“The Mercury News”:http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/15503747.htm notes Apple announced a refresh of their iPods for the fall selling season and unexpectedly, demonstrated their upcoming set top box code named iTV which looked really cool. Here is what you can now get, in rough order of importance:
* Downloadable movies. They are going to do full length movies now for $15, so about the price of a DVD, no word yet on how the copy protection will work.
* Search. They (finally) put search into the user interface as I’m tired of scrolling through 6000 songs to find the right one
* iPod. They went to 80GB in their high end model, but more importantly improved the battery (20 hours and 6j.5 hours of video instead of 2 hours) , the screen thats 2.5″ (vs. 2″) and 640×480 in resolution (vs. 320×240) and 60% brighter. So really making it a good video player more than anything, so if you are a video guy, then you need one, but not revolutionary.
* iPod nano. They brought back the cool iPod mini colors and are now using aluminum again, so all the good things the mini used to have. They also extended to 8GB. Net, net, not really worth upgrading, but nice for new ones.
* iPod shuffle. They totally changed the form factor to the size of a match book and dropped the 1GB price to $79. This is a great product for kids and other folks who don’t need a lot of music. Get a bunch for christmas.