New-look Nano Highlights Apple's IPod Changes

iPod touch

Apple bills the latest version of its widescreen iPod as lighter than the original touch-4.05 ounces compared to 4.2 ounces. The touch now sports a contoured design with the same tapered back as the iPhone 3G. It also adds integrated volume control buttons and a built-in speaker. "It's for casual listening," Jobs said of the latter enhancement.

Like the nano, the new touch works with the iTunes 8 Genius feature for automatically creating on-the-go playlists. Apple also built-in support for the Nike + iPod workout monitor; users just need to tie a $19 Nike + iPod transmitter to their shoe to connect with the software embedded in the touch.

Battery life has improved from the original iPod touch. The new model offers 36 hours of music playback and six hours of video playback, compared to 22 and five hours, respectively, for the first touch models.

Much of the iPod touch demo on Tuesday focused on native applications-games, in particular-available through Apple's App Store. The emphasis on gaming suggests Apple is positioning the revamped touch as a mobile entertainment device for holiday shoppers.

The remodeled iPod touch adds integrated volume controls, a built-in speaker, and the same tapered back as the iPhone 3G. The 8GB touch costs $229, while the 16GB and 32GB models cost $299 and $399, respectively. All three iPod touch models are now shipping.

Other Models

The nano and the touch grabbed most of the focus during Jobs' presentation, but the hard drive-based iPod classic wasn't completely left out of the picture. Apple announced a lone version of its storage-focused music player-a 120GB model that costs $249. That's less capacity than what was previously available with the classic, which topped out at 160GB. However, the new model costs the same as the 80GB classic it replaces.

The tiny iPod shuffle merited no mention at Tuesday's event, though Apple did make a modest change to the flash-based player. The shuffle now comes in more vibrant shades of the silver, blue, green, red, and purple colors previously available. It continues to ship in 1GB and 2GB capacities for $49 and $69, respectively.

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