pretty nice .NET development environment. I develop games... so I do care about this sort of thing.

    Aside from that, it does 720p video out... but I don't have an HDTV so I don't care.

    I am not going to bother defending this device. It's quite speculative since I don't know how Microsoft will position their App market on it. If the device can be App-centric, it has great potential. If it remains media-centric, then it will likely just be a flashy alternative to lower end iPods.

  • Re:30k Ringtones (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Knara ( 9377 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:55PM (#29369631)
    It's trivial to make a ring tone from an arbitrary song [lmgtfy.com] in iTunes.
  • Re:What day is it? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:56PM (#29369639)

    I don't understand how a nano can pick up FM radio. According to my research [google.com], FM band radio in the US can have a wavelength of 3.4 meters. How do you pick that up on a device that's less than 10 centimeters long?

  • Re:App Store Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by samkass ( 174571 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:07PM (#29369847) Homepage Journal

    Not sure about FIFA, but Madden '10 is now for sale for the iPhone, so I suspect it will work just fine for that sort of game. Also available is Civilization Revolution, SimCity 3K, and other major titles. Assassin's Creed was demoed at today's event and the Command and Conquer franchise is coming over, as well as NBA Live. The myth that all the games for the iPhone are homebrew, low-budget Flash-like one-offs is long gone.

    With over 50M devices sold to date that can play iPhone games (iPhone + iPod Touch), they've now got an installed base that's around 1/2 of the Nintendo DS+DSi+Lite. That's impossible for any game manufacturer to ignore.

    It's true that the signal-to-noise (where noise is "something I don't want") is a problem. That's why they added recommendations for games based on past purchases today, and a new "top games by revenue" (rather than just pure #'s) to the store.

  • Re:App Store Games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:13PM (#29369953) Journal
    Besides, the lack of a conventional input system makes some types of games much less attractive.

    One word/acronym: "USB".

    Not that I would buy any iToys just for gaming, but as a (reasonably fair) comparison, my netbook sucks for gaming input as well. One $15 USB gamepad later, though, and I have the entire library of emulated SNES games at my fingertips for some serious wasting of time, without making my shoulders and neck feel like I spent the last week sleeping in a bookcase.

    It actually surprises me that Nintendo and Sony haven't already take the approach of separate display and input devices for portable gaming... Although a little more awkward to carry, most people don't find it comfortable to put their hands together, at arms' length, and stare at that same spot for hours on end.
  • Ticked off (Score:3, Interesting)

    by InklingBooks ( 687623 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:27PM (#29370163)
    Apple has got me so ticked off, I'll probably put my energy into getting a 1-G iPhone cheap and forget buying these ho-hum iPod touches. That way, Apple won't get a penny and I'll probably save money.
    I need a camera, and I need a mike and I don't want to pay AT&T fees. I also need them soon. I thought I would get that in the new touches. Instead, Apple is giving the tiny Nano more features but not the iPod touch. Why? With that tiny 2.2-inch Nano screen you can't see much of what you've taken and the equally tiny battery isn't likely to last long in video mode.
    What's going on? If Apple has production problems with camera-equipped touches, they should say so, give us the details of new touch, and a release date. This cult of secrecy is such a pain. You'd think they were the Kremlin circa 1935. Both have a cult-like obsession with not admitting mistakes.
    Still worse is the possibility that Apple wants to build high walls between its products, doling out features in odd ways to fit a marketing straight-jacket. The iPhone would be for work and business for those with the money. The touch is for games but not recreation, hence the lack of a camera and the boring length of game promotion today. Color touch users fat and flabby couch potatoes. The Nano is for mostly outdoor recreation (camera and Nike added), but has nothing that lets you get work done. If so, it's stupid move.
    To add insult to injury, I just checked the specs on the new touches. The 8 gig model ships with the old-style earphones not the remote earphones and without a plastic dock adapter. Total saving for Apple? Probably about 25 to 50 cents. Cost to customers who don't want to pull their touch out of their pocket every time they pause music: $30 That stinks. Heck, even the cheap little $59 Shuttle ships with remote earphones. While Jobs was gone, the niggling little bean counters seem to have been running Apple. This is the unfortunate result.
    I hate companies that treat their customers as if they were stupid, and that's precisely how I feel Apple is treating its customers now.
  • Re:ipod touch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrdoogee ( 1179081 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:33PM (#29370279)

    Sarcasm aside, I'd buy an iPod touch with a data only 3G connection. I don't want voice service, but I'd love to get on the web from anywhere on my iPod.

  • by RDW ( 41497 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:57PM (#29370629)

    'If you have jury duty, you would be listening to the case being discussed, not your iPod.'

    Well, usually:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jul/10/claredyer.uknews4 [guardian.co.uk]

    "Last Wednesday a defence lawyer thought she caught a glimpse of a wire under the woman's head covering. On several occasions the judge had thought he could hear the faintest "tinny music", but dismissed it as his imagination. Finally, a woman juror sent him a note, claiming her colleague had been listening to her MP3 player during the defendant's evidence."

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL1689542720070816 [reuters.com]

    "Attorney General Baroness Patricia Scotland had "carefully" considered the case and decided not to press criminal charges, saying it would be too difficult to prove if the woman was guilty, a spokeswoman for her office said...The Crown Prosecution Service said there had been contempt cases where people had taken pictures using mobile phones in court, but it was believed to be the first of its kind involving a juror suspected of listening to music."

  • Re:Goodbye Flip? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:11PM (#29370875)

    To be fair, for the price of the iPod Nano, which captures in VGA resolution, you can get a Flip with better optics and bigger sensor that records in 720p HD. Not to say that it's not nice to have video on the Nano, only that it's not going to impact the market that much.

    I think it will. More people are going to have an iPod than a video camera, and if the iPod comes with a video camera built-in, there's much less incentive to buy a Flip. Especially when the iPod is 1/10th the volume.

  • by AgentGibbled ( 688180 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:20PM (#29371037)

    Ah yes. It's completely unreasonable for anyone to expect Apple to make a version of their phones with a CDMA (ie. the "wrong standard") radio in it. It's not like any other phone manufacturers build handsets for both standards. Certainly not RIM, Samsung, Palm, Motorola, etc.... Oh wait.

    I'm not saying that there's anything _wrong_ with Apple's decision to only address part of the market. If they had to pick only one technology, they'll obviously pick the one with the biggest customer base.

    What I'm saying is that the AC's implication that it is somehow strange for DarthVain to expect a phone to support more than one network is kind of ridiculous. It's not strange at all. In fact, Apple is pretty much the only phone manufacturer that sells into North America that doesn't also make CDMA phones. This fact will cost them some sales from people like DarthVain. They obviously know this, and are apparently okay with it.

    It is also fairly annoying that it's necessary to hack the phone (jailbreak, whatever) to make it work with an otherwise compatible GSM network though. Vendor lock-in is pretty much par for the course with Apple stuff, though. It's part of why I don't really own any.

  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @05:12PM (#29371805)

    Because they are apparently having manufacturing problems with it.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/07/technical_issues_could_delay_ipod_camera_upgrade.html [appleinsider.com]

    If they did not have a hard ship date for that product, I think they would pull it from the presentation rather than announce it was coming "sometime." I would look for an iTouch with camera and faster internals to be announced for the holidays.

  • by gun26 ( 151620 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:00PM (#29373045)
    They rolled Steve out of his iron lung for this tame stuff? Even the fanboys must have been falling asleep at the event. Today's non-news was very much of a piece with the Snow Leopard glorified-service-pack-for-$30. C'mon Steve, give us the damn tablet already!
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @07:19PM (#29373195) Homepage

    OK, the FM radio is "pausable", which means the data goes into storage. And there's automatic song identification for stations sending that info on a subcarrier.

    Now, what is Apple forbidding you from doing? Can you load songs from the FM radio into your song library? Automatically? Can you fast forward through commercials? If not, will Apple complain when third party applications add those features? Apple wouldn't like "Turn it on, and watch it fill up with the latest music. For free.".

    That's legal, by the way, under the Audio Home Recording Act, [wikipedia.org] as long as you don't redistribute the files.

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