Rapturous applause for the new iPod nano, and why not? Jobs made a fun observation about that little "inner" pocket on his jeans and what on earth that was for (I stick my keys in mine to prevent ripping the larger pocket), before reaching into it and pulling out an iPod with a colour screen that the audience could swear they didn't notice beforehand because it was so thin it failed to create a visible bulge. Volume comparisons between the nano and a bunch of competitors put the nano way in front - it's a third the volume of a Motorola V3 phone, for crying out loud. For all they know, that crafty Jobs was carrying the thing the entire time. (I reckon he slipped it in there while Cingular's COO was on stage.) I pity the foo who can afford to stress-test a nano, by trying to bend or snap one in half... but I eagerly await the first dissection. Which site will you be rooting for?
Already downloaded iTunes 5, but I'll be waiting to see what new restrictions it imposes on my music before I install it. No doubt it re-breaks any tracks previously liberated by Hymn, but otherwise I look forward to installing it. Man, if that thing doesn't support subfolders of playlist folders, I bet a few people are going to be pretty upset.
According to Jobs 30% of all cars sold in the US in 2006 will offer iPod integration. This is a nice strategy, but it pales in comparison to the enigma that is the long-awaited, long-delayed iTunes phone, or as Motorola is calling it, the ROKR. (C'mon, people, no need to be stingy on word length.)
If iTunes wants to be able to sync tunes with a mobile phone, why partner with just the one manufacturer (Motorola) and offer just the one phone? You'd hope that instead of investing so much time and money creating an iTunes "client" for a proprietary mobile phone platform, Apple would adopt the iSync approach and interface with a number of other music-enabled and really very iPod-like mobile phones (of which I've seen two so far). Perhaps that's something that'll change in a future where the ROKR does really well off the back of "the biggest advertising campaign [Cingular's] ever launched" and, for example, Sony gives up on its doomed and utterly craptastic Connect music store and its horrible (PC-only) Walkman sync software. Anyone listening over at Sony? Well, I suppose they did show up at the MP3 party, albeit four years late...
I hope the ROKR does well for the three partner companies involved, but I must say the audience was more impressed with the rather impressive Cingular advertising campaign than it was with the phone itself. For my part, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Sure it has all these neat features, but I just don't like the look of it; I have my sights set on a rather nifty Sony Ericsson phone (which I've harped on about enough already) and, once I can afford it, I'll look forward to an iTunes that'll let me autofill that phone. I love my iPod because I believe it's the best digital music player on the market, and I just don't feel the same way about the ROKR.
In other news, tomorrow I'll dig out the dimensions of the nano and measure to see if it'll really fit in my little inner jeans pocket. Watch this space for the results!