Jobs introduces new iPods and iTunes 8: it knows what you like

ipod_nano_2_20080909.jpg

The iPod is dead. Long live the iPod.

Steve Jobs killed a favorite, discontinuing the 160GB iPod Classic, and introduced new models at Apple’s “Let’s Rock” event today in San Francisco today.

The replacement model is thinner, but has a 120GB hard drive, plenty of space for movies, podcasts and high-quality songs. Most impressive, however, was a completely new iPod Nano, which returns to its older, taller “portrait” orientation, but with much better specifications. Jobs described it as the thinnest iPod ever; it will also be offered in 7 bright colors to go with the standard brushed metal.

The 8GB model will be $150, and the 16Gb model will be $200.

Apple’s iPod Touch is also getting a touch-up, with a thinner profile and a shiny metallic backing. It also has an integrated speaker and physical volume control. The 8GB model is $230, the 16GB is $300, and the 32GB one is $400.

Accompanying the new hardware is a new version of Apple’s iTunes software, which will include improvements to browsing and accessibility. Most interesting, however, is a new feature called “Genius,” which Jobs said would help you “rediscover” the music in your library by dynamically matching tracks.

Information is sent the internet based on your listening preferences, which returns playlist suggestions on demand. Data is anonymously aggregated, and not publicly accessible.The feature would also scale to movies and television shows, Jobs said.

The iPod now has 74.3 percent marketshare, with Sandisk holding at 8.6% and Microsoft back at 2.6%. The rest take up 15.4 percent.

Looking trim, Jobs started the show by issuing the final (and long-expected) slam dunk of the music industry: iTunes is now the main distributor of music in any format, including high street retailers like Wal-Mart.

He also said that NBC would return to iTunes after a year away, and that high-def TV shows would be $3 an episode through iTunes.

iPhone gamers have goodies coming down the pike, too, with Apple’s Phil Schiller taking the stage to show off new titles including Need for Speed: Undercover, Gameloft’s Real Soccer 2009, Iron Man and Spore Origins.

At the beginning of the show, Jobs mocked speculation about his health, pointing to the projected phrase “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” behind him.

Read more:
New iPod Touches feature built-in speaker, volume control, Nike Plus
iPod Nano 4G confirmed with snazzy new interface and accelerometer functions
Apple discontinues 160GB iPod Classic: 120GB the only model now

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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14 Responses to Jobs introduces new iPods and iTunes 8: it knows what you like

  1. edgore says:

    And it’s available as of now as an update. I guess I will download it, so I can bitch about it knowledgeably.

  2. danbanana says:

    it’s not that i’d be concerned about my musical taste getting out into the open, but the fact that they developed a data miner and then are touting it as the latest and greatest feature reminds me that apples greatest product isn’t any gadget or computer, it’s their marketing.

  3. edgore says:

    “The 8GB model will be $150, and the 16Gb model will be 16GB”

    It’s this kind of analysis that brings me back again and again!

  4. edgore says:

    Now that I am done snarking (ahhhh that was good)…

    The Genius feature sounds like it would be a good lead in to announcing a subscription service HINT HINT.

  5. Rob Beschizza says:

    It does, doesn’t it?

  6. dculberson says:

    Man, I hope there’s more to this event; evolutionary changes to the various iPods isn’t “a big deal.” Neat, fun, yes, but not up to how they built up the event.

  7. danbanana says:

    so itunes’ new feature is… a data miner? “private” or not, is no one else concerned about this?

    if microsoft integrated something like that into WMP, people would be asking for gates’ head.

  8. Patrick Austin says:

    I think the internet rumor machine has more to do with how hyped the event was, as opposed to apple’s marketers.

  9. Blackhat says:

    I’ll be very curious to see how good the “Genius” software is. I tend to listen to fairly obscure folk music–stuff that never makes it to iTunes–and I’ll bet that it won’t come up with any reasonable suggestions for most of my collection… I hope I’m wrong though!

  10. dculberson says:

    Au contraire, Mr. Austin. Apple PR themselves said it would be a “very big deal,” according to our lovely BB Gadgets folks just last week:

    http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/09/03/apple-pr-says-next-w.html

    Unfortunately, the only thing that was a very big deal was the lead-up..

    I need a new laptop and looking at the Macbooks and MBP’s this last weekend was kind of depressing. I don’t like any of them enough to spend $1500+.

  11. Enochrewt says:

    Gamer goodies eh? If they have this game:

    Chuck Norris Brings the Pain

    I will buy an iPhone for it.

  12. edgore says:

    “is no one else concerned about this?”

    Not really, because I don’t care who knows what music I listen to – hell, I blog about it on occasion. So, for me this bit of information is not a concern, even if it was not anonymously aggregated.

    I only care about the privacy of some of my data, and this isn’t one of the bits I care about – as long as my musical taste remains impeccable.

  13. edgore says:

    @danbanana

    Totally with you on that – this is essentially Pandora etc. for iTunes, except it only works with music you already own or acts as an enticement to buy music from iTunes that you may like based on your collection. As I said earlier, interesting if tied to a subscription service. Now I add “not so interesting otherwise”.

  14. CGI_Joe says:

    @DANBANANA Unfortunately they didn’t release nano-chromatic tinfoil hats…. ;-)

    The question is why should anyone be concerned about it?

    The data is anonymous, and Genius can be turned off. Just like iTunes previous recommendation feature. you’re more likely to get in to trouble with your internet search queries. Google caches your IP address with your searches for 9 months and THEN anonymizes it.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080909-google-bows-to-eu-pressure-cuts-data-retention-period-agaom.html

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