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  • Apple Unveils New iPods, TV Box

    Published on September 2, 2010

    Apple goes smaller and cheaper on Wednesday from refreshed iPod media players to rent- only TV set-top box system in hope of a brighter upcoming holiday sales season.

    Reporters and IT bloggers packed into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco Wednesday morning, waiting for the showcase of new Apple products and services, as well as the presentation of the company’s CEO Steve Jobs.

    REFRESHED IPOD

    After showing photos of the new Apple retail shop in Shanghai and Paris, Jobs unveiled the new line up iPod media players, saying that “it’s the biggest change in the iPod lineup ever.”

    The new iPod shuffle features over 15 hours of music playback on a single battery charge, 50 percent more battery life than the current model and starts at 49 U.S. dollars with a storage of 2 GB.

    The iPod shuffle also has a new VoiceOver button on the top, allowing users to hear the name of the currently playing song and to switch between songs and playlists. VoiceOver speaks 25 different languages and can alert users when their battery needs charging.

    With battery lasting for up to 24 hours, the revamped iPod nano has a touchscreen instead of a clickwheel. It also features Shake to Shuffle, enabling users to shake their iPod to shuffle to a new song in their music library. “This is the biggest reinvention of the iPod nano since its debut in 2005, and we think users are going to love it,” said Jobs.

    The iPod touch, the most popular iPod product, goes thinner and gets the Retina Display, same as iPhone 4. It also gets a front facing camera and FaceTime, a video calling software also features for iPhone 4, as well as a rear-facing camera for high definition video recording.

    The battery of the new iPod touch can last for 40 hours and the price starts at 229 dollars with 8GB storage.

    The Apple CEO then introduced the iTunes 10 software with Ping, a new music-oriented social network. With Jobs calling it as ” social music discovery,” Ping is like a hybrid of Facebook, Twitter and iTunes, enabling users to follow friends and artists to see what they are saying and downloading. “We think this is going to be very popular, very fast,” Jobs said.

    PRICE-CUT TV BOX, SHOW RENTALS

    Jobs went on to introduce a smaller and cheaper version of Apple TV set-top box, which has been around since 2007, but “never been a huge hit.”

    The new Apple TV is a quarter of the size of the previous version and can be easily held in people’s hand. It supports video streaming from Netflix Inc., a company that offers movies and TV shows rental by mail and online and can also stream content from Internet and computers to high definition (HD) TVs.

    Users can rent first run movies for 4.99 dollars the same day they are released on DVD and rent HD TV episodes at the cost of only 99 cents. Jobs confirmed that ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America have agreed to offer shows for streaming.

    He also announced that the price of the Apple TV will come down from 229 dollars to 99 dollars.

    LIVE STREAMED EVENT

    Apple live streamed Wednesday’s event but it is only viewable for Mac systems and on devices including the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It is the first time since 2005 that Apple has attempted to live stream its CEO’s presentations over the Internet.

    According to media reports, Apple possibly used the live streamed event as a test of its massive new data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The 1 billion-dollar data center is one of the largest ever built and five times the size of its currently operating data center in Newark, California.

    It was reported that the live broadcast is a test of the server farm’s ability to stream a future version of iTunes for Apple’s mobile devices with a goal to monitor traffic load and quality.

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