macnews.net.tc
2005-10-12
Today's event: iPod video, iMac with iSight and TV shows.
At today's keynote, Steve Jobs announced the almost-immediate availability (1 week) of the new iMac G5. It comes in two flavours: 1.9 GHz 17" (1299 USD) and 2.1 GHz 20" (1699 USD). Both of them come with built-in iSight video camera as well as the new remote control and Front Row, which effectively lets you use your Mac like a media center - but one that actually works. (Of course it lacks TV reception and recording, but for playing media, it's wonderful.) They also sport Photobooth, a software for the integrated camera that does what its name implies, bigger harddrives, newer graphics card (the first PCI-Express graphics card in any Mac!) and faster RAM.
The new iPod - which replaces all instances of the "big, white iPod" of old - does video and comes in white and in black, just like the nano. They come in two sizes: 30 GB and 60 GB. Cost: 299 and 399 USD. The 320*240 pixel screen is 2.5" in size - and gorgeous according to our contact who was able to play with one in San Jose today. It plays H.264 and MPEG-4 movies, decoding them in hardware. The iPods are a bit wider than the previous models they replace, but much thinner.
Also introduced was iTunes 6, which has a couple of new features, but most of them are on the iTMS side - and only available for US customers currently, it seems. Mainly, this means that international users will not be able to buy "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" off iTMS. Quicktime 7.0.3 Pro, which was also released today, lets you convert TV shows you might download off of 'other services' into the formats the iPod supports. H.264 can achieve lower file sizes at the same quality, but encoding to MPEG-4 will be a quicker process.
We've seen and heard a lot today, and although we predicted most of it correctly and have been talking about this exact kind of video service on iTMS for more than a year, we were still thrilled, of course, to actually see it happen before our eyes. Stay tuned. If you want to read our live coverage of the event, you can still do that here on our HTML-only page. (This page will be replaced by the next keynote we have live coverage for.)
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