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Live Coverage of Apple's "Rock and Roll" Special Event on September 9th 2009

Hosted by Pair1:00 PM EDT, September 9th, 2009 - Digg This! or Tweet This!
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[2:22 PM] Dave: That's it, folks. The event's over. Now head to http://www.macobserver.com/ for all the news, commentary, and more. Visit our forums at http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/forums/ to discuss it all! 
[2:15 PM] Bryan: Norah thanked Steve for having her and her band, and said how glad she was that he was doing better.

Steve thanked us for coming, and left the stage. Jimi Hendrix is ushering us out with Crosstown Traffic.

Thanks for hanging with us! 

[2:14 PM] Bryan: Steve is coming back on stage. 
[2:13 PM] Bryan: Norah quipped that there are lots of secret passages backstage, and "lots of secret knocks." She giggled, and said she was relieved to finally be on stage and playing.

She then quipped that she was awful at keeping secrets, and announced her next song, which will be on an upcoming album. 

[2:10 PM] Bryan: For those keeping score at home, we can safely conclude that The Stones tagline was deliberate, and that neither Sir Paul nor Ringo will be joining us to announce The Beatles coming to iTunes. 
[2:08 PM] Bryan: She has a full band. She's on guitar, and there's another woman playing guitar. Dude is playing bass. I can't see the drummer, as he's directly behind Norah from my vantage point. 
[2:07 PM] Bryan: Bringing out Norah Jones for a live performance. And poof, drums and amps are rolled out on stage. 
[2:05 PM] Bryan: Steve is saying they're all green devices. Several categories of toxins that are NOT included in the entire new iPod line.

All of the new iPods are available today. 
[2:04 PM] Bryan: It includes VoiceOver, too. Comes in new colors. 8GB for $149, 16GB for $179. Anodized aluminum. Gorgeous colors. 
[2:02 PM] Bryan: Holy smoke, iPod nano has an FM radio, a pedometer...built in! 
[2:01 PM] Bryan: You can watch your video right on your nano, of course, or sync it back to iTunes where you can send it to YouTube with one click. 
[2:00 PM] Bryan: This is the "One More Thing" section of the presentation, BTW. 
[2:00 PM] Bryan: On the back of every iPod nano is a video camera and microphone. Still the same form factor. 
[1:59 PM] Bryan: Steve is back on stage talking about cameras. 
[1:58 PM] Bryan: iPod shuffle Special Edition, 4GB, stainless still, Apple logo, very cool looking. 
[1:57 PM] Bryan: Black, silver, pink, green and blue - new colors for the iPod shuffle. 2GB for $59. 4GB still $79, also with new colors. All shipping today. 
[1:56 PM] Bryan: There will be new third-party controllers for iPod shuffle with controls embedded in them - for instance new headphones. 
[1:54 PM] Bryan: Now we're recapping the iPod Classic. Phil is upping that model to 160GB of storage (40,000 songs), for the same $249 price point.

Moving on to shuffle. 

[1:54 PM] Bryan: Seeing a video touting the iPod touch as a gaming device. 
[1:53 PM] Bryan: Phil is going over the new price points that were unveiled earlier today.

There is now a 64GB model available, too. 

[1:52 PM] Bryan: Phil is back on stage. Callng iPod touch the most affordable gateway to the App Store. Doesn't seem there was an overarching point after all, just a recap.

Why a 15 minute recap at a media event? 

[1:50 PM] Bryan: Madden NFL was launched this morning on the App Store. I bet Brad Cook is covering it for us now. 
[1:49 PM] Bryan: Dude picked where to kick the football, and it went where it was directed. You can select players by simply tapping them. Pick your play through a coverflow-like interface. You can also draw your own plays right on the screen. Very cool. 
[1:47 PM] Bryan: Travis Boatman from Electronic arts is on stage. He's showing us Madden NFL. 
[1:47 PM] Bryan: Another developer...I am not sure what Phil's eventual point is here, unless it's simply to convince the press in attendance that iPod touch is a gaming platform. 
[1:46 PM] Bryan: Going to have push notification for challenging your friends, and other iPhone OS 3.x features. 
[1:45 PM] Bryan: Land on a ship, equip your assault rifle, and then shoot bad guys. Controls seem to be a combination of taps and accelerometer movement. You can also play your iTunes library while playing. 
[1:44 PM] Bryan: Now, we get Mark Hickey from Gameloft. He's showing us a sneak preview of Nova, a first person shooter (FPS). 
[1:43 PM] Bryan: This is a groovy little game where you use the accelerometer to drive a tire on a suspended-road-in-space. You get a basic beat, and by hitting different targets, you get to add song elements. It's pretty cool. 
[1:41 PM] Bryan: Bart Decrem from Tapulous is on stage. 
[1:40 PM] Bryan: Assassin's Creed is coming out November 11th. I think. Might have been the 15th. Jimmy D didn't catch it, either. 
[1:39 PM] Bryan: Saw a video about how great gaming is on iPod touch.

Now, we have a Ubisoft dude on stage. He's showing us a side scroller game. Very good looking game, but I didn't catch the title. Ah, it's Assassin's Creed. 

[1:36 PM] Bryan: He's now talking about gaming on the iPod touch. Comparing it to Nintendo DS and pointing out how much more DS games are than most iPhone/iPod touch games. 
[1:33 PM] Bryan: He's still going on about the iPod touch. The current iPod touch, I might add. 
[1:32 PM] Bryan: Interface and iTunes and Genius playlists...These are a few of Phil's Favorite Things. 
[1:31 PM] Bryan: 20 million iPod touches have been sold so far.

Phil is going over why the iPod touch is so awesome and mega popular. 

[1:29 PM] Bryan: Steve mentioned earlier, BTW, that Apple has sold 30 million iPhones. Phil is saying they've sold more than 200 million iPods. iPod has 73.8% market share for digital media devices.

"Microsoft is pulling up the rear" with about 1% with Zune. Suck it Balmer! 

[1:28 PM] Bryan: Moving on to iPod. Steve is bringing Phil Schiller on stage now. 
[1:27 PM] Bryan: Greg is done, a little applause, and Steve is back.

iTunes 9 is available today. Free, of course. 

[1:26 PM] Bryan: Let me emphasize - this interface is entirely interactive. Menus can be animated (I believe), photos change out, lyrics are scrollable, and you click from page to page depending on what you're doing. It really is cool. 
[1:25 PM] Bryan: We're seeing the Doors. There's an interactive menu that lets you pick songs, look at lyrics, see different photos, and more.

At the risk of sounding like an LP fanboy, Apple has found a great way to bring that *album* experience to your computer. For the first time, I might add.

The Doors album we're seeing also includes vidoes, in this case videos provided by the surviving band members. You, too, can see Ray Manzarek living in the past! 
[1:23 PM] Bryan: One can share information about iTunes Store items directly to Facebook. The interface has also been cleaned up some.

On to iTunes LP. 

[1:22 PM] Bryan: Getting some questions about Steve. Steve's voice is quiet - I would describe it as hoarse, but it could just be a reflection of him being tired or recovering from a liver transplant. He has aged in the last year, for sure, but as I said, he looks stronger. So, skinny, quiet(er), but stronger looking. 
[1:21 PM] Bryan: As fast as they're moving, it would seem that they have a lot to show us. 
[1:20 PM] Bryan: Now he's showing us Home Sharing. With this feature, you can easily copy items from your iTunes library from one computer to another. Select, drag, done. Very nice.

Moving on to the new iTunes Store. 

[1:19 PM] Bryan: Greg is starting with app management. The interface allows users to arrange their apps on their iPhone through a window in iTunes. This is an awesome improvement. Check out the pic I posted - hopefully you can see the dual-pane interface in it. 
[1:17 PM] Bryan: This is, in part, an effort to re-interest music fans in the album format, as opposed to the Singles culture that has been re-growing around iTunes.

We're getting a demo of iTunes now from a chap named Greg. 

[1:17 PM] Bryan: And, as rumored, we're getting a new iTunes LP format for albums that packages liner notes and whatever else the artist wants to include in an album when you buy a full album. 
[1:15 PM] Bryan: New Home Sharing features, a redesigned store interface is also included in iTunes 9. 
[1:13 PM] Dave: You will also be able to manage your iPhone apps through a much better interface in iTunes. 
[1:13 PM] Dave: You'll be able to sync music to your iPhone or iPod via criteria you can set up. In other words, rather than having to make a specific playlist that is synced, iTunes will develop playlists based on the criteria you select. 
[1:13 PM] Dave: Updating iTunes Genius...There have been some 27 million iTunes libraries, which is about 54 billion songs. Through that process, Genius should have gotten better.

New feature is called Genius Mixes, which is basically up to 12 playlists organized by Genius. 

[1:11 PM] Dave: Steve said that iTunes is not the #1 music retailer in the world. That got a nice round of applause. There are now more than 100 million accounts with credit cards - "That makes iTunes one of the largest storers on the Web."

Steve is introducing iTunes 9. 

[1:10 PM] Dave: One can now buy ringtones through iTunes via iPhone OS 3.1. Free download. 
[1:01 PM] Bryan: Steve is on stage, and he got a standing ovation. He immediately mentioned his liver transplant, thanked the young man who died and gave Steve his liver, and asked us all to become organ doners. Steve is skinny, but honestly looks stronger than when we last saw him.

Steve also thanked Tim Cook and friends for running the company while he was out. 
[12:55 PM] Bryan: Jimi Hendrix is on the air now, though an announcer interrupted him to let us know that A.) We should turn off our phone, and B.) that the festivities would soon commence. 
[12:54 PM] Bryan: Curiously, we've gone from "NO LIVE BLOGGING!!" to Apple providing power outlets and working WiFi!!! That's a nice change. 
[12:54 PM] Bryan: It got quiet, and then The Stones' It's Only Rock 'n Roll started playing. That being the tagline, one might guess things are about to start. 
[12:54 PM] Bryan: In the last pic, Phil Schiller is schmoozing up in the front. He's not my friend, either, though I think we'd get along famously if he just gave me a chance. 
[12:53 PM] Bryan: OK, sitting down in the hall. Baba O'Reilly from The Who - my favorite band - is on the sound system. Hoorah! 
[12:42 PM] Dave: Doors opened for camera crews. We're next. 
[12:39 PM] Dave: On the other hand, both Bill and Mr. Grunberg are both here now. So is Walt Mossberg. Wait is that Bono? Ah, no. That's David Pogue... 
[12:36 PM] Dave: Another difference is that Mr. Grunberg was on Alias and is on a little show called Heroes. 
[12:36 PM] Dave: FYI: Bryan's the one in line. He's just posting as me until he sits down at his laptop. I haven't (quite!) yet figured out how to be on two coasts at once. 
[12:35 PM] Dave: But Bill really is our friend. That's one of the differences between him and Mr. Grunberg. 
[12:34 PM] Dave: In fact, I had to get his name spelled for me by our friend Bill Palmer from iProng. 
[12:31 PM] Dave: Yeah. I so don't actually know Mr. Grunberg. Good pic from the iPhone though. 
[12:30 PM] Dave: In line for the event. Hanging out with Greg Grunberg. We're old friends. 
[12:06 PM] Dave: Bryan's in line, pictures are appearing on the liveblog, and we're rolling! 
[9:27 AM] Dave: You're a little early, but never fear, we're in prep. The staff is en route, the servers are ready, and it's all systems go for 1pm EDT today!