iPod Touch and Fatty Unveiled. iTunes Goes Wi-Fi

By Richard Menta 9/5/07

The iPod nano fatty? Yep, it looks like the rumor mill was accurate this time arround as Jobs and co. introduced a complete refresh of the ipod line as well as upgraded service features at the iTunes store.

First we'll start with the iPod shuffle. In this case the refresh is more modest, with five new colors replacing the existing hue. This includes the red shuffle, where with a purchase a donation is made to cure disease in Africa.

The iPod nano fatty is now squat, thin and capable of showing video on a display increased from 1.5" to 2". The user interface was also upgraded to resemble that of the iPhone including the cover flow artwork feature for choosing music and videos. The iPod fatty comes in 5 colors including black. Battery power is increased to 24 hours audio, 5 hours video playback. Unfortunately, Apple did not come out with a 16GB nano, something we expected as Creative just released two such endowed flash units. The nano will be available in 4GB for $149 and 8GB for $199. The new nano will be in stores on Saturday.


Apple iPod Touch Courtesy of Engadget

The full iPod as it stands is now the iPod Classic. The iPod Classic starts at a healthy 80GB for $250, but moves up to 160GB of capacity for $350 thanks to new drives from Samsung. The 80GB unit offers per charge 30 hours audio, 6 hours video, but the thicker 160GB model has a bigger battery giving 40 and 7 hours respectively. Both versions of the iPod Classic are in stores today.

Of course, if the old iPod is now the iPod Classic then what do we have for a contempoary unit. Why the iPod Touch, which looks exactly like the iPhone as many pundits predicted. The unit has the same screen size and dimensions except that it is thinner at 8mm. Like the iPhone the iPod Touch has Wi-Fi and Safari. The Touch offers 22 hours of audio playback, 5 hours of video playback. It looks like the Touch will be Apple's first music player to hold 16GB of flash memory. The iPod Touch is available with 8GB for $299 and 16GB for $399. The iPod touch will be available later this month.

To mate with the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Touch and the iPhone Apple introduced iTunes Wi-Fi service. iTunes will also sell $0.99 ringtones for the iPhone, tones where the user can select the 15 seconds of song used for the clip.

Jobs also announced a deal with Starbucks that seems to recognize a growing influence that chain is having on music purchases. When you walk by a Starbucks with Wi-Fi access a button with the coffee shop's logo will appear on your iPod Touch or iPhone and you will be able to purchase tunes with one tap of the finger. No log-in required. The Wi-Fi iPods will automatically recognize the song that's playing at the store you're in as well as the 10 previous songs, allowing you to quickly scan and buy any of them.

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The Creative Zen 16GB flash player is available on Amazon

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