New iPods today

Gizmodo is running a live blog of the new Apple iPod announcements today. Interesting reading. Quick rundown:

  • New iPod Shuffle – price lowered to $79 for 1GB
  • New iPod Nano – thinner, slightly wider. $149 and $199 for 4GB and 8GB
  • New iPod Classic – basically the same as existing iPods, but thinner and cheaper. $299 and $349 for 80GB and 160GB!
  • New iPod Touch – essentially, its an iPhone without the phone part. It has Wi-fi web surfing and iPod capabilities and the same interface as the iPhone. Also can buy songs directly from the iTunes music store. Downside: 8GB and 16GB for $299 and $399. I can’t see paying that much more and giving up all that space just for that somewhat annoying interface.
  • iPhone gets ringtones – They’re adding the ability to turn your purchased songs into ringtones… for 99 cents per song. This really sucks, basically you buy the song for 99 cents and then pay an extra 99 cents to turn any 30 second section of it into a ringtone. And it only works with songs you buy from iTunes and even then only 500k of their catalog can do it, not just any song. Really lame and one more reason not to get an iPhone, IMO.
  • iPhone also gets ability to buy direct from iTunes music store.
  • Starbucks integration – When you get the new iPod Touch or iPhone near a Starbucks, it’ll have a special menu to let you see the last 10 songs played there, and allow you to purchase them from iTunes.
  • iPhone price drop – The 4GB version is now gone, the 8GB version drops 200 bucks to $399. The price drop was required, IMO, but anybody who bought early kinda got screwed. Especially if they got the 4GB model, not only are they out $100 extra, but also out 4GB. Bummer for you suckers!

Seems to me that the price drops across the board make sense. Most excellent news, IMO, is the reasonably priced 160GB iPod classic. I really want one of those. The iPhone price drop is likely to try to stave off competition from the upcoming Google Phone. The iPod touch just seems somewhat worthless to me, but then I dislike the iPhone interface concept to begin with. Touchscreens are not my favorite things.

Still, neat stuff. Take a look at the many pictures Gizmodo posted on the live blog, some of them are quite cool.

Edit: Apple now has info about the new iPod’s up on their site: http://www.apple.com/

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