Apple just announced new iMacs, iPods and iTunes 6.
Watch the webcast here
For iMac the biggest new thing, IMHO, is a piece of software called FrontRow that can be controlled by a remote. This is an application that “sits on top” of the Apple desktop, and integrates access to the media iLife applications, iPhoto, iMovie and iTunes and finally, of course, the DVD-Player. It looks like the new iMac is the first computer to succesfully integrate a multi-media device that ordinary people should be able to use, and at the same time is a “real” general purpose computer.
The iMac now comes with the fantastic iSight camera bulid in, this is a USD 150 value, a new slimmer design more powerful processors, graphics cards etc. This is amazing since the new iMacs will retail at the same price as the old models.
Another new application PhotoBooth, is plain fun. PhotoBooth is just what it says it is, a virtual PhotoBooth, that uses the iSight camera to take snapshots, so what about the flash…Well of course the screen flashes! A number of digital effects can be applied, and there is a realtime preview. Some of the effects are quite amusing, e.g. a number that simulates a hall of mirrors.
I’d like Apple to spend time on more serious things, but being a developper myself, I’m sure the developpers appreciated the break they had when they developped PhotoBooth, and Steve seemed to like it.
For iPod/iTunes the biggest new thing is the integration of video into the platform, and a major overhaul/simplification of the iPod product line. There are now only 6 different iPod models to choose from, iPod 30GB and 60GB with video capability, nano 2GB and 4GB and shuffle 512KB and 1GB. I for one welcome this simplification.
iTunes has also been improved with the ability to get customised recommendations based on purchase history (“dangerous” like Amazon!) and customer reviews has also been added.
You can now buy music videos, short films including the legendary Pixar shorts, and even TV-Shows. The TV-Shows are priced amazingly low at USD 1.99 pr. episode, are under the FairPlay license, can be downloaded the day after they originally aired, and best of all, the shows are ad-free. For now quite few shows are online, but since Apple announced a deal with Disney, that owns ABC, this will expand.
The videos are in 320×200 pixels resoulution 30 fps, this is probably too low for quality video, but it will probably look fine on the iPod.