Apple unveils iPod touch and iTunes Wi-Fi Music StoreApple on Wednesday catered to the demands of iPod users worldwide, unveiling a new "iPod touch" player featuring the company's revolutionary multi-touch user interface that enables users to find and enjoy all of their music, videos and more on its widescreen display with just the touch of a finger.
First introduced on iPhone, the multi-touch interface uses pioneering new Mac OS X-based software to present the ideal user interface for each application. The iPod touch also includes Wi-Fi wireless networking, the first on any iPod, and three applications that use it —Safari, the most advanced browser on any mobile device, lets users wirelessly view web pages just as they look on their computer, and features Google Search or Yahoo! oneSearch; Apple's YouTube application lets users wirelessly watch over 10 million free videos from the Internet's most popular video website; and the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store lets users wirelessly browse, preview and buy songs and albums from the most popular online music store in the world. The iPod touch is an unbelievable 8 mm thin, and is priced starting at just $299.
"The iPod touch is a landmark iPod, ushering in a whole new generation of features based on its revolutionary multi-touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "People are going to be amazed at how thin it is and how much it does."
With its 3.5-inch widescreen display, iPod touch is ideal for watching movies and TV shows, as well as viewing photos and album art. The player also features a built-in accelerometer that automatically senses when you rotate it into its landscape position, just like iPhone. When you're in music, it automatically switches to Cover Flow so you can browse your music collection by album cover artwork with just a flick of a finger. When in Photos, it automatically displays the photo in its landscape aspect ratio; and when in Safari it displays the web page horizontally.
iPod touch —which features up to 22 hours of audio playback and up to five hours of video playback —also has a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display's brightness.
iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
Also launched alongside the iPod touch is Apple's iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, which lets you browse the iTunes Top Ten lists of songs and albums overall or by genre, check out new releases and "What's Hot," or search for your favorite songs, albums or artists.
You can preview any song for free, then purchase and download the ones you like directly onto your iPod touch over Wi-Fi. The music you download will be automatically uploaded into your iTunes library the next time you sync your iPod touch with your computer.
With Safari, which Apple says is the most advanced web browser ever on a portable device, you can see web pages the way they were meant to be seen, with the ability to zoom into any webpage with a tap of your finger. The Safari web browser includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! oneSearch so you can quickly and easily find information you need. iPod touch also includes Apple's proprietary YouTube application that allows you to access, browse and search for millions of free YouTube videos over Wi-Fi.
Apple also announced an exclusive agreement with Starbucks that allows you to access the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for free in participating US Starbucks stores starting next month. When you enter a participating Starbucks location, your iPod touch, iPhone, or PC or Mac running iTunes will automatically recognize the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. You can see what song is currently playing or has recently played in the store, and immediately preview, buy and download it over Wi-Fi.
Pricing & Availability
The new iPod touch is scheduled to be available later this month. The 8GB iPod touch model is $299 (US) and the 16GB iPod model is $399 (US). iPod touch requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later and iTunes 7.4; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2) or later and iTunes 7.4. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended, fees may apply. The iTunes Store is not available in all countries.