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/

Why I won't be getting an iPhone

Kat wrote about wanting an iPhone yesterday, but I’ve known for a long time that I’m really just not interested in the thing. Today I found this story on Gizmodo that really lays out why:

Finally Confirmed: What the iPhone Doesn’t Have

  • Songs as Ringtones
  • Games
  • Any flash support
  • Instant Messaging
  • Picture messages (MMS)
  • Video recording
  • Voice recognition or voice dialing
  • Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Streaming (A2DP)
  • One-size-fits-all headset jack (May have to buy an adapter for certain headphones)

Stuff we already knew it didn’t have

  • 3G (EV-DO/HSDPA)
  • GPS
  • A real keyboard
  • Removable battery
  • Expandable Storage
  • Direct iTunes Music Store Access (Over Wi-Fi or EDGE)

For reference, my existing cheap-as-in-free LG CU-500 phone has all but 3 of the the things above. The iPhone looks to be like it’s a major downgrade. I kinda wonder if it’s even capable of making phone calls.

On the plus side, you’ll soon be able to find out which of your friends has more money than brains, because they’ll be sporting their shiny new useless blingy phone! And that is going to be the most useful feature ever.

Edit: I just noticed that Amazon has several books available for a phone that actually hasn’t even been released yet! Including “iPhone for Dummies“. Amazing.

iTunes Javascripts

Somebody on digg mentioned AppleScripting iTunes on the Mac, but it seems to be less well known that you can write Javascripts or VBScripts for iTunes for Windows.
So, here’s a bunch of scripts I’ve written for various tasks:

I’ve written more, but these are the most general purpose ones.

To use any of them, just download them, rename them to a *.js file, then run them like any other program (double click, select and press enter, type the name from a command prompt, etc). If you have all the defaults in XP or have the Windows Scripting Host installed on other Windows boxes, then the wscript.exe program actually runs the scripts, much like cmd.exe runs batch files. Same idea, anyway. The scripts connect to iTunes as a COM object and use it in that fashion. Works really well and is quite handy for scripting tasks in iTunes. Yeah, it doesn’t actually integrate or anything, but it’s still useful.