Sharing the stage with the iPhone 5 Apple’s iPods and iTunes were updated in front of the world’s media today. Starting with iTunes Apple’s Eddy Cue announced a whole new version of iTunes on the desktop, version 11, with a major redesign (see it up close). Joswiak also explained how over 60% of music bought off the iTunes store is done through iOS devices so kicked off his section of today’s keynote by announcing a redesign of the iTunes store on iOS.
The changes to the desktop iTunes app are deeper than just the iTunes store which has also had a redesign. iTunes 11, set to land in late-October is much simpler to use and includes iCloud integration for seamless syncing of content between all devices, iCloud also remembers where you are in your favourite movies or TV shows no matter which device you’re viewing on. The new library view makes it easier to view your music, TV shows and movies, allowing you to click on the category of content you want to browse and that’s all you will see. The expandable album view allows you to see track listings for an individual album, while letting you continue to browse your music library. The new search feature searches across your entire iTunes library, including music, movies and TV shows.
One feature I’m personally keen on is called Up Next and is a new way to see what songs are coming up and queue songs or albums you want to hear next.
Apple also took the opportunity to show off the impressive statistics attached to the almost decade old iTunes store. The iTunes store includes 26 million songs, over 700,000 apps, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films and is available in 63 countries around the world.
Apple also refreshed some of its iPod lineup in preparation for the upcoming Christmas shopping season. Both the iPod nano and iPod touch got major updates whilst the iPod shuffle got minor colour changes and the iPod classic remained untouched as with previous years.
The new iPod nano features a 2.5-inch multi-touch display, a small home button, navigation buttons on the side for quick track changing and Bluetooth for wireless transmission of music. The iPod nano is now just 5mm thin and available only in 16GB size in six different colours.
iPod nano is available in October for $149.
The iPod touch also got a major revamp. Following in the steps of the iPhone 5 the new touch has a 4-inch retina display and a a 5MP camera with autofocus, support for 1080p video recording with video image stabilisation, face detection and an LED flash, and the new panorama mode. Every new iPod touch comes with a colour-matched iPod touch loop, a clever and convenient wrist strap a perfect accessory for kids.
The new iPod touch is just 6mm thin and weighs 88 grams. Inside Apple has managed to pack in last years A5 SoC but the graphics capabilities of this chip were enough for Apple to spend a considerable portion of the keynote showing off how good a gaming device the iPod touch is.
iPod touch is available in October in five colours in 32GB and 64GB capacities for $299 (£249) and $399 (£329) respectively.