Apple announces Steve Jobs clone, new iPod models

    [For ridiculously full coverage, check Engadget]
    Apologies if that sounded like an Onion headline; you’d be chippy too if you just got thrown out trying to sneak into the Moscone Center. They take their Apple announcements seriously here in SF.
    Your standard iPod will now come with a 60 percent brighter screen. Battery life has also been improved, from 4 hours of video to 6.5 (up to 20 hours of audio playback). The new iPods also offer gapless playback, which will be good news for anyone who likes listening to Coldcut’s Seventy Minutes of Madness mix or, as notorious stoner Steve Jobs mentions, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The iPod’s search function has also been improved.
    The iPod Nano now comes in a variety of colors … if you get the 4 GB model. 2 GB models will come in “aluminum”. The big 8 GB model will impose in fashionable black. The four gigger can be had in blue, pink, green, silver, and black.
    The iPod Shuffle … still doesn’t have a screen. It does come with a clip though! It also comes in a more compact square shape.
    iTunes news, pricing, and other products in the next section…

    iTunes 7 will now fill in the blanks for any cover art you may have missed on your downloads. It also adds a few new display options, including a sort of 3-D representation of your albums called “Cover Flow” that you can flip through. iTunes also features gapless playback, but then, so does WinAmp and other audio players.
    Apple also announced full-length movie downloads, as well as a bump in resolution to other video downloads (your favorite episode of Lost for instance). They’ll be “near-DVD” quality at 640 x 480 with Dolby Surround audio. One might ponder the UMD fiasco, Sony’s proprietary disc format for movies on the PSP, but Apple seems to have the charisma to pull these things off, and certainly video-capable iPod’s are more ubiquitous (and readily portable) than the Sony PSP.
    Ever the mischief maker, Jobs also unveiled a product set to launch in the first quarter of 2007. Code named the “iTV”, it’s a box the looks like a Mac Mini but at half-height, with component and HDMI to hook up to your television, and Ethernet (wired and wireless) to hook up to your Mac in the back room. It will let you show your downloaded movies and TV shows on your television, not to mention podcasts, slide shows with your photo collections, and music of course. For $299, it’s a bit pricey, but seems a bit slicker than some other products (the bulky Xbox 360 for one) that accomplish similar feats.
    Pricing for the updated iPod:

    • 30 GB: $249
    • 80 GB: $349

    iPod Nano:

    • 2 GB: $149
    • 4 GB: $199
    • 8 GB: $249

    2nd Gen iPod Shuffle:$79
    Movie Downloads: $9.99 – $12.99
    Game Downloads (PacMan for your iPod for instance): $4.99