Hold me closer, tiny dancer
9:32 - We're upstairs, the press is gathering. All the usual suspects are here; Mossberg just cruised up. This event space seats thousands, so we're a little surprised Steve's doing an event here for just a few hundred journalists. We're expecting a lot of empty seats... or a Cirque du Soleil performance on the open floor.
9:57am - "Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this special Apple event. We'd like everyone to take a moment to turn off ALL electronic devices." Apparently this special privilege is reserved for Stevie, and Stevie alone. Well, this isn't an airplane, and if they think we're NOT going to liveblog this, they've got another thing coming. But yeah, we'll def switch off our ringers.
10:01am - Lights are dimming, here we go! Music's over, lights go up, Steve takes the stage!
10:02am - Rounds of applause and cheering. And more. "Thank you." He's grinning. "Today we get to talk about music, so let's start with iTunes." "iTunes is a pretty amazing phenomenon." Facts and figures: 600 million copies of iTunes distributed. Over 3 billion songs bought on iTunes. "We're pretty amazed at this." Giggles. "This is the number one music store in all 21 countries we operate in."
10:06am - Big applause. "We're going to do ringtones in our own special way. Of course these are for the iPhone. What we want: rather than let someone else make ringtones, we people to be able to make their own." Build your own from songs bought in iTunes, 500k participating songs...
10:07am - "Our ringtones are going to cost just $.99 in addition to the song." Psh! You have to pay a second time to use a purchased song as a ringtone?!
10:08am - "Here's how it works... when you plug in your iPhone a new column will pop up with bells -- that shows how many songs you can make ringtones out of." Any segment up to 30s long, fade ins/outs. "When you're ready to buy, push the buy button and for 99c you have a ringtone." Demo time.
10:09am - "I like Aretha Frankin's Respect -- I can just tell this is going to make a great ringtone. I can put it on my iPhone, make it my default ringtone. I'm going to assign this one for when my wife calls..." laughter.
10:10am - Steve's grooving to R-E-S-P-E-C-T on stage. "There we go, that's what I want, and I'm going to just buy this ringtone right now." The clip appears in the ringtones folder along with other clips of music Steve didn't mind buying twice.
10:12am - "You can assign it as your default ringtone, or to your favorite people when they call... custom ringtone maker built in, over half a million participating songs, sync 'em right on your iPhone. We're going to turn this on next week. You'll need the new version of iTunes we're going to ship tonight. So that's the first thing today." Applause.
10:13am - "Let's start out easy... iPod shuffle. Refresh for this product. Holiday 2007 we're going to give it some new colors, when you see these in person you're going to love them. We also have something called the PRODUCT(RED) nano..."
"Games. More storage, and a full metal design. We're introducing a new nano here today... let me show it to you." It's the fatty!
10:16am - "It's incredibly tiny, this is the new nano, it's incredibly thin. It's REALLY nice." Huge applause. "Let me show you some bigger pictures of it... comes in beautiful colors. So what's the video like? New nano: larger 2-inch screen, it's going to look the same as it did on the iPod video, it's the same QVGA resolution. We've achieved this with a screen with the highest pixel density we've ever shipped."
10:17am - "We've also got an enhanced UI. It's going to show you album artwork floating by. When you're on videos... photos... it will even show you what you're going to get when going to extras. And we've got Cover Flow. Take your thumb, roll it around the wheel, it looks really nice. It's pretty stunning, all in such a tiny device. We're really, really happy with this."
10:18am - "We're also including 3 games bundled in with the nano. Let me show you one now, it's called Vortex." Demo time -- it's basically Arkanoid made circular. "We've also done some other games we're selling on iTunes."
Demoing EA's Sudoku game.
10:20am - "Isn't that incredible? All in a product this big. Video, new UI with Cover Flow, games... let's take a look at the new iPod nano." Demo time again, Beatles album artwork in screen. He does this every time!
He's scrolling in Cover Flow -- it looks decent, but a bit choppy and slow. Not super surprising considering the nano doesn't exactly have a lot of horsepower under the hood. Don't expect the iPhone Cover Flow experience, people!
10:21am - "It's that simple to browse your music collection." Doing video now. "I love Jon Stewart, I hope all of you watch his show. It's the best place to get the news every day." Showing the John Hodgman clip on net neutrality, trying to get Hodgman to admit to being a PC. Highlarious.
"These new nanos have left our factories, they've shipped and will be in our stores by this weekend."
10:27am - "A little video for everyone, that's what we set out to do with the new nano. We hope you love it as much as we do... That brings us to the iPod. The iPod... it's got a... it's got a funny name. It's got a funny name. It's time to give it a name: we're calling it the iPod Classic because it's the original iPod." Ha!
"When we introduced the iPhone in Jan, we said it was the best iPod ever. and iPhone owners agree with us, it's incredible with its multi-touch interface, it is the best iPod ever. People have been asking us when we're going to bring this technology to the iPod. The answer is we're going to do it today. And this is what the product looks like." It's a friggin iPhone!
It's called the iPod Touch.
10:32am - "It's the same size screen as the iPhone, but it's even thinner. It's 8mm thin. Unbelievable. The new iPod touch. It's one of the 7 wonders of the world." Laughter.
10:33am - "It features our revolutionary multi-touch interface that you've come to know and love on the iPhone. If you've used an iPhone you'll feel at home, it's exactly the same. Scroll through the artists with a flick of your finger. Turn it into a landscape position, it goes into Cover Flow, it's just magical."
10:34am - "All on this 8mm device. Let's look at video... all on this gorgeous 3.5-inch widescreen display. And photos... just like the iPhone this is the best way to share photos on a portable device. Ever. Flick through them, pinch them to make them larger or smaller."
Steve's browsing by Cover Flow -- note: it has WiFi! The WiFi meter is up at the top where it would be on the iPhone.
10:37am - Steve's watching, um, Wild Hogs. He's not having a mid-life crisis, too, is he?
10:38am - "Let's take a look at photos here... it's great, let's go into an album... I can just go like this, flick through these photos. There's just never been a better way to share photos with friends on the go. It's sooo nice. Turn it back. Boom." Icons: calendar, contacts, clock, calc, settings, music, videos, photo..."I showed you the clean side... I was keeping a secret. We've built in WiFi to the iPod touch." The antenna looks, um, bad.
10:39am - 802.11b/g -- "Others have done this and it's failed. We understand why it's failed, and we know what to do make it successful. Well, what's the problem with WiFi? Well, part of the problem is getting onto WiFi... you may be fine at home and the office, but anywhere in between can be challenging."
10:40am - "You may log in but you'll get a screen. Even walking through Stanford University you get a login page... so you can build in the hardware but you can't get the network [without the page]. So what do you do about that? We're going to add an application to the touch: the Safari web browser."
10:41am - This really is the phone-less iPhone. "But besides being able to log into WiFi, you get an incredible web browser! It is the best web browser on any mobile device, and it's built in to the iPod touch."
10:42am - "We're very, very excited about this. First time EVER on a music player to have a browser built in." Uh, totally not true: look at Archos. "Why stop there?" YouTube's on the Touch as well.
Looking on the NYT. "We can go over here... boom." Aw, it was a little boom that time.
10:45am - Bookmarked videos... "You get the idea, this gives you a feeling for what Safari and YouTube are like on the new iPod touch. We've built WiFi in and we've made it USABLE. We're REALLY excited about this."
10:46am - Connector on the bottom, but no speakers. "This is a worldwide product, the first touch product Apple's going to ship outside the US, it's going to be shipping all around the world."
"The battery life is fantastic: 22 hours audio, 5 hours video playback. All in something this thin. It's... it's... amazing to me. The new iPod touch."
10:48am - So, 8GB is $299... the price for the 16GB is $399." Less applause on the second one. "Both models are available in just a few weeks... they'll be shipping this month."
10:49am - Not shabby -- and thankfully no more Orba Squara iPhone music. But there is one more thing... if you'll bear with us for a few more minutes.
Four buttons: featured, top tens, search, downloads... "If you see something you like, tap it, free preview of the song." "You are now downloading the song... when it's done you can listen to it on your iPod touch, and it syncs back up to iTunes." Applause.
10:52am - "You can search for anything in the entire iTunes store. You can search for any artist, any song name, any album name, preview it, and if you love it go buy it. This is the new iTunes WiFi music store. Let me show it to you now."
10:53am - "Demo time: This is live coming over WiFi. I love John Lennon... so I'm going to buy this. It's now downloading... it takes a few seconds and once it's downloaded I can go to the downloads playlist and I can play it with album art and everything else. This is all live."
"Isn't this incredible?" Applause and cheers.
10:54am - He plays a wacky R&B track: "Ooook." Chuckles. Now he's listening to Coco -- "That's now being bought, as you can see. I want to search for something, so of course I'm going to search for Dylan. Live search comes back from the store...
10:55am - "WiFi, as you may know, is faster than any 3G cellular network, so it's really fast." Zing!
10:56am - "So, not so bad for the new iTunes WiFi music store." Applause. "The new music store will be available internationally in every one of those 22 countries Apple operates in. We're gonna do something else, too: we're gonna bring it to the iPhone." Big applause.
10:58am - "I can't tell you how much pleasure it brings me... we have a GREAT partnership with Starbucks we're announcing today. We love Starbucks. It's an incredible phenomenon in our culture. We want to combine our great iPods and our love of music and their great coffee and their great love of music."
Demo time. "So they just built a Starbucks back stage." Laughter. "They're playing a KT Tunstall song... I can go in here and preview it."
11:03am - "Who would have thought that a coffee company could win a Grammy? Let alone 8, when we co-produced with Concord Ray Charles's last album."
11:04am - He's going on about how this is going to transform the marketplace. Dude, let's not delude ourselves here. It's big, but it's not that big.
11:07am - It's exclusive with iTunes -- we wonder how T-Mobile feels about partnering indirectly with Apple. Ok, rollout plan: 5800 WiFi-enabled stores nationwide. Starting October 2nd: New York and Seattle. 600 stores, followed up in November with 350 stores in SF.
"We think this is going to set a lot of peoples' worlds on fire. And I'm going to include the iPhone, because as we've said, it's the best iPod ever."
11:12am - "But we want to get even more aggressive with this. Take a look at the iPhone. You know, the surveys are in: the customer satisfaction numbers on the iPhone are off the charts. They're higher from iPhone owners than any Apple product. Ever. They LOVE them. We want to make the iPhone even MORE affordable for even more people."
"So we're going to do something about that today. We're on track to ship our 1 millionth iPhone this month -- to get ready for the holidays here's what we're going to do. It's clear customers want the 8GB model -- it's not going to sell for 599 anymore.
"We want to put iPhones in a lot of stockings." But what about the 4GB? Does that mean it's being discontinued?
11:13am - Applause... "A lot of people at Apple have worked on these products. Some are here today, some are watching from our campus in Cupertino. I'd like those folks to stand up..." Wow, this is like half the audience.
11:16am - Her drum machine messes up: "Technology, eh?"
11:19am - KT's performing on stage.
11:21am - KT: "I'm very much looking forward to the 'iLoop pedal'." Waaah. "It's fantastic that Steve Jobs is making it more fun to pay for music than steal it!"
11:22am - Looks like that's it! We're out of here!