iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
Read More | iTunes
Apple is improving the iPod touch with a thinner stainless steel case, hardware volume controls, a built-in speaker, and a Nike+ receiver (you’ll need to puchase a Nike+ kit to take advantage of that one.) Battery life is now at 36 hours for music, which translates to around six hours for video. The new Genius feature will be included, alongside the App Store. They’ve also redone the casing, which is now a thinner stainless steel, and we’ve even got actual hardware volume control buttons. The new iPod touch is available now - 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399. You can pick on up from the Apple Store Online now.
Read More | iPod touch
Apple announced new in-ear headphones that contain two high-performance drivers, a woofer and tweeter, built-in. The price might be high at $79, but it may well be worth it, especially if you have a discerning ear. The three pairs of changeable is a nice inclusion since all ears are created differently and you’ll be able to find just the right fit, unlike that last in-ear that Apple made a while back. Another nifty feature here is the “control capsule”, which includes a microphone, volume adjustment, and music/video playback control. Oddly, despite the microphone, these don’t seem to be compatible with the iPhone - Apple says the mic is great for voice notes though. In that case, we should all run out and get these! They’ll be available in October.
What? You don’t want to pay a high price for the Apple logo? I mean, comfort?
Read More | Apple In-Ear Headphones
Well, what do you know? Looks like that Apple event that Kevin Rose speculated about a couple of weeks ago is finally official. This morning, Apple sent out notification of their next event, titled “Let’s Rock”, is set for September 9th. Now, looking at the graphic, we think it is pretty clear that this one is going to be focused on iPods. Apple is notorious for refreshing their portable media player line in September (heck, last September was when the iPod touch was announced) for the whole back-to-school and holiday vibe.
While we expect to see new models across the board, word on the street is that the iPod nano and iPod touch will be the ones to pay attention to this time around. That is, unless, you are like me and have tons of media that you want with you at all times. If that is you, then you are with me in hoping we see something akin to a 250GB iPod classic. Aside from that, though, some surprises would be nice. I know I’ve been asking for it for years now, and this probably isn’t the appropriate place to announce it, but I sure as heck would just love it if Apple would also give us a new Cinema Display. Could happen, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
For those of you out there who can’t live without a jailbroken iPhone, we venture to guess that you’ll be happy to hear that PwnageTool 2.0.3 is now available, thanks to the continuing hard work of the iPhone Dev Team. This new version features a few new features:
- Updated Installer.app to beta 6
- Support for iPhone and iPod touch firmware 2.0.2 5C1
- Adds .de localization for those who read German
If you are already running an older version, you can update right from within PwnageTool, otherwise hit the link below to download the latest version.
Read More | PwnageTool 2.0.3
At E3 2008, we got to see some amazing new games from EA. Among the games demoed were Mirror’s Edge, the freerunning/parkour spy-courier game; Dead Space, a space horror dismemberment fest; Left 4 Dead, an intense zombie first-person shooter; and more from the ever-anticipated Spore, including an iPhone version called Spore: Origins. If you are into sports, Peter Moore shows us the evolution of a bunch of EA Sports titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 and NBA Live 09 with Dynamic DNA.
We’ve highlighted the best of the media briefing here, so be sure to hit the video above to get a look at all the goods yourself. Oh, and if you missed it, be sure to check out our full coverage in our E3 2008 EA Media Briefing live coverage.
Moving one step past the rotating iCooly iPod touch stand we told you about last week is this iHome Rotating Alarm Clock. The iH41 can be set on its side to watch video and the clock will do likewise. Set the clock to wake to your tunes through EXB speakers and charge your touch at the same time. The device also has battery back-up, a snooze bar and an Aux/MP3 line-in jack for those who are iPodless. Pre-order for $79.00 for a July delivery.
Read More | iHome Audio
We found another useless gadget for your iPod touch (8/16/32GB) that will at least be a nice accessory to place next to your iMac or, if you don’t have one, look almost as cool. The adjustable iCooly has a small slot on its side to attach your dock connector and headphones. At a size of 115 × 100 × 45mm and made of aluminum and resin, it weighs about 55g. You can get a mini-holder of your own for ¥4,980 (~$47.00.)
Read More | DVICE
Schmap has come out with a new beta service for iPhones and iPod touches similar to Google mapping. When you hold your device vertically, it features places of interest on a scrollable list which is updated dynamically. Rotate to landscape and it shows them on a map. Tap a name from the list or one of the icons to get more information such as location and phone number with pics. Touch previous or next and you get your choice of other places in the area. Contact Schmap on your iPhone to try out their service.
Read More | Schmap
Typically we find that most manufacturer’s who focus exclusively on Apple products choose Macworld over CES, since the two are scheduled to close together. That didn’t stop iPhone, iPod, and other Mac products from being a reoccurring theme at CES. XtremeMac was there in force showing off a collection of iProduct accessories – check them out for the full skinny.
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