This is my live report from the SoHo Apple Store in Manhattan. Standing room only crowd here to watch Steve Jobs introduce new iPods and Apple's new online Music Service.
Steve announces new iPods: 15GB, 20GB and 30GB.
thinner and lighter at .62 pounds the 30GB holds 7,500 songs.
– now has FireWire port on bottom
– new dock that will charge and has line out for home stereo
– no longer two versions (boxes) for Windows/Mac – ship in same box
– USB 2.0 with accessory cable for power $19
– All touch sensitive controls – no moving parts
– Software includes on the fly playlists (from your iPod)
– New games including Solitaire
Steve is demoing new software and chooses Bob Dylan – his favorite artist. He is building playlist on the iPod beginning with Simple Twist of Fate.
The Menus are now customizable by offering ability to turn on and off menus/features.
Comment: I love this new dock and the iPod appears to have been rounded even more at the corners. The small size looks great. Can't wait to get one in my hands.
10GM iPod is now $299
15GB is $399
30GB is $499 (the 10GB does not include the dock, other models do)
-iTunes 4.0 is released.
-Now includes AAC encoding,
-Now iTunes can share playlists across Macs.
-DVD archiving now included.
-Album cover artwork can be brought into iTunes now.
Wow. I'm impressed about how Rendezvous finds Phil Schiller's PowerBook and pops up on Steve's Mac. He illustrates that this is only streaming sharing and once Phil leaves the songs and playlists go away. This is all over Airport Wireless networking.
Steve is talking about Napster and Kazaa.
He shows benefits of downloading from these services – especially because it's free.
He is talking about Rhapsody and PressPlay and how these downloading services aren't a good alternative to the free way via Kazaa or in the past from Napster.
Steve shows a great quote from Hunter S. Thompson about the music industry and record companies. Must go back and find that.
New music service already has 200,000 available for purchase at 99¢ per song. Service offers unlimited CD burning. There is an authorization scheme that allows music downloaded only available on max of 3 macs. Songs can be played on an unlimited number of iPods.
He explains that for the price of a Starbucks Latte you could buy 3 songs.
Now he explains how difficult Kazaa service is. Averaging that it takes 15 minutes per download due to complexities of finding right song, getting a complete download. He says four (4) songs would cost $3.96 on Apple's new service — meaning that downloading songs you're working for less than minimum wage.
Buying songs is now easy because you can browse through Apple's music store like an iTunes interface and one click shopping.
Exclusive songs available only on Apple's service from Bob Dylan, U2 and eminem and 20 or more others. Wow. Differentiation. Downloaded songs now feature Album artwork.
Steve is showing how the interface works. He shows how the interface features “breadcrumbs” to give you a trail where you've been in the store. He shows that the interface offers you the ability to find new music you might not have been exposed to in the past.
Bob is showing the exclusive tracks. Now showing a Bob Dylan movie from Apple Music store website that has never been shown before – Tangled Up In Blue. Very cool. Showing artists pages to see videos. Doesn't cost anything. This is way for visitors to experience new music and ideally encourage them to make a purchase.
iTunes Music Store is the official name. And it's open today. New iTunes is required and older iPods require a free update – both available from Apple's website today (within 30 minutes). iTunes Music Store is Mac only today. But available for Windows by the end of 2003.
Steve is showing new video. Very cool. SoHo Apple Store employee (Ian Robinson) from the SoHo store (where I'm blogging from) made this video. Great video and the people in the store hear are cheering and very excited.
Video features artists talking about iTunes and how excited they are about iTunes, iPod and iTunes Music store. Bono from U2, Wynton Marsalis and Alannis Morrisette
I've just downloaded the new iTunes 4, the iPod update and QuickTime 6.2. Browsing the store is easy and fun. I think the site is getting slammed because I'm having difficulty accessing the Bob Dylan page. I want to purchase the new exclusive Dylan song to fully experience this new service from Apple. More on this later.