Steve Note 9-9-08

Steve Jobs is scheduled to begin his talk today around 1PM eastern. I’m posting highlights and commentary live.

iTunes:

  • 65,000,000 accounts with credit cards in iTunes.  Holy Cow! That’s a ton of customers. Data fraud scares me but the revenue possibility is awesome.
  • iTunes 8 New views, blah.
  • Genius. As a devoted Smart Playlist guy, I’m excited to see how it works! If it’s truly anonymous, I’m in. I have a huge list of smart playlists that are intermingled to each other based on last played, artists, ratings, etc. Genius could help me get out of the “ruts”.

iPods:

  • Classic 120GB $249 Cool. Same old same old. I have an old one. It’s utilitarian, not flashy.
  • Nano 4G 8GB-$149 16GB-$199.Fatty Nano on a huge diet! Voice recording sounds cool thus far. Handy perhaps. New interface, want to try before I buy, but so far so good. Shake to shuffle. I’m in, thanks Apple for keeping it fun! Video battery life seems weak (4 hours), but 24 hours is fine for music and I can’t imagine watching 4 hours of video on such a small screen! Colors – Silver, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink.
  • New headphones for $29 in October! C’mon now, have that stuff bundled and ready to ship with the launch!
  • New in-ear headphones for $79 sound like Shures with Apple influence… perhaps.
  • Touch 8GB – $229. 16GB model – $299. 32GB model – $399. Seems same as 3G iPhone. Nike+ integrated, no dongle needed. I like that, I just don’t do Nike+. Speaker will be minuscule and low quality I’m sure. Shinnier bezel.

Apps:

  • Eh, I think the Apps are OK, NFS is cool, but me paying for apps that I use rarely and only when I’m bored and have nothing else to do doesn’t excite me. I don’t think of the iPod as a gaming platform, more of a utility or productivity booster if anything. Maybe a toy too.

Software for Touch and iPhone:

  • 2.1 Software is free on the Touch if you’ve already paid to upgrade to 2.0. If not, $9.95. Ok whatever, gotta pay somewhere.
  • 2.1 for iPhone on Friday. Faster backups! Less call drops! Better battery life! Woo hoo!

I think that’s going to be it. If iTunes 8 is cool I’ll let you know. Working on the Nano thing for now.

Big news not just for geeks

Today was the announcement of the new Apple iPod lineup for the 2007-8 holiday season.  The Shuffle was refreshed with new, pastel-ish colors. The Nano has been entirely changed, now it’s the “Fatty“, short, squat and now with video, this one intrigues me, I probably won’t get one, but I think it’s cool. The iPod that we all know and love is now called the iPod Classic, nothing too crazy honestly, a huge hard drive of 160GB is now available, but honestly, 160Gb of media is a little much for nearly anyone to consume.

The real treats of the day were the new iPod Touch and the updates to the iTunes Music Store adding WiFi and the Starbucks partnerships. The iPod Touch is basically the iPhone without the phone and 3G connection. All the normal iPod functionality with WiFi and Safari browser added.

So you say, “cool I can surf while I listen in my bedroom, don’t I have a laptop for that already?” Sure you do, and you can also surf anywhere there is WiFi, like Panera, school, a friend’s house or even while cruising the neighborhood and stumbling on an open hot spot.

I think we are living in a time where everyone wants to be connected all the time to all of their information. Not long ago I carried a RAZR phone, an iPod video, and a paper calendar/Moleskine. 3 things have now been combined into 1, the iPhone. I’ve had the iPhone since day 1 and it has changed the way I think about things. I can make a call, surf the web, and listen to podcasts without giving a second thought to how to do it, it just works.  I’m grateful for something like that, simplicity is key to success in this case I think. We are all connected with Facebook, MySpace, IM, SMS, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, Pownce and Lord knows what else. We’re connected and demand to be connected all the time to everyone we know. We don’t write letters, we email; we don’t make a quick call for info, we text message. We’re connected and technology makes it possible to be even more so.

With the announcement of the Starbucks partnership and WiFi iTunes Music Store not only can I hear a song at the stor and then instantly purchase it, a true stroke of business genius if you ask me, the impulse buy possibilities are amazing. I can also be connected anytime I’m out.

Surely if you look in most of America today you can find a Starbucks close by.  It’s where we hang out, it’s the meeting place for executives and house wives, for students and senior citizens. It’s a nice place to have a cup of whatever-your-flavor-is-this-week and to chat with friends new and old.

Normally I would have to pay to connect to the WiFi at Starbucks, T-Mobile as far as I know, but now, I own and iPhone (or the new iPod Touch) and I can be connected for free. That’s amazing. The penetration of these things is huge, nearly a million iPhones have been sold and I’m sure the Touch won’t be far behind after the holiday season. Being connected at the neighborhood meeting spot is just another way that we can stay in touch with those around us who aren’t around us physically. I can Twitter while I talk to my best friend face to face and tell 100 people instead of 1.

I want to be connected. I want to have it all, but simply. I don’t want to carry 3 devices, subscribe to half a dozen WiFi carriers and worry about compatibility, an iPhone, an iced tea, and good friend, that’s all I need. I think today was about making connections, simple connections that make this complex world bearable.

News of the day…

So I’m cruising the ‘net today, working on nothign as usual… Some interesting stories came up today though, here’s a quick peek:

Curious George co-editor found dead: MSNBC

I think it’s a bit odd that just days before the release of the movie this man who helped write several books and many of the short films about Curious George is found dead in trash bags at his Florida home… Something is up here.
Related note:
The Jack Johnson Curious George soundtrack is pretty good, give it a listen.

Walmart to open over 1,500 new stores in the coming years: MSNBC

They opened 341 last year and are expecting more than that this year. When will it end. I seriously cannot stand to see Walmart in every community. Millions of square feet of empty Walmarts are vacant useless to so many communities around the country because Walmart left for a better deal. Millions of people are without adequate, affordable health-care because of Walmart. When will it end?

New Muncie curfew to hold parents responsible WTHR

Muncie isn’t a large town, but its a college town with plenty of mischief to be caused. For the youth of the city that isn’t yet in college a new law will make parents know a little more about what their children are doing. I know that if I was faced with a fine of up to $2,500 I would know exactly where my child was and when he was in the house. Exceptions have been made to allow for school and religious events. But I think it’s about time that cities got more strict about parents being responsible for their children.

Blogger thinks of starting new category Here

I think I’ll call it “Get off my lawn.” After the supposed stereotype of old men who yell at those “damn kids” to get off my lawn. My soapbox if you will… Any thoughts?

Closing Snippets
Apple unveils new iPod Nano, drops price on Shuffle

Isn’t this thing dead yet, the shuffle is so low-tech.

Alabama church fires

Find them and hang them

Coretta Scott King Funeral

A bit overdone, but she was worth it

Google to pay Dell $1B to put software on new machines

Stop putting extra crap on my computer!