Today, Apple released the new and improved iPod family, including revisions to all current models, as well as the long-awaited iPod touch. The iPod touch is essentially an iPhone without phone functionality, a type of device which many rumormongers and “industry analysts” have been predicting for some time.
The iPod Shuffle has received a color update, and will now be available in red in support of the Global Fund’s Product (RED) campaign to fight aids.
The iPod with Video has been renamed the “iPod Classic,” having received an external redesign and capacity increase (to 80 and 160gb flavors). The Classic also sports a new interface which integrates CoverFlow, among other new features. The interface update is long overdue, and will hopefully be available for current fifth-generation iPods, although this is just a pipedream at this point.
The new iPod Nano also sports a redesigned interface, and now also has video-playback capabilities. It will come in one color, silver, at 4gb and in an entire suite of colors at 8gb.
The iPod touch is priced starting at $300 and comes in 8gb and 16gb capacities. For music junkies such as myself, this will be the reason we won’t buy an iPod touch. I have around 19gb of music on my computer – certainly far too much for the touch.
However the iPod touch also sports built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing users to browse the internet, with applications specially designated for Facebook and YouTube. The wireless capabilities of the touch also make way for the iTunes Wi-Fi store, which enables users to download songs right to their iPod touches.
Apple also announced a partnership with Starbucks. iPod touch owners will now be able to access the last ten songs currently played at a Starbucks location and purchase them for download, on location. Starbucks has made no announcement as to whether an apple-flavored beverage will be released to accompany the new partnership, however I’d like to be the first to take credit for the idea.
As for the iPhone, Apple announced an iTunes update that will allow users to make ringtones for the phone from any song in their iTunes library, including copyright-protected songs purchased in the iTunes Music Store
Apple’s announcement event today certainly made waves in the digital audio player industry, but many (real, paid) journalists agree that the released products are a bit short of expectations.
At any rate Apple’s iPod beast is showing no signs of slowing down. This generation of iPods will likely be no different.
The new devices are on sale now at Apple’s online store, and should be in retail stores by this weekend.
Catch all the official details at Apple’s iPod site.