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Sep 07

What’s new from Apple… The story

2005 at 12.44 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

Great excitement this evening at 7pm for the Apple special Music Event. Rumors were flying and stock was real high again. Since Apple doesn’t give us a stream we followed everything like in the good old days on IRC ;-)

First it was the usual PR stuff that we are so familiar with during these events. Steve talked about iTunes Music store and that they have 82% market share in the US etc. But let's begin with the bad news shall we ;-)

Motorola ROKR E1
Motorola ROKR E1 The rumored Motorola phone is there at last but If you still had a little sprinkle of hope that it would have an Apple design I have to disappoint you. It is a rather plain looking Motorola phone called ROKR E1. What a cool and inspiring name! I'm not at all exited about this thing. But then again I still associate mobile phones with work and being disturbed and not at all the device to enjoy and relax with on the beach for example.

So to trick me into being one, it should sport a classy design form Jonathan Ive and a Mac OS X like interface. Well I guess I should dream a little longer ;-)

iTunes 5
But there is good news too. iTunes 5 is out with a streamlined look, which I love but Apple should follow its own guidelines and not throw in 57 different styles :o) There is a new "Search Bar". It enables you to find stuff fast and refine your search with the handy new Search Bar. You now have "Smart Shuffle" because people told Apple that iPod shuffle didn't really shuffle. You can adjust random playback to hear what you want. There are Playlist folders so that you can organize all your playlists into folders. Windows Users can now sync their iPod with Outlook and Outlook Express. And for the Harry Potter fans you have all six audiobooks or the Digital Box Set and there is also the collector's iPod with Hogwarts crest. iTunes 5 can sync music to the Motorola ROKR E1. Apple also added 1,000 album reviews. Steve also had an iChat AV talk with Madonna, the material girl has finally agreed to put all 15 albums online in the ITMS. She was holding out because she was against the idea that people could buy seperate songs. Well now you can!

One more thing....

iPod nano, 1000 songs. Impossibly small...

iPod nano So you love an iPod but find it rather big? So how small did you imagine it? I bet you're wrong. Take everything you love about iPod and shrink it. Now shrink it again (3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches - 8,9 x 4 x 0,7 cm). It is thinner than a pencil (0.27 inch - 0,7 cm) and is featherweight (only 1.5 ounces - 42,5 gr). So I guess the rumors Apple buying more then half of the stock of Samsung's flash memory are true.

But wait is doesn't stop there... it has a color display to show your album art on it. iPod nano's Click Wheel puts music under your thumb, the touch sensitive surface lets you control volume and browse your music. It displays the color album art for the song you're listening to and it carries your photos, podcasts and audiobooks. Of course there are fashionable accessories for this new digital buddy too. This little white or black fellow gives you up to 14 hours of music playback. That's amazing compared to my mini, which BTW has been dropped/retired... Makes me considering to sell mine ;-)

Prices:

  • 2GB iPod nano (500 songs) : US$ 199 / 209 Euro (VAT included)
  • 4GB iPod nano (1,000 songs US$ 249 / 259 Euro (VAT included)

My initial reaction was when I was following things that this would be a lame and rather stupid press event... luckily I was wrong. This iPod nano makes up for it, it is a beauty. You can admire it here, but please don't dribble on your keyboard ;-) And I just discovered that you get a free laser engraving too. Cool! Now... what should I put on it ? :-D

UPDATE: Apple has put the QuickTime stream of the Music Event online now so you can watch Stevie in action ;-)

John Gruber has a very funny perception of the new look of iTunes. A must read!


25served

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permalink this comment Nik Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 01.29 pm

The iPod nano looks awesome! Time to visit apple.com I think..


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permalink this comment Reinier Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 01.36 pm

De Nano sure is great! I get rewarded for sticking with my 10 GB when the Mini was released. How Apple can associate itself with that ROKR (read: FKUP) phone is beyond me.

iTv5 is nice as well.

Cool! Now… what should I put on it ? :-D

Heartbreaker? ;-)


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permalink this comment Sergio Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 01.44 pm

don’t get anything engraved on the back.  I got mine engraved and when it broke, the apple store said they didn’t replace laser engraved ipods in store.  I had to send it back to Apple via mail and that sucked.


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permalink this comment Raven Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 02.51 pm

The iPod nano does indeed look very nice. I got a Shuffle after they stole my original iPod, but maybe this might be the next little thing to buy…
Smooth :-)


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permalink this comment Dextro Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 03.17 pm

Am I the only person who misses a FM radio on the iPod’s?


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permalink this comment AkaXakA Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 04.50 pm

Dex: Yes.

Engraving: none, keep it smooth…

Or, if you could go with simply ‘mine’.


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permalink this comment Dave Jeffery Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 05.51 pm

Apple really needs to stop adding a new skin to every app it releases. I like the new look but they really need to settle on two skins.
OS X is a very polished OS if you exclude this flaw, it’s ridiculous having so many different skins.

And can someone tell me why safari and the finder use brushed metal?

Having said all of that I really like the new iTunes skin.

My advice to apple..

1. Drop brushed metal (It feels too heavy) and use the new iTunes skin but use it sparingly (i.e.. iLife apps, Quicktime, iChat and not Safari and Finder).

2. Dump the traditional Aqua in favour of the mail.app skin (It feels much slicker and more modern).

Sorry for the big rant, I just had to get that off of my back.

The iPod Nano is beautiful, but the Moto ROKR phone - It’s a pity that Apple decided to partner with motorola on THAT phone, it’s an ugly phone.


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permalink this comment Faruk Ateş Wed Sep 7, 2005 at 05.58 pm

Put “Duoh!” on it, of course! :)


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permalink this comment Doj Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 04.27 am

You think that is small? You havn’t seen the iFlea. Believe me - this is good!


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permalink this comment allgood2 Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 05.59 am

Already order my iPod nano. I admit the hardship was the debate to go with the traditional white or the black.  The black looks sweet, but I stuck with tradition, after all, all my other iPods and iPod accessories are white.

I agree the ROKR phone wasn’t that exciting, then again I’m not a big cell phone fan. I agreed, I think, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporter who said, your better getting the Motorola Razor and strapping an iPod nano to it.  I did like the commercials for the Cingular+iTunes—the latin music one, and the one with the Asian guy dancing. Both were pretty fun.

Anyway, I purchased iPod shuffles for friends, but iPod nano is ALL mine. I was sold, as soon as they displayed the counter and new clock interface. It makes it perfect for workouts and short trips around town (since I hate wearing a watch).


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permalink this comment Lode Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 06.05 am

What’s up with the new skin? Aargh..
They should have sticked with the unified look (except for the ugly toolbar buttons as seen in mail). iTunes surely doesn’t look as slick anymore. The 1 pixel divider isn’t that very usable.. what’s gotten into their heads?


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permalink this comment Peter V. Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 07.20 am

Don’t get me wrong - I love everything Apple, but the Nano is such a tease. 4 GB? c’mon, they’ve already spoiled us with the 10 and 20 GB iPod.  This new release should have been the release of the Super Mini of 40 GB.

I’ve been holding out for that one - guess I need to wait longer…


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permalink this comment Stephen Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 08.55 am

I agree about the engraving, once you personalize it, the resell value drops.

“his little white or black fellow gives you up to 14 hours of music playback. That’s amazing compared to my mini,”

You must have the first generation, I believe the 2nd generation mini had 18 hours.

I’ll reserve my judgment until I hold one but for now, I’m disappointed they dropped the look of the iPod mini.


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permalink this comment lazymouse Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 09.45 am

Love the ipod nano, though I thought they could have told me it was coming out before I bought my ipod mini - typical!

Not impressed with the phone- I really thought we were going to see something special. A shame; I reckon they could have really wowed the world with a decent phone design. Mind you - the menu system looks cool, bet it’s a breeze to use.

By the way, on the subject of the mini, I thought I’d broken it while on the beach - the click wheel was pressed and was no longer flush with the case and it didn’t work anymore. I was scared I’d busted it, but it just took a careful push to the side, and it popped back up again - must be really delicate design.


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permalink this comment shad Thu Sep 8, 2005 at 11.05 am

And I just discovered that you get a free laser engraving too. Cool! Now… what should I put on it ?

How about… “To Shad, from your dear friend Veerle”

;)


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permalink this comment Benjamin Fri Sep 9, 2005 at 01.09 am

To Dextro and anyone else wishing there was a radio on there as well, I saw FM radios on headphones - actually on the headphone lead about a 40cm from the earbuds - a few years ago that were selling for about AU$2.50 at Crazy Clarks (Really El Cheapo chain of stores over here).

If you wanted to listen to whatever the headphones were plugged into, click a little switch, radio, click it the other way.

They had another one for mobile phones which would let you take calls as well as listen to the radio. It was about AU$3.50. :)

Keep an eye open for them because that sort of thing just keeps rolling back onto the market. I’m sure the headphones could be replaced with a bit of snipping and soldering if you thought they were junk.

I like the Nano but I’m worried I’d break it in my own, fumble-fingered fashion. The phone looks alright too, sort of “almost appley” - for comparison I have a Nokia 7650, and I really like the 9500 for all it’s functions. :)


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permalink this comment vanni Fri Sep 9, 2005 at 08.41 am

NanoNano - Mork


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permalink this comment lauras Fri Sep 9, 2005 at 10.00 am

Lots of negativity out there….. lol
My love for apple is ever growing. I dont have any complaints for apple, but I am not too fond of motorolla period. I hoped they will do that with LG or Samsung. Anyways, Apple is a company, and for company to stay strong and ahead of the power curve they must try potential of G’n'S’s in every aspect of the market. Now for all you who complain about the new skins - you still have flexibility to maintain interface you preffer. If you decide that you are bored, you have flexibility to try something new. What is the problem?
To conclude my commentary for today, the person who engraved his/ers ipod is generaly very lucky apple took it back . From business perspective, I would add extra stipulations as far as replacement concern. If you are not happy with Apple return policies, try Dell. Unless youre govt. customer, good luck with somebody from india caring about your problems.
I would like to appologize if you found my statements insulting. I am not a politician.
Cheers!


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permalink this comment Mark Fri Sep 9, 2005 at 09.51 pm

Like the iPod nano.
Preferred the old iTunes brushed metal.
Don’t like the Motorola phone.

Still waiting for a Blackberry/iPod/video player all-in-one device.  For now, I’ll stick with my iPod shuffle: cheap, easy, small, simple. 

There’s my two cents. 


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permalink this comment Marco Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 04.52 am

Isn’t it kind of stupid that Apple comes up with a successor to the iPod mini with nicer looks (I agree totally) but LESS storage space? Sure the slim design is sexy and a color screen is nice but the main functionality of an iPod is listening to music. The new iPod nano has less storage space for music and will probably consume more battery power because of the color screen. Therefore they’ve effectively downgraded the iPod mini only to be able to make it look better. Funny really…


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permalink this comment Veerle Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 04.58 am

@Marco: The reason probaly behind all this is because the iPod nano is now flash based and the mini was hard disk based. So I’m thinking that a 6GB flash based nano would have been to costy or that Samsung didn’t have enough stock for that. None the less I think it will be a great replacement for the mini.


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permalink this comment Sebhelyesfarku Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 09.12 am

The iPod is an overhyped dreck for the lowest common denominators. Inserts gaps between tracks, distorting “EQ” presets, bass roll-off. And a lot of RDF from Jobs.


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permalink this comment vanni Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 08.33 am

@Sebhelyesfarku : Interesting observation. You should try running that by all the musicians who have iPods!


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permalink this comment Sebhelyesfarku Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 07.15 am

I guess those musicians are half deaf from their own noise.


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permalink this comment luxuryluke Thu Sep 15, 2005 at 02.00 pm

HAHA, that’s exactly what my wife dubbed the nano i bought her immediately after being announced: “iMork”.
She’s all smiles about it, too. It’s like i bought 4 dozen roses! </hint>



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