The big surprise of the Stevenote: new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store for the iPod touch Wi-Fi capabilities and the iPhone. If you buy songs from the iPod touch, they will sync back with iTunes on the desktop. It seems to work ultra-fast on the touch's Wi-Fi and has all the songs from the iTMS to go, as well as the same prices as the normal store.
[UPDATED: more pics and details after the jump]
In addition to having all the songs available for the same price, the home screen is a simplified version of the current desktop iTMS, with full search capabilities and a "What's Hot" tab. The previews of songs and videos looked extremely fast in Jobs' demo, faster than the desktop version, but we will tell you more in our hands-on later.
Apple Unveils the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
Wireless Music Downloads Directly to iPod touch & iPhone
Custom Ringtone Maker Now Built into iTunes
SAN FRANCISCO—September 5, 2007—Apple® today unveiled the iTunes® Wi-Fi Music Store, offering music fans the ability to browse, search, preview, purchase and download songs and albums from the iTunes Music Store over a Wi-Fi network directly onto their iPod® touch or iPhone™. With the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, music fans can start enjoying their music purchases immediately on their iPod touch or iPhone with no computer required. Once they connect their iPod touch or iPhone back to their PC or Mac®, downloaded music will automatically sync back into their iTunes library. If users have only partially downloaded a song or album onto their iPod touch or iPhone, their computer will complete the download automatically. Prices and selection on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store are the same as on the regular iTunes Store.
"The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store is really fun—you can browse, search, freely preview, buy and instantly download music right onto your iPod touch or iPhone," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Innovative products like this keep iTunes at the forefront of the digital music revolution."
In addition, iTunes customers will now be able to create custom ringtones by selecting up to a 30-second segment from over a million participating songs on iTunes and easily sync them onto their iPhone. Once a customer has purchased a participating song from iTunes, including previously purchased participating songs, it will only cost 99 cents to make up to a 30-second segment of that song into a ringtone and easily sync it onto their iPhone. Customers can personalize their ringtones by choosing which portion of the song they want to use, and setting custom fade in and fade out points. iPhone users can assign a custom ringtone to be their default ringtone and they can also assign them to individual callers in their address book. Customers still have full use of the originally purchased song.
Apple today also released the next generation of the world's most popular music and video jukebox, iTunes 7.4, now available as a free download at www.iTunes.com. iTunes 7.4 includes a larger viewing area for movies and TV, filling the entire iTunes window for a richer, seamless video playback experience that looks better than ever. You can now rate entire albums as well as individual songs.
The iTunes Store is the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store and has become the number three music retailer in the US, surpassing both Amazon and Target.* The iTunes Store features the world's largest catalog with over six million songs, 550 television shows and over 500 movies and has sold over three billion songs, 100 million TV shows and over two million movies.
Pricing & Availability
Both the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store and custom iTunes ringtones for iPhone will be available later this month. iTunes 7.4 is available immediately as a free download at www.itunes.com. Music purchased from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store is priced the same as music from the iTunes store. Ringtones are available for an additional 99 cents for participating songs that have previously been purchased from iTunes. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended, fees may apply. The iTunes Store is not available in all countries.
* Based on data from market research firm the NPD Group's MusicWatch survey that captures consumer reported past week unit purchases equivalized so that one CD equals 12 tracks, excluding wireless transactions.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.