Apple debuts new iPods and launches music-based social network

Sep 1, 2010
Finance

Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs introduced a sweeping array of new iPods for the holiday season on Wednesday. The products will be available next week, and include a new version of the iPod touch that offers a front- and rear-facing camera. Apple (AAPL) also introduced an iTunes update, called iTunes 10, that offers Twitter-like social features. […]

Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs introduced a sweeping array of new iPods for the holiday season on Wednesday. The products will be available next week, and include a new version of the iPod touch that offers a front- and rear-facing camera.

Apple (AAPL) also introduced an iTunes update, called iTunes 10, that offers Twitter-like social features. People can follow regular iTunes users or celebrities, including Lady Gaga, and then learn the types of music they like or are listening to. You can approve followers, who can also follow you. The “social music discovery service,” as Jobs called it, is named Ping and it is built right into iTunes. It can be accessed on the computer and the iPod touch and iPhone

The updated iTunes 10 is available today for download.

The new iPod touch can access Apple’s new FaceTime program, a video-enabled calling system introduced over the summer for the iPhone. Hence, these iPods have what Apple calls retina display and a front- and rear-facing cameras. Now, iPhone owners and iPod touch users can have video chats over either hand-held device. Thanks to the rear-facing camera, users can shoot and edit video right from the device.

The slimmer iPod touch will go on sale next week, starting at $229 for an 8GB model. A 64GB model will sell for $399 while a a 32GB model will cost $299.

Also, Apple redesigned the popular iPod Nano so it will have touch controls only, just like the iPod touch. To do so, Apple removed the bottom half of the device where the controls where. Instead, the new device has a squarish shape and users can easily manipulate the screens to put their favorite programs in front. Finally, a new line up of the iPod shuffle will start selling for $49.

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The iPod was first introduced in 2001 as Apple heavily promoted the 5gb music player as a device that could hold 1,000 songs in your pocket. That first iPod only worked with Apple computers, but over the next two years Apple introduced software that allowed the iPod to work with Windows-based PCs as well as creating the iTunes Store, where customers could download music straight to those devices.

Thanks to the popularity of iTunes and its integration with iPods, Apple is the nation’s largest music retailer.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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