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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apple event: A few extra details you didn't get

By Jacqui Cheng | Published: September 09, 2008 - 02:08PM CT

By now, you've already heard about what was announced during this morning's Apple Event: Let's Rock. New iPod nanos, new iPod touches, price drops, iPhone/iPod touch 2.1, iTunes 8, oh my! And, if you've been paying attention to Infinite Loop, you've seen our hands-on photos of the new nanos and iPod touches too.

Unfortunately, there was no "One more thing..." at this event, but we did score a couple tidbits of info that weren't talked about during the press event. For one, the new iPod nanos now have a feature that speaks every menu and song info, which is especially nice for those who are hard of sight. The Apple rep who spoke to me said that it will tell you everything you need to know over the headphones, and if you have speakable items set up on your computer, the nano will inherit the voice you chose to use. It's unclear whether this feature will also be part of iPod touches and iPhones.

Additionally, the iPod shuffle line got a quiet update today as well. Nothing of substance is different; the storage sizes are still the same and pricing is as it was before, but the shuffles are now available in all the same colors as the iPod nano. Silver, black, indigo/purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and magenta.

Finally, we inquired about the new $79 headphones that will be available for the iPod nano and iPod touch. The headphones, which let you skip/pause/play with a click just like the iPhone headphones, also let you adjust volume up or down. I asked whether they would work with the iPhone, and the Apple rep said the company doesn't claim that they're supported. "It will work with skipping, pausing, etc. but I don't think the volume will change. That's not supported on the iPhone." He pointed out that iPhone headphones will work with the iPod touch and iPod nano, however. 

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"Funnest" iPod ever: photos of the new iPod touch

By Jacqui Cheng | Published: September 09, 2008 - 01:39PM CT

You've seen the nano pictures, so here are the new iPod touch photos. The device is indeed more iPhone-like with a more curved back. The volume controls are in the same place as the iPhone and work well, and the speakers sound about what you would expect for external iPod speakers: not exactly for audiophiles, but decent for a short listen. Here are the photos, although without an old iPod touch to compare them to, it's hard to spot some of the differences.

Indeed, the "funnest"

Mmmm, fingerprints

Nike + iPod interface

That's all we've got for you for now! Be sure to check back on Infinite Loop for any and all over-analysis of today's event!

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Nano-chromatic: photos of the new 4th-gen iPod nanos (Updated with orange)

By Jacqui Cheng | Published: September 09, 2008 - 01:32PM CT

The Apple special event is over, and we have some product photos of the new iPod nanos. Photos of the new iPod touch are coming in the next post, but here's what I have for you so far!

Feels good in the hand, just like the second-gen nano

Yep, it's oval-shaped

This is what pops up when you press & hold the center button when listening to a song

Lime green and blue next to each other

Stay tuned for a few more photos!

Update: Some orange-lovers requested that I get some pics of the orange nano, so here they are:

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Strap your iPod nano to your handlebars with iBikeConsole

By Justin Berka | Published: September 09, 2008 - 10:15AM CT

Running with an iPod isn't too difficult, since you'll usually have a hand free to switch songs or pump up the volume, but things get a bit more difficult when you're cycling. Sure, you'll be able to operate the device fine most of the time, but steering one-handed while going down a hill may not be the best of ideas. If you've just got to have tunes while you're riding, Macworld has pointed out a device called the iBikeConsole, which will let you mount an iPod on your bike, use your iPod as a cycling computer, and even control your iPod wirelessly while riding.

According to the website, the system comes with a shock-absorbing mount for your iPod nano, although you don't exactly have to worry about the hard drive getting jostled around. All three generations of iPod nano are supported, and by the looks of the device the new iPod nanos should work as well. The mounting system requires no tools, and is also "weatherproof." The wireless remotes are probably the cooler part of the system, and allow cyclists to easily change songs and control the volume. Last but not least, the device lets your iPod double as a cycling computer, and can even store data after your ride is over.

As you might guess, a system like this probably isn't recommended for folks who ride their bikes in heavy traffic, since having your music thumping doesn't exactly make it easy to hear cars and other pain-inducing motorized contraptions that may be coming up behind you. In fact, several Macworld commenters point out that cycling with earplugs in both ears may be illegal in some states, so you might want to check out your local laws before you buy the iBikeConsole. If you're still sold on it, the system is currently retailing for $76, and you can just head on over to the site and pick one up.