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Innovation

Apple shakes up iPod line

Apple announced a refresh of its popular iPod line today including an oval shaped, motion sensitive Nano. If you turn the Nano on its side, it will switch into landscape mode, and if you shake it it will start shuffling your play list.
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor on

Apple announced a refresh of its popular iPod line today including an oval shaped, motion sensitive Nano. If you turn the Nano on its side, it will switch into landscape mode, and if you shake it it will start shuffling your play list. (Hey, I could do that if I shook my old CD player hard enough.)

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The new Nano will be available in 8GB and 16GB models for $149 and $199, respectively in several colors including: silver, black, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink (but not white). The 8GB model is shipping "within 24 hours" on the Apple store, while the 16GB version ships in "2-4 business days".

The iPod Classic is being upgraded to 120GB for $249. The thick 160GB version is being discontinued. (Since the iPod Classic is hard-drive based, shaking it is not recommended.)

The iPod Touch got thinner, and now sports a speaker and integrated volume control. The 8GB model is $229, 16GB is $299, and 32GB (yay!) is $399. Apple promises a battery life of 36 hours for the iPod Touch, 24 hours for the Nano.

iPhone and iPod Touch users will get a software upgrade (firmware version 2.1) this Friday that "fixes lots of bugs", has fewer dropped calls, and "significantly" improves battery life. The upgrade will be free to everybody except iPod Touch users who are still running version 1.x (it'll be $9.95 for them).

A new version of iTunes (version 8) supports an opt-in social networking feature called "Genius" that looks at the songs you play, compares it to songs other people with similar tastes like, and recommends songs in your library (and in the iTunes store) that it thinks you will like. Genius playlists will be available directly on the iPods.

Apple also announced two hew headphones. One has volume controls, a microphone, and a button for pausing and switching songs in the headphone cable. The other puts a tiny woofer and tweeter in each ear for better sound quality than the current single-driver version. These will be $29 and $79, respectively.

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