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Live: updates from the Apple "Showtime" event

updated 12:50 pm EDT, Tue September 12, 2006

Apple Showtime Live

Apple will soon begin its "Showtime" special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. While details of what will be released are still unknown, both the online Apple Store and iTunes Music Store are currently offline and expected to feature new products and services after Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers his presentation. Click through for periodic updates starting at 10 AM Pacific (1 PM Eastern).

1:02 PM - The Bob Dylan iPod+iTunes ad has played. Jobs notes the success of the iPod in cars (70% of 2007 models will have support) and how Foot Locker has been impressed by sales of the Nike+ shoes and Nike+iPod Sport Kit.

1:08 PM - New updates to the current iPod. The screen is 60% brighter. Video runtime lasts much longer at 3.5 hours for the base model (up from 2) and 6.5 hours for the higher-end model (up from 4). New headphones with an improved shape are standard. Gapless playback is also standard, and addresses the number one request from customers. 30GB for $249, 60GB for $299, 80GB for $399.

1:12 PM - Games more elaborate than what's on the iPod will be available from iTunes for $4.99, including PopCap titles like Zuma.

1:15 PM - New iPod nano. They resemble a very thin iPod mini with colors including black, blue, green, pink, and silver. 2GB models ship in silver only, while 4GB models ship in all colors but black (reserved for the new 8GB model). A new armband, smaller charger, and new earbuds accompany the release. New ads are being shown featuring an inverse silhouette. $149 through $249.

1:18 PM - New iPod shuffle as well. It is encased in aluminum and no bigger than the Apple Radio Remote - "world's smallest MP3 player," according to Apple. Comes in a single 1GB model with a dock for USB2 connections and lasts for 12 hours on battery. $79. Now on to iTunes.

1:23 PM - iTunes 7 is being introduced today. It downloads album art from iTunes for albums ripped via CD. Icon view lets you look at albums and tracks visually.

1:29 PM - The entire NFL 2006 season is now available as a $25 season pass (or $2 per game). All iTunes Store videos are seeing an increase from 320x240 to 640x480 resolution. You can now manage your iPod from within the main iTunes interface, including updates and preferences. More sync options - multiple Macs (not PCs?) authorized through the iTunes Store can use a single iPod to sync music and videos.

1:35 PM - Demo of iTunes 7. Gapless playback is an automatic function - no need to update songs for it. Video quality is definitely improved.

1:38 PM - One more thing: movies are being added. Disney, Miramax, Pixar and Touchstone movies will appear to start (75 initially). Movies will be available the same day as the DVD release. $13 for pre-orders and the first week of release, $15 afterwards. Back catalogue movies will sell for $10 each.

1:42 PM - Movies are also in 640x480 resolution and include Dolby Surround. The average movie will take about 30 minutes to download on a 5-6 megabit connection. Movies can play while the download takes place, and queuing multiple movies is possible. Currently US-only, the movie service will be international in 2007.

1:49 PM - Disney's Bob Iger is on stage, talking about movies on the iPod as a breakthrough and how Disney dominated the #1 and #2 positions at the box office this year (Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest).

1:55 PM - One last thing: an early peek at ITV (working name only), a wireless box resembling a smaller Mac mini that can supply video to a television. WiFi, USB, Ethernet for data; component, HDMI, and optical audio for the television itself. Works with the Apple Remote and has a Front Row-style interface. Movies gain DVD case art, and video access is instantaneous.

2:19 PM - ITV will arrive sometime in Q1 2007 for $299. John Legend has taken the stage and the new announcements are over.

by MacNN Staff




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