So that was Showtime, kids. What have we got? Is it what people were hyping themselves up to expect? Not by a long shot.
Here are some straight-from-the-newswires notes; further analysis will be posted later.
Color iPods, color iPod nanos, tiny little iPod shuffles. Lower prices, higher drive capacities. But - no radical all-screen iPod. Not even close.
The first change in iTunes is a radical shake-up of the sources list, with separate sections for each device and media type. Cover art is being given away for free,
although the makers of CoverFlow might be interested in iTunes’ new cover art view, one of three new views of your library on offer thanks to Apple’s purchase and inclusion here of CoverFlow.
Resolution for iPod videos is now upped to 640×480, four times what it was before. iPod software updates are also being handled from within iTunes. There’s a nice new interface for searching.
Your iPod can now act as a “sneakernet”-style sync device, syncing data between several Macs for you (as long as they are all set up with the same iTunes Store account).
“One more thing…”
Movies, baby. All from Disney-owned studios (Walt Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, Miramax). The service kicks off with just 75 movies, but of course Steve promises more to come.
New releases cost $12.99 for a week, after that they go up to $14.99. Most back catalogue titles will be $9.99.
This service is available in the US now, and hopefully will be international next year. Your ownership rights are the same as for TV shows.
What a choice for consumers: Amazon’s Unbox, which has had its share of problems this week, or the as-yet-untested but far-more-limited-choice of the iTMS.
Oh, and that wireless set-top box for your TV? It’s coming, codenamed “iTV”, but you’ll have to wait until next year to see it. It will be half the size of a Mac mini. And the price? $299. Now that’s something to look forward to.