Apple's big "One more thing…" media event that I mentioned last week took place today at the California Theatre in San Jose. Here's a recap of what was announced:
- New iMacs with built-in iSight video camera and remote control. New software called PhotoBooth takes advantage of the new camera by simulating old arcade photo booths with a countdown timer, "flash", and real-time effects. Another piece of new software is Front Row, a Windows Media Center-type application that gives an iPod-like interface to the music, photos, and videos on your Mac. Also comes with a remote control with 6 buttons that looks just like the iPod shuffle with an extra menu button. In addition, the iMacs feature slightly upgraded processors, a SuperDrive standard and PCI-Express graphics (the first Mac to feature PCIe) for the same $1299 for the 17" and a $100 lower price for the 20" ($1699).
- New iPods in 30 and 60 gigabyte models featuring 2.5" 320×240 pixel screens and offer video playback. They look like larger nanos but are much smaller than the previous generation iPods. Both models are now under .5" thick. Like the nano, they include the World Clock and Screen Lock apps and come in both black and white.
- iTunes 6 released 5 weeks after iTunes 5. Some minor UI issues were fixed (anti-aliasing of window corners), but the main feature is support for video syncing with the iPod (one of the iTunes 4 point releases supported video playback in iTunes itself). In addition, the iTunes Music Store has a few new features, including the ability to give music, a "Just For You" recommendations section, customer reviews, and support for the sale of videos. Music videos and Pixar short films are just $1.99 each. Apple also announced a partnership with Disney (parent company of ABC) to offer 5 TV shows for sale, including Lost and Desperate Housewives. The shows also go for $1.99 an episode and new episodes are available the day after they are broadcast. Previous seasons are available also for $1.99 an episode or $35 for the entire season.