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Metaliveblogging the "Beat Goes On" event


The reporters are there. The Apple Store is down. The rumors have been spread. And now it's time for the Apple Event you've all been waiting for.

We're not actually there (I'm in my cozy apartment in Chicago's beautiful Wicker Park), but we are watching everyone who is there, and we'll be metaliveblogging everything we see. Here's who we're watching: MacWorld, Engadget, MacDailyNews, the Mac Observer, Ars Technica, Slashgear, The Utility Belt, The Apple Gazette, and Stuff. So why press F5 on all those windows when we'll do it for you for free, and provide entertaining commentary all the while?

The liveblog starts right after the jump, and stay tuned for updates. Today is all about iPods (and maybe even the Beatles), so let's do it.

Update: It's over, and wow the iPod got a lot of love today. Don't forget that we'll be discussing everything that happened on tonight's talkcast. See you on Talkshoe tonight at the special 9 pm ET start time, and bring all that iPhone pricing rage along with you.


Here's what happened, in case you didn't come along with us live:
  • iTunes update tonight with ringtones: an extra 99c after you buy the song, bells on applicable songs in iTunes, any 30 seconds of a song
  • Shuffle is getting a (PRODUCT) Red, more colors, 1gb at $79 shipping today
  • new iPod Nano is real-- features wider design and bigger screen, 204 ppi, has video, CoverFlow, ships with 3 games, black, silver, red, blue, and green. 4gb silver only $149, 8gb all colors $199, ships later this week.
  • iPod Classic, thinner Video iPod with Nano's interface, 80gb $249 and 160gb $349
  • iPod touch, basically an iPhone without the phone, features WiFi, Google and Yahoo, Safari, CoverFlow, YouTube. Available later this month, 8gb and 16gb, $299 and $399.
  • iTunes WiFi Music Store, available on iPod touch and eventually iPhone, buy any iTunes songs at same pricing and selection, download them over WiFi and resync them back to iTunes on your Mac.
  • Apple teaming up with Starbucks to profide WiFi for music store while instore, and one-click purchasing of overhead music
  • And perhaps today's biggest surprise: iPhone price drop. 8gb for $399, effective immediately.
Here's the original liveblog:

12:40: Apple hasn't let anyone in yet-- everyone's standing outside, and Ars says the bloggers are separated from the old media fogies.

12:43: I'll be listening to the Beatles' Greatest Hits, appropriately (I hope), while this all goes down. We're starting off with "Help!" Last minute predictions? I think Beatles, the new iPod nano (as ugly as it is), a multitouch iPod, and CoverFlow on everything.

12:46: Engadget is in and live at Moscone West. I wonder if anyone is liveblogging this from an iPhone.

12:50: Folks have been let inside the hall. Ars says music is playing, but what music?!?

12:52: Coldplay, apparently. Meh.

12:53: And it looks like Mac Daily News is posting from an iPhone, if no one else is. They also note Apple's current stock price: 144.37.

12:55: Utility Belt says it'll be about 1,000 people, and Engadget says the space seats thousands, so it'll be pretty empty. Does that mean no McCartney performance?

12:59: We're also watching Scott Bourne's iPhone-cast. Thanks for the tip, STrRedWolf!

1:00: Apparently Apple just asked everyone to turn off all electronic devices. Are they crazy?

1:02: Steve is on stage, and iTunes is first. 600 million copies of iTunes out there.

1:03: Our first liveblogging casualty: Mac Observer has bit the dust, and Mac Daily News ain't doing too well either.

1:04: iTunes is number three retailer in the country, behind WalMart, and there are over 125k podcasts.

1:06: Six million songs in every one of their 22 online stores in countries around the world. That's a lot of music.

1:07: This is cool: of all the music released in the US, 32% are digital-only releases. 1/3 of music not released on a physical CD. Amazing.

1:08: Ringtones! New version of iTunes tonight, make your own ringtones from 500k participating songs. 99 cents in addition to song price (so 2.98 total?). Little bells will be in iPhone next to songs that can do it.

1:09: Any segment of the song up to 30 seconds long with fade ins and outs.

1:10: Steve is going to use Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for his wife. "Norwegian Wood" is playing on my iTunes Beatles marathon right now.

1:12: Yeah, sorry about putting new stuff at the bottom, commenters-- I completely agree with you, and next time we'll do it new stuff at the top. Steve just played "Give Peace a Chance" as a ringtone and said "That's for when NBC calls."

1:14: To recap: new iTunes out tonight, make your own ringtone out of certain songs, and pay an extra 99c for every tone. Next up: iPods, and every single one is getting refreshed today!

1:15: New shuffle colors, new (PRODUCT) Red shuffle, 1gb for $79 shipping today. Engadget shows Blue, Teal, Green.

1:17: The new Nano is real, has CoverFlow, video, games, more storage. Same video resolution as the iPod Video (so what's the video look like?). 2" screen, 320x240.

1:20: Vortex is a new game (Arkanoid made circular, says Engadget), Sudoku also on there. Three games will be bundled with it already. Comes in black, red, silver, blue and green.

1:22: Ars says it looks great, best pixel density of any Apple display ever: 204 ppi. Can we get a price already? My credit card is doing backflips in my wallet.

1:24: Wow, Engadget has a pic of CoverFlow with a white background. Looks weird somehow. Steve is showing John Hodgeman on TDS.

1:26: new iPod Nano: 4gb and 8gb versions, $199 for the 8gb (in all colors), 4gb only gets silver at $149. Battery life is 24 hours, five hours of video playback. Should be in stores "by this weekend."

1:28: And now it's iPod time. This is going to be big.

1:29: Original iPod will be called iPod Classic, even thinner, starts at 80gb. 80gb $249 and 160gb (!) $349. Shipping to stores today, new user interface like the Nano.

1:32: Looks like iPod touch is a no go-- iPod just got a nice refresh (and a new UI, which ain't no little thing). Never mind, we spoke too soon. iPod touch is a go.

1:34: Same size as the iPhone, but thinner. 8mm thin. Same multitouch interface as the iPhone, says "iPod" up in the left corner.

1:36: Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Settings... Photos, and same zooming interface as the iPhone.

1:38: The touch looks weird-- Apple is dropping some strange looking stuff today. The icon placement is just plain out of wack (looks like two icons are missing, or hidden?). But there is a Wifi meter on the phone sorry, iPod touch.

1:40: "Internet features" should be coming soon, which might explain the weird icon setup. Safari will be one of them (!).

1:42: YouTube, Google, and Yahoo builtin as well. Wow. It literally is iPhone without the phone. Thanks for playing, AT&T.

1:44: So yeah, that was the weird placement-- Safari and YouTube were missing. But there's lots more room for more icons-- anyone up for an iPod jailbreak? Utility Belt has a great idea, too: since it has wifi, we can do VOIP, right?

1:46: Oh boy, this just went pro-- Engadget has Steve dropping a "boom" on browsing NYT in Safari. When he says "boom," big things are happening.

1:48: We're up to "Strawberry Fields" on my iTunes, by the way. Steve just went to his Facebook profile-- omg find it!

1:49: iPod touch: 8gb and 16gb, $299 and $399. Available later this month. 22 hours of audio, 5 hours of video.

1:50: Our own Dave Caolo notes that it has no speakers, which means no mic, which means no VOIP. Bummer.

1:51: Showing the iPod touch ad. I smell a "One more thing..." coming on, and "Back in the USSR" is echoing out of my speakers.

1:52: One more thing... iTunes Wifi music store. Free previews, works on iPhone not sure if it works on iPhone or not, same pricing, same selection. Buy a song, and it syncs back up to your computer when you get back.

1:54: iTWMS (?) has a pink icon, sits in the iPod's dock where the Phone icon would be. "WiFi is faster than any 2G or 3G network," so no iTWMS on iPhone? And I like commenter pepe's question: are podcasts on the iTWMS? Let's just call it the WiFi store. Or MobileTunes.

1:58: Poor Ars just died, they were doing so well. Apparently yes, the iPhone will get MobileTunes later this month. Can you wirelessly sync it back to your Mac, though?

2:00: Steve announcing a partnership with Starbucks where you can automatically buy the music you hear overhead in the store. That's actually a really interesting feature, not because of Starbucks, but because of the potential. Imagine seeing a movie and buying the soundtrack automatically in the theater.

2:03: Steve has the chairman of Starbucks on stage, and played a little Paul McCartney to bring him on. "Sgt. Pepper's" is playing on my iTunes right now.

2:05: Starbucks opens seven stores every day. Holy cow. I am actually kind of proud that I have never, ever been in a Starbucks. I'm not like a granola, down with corporations kind of guy (I eat McDonald's occasionally), but that's one thing I've never done, and don't plan to do in the future.

2:06: Free access to the iTWiFiMS while in Starbucks.

2:08: Don't forget, says our Scott McNulty, that lots of the music 'Bucks plays comes from its own label. So more sales for them as well.

2:10: Rollout: October 2nd for New York and Seattle, then San Francisco is next. LA and Chicago in '08. Eventually all 5800 WiFi stores nationwide. Confirmed iTWMS on iPhone, coming with an update soon.

2:13: Uh oh. Steve wants to make the iPhone "more affordable." Price drop? Can I dream?

2:14: 8gb iPhone $399. Effective immediately. I have no more excuses now.

2:16: That's wild. What happens to the people who bought their iPhones last weekend? And apparently Steve didn't mention the 4gb-- is it dead? Will sales analysts take this as a sign that Apple was scared by the lower-than-expected sales? The answer to that last one is yes.

2:18: KT Tunstall (who? Steve says she's "very hot") is performing. "Don't Let Me Down" is playing on my iTunes, but looks like we're getting let down on the Beatles.

2:28: And that'll do it. No Beatles, but wow what a day for iPod. And while the WiFi music store and the Starbucks deal won't get nearly as much print as the pretty iPod pictures, it's my opinion that those two things were the biggest pieces of news we got today.

To review:
  • iTunes update tonight with ringtones: an extra 99c after you buy the song, bells on applicable songs in iTunes, any 30 seconds of a song
  • Shuffle is getting a (PRODUCT) Red, more colors, 1gb at $79 shipping today
  • new iPod Nano is real-- features wider design and bigger screen, 204 ppi, has video, CoverFlow, ships with 3 games, black, silver, red, blue, and green. 4gb silver only $149, 8gb all colors $199, ships later this week.
  • iPod Classic, thinner Video iPod with Nano's interface, 80gb $249 and 160gb $349
  • iPod touch, basically an iPhone without the phone, features WiFi, Google and Yahoo, Safari, CoverFlow, YouTube. Available later this month, 8gb and 16gb, $299 and $399.
  • iTunes WiFi Music Store, available on iPod touch and eventually iPhone, buy any iTunes songs at same pricing and selection, download them over WiFi and resync them back to iTunes on your Mac.
  • Apple teaming up with Starbucks to profide WiFi for music store while instore, and one-click purchasing of overhead music
  • And perhaps today's biggest surprise: iPhone price drop. 8gb for $399, effective immediately.
Thanks for reading everybody! Stay tuned to TUAW for deets on everything and (I'm sure) lots of opinions about the $200 early adopter tax on the iPhone. You can join us for a live talkcast tonight at 9 pm ET to discuss all the day's announcements.

The reporters are there. The Apple Store is down. The rumors have been spread. And now it's time for the Apple Event you've all been...