Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New iPods and iTunes 8

Apple held a conference today, and with it came the announcement of brand new iPod models and colors, as well as a new iTunes.

The biggest announcement of the event, and obviously most evolved product is the new iPod nano.

Returning to the tall shape the nano was meant to be, the iPod now features a rounded shape, as well as a longer screen. With this longer screen, you now have the same view that iPod Touches and iPhones enjoy. That also includes the accelorometer, for turn-style widescreen viewing as well as other nifty features. For instance, to shuffle to a random song, just give the iPod a shake, and there you go. As you can see, it's available in a whopping 9 different colors, so now you can't complain. And in another crazy twist, all colors are available in both the 8GB and 16GB models. For full info, specs, and a video tour check Apple.com - iPod nano.

Next up in the new design division is the redesigned iPod touch. Although not a major overhaul like the nano, the touch takes a design cue from the recently released iPhone 3G and has a rounded back, thought it's still relatively thinner than the iPhone because it lacks the phone aspect. And unlike the 3G, there are no color options for the touch, just the standard chrome backing. However, like the iPhone, the touch now features a built in speaker for listen without headphones. There's also a longer battery life, and a new interface for Nike + iPod for you joggers. For full info, and specs, check Apple.com - iPod touch.

The iPod classic doesn't get a fancy sleek design like its brethren, but it still get's tech on. The only major addition to the classic's firmware is the new Genius function that's available across all the new iPod models and iTunes, of which I'll explain afterwards. But Apple's big push with this model is that it "one size fits all" in that there's just one 120GB model, for $249, you just have to choose the color. That makes it the largest iPod available, storage wise; the previous 160GB model is no more. You'll just have to ask yourself if you want more data, or more functionality when it comes to purchase time. For more info, see Apple.com - iPod classic.

This last model is the poor iPod shuffle, who doesn't get much to say. The only difference between these models, and the previous ones, is color. Dropping the dull tone of the last-gen iPods, these new shuffles select a couple colors from the nano's new set. For more see Apple.com - iPod shuffle.

Last, but not least is iTunes 8. This new iTunes boasts the new Genius tool, which is also on all the iPod models, minus the shuffle. What Genius does is, by selecting a song, and then the tool, it will create a playlist of similar tracks based on genre, beats per minute, and other data. With the new Genius sidebar, you can also find similar tracks from the iTunes Store, instead of just your Library. Another feature of this new iTunes is the Grid view, which like Cover Flow, displays all of your albums by there art. This option lets you click an album and instantly play it. The last new feature is the Visualizer, a pretty standard option in most music players, so I'm surprised it has taken this long to hit iTunes. To learn more, and download iTunes 8, click here.

All these iPod models are available now at Apple.com, as well as Apple Stores around the world, and soon at local retailers. For the new iTunes 8, click here.

Personally, I think the new nano is the neatest of the bunch, only because it's so drastically different. I also think that the musical interface of the touch, with the functionality of a classic iPod makes for a great transition between models. But I still have my last-gen iPod touch and 2nd generation nano, and I'm not complaining. However, I'm going to get the new iTunes and I'll be back with impressions later.

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