Meet The New Zunes And iPods

It’s a big week for people in the market for new PMPs. Today Steve Jobs hosted an event titled “Apple: Let’s Rock,” with the purpose of introducing upgrades and updates to the company’s ever outdated stable of gadgets. This prompted Microsoft to make some announcements its own yesterday to offset Apple’s inevitable post-convention bounce. So first to the Microsoft Zune device, which not only still exists, but now comes with the ability to buy music directly over via its on board wi-fi connection. Two more new features worth noting: “Buy From FM,” which allows you to tag a song you hear on the radio and purchase it right away, and a new song recommendation system which allows you access to playlists pre-programmed by music biz type people. As for new models, look out for a hard-drive based 120GB model ($249) and flash-based devices at 16GB ($199) and 8GB ($149). Here’s how they’re looking:

The “Apple: Let’s Rock” stuff’s more expansive. Here’s a quick rundown:

First there’s the Shuffle, which gets new colors (still available at 1GB and 2GB, for $49 and $69 respectively). A color swatch:

The biggest cosmetic upgrade comes to the Nano, which is back to its pre-shorty height and will boast a larger screen and an accelerometer for shifting screen orientation.

There’s a new line of iPod Touches, too — thinner, stainless steel case, inbuilt Nike+, Genius playlist creation (it’ll make playlists based on what you’re listening to at the time, taking into account structural elements of your music, somehow), and $100 cheaper ($229 for the 8GB, $299 for the 16GB, and $399 for the 32GB).

And finally there’s the iPod Classic, now maxing out at 120GB for $250. Good news: that used to be the cost for the 80GB. Bad news: It’s the highest capacity iPod money can buy (i.e. no more 160GB, sorry). Also some good news for existing iPod and iPhone users: Check for updates on your iTunes today to find version 8, which features a Genius sidebar (creating Genius playlists, essentially some sort of a “smart” shuffle) and the ability to purchase video content in HD. And on Friday, Apple will release version 2.1 of its iPhone/iPod touch software, which engadget reports will offer “fewer dropped calls, big battery improvement, and faster backups.”

Also, Jack Johnson performed. Apple, let’s rock.

(photo via engadget)

Overall verdict: exciting if you don’t own a PMP. More in depth coverage at Gizmodo and engadget.

Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPod, Zune