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Gadgets -Apple CEO Steve Jobs Makes Light of Health Rumors, Unveils iTunes 8, New iPods

September 09, 2008

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Makes Light of Health Rumors, Unveils iTunes 8, New iPods

By Michael Dinan
TMCnet Editor
Addressing widely discussed rumors about his ill health before launching into unveilings and demonstrations of Apple’s new iPods and a new breed of iTunes program, company chief Steve Jobs (News - Alert) reportedly posted this line on a screen behind him at a demonstration today:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. According to reports, Jobs has been reluctant to publicly discuss his health, and recently denied claims that his cancer had returned. As TMC has reported, Bloomberg (News - Alert) News last month mistakenly, and embarrassingly, published the fragments of an obituary for Jobs.
Getting that bit of news behind him, Jobs reportedly went on to discuss and introduce new models for the company’s family of ubiquitous MP3 players.
According to writer Tom Krazit, highlights include a new, slimmer $249 iPod Classic that has 120GB, or about 30,000 songs, the thinnest Nano ever made, a “shake to shuffle” feature that allows for faster browsing, and a new user interface.
“The new user interface has the Cover Flow interface from the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod Touch, as well as the track listings used on those devices,” Krazit writes, blogging live from the San Francisco showroom where Jobs makes his announcement. “You rotate the device on its side to watch video, and the picture moves with it. Genius (automatically generated) playlists can be created on the Nano without having to connect to iTunes. Apple (News - Alert) added a voice recording function.”
The so-called “Genius” feature generates playlists based on music that supposedly is similar to what’s being played. It’s part of iTunes 8, the latest release of the software program, downloadable from Apple’s Web site, that supports and interacts with iPods.
“Steve starts a more in-depth demo of iTunes 8,” Krazit writes. “He sorts his library by artists, selecting Aretha Franklin as an example. The tile format lets you see all the album covers in a single screen, complete with art. He then demos an HD TV show, picking an episode of ‘The Office.’ ”
The iPods’ battery lives are about the same, though the newer models are more “green friendly” than past versions, Jobs reportedly tells the crowd.
The company’s new iPod Nanos reportedly come in all eight colors of the rainbow.
“An 8GB model will sell for $149, a 16GB model will sell for $199,” Krazit writes. “Both are shipping, the 8GB should arrive later this week, while the 16GB should show up over the weekend or early next week, Steve says. Apple is introducing new headphones with these iPods, with a pause/play feature, as well as track navigation and volume controls right on the cord. There’s also a microphone on the new headphones, which will cost $29 and be available in October.”

Jobs, by way of announcing that more than 100 million applications have been downloaded from the company’s App Store, then reportedly introduces a new, thinner iPod Touch.
“It has the same display, but integrated volume controls, which was the #1 request Apple got for an iPod Touch, Steve says,” according to Krazit. “It has a built-in speaker, ‘it’s for casual listening,’ he says, and has the Genius playlist creation and the App Store.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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