Apple Unveils Refreshed iPod nano, iPod touch, 2.1 Software

After much rumor-mongering, speculation, and leaked shots all over the interwebs, Apple pretty much confirmed everything that we already knew about today’s big announcement. With Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple took the wraps off a revamped iTunes (iTunes 8), new iPods, and an update to the iPhone/iPod touch‘s software. iTunes 8 First off, Jobs announced that NBC has returned to the fold. TV shows will be offered in both standard definition ($1.99) and HD ($2.99). New to iTunes is a feature called “Genius”, which allows users to automatically make playlists from artists in their libraries that possess similar sounds (it also works with movies, TV programs, and podcasts). Genius also makes recommendations from the iTunes Music Store based on the collective userbase’s listening habits.  iTunes 8 is available for download now. iPod nano The new iPod nano (8GB for $149; 16GB for $199) sports a curved, aluminum and glass design in a slew of colors (Blue,Purple, Orange, Green, Pink). Apple has taken the accelerometer from the iPod touch and iPhone, and with it, similar functionality to those devices. Turn it sideways and it enters CoverFlow mode (complete with full size album art); shake the nano, and you shuffle tracks. Very cool. Plus, when users push and hold the center button, they can use Genius. Apple states that the nano is rated for approximately 24 hours of battery life for audio, and 4 hours of battery life for video. It ships (finally!) with redesigned earbuds that have a woofer and tweeter, and which we hope are far more comfy than the rocks they’ve passed off as earbuds in the past. The ‘buds have a pause/play/volume control, and a mic for voice recording. Double-clicking a button skips songs; triple-clicking goes to previous. iPod touch and 2.1 Software The iPod touch gets thinner, features contoured stainless steel design, built-in speaker, and Nike +. Users can expect approximately 36 hours of music, and 6 hours of video. The new prices are $229 (8GB), $299 (16GB), $399 (32GB), and first-gen touch owners get a free software update from 2.0 to 2.1 (it’s $9.95 to go to 2.1 from 1.x). Updates will be available today.

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