Steve Jobs pulls 24-hour Nano and HD video downloads from his hat

9 Sep 2008

As well as revealing that there have been 100 million downloads so far from the Apple Apps Store, iconic Silicon Valley CEO Steve Jobs confirmed his ‘Genius’ status today with a bevy of new colourful and capable products from the iPod stable.

In a 90-minute address at today’s Apple event in San Francisco Jobs revealed that the new iPod nano will incorporate Apple’s iTunes 8 Genius technology and will come in nine new colours including silver, purple, blue, green, orange, pink, red and black.

The slimmer new iPod will feature a high-resolution portrait display and a built-in accelerometer just like its iPhone cousin and switches to Cover Flow when rotated.

The new iPod nano gives users up to 24 hours of music playback or four hours of video playback and is available worldwide immediately in an 8GB model for just $149 and a 16GB model for $199 (€140).

“The iPod nano is the world’s most popular music player and we’ve made it even better for this holiday season,” said Jobs. “We think users are going to love the amazing new design, the automatic Genius playlist creation, as well as automatically going into Cover Flow with just a turn of the wrist.”

The new iPod nano features an elegant new design that blends a brilliant two-inch display with a curved aluminum and glass enclosure. It is understood that 160 million Nano devices have been sold around the world so far.

iTunes 8 features new ways of viewing your music and video libraries, and adds television programs in high-definition for sale on the iTunes Store. At present Apple users in Europe, with the exception of the UK, still cannot buy movies or TV shows from iTunes.

At the San Francisco event, Jobs revealed that Apple and NBC are friends again and the new iTunes will include NBC networks’ top 10 series available immediately for purchase and download in both standard definition and stunning high definition, which covers such shows as Heroes, The Office, Battlestar Galactica and 30 Rock.

Using the Genius technology users select any song, click the Genius button, and iTunes instantly creates a playlist of songs that go great together from your own library. You can preview the playlist Genius creates, refresh the list to choose different songs and save Genius playlists to enjoy again later. Users can also create Genius Playlists on-the-go with the new iPod classic, iPod touch, iPod nano and iPhone.

Jobs also revealed the second-generation iPod Touch featuring a thin contoured metal design, a 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, integrated volume control buttons, a built-in speaker for casual listening, a built-in accelerometer and other advanced sensors and Apple’s revolutionary Multi-Touch user interface.

“iPod Touch is the funnest iPod we’ve ever created,” said Jobs. “Users can listen to millions of songs, watch thousands of Hollywood movies and now, thanks to the App Store, download and play hundreds of great games on their iPod touch.”

The new iPod touch also features built-in Nike + iPod support making it a useful workout companion. Users simply place the optional Nike + iPod sensor ($19 US) in their Nike + shoe to seamlessly connect with the new iPod touch to track miles run or sync with the latest generation gym equipment.

The new iPod touch has a suggested price of US$229 (€161) for the 8GB model, US$299 (€211) for the 16GB and US$399 (€281) for the 32 GB model.

Jobs also used today’s event to reveal that iPhone and iPod Touch users have downloaded more than 100 million applications from the iTunes App Store since its launch on 11 July. More than 3,000 applications are currently available on the App Store, with over 90pc priced at less than €10 and more than 600 offered for free.

“iPhone’s unique capabilities, easy software development kit (SDK) and the ability to reach an audience of millions via the App Store made this an easy development choice for us,” said John Pollard, CEO of application developer Jott. “To date, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of downloads of Jott for iPhone, which has been a major win for our company.”

“Because I already had a full-time job I used the iPhone SDK to create Trisim in my spare time and in my wildest dreams I never expected this kind of result,” said Steve Demeter, founder of Demiforce. “Selling over 27,000 downloads in the first three weeks means I now have a significant new income stream and some exciting career choices that I didn’t have a couple of months ago.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: a rainbow of new iPod nanos

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years