New iPod: eh, whatever. I told you there’d be disappointment today, didn’t I? New games, cool. $4.99 a download, not cool.
New iPod nano: I’m holding judgment until I see it in person (hopefully at Apple Expo? I haven’t found word of masked-out stuff on the Apple booth, so maybe there’s just nothing to see there). I understand that they had to do something to address scratch complaints, but going from metal mini to plastic nano back to metal nano looks… just weird and messy and unprofessional.
New iPod ad: pretty cool. Sure, the whole “painting with light” is more like following an internet meme than innovating, but it looks cool and it’s a change from the previous series, so why the hell not?
New iPod shuffe: Wow. This one I love. It looks cute and cuddly and… well, maybe not cuddly, but it has an integrated clip! What more do you want?
No, seriously, I want one. The loss of an embedded USB connector is a bit of a shame, though. Justifiable trade-off, to be sure, but the original shuffle doubled as a cool USB drive, and this one won’t. If Steve is all about having Apple products everywhere in your life, he should have left an original-design 2GB shuffle model.
iTunes 7: I’ll wait, as always, until it’s on Software Update to try it out — and see if they’ve finally fixed sluggish, skipping video playback — but I’m delighted that Apple finally discovered the idea of “gapless playback”. It’s not like it took them seven major releases; 6.0 was actually a minor.
Automatically fetching covers from the iTMS? Sure, the integration is nice, but requiring an iTMS account for that is a bit petty — besides, most people won’t be particularly keen on sending an extensive list of their MP3 collection to Apple. Even I, not being usually of the paranoid type, aren’t to eager to do that. (Although I do realize it’s mostly an incentive for people to register to the iTMS — and then be suckered into spending money — rather than compiling lists of what they have ripped.)
And it’s funny, the CoverFlow website appeared to have imploded at the time of the keynote. While I totally expected Apple to just steal the idea from under the developer’s feet (they copied Konfabulator; they might as well copy the basic idea of flipping through 3D representations of your album collection) I didn’t in the least expect Steve Jobs to call it “cover flow”, and the website to list it as such. Yes, they did the right thing for once: they bought CoverFlow.
By the way — I wonder what the cover flow option looks like on iTunes for Windows.
The iTunes Movie Store: talk about an anticlimactic “one more thing” (well, better than none at all, like last WWDC). The rumored prices were right (except for the $12.99 preorders); video resolution has been predictably bumped to 640x480 (which is still one eighth less than regular DVD — plus, aren’t more and more TV shows going HD?); and, boy, is Steve Jobs lucky that Miramax belongs to Disney, because otherwise there wouldn’t be much in the way of non-kiddy movies on the iTMS.
I don’t care about that one anyway. Nevermind that it won’t come to Europe until 2007, if at all; I just don’t see the point of downloading a huge file, overloading my connection in the process,
and having to burn it to DVD myself (not to mention the French copyright taxes on blank DVDs), all for pretty much the same price as a regular DVD with box and everything.
[+4h] Uh, scratch that: you can’t even burn it to DVD at all. Lame.
Oh, wait — Apple does still innovate: “One more thing” is out now, it’s all about the surprise after the credits: “one last thing”! And now… for a product that’s still in development, and doesn’t even have a final name yet! Huh? What the hell is wrong with you, Steve?
Anyway… weird design choice, if you ask me. Basically, this is a set-top wifi iPod rather than a media center: i.e., I don’t think it has a hard drive at all (considering the format and lack of external power supply — which nobody cares about, as it would be lost in the sea of home cinema cords, unlike the mini’s unseemly power brick — I’m pretty sure they can’t fit one in there). I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much the exact opposite of what I’d like to do: I don’t want to clutter my iMac’s hard drive with music and videos; I do want to have a dedicated jukebox where I can store all those media. That’s why it’s called a freaking media center.
The only advantage I can think of is, you’ll be able to stream iTMS-purchased videos from separate accounts and computers on your home network. That’s a very minor advantage to justify having to stream everything you want to watch over home wifi.
How expensive would it be to put a hard drive in there, really? Geez, they’re going to release this at a time when pretty much any given cable or satellite box includes a hard drive and acts as a DVR.
Hold on. Are they actually skipping the hard drive so that they can justify not having DVR functionality and not aggravating their content-provider partners?