The New iPods

Apple’s event today was, in short, a snore-a-thon.  Maybe that’s unfair, but if it is, it’s Apple’s own fault.  They set the bar so high for their special events years ago that anything short of ground-breaking new technology is going to be a severe disappointment.  There was nothing at all ground breaking about todays event.  There were, however, a couple interesting things.

The most notable was the surprise everyone experienced when they announced the iPod Nano was receiving a video camera whilst the iPod Touch is not.  There was much speculation that the Touch would be getting the camera, as well as the possibility of it getting GPS capabilities.  It was expected that the Touch would realize its place as the iPhone minus the phone.  Apparently Apple has another direction in mind.  After hearing several tech blogs state that the iPod Touch was a capable portable gaming platform it seems that Apple adopted that mentality.  The touted all the games available for the iPod Touch, and talked about all the developers making their latest and greatest for the iPod Touch.  I also don’t think its unfair to say Apple is worried that the Touch could cannibalize iPhone sales.  There are a lot of people looking for a lot of the features of the iPhone, but not be forced to pay the AT&T tax.  I’ll admit I really like my iPod Touch, and it would be nice to pick up one with more capacity (and in theory a bit better battery life).

There’s a new iTunes in town, and this is perhaps the more interesting of the announcements today.  In particular, to me, the best part is the Home Sharing feature.  This feature allows you to share the music and videos on up to five machines over your home network.  Home Sharing is something that people had been hoping to see in iTunes ever since it debuted.  It removes the hassle of having to have multiple copies of things housed on each computer.  It allows you to not only stream from one machine to another, but also to copy the music and videos between the machines.  I like this feature because it allows me to keep all my media on a desktop machine, but if I wanted to have some movies with me when I traveled I could easily copy them over from the desktops library and then delete them at a later date.  Sure there have always been ways to do this, and most of them aren’t all that complicated.  But they are a bit of a hassle, and what Apple has done is make it as simple as opening up iTunes and dropping and dragging the media you want in to your local library.  So far I’ve only played with the streaming features of both music and TV shows that I had purchased from the iTunes Store.  The streaming worked great – there were no hiccups at all.

Finally, to all those people hoping to see the Beatles come to the iTunes store (yawn), it seems you’ll just have to continue to hope, wonder, and dream along with all those Apple Tablet people who swear its going to be announced at the next big event.

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