US computer company Apple has launched a range of new iPod music players and a new version of its iTunes music software in a special event held in San Francisco.
Three new iPods were unveiled by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, including a revamp of its popular iPod Nano.
The new version of the iPod Nano features a taller case and larger screen, with Jobs saying it’s the thinnest iPod Apple has released.
The iPod Nano sports a new, curved aluminium case in a rainbow of colour options, and improved battery life. Jobs says the battery now lasts for 24 hours of music playback, and four hours of video playback.
The iPod Nano adds the accelerometer found in Apple’s iPhone, allowing the user to tilt the iPod Nano to switch the screen display from portrait to horizontal. Jobs claims the new iPod model is the most environmentally friendly iPod the company has released.
Apple also released updates to its iPod Classic and iPod Touch devices. It has discontinued the thicker iPod Classic in favour of a slimmer model, and increased its storage space from 80Gb to 120Gb for the same retail price.
The iPod Touch adds a few of the features found on Apple’s popular iPhone. Mr Jobs says the new model includes an external speaker, and external volume controls. At 6.2mm, the new model is thinner than the version it replaces, says the company.
Apple used the event to showcase its new iTunes store and iTunes software. iTunes 8 will include the ability to buy and watch high-definition TV shows, and can create music playlists based on the listening preferences of registered iTunes users.
Called ‘Genius,’ the software can capture the details of users’ playlists and music libraries, and create playlists with ‘music that just works together,’ says Jobs. He stressed that user details will not be captured, and the whole process will be anonymous.
Apple also says that iTunes 8 will feature a range of accessibility features to make searching for content easier.
The iPhone was also updated at the event via a free software upgrade. The download, which takes iPhone software to version 2.1, will fix a range of bugs, resulting in fewer dropped calls and increased battery life, according to Apple.
Which? technology editor Matthew Bath says: ‘Apple is certainly gearing up for the Christmas season. Its revamped iPod Nano gets the biggest update – and it’s interesting that Apple is playing up the new green credentials of the iPod.
‘We’ll be looking at iTunes 8 and giving the iPods a first look test shortly, to see if they live up to Apple’s claims.’