I love, love, love Apple media days. It’s like Christmas morning for nerds (myself at the top of the Nerd list). And this one in particular, with return of long absent Steve Jobs and the numerous tech updates, made for one amazing press conference.
The extremely private Jobs, who still looked a bit feeble, opened up about his recent liver transplant and the importance of organ donation. He received a warm, minute long standing ovation from an anxious crowd, glad to see the return of the mastermind of the revived Apple, Inc.
This press conference revealed the new 32GB and 64GB iTouch devices as well as the new Nano which now comes standard with FM radio and camera/camcorder. (AMAZING!) Although it was widely rumoured that the new iTouch would feature a camera, it turned out to not be the case. (Wah Wah) The pricing on all of the devices changed a bit with the 64GB version selling for $399, the 32GB for $299, and the 8GB for $199. The 16GB device was noticeably absent from the list.
The update I am most excited about, mainly because it’s the only thing I have been able to play with, is iTunes Version 9. Now for someone like me who spends an exorbitant amount of time on iTunes, the thought of complete redesign was a little overwhelming. But it turned out to not be the case at all. After watching a small tutorial, I was a pro in no time.
The new version features Home Sharing, which allows you to transfer music across multiple computers in a single household; Genius Mixes, which allows you to pick from several Genius playlists at one time; iTunes LP, which gives bonus material for albums bought through iTunes; and of course, the sleek, much more user friendly redesign of the program.
After playing around with the new version for a while, there are a couple of features that really stand out to me. First, I was probably most excited about the ability to listen to an entire sample of a song while traveling to other artists pages. This is a really great feature for someone like me, who likes to move quickly but still wants to hear a full sample. I can listen to one artist’s track while checking out the ‘Listeners Also Bought” section to find similar artists. I know it’s a small thing, but God is in the details, right?
The Home page layout is much easier to navigate with a list of drop downs at the top highlighting the most popular options for each section. Another bonus to this new user friendly version is the quick info option for albums. By clicking on the “i” in the bottom of the album icon, you get a pop-up with an album overview, which allows you to sample songs without leaving the main music page. This makes for faster mobility through the site and creates easy viewing of potential purchases.
I have much more exploring I want to do with this version, but right now I am completely satisfied with the updates. Apple does an amazing job of anticipating what the customer wants before the customer even really knows they want it, or maybe they do an amazing job at defining customer wants with their products. How would we have ever known that we would be so dependant on iPods and iTunes if Apple didn’t tell us how boring our life had been without them?