Apple Announcement a Big YAWNER



So, my guess was wrong about Apple releasing the Beatles catalog on iTunes. I'm not ashamed of that. It was a long shot. But I did get some things right about the Apple announcement and I was surprised by quite a few things, too.

I was right about iTunes 9. That wasn't hard to guess. I haven't had a lot of time to explore the new version yet, but it seems they have tweaked the interface a little bit by adding some new sharing features. They've also changed the layout of the store quite a bit. One big enhancement to iTunes for iPhone and iPod Touch users is the fact that you can now rearrange your apps on the phone via your computer. But overall I can't get all that excited about a new version of iTunes. Maybe I will when I use it a little bit more. 

I accurately predicted the launch of the new digital album format. Which is kinda cool I guess. It's sort of like a fancy flash website that goes along with the album. You can read lyrics, see artwork, and watch video of the artist. I don't think it's as cool as the big twelve inch covers from the old days, and not as practical either. I mean, how are you supposed to roll a joint on a digital album? Which will probably be the first question asked by the Doors and Grateful Dead fans who are some of the first to enjoy their favorite artists in the new format.

The big surprise was the inclusion of the camera in the new iPod Nano, but NOT in the new iPod Touch, which everyone had been predicting. Also surprising is that the camera in the Nano only shoots video and not still photos, which is weird. Steve Jobs (back from his liver transplant last spring) said in an interview yesterday with New York Times reporter David Pogue that Apple never intended to put a camera in the Touch. That sounds a lot like the kinds of things he was saying a few years ago about why Apple wasn't going to enable video playback on the original iPod, which eventually did. So I wouldn't be shocked to a see a Touch with a camera in the future.

It seems for now, though, that the Touch is being marketed as a portable gaming device, which is probably a smart move. Jobs also admitted yesterday that when the Touch first came out they had no idea how to market it. They only expected to sell about a million of them the first year. But the Touch has turned into quite a hot product especially with gamers, so they rolled out a bunch of new games for it yesterday, too.

Over all, I thought most of the announcements were a big yawner. After all the hype, the announcements were mostly just some product refreshes -- with the exception of the introduction of the new digital album format. I'm unconvinced there is actually a big market for that. 


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