Announcement Stuff

by Erica Sadun

Movies!


As of today, iTunes Music Store users have 75 films for sale from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone and Mirimax to choose from. These studios are all owned by Disney, reminding one of how the iTMS started with only ABC TV shows and grew from there. Jobs promises more to come every week and month. Movies are for sale at $9.99 for backlist titles and $12.99 pre-orders/first week of release. Normal pricing for new releases will be $14.99.

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The movies store will work in a simlar fashion to the TV store. Pick the movie or movies you want to download, add them to your cart and purchase them. You can watch the movies as they download. The new 640x480 resolution applies to all movies, which is much higher than the resolution of standard TV and near-DVD quality for HDTV. Expect a movie to take about a half hour to download on a 5Mb/s broadband connection. (Note that 640x480 movies are four times the resolution of the existing 320x240 TV shows and twice or more the length.) Standard movie feature will include Dolby surround audio, Parental controls, and MPAA ratings. As an example of movie lengths, Grosse Pointe Blank at 107 minutes occupes 1.12 gigabytes.

Expect movies to be releasedthe same day as DVDs. Digital rights management are identical to those of the TV shows. And while video content remains US only now, Jobs hints that international video content may debut in 2007...maybe.

iTV

Apple will release a $299 wireless, set-top home entertainment unit in Q1 2007 named iTV--although the name is not final. Features include USB, Ethernet, 802.11 video, optical audio and HDMI ports, RCA stereo audio--not to mention iTunes integration. You can play back your iTunes movies on your TV. It will work with the Apple Remote (and the next generation of Front Row) and be about half the size of the Mac Mini. Expect fast, near-DVD quality video on your TV and when using video projectors. The software promises a usable interface with high-resolution scrolling menus and 3D artwork. The iTV (or whatever it gets called) works with both Mac and Windows.

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[via Gizmodo.com]

Jobs: "Apple is in your den now. Apple is in your living room. Apple is in your car. Apple is in your pocket. Apple is in your refrigerator. Apple is in your basement. Apple is in tinfoil. You're watching Apple. Apple is watching you." [Well, maybe not...]

iPod Hardware!


Building on the success of recent iPod hardware sales (for example, 450,000 Nike/iPod sports kit have sold in just 90 days), Apple is introducing several new iPod units with many enhancements.

The standard video iPod will have a 60% brighter display (with brightness control). 3.5 hour video playback (or up to 6.5 hours with the super battery), new headphones, games and advanced searching. (Quick scrolling feature uses letters of the alphabet--yay!). New pricing: 30GB is $249. 80GB is $349. On sale now. (Is it me or did Educational pricing seem to have disappeared?)

The new 2nd Generation Nano is thinner and looks like a small iPod mini. Available styles include green, silver, pink, black, blue, and aluminum. Expect a 24 hour battery life and updated software features (like the standard iPod). 2GB, $149 (aluminum only), 4GB $199 (all colors), 8GB $249 (black only). With a new charger, armband, and lanyard headphones. On sale now. (And yes, it should work with the Nike/iPod sports kit.)

The new 2nd Generation iPod Shuffle debuts in October with a completely new look (it's smaller, squarer and clip-on), a 12 hour battery life, brushed metal coloring, and a white click wheel. 10 million shuffles have already been sold. 1GB - $79.

iPod Software



Games are for sale starting to day at the music store: $4.99 each (5G iPods and up). Bejeweled, Cubis2, Mahjong, miniGolf, PacMan, Tetris, etc.

iTunes 7!



iTunes 7 debuts with separate libraries for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and radio for both your computer and your iPod. I hope there are library folders too, but that might be too much to hope for to separate my spoken audio from my music.

Cover art is now FREE! iTunes will supply you with your missing cover art. Two new iTunes features take advantage of album cover art. First, you can "flip" through your albums to find your music. Second, new "album view" shows the cover and the tracks by album.

Finally, iTunes 7 has gapless playback (as does the new iPod software update).

TV Shows


The big TV show news is that video resolution is up from 320x240 up to 640x480. The new 2006-2007 NFL season will be available at the store.

Syncing iTunes



iTunes 7 introduces better syncronization options, without having to use preferences. Engadget notes that you can sync the 10 most recent unwatched eps of your TV shows. iLounge mentions that you can sync between multiple computers using the same iPod, so long as both computers are authorized on the same account.

[Sources: iLounge, Engadget, MacRumorsLive, MacWorld]

9 Comments


2006-09-12 16:41:33
"The new 640×480 resolution applies to all movies, which is much higher than the resolution of standard TV and near-DVD quality for HDTV" -


This is an incorrect statement. 640x480 is not higher than standard definition nor does it come close to HDTV. Standard Def is 720x480. This is also true for DVD (NTSC). 640x480 isn't even close to HDTV.


However Apple is encoding their videos at 640x480 now, which is "better" than what they were encoding at previously (320x240).


The article should be corrected.




Erica Sadun
2006-09-12 18:29:13
"This is an incorrect statement. 640x480 is not higher than standard definition nor does it come close to HDTV. Standard Def is 720x480. This is also true for DVD (NTSC). 640x480 isn't even close to HDTV."


Actually, it's a correct statement. NTSC resolution is 525 lines of which about 480 lines are used for the picture (other lines are used for sync, retrace, captioning) and a fraction of which are visible. Horizontal resolution is arbitrary.


I in no way suggest that 640x480 is close to HDTV quality. What I'm saying is that 640x480 is near DVD quality and that quality can be seen on an HDTV set. It cannot be seen on a standard definition set. I apologize for the lack of clarity in my original statement.

eddie
2006-09-12 21:32:48
"The new 2006-2007 NFL season will be available at the store."


Do you know if complete NFL games will be offered or just highlights? I would like to watch every single game during the season. Sunday NFL Ticket doesn't work because you can't Tivo 8 games at once. Thanks.

Erica Sadun
2006-09-12 21:36:30
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9655817:


NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 12, 2006) -- The National Football League (NFL) and Apple® announced that they will bring 2006 NFL regular season action to the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com ), offering video downloads of highlights from individual NFL games the day after they are played.


For the first time ever, football fans will be able to download highlights of each NFL regular season game for $1.99 per game. Fans may purchase a "Follow Your Team" Season Pass for $24.99 and have game clips from their favorite teams delivered automatically as they become available for viewing on a computer or iPod®.


NFL fans will also be able to download NFL Network's NFL GameDay, hosted by Rich Eisen with Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders. This all-inclusive Sunday night wrap-up show offers the most comprehensive NFL coverage on television, with highlights from every NFL game plus postgame reaction and expert analysis, all for $1.99 per show or $19.99 for a full season.


"We are dedicated to bringing the best NFL action to NFL fans wherever they are," said Brian Rolapp, NFL vice president of media strategy. "Offering NFL highlights produced by Emmy Award-winning NFL Films and NFL Network's NFL GameDay on iTunes is a great way for fans to not only follow their team but also experience the NFL as they never have before."


"We're thrilled to bring all the top action from the 2006 NFL season to football fans via iTunes," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "With approximately ten minutes of game highlights from every NFL game, NFL fans will be able to download exclusive highlights that give a unique perspective of each game."


Beginning September 18 and on each Monday thereafter during the regular season, fans will be able to download extensive action from Sunday games on iTunes for $1.99 per game, with Monday night games available on Tuesday. The $24.99 "Follow Your Team" Season Pass allows fans to select any of the 32 NFL teams and have game highlights from each of their 16 games automatically downloaded when they become available the following day. All Week 1 NFL game downloads become available on iTunes on September 18.


The iTunes Store now features over 3.5 million songs, 65,000 podcasts, 20,000 audiobooks, over 5,000 music videos and 220 television shows. With Apple's legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.


Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store.


NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the first television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log onto www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/home.


2006-09-12 21:43:16
Will independent developers be able to program iPod games and submit them to the iTunes Store for sale?
TjL
2006-09-12 21:48:17
Educational pricing is indeed gone. If you login to the Edu store


http://store.apple.com/1-800-780-5009/WebObjects/EducationIndividual?type=higherEd


(pick any city/state that has a college, then click through)


you will notice that there is no longer any stiplulation as to how many iPods you can buy. Why? Because Edu users are not getting any price break on iPods.


There is still (for another week I think) the "Buy a Mac get an iPod free" deal.


Erica Sadun
2006-09-12 22:00:58
To the best of my googling, there is yet no public iPod software development package. The games are stored, by the way, in the iPod Games folder of your main iTunes folder. They have an .ipg extension.


These .ipg files are actually zipped up. Copy one over to a spare directory, rename it to foo.gz and then unzip it, e.g. unzip foo.gz. (Yeah, I tried gunzipping first but there were multiple entities.)


The actual executable is a ".bin" file. There are iTunesArtwork and iTunesMetaData files in there along with language locatizations, sound files, and a Manifest which lists the files and their sizes and a p7b Manifest that handles Fairplay.

wznhoa
2007-05-23 08:33:42
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wznhoa
2007-05-23 08:34:01
Hi! Looking for information and found it at this great site.
I'll be back.