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


Apple’s 2010 Music Event: The Big Picture Summary

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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Apples product line strategy is now a page out of General Motors. Offer something for everyone, dummy down the performance, hold the price and slowly introduce improvements. Worse, excuses for quality problems, charge for a decent warrantee (apple care).

The best in class in the new offerings is the I-Pod touch.  The notion of a huge amount of storage on a I-Pod is obsolete.

Posted by Oldgeek on September 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM (CDT)


#12 - MelM.  Yeah, I use my 160 gig Classic purely for music.  Even with over 10,000 tracks on the thing, I am only using a little bit over 90 gigs.  In fact, it probably spends the majority of its time in the glove box of my car or truck, hooked up to the stereo while commuting to work.  In a couple of weeks, even that won’t be feasible anymore as due to my company needing to move to a new location (out grew its present location - there were only 10 of us when I came on-board - now, three years and a couple of million dollars later, there are now over 30 of us), my commute will be only a mile to work.  In that case, it will be the bicycle most of the time.

I’ve only tried video on the Classic a couple of times, primarily to see how it worked.  I just could not get into it on the rinky-dinky little screen, even with the use of a good pair of headphones.  To me it was kinda like having this totally kick-butt home theater/surround sound setup at the house, but only having a 26-inch TV to show the movies on.  I know - I had this ridiculous Klipsch setup, but only this crappy little TV until I finally invested in a 55-inch High-Def display. 

Video is so much better on my 2nd gen 32-gig iPod Touch.  Actually, when I am in a position to watch video, ie, long flights, I typically have my laptop (a MacBook Pro)  with me anyway, so I just watch them there.

But yeah, if you start adding video into the mix, I can see how filling up even 160 gigs can be done.  My 32-gig iPod Touch can seem pretty tight when start throwing video files on there.  As for the future of the iPod Classic, this is my guess.  I figure next year, they will introduce some kind of special 10th anniversary edition (as the original iPod came out in October of 2001) and that will probably be it.  Figure in a couple of years, flash memory should start getting cheap enough that we may very well start seeing the 128 gig (or more) iPod Touch.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on September 2, 2010 at 9:47 PM (CDT)


#20 - From my personal experience, dealing with an iPod Touch that upped and died on me (but, thankfully, still under warranty), they just replaced it with the same, identical model (typically a refurb).  Sorry, no “free” upgrades.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on September 2, 2010 at 9:50 PM (CDT)


Yikes…a 0.7 megapixel camera…baby steps…Apple’s already planning ahead for the 5G Touch, I see. At least they recognized the failure of the Dentyne Shuffle even if there are still more enticing alternatives from other brands IMHO. The new nano is intriguing, although losing vid playback seems a step backwards in functionality.

@ #18: The current iPad will NEVER have something that the Touch in all of its iterations has in spades: a pocket-friendly size. For that sort of portability there’s nothing inherently “dangerous” price-wise about that. There are people who value that kind of compactness.

Posted by make_or_break on September 3, 2010 at 12:08 AM (CDT)


when with the 4th gen ipod touch be available in new york?

Posted by casey on September 3, 2010 at 9:27 AM (CDT)


try the apple site to buy you ipod
I can already bye it online in canada

Posted by jake on September 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM (CDT)


“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.”

Why? Where else are you going to go? Apple won this market battle, there is no one else with a large capacity device in the portable media player class. The market simply does’t exist. Everyone else gave up some time ago and Apple, who has the day by day, week by week sales numbers to back up their belief, hasn’t considered the market worth doing more than a token tweak to the classic in four years it’s so small

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on September 3, 2010 at 4:30 PM (CDT)


Will there be a 3g version of the new ipod with data plan options to take advantage of the email option?

Posted by Ken Jordan on September 3, 2010 at 9:44 PM (CDT)


#28 - Not very likely.  For that I think they will just want you to get an iPhone.

I’ll be looking forward to the iLounge reviews of these new iPods.  I am still seriously considering replacing my 2nd gen iPod Touch with this new 4th gen one.  I’ll wait to see the reviews before I drop that kind of coin and what is essentially a plaything to me (although it has come in quite handy at work with the VNC client, as the equipment that I develop software for is a “headless” unit (no screen) for which I need to access via VNC).

Posted by SkiBumMSP on September 4, 2010 at 12:14 AM (CDT)


might the 4th gen itouch be available in NY by this week?

Posted by casey on September 4, 2010 at 3:19 AM (CDT)


I just discovered that they removed a very minor but important feature from iTunes 10 that I used often.  In version 9, when I connected my iPhone and went to the applications tab, there was a little search box where I could search for a specific app to add to my iPhone.  Very very handy if you have many apps (I have over 2500).  The search box is gone in iTunes 10.  Now I must manually scroll.  Even though you can view your app lists in different ways (name, genre, etc.) it does not even come close to the efficiency of the search box when you have many apps.  Mad that they changed this.

Posted by phil on September 4, 2010 at 6:12 AM (CDT)


Actually, they didn’t actually remove the search box, but rather integrated it into the standard Search field that appears in the top-right corner of the main iTunes window. See our Instant Expert article for more information.

Although this unifies searching to a single field throughout the iTunes app, it is definitely counterintuitive compared to how it was presented before, particularly judging by the number of people who are completely missing the change and assuming the search field is just gone entirely from the sync screens.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 4, 2010 at 9:13 AM (CDT)


I’m still one of those fossils that wants at least 120Gb of my music with me, so I was hoping for a flash memory iPod of whatever style with a big capacity in the 128Gb range or up.  Maybe next year…

Posted by leotian on September 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM (CDT)


@Jessie #32 - Thank you so much for pointing this out!  You are correct that in is counterintuitive.  I never would have tried that and I have used a Mac for longer than I care to say ;-).  At the very least, I am happy that I still have this functionality.

Posted by phil on September 4, 2010 at 3:06 PM (CDT)



#27 (Code Monkey… responding to my #19) seems to have the last word on large capacity iPods, and I think what he/she says makes a lot of sense although I hope that time and an advancing technology will change the market. Anyway, if there’s a fringe that gets the ax, I certainly hope it’s only above the 120GB level. But, with a $100 price to go from 32GB to 64GB on both the iPod Touch and the iPad, I’m thinking that 120GB isn’t here yet either. I’d like to have at least a Wi-Fi iPad, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to spend $699 for just 64GB—no way. OK, I can hope that maybe next year there will be a high capacity iPad and iPod Touch; I’m not optimistic, but I can hope.

For me, although having all my music with me is great, the thing that sold me in 2007 was the prospect of getting rid of the damn CD racks, CD piles, and cumbersome portable CD players. The ability to organize and search music on the iPod was also essential and clinched the deal. My CDs are all in CD storage boxes and that’s where I hope they’ll stay—rip and store, rip and store.

No, I don’t think you’re a fossil. In fact, I thought that a radical new way of handling music for listening was what the iPod was all about. Why not have, if possible, one’s entire collection available on the street, in the coffee shop, in the car, at the office, on vacation, in bed, or any place where we have to just sit and wait?.

Posted by MelM on September 4, 2010 at 7:01 PM (CDT)


A problem with selling hi-cap devices to people with large collections is that there’s not much help from Apple with sizing the storage requirement for, especially, classical collections. If a classical music fan with 500 CDs decides to check out an iPod, how are they to know whether a 160GB iPod will hold that amount or not? The actual formatted capacity isn’t even on the tech specs page either. If they don’t know anything about lossy/lossless compression, codecs and storage sizes of, especially, classical CDs (and why should they be expected to know this stuff?), how would they know whether a 160GB iPod will hold 50 CDs or 500 CDs? Apple says that the Classic: “Holds up to 40,000 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format.” WTF does this mean in the context of classical CDs? Generally, (as of 2007) there’s a little experimental data on the web, but much much better estimation help on the Apple site would aid those with serious capacity concerns. News falash: lots of people like to know what to expect from what they buy. (I can’t prove this, however.)

I mention this because, at the beginning of Sept 2007, I was struggling to see if an 80GB Classic would hold my collection; then the 160GB Classic came out in Sept and solved my problem. However, I’d already learned more about codecs etc than I really wanted to know and I doubt that most people are going to go to all the trouble I went through. The work wasn’t wasted though, all my CDs are ripped into a lossless, backedup archive outside of iTunes—download another codec and I’m ready to convert and move although I hope this is never needed.

Posted by MelM on September 4, 2010 at 8:13 PM (CDT)


Obviously the people with huge libraries are a distinct minority. They know how much data people are using on their iPods, and it’s not that much.

Apple’s answer to you would be to use playlists and sync often.

Posted by Dick Bacon on September 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM (CDT)


I was bummed that there was no 128GB iPod touch. Even then, I was hoping for a larger capacity iPod classic, at least 240GB or 320GB.

My 80GB iPod G5.5 has been full-up for quite a while and I’ve been shunting music off and on to the thing. I rip my CDs in Apple Lossless, so for me it’s about retaining as much sound quality as possible. My 80 has about 3700 “songs”, if you count Mahler Symphonies as “songs”. I use the iPod for music ONLY. Even my iPad and iPod touch have no music on them.

So, it looks like a 160GB iPod classic will be it for now, but I can put all my jazz and pop music onto the 80GB and use a 160 for classical and opera.

Posted by jeffharris on September 7, 2010 at 12:52 PM (CDT)


is it available in new york already?

Posted by casey on September 8, 2010 at 9:48 AM (CDT)

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