Live coverage of Apple\'s special music event
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is currently addressing atendees at the company\'s special music event in San Francisco. Some live coverage follows:
Jobs said Apple\'s iTunes music store is now selling songs at a rate of 1.8 million per day.
The service also features over 15,000 podcasts and is seeing approximately 1000 podcasts added each week.
iTunes currently features a catelog of over 2 million songs and caters to over 10 million registered accounts.
The average iTunes account holder has purchased roughly 60 songs.
Jobs introduced pop singer Madonna, who revealed that all 15 of her albums would be available for download from the iTunes music store.
iTunes 5.0 will be available for download from Apple.com later today. The new version features a refined look and allows users to organize playlists into folders. A new \"smart shuffle\" feature lets users control the frequency in which they hear songs from the same artist of album. iTunes 5.0 also adds parental controls and allows Windows users to sync their calendar and contact info with Microsoft\'s Outlook products.
Jobs has begun to introduce the \"Motorola ROKR\" iTunes phone. The device uses a USB cable to transfer songs and automatically pauses music play when a user receives a call.
Explaining that ROKR is really an \"iPod shuffle on your phone,\" Jobs said the device will only hold about 100 songs. It can both shuffle and autofill.
Jobs announced that Cingular will be exclusive provider of the phone in North America. He also confirmed the previously reported iTunes phone campaign that will feature several music artists such as Madonna. Cingular will also host a billboard campaign with catchy slogans.
Jobs introduced Cingular COO Ralph de la Vega to discuss his company\'s partnership with Apple and Motorola.
The iPod holds a 74% share of the MP3 market as of July.
Honda, Acura, Audi, and Volkswagen are announcing iPod connectivity solutions today. 30% of all cars sold in the US will be offering iPod connectivity as an option.
Jobs announced that Apple is replacing the iPod mini with a completely new product it is calling the iPod nano. The device is white and grey, features a color screen, and is thinner than a No. 2 pencil.
The iPod nano is half as thick and 62% smaller in volume than the original iPod mini. It features flash memory storage, a 14-hour rechargeable battery, and USB 2.0 connectivity. It also sports a 30-pin dock connector that is compatible with existing iPod accessories.
The nano comes in black or white and is available in in 2GB and 4GB confiugurations for $199 and $249.
Apple will also offer a $29 iPod nano dock, $39 lanyard with built-in headphones, $29 colored arm bands, and 5-packs of colored slip on cases also for $29.
Jobs introduced music artist Kanye West who performed to close out the event.
More details will follow.