It came and went pretty quickly. But like every other Apple event, a lot of people were left scratching their heads, wondering just how important a lot of news will be for Apple’s future.
Probably the biggest surprise of the day came when Steve Jobs walked out on stage and played moderator for the event. It was pretty unexpected for many, despite rumours that he would be present at the event. I have to admit, it was nice seeing him up there again. We love the Schiller as much as the next guy, but it’s just not the same without Jobs being all dramatic up there.
Outside of that, there wasn’t really many surprises. It’s looking more and more like Apple’s having a hard time plugging all of its leaky holes, some of which appear to be pretty big.
We got an iPhone and Touch OS update. We’re now standing at 3.1, and a lot of the features that were listed on the release highlight some new functionality additions for the iTunes update. Of course, the update was as cryptic as always, and we suspect that it also addresses a number of bugs in the 3.0 release.
The first major announcement of the day came pretty early. iTunes 9 got a major overhaul. It makes sense once everyone realized that it was the only native application that remained non-cocoa when Apple released Snow Leopard.
New Stuff in iTunes 9
There’s been some speculation that Apple has been attempting to create a new file format that will let them add album information to files, and if that’s the case, this is pretty much the first step. They’ve taken the album experience of old and made it new again. One of the biggest memories from my teenage years was exploring album artwork on my father’s vinyl collection, and to get that back again is pretty great. We’ll now get access to liner notes, lyrics, performance videos, and photos. It’s like having the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in your pocket.
Previously, we were able to move files from one library to another, and then authenticate with Apple if we planned on listening to the files on the second machine. They’ve streamlined the process, and we now have the ability to sync our stuff, and import files in a much simpler manner.
Just like the iTunes LP stuff, we’re getting more information for our video purchases through iTunes. It looks like Apple’s thinking about taking on Blu-ray directly now, and they’ve started with adding all the DVD extras to your digital files. Think of a fully functional DVD, but digital. It’s pretty enticing to most.
I’m not a big Genius fan, but a lot of people swear by them, and this feature is the next logical extension of that. You can create up to 12 mixes and have them sync with your iPhone or iPod.
They completely revamped the way you sync your media with your mobile device. They’ve given us a nice GUI to rearrange our AppStore purchases, and a completely new framework for all the other media that we’re trying to toss onto our devices. It’s a logical next step.
New iPod Touch
The iPod Touch got a price point update, and some new hardware. The 8GB model is now $199; 32 GB is $299; 64GB is $399. A nice little slide for the storage bump. All things considered, not much has changed. The Touch didn’t even get a camera! It’s also been given a 50% speed increase, and they’re really starting to market these as “pocket computers”, so it could be a sign of things to come. *Ahem* Tablet *Ahem*
Shuffles and Classic get an update
Shuffles have been price dropped to $50.00, but ultimately remain the same. The only exception here is the Special Edition model that’s 4gb in Space and polished chrome–for 99 bones. They must be going for the business crowd here.
The biggest news of the day is that the Nano line is getting video cameras. They’ll be bundled with some effects (Thermal, Mirror, X Ray, Motion Blue, Sepia, and Cyborg), and be a one click upload away from YouTube. They also now have Nike Plus built in as well as an FM turner. I’m pretty stoked about this. Might just have to go pick one up!