Apple introduced its anticipated, downloadable music service, under development for over a year, and new iPods today. The music service has a library of 200K, USD $1 per song.
The new iPods - 10GB, 15GB, 30GB, same high prices starting at CDN $460. Slightly re-designed layout, now has four buttons in horizontal row, and still the scroll disc and central button. New audio format, AAC, is now a capability of the iPod. It also comes with three games - Brick, Solitare, and Parachute. USB2.0 capability added, dock comes standard on 15GB and 30GB models. All models are thinner and lighter, I think around 1 Ounce ligher per iPod. The 30GB is now $50 lower and the 15GB model is $40 less CDN. These lower prices are likely only due to the higher CDN exchange rate, for the US prices are identical to previous models.
Unfortunately for the more economically starved Apple fans, this still means the iPod is too high in price. There are three possibilities Apple has available for a smaller iPod - the IBM 1” 4GB micro-drive and a miniature iPod design for a premium price, the 5GB Toshiba/IBM 1.8” drive in the same iPod size for a reduced price, a 5 or 10 GB 2.5” drive in a larger and heavier iPod at a substantially reduced price.
Personally, I’d love to see Apple go to the IBM Micro-Drive, and I have to believe that this form factor has some appeal to Steve Jobs, being a lover of small things that he is.
Apple also updated iTunes to version 4, QuickTime to 6.2 and other software to utilize the new services, available on OSX only.