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 (960×640 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.
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.