San Francisco - At a news conference hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Apple refreshed its iPod line in time for the Christmas selling season with new iPod Nanos sporting built-in video cameras, lower-priced iPod Touches starting at $199 and a new $59 iPod shuffle.
In addition, the company redesigned its iTunes store to more easily integrate apps, TV and music. iTunes also now permits sharing of songs between computers in a home, expands the album art and liner notes for LPs, and adds a Genius Mixes feature that automatically creates up to 12 playlists from the songs in an iTunes library.
Available now, the Nano received a makeover with the addition of a video camera, an FM radio, a larger 2.2-inch screen, a pedometer and new colors. Jobs said the Nano is the world's most popular music player with more than 100 million units sold. Users can now share videos with friends by using the unit's display and speaker, and can sync the Nano with a PC or Mac to upload video to Facebook, YouTube or email.
The FM radio on the Nano permits iTunes tagging, so users can flag a favorite FM song that will appear in iTunes for later purchase. It supports new Genius Mixes playlists, and its pedometer keeps track of steps taken and calories burned. The 8GB Nano is available at a suggested price of $149, and a 16GB version now sells for $179.
Notably absent from the new iPod Touch line was a built-in camera. The new iPod Touch models are available immediately in an 8GB version at $199, a 32GB version at $299 and a 64GB model at $399. The 64GB version provides 50 percent faster performance, said Apple, which called the iPod Touch its most affordable gateway to the App Store. The App Store now offers more than 75,000 applications that have received more than 1.8 billion downloads.
The iPod Shuffle also received an overhaul and now starts at $59 for a 2GB model or $79 for a 4GB model and is available in five colors. A special-edition, polished stainless-steel model is also available in 4GB for $99.
The new models are being supported by third-party headphone makers, including Sony, V-Moda, Klipsch and Scosche, which are offering built-in headphone controls for the unit. Belkin and Scosche are also offering built-in headphone adapters so the shuffle can work with their headphones, said Apple.