Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's Showtime

Update: In-depth coverage of the updated iPod, the new iPod nano, the redesigned iPod shuffle and Apple's new set-top box the iTV.

The special event begins at 18:00 BST today, I'll try and keep this post updated with what's going on in real time. However it's starting to look like we might be able to watch the show live on the web...

17:24 BST - Apparently Steve Wozniak has been spotted on his Segway outside the Yerba Buena Center. It's been a while since the other Steve showed up an an Apple announcement.

CREDIT: Cult of Mac (via TUAW)
Steve Wozniak arriving...

17:58 BST - People are making their way into the theatre, almost showtime. Engadget is reporting that it's a small event of only three or four hundred people, but it looks like iLounge is saying that the eight hundred seat theatre is filled to capacity.

CREDIT: Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief, iLounge.com
Inside the theatre...

18:03 BST - Steve is on stage, looks like the live feed from the theatre isn't working. Maybe it isn't going to be a real time feed after all?

CREDIT: Engadget
The updated iPod

18:08 BST - Talking about enhancing the current iPod line with new software features: instant searching, new games, and hardware features: 60% brighter with brighness control, 3.5 hours video playback, new headphones, gapless playback. The new games will be sold on the iTunes store for $4.99, and will work on all 5G iPods.

CREDIT: Engadget
Steve Jobs, who else?

18:15 BST - As previously rumoured, the iPod nano is comes in brushed Aluminium and colours: silver, black, blue, pink and green. They new nano has a 24 hour battery life and the same software as the big brother. There will be 3 models; 2, 4 and 8GB priced at $149, $199 and $249 respectively. The 2G model will be available in silver only.

18:22 BST - The second generation of the iPod shuffle is also being released, it will have a metal body with white click wheel, will be 1GB, have a 12 hour battery life, and will be the size of the iPod radio remote. The world's smallest MP3 player, it will be priced at $79.

18:26 BST - iTunes 7 is being released, just checked the download page it still has v6 up as the keynote runs, so no sneak previews right now. iTunes will have seperate libraries for each media type, and will have three views; list view, album view (with art and tracks), then "cover flow view" which lets you rapidly find what you want by album cover. If you're missing cover art, iTunes will now automatically provide it for you.

CREDIT: Engadget
The new iTunes interface

18:27 BST - TV shows are now encoded at 640×480 (H264), up from 320×240. We now have gapless playback in iTunes 7, and can we can (finally!) sync our iPod content with a second computer.

18:36 BST - "One more thing...". Movies, with 75 films online today, more every week and month. Films from; Walt Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, Miramax. New releases $12.99 preorders and first week, after that up to $14.99, with most other titles at $9.99. Can watch movie as it downloads, and download multiple movies at once. All movies will be in 640×480, near DVD quality, and have Dolby surround sound. It'll take around 30 minutes to download a movie over broadband.

18:43 BST - Movie store will be US only, but will (hopefully?) go international sometime in 2007. Usage rights are the same as the TV shows currently in iTunes.

18:45 BST - Robert Iger of Disney takes stage, repeats what Steve has just said. Odd?

CREDIT: Engadget
Robert Iger, no semantic content

18:52 BST - Iger still saying nothing that contains actual semantic content.

18:53 BST - Steve is wrapping up. But wait, there seems to be one more, one more thing! In an unusual sneak peak to the road ahead Steve is talking about 2007. Apple will be releasing its long rumoured TV set top box. It'll be like a Mac mini, and be called the iTV, although the name apparently isn't final.

CREDIT: Engadget
The new "iTV" set top box

18:56 BST - It will be half the size of the current Mac Mini, and have a built-in power supply. It'll come with: USB, Ethernet, wireless (802.11), component video, optical audio and HDMI ports, plus RCA stereo audio ports. It'll work with your Apple Remote and the interface will be a second generation Front Row.

CREDIT: Engadget
The "iTV" interface

19:05 BST - The "iTV" will work with iTunes on PC or Mac, and will be priced at $299. Available first quarter next year.

19:10 BST - A third "One More Thing"..? It all comes down to artists. John Legend has a new album next month. Steve turns the stage over to John, and bows out to the sounds of an acoustic version of "Save Room".

19:17 BST - All done.

19:27 BST - Both the iTunes and Apple Stores have come back up, and iTunes 7 is available to download. If you want your information in a more organised form, UNEASYsilence have a good post summarising the new hardware...

With thanks to MacRumours Live, iLounge Live, Engadget, and Flickr.