iPods and iTunes and movies, oh my!

Hello everyone, I know this isn't exactly a particularly thoughtful post, but for those of you who use iTunes for your music (and movie) collections, this may be interesting to note. So today (Sept 12th), Apple released a slew of iPod-related things. The new iPod nano has doubled in capactiy (all three sizes) from 1,2, and 4 GB to 2,4, and 8 GB. They keep the same price points as their respective counterparts (150 for the 2gb, 200 for hte 4gb, and 250 for the 8gb). They come in a smattering of colors, much like the old iPod mini before them, but you can only get the black nano when purcahsing the 8gb (much like the black MacBook, I see). They are the same size as the old nano, but the screen is clearer and brighter. Oh, and a 24 hour battery life!

The iPod shuffle (you know, the one that looks like a stick of gum) has DRAMATICALLY dropped in size. We have to wait a few more weeks to get it (ships in October), but oh man is this the smallest mp3 player ever. It has an integrated belt clip, and even with that, it's about 1.5 inches wide, 1 inch tall, and less than .5 inches tall. Yes, that's right, LESS THAN 1 CUBIC INCH!!! 1gb of storage for 80 bucks. http://apple.com/ipodshuffle

The new iPod have a 60% brighter screen, massively improved battery life, full song searching (much like the search function in iTunes), gapless playback on tracks that need to be gapless, and of course, games. I got Zuma and put it on my iPod... I've scared myself.

New version of iTunes, number 7. Changes the green icon to blue, which it actually used to be in Version 1. The user interface is pretty different, the scrollbars have different textures, etc. New tools include "Views", allowing you to switch from the basic list view to "album view", where all the tracks are set alongside their album art, to "CoverFlow mode" where you can 'flip' through your albums. It's hard to describe, but very cool. iPod management has been very much improved.

One of the cool new things about the new iTunes store is that every video has quadrupled in resolution: 320x240 to 640x480. The bigger news is that iTunes is now selling full-length movies. Right now, there are only about 75 movies up, all from Disney and Co., but they're there. Prices are just at or a little under DVD prices, which is pretty cool. First releases and pre-orders are 12.99. Most archived movies are 9.99. Apprently when movies come out in shelves, they will be out in the iTunes Movie Store. You can also start watching a movie while it's downloading, which should take about 1 hour or so.

Wee!!! However, the coolest announcment is that Apple is making plans (or is already under development) of a product code-named 'iTv', which plans to be a consumer-friendly media center application/computer. It seems that Apple is taking a stab at the whole home media center market. Yeesh, just watched the keynote.. Only has HDMI/Component Video/Audio. Not for us cheapos.... :(

Well, that's all for tonight. Have fun folks!