Apple makes music social – Jobs is the Sultan of Ping

1 Sep 2010

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Steve Jobs has revealed a new array of music devices and spearheaded Apple’s move into social media with a new service called Ping, which allows the 160 million iTunes users worldwide to see what their friends have downloaded.

At a special music-themed event in California, Jobs revealed an array of new musical devices, including a new iPod Touch family with many of the features of the iPhone 4, such as Retina high-definition display, front and back cameras and 3-axis gyro.

He also revealed an iPod Shuffle design that’s a return to the old style, with buttons on the device, as well as an iPod Nano with a multitouch screen.

Ping

Jobs also revealed that starting today, a new iTunes 10 will be available which will feature social networking music features.

iTunes has been given a newer logo and a new social media feature called Ping will allow you to see what other people and your friends are listening to or rate highly.

Job said there are 160 million potential followers or people you can follow in the world already using iTunes. The new service provides a custom chart of songs and albums and allows people to see the top items people you follow are downloading.

Jobs revealed to date there have been 12 billion songs downloaded on iTunes, as well as 450 million TV episodes, 100 million movies and 35 million books.

iPod Touch versions

There will be two prime versions of the iPod Touch: an 8GB version that will cost US$229 and a 64GB version that will cost US$399.

The new iPod Touch devices will come with most of the features of the iPhone 4, including Retina display and 3-axis gyro and the ability to download apps like iMovie, which means you can edit movies on the go.

The devices will be powered by the powerful Apple A4 chip and will run on the breakthrough iOS 4 operating system. The devices boast 40 hours of battery life, while playing music and HD video recording is possible using the rear camera.

During the presentation, Jobs expounded on the gaming potential of the iPod Touch and iPhone devices, revealing that 1.5 billion games have been sold for the iPod touch device, outselling games sold for Nintendo and Sony portable game players.

He revealed the new iPod Nano which comes in seven colours, boasts a multitouch user interface. The Nano will be 46pc smaller and 42pc lighter than previous versions and includes an accelerometer.

New iPod Nano

The 8GB version will retail for US$149 while the 16GB version will retail for US$179.

Jobs revealed that so far more than 275 million iPods have been sold.

He said the new iPod Shuffle will come in five colours and the 2GB version will cost US$49 and boasts 15 hours of battery life.

iPod Nano lineup

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com