SAN JOSE, Calif. Continuing on its quest to advance the exploding MP3 player market, Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday (Sept. 12) rolled out new and long-awaited versions of its video, nano and shuffle iPod product lines.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) also upgraded its online music store. The new upgrade, dubbed iTunes 7, now offers music as well as TV shows and movies. In addition, the iTunes Store is now offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films.
And as expected, Apple refreshed its iPod lines, which were delayed by the PC and MP3 maker.
Compared to the previous models, the new video iPods feature a 60 percent brighter, 2.5-inch color display that is said to be "perfect for watching TV shows and now Hollywood movies," according to Apple.
The new iPods feature seamless integration with iTunes 7. The new video iPod is available in a 30-GB model at a price of $249 and an 80-GB model, which holds up to 20,000 songs or 100 hours of video, for $349.
Apple also refreshed its iPod nano line. This product now features 24 hours of battery life and more than twice the music capacity for the same price as the previous generation.
The new 2-GB iPod nano model in silver is available for $149, the new 4-GB models in silver, pink, green and blue are available for $199, and the new 8-GB model in black is available for $249.
The company also introduced a new version of the iPod shuffle, the world's smallest digital music player, Apple claimed. The new iPod shuffle contains one gigabyte of flash memory which holds up to 240 songs, and sells for $79.
Not to be outdone, the company also rolled out iTunes 7. Users can now purchase and download movies on their computers and iPods, as well as soon on their flat screen televisions with Apple's upcoming TV, dubbed the "iTV player."
Movies will become available on the iTunes Store the same day they are released on DVD, with new releases priced at $12.99 when pre-ordered and during their first week of availability, and $14.99 thereafter, and library titles available for just $9.99 every day.
"Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, in a statement. "In less than one year we've grown from offering just five TV shows to offering over 220 TV shows, and we hope to do the same with movies. iTunes is selling over one million videos a week, and we hope to match this with movies in less than a year."