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Live Coverage of Apple's September 9th 2008 Let's Rock Event

1:00 PM EDT, September 9th, 2008 - Digg This!
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[2:05 PM] OK, Steve said he is done, and Derick and the Dominoes' version of Layla is being played. That means it's done, and we're out of here. 

[2:04 PM] Jack is wearing sandals. Maybe flipflops. He's done now, and is getting a standing ovation from most of the crowd. Steve is back on stage. 

[2:03 PM] Doh! Haven't given a shoutout to The Wife™ in this live coverage. Uuhhhhh...Hey Kitten, you're missing Jack Johnson. 

[2:02 PM] For the record, Jack Johnson is a better guitarist than me. Of course, Dave Hamilton is now probably a better guitarist than me, and he's been playing for about a month... 

[2:01 PM] Jack Johnson quipped that he's used to having "20-something girls" in the front row of his shows, and this was kind of different. Specifically, directly in front of him seven gentlemen that are 50-something and 60-something, with various stages of hair loss. That must be quite a change for Mr. Johnson. :) 

[1:59 PM] OK folks, you have to understand just how much went in to today's live coverage. We have two people writing up stories and editing my posts. I am at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Steve and Dave are managing the myriad of redundant options we have set up to make it all work.

And today, the servers held up, Blogger didn't take a dive, and my access was seamless (thanks, Dave!).

Jack Johnson is thanking Steve for having him here. Jack says it's kind of weird being the #1 iTunes artist. 

[1:56 PM] You know, I really appreciate Apple adding these live musical performances to these media events. It's a nice touch, even if I don't often care much for the specific artists. To everyone reading this, wish you could enjoy it with us. 

[1:53 PM] Steve touted him as the number one iTunes artist of all time.

Huh, Andy Samberg's Jack Johnson impression is, apparently, accurate. 

[1:52 PM] Not sure yet who it is.

Steve is doing a very slow roll on the introduction to heighten the anticipation for...Jack Johnson....


[1:51 PM] Steve says it's the best iPod and iTunes lineup ever for the holidays. Says Apple is ready for the holidays. Thanked the people in attendance.

We're now being introduced to today's music performer. 

[1:50 PM] The newest software for iPod touch (and also for iPhone) is being called 2.1. It's free if you've updated to 2.0 already. It's $9.95 otherwise.

The iPhone 2.1 update includes such things as fewer dropped calls (according to Steve), interface tweaks, faster syncs with iTunes. It's free for all iPhone owners. It will be available on Friday.

"Back to iPod + iTunes." 

[1:48 PM] We're seeing some issues with time stamps in our live coverage. Our support team (Dave and Stephen, specifically) are working on it. 

[1:47 PM] The touch is coming in 8GB at $229, a 16GB model at $299, and a 32GB model for $399. Those prices represent price decreases across the line in terms of capacity.

We're now seeing a new iPod ad. Dude is plaing some of the many accelerometer-based games, and the tagline is "the funnest iPod ever." 

[1:46 PM] The touch works with the new hdeadphones coming out. 36 hours of music playback and 6 hours of video playback.

Has the same environmental check list as the nano.

And the TV Asshat is still talking. 

[1:45 PM] Now it's Need for Speed Undercover. Phil is picking a car (a gaudy Porsche), and is going to "transport a 'package'." Oops, Phil just wrecked his Porsche (in slow motion). Now he's wrecking into police cars. Oops. That's it, Phil's off the stage and Steve is back. 

[1:43 PM] He's doing a match between the Italian soccer team and some other team I didn't catch. It's all in 3D, and it looks great. The company overlayed the controls needed on the screen, so it plays like other handhelds. That's pretty smart, IMNHO. w00t! Phil just scored a goal, and the audience laughed. 

[1:41 PM] Phil is running around the Spore Origins world as an Amoeba. "Eat or be eaten." The graphics look great, and it's easy enough for Phil to play, so w00t! Next up is Real Soccer 2009. 

[1:39 PM] In any event, Phil is demoing Spore Origins. This game was just announced by EA (if I remember correctly). It's very cool looking. TV ASSHAT! SHUT UP! 

[1:38 PM] Steve brought Phil Schiller out on stage. Hes going to show us some iPod games. Note, BTW, that some TV asshat near me seems to think it's OK to talk out loud during this presentation. Dude, shut up. 

[1:38 PM] Sorry, Phil. I meant the TV asshat, not you. 

[1:37 PM] Good lord, Dave spent all of 30 minutes going from fried modem from a power spike to digging out an old cable modem from his attic, to being back online. He truly is a Nerd's Nerd! We're once again posting via his home server. 

[1:33 PM] App Store is now available in 62 countries.

Steve is now demoing the iPod touch. He made a Genius playlist with a couple of button touches. Did it again. 

[1:31 PM] It has a Nike+iPod trnasmitter built-in. That's curious. I wonder if other products will be able to tap into that? Steve didn't say. The new interface tweaks are solid, BTW. 

[1:28 PM] Users have downloaded more than 100 million freakin' iPod apps! Holy smokes! It's only been 60 days since the App Store opened. Seems I was right about my thoughts concerning the App Store. [Ed: Analysts Miss the Boat, Question Innovation in iPhone 3G and iPhone's Price Drop All About the App Store] 

[1:28 PM] Moving on tot he iPod touch. Thinner, same display. Contoured back. Pretty nice looking from the pics we're seeing. Integrated volume controls are being added. Accelerometer, WifI the same. A new built-in speaker that's for "casual listeners," this is not for audiophiles, Steve stipulated.

Some new interface tweaks. 

[1:23 PM] There's an armband, and some new headphones. The new headphones have a button on the chord borrewed from cell phone headphones, that offers play, pause, forward, backward, volume up and down, etc., all with a single two-position button. Very slick.

New in-ear headphones. "We think we've finally gotten this right." They have two drivers in each side, and will retail for $79. 

[1:21 PM] 24 hours of battery life for music, and 4 hours for video playback.

Steve is saying that Apple wants to be environmentally responsible in its iPod line. Arsenic-free glass, BFR-free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, and "highly recyclable." Says they are the "cleanest, most toxic-free iPods we've ever built."

Touting the color choices as "nano-chromatic." There are eight colors, and they're gorgeous. It's almost rainbow like, but the homophobes out there don't need to be too worried, it's not a true rainbow.

16 GB is $199. They'll be in store shelves in the next few days. 

[1:21 PM] Yep, the center button will start a playlist right on your iPod nano. Note that this is not cloud based. The home team is looking into whether or not I was right about that aspect, and we'll update this live coverage if needed.

Oh my! You can now "Shake to Shuffle" on your nano. Just shake it, and your playlist will be shuffled! That's too freakin' cool! 

[1:20 PM] New browsing options, and you can hit a genius playlist from the center button, if I followed him correctly. Ah, he's demoing the use, so I can make sure I got it right. w00t! 

[1:14 PM] New iPod nano "for the holiday season." It's the portrait aspect (i.e. tall again), has a rounded front, has a high-res screen like the old nano. It's freakin' gorgeous. Steve showed us one, that included a closeup of him.

He's still a bit thin, but is clearly feeling better than he did at the WWDC. It will be interesting to see if anything is made of this.

Oh, and an accelerometer has been added to the nano. You can turn it sidewise, and the display switches to cover mode in landscape mode. Pretty damned slick. 

[1:14 PM] 160 million iPods sold to date. Apple is matching Microsoft's $249 price point for an updated 120 GB unit. Now you can put 30,000 songs in your pocket. Go you!

Moving on to the iPod nano, which is clearly about to be updated. 

[1:09 PM] Made a new ad for the nano. It features each of the colors rotating back from the foreground with the view changing as they rotate. It's a 10-15 second ad. 

[1:09 PM] iTunes 8 is available today.

iPod has 73.4% market share, according to NPD data quoted by Steve. Other, Sandisk, and Microsoft (2.6%) fill out the rest. Saying iPod ecosystem is healthy. Quipped that sometimes companies announce products before Apple wants them to. Audience laughed. Steve laughed and said, "Yeah it's so funny..." in a sardonic way with a smile. It was quite amusing. 

[1:09 PM] Steve is demonstrating Genius at work. He clicked on a song, then hit the Genius button, and instantly got a playlist of songs that will, in theory, go with his tune ("Heartbreak Hotel"). 

[1:09 PM] Sweet, Dave's modem in his office fried. That's outstanding, since he helps keep everything going. Give a nice shoutout to Stephen Swift for being Johnny-on-the-spot.

OK, back to business. Genius is a cloud-based service. It's Apple's servers that will be doing the playlist analysis for you and feeding the playlists back to you. 

[1:07 PM] HD TV shows will be $2.99, and will be watchable on your Mac or PC. Also, NBC is coming back to iTunes. They will also be offered in HD.

Also releasing iTune 8. New accessibility features, new browsing features for going through your library. You can look at albums as album covers only, a streamlined view. New automatic playlists from songs in your library that go great together with one click. This feature is called "Genius," I guess because Apple figured there's nothing like confusing people between services being offered by the company.

Note that we had a convenient power issue at one of of our facilities for handling this live coverage. Fortunately, we have backups of backups. Hopefully we'll be able to continue. If you're reading this, that's a good thing. :) 

[1:05 PM] 65 million iTunes accounts now. Holy smokes. Touting iTunes being the #1 music distributor in the U.S., ahead of Wal-mart. Apple is adding HD TV shows. 

[12:57 PM] So the audience laughed, Steve said "Enough said," and we move on to music, where Steve is givin us a recap of iTunes offerings. Lots of songs, movies, and now 3,000 iPhone apps! 

[12:56 PM] Steve just showed a slide that said "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Audience laughed. 

[12:56 PM] We have the Stones followed by The Doors...The lights are out. Steve's on stage, looking healthier than at WWDC. Let investors take note. 

[12:53 PM] Lots of cameras here. For that matter, it's a packed venue, though it's smallish compared to any of the Moscone auditoriums. 

[12:51 PM] Here at the Good Herb Center for the Arts... 

[12:15 PM] Bryan's en route to the event now! 

[1:19 AM] Logged in via NetShare, which finally works for me. Hooray! 

[9:00 AM] You're a little early, but don't fret! We will be providing live coverage of Let's Rock, the September 9th, 2008 Apple Event at 10am PDT (1pm EDT). When the time comes, TMO will be there... and you'll be here, reading everything we know. Until then, enjoy reading about the previous years of Steve Jobs keynote coverage and how we pulled it off!