Apple’s September 2010 iPod Announcement

Today Apple announced updates to their iPod lineup along with an TV refreshment. La dee da; if you don’t already know everything about it, then you can read it on Engadget, Inhatko.com, or listen/watch TWiT’s coverage of the keynote.

I watched Apple’s live feed on my iPhone and it worked pretty well. Mitch was watching it on his laptop (running Snow Leopard; the only OS it would run on; I’m on Leopard) and I noticed several seconds of delay coming from his computer. Weird considering we were both using the same Wi-Fi. It was probably just because the iPhone version was more compressed; though it looked great.

I’m not going to repeat what everyone else said. I’m going to pick out just a few things I liked and didn’t like.

iPods

Shuffle
I don’t care too much for the shuffle; I’ve never owned one and I probably never will. I liked the buttonless (third generation) design, but I think a device without a screen needs tactile buttons for visionless clicking. I’m sure lots of Shuffle users will welcome the return of the buttons.

Nano
Alright. This is where I have a bone to pick. (Is that the saying?) I understand the reason for the touchscreen — making it smaller. I understand they want to keep the design in sync with other iDevices (specifically the iPad). But that’s about where my understanding is limited.

Apple iPod Nano 2010 -frontThe design is pretty horrendous! If you want to make it look like a mini iPad, then make it look like a mini iPad. The design looks like they put a mini iPad inside an iPod shuffle. Literally (see photo left). Sure, people want colours, but Apple could have just made the rear panel of aluminium coloured and left front just the glass touchscreen.

Apple iPad Nano / Illustration and Hands-on

The back has some strange round-cornered, shaded thing to make it look symmetrical to the front. Hopefully it doesn’t look as bad as the photos in person. As you can see in the photo above, that rounded thing on the back is the clip. Duh, Derek. Duuuuh.

Classic (updated)
Um. They’ve done away with the iPod Classic. The original iPod design. The ones with a large storage capacity.

Quick history on my iPod experience: I never wanted an iPod because I didn’t like iTunes and I much preferred listening to FM radio (for the talking; music on the radio sucks; it’s repetitive and unoriginal). Then I discovered podcasts, eventually bought a refurbished 80GB fifth generation iPod Classic, and used it quite a bit. I still use it.

I don’t need to upgrade it (the only caveat I have is that the HDD inside can be slow at times), but I have been waiting for them to release a larger capacity flash memory version. Today that didn’t happen. It appears it never will.

Update: According to Engadget (via Michael Gartenberg), the iPod Classic isn’t “dead”. Though it also hasn’t been updated; it’s as good as dead then.

Touch
Apple devices will become the number one most used photography/videography device. That’s all.

Apple TV

Apple TV 2010 next to iPhone 4 - engadgetNo storage. Okay, cool. It’s tiny and everything, but they’re really looking at the future here — which I like. They don’t care if you have a crappy internet connection or haven’t upgraded your router to 802.11n; you will be upgraded in a year or so. I would like some storage (even as little as 64GB) so I can watch something if the Internet is down. If…

Steve proclaimed that the HD revolution is over. Yes. Good. I’ve said this myself is as many words. There’s no reason to have standard definition (SD) options on anything (online video, television, downloads) anymore. HD will become the “standard definition”.

Moreover, Apple has completely skipped Blu-ray because physical content like that is a waste of space and everything will be downloaded. Good.

iTunes

It sounds like iTunes 10 will be ‘just another update’ considering I only really use it to listen to the occasional song and sync my iPhone.

Ping
I found it pretty funny when Steve was essentially explaining how Twitter works; followers, circle of friends (private account), posts. Sure, I’ll sign up, but I doubt I’ll use it much. I know Apple likes to be able to control everything they do, but wouldn’t it have been easier to use Twitter’s API to pull keywords relating to music into iTunes? That way we wouldn’t have to follow all of our friends on yet another network; quick adoption.

iPad

What? They didn’t update the iPad. Maybe not, but they hinted at the update. I’m not a diehard-Apple-fanboy-thing, but I’ve been saying that there will be an iPad hardware update before the end of 2010. I figured this September announcement would be Steve’s last for the year, but it sounds like there will be at least one more before Christmas.

iOS 4.1 will include HDR photo creation. In November iOS 4.2 will be released for the iPad. It “will include everything in iOS 4.1″. This means HDR photo creation on the iPad. This means an iPad with a camera built-in. Hopefully, the lens ans sensor are much larger that the one in the iPhone 4 and fourth generation iPod Touch. It sounds like a pretty reasonable assumption to moi.

Conclusion

All in all this wasn’t a surprising keynote from Steve; many things were rumoured well in advance and we still hold the original iPhone announcement as “AMAZING”. That said, this announcement will be looked back on as revolutionary when we’re all wearing iPod Nanos as watch phones and streaming HD video to our iPhone 7 via some kind of WiMax/5G wireless network.

Oh. One more thing.

Those of you that are musically talented (compared to me, that’s anyone reading this) probably felt that Chris Martin’s singing at the end of the Apple keynote was terrible. I mean, even I could tell there were issues with his singing. However, I liked it. It was rough and unique. Where do I download?

(I saw a few tweets mentioning that Chris Martin’s singing will make auto-tune cool again. Personally, I feel anything auto-tuned is seven times worse than any of Chris Martin’s singing today.)

Made up words: 3

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