New Round of Apple Goodies

Apple released a slew of new products today at MacWorld San Francisco.

iPod Shuffle
iPod ShuffleThis is the flash based iPod that has been rumored for a few weeks now. It’s no bigger than a pack of gum and it comes in two sizes: 512 MB ($99) and 1GB ($149). There is no screens since the iPod Shuffle is meant to do just that… shuffle. iTunes randomly chooses tunes from your library to place on the iPod and you just let ’em play randomly. It isn’t meant to be a replacement for the normal iPod where you can carry your entire library with you. It’s just meant to be for those who want to carry a few songs around to work out etc. With this release Apple jumps into the already very saturated flash-based mp3 player market.

Mac Mini
It’s just like a regular Mac only 1/10 the size… we will call it “Mini Mac” (pinky finger to the side of mouth). Mini MacThis is a pretty cool looking machine. It kind of reminds me of the G4 Cube only much smaller. It is only the about the size of a CD-ROM drive or an external hard drive, yet it is an entire Macintosh computer. Supposedly the box is smaller than the regular iPod box. Yes, with a box that small, there are going to be a few things missing. The keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, etc. are not included with the Mac Mini. As Steve Jobs said, “it’s BYODMK. Bring your own display, mouse, and keyboard. The Mac Minis come in two flavors 1.25 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, and will be priced at $499 and $599 respectively. That makes it the cheapest and smallest Mac to date. It makes me wonder if this will bring more people to the Apple platform now that the price is much more competitive with a PC.

iWork Suite
A new grouping of software for Apple is now called the iWork Suite. It includes a new version of Keynote with several updated features including export to flash and quite a few new templates. iWork also includes a new application called Pages which is supposedly the successor to AppleWorks which hasn’t been updated for a LONG time. I haven’t really had a chance to look through Pages yet. From what I’ve heard it’s a clean slick word processing/publishing program that does away with the clutter of MS Word. Supposedly it’s compatible with MS products, but I’ll believe that when I see it.ilife & iwork

iLife Updates
Apple updated all the applications in their iLife Suite. iPhoto 6 has a bunch of new features including RAW format support and several new editing features. It also includes more control over making photo books. iDVD 5 has a bunch of new templates. iMovie is now iMovie HD, which you guessed it, now supports Hi Definition video. They’ve also included a one-button movie edit that automatically imports your video into separate clips, adds titles, transitions and music, all in one step. Garageband 2 now has 8 tracks for recording and several audio filters and live fixes. And finally, iLife ’05 includes the latest version of iTunes which has seen a few updates outside of the iLife suite.

FinalCut Express HD
This is an updated to Apples’ low end version of FinalCut Pro. They’ve finally brought the HD to Express. FinalCut Pro received an update to HD almost back in April.

iPods in Cars
Apple also announced several more car manufacturers supporting iPod controls similar to BMW’s support announced a little while back. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will soon support iPod control from inside the car. Too bad I don’t have an iPod or a Ferrari!

It looks like a strong set of products from Apple. Like most things from Apple, the pictures rarely do them justice so I’m anxiously awaiting a chance when I can see them (and play with them) in person.

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