Steve Jobs himself showed up today to deliver the news about new iPods in Apple land. He looked healthy, happy, and he had plenty of good news for iPod users. Almost everything got a bump of some sort, and iTunes itself became a bit more useful. For me, it was a good day. My wife had a great day, because the iPod Nano refresh means that she gets a new iPod for her anniversary.
Firstly, iTunes 9 hit and it has sone nice features. The new iTunes LP tries to bring MP3s back to the days of records with album art, liner notes, and fan information. The albums that support the new LP features will have plenty of info that will sync to your iPod of choice. iTunes also includes support for Facebook and Twitter, which allows you to share your passions or obsessions with the world. The new Genius play list feature will play on, and on, and on which is handy because you can now sync and share your iTunes libraries between Bonjour enabled machines (Macs or Windows machines with Bonjour) throughout your house. Overall, the new iTunes is a big plus. Personally, I noticed that it is both faster and less resource hungry on my Snow Leopard machines.
Next, the iPod touch dropped its price an upped its capacity. You can get an 8GB iPod touch for a mere $199 now, and a fully stacked 64GB Touch will set you back $399. The iPod Touch received much of the speed increases that the iPhone 3GS did earier this summer. Specifically, the Touch now supports OpenGL which makes 3D gaming a smoother experience. Combined with the 3.1 iPhone and iPod Touch upgrade, the iPod touch is a gaming and application running monster.
The iPod Nano was not left out. In fact, I think it received the best bump of all. The Nano now features a video camera that is capable of capturing some pretty good video. The video can be tweaked with filters and then displayed on the new, larger display. The base Nano now has 8GB of storage and only costs $149. Compared to most low-end video cameras like the Flip, the iPod Nano represens a pretty complete package. The 16GB model is only $179. The camera is in addition to a radio with live pause, a pedometer, and a speed bump. Based on what I have seen from the video camera, the 16GB iPod Nano is a steal. I know my wife is looking forward to getting hers next week.
Lastly, the shuffle received a sale price, so for $59 you get a 2GB shuffle. For $79, you can have a 4GB shuffle. The suffle also comes in colors including a stainless steel limited edition. Overall, the iPod Shuffle was the least exciting announcement, but if you need a green or pink ultra-small MP3 player, the Shuffle might excite you.
It was a good day for Steve Jobs and for Apple. This Christmas, there are going to be a ton of iGifts.