9/1/10
1:07 pm

MacMost Now 445: New iPods, Apple TV

Apple announced a whole new iPod line-up today, with a new Shuffle, Nano and iPod Touch. They also talked about iOS 4.1 and 4.2. A Apple TV will allow streaming video playback from other computers and Internet rentals from Apple or Netflix.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today Apple announced new iPods and a new Apple TV. Let's take a look.
So at today's event, Apple announced a complete revamp of the entire iPod line. Let's start with the Shuffle. The last Shuffle had no controls on it; all the controls were on the earbuds cord. But now Apple has moved the controls back to the Shuffle itself, and given it a new, square shape. It's basically just big enough to hold the buttons themselves. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as the previous shuffle. So it's basically the best of the second and third generation Shuffles combined to make a fourth generation Shuffle.
So the iPod Nano got a dramatic makeover. Forget everything about the previous Nanos. This new one combines the controls and screen into a square touchscreen, and on the touchscreen we control the Nano now with little apps, just like you would an iPhone or an iPod Touch. So you get basically the same functionality. You get extras like the pedometer and FM tuner, and of course all of the iPod functions, including video playback, but on this small little square screen. The one thing missing, though, is the video camera. That's not included in the new iPod. So you get a touchscreen, but no camera. Now the price for the Nano remains the same: $149 for the base model, and for double the size you pay $179.
The iPod Touch is completely new as well. There's a new design, which is thinner but doesn't look like the iPhone design. It's its own unique iPod Touch design, still with a little bit of curve to the back. And we get the cameras that everybody wanted. You get a HD camera facing forward, and a front-facing camera that will allow you to use Facetime. Also we get the new A4 processor which is in the new iPhone 4, and a retina display. The price for the iPod Touch is about the same. $229 for the base model, all the way up to $400 for one with a lot of extra space.
Now coming next week is a whole new version of iOS. We're at version 4.0, but version 4.1 next week will bring several new features. The two big ones are HDR photos. So HDR basically takes three photos when you take one. It takes a normal photo, and then it takes one with high exposure and low exposure. And then it combines these to give you details from the background that normally might get washed out if you just took a single photo. And it's going to combine those two photos and give them both to you, so you can decide which one to keep later on.
Now Game Center is the ability for games to communicate between players, so you can have multi-player play, you can have high scoreboards, you can challenge other players. It's something that the developers have had for a little while, so a few games could be built with these features, and next week we'll finally be able to see it in iOS 4.1.
So we'll get 4.1 next week for iPhones and iPod Touches. It will be a free update through iTunes. And in November we'll get iOS 4.2, which will be for iPhones and iPod Touches and also iPads, and finally bring a lot of the iOS 4 features, like multi-tasking and app folders, to the iPad.
Apple also announced an update to iTunes. iTunes is now going to be version 10, iTunes 10, and it will have one major new feature, which is called iTunes Ping, which basically looks like a social network-a Facebook, if you will-for music. So you can connect with your friends and see what music they buy and are listening to, and send messages to each other. That will available later today.
And, finally, as many people expected, we have an update to Apple TV. The new Apple TV is a really tiny box. It's about a quarter of the size of the current Apple TV. It has no hard drive in it. Instead, everything will just stream. So it can stream content from your Macs and PCs in the house. It can also stream content from the internet, like YouTube or radio stations. In addition, you can rent movies and TV shows, which will stream to the box. So without a hard drive, there's no purchasing of movies; it's all rentals. And, in addition to that, you'll be able to rent on NetFlix, a feature that a lot of people really wanted in this new Apple TV. The new Apple TV is going to be a lot cheaper. It's only going to be 99 bucks and should be available next month.
One small item that was shown was AirPlay. Now, right now we have AirTunes, which allows you to stream music from one device, say your Mac, to another device, say an Apple TV, in another part of the house. Well, AirPlay replaces AirTunes and allows you to stream photos and video. So, for instance, Steve Jobs demonstrated streaming a movie playing on an iPad to the Apple TV, which then put it up on a big screen.
So that's it. All the new iPods should be available for order already and shipping pretty soon. The new Apple TV will be available next month, and iTunes 10 is something you should be able to download today.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 7 Responses to “MacMost Now 445: New iPods, Apple TV”

    bill braun
    9/2/10 @ 1:07 pm

    What do I do with my Apple TV that is not yet even a year old, if I want to buy the new Apple TV. Is there a way to use it as Time Machine or some other sort of backup?

    Ideas??

      9/2/10 @ 1:11 pm

      Paperweight? Or, better yet, one of those things that keeps your coffee warm (it gets really hot).
      But seriously, there’s no way to convert it to something else like a Time Capsule. But you can keep using it in another room perhaps? I plan on relocating my old Apple TV to another room. It will still work. And it can do almost everything the new one does (except maybe Netflix).

    G Tyler
    9/3/10 @ 1:05 pm

    I had bought my Apple TV mostly to backup my photos from my iMac. Since then, I have bought another iMac and a Mac Mini for my kids. Then I picked up a Time Capsule and it does all the back up duty (plus acts as a great wireless access point). I also have an iPad which is great for showing photos, so my Apple TV doesn’t get much use anymore. My Bluray player, Wii, and PS3 can stream Netflix to my TV so I don’t have any plans to pick up the new Apple TV.

    There are some sites that show you how to install a different OS on the Apple TV so that may be interesting to do. Would be neat if Apple somehow let us ‘unlock’ them more easily and transferred their ‘hobby’ to actual hobbyists. Not holding my breath for that.

    I did order a 32GB iPod Touch because my first generation iPod Touch was not upgradeable. I figure this protects my app investment.

    I am mad that the iPad is not getting any OS upgrade until November. Why do we have to wait so long when all the other devices have v4?

    BTW, Steve Jobs emailed back a friend of mine who asked him if the current Apple TV was going to get the Netflix upgrade… the reply was “Sorry, no.”

      9/3/10 @ 1:13 pm

      Using the Apple TV as a photos backup was probably not a good idea. There is no easy way to get photos back from it, should you ever need to restore. I’m not even sure it has the real photos on it. It may have SD video-resolution copies.

    G Tyler
    9/3/10 @ 3:56 pm

    I realized that the Apple TV wasn’t a good back up device soon after I bought it, but this was before they had the Time Capsule product. In fact I bought it one week before they lowered the price. Luckily, there was an online form to request a refund of the difference.

    It now makes sense that Apple is dropping the hard drive.

    It’s not like I would take the Apple TV with me on vacation and watch the content somewhere else…

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8/27/11 @ 2:11 pm

    In your video you mentioned the iTunes download version 10. I received this download on the 26th August and it said version 10.4.1 running on Snow Leopard is there any difference Gary.

      8/27/11 @ 3:09 pm

      Not sure what you mean. This video is from a year ago, so there have been many updates to iTunes since.

Comments Closed.