I knew today's Apple announcement would be big: After all, it's been about two years since Apple had performed a wholesale refresh of its iPod line. Plus, Apple was hosting today's event at San Francisco's Moscone Center - a sizable venue befitting a noteworthy announcement.
But Apple outdid itself this time, not only announcing new pricing, capacities, and physical dimensions, but also introducing the iPod Touch. Here are my first impressions.
New IPod touch - drool city
The iPod Touch is what many people - including me - have been clamoring for. The key reasons:
- iPhone: It's an iPhone without the phone and that pesky phone service contract (and without e-mail messaging).
- Screen: You get the 3.5-inch multitouch screen, which was one of the biggest talking points of the iPhone when it came out earlier this year.
- Touch screen: You enjoy the coolness factor of that pinch-and-squeeze touch-screen interface, which is terrific for watching videos and viewing photos.
IPod improvements - more bang for the buck
Also impressive are the substantial changes that have been made to the iPod Classic - the new moniker for the long-standing full-size iPod.
- Design: The Classic's industrial design is essentially unchanged - the new models are slightly slimmer than before, but not so much so that they will alter your conception of what an iPod looks like. However, the new capacities and pricing are eye-popping. The 80GB model is stickered at A$349 inc GST and the 160GB iPod classic is A$479 inc GST.
- Size: Apple will offer a whopping 160GB model. That translates into room for up to 40,000 tunes on a single iPod - 40 times the number of tunes the original iPod could hold when it was introduced back in 2002.
- Interface: The new Classic has the refreshed user interface found on the also-announced Nano (it turns out that all the rumours were correct). The interface is more visual, with previews of the content a menu item will lead you to, and the popular Cover Flow feature for scanning through your albums by artist.