Blogged: New Apple Nano and Touch and an iTunes Upgrade

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iTunes Updates

Steve Jobs announces iTunes upgrades.
10:11 PT - JS: Lots of applause for that clip. Honestly, I think the clapping was more for Jim once again frustrating Dwight (this time by pairing his bluetooth headset with Dwight's phone) than about the HD quality. But it did look good.10:09 PT - DM: Here's a demo of Genius. The browsing interface looks a lot like iPhoto. He's playing "Respect" by Aretha Franklin; classy choice. It works in Genre too, with little placeholder icons for the different music types. Can also scan albums by composer, which is nice for Classical fans. We're going to take a look at an HD TV show-The Office. I think he's actually showed this clip before.

10:07 PT - DM: How's it work? The iTunes Store is up in the cloud and they added "Genius algorithms" that they've developed. You can turn it on and it'll send info to iTunes about your music library: track names, play counts, ratings, playlists (seems like a good way to build a huge library of information). It's all anonymous; your IDs are not kept around. Not just info from one person, obviously: they combined it with all the other iTunes users as well. As more people send up their information, Genius gets smarter and smarter, and the results start. (Dan Frakes comments to me that this is how Skynet starts. Come with Steve if you want to live!)

10:08 PT - JS: Just a funny note from the event. We are surrounded by the sound of fast, furious typing fingers. Is the entire world liveblogging this event? I suspect it is. They're all here.

10:06 PT - DM: Genius. A new feature that lets you automatically make playlists from songs in your music library that "go great together - with just one click." There's a button in the bottom right corner that lets you make a Genius playlist. It's got a drop down for track limit. A genius sidebar makes recommendations from the iTunes store that might match the Genius playlist.

10:04 PT - DM: Steve's showing off album browsing, but it's not so space efficient, especially for when you have few tracks per album. Adding ability to look at albums by album cover, and you can also look at albums by artist (just like in iPhoto, you can skim them). And it works with movies, TV shows, including unwatched episodes, podcasts, etc.

10:04 PT - DM: iTunes 8 is coming out today. A ton of new stuff in it. Here are the few main pieces: HD TV shows, as mentioned, accessibility. Built-in VoiceOver and other accessibility technologies. There are some new browsing options and something called "Genius."

10:05 PT - JS: I'll note that they are charging more for HD. I wonder if that was something to help NBC feel better about the store. Also, come on, NBC wants the money and Apple wants the content. I wonder how much pride was what stood in the way of the deal. But it's back in time for the fall season! Hurrah!10:03 PT - DM: Adding new content. HD television shows are the first thing. You can buy SD shows for $1.99; HD shows will be $2.99 and you can watch them on your computer (as opposed to on your fireplace?). And NBC is coming back to iTunes too. They're bringing all their shows back: The Office, Monk, Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, Heroes, etc. And they'll be in HD. Wonder what kind of deal they made with NBC to get that?

10:02 PT - DM: Over 65,000,000 accounts in iTunes. That's a whole lot of credit cards. They've climbed to the top of the music distributor chain, in any format. Topping Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target.

10:02 PT - JS: What an excellent way to start. Bat down any rumors and questions without actually revealing any personal information. Just address it and move on. I'm sure some people won't like it, but it's a very Apple thing to do and I'm glad that Jobs addressed it, however briefly.

10:01 PT - DM: We'll start with iTunes. Now over 8.5 million songs. Started off with just 200,000. Over 125,000 podcasts. Over 35,000 TV shows, 2,600 Hollywood movies. Over 3,000 apps for iPhone/iPod touch.

10:00 PT - DM: "We've got some really exciting stuff to share with you." before we do, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." That gets a nice laugh and a round of applause. "Enough said." The real topic of this morning is music.

10:00 PT - DM: The lights are going down, so we're about ready to go here. And...silence. And Steve Jobs hits the stage. Unsurprisingly, it's the standard black turtleneck and jeans.

9:50 PT - DM: Now we're onto the Stones, "Gimme Shelter." Maybe someone's just playing Rock Band backstage.

9:49 PT - JS: As we entered, they were playing "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream. I can't hear that one without imagining Ray Liotta scanning the skies for police helicopters. But maybe that's just me.

9:48 PT - DM: As promised, we are indeed "rocking out", right now to Credence Clearwater Revival-Fortunate Son, for the curious-and other classic rock tunes.

9:46 PT - JS: Hi everyone. I'm Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell, and I'm here with Macworld Associate Editor Dan Moren. Together we'll be liveblogging the event from the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, just next to the Moscone Center. Also here for Macworld are Senior Editors Dan Frakes and Chris Breen. Stay tuned for live coverage and photos of the event, as it happens.

This story, "Blogged: New Apple Nano and Touch and an iTunes Upgrade" was originally published by PCWorld.

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