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Apple Announces iTunes 7, Movies, Set-Top Box 710

Posted by kdawson
from the ooh-shiny dept.
necro81 writes, "As anticipated, Apple announced several additions and upgrades to its iPod and iTunes lineup. The iPod now comes in an 80 GB model, with a $50 price drop for the 30 GB model. The 2nd generation iPod Nano harkens back to the iPod Mini with metallic, multi-colored shells (though as diminutive as ever) and comes in an 8 GB model. The Shuffle has been completely redesigned and shrunk down to the size of a matchbook. All of this comes with the release of iTunes 7, which includes support for downloading full-length movies from iTMS." All 75 movies initially available are from Disney-related studios. The new iTunes will download cover art for all the songs in your library, no matter where you got them from, as long as you have an iTunes account. (A confirmation dialog says: "Information about songs with missing artwork will be sent to Apple. Apple does not keep any information related to the contents of your music library.") There's a new album-cover browsing view of your library. And Steve Jobs gave a sneak preview of a project code-named iTV: a Mac Mini-like wireless set-top box. Engadget has a blow-by-blow of Steve Jobs's presentation.
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Apple Announces iTunes 7, Movies, Set-Top Box

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  • While the capacities of the new one are nice, the design isn't nearly as sleek or sophisticated as the original nano design. It's a shame, I kind of detest Apple in general as fan-boy garbage (Rio Karma baby), but I did like the polish of the 1G Nano.

    -rt
  • Gapless Playback! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackmonday (607916) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:04PM (#16090646) Homepage
    Gapless Payck for iPod! Wonder if they will update the 5th gen with this?? Please???
    • by mblase (200735)
      I only noticed this enhancement after I installed iTunes 7 and watched it updating my library for gapless something-or-other.

      About time. I mean, it only took them until version 7....
      • iTunes has been able to do this since version 1... It's only the iPod that had trouble.
        • Re:Gapless Playback! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Van Halen (31671) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:19PM (#16090798) Homepage Journal
          No, iTunes has never had true gapless playback. There's always been at least a slight hiccup in between tracks, no matter how you set it up. The old crossfade set to 0 trick also wasn't a complete solution - if you had a transition with a fast tempo, you'd hear it screw up a beat or two.

          I'm really eager to try this out and see if they truly fixed it.
    • It's what's been keeping me fom buying an iPod - actually it's what's been stopping me
      from buying an mp3 player that costs more than £20

      I know the Karma (rip) and one of the sony players does it - but the karma had flaky hard drives
      and the sony (IIRC) needed the crappy sony software.

      This just might swing the balance now.
      I had thought about a san-disk as rockbox would possibly bring out gapless playback - but in the meantime i guess Apple may now
      get my cash.

      • Re:Gapless Playback! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Golias (176380) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:18PM (#16090790)
        Gapless is what's been keeping me from upgrading as well. I've got an old black-and-white 20GB iPod which I've been using the hell out of for years now (I've burned through two batteries on it, and was planning on buying yet another in a few months.)

        Color screens did not make me want to replace it.
        Nor did photos.
        Nor did putting the buttons on the clickwheel.
        Nor did the longer battery life.
        Nor did videos.

        But gapless playback? They hooked me. I RAN to the Apple Store over my lunch hour, only to be told to "check again tomorrow", which I most certainly will do.

        The sweet thing about this is, since it also plays videos and a smattering of time-killer games, I can sell off both my old iPod and my souped-up PSP to friends who want them, and just about break even on the upgrade! w00t!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by soft_guy (534437)
          I just downloaded iTunes 7 and pluged in my 20 GB 2nd Gen iPod (probably the same one you have - the first one with the non-turning wheel). I was pretty impressed that it copied the music from the iPod to my work Mac and pulled down the album cover art and things look really nice. I'm impressed.

          And I'm seriously considering the 80GB model...
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Golias (176380)
            Ooo... so they fixed for the old-school iPods too!?

            Thanks! That's good to know!

            (Time to go bust up all those "joined" tracks on Dark Side of the Moon tonight. ^_^)
    • Re:Gapless Playback! (Score:5, Informative)

      by tji (74570) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:11PM (#16090729)
      I haven't finished sync'ing my video iPod yet, but after installing iTunes 7, it brought up a dialog as it went through my library saying it was updating for gapless playback.

      This would imply that it's done within the audio files themselves, perhaps making it usable on all iPods.

      I'll see shortly.

      The new music view/organize modes in iTunes are great. One is divided by albums, showing a small image of the album cover along with all the tracks. The other looks like they licensed "Cover Flow", it looks like flipping through albums in your old physical collection. Definitely better visual feedback then scrolling through a huge text list of songs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rik Sweeney (471717)
      Gapless Playback for iPod! Wonder if they will update the 5th gen with this?? Please???

      Don't get too excited, MP3s encoded with too old a version of LAME would need to be re-encoded as these older version automatically padded the file. You should be fine with AAC though.
    • by Van Halen (31671) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @06:46PM (#16092613) Homepage Journal
      I've had a chance to play with this a bit, and here are my findings, using a couple of test files with a seamless transition in between. Previously, every method of playback produced a gap (or so I believed).
      • Within iTunes 7: no gap
      • iTunes 6: gap
      • 1 GB iPod shuffle, firmware 1.1.4 (iTunes says it's up to date): gap
      • 30 GB 5th generation iPod with video, firmware 1.1 (iTunes says it's up to date): gap
      • iTunes 6, outputting to Airport Express: NO GAP! Huh? I did not expect this at all. The same files always have a gap when outputting to that computer's speakers in iTunes 6. I tried old backups of those songs that hadn't been touched by iTunes 7, still no gap for the Airport Express, gap for the computer speakers. Weird.
      • iTunes 7, outputting to Airport Express: could not get iTunes 7 to connect to the AE. Anyone else have this problem?

      For the people who've reported gapless playback in existing generation iPods, can you double check? Any further details? Firmware versions? Won't work for me. I guess I'll have to listen to one of the new iPods in store before purchasing.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:05PM (#16090656) Homepage Journal
    As well as an overhaul of the iTunes interface. One of the weirder things they added though was the "explicit" warning to music bought from the music store that is well, explicit.

    But perhaps most shocking and sacrilegious: they changed the color of the music note! It is blue now! How could they destroy tradition like that!
    • they changed the color of the music note! It is blue now!

      As the AC said, it's been blue before. It was also purple for a while. Apple changes it around every so often.

      One of the weirder things they added though was the "explicit" warning to music bought from the music store that is well, explicit.

      I'm not following you. That little warning has been there forever. The cleaned versions of explicit songs even get a little "CLEAN" tag to say that they're alternate versions. Apple has other tags as well, but they

    • by Mattintosh (758112) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:15PM (#16090770)
      It was blue (and other colors) before.

      Behold! The iTunes Icon Timeline! [techmanifesto.com] Note that the icons on that page are the real deal until you get to "Alternative iTunes icons", then the rest are mildly crappy "fan art". (Ugh.)
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:16PM (#16090780)
      By the way, that sinking sound you hear coming from Redmond is the hope of Microsoft in taking over the living room through Zune, the XBox 360, and Media Center PCs.

      Although, it could also be a chair sailing out the window. I bet they're bolting down everything in the campus today.
    • by Stanistani (808333) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:33PM (#16090924) Homepage Journal
      When are they going to utilize the brown note [wikipedia.org]?
  • play by play (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:05PM (#16090657)
    MacRumorsLive
    09:51 am iLounge: Griffin Technology, Belkin, Incase and Nike are in attendance.
    09:52 am iLounge: Folks are crowding to get up-front seats. (wonder why?)
    10:03 am iLounge: theater is filled to capacity (755 person theater). Podium on the right, a computer setup on the left of the stage (looks like an iMac)
    10:04 am the event appears to have begun
    10:05 am iLounge: talks about iPod sports kit. Foot Locker is blown away by sales. 450,000 sales in 90 days
    10:06 am iLounge: iPods. 3 iPods: iPod, Nano, and Shuffle
    10:07 am iLounge: iPod is getting enhanced today. 60% brighter with brighness control, 3.5 hours video playback (up from 2 hrs... big version goes to 6.5 hours), new headphones, gapless playback
    10:08 am iLounge: new iPod software features: instant searching, new games (Bejeweled, Cubis 2, Mahjong, Mini golf, pac man, tetris, texas holdem, vortex, and zuma)
    10:09 am iLounge: games for sale off iTunes for $4.99
    10:10 am iLounge: games will work on 5G ipods
    10:12 am iLounge: 249 and 349 with 60GB and 80GB capacity [SHOULD BE 30GB, 80GB. See below]
    10:12 am iLounge: Nano is now, as rumored, Aluminum and in colors
    10:14 am iLounge: Green silver black blue pink
    10:14 am iLounge: 24 hour batter life
    10:15 am iLounge: New software just like standard iPod
    10:16 am iLounge: 3 models, but with double storage capacity at each model (and varying colors available)
    10:16 am iLounge: 2GB is $149 in silver only
    10:16 am iLounge: 4GB is $199 in all colors but black
    10:16 am iLounge: 8GB is $249 in all colors
    10:17 am iLounge: All models are 52% smaller in volume than previous nano. new charger, new armband, new lanyard
    10:18 am iLounge: iPod Shuffle is now 2nd generationl size of iPod Radio Remote
    10:21 am iLounge: metal body, 1 model (1GB), $79, ships in october.
    10:22 am Engadget: (for nano) $149 2GB ipod is aluminum only, $199 4GB has colors, $249 8GB is black only
    10:23 am iLounge: iTunes 7 today
    10:24 am iLounge: Source list now includes library with sep libraries for all forms of media
    10:24 am iLounge: Store now has own section, devices have their own sections, playlists too
    10:25 am iLounge: iTunes will give you cover art for free if you are missing cover art (thanks Steve)
    10:26 am iLounge: 3 different views of iTunes, list view, album view (with art and tracks), then "cover flow view" lets you rapidly find what you want by album cover
    10:27 am iLounge: iPod updater appears to be now integrated into iTunes
    10:28 am iLounge: TV shows are now encoded at 640x480 (h264), up from 320x240
    10:28 am Engadget: Today we're introducing the biggest single enhancement: iTunes 7
    You say "it looks the same," but it isn't
    [the left nav is more cleanly organized without being radically different]
    We've added a View switch, a 3-position switch. we've added a 2nd view called album view, so you can scroll through your music library and look at it by album. what if you ripped your CDs and don't have the covers? Today we're announcing free missing album cover art for all the music in your library if you have an itune acct. itunes will automatically download it for free
    but there's something even better. that's the third view. it's called Cover Flow view. [LOOKS LIKE FLIPPLING THROUGH YOUR CD RACK]
    10:30 am iLounge: you can now sync between multiple computers using an iPod, as long as both are authorized on the same account
    10:30 am Engadget: Now, all of this video is encoded with the best encoding in the world, H.264. We've been distributing it at 320x240. Today, we're going to take that up a notch to 640x480. That's 4x the resolution. iTunes 7 also has seamless playback for video.
    10:31 am 10:27AM Engadget: You can update your iPod from right inside iTunes now, you don't need to go to Preferences. You can say, "I want to sync the 10 most recent unwatched episides of all my TV shows."
    10:31 am iLounge: Demo of iT
  • DRM (Score:2, Informative)

    by Landak (798221)
    Alas, I have just seen that one of the wondrous features the new iTunes Music Store boasts is the ability to lock out iTunes 5. This is the version I've been using on all my macs for one real reason - when I download their free singles of the week (which vary a lot in quality), I like to be able to remove the DRM immediately afterwards. It appears that I am being forced to upgrade. Ahh well. I can also presume that my 4th Gen iPod Colour will not be able to play the new games. How I love thy, apple....
    • Myfairtunes6/7? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Darthmalt (775250) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @04:04PM (#16091266)
      does anyone know if myfairtunes6 still works with the new version of iTunes?
  • I went with a black 80 gig model. Not really interested in music, but I now have access to enough space to rip my DVD collection onto.

    The estimated shipping time is currently 3 - 5 days.
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:06PM (#16090668) Homepage
    How much can your pocket hold? That's up to you and your iPod. It holds up to 20,000 songs, up to 25,000 photos, and up to 100 hours of video -- or any combination of each.

    If only Apple new that I like 10 minute songs, 4096x3072 pics, and 3 hour movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TrippTDF (513419)
      If only Apple new that I like 10 minute songs, 4096x3072 pics, and 3 hour movies.

      Hear hear! Tech is boiled down so freaking much for most people, it makes me mad. I can remember having this conversation about 20 times in the late 90's:

      Person: How many songs can you put on a recordable CD?

      ME: CD's hold 80 minutes of music, so it depends on the length of a song.

      Person: But how many songs is that?

      Me:
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *

      If only Apple new that I like 10 minute songs

      Don't you ever get tired of listening to American Pie?

      4096x3072 pics

      Honestly, why would you carry a ditigal negative around in your pocket? Images that large are only good as source material for image editing and printed materials. What good is having hundreds of them in your iPod?

      and 3 hour movies

      100 hours of video is 100 hours of video. I think you can do the math to figure out how many movies that is. :)

    • Re:How Much Space (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheGreek (2403) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:46PM (#16091069)
      How much can your pocket hold? That's up to you and your iPod. It holds up to 20,000 songs, up to 25,000 photos, and up to 100 hours of video -- or any combination of each.
      If only Apple new that I like 10 minute songs, 4096x3072 pics, and 3 hour movies.
      Yeah.

      They really should also market the raw capacity in GB on the Apple Store page. Maybe before the number of songs. In bold.
  • I'm not keen on the new icon - now there's too much blue in my dock.

    and it pisses me off how videos doesn't have a section now jus a playlist. but I can't even play iTMS videos yet because you need the new quicktime that isn't on software update yet.

    the cover view is made crappy by not grouping compilations - hence the same album art repeated for different artists.

    so don't bother downloading the .dmg - just wait for software update.
  • by darien (180561) <darienNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:08PM (#16090681)
    For fuck's sake. I hate giving money to Apple. But now my girlfriend's going to insist on having one of these new iPod Nanos for Christmas. And what really winds me up is that she isn't even going to care about the capacity, or the battery, or the patented scroll-wheel interface, or iTunes integration, or anything like that. She's going to want it because it's blue.
  • by Hootenanny (966459) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:08PM (#16090685)
    When I downloaded and installed iTunes 7, I was rather stunned to see the new interface. It doesn't even remotely resemble a standard Mac OS X Aqua application. It looks... well, almost like a gray Windows application. Or a Java application. Yuck. Dear Apple, please bring back the old, standard look and feel. Enough said!
    • by Mattintosh (758112) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:22PM (#16090817)
      It looks like Mail.app. That's 10000x better than the all-brushed-metal monstrosity it was before.
      • by jmc (4639) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:40PM (#16090986)
        Where've you been? Brushed metal was ditched with iTunes 6. And none of the cosmetic changes with iTunes 7 bear any resemblance to Mail.app.

        The most noticable difference appears to be the new scollbars. I agree with the original poster -- I don't like them.

        Can we please just get everything looking consistent again Apple? Please? Before you stick Java scollbars on iTunes 7, can we please ditch brushed metal in Finder (and a half dozen other Apple apps that ship with OS X)?

        I mean seriously, OS X is starting to look more frankensteinish than your typical Linux installation. I can count 5 different application "looks" now:

        - iLife (darker, unified toolbar, squared off corners)
        - iTunes 7 (same as iLife, new scrollbars)
        - Mail.app (unified toolbar, lighter than iLife, rounder corners)
        - Safari/Finder/iCal (etc) (brushed metal)
        - TextEdit/Preview (etc) (older non-unified look)

        I love my MacBook Pro, but I'm not sure what happened to that consistency that Macs were supposed to be known for. :(

        • by Omestes (471991) <omestes@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @04:35PM (#16091578) Homepage Journal
          There is an app out there that will unify all of the OS X apps (even Firefox) with a common skin. It skins them to be a pretty standard OS X-ish feel, a much like Mail.app (w/o unified buttons), exept slightly darker. It also stips the brushed metal from brushed apps. I haven't ran it in awhile, so can't say if it works with the new iTunes. Its called UNO.

          If the interface schizophrenia is getting to you, it might be the best solution, until Apple at least realized that their getting slightly off base with the "a style per app" philosophy. How hard is it to just use some stardardized Aqua on everything? Do individual apps really need to stand out, can function speak for them? I damn well know I'm running iTunes (sound coming from speakers, etc), and don't need it to be styled in such a way to let me know that "yep, thats itunes" when I look at it. Its annoying that they screw up their own standards.

          Sorry for the rant, preaching to the choir.
  • Big question... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dzimas (547818)
    Why is it that we eagerly participate in a mad rush to publicize every single product at every single Apple PR event? No one else *ever* gets that kind of coverage... Imagine Dell or Creative Labs having a similar impact. The cold, hard reality is that the company has its share of flops along with the home runs (like that odd iPod speaker thingy) and they're definitely not a cool and trendy ma & pa shop... yet we treat them like one. I know there stuff is cool, but it's not always the coolest. So why is
    • Re:Big question... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mblase (200735) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:11PM (#16090725)
      Why is it that we eagerly participate in a mad rush to publicize every single product at every single Apple PR event? No one else *ever* gets that kind of coverage.

      Two reasons. One: we love new iPods. and Two: Apple nearly wrote the book on this sort of marketing technique, and we still love to fall for it every single time.
    • Re:Big question... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:34PM (#16090936) Homepage Journal

      Well, this announcement's kind of significant. Apple's taking a risk here, but if they pull it off, what you're seeing, once all the pieces are in place (such as the "iTV") is an entire reinvention of visual media delibery. That is, this announcement may well be the most radical thing in that field since the VCR and cable television.

      Of course, nobody cares about that, most of the postings here are "OMG! A blue iPod! I so want that!!" Still, this is the forum that brought you "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

      iTunes 7, the Movie Store (with the pre-existing TV shows), and the "iTV" (name pending.) Cool. Be interesting to see if Apple can pull it off.

  • iTV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Damek (515688) <adam.damek@org> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:08PM (#16090689) Homepage
    Looking forward to this - but the big question will be, can you import video, or does it all have to come from iTunes Music Store? Namely, will Apple support via iTunes, just as they do for CDs, importing DVDs? Because a set top box that can only play video from an iTunes-bearing computer is relatively useless in comparison with Tivo/DVR/EyeTV/whathaveyou. Combine your standard cable company's DVR box with EyeTV and you can get any video you want on your Mac mini. No need for an "iTV" then. I guess if they just want to make it easy for people to get their iTunes videos onto their TV screen, that'll be good for most, but I would hope they at least provide some advanced functionality.
    • I'm sure you will be able to play your home videos in MP4 format and probably recorded shows from EyeTV, but DVD-ripping software still isn't legal.
    • Re:iTV (Score:5, Informative)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:30PM (#16090895)
      It looks like it will be an appliance that will simply stream video wirelessly from any Mac or Windows system with iTunes.

      But, since you can absolutely import any video you wish (including, say, ripped DVDs) into iTunes, there's no reason you wouldn't be able to play any media you wished.

      This is likely for people that DO NOT already have some kind of media center or EyeTV/EyeHome/DVR setup: the target for this isn't people who already have made the leap to having full-fledged computer systems in their living room. The target for this is the same as for AirPort Express: not people who build an MP3 and media station computer in their living room. People who want to plop down a device, hook the A/V outputs up to their TV and entertainment system, use an assistant (like AirPort Express) to set it up, and it's ready to play media they download/import on their computer/laptop/etc. elsewhere in the house.

      No second whole computer in the living room. This is, essentially, an AirPort Express for video (and yes, I know it's not exactly like an AirPort Express, but its functionality in the context of video and the living room can be summed up that way).

      There probably will be *some* advanced or interesting functionality, but it looks like this is more or less an appliance designed to play video content downloaded to iTunes on a remote computer via a Front Row-like interface. But yes, you will be able to add your own video content, since you can do that with iTunes now. The only requirement is that it be some format QuickTime understands.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by amper (33785) *

        But, since you can absolutely import any video you wish (including, say, ripped DVDs) into iTunes

        As yet, I have not seen anything telling us definitively whether or not we will be able to rip copys of previously purchased DVD's for playback on an iPod. Should this capability exist, *then* I'll get excited. As it is, I can't see paying 10-15USD for a movie that's less quality than a current DVD.

        After all, as SJ has been telling us all for years, why would anyone want to watch a movie on a 2" screen?

        Give me

        • Re:iTV (Score:4, Informative)

          by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @04:40PM (#16091628)
          As yet, I have not seen anything telling us definitively whether or not we will be able to rip copys of previously purchased DVD's for playback on an iPod.

          That's because it's not "legal" in many jurisdictions, including the US.

          I wasn't saying that iTunes or iTV would do this; what I'm saying is that it's definitely going to be technically possible, and in fact it's possible right now, in one step, with tools like:

          http://handbrake.m0k.org/ [m0k.org]

          But it won't be iTunes itself that does it for you; you'll still have to rip it with another tool first, such as HandBrake. But you can then certainly import into iTunes, play via iTV, or put on your iPod (and you can put it into iTunes and sync it to your iPod today).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blibbler (15793)
      iTunes can handle any video Quicktime can. You can even instruct iTunes to convert this video to an H264 that recent iPods can play. As far as I am aware, this has been the case for as long as iPods have been able to play video.
      Ripping DVDs is still illegal in the USA which is Apple's biggest market. If you do the ripping, you can add the DivX (or another quicktime supported format/codec) of a DVD to iTunes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Have Blue (616)
        You can also rip the DVD directly to H.264 with Handbrake and skip the second encoding.

        I expect the iTV to support the same codecs the iPod does: H.264, MPEG-4, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV.
  • The set-top box is looking pretty nice (component and HDMI video output). Makes me wonder if it has the horsepower to decode HD material. If so, then it may work it's way to the top of my wishlist when it's released.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by the phantom (107624) *
      Man, I hate being dyslexic sometimes. On first read through, I read "set-top box" as "sex-bot top."
  • by Shuh (13578) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:09PM (#16090701) Journal
    Use the scroll-wheel on your mouse to browse those albums. MMMmmmm, tasty!

  • After hearing all the rumors of an iPod cell phone and widescreen video iPods, the actual product announcements seem quite unimpressive. It seems like the only product that got a major redesign was the Shuffle, with everything else being minor enhancements.

    Sure, cheaper iPods with more storage and battery life are a good thing, but I didn't really see anything that wanted me to upgrade my existing MP3 player.
  • Hopefully this one does slightly better [wikipedia.org], eh?

    Interesting that they did a preview of a product they’re not ready to formally announce yet. Rather uncharacteristic. I guess they feel their hand is being forced. Perhaps they’re trying to steal thunder from Vista Media Center Edition or whatever it’s called? You’d think they’d at least finalize the name, though. Really odd.

    Or maybe they’re trying to convince the other movie houses that they’re really serious about this a
    • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:18PM (#16090791)
      Interesting that they did a preview of a product they're not ready to formally announce yet. Rather uncharacteristic

      It's been pointed out that the only reason most iTMS users would buy full-length movies online is so they could watch them on their TV set. Since DVD burning isn't an option (yet?), Apple had to announce their intended set-top box to give the movie announcement some real weight..................
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:45PM (#16091061) Homepage Journal
      Interesting that they did a preview of a product they're not ready to formally announce yet. Rather uncharacteristic. I guess they feel their hand is being forced. Perhaps they're trying to steal thunder from Vista Media Center Edition or whatever it's called? You'd think they'd at least finalize the name, though. Really odd.

      I don't think that's the case. What Apple appears to be doing is dropping a huge hint in terms of how they expect the whole downloadable visual media thing to work.

      Before the announcement, most people were talking about "downloadable movies" in terms of watching them on iPods. This was seen by most people as completely ridiculous, even assuming a "video iPod" was just around the corner with a larger screen. So the talk moved towards the idea that perhaps you were supposed to watch the movies on your laptop, or hook up a video card to your computer that would pipe the output to a TV. These are all ugly options for various reasons, and they certainly take away from the idea of this as more than a gimmick.

      Now imagine the year 2010. You have broadband in common with 95% of the country. You flop in front of the TV, and select the program you want to watch and watch it. The programs come from a variety of sources: free video blogs, CNN newscasts available on a subscription basis, serials available on a subscription basis, free sample pilots, plus movies you're either renting or downloading.

      How are you doing this?

      With the products Apple announced today (and some its already announced.) That's how. You already could buy TV shows from Apple. You can now buy DVDs, and (once Jobs and the studios work something out) the chances are that movies on a PPV basis will probably be available too. The other thing necessary is the TV, the whole "flop on the couch" thing, and that's iTV.

      They couldn't have announced the products they did today without announcing iTV. The question isn't why they pre-announced the iTV today, it's why they announced the movie store today without the iTV being ready.

  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummelNO@SPAMjohnhummel.net> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:12PM (#16090739) Homepage
    That was the make or break for me. I could deal with a $10 movie price as long as I could burn the movie to DVD and watch it on TV.

    Without it - sorry, folks, but I'll wait.
  • Baby Steps (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheWoozle (984500)
    Well, at $14.99 the movies are too expensive. But the new set-top box is a promising step in the right direction. That plus a Mac Mini look like a nice, quiet, unobtrusive presence in the living room. Notice that the box has HDMI out - possible hi-def videos in the future?
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:15PM (#16090766) Homepage
    Putting "Blow by blow" and "Steve Jobs" in one sentence really wasn't a good idea.

  • Lovely! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:15PM (#16090767) Journal
    There's some much appreciated updates in iTunes, speaking for myself at least...the album art was something I had to do in external programs (Tag & rename for instance).

    But, I've noticed the installer mentioned something about a "Software updater" (or equivalent in English) for iTunes & QuickTime - have they finally solved the full-install download for each version revision I wonder? I guess we won't know for sure until there's an update.
  • This is lame (Score:5, Informative)

    by dangermouse (2242) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:15PM (#16090773) Homepage
    I sort of assumed that when Jobs said you could transfer music between iTunes libraries using the iPod, he meant all of your music. Nope [apple.com].

    Music and media not purchased from the iTunes store only syncs one way, from your computer to your iPod.

    I know this is not new, but enabling this functionality for iTMS tracks only is a real dick move.

  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:17PM (#16090788)
    "Hey, you've got a bit of dust on your clothes"


    "That's not dust! That's my ipod!"
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:22PM (#16090818)
    I downloaded The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as a test.

    - The movie is 1.22 GB, and downloaded in about 20 minutes on a 100 Mbps connection (Internet2).
    - The movie was able to be played before downloading was finished, and could skip to anywhere in the content that was already complete.
    - The content shows itself as being protected by "FairPlay Version: 2".
    - The bitrate is 1.5Mbps.
    - The framerate is 24fps.
    - The audio on this particular movie is Protected AAC, stereo, 128kbps, 44.1kHz.
    - The video on this particular movie is Protected H.264/AVC0 640x272 (Widescreen format, probably just 640x480 with the black bars eliminated).
    - The video looks very good (indeed, "near DVD quality") on a high quality 20" LCD. (I'm not a "videophile", but this is absolutely more than watchable on a nice quality large TV or monitor, and I suspect most consumers would agree).
    - The video can be played in QuickTime, and uses QuickTime Chapters for DVD chapters; chapters are also accessible in iTunes.
    - The video file can be burned to a DVD, but you cannot burn the file as a video DVD.
    - You can play the file on multiple computers (I *believe* up to three as opposed to five for music), or on an unlimited number of iPods (if the usage rights haven't changed with iTunes 7; I haven't looked through the terms - if someone knows this to be different please correct me. In any case, it's already less restrictive than Unbox).
    - iTunes 7.0 requires QuickTime 7.1.3.
    - Pretty much every movie I looked at was $9.99; some new releases were up to $14.99, but were cheaper if preordered.
    - When used on a Mac in a media center configuration, or with the forthcoming iTV solution that will presumably be much like a video AirPort Express (and yes, I know it's not an AirPort Express, but it will probably act a lot like a AirPort Express functionally, except allowing the streaming of video to your TV), this will be a pretty compelling and vertically integrated solution for most consumers.
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:23PM (#16090828) Journal

    I love that somewhat Orwellian slide that Engadget has from the presentation:

    Apple is in your den
    Apple is in your living room
    Apple is in your car
    Apple is in your pocket

    What's next?

    Strength Through iTunes
    iTunes Through Apple

    Apple Prevails

    • by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:42PM (#16091011)
      I love that somewhat Orwellian slide that Engadget has from the presentation:

      Apple is in your den

      Apple is in your living room

      Apple is in your car

      Apple is in your pocket

      What's next?

      Strength Through iTunes

      iTunes Through Apple

      Apple Prevails


      It's always like that. Apple is going along, brainwashing people. Things are great. And then when we are watching a Steve Jobs special event presentation on a giant screen in an auditorium some athletic chic from IBM comes running in and throws a big hammer at the screen. Bummer.
  • Dag Nabbit. (Score:4, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:29PM (#16090892)
    I wanna Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro
    I wanna Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro
    ...
    I wanna Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro
    I wanna Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro

  • by nursegirl (914509) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:35PM (#16090945) Journal
    Movies/Shows/Music can now be shared between 5 computers, unlimited iPods and as many iTVs (or whatever) as you buy. It just makes so much sense for people with home & cottage to be able to bring a bunch of movies to the cottage without having to pack up DVDs. Once this moves up to HDTV standards (bandwidth is probably the only reason they haven't yet), then this could just end the format war before it started.

    Also, you can backup movies downloaded from iTMS onto DVD, it just isn't a DVD-player readable format. So, they've even thought about that touch. Now just to decide how long to wait. Second edition? Third edition? It's always hard to tell with Apple products. Just when will they hit that sweet spot?
  • by coolfrood (459411) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:35PM (#16090946) Homepage
    The last time Apple did an iTunes upgrade, they added a minibrowser mode which would basically call home and tell Apple what you were listening to, so that the store would give you recommendations. There was a big hue and cry about the privacy concerns, so Apple changed that to be off by default, instead of on by default.

    With iTunes 7, Apple will now let you get the artwork for your entire music collection, even if it wasn't bought from iTMS. This means that Apple has now given you a reason to willingly tell them about your entire music collection, effectively letting them get the information they want about your musical tastes. Very smart!
  • Student discount (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NemosomeN (670035) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @03:39PM (#16090978) Journal
    Did the student discount apply to iPods? I'm almost 100% certain it did, but it seems it doesn't anymore. I was just looking at iPods last night...
  • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @04:05PM (#16091273) Homepage
    There is a problem with the scrollbars. OSX scrollbars can normally either have both arrows clustered at the bottom right, or one arrow on either end. The preference to change that is in the Appearance control panel.

    But there is a third option, which you generally have to set via the terminal, for double arrows at both ends. This has worked in everything AFAIK until now. iTunes 7 appears to have the arrows at the bottom right by default, and only changes to the arrows at each end if that is set. It doesn't honor the double arrows at both ends setting, instead defaulting back to double arrows only in the lower right. And since it apparently doesn't use the standard arrows, like pretty much everything else, this is relevant.

    This is pretty minor, but annoying, especially since if I couldn't have double arrows at both ends, I'd have single arrows at both ends, but since I won't change the global setting (since everything else still works with it), iTunes uses the double at one end arrows, which I hate.
  • New features (Score:4, Informative)

    by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @04:16PM (#16091391) Homepage
    In addition to the great new gapless playback feature, one cool thing "power users" of iTunes might be interested in is that there is now a "Skipped Count" (and "Last Skipped") attribute in iTunes. This will be great for finding those overrated songs that you constantly skip without remembering to downgrade them to fewer stars. Smart Playlists everywhere rejoice!
  • CoverFlow (Score:5, Informative)

    by earthbound kid (859282) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @05:15PM (#16091962) Homepage
    According to the website of the old CoverFlow.app [steelskies.com], they did in fact sell their software to Apple, and that's what's being used in iTunes 7. Good for them. I bet they're glad they didn't end up like Watson or, to a less extent, Konfabulator (though they did manage to get bought out by Yahoo!).
  • by HuguesT (84078) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @05:47PM (#16092239)
    The old shuffle had its USB interface built in, and you could use it as a USB key to take some data with you. Now you have to carry along a dock. This is less geek-friendly.
  • by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @07:18PM (#16092792)
    So they increased the resolution from 320x240 to 640x480, very nice. But what about people who bought videos at the old resolution? Is there any way for them to download the newer version of those videos, or do they have to buy them again to get the higher resolution?
  • by DECS (891519) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:29PM (#16093621) Homepage Journal
    RoughlyDrafted presents a closer look at Apple's announced iTV set top box, why it isn't ready yet, how it differs from existing products already on the market, and how it fits in with the company's online media strategy:

    How Apple's iTV Media Strategy Works [roughlydrafted.com]

    A Visual Comparison of CD, DVD, HD and iTMS [roughlydrafted.com]

    Why Apple is Winning in Media Downloads [roughlydrafted.com]

    The Apple iTMS vs Amazon Unbox Rivalry Myth [roughlydrafted.com]

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