Big day for Apple fans, as the much anticipated event happened today. Anticipated, because Steve pre-announced it with invitations that just said “It’s Showtime” a week ago.
Many people play the guessing game of “What is Apple going to launch this time?” As with all games, there are winners and losers. Well, grab your scorecards, because the winners today were people who guessed:
- Upgraded iPod Video, with 80GB storage.
- New iPod Nano, with more storage and colors are back!
- New iPod Shuffle, even smaller, with clip-on form factor
- iTunes 7, and support for cover art & movie titles, with pricing for DVD-quality movies. $14.99 new release, $12.99 pre-order, $9.99 for library titles.
- iTV, the infamous Apple device to take digital video to the living room
All links are to the Apple Insider stories – I think they had great coverage today.
A lot to digest, but some of my initial thoughts:
- Gorgeous. We all know Apple does great industrial design, but wow. I remember in the late 1990s when people really believed that Apple should give up hardware, and become a pure-software play. What a sad, bland, consumer electronics landscape would it be without them!
- Ridiculous. OK, wasn’t there a Saturday Night Live skit a year or two ago about an iPod this small? There is a part of me that chuckles – all those 1990s dreams about “wearable computing” are alive and kicking somewhere in Infinite Loop.
- Video support is better, but not quite right. This isn’t Apple’s fault, but the truth is a major part of the launch of iTunes was the idea of “Rip. Mix. Burn.” It wasn’t just about the iTunes Store – it included an ability to convert your old collection of CDs into digital music, and enjoy the ability to “carry it with you”. Given bandwidth constraints, we are missing (obviously for legal reasons) the real feature to drive digital video – the integrated ability to easily rip a library of DVDs to my computer (and stream to any iTV in the house)
I’ll have to think about the iTV vs. Mac Mini debate. I’ve been thinking about getting a Mac Mini for my wife’s new minivan. Don’t laugh – it has a set of RCA jacks, and the idea of ripping all of my son’s kiddie DVDs to a mini and having the video library available in the car without struggling over discs (and destroying them) is somewhat appealing.
Maybe someone will get an iPod dock for a car that actually connects to the DVD player? That seems like a pretty simple idea, actually.
Lastly, is it just me, or does everything seem better when Apple does it in colors?
And yes, I am trying to forget the “Flower Power” and “Blue Dalmation” iMacs…