Apple’s 2010 Music Event: The Big Picture Summary | iLounge News

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Apple’s 2010 Music Event: The Big Picture Summary

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2010
News Categories: Apple

Apple’s 2010 Music Event is over, and as expected, it brought new iPod models, a new Apple TV, and a new version of iTunes—plus information on iOS versions 4.1 and 4.2. Here’s a quick summary of the key announcements, with a convenient gallery of photographs.

Fourth-Generation iPod shuffle: $49 (2GB). After the huge flop of the third-generation shuffle, Apple has switched the body completely, with a new design that preserves all of the buttons on the face like the iPod shuffle 1G and 2G. It’s now available in five colors, all polished aluminum. Has VoiceOver and a tiny microphone-sized dot on the top.

Second-Generation Apple TV: Now $99. Loses hard drive and “syncing” capability, loses component outputs, gains more powerful streaming from iOS devices with 802.11n wireless, retains seven-button metal Apple Remote design that was introduced last year but not packaged with Apple TV. Plasticy black shell, 1/4 the size of prior Apple TV. Netflix streaming for Netflix subscribers is included as a new feature.

Sixth-Generation iPod nano: $149 (8GB) - $179 (16GB). Over 40% smaller and lighter than before. Seemingly loses video and camera capabilities while becoming a screened, more expensive alternative to the iPod shuffle with greater capacity. iOS-style multi-touch icon interface with four icons on screen at once, toggling from color home screens back to white backgrounds with black text for menus. Clip on back, available in seven colors, all anodized aluminum.

Fourth-Generation iPod touch: $229 (8GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB). All three versions gain a Retina Display (960x640 resolution), front and rear video cameras, a rear microphone, and a bottom speaker vent, with a redesigned rear shell that makes the latest version slightly thinner than before. Contains an Apple A4 chip for faster/more efficient processing, and runs iOS 4.1 out of the box. Note that the rear still photo camera is considerably more limited than the ones on any iPhone to date, with 0.7-Megapixel resolution that falls short of even the original iPhone’s camera.

iOS 4.1 and 4.2: iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4 users, plus iPod touch 2G, 3G and 4G users get iOS 4.1, which has bug fixes and a HDR photo mode for devices with cameras. iOS 4.2 is coming in November to add all new iOS 4 features to the iPad as well, including streaming to the Apple TV, multitasking, folders, threaded mail, and the like. It’s unclear whether some prior iPhone and iPod touch models (3G and 2G respectively) will be able to run iOS 4.2.

iTunes 10. Adds Ping, a social network for music, and Hybrid View, which combines album art and text listings sort of like iOS devices. Unlike the other devices and software, it’s available today.

New! Editorial: How Apple Killed $99 and $199 iPods + More. Details on subtle and not-subtle changes to the iPod lineup that may affect your holiday shopping.

In addition to the story links above, the transcript of our live event play-by-play is available here if you want to dive into the nitty gritty of the event, which ended with a live performance by Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

« New iPods, Apple TV now available for pre-order

Complete transcript of Apple’s Fall 2010 iPod event »

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Comments

1

What happened to iLife?  I thought there was going to be an update announced today.  I hope there is still one coming soon.

Posted by CAhmed on September 1, 2010 at 12:17 PM (PDT)

2

Still no apps for Apple TV?  Will the new hardware and software ultimately make it possible, or can it stream all content from my iPad.  I’m confused, and possibly disappointed.

Posted by Mwrg on September 1, 2010 at 12:22 PM (PDT)

3

Does the lack of iPod Classic news today signify the end of the line? Will there be clearances of Classics in stock to this point?

Posted by Farnsworth on September 1, 2010 at 12:57 PM (PDT)

4

Farnsworth - my view is that the Classic is what keeps the storage capacity of the Touch so low. If they bumped the Touch up to 128GB, that would effectively make the Classic expendable. I personally think that is the way it will (or should) go. I guess the Classic has at least one more year of life.

Posted by Mitch on September 1, 2010 at 1:59 PM (PDT)

5

With all these new products and new software, how soon before the bugs are reported, systems crash, and we have to wait for iOS4.2.1.5a AND iTunes 10.0.9.c (build 582920) to get everything to work?

I think they’ve bit off more than they can chew this time. Too many hardware and software updates are going to cause too many conflicts and many frustrated customers.

Posted by Jonathan Saltzman on September 1, 2010 at 2:14 PM (PDT)

6

The new AppleTV is a particularly bad deal for users outside the US. We don’t get Netflix, we probably won’t get the equivalent of the 99c TV rentals, the range of HD movies for rent is much smaller and we get charged the equivalent of $150 for the ‘$99 AppleTV’. No thanks.

Posted by Jonathan on September 1, 2010 at 3:23 PM (PDT)

7

True enough.  Unless you’re in the market for a smaller Apple TV unit, there’s little advantage from most of what has been announced today.  However, the new Apple TV will continue to work with streamed content from iTunes in much the same way as the current model does, so anything you buy from your local iTunes Store is still going to play on the Apple TV—you’ll just lose the ability to actually buy content directly from the UI.

Apple is also pretty good at getting content out on the international iTunes Store, at least compared to the competition, so the TV show rentals may eventually appear elsewhere, but I’m not expecting them on day one.  Further, Netflix is also rumoured to be expanding into Canada in the near future, and who knows what their plans are from there.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 1, 2010 at 3:35 PM (PDT)

8

Where do you download iTunes 10? The only thing I’m seeing on the apple site is 9.2.1 It would be awesome if we could use it though.

Posted by John on September 1, 2010 at 3:58 PM (PDT)

9

For those, like me, with a loaded 160GB Classic, a 128GB Touch wouldn’t make the Classic expendable and the 64GB Touch doesn’t even come close. If my 3 year old Classic died or were lost, I don’t think a 128GB Touch at, say, $399 (if we were very lucky) would be a fair trade for a 160GB Classic at $249.

I can’t see Apple just flushing the Classic owners and telling them to get an expensive Touch with lower capacity. Personally, I was hoping for a 320GB Classic with Bluetooth; that would have been enough for me to seriously consider an immediate upgrade. However, if these features don’t come to the Classic now, then when? Maybe never?

The iPod Touch looks like a wonderful, even fantastic, device and, I would think, the future of the iPod. But, Apple will have to get the capacity way higher (about 3x) than it is now before I’d consider replacing my Classic with it. I really hope Apple gets this done before my Classic wears out. In the mean time, it seems the inexpensive HD in the Classic will keep it alive. So, I’ll just have to be patient and expect that Apple will take care of us Classic owners in the not-too-far-off future.

I’ve got the same issue with the iPad. I’d have to start a subset of my iTunes library if I bought a 64GB iPad.

Posted by MelM on September 1, 2010 at 5:13 PM (PDT)

10

Interesting indeed.  I did watch the event streaming on my trusty ol’ MacBook Pro during lunch at work, as I was very curious to see what Apple comes up with.  I am actually pretty excited about the iPod Touch.  I was thinking that if the thing indeed came with all the rumoured features (the “retina” display, camera, gyroscopic sensors, etc), than I may seriously consider an upgrade from my current 2nd Generation iPod Touch.  Kinda bummed there is no GPS in the iPod Touch, though.  That would’ve been sweet. Also bummed that the camera is pretty chincy looking with only being a .7 megapixel.  Would’ve been nice if it was at least 2 megapixels, or even the same 5 megapixel as on the iPhone 4.

As was said in comment #9, I was also kinda hoping for a 320 gig “classic” with bluetooth.  In addition to my iPod Touch, I also have a 160 gig iPod Classic, although mine is only about 90 gigs full.  If I actually got to ripping in the rest of these CDs that I have in my fairly large collection, I could easily fill it up plus some.  Actually I have two 160 gig Classics, but the hard drive in one of them died (which is why I have a second one).  May just have to go and get a replacement hard drive for that first one and so I can repair it and use it again.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on September 1, 2010 at 7:46 PM (PDT)

11

I fail to understand why they refuse to offer a larger capacity Nano. Is it too much to ask for 20-30 gigs of flash memory, rather than a fancy new design every 2 years? How many people prefer to buy an updated version of something, only to find they need to buy all new things to dock it on and cover it with?

Posted by NaiS on September 1, 2010 at 7:59 PM (PDT)

12

SkiBumMSP,

I also love to watch movies on my 160GB Classic. Right now, I have to leave some of them off when I sync (I won’t leave off any music). Anyway, another nice wish would be for a Touch-sized screen with a touch interface. However, the fact that we didn’t even get Bluetooth this year has me thinking that we’re not going to get anything next year either. We really haven’t gotten anything in 3 years. My Sept 2007 Classic is, so far as I know, not obsolete in any way.

80 and 120GB Classic owners with loaded iPods, who were hoping to upgrade to Touch (still at 64GB), must also be disappointed. If they need a capacity upgrade, the 160GB is the only option. The whole iPod line has been sitting at 160GB max (except for 120GB in 2008) for 3 years. I’m feeling the pinch.

Posted by MelM on September 1, 2010 at 8:27 PM (PDT)

13

MelM: Just to clarify, I was not saying that the Classic does not fill a need right now. Honestly, a 320GB Classic would sell. Some people really do have that much music. But I do think that is the minority. The impression I get from a lot of reading and browsing boards is that most people fall below the 128GB that a Touch SHOULD be. I am a little surprised that you watch movies on your Classic. I have an 80GB 5th Gen and can not stand watching more than a music video on it. I did get through some episodes of The Office, but not without wishing I had a better/bigger screen (a la the iPhone or Touch). But, again, you do have a point about those that have very large libraries. A 128GB max would not do. Bt Apple does not always concern itself with the “fringe” market. If enough units are not moving (which I feel would happen with the introduction of a 128GB Touch), Apple would cut the Classic like so much dead weight. That was the point I was going for originally.

Posted by Mitch on September 2, 2010 at 4:40 AM (PDT)

14

The new nano is basically a very VERY expensive Shuffle with a screen, something people have been wanting since the original Shuffle came out several years ago.  I will be keeping my last year’s nano forever I guess, since I enjoy watching video on it occasionally. 

The new AppleTV does not interest me in the least.  I do not do pay-per-view, which is essentially what it offers, and my current AppleTV, which stores and syncs all of my media with my computer, is just fine.  I don’t want to have to leave my computer on all the time in order to watch or listen to something on my stereo and HDTV in the living room.  That’s silly.

Posted by Glenn on September 2, 2010 at 5:05 AM (PDT)

15

Mitch, while true that folks with large music libraries may fall in the “minority”, the point of a 128GB Touch is not JUST for the music. With HD Video Recording, Movies, Pictures, Audiobooks…as well as music, 128GB is the sweet spot for those that are maxing out their 64GB Touch. True, maybe most folks won’t ever max out 128GB, but with everything else I just mentioned, they will get close. The iPod Classic, of course, is an alternative. But the failure rate for a hard drive is too much NOT to want to invest in a flash-based player. It’s time Mr. Jobs gives us a 128GB Touch.

Posted by Angel on September 2, 2010 at 7:16 AM (PDT)

16

was there any mention of what will happen to existing Apple TVs? Will they just get a software update?

And did anyone ask if the new iPod Touch models are just as fast as the iPhone 4, or a little slower?

Posted by Jason on September 2, 2010 at 9:57 AM (PDT)

17

I Am Saving Money For The Itouch 4

Posted by Your Mom on September 2, 2010 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

18

For most of you that are wanting the 128GB iPod Touch I understand why but the reason it is not an option is simply the cost and product segmentation,  Take a look at the 128GB Solid State Drive [Add $300.00] upgrade for MBP, that would put that iPod Touch at about $450.00, dangerously close to the iPad. It will not be until a significant drop in the price of high capacity SSD creates the opportunity for a Touch with that capacity.

PS I know some would pay that much but Apple would not the crossover of products in their pricing structure. Maybe next year.

Posted by Jason Leaeno on September 2, 2010 at 1:53 PM (PDT)

19

Mitch. You may be correct that 160GB is a fringe market; however, I think Apple needs to support its customers by, at least, continuing with a 160GB Classic until the Touch can match that capacity. Since the 64GB Touch is $399, I’m really not optimistic about even getting to 128GB soon, let alone getting to 160GB. Going from 32GB to 64GB costs $100, so, going up by another 64GB looks formidable at this time. I guess it’s the cost of flash memory that has the iPod and iPad lines stuck at 64GB. Another thing to consider is that, if there’s capacity, content will likely follow. Check out the sizes of the HD movies on iTunes: 3, 4, 5GB! Probably very nice on the new Touch display, but…

Movies and TV shows on an iPod Classic? Oh yes! However, there’s a video setting for “full screen”, and, without using this setting, a widescreen movie is a ridiculous narrow band. Here’s where a Touch-sized screen would be really nice. Of course, the iPad would be a great movie machine, but the $699 price for a 64GB Wi-Fi only device is pretty steep.

If Apple wanted to invest more in the Classic, a Touch-sized screen, 320GB, and Bluetooth would be a way to go. (There are Bluetooth powered speaker systems now, but my main interest is getting rid of the damn earphone cords—guess I’ll have to try one of those Bluetooth gadgets for the iPod.) Since the Classic hasn’t gotten any new goodies in 3 years, I suspect none of this will happen, although Apple can see the market much better than I can. I’m fine with Apple putting all there R&D apples into the Touch and iPad; I just don’t want them to forget me and forget that I really would like an upgrade path and am ready to retire my Classic when that happens.

Really though, attracting people out on a 160GB limb then sawing it off would be kinda disappointing unless Apple was getting into serious losses trying to support the Classic while a 160GB Touch was not in sight. Ya, they’d have to quit somewhere.

Posted by MelM on September 2, 2010 at 2:28 PM (PDT)

20

if you have an ipod touch and have insurance on it and then you loose it, break it,or something wrong happens ,when they replace it will they give me the model i had before or will they give me the newer released model.

Posted by donavon on September 2, 2010 at 2:51 PM (PDT)

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