New, thinner iPods launch alongside iTunes 8

At Apple’s "Let’s Rock" event in San Francisco earlier today, a still-emaciated Steve Jobs unveiled a batch of refreshed iPods along with a matching iTunes release. The most exciting part might well be the iPod nano, which—just like Jobs—has gotten surprisingly thin: the fourth-generation device is now about the width and height of the tall, second-gen nano, but with a thinner, more oval profile and a much larger screen. In fact, it pretty much looks like a sleeker version of Microsoft’s flash-based Zunes.

The fourth-gen iPod nano differentiates itself from its pudgy predecessor with more than just good looks, too. Apple has outfitted the latest player with an accelerometer, which lets users do cool things like shake the player to shuffle songs or turn it sideways to activate the iPhone-like "cover flow" display. The small profile hasn’t seriously impeded battery life, either, since that still stands at 24 hours for music but four hours instead of five for video. You can already purchase the 16GB fourth-gen iPod nano for $199 and its 8GB little brother for $149. As a side note, those are pretty much the same price tags Microsoft is slapping on its third-gen Zunes.

Jobs also introduced a new iPod touch, which has almost the same design as its forebear but with a thinner profile (there’s definitely a trend here), side volume controls, and a built-in speaker. Perhaps more importantly, the new iPod touch has built-in App Store access, and Apple seems to be really emphasizing its gaming capabilities. The second-gen touch starts at $229 for the 8GB version, and you can get 16GB and 32GB players for $299 and $399, respectively.

On the iPod classic front, Apple has introduced a "one-size-fits-all" 120GB device at $249, but that one has the same design as the previous model. As for iTunes 8, the big feature in the new software (as well as the new iPods) is Genius: a system that gathers anonymous data about users’ musical tastes and uses it to find songs that "go great together." Last, but not least, Apple has taken the opportunity to release new firmware for the iPhone. The 2.1 firmware reportedly fixes bugs, improves battery life, and speeds up backups.

Head to Engadget for detailed coverage of the launch event, complete with photos.

Comments closed
    • Voldenuit
    • 13 years ago

    Meh. Until Apple joins the rest of the world and makes their mp3 players MSC and MTP compatible, I will never buy an iPod.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    Look ma, a Zune on TR news page…

    oh dear ricky, that is not a Zune. That is apple taking a clue from the Zune Team.

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Care to elaborate on that ?

      Adi

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    q[<...most exciting part might well be the iPod nano, which—just like Jobs—has gotten surprisingly thin...<]q 😀 who says Cyril doesn't know comedy??

      • jdrake
      • 13 years ago

      I AGREE! Yay Cyril:-)

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    Has anybody else tried to watch the quicktime keynote posted on apples site ? I don’t know if I have something wonky going on or what but if I try and watch the video it crashes my router. WTF I have tried it half a dozen times and every time quicktime loads and starts to download as soon as it does bang router crashes.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 13 years ago

      Macs…they just work?

        • ClickClick5
        • 13 years ago

        Routers….they just don’t. lol

          • MadManOriginal
          • 13 years ago

          It’s just a few posts but I think it’s funny reading stuff about people having problems with Macs after some of the recent Mac vs PC arguing that’s broken out on TR recently.

            • Hance
            • 13 years ago

            I am not having problems with a mac I don’t even own one. The only apple product I own is a iPod touch soon to be two of them because my wife wants one.

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      Works fine on my DD-WRT v24 SP1 based WRT54GL. What router do you have and what firmware ?

      Adi

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      Routers should never, ever crashg{<.<}g

        • Hance
        • 13 years ago

        Yeah tell me about it I have no idea what is going on. The router I have is a cheap piece of junk. It is a D-Link WBR-1310 the crashing thing is still strange though. I don’t know if its quick time in general thats crashing it or just the apple video. I need to find another streaming quick time video I guess. I have tried to watch the movie on a couple of computers with different versions of quick time and the same thing happens on all of them. I click on the link to the video and quick time opens. As soon as it try’s to start streaming the video the router reboots. Its really strange I have never seen anything like this happen before.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 13 years ago

        Apple needs to make a router methinks 🙂

          • adisor19
          • 13 years ago

          Umm, they do. It’s called Airport Extreme. :s stupid name, i know..

          Adi

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    For all you Mac users, be sure you upgrade to Quicktime 7.5.5 and reboot, that’ll get iTunes 8 to show up in Software Update. At least, that’s what it took for me (and I had to sacrifice my 41 days of uptime…), along with a Front Row update that give iTunes 8.0 compatibility.

    edit: now we need new Macs in the next few months.

      • SGT Lindy
      • 13 years ago

      Or you can just download it like I did an hour after the presentation to my Mac.

    • adampk17
    • 13 years ago

    Only available online starting today… bummer! I wanted to pick one up at the Apple store today. They said they don’t really know when they will have the new ipods in stock but they guessed a few days to a week. 🙁

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    Even with smaller capacity thats still a but load of music. I wonder if maybe the 160 gig iPod wasn’t selling very well and thats the reason they cut it.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 13 years ago

      Maybe, the previous classics were 80 and 160 though so it’s not just a matter of cutting out the poorer selling of the two. If the 80 was a much better seller and they introduced the 120 at the same price it is a win for most people but at the same time the number of ultra-high capacity DAPs got lower too.

    • Ethyriel
    • 13 years ago

    I was considering a Classic for my car, but wow, they reduced the capacity on their only high capacity option. Screw that, if I can’t store all my music in lossless, it’s not worth having over a 32GB flash based player.

      • Hattig
      • 13 years ago

      I think that’s Apple’s aim.

      And if you can tell the difference between lossless audio and high-bitrate AAC or MP3 when you are driving your car, then you have hearing like a hawk.

      OTOH if you have all your music in lossless already, you don’t want to spend a few days transcoding it for the iPod!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 13 years ago

        Just talking broadly here, it might vary a bit based upon the exact encoding, a 32GB capacity player with ~128kb/s encoding would hold about the same amount as a 160GB player with lossless encoding, 256kb/s encoding (granted that’s overkill but compared to lossless…) would need 64GB to equal the 160GB player. So the 160GB player did have a useful purpose for someone who wanted ALL their music with no worries of running out of space. The amount of compressed music it could carry is insane though 😉

        Having said that, if things progress as normal in a year or less 64GB ought to be the top end for flash DAPs and that may be the real nail in the coffin for HD DAPs.

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    I just went to update in iTunes and it said the 2.1 version of software is ready. When I click on download it craps out. I am guessing a couple of hours from now I will be able to get the 2.1 software and will have basically all the features of the new iPod touch. I have already paid the ten bucks to upgrade from 1.xx to the 2.xx version of the software to the upgrade to 2.1 is a freebie.

      • Hance
      • 13 years ago

      The 2.1 update is live now and I am downloading it. This is one thing apple does that is insane. You would think the normal thing to do would be to post an update to your current version of the software but NO you have to download all 200+ megs every time there is even a minor update to the software. THIS IS STUPID

      edit: got the 2.1 software installed and it adds the genius feature to the older iPod touches. I still don’t have a speaker or volume control but the way I use mine I don’t really need them anyway.

    • HalcYoN[nV]
    • 13 years ago

    Still no subscription based service offered. Bummer. I might have jumped on a pair of 3G iphones for me and the wife had they added one. Zune Pass has me hooked, $15/month is fair for rent on 10k songs and counting. There is a related artist tool that works much the same as “Genius” suggesting artists similar to the one you are viewing. All the new Zune update needs to do is enable contextual playlist creation, which it just may.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    I think Genius is actually pretty frackin…uh…Genius. I’m actually looking forward to choosing something bizarre and clicking that button.

      • Hance
      • 13 years ago

      Its not really genius but a borrowed feature but it is cool. I have a few odd ball things I am going to have to try it on and see what it comes up with.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    I understand the make-it-smaller ‘coolness’ factor but these things are damn small already. Would anyone else appreciate simple things like more battery life rather than a smaller profile?

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    I just grabbed iTunes 8 the only big difference is the genius playlist thing. Say hello to pandora built into iTunes

    • Tumbleweed
    • 13 years ago

    Hmmm…speaker and accelerometer. I sense some upcoming iLightSabre action!

      • UberGerbil
      • 13 years ago

      Not until George Lucas gives his approval
      §[<http://macenstein.com/default/archives/1559<]§ Undoubtedly it will be changed to feature lovable childlike plush characters you can (and must) purchase separately, and every few seconds you will hear "oohsa, you gotsa me!" and "Oooh, yousa master Jedies!"

    • eckslax
    • 13 years ago

    Still no radio tuner. 🙁

      • Hattig
      • 13 years ago

      One feature at a time! It’s Apple, remember. Yes, they’ve finally added voice recording to the nano.

      Colours are nice, bit bright maybe. I’m sure there are some people out there who will look with horror because there ain’t a brown one.

      • Snake
      • 13 years ago

      Yeah! That, and 16GB max is “perfectly OK” but not “Perfect”, with 32GB now being the ‘acceptable’ uber as per Creative. At least the price point is good – $199 for the 16GB is well within market targets.

      • PRIME1
      • 13 years ago

      Epic fail.

      Still why I don’t want an iPod

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      Never will be. There is nothing “elegant” about FM/AM radiog{<.<}g

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