All Apple news sites are frantically clogged right now. Not a surprise. MacInTouch: Mac news, information and analysis has some news on the Apple announcement, and I’ve pieced together some more stuff from here and there.
Three new things:
1) New iPods. Yay, 30 GB iPod. Some kind of a docking station, too, which seems unnecessary but whatever. I actually like my Firewire cable that doubles as a power cable when I go mobile so a docking station might be a step back.
2) New iTunes. Supports AAC, which is I guess MPEG-4 audio. Five bucks says that change was so that Jobs could tell the music people that his new online music thingie wouldn’t support evil MP3s. The new iTunes supports Rendezvous for auto-discovery of other iTunes users on your network. I don’t know what that means either — auto-discovery is cool but what does iTunes do with it? Shared music libraries?
Also, the new iTunes supports streaming (“streams can’t be saved”). That’s very cool and steals a march on Microsoft. Hope that works across the Internet. Also hope it’s a stream that WinAmp can read. Anyhow, it’ll take maybe a month before someone figures out how to save the streams.
3) The iTunes Music Store. 99 cents a track, tracks are AAC, and you can burn ‘em to CD. Then you can rip your CD to MP3. Jobs blasted the subscription model, but you know, emusic.com is only ten bucks a month for unlimited downloads. Jobs better have a really good music library. Emusic has a deal with a lot of labels for their back catalogs, but it also has a substantial library of current indie labels. If Jobs neglected the offbeat stuff… well, maybe not so many people care about that.
Ah. What Jobs needs is a way for people to get their music into his service easily. If he did a deal with MP3.com, for example, that’d go a long way towards solving the problem. Ease of publishing entry is the key, and you’d think Jobs would know that — it’s certainly a pitch he’s been making since the LaserWriter. It’ll be interesting to see if he listens to himself.