I was going to do a regular "report the facts" post on Apple's announcements today but I was busy with submitting resumes and didn't have a chance to. So I'll just post my thoughts on the whole thing.
The 5.5G iPods are a solid upgrade, but Apple didn't really show much improvement for a the year span between the 5G announcement and their successors. Apple did let us lowly 5G owners have downloadable games (but only because they can charge $5 a pop for them) and the long overdue gapless playback, but would it really have hurt much to give us the search feature?
The new nanos look very nice and bring back a lot of memories from when the minis ruled the world. It's a great tribute to the colorful ones that'll be a whole lot less scratch-prone than the 1G nanos. With both the 8GB nano and 30GB iPod sitting at $249, it's makes the nano vs video decision a whole lot tougher. It is an excellent hedge move by Apple in that they are now that much more indifferent as to the sale of a nano vs a full-size iPod (differing margins notwithstanding).
By far the most revolutionary update is the shuffle. No longer is the iPod relegated to the pocket or an awkward armband. The combination of the clip and weight loss make it possible to carry the iPod shuffle, literally anywhere. You can carry 240 songs with you and not even notice. It's pretty amazing.
iTunes 7 saw a whole lot of improvements that will have varying effects on people's enjoyment of their media. The reorganization and segregation of different parts of the Source list make things easier to find, and the new-fangled UI theme is pretty and refined, but consistency sticklers will rag on Apple for introducing Yet Another UI Scheme™. The blue note in the icon pays tribute to iTunes 2, which also featured a blue icon. iTunes 3 had a purple icon and iTunes 4-6 had a green icon.
The iTV is interesting, and is essentially an Airport Express for video. The shots of the "enhanced" Front Row look great, but I'm wondering how well even the new 640×480 videos will look on HDTV (this also makes me wonder whether or not the 320×240 versions will get free upgrades to 640×480).
It really looks like Apple is setting up to take over the living room like they took over our ear canals. My only concern is that the whole iTV messes with my thoughts on Apple's future and makes me really wonder what kind of innovation they'll push forth on the desktop hardware side now that the Intel transition is over.
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