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Summary: Camera-equipped Nano Highlights Apple's IPod Changes

Summary: Camera-equipped Nano Highlights Apple's IPod Changes
The iPod nano will now feature a built-in camera, as Apple updated its iPod line as part of a music-focused press event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

The new iPod comes in 8GB and 16GB models, priced at $149 and $179, respectively. The music players now feature a video camera and microphone on the back of the device along with a built-in speaker. The nano can display video or sync it back to your computer for uploading to YouTube.

According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs--making his first public appearance at an Apple event since returning from a six-month medical leave--the company added the camera to the nano line to capitalize on the popularity of pocket-sized flash-based video cameras.

The nano was just one of the changes Apple introduced to its iPod line on Wednesday. The company also cut the price on its entry-level 8GB iPod touch to $199; previously, that model sold for $229. In addition, Apple boosted the capacity on the touch to 64GB. The 32GB and 64GB models are now 50-percent faster and feature support for the Open GL|ES 2.0 graphics API.

Despite speculation that Apple might discontinue the iPod classic--the last remaining hard drive-based device in its iPod line--that model remains with an expanded capacity. The iPod classic now features 160GB of storage at the same price as before, $249.

As for the iPod shuffle, it comes in new colors. The 2GB and 4GB models sell for $59 and $79, respectively; a special edition 4GB model made of stainless steel costs $99.

iPod talk dominated the second half of Apple's Wednesday event, but the company also had software news. A new version of the iTunes is now available, featuring Genius Mixes for creating recommended playlists of music and movies.

Other features in iTunes 9 include Home Sharing, which brings iTunes synchronization to up to five authorized computers and a new interface for managing iPhone and iPod touch applications. iTunes 9 also introduces a number of improvements to Apple's online iTunes Store, including new artist pages with more visual material added.

Finally, Apple released a minor update to its iPhone software. iPhone 3.1 rolls out some bug fixes in addition to extending the Genius media-recommendation algorithm to recommend iPhone apps to users. The update also beefs up the iPhone OS's ringtone capabilities.

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