Apple: New Nanos & ITunes On The Way
Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco at an event thrown this morning to show off the company's latest hardware and software for music fans.
The company has a new line of Nanos on the way, which Jobs touted as the thinnest ever. The new players will have motion-sensing technology built in, with a screen image that adjusts appropriately when the device is held sideways. The new models come in eight colors and should be available in the next few days, he said.
Some of the latest stats from Apple: ITunes now offers over 8.5 million songs, 125,000 podcasts, 30,000 TV shows, 2,600 movies and -- for iPhone and iPod touch owners -- 3,000 software applications.
Jobs said that iPod and iPhone users have downloaded 100 million copies of the software applications in Apple's recently launched "App Store" though he did not break out how many of those were for free software and how many were purchased software.
There's a new version of iTunes on the way, too: iTunes 8. For iPod owners wanting to throw together playlists quickly, Jobs showed off a new feature in that software called Genius, which anonymously compiles information from iPod owners' music tastes in order to cleverly throw together songlists of like-minded artists. In Jobs' presentation, he used the feature, while playing a Bob Dylan song to assemble a playlist on the fly with artists such as Joan Baez and Paul Simon.
For iPhone owners, there's a new version of the operating software that should fewer dropped calls, fewer software crashes and a longer battery life. The update is scheduled to become available online Friday.
Jobs had a bit of content news for the iTunes store as well. Shows from NBC are coming back to iTunes, he said. The network had pulled it shows off the online store after complaining that it wanted more control over how its offerings are priced.
Apple wrapped up the presentation by talking a bit about the iPhone as a game device, with a demonstration of a racing game, a soccer game and the iPhone version of the recently-released Spore.
Jobs' health has been the matter of much discussion lately. He still looked gaunt yesterday, and he referred to the speculation dismissively before moving on the company's iPod and iTunes announcements.
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," read an early slide in the presentation.
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