Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs took the stage Wednesday for the first time since his liver transplant to introduce a new line of iPods that include a Nano with built-in FM radio, pedometer, video and sound recording and an integrated speaker. It comes in a rainbow of colors and costs $149 (8GB) or $179 (16GB).
The iPod Classic, as anticipated, gets a beefed-up 160GB hard drive for the existing $249 price. Also new: brightly-colored Shuffles and a smaller, less expensive ($59) 2GB Shuffle.
Existing iPod Touch models got price cuts, but others retained their current price while doubling storage space. Also, iTunes 9 was rolled out Wednesday, offering more powerful sync control, a cleaner interface design and home network sharing.
A new feature called iTunes LP will offer images, cover art, liner notes and other media inspired by the days of vinyl. This will include other added-value content, like interviews and videos — all geared to encourage album sale rather than track cherrypicking.
Noticeably absent: the long-rumored tablet device that promises to, one day, give Amazon’s Kindle and other e-readers — as well as netbooks — a run for their money.