Apple TV ($99)
This is definitely the most interesting of the announcements for me. Unfortunately, its awesome size wasn’t enough to sell me. Although at $99, this is mighty tempting. The price point is clearly the big winner here. This thing will do all the standard Apple/iTunes stuff, plus Netflix (!) and a few other not-so interesting web stuff (YouTube, Flickr, etc).
Unfortunately for me, the big drawback is the 720p max resolution. That’s not too bad, but I’m an HD snob, and 720p is just not HD for me. Especially on my world’s largest 52″ Sony Bravia XBR KDL-52XBR6 in glorious 1080p. Granted, Netflix is only streaming 720p max so far these days, and my RIDICULOUSLY SLOW (and therefore over-priced) Comcast connection seems to stutter even in 720p, despite speed tests always showing over 20Mbps.
So, I’ll be sticking with my MacMini (08/2007) here. And of course this gives me the flexibility to run whatever programs, games, and file formats i want on the large screen. If you’re interested, I’ll write that up later, but its your standard Boxee/Plex setup.
iPod Touch – kinda boring, same but beefier. I just wonder who keeps paying $200-400 for a nonPhone? And of course, i personally REALLY like the iPhone 4 flat look, versus the older style curved case. Since when do Apple products not match each other? How am i possibly going to put my iPhone 4 down on a table next to this thing and be respected for my non-matching style?
iPod Nano – with mult-touch screen, now that is slick! At $150-$180, that’s the way top of my range for an MP3 toy, but its definitely tempting. If only i didn’t already have a music player in myPhone. At a slightly higher $200 (plus 2 yr contract) for a myPhone, I’m still can’t see the market for the Nano at this price range.
iPod Shuffle – boring. At $50, if only they just merged the multi-touch Nano and price point of the Shuffle, i’d be sold.
iTunes 10 – i’m still on iTunes 8, probably. Who cares about a bloated MP3 player? … and Ping? When will the world realize we don’t need ANOTHER social network, let alone one with a niche use? I don’t think i’m young enough to understand this one. Isn’t this just another Privacy Problem waiting to happen? Do I really need the world knowing I just bought a Kelly Clarkson album. OK, Yes I Do.
New iOS 4.1/4.2 and AirPlay – Pretty cool incremental improvements. Same old AirTunes, much tighter integration across products. Unfortunately, with Apple being so closed/proprietary about all their protocols this always hindered adoption across platforms or innovative user interfaces. There are promises of an open Facetime standard, and more AirPlay devices, so we’ll see if Apple is learning its lesson here.
Well, good job today, Steve-o. Lets keep stuff coming. Although I won’t make you (or Google) sign my NDA to get this, I’ll give you some more tips for free. Apple products always get me 90% where I need. I guess this is the genius of their marketing machine, since you’re forced to upgrade every few years. So right now, iPhone 4 is pretty awesome for me as my portable communications/music/gaming device.
I’m waiting till I get my iPad in October to pass judgement there, but I’m hoping I can run all my travel software there: media/movies/music, ebooks, games, maps/gps, MS Office compatible (editable) suite, and of course the browser. I can’t wait for Netflix there, but I’m not sure how often I’ll be on WiFi on my travel-puter during the moments i’d want to watch a movie (like on a plane).
On the Home Theatre side, the recently new MacMini is right up my alley, but just isn’t a compelling upgrade to my existing MacMini until it gets Blu-Ray (including BD-R). People will be sticking with their physical media for HD for a long while, until the bandwidth goes up. All signs point to Apple still just “considering” its stance on Blu-Ray, and i’m guessing they’re just stalling until ISP bandwidth is high enough to support 1080p streaming. So pretty much if we haven’t gotten Blu-Ray yet, we’re not getting it. Damn.
But one can wish. Check back with me in 2 years.