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The pod that blew up
It was highly anticipated that Steve Jobs would announce something special at the Apple Music Event in California. He delivered in my opinion a mixed bag of goodies. The thing I was waiting for was some sort of recording device that enabled the iPod to record directly. What they came up with for this is a third party speaker microphone thing that plug into the top of the 3rd Generation iPod and records as Wav. There are no specifications for this thing so I'm not sure what the quality is. It is aimed at voice memos so I would not be expecting it to be high quality. This is a shame as direct MP3 encoding through a line in socket is what I and from what the forums most people wanted. At £s;39 it's a bit expensive for a mono speaker with microphone. I smaller sleeker device that added the line in socket would have been better. Oh well, saves me money, hoping that a proper device comes next year. The media card reader device for the iPod seems a bit silly and actually quite expensive. I've seen dedicated photo storage devices for not much more than the price of the gadget. Wonder how many people will buy it?

The other big news is iTunes for Windows. The event notes had the line Do something, I've never done before... give a demo on a PC which I thought was funny. Being a free app, it's got a good chance to beat most music players other than the built in Windows Media Player, but then again if you want to encode in MP3 WMP is not the default choice. Not sure if the new iTunes encodes in AAC as the site is jammed with people trying to be the first to use the new iTunes. On the Mac you need have Quicktime 6 installed in order for it to work. It will be essential once Apple roll out the Music store in Europe. Apple are now partnering with AOL and Pepsi in multi-million deals. Apple is strong at the moment in the online music market and will continue in America to do so. Maybe it will revive the fortunes of AOL.

Enough of the excitement, in the end it wasn't that exciting as the major announcements are focused on the North America market. I'll stick to my original iPod for now, still working brilliantly since the day I brought it.